EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Cars & Motorcycles
Motorcycle Classics

Motorcycle Classics March - April 2020

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Ogden Publications, Inc.
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the gearhead gathering

One of the most rewarding parts of working for this magazine all these years has been meeting and interacting with all the wonderful people that make up the old motorcycle hobby. Meeting readers and enthusiasts at motorcycle shows and events throughout the years has allowed me to put faces with a lot of your names, your bikes and your stories. And as much as we love travelling to the big shows like the Barber Vintage Festival in Alabama, for the past four years we've also looked forward to our own Big Gig: The Motorcycle Classics Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway, held each summer at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. When we started this event, we crossed our fingers and hoped we'd have 20-or-so readers show up and…

6 min.
readers and riders

“You can see the slide springs, mounting studs and main jets.” Too hot to handle I am responding to the short article on Page 6 of the January/February 2020 issue of Motorcycle Classics about the Norton Fastback: “Another Fastback.” I had my own “flame-on” experience with my Fastback, similar to the author of the article. As a 17-year-old in 1975 I had built a Fastback from a basket case. I had ridden it to a spray-and-wash to clean it. After soaking it down, I popped off the points cover (mounted under the carbs) to dry out the points. I left the cover loose and took off. Sometime later a float bowl screw vibrated loose resulting in gas dripping onto the points. A buddy and I were on the bike when flames shot…

1 min.
on the market

Though we normally highlight an example of our feature bike for sale here, we didn’t find a current listing for a 1993-1998 Triumph Tiger 900 anywhere. EBay failed us, our favorite Search All of Craigslist tool failed us, etc. So we present to you a lovingly maintained, 21,000-mile R100GS in surprisingly original condition we found on cycletrader.com. It has a few scrapes, but it also has rebuilt carbs, a new factory charging system, new tires and rebuilt forks. The $10k asking price may be a bit much, but if it’s low miles you’re after ……

3 min.
1993-1998 triumph tiger 900

It took quite a while for us on the left side of the pond to catch on to adventure bikes: it’s fair to say that the U.S. motorcycle market was about cruisers, dirt bikes and street standards until the late 1990s. Though Honda’s Africa Twin, Yamaha’s Super Tenere and BMW’s R100GS were all top sellers in continental Europe, only the Beemer ever made it to the U.S. So when the first generation 650cc Cagiva Elefant arrived in 1984, U.S. testers couldn’t get their heads around it — especially its weight: “twice that of a 250 motocrosser,” said Cycle magazine in December 1985, noting, “when 454lbs of motorcycle gets away from you, the chances of snatching it back are slim.” But by the early 1990s, there was some indication that the U.S.…

2 min.
contenders

1988-1994 BMW R100GS Developed from another Dakar bike — Hubert Oriol and Gaston Rahier’s four-time-winning R80G/S — the production R100GS incorporated BMW’s Paralever single-sided swing-arm to control torque reaction and added a non-adjustable Marzocchi fork and single Brembo front disc brake. The drivetrain was similar to other contemporary R100 models with 40mm Bing carbs (32mm in the U.S.) and Bosch electronic ignition. More offroad focused than the Tiger or Elefant, the R100GS rolled on a 90/90 x 21-inch front tire and 130/80 x 17-inch rear. Likewise, the engine was tuned for torque, with respectable grunt available from idle speed. The suspension would accommodate substantial bumps and potholes (with 9-inch travel front and 8-inch rear), yet felt plush on the street, where the GS’s handling was competent but not quick. Brakes were…

11 min.
easy being green

“BMWs are considered to be nearly immortal.”—Roger Lovin, The Complete Motorcycle Nomad (1974) Most people who own vintage bikes put, at most, a couple hundred miles on them a year. George Canavan has put over 6,000 miles on this 1968 R69US, and he continues to ride it on a regular basis. “The ride is rewarding — it’s very, very smooth, and reasonably quiet.” Before BMW started building sport bikes in the late 1970s, most North Americans who bought the German-built twins did so because they wanted to go from Seattle to Pensacola on two wheels, with maybe a little side trip to the Yucatan. In an era when motorcycles were expected to make noise, break down and leak oil, BMWs had a reputation for comfort, reliability and clean operation. Few BMWs were imported…