Retrobike RCBE#23 WINTER 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

2 min

“Few engineers made such a long-lasting contribution to motorcycling as Fabio Taglioni” ALAN Cathcart recalls in his feature story on Paul Smart’s 1972 Imola 750 Ducati how unfashionable big-bore Italian bikes once were. Apart from the MV Agusta 750 — widely respected as the two-wheeled equivalent of a Ferrari and priced accordingly — Italian bikes were long regarded with suspicion and the people who bought them as eccentric. The 1971 GT750 Ducati was weirder than most, on account of its unique 90-degree V-twin engine mounted with one cylinder almost horizontal and the other just off vertical, and further distinguished by its bevel gear-driven, single overhead camshafts. The world had never seen anything like it! Glacial steering and dubious reliability didn’t help, but luckily the world hadn’t heard anything like it either and…

7 min
2015 bmw r nine t 2 shot twin-barrel shotgun

“IT EVENTUATED INTO A BEHEMOTH OF A BUILD THAT TOOK ALMOST A YEAR TO COMPLETE” THIS is the third BMW R nineT we’ve featured in just seven issues of the relaunched Retrobike, not what you’d expect for a model that didn’t exist before 2014. It’s as if BMW purpose-built a brand new bike as a platform for customising in the modern retro style, which is of course exactly what they did. The R nineT was loosely based on the Concept Ninety show bike, Roland Sands’ 2013 reinterpretation of the iconic 1973 BMW R 90 S, so it was always off to a good start. The bolt-on seat sub-frame, independent of the main chassis, is easily replaceable with a custom unit fabricated in a more aggressive style. The electrics were thoughtfully split between…

5 min
1975 honda cb400f little big bike

“THE PLAN WAS TO MAKE IT LARGER OVERALL BUT STILL KEEP THE ORIGINAL PROPORTIONS” THIS little Honda came to me as an impulse buy from the Mudgeeraba Swap. After a bit of haggling, I handed over $350 and it was mine. It was reasonably stock other than the rattle-canned tank with bashed-in knee wells. The motor had been pulled out with the top end dismantled, but it was all there. I got it back to my shop (PopBang Classics on the Gold Coast), stuck it up on the mezzanine and forgot about it until a couple of big burly fellas came in wanting me to build a couple of bikes for them. They didn’t have licences yet nor bikes to start with, so they asked what I had. The answer was not…

5 min
salt of the earth comp lake gairdner 2016

“THIS YEAR SOME 90 BIKES TOOK PART, SPLIT ROUGHLY BETWEEN LATE MODELS AND EARLY GIRLS” THIS was my third trip to Lake Gairdner, the enormous 160km-long dry salt lake in the South Australian outback, for Speed Week; five days of flat-chat land speed racing in one of the most isolated and spectacular places on Earth. My first experience was in 2003 when, as editor of Street Machine, I was invited to race Norm Hardinge’s 1934 Ford. I managed to get in my 125mph qualifying pass before Norm’s co-driver Wayne Belot blew it up at just over 190mph to bring my salt-racing career to an early close. I’d never even sat in a hot rod before so it was an unforgettable experience. I went back in 2006 to support my mate Pete Dean (Riders…

6 min
vintage cafe racers speed 1996 ducati 900ss

BENJIE Flipperboi has been building custom bikes for 10 years from his premises in Corona, California, better known worldwide as the home of Fender guitars. His business, BCR Designs (for Benjie’s Cafe Racer), was an early adopter of the scrambler and tracker styles but soon everyone was doing it and donor bikes were getting hard to find. It was time to play a different tune. “We love working on Hondas and Yamahas from the 1970s but an increase in demand has caused the price of these bikes to rise greatly since we started the business,” Benjie says. “And scramblers and trackers have gained popularity to the extent that even big-time manufacturers have cashed in on the hype with factory models in these styles.” For much less money than an old CB750, Benjie…

3 min
picture perfect

“THE OLD BIKE'S BEEN HANDLED WITH CARE, REFLECTING THE OWNER'S PRIDE AND MECHANICAL ABILITY” A BOY stares longingly at his father’s Cushman Eagle scooter. Dad can be heard in the garage cutting a sturdy wooden square from half-inch plywood, which he then magically attaches to the rear of the scooter. The boy is soon plopped upon it and within moments they’re off! The boy’s arms cling to his father’s waist as the wind buffets their faces, unhindered by fairings, windshields or even helmets. “I can still feel the splinters from the edge of the plywood,” Tom Fritz says. The brief moment proved pivotal, not just as an initiation into motorcycles but also the inspiration that sparked Tom’s philosophy to his art. Born and raised in San Fernando, Tom Fritz’s vivid recollections of the…