Tag Archives: Australia

The return of Speedy Working Motors

How can you not love a motorcycle brand called Speedy Working Motors? It might sound like a slogan on a Japanese t-shirt, but SWM is actually an Italian marque with a solid history going back to 1971. SWM went bust in 1984, but the company is now back with a bang: six new models are

Harley-Davidson WR racer

Racing motorcycles often have perfect proportions; they’re almost like the bikes you’d doodle in the corner of a schoolbook as a child. This 1946 Harley-Davidson is one of those machines, with an immaculate stance, perfectly symmetrical wheels and a beautiful economy of line. It’s a WR model, a rare find that has recently changed hands.

Sky Team Ace 125

Well, here’s a surprise. A Chinese-built motorcycle with a dash of style, reportedly good build quality, and a nod to the Japanese racing heritage of the 1960s. It’s the Sky Team Ace 125, a loose replica of the Honda CR110 racer. Honda itself created a replica in 2004, the lovely Dream 50R, but the Ace

MV Agusta Grand Prix Replica

Specials don’t come any more special than this lovely MV Agusta. And it has an immaculate pedigree, too—it was built by Primo Felotti, the stylist and bodywork fabricator employed by MV Agusta from the 1950s onwards. The bike is based on a 1977 Ipotesi, a 350cc model designed to bridge the gap between the Varese

MV Agusta 750S

There are maybe ten bikes in my dream garage, and the MV Agusta 750S is one of them. Like the Ducati 750SS we featured two weeks ago, this one is owned by English motorcycle enthusiast Peter Bullard. It’s one of the very early models, built at the Varese factory in January 1972—there’s no ‘lip’ on

Halfway There XJ900

Carlo Romanin is a bike builder from Melbourne, Australia, and he’s taken this ‘86 XJ900 to a different level. “In many ways, the XJ900 is like your typical Aussie man,” he says. “Simple, unfussy and gets the job done. What better base for a custom?” The XJ had all the attributes Romanin was looking for,

1972 Honda CB350: 'The Brat'

Most custom motorcycles have an interesting story behind them, but the tale behind this 1972 Honda CB350 is more interesting than most. I’m not being entirely impartial here, though—this bike was inspired by the often-heated comments on Bike EXIF. ‘The Brat’ was built by reader Rex Havoc and his friend Brad, who run a small

1967 Ducati SCD 350

The launch of the new Ducati Streetfighter 848 reminded me of the extraordinary longevity of the L-twin motor layout. It’s been an intrinisc part of the Bologna mystique for over forty years now. The vintage Ducati here sits at the start of that lineage: it’s a factory Sport Corsa Desmo 350, and one of just

Kawasaki W650 by Deus

The French MotoGP rider Randy de Puniet has been spending a fair bit of time in Australia lately. So when he needed a bike to get around Sydney, he gave Deus a call. “Randy’s design brief was for a middleweight, 2-up twin,” says Deus creative director Carby Tuckwell. “Easy enough to kick around the city,

Ryca CS-1 cafe racer

For every hit cafe racer build, there are ten misses. As most amateur builders know, it’s not easy to get the stance and the components just right. And costs can escalate surprisingly fast. That’s where the $2,795 CS-1 Café Racer kit from Los Angeles-based Ryca Motors comes in. This conversion is based on the Suzuki

MotoTrans Ducati Vento 350

We’ve seen some strange alliances between motorcycle manufacturers over the years. And one of the most unusual involves MotoTrans, a little-known Spanish company based in Barcelona. MotoTrans built motorcycles between 1957 and 1983, when it was bought by Yamaha. Many of the bikes were badge-engineered Ducatis, built under licence and with small modifications; others were

Tachibana motorcycle helmets

Here in Australia, it’s harder and harder to get hold of a vintage motorcycle helmet that complements a classic or custom motorcycle. Australia implements its own standards, an utterly pointless exercise given the accepted standards elsewhere. So when I see gear like these Japanese Tachibana helmets, it makes me envious. Tachibana has moved beyond the

Speedweek: Brett Destoop

Brett Destoop is an interesting guy. He doesn’t own a road-registered bike, but a few days ago, he became the first man in Australia to go faster than 230 mph (370 kph) on a sit-down motorcycle. At the Lake Gairdner Speedweek meet, he rode his home-made ‘water bottle’ into the record books at exactly 232.108

Big Sid's Vincati

The Vincati is one of those semi-mythical bikes that you occasionally hear about—and to many classic motorcycle fans, a marriage made in heaven. Quite simply, it’s a Vincent engine in a Ducati frame. “Big Sid’s Vincati” is perhaps the most famous of these hybrids, so I dropped Sidney Biberman’s son Matthew a line to get