Restoring a barn-fresh 1966 Sears Allstate

Archive for the 'cool bikes' Category


Bultaco_DSC00401I found this Bultaco really interesting, not for the bike’s pedigree,  which is interesting (see below), but because it seems this perfect hybrid of late 60s/early 70s British and Continental design.

The  bike was sold on ebay just last week with a selling price of USD $20,000,  the bidding was sitting at $18,000 until the last minute, a sum that was still short of reserve.

Here’s the ebay listing:

1971 Bultaco Metralla MK2 owned by Kenny Roberts. The story on this bike is Senior Bulto and the Barcelona Bultaco Club gave Kenny Roberts this bike as a gift at the 1994 Barcelona GP. This bike is new not restored. Kenny is trying to locate the picture of Senior Bulto giving him this bike. If he can find it the picture it will be included with the bike. Also included is a letter from Kenny stating the authenticity of this bike. The bike runs but the petcocks leak so they will need to be repaired. The frame and engine numbers match. Bike shows 76 km = 45 miles. Worldwide shipping is no problem. Check out my other auctions for more Kenny Roberts bikes and memorabilia or check us out on the web. Bike is sold as is no returns so ask questions before you bid.

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Another Twingle: 1954 Iso 125 GT

There aren’t many twingles out there, so I was very interested in this ISO single that came up on ebay. It’s a restored 1954 Iso. Iso is an Italian refrigerator company (hence the name) founded by Renzo Rivolta, that turned to bikes and later cars. Iso was the originator of the Isetta, which was a flop in Italy so BMW acquired the rights and the rest, is history. 

Vive la Twingle!

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Gap Norton Boxers

Noton, BSA, Triumph- Boxer underwear

Noton, BSA, Triumph- Boxer underwear

My very understanding wife (understanding of my motorcycle hobby) brought home some underwear for me yesterday, an event not usually worthy of blogging. One pair  has motorcycles on them. I casually glanced at them as usually the print is some generic cruiser, classic or Universal Japanese type silhouette found on traffic signs.  Ahh, but my wife is a smart lady – these made me take a second look – at first they seemed like  British bikes, then a closer look – hold the phone – that looks like a Norton Fastback – a FASTBACK – yes it actually is a Norton Fastback. Check out the distinctive primary case shape, the tailpiece, and the side-panel/oil-tank, and  judging by the exhaust it’s a ’68-69. (It’s the top one for those that don’t know….)

I am pleased as punch – I can actually compete with the Harley drones that are decked out head to toe in official HD garb.

My apologies to those who thought this was about BMW spark-plugs.

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CVMG National Rally: Paris 2010

It isn’t Mid-Ohio, but it does have some fine bikes and if you look closely there might be a part or two on the tables worth haggling for. I’ve been attending the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group annual Rally in Paris, ON for over a decade and have seen many of the bikes previously, so the photo gallery below is what tickled my fancy.  Notable this year were a few Sears Allstate bikes, a nicely restored Gilera, and a few other PUCH motorcyles in lesser states of restoration. There were the usual Triumphs, Nortons, BSA etc, new this year were the Indians and the really old flat tank Harleys. I did run into a guy on the road leading to the Paris Farigrounds, he had a Velorex 560 attached to a Triumph (or was it a BSA), I asked him what he thought and he said it was a friends and it’s scary! Hmm, not sure which part is scary. I particularly enjoyed the Nimbus with a Steib sidecar, there is something about a Nimbus…

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of Rudge, there were some fine Rudge motorcycles on display, this video was taken at the end of the Concours judging on Sunday.  I usually time my Sunday visit for the end of the judging so I can hear the bikes start up and drive off.

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My Velorex 560

Back in the summer of ’88 I bought a Horex Regina poster at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Since then I have been staring at this poster – dreaming that one day I would have  cool vintage bike with an awesome sidecar.

Now that I have a little one and a funky old bike (the Puch Allstate 250 SGS) that’s suitable for a hack, I thought it was time to see what’s out there.

I won’t go into the history and classification of sidecars – but I  determined that I need something light weight for the small displacement PUCH, and it defiantly needs to have some style. The Puch 250 seems like a perfect sidecar rig, it has lots of low end torque, a pressed steel frame, unlike the Norton Commando isolastic system that wouldn’t tolerate a side car, finally it isn’t a  racing thoroughbred, so attaching a sidecar isn’t a travesty.

A quick look on ebay reveals that there are no end of Chinese CJ and Russian Dnepr rigs out there. A few weeks ago I took a freshly imported CJ for a spin and it was HEAVY – the bike had been rebuilt with FAG bearings, disk brake (Nissin knock off) and snazzy matte Wehrmacht gray paint, but I think I’ve driven smoother tractors.  I tried to tip/pick up the sidecar – couldn’t get it off the ground, if you are crossing the Mongolian Steppe, I suppose robust construction is the order of the day.

I really like the Indian Cozy sidecars, they are knocking-off the Watsonian zeppelin style and Steib/Stoye “canoe nose” sidecars. I contemplated a sidecar for my Vespa 125, but ultimately decided that I really like riding my scoot, and I doubt it would be strong enough to lug the extra weight of a steel sidecar even with the DR177 hop-up.

Vespa with Cozy Sidecar
Vespa with Cozy Sidecar

The Velorex 562, which there are plenty to choose from on the market,  looks far too similar to a Thule roof-box for my taste.

…no matter how  you try to distract me (there’s so much wrong with this photo I don’t know where to start).

This brings me to the  fun stuff. The former  Eastern block had need for cheap transport, and while there wasn’t great variety there was an attempt to make the only choice a stylish choice.

The Velorex 560 was introduced in the early 1950s and produced until 1974 when it was replaced with the 562. The 560 is a fiberglass body on a simple chassis designed for 250 and 350 Jawa motorcycles.  For the domestic market they came in a burgundy/red, export was black.

The 560 shares the same brake and wheels as the Jawa bike, and parts are available (in English) from vendors in the  Czech Republic such as Jawamarkt.cz.

I picked up mine last weekend – it’s in great shape, mostly there (missing the interior sidepadding, latch for the seat lock, Velorex logo and tonneau cover.) it was previously attached to a couple of Triumphs, before that it was owned by a former policeman, not sure what he had it on.
Here it is loaded on my little trailer – previous owners planning on what to do with their fist’o cash.

Here’s a better shot on the trailer. Haven’t had a chance to take it off yet! I have only been able to find one person (http://allstateguy.tripod.com) that has a sidecar attached to a Puch 250 SGS – if there are others out there, let me know!

Youtube: Jawa Velorex commercial

Youtube video

If I was really patient and resourceful I would hold out for a Hungarian Duna….

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