Retrobike RCBE #32 SPRING 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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1 min
japanese bsas

THE first Kawasaki-badged motorcycle, a 125cc two-stroke single known as the B8, was released in 1962, although the aviation division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries had been building small two-stroke engines for other manufacturers since 1954. In 1960, Kawasaki acquired a minority interest in Meguro, one of Japan’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers and at one time its most successful. Meguro had a licence to produce the BSA A7, a popular British 500cc pre-unit OHV twin, but was struggling for working capital, which eventually led to Kawasaki taking full control in 1963. Almost immediately, Kawasaki began making detail improvements to the BSA design, including punching out capacity to 650cc in 1965, albeit with slightly over-square dimensions, which differentiated it from the long-stroke 650cc BSA A10. And, thus, the Kawasaki W1 made its debut as the…

1 min
the bombinette

THE Bombinette was built by Sèb for his wife, Laurence, who races it in the Sultans of Sprint. It is not only a serious sprinter, it's also a dazzling custom bike, with a fairing covered with 24-carat gold leaf and a gas tank with eight different types of flakes. The R80 engine was built by German BMW specialist Edelweiss around a rare racing crankshaft and is set up for nitrous oxide. The pistons and cylinder heads are from a GS, with larger valves. “The secret of the engine is the work of Edelweiss,” Sèb says. “They made everything lighter, so you can really rev it up, as high as 10,500rpm. So far, the engine block has survived that. We took it apart this winter and there was hardly any need to…

1 min
retro specs

ENGINE Oil and air-cooled four-stroke 90-degree V-twin; OHV, two per cylinder; 84 x 74mm for 853 cc; 10.5:1 comp; 2 x Keihin flat-slide carburettors; custom twin exhausts; helical-teeth primary drive to single-plate clutch and six-speed gearbox; shaft final drive CHASSIS Modified tubular steel main frame with fabricated seat subframe; multi-adjustable Ohlins USD forks, twin four-piston Tokico calipers and rotors, 18-inch Kineo tubeless spoked rim; dual-sided swingarm with multi-adjustable Ohlins shocks, 18-inch Kineo tubeless spoked rim with aluminium covers BODYWORK Modified V7 tank; custom seat unit in aluminium; paint by Walter Oberli BEST Fantastic style and workmanship NOT SO GREAT Does it have the herbs for Sultans of Speed?…

1 min
japanese ducati

THE TRX850 was launched in 1996 as Yamaha’s take on the popular Ducati 900 Supersport, similar in appearance with its red paintwork, white trellis frame and twin exhausts. It sounded like a Ducati, too, the first production parallel twin with crankpins offset by 270 degrees to mimic the cadence of a 90-degree V-twin. Twenty years later, they’re all like that, including traditional brands like Triumph, Norton and even Royal Enfield. It also shared the Ducati’s sparse simplicity, made similar power and weighed about the same at 190kg dry. The result was a deceptively quick and easy-to-ride road bike with a delicious booming exhaust note. Of all the Japanese 900SS clones (Honda had the VTR1000 and Suzuki the TL1000), the TRX was closest to the Ducati in riding feel, despite not being…

2 min

“The Honda Four ushered in an incredibly diverse and exciting period of motorcycle development” THIS month is the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of the iconic Honda CB750 Four at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show. We think of it these days as just another lovely old vintage bike, but at the time it truly was the bike that changed the world. Honda was then known for its twin-cylinder road bikes, the largest of which was 450cc, but the factory had had plenty of success with across-the-frame four and six-cylinder race bikes in winning six consecutive 350cc World Championships from 1962, along with numerous 250cc and 125cc World Championships. The factory withdrew from GP racing at the end of the 1967 season to concentrate on its road bikes and the CB750 was the result. It…

4 min
mix & match

“IT WAS JUST A PILE OF PARTS SITTING THERE IN MY WORKSHOP LOOKING AT ME SAYING, ‘BUILD ME!’” JIM Mott of Hand Made Racers professes no particular fondness for Suzukis but maybe it’s time to call him out. This is the fourth in a quick succession of Suzuki specials to exit his Brisbane workshop, with another even more radical build close to completion as we go to press and who knows what after that? He got the ball rolling with a finely detailed tribute to the Texaco Heron Suzuki XR69 F1 racers of the 1980s, which we featured early last year (Road Racer, Retrobike #27). It was based around a 1200 Bandit engine shoehorned into an early GSX-R750 chassis. He then followed with a pair of GS1000 street bikes, one a restored…