Page 1 of 4What's hot in 2011 and beyond.
ike society, motorcycling goes through trends and periods of questionable fashion. Some ideas, those that strike a specific chord with enthusiasts often move through an ebb and flow process...never really disappearing completely and
resurfacing later as recognizable. The cafe' racer is an excellent example of this, as are trendsetting motorcycles such as the Brough Superior and Vincent Black Shadow. Remembered and embraced for their engineering excellence, the classic design never falls into the trap of superficial appeal.
Keeping an eye on things, VMOL's notes and jottings pertaining to what's hot (and what's not) have been pulled from a variety of sources; from auction results, email inquiries and industry focus to comments posted on forums or social networking sites. Not surprisingly, the new blood that's moving across the vintage bike landscape is drawing the emphasis away from motorcycling's infancy and redirecting it towards machines we'll refer to as modern classics. The interest in 70s era Japanese super bikes means certain British icons are now sharing the spotlight, while the appeal for restored, original-type big twin Harleys has almost eclipsed the 'theme' built custom that was popularized during the later half of the last decade.
Far from complete, the following list contains not just individual models, but examples of era-specific machines that highlight the intent and culture of the period. In a world full of uncertainty, it's a safe bet to assume the motorcycles populating this list are here to stay. Goodman HDS 1200:
Regardless of your take on the brand, even the most ardent Harley opponent has to concede the big twin's all encompassing grasp. A common sight in dirt oval, the Milwaukee vee has racked up countless touring miles, powering everything from fat-fendered bobbers to the world's wildest choppers. Despite being preceded by the factory-built XLCR cafe' racer, the Sportster-powered Goodman HDS emerged as a rolling oxymorn; a rugged American dressed in a hip, stylish and utterly traditional English smoking jacket. In that regard the Goodman accomplished what the XLCR -and its acres of sinister black- could not.
Appearing in the early 90s via mass circulation, the Goodman HDS 1200 was created by Simon Goodman of Goodman Engineering LTD. The blood lines that linked Goodman to the Velocette name gave the firm instant creditability, adding desire to a waiting customer base by supplying the Norvin-type special they always wanted, but could never have. Housed in a purpose-patterned Norton Featherbed frame, an Evo-spec 1200cc Sportster twin was tucked in the cradle and secured by a vibe-quelling mounting system of Goodman's own design.
Giving sugstance to the build, the Goodman sports Marzocchi forks, twin Konis and triple Brembo brakes pinching matched 18-inch magnesium wheels. Gaining momentum in the home-brewed cafe' scene, the narrow, stumpy Harley twin seems a natural for the application, but some follow ups (such as the report penned by Steve Wilson and published in Real Classic
# 36) revealed all was not kosher in the Goodman camp. Reported to be lacking in flexible horsepower and the handling a notch or three off, production was short lived.
Nevertheless, with more and more owners knocking out stunning Harley cafe' renditions, the Goodman is given credit for providing much of that inspiration. A subcategory revolutionizing the cafe' scene, the big Harley continues to power machines -and dreams- on down the road. Godet/Egli Vincent:
An enthusiastic fan of the brand, Frenchman Patrick Godet turned his love of the Vincent twin into what many consider to be the most extraordinary production motorcycle available today. Taking the path established by engineer/racer Fritz Egli, Godet built a replica of Egli's spine frame to his own exacting standards then delivered the finished product to the Swiss tuner for inspection. Egli's response was more than favorable, leading him to grant Godet
exclusive production rights. And while there are numerous projects using Vincent propulsion, Godet is the only person bestowed with this honor.
To understand the Godet, you must understand Egli's original. Discovering the limitations of the stock chassis in competition, Egli's design is both stronger and lighter. Using a large, round (and oil bearing) central beam, Egli attached tele forks and a traditional twin-shock swingarm. Godet remains faithful to the formula, his rendition using a Ceriani GP fork laced to a Fontana 4LS stopper with rear dampeners and hub sourced from Maxton. Delivered in standard Black Shadow tune, options exist to turn the engine into beastie status if desired, but
normal configuration includes Amal carbs, Boyer ignition and a Vincent type-four speed with wet clutch. More than enough for most, and certainly for me. Other niceties, like Godet's curvaceous 2-into-1 exhaust, premium finish and coachwork polish off this stunning package.
Exclusive and unique, perhaps the most amazing aspect of this amazing machine is that it's a brand new motorcycle. Axle-to-axle, primary to timing cover, 100% new with 12v electrics, push button start and benefiting from all that modern technology offers. And while it isn't cheap, the Egli Godet remains a comparative bargain when paired against the likes of other high-end classics; even the stock Vincent twin it's derived from. A shining beacon illuminating the best of vintage motorcycling, look for a full report on the Godet Egli at VMOL soon. Capacity
: 998cc. Frame
: Egli oil bearing spine. Wheelbase
: 57” Weight