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Bike [Accessories] You Should Know: Vetter Windjammer

A Vetter Windjammer fairing on a Moto Guzzi

Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


For roughly a ten-year period, from the early seventies through the early 1980s, if you wanted a touring motorcycle, the formula was very straightforward. You: 1) bought a motorcycle, and 2) installed a Vetter Windjammer fairing on it. It was as simple as that. Never has a single accessory so defined the motorcycle market. This bolt-on part was a more powerful influence in the evolution of the motorcycle than any number of motorcycle models.
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The Royal Enfield 500 C5 – Made Like A Gun

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Did you know you could buy a brand-new old bike? I don’t mean like a modern bike that’s been designed to look old, or, like Triumph a venerable nameplate affixed to fully modern technology. I mean a real-deal ye olde motorcycle. You can, sort of. Royal Enfield was once one of Great Britain’s most venerated motorcycle names. Today, it’s one of India’s, and the company – Royal Enfield Motors, offers their bikes for sale here in the States, in much the same form as when the British built them back in the ’50s and ’60s.

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Bikes You Should Know: Yamaha DT-1

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


With certain motorcycles in this series, the casual observer can easily understand why they were were revolutionary just by looking at them, even with modern eyes. It is harder to grasp exactly what made the DT-1 such a milestone without a bit of explanation. After all, there were dirt bikes and “street scramblers” before 1968, and gobs of small, street-legal dirt bikes have come along since. But the DT-1 is the reason why “dual-purpose” and “dual sport” have become common terms. It was the first bike that was designed to be equally at home on the street, on a motocross course, or casually exploring dirt trails. And people went crazy for it.

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Bikes You Should Know: Brough Superior SS100

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George Brough was a paradox. He was a consummate publicity hound, but “…did not allow his vision to be confused by the demands of experts, the trade, or the press. He built the machine HE wanted to ride…” [The Brough Superior Club's History]. From the time he broke away from his father’s Brough Motorcycle works in 1919 until his company became a part of the unsalvageable wreckage of World War II, George Brough (rhymes with “gruff”) wanted to be known as the man who built the indisputably greatest motorcycles in the world. He accomplished that by actually building the indisputably greatest motorcycles in the world for twenty-one years.

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Bikes You Should Know: Yamaha V-Max

Tanshanomi August 5, 2014 Two-Wheel Tuesday

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“One Must Be of One’s Time” — Honoré Daumier

Certain motorcycles resonate with the market and take on a significance beyond their function. Today, the original Yamaha V-Max is remembered much differently than the contemporary models it competed against in dealers’ showrooms. They’re just old, outdated bikes; the V-Max still inspires awe and respect. It was exactly the right bike at the right time. Now, don’t get me wrong, at its introduction in 1985 the V-Max certainly was the most powerful production motorcycle ever sold, but the reasons it became legendary have more to do with image, marketing, and emotion than outright performance.

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Bikes You Should Know: Honda’s GP Sixes, 1965-’67

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


Anybody who wishes to claim any knowledge of motorcycle development in the twentieth century has to know what “The Six” is. There have been a fair number of six-cylinder motorcycles from various makers over the years, but in much the same way as the Isle of Man is “the island” and the Roman Catholic church is “the church,” THE Six refers to Honda’s FIM Grand Prix race bikes of 1965-1967. Yes, that’s correct — “bikes,” plural. The Six was actually four different models. But the cumulative bitch-slap they gave to the face of the motorcycling establishment was a singularly shocking wake-up call.
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V.I.S.I.T.: Two Wheel Tuesday: A Lovely Cafe Racer

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Now, this olelongrooffan does not hesitate to admit that I know nearly nothing about motorcycles, although I am learning more every week thanks to a certain Hoon contributor who is providing that knowledge to all of we Hoons. But, having said that, I do recognize something special when I see a certain two wheeled ride. And this was one of those times.

I don’t have a lot to offer on the specifics of this except that is a Honda and another image seen after the jump.

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Bikes You Should Know: 1987 Yamaha FZR1000

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


If you want to know where the modern sport bike era started, it was 1987, with the bike on which you are currently gazing. Period.

The FZR1000 was the first machine to possess all the basic pieces of the modern sportbike architecture we still see on showroom floors today. Motor vehicle development is evolutionary, and most parts of the configuration had been tried here and there, but the big FZR was the first to assemble them all and hang them on a truly modern motorcycle frame. Oh, what a mighty, gorgeous, remarkable frame.

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Bikes You Should Know: Norton Commando

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


The Norton Commando is thought by many to be the ultimate expression of the classic Britbike, the high water mark of Britain’s original motorcycle industry. In fact, in a survey of readers by Old Bike Journal magazine in the early 1990s, the Norton Commando was voted THE single most desirable of all classic production motorcycles from anywhere in the world.

Even though I was a Triumph Bonneville man myself, I am unable to refute that reputation; by any objective measure it was bigger, faster, racier, more sophisticated, more popular, and more steeped in mythology than just about anything else England produced prior to the disintegration of that country’s manufacturing sector in the mid-1970s. Perhaps more than any other bike, to ride a late-model Commando is to understand why even today generations of riders still wax lyrical about the magic of big British twins.
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Bikes You Should Know: 1984 Harley-Davidson Softail

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Bikes You Should Know is a new feature that will appear weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column will focus on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


You wouldn’t know it to look at Harley-Davidson now, but about 35–40 years ago, America’s only surviving major motorcycle manufacturer was on the ropes, and in genuine danger of going under altogether. The Universal Japanese Motorcycle was in its heyday and was vastly superior in performance and reliability. By 1978, Harley sold off its Italian holdings and abandoned the lightweight bike market. The only people who wanted Harleys were people who wouldn’t consider anything else for cultural reasons: outlaw motorcycle gangs, tradition-bound cops, rabid nationalists and labor union supporters who refused to buy foreign imports on principle, and those who had grown up in a Harley-riding household.

That’s certainly not the case today, and this bike, the Harley-Davidson Softail, is one big reason why.

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