A Brief History of the Ducati Scrambler

A Brief History of the Ducati Scrambler 450x330

The Ducati Scrambler is a relatively new design from Ducati designed to appeal to the market for practical, retro-styled motorcycles with modern performance and reliability. Ducati’s brand has long been associated with high performance sports motorcycles and they’ve been working in recent years to expand out into more genres with quite some success. The Ducati…

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A Brief History of the Honda Gold Wing

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History Honda had introduced their CB750 in1969 and it became clear very quickly that they had created a world beater, but even as Honda basked in the booming sales, rival Kawasaki unveiled their Z1 900cc superbike in 1972 and the CB750 was instantly overshadowed. Soichiro Honda realized that a new motorcycle was needed, and that…

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A Brief History of the Kawasaki KLR650

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The Kawasaki KLR650 was such a good multi-purpose motorcycle that it was used by the Marines and formed the basis for the US Marines M1030M1 motorcycle created by the folks at Hayes Diversified Technologies. The Kawasaki KLR650 is a bike that Kawasaki got right all the way back in 1987 and had no need for…

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A Brief History of the Honda CB550

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The Honda CB550 was probably the best balanced Honda of the seventies. It did not have the awe-inspiring power of the legendary CB750, but it had a stiffer frame and was a lighter and more nimble motorcycle. We might describe the Honda CB550 as Honda’s “Goldilocks bike” – the CB750 was too big and powerful…

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A Brief History of the Honda CX Series

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Before the movie “Back to the Future” had been thought of Honda introduced its new model for 1978 as “First to the Future”. This was a new model that had big shoes to fill. Its predecessor, the Honda CB550 had been a simply brilliant motorcycle with good handling and balance. So the new motorcycle from…

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A Brief History of the Harley-Davidson XR-750

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Prior to 1969 the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) rules for the AMA Grand National Championship were deliberately structured to favor side-valve engines rather than overhead-valve engines. The result of this was to favor American made bikes such as those from Harley-Davidson with their side-valve engines, and to disadvantage the overseas competition which was mainly from…

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A Brief History of Military Motorcycles

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The creation of the first viable motorcycles began in earnest in the early twentieth century, and as is often the case with new types of vehicle – their militarisation was to happen not long after that. When we think about World War I we tend to think of the mechanisation of warfare, the emergence of…

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A Brief History of Diesel Motorcycles

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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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A Brief History of the Triple Cylinder Motorcycle Engine

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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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A Brief History of the Inline-4 Cylinder Motorcycle

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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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A Brief History of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle

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The creation of the Japanese sword gives us an insight into the thinking behind the creation of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM). In the time prior to the Japanese creating their own sword design they used a variety of design concepts mostly borrowed from China. But there came a point at which they seem to have collectively decided that the two handed sabre was the best choice…

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