March 2016

Classic Bike March 2016 issue

Think about desmo engines, think about Ducati. When we planned this issue, the idea was to feature tasty singles and V-twins like the 750 Paul Smart rode to victory at Imola. But when we saw John Fallon’s lovely unrestored 900SS at Made in Italy Motorcycles, we opted for that over the 750. And the Cali Hot Rod is such a cool story we went for that instead of the well-documented tale of Imola.

We also loved Phillip Tooth’s 250 Trialbero tale, which encapsulates the early Ducati development of the desmo – and it’s quite timely, since the very bike featured inside is up for sale at auction.

We certainly didn’t consider pre-WWI technology, or even Mercedes-Benz’s 1954 desmo engine developments for this issue, but what excited us was Phillip delving back into the mists of time to unearth the 1908 Aries desmo. Yes, it’s a car engine, but it’s an incredible example of an early desmo design – and proves that of lot of the really funky ideas we saw emerging in 1970s motorcycle technology weren’t new at all, but simply great ideas from the past, developed to suit more contemporary machinery using improved methods of production and higher quality materials.

Enjoy the mag

The BIG features in this month's Classic Bike...

Conservation area

Why buy new if you can bring the old back to life? With a result this good, why indeed?

Supersonic Desmodromic

The ’70s 900SS is many riders’ idea of desmo heaven. It’s certainly ours. And you’ll find it hard to beat this unrestored 1976 specimen.

Talmag Trophy trial

One of the best-known pre-65 trials events for owners of classic British and European four-stroke off-road machines