Green & Orange Airhead: $5500 1974 BMW R90/6

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This 1974 BMW R90/6 looks like and sounds to be a nice rider, the seller suggesting that it would be equally at home being used as a commuter or long-distance cruiser. Green is a pretty unusual color for these bikes, but in combo with an OEM-style fairing and a nice solo Corbin saddle, it works really well here. Find it here on Craigslist in South Lake Tahoe, California for $5,500 or trade for listed vehicles. Special thanks to BaT reader AMF for this submission.

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Further helping its looks, the bike appears to be fitted with a lower set of Euro market-spec OEM handlebars, a much more cohesive style when compared with the virtual ape-hangers fitted to US models as standard. Primary green with orangey-red pinstripes is a very 70’s look, but we think it works very well. Elsewhere, chrome and stainless shine nicely, and the above-mentioned Corbin leather solo saddle is a nice piece. The yellow open-face helmet is a nice match, too, but may not be included.

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No mechanical details are provided beyond the mention of electric and kick starting options, but condition sounds to be good and things certainly look to be in good order from here, with no visible oil weeping or head damage, the latter of which is a good indicator of the bike having been dropped in the past.

Unrestored Runner w/ Great Patina: 1952 Simplex Servi-Cycle

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This 1952 Simplex Servi-Cycle is claimed to be virtually all original excluding its tires, the seller further claiming that it starts, idles, runs, steers, rides and stops very well despite having accumulated just 10 or so miles in the past 15 years. Simple, rugged machines built in New Orleans and largely unchanged from 1935 until 1960, this one has a wonderful patina and color combination. Find it here on eBay in Reno, Nevada for $7,500 OBO.

1952 Other Makes Simplex Servi Cycle | eBay

The seller believes that the bike may be a lifelong Reno resident, claiming that their father remembers it being on display in the front window of a local bike shop where he was employed. Afterwards it’s said to have been in the Harrah Collection. The ad notes a few small dings and scratches, as well as as some light checking and a handful of other small, character-adding flaws, but overall condition looks outstanding, and we agree with the seller that these types of things only emphasize a machine’s originality.

1952 Other Makes Simplex Servi Cycle | eBay

Tires have been replaced, but are said to be exact replicas of the originals. Elsewhere, part of the Simplex-designed and built magneto’s cover has been J-B Welded to fix a crack, and the seller rightly recommends it be removed, repaired and re-polished. Despite this issue, the bike’s proprietary 130cc twin-plug, rotary valve, two-stroke single is said to be in excellent health. The drive belt has a few teeth missing, but the bike is said to accelerate and cruise well regardless.

1952 Other Makes Simplex Servi Cycle | eBay

Roughly four horsepower goes through a continuously variable transmission, and top speed should be about 40 MPH. Conceived as inexpensive and lightweight (~135 pounds) machines for young or beginner riders, Simplex’s founder Paul Treen was previously a Harley-Davidson dealer, and Milwaukee’s rejection of this concept was the impetus for production of Treen’s own design. Note the holes in the rear fender, which are believed to have been for a rack. Seat leather is original and shows some very nice weathering, but will need a few loose seems repaired with new thread.

1952 Other Makes Simplex Servi Cycle | eBay

As pointed out in the listing, these machines’ inexpensive, utilitarian nature meant that they were often ridden hard and simply tossed away at the first sign of real trouble, making even good restored examples pretty rare today. This one is probably the nicest we’ve ever seen.

Running Project: 1964 Velocette LE MkIII

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This 1964 Velocette LE MkIII (frame 641634) is being offered as a running, mostly original bike in need of some mechanical attention. Cosmetics look decent, with an attractive, light patina covering most surfaces, but one of the twin cylinders has a compression issue and fires erratically. These bikes were originally conceived as inexpensive, comfortable, and easy to operate machines, but advanced engineering kept prices high, and the model eventually became best known for its adaptation by British police. This one might be tricky to fix, but definitely seems worth the trouble. Find it here on eBay in Costa Mesa, California with reserve not met.

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Paint is noted to be original with the exception of a few small areas that have been retouched. There’s some light oxidation present here and there, but none seems to have advanced further than the surface and could probably be stopped from progressing fairly easily. The seat cover is also said to be original, and the somewhat dingy panniers appear to be as well. Tires look old, but hold air and have plenty of tread remaining.

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Instruments on these MkIII models were moved from leg fairings to a more conventional location on the headlight housing–also note the interesting ignition placement. Paint oxidation is a bit more noticeable here, and gauge trim shows some pitting. Instrument glass is a bit cloudy as well. The two gallon fuel tank just aft of a high-mounted glovebox is noted to have been cleaned and painted.

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These 192cc four-strokes were water-cooled, rubber mounted, and heavily silenced. As a result, they’re reportedly unusually quiet and comfortable to ride. Eight horsepower might not sound like much by today’s standards, but it was plenty for the style of riding this bike was designed for. This motor has over 27k miles logged so far, but will need a rebuild as the right piston currently misfires.

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The carb and fuel petcock were rebuilt at some point, and the bike retains its factory 6V electrical system. While not as cool or quirky as the earlier model’s hand-operated shift lever, this one’s pedal shift 3-speed gearbox is said to operate smoothly. The kick-start lever isn’t currently working, though the seller says it can be bump-started easily.

Factory Scrambler Style: 1968 Yamaha DT-1 Project w/ Parts Bike

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This 1968 Yamaha DT-1 is from the first year of production, and though not running at the moment, the seller says it will fire briefly on starting fluid, and overall condition looks ideal for restoration. A spare parts bike is included towards that direction, and it retains its headlight and gauges should the next owner wish to return to stock road/trail spec. Find them here on eBay in Reno, Nevada with no reserve beyond an unmet $1,500 starting bid.

1968 Yamaha Other | eBay

These were some of the very first Yamahas sold in large numbers in the US, and were preceded by lots of market research in which the company determined there to be a strong demand for machines with built-in off-road capabilities, a niche at the time mostly fulfilled by relatively exotic and expensive European made bikes like Ossa, Husqvarna, Bultaco and so on. Others built scramblers from British parallel twins, but Yamaha was among the only to offer a modestly priced, factory trail-ready dual-purpose bike in the US at the time.

1968 Yamaha Other | eBay

The bike shows evidence of a prior, partial, amateur restoration, as the tank, fenders and side panels have been repainted. The tank itself shows a bit of yellowing from some spilled gas, and is said to contain a bit of rust as well. The original seat is a bit tattered and will need to be recovered, but the stock taillight remains in place, and the parts bike seen below includes both gauges and headlight as well. The seller believes the oil injection pump has been bypassed, a fairly common occurrence back in the day.

1968 Yamaha Other | eBay

Says the seller: “The bike is not running at this time, it does kick over and I sprayed some starting fluid in the carburetor and it did momentarily fire. So there is spark and it will run, I can’t not guarantee it though because I haven’t actually heard it run and drive. It was amateur restored a long time ago and has been sitting for a long time. I do not have a title for the bike. I will provide a bill of sale for both bikes. Overall, this is a good bike to restore or just get running and use as a cool vintage dirt bike.”

Fully Automatic Racer: Low-Hour 1978 Husqvarna 390

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This 1978 Husqvarna 390 Automatic was purchased by the seller from its original owner two years ago. Bought as a pair, this one’s been restored, with attention spent on mechanicals as well as cosmetics, though it sounds to have been little used from the start, the seller speculating only 15 hours of riding time prior to being put into dry storage in 1980. These bikes have a very interesting back story involving the Swedish army, as well as some equally fascinating engineering–the 4-speed gearbox’s unusual but elegant inner workings for example, as well as the fact that its fitted in a full-race frame. Find this one here on eBay in Huntington Beach, California with a $7,500 BIN.

1978 Husqvarna 390 Automatic | eBay

Reads the meat of the ad: “Purchased from original owner in 2014. Bike has been completely worked on and tuned by Uptite Husky in Santa Ana, California. Runs as new, race-ready. Totally restored, frame and swing arm powder coated, exhaust ceramic coated. All new NOS clutch shoes, springs and related parts in transmission. New tires. Original paint on tank. Original seat. Has been in dry storage since 1980. I bought two of these from the original owner, who purchased this one for his wife in 1979. She may not have had 15 hours on the bike. She failed to allow it to idle before engaging the transmission. That’s why I needed to replace the 1st gear clutch parts with NOS parts. I did not restore the wheels, as new buyer may choose to ride in vintage events. I will include an extra green tank, original owner’s manual, and a California pink slip. A Husky speedometer will be installed.”

1978 Husqvarna 390 Automatic | eBay

According to this very interesting link, Husky originally developed these bikes in response to a request from the Swedish military, which required soldiers to be trained and fully adept at Enduro-style riding in as little as one week, the idea apparently being that once freed from having to manipulate a clutch and gearbox, green riders could instead focus on balance, weight transfer, and other riding techniques.

1978 Husqvarna 390 Automatic | eBay

From the above link: “Most of the bike was a direct lift from existing Huskys. This included the reed-valved, single-cylinder two-stroke engine and all the chassis. Only the gearbox was unique to the Auto and this fitted inside a regular Husky engine case. The heart of the gearbox was the clutch mechanism. Initially, drive was taken up by a centrifugal clutch, and then a series of a dog clutches engaged sequentially locating higher gears.”

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They continue: “It was brilliantly simple and even more brilliantly effective with bomb-proof reliability and faultless changes even under full power.” The article’s writer goes on to speculate that sales were ultimately hurt by the lack of engine braking and very slightly slower performance, largely thanks to four gears rather than the six in conventional Husky race bikes of the time.

Big Shaft-Drive Six: 1982 Kawasaki Z1300

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This 1982 Kawasaki Z1300 is one of a small handful of straight-six road bikes offered over the years, and though sold with minimal information, the bike is suitably unusual–and apparently well-preserved–to warrant a closer look. Offered over a ten-year period ending in 1989, this earlier, carbureted and conventionally sprung example will be slightly down on power compared with later, fuel-injected and air suspended bikes, but 120 HP and 85 lb. ft. is still impressive for a nearly 35 year old machine. Find this one here at Carollo Moto Classiche in Bassano del Grappa for 7,500 euros (~$8,200 USD today). Special thanks to BaT reader Paul C. for this submission.

Kawasaki Z 1300

Unlike Honda’s CBX, Kawasaki went with water-cooling, shaft drive and just two valves per cylinder. Displacement was nearly 250cc bigger than with the other Japanese six, and an undersquare bore/stroke (62 x 71mm) made for a more torquey, less revvy delivery. This one looks very well-preserved, though the ad is minimal and makes no mention of originality or the accuracy of 3k and change recorded kilometers.

Kawasaki Z 1300

Though quick, handling wasn’t great, and as such these big bikes are best suited to long, straight roads. This one appears to be all stock, and is an especially rare find in Europe–expense and thirst for fuel limited sales, especially outside of the US.

Kawasaki Z 1300

Here’s an interesting factory promotional cutaway image. Though quite big by bike standards at just under 1.3 liters, the bike’s relatively long stroke and small bore kept dimensions compact.

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Rare, mechanically interesting, fast and pretty good looking too, we don’t see these bikes for sale very often, especially as nicely preserved as this one appears to be.

Restored Big Twin: 1969 Laverda 750S

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This 1969 Laverda 750S (chassis 2569) is described by the seller as a “barn find,” and they’ve slowly been nursing it back to health over the past seven years. Following a full engine rebuild and a few other tweaks, the bike is now claimed to start easily and run very well. It looks incredible too. Find it here on eBay in Dundas, Ontario, Canada with healthy bidding up to $9,500 at the time of writing.

1969 Other Makes 750S | eBay

Traditionally a darker orange, photos may well be washing the tank and side panels out to appear more yellow. The frame, tank, and side covers were repainted during the build, and a new repro seat was also fitted. Up front, a new headlight sits front and center, along with new levers, cables, and switchgear for the Euro-spec, low-rise bars. Grimeca drums at both ends have replaced the stock units.

1969 Other Makes 750S | eBay

The bike didn’t have any gauges when the seller bought it, but good looking OEM replacements have since been installed. The seller admits that true mileage isn’t known, so instead the odometer reflects post-rebuild numbers. The speedo is also claimed to be somewhat inaccurate.

1969 Other Makes 750S | eBay

The big, 61 HP twin was completely torn down for rebuild, and had its bores honed before getting new pistons and rings installed. It now exhales through a new header and muffler set.

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The bike also has a fresh battery, has been completely rewired, and comes with a wiring diagram in PDF format–a very handy thing to have with any old bike, car or truck, particularly Italian ones.

No Reserve: 1959 Zundapp Bella R204 Scooter

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This 1959 Zundapp Bella R204 was purchased from known scooter collector and expert Kevin Johnson. This example is powered by its numbers-matching 200cc two-stroke engine that was rated at 10 horsepower when new and gave the bike a top speed of 75 mph. The scooter has an electric start and 12V power supplied by two 6V batteries. It was cosmetically and mechanically restored in 2008 while still in Europe, and it remains in good condition. This Bella is now offered at no reserve with a clean Washington title in the seller’s name.

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Zundapp was a German motorcycle manufacturer that existed from 1917 until its bankruptcy in 1984. After WWII, the company moved from motorcycles and aircraft engines into scooters and smaller bikes, producing the Bella from 1953-1964. Based on the Parilla Greyhound design, the scooter featured prominent air tunnels to allow fresh air to cool the engine without a fan, and existed in both 150cc and 200cc models.

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This example shows 27,578km (~17k miles), which is believed accurate but undocumented. The numbers-matching 200cc engine was fully overhauled during its 2008 restoration along with the gearbox and carburetor.

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During this time, the fuel tank was resealed and the scooter was fully rewired. The frame was powder-coated and the body received a bare-metal repaint that shows well. Note the signature daisy logo on the legshield. A new set of tires was also installed.

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Earlier Bellas featured a telescopic fork but by the late 50s, the front suspension was changed to an Earles-type leading link fork with a single suspension unit.

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Pictures of the chassis plate and corresponding stamping confirming the engine as original can be seen in the gallery below.

7K-Mile Straight-Six: 1979 Honda CBX

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This 1979 Honda CBX (VIN CB12009725) is a good looking example of the big straight-six, and the seller reports just one registered owner and 7k miles from new. The bike is further said to have spent most of its life in storage, and quite a bit of recent refurbishment work including rebuilt carbs, new tires, a fresh battery and more sound to have been a direct result of this disuse. It’s now said to start easily and run well however, and paint remains original and well-kept. Find it here on Craigslist in Redding, California for $12k.

1979 Honda CBX 6 cylinder , one owner , 7k miles

Undeniably the heart of these bikes, both from a visual and mechanical standpoint, Honda’s 1047cc, twin cam, 24-valve straight-six was a little jewel, and remains impressive today nearly 40 years since its introduction. Good for 105 HP and 135 MPH flat-out, the seller says this one benefits from professionally rebuilt carbs and a rebuilt alternator.

1979 Honda CBX 6 cylinder , one owner , 7k miles

Other recent work included fitment of a new battery (with added tender charging port), new fork seals, and fresh tires with a tread pattern that’s said to be close to OEM. Gauges are perhaps just a bit cloudy, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to rectify. The saddle has been recovered, but the seller claims that the pan and foam remain original and in good condition.

1979 Honda CBX 6 cylinder , one owner , 7k miles

Says the seller: “This bike starts and runs very well, and would be an excellent bike for the occasional weekend outing. The bike has never been in any kind of accident, nor has it ever been dropped. It still has it’s original Candy Glory Red Metallic paint, which shows very minimal normal signs of wear.The original mirrors are included , and in very good condition, they were just omitted for the photo shoot. The bike comes with the original Honda shop service manual and two Honda ignition keys. This bike was bought new in Southern California, and is rust free.”

Four Miles: 1973 Rokon RT340 TCR Automatic

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This 1973 Rokon RT340 TCR (chassis RT340170) is described as an “authentic, original survivor” in “museum condition.” The bike has had just two owners, and was recently brought out of long-term hangar storage. Reported to start, run, and stop well, the odometer shows an incredible four miles, and though the seller is unable to confirm this figure, condition suggests it could be true. Find it here on eBay in Canton, Georgia with a $15k BIN.

Other Makes Rokon 340 RT | eBay

Bright yellow paint just flat-out works on a vintage Enduro bike, and paint finish still looks essentially new here. Condition of plastics as well as the tank seem to back up long-term storage claims, and even the wheels retain their black paint with no apparent scuffs or marks. The bike reportedly had its frame powder-coated some two decades ago, and the only non-original item noted in the ad is a rack-mounted, leather-bound tool kit. Tires are old and cracked but look great–hopefully something appropriately vintage looking can be sourced should the new owner actually add some miles.

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The cockpit is as spartan as they come, with a simple plate-mounted speedo and magnified stopwatch holder. Another cool feature is the roll-chart mechanism mounted just below the speedo, that enabled the rider to scroll through maps during the ride and provided better visibility through magnification. Who needs a smartphone with GPS anyway?

This 335cc Sachs-built two-stroke single was good for 37 HP from the factory, and bikes were reported to be quite fast in a straight line, though handling reportedly left a little to be desired. A pull-cord start gives more backwoods reliability over an electric setup. The bike’s signature CVT was designed to keep the engine in its peak 6k-7k powerband, but was incapable of providing compression braking, definitely a mark against its maneuverability.

More well-used 340’s typically sell for under $5k, but will this one’s extraordinary level of preservation justify a 200% price increase? We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, it’s simply good to study a rare and interesting bike in unheard of condition.