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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
The bike shows 40k miles on the odometer, though there is no way to verify that the mileage is correct.
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.
Limited resources are commonplace in today’s economy, and our new house in Oak Park, IL also has limited space to put bikes. Since moving there, I’ve decided to add another bike to my stable, but in agreement with my wife who really didn’t want to look out the window at too many two-wheeled critters, I decided that one had to go. I had “loved” the Ducati ST2 and ridden the heck out of it over the last 11 months, but I never “fell in love” with it. I didn’t have a lot of remorse about parting with the bike — now it was time to choose what to replace it with.
The 86 LeMans that I’d looked at last year was still for sale, even cheaper. My checkbook was out. Too many subject matter experts said that it was in need of too much work. Between that and the 2500 miles’ distance, I took a pass. I looked at SPs, G5s, a couple of gorgeous T3s. There was an incredibly low-mileage Quota in Joplin. There was a beautiful 1000s. I was going to get a Guzzi. Just didn’t know which one.
Jim Barron at Rose Farm Classics chimed in. “Why don’t you buy a new one and start a relationship with something that nobody else has ridden first?” he thoughtfully pitched. I know Jim wanted to sell me a bike, and he knew which one it was that I had spotted over the espresso machine in his showroom. I trust Jim, but, well, he’s there to sell bikes, too.
I started doing the math. A Guzzi has a two-year warranty. My financial outlay on a new bike will be minimal. I already have my “vintage” Guzzi, which isn’t a money-pit but does require a lot of maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. Guzzi’s don’t depreciate much, so, if I buy it right, I won’t be out much in three years or so if I want to sell it then. So I’m already sold. Jim knew it before I did. Continue reading I liked it so much I Bought my Own!
This is the ninth in a series of posts about the Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport. The previous posting is here.
Nine Days, 1080 miles
After nine days and more than 1000 miles, I possess a really good idea of what it’s like to live with the Breva 1200 Sport. I’ve previously given reasons for why someone might want to purchase it, but I’d also like to give my observations with respect to what worked for me and how my riding style altered as I reeled in the miles.
Not a “lean off” bike
On my Ducati ST2, I practice “lean off” turns from time to time as I ride it through some of the more aggressive stretches of roads in my area. I know these roads well and remember their eccentricities to the point that I can work on my technique. The big ST2 seat allows for movement of the rider around the bike.
The Breva’s seat locked me in place. Lean-offs were complex, and I found that I didn’t like the way that I upset the bike’s stance as I employed this technique. For me, I made much quicker time by adopting a more “Hailwood” approach, keeping my body smooth and silent through the twisties.
The Breva “wants” to be ridden in it’s own way. It’s good to know “how” a bike rides to decide if your “personalities” fit. I enjoy the diversity and investigation of different riding styles, so I don’t really have a dog in this hunt — but if you enjoy more focused techniques, I hope this helps you decide if the Breva 1200 Sport is for you.
Brakes and suspension tweaks really make it better
I’ve never done anything half-way. When I started riding I really wanted to get proficient, safe and comfortable with it as soon as possible. As I began racking up miles under my bikes I found that it gave me pleasures and satisfaction that I had never received in any car. The complete isolation from the outside world while being immediately in it presented a contrast that I never had driving a cage, where the radio was blaring, the air conditioning was on, the phone would ring, or my passengers would be talking to me.
The bike gives me the sensations without insulation. Riding through farmlands I can smell the onions ready for harvest. The smell of brakes alert me to big trucks ahead on downhill grades. The vibration of the engine and the road feedback tells me what my machine is doing at any given time. Where a car is insulated, the forces of cornering, braking, etc., more violent, everything on the motorcycle is there, and movement is smooth and flows with the physics of your motions and body. Continue reading Back to Motorcycling Part 4 — 25,000 miles in 9 months
There are a couple of reasons that I will positively own a Moto Guzzi, some practical, some whimsical, and a final emotional reason – Officer Floyd “Skip” Fink of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Skip Fink patrolled in the Globe-Miami area when I was a kid. He and his partner, Russ Fifer, used to ride their big Guzzi Eldorados all over town, and visited my Father’s Restaurant/Hotel almost every day for lunch or dinner.
I made sure I was there when they pulled up. Floyd would wrestle with me, tell me about his job and treat me like a little brother (I had bruises to prove it). I always had the utmost respect for him, and it influenced my opinion of law enforcement for my entire life. Big Guzzis were exotic anywhere, even though a quite a few law enforcement organizations used them. The general public at that time was enamored of the Honda 750 and later the even larger-displacement Kawasakis. I don’t think that anyone in my small town even knew that Italians made motorcycles, yet here they were; big, fast and tank-like. All style and a stamp of approval from Law Enforcement officials that were practically family. Continue reading Back to Motorcycling Part 2 – The Nicest People Ride a Honda, but the Most Eclectic People Ride a Moto Guzzi!
So I’m 46 years old.I’ve been on hiatus from my “mechanical hobby”; restoring cars, for nearly three years. I’ve been doing this since I was 18, and sold off my last Citroen DS21, on January 18, 2005.On a self-enforced hiatus for two years, it’s been another year because the Ideal Ride that lurked in my head just never materialized.
Enter “Test Pilot Bill” in Phoenix. I’ve known him for years through my wife, Sheila.He is possibly one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet.
Last year by happenstance he showed me his newly acquired 2004 Triumph Bonneville that is absolutely perfect, low miles, and an H.G.-Welles-Time-Machine moment (I orginially attributed it to Orwell – forgive me!) with all the wonderful things about British bikes and none of their vices.
As I threw my leg over the Bonnie, something funny hit me.Kind of a “yeah… nice”.It fit not only my butt – it fit into my thoughts.Something deep inside me began eating awaytwo of the four wheels that my Ideal Ride had always possessed.From that moment, I began to think of a motorcycle as The Thing to replace the Car Habit I had nurtured for more than 30 years.
I didn’t know if my search would result in a Triumph like Bill’s, but I knew that I would start on a journey of self-discovery and, as I write this, I couldn’t be more excited about anything I have ever undertaken.