Cars & Motorcycles
Motorcycle Classics

Motorcycle Classics September - October 2018

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.

United States
Ogden Publications, Inc.
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
thinking small, take two

Fast on the heels of my rant last issue about bikes getting bigger and the virtues of riding small, I just happened to find myself at three different events over the past few months, riding a different “small” bike at each one. I didn’t plan any of this, it just happened, a triple dose of serendipitous experiences that served to underscore, at least for me, why riding small can be so much fun. The first dose was at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in early June, when I had the opportunity to ride a new Royal Enfield Himalayan to the track for Vintage Motofest/Rockerbox, picking the bike up at RE’s Milwaukee headquarters. I loved RE’s little adventure bike (turn to Page 82 for a more complete review) and the experience…

4 min.
“i have already contacted my local dealer.”

Honda Super Cub There’s a reason that a brand-new Case pocket knife looks almost identical to the first one that wore the badge in 1889, and a reason that a modern Telecaster is very hard to spot in a pile of vintage Fender guitars — it’s because somebody got it right the first time around. The same holds true for the design of the 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS (finally bound for the U.S. in January!), which is the twin sister of the little bike that debuted in 1958. It was, and is, one of the biggest smash hits of all time. The design worked then, and it works now. And talk about a “classic,” in continual production, with modest updates, for 60 years running. Sold in over 160 countries,…

2 min.

Rider: Adrian Barb, Downingtown, Pennsylvania Adrian’s story: “I am one of your magazine's subscribers and I have to say that I love it. "A while ago, I stumbled on a rather unique motorcycle, at least for the U.S. It was offered on eBay as an old BMW, but I knew exactly what it was, as I used to have the same one back in Romania when I was in my teens. “It was a 1957 AWO 425 Sport, also known as a Simson Sport. I was surprised to see it on this side of the Atlantic as it was produced in the DDR and offered only to countries in the Eastern Bloc. It is a BMW replica, I would say, which is why it resembles a BMW R25 single. It was produced for…

1 min.
on the market

Proving their popularity when new, used Honda CT90s are still thick on the ground today, and they’re still fairly affordable. We looked at the mountain states markets first, knowing their popularity there, but the best — and best priced —examples we found were on the West Coast. Project and/or parts bikes are typically listing in the $250-$400 range, but that seems money poorly spent when fully functional machines are listing for as little as $600. The most expensive CT90 we found had an asking price of $2,250, and the most interesting listing was for a “restored” 1971 model. Interesting because not only was it not restored, it was missing its seat. Go figure. We found this 1969 CT90 on Craigslist in Seattle, Washington, where it was posted for $1,350, an…

3 min.
woods metal: 1966-1979 honda ct90

The enduring appeal of Honda’s small off-highway motorcycles stems from two factors: America’s passion for playing in the dirt; and the remarkable versatility of the Honda Cub. The story goes that in 1960, a single Honda shop in Boise, Idaho, was selling more Cubs than the entire dealer network in the Los Angeles, California, area. Honda distributor Jack McCormack discovered that the dealer was fitting trials tires on his C100s and reducing the gearing to suit offroad use. McCormack sent an example to Japan and the factory responded with the 1961 C100H “Hunter Cub” — although it was little more than a 50cc C100 Cub with the bodywork and front fender removed, and with offroad tires and a larger rear sprocket. Honda got serious in 1964, introducing the CT200 with an 87cc…

2 min.

1966-1967 Kawasaki J1TR/TRL 80 Introduced in 1966, the J1TR used a rotary-disc-valve intake system like the Yamaha Trailmaster. This fed the 81.5cc alloy head 2-stroke single, driving an unusual 4-speed transmission, also known as a “rotary shift.” Gear selection went N-1-2-3-4-N, continuously! It was a setup that confused many first-time Kawi pilots. The TR was intended for on/offroad use, though unlike its Honda competition it never acquired dual-range gearing. The engine attached to a pressed-steel spine frame running on 2.5 x 17-inch wheels with a telescopic fork at the front and a spring/damper controlled swingarm at the rear. The TR featured a high-level exhaust, knobby tires, sprung front fender and engine skid plate. Available from 1967 was Kawasaki’s “Superlube” automatic oiling system, adding “L” to the model designation. As well as the TR/TRL,…