Legendary Bikes

Noteworthy Historic Motorcycles

MZ’s Moto Memories: 1967 Honda CB160

Back when I was about 14 years old, I traded my 1972 Jawa 90 back to Don Heida at Heidacycle in Fenton, Missouri, for a black 1967 Honda CB 160, even up. I liked it because it had a bigger engine than my Jawa, as well as an electric start. Part of the deal was that Don had to install a brand new set of “Scrambler XO” high straight side pipes with a pair of “Snuff or Nots” in the end of each pipe, and deliver the bike to my house in Kirkwood, Missouri.

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A Brief History of the Bobber

Over motorcycling’s lifespan, there have developed a plethora of customizing genres. From the café racer to the chopper, from brat to rat, the goal of the custom is to recreate a stock motorcycle into a true one-off machine birthed in the imagination of the builder and rider. Motorcycle brands even try to duplicate the styles with what are called “factory customs”, which employ styling cues from various customizing genres. Of all the many and varied styles of customized motorcycles, none is as old and enduring as the Bobber.

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Kawasaki Celebrates 40 Years of the Ninja

In the 40 years since its inception, the Ninja® moniker has become one of the most recognizable motorcycle names in the industry. Since first arriving on the scene in 1984, and officially rebranding the famous GPz900R, the Kawasaki Ninja brand of motorcycles continue to illustrate the pursuit of high performance in every displacement class. To celebrate this historic run in the powersports industry, Kawasaki has announced and debuted their 2024 Ninja 40th Anniversary Edition motorcycles.

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MZ’s Moto Memories: 1972 Kawasaki 750 H2

Bobby had some of his own motorcycles. One of them was a fantastic 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 triple. It was an early H2 with matching frame and engine numbers (I always heard the first four months of production were the fastest H2s and his was one of them). He painted it dark green with Kawasaki lime green stripes. And although it was pretty much all stock otherwise, it did have some black painted expansion chambers on it and high-compression pistons. I was in love with that bike.

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The Wild World of Motorcycle Sidecar Racing

It’s a physically demanding sport, especially for the copilot, hence our comment about Tina. Battling G-forces back and forth to keep the rig planted on all three contact points, both riders must be both strong and flexible, and be in complete sync with each other. Mike and I observed it up close trackside at Barber, as teams tore around the highly technical course at breakneck speeds. I’ve ridden at high speed around tracks like this on a motorcycle, experiencing the g-forces on a bike, but can hardly imagine the exertion it takes to keep riders and machine planted while speeding around a course, battling those forces on a sidecar. These racers, particularly the passengers, are another level of tough.

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Elvis Presley and Triumph

With the discovery of the original checks in the Graceland archives, signed by The King of Rock & Roll himself as well as recollections from Jerry Shilling, a close friend of Elvis, it can be confirmed that Elvis bought nine Triumph motorcycles as gifts, so he and his closest friends could ride together in the hills of Los Angeles.

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Neale Bayly Rides: What Once Was Lost

I will never forget that frigid winter afternoon the 1924 JD Harley-Davidson was unceremoniously dragged from the back of a semi-truck. Dull, lifeless, rusty, and forgotten, somewhere around five decades had slipped by since the bike was last ridden. Heading for the workshop behind the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, museum owner Dale Walksler had been entrusted with the task of breathing life into this then 80-year-old motorcycle. I was there to document the story, and didn’t know I was about to be taken on an adventure: an adventure that would journey deep into my soul, as Dale and I traveled back through ours.

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The Immaculate Restoration

In the motorcycle world, Honda’s 1969 CB750 was a fork tailed devil of a different sort, striking its own deadly blow to its slow, unreliable competition and irreversibly changing the course of motorcycling. Its innovations were previously unthinkable: disc brakes came standard, power came easy, size and weight became manageable, electronics became reliable, beauty was standard. It killed the competition. There was no reversing course.

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