1970s Other Motorcycle Manufacturers

The 1970s Other Motorcycle Manufacturers Channel explores models from lesser-known motorcycle makers. See these classic motorcycles at HowStuffWorks.


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1976 Hercules W2000

The 1976 Hercules W2000 motorcycle was the first production motorcycle with a Wankel rotary engine. The rotary engine was designed to combine greater efficiency and smoother power delivery that a regular engine. See learn about the innovative W2000.

1974 Laverda SFC

The 1974 Laverda SFC motorcycle was a high-performance machine built by a company that once made tractors. It had an engine that produced 70 horsepower which made the SFC a sreet-legal racing motorcycle. Learn about the 1974 Laverda SFC.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport

The 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport motorcycle from Italy was low slung and sporty. The engine used shaft drive instead of a chain and had a front-mounted alternator which lowered the seat position. See pictures and learn about the 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport.

1978 Moto Guzzi LeMans

The 1978 Moto Guzzi LeMans motorcycle was a special mix of V-twin power and Italian style. It had a unique braking system where the foot pedal controlled the front and rear brakes along with the hand brake. See pictures and learn about the Moto Guzzi LeMans.

1971 Munch TTS

The 1971 Munch TTS motorcycle is a rarity. Only 250 Munch bikes were made and under 50 came to the U.S. Built from a low-production company, it is often said that no two Munchs are exactly alike. See pictures and learn about the Munch TTS.

1974 MZ TS250

The 1974 MZ TS250 motorcycle had origins in Communist East Germany and was popular as basic transportation. It was powered by a 250-cc two-stroke single cylinder engine that was built for economy rather than speed. See pictures and learn about the MZ TS250.

1970 Norton Commando 750S

The 1970 Norton Commando 750S motorcycle was sporty but dogged by Japanese competition. The most interesting design element of this motorcycle is the high-set exhaust pipes with heat shields. See pictures and learn about the Norton Commando 750S.

1976 Norton Commando

The 1976 Norton Commando motorcycle was among the last bikes Norton produced. Outdated design elements caused Norton to slip in sales when compared to its Japanese competitors. See pictures and learn more about the classic Norton Commando.

1970 BSA Lightning

The 1970 BSA Lightning motorcycle battled faster less-expensive Japanese bikes. BSA didn't survive long afterward as the competition from Japan proved too much. See pictures and learn how the BSA Lightning dealt with its rivals.