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Classic Bike

Classic Bike January 2018

Classic Bike helps and inspires enthusiasts to get more from their passion for classic motorcycles. The magazine shares their fascination with motorcycling’s heroic past while also helping them buy, fix and improve the bikes in their shed. Our main areas of content are: - Inspirational and entertaining reads that celebrate the glory of motorcycling, from riding stories that put the reader in the seat of history’s greatest bikes to incredible racing tales - Restoration stories and instructional features that inspire and help people get their tools out and sort out their old bike - In-depth technical features from the most expert and authoritative writers in motorcycling If you share our passion about classic motorcycles from the last century, you'll enjoy reading Classic Bike.

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United Kingdom
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12 Numeri

in questo numero

1 minuti

classic.bike@bauermedia.co.uk Barn finds. Everyone loves ’em, everyone wants one. It’s the dream of every classic bike enthusiast to unearth a rotting old motorcycle that’s ripe for restoration. Ignore the fact that the tank is rusted through, there’s no clutch, the electrics are hanging out of where the toolbox cover should be, or the rubber is so dried out that the front tyre ribs are peeling along their circumference. As long as you have a vision of what it’s going to look like when it’s restored, a project is worthy of restoration. In this issue we celebrate ten visionary owners who have bought, found or been given neglected machines that have seen better days. Ladies and gentlemen, this is our Barn Find of the Year competition, supported by Coys Auctions and Godin Sporting…

3 minuti
a light grizzling

Motocross racing is a major element of the classic bike scene in Japan. Normally, the most popular machines are 1970s Japanese two-strokes, so white smoke and high-pitched exhaust notes create a very different atmosphere to the kind of four-stroke classic motocross that British enthusiasts might be more familiar with. But this year saw the introduction of The Grizzly Cup at Futtsu SS land, Chiba – with two-strokes banned. Only four-stroke machines produced before 1969 were eligible in three separate classes: rigid, swingarm and mini moto. With entries limited to 60, the event was oversubscribed a few days after booking opened. This was no surprise since a sand race meeting called ‘Chirihama Sand-flats’ has become one of the hottest events in Japan in the past five years, and the popularity of off-road riding…

2 minuti

After more than 75 years in the same inner-city premises, Birmingham’s oldest motorcycle shop, Vale-Onslow (Motors) Ltd, has moved to new a home on a nearby trading estate. At one time the business occupied a whole row of shops on Stratford Road. Taking on Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha agencies in the 1960s, it was billed as ‘The Midlands’ Motor Cycle Super Store’. Following the early 1980s trade recession, new bike sales were phased out and Vale-Onslow became best known as a treasure house of new-old stock British parts for classic restorers. The National Motorcycle Museum has long found it a useful source of rare items for restorations. Founder Len Vale-Onslow manufactured sporting SOS (Super Onslow Special) motorcycles in the late 1920s. He perfected a method of making their lightweight all-welded frames with…

3 minuti
3 x 3 = crazy

What a noise! Nine expansion chambers spit out a deafening two-stroke cacophony, harsh and metallic yet with a tinge of harmony. There’s smoke – lots of it – and a smell of pre-mix racing oil. Rainbow Chaser, the 2.8-metre long 2307cc drag racer with three rows of Kawasaki H2 triple cylinders has burst into life. This insane machine started life in 1978 in The Netherlands, the brainchild of Joop Portegies, who built it after successfully racing a 350cc Kawasaki triple. It appears that Rainbow Chaser did low-nine-second quarter-mile runs in the ’80s in the hands of its second owner, Gottfried Hahne. He sold it to fellow countryman Romano Schwabel, who stored it for more than 15 years before Gary Clarke and Gott Kaul of the UK Kawasaki Triples Club (KTC) went halves…

4 minuti
viva las vegas

One-owner collections always bring a buzz to an auction. Maybe it’s the insight they offer into the minds of dedicated collectors or perhaps the fact that so many machines with a common theme are for sale at one time and place. Whatever it is, single owner collections attract buyers. With a few weeks left to go before the consignment cut-off for Mecum’s February 23 auction in Las Vegas, seven one-owner collections have already been confirmed. Highlights include the superb 1950 Indian Chief (above) from the Northern Arizona collection of American classics from Ray Hott. Arguably, this is the ultimate development of the model and this Roadmaster has been further improved by alternator electrics and a spin-on oil filter. If you want a practical example of the iconic Chief, look no further. There’s a…

3 minuti
bultaco barn find straightened out

This is my Bultaco Sherpa T model 27 barn-find project. I got it from a friend in southern Colorado about 27 years ago – I traded it for another Bultaco. The M27 is the second series in the Sherpa T lineage and the first with a five-speed transmission. As a long-time Bultaco owner (since 1967), I have ridden an M26 Matador, an M4 Matador and an M85 Alpina in many trials and have sought a T model for a long time. This one has had a rough life. Initially, I didn’t realise that the frame, swingarm, lower fork clamp and rear axle were bent. I agonised over those issues and contemplated moving it to the back of the to-do list. After a little research, I located a small shop about four hours…