×
×

TAG : Black Side Down

Of Brakes and Valves on Classic Motorcycles

Last issue, I mentioned the poor performance of the front drum brake on my 1973 BMW R75/5. That column generated a surprising number of emails on the subject, with BMW owners generally arguing that the major issue isn’t so much that the brakes are a bad design, rather they just need to be set ...

On the Road, Gravel and Paved, in 2016

It’s not quite 2017 as I write, but it might as well be here in the Midwest, with old man winter starting to make his annual appearance and the riding season suddenly drawing to a close. Maybe I’m getting wimpy in my old age, but anymore I call it quits once the temps fall to freezing and ...

Punctuation Marks: Making the Most out of Mishaps

There’s a photo on my cellphone, a selfie of me and new riding pal Davis Aites. We’re both smiling, a motorcycle just visible in the background. We’re at the side of a road somewhere, and from the look on our faces, we’re having a great time. And we were. It’s just that we were broken ...

The Accidental Buyer of a 1973 BMW R75/5

I recently bought another bike, a sweet, unmolested, high-mileage and somewhat dog-eared 1973 BMW R75/5, and it occurred to me that unlike many people, I’ve rarely bought a motorcycle with a predicated plan of action or even a notion of exactly what I wanted to buy. Regular readers — read, ...

High Expectations of the 2016 Riding Season

If this spring’s rides are any indication of how the riding season is going to pan out for me this year, it’s going to be a good one. I’m not an Iron Butt rider who piles on tens of thousands of miles every year, but I am disappointed when I can’t roll up at least 3,000-4,000 miles ...

On the Road Again

It’s mid-March as I write this, but here in the Midwest, winter has suddenly — almost freakishly — left the building. This time of year, I’m usually huddled in my hovel wrenching on my bikes in anticipation of the end of winter. But if the current weather patterns hold, the riding ...

Moving Targets

What we call classic is something of a moving target, and while some will disagree, I put the three “modern” bikes featured in this issue — BMW’s wild 1989-1993 K1, Harley-Davidson’s unexpected 1994 VR1000 and Suzuki’s more staid 1985 GS1150E — firmly in that category. When BMW ...

Your Mother Was Right

If your mother was or is anything like mine, she probably wasn’t too thrilled when you took up motorcycling. I waited until I left home for college to get my first bike, a fact my mother could ignore thanks to the then 1,200 miles separating us. I kept mum on the subject, and even though she ...

The Bike in the Barn

If there’s an old bike nut who hasn’t dreamt about finding the fabled “bike in the barn,” I’ve never met them. It’s an alluring, tantalizing dream, enveloping as it does so much more than just buying an old bike. I mean, hell, anybody can do that; it just takes money. But the bike ...

Ten Years Later

Has it really been 10 years? It hardly seems possible, but this issue, September/October 2015, Vol. 11, No. 1, marks our 10th year of publishing Motorcycle Classics.In July 2005, after the better part of a year identifying and defining the pieces that had to fit together to make the magazine ...

Motorcycle Classics Magazine

Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!