Would you pay $27,000 for a Ural sidecar rig? That’s the asking price for the new GEO limited edition, so we look at what you get for your money. You’ll need a lot more money to nab the 1940 Crocker coming up at auction soon, though—like several hundred thousand dollars. We also examine a slick Yamaha XJ600 from Portugal, and a wild little two-stroke pit bike.
Two-stroke pit bike by Wilco Lindner The Dutch mini bike enthusiast (and gym owner) had a bit of time on his hands during the lockdown last year. So he decided to enter the Coronavirus Bike Build Off, a global online competition hosted by Roland Sands.
Wilco took a generic pit bike frame, and shoehorned in an 80cc Derbi two-stroke engine. He ended up having to make new lower frame rails and a new rear subframe to get everything to fit, but it was worth it—because the motor is a corker.
It’s been tuned to within an inch of its life, with heavy porting, CR85 V Force hand-milled reeds, a full custom exhaust, and SX50 radiators to keep the temperatures down.
Wilco put the motor through 100 dyno runs to get it working right, and ended up burning through two cylinders as well. “It hauls ass,” he says dryly.
The style is ‘mini flat tracker’ and Wilco tried his hand at beating out the bodywork for the first time too, with excellent results.
To keep the show on the road, Wilco upgraded the original pit bike brakes and installed an Öhlins shock. It’s apparently terrifying to ride—but that didn’t stop it from picking up second place in the competition. [Via]
1940 Crocker Big Twin Crocker is most definitely not a household name when it comes to motorcycles. But surviving examples of these powerful old V-twins sell for insane sums at auction: a couple of years ago, a 1936 Crocker ‘Small Tank’ escalated to an extraordinary $825,000 at a Mecum auction in Monterey.
Mecum now has another Crocker on its books, due to go under the hammer in April in Las Vegas. It’s a 1940 model well known to collectors, and nicknamed ‘Dale’s Burnout Special.’
It’s one of only 68 surviving examples of the marque, and it comes with an extensive history—including detailed notes on its restoration.
The name comes from owner and AMA Hall of Famer Dale Walksler, founder of a North Carolina museum called Wheels Through Time. When not presenting TV shows, Dale likes to start up the bikes in his collection—and despite its advanced age, the 1940 Crocker is capable of a quite spectacular burnout.
It’ll be intriguing to see how much this Crocker sells for in the current climate. Even if it doesn’t reach the giddy heights of the 1936 ‘Small Tank,’ we suspect that Dale won’t have to borrow gas money for a while. [Via]
This stylish Yamaha started out as something of a problem, being a low-budget café racer project that was eventually mothballed by its Madeira-based owner. But in the summer of 2019, Nuno and Ricardo had space in their schedule after finishing a Yamaha Yard Built project, and put the XJ600 up on the bench.
From the original 1990 bike (known as the FJ600 in the US), the only remaining parts are the engine, carbs and frame. The tank is from a Honda CB750F Super Sport, and the front end is from a first generation CBR900RR, with LED idiot lights embedded in the new top yoke. The forks were chosen because they were “the chunkiest right-side-down forks available!” according to Nuno.
The rear monoshock suspension was upgraded using parts from a Yamaha YZF, and the wheels and brakes are from a Honda CB Sevenfifty. There’s a 4-into-2 stainless exhaust system (“sounds fabulous!”) and the headlight, strangely enough, comes from an army assault vehicle.
After a complete rewire and a new seat unit adapted from a previous Pantah build, the beautifully repainted Yammie is now back with its owner and roaming the island roads of Madeira. We bet it’s a blast to ride. [Via | Images by Helder Bento]
2021 Ural Gear Up GEO You have to hand it to Ural. The iconic sidecar rigs are impossible to kill off, with slow but steady sales outside Russia. They’re still made in the small town of Irbit, and to keep European buyers happy, Ural has recently managed to get the venerable boxer twin engine through the tough Euro 5 emissions regulations.
In the US, the local distributor helps sales along by coming up with new ways to position the heavy-duty Gear Up 2WD model. It’s just launched the ‘GEO’ limited edition for 2021, with twenty to be made and a price of $26,999. That’s almost ten grand more than the standard Gear Up—so what what do you get for your money, aside from exclusivity?
The most obvious change is the geometric camo paint job—which is applied by hand by a lady called Svetlana in the factory, and looks very good indeed. But Urals are all about the go-anywhere capability, so the GEO also has adjustable Nitron shocks, blocky Heidenau K37 tires, and a high-exit exhaust system from the Italian maker GPR. (This is technically illegal for on-road use, but will be very handy for tackling water crossings.)
Other upgrades include crash bars, a pair of useful racks for the sidecar, a windscreen, an better seat unit, and a RotopaX fuel container.
The Ural can be loaded with enough gear for a week of camping or overlanding, right up to a maximum permissible weight of 1,325 lbs. If you feel like you need to escape from the world right now, this is the motorcycle to do it on.