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1981 Egli Honda Red Hunter

  • 1981 Egli Honda Red Hunter
  • Very complete Egli including frame, swingarm, forks, tank, clip-ons, rear-sets & wheels
  • 1 of 4 build to racing spec by Roland Eckert
  • Road registered but perfect for classic racing
  • £7,500 spent on restoration

MODEL HISTORY

Swiss national, Fritz Egli started out as a motorcycle racer in the 1960s racing predominantly British bikes and in particular a Vincent Black Shadow. He was unhappy with the way the Vincent handled and particularly its cornering ability so he went about designing his own frame to house the 1000cc vee-twin. He used a large diameter spine frame with the engine suspended underneath it, using it as a stressed member. With his new Egli-Vincent, Fritz went on to win the 1968 over 500cc Championship.

It was not long before others wanted to buy his frames and he made various designs to fit all sorts of engines from British singles to Japanese 4-cylinders and many more in between. He stayed loyal to his original spine frame design throughout but added to his range with his own racing forks and headstocks, braced swingarms, clip-on handlebars, rear-sets, exhausts and magnesium wheels. The company grew and further top tier racing success followed including an overall win at the 1974 Bol d’Or 24 hour endurance race with a Kawasaki engine bike.

Unlike most other specialist frame builders, whose shops mainly closed in the 1970s and 80s as the factory produces got better and better, Egli continued to build frames for the discerning racers and collectors and continue to this day. As such Eglis are now regarded as a brand in their own right and have become exceptionally sought after, which sadly has lead to many copies being made.

THIS MOTORCYCLE

The Egli Honda we offer here is an original and verified 1981 Egli Red Hunter housing a Honda CB900F engine. The factory has confirmed that this frame kit was sold to Motor Service Selbach in Lier, Belgium in the spring of 1981. We have been told by a Belgian journalist that the bike was raced through the early part of its life, although we would like to stress this cannot be proved and we have no pictures. Motor Service Selbach then registered it for the road on the 5th of October 1985, the original paperwork and Belgium registration remain with the bike.

This Egli later featured in a 3-page article in the Dutch magazine Motor Klassiek in January 2002, a copy of which is in the history file and it was also with the Antwerp Classic Racing Team around this time. This article states that the bike is 1 of 12 Egli Honda Bol d’Ors that were built; of these, this is 1 of 4 with the Roland Eckert motor. This seems to tie up as there is a letter on file from Honda stating at the engine was manufactured in October 1979 so it may well have found its way into the Egli in ’81. When Honda specialist Bernie Saunders inspected the engine and did a top-end rebuild in 2012 he found that the big bore kit (to 1062cc) was not one he had seen before and it looked like it had been done a long time ago and could possibly be original although it is very hard to tell. Bernie has taken more racing engines of this type apart than most and he didn’t recognise it as any of the usual conversions so he felt it is probably a period modification.  The bike was sold to UK resident Peter Newman in 2006 from The Motorcycle Company in Holland who strangely had the bike dated as 1983.  Peter kept the bike only a year before it was sold through Bonhams in 2008.

The bike was aquired by our very own Angus MacCurrach, who completed a lot of work on the bike and spent about £7,500 on it. He had Bernie Saunders take the engine out, rebuild the top-end, rebuild the carburetors and check it all over. Martin Harris at Noisy Toys stripped the rest of the bike, the wheels were checked and repainted, the tank and fairing were painted (the fairing came from Bernie), new Lockheed brake calipers were acquired and the discs were skimmed. A little digital speedo was also put on for road use and a pair of Cibie lights has given the bike a lovely period endurance look. A custom wiring loom was made up by the Superbike Surgery and Jim did an amazing job using the best materials and connectors.  Motoengineering then helped with the shake down and various snagging issues.  There are pages of invoices to go through detailing all the work.

This Egli Honda is now in lovely condition but young family and a busy job has meant that the bike has not been used for a few years and it has been sat in Angus’ heated, dry garage though it has been regularly started and run. It is now time for someone with more time to take on and enjoy her.  Angus would personally love to see the bike back out racing and thinks it would be the perfect machine for the classic endurance series, however it makes a very exciting road bike as well.

The bike is now available for sale and immediate inspection in The Hub Hangar Showroom, but if you have any further questions or would like to arrange a viewing, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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