Retrobike RCBE #31 WINTER 2018

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

“Nick built his own salt racer, from scratch, around a 40-year-old Yamaha XS650 engine” I FIRST travelled to Lake Gairdner in South Australia for Speed Week 15 years ago. I was the editor of car magazine Street Machine at the time and Victorian hot rodder Norm Hardinge had enticed me there with the offer of a run in his 180mph 1934 Ford roadster. I packed my sons, then aged 19 and eight, into a loaner V8 Commodore from Holden and headed due west, not really knowing what to expect. I was one of 50 drivers sharing 25 cars that year, roughly split between hot rods and street machines, alongside maybe a dozen motorbikes. The latter included Mal Hewitt, then from Roxby Downs, who ran 128mph on his 1950 Vincent Rapide, and Michael…

6 min
single minded

MAX Hazan has a house style that transcends his trademark metal-finished bodywork, elegant simple frames and always innovative engineering. He is first and foremost an artist, which is reflected in everything from his choice of donor engines and methods of operation to the astonishing finished results. “I start with a motor I find aesthetically pleasing, put it on the table and build the rest around it,” he says. In the past, these have been vintage air-cooled engines, including a few English singles and Harley’s popular Ironhead (Highboy Sportster, Retrobike #20). This time, however, Max was inspired by the early powered bicycles from the dawn of motorcycling, bikes that were simple, light and relatively fast. “The KTM RFS (racing four-stroke) engine was perfect,” Max told Bike Exif when the new build first…

1 min
fairy godfather

THE KTM was commissioned by Robert Haas for the Haas Moto Museum in Dallas, Texas. A former investment banker, the 70-year-old born-again biker has put together one of the most impressive motorcycle collections in the US in less than four years. Haas’s timing and passion for custom bikes was perfect for Max Hazan. “Bobby is the man who kept the doors open when I was literally one day away from going back to a full-time job three years ago,” Max told Bike Exif. Currently the Moto Museum owns five Hazans, the others being the Musket, a supercharged Ironhead Sportster, a BSA streamliner and Max’s very first custom that he built in his dad’s shed around a Honda generator motor in a pushbike frame. The Haas collection now totals around 150 bikes, of…

1 min
retro specs

ENGINE Liquid-cooled four-stroke single; SOHC, four valves; 95 x 72mm for 510cc; 11.9:1 comp; Keihin FCR41 carb feeding Aisin AMR300 supercharger; custom manifold and exhaust; digital ignition, total loss; foot-operated clutch and six-speed hand-shift gearbox; chain final drive; 85hp CHASSIS Single-loop main frame in tubular chromoly steel; custom reverse springer forks; rigid rear; single foot brake on transmission; custom hubs; vintage tyres BODYWORK Hand-shaped aluminium fuel and coolant tanks; aluminium mudguard; sprung walnut seat BEST Perfect style, innovative engineering, fun to ride NOT SO GREAT Are you nuts? The man is a genius…

7 min
the flying dutchman

HOLLAND’S Nico Bakker is the couturier of chassis builders, the welding wizard who’s the man to consult when you want a high-class piece of hardware to wrap around a motor to create a unique bike that handles well and looks the business. So when one of his countrymen who prefers to remain nameless — we’ll call him Dutchy — decided he wanted to combine his passion for Honda CBXs and modern-day streetfighters, there was only one man to turn to. “My love affair for the six-cylinder Honda started when I was 10 years old,” says Dutchy, now in his early 40s. “I was walking with my mum in town and I saw a CBX at a traffi c light with the engine burbling away on idle. It had a six-into-one exhaust…

2 min
bakker’s secret recipe

NICO Bakker set up his ‘bakery’ in 1976 to makes frames for TZ250/350 Yamahas. Early customers included Franco Uncini, Johnny Cecotto, Will Hartog and Takazumi Katayama, who rode his to the World 350GP Championship in 1977. “I was the first to fit monoshock rear suspension, which gave a big improvement in chassis behaviour, together with the better weight distribution and extra stiffness my frames had compared to the Japanese ones,” says Nico. He then turned his attention to the 500s, initially with RG500 Suzuki engines and later Honda RS500s. Katayama, by then a Honda factory rider, was allowed to run a Bakker frame after track testing proved its superiority. “The next version of the RS500 had the same geometry, same construction, same everything as my design,” Nico says. “But I didn’t…