The Japanese influence on the motorcycle market was in full swing by the time Yamaha’s XS twin hit the streets. It took on the Brits at their own game by offering a thoroughly modern, more colourful parallel twin with similar performance but built-in reliability – even if the handling wasn’t up to the more surefooted Triumphs and BSAs. Paul Harris started out as a fan of the Triumph Bonneville, but was one of the thousands hooked by Japanese motorcycles. His enthusiasm for the early XS2 prompted his gleaming restoration of the early XS2 that graces these pages. On a totally different tack is Neil Redley’s passion for Velocettes.
Not only does he own the first-ever Venom, he’s also got a pristine Thruxton, plus Floyd Clymer-inspired, Indian-branded examples of the two Velo-powered singles – and was willing to let us loose on them for a unique four-bike test. Also in this issue we have a McQueen replica Triumph desert sled, a modified XR1000 Harley and the Team Obsolete G50 heading for the Classic TT – a mix that reflects the glorious wide world of classic motorcycling.
Enjoy the issue.
Inside the August issue....
Picking up where McQueen left off
Ace Classics have built a replica of the Bud Ekins-built pre-unit TR6 Triumph Steve McQueen used to ride in desert races. We gave it a screen test and asked Ace Classics’ Kev Rushworth to write the script...
Yamaha rewrote the parallel twin rulebook with the fully modern four-stroke XS2. First-time restorer Paul Harris thinks they got it just right.
Back from the ashes
If your bike’s engine is destroyed, the best place to go for a replacement is to the person who built it. But you can’t do that if it was built in the 1930s... can you?