Rare & All Original Rotary: 9K Mile 1976 Hercules W-2000 Wankel

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This 1976 Hercules W-2000 (serial 480005185) is one of 1,800 built in Germany between 1974 and ’77. One of only a handful of production Wankel rotary engine-powered motorcycle designs, this one is said to be all-original with 8,550 miles from new, and it looks quite well-preserved in photos. The seller adds that it starts very easily, and runs and rides like new. Find it here on eBay in Chicago, Illinois with reserve not met. Special thanks to BaT reader Kyle K. for this submission.

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

The ad notes that “all-original” claims extend to the paint, seat, and its pan, and all are claimed to be in very nice condition. A large gallery of high-resolution, well-lit and composed photos show this to be true, with the bike displaying just enough patina to let you know it hasn’t been restored. These rare machines pop up for sale from time-to-time, but it’s safe to say this one’s probably one of the best left outside of a museum.

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

Says the seller: “When I purchased this particular machine, it was in the condition you see in the photos, but it did not run. I went through the entire machine and got everything working. All of the major engine, transmission, and braking components are operational. The tires are very nice and are the correct type and size. The brakes have also been completely rebuilt, front and rear. The engine and transmission are original and are in perfect running condition.”

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

As can be clearly seen below, Sachs designed and built these bikes’ 294cc, single-rotor Wankel. Output was about 30 HP at 6,500 RPM, and all but the last 199 built required pre-mixed fuel. According to a quoted fact snipped posted in the full ad, these bikes run dry crankcases (so to speak–shaft housing may be a more accurate description), in contrast to the rotary-engined Suzuki RE-5. It also notes that mixed oil is not of two-stroke type. Still, it remains unclear whether this machine is an “Automix” model.

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

Power is routed through a 6-speed, and the full ad contains many interesting images scanned from contemporary and modern magazine articles covering both this bike and Suzuki’s Wankel two-wheeler. Criticized when new as expensive and slow with inadequate ground clearance, the passage of time has lessened the impact of its shortcomings, and enhanced its finer qualities like good build quality, simple, handsome styling, and gem-like engine.

Lean and Green – MotoHangar Virago XV750

Pat Jones has been running his MotoHangar workshop out of Vienna, Virginia now since 2010. During that time I’ve featured a handful of his builds on these pages and have always been a fan of his simplistic approach to customising classic Japanese motorcycles. His latest work, based on a 1983 shaft drive version of Yamaha’s XV750 Virago, is no exception. Unlike many of his other builds though, this one was turned around in a measly 3 weeks.
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60 Miles Per Year: Sorted 1978 Moto Guzzi V50

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This 1978 Moto Guzzi V50 is said to be all-original with only 2,288 miles added in the past 38 years. There’s no word on how it came to be so well-preserved, but despite the extremely low odometer reading, the seller claims that it run, shifts, and stops excellently. Cosmetics look very good as well, even better than the very similar 4,500 mile example featured back in 2011. Find it here on Craigslist in Tecumseh, Michigan for $5k. Special thanks to BaT reader Daniel R. for this submission.

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

The tank, fenders, frame, and wheels as well as all black metal, plastic, and rubber trim present excellently, with only light signs of use. The seller admits that both mufflers will need replacement, but adds that this is the bike’s only issue. Fortunately, one replacement is included. Notably, even the tires are said to remain original.

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

The little 500cc twin uses two valves per cylinder, and in long-standing Guzzi tradition, delivers its modest 45 HP (achieved at 7,500 RPM) to the rear wheel via shaft drive. It looks very clean installed in this example, with very little cosmetic evidence of heat cycling–check out those exhaust pipes.

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

Says the seller: “Everything on this bike is original as it came from the factory right down to the tires. It runs like a top, shifts smoothly as silk, and stops on a dime. All electronics work, turn signals, high and dim lights, brake and tail lights, horn, and electric start.”

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

Aside from another muffler, all it needs is more miles.

Simplicity Through Detail – Octavia BMW G650X

Some motorcycles are inherently exciting. Take for instance a Ducati 900ss, one of the new Thruxton Rs, the Norton Commando or a 6-cylinder Honda CBX… and we’ve all seen great customs based on exciting and nostalgic bikes. However, what I believe to be really special in the custom motorcycle world, is when someone takes a bike that doesn’t posses that initial appeal, and turns it into an absolutely lustworthy machine. Take for example what Jens Henkel of Hyde Designs in Cape Town, South Africa has done with his 2008 BMW G650X ‘Octavia’.
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Celebrating 35 years – the Suzuki Katana

My interest in motorcycles didn’t really blossom until around 15 years ago. My mother was a pessimist and me simply owning a BMX as a kid caused her enough stress. In fact I’m pretty sure that if I’d added an engine into the equation she would have had a nervous breakdown before I finished high school. This didn’t however stop me from taking notice of particularly cool motorcycles that were released during my younger years. One such bike that never failed to capture my attention was Suzuki’s mighty Katana and this year marks the legends 35th anniversary.
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Back to Basics – Guzzi V11 Cafe Racer

Moto Guzzi V11 Cafe Racer

In this super tech world we live in there seems to be a revolution happening in auto enthusiast circles. Rather than opting for vehicles packed with risk suppressing sensors and performance honing gadgets, many of us are opting for old school mechanics. We’re buying motorcycles that run on carbs, use cables for control and give you a physical workout when you ride them hard. There’s something visceral about a motorcycle that responds according to how much pressure you apply to it and it’s great to knowing that if something goes wrong you might actually be able to fix it yourself. Today’s build is the product of this train of thought. Omar Biagi is a 35 year old “Italian guy” and when he went searching for a donor bike electronics were the last thing on his mind.
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Retro Headwear – Nexx XG100 helmet

Nexx XG100 Motorcycle Helmets

Over the past few years there’s been a huge increase in demand for retro styled helmets. Thankfully helmet manufacturers have switched on to this fact and they’ve been answering our needs with some rather great looking lids. Chad Hodge nailed it with his design, which Bell went on to produce as their ‘Bullitt’ and American brand Biltwell did equally well with their full faced ‘Gringo’. One other company that’s also stepped up to the plate is Portugal based Nexx Helmets with their retro styled XG100.
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No Reserve: 1990 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy

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This 1990 Honda GB500 Tourist Trophy is a nicely preserved example of Honda’s tribute to the Isle of Man TT and has just 3,361 miles on the odometer. Imported to the US officially for just two years, these aircooled singles sold in limited numbers and predicted the rise of retro-styled bikes on the market today. This example remains factory-correct, has always been stored in a heated garage, and recently had its carburetor rebuilt. The bike comes with a clean Indiana title in the seller’s name.

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These large bore singles were meant to resemble Manx Norton and other single cylinder race bikes from the 1960s. The engine is derived from the 600cc unit used in the XL600 dirt bike, and appears largely similar, though with polished cases and a street bike-appropriate exhaust. The side panels on the GB500 were metal, rather than plastic as often used on bikes of this period.

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Honda dubbed the paintwork Black-Green, and from most angles appears black. Up close the green and metallic elements of the paint can be seen. Gold pinstriping and silver lettering show well, with no wear-through in the areas around the tank or the rider’s knees.

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Seat vinyl appears to be in good condition, and while the rear clamshell on the seat is removable the area beneath is too heavily sloped for 2-up riding. The seller collects cars and bikes and previously sold his 1952 BMW R68 on BaT last year.

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Instruments consist of a speedo and tach with a quintet of warning lights; four in the tach face and a side stand warning light below the speedometer. Metal, plastic and glass components all show well. 3,361 miles are shown on the 5-place odometer, and per the seller the bike has only been ridden about 25 miles in the eight years they’ve owned it.

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The engine is a 498cc single with split exhaust ports and four valves, and was good for a claimed 33 horsepower and similar torque when new. The seller’s mechanic recently rebuilt the round-slide carburetor and states the bike rode well on his test ride.

75cc Desmo Single: Two Mile 1958 Capriolo TV 75

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This 1958 Capriolo TV 75 (frame 32435) looks remarkably well-preserved, and comes with a great story. According to the seller, the bike was disliked by its original owner, and ended up stored in the back of a shop for decades, accumulating less than two total miles over the past 58 years. It hasn’t been started in some time, but is said to have good compression and spark. Find it here on eBay in Brooklyn, New York with a $5,695 BIN.

Other Makes Capriolo | eBay

Italy turned out some very pretty bikes in the 50’s and 60’s, and this Capriolo (soon renamed Aeromere the same year this bike was made) is no exception. Greenish-blue is an interesting and uncommon color for a bike of this heritage, and it complements the shapely steel nicely. Everything from the hand controls down to the Pirelli tires are factory original, and an OEM solo seat will also be included. There’s a gentle patina throughout, and a small ding can be seen on the fuel tank.

Other Makes Capriolo | eBay

The 75cc motor employs a desmodromic system, which replaced conventional valve springs with a lever mechanism towards the goal of avoiding valve float at high RPM’s. The 75 was the smallest motor in the marque’s lineup, but still managed to push nearly 7 HP. It’s an attractive, interesting little single, with nice castings and unusually intricate internals for such small displacement.

Other Makes Capriolo | eBay

According to the seller, the blueprints seen below are of the 75cc motor, and were photographed straight out of the original drawings owned by the same man who sold these bikes new under the Cosmopolitan Motors distributorship.

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A very cool find, with an interesting design history and good looks to boot. Get it running and rack up the miles.