Archive for the ‘Motorcycle History’ Category

BMW Motorcycles – The Early Years (1917 – 1969)

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Most people are familiar with the iconic blue and white checker logo of BMW, or Bavarian Motor Works, at least when it comes to four-wheeled iterations. After all, it was founded exactly a century ago and remains one of the world’s best-selling luxury automobiles. On two-wheels, BMW aficionados see no distinction, and BMW Motorrad is one of the world’s best-known luxury motorcycle manufacturers, producing some of the most high-tech motorcycles in the world.

Each BMW motorcycle is so well-adapted to its task, whether it be touring, cruising, or adventuring, that one would think that it was born for it. Indeed, such results are only possible because of the spirit of innovation that has driven BMW Motorrad since the beginning, some 90 years ago.… Read the rest

Evel Knievel – His Legacy Lives On

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Superhero comics and movies are at an all-time high, but they aren’t really anything new. The first superheroes appeared in the 1930s, then a slew of superhero movies in the 1950s, then again in the 1980s and today. While they are fantasy, superheroes strike a chord in the heart of boys and girls and men and women everywhere. They do things we can’t do, things we might never do, because it’s too expensive (Bruce Wayne / Batman) or too dangerous (Clark Kent / Superman or any superhero, really), and yet we still want to be like them.

Then there are real superheroes, like Evel Knievel, a motorcycle stuntman whose alter ego is none other than Evel Knievel, that is, he was an ordinary man, just like everyone who knew him.… Read the rest

1950 Schwinn Whizzer Motorized Bicycle – 2013 HoAME Motorcycle Show

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The Whizzer bolt on bicycle engine was originally created by an aircraft parts manufacturer so it is fitting that Clymer found one on display at the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts vintage motorcycle rally held at an airport.

Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles including British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American makes, all on display. Manufacturers represented include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more.… Read the rest

Tom Marquardt’s 1980 Honda CB750F AMA Superbike Racer – 2013 HoAME Show Winner Best Race Bike

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Clymer visited the 22th Annual Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts (HoAME) Vintage Motorcycle Rally/Show and took a close up look at Tom Marquardt’s 1980 Honda CB750F former AMA factory race bike. It received the trophy for Best Competition Motorcycle sponsored by Heartland Park Topeka. This factory AMA Superbike was part of Honda’s re-entry into AMA competition, with a team including Freddie Spencer,  Steve McLaughlin, and Ron Pierce, who raced this bike in competition. Midway through the year Ron was injured racing in the Suzuka 8 hour endurance race, and Roberto Pietri finished out the season.

Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport.… Read the rest

Bob Peter’s 1962 Ducati Bronco 125 – 2013 HoAME Best Preservation 2nd Place

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Clymer Manuals got up close with Bob Peter’s very well preserved Ducati Bronco 125cc. This classic Italian motorbike won 2nd place in the Best Preservation category sponsored by KC Brake at the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts Vintage Motorcycle Show.

The 125cc Ducati Bronco was a model aimed directly at the American market in the early 1960s. While recovering from WWII, many Italian factories were making low cost bikes well suited for the teenaged baby boomers. The Bronco came from a long line of pushrod four-stroke Ducatis, starting as small as 60cc, and there were Broncos in both 85cc and 98cc displacement. … Read the rest

Gary Berger’s 1972 Suzuki RV90 Mini Bike – 2013 HoAME Motorcycle Show

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Clymer Manuals got a close-up look at Gary Berger’s 1972 Suzuki RV90J on display at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Rally. This vintage Japanese play bike won the Constellation Award sponsored by Motorcycle Closeouts.

Using the same motor as the Suzuki TS90 Honcho and TC90 Blazer, the RV90 Rover was made to be simpler and more fun. The low center of gravity and giant balloon tires made this more of a minibike, and perfect for younger riders or riding on sand. The RV prefix had nothing to do with recreational vehicles, but plenty of these ended up strapped to the bumpers of motorhomes for use in camp because after all, it was fully street legal for errand running duty!… Read the rest