Speed and handling—combined with sleek design—have been the dream of avid motorcyclists since the first bike took to the road some 125 years ago. Photographer Steve Cote invites you to take a road trip through a year of classic bikes. Classic and Vintage Motorcycles brings you the groundbreaking bikes that would be the highlight of any collection.
Classic and Vintage Motorcycles 2021 monthly wall calendar features: Large blocks for notes | Beautiful reproduction | Quality heavy-weight paper | Deluxe 11- by 14-inch size
Motorcycles featured in this edition include:
1974 Honda Elsinore MT 125 KO
In 1972 Honda’s launched its first two-stroke motorcycle since the model F two decades before. Dubbed Elsinore, the two-stroke 250 cc CR250M won the American motocross championship that year. Capitalizing on that success, Honda produced the two-stroke MT125KO in 1974 as a street-legal trail bike with headlights and turn signals that could easily be removed for running off road. Honda only manufactured the KO in 1974, ensuring that the model is a rarity today.
1966 Harley Davidson XLCH
The XLCH was the hot rod of Harley’s Sportster line, first produced in 1957. The XLCH weighed in at 480 pounds. Its 883 cc V-Twin “Ironhead” engine delivered 55 horsepower and could push the bike to 120 miles-per-hour, if you could hang on.
1960-1966 BMW R-27
BMW will always be associated with the horizontal twin, but the company also made a single-cylinder bike. Weighing in at 365 pounds and with just 15 horsepower, the R-27 was only fast going downhill. The deficit in power was offset by the quality of BMW’s engineering and construction making the R-27 reliable and long-lived.
1927 Cleveland 4-61
During its first decade, Cleveland Motorycle built light, single-cylinder bikes that were used by American army couriers during WW I. In 1925 Cleveland decided to build its first four-cylinder design to compete with rivals Ace and Henderson. Comparatively low power undermined sales. The engine was replaced for 1926 with a larger displacement inlet-over-exhaust valve configuration that was expanded to 61 cubic inches for 1927. Sales were not enough to overcome the impending crash, however, and Cleveland closed its doors in 1929.
1974 Honda CB750K
Honda’s CB750 delivered features that earned it the title “superbike” when it arrived in 1969: a 736 cc, 68 h.p. (8,500 rpm), transverse, straight-four, air cooled, SOHC engine. The package included a front disc brake, electric starter, dual mirrors, flashing turn signals all at an introductory price of $1495. Cycle World called it a masterpiece and the magazine found it to be durable and comfortable, with a top speed of 120 m.p.h.
Panther Motorcycles 1904-1967
Phelon & Moore patented the design for the engine as a part of the motorcycle frame and the English maker’s 1905 bike featured a single-cylinder 4-stroke engine with a two-speed gear and chain drive to the rear wheel. The Panther Model 100, launched in 1932, featured a single-cylinder OHV 600cc high-torque, low rpm engine ideal for driving sidecars. The engine, described as firing once every lamp post, kept the company running until 1967.
1933 Indian Four
The sales brochure for the Indian Four claimed that, “For smoothness, extreme flexibility and all-around excellence of performance, there is no equal to the 1933 Indian Four. This Aristocrat of motorcycles emerges from the Indian plant with many improvements and new features.” The power and easy handling of the Four proved appealing to police departments and wealthy individual buyers and they “emerged” from the plant until 1942.
1998 Moto Guzzi EV1100
The EV1100 California was actually a sport bike dressed up as a cruiser, since its basic but updated design could be traced back to Moto Guzzi’s 1971 V7 Sport. The brakes and suspension where quality designs and made the bike fun to ride on back roads. The torquey 74 h.p. V-twin was an enthusiastic partner willing to eat up the cruising miles or to run cross country. The California line was Guzzi’s best-selling bike for many years. You still see them on the road racking up thousands of miles.
Ducati Paso 750 1986
The Ducati Paso 750 was the first production motorcycle developed from the Cagiva-Ducati relationship. Launched in 1985 after Cagiva purchased Ducati, the Paso’s innovative design was by Massimo Tamburini. It was one of the first modern motorcycles to be fully enclosed and ran on 16-inch wheels both front and rear. Some 4,863 Paso’s where sold around the world between 1986 and 1988.
1968 Triumph T100
The Triumph Bonneville gets all the glory but many riders preferred the 500cc T100 to the Bonneville, it vibrated less and with just one carburetor was easier to keep in tune. The T100 also did well on the track, winning the Daytona 200 in 1966 and 1967 with Buddy Elmore and Gary Nikon riding.
1966 Velocette Thruxton
To survive, British motorcycle maker Veloctte needed more performance from it single-cylinder 499 cc Venom engine originally introduced in 1955. The company could not afford to build a new twin cylinder model. Introduced in 1966, the Thruxton’s Venom engine boasted a redesigned cylinder head, and an Amal GP2 racing carburetor that combined to deliver 41 h.p. and a top speed of 120 m.p.h. Racing at the Isle of Man in 1967 Thruxtons took first and second place in the Production TT category.
1974 Benelli Tornado 650S
The Benelli Tornado 650 was Italy's answer to the 1960s parallel-twin invasion, and intended to be an Italian "BSA beater." Well-built with quality components, an electric starter was added in 1972 with the arrival of the 650 "S." This Tornado has traveled more than 80,000 km and the engine is reported to "…thrive on revs, particularly over 4,500." The factory claimed 57 h.p. at 7,400 rpm. Benelli was founded in 1911 by five brothers in Pesaro, Italy.
© 2020 Tide-mark Press