Yamaha XS650

  A few months back, Editor Westworth risked life and limb by suggesting that Yamaha’s air-cooled parallel twin was the first and potentially the best ‘Japanese Bonneville’. It’s stood the test of time, too, as this 40 year old example ably demonstrates. So we were delighted to hear from the man who modified this particular XS – previous owner DaveP,…

Braking Bad

In the February issue of RealClassic, Dave Bushell noted that ‘my pre-war Scotts and, I think, most girder-forked machines, have their front brake arms facing forward from the pivot point. My post-war Scotts with telescopic forks have them facing rearwards, as do most other makes with some exceptions. If forward facing brake arms provide better braking, why did manufacturers reverse…

Classic bikes for sale

  Every issue of the monthly RealClassic magazine includes pages of old motorcycles and classic bikes for sale, offered by private individuals and trade specialists. And every month, some extremely interesting (or just plain strange) small ads attract the eagle eye of Editor Westworth. Here then are six of the best reader ads from the February issue – a mix…

Classic bike bits: anti-ethanol, riding jeans and smart sparks

Anti-Effinol We’ve discussed the irritating effects of ethanol in petrol before – and the subject becomes ever more relevant as the concentration of ethanol rises. Even ‘super’ high-octane fuels are quite likely to contain some ethanol. It’s entirely possible to purchase fuel-proof pipework and petrol taps but, especially if a bike only gets occasional use, ghastly goop frequently congeals in…

BMW F650

BMW’s original Funduro, soon to celebrate its quarter-century, is one of the firm’s most successful models. Some 50,000 of the original four-valve dual-plug five-speed 650 singles were built in partnership with Rotax and Aprilia in the mid-1990s, before BMW brought production in-house in 2000. Ian Caswell initially thought he’d found a brilliant bargain in the form of his 1994 F650…

DKW and MZ motorcycles

We frequently find all manner of interesting artefacts while rummaging around in the RC RChive, including factory adverts, original artwork and some stunning bike brochures. We cram as many of them into the magazine as we can, but they often don’t reproduce particularly well in print so we can only use them at relatively small sizes. It seems a shame…