What is The Vintagent? An exploration of all things Old Motorcycle; the bikes, the events, the people, the cultural connections, the art, the fashion, the writing, the films…because, as it says on The Vintagent’s masthead: The world of Motorcycles has all the ingredients of a good, enriching drama; heroic deeds, political intrigue, design brilliance, cut-throat business practices, quirky characters, national tensions, cultural biases, eros and thanatos.

My tiny garage ca.1988, with a Norton ES2, Ducati 900GTS, and Velo Venom. Stuffed in the back are several more! [Andy Saunders]
When diving into the murk of motorcycle history, we find unexpected riches…everything which makes this life interesting, and worth living. Motorcycles per se are just metal; it is individuals who animate them, and inhabit the stories within this site. We provide meaning to the metal, and in telling the story of Motorcycling, we tell the story of our world.

My favorite of all, the ’66 Velo Thruxton I bought in 1989, and since put 50,000 miles on. Here we are in 1989, at the top of Mt.Tamalpais on Easter morning…’Courgette’ clocked 114mph going over the Golden Gate Bridge at 4:30am…[Denise Leitzel]
 What’s my history with old bikes?  I’ve been collecting, restoring, investigating, traveling for, and most importantly, riding old bikes since I was 20 years old.  Something got under my skin, and vintage motorcycles became an obsession; I spent the next 25 years following that muse, and amassed a huge library of books on the subject, while collecting obscure machines, trying them out, finding my favorites.  I’ve owned around 300 bikes in that time, sometimes buying large collections to ‘get at’ one machine I wanted, especially in the days when old bikes were relatively cheap, and the financial stakes were low.  I was lucky to get in the game while it was still possible to buy just about anything you could find, and I’ve been offered interesting bikes I wish I’d bought, or kept!

A humble BMW R60/2 with a large Touring tank…I did a lot of miles on ‘Bertha’…[Craig Feder]
The following are some of the machines I’ve owned…its amazing how poorly I kept photographic records of the machines which passed through my garage…but a few of these bikes are still in my collection; most are not.  I kept the ones which were the most fun to ride, period.

I’ve owned many round-case, bevel-drive Ducatis; this ’74 750GT was the best touring bike I’ve ever owned. The Anarchist Summit is in BC, Canada, and this is the middle of a 4000 mile summer tour; the Duc gave no problems at all. 1992. [Ron Marks]
Another 1966 Norton Atlas, a veteran of several Moto Melees [Zoe Fisher]
My first British motorcycle, a 1966 Norton Atlas. The frame had been ‘raked’, the gas tank trimmed, the front fender discarded, ‘cowhorn’ bars fitted, a Honda taillight over a chopped rear fender…a mess. It required two engine rebuilds…let’s say it was a steep learning curve! 1985 [Adam Fisher]
Garage scruffy! 1961 Norton Model 50, 350cc [Denise Leitzel]
The fastest Norton I’ve ridden; a much modified Atlas, with nickel-plated Featherbed frame, and lots of period race goodies. [Denise Leitzel]
When the Australian dollar was at $.50, I bought containers of good stuff. This ’49 Triumph Tiger 100 was hitched to a sidecar…[unknown]
1949 Ariel Red Hunter, with 500 original miles! Stored in a basement in Chicago, unearthed in 1987 [Denise Leitzel]
My first Brough Superior, a 1938 11-50 model, seen here on top of Mt Tamalpais, 1989, before dawn. [Denise Leitzel]
 

Riding my favorite, the 1933 Velocette KTT mk4, nicknamed ‘The Mule’, for a Motorcycle Classics cover story [Nick Peyton]
1929 Rudge ‘Ulster’, with fantastic period racing goodies, a unique first-year model, as they changed much the next year. [Paul d’Orleans]
One I let go but shouldn’t have…a 1929 Norton Model 20 with racing ES2 cylinder head, and fantastic Mills-Furford ‘Zeppelin’ sidecar. I used to take my daughter Zoe to school in it…her classmates were thrilled. [Geoff Follin]
My 1928 Sunbeam TT90, with rare single-port cylinder head, shot on the Legends of the Motorcycle ride, 2006 [Jared Zaugg]
1928 BMW R63: I’ve owned dozens of BMWs, this was the oldest, although it was a cosmetic restoration and sounded like a cement mixer. Caveat Emptor! [Andy Saunders]
A 1923 AJS ‘Big Port’ factory racer at the Ivan Rhodes estate, Fellside, in Lincolnshire, in 2005 [Ivan Rhodes]
A very rare 1921 Royal Enfield factory Sprinter, 220cc [Paul d’Orleans]
Never assembled; an ex-Works Scott TT model, which had done two Isle of Man races. It’s now restored. [The Vintagent Archive]
I’ve owned two vintage racing Douglas’, an SW5 and an OW…[Paul d’Orleans]
1925 Sunbeam ‘Longstroke’; surprisingly fast, very light, a true Vintage sports machine, unmolested [Mark Upham]
My 1925 Norton Model 18 racer, a very fun and excellent-handling bike. [Paul d’Orleans]