Archive for the ‘ahrma’ Tag

1967 Bultaco Metralla Mk2

Picture 21Picture this, you’re buzzing along a tight twisty mountain road on a classic roadracer that just happens to have lights and a horn. The bike is light, quick and amazingly agile. The bike almost knows what you’re going to do before you do. A very light push on the bars sends you through the corner apex at speeds that put larger bikes to shame. The skinny little tyres turn in with no effort yet keep you right on line. You my friend are riding a Bultaco Metralla and your destination is wonderful little Spanish restaurant and plate of the best Paella in Northern Spain.Picture 19

Ok, the reality is you’re not in Spain and you’re not going to have Paella, you’re going to have a chili and cheese omelet at the Rock Store on Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains and you’re going to have to answer a hundred questions from guys that have never even heard of Bultaco about your little Metralla. These are the guys you blew by in the corners. This is the definition of a really fun Sunday morning.

Picture 22I love Bultaco’s, always have. I started racing a Bultaco Matador back in 1968, moved up to Pursangs, rode an Astro in a couple of TT races but never owned a Metralla. While I was helped in my desert racing and enduro career by the local Bultaco dealer, they never let me take out the street bikes, probably a smart move on their part at the time. Would I want another Bultaco dirt bike now? probably not. Would I want a Metralla today? Oh Yeah! This is the perfect example of Spanish art on two wheels.

A few years back while on my way from a vintage roadrace at Willow Springs to another one at Sears Point in Northern California I stopped in Minden Nevada to get some Bultaco spiritual guidance (and a couple of parts for a Sherpa T I had inherited), from the Bultaco Guru of the West, Lynn Mobley. Guru Lynn had just finished a full restoration of a ‘67 Metralla and let me ride it around his property for a bit, I had to have the Metralla. I offered up both my roadracers and ‘The Mighty 350’ in trade for the little Bultaco, and while Lynn did everything he could to keep from laughing, I could see that the Metralla was not going home with me.Picture 25

So, today I found a really beautiful Metralla on ebay that is ready to ride right now. It’s a 1967 Mk2 that has been restored to pretty much stock condition, there are a few little tweaks here and there but the original parts that were changed out will come with the bike. It really is a beautiful motorbike and if you would like something will always put a huge smile on your face consider this Metralla. This is a no-brainer. Click on the pics below for more information and more pictures.

And one last little thing…the Metralla was the first 250cc bike that straight from the factory would top 100mph! How cool is that?!

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Picture 171967 Bultaco Metralla

1969 BSA A65 Road Racer

Picture 32In 1969 BSA commanded 80% of all the Brit bikes sold here in the USA. Eighty Percent! Who woulda thunk? I, and I think most of us, would have pegged Triumph as the leader but not so say the statistics. What was it about BSA that made it that strong a seller in a time when the Japanese manufacturers were dominating the market? Was it styling? No. Was it performance? No. Was it reliability? Certainly not.  So what was it?

Picture 23Let’s find a bit of perspective here. BSA may have had 80% of the British bike sales here in the states but ‘Made in England’ motorcycles constituted a very small percentage of the total bikes sold here. So small that within a decade, they were all gone from the US market.

From the late 1950’s through the mid 60’s, the British were competing with the very popular Harley Davidson Sportster in the performance category. The Sportster was Harley’s ‘sportbike’, it had a  slight horsepower advantage, it had a new look (the peanut tank was quite stylish then), it had the Harley sound and, of course, it had the advantage of being made in the USA. BSA, Triumph and Norton all were better handling motorcycles but back then, straight line speed was king, not the ability to go around corners fast.

Each of the big three from the UK tried styling mods to attract the American market, Triumph  with the X75 Hurricane, Norton tried (and miserably failed) with their Hi-Rider chopper model and BSA tried with…well, nothing. Sure, BSA tried a few styling changes like a smaller slimmer tank, the oil in the frame design (which nobody was really happy about), and of course the ray-gun mufflers of the Rocket 3. Personally, I love the ray-gun mufflers but at the time they went over like a fart in church. Anyway, the Brits just faded away into the sunset. Today, Triumph is back in a big way and Norton is getting set to comeback this year with a new Commando and it is beautiful. I hope it succeeds.

I started my street bike life aboard a BSA so the brand has a certain spot in my heart that will never go away. Yes, it stranded me more than once with faulty electric’s, and yes, it leaked more oil in a month than any Japanese bike I’ve ever owned  did in a lifetime. It could be a bit (?) temperamental when it came to starting in the morning (or when it was hot and the bike didn’t feel like going anywhere), and it could vibrate the fillings out of my teeth if the carbs weren’t balanced properly, but…when everything was working as it was supposed to, what a joy it was to ride that Beezer. I was raised to ride the canyon roads, to believe in handling over horsepower, and the sound coming from a parallel twin was the sweetest sound in motorcycling.Picture 19

At one point in time (actually a couple of times) the Japanese manufactures realized that there was something about the British bikes that still captivated the American buyer. Yamaha did great with the XS650, designed to compete with the Triumph, Kawasaki brought out the W650 to head to head with the BSA and Honda tried with the GB500 single. The only one that succeeded over the long run was the Yamaha. Today, the Triumph Bonneville is a huge success because it looks like a proper English motorbike without the oil puddle underneath it.

Lately I have been thinning the herd of bikes in my barn and am starting to look for a new adventure…once I have finished the other four projects I have going, and am being drawn towards a BSA 650. I’m actually looking for one of the last designs more than the old chrome tank styles, mainly because I think they are probably going to be cheaper on the market(?). Today on ebay I found one that might just fit the bill.

On ebay today, there is a 1969 BSA A65 that has been set up for vintage roadracing. Remember, the A65 was BSA’s ‘roadracer for the street’. The A65 put out a very respectable 54HP and would top out at around 105MPH. This particular bike has been upgraded with Marzocchi forks, more modern rear shocks, and a Suzuki twin leading shoe front brake, which was a very good upgrade from the standard brake the BSA had at the time. The motor has been given some extra muscle by way of a 750cc kit But, here is the cool thing about this bike, it can easily be retrofitted with the electric’s to power a headlight, taillight and blinkers so you have a perfect cafe racer with almost no effort! The seller says that it does need some carb work but that’s no big deal. This could be a very sweet Sunday rider.Picture 30

Click on the pics below for more pictures and more info.

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Picture 171969 BSA A65 Racer

1972 Honda CB175 Cafe Racer

For just a moment I need you to enter a zen place. Clear your mind of garish race decals and see for a moment a plain black cafe racer. One that is diminutive in stature, but built to a high level of spec and to be either raced or ridden on the street.

Okay, now take a look at the bike below…

What we have here is a 1972 Honda CB175 that has been cafe’d to within an inch of its life. The seller of this bike has built an AHRMA race-legal motorcycle but kept the lights and license plate. This little CB has just about everything you could want in a stylish cafe racer: clip-ons, seat, nice spoked wheels, rear-sets, custom exhaust, etc., etc., etc. And since you are still in your zen place, you have overlooked the race decals and seen through them to the beautiful motorcycle beneath…

There are 6 days left in the auction for this beautiful, small-bore cafe racer, and bidding is currently at $1,000 with a $3,500 Buy-It-Now…

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Vintage Yoshimura Egli CB500 Racebike

The road trip ended up being called off, so no project bike for the time being, and another posting on the blog can be made.

While this bike will never really be a street-going cafe racer, it is very interesting. Based upon a 1975 CB500 (maybe), the only Honda parts seem to be motor parts, the rest is all really cool racing parts either vintage in availability, or hand made. The seller claims it is an ex-AHRMA race bike, but no provenance is given beyond that as to its original race history. We can dare to dream that it was raced nationally in the late seventies, but who knows…

Regardless, it is a beautiful bike that is at $4,550 in the auction, but reserve hasn’t been met. Descriptions of all the things done to this bike are in the listing, but all the photos are here…

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1976 Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer

Up on eBay right now is this beautiful 1976 Yamaha XS650 done up as a fully-faired cafe racer. If the stickers are removable, you would have the option of cleaning it up a bit so you could enjoy the Kenny Roberts replica paint job with the distraction of pretending you are a sponsored racer. There are a ton of pictures in the eBay listing, but I didn’t bother copying them all over the posting. I also listed the key features of the bike as shown by the seller. As always, ask the seller any questions you might have before bidding…

    Full fiberglass fairing
    Fiberglass solo seat
    Fiberglass fuel tank
    New Gustufsson wind screen
    Tomasselli clip-on bars
    Bates rear-set controls
    GP-style shift pattern
    New brake pads and sprockets
    New Pirelli Sport Demon V-rated sport/race compound front and rear tires
    (Seller is) assuming that it has high-comp pistons and he/she believes a Weber “Web” cam
    High performance 2 into 1 pipe
    Twin Mikuni VM round-slide carbs with screened velocity stacks
    Oil cooler
    Period mag wheels


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Nice CB350T Race Bike

Here’s a nice AHRMA race bike being built by the folks at OhioCafeRacers.com and posted in the forums at CafeRacer.net. I like all the detail work that has gone into the build. I especially find the hand-built front fender pretty sweet!

They have also built a nice street version of this bike, as well. I’ll post that one soon…

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1966 Bultaco Racebike (Cafe Racer Potential)

Up for auction right now on eBay is this supposedly ex-AHRMA race bike that would make a nice street bike if you could get it titled/registered. Plus add a bunch of street stuff to get it through inspection at the DMV. Plus it looks like the footpegs need some work (it’s hard to tell if they’re even there in the photos). Also, please examine photo #4 for yourself. It is hard to tell what’s up with that. Somebody’s been playing with Photoshop too much me thinks. Some kind of weird filter ran over the photo to make it look all artsy. Anyways, nothing really left from the eBay listing other than what I’ve already posted here (word for word below plus all 4 photos). If you are interested it is at $1,500 with 5 bidders and 2 days left…

“”Hi, I’m selling this motorcycle for my brother who’s stationed in Iraq, he used to race it on weekends and tour on bike shows nation wide, this is the description he gives of the bike…

“This is a Bultaco 250cc road racer. The round barrel makes it legal for AHRMA 250 and 350 GP classes among others. The bike was originally a Bultaco Alpina. The motor runs well and the clutch and transmission work great. The motor is stock along with the original Amal 29mm. carb. The body work is a Metralla tank and the seat is of a MV Agusta race seat. The front hub is a Holly 305 Superhawk with an added air scoop for brake cooling. Rims are 18” alloy Akronts. Bike has Betor suspension. The clip-ons are Magura along with the throttle. The bike has been garage kept and is in overall good condition, with few scratches and normal wear and tear. With some new tires and a good “shakedown” it would once again be ready to be a great vintage racer. I do not have a title for it but one can be obtained from http://www.broadwaytitle.com/ if needed”
“”


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Seeley Frame, Seat, and Tank for the Honda CB750

Below are pictures of a Seeley frame, seat, and tank for a Honda CB750 up for sale on eBay. Colin Seeley put these kits into production between 1975 and 1978. If you go to the Seeley Honda registery linked here, then you will see that bike SH7/505 S is listed third in the registry as a racing model. And due to its low serialization, I will hazard a guess that it is designed for early model-year CB750 parts.

In doing research on the Seeley frames, found this link here to a Seeley forum entry regarding someone who had bought a frame from the eBay seller listing this item. Here’s what I would do if I were going to bid on this frame. I would email the guy in the forum listing, and I would email the guy who’s selling the bike on eBay. I would ask questions, and I would hold off bidding if the eBay seller doesn’t return your message.

Regardless, this would be a cool build-up of a CB750 into a cafe racer for either racing or street (depending on how stringent your DMV is). I think I will do a post about safe eBay buying habits soon.


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Seeley CB750 SOHC Frame (and other stuff)

What’s my deal? Another project bike. But this one is way cooler!

I used to race in one of AHRMA’s modern bike classes (Formula 3 Twins), but I always wanted to race a cool classic bike. This would sure make a cool start to an AHRMA project!

Although the frame is the cool piece of kit in this auction, I really like the tank! I want to do something like that for my sportster, but I haven’t prioritized that high enough in my budget to do so…

And did you notice that I used the word “cool” three times in three paragraphs? Doh!


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