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Motorcycle Classics

Motorcycle Classics

July/August 2021

Motorcycle Classics is the authoritative voice of America’s growing classic motorcycle community and the premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts. Following the latest news and trends, and featuring in-depth reviews and riding impressions – with full technical profiles and value assessments – of classic motorcycles from every continent, Motorcycle Classics brings yesterday’s bikes into focus for today’s classic motorcycle aficionados.

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United States
Ogden Publications, Inc.
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
the return of summer events

Welcome friends to the July/August issue. I hope that where you are summer riding season is in full swing and that the reward of winter wrenching is being found in happilyrunning bikes all around. First, I wanted to say thank you to the surprising outpouring of responses to the question I posed in the March/April issue regarding long-term motorcycle ownership. I’ve received more than a few dozen responses, and I hope to feature as many of them as possible in our Readers and Riders section in this and future issues. I was amazed to hear all the stories of bikes that readers have had for decades, and a great many of you sent sharp photos to go along with the letters. It’s been quite a treat for me, so again, thank you. Motorcycle…

3 min
rides and destinations

In the late 1920s, the path across the desert from Arizona through California (a trail currently known as Interstate 10) was but a dirt road. A young Joe Chiriaco used it when he hitchhiked from Alabama to see a California Rose Bowl football game in 1927. Chiriaco stayed in California, working as a surveyor for the aqueduct that would carry water from the Colorado River to Los Angeles, and he recognized opportunity. That dirt road (Highways 60 and 70 in those early days) would soon carry more people from points east to Los Angeles. Shaver Summit (the high point now known as Chiriaco Summit) would be a good place to sell gasoline and food. He and his soon-to-be wife Ruth bought land, started a business and a family, and did…

15 min
slimmed-down spaceframe

Fifty years ago, the evolution of what we think of today as a modern motorcycle had only just begun gathering pace. Honda had commenced its own march up the capacity scale with the CB450 DOHC parallel-twin launched in 1964, the same year that 25-year-old Massimo Laverda was appointed by his father Francesco to take over running the motorcycle division of his family’s agri-machinery company. Massimo’s understanding of the marketplace due to his own passion for bikes — he was already a Vincent and BMW R69S owner — meant Moto Laverda was the first-ever manufacturer to produce a 750cc sport bike. That came about in May 1968, when production began of the scaled-up version of its 650cc SOHC wet sump parallel-twin previously unveiled at London’s Earls Court Show in November 1966. It didn’t…

2 min

1959-1962 Triumph 650 T120R Bonneville The 1959 Bonneville was essentially the 1958 Tiger 110 650cc with a new splayed port cylinder head, dual remote-float Amal Monoblocs and a new one-piece crankshaft. It wore the Tiger’s dowdy headlight nacelle and valanced fenders. U.S. dealers asked for a sportier look. That came in 1960 with a new duplex frame, slender blades replacing the frumpy fenders and the nacelle nixed in favor of paired tachometer and speedometer. Unfortunately, the new frame was prone to breaking below the steering head, and a triangulating brace was added during the year. A 60-watt Lucas RM15 alternator and selenium rectifier replaced the 6-volt DC generator, though a Lucas K2F magneto still supplied sparks. British magazine The Motor Cycle tested the 1960 Bonnie, finding it “very fast” with “tremendous acceleration.” Handling…

1 min
100 years of designing for speed

From Harley-Davidsons and Velocettes to Kawasakis and Ducatis, this book traces the development of over 50 classic bikes over the past 100 years. The dynamic between competition and the design of these bikes are beautifully illustrated chronologically, with studio photographs accompanied with archival images that place the bikes in the context of classic races, rallies, and shows. This title is available while supplies last at MotorcycleClassics.com/Store or by calling 800-880-7567. Mention promo code: MMCPALZ5. Item #5272.…

1 min
the laverda twins and triples bible

Discover the history of Laverda twins and triples, some of the most charismatic and exciting motorcycles produced in a golden era. With a successful endurance racing program publicizing them, Laverda’s twins soon earned a reputation for durability that wasn’t usually associated with Italian machinery. This book provides a detailed history of this innovative and daring Italian manufacturer and the bikes they built. This title is available at MotorcycleClassics.com/Store or by calling 800-880-7567. Mention promo code: MMCPALZ5. Item #9747.…