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Collecting Old Bikes

Where to look for that rare classic motorcycles. How to inspect them and how to prepare them for long term storage.

Benelli Sei

The Cotton Motorcycle Company

Moto Guzzi

Suzuki Motor Company
From loom manufacturing in the early 1900s, to major auto and motorcycle manufacturing in the 2000s is a big jump, but Suzuki did it.

Honda Gold Wing
When rumors began to spread of a unique touring motorcycle being developed by Honda, many speculated that it would be a failure. They couldn’t have been more wrong!

Kawasaki 250 Ninja
The most successful design of the 250 Ninja was the model F which was released in 1988 and saw few changes for the next twenty years (mainly cosmetic). An evolution of this machine is still available from Kawasaki and is a popular first bike for many.

Velocette Motorcycles

Classic Motorcycle Collecting

Norton Commando 750

Vespa
History of the Vespa scooter. The first Vespa's were designed by aeronautical engineer and inventor Corradino D'Ascanio, with the first machines being offered to the public in 1946.

Small Classic Motorcycles
As classic bikes becomes more popular, supply and demand has forced collectors to look again at smaller bikes. The good news is that because the bikes were manufactured for the mass markets, there are many example available.

Types of Classic Motorcycles
Classic motorcycles come in all types and sizes, from 50cc commuters to 200 mph superbikes. Between these two extremes, there are many different categories, but the majority of machines will fit into one of these categories.

Motorcycle Auctions
MidAmerica Auctions is one of the largest motorcycle auction companies in the US. The auctions often have between 100 to 500 vintage motorcycles.

Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum
The Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum holds one of the largest collections of vintage and historic motorcycles in the world. For anyone thinking of purchasing a classic, this is an ideal location to view and research before buying.

To Restore or Not to Restore a Motorcycle?
The majority of classic motorcycle buyers purchase their bikes to ride, as well as to show, and many buy classic bikes as an investment. But if you bought your classic purely as an investment, should you keep it original or restore it?

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame web site carries a wealth of information for anyone researching a classic motorcycle.

Bikes & Rides
Bikes & Rides

Collecting British Bikes
Ask a non-motorcyclist to name a classic bike and they would probably pick a British bike. Early Nortons, Triumphs and BSAs are considered typical classic motorcycles. But for someone considering buying a classic British bike, where do they start looking?

Starting a Barn Find Classic Motorcycle – Does and Don’ts
For the new owner of a barn find classic motorcycle, there is a great temptation to put fresh gas in and attempt to start it. However, considerable damage can be done to an engine without some basic checks being done first.

Suzuki GT750
Combined with direct oil injection, the Suzuki GT750 was a sophisticated motorcycle in its day. It was produced from 1971 (GT750J) to 1977 (GT750B) after being shown to the public for the first time at the Tokyo motor show in 1970.

First Time Riders on Classic Motorcycles
Riding a motorcycle for the first time is often exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. If the bike happens to be a rare classic, the owner will be very nervous too. But there are some basic riding rules that the first time rider must adhere to that will alleviate some of the potential problems.

Norton Commando
The Norton Commando first saw the light of day in 1967 at the Earls Court Motorcycle Show.

Yamaha Virago
The Yamaha Virago was the first Japanese V-twin cruiser. Model code XV, the Virago was a serious attempt by Yamaha to claim some of the market share of Harley Davidson.

The Kawasaki Triples
The Kawasaki three cylinder 2-strokes were unique motorcycles. For street bike performance, the H1 was unrivaled; at least as far as acceleration was concerned.

Ten Best European Classic Motorcycles
European motorcycles are characterized by their styling, handling, and in the case of classics, by their unique riding experience. We take a look at ten of Europe's best.

Japanese Motorcycles, Four History Changers
From the 1960s onwards, Japanese motorcycles dominated the world’s markets. Of all the motorcycles designed and produced in Japan, the following four were highly significant for differing reasons when offered to the motorcycle market.

Suzuki GS1000
The GS Suzuki’s were very popular in the late 70s early 80s. They were good all round bikes, being capable of long distance touring on the one hand, or production and superbike racing on the other.

The Ariel Leader and Arrow
In 1958, Ariel introduced their Leader model and its sporting version the Arrow. The machines were an immediate success, so much so that in 1959 the company decided to stop production of all their 4-stroke machines.

Excelsior Motorcycles, UK
Excelsior UK manufactured bicycles (including the famous Penny Farthing) before making motorcycles. The company was re-registered as Excelsior Motor Company Ltd. to avoid confusion with the American Excelsior company, and the German Excelsior Fahrrad Motorad-Werke.

Villiers Motorcycles
Thanks to the recommendations of Frank Farrer, Villiers 2-stroke engines have powered many different classic motorcycle manufacturers’ products, and everything from lawn mowers to milking machines.

Small Italian Classic Motorcycles
For legions of Grand Prix supporters, the small racers were special. To get good horse power from such small engines was a challenge for the best engineers. Making a street machine to resemble the racers resulted in some incredible looking machines.

Classic Motorcycle Identification

Military Classic Motorcycles

Classic Motorcycles with Bodywork

Mike Hailwood Replica Ducati

Suzuki GS1000s, Wes Cooley Replica
Suzuki GS1000s, Wes Cooley Replica

Right or Left Side Gear Change Levers

Which Classic Motorcycle to Buy

Yamaha XS650 Board Track Racer

Classic Collections in India

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Classic Motorcycles
Before getting into classic motorcycles, there are a number of important things to consider. Classic motorcycles are often considered investments. But just like stocks or shares in a company, values can go either way—up or down!

Classic Motorcycle Records
Keeping records of historic motorcycles is essential for future owners. Any changes from stock or updates should be carefully recorded along with details of suppliers where applicable.

Researching a Vintage or Classic Motorcycle
When validating the authenticity of an old motorcycle, the researcher should try to examine a copy of the original factory build records. If these are not available, there are many other sources available.

Inspecting a Classic Racer
Buying any classic or vintage motorcycle must be done with care, on a racer many more items must be considered. A careful inspection, therefore, must be done.

Best Classics to Buy
Before buying a classic or vintage motorcycle, it is always best to base the selection on the availability of the spare parts.

The Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is based in a beautiful parkland setting near to Birmingham Alabama, USA. The collection is not just impressive because of the sheer volume of motorcycles on display; it is notable because most of these machines are running examples!

Mysterious Italian Motorcycle
Motorcycles produced in their thousands by the major manufacturers are easy to identify.

Selling a Motorcycle Collection
Selling a motorcycle collection can be as difficult as collecting them in the first place. Getting help from the right people is essential. These "right people" range from auction houses to close family friends. Regardless of who helps with the sale, the seller must take care to avoid many the pitfalls associated with selling a collection.

Which British Classic to Buy?

Used Motorcycle Values

I Bought a Classic Motorcycle, Now What?

Barber Vintage Festival 2013

Rickman Motorcycles

Classic Motorcycles and Gasoline

Riding a Classic Motorcycle

Notable Classic Hondas

Five Classics from Yamaha

Three Classics from Kawasaki
Kawasaki has produced some great bikes over the years. Many of these bikes are classics today and are highly sought after. Some of these classics are valued around $2,000, while others are nearer to $20,000! We take a look at three examples.

Five Classics from Yamaha

The Honda 305
There are many popular classic Hondas around, but the early 250 and 305 models (C70, C75, CA76, CB and CL etc.) are particularly popular due to their reasonable prices and part’s availability.


One of the most popular British classics is the BSA Bantam. Produced in large numbers over its 23-year production run, the Bantam is now collected by enthusiasts all over the world.

Minerva Motorcycles
Putting a Swiss engine onto a bicycle frame was just the start for Minerva. From 1900 to 1909 the company manufactured some 35,000 motorcycles.

Duct Motorcycle Manufacturers
Eysink, Simplex, Sparta, Van Veen and Jamathi may not be the first names to come to mind when thinking about classic motorcycles, but to Dutch classic enthusiasts they are well known.

Book Review, Along for the Ride by Jim Scaysbrook

Sachs and Hercules Motorcycles

Zundapp
The industrial area of Nuremberg in Germany has been the home of many motorcycle companies, including Triumph (TWN), Sachs and Zundapp. The latter producing motorcycles from 1921 to 1984.

Two Classic Suzukis

Honda CB750 Sand Cast Builder
After a prototype sand cast CB750 Honda sold on eBay for more than $148,000, the internet has been abuzz. We interviewed builder Vic World for the low-down on this bike.

Motorcycle Development through Competition
Motorcycle competition in the early years was the R & D (research and development) of the motorcycle industry. Much of the technology seen today can be traced back to the board track racers in the US, or the reliability trials found in many countries.

Motorcycle Development through Competition
Many of the technological advances in the motorcycle engines can be traced back to the manufacturer's involvement in racing. Without the demands for increased performance to be competitive in racing, today's engines would be much less efficient.

Suzuki GT500 (Titan)
Mention large capacity 2-strokes and most people think of the GT750 Suzuki, but its little brother the GT500 or Titan, made a reputation for itself for having a good all round performance with an excellent reliability record.

Classic Motorcycles for Sale
There are many considerations when buying a classic motorcycle, we take a look at some of the most important.

Motorcycle Tires, for Vintage and Classics
Motorcycle tires for newer bikes are easy to find, but older bikes - classic and vintage - it can be a challenge. Luckily there are a few dedicated suppliers that help to keep the wheels turning on some of the oldest bikes.

Aermacchi
Most enthusiasts in the US are familiar with Aermacchi Harley Davidsons, but before joining Harley, Aermacchi produced many classic motorcycles in their own right.

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