1975 Suzuki T500

The Suzuki T500 is a parallel-twin two-stroke that has the historic distinction of being the biggest two-stroke built since WWII at the time of its introduction, and the holder of two Isle of Man TT 500cc titles from 1970 and 1972. Originally introduced in 1968, the Suzuki T500 was the product of a time before emissions…

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A Brief History of Diesel Motorcycles

If you are way out the back of nowhere, a long way from civilisation, there are few things so comforting as the sound of a diesel engine on tick-over; if you are in a car or truck that is. If you are on a motorcycle the probability that you will have the comfort of a…

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1930 Montgomery JAP 750

Montgomery Motorcycles is an early British marque that should probably be considerably more famous than they actually are. Founder William Montgomery was a world-class engineer who invented the sidecar, raced in the 1923 Isle of Man Sidecar TT, and designed frames and forks that were used by a number of other manufacturers – including Brough…

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Harley-Davidson MT500

The Harley-Davidson MT500 is a bit of an unusual motorcycle. It’s thought that just 500 were ever made, and it’s not known how many have survived in original condition. The MT500 is powered by a 500cc Rotax single-cylinder, air-cooled engine with 4 valves, 5 gears, and kickstart only. It’s a mechanically simple motorcycle designed explicitly…

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Confederate Wraith B210

Less than 100 examples of the Confederate Wraith B210 were built during its limited production run, and it was the first motorcycle to roll out of the company’s new premises in Birmingham, Alabama after their original location was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Confederate Motorcycles was founded in 1991 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by…

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Scuderia Ferrari Rudge 500 TT

Editor’s Note: This motorcycle has since been revealed by RM Sotheby’s to be a facsimile of those raced by Scuderia Ferrari – not an original. The information below about the Scuderia Ferrari Motorcycle Team is all accurate. RM Sotheby’s will now be offering it at auction with no reserve. In 1932 the still-new Scuderia Ferrari decided to…

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A Brief History of the Triple Cylinder Motorcycle Engine

The triple-cylinder engine, as applied to motorcycles, provides an engine that can be inherently balanced. If you listen to a triple-cylinder motorcycle, such as a Triumph Trident or BMW K75, it sounds smoothly balanced for good reason. You will also coincidently notice that an engine with a multiple of three cylinders sounds smooth by comparison…

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EJ Potter V8 Dragbike Widowmaker 7

In 1973 the Guinness Book of World Records awarded EJ Potter’s V8 Dragbike “Widowmaker 7” the coveted title of “World’s Fastest Motorcycle”, finally making official what many in America already knew when they dubbed him the “Michigan Madman“. There was nothing Potter wouldn’t do to go faster – including removing his clutch entirely because he was…

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The First Desmodromic Ducati – The Trialbero Racer

It’s difficult to imagine Ducati without their trademark desmodromic engines, but before Fabio Taglioni implemented an early triple camshaft desmodromic design on the 1956 Trialbero Racer, all Ducatis used conventional springs to close their valves. For the uninitiated, a desmodromic engine uses a camshaft to both open and close the valves, rather then relying on a…

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A Brief History of the Inline-4 Cylinder Motorcycle

Curiously the inline-4 cylinder engine was being fitted into motorcycles very early in motorbike history. I say curiously because we like to think of technology as starting out with the simplest design and then evolving into more complex forms. So although some early motorcycles were built using a single cylinder or horizontally opposed “boxer” twin,…

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James Garner’s Husqvarna 400 Cross

James Garner was an A-list actor from the golden age of Hollywood who shared the motorsport addiction that also afflicted the likes of Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. Garner was the co-owner of the AIR (American International Racers) team, which ran endurance road-racing Corvettes in the late 1960s, and he was also contracted to American…

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1970 Rickman Triumph Métisse

The Rickman Triumph Métisse is a quintessentially British motorcycle, and it showcases some of the best individual components the UK had to offer during the time of its construction, all under one fuel tank. The name Métisse was chosen because it’s a fancy French way of saying “mongrel”, which the Rickman brothers felt was an ideal…

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