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Classic Bike

Classic Bike July 2020

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.

United Kingdom
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12 Numeri

in questo numero

2 minuti
a love lost

THESE LATEST ISSUES of CB have had me pulling up sandbag after sandbag, relating old tales of my biking youth. So here’s another – this time stirred by going through all the Ducati 750GT words and pics that Alan Cathcart sent us for this month’s cover feature. ‘I REGRETTED LETTING THAT RACY DUCATI SLIP THROUGH MY FINGERS’ I’d stupidly sold my gorgeous TR6 to pursue a career working for the Queen (actually on an RAF base – big mistake, long story, best forgotten). I figured I’d be done with bikes at this time and had my life all mapped out, but at weekends I still wanted to dash home to Wiltshire, hang out with my mates, play footie on Saturday afternoon and drink beer on Sunday night. You know the kinda deal.…

3 minuti
the 265 mph sportster

Bonneville, 1970. The big money was on Don Vesco taking the outright motorcycle land speed record. Vesco was a former top class road racer turned tuner, who ran world champion Kel Carruthers on his 250 and 350 Yamahas at Daytona. But at Bonneville, running two 350cc Yamaha R3 two-stroke twin motors in a streamliner called Big Red, Vesco was at the controls and going fast. During the previous year’s Speedweek he’d hit 227mph and in 1970 he clocked an average of 251.924mph (over the two runs required for a record) to beat Robert Leppan’s 1966 record of 245.667mph, set riding the Triumph double-engined, Alex Tremulis-designed Gyronaut. But Vesco would hold the new record for only the shortest period of time. Just a month later, Harley-Davidson showed up at the salt flats after…

1 minuti
speed merchants

BEFORE ACHIEVING FAME as an aviation pioneer, American Glenn Curtiss recorded 64mph over a measured mile at Yonkers, New York in 1903 on a home-built V-twin. His efforts were never ratified as an official world record, so the honour of being the first man to chalk up the first official land speed record was Henri Cissac, who clocked 87mph over a 1000-metre course on his 1498cc Peugeot V-twin at Blackpool in 1905. Land speed record breaking was in vogue in the 1920s and ’30s, but interest really peaked in the early 1970s thanks to the race between Don Vesco, Robert Leppen and Cal Rayborn to set new standards... * This was the first record to exceed the unofficial record that stood for 20 years set by Glenn Curtiss in 1907. Riding…

4 minuti
inspired by bianchi

BIANCHI IS THE world’s oldest bicycle manufacturer still in business, and continues to produce top-class machines – although the famous Italian brand is now owned by a company in Sweden. Edoardo Bianchi opened his Milan bicycle manufacturing business in 1885, moving into the production of motorcycles in 1897 and cars in 1900. Post-World War II, Bianchi produced a range of lightweight machines to satisfy the demand for low-cost transportation, but the firm earned a reputation for its race bikes – initially 125 and 250cc singles, then later, 250, 350 and 500cc double overhead cam twins. When Italian-based Plan B Motorcycles owner Christian Moretti decided to build this special using a Rotax single cylinder single, he was drawn to the style of the post-war Bianchi – but wasn’t quite sure how to classify the…

3 minuti
carlo ubbiali 1929-2020

MOTORCYCLE RACING HAS lost the rider who dominated the first decade of world championship racing. Carlo Ubbiali, who passed away at the age of 90 on June 2 after contracting Covid-19, won nine world titles between the years of 1950 and 1960. Only two riders have amassed more championships: Giacomo Agostini and Angel Nieto, while only Mike Hailwood and Valentino Rossi have equalled his haul. The little Italian was born on September 22, 1929, the son of a motorcycle dealer in Bergamo, and started racing immediately after the war, when he was still under-age. He won a race at his first meeting and another at his second, but was disqualified when the organisers discovered he had yet to celebrate his 18th birthday. In 1948 Ubbiali took part in the first post-war event at…

5 minuti
quality comes in all shapes and sizes

IN THESE CORONAVIRUS affected times I’m re-reading all my magazines and I chanced upon Rick’s commentary in the November issue about ‘quality that’s hard to restore’, regarding Japanese motorcycles. In some respects, he is absolutely correct, in that most Japanese bikes were of superior quality – and, on the surface, it appears hard to replicate this original build quality. But at the same time, there is much that can be improved and much that simply must be either fixed as best as your budget allows or left as is. For instance, Japanese chromework was decent, but never show quality – and one has to be careful when replacing or rechroming parts to not go overboard unless your goal is a ‘trailer queen’ or ‘show stalker’ that never gets ridden or…