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Motorcycle Classics

Motorcycle Classics May - June 2019

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

3 min
shifting gears

For the first time since I can remember, I’m heading into spring with every bike in my garage — even my 1981 Honda Express moped! — running. The ’83 Laverda RGS got a top-end freshening last fall (and while the engine was out, a frame strip and repaint, along with new steering head bearings, swingarm bearings, wheel bearings, ignition coils and tidying up of the electrics) and is running better than ever. The ’73 BMW R75/5 is sporting a new seat cover and is running like the proverbial Swiss watch thanks to updated ignition and charging systems. The ’76 Suzuki GT185 … well, it just keeps running. And I’ve returned my new-to-me 1995 BMW K75 — the “appliance,” as I like to call it — to its original configuration after…

4 min
“mine had obrut across the front.”

CX650 Turbo memories I replaced my Suzuki GS1000S with a Honda CX650 Turbo around 1984 or '85. Mine had OBRUT across the front. In the mirror of the vehicle ahead it would read TURBO of course. At the time, we got a lot of European models not available in the U.S. like Suzuki’s RG500 Gamma square four 2-stroke for instance. The Turbo had the hardest seat I’ve ever sat on and broke down every year I had it. Repairs were $600 to $800 three years running so I traded it in on a BMW R80. It was the right choice. I’m now riding a 2014 Moto Guzzi V7 special and a 1400 California Touring. George Smith/St. John, New Brunswick, Canada French Boxer Cher Monsieur Cathcart, I do not know how to express my appreciation…

1 min
on the market

Not a lot of Visions were built and sold when they were new, so finding a nice one today can be a bit tricky. We found three 1982 models for sale, starting with a silver Vision at Cycle Therapy in New York City, New York (cycletherapynyc.com), listed at $1,750. It shows less than 19,000 miles, and while it appears to be all there, its cosmetics look a little worn. Palace MotoSports in Mitchell, South Dakota (palacemotosportsinc.com), has a Vision with just 5,287 miles, also in silver, which the shop pickled for display at some point. It’s for sale, but the price isn’t listed. The last one popped up on eBay in Phoenix, Arizona, and that’s the black bike seen here. Claimed to be a one-owner bike with less than 15,000…

3 min
vision with a vee: 1982-1983 yamaha xz550r vision

In the late 1970s, every Asian bike maker built air-cooled, inline 4-cylinder bikes — lots of them, from 350cc to 1,100cc. They were the sliced white bread of their day. The problem? They all tasted alike. The Big Four found themselves in a standing-quarter-mile shoot-out every year. So why not try something different? Kawasaki and Suzuki pretty much stayed the course with their UJMs, while Honda and Yamaha tried new ideas. Among the options considered was a 90-degree V-twin, employed to such success by Italian manufacturers. But packaging an L-twin wasn’t easy. Why not try a narrow-angle twin — in spite of their association with heavyweight cruisers? Honda came first with the 80-degree transverse CX500. Yamaha fired back with the 75-degree Virago 750 and XVR920; then in 1982 came the revolutionary 70-degree…

2 min

1978-1982 Honda CX500 If you had been a motorcycle courier in Britain in the 1980s, chances were better than even your mount would be a CX500. Riders loved the maintenance-free shaft drive, the easily adjustable valves, tubeless tires, (mostly) bulletproof reliability — and leg-warming heat blowing from the radiator in London’s winters! Designer Soichiro Irimajiri of CBX fame drew up a revolutionary but logical alternative to the UJM: a 500cc transverse, 80-degree V-twin with eight pushrod-operated valves, CV carbs, five gears and shaft drive. The drivetrain was an integral part of the backbone chassis, which ran on Comstar composite wheels with a single front disc and rear drum. The result was a bike that worked, Cycle magazine said. “It’s comfortable, inexpensive, peaceful, fast and capable, and it handles very well both on…

5 min
dain gingerelli joins our pa getaway, 2019 show updates and riding into history

Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway Racer, writer, editor and all-around motorcycle enthusiast Dain Gingerelli will join us as our special guest for the 4th Annual Motorcycle Classics Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em Getaway at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, Aug. 9-11, 2019. Regular readers will recognize Dain as a long-time contributor to Motorcycle Classics. Dain started riding young, his first bike a 1965 Honda S90, which he later traded for a 1967 Honda CB77 Superhawk. In 1968 he began road racing. Still too young to get a competition license, he competed under his brother’s name until the end of the year. Running his first full season in 1969, he ended the year as high points rider in the AFM’s 200cc production class. Fresh out of California State…