Three-Wheel Drive: 1960 Moto Guzzi Mulo Meccanico

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This 1960 Moto Guzzi Mulo Meccanico isn’t the first military trike to be featured on BaT, but it’s definitely the most unusual. Known by the Italian Army as the Autoveicolo Da Montagna (mountain vehicle), it’s an all-wheel drive machine powered by a 750cc V-twin and intended to transport ground troops and field artillery over difficult terrain quickly–it could reportedly conquer inclines of up to 31 degrees. Caterpillar tracks could be fitted to the rear wheels, but a number of fatal accidents due to inherent instability at speed led to their discontinuation after just three years of production. The seller says this one remains all original and in perfect working order with all accessories including said tracks. Find it here at Garlatti Moto in Verona, Italy for 17k euros (~$21,300 USD today–see inventory page for price). Special thanks to BaT reader Kyle K. for this submission. The cockpit sports a thickly padded seat and integrated backrest, and the fuel tank is mounted directly behind and features a pair of storage lockers. The vertical hoop appears to be a grab handle for rear passengers, the bed is of a decent size, and the rig can reportedly tow/haul a combined load of 1,100 pounds. Tracks are seen sitting inside the bed–unfortunately no photos of them fitted are provided. A speedometer is the only instrumentation provided, and its odometer shows 3,357 kilometers. The front wheel assembly is quite an interesting piece of engineering, as it integrates a bevel gear system for the steering wheel, front wheel drive shaft, shock absorber and drum brake all in a monotube fork. Check out the wide gated shifter too, for selecting six forward speeds or one reverse. The V-twin is able to handle poor quality fuel due to low compression, and displaces 754cc with a power rating of just 20 HP–20% of which is routed to the front wheel. Other features include a waterproof ignition coil, and the ability to adjust track width on the fly. For reference, here’s a photo of another example fully kitted out with rear tracks, front tire chain, and spare wheel mounted behind the fuel tank. We’ve never heard of this model before, but this video gives a pretty good idea of its capability.

The Half Next Era 200 – Ask MC Honda TLR200

The Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod & Custom Show is a playground for large capacity custom motorcycles. American manufactured machines dominated the 2017 show with a glut of Harley-Davidson Shovelhead, Panhead, and Knucklehead choppers on display. However, despite this trend, every year without fail there are a handful of Japanese builders who defy the chopper and bobber trends. Rad Yamamoto of Tokyo’s Ask Motorcycles is one such builder and what his bikes lack in capacity they make up for with outlandish styling and skillful craftsmanship.
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Riding Gear – AGV X3000 Legends Helmets

Italian manufacturer AGV has been protecting riders’ heads for seventy years now. To celebrate, they’ve released their Legends Collection, a line of vintage-inspired motorcycle helmets. The full-face X3000 has all the style and class of the 1960s helmet worn by World Champion Giacomo Agostini, yet still satisfies AGV’s high standards of modern helmet safety.
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La Impetuosa 1262 – Valtoron Ducati Diavel

I’ve had many conversations with custom enthusiasts about dying crafts. Skills that have been replaced due to advancements in technology or simply because people are happier to look for easier solutions. Though, in the pages of Tank Moto Magazine, you’ll find motorcycles that have been modified using techniques that were first developed centuries ago. Not because the builder didn’t have any other option, but because they recognize the importance of the skills and admire the dedication it takes to master them.
Brothers Pablo and Carlos Delgado, the driving force behind Spanish workshop Valtorón, are the perfect example of this. Where others would opt to use CNC mills or fiber composites the brothers painstakingly sculpt their creations by hand before casting them using age-old sand casting techniques. By mastering these skills the Delgados have built some truly unique motorcycles and they captured the imagination of the marketing team at Ducati’s head office.

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BaT Auction Success Story: 1996 BMW R850R w/ Sidecar A Joy To Ride

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This just in from the buyer of the 1996 BMW R850R w/ Sidecar that was purchased via BaT Auctions on 07/31/17 (link): “I’m incredibly happy that the auction for my R850R happened when it did. I’ve been riding since I was a kid and commuted daily on motorcycles for over 20 years, and the entire time I have been fantasizing and talking about a sidecar rig. Finally my wife got sick of me talking about it and told me if I took the class for the 3-wheeled endorsement (which is separate from a 2-wheeled endorsement in Washington State) and actually liked riding a sidecar rig I could get one. The 2-day class was scheduled for a weekend, and a few days before it started this auction popped up. The bike is perfect, modern but classic, clean lines, and the BMW boxer engine I always dreamed about next to the sidecar. It’s even in my favorite color. After I took the class I was in love, sidecar biking was definitely for me, so I told my wife and she said “Well, I guess you should start looking for one you like”, and I immediately pointed at the screen on my laptop and said “I want this one!”. She was very supportive and even watched the end of the auction from home and messaged me the entire time about how exciting it all was. The biggest problem was getting it shipped from Chicago to Seattle. Car shippers didn’t want it and motorcycle shippers didn’t know what to do with it. After almost a month I finally found a company that would ship it for about double what I originally planned, but they did a great job and got it here on time and in perfect condition, so I was happy about it in the end. I’ve been riding it as often as possible since, though the rainy Seattle weather doesn’t help,and put about 3K miles on it since it got here. The front Ohlins shock needed a rebuild, it was leaking and didn’t have any damping in it, but there is a great suspension shop not far from here and they know the guy who built the sidecar, so they rebuilt it and set it up for me perfectly. Everything else has been clean and utterly reliable and its a real joy to ride. Even my dogs like it! Adam C. @NinjaHamster“

Gear Review – Arkiv Modular Backpack

A backpack for any occasion.

As a motorcyclist, finding the right backpack can be challenging. For years I’ve struggled to find a solution that fulfills all of my day to day needs so my only option has been to own several of them. I have a small bag for carrying my work gear (laptop, books, etc) and a larger bag with enough storage space for a weekend away on the bike. I could, of course, go out and buy panniers and a tank bag but let’s face it they’re not the most aesthetically appealing addition to a café racer. Thankfully there is an alternative.
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Roads We Ride – Commuting in Sydney

The Roads We Ride series continues this year with more insights into some of Sydney’s best-known riding roads and how to safely navigate them. This time around rather than heading out into the countryside we tag along with Jimi Swan on his Royal Enfield 500 during his ride to and from work.
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Simply Stunning – NitroCycles Suzuki GS850

“Make it simple”. With those few words, the owner described to me what he was after. I insisted we sat together a while longer so I could coerce a few more fragments of information out of him. As I dug deeper I deducted that what he really wanted was a bike built using an authentic cafe racer approach. A motorcycle that followed in the footsteps and upheld the values of the motorcycles built and ridden by the ‘50s ton up boys. We already had the donor bike at the workshop, a Suzuki GS850G so we I waste any time getting started.
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Formerly FRKNSTN – Hermanus Ducati Sprint Racer

Following in the footsteps of champions is no mean feat. Before the dust had even settled at the end of the 2017 ‘Sultans of Sprint’ series a pair of aspiring racers were working a deal with the winners to purchase their bike.
The 2017 European Sultans of Sprint series was won by Amir Brajanand and Flo Hubert of Germany’s Mellow Motorcycles. Their entry into the series was dubbed FRKNSTN, a heavily modified Honda CB750 frame containing an even more heavily modified Ducati 1000DS engine. 2017 was Mellow Motorcycles debut to sprint racing and what a way to kick things off. With a trophy under their belts they promised to return for the 2018 series, so why sell their winning bike? We can only assume to build something faster and what better way to motivate themselves to do so than to race against their own prize-winning creation.

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New Order – Custom Triumph Speed Triple

“The integration of post-punk, electronic and dance music made New Order one of the most critically acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s, but that brilliance came out of tragedy. The members were originally part of the band Joy Division until the lead singer Ian Curtis tragically committed suicide. I was always more partial to the latter band so when I laid down my 2009 Triumph Speed Triple the notion was to create something better out of the catastrophe than what came before.” Says LA-based photographer, Stan Evans.
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