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Motorcycle Classics

Motorcycle Classics July - August 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

1 min
on the web!

Ready to race? Ad man Shane Powers is nearing the finish line, or more accurately, the starting line. His “Sea Beast” Honda CB350 will soon be finished, as he prepares to take the AHRMA Roadracing School beginning on Friday, June 28, as AHRMA racing comes to Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas. The engine runs, the suspension is hung, and bodywork is in process. A belly pan is being built, and soon it will be safety-wired and ready to race! Follow along at MotorcycleClassics.com/AHRMA-CB350-Part-5…

3 min
onward and sideways

Welcome, friends. Last issue in this space you read about the changes going on around here, yet despite a slightly-less-old guy behind the desk, the song remains the same. The only minor change this issue is you now get to read the drivel of not one, but two Motorcycle Classics editors. Founding editor Richard Backus speaks his mind on Page 78, where he’ll pen a regular column each issue about his riding exploits, what bikes in his small stable have or haven’t broken, and his views on who knows what else. Over the years while attending events with the magazine, I’ve met and spoken with many of you, and I look forward to meeting the rest of you as we move forward through show season. Join us at Road America, July…

3 min

Rider: Dave DeBaene, Moline, Illinois Age: 66 Occupation: Manufacturing engineer, John Deere (retired) Rides: 1938 NSU 501 OSL Dave’s story: "I have been a motorcycle enthusiast since I was 12. I started with a scooter my oldest brother found for me. I raced amateur flat track for four years before I married. My first race bike was a Hodaka Super Rat. I also raced a Bultaco 175 Sherpa, and 250 and 350 Pursangs. After having kids I quit riding until my daughter graduated from college (2001). I then purchased a 1975 Harley-Davidson FLH project bike. Just before retirement I built a Honda FT street tracker, and then a 1980 Honda CB750 café racer. I started motorcycle restoration with a 1972 Bultaco Pursang. Since then I have restored seven more bikes, and I just started…

3 min
“the stories triggered a flood of memories.”

Unusual CB350 I’m a longtime reader and subscriber of your magazine, and I am excited to write to you regarding an old motorcycle I recently fixed up. My son and I like recently bought a 1968 Honda CB350 from a local estate sale. However, it’s not a normal CB350, and we were told from the previous owner’s brother that it’s a police model that he had imported from the U.K. Unfortunately, being that we bought it from an estate sale, we didn’t get any documentation with the bike. The bike had been sitting for years, but was complete and in decent shape. We cleaned it up and performed all of the maintenance the bike needed. We want to keep the bike as original as possible, even if that means leaving some patina. The…

3 min
jota’s bigger brother: 1978-82 laverda 1200 jota america/mirage

Many bike makers produced stand-out models that became synonymous with the brand. BSA had the Gold Star; Triumph, the Bonneville; Moto Guzzi, the Le Mans. For Italian builder Laverda it was a 1,000cc DOHC triple that, at its launch in 1976, was the fastest production motorcycle then available and became a legend in its own time: the Jota. Through the 1970s, increasingly stringent noise and pollution regulations (especially in the U.S.) meant Laverda’s raucous 1,000cc triple required more restrictive intake and exhaust as well as softer cams and lower compression. Laverda’s challenge was to maintain its performance edge — which it did in the time-honored fashion of increasing engine size. So the Laverda 1200 of 1978 was a made-in-Italy solution on to a made-in-America problem. All Laverda triples up to 1982…

1 min
on the market

In all our hunting, we found just two Mirages that have come up on the market. Finished in maroon, a rare factory color, this 1200 TS Mirage was offered for sale back in 2018 at the Bonhams Las Vegas motorcycle auction. It had a pre-sale estimate of $14,000-$18,000, which may explain why it went unsold. Believed to be a two-owner machine, it was offered in unrestored condition. Manufactured in September 1981 as a 1982 model, the bike was built to U.S. specifications and featured an 80mph speedometer. It showed just less than 11,000 miles and was presented in “close to ‘like new’ cosmetic condition.” Another Mirage, but not a TS, sold at the 2019 Mecum Las Vegas auction, for $5,500. Labeled (incorrectly) as a 1983 model, it wore a non-stock…