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KTM, Honda, Piaggio, and Yamaha have officially signed an agreement that proves the four companies to be in full tilt toward creating a battery swapping system for the moto community. Together, they make up the founding members of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) – a syndicate passionate about renewable energy and how it could …

1969 TRIUMPH TR6 BY THE NUMBERS For the first time ever, a Triumph TR6 was called a “Tiger”. In fact the entire 1969 Triumph TR6 model lineup were all Triumph Tigers & would remain so for the rest of its life. Interestingly however, Triumph workers at the Meriden factory continued to refer to the TR6 …

2004 CRF230F ENGINE Engine Type 223cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke Bore and Stroke 65.5mm x 66.2mm Compression Ratio 9.0:1 Valve Train SOHC; two-valve Fuel Delivery 26mm piston-valve Ignition CDI DRIVETRAIN Transmission Six-speed Final Drive #520 O-ring-sealed chain; 13T/50T CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES Front Suspension 37mm leading-axle Showa fork; 9.5-inch travel Rear Suspension Pro-Link Showa single-shock …

1961 MATCHLESS G80 TYPHOON BACKGROUND Parent-company AMC knew how to build big singles. Despite now having a nice lineup of vertical twins, the real money was made selling Matchless and AJS singles. For Matchless, the top of the heap was the 500cc G80, and the best of those was the Typhoon. The AJS version was …

The 1945 BSA M20 was the last year of production during World War 2 and and just a part of BSA’s massive wartime contribution to Britain’s war effort. 1937 was its first year of production that would last until the late 1950s. Designed to be simple, rugged and reliable, the WM20 was a side-valve (flathead) …

1970 Triumph Daytona 500 1970 TRIUMPH DAYTONA – WHAT’S IN A NAME? Triumph derived the name of this bike from Buddy Elmore’s win at the 1966 Daytona 200 at Daytona Beach FL riding a Triumph T100T Tiger 500 twin. It was Triumph’s first-ever Daytona victory, with an average speed of 96.6 mph. By 1967, it …

1992-95 Honda CB400SF (Super Four) Engine Engine Liquid cooled, transverse four cylinders, four stroke, Displacement 399cc Bore x Stroke 55 x 42 mm Compression Ratio 11.3:1 Fuel Delivery Four 32mm carburetors Max Power 53 hp 38.6 kW @ 10000 rpm Max Torque 40.18 Nm @ 7500 rpm Drivetrain Transmission 5-speed Final Drive Chain CHASSIS / …

Check out these BSA BOOKS BSA Motorcycles: The Final Evolution The BSA Gold Star: Motorcycle History Illustrated Bsa Buyer’s Guide (Motorbooks International Illustrated Buyer’s Guide) Bsa Twin Restoration BSA Unit Singles: The Complete Story including the Triumph Derivatives Bsa Motor Cycles: Since 1950 (British Motor cycles since 1950) BSA Unit Twins BSA 500 & 650 …

I’m 52 years old, and I’ve been riding since I was 16. I bought the Triumph Bonneville Special brand new in 1979 at Brooks Cyclery, in San Jose, CA. It has just a little over 24,000 original miles. It’s 99% original. I had to change the fuel petcocks because the originals were made of teflon …

This 1968 Rickman-BSA 441 represents years of development. After years of racing motocross in the 1950s in England and Europe, brothers Don and Derek Rickman decided to design their own frame. At the time, most dirt bikes were simply stripped-down street bikes, which were too heavy and not ideal for racing in the dirt. They …

ROYAL ENFIELD BULLET BACKGROUND Royal Enfield had been building sturdy, reliable motorcycles since the turn of the century. They produced military motorcycles for the British army in both world wars. They struggled at the edge of insolvency throughout most of the 1930s but managed to hang on until the the second world war boosted their …

1964 Velocette Venom 1964 VELOCETTE VENOM BACKGROUND By the time Venom production began in 1965, Velocette was almost at the end of its long road of singles. And it represented everything that Velo had learned about building a big single. They were fast, light, handled well, and were very reliable. Since Velocette never made a …

1955 BSA A7 Pre-Unit 500 Twin 1955 BSA A7 BACKGROUND The 500cc A7 was BSA’s first vertical twin and marked its entry into that very lucrative market, started by the Triumph Speed Twin just prior to the war. At war’s end, virtually every British motorcycle manufacturer fielded their own vertical twin, usually starting out at …

1963 Triumph Thunderbird 1963 TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD GOES UNIT CONSTRUCTION Along with the rest of the Triumph 650 line, the 1963 6T Thunderbird converted over to Triumph’s incredible new unit-construction powerplant, frame and cycle gear. It was a major transition, with nearly every component replaced. But what a change! Unit Construction incorporated the engine, the primary …

1953 BSA Gold Star 1953 BSA GOLD STAR BACKGROUND Throughout the 1930s, BSA created and developed a strong line of single-cylinder motorcycles. In 1937, they introduced the 500cc Empire Star. When Wal Handley lapped the Brooklands racetrack at over 100 mph average speed, he was awarded a Gold Star. The name stuck and was applied …

1951 Triumph Speed Twin 1951 TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN BACKGROUND The Triumph Speed Twin was the world’s first ‘modern’ vertical twin, when it was introduced in 1937 as a 1938 model. Designed by Edward Turner (who also designed the Ariel Square Four), the 500cc 5T Speed Twin was a revelation at the time. Pretty much everyone …

1969 Velocette Venom 1969 VELOCETTE VENOM By 1969, Velocette was a year from closing its doors. Whether they knew that in 1969 or not is questionable, but surely they realized they were in dire straights, financially. Velocette was the one British brand still building bikes in the 1960s that never fielded a vertical twin. The …

2007 Royal Enfield Bullet 2007 ROYAL ENFIELD BULLET BACKGROUND Like all modern, Indian-built Royal Enfields, the 500 Bullet is a descendant of the original British-built Enfields of the late 1940s. Despite being completely redesigned in modern times by parent company Madras Motors, and sprouting modern features like electric starters and electronic fuel injection, Royal Enfields …

1946 Velocette KSS 1946 VELOCETTE KSS BACKGROUND The Velocette KSS debuted in 1925 as an OHC (overhead cam) 350cc air-cooled single. Being OHC placed it at the cutting edge of engine technology at a time when most machines still used side-valve designs or pushrods. The name KSS breaks down to the K for overhead cam …

1955 Triumph Thunderbird ABOVE: The 1955 Triumph Thunderbird 6T is very similar to this 1956 Triumph Thunderbird. They share essentially the same frame, suspension, cycle gear and body work. Only paint colors & minor trim differences vary in the general appearance. Although many mechanical changes were made on an ongoing basis on all Triumph Motorcycles, …

1959 Velocette Venom 1959 VELOCETTE VENOM BACKGROUND The Venom was Velocette’s hottest bike from its inception in 1955. In 1961 a factory-prepared Venom with a small fairing set the world’s 24-hour endurance speed record of 100.05 MPH at the Montlhery race track in France. The record stood until 2008 for 500cc motorcycles. The 499cc Venom …

1973 Rickman 250MX 1973 Rickman 250MX Background This 1973 Rickman 250MX is the product of years of development. Brothers Don and Derek Rickman were successful motocross racers in the 1950s in England and Europe. They began building racing frames in 1959, and created a line of frames that were designed to accept almost any engine …

1953 Triumph TR5 Trophy 1953 TRIUMPH TR5 TROPHY BACKGROUND The Triumph TR5 Trophy was produced from 1949 through 1958. It was based on the 500cc 5T Speed Twin, but modified for off-road use. The TR5 Trophy was originally intended as a trials bike, with high side-exhaust, high ground clearance and excellent handling (for the day). …

1968 BSA A65 1968 BSA A65 Spitfire Royal Star ABOVE: Starting with the 1968 BSA A65, the Spitfire Royal Star joined the lineup, as BSA’s premium offering, at least until the arrival of the Rocket 3 a year later. 1968 BSA A65 Firebird Scrambler BSA’S DESERT SLED The A65 Firebird Scrambler was intended as a …

1948 Triumph Speed Twin 1948 TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN BACKGROUND In a few short years, the 5T Speed Twin went from being one of the world’s premium performance motorcycles to be Triumph’s entry-level twin. It had been surpassed by the T100 Tiger with its higher compression and hotter cams. And soon it would be bumped down …

1964 BSA A65 NEW MODELS The 1964 BSA A65 was, of course, the third model year of the new unit construction BSA twins, the 500cc A50, and the 650cc A65, which had replaced the very successful pre-unit A7 (500) & A10 (650) in 1962. BSA was very conservative in the new machine’s configuration, as was …

1973 BSA B50MX 1973 BSA B50MX BACKGROUND BSA produced one of the world’s most successful 500cc singles in the Gold Star starting in 1938 and running all the way through 1963 when production ended. The entire BSA product line was being converted from non-unit construction to unit-construction and the ancient non-unit Gold Star had to …

1951 Vincent Rapide Series B 1951 VINCENT RAPIDE BACKGROUND Vincent built its reputation on it’s robust 499cc Comet single. Prior to the war, they figured out that if they doubled it, they could create a 998cc V-twin and the series A Vincent Rapide was born. Few were built prior to World War 2, which curtailed …

1957 BSA A10 Pre-Unit 650 Twin 1957 BSA A10 BACKGROUND BSA’s A10 was the 650 version in it’s twin cylinder heavyweight line. The 500cc version was called the A7. Following Triumph‘s success with its seminal 500 Speed Twin, after the war, BSA and most of the rest of the British motorcycle industry followed with their …

1955 Vincent Black Prince 1955 VINCENT BLACK PRINCE BACKGROUND By the early 1950s, Vincent the company was struggling. Founder Phil Vincent, always the innovator, the risk-taker and creative genius, had been steadily improving the Vincent line through several successive ‘series’. The Series C, 1951-1953, had failed to spark much-needed sales, so for the Series D, …

1966 BSA A65 1966 BSA A65 Spitfire Special 1966 BSA A65 SPITFIRE SPECIAL This was the hot rod version of the A65, just behind the A65 Lightning. Like the Lightning, the Spitfire had twin Amal carbs (Amal Monoblocs would be standard for 1966; Amal Concentrics didn’t arrive until 1967.) A65 MECHANICALS The unit construction 650 …

BSA Bantam History ABOVE: 1950 BSA Bantam D1 123cc. SPOILS OF WAR The birth of the BSA Bantam line did not take place in England after the war. Indeed it started out as a pre-war Germany design, the DKW RT125, and DKW was taken over by the Allies as part of the war reparations Germany …

Thunderbird 6T, 649cc 4-speed gearbox, single Amal Monobloc carburettor, rated at 34hp ex-South Australian Police motorcycle was used for general traffic duties in Adelaide. The bike belongs to a friend who is an ex-police officer now living in Adelaide. I’m working on a book for New Holland Publishers in Sydney. While I was doing research …

A WORK IN PROGRESS In our efforts to complete our online index, and make this the world’s greatest website about classic British motorcycles, we’re building pages as fast as we can. The first thing we add are the pictures. Then come the specifications and then the history. So, if you see a page that just …

ABOVE & BELOW: 1977 Triumph Bonneville T140V was essentially carried over from ’76, as would be the practice from now on. Budget constraints were choking the company and it’s products. This one is in the Polychromatic Blue and Cold White paint scheme. FOCUSING ON ONE MODEL As the 1977 model year opened, the Meriden Co-op …

SHORT MODEL YEAR The 1974 Triumph Bonneville was built in very low numbers. It was a very odd year in Triumph Bonneville history. Angry workers hearing of the impending shutdown of the Triumph Motorcycles plant at Meriden, shut it down themselves in protest, in October 1973 just as production was being switched from 1973 models …

ABOVE: The 1976 Triumph Bonneville is the first to adopt left-side shift. Note shifter coming out of primary case. SPANISH AMALS? Engine mods were few. A new muffler set were now almost cylindrical reverse-cones (very little taper) & noise reduction revisions. The twin 30mm Amal Concentric carburetors were now being produced by the company’s Spanish …

1969 Norton Commando Fastback ABOVE: 1969 Norton Commando Fastback MODEL DESIGNATIONS The 1969 Norton Commando came in one additional model for 1969, its second model year in production. The 1968 Norton Commando was available in one model only, and so was simply called ‘Norton Commando’, even though it had what was to become known as …

1954 VINCENT BLACK SHADOW-ONE OF THE LAST The Vincent Motorcycle Co. closed its doors in 1955, so this 1954-model was built one year before the end. Vincent was a low-volume producer of high-quality motorcycles, and high-priced for the time. From the end of WWII until their demise in 1955, they barely produced 11,000 bikes total, …

1950 VINCENT COMET RUNNING GEAR The Vincent Comet had frame similar in layout to the V-twin Vincent Black Shadow which included Vincent’s proprietary cantilever rear suspension and Vincent’s Girdraulic forks up front. And, like the big V-twins, the engine was a stressed member of the frame, eliminating the need for front downtubes and an engine …