Classic British Motorcycles

Classic Abingdon King Dick Motorcycles

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1912 Abingdon King Dick

Abingdon King Dick Claimed power: 3.5hpTop speed: 35mphEngine: 477cc side valveFuel capacity: 3galMPG: 50 Unless you’re a student of early motorcycle technology, it’s doubtful you’ve ever seen anything quite like the sliding spring fork on the Abingdon King Dick. A uniquely odd classic British motorcycle, it might just be the motorcycling ...

Richard Backus | Nov 27, 2007

Classic AJS Motorcycles

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1965 AJS 350cc Model 16

Photo by Robert SmithEngine: 350cc air-cooled OHV 4-stroke single, 72mm x 85.5mm, 9:1 compression ratio, 18hp @ 5,750rpmTop speed: 78mph (claimed)Carburetion: Single Amal Monobloc 389 1-1/8inTransmission: Chain primary, wet multiplate clutch, 4-speed AMC gearboxIgnition: 12v (6v stock), coil and breaker points Frame/wheelbase: Duplex full cradle frame/56in (1,422mm)Suspension: ...

Robert Smith | Apr 1, 2021

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Classic Ariel Motorcycles

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A Lesson in Perfection: 1959 Ariel Square Four

 Engine: 997cc air-cooled OHV “square” 4-cylinder, 65mm x 75mm bore and stroke, 7.2:1 compression ratio, 42hp @ 5,500rpm (claimed)Top speed: 105mph (approx.)Carburetion: SU, variable chokeTransmission: 4-speed, chain final driveElectrics: 6v, coil and breaker points distributor ignition Frame/wheelbase: Single downtube steel cradle/56in ...

Greg Williams; Photos Jeff Barger | Oct 14, 2020

Classic BSA Motorcycles

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1972 CCM — Clews Competition Machine

Engine: Stock-spec BSA B50MX 4-stroke air-cooled single cylinder, 84mm x 90mm bore and stroke, 8:1 compression ratio, 34hp @ 5,500rpm (est.) Top speed: NA Carburetor: Amal 32mm Transmission: 5-speed, right side shift, down for low Electrics: Boyer Bransden capacitive discharge Frame/wheelbase: Single downtube cradle frame/55.2in (1,402mm) Suspension: 1973 CZ ...

Staff | Jun 30, 2021

Classic Douglas Motorcycles

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Sterling Autocycle: Going Back in Time

Further proof of growing interest in so-called “retro classics” comes with news that Black Douglas Motorcycle Co. will produce the Sterling Autocycle in the U.S. Created by motorcycle enthusiast Fabio Cardoni, Brugarolo, Italy, the Sterling has garnered praise in Europe, where demand has kept ahead of supply. The company says it’s been getting requests ...

Motorcycle Classics Staff | Oct 8, 2013

Classic Egli-Vincent Motorcycles

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Egli-Vincent: the Café Racer built by Godet

Engine: 1,330cc air-cooled OHV V-twin, 92mm x 100mm bore and stroke, 8.3:1 compression ratio, 100hp @ 6,000rpm Top speed (approx.): 138mph Carburetion: Dual Mikuni Concentric 36mm Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive Electrics: 12v Alton alternator, electronic ignition Frame/wheelbase: Egli-style tubular steel w/engine as stressed member/56.5in (1,435mm) ...

Staff | Jun 15, 2021

Classic Mcintyre Motorcycles

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1961 McIntyre Special Replica

1961 McIntyre Special ReplicaClaimed power: 54hp @ 7,600rpmTop speed: 135mph (est.)Engine: 496cc Matchless SOHC air-cooled singleWeight (w/oil): 271lb (123kg) Fuel capacity: 3.7gal (14ltr)In 1961, Scotland’s Bob McIntyre and ace welder and mechanic Alex Crummie created an all-new chassis to house an AJS 7R 348cc race engine. Lower, lighter and stiffer than any factory frame, the ...

Alan Cathcart | Apr 25, 2011

Classic Metisse Motorcycles

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1962 Rickman Metisse Scrambler

1962 Rickman MetisseEngine: 497cc air-cooled OHV single, 86mm x 85.5mm bore and stroke, 9.5:1 compression ratio, 35hp (est.)Weight (dry): 300lb (136kg)Fuel capacity: 2 gal (7.5ltr)Remember the one that got away? That one tired old motorcycle that you had to sell because there wasn’t enough time or money to see it through?There are probably more than a few of you reading ...

Greg Williams | Oct 16, 2014

Classic Matchless Motorcycles

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Sight Unseen: 1966 Matchless G80CS

1966 Matchless G80CSEngine: 497cc air-cooled OHV 4-stroke single, 86mm x 85.5mm bore and stroke, 8.7:1 compression ratio, 30hp (est.)Top speed: 90mph (period test)Carburetion: Single 3/16in Amal ConcentricTransmission: 4-speed, right foot shift, chain final driveElectrics: 6v, Lucas NC1 “wader” magnetoFrame/wheelbase: Dual downtube cradle frame/55in ...

Margie Siegal | Photos Nick Cedar | Apr 10, 2020

Classic Norton Motorcycles

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1974 Norton Commando 850

Photo by Nick CedarDan Bockmier had a clear vision when he started working on this Norton.“The concept for the bike occurred to me while pondering how conservative Norton was in terms of paint and style. They’re so unlike Triumph, for instance, who had different super sexy two-tone paint schemes every year. Norton was always about engineering and very little ...

Margie Siegal | Dec 1, 2020

Classic Royal Enfield Motorcycles

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Riding the Royal Enfield INT650 and Continental GT

  The INT650 in front of a setting sun, complete with Orange Crush paint. Royal Enfield INT650/Continental GT650 Engine: 648cc air/oil-cooled SOHC parallel twin, 78mm x 67.8mm bore and stroke, 9.5:1 compression ratio, 47hp @ 7,250rpm (at crankshaft)Top speed: NAFueling: Bosch multipoint sequential fuel injectionTransmission: 6-speed, chain final driveElectrics: 12v, ...

Review Landon Hall and Keith Fellenstein | Oct 22, 2019

Classic Silk Motorcycles

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1977 Silk 700S Sabre MK 2

1977 Silk 700S Sabre MK2Engine: 653cc 2-stroke water-cooled parallel twinTop speed: 110mphTransmission: 4-speed, enclosed chain final driveWeight (dry): 310lb (141kg)Fuel capacity: 3.6gal (13.6ltr)Price then/now: £2,482 ($5,262 at $2.12 per £1, 1979 avg. exchange rate)/$2,000-$7,000As far as Brit George Silk was concerned, the fun of riding a motorcycle in the ...

Phillip Tooth | Oct 12, 2010

Classic Triumph Motorcycles

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Which Bonnie is the Best?

1963-1970 Triumph 650 Bonneville T120R Claimed power: 52hp @ 6,500rpm Top speed: 109mph/112mph (period tests) Engine: 649cc (71 x 82mm) 2-valve air-cooled OHV parallel twin, 4-speed, chain final drive Weight: 363lb (dry), 390lb (curb) Fuel capacity/MPG: 3.5 gals/N/A Price then/now: $1,375 (1970)/$6,000-$20,000 Conventional wisdom says the 1968-1970 Triumph 650 ...

Staff | Jun 23, 2021

Classic Velocette Motorcycles

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The Birmingham Blower: 1939 Velocette Roarer Replica

1939 Velocette Roarer ReplicaEngine: 498cc air-cooled supercharged SOHC parallel twin w/two counter-rotating crankshafts, 68mm x 68.25mm bore and stroke, 7.5:1 compression ratio, 54hp @ 4psi boost (est.)Top speed: 140mph (est.)Carburetion: Single Amal 10TT9 w/Shorrock-type superchargerTransmission: 4-speed, shaft final driveElectrics: Lucas AC2 magnetoFrame/wheelbase: Steel tube ...

Robert Smith | Feb 13, 2018

Classic Vincent Motorcycles

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Ready to Ride: Vincent Rapide Series B

 Photo by Nick Cedar “A phone call to P. C. Vincent explaining my troubles — and the fact that I had been talked into entering for the five lap outer circuit handicap race [at Brooklands] on the following week-end produced the sort of service for which the firm has always been noted. The bike was collected, rebuilt (and between you and me, secretly ...

Margie Siegal | Apr 1, 2021

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