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Legendary Bikes

Noteworthy Historic Motorcycles

The Curious Tale of a Lost Indian

This is a story of questionable family heritage, grime and time and grit-encrusted motorcycle bits from the Big Band era, and one Renaissance man of sorts, a modern mix of urban adventurer and enlightened rogue. At one time or another he ran a machine shop, had a new convertible in the street, a Harley chained to his Queens, NY porch and a cigarette boat in Flushing Bay, or more accurately, under it. He skied, scuba dived, wrenched, built a wooden boat from the mud up, owned a ramshackle boarding house and later small apartment houses. He was the direct descendant of New York City bootleggers and other characters colorful and strange. But mainly, at least to me, he was the cool guy who rode motorcycles; big, bad, chuffing, puffing, skirt turning, bad-to-the-bone post-war Harleys. He was Uncle Johnnie, my own personal action hero in leather and rolled up Levis, and right out of a graphic novel.

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A Triumph T120 and a Gibson Les Paul

Music and motorcycles. They just fit together, like crimson and clover. Like Jack and Diane. Bikers love great music, and many musicians love the freedom of riding motorcycles. Think Elvis to Keith Urban. From the Mods and Rockers of London, to the “Easy Riders” and biker clubs across the States, music and motorcycling are inseparable.

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The Daytona 200- America’s Festival of Speed

With the 80th running of the acclaimed Daytona 200 this year (weather permitting), we thought a dive into the archives to view the long and storied history of this legendary motorcycle race was in order. From it’s actual origins in Savannah, Georgia in 1932, to the sands of Daytona Beach, ultimately riding the high banks of the Daytona International Speedway, the Daytona 200 has attracted many of the top motorcycle racers in the world to come make their mark on the “World Center of Speed”.

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Through the Lens: Wayne Rainey

As motorcycle racing series are all revving up for the 2022 season, we thought it appropriate to shine the “Through the Lens” spotlight on Wayne Rainey, multi-year AMA and GP World Champion, and founder/president of the MotoAmerica motorcycle road racing organization. We’ve covered MotoAmerica since its inception and launch in 2015, and have personally interviewed Wayne on several occasions. Humble and friendly, Wayne is also focused and driven, from his early racing successes to restoring American motorcycle road racing to its former and future glory.

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The Abernathy Boys- An American Chronicle

I first laid eyes on the photo of the “Abernathy Kids” when my father gave me a wooden framed print of it some 10 years ago for my basement “man cave”. He knew a little of the backstory which he shared with me, and I placed the picture and frame among some of my other vintage and antique paraphernalia downstairs, where it remained for a decade. When we transferred my “motorcycle works” to a new outdoor garage, I thought the photo and frame would fit perfectly, so I set it among my other old stuff on the back pegboard.

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Legendary Bikes: Kawasaki Z1 900 Super Four

With the recent advent of the 50th Anniversary Kawasaki Z line, we thought a look back at the makings of this iconic motorcycle might be in order. Our friends at the Throttlestop Museum in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin have a pristine original Z1 900, and some fascinating details about it’s rapid, desperate development that arguably produced the world’s first “superbike”. If you’re a fan of 1960s-70s motorcycles, this story with fascinate you. If you’re not, you just might become one after this tale.

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Through The Lens: Kenny Roberts

Kenny Roberts is a legend in American motorcycle racing. Born in Modesto, California in 1951, Kenny took to racing at a young age, quitting high school to compete in dirt track and going pro by the time he was 18. In 1978 Roberts became the first American to win a Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing world championship, now known as MotoGP. A two-time winner of the AMA Grand National Championship here stateside, Roberts is only one of four motorcycle racers in AMA history to take the coveted AMA Grand Slam, with wins in the mile, half-mile, short-track, TT Steeplechase and road racing.

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Legendary Bikes: 1935 BSA J35-12 Twin

With the return of BSA and the debut of their beautiful 650 Gold Star, we thought a brief look back at the history of the brand would be in order, and specifically one of their limited-run machines from the 1930s, the 1935 J35-12 Twin. Our model in photos is the beautifully restored edition on display at the Throttlestop Museum in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

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Legendary Bikes: 1901 Triumph Prototype

From Triumph: An amazing historic find, discovered and restored by leading vintage Triumph collector Dick Shepherd, the 1901 Prototype rewrites the history books, adding a whole new chapter prior to Triumph’s official sales starting in 1902. Long rumored to exist and referenced within advertising and reviews that appeared in 1901, this first Triumph prototype was developed from a standard Triumph bicycle, with an engine provided by Belgian manufacturer Minerva, in order to generate interest and gauge the public’s demand for a Triumph motorcycle.

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