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.

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.

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.

1966 BMW R50/2 and Duna Sidecar

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This 1966 BMW R50/2 motorcycle is a numbers-matching bike designed from the factory for sidecar use with sidecar mounting points built into the frame and an Earles fork. The seller purchased the BMW approximately 10 years ago and rode it for several years before sourcing a compatible Duna sidecar. He sent the sidecar to Wayne Carini’s F40 Motorsports for restoration and had it painted to match the BMW. Shortly after the restoration was completed the seller was involved in a serious accident on another motorcycle and hasn’t ridden since. The motorcycle and sidecar combo were never ridden, and four years later the seller has opted to sell so the next owner can enjoy them.

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The bike was restored prior to the seller’s purchase and remains in excellent cosmetic condition. The black paint is very nice with only minor patina and the dual Pagusa solo seats provide a great look. The chrome is in good shape with some minor wear around the speedometer trim ring.

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The sidecar is a Hungarian built Duna model from the early 1960s. The bodywork is aluminum for light weight and features distinctive “rocket-nose” styling. The bodywork and seat was restored to a high standard and remains in as-restored condition, having been in indoor storage since the work was done. While the sidecar is currently mounted to the bike the seller recommends it be taken to an expert before riding, as careful alignment is needed to keep the bike and sidecar stable.

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The 500 CC BMW flat twin is original to the bike, with matching numbers on the motor casing, frame, and data plate. The fuel tank is believed to be original as well. While the bike hasn’t been ridden in the past four years the seller runs it on a regular basis to prevent the fuel system from deteriorating due to lack of use.

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The bike shows 40k miles on the odometer, though there is no way to verify that the mileage is correct.

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The bike is sold with a bill of sale and the Connecticut registration, as the state doesn’t issue titles for vehicles more than 20 years old. The sidecar is attached but not set up or aligned for road use. The bike runs well but the combo will need some adjustment to be safe and usable.

First Automatic Scooter: Restored 1949 Salsbury Model 85

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This 1949 Salsbury Model 85 scooter is a rare example of a model first conceived during the Great Depression. Utilizing a patented CVT transmission, gas and brake pedals, and fantastic Art Deco styling, the Model 85 was introduced as an inexpensive alternative to car ownership and is often cited as the first automatic-equipped scooter. This one has been both cosmetically and mechanically restored, with work including an electric start conversion–the original kick and rope start options were retained as well. Find it here on eBay in Anamosa, Iowa with reserve not met.

Other Makes Model 85 | eBay

The styling is just fantastic, with long, low, sweeping lines and beautiful detailing everywhere. Red and black works really nicely here, offset with just enough gold lettering. All chrome and trim pieces look to have been refreshed as well–check out the lines on that front fender guard. The black leather seat appears to have been reupholstered, and is neatly integrated into the rear bodywork.

Other Makes Model 85 | eBay

Good for about 6.5 HP, the four-stroke, 250cc single is mated to a sophisticated (for the time) CVT, and much like a car for which it was meant to replace, controls are by foot pedals.

Other Makes Model 85 | eBay

We’d like to imagine it as the most elegant pit bike at the Monterey Historics, but it would also likely be just as welcome on the concours lawn.

Veloce e Verde: 1977 Laverda Jarama

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This 1977 Laverda Jarama is a good-looking example of an Italian touring model not often seen in the US. The seller says that it underwent a recent restoration, but also notes that paint was left untouched for originality’s sake. It’s further said to run very well, and mechanicals sound to be sorted and road-ready. Find it here on eBay in Miami, Florida with reserve not met.

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The classic yet distinctive design looks great under original green paint, and while there are a few minor dings and dents present, they don’t detract much from the bike’s overall appearance. Stripped down for restoration, the frame was sandblasted before being resprayed in black. Many chrome parts were re-plated, and the forks were also rebuilt and received new seals.

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Cockpit fixtures all appear to be in good shape, with clear instrumentation, complete switchgear and bright, shiny trim. Jota cafe-style bars aren’t original-spec for this bike, but they do look excellent.

Not a Lambo:

The shot below reveals the big triple’s polished aluminum cam covers, and though it’s been run for a bit over 8k miles, the motor still looks tidy and well-kept. Recently, the carbs were stripped, cleaned, and rebuilt, while the brake system received new pistons and seals. Apart from some minor-looking surface corrosion in a few small areas, almost every component presents very well.

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These powerful touring bikes make great alternatives to more popular BMW’s and Hondas of the same vintage, and that triple should sound amazing revving out through the gears.

Road & Trail: 1989 Honda Transalp XL600V

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This 1989 Honda Transalp XL600V (VIN JH2PD0613KM200411) is a first year US model in nice, rideable condition with a hair under 10k miles. Built to capitalize on Honda’s 80’s Paris-to-Dakar victories, these versatile bikes can be viewed as pioneers for the popular multipurpose machines of today, and this one should offer a similar riding experience for a fraction of the cost. Find it here on eBay in Corona, California with a $4,500 BIN. Special thanks to BaT reader Larry G. for this submission.

Honda Other | eBay

Says the seller: “Only Modifications are the Exhaust guard and windshield. Does show some wear from use but not bad. Some mild scratches and 1 crack in the fairing. Also some slight corrosion in some areas like the forks. Runs and rides excellent, Newer tires with 85-90% tread.”

Honda Other | eBay

The bike looks sharp from a few feet back, but closer inspection reveals a handful of scrapes, chips and even a decent-sized crack on the fairings. None of these flaws appear to stem from abuse however, but were more likely picked during the kind of mixed road and trail riding these machines were designed for. Corrosion likewise is very mild and doesn’t look like anything to worry about–at least what can be seen without the fairings removed.

Honda Other | eBay

The two-piece, wind-deflecting shield and exhaust guards are both worthwhile upgrades, and only enhance the bike’s tool-like, Swiss Army knife style. Power comes from a liquid-cooled, 52 degree, six-valve V-twin good for about 55 HP on stock Mikuni carbs. Weighing in at 450 pounds, these bikes aren’t particularly quick, but have ample torque and will easily move out of their own way for safe use in modern traffic.

Honda Other | eBay

At about half the going rate of the average new multipurpose Beemer, this one could prove to be very useful for the right buyer. Bring some heated grips and a pair of hard saddlebags.

Bizarre & Fascinating: Velocette LE MkII

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This Velocette LE is listed as 1960 MkIII model, though its hand-operated gearshift, leg shield-mounted instruments, interesting pull-start mechanism and 192cc, water-cooled flat twin point to it being a MkII built between 1951 and 1957. The ad is vague on mechanical condition, but the bike does appear to be in good, complete condition. Find it here on Craigslist near Atlanta, Georgia for $12,800. Special thanks to BaT reader Paul C. for this submission.

Velocette 200 LE, 1960

Conceived as reliable, comfortable, easy-to-ride transportation for the masses, the bike was introduced in 1948. Honda would later use a similar marketing strategy with its Cub, albeit with much more success. Advanced engineering meant a relatively high price, and despite becoming the British company’s all-time best-selling product, sales never met production goals and are rumored to have barely covered tooling costs. It’s also  claimed that a large police order accounted for more than half of MkII production, though sales ended with the MkIII in 1970 when the company voluntarily shut its doors.

Velocette 200 LE, 1960

Built around a pressed-steel frame, the LE (for “Little Engine”) utilized rubber motor mounts, felt soundproofing, water-cooling and large capacity silencers, and for the time was considered a very refined, quiet machine to ride. Power came from an L-head, horizontally-opposed twin, initially of 150cc and 6 HP, later upgraded to 192cc and 8 HP for MkII and MkIII models. Interstingly, the engine, 3-speed gearbox, driveshaft, swing-arm and bevel drive box were all built as a single unit. MkIII’s sacrificed much of the earlier bikes’ character for more conventional controls (foot-operated gear change, kick starter), making more powerful but still extraordinarily quirky MkII’s like this bike the pick of the bunch.

Velocette 200 LE, 1960

Good if unconventional looks, interesting engineering and scarcity make for a very compelling bike, though value is difficult to comment on with so few for sale at any given time. Regardless, it looks like a blast to ride–the two wheeled equivalent of a Citroen 2CV.

Dutch Rider: 1981 BMW R100RS w/ EML Sidecar

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This 1981 BMW R100RS (VIN TEX205829) runs an EML sidecar, fitment of which apparently required all the donor bike’s components to be swapped over to an EML-made frame. It’s an odd but interesting rig, with a forward tilting clam shell side car top/door and some pretty out-there styling, but the seller says it runs great, adding that it’s ready to be ridden anywhere. Find it here on eBay in Mount Clemens, Michigan with reserve not met. Special thanks to BaT reader Matt for this submission.

BMW R Series | eBay

More on the re-frame, this time in the seller’s own words: “The rig is titled as a 1998 Assembled Vehicle.  For those of you that are not familiar with these sidecar setups, the EML rig is complete with the sidecar and the frame.  The donor bike, in this case a 1981 R100RS, has all of the necessary components removed from the original frame and placed inside of the new EML frame.  At that time, due to the new frame being used, the unit is re-titled.”

BMW R Series | eBay

The ad goes on to note that the bike appears to have been repainted at some point, adding that finish is nice overall despite some roughness on the lower front fairing and a deep scratch on the sidecar, the latter of which is documented in additional photos visible within the listing. Also notable is some bubbling on the left side cover, visible in the photo below near its top left corner, just aft and below the tank. The fiberglass sidecar is finished inside simply with carpets and a vinyl covered seat, but build quality does appear to be quite good.

BMW R Series | eBay

A Dutch company founded in the early 70s, EML is an acronym for “Eigen Makelij”, roughly translated as “self-made.” The seller notes that the bike had been sitting for sometime when acquired, and lists quite a bit of recommissioning work including rebuilt carbs, new fluids, filters, tires, fitment of replacement petcocks, plugs, a fresh batter, new fuel lines, voltage regulator and weatherstripping. Additionally, the bike’s electrical system has been completely gone through, and is now said to be fully functional with everything noted as working properly.

BMW R Series | eBay

The ad further notes that the bike starts quickly and pulls well through all gears. It will smoke a bit when first started after sitting for a time, but this is fairly common for horizontally-opposed motor designs. Said to be ready to ride anywhere, you might as well bring a passenger.