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.

1962 Ducati Bronco 125 Dry Lakes Racer

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This 1962 Ducati Bronco 125 has been owned by the seller for 14 years and set a record at El Mirage in the 125cc gas pushrod class on July 12, 1998. The bike has been stored indoors and not started for 10 years, though the motor is said to turn over. The seller reports that the 125cc OHV single-cylinder and frame are original, but the bike has been modified considerably for race purposes. The sale includes a vintage AirTech fiberglass fairing, a period parts catalogue, and an SCTA Dry Lake Speed Trials Rules and Records book for the year 2000. This Ducati is sold with its SCTA logbook and a bill of sale.

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The tubular steel frame shows minor corrosion and some paint that has chipped over time. The wheel rims also show some corrosion, and the spokes are said to be in good condition but are in need of tuning. The tires will need to be replaced due to age.

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The vintage AirTech faring shown in the above photo is not currently fitted, though it is included in the sale and could be reinstalled.

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The frame still wears its Ducati identification tag stamped with its specifications.

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The 125cc overhead valve, single-cylinder motor is said to be original and is paired to a 4-speed transmission. The pushrod engine shows a “Ducati Meccanica” winged circular design and “D” logo embossed into the brass plaque on the side of the aluminum flywheel cover. The seller says the engine turns over, but has not run in about 10 years.

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The carburetor will likely require a complete rebuild before the bike will run, and the fuel system is in need a good cleaning. The clutch is said to be in good condition.

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In 1998, the previous owner rode this bike to a record of 77.71 mph in the 125cc pushrod gas un-fared class (A-PG) at El Mirage dry lake in California. The SCTA logbook entry can be seen above.

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With an interesting past and solid bones, this dry lakes record holder would make for a fun restoration project that could be brought back as a vintage racer or street bike.

1959 Gilera 150 Sport

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This 1959 Gilera 150 Sport was produced prior to Gilera’s buyout by Piaggio and acquired by the seller four years ago. 500cc Gileras won Grand Prix championships six times in the 1950s, including four championships in a row from 1952 to 1955. This example is powered by a 150cc single-cylinder and has completed three historic Motogiro events. A mechanical rebuild is said to have been performed by the previous owner, and the bike wears an older repaint. The seller describes it as reliable and has maintained it at his vintage motorcycle shop. This Gilera is sold with a clean California title in the seller’s name.

The bike is cosmetically standard and retains its original instrument-in-headlight binnacle, seat, and gas tank. All of the lights and the horn are in working order, though the taillight lens is cracked.

The previous owner used this bike as a backup for his Ducatis on one Motogiro in Italy and two in California. It has now completed three events reliably, which the Ducatis were reportedly unable to do.

The paintwork shows a decent shine with crisp edges between the red, black, and white paint, though some orange peel and other imperfections are visible. Original-type graphics are present.

Rust repair is present on the underside of the fuel tank, and the area has not been repainted. The odometer shows 16k kilometers (~10k miles) and is believed accurate.

The seller has provided a walk-around and cold startup video.

Wheels are original San Remos and are laced to drum brake hubs. The tires are older and are starting to crack.

Fairly little brightwork is present, but the polished cast aluminum and the few pieces of chrome have healthy finishes. The single muffler is a correct item and wears a “Gilera Approved” stamping.

No service records from the previous owner are included, though they reportedly performed a mechanical restoration of the bike. The seller has performed additional work at his own shop, including replacing the shift seal, adjusting the points, setting the timing, replacing the spark plug, performing a valve adjustment, and adjustments of both brakes. Per the seller the bike starts on the first kick, and the charging system has proven very reliable over the 400+ miles added since going through it.

Two drive-by videos have been provided, one above and a second that can be viewed here.

Sharp V-Twin: 1979 Moto Morini 500

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This 1979 Moto Morini 500 is said to remain original, and despite a saddle in need of some new stitching, overall the bike looks nicely kept. These “big” twins are a pretty rare sight on US shores, and the low-ish handlebars, blacked-out running gear and reserved, minimal styling makes for a very handsome machine. Find it here on eBay in Grant, Florida with a $4,500 BIN.

Other Makes Moto Morini 500 | eBay

A few light scratches and nicks are present in the paint, but seem like they’d be hardly noticeable from a few feet away. Overall, frame and engine finish still shows very well, while stainless fenders and mag wheels are as nice as one could hope for on a nearly 40 year old bike. Even the chain guard exhibits a good shine. Per the included video, the seller says the 46 HP motor has been serviced, and the carbs refreshed. The brakes were also bled, while a new battery and two new fuel petcocks were installed.

Other Makes Moto Morini 500 | eBay

The cockpit is pretty straightforward, with large, easy-to-read twin analog gauges. 37k kilometers are what’s shown on the odometer, so the bike has clearly been enjoyed All lenses and trim pieces look clear and undamaged. Moving aft, the seat cover needs some restitching near the front end, but otherwise appears to be holding up pretty well. All electrics are said to be operational.

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These bikes were known to be sprightly performers, and their small size and good economy means this one would likely excel as an around-town commuter, all the whole offering loads more style and performance than the average scooter.

No Reserve: 1956 NSU Max Spezial

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This 1956 NSU Max Spezial is a largely original motorbike with 8,740 miles showing on its factory frame, 247cc single-cylinder engine, and 4-speed transmission. The seller recently acquired this example from an estate where it had been stored indoors for many years. After cleaning the fuel system, installing a new battery, and filling up the tires, the bike is said to run and drive with all systems and electrics fully functional. This NSU is located in Kansas City, Missouri and is now offered with its instruction book, an original tool kit, and clean Wisconsin title.

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The Max Spezial model was produced from 1954 to 1956 and weighed approximately 165 kg. (~363 lbs.). This example is believed to retain largely original paint with some prior paintwork present on top of the front fender and headlight housing. There are scratches and flaws present as expected with a 60 year old bike, but overall this NSU presents well in pictures.

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The seller has inspected the frame (#1293749), which is said to look solid and crack-free. The frame number falls in line with the 247cc engine’s stamping (#793542) according to this website, which leads the seller to believe both units are original. A photo of the engine stamping is shown in the gallery below.

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These bikes featured 180mm alloy drum brakes that now work well after several shake-down rides. Non-original brake light switch and tail light wiring is present, though both components are in order along with the horn and headlight.

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The functional odometer reads 8,740 miles which is believed to be correct.

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The 247cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine was quoted at 17 horsepower @ 6500rpm when new, which could propel the Max Spezial to a top speed of 126 kph (~78 mph) without a passenger. After purchasing this bike, the seller cleaned the fuel system, installed a new battery, and filled up the tires. This NSU is said to start easily and run smooth with a nice engine note and positive shifts from the 4-speed transmission.

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The factory toolkit appears to be complete, showing a consistent patina that matches the motorcycle itself.

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The factory instruction book is also included and this bike is being sold with a clean Wisconsin title.

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These NSUs have become relatively rare sights. This largely original example presents the opportunity to ride it as-is or clean it up and restore as desired.