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Category: Motorcycles

  1. The MV Augusta 750S – An iconic motorcycle of the 70’s up for auction in Stafford

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    On 21st and 22nd April, the largest ever Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale of classic and collectors' motorcycles will take place at the International Classic MotorCycle Show. The sale has been split in to a two-day event to accommodate the astonishing number of machines on offer. More than 300 motorcycles have been consigned - including several single-owner collections – ranging from pre-war American machines to modern Japanese superbikes.

    One of them is the 1973 MV Augusta 750 Sport, considered one of the most desirable of post-war motorcycles.

    We have worked closely with experts at Bonhams Auction House - the most renowned auctioneers of fine art, motorbikes, cars and jewellery. They provided us with official valuations in order to properly understand how much these motorbikes have appreciated since they came out on the market. As a result, we now have information on some of the most valuable motorbikes in recent history.


    • A list of 30 motorbikes ranked by both 'current value' and 'appreciation' with a short bio
    • Top 10 list of most valuable motorbikes and motorbikes that has appreciated the most in value
    • Fully embeddable
    • Quotes from expert 

    In the existing list, we have a 1972 MV Agusta 750s that reached a selling price of £84,380 so it will be interesting to see what the final price will land on for the 1973 model that’s up for grabs on Sunday. It’s expected to land on anything between £70,000 and £90,000.

    1973 MV AGUSTA 750S Registration no. CNF 113M Frame no. MV4C75 Lot 262 (22 Apr 2018, 12:00 BST)

    'The 750S is still one of the most dramatic looking bikes made. This is in no small part due to the colours: crimson frame, red, blue and white tank, and white fairing with the insignia of MV Agusta emblazoned on the sides.' – Bike magazine.

    Developed from its long line of highly successful multi-cylinder racers, MV Agusta's first road-going four - the 4C, a twin-carburettor, 600cc, shaft-driven tourer - appeared in 1965. But the public demanded something more exciting from many-times World Champions MV, and the Gallarate manufacturer duly obliged in 1968, upping capacity to 743cc and further boosting maximum power (to 65bhp) by fitting a quartet of Dell'Orto carburettors to the revised 750S, a high-speed symphony in red, white, and blue. Perhaps surprisingly for a sports model, the 750S retained the 4C's shaft final drive, while the frame too was virtually identical to that of its predecessor.

    Hand made in limited numbers and priced accordingly, the 750S was way beyond the financial reach of the average enthusiast, selling to the kind of well-healed individual who might also own a Ferrari, Maserati, or Lamborghini. Marque specialist, the late Mick Walker got to try a mint, low mileage example in 1983, recording the event in his book 'MV Agusta Fours': 'The experience was unique; the rider was transported to a different level, and made to feel really special. There was certainly a pronounced "feel-good factor".'

    Quote from expert 
    Ben Walker, international director for Bonhams collectors' motorcycle department stated:

    Why we selected the bikes we did
    -       “When choosing which motorcycles to feature we’ve tried to select machines from across the collecting spectrum - from the early Pioneer period with the 1908 Triumph 3½hp Combination through the post-classic 1990 Honda VFR750R Type RC30.

    -       These are machines that will appeal to all areas of enthusiasm – not just because of their value but also because of the nostalgia that they evoke.”

    The increase in value
    -       “It is fascinating to see how the values have increased since the machines were new. Knowing what we know now – the percentage increase in value and how difficult it is to acquire these machines - it would be great to step back in time and buy them when new….”

    Top 10 most valuable motorbikes

    1. 1951 Vincent Black Lightning - £ 657,652 
    2. The ex-Hubert Chantrey, 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 Project - £ 331,900
    3. 1929 Brough Superior 968cc SS100 - £ 315,000
    4. Rare 'one-of-one' Black Shadow variant in Chinese Red - 1951 Vincent White Shadow - £ 305,210
    5. 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide - £ 275,900
    6. 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A Project - £ 270,300
    7. 1927 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Project - £ 259,100
    8. The ex-George Brough, London-Edinburgh Trial - 1939 Brough Superior 990cc SS100 - £ 253,500
    9. The ex-Murray Motorcycle Museum, 1934 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 - £ 242,300
    10. 1926 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Project - £ 236,700

    Top 10 by value appreciation (inflation adjusted appreciation value)

    1. 1951 Vincent Black Lightning - 4475.23%
    2. 1929 Brough Superior 968cc SS100 - 3023.07%
    3. Rare 'one-of-one' Black Shadow variant in Chinese Red - 1951 Vincent White Shadow - 2789.63%
    4. The ex-George Brough, London-Edinburgh Trial - 1939 Brough Superior 990cc SS100 - 2735.30%
    5. The ex-Hubert Chantrey, 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 Project - 2666.55%
    6. 1927 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Project - 2585.46%
    7. 1926 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Project - 2422.67%
    8. The ex-Murray Motorcycle Museum, 1934 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 - 2164.34%
    9. 1937 Matchless 1,000cc Model X - 1008.66%
    10. 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide - 981.17%


    Article supplied to THE BIKER GUIDE

  2. How to choose the right off-road motorbike for you

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    Seasoned bikers who know their Ricky Carmicheals from their Mika Aholas may be able to talk until the cows come home about the differences between a trials bike, an endurance bike and a motocross bike. But if you’re a little newer to the scene – or your own two-wheeled interests are usually in the field of choppers and bobbers – knowing which off-road motorbike is going to be your style can be a little harder to figure out.

    Are you planning on riding tracks or trails, or setting off on Green Lane adventures? Whatever your pleasure, whether everyday practice or weekend warrior, here are a few key differences between off-road motorbikes to help you choose the right one for you.

    Motocross Bikes vs Supermotos Motocross are more about the off-road

    Motocross and Supercross are very similar sports with one key difference: Supercross takes place in arenas and stadiums, while Motocross takes place out in naturally occurring terrain. Both use dirt tracks, and in either sport the dirt tracks have been man-made for purpose, but the difference between arena dirt track and out-on-the-land dirt track is enough to warrant a different style of tyre and suspension.

    In either sport, bikes need to be capable of making tight turns and big jumps. But while supermotos feature road tyres and soft suspension set-ups that make them suited to well-maintained routes, motocross bikes are more about the off-road. If you’re planning on going Green Laning and need guarantees that your bike will tolerate bumpier terrain, a motocross bike or enduro bike might be the one for you. But if your focus is on the track and you also need a daily ride, a supermoto can offer that flexibility. That’s not to say they’re all street legal – but it’s easier to make a supermoto street legal than it is to get an MX bike on the road.

    Trials Bikes vs Trail Bikes

    Trials bikes and trail bikes, aren’t they the same thing? Well, no. Most noticeably because trials bikes don’t have seats.

    Trail bikes are incredibly similar to motocross bikes in just about every way, though motocross bikes are lighter because they’re designed to be track-raced. They’re both great for going off-road on tracks that aren’t manicured specifically for motorsports, but a motocross bike will need some accessorising to protect it from the roughest terrain – whereas a trail bike will take Green Lanes with ease. Trail bikes, often being designed more for fun and games than for competitive sport, sometimes come with a headlight and/or kickstand and may have a front tyre that’s bigger than the rear to absorb impact.

    Trials bikes on the other hand are not about the mod cons. Trial sport doesn’t focus on speed and power – it’s about balance and agility. These bikes are designed to hop over obstacles and be thrown around with ease by their rider, so any weight that can be lost is taken away – including the bike seat.

    Trials competitions are slow speed and don’t cover a lot of ground, so you’ll notice the fuel tanks are tiny, usually incorporated into the U-shaped frame as if there isn’t a tank there at all. This helps with balance and keeps the bike’s centre of gravity low. Trials bikes are great if you want to get into trial riding, but they aren’t a comfortable choice for just about anything else.

    Enduro Bikes vs Moto and Supermoto Supermoto feature road tyres and soft suspension set-ups that make them sui

    Motocross, supermoto, trails and trials… how does an enduro bike differ from all of these? Endurance races are just that – they require a bike that can go for many miles, day or night, on varying terrain. Unlike motocross and supermoto, where fast acceleration is needed and you’re up against a series of tight turns, ruts and ‘whoops’ sections, enduro bikes get kitted out with lights, panniers for carrying extra fuel and other things you wouldn’t be needing in 3-5 lap race.

    Enduro motorbikes also come with wider transmission ratios, meaning they can operate over a broad speed range without as much gear-shifting as another bike. Like a trails bike, enduro rides are designed to take even the messiest terrain in their stride – but if you’re setting off for a weekend or a week rather than a day, the extra space in the fuel tank is not to be sniffed at.

    Unlike trail bikes, enduro bikes sometimes have a rear wheel that’s larger than the front – instead of impact absorption, this is primarily to prevent drifting. The overall weight is heavier than other types of dirt bike, so bear that in mind if you’re planning on attempting off-road jumps.

    The odd one out: Quad Bikes Some insurers offer discounts on Quad bike insurance

    Most bikers don’t really think of quad bikes as ‘bikes’ per se, but when it comes to off-roading it’s worth giving them a look in. Some insurers offer discounts on quad bike insurance if you’re already insuring other motorbikes, so you don’t need to worry about much extra spend for those extra wheels.

    Hitting tricky terrain on four wheels instead of two gives you a lot of extra stability, but does mean it’s harder to navigate tight spots. If you’re looking to venture off along narrow trails or through dense woodland, a dirt bike of any description will likely be a better fit than a quad. But if you’re going off-road into fields, Green Lanes designed for tractors and trailers or sandy areas, quad bikes might be just the thing you need.

    Particularly for a new rider, quad bikes give you the opportunity to get confident handling a piece of heavy machinery without worrying about dropping it or having a wheel drift out. You’ve got a comfortable, wide ride, and you can familiarise yourself with tyre traction on dirt, mud and grass before tackling that movement on something less stable.

    All in all, which vehicle is right for you depends on where you’re planning on riding, whether it’s going to be all about speed and tricks or taking in the scenery, and how confident you are in your riding abilities. For experienced riders looking to get agile, a trials bike might be the winning hobby that shows off new skills – but for total novices, a quad or trail bike is probably a better fit.


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    In the Aprilia garage, the work programme is divided, but the sensations at the end of the second day of tests in Qatar are similar. In fact, both Espargaró and Redding are satisfied with the way the tests are going, the last ones before the season opener.

    Espargaró went out on the track with different chassis settings looking for more confidence on the Losail asphalt and his feeling at the end of the day satisfied the Spanish rider. Tomorrow Aleix will work toward improving, especially in braking and acceleration, before doing a race simulation long run.

    This is a simulation that Scott Redding did toward the end of the session today, completing about 15 laps with excellent times and consistency. The new entry in the Aprilia camp confirmed the quality of the Italian V4 in terms of proper tyre wear management, able to use a soft tyre on several laps without evident signs of deterioration.

    "We have to be happy. We are making progress and working hard. I still don’t feel like I’m at my best braking, but overall I am satisfied with the way the tests are going. We are struggling to take full advantage of the new tyre for a fast lap, but we are competitive in terms of pace. I am very curious to see my race simulation tomorrow and what the others will do in order to have a more concrete idea of what our potential could be over race distance. As for what we’ve seen up to now, and counting on improving more, I think that we will be able to demonstrate a good pace."

    "Today we weren’t focusing on lap times, but we worked to prepare for the final long run. I had done one in Thailand that did not satisfy me, whereas here, despite starting later than race time, things went rather well. The times and the easy ride satisfied me, although there is still work to be done in order to increase the edge grip. I used a soft tyre on the rear, which is new for me, and I was surprised at how good condition it was in at the end and how my feeling improved lap after lap."

  4. Norton signs John McGuinness for 2018 Isle of Man TT Races

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    23-time TT Race winner John McGuinness has signed to ride for the Norton factory team in the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT Races at the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy. Norton signs John McGuinness for 2018 Isle of Man TT Races

    McGuinness joins 2015 British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes in a two-man team using the latest specification Norton ‘SG7’ machines, derived from the firm’s flagship V4 RR road bike.

    McGuinness last won a Superbike class race in 2015, winning the PokerStars Senior TT, which also saw him breaking the outright lap record with a lap of 132.701, which remains his fastest lap around the Mountain Course. He achieved podiums in both the 2016 RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT but missed last year’s TT race meeting due to serious injuries sustained in the North West 200, which he is still recovering from. However, he expects to be back to full fitness in time for his TT debut with Norton this June.

    McGuinness has enjoyed a remarkable TT career and is second only to Joey Dunlop in outright TT victories and is rightly considered as one of the all-time TT greats.  In a career that has now stretched over twenty years, he first announced himself to the road-racing world in 1996, finishing the highest placed and fastest newcomer in the 250cc TT Race and his name has since become synonymous with the Isle of Man Mountain Course.

    He has stood on the Isle of Man TT podium a record 46 times from 78 race finishes and is confident that more success is just around the corner now he has teamed up with this iconic British brand.

    Talking about the news of his Norton signing John McGuinness commented:

    “I didn’t want to end my career due to an injury, but the truth is I didn’t know whether I would be able to come back as I didn’t know how fit I was going to be. Right now, things are going well. I feel a lot sharper and my head is in gear and ready to go. The plan is to get the external fixator cage off my leg by the end of this month and after that we can start working towards getting bike fit and testing.”  

    “I’m definitely ready for a change of manufacturer. I needed an injection of enthusiasm and I’ve found it with Norton. From the first time I met with Stuart (Garner) the vibe was there and the passion. I watched Steve Hislop win the TT on the Norton in 1992 and it was massive. Everyone remembers that! We can’t get carried away, it’s going to be a big job but I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos of the bike in action, I watched the bike out on track last year and it’s clearly a very fast and capable bike and I can tell you there are worse handling bikes out there too, so there’s no reason we can’t do the business if the stars line up right.”

    Norton Motorcycles CEO Stuart Garner added:

    “We’ve been talking to John for a year or more, he’s the talent. He’s the man at the TT with the total experience, the results and the pedigree. We have the ambition to win the TT and to go on to develop a really strong team in years to come. We’d got John in our sights for a long time.”

    “To get John in the Norton team with his experience and knowledge available is fabulous.  Norton will seize the opportunity to get John involved in all aspects of the bike – he’s a huge asset to Norton. Everyone in the factory has got a huge buzz. It’s pretty special.  We’re all looking forward to the TT but we’ve not set any targets and take nothing for granted. Putting John McGuiness and Norton together is a dream team, but we know all results at the TT are hard earned whatever your name.”

  5. GSX-S1000FZ Phantom revealed and new colours for 2018 GSX-S range

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    Suzuki has announced a new GSX-S1000FZ Phantom edition for 2018, the all-matt black machine joining the popular GSX-S1000 and GSX-S750 Phantoms in the range next year.

    The stealthy black livery is offset by subtle red detailing, while the exhaust is also finished in black, further differing it from the standard GSX-S1000F.

    Using the iconic GSX-R1000 K5 engine – famed for it’s low-down torque and midrange power – the GSX-S1000F and GSX-S1000 get a three-stage traction control system plus Suzuki’s low rpm assist and easy-start system. For 2017, they also benefitted from a power hike – taking peak power to 150PS – and a new slipper clutch.

    The GSX-S1000 super-naked is also available in a new white paint scheme for 2018, with red and black graphics and red wheels, while the GSX-S750 – which was new for 2017 – can now be had in an eye-catching red and black livery, alongside the classic blue and black option and all-black Phantom.

    The 2018 GSX-S range will arrive in dealerships early next year.