BSA Bantam

Back in the 1960s, Doug Barton owned a couple of BSA’s sprightly lightweights, and vividly recalls his experiences with the trusty two-stroke… At the time, I was the proud owner of a Harley Duoglide. There were not many Harleys around then, when Fred Warr was the only UK dealer. I needed a small bike for commuting from my home in…

Kawasaki W2 650

RealClassic reader Kevin Lemire is a fan of Kawasaki’s 650 twins, built back in the 1970s. He’s so enthusiastic about them that he owns half a dozen different types of W2… Kawasaki had every right to expect success in 1966 when they took the plunge with Japan’s first large capacity twin, the 624cc W1. After all, the entire postwar British…

AJS & Matchless 500 Singles: out of the archive

If you’re looking for a traditional British single-cylinder classic motorcycle, then the AJS Model 18 and the Matchless G80 are charming old chuffers which cost considerably less than their Norton or Velocette equivalents… Honest, dependable and free of phoney pretensions, the big singles built by Associated Motor Cycles after WW2 neatly balance price and performance. The 497cc AJS Model 18…

Laverda SF750, Part Three

In previous episodes, Dave Minton has taken us through the development of Laverda’s 750 twin. Now he evaluates its attributes as a classic bike and offers expert advice if you’re thinking of buying one… To give Laverda credit, the SF series had gained no weight during the eight years of production, and a build and material quality superior to any…

Laverda SF750, Part Two

Last time, Dave Minton introduced us to Laverda’s 750 parallel twin. In the mid-1970s it got faster, lighter and more reliable… When initially launched the SF was popular enough that Laverda were unable to meet demand, so little was changed for the model’s second year. There was an option of a race-styled seat with a lockable box in its back-stop,…