Inspired by ’60s Grand Prix racers

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The fifth annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering on May 4th saw the world premier of AVA Velocity Works 250 Swift – a retro motorcycle inspired by the Grand Prix and Café Racers of the 1960’s.

Photos: Anne Watson

AVA brought three examples of the 250 Swift to put on show at Carmel, CA, last weekend to gauge customers’ reaction.

AVA Designer Adrian Van Anz – the man behind the Derringer Cycles 1920’s-style bicycle moped launched a couple of years back – wanted to recreate a motorcycle reminiscent of sport bikes from the 1960’s and 1970’s. His LA based company sourced the frame and engine from China’s Locin company and now plans to go in full production with the 250 Swift motorcycle this summer.

“I have always loved early ‘60s Grand Prix-style racing bikes,” said Van Anz. “I liked the aesthetics of the entire sport back then.”

The 250 Swift has a 250cc Loncin four-stroke engine, carburetor, electric and kickstart and a five-speed transmission and weighs in at 198lbs.

“It’s a little sports racing bike that is street legal,” added Van Anz. “And because it weighs so little I can literally pick it up and turn it around in my garage.”

Owners will be able to choose a broad range of accessories from Café Racer styled seats, paint finishes and wheels.

“We felt there was a real market out there with younger riders that didn’t want a moped but needed the versatility of a small motorcycle that looked good and rode well,” explained AVA’s Brian Dietz.

The 250 Swift goes on sale this summer with prices expected to be around $4,000.

  • karlInSanDiego

    This bike’s success may be down to its top speed. If it’ll cruise freeway comfortably at 70, with a little 80 mph burst here and there, it could do well. Honda’s CB250 (Nighthawk) would do that pretty well and it weighed considerably more. But the fly weight could make it a poor highway experience if it blows and skips all around. Those glorified bicycle tires aren’t doing it any favors in the modern performance category.
    I think it looks fantastic, and this bike makes a lot more sense than the Honda Dream 50R did.

  • Clint Keener

    I want that!

  • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

    Hey there! I was wondering……Apart from 125cc’s, Whats the REAL difference between that bike and this one?

    They are the exact same chinese bike; the just have a different badge!

    • Wes Siler

      That does indeed look like the same bike. We’ll follow up with AVA for more info.

      • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

        Thanks Wes! If you could keep me up with whatever they say I’ll appreciate it.
        And cheers from México by the way…

    • TP

      Look at how much cooler the paint is!

  • Troy Rank

    This is quite a bit more compelling than the Cleveland, just based purely on styling. A revolution in affordable quasi stylish transportation is not bad as far as I’m concerned, one way or another.

  • Robert Horn
  • China Mike

    As a postscript to this discussion,

    here in China, a Skyteam Ace can be had via the internet for just shy of CNY10,000 (about US$1600).
    That’s roughly double what you’ll pay for a little, fully faired bike with upside down forks, lots of anodizing and the same little l25/150/175/250cc OHC single that’s been driving China forever. Local builders will knock up a bare bones cafe racer for about CNY4000 (I live beside what was China’s first motor racing curcuit, so there are a few guys, locals & expats, capable of this in the neighbourhood).
    Love the Honda Dream look, but take off the tank and seat, you’re left with a run-of-the-mill taxi bike, which can be be had for about 3-4 thousand CNY any day of the week. Don’t expect the work on that frame to bbe anything special either. The engine will be anaemic but reliable.