It takes commitment to ride motorcycles, especially old ones, but there are several people in this issue who take commitment beyond the limit. Like Ian Loram, whose interest in classic bikes started late – and thanks to his wife, who insisted on him getting hobby – but has become an almost obsessive passion for the Norton marque.
Then there’s Ralph Avis who simply refused to give up on a project that seemed destined to failure – his dedication in restoring his Rickman Suzuki T500 overcame numerous stumbling blocks before it became the sparkling café race you see on the cover. And Frank Chatokhine’s determination to build a Trackmaster BSA that David Aldana would have demanded for this AMA Championship challenge, had the technology been available at the time. Or even Bjorn Eriksson, who has spent countless hours perfecting an old Knucklehead Harley to turn nine-second runs on the dragstrip...
The classic world is full of committed characters in pursuit of pleasure from old bikes. We salute you all.
Enjoy the issue.
What's inside this issue of Classic Bike......
Rickman Suzuki restoration
One man's quest from crusty to concours...
Castle Coombe hosted a flock of Mike the Bike's old rides, as well as his son, to mark the anniversary of the great man's first race at the circuit.
A Harley Knucklehead dragster that has done a nine-second quarter mile
This is The Green Issue, but not some kind of environmentally-motivated political message those three words now suggest. Far from it. It’s a celebration of a time when green was mean, a time of Kawasaki’s outrageous two-strokes triples and ground-breaking four-strokes. A time when big horsepower was everything and chassis technology was struggling to catch up.Read More
This month’s Classic Bike features a free Best of British 52-page supplement featuring some of the best bikes in the National Motorcycle Museum and how you can ride them.
The CB team argue over which of Suzuki’s 70’s triples are best, we look back at the history of Donington Park at 40 and visit a shop in Athens that has been restoring BSA’s for years – we meet the third generation of Papoutsas to care for the machines.Read More
1967. The Summer of Love. Hippy culture was kicking back big time. Traditional British bikes were coming under fire from the Japanese industry with exciting new lightweight two-strokes that matched (and even exceeded) the performance of the traditional 650 twins. Grand Prix racing hit its peak in 1967 – with the epic 500cc battles – MV Agusta v Honda, Ago v Hailwood. Honda was also pushing the boundaries of technology in the other GP classes, too – exemplified by the amazing 250-6...Read More
Inside the May issue - Sandshifters had a ton of fun in the Sellicks Beach Races in South Australia. George Greenland told us of his plans to head to Europe for a few weeks of classic trails – at 84! Our Gez grabbed a test ride on a Ducati 750GT – the Italian V-twin of his dreams. Duckers had a spin on a Brough Black Alpine. And Rick has been flat out in this shed.Read More
One of the many things we discovered this month was that despite Yamaha’s supermoto-styled TDR250 being initially considered totally impractical, it’s every bit as much fun to ride as it’s TZR racer-style sibling...Read More
With Triumph recently launching their much-improved Street Scrambler, we thought it the ideal opportunity to not only test the new model, but also to look back at the original high-barred, high-level piped, knobbly-tyred bike that came out of Meriden, destined for the US market...Read More
Inside this issue we jumped at the chance to borrow Ian Grundy’s original Suzuki GS750 example. And as the 2017 Classic TT celebrates 60 years since the first ton-up lap on a Gilera four, we look at the Kays' replica that's joining the party...Read More
This bumper 164-page issue of Classic Bike is not just about celebrating our annual CBOTY competition, we’ve also added an extra 32 pages to celebrate an amazing year in classic bikes.Read More
In this issue of Classic Bike we ride 3 Triumphs built by the doyen of Meriden’s racing past, Les Williams. 87 year old Ernie Allen is reunited with his old Black Lightning Watsonian outfit and ninety 100-year-old motorcycles race 3500 miles across the width of America – what could possibly go wrong?Read More
In this issue we delve into the depths of everything black and yellow. We’d all read about Kenny Roberts in the American magazines, but the first time we saw him race was during the 1974 Trans- Atlantics. He and Yamaha US team-mate Gene Romero came to Britain armed with their TZ750s – two characters as colourful as their yellow and black Yamahas...Read More
Rage of the machines – this is the issue where race bikes hit the street. John Tarplee’s beautiful JTS T140 Triumph represents the ultimate in a bespoke custom classic, taking an old Brit motor thundering into the modern era with a handbuilt frame, proper suspension and brakes – and a hot-rodded motor. Built with the same ethos is Steve Tonkin’s Rob North-framed Trident. Stripped to the bare bones and with a howling 850cc triple motor, it was the perfect bike for the empty Cumbrian roads where Phillip Tooth rode it. Race-derived road machines don’t come much better than specials with Colin Seeley-inspired frames. We’ve tested one of the original Seeley Honda CB750s and the fabulous Seeley Condor G50 replica built by Frank Chatokhine. And while we were on racer road, we had to include coverage of this year’s Classic TT, an event that is attracting an ever-growing following.
Plus, free with this month’s Classic Bike is a 36-page Making the Best of British mag, which features Rick Parkington’s guide to buying and upgrading your classic. Featured inside are BSA & Triumph triples, what to look for in old Brit twins, some of the special products offered by SRM, plus much, much more.
Enjoy the issue,
Inside this issue...
AMERICA’S FIRST ASPHALT ARMY
The USA came late to the party in terms of road racing. But when they arrived, they showed everyone how to rock.
TRICK OF THE LIGHT
With his latest creation, John Tarplee has turned the reduction of weight into an art form. We throw a leg over the svelte 750cc Triumph T140-powered classic-meets-modern special he calls JTS1.
THE IOM CLASSIC TT: UP IN SMOKE
That’s how a lot of the bikes go on the Island. Many don't finish the race. And the racing gets more competitive each year. Welcome to the 2016 Classic TT
In the latest issue we road test three generations of Triumph Bonnevilles in our Bonneville special and we take a look at the screaming strokers that shaped Barry Sheene’s career, 40 years after his first 500cc world title. Plus Honda heaven: David Silver’s new museum hosting biggest collection outside of Japan and a preview of our brand new event Classic Bike Live.Read More
In the August issue there’s a freshly-restored Yamaha XS2 from first time restorer Paul Harris which matches Bonneville punch for punch, we ride four pristine big singles from Neil Redley’s ‘collection’ of rare Velocettes and Ace Classics tell us how they recreated legendary actor Steve McQueen’s #955 Triumph TR6.Read More
In this month’s issue we ride JMC’s immaculately-crafted modern incarnations of the Egli Vincent and Norvin, which beautifully combine creativity with practicality. There’s a stunning collection of six Triumph Grand Prix 500s superbly restored and owned by one man, we ride a rare pair of Yamaha YM2s, plus there’s a free Lost Brits poster with this issue.Read More
In this month's issue we are celebrating the arrival of summer by looking back on one of the best summers ever – 1976. The summer that produced memorable racing: Barry Sheene’s first 500cc world title and his continued success on the home circuits, John Williams setting new records at the TT, British success in the Bol d’Or, 19 year-old Graham Noyce running up front in motocross GPs, Peter Collins’world speedway crown.Read More
This week's rollercoaster of an issue includes how a four-bike test we had planned for this month’s cover had to be cancelled last minute when registration paperwork for the main bike in the feature was missing. But we managed to bring on a super substitute after spotting a Seeley Triumph at Anthony Godin’s shop that we just had to get a ride on. I mean, how many Seeley Triumph café racers do you see?Read More
The April issue of Classic Bike is a Kawasaki special, featuring four of the best of their 70s superbikes, the Z1, plus news from the Phillip Island Classic, the winner of the Classic Bike of the Year and the launch of our brand new event Classic Bike Live later this year.Read More
The March issue of Classic Bike is a Desmo special with eighteen pages of delightful desmodronic technology plus Molnar's 500-4 Norton, the Coventry Eagle Flying 8 and a lovingly restored Triumph Adventurer.Read More
In the February issue of Classic Bike, we revel in the decade of decadence; the rampant excesses of '70s biking including the Featherbed Benelli Sei Laverda V6 racer, EJ Potter's V8 Chevy Hogslayer and Pegasus Nortons, feet-forward Quasar, Steve McQueen's 'Blob' and 80s turbo bikes.Read More