The early 1970s certainly were a golden era of motorcycling. Who can deny that the Kawasaki Z1 or H2, the original SOHC CB750 and the Ducati 750 Super Sport of the era aren’t icons? But the class of 1973 birthed some amazing motorcycles that have become classics.
From race bikes to dirt bikes, something was in the air in 1973. We were all about to face an oil crisis, the heights of the Cold War, and the headiness of the disco era. But for motorcycles, 1973 was a year that brought us these true classics that are now turning 50.
The BMW R90s
Dear Hans Muth, thank you. Before Muth came along as BMW’s motorcycle designer, BMWs came in two colors: black or (occasionally) white. But in 1973, wow. The BMW R90S showed up and showed us that BMWs could be exciting with two-tone faded paint jobs, sportbike performance, and (gasp!) a bikini fairing.
The R90S backed up that groovy new paint job with a larger engine that was essentially a bored-out R75/5 engine. It made more power, more torque, and more smiles, and the R90S has gone down in history as BMW’s first superbike. Though the 1973 version is beautiful, later versions came in Daytona Orange, a color that Muth created to celebrate the bike’s win at Daytona in 1976. Muth went on to pen the R65 LS, the first R 80 GS, and later the futuristic Suzuki Katana sport bike, but the R90S could be his masterpiece.
We don’t hear much about Laverda these days, and that’s a shame. In 1973, Laverda made serious waves with the gorgeous 1000 that could top 135 mph. Laverda threw all of its mechanical wizardry at the three-cylinder 981cc mill, including a very Kawasaki-like double-overhead-cam design, to make a serious Z1 competitor.
Compared to today’s bikes, the 1000 was under-sprung, it had sketchy electronics, and weak brakes. In 1974, however, Laverda updated the bike with better brakes and forks, then the 1000 morphed into the Laverda Jota, the
By: Dan Mayfield
Title: The Class of 1973: 5 Important Bikes Turning 50 in 2023
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/5-important-bikes-turning-50
Published Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2023 21:43:34 +0000
Giddy up: Colt Wrangler’s prizewinning Harley Sportster
With a name like Colt Wrangler, it’s safe to assume that the man is from Texas and probably a bit of a cowboy. Hot dang if you aren’t right on both counts—Colt has been riding broncos and bulls competitively since he was a kid. But what you’re less likely to guess, is that this young cowpoke is also one of the most impressive motorcycle builders to emerge from the US custom scene in recent years.
Since Colt Wrangler Motorcycles was founded in 2015, Colt has established a distinct design language of his own. Recognizable by their high-level sheet-metal work, his builds exist in perfect proportion and hold high-performance details for those that know what they’re looking at—or even better, for those lucky enough to ride them.
We have featured Cole’s bikes before. But with more time to work on his latest project—a 1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster—he’s taken his personal style to new heights.
Colt had just started the Harley Sportster project, working in collaboration with local Texas truck builders Vintage Vendetta Garage, when Roland Sands Design announced the Dream Build-Off. This was a competition for local shops and backyard builders, with new motorcycles from BMW, Indian, and Royal Enfield as prizes. The Sportster was originally supposed to be a street-ready scrambler, but with this added motivation, Colt went
By: Morgan Gales
Title: Giddy up: Colt Wrangler’s prizewinning Harley Sportster
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-harley-sportster-colt-wrangler
Published Date: Fri, 19 May 2023 17:01:46 +0000
Look the part: The DMD Rivale retro full face helmet
Given the rise in popularity of modern classic motorcycles in recent years, it’s only natural that motorcycle gear and apparel would follow suit. Just like most major OEMs have at least a couple of retro-styled bikes in their catalogs, most major gear and helmet companies have at least a couple of retro-styled items to match those bikes. But the Italian company DMD does it differently.
DMD doesn’t just dabble in café racer gear… they live and breathe it. Case in point: the DMD Rivale retro full-face helmet.
Based in Bergamo, an impossibly picturesque city in Italy’s alpine Lombardy region, DMD specializes in helmets and apparel. Specifically, helmets and apparel that combine modern materials and manufacturing processes, with all the style and panache of yesteryear.
This family-owned enterprise traces its roots back to 1975 California. While traveling to the US, the patriarch of the family, Amilcare, decided to start a motorcycle gear import and distribution company.
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Look the part: The DMD Rivale retro full face helmet
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/dmd-rivale-retro-helmet
Published Date: Sat, 27 May 2023 17:01:29 +0000
E-Type: A minimalist electric scrambler from Crooked
Most conversations about electric motorcycles revolve around how they stack up against their petrol-powered counterparts. But there’s really no need to pick sides. Electric and ICE bikes are going to coexist for quite some time before one takes over from the other, so we might as well enjoy them both.
“These two worlds can harmonize very well,” asserts Dominikus Braun, co-founder of Germany’s Crooked Motorcycles. Among the shop’s offerings is a made-to-order custom based on the Yamaha XS400; a minimalist scrambler with compact proportions. Now they’ve copied and pasted that design onto an electric bike, to prove that it can look just as good.
It’s an idea that Crooked’s been milling over for a while, but finding the right donor bike was key to nailing the brief. They eventually connected with the Swedish brand RGNT, whose flagship product, the ‘No.1,’ is a stylish and compact electric retro. Its 21 kW hub motor is good for 21 kW of peak power, with a top speed of 120 km/h [75 mph] and a range of 148 km [92 miles].
“We immediately got into the same vibe, and had the same views when it came to design language,” says Dominikus. “The reduced classic style of both companies was a great thing to have in common.”
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: E-Type: A minimalist electric scrambler from Crooked
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/electric-scrambler-crooked-motorcycles
Published Date: Thu, 18 May 2023 17:43:10 +0000
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