Advanced & Unusual: 1951 Nimbus Model C w/ Sidecar

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This 1951 Nimbus Model C is an interesting Danish bike utilizing an OHC, air-cooled inline-four and shaft drive, a layout with roots traceable directly back to their similarly configured 1919 model, the seminal “Stovepipe.” It’s also worth noting that Nimbus was the first to offer a telescoping front fork in 1934, a year before BMW. This one looks to be a military example, and is said to have spent decades in a museum. Regardless it’s now reported to start easily and run well through all gears, though the clutch is slipping and will need to be adjusted or replaced. Find it here on eBay in Scottsdale, Arizona with reserve not met.

Reads the ad: “You are bidding on a true survivor, A 1951 Nimbus with sidecar. Nimbus was a Danish-made motorcycle with an inline four-cylinder with external rockers and a stovepipe exhaust. This bike was in a museum since the early 60’s with true mileage. The bike starts on the first kick, runs through all the gears, and brakes well, but the clutch is starting to slip. I take the bike for a ride almost every other week to keep her legs stretched. The original title was lost years ago, but I can get an Arizona title if you wish. I’ve had the bike for about two years.”

The engine is a 749cc unit with an unusual overhead cam/exposed rocker setup seen in detail here. This one was probably set up for sidecar duty from new, with a 3-speed gearbox allowing a top speed of around 55 MPH or so.

Check out that key–very cool. Mileage is give as just under 10k, which corresponds with what’s recorded on the Smiths combination metric speedo/odo unit–call it 6k miles.

1970 Honda Mini Trail 70 H

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This 1970 Honda Mini Trail 70 H was purchased by the seller approximately 12 years ago and has travelled less than a mile since a cosmetic restoration. Believed to be one of the earliest restored examples, this CT70HKO was built in May, 1970 and was one of the first to leave the factory out of approximately 65,000 made. Power comes from a 72cc air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox. The steel frame has been refinished in Candy Emerald Green and many NOS parts were sourced during the restoration. It is sold on a bill of sale with a 1970 California black-plate, SF Honda license plate frame, original sales material, owner’s booklet.

The pressed steel frame has been refinished in the original House of Kolor Candy Emerald Green and new decals have been fitted. Many NOS Honda parts were replaced or renewed during the process, including the chrome pieces, lenses, and rubber items.

An original Honda seat was sourced from an NOS supplier for the cost of $1,500, and the appropriate Bridgestone 4.00×10 tires are installed on the pressed steel wheels. The chrome fold-down handle-bars are said to lock and swivel properly.

The Nippon Seiki speedometer is specific to the 4-speed CT70HK0 and shows just .8 miles since the restoration was completed. The seller notes that most of the correct cables and wires are present, but that the wiring for the Hi/Lo switch has the wrong color sheathing.

The 72cc single-cylinder and 4-speed gearbox were also cosmetically refreshed, and the appropriate finishes and hardware have been renewed. This is an early production motor as indicated by the engine stamping #100182. Chassis #100190 is pictured in the gallery.

The 1970 California black plate is included with the sale, along with the original owner’s booklet and a NOS Honda San Francisco license plate frame.

Featherbed Four: 1963 Norton & Squariel Custom

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This custom is believed to have been built in Pasadena around 1963, combining a Norton Featherbed frame and Ariel Square Four engine into one very interesting motorcycle. Featherbed frames were among the most advanced and best handling of the day, and though popular for Triumph and other engine swaps, this is the first we’ve heard of one being fitted with a Squariel. Named Esquire per original paint remnants on the aluminum tank, the seller reports that it’s ready to ride following a recent tune and fresh tires. Find it here on eBay in Bend, Oregon with a $22k BIN. Special thanks to BaT reader Paul C. for this submission.

Says the seller: “Reportedly built at the Milne Bros. shop in Pasadena, California around 1963, this is the marriage of a 1956 Ariel Square Four drivetrain and a 1959 Norton Featherbed chassis and is a true vintage hot rod. Much of the British motorcycle industry’s best is represented in this custom. Originally named “Esquire,” the aluminum tank still shows original patina. The seat has been professionally recovered in leather. New stainless steel spokes on original Dunlop alloy wheels. New tires and fresh maintenance make this a completely ready-to-ride vintage classic.”

Here’s a look at the unusual Square Four, which is essentially two vertical twins whose cranks have been geared together in order to provide a single driven shaft into the 4-speed transmission. There are no details on what the recent tuneup consisted of, but the seller does note that the bike’s charging system remains weak, adding that it’s adequate for a day of riding anyway.

Though not the most powerful or sporting motors ever built, these twin-crank fours are nonetheless mechanically fascinating, and they make a pretty cool sound too. In combo with this frame and nice, high handlebars, it should make for a unique, comfortable cruiser with a good turn of handling thrown in as a bonus. Fix the charging system, change the I’s on the tank to A’s and enjoy.

Old Bike Hoard Sell-Off: Guzzis, Nortons, Beemers, BSA’s & More

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This seller is unloading a big collection of mostly European bikes and parts, all in various states of completion and decay. Among them count three Nortons, three Beemers, a couple of Ducatis, a pair of Moto Guzzis, a Squariel, and “more BSA’s than I care to count.” There’s even a two-wheel drive Rokon among the group. Find them all here on eBay in Phoenix, Arizona with an unmet $40k starting bid and additional reserve.

Above is one of two Guzzis, both of which are Ambassadors. One’s from 1970 and the other, blue bike a ’71. Both are described as good, solid, largely complete bikes. There’s three Nortons as well, including a Commando and an Atlas to go with the Model 19S seen below. The seller offers more detail regarding each bike in the full listing, but the 19S is reported to have been about 95% restored when its previous owner passed away.

Here’s a look at the 196X Ariel Cyclone, “I know what you’re thinking but this isn’t Buddy Holly’s old bike,” says the seller. Described as solid and complete but in need of work, it reportedly ran when parked and includes a spare engine and “other associated parts.” The other is a Square Four, and though no model year is given, these interesting twin-crank bikes were made from 1931 to 1959. Said to be 90% complete, it’s been disassembled for a restoration that thus far hasn’t happened.

A Velocette and the other big Guzzi…

The Commando, a Beemer, and lots of other stuff like a small 60’s NSU, a Royal Enfield from the same era, and a rare Anker JLO. Be sure to check the ad and take a look through the photos for a clearer idea of exactly what’s on offer here.

This Rokon two-wheel drive is a cool find, and though missing the front drive chain, otherwise looks pretty complete as well as very restorable.

Says the seller: “If it’s in the pictures its included (there’s stuff included that you don’t see in the pictures, too). I have lots of other random parts that are included and maybe a bike or two I forgot to mention. If I own it and it’s motorcycle related it’s included. I also have a few manuals and repair books that are included. It took me a long time to find and acquire all these bikes, I hope the buyer will enjoy them as much as I did.”

BaT Auction Success Story: Crazy in Love with Morgan Three-Wheeler

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This just in from the buyer of the 2013 Morgan three-Wheeler purchased via BaT Auctions last June (link).

“It’s been terrific owning my Morgan!  Everyone smiles and thinks I’m crazy. They’re right!  Crazy in love. The only one who gets it is my 13-year-old niece.  Even bigger smiles than mine.  

Thanks BaT!

David P.

Ukemania”

 

Cult Classic: 4200 Mile 1989 Honda Hawk GT 650

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This 1989 Honda Hawk GT 650 is said to be entirely stock apart from a non-standard carb jetting, the seller further claiming 4,200 miles and near-museum quality condition. Among the very first commercially available naked bikes, these neat little machines have a strong cult following, and offer a single-sided swingarm, a torquey V-twin, super-comfortable riding position, and easy, light handling up to their modest, approachable limits. This one sounds like it could be the one to have if you’ve been searching. Find it here on Craigslist near Washington DC for $4,200. Special thanks to BaT reader Bob G. for this submission.

Internally codenamed RC31, keen Honda fans will recognize that means development immediately followed that of the sublime RC30–easily one of the most exotic and desirable sportbikes ever built. Though quite a bit less expensive (and powerful), a few neat engineering details carried over, including the use of Honda’s so-called “Pro-Am” single-sided swing arm. Says the seller of this example: “This usable collector bike has been stored in a climate-controlled room, with a battery tender. It is stock with the exception of a carburetor re-jetting performed at Coleman Powersports, and new tires (as a precaution, because of age). It has only about 4,200 original miles. Slight scratch on side of muffler and small abrasion on right instrument, otherwise pristine.”

The further note a recent Honda tech servicing and cleaning of the carbs, and entry-level 80’s sportsbikes don’t come much more reliable, interesting, or fun.

Last of the Marks: 1968 BSA Spitfire MkIV

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This 1968 BSA Spitfire MkIV (frame A65SB2507) is from the final year of Mark-series production, which started two years earlier with the somewhat confusingly named MkII. These final Spitfires featured a high state of tune right from the factory, squeezing out 54 HP from 654cc of parallel twin for over 120 MPH–easily among the world’s fastest production street bikes of the day. This one looks fantastic, and the seller says that it starts easy, shows no signs of drops or crashes, and remains easy to ride and comfortable despite the low-slung clubman bars. Find it here on eBay in Greenwich, Connecticut with reserve not met.

Reads the ad: “Gas tank doesn’t leak and should be drained if not in regular use. Ethanol is a threat, and there are some small pimples in the paint work. This bike shows no signs of having been crashed dropped or scratched. The clubman bars and Tomaselli clip ons with the large tank make it a good looking bike. It’s easy to ride and is not uncomfortable. We’ve looked after this bike for the last 15 years, it’s seen very little use and is now looking for a new garage to live in.”

BSA’s traditional twin is a great looking thing, and the seller says that this one remains original to the bike–the 4-speed gearbox sounds to be as well. They also report that the bike starts easily from cold after a bit of priming and a good kick, noting a quick settle to idle while warming. Concentric AMAL carbs “were recently reviewed and inspected for any swarf or residue.”

It’s a lovely view from the cockpit, even if those gauges are a bit of a visual disappointment after the rest of the bike.

Tracked Snowbike: 1975 Pozza Alpenscooter

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This 1975 Pozza Alpenscooter (chassis M05870132) is an interesting tracked snowbike sold around central Europe and even reportedly used by Italian Army mountain units of the day. The ad falls short of providing any info beyond some general history on the model, so we’re left to guess on most details, but the seller does let loose that the bike remains original. Find it here on Car and Classic in Genova, Italy for 3,500 euros (~$3,800 USD today).

The cockpit is as basic as it gets with two levers, a throttle, and not much else–no heated grips, wind deflectors, or GPS here. A gentle patina covers the entire bike, and suits a vehicle designed to be worked hard. The dual seat is worn around the edges, but still entirely serviceable, and the fuel tank appears to be an average two gallon size–an interesting choice for a machine designed to be used in remote locations.

The photo below illustrates the machine’s dual-wheeled track configuration, and it looks like the swingarm offers a fair amount of articulation. Note also the rear passenger leg guards and cargo basket fixed aft. There’s a small hitch mounted for light towing as well.

A 250cc two-stroke single powers the track, is started by a pull-cord on the right side, and looks fairly clean for something that’s probably around for a number of years. A newer plug and wire hopefully means this rig can get around under its own power.

Modern snowmobiles are incredibly fast and loads of fun, but you can’t lean them into turns, either.

Never Started: As-Delivered 1983 BMW R100

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This 1983 BMW R100 was imported new to England, and though registered shortly thereafter, remained in its original delivery crate until 1996. At that time it was fitted with new tires in prep for road use, but circumstances mean this never happened, and now 34 years since it was first built, the bike remains un-ridden–the seller reports it’s never even been started. Condition is as-delivered, with one mile showing on the odometer, and sale includes extensive documentation as well. Find it here on eBay in Sunderland, England for 10k GBP (~$12,300 USD today).

The bike is seen here resting in the seller’s hallway where it’s been sitting for several years. Reads the ad: “This bike was UK supplied new by the UK BMW main dealer, Alan Jeffries, in 1983, and although registered, was not removed from its crate until 2006. (I still have parts of the original crate).  At this point, the bike was going to be commissioned for the road, and a new set of tyres were fitted as a precaution. Two accessories were added at the time, the stainless rear shock absorber shrouds, and the satin black valve covers. These are easily removed if needs be, and i have the original, natural colour, valve covers.  A change of circumstances meant the bike remained in storage.”

Photos don’t do the bike justice, but everything including painted, plated or bare metal as well as plastics and rubber all show essentially as-new. The same goes for decals and badging, two nice examples of which are on display in the photo below. Gauges are crystal clear, and the odometer shows one mile traveled–this suggests that the bike has been started and ridden, if only once or twice at the factory more than three decades ago.

Underneath the saddle is an unopened tool roll, tire pump, and first aid kit, and the seller also notes still-boxed spark plugs,unopened, factory supplied oil bottles, and even the original battery. Factory break-in oil remains in the engine and gearbox.

Other extras include the original service booklet, sales brochure, unmounted registration plate and “other interesting period paperwork.”

Aircraft Mechanic Built Steam Trike: 1950’s Hensel Special

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This odd steam-powered three-wheeler was successfully titled as a motorcycle upon completion by its builder, Huntington Beach, California-based aviation mechanic Fred Hensel. The seller believes it was built in the late 40’s or early 50’s, and included expired California registration documents date from as late as 1966. Bodied from riveted aluminum in aircraft style, the seller says that the level of craftsmanship and engineering quality on display is very impressive, and though it’s been driven around on compressed air, the ad includes a disclaimer that no one should attempt to build pressure in the system as it exists–fair enough considering no one seems to know when it last ran under its own steam. Find it here on eBay in Rockaway Park, New York with reserve not met.

Reads the ad: “This is a fascinating, completely hand made, one of a kind steam motorcycle. I believe it was built in the 40’s by an aviation mechanic in California named Fred Hensel. It is not getting the attention it deserves in my small collection, and it has to be seen to fully understand what a mechanical work of art it is. It has rack and pinion steering, a two-part fold-up steering column, which folds up, and away, for entry into the vehicle. You could write a book on all of the insane engineering that went into it. The detail and craftsmanship that this man put into this vehicle is mind boggling. Anything that could me made by hand, was.”

 

Here’s a look at the rear, which appears to incorporate a second, similarly narrow rectangular door as the front left corner. Reportedly there’s a sunroof as well.

 

The seller’s steam knowledgeable friends have looked over the vehicle, and it’s believed to run on solid fuel–i.e. wood, coal and the like rather than propane or other gasses. More of their assessment is quoted in the ad: “The four pedals on the floor are, from left to right, parking brake, clutch, service brake (not connect to the master cylinder) and steam valve. Water is supplied to to the boiler by electromechanical injector pump. It is believed to be timed by an electrically driven cam operating a switch. Stepping on the right pedal will open the valve to the engine. To start the engine the piston must be in the middle of it’s stroke. To achieve that goal a lever has been built in on the chain sprocket. Moving the lever from side to side will bar the engine to starting position. It is an induced down draft with the chimney at the bottom. The blower is regulated by a rheostat. A damper controls airflow on both exhaust and intake.”

The inside is a mess of levers, pedals (four of them!), petcocks, taps, dials, hoses, and other improvised fittings. We’re not sure how it’d be driven, but engineering and construction were undoubtedly a labor of love for Mr. Hensel, and it’s simply cool to see that his contraption has survived.