Retrobike Issue 21 - Summer 2016

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

4 min

“The way it made its power was similar and the rumble from the mufflers was spot on” AS MUCH as I’m enjoying the journey with my old Commando, I did come close a few years back to buying a late-model Triumph Thruxton. I was lucky enough to test one for another magazine and was amazed how much it felt like an older pushrod Triumph to ride. The Thruxton lacked the engine clatter and heavy flywheel of the Meridan bikes, but the way it made its power was similar and the rumble from the aftermarket muffl ers was spot on, with the distinctive flat note that only a 360-degree British twin (or XS650 Yamaha) can produce. It looked the part too, even if it was a lot heavier than Triumphs of old. It…

6 min
the dark knight

“WE DON’T CLAIM TO REVOLUTIONISE THE WORLD; WE ARE JUST PASSIONATE ABOUT MOTORCYCLES” BMW twins have had a strong following in Australia for more than 50 years. They are simple, reliable, dependable – soulful even. They’ve been many things to many people for a long time but up until about 10 years ago, no-one ever accused them of being cool. That’s all changed now. The modern custom bike scene has little time for the prejudices of the past, which explains all the CX500s. Like the original hot rodders of the 1950s, 21st-century motorcycle customisers look for models that are cheap, plentiful and have the right number of cylinders. Even better if it’s quirky and different, as good a description of an early BMW horizontal twin as ever there was! The irony of…

7 min
six appeal

“WE DID THE FIRST 1000KM IN BARE METAL TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WAS OKAY” WHEN we first approached Vaughan Ryan to feature his wild CBX, he was surprised to be asked. The bike was built a couple of years ago and had already appeared in other magazines. But we figured it’s one of the coolest customs we’ve ever laid eyes on. What kind of journal of record would Retrobike be if we left it out? It looks and sounds like nothing else for a start. It passes the 50-metre test, the five-metre test and gets better the closer you look. The engineering is first class, the workmanship is exceptional and there’s not another one like it, anywhere. The idea came to Vaughan almost a decade ago, when he was commissioned to build a…

3 min
lifestyle shiny happy people ride 2015

“IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN ON ONE OF THESE BIG MASSED RUNS, THEY ARE AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE” SYDNEY dawned grey with a light drizzle, just what the ladies in their frocks and the men in their suits didn’t want. I wondered how much it might affect attendance. Were these not hipsters, who never came out in the rain? They’d got 500 bikes last year. In the end, close to 700 bikes turned up for the ride from the Quadrangle at Sydney University through the centre of the city, raising more than $200,000 for charity. The bikes ranged from new retro-themed models and monkey bikes to hardcore customs and restored classics, with many so-called hipsters well into their 60s! It really has captured the attention of the broader motorcycling community, including women who are…

8 min
roland's rocket 2010 yamaha vmax

THE original V-Max, first launched in 1985, was one of Yamaha’s most successful models, especially in Europe where it sold some 40,000 machines alone. Its replacement, the VMAX (note capitals!) released in 2008, didn’t fare so well. Despite boasting 200hp at 9000rpm from its all-new 1679cc V-four, it somehow missed the mark, prompting Yamaha Europe’s product manager Shun Miyazawa to commission something special from California’s king of custom cool, Roland Sands. “We wanted to inspire future VMAX owners who hadn’t yet committed to buying the bike, by showing them what a good basis for customisation and personalisation it could be, just like the old model,” says Miyazawa. “Maybe it’s our fault because we made the design of the current VMAX too dense, with too much design tension, but it didn’t create…

7 min
la freccia nera

AS WITH all great cafe racers, the focus of Craig Johnston’s latest build is its heart. “I love the basic, somewhat agricultural design and look of the old round-fin Guzzi engines and their reputation for doing huge mileages.” he says. “To show off such a good looking and substantial motor, I wanted to put together a basic, traditional-looking, cafe-style bike that was not too glitzy or lairy to draw attention away from the engine. “It also had to have the best components available and have enough performance to try and keep up with my mate’s beautiful original Mk1 Le Mans and all the modern retros.” If Craig’s name is familiar, it’s because we featured his in-your-face, frog-stomping KH500 cafe racer last issue. It wasn’t until we were finished doing that story that…