BaT Event Coverage: 3600 Miles on Pre-1929 Bikes @ Motorcycle Cannonball

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We’re grateful to BaT reader wallyworldmt for the following photos of this year’s Motorcycle Cannonball, a grueling, fantastic sounding event for riders of bikes built before 1929. The route for 2018 stretched 3,600 miles between Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon, which would be quite a distance to cover on even a brand-new, fully-faired, heated-handgripped Honda Goldwing, let alone on a 100+ year-old single-cylinder, hard-tail, bone-shaker with a leather belt final drive and bicycle pedals for starting. Here’s what he had to say: “This year’s Motorcycle Cannonball, which ran from Portland ME to Portland OR, passed through Montana last week. These are all pre 1929 motorcycles and covered just over 3,600 miles in 15 days. The oldest bike was a 1909, which dropped out prior to Montana, but the oldest still running was a1911 (#9). Being from Montana, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shoot some photographs.  I have enclosed a link to the photo shoot I did during their run from Billings, MT to Great Falls, MT last Wed. I thought it might make a good feature for the BaT readers. If of any interest, pick and choose any you would like to publish on the site. Thanks for your consideration.” We’ve included them all here, Wally. Thanks again not only for the excellent photos, but for putting another cool event on our radar screen too! Photo Gallery

Interesting & Rare: Preserved 1963 Velocette Viceroy

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This 1963 Velocette Viceroy is one of only 700 manufactured by the English motorcycle company in the early 1960’s. According to the seller, the bike still wears its factory baby blue paint and remains in good running condition. Velocette was a staple in high-level international motorcycle racing from the mid-1920’s through early 1950’s, and made a name for itself around the world churning out reliable, well-built machines, some of which were quite fast and handsome. In a sign of the times the Viceroy of 1960-’64 swayed away from what the company had been known for, and was designed to compete not on the Isle of Man, but in the red-hot moped segment alongside strong-selling Lambrettas and Vespas of the day. The bike is highly unconventional, featuring a 247cc two-stroke horizontally-opposed twin, and sale includes a good deal of original documentation as well as a pair of factory workshop manuals. Find it here on Craigslist in Deltona, Florida for $7,700. The seller claims that this example was featured on the stand at the British International Motor show back in 1962, adding that sale includes the original workshop manual, service manual, and owners handbook. Says the seller: “It’s ugly, but it has it’s original light blue paint. This unit is up and running with new batteries and a clean title.” Paint does look as if it could remain original, showing plenty of patina but nothing approaching neglect or extreme wear. Someone’s painted “Conroy’s Follie” (sic) on the front of the scooter–maybe that’s Conroy himself standing adjacent to the bike in the ad. The scooter features a somewhat unorthodox drivetrain, as it’s powered by a 247cc two-stroke horizontally-opposed twin. The pistons in these boxer engines fire in unison and are known to sound more like a single. Power is transmitted from the flywheel through a drive shaft that connects to the rear-mounted 4-speed gearbox, which is quite unusual in itself as most bikes combine crank and trans cases in one casting. Output was factory rated at 15 horsepower which allowed a comfortable 65 mph cruise. Weight should be just over 300 lbs.  Velocette’s take on scooter design featured a very different layout from what was typical at the time.  Unique to this model was the fact that the engine was mounted up front, rather than under the seat as with most contemporary scooters. As a result, the Viceroy was reportedly very well balanced and said to possess surprisingly decent handling characteristics. Production of the Viceroy began in 1960 and ceased in 1964. It was one of the last new models drawn up by the firm, as they would close for good a few years later in 1971. Even so, the small, family-owned operation was very successful through the years and did well in the market against the much larger productions of Triumph, BSA, and Norton. All of their models were hand built and made to very high standards. The seller claims that this example was featured on the stand at the British International Motor show back in 1962, adding that sale includes the original workshop manual, service manual, and owners handbook.

No Reserve: 1968 Honda CB350

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This 1968 Honda CB350 was reportedly purchased new from Boise Honda in Idaho by a member of the military, who used it to commute to base before placing it into storage during the 1970s. Power is from a 325cc parallel twin with a 5-speed transmission. The bike was recently acquired by the seller, and subsequent refreshment included a new battery, chain, control cables, and tires as well as an oil change and adjustment of the valves, timing, cam chain, and brakes. The seller has added only five of the bike’s 8k indicated miles since completion of the work. This CB350 is now offered at no reserve with recent receipts, an owner’s manual, a period sales brochure, extra gauges, factory tool kit, and a clean Idaho title in the seller’s name. The CB350 was one of Honda’s most popular motorcycles with over 250,000 units sold, and 1968 represented its first year of production. This example is finished in Candy Blue and White and retains all of the correct 1968 features including the “8” markings on all hardware. The finish shows a number of age related chips and scratches, and the seller mentions minor corrosion on the rims and frame hardware consistent with a well kept 50 year old bike. The seat was recently recovered by Interior Revolution of Caldwell Idaho. The control cables have been replaced under current ownership. Approximately 8k miles indicated on the odometer. The tachometer was recently replaced due to the the needle being stuck at red line, but the speedometer needle is also noted to bounce at cruising speeds. An extra set of gauges is included in the sale.   The 325cc parallel twin features dual Keihin carburetors and produced 36 horsepower in stock form. Power is transferred through a 5-speed transmission and chain drive. Recent work included an oil change and adjustment of the valves, cam chain, timing, and brakes. The carburetors were cleaned and a new battery, cables, chain, and tires were installed. Although not pictured, the chain guard was re-attached after a repair to the front mounting tab and a new chain fitted. Chrome wire wheels wear fresh IRC tires. The seller will provide receipts for the recent work, though prior service records are unavailable.

1961 Gilera 98 Giubileo

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This 1961 Gilera 98 Giubileo was imported to the US from Italy several years ago and purchased by the seller in 2015. Power is from a 4-stroke single rebuilt and overbored to 125cc with a new  piston, rings, and gaskets. A valve job with new seats has also been performed and a new old-stock carburetor added along with a fresh battery, wiring, tires, and more. Shifting is through a 4-speed transmission. Approximately 300km (~186 miles) have reportedly been ridden since the rebuild. This Giubileo is offered with receipts for the recent work and a clean California title in the seller’s name. The Giubileo was introduced in 1959 to celebrate 50 years of Gilera production, and was available in 98cc and 124cc variants. This example shows chips, wear, corrosion, and other evidence of age in the detailed gallery photos below. The bike is fitted with period drop bars, a megaphone exhaust, and a 2-tone sport seat. The wiring harness, battery, and petcocks were recently replaced, and the 17″ wheels have been fitted with new tubes, rim bands, and Michelin tires. The chrome is flaking from the handlebars, and the seat has a tear on the leading edge. The control and speedometer cables have been replaced, though the seller notes that the speedometer needle is broken. Approximately 31k kilometers (~19k miles) are indicated on the odometer. Originally 98cc, the 4-stroke single was enlarged to 125cc when rebuilt. The cylinder was bored and an oversized piston and rings installed with fresh gaskets. A valve job was performed and an NOS Dell’Orto carburetor was installed. The oil was changed less than 100 miles ago, and a recent tune-up included a new coil, points, condensor, spark plug, cap, and wire. Shifting is through a 4-speed transmission. A ride-by video is provided above, with a second available here. Receipts are reportedly available for the machine work related to the engine rebuild, while previous records are unavailable.

No Reserve: 1968 BMW R69US

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This 1968 BMW R69US was purchased by the seller from the original owner’s family in 1990 and now shows 18,500 miles. Power comes from an air-cooled 600cc boxer twin mated to a 4-speed transmission, and a service was recently performed following 20 years of basement storage. Features include a period Avonaire fairing, Hella bar-end signals, and a folding tail rack. A Pentacom points plate was installed, and the recent work included a new battery, fuel lines, petcock seals, and an oil change. This R69US is now being sold at no reserve with the owner’s manual, tool kit, removed factory parts, and a clean Ohio title in the seller’s name. In 1968 BMW replaced the Earles fork front end with a lighter telescopic fork on all bikes destined for the US market. This example features an Avonaire fairing, 6.5-gallon fuel tank, touring seat, Hella bar-end signals, and a folding tail rack. The seller notes that the fairing was repainted to match the factory color. Slight corrosion is noted on the leading edge of the rear fender, and an abrasion can be seen on the left side of the fairing. Aftermarket mirrors have been fitted and the exhaust was replaced by the seller several years ago. The aluminum spoked wheels wear older tires that will need to be replaced before returning to the road. Touring bars are fitted, and the reverse-sweep VDO speedometer reads up to 120 mph. The odometer indicates 18,500 miles, about 7k of which were added by the seller over 28 years of ownership. The air-cooled 600cc boxer twin was originally rated at 42 horsepower, which the 4-speed transmission transmits to the rear wheel though a shaft drive. A Pentacom points plate has been added and adapts readily-available automotive points to simplify timing adjustments. The battery, fuel lines, and petcock seals were replaced, and all fluids changed with the exception of the fork oil. No service records are available, but the sale includes the removed points plate, a set of original-style keys, an owner’s manual, and a factory tool kit complete with the original shop cloth.

No Reserve: 2002 Ducati Monster S4

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This Ducati Monster S4 is said to be one of 50 imported to the US with the grey and red “Senna” color scheme for 2002. Power is from a 916cc V-twin mated to a 6-speed transmission, while modifications include an aftermarket seat and Arrow exhaust. The bike shows just under 2,000 miles and was purchased two years ago by the seller, who believes himself its third owner. Recent service included a new battery and replacement of the timing belts. This Monster S4 is sold with manuals, keys, and a clean Colorado title in the seller’s name. The grey and red Senna color scheme was a nod to that used for a limited run of earlier 916 models benefiting the foundation of the late Brazilian F1 champion. This example is fitted with an aftermarket Sargent seat and Arrow carbon fiber slip-on exhaust. The seller points out a scratch on the fuel tank and a ding below the fuel cap. The front end features inverted 43 mm Showa forks and dual semi-floating front disc brakes with Brembo 4-piston calipers. The front fender is made of carbon fiber, and the Marchesini 5-spoke wheels wear Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier tires. Power is from a liquid-cooled 916cc 4-valve V-twin with a 6-speed transmission. A recent service by Erico Motorsports in Denver, Colorado, included replacement of the timing belts and a new battery. Records for the work will be included, though service documentation from prior to current ownership is unavailable. Controls and instrumentation are shown up close in the gallery below, with the latter including a digital odometer indicating just under 1,950 miles. Factory supplied manuals, keys, and paperwork will be provided to the new owner.

1971 BMW R75/5

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This 1971 BMW R75/5 is powered by a 750cc horizontal twin with a 4-speed transmission and was reportedly stored for 15 years before being purchased by the seller two years ago. Subsequent work reportedly included a cosmetic refurbishment with fresh paint, new fork boots, and polished wheels, while mechanical service consisted of a carburetor rebuild and oil change as well as the installation of a new starter and spark plugs. The seller has added 300 of the bike’s 14k indicated miles since completion of the work. This R75/5 is sold with a clean Florida title in the seller’s name. The tank was cleaned and repainted in traditional black along with the fenders. Both were reportedly pin striped by hand, and chrome side covers added. The fork boots and header pipes were replaced, while the factory-style mufflers were cleaned and detailed. Polished items include the valve covers, timing cover, air box, and wire wheels, the last of which are mounted with newer Michelin tires. The R75/5 featured a combination speedometer/tachometer in the headlight shell, with the gauge also including a 5-digit odometer indicating 14k miles. The air-cooled 750cc horizontal twin was originally rated at 50 horsepower and features features both electric and kick starters. Power is sent to the rear wheel through a 4-speed transmission and shaft drive. Recent work included a new starter, battery, and spark plugs as well as oil changes for the engine and transmission. The dual Bing carburetors were also rebuilt, though the seller notes they will require additional tuning. A compression test reportedly revealed 150psi in each cylinder. The sale includes a set of original-style keys as well as a factory tool kit in the under-seat tray.

Factory NSU Car Power: 1971 Münch Mammut 1200 TTS

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This 1971 Münch Mammut (Mammoth) is one of 478 NSU Prinz-engined bikes built, around 220 of which are known to remain. Built to order around the small German car’s lightweight, air-cooled, rear-mounted OHC four cylinder, no two Mammuts are exactly alike, and this one is particularly interesting for its use of an 85-horse 1200cc version–most came fitted with 1000cc units making about 30 hp less. Despite their physical size and gawky (but endearing) looks, these bikes weighed a reasonable-for-the-day 485 pounds, and in 1200 spec were capable of hitting 100 mph in around 10 seconds. Handling was decent as well, thanks to a Norton-style frame, and reflecting their high price and exclusivity, Mammuts were packed full of interesting features like an oil bath chain case that doubles as the swingarm’s left half. This one looks great, and is described by the seller as being in “near new and pristine condition.” Find it here on Gallery Aaldering in Brummen, Netherlands for 157,500 euros (~$183k USD today). Special thanks to BaT reader Kyle K. for this submission. Described in the ad as a “Kraftfahrzeugmechaniker” or motor mechanic, Friedrich Münch was born in 1927, served as a technician in the Luftwaffe, and in 1948 opened a Horex motorcycle shop. He then designed a series of bikes utilizing Horex parts, but when a friend introduced Münch to the NSU Prinz’s engine, development turned towards the Mammut. While today we’d call it a superbike, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s this kind of spec was simply mind-blowing. From the rear everything looks fairly conventional but appearances can be deceiving. Aircraft-quality Elektron magnesium alloy was used for the mudguards, swingarm (incorporating a structural oil-bath chain housing on the left), fork bridges and footrests. Interestingly, wheels often failed when their spokes were stripped from their housings due to the engine’s torque–additionally, rear tires could be expected to last as little as 100 miles. Here’s what makes the Mammut; an air-cooled, sohc 200cc inline-four sourced from NSU and capable of propelling the big bike to 60 mph in around four seconds. Modifications included fitting a new gearbox and clutch, as well as reworking of the engine’s sump, carburetors and exhaust. Check out the Münch branded gauges. The odometer clearly displays the claimed 5007km, and for those who are curious 250 kp/h is roughly 155 mph.

1966 Velorex 16/350

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This 1966 Velorex 16/350 comes from the final generation of the soft-skinned 3-wheeler and is powered by a 350cc Jawa 2-cylinder engine with a 4-speed manual transmission. The car features a red tubular frame and fenders with a textured brown leatherette skin and black canvas top. This Velorex is has spent six years in the personal collection of the selling dealer and is titled as a motorcycle, and is offered with a clean Indiana title. Brown leatherette bodywork is stretched over a red tubular steel structure with matching fenders for all three wheels. Headlamps, turn signals, and tail lights protrude through the bodywork, and the bonnet and top are secured with turn-button fasteners. The black canvas removable top features a flexible rear window and fits over a fixed tubular structure which forms the roof and window frames. The interior features a red vinyl seat and brown leatherette door panels along with a wood dash and floors. A 3-spoke steering wheel sits ahead of the sole instrument, a Skoda-sourced speedometer with a 5-digit odometer showing 1,600 miles. The footwell and pedal assembly is pictured above. The fuel tank is mounted to the tubular frame above the pedals, and the battery would normally occupy the space forward of the passenger’s feet. A canvas tool roll is included in the sale. The 350cc Jawa twin is paired with a 4-speed manual transmission and its case carries number 572-3-003500. The car has received general maintenance from the seller’s mechanic while part of his collection, which is operated under a dealer license.

1973 BMW R75/5

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This 1973 BMW R75/5 was recently acquired by the selling dealer from the original owner, who received the bike as a gift from his father at age 15. It now shows 57k miles and is powered by a 750cc boxer twin mated to a 4-speed gearbox. The bodywork is finished in orange, and the bike is also equipped with BMW hard cases. The seller has performed an oil/filter change and an inspection, and this R75 is now being offered with a factory owner’s manual and backrest, as well as a clean Texas title. 1973 was the final year of the /5 model, which was capable of a 110 mph top speed when new. The bike came standard with telescopic front forks and a 12-volt electrical system. This example features an orange tank and front fender, as well as three BMW hard cases mounted out back. The single instrument includes both a 120 mph speedometer and an 8k rpm tachometer. 57,305 miles are shown on the odometer. A factory backrest will also be included in the sale, though it is not pictured. The air-cooled boxer twin is mated to a 4-speed gearbox and sends power to the rear wheel through a shaft drive. The seller noticed a drop of oil underneath the motorcycle when he recently picked it up from the original owner’s garage, where it had been parked since April of this year. An oil and filter change has since been performed, and an inspection reportedly included checking the fluid levels and systems. No service records were provided by the original owner, though an owner’s manual and tool roll are included as shown in the gallery below. The selling dealer also reports that a Texas state inspection will be completed before the new owner takes possession.