HARLEY-DAVIDSON CVO Softail motorcycle

CUSTOMIZING HAS ALWAYS BEEN part of the Harley-Davidson scene. Owners individualize their bikes by modifying them, tuning them, changing components, and painting them to their own taste. Harley had always supplied accessories, but in 1999 they offered customers the opportunity to buy bikes that had been personalized to their own specifications by the company’s Custom … Read more

HARLEY-DAVIDSON Hill Climber motorcycle

THE INGREDIENTS OF A hill-climb bike appear simple, even if the reality is a lot more complicated. The essential element is power, and in the case of this machine a methanol-burning eight-valve engine was enough in 1930 to make it a competitive bike. A long wheelbase and weight at the front to prevent the bike … Read more

BIANCHI ES250/1 motorcycle

THIS 1937 ES250/1 MODEL was typical of the quality machines produced by Bianchi. The firm was one of Italy’s longest-lasting motorcycle companies, manufacturing machines from the turn of the 20th century right up until 1967. It branched out into producing airplane engines, cars, and trucks, and still exists as a bicycle manufacturer. This machine featured … Read more

BENELLI 750 Sei motorcycle

THE SEI WAS AN ATTEMPT by Benelli’s new owner, Alessandro De Tomaso, to better high Japanese standards. Ironically, the engine was an almost-perfect copy of a fourcylinder, 500 cc Honda power unit, but with two extra cylinders grafted on. The alternator was mounted behind the cylinders in a rather futile attempt to reduce the engine’s … Read more


HARLEY RARELY RUSHED change, and it always knew the value of cubic inches. The history of the 45° F-head V-twin goes back to the original prototype twin of 1907, and by 1928 it was approaching its expiration date. In 1922 Harley created the JD model by increasing capacity from 61 to 74 cubic inches (1213cc). … Read more

HARLEY-DAVIDSON Model S Racer motorcycle

A NEW 350CC RACING CLASS was created soon after Harley unveiled its “Peashooter” racer in the summer of 1925. The bike was based on its new 21cu. in. (346cc) o.h.v. single-cylinder economy road bike. To make it competitive for dirt-track racing, the bike had a shortened frame and simple telescopic forks that were triangulated for … Read more

GREEVES 20T motorcycle

THE FIRST Greeves prototype motorcycles appeared in 1951; the company also made “invalid” cars. The first production models, launched in 1953, had novel features such as a distinctive castalloy beam in place of a downtube and headstock, and a rubber-in-torsion suspension system. These models included road, scramblers, and trials machines powered by the 197cc Villiers … Read more

EXCELSIOR Super X motorcycle

INTRODUCED IN 1925, the Super X was the first of a new class of American 45cu. in. (738cc) machines. It was quickly followed into the marketplace by Indian and Harley-Davidson forty-fives. The new model featured a neat unitconstruction engine/gearbox. Primary drive to the three-speed gearbox was by helical gear, and the engine was mounted in … Read more

DUCATI 1098S motorcycle

INTRODUCED IN 2007, the 1098 replaced the 999 model which, though excellent, had never captured the hearts of Ducati enthusiasts because of its looks. The new bike featured horizontal headlights, an underseat exhaust, and a single-sided swingarm that harkened back to the earlier and much loved 916 range. The capacity of the V-twin engine was … Read more

HARLEY-DAVIDSON 61EL Knucklehead motorcycle

SOME PEOPLE CONSIDER the 61 “Knucklehead” to be the bike that put Indian out of business; others claim it was the bike that saved Harley-Davidson. Either way, this was Harley’s first real production overhead-valve twin and, introduced in 1936, it was a groundbreaking machine. The crucial new feature on the bike was its all-new overhead-valve … Read more