Barber's Best

A virtual tour of the classic motorcycle collection on display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.

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12/4/2014

1956 Maico Taifun on Display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum 

1956 Maico Taifun on Display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum 

Country: Germany
Engine: Air-cooled, twin cylinder two stroke
Ignition: Battery and coil
Power rating: 22.5 bhp @ 5,100rpm
Bore x stroke: 65mm x 60mm
Displacement: 395cc
Valves: None
Fuel systems: Single 26mm Bing carburetor
Transmission: Four speed
Suspension: Front Earles type leading link forks, rear twin shock
Brakes: Front and rear drum
Weight: 396lbs
Top speed: 80mph

The Taifun, Typhoon in English, was an incredibly advanced design, both in styling and technical innovation. Performance was better than many machines of larger capacity, and features such as the totally enclosed rear drive chain running in oil are not common today. The "flip out" passenger pegs are another ingenious feature. A motorcycle built with the elegance of an expensive automobile. MC

1956 Maico Taifun on Display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum



11/19/2014

Right-Hand Side of the 1967 MV Agusta 500/3 

1967 MV Agusta 500/3
Country:
Italy
Engine:
Air-cooled, three-cylinder four stroke
Ignition: Battery & coil
Power rating:
78bhp @ 12,000rpm
Bore x stroke:
62mm x 55mm
Displacement:
498cc
Valves:
Gear-driven double overhead cam
Fuel system:
Three Dell’Orto SS 27mm carburetor
Transmission:
Seven speed
Suspension:
Front telescopic forks, rear twin shock
Brakes:
Front 220mm drum, rear 180mm drum
Weight:
275lbs dry
Top speed:
160mph

Originally built as a 350cc class machine, gradual bore increases raised the capacity to 377cc, 420cc, and finally 499cc. With this machine, MV won the 500cc World Championships from 1966 to 1973. This record is unique in the history of motorcycle racing. Increased competition required more modern technology, so the three-cylinder machine was replaced with a four-cylinder model that featured four valves per cylinder. MC

Rider's view of the 1967 MV Agusta 500/3

Left-Hand Side of the 1967 MV Agusta 500/3



11/5/2014

Harley on display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum 

1964 Harley-Davidson XLR-TT
Country: USA
Engine: Air-cooled, V-twin four stroke
Ignition: Fairbanks-Morse magneto
Power rating: 70bhp @ 6,500rpm
Bore x stroke: 3" x 3-13/16"
Displacement: 883cc
Valves: Overhead, pushrod activated
Fuel system: Single Linkert carburetor
Transmission: Four speed, close ratio optional
Suspension: Front telescopic forks, rear twin shock
Brakes: Front and rear drum
Weight: 355lbs
Top speed: 115mph

The XLR was Harley's production racer, designed to compete in scrambles or "TT" races, where the capacity limit was 900cc. The XLR was a strange combination, with the chassis from the KR model, and a motor from the overhead valve Sportster. While the motor appeared to be similar to the production model, it had a shorter stroke and larger bore for higher rpm, producing more power, although the capacity remained the same. Motor internals were pure racing components, and in this form the machine was competitive with its main adversary, the Triumph 650cc TT Special. MC

Front-View of the 1964 Harley-Davidson XLR-TT

Close up of the Harley Davidson XLR on display at Barbers



10/30/2014
1958 Velocette Valiant

1958 Velocette Valiant on display at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum 

1958 Velocette Valiant
Country:
Great Britain
Engine: Air-cooled horizontal opposed twin cylinder four stroke
Ignition: Magneto
Power rating: 12bhp @ 6,000rpm
Bore x stroke: 50mm x 49mm
Displacement:
192cc
Valves: Overhead, pushrod activated
Fuel system: Twin Amal carburetors
Transmission: Four speed, shaft final drive
Suspension:
Front telescopic forks, rear twin shock
Brakes: Front and rear drum
Weight: 225lbs
Top speed: 70mph

The 1958 Velocette Valiant was basically the L.E. power unit installed in a conventional chassis, the main difference being, the Valiant had overhead valve air-cooled cylinders and heads. It was often referred to as "The Baby BMW," and although the build equality was high, so was the price. The majority of buyers of lightweight motorcycles were interested in economic and inexpensive transportation, not a small version of one of the most sophisticated models available. MC

Front of the 1958 Valiant1958 Velocette Valiant on display at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum



9/25/2014

Left-Hand Side of the 1955 Vincent Black Knight 

Country: Great Britain
Engine: Air-cooled, 47F V-twin four stroke
Ignition:
Battery and coil
Power rating:
45hp @ 5,500rpm
Bore x stroke:
84mm x 90mm
Displacement:
 998cc
Valves:
Overhead, pushrod activated
Fuel system:
Twin Amal 389 Monobloc carburetors
Transmission:
Four speed
Suspension:
Front Vincent Girdraulic fork, rear pivoted frame
Brakes:
Front and rear twin drum
Weight:
430lbs

The final versions of this famous brand were the all-enclosed Series D, the Black Knight on display here is an updated version of a Rapide. New features were a hand operated center stand, and coil ignition for easy starting. Vincent assumed that their wealthy customers would appreciate the added weather protection that the new fairing offered, but they wanted a naked version, where they could see that magnificent motor. Sales of these new models were disappointing, and Vincent closed their doors. MC

Front-View of the 1955 Vincent Black Knight



9/12/2014

1959 Triumph Bonneville 

Country: Great Britain
Engine: Air-cooled, vertical twin four stroke
Ignition:
Lucas competition magneto
Power rating:
46bhp @ 6,500rpm
Bore x stroke:
71mm x 82mm
Displacement:
649cc
Valves:
Overhead, pushrod activated
Fuel system:
Two Amal 1-1/16 Monobloc carburetors with remote float bowl
Transmission:
Four speed
Suspension:
Front telescopic forks, rear twin shock
Brakes:
Front and rear drum
Weight:
300 lbs
Top speed:
105mph

1959 was the first year of the Bonneville, recognizable by the headlamp nacelle, generator and remote fuel float bowl, these components only featured on this year’s model. The Bonneville got its name due to the success of a team from Big D Cycles in Dallas, Texas, that set a World Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with a Triumph powered steamliner. This superb example was sold new from Big D and restored by then 35 years later. MC

Side-View of the 1959 Triumph Bonneville 



8/27/2014

Front View of the 1955 Vincent Amanda Water Scooter

1955 Vincent Amanda Water Scooter
Country: Great Britain
Engine: Air-cooled single-cylinder 2-stroke
Ignition: Flywheel magneto
Power rating: 2.1 hp
Bore x stroke: 50mm x 50mm
Displacement: 100cc
Fuel system: Single slide type carburetor
Transmission: Centrifugal clutch drive to propeller
Top speed: 15mph

Better known for their high-performance motorcycles, Vincent tried to keep solvent by producing industrial engines for lawn mowers, but their most radical design was the Amanda, making them true pioneers of personal watercraft.

Side View of the 1955 Vincent Amanda Water Scooter

To improve performance, the power units were increased in capacity from the original 75cc model. First, a 100cc version of the 75cc motor, and finally a 200cc twin that was rated at 5.6 horsepower, using the same bore and stroke as the 100cc single. The 1950s were early days for glass fiber, and when exposed to the sun the hull suffered serious distortion. Vincent closed their doors soon after but they had the right idea with the Amanda, just too soon. MC





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