Retrobike Issue 38

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

SEDDO is away ill, although he did most of the work on this issue before he handed it over to me. He’s a bit crook and needs some time off, but he will be back. Geoff ’s a legend in Australian motoring publishing, having worked on, started and grown numerous bike and car titles over the years. I’m honoured to have been asked to fill his shoes while he’s away. My experience with Seddo started when I was a teenager and he was a young bike tester for Two Wheels. The first story of Geoff ’s I remember personally reading was a series of articles about three bevel-drive Ducati 900SS machines he and two mates bought, which went into why they made the choices they did and the trials and tribulations of…

4 min
the motomax project re

RIC STEELE of MotoMAX in Perth is passionate about what he describes as ‘pure motorcycling’ — bikes which aren’t trying to be something they’re not. It’s a philosophy which led him to racing 250cc GP bikes. “Although a dying class, I loved the fact it was a pure racing class, not just a street bike!,” Steele told Retrobike. He has the same philosophy with street and modified bikes. He likes machines which are true to themselves, which is why he jumped at the chance to get involved with Royal Enfield. “THE FAIRING AND SEAT COWL ARE HANDMADE ALLOY FROM HAMMERWORKS” “We [MotoMAX] are very proud of how we have grown with the brand in Perth. My love for the brand is it's ‘pure motorcycling’. Much like my interest in GP racing, it's the fact it’s…

6 min
style to die for

PUSHBIKE racing on banked wooden tracks known as velodromes was massively popular in Europe and North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Very early motorcycles, little more than pushbikes with crude engines amidships, were employed to assist the cycle racers in getting up to speed. The motorbikes were soon way faster than their people-powered equivalents, much more exciting to watch and soon became the main game. The first banked mile-long board track built specifically for car and motorcycle racing — dubbed a motordrome — was built from 4x2-inch pine boards in 1909 in Los Angeles. Riders on Indians, Excelsiors and Harley-Davidsons vied for huge purses of up to $25,000 per meeting, albeit at some risk to their personal well-being. Longer tracks of up to two miles with banking…

4 min
first of the factory customs

ONE of only 1200-odd made, this machine could be considered the first of the factory customs, something pretty common these days. It was based on the BSA Rocket III, a bike which was years late coming to market and sold poorly, being priced close to 50 per cent higher than the all-conquering Honda CB750. “VETTER EXTENDED THE FORKS, SWITCHED OUT THE DULL EXHAUST FOR A THREE-INTO-THREE AND CREATED AN ORANGE WITH YELLOW STRIPE DESIGN…” With unsold inventory in warehouses, a dealer network in the USA underwhelmed by the BSA model list and intense competition from Japan, people within BSA (which, by this stage, was already owned by Triumph) tried to get inventive. Craig Vetter, then known as a custom bike builder and fairing manufacturer (the ‘Windjammer’, Vetter’s famous design, was incredibly popular in…

4 min
new era comes of age

THERE'S a new breed of racer competing these days — those who grew up in the 1980s and love the bikes from the era. They were out in numbers at the 2020 Island Classic, Phillip Island’s iconic Australia Day weekend event. “THE OWNERS WERE GENERALLY OF AN AGE WHERE THE KIDS ARE GROWN UP, THE MORTGAGE PAID OFF AND THE CAREER ESTABLISHED” Twenty-twenty saw the 27th running of the Island Classic, an event for race bikes built up to 31 December 1990. It was also the 16th year of the International Challenge, this year featuring race teams from England, the USA and Australia on bikes built between 1973 and 1982. This year’s event was dominated by the New Era class, bikes built between 1983 and 1990. The owners were generally of an age…

5 min
zen and the art of motorcycle design

DARYL Villanueva is a citizen of the world, born in the Philippines and growing up in Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and the United States, where he studied graphic design in Los Angeles. He worked as a designer in the advertising industry in Dubai, Vietnam and China, rising to the position of creative director before establishing custom motorcycle workshop Bandit9 in Beijing in 2011 and later Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). “THE HONDA CUB IS A SENTIMENTAL MACHINE TO ME. IT’S REALLY WHAT STARTED ALL OF THIS” “I spent a lot of my days collaborating with the best photographers, film directors, architects, car designers, fashion designers and story tellers — incredible people with immense knowledge and insight in their given field,” he says. “I knew I was already in an advantageous position to learn…