UPDATE!!! Here are pictures from the event Click to see the PICTURES
If you are in the are of the front range near Denver, come on out to the 4th annual vintage motorcycle show at Heritage Square near Golden Colorado. See hundreds of vintage motorcycles of all types, and of course a few of mine (The Junk Man's Adventures) It is sure to be a treat for young and old, best part is it is 100% Free! Below is the details. and directions to Heritage Square
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2014
Times: Show Hours 10:00 - 3:00PM
If you have an clean and excellently restored vintage motorcycle you would like to exhibit please contact Bob or Ron at the emails below.Contact:
Ron Sweetin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Kelly at email@example.com
Colorado vintage motorcycle show
These types of things come up from time to time, a classic car with low miles stored on a velvet pillow, a motorcycle owned by Steve McQueen, you know rare items that grab some headlines because of some sort of provenance. A recent event that created a lot of hub-bub was the Lambrecht auto auction, which if you don't know anything about it click the link to see video and information about that unique event that will go down in classic car history.
Now this site is primarily motorcycle focused and what follows is an auction on a bike that arguably is as rare and notable as the aforementioned vehicles but will probably not get any media attention. I am talking about an ebay auction for a 1976 Suzuki RE5 with less that 1 mile on the odometer (about 6 tenths to be exact) so it is out of the crate probably rolled around a dealers floor but never set up, engine not ever started. A unique find on a very unique bike, er engine placed in a motorcycle. The bike is notable as the engine is a rotary (Wankle) engine, if you don't know what that is think Mazda RX7. Anyways this made the bike a total departure (and a head scratch-er) in a sea of popular, and even by that time ubiquitous, inline 4 cylinder motorcycles. It was obvious the 2 stroke street bike engine was on the way out so this was possibly a fresh idea or alternative to that even though Suzuki did make inline 2 and 4 cylinder bikes as well. Suzuki was weird this way seeming to take big chances on alternative designs no matter how big the potential flop. Well this bike was a flop for many reasons and was only produced from 74-76. This brings us to this auction, an unused, unsold bike that even when new was destined to be a collectible. However it does beg the question because the bike was such a flop and a poor seller to its stablemate the GS750 which sold in greater numbers, are there more of these examples out there? If you want to know more about this bike here is a factory Suzuki promotional film. Currently as of this writing "reserve not met" (images courtesy of ebay listing) click for a larger view.
Since nearly the dawn of motorcycle racing, dirt track, scrambles, road racing, what ever, there have been bikes that come along that get the moniker "Works". Someone will point at a bike and say "That's a works bike". What does the term "Works" mean?
Most motorcycle people can point out or name a Works bike or Works part as there have been thousands of bikes and parts that fall under the umbrella term "Works" but what does the term really mean? How did the term come to be applied to racing? These are the questions that most people probably don't have a good answer for. It is kinda like the term "GIFs" people can point them out but most don't know what term means or how it even got applied.
The term "Works" as applied to motorcycle racing is most likely was derived from Skunkworks, which as some in the aviation industry will automatically recognize as having a tie to a division of Lockheed Martin. Aviation buffs will also know this division was formed sometime during or just after World War II. Skunkworks was Lockheed Martin's sort of think tank division where engineers were allowed to test and develop ideas without the restraints of production feasibility or governmental regulation until put into production for mass use.
Now that is all fine and dandy but what does the term really mean when applied to racing? Long and short of it "works" generically means, a new idea, physical part or in the case of a bike that is not currently in production or is designed outside the normal channels. "Works" parts or ideas also don't necessarily have to conform to current rules and regulations giving designers and engineers the freedom to develop or test ideas that may be unconventional.
Even though motorcycle racing (in the US) has been around well before World War II, it wasn't until after the war in the prosperous 50's would lead to a boom in motorcycling and racing. Savvy motorcycle manufacturers and tinkerers, some of which built their own bikes in the pre-war era, found the new venues, races and of course advertising to be a way to garner enthusiasm for their product. Enthusiasm driven by race wins. Previously hand built bikes using off the shelf parts and custom bits were the norm as very few (almost none) manufacturers actually built "ready to race" bikes, so in a sense every bike on the track was a "works" bike. Later as organised racing series with classes and regulations to keep the racing tighter and more fair. Enter the "works" rule. Production race bikes have to meet homologation rules but there is an allowance for one off bikes or parts to be used under a "works" rule. Typically works parts and bikes are used to refine ideas that may (or may not) eventually make it onto a production bike. Case in point my photo example of an idea for a front suspension that from reports worked very good in terms of performance, but was too high of cost to manufacture for mass production. It does look sexy doesn't it?
In recent years full "works" bikes have not been as prevalent, it is time for you to respond, what do you think the reason is?
The new episode is up! Check it out and see the bike run! Also check out all the parts that went into this project. This Kawasaki F9 Big Horn racer is really taking shape!
Jon "the junk man" helping to promote responsible riding and recreation whether it be at the track or at the trail. Your source for motorcycle how to videos and much more!