1980 Kawasaki Mystery Ship

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The Kawasaki Mystery Ship The Kawasaki Mystery Ship was designed and built in 1980 by Alabama-born American designer Craig Vetter. At its peak, the Vetter Fairing Company was the second largest motorcycle-industry manufacturer in the USA – after Harley-Davidson. Craig Vetter’s Windjammer motorcycle fairing became so ubiquitous that people at the time often called all fairings “Windjammers”…

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Retro Racer: KTM 400 EXC-R

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When people set out to build their first custom motorcycle, it very rarely goes as well as it did with this KTM. It’s the work of former British Top 10 Motocross racer Dan Ridge, who’s now retired from active competition and spends his time embroiled in the far more challenging and fast-paced world of fatherhood…

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1977 Speedway World Championship Final Winning Jawa Racer

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The Jawa 500 DOHC is one of the most successful speedway motorcycles of its time, largely thanks to its incredibly solid and simple construction. Jawa was founded in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1929 by industrialist František Janeček who had bought the remnants of motorcycle manufacturer Wanderer. The name “Jawa” was created by combining the first two…

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$100,000 Project Bike: 1929 Brough Superior SS100 Pendine

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The Brough Superior SS100 is a motorcycle that needs no introduction to anyone with even a passing interest in motorcycle history. Although the term “superbike” wouldn’t be coined for many more decades, the SS100 was unquestionably the first real superbike. George Brough introduced the SS100 in 1924, the name stands for Super Sport and the 100 is a reference to the motorcycle’s top speed – a guaranteed 100 mph.

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1985 Ducati 750 F1

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The Ducati 750 F1 is remembered by the marque faithful as the last of the original Ducatis, it would be the last superbike developed and built by Ducati before the Cagiva takeover in late-1985. Controversially, Cagiva had intended to rebadge Ducati motorcycles with their own branding, however this would likely have led to an armed…

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1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo

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The Kawasaki Z1R-TC holds the distinction of being the first of what would become a rash of turbocharged Japanese motorcycles in the late ’70s and ’80s. It was an era that would see almost everything get a turbocharger attached, oftentimes resulting in turbo lag so bad it could only be measured in the geologic time…

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Jack Ehret’s Vincent Black Lightning

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Jack Ehret, the Black Lightning, and the road near Gunnedah On January 19th, 1953 Jack Ehret rolled his Vincent Black Lightning onto the gleaming asphalt near Gunnedah in eastern Australia where a 2 ¼ mile straight straight stretch of road had been closed by an accommodating constable, so Jack could take a shot at setting a new…

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Semi-Works Racer: 1983 Laverda TT1 RGS Corsa

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It’s thought that just 4 examples of the Laverda TT1 RGS Corsa semi-works racer were ever built, they were shipped to factory-approved racing teams in Italy, Belgium, Australia, and Japan where they were raced against the best in the world. The 1980s were a difficult and tumultuous time for Laverda, but few would disagree that…

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Hesketh V1000

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The name Hesketh will probably always be most closely associated with the flamboyant world of 1970s Formula One racing, and for giving James Hunt his Formula One debut in 1973. The team were notoriously fond of champagne and would drink cases of the stuff regardless of their actual finishing positions, typically in the nearest 5…

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1989 Honda VFR750R Type RC30

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The Honda VFR750R Type RC30, often just referred to as the RC30, is a unicorn motorcycle on par with the likes of Paul Smart’s Ducati 750 Imola Desmo, the Vincent Black Shadow, the Norton Manx, and the Brough Superior SS100. Now before the angry emails start rolling in from the vintage motorcycle fraternity, let me…

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