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New, used, old, classic

Classic love can usually be traced back to your childhood, childhood dreams and nostalgia. The motorcycle of a family member, a neighbor or the motorcycle from a story from what was then the only Dutch motorcycle magazine: Het Weekblad Motor. That magazine was printed in black and white on newsprint. The 57th volume, issue 50 of December 11, 1970, cost 65 cents. And on the cover was a close up of the engine block of a Kawasaki 500 cc three-cylinder. Behind it was such a highly valued reader test under the heading '538.908 km with the 500 cc Kawasaki Mach III.


Many damage cases, 'cheap' occassions

For those kilometers, 33 submitters were required. Of those 33, only 4 were lucky ones who had not yet suffered special repairs. In those times people drove fast and a lot broke down. There was some connection between those things.

For example, between 1975-1985, the toppers from the early 60s were just old (er) engines. Not new or recent. Not yet classic. They were cheap. Or at least affordable. And many of us had a good time then. We were younger, we didn't have too many commitments outside of some fluctuating courtship, and we drove. We drove much more than the now apparently common average of 3000 km on an annual basis.

A ZGAN XT500

The XT500 in the picture was expensive. It was bought for 3000 guilders. Including SuperTrap exhaust and the unique petrol vapor permeable and therefore non-repaintable Acerbis tank. Somewhere in France it went wrong…. The Honda CB 750 was really fast due to its Japauto cylinder block of 810 cc. The four-cylinder had an asking price of 1250 guilders and sold for 950.. When accelerating during an overtaking action on the A2, the chain of the Japauto Honda broke. That chain was cut away by a Mercedes driver with his windscreen. He suddenly had a star on his hood and a star in his window. And the sweat on his forehead

Tricycles with a Suzuki T500

The Suzuki T500 with Velorex sidecar, a low steering wheel and a Reimo two-in-one expansion pipe cost 2500 or 2250 guilders. The machine died spectacularly due to the T500 gear pack euvel. The first phase was 'pitting' of the gears. The tricycle went terminal because the gearbox gears clumped together. Under strong acceleration, that was enough to force a gap between the crankcase halves.

Now they are better (and you can still score cheap)

But when those old survivors became classic things got a lot better. That certainly had to do with the fact that they were no longer being milked out constantly. And as for the British classics? As a classic, these were mounted much more carefully than they were in the respective factories and, moreover, 'the market' had devised trade modifications that also made them considerably better. Even Tridents and BSA Spitfires now remain intact.

If you now look at those prices they were sold for at the time, you dream away tearfully. On the other hand, the current motorcycles of about 15-20 years old are now the bargains of then. Because someday someone will sigh: “A Yamaha GTS1000 for only € 2000? How did it exist!

Photo saved by Olaf Bok


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2 Comments

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  1. 1 in 6… I am sure it is.
    I was riding a Yamaha XS500, bought from Gebben when around Christmas 1978 the new business of the Hebben family was opened on the Roelof Brinkstraat in Staphorst. You couldn't miss the bike, it was standing on an elevation near the corridor.
    About 4 months later my brother bought a Suzuki GT500 there… First there had to be an “L” on the back and the pink paper supplemented with an “A” but then as a duo make the Netherlands unsafe.
    The tanks were about the same size but the Soes had to refuel twice and my Yamaha only once. The Tam ran about 1 in 15 ...
    But what a time!

  2. What about the Suzuki 750 3 cylinder 2 stroke. A racing monster. I lived 35 km from work and drove my Renault5 up and down every day.
    A colleague had such a monster. He went to relatives in the US for a month.
    I was allowed to borrow his bike that month. Although decades ago I still literally remember his words: “Kees, you can use my engine, then you drive a little more economically”.
    More economical? 1 in 6. In first gear to almost 100.
    I had a lot of fun with it and also drove it incredibly fast.

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