Retrobike #28 SPRING 2017

New to the retro scene? Retrobike is your lifestyle workshop manual with lots of good advice and plenty of inspiration for your next purchase or build. In Retrobike we focus on motorcycles with character and style, and the people who ride them. Everything from restored classics to late-model customs and most things in between can be seen between the pages of Retrobike. Every issue, (a true collector’s edition!), is packed full of content; covering interviews with motorcycling legends, the freshest lifestyle products and gear, trend-setting customs from around the world, restorations, retromods (old bikes, new gear) and modern classics (new bikes made to look old), plus shows, rallies, and runs, not to mention, so much more! The perfect mag for any passionate, enthusiastic retro bike fanatic. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min

I LOVE this photo of clubman racer Phil Canning giving his Period 3 Vincent Black Lightning the berries at the track. No, it’s not one of the original 30 Black Lightnings built in the Stevenage factory just after WWII, but a replica built by Ken and Barry Horner in Victoria, running 12.5:1 compression on methanol to make around 90hp. So not priceless, just wickedly expensive, and Phil rides the wheels off it! Phil works hard for his coin as chief executive of a large company and spends it well, amassing an enviable collection of modern and classic motorcycles. This includes the 1940 Triumph Speed Twin featured on page 76. It is as meticulous a restoration as you’ll ever find of arguably the most collectable Triumph of all time, and represents a…

7 min
street & stripped

“THE RACE BIKE WAS STRIPPED OF ITS BODYWORK AND SET A NEW WORLD RECORD OF 136MPH” IN 1936, Harley-Davidson debuted an iconic game-changer to the world. The 61-cubic-inch (1000cc) E and EL solos were the first Harley-Davidson production models to feature overhead valves and a recirculating oil system. It was big news and the new bike became famous almost overnight for its speed, strength and style. Every OHV bigtwin Harley released since is a direct descendent. The intense competition between the US motorcycle manufacturers over the previous decades had seen battles fought on board tracks, dirt tracks, hill climbs and endurance races across the country. Speed was always the key and the faster a bike could go, the more success it enjoyed in the sales market. Harley-Davidson knew this all too well…

6 min
follow the leader

“IT WAS BUILT TO COMPLY WITH GERMANY’S MODIFIED VEHICLE GUIDELINES AND IS 100 PER CENT STREET LEGAL” IN just four years, Diamond Atelier has earned a worldwide reputation for innovative custom bikes. Although often based on BMW twins, most DA creations eschew old-school retro styling for a fresh, carte blanche approach. Many are spec-built, but the number of commissioned builds is on the rise. “Usually when people call to seek information about a potential project they would like to start with us, they like to talk first,” says DA’s Tom Konecny. “Often it’s about their ideas for the build, their motorcycling past, riding style and current bike inventory. I’ve heard this monologue countless times and only rarely does it lead to an order placement! “But every once in a while, you receive a…

4 min
high to hell

COULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED FOUR OR FIVE YEARS AGO. THERE WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ENOUGH INTEREST” FLAT track racing was born in the USA, where it is still big news, but it’s also flourishing in Europe. This is especially the case at grassroots level, fuelled by events like Dirt Quake (Retrobike #25) which give punters a chance to have a lash in a not-too-serious environment. Hells Race at Lelystad Speedway in Holland is a full-on competitive event but also includes a Newbies class for folk wanting to try their luck and who own a suitably cool bike. Entries are at the organisers’ discretion, and must have their front brakes disabled and an ignition cut-off lanyard fitted. There is also a Rookie class for riders having their first taste of a purpose-built flat tracker, before…

7 min
parts bin special

HERE is an interesting bike. At first glance it looks like a lightly modified early Ducati V-twin with a cool metal-finished tank and seat. Look closer and spot some serious brakes up front; look again for the single-shock rear and lowmounted side-by-side exhausts. And of course that duck egg green/blue frame. Where have we seen all that before? Leo Fleuren is a longtime Ducati dealer in the Netherlands who last year put his mind to building a special from spare parts he’d accumulated over decades to celebrate Ducati’s 90th anniversary. He’s a quirky guy who likes to follow his own muse, and enlisted the help of his mate Willy Poelen to turn his pile of parts into a functioning motorcycle. “When we undertake stuff like this, we do keep Ducati’s heritage in…

8 min
fast forward

DOUG Fraser is a toolmaker. His Emu Engineering workshop on the road to Phillip Island is packed with lathes, grinders, milling machines and related equipment, all the gear you need to build your own motorcycle. He is also somewhat smitten by vehicles Made in England. “I was brought up when the British motorcycle industry was flourishing,” says Doug. “I like the way their bikes were built, because as a toolmaker I can relate to the machinery used to make them. I think they’re fine products.” Doug is an especially big fan of the BSA Gold Star single, and owns several including a 500 with his own four-valve cylinder head. “I’ve also always liked BSA V-twins, even though they only built them from 1920 to 1938, and in spite of the fact they…