Retrobike RCBE #24 SPRING 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

“The Quake City Rumblers have made an art form of not taking themselves seriously” SOMETIMES we motorcyclists take ourselves too seriously. Whether it’s a restorer thumbing his or her nose at a mild custom, sports riders slagging off Harleys or sad middle-aged keyboard warriors taking cheap shots at hipsters on Facebook, we sometimes lose sight that we all ride bikes for exactly the same reason. Because it’s fun. The team behind Sydney’s Throttle Roll get it. They’re not the first to realise that music and motorcycles go together like engines and oil — live bands were a feature of all the best motorcycle rallies a generation ago — but they’re the first to pull it off in the inner suburbs of Australia’s biggest city. And while it’s centred around the modern urban…

7 min
trigonometry cafe brats 1978 honda cb550

“AFTER ASSEMBLY, WE WERE A LITTLE APPREHENSIVE TO SEE IF THE SHOCK WOULD WORK AS WE’D INTENDED” ONE theme common to all the new breeds of customs is to declutter the rear of the bike. Sidecovers, batteries and airboxes are the first to go, after which the stock seat and supporting sub-frame are binned. The more adventurous then go a step further, often replacing twin-shock swingarms with triangulated monoshocks or rigid rear ends. Old Empire Motorcycles has now taken it a step further, with what looks like a dual-sided swingarm but with no suspension at all! It doesn’t get any less cluttered than that! OEM is a bespoke bike builder based on Great Britain’s east coast. We’ve featured two of their bikes over recent years, the totally radical 900SS-based Typhoon in issue…

7 min
brave heart rsd indian scout

“MADNESS IS AN INHERENT PART OF MANY OF OUR PROJECTS. WHO ELSE WOULD RIP APART A PERFECT BRAND-NEW MOTORCYCLE?” SOMETIMES it’s not all about cubic inches, and less really is more. Here’s a case in point. RSD’s Indian Track Chief we featured back in issue #19 blew us away with what Roland Sands could do with the gargantuan 1800cc Indian Chieftain. This time he’s performed equally radical surgery on the much leaner 1100cc Indian Scout, and lifted his game to a whole new level. In both cases, Roland reached back into Indian’s rich pre-WWII racing heritage for his inspiration, and how apt that the more compact Scout, always the sports/race model in the line-up, should come out on top. Common to both builds was a completely new tubular cradle chassis. Roland admits he…

3 min
throttle roll

“ANOTHER 66 CUSTOM BIKES WERE DISPLAYED THREE-HIGH ON SCAFFOLDING UP NEAR THE STAGE” THE Throttle Roll Street Party is put on by the same crew behind the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and Sydney Cafe Racers. Even if you didn’t know that, you can tell by the vibe which is overwhelmingly positive. Almost everyone is smiling and having a good time. Like most things these guys touch, the event quickly outgrew in just three years its original venue in the beer garden and car park of the Vic Hotel in inner-city Enmore. Last year’s event was our first, and it was barely manageable (in a good way), especially in surrounding streets jam-packed with bikes. So this year Throttle Roll took over a whole street, Railway Parade in Marrickville in the shadow of Sydenham station.…

8 min
the beauty of power

“IT WAS OUR FIRST, BARE-FRAME CUSTOM BUILD AND I’M VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESULT” LAVERDAS are hardly common in Australia and custom-framed ones even rarer, but this high-performance Mk3 Motodd built by Brisbane workshop Redax Laverda is up there with any in the world. Red Cawte is a retired oil and gas drilling engineer and lifelong Laverda tragic who has turned his hobby into a business restoring and reconditioning Laverdas. His former day job had him living out of Australia for many years, which has given him an international perspective on life, the universe and sourcing components, as you’ll soon discover. “I started collecting parts from 2010, when we purchased the bare frame while travelling through the UK,” Red says. “I’d always wanted to build a custom-framed Laverda using modern suspension, wheels and…

7 min
the world’s fastest flat tracker

“YOU CAN’T GET PARTS FOR THESE ENGINES ANY MORE SO WE RAMPED IT UP SLOWLY” CHRIS Fraser is an interesting bloke. A three-times Australian Longtrack Speedway Sidecar Champion, he was also the long-time publican at the famous Silverton Hotel near Broken Hill. I met him in 2003 when he was racing a replica of Kenny Roberts’ XS750 flat tracker at Speed Week on Lake Gairdner in South Australia, and then again in 2006 when he raced another bike he’d built, this time powered by a supercharged Leyland P76 V8. His son Cec is a chip of the old block; they even share the same nickname, Frase. Growing up in the outback, Cec was riding a Pee Wee 50 at four and had his first run on the salt at 17. These days…