Author Topic: Internet Motorcycle Photos & History  (Read 13955 times)

Offline Chris

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Internet Motorcycle Photos & History
« on: February 05, 2017, 12:07:39 pm »
I’ve been collecting motorcycle photos from the intertubes for a while now that I use as a screen saver on my computer.  Right now the collection has about 700 photos and the only common thread is that they involve something to do with motorcycling and it’s history and I like them.  I thought I’d start sharing the better ones and invite you folks to comment.  Let us know which ones you like and which ones you don’t.  Please feel free to comment if they bring back some memories for you too or share a great photo you may have found.  All participants welcome!

****************************************************************




To start us off here’s a shot from the 1964 International Six Days Trial (ISDT) held in the then East Germany.  In this pic the US team captain, one S. McQueen of Los Angeles, is getting ready to start a stage.  The story of the ‘64 ISDT and the team of Californian desert racers who represented the US is a good one but I’ll save the whole story for a later post.


IMPORTANT NOTE:  Almost all of these photos were found online at various places.  I don't pretend to own any of them and the copyright for each remains with the original photographer as far as I know.  No infringement of the copyright or commercial use is intended whatsoever.  My intent is merely to share the more interesting ones I've found and no profit is being made from their use.  If a copyright holder wishes to ask for one to be taken off or to be paid for their use please contact me directly.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 06:32:53 pm by Chris »
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Offline El Borrego

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 03:44:55 pm »
One of my favorites is the scene of S. McQueen riding in the Great Escape.

Offline gl1dinorider

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 04:37:51 pm »
On a dang triumph to boot. . .
What does "riding season" mean?

Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 02:06:37 pm »
And here's McQueen on the set of "The Great Escape" on that Triumph pretending to be a German bike.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 04:12:51 pm by Chris »
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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 02:10:23 pm »
Today's shot is one of the bike that did the most to change motorcycling in my lifetime, the Honda CB750.  This SOHC CB750 is a 1975 model and looks pretty good.  Much as I love the Suzuki GS series I wouldn't mind one of these in the garage for it's historical significance if for no other reason.  Any early Honda Four fans out there?

« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 04:18:58 pm by Chris »
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Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 05:14:02 pm »
I know of one and i'm sure he'll pop in here.I always like them.Something hardly anybody knows is when I was getting back to riding after a 20yr hiatus I mentioned getting a bike at work and was told of one a coworkers brother had.A CB750.I thought boy that would be cool and for $700.I was all in and it did come home with me but it was 700 Shadow not a CB.Just missed owning one by thaaaattttttt much.
Marc

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Offline Deuce

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 09:42:12 pm »
Clearly I'm a big fan of the CB750. I can't wait until Dad's bike is on road again.
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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 08:58:05 am »
Looking a little farther back, today's charming photo shows a Henderson Four with a Jenny, combining two of my favorite things, aviation and motorcycling.  A lot of the early fliers were motorcyclists.  Slim Lindbergh rode a bike and Glenn Curtis was a famous early motorcycle racer before becoming an aviation tycoon.  I guess on a bike you're just flying at a lower altitude...

« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 04:21:56 pm by Chris »
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Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 05:23:15 pm »
 :21
Marc

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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2017, 06:41:26 pm »
In the late 60s and early 70s the Ron Woods team ran a series of immaculately prepared Norton racers in AMA Flat Track ridden by Alex Jorgenson and Dave Aldana.  One of his bikes became the only Norton to ever win a dirt track mile race. It was also the last Norton to earn AMA Championship points.   Here’s a famous shot showing Alex and his Norton pretty sideways and looking great.  This photo also shows why Flat Track is very cool to watch!

« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:03:30 pm by Chris »
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Offline midknight

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 04:26:43 pm »
Very cool photos. Interesting to see pics of bikes before my time.

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk


Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2017, 04:45:03 pm »
Dave Aldana isn’t a name you hear much anymore but back in the 70s he was a real force in American motorcycle racing. Aldana was a Latino kid from Southern California whose dad and an uncle were motorcyclists.  He started short track dirt racing in SoCal and moved on up the AMA racing ladder along with contemporaries like Kenny Roberts.  Aldana’s name eventually became mostly associated with production based road racers and this photo shows him on Yoshimura’s Kawasaki Z1 at Daytona in 1975.  Starting out Aldana’s “take no prisoners” riding technique earned him the nickname “Rubber Ball” because of his ability to bounce right back up after scary looking crashes.  His reply to that was his famous trademark “skeleton” leathers seen in the photo here. He retired from racing in ‘85 but stayed involved in the sport for decades afterwards.  Aldana was a great rider and a fierce competitor who more than earned his spot in the AMA Hall of Fame.


Dave Aldana at Daytona 1975


Dave Aldana and Kenny Roberts
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:05:08 pm by Chris »
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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2017, 12:50:43 am »
In the early 1960s motorcycling in the US had a profound image problem.  Thanks to movies like “The Wild One” and main stream magazine articles about “outlaw cycle gangs” the average citizen thought motorcycles were for criminals and ne’er do wells.  Just showing up on a motorcycle could be a reason for the cops to check you out. The movie “Easy Rider” in no way exaggerated how bad things could be for a rider in those days.  I can easily remember having to leave my bike and riding gear parked around the corner to get a room in a motel and I was a short haired and clean cut young GI.  I also was refused service at gas station in North Carolina once because I was riding a bike, a ‘72 Suzuki GT250 as I recall. 

And yet, even with motorcycles being frowned on here, the size of the American motorcycle market made it attractive to young and hungry foreign motorcycle manufacturers like Honda.  Honda was already a major success in Japan but was just starting to work towards its dream of international export success.  Succeeding in America seemed unlikely though.  The American market was dominated by big bikes like Harleys, Triumphs, BSAs and Nortons.  At that point the biggest Honda was 305cc.  The folks in America who were already riders wanted big bikes.  The folks who weren’t riders thought motorcycles were only for hoods and neanderthals.  So how could Honda sell its very good but very small bikes to Americans if the riders didn’t want small bikes and most Americans didn’t want bikes at all?

Simple, convince the Americans that don’t ride that motorcycles are good for you and then sell them a nice Honda.  And so in 1963 Honda started a 12 year ad campaign to convince America that movies, magazines, and TV were all wrong about the kind of people who rode bikes.  As a matter of fact, they promised, you’ll meet the nicest people on a Honda!  The ads often said exactly that.  And even if they didn’t, they showed smart, attractive, fashionable people having a lot of fun on a Honda motorcycle.  And they made no bones about Hondas being small and even made it seem attractive.  The ads were run in major mainstream magazines like Time and LIFE because they weren't aimed at existing motorcyclists.  The people Honda wanted to sell to didn't already own or ride motorcycles.  The ad campaign worked!  To the new youth market that was just getting started as the Baby Boomers reached their teenage years a big bad Harley might send the wrong message.  But the little Hondas in the ads were something that you might just convince parents to go along with.  The reshaping of public attitude worked so well that Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys wrote a hit song about a Honda 50 and released it in the summer of ‘64.  I’ve taken the liberty to highlight some things in the lyrics that show how the Honda campaign had changed American motorcycling perceptions:


Little Honda

Lyrics

Go!

I'm gonna wake you up early cause I'm gonna take a ride with you.
We're goin' down to the Honda shop, I'll tell you what we're gonna do.
Put on a ragged sweatshirt, I'll take you anywhere you want me to.

First gear, it's all right (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Second gear, I'll lean right (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Third gear, hang on tight (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Faster, it's all right.

It's not a big motorcycle,                    (Note: The point is being made that this isn't one of
Just a groovy little motorbike.                      those threatening bikes.  It's not what those bad guys
It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys,       ride.   It's fun and safe for a teenager!)
That two-wheeled bike.

We'll ride on out of the town
To anyplace I know you like.

First gear, it's all right (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Second gear, I'll lean right (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Third gear, hang on tight (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Faster, it's all right.

It climbs the hills like a Matchless,   (Note:  Small is good!)
Cause my Honda' built really light.

When I go in to the turns
Better hang on tight.
I'd better turn on the lights
So we can ride my Honda tonight.

First gear, it's all right (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Second gear, I'll lean right (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Third gear, hang on tight (Honda, Honda, go faster, faster)
Faster, it's all right.


So, by the mid-60s Honda’s ad campaign and the reshaping of public attitudes was working and Honda was selling it’s little bikes in the US by the boat load, mostly to people who had never had a motorcycle before.  American roads were populated with Honda 50s, 90s, 125s, 160s and 305s.  Then Honda, deciding it was time to attempt to win over the experienced riders, dipped it’s toe into the big bike pond with it’s 450 DOHC twin which gained something of a reputation as a giant killer.  Capitalizing on it’s experience in the Grand Prix wars, the company decided it was time for a Honda motorcycle able to compete head to head with any other bike.  In ‘68 Honda introduced its SOHC CB750 Four.  And the rest, as they say, is history. 

When I see these ads now, I can't help but think our modern motorcycling world, where riding a bike is widely accepted and even approved of by John Q. Public, wouldn't have been possible without them.



Here are a sample of the ads that helped change how America thought about motorcycles:




CB125 ad



Nicest People tuba ad




CB160 ad




Nicest people cartoon ad

« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:20:09 pm by Chris »
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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2017, 07:43:51 am »
Here's a charming photo that a rider posted to another forum showing his Grandad and Grandmom back in the late 40's.  I'd say Grandad has every right to look pleased.   ;D


« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:19:37 pm by Chris »
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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2017, 04:21:14 pm »



Homage to the King!  "King" Kenny Roberts, Daytona, 1982
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:21:29 pm by Chris »
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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2017, 02:44:48 am »
How's this for contrast?  A photo of the original winner of the first Isle of Man TT compared to a photo of Michael Rutter winning the 2016 Senior TT last June on a BMW S1000rr.  I was there and I promise you, he was FLYING!




2016 Isle of Man TT Winner
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:26:52 pm by Chris »
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Offline SpareParts

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2017, 05:15:19 am »
I always liked the looks of the old Honda Shadows.  My Dad had a 750 like this one.


Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2017, 05:25:01 am »
I always liked the looks of the old Honda Shadows.  My Dad had a 750 like this one.



I had a friend at Spangdahlem in Germany who had one of those.  The styling didn't really grab me but the darn thing worked really well and I got some riding time in on German back roads on his.  Harry's bike had surprisingly good handling and better than expected power in the mid range if not a lot of punch up top.  The shaft drive was very nice.
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Offline gl1dinorider

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2017, 03:58:47 pm »
I always liked the looks of the old Honda Shadows.  My Dad had a 750 like this one.



yeah, me too.

of course, i always liked the mid 80s nighthawks too.
What does "riding season" mean?

Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2017, 05:09:07 pm »
Thats what I started back to riding on.Nice bikes.
Marc

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Offline SpareParts

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2017, 08:14:43 pm »
Dad really liked Honda bikes and steered me towards a Honda for my first bike.  I got a Shadow VLX and really liked it.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:35:30 pm by Chris »

Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2017, 08:21:33 pm »
Indian bikes have a long history as a part of American motorcycle culture.  I'm glad they're back and look to make a go of it this time.


Relic of past glory


Flapper Girl on Indian

« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 08:20:08 pm by Chris »
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Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2017, 09:15:46 am »
Good to have an Old Man (not as old as me) like Chris with all his Info and MC History Experience.  :21

Keep on gettin' on  :happypep :happyrider as long as I can.
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2017, 01:53:27 pm »
Thanks for the kind words Paul.

Here’s a great shot of a 1976 Kawasaki KZ900.  The big Kwackers were a staple of 1970s motorcycling and the performance benchmark everybody else compared themselves to.  I covered the story a bit more comprehensively in an “Old School Speed” item you can find here:

http://easttnbikers.com/index.php?topic=6962.0



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Offline El Borrego

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2017, 03:31:24 pm »
I believe a fellow in Kodak has one of the KZ900 bikes.  His looks like new as he restores Classic Bikes.

Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2017, 05:41:36 pm »
 :happypep I'm enjoying this thread.Thanks Chris for sharing your knowledge with us.
Marc

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Offline Chris

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Movie stars
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2017, 11:59:03 am »
Our friend Larry Wallace (Deuce on this forum) sent me this via Facebook to be included here.  It's a fun look at famous movie bikes that we all know from the silver screen.  Thanks Larry!  Good find!

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Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2017, 06:34:02 pm »
 :21
Marc

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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2017, 08:21:36 pm »
Motorcycles played their part in WWII on both sides.  A motorcycle’s ability to go where no car or truck could made them pretty useful to the military of the day.  The manufacturers on all sides made variations of the bikes they had been making before the war and so the British tended to have 500cc singles, the Americans 750cc v-twins, and the Germans 750cc boxer twins.  Here are some photos and a not so surprising conclusion about which bike was the best.

The Brits used motorcycles quite a bit in mostly communications roles.  Probably the most common was the BSA M20, a side valve 500cc single that pumped out 13 hp.  Used mainly for courier duty it was also pressed into service with military police units.  (They are still fairly common today and are an easy and inexpensive entry into the world of antique military vehicles.  Careful though..that's a really expensive hobby to get into.)



Lt Murray Williams, HQ Co., 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, riding a Matchless G3L 350cc ohv single during the advance from Lembeck through Coesfeld Germany


British “Red Cap” military police on a BSA M20 meet up with American MPs in 1944



Restored BSA M20

The German Army was the biggest user of motorcycles in World War II by a large margin.  The Germans used all sorts of light motorcycles but favored the flat twins by BMW and Zundapp for heavy duty sidecar use.  The BMW R75 was a wonder, able to carry 1,000 pounds of payload, more than its own 920 pound weight.  It was able to do this because of its ultra reliable torque rich motor coupled to a shaft drive system that also drove the sidecar wheel which helped power the rig through mud and sand like no other wheeled vehicle of the time.  The Russians were so impressed by the R75 that Stalin himself set up the Imzak-Ural factory to make copies of the BMW machine. (Which is why Russian Ural motorcycles look like WWII German bikes to this day.) 


The Wehrmacht on two wheels


Goes through anything...almost.


BMW Sidecar rig



The Americans had Harley and Indian making bikes, the most famous of which is the H-D WLA 750cc flat head v-twin.  The bike was so common with American units (88,000 built during WWII) that it became normal for a WLA leading the US columns to be the first American vehicle into a newly liberated town.  This led to the nickname “Liberator” being sometimes applied to the bike.  But, interestingly, the WLA was slated for replacement after the North Africa campaign.  During North Africa, where the sandy conditions overwhelmed air filters and caused drive chains to wear out, US Army officials noticed that the captured German BMWs worked far better in the field than the Harley.  At the Army’s insistence Harley reverse engineered a new model, the H-D XA from captured BMWs.  The XA was excellent, but only eventually built in limited numbers.  Why?  Because the Army, thinking things over, decided what they really wanted was more Jeeps!  So Harley stuck with making the less complicated and less expensive WLA until the end of the war.




Harley Davidson WLA



Harley Davidson XA[/center]


So which was the best motorcycle of World War 2?  It has to be the BMW R75, which was so good both the Russians and Americans copied it for their own armies.  It would be hard to beat that as a commendation for the BMW designers.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:52:47 pm by Chris »
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Offline Chris

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Re: Internet Motorcycle Photos
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2017, 04:54:12 am »
Ducati’s have always been special.  They march to a different drummer and build things their own way.  Sometimes what they do makes a lot of sense...other times, not so much.  But, win or lose, they almost always end up looking great.

They started as one of many small Italian makers turning out small road bikes.  Even then, they aimed at the more sporting end of the market.  Their 1962 250 Mach 1 single was the fastest quarter litre bike of the time being able to hit almost 100mph.  The line of unusually fast small singles designed by Fabio Taglioni using desmodromic valve actuation in 250cc, 350cc, and 450cc displacements were often used as small bore racers and established Ducati’s reputation for fast bikes.  They collectively were nick named Ducati’s “Ice Creme Cone” singles from the shape of the cylinder.  Later, Ducati basically wedded two of those cylinders on a new set of cases to make it’s first famous L-twin bikes.

Those early bevel drive desmo twins put Ducati firmly on the performance map with famous wins at Imola in the early 1970s.  One was also campaigned in AMA Superbike in the 70s by Cook Neilson and Cycle magazine and the did very, very well against the Japanese factories running on a shoe string budget. They even managed to win Daytona!  The bevel drive twins (modern Ducks use a belt) culminated in the 900SS series in the late 70s.  Now cherished collectors items, they are rarely seen on the roads anymore.  That’s a shame as they were great bikes, long legged and stable in fast sweepers like nothing else available back in the day.




1967 Ducati 350


1974 Ducati 350 Sport


Fabio Taglioni with a 864cc round case racer - 1973 


1974 750SS Imola Racer Replica


Cook Neilson on “Old Blue”, Cycle Magazine’s 750SS AMA Superbike racer


900SS square case


1975 900SS


1975 900SS


Ducati 750SS on the cover of RideX magazine.  RideX is a lavishly illustrated Japanese “comic book” featuring old bikes in stories set in Japanese bike culture.  Sort of...kinda...(sigh)...Ride's hard to explain and I'm pretty sure I don't understand it.  But I love the artwork showing 1970s motorcycles.


« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 10:15:31 pm by Chris »
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1978 GS1000C / 1979 GS1000S / 1981 CM400C / 1986 RG500 GAMMA / 1988 R100RS / 1991 K100RS / 1997 GSF1200 BANDIT