France

  • Colin Seeley Triley

    Colin Seeley Triley

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,,

    Between 1961 and 1967, Colin Seeley was one of Britain’s top sidecar racers. But he’s better known for the motorcycles he developed after retiring, mostly powered by AJS and Matchless engines. If you didn’t have a factory ride, a Seeley bike was the next best… Read more »

  • ELF Honda

    ELF Honda

  • Chris Hunter Racing Motorcycles ,,

    Between 1981 and 1983, Honda’s outlandish ELF prototypes competed in the World Endurance Championships, generating a slew of patents for Honda—including one for a single-sided rear swingarm. Fast but unreliable, the machines were created by Renault designer Andre de Cortanze, who was a keen endurance… Read more »

  • BMW R60/5 custom

    BMW R60/5 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I’ve always had a soft spot for 1970s BMWs, but I haven’t seen anything quite like this slash-five before. It’s owned by Frenchman Gaëtan Pillaud, and he calls it a ‘Clubber’—a mix between a clubman and a bobber. The bike started life as a 1973… Read more »

  • Yamaha SR500 by Blitz

    Yamaha SR500 by Blitz

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Blitz Motorcycles of France kicked up a storm when we featured their BMW R60/2 last month. It was raw and dark, and Blitz have continued the theme with their latest build—’Honda Tank‘. Despite that tank, it’s actually a 1993 Yamaha SR500. And the grungy looks… Read more »

  • Interview: Vincent Prat

    Interview: Vincent Prat

  • Chris Hunter Interviews

    Vincent Prat is one of the leading lights of the classic motorcycle scene in France. He’s the driving force behind the highly recommended website Southsiders MC, and led the team that created the ultimate Triton, the CP Project #1—otherwise known as ‘the Chanel motorcycle’. Vincent… Read more »

  • BMW R1200 custom

    BMW R1200 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Most motorcycle marques can point to a single early model that set the tone for those that followed and established the brand. In BMW’s case it’s the R32. It was unveiled at the Berlin motor show in 1923, and it was a good fifty years… Read more »

  • Blitz BMW R60/2

    Blitz BMW R60/2

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    In the car world, you often see “murdered out” vehicles, painted completely black for a sleek and sinister look. You occasionally see it in the motorcycling world—Steve Jones’ Ducati being an example—but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fifty-year-old classic motorcycle given the “murder”… Read more »

  • Mecatwin Bonneville TX-A1

    Mecatwin Bonneville TX-A1

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Mecatwin is a name you don’t often hear outside France, but the company is one of the top European Triumph specialists. Based an hour or so south of Paris in the town of Montargis—sometimes known as the “Venice of the Gâtinais”—Mecatwin turns stock Bonnevilles into… Read more »

  • 1949 AJS 18

    1949 AJS 18

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    There’s something to be said for a simple, classic British thumper, and they don’t get much simpler than this. It’s a 1949 AJS 18, sent in by Vincent from the Southsiders MC. The 498cc four-stroke thumper was one of the last big-selling British singles before… Read more »

  • Godier Genoud replica

    Godier Genoud replica

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    One of the most successful privateer racing teams in the 1970s was the French outfit Godier Genoud. Even if the retina-searing graphics of their racebikes didn’t grab your attention, you’d notice their riders on the podium. Team principals George Godier and Alain Genoud were prolific… Read more »

  • Egli-Vincent

    Egli-Vincent

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    The French have a knack for classy, timeless motorcycles. There was Jean François Vicente, in the days when he owned VD Classic. We recently featured restorer Jean-Claude Barrois, who created the Rudge ‘bitsa’. And then there’s Patrick Godet of Godet Motorcycles of Malaunay in northern… Read more »

  • Rudge-Whitworth

    Rudge-Whitworth

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    This remarkably elegant vintage motorcycle is actually a bit of a mongrel: it’s a Rudge Whitworth ‘bitsa’ built by Jean-Claude Barrois, who also restored the Honda CB450 and Terrot racer we’ve featured before. This bike has had a chequered life, starting out as a 1928… Read more »

  • Vincent Rapide motorcycle

    Vincent Rapide motorcycle

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    The latest motorcycle to be wheeled into the studio of French master photographers Guerry & Prat is this 1951 Vincent Rapide. And it suits their signature monochromatic style perfectly. When it appeared in 1946, the Vincent Rapide became the fastest production motorcycle on sale, with… Read more »

  • Voxan motorcycles

    Voxan motorcycles

  • Chris Hunter Production Motorcycles ,

    In two weeks, the assets of French boutique motorcycle maker Voxan will go under the hammer in Clermont-Ferrand. It’s one of the sadder stories of the Global Financial Crisis, because Voxan was one of the last true independents in the motorcycling world. My favorite Voxan… Read more »

  • Manurhin scooter

    Manurhin scooter

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,,

    When I was a lad growing up in the North of England, the Mod Revival was in full swing. Scooters were everywhere, mostly heading down the M1 motorway for weekend trips to the south coast resorts. At that time, I couldn’t tell the difference between… Read more »

  • Honda CB450 K1

    Honda CB450 K1

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    In the days before the horsepower race, the Honda CB450 was one of the most desirable bikes you could buy. You had the choice of charismatic, cantankerous British iron, which would invariably mark its territory with a little puddle of oil, heavyweight American cruisers, or… Read more »

  • Vitesse Moto

    Vitesse Moto

  • Chris Hunter Motorcycle Gear ,

    The trouble with most motorcycle boots is that they’re a compromise. If you’re looking for a helmet or jacket, you’re spoilt for choice. But with boots, you normally have just two options: racing-style boots that are safe but not particularly comfortable, or street boots that… Read more »

  • 1998 Triumph Thunderbird custom

    1998 Triumph Thunderbird custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Triumph has used the Thunderbird moniker for four completely different motorcycles since WWII. The first appeared in 1949—predating Ford’s use of the name—and became famous as the bike Brando rode in The Wild Ones. Then came the short-lived TR65 from the early 80s, a machine… Read more »

  • Moto Gima

    Moto Gima

  • Chris Hunter Production Motorcycles ,

    There’s an intriguing story behind this super-stylish motocyclette. Despite appearances, it’s not a vintage machine: it’s an accurate recreation of a 1950s GIMA, and costs just €4,290 (US$6,000). GIMA was a short-lived French manufacturer that made small but stylish bikes from 1947 to 1956, and… Read more »

  • Harley Super Glide custom

    Harley Super Glide custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    One of the leading lights of the French custom motorcycle scene is Millery-based Fred Duban of Dub Performance, and this tracker-ish creation is his latest bike. It’s based on a 2003 Harley Dyna Super Glide, of all things, but you’d be hard pushed to tell.… Read more »

  • The Ultimate Triton

    The Ultimate Triton

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I’m not sure about you, but I’d love to wake up on Christmas Day and find this in my garage. This gorgeous Triton is the brainchild of French designers Frank Charriaut and Vincent Prat from Southsiders MC, and was built by the extraordinarily talented Daniel… Read more »

  • Louis Lepoix BMW R12

    Louis Lepoix BMW R12

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    The other day I got an email from a man called Bertrand Lepoix. He’d spotted our piece on the amazing 1934 BMW R7, and sent in some amazing pictures from his family archives, including a couple of this motorcycle. “My father Louis Lucien Lepoix (1918-1988)… Read more »

  • Scorpa SR125-2T LongRide

    Scorpa SR125-2T LongRide

  • Chris Hunter Production Motorcycles ,,

    I’ve always had a slightly geeky fascination with trials bikes. They’re like a nerd version of motocross: beautifully engineered, delicate machines piloted by riders of dizzying skill. And without the usual MX-style machismo and histrionics. So I pricked up my ears when reader Jorge Lopes… Read more »

  • Norton Wasp

    Norton Wasp

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    I love this Norton because it has an understated, almost monochromatic beauty. It belongs to a member of the Coyote Racing Team in France, who built it four years ago to run in classic race events. It’s a very classy ‘bitsa’, marrying Norton parts with… Read more »

  • 1929 Majestic

    1929 Majestic

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,

    This extraordinary French motorcycle from between the wars was spotted by Paul d’Orléans in Bavaria recently. On his Vintagent blog, he sums it up perfectly: “The Majestic is the physical embodiment of the Art Deco aesthetic, a streamlined torpedo which suggests Speed and Modernity.” The… Read more »

  • Laverda SFC Replica

    Laverda SFC Replica

  • Chris Hunter Racing Motorcycles ,,

    One of the great tragedies of modern motorcycling is the demise of Laverda. The rights to the name are owned by Piaggio, which acquired the dormant brand when it took over the Aprilia Group in 2004. Piaggio is not short of a bob or two,… Read more »

  • Alain Ghetti’s Hartere

    Alain Ghetti’s Hartere

  • Chris Hunter Classic MotorcyclesCustom Motorcycles ,

    The French Southsiders MC crew have a remarkably eclectic range of motorcycles in their stable, and this one is no exception. Alain Ghetti wanted to build a racer based on a Harley WL, but found the price of vintage parts a little too much. So… Read more »