Mystery Motorcycles And A Hawk

A couple of weekends ago I drove a friend up to Eugene, Oregon to look at a 1964 Studebaker 1964 GT Hawk. This one has the R1 240HP engine. The green is said to be an original color. When we drove over to the owner’s house, I got a glimpse into a very dark shed and packed with some unusual motorcycles. The first was a red and white V twin shaft drive peeking out that was no Moto Guzzi. Please excuse the quality of the photos because the shed was pitch black and I was using my phone.

Recognize it? It’s a Lilac, by Marusho, from about 1960. It looks like a 250 LS. The seat was off for a bit of carburetor fiddling. There were 125 CC  to 500 CC models in both V and a flat twin configuration. The Lilac was a great bike, but couldn’t compete with the less expensive motorcycles like Hondas and Yamahas.

This Kawasaki is a little newer and more familiar. If I’m not mistaken, it appears to be a W650 from about 2000, a nostalgia bike based on the “W” bikes from the late 1960s which were themselves meant to look like the British bikes of the day. Unlike the Triumphs and other British motorcycles, the W650 had an overhead cam. So, to recap, the W650 was a nostalgia bike based on a copy of British bikes. Triumph came out with their own Triumph nostalgia bike, so these didn’t sell well or for long.

This is the Army version of the Moto Guzzi V50 from the 1980s. The Dutch military and NATO used these. I know far less about motorcycles than many of you, so I look forward to your comments and more information on these interesting motorcycles.


  1. David Frank David F Member

    About the picture of the Hawk… That is a great example about how you can’t always trust pictures in ads. The light was just right when I took the picture so the paint looks much nicer than it really is. Simply put, the paint really isn’t that nice. It’s pretty flat and might buff out but there’s dirt in the paint that looks like it was blown out of the drip rails. If the painter couldn’t bother to clean them out I wonder how well he prepped the rest of the car for paint. It is a really nice old driver, though, and it made the 475 mile trip home without any problems.

  2. Castyman

    Are the bikes gor sale? Interested!! 😱

  3. Andy Frobig

    The W650 and later W800 stayed on the home market much longer. I’d love to have one, for the right price. Even most Brit bike lovers think the Kawi evokes the spirit of the ’60s bikes better than the Hinckley Bonnevilles do.

    • jimbosidecar

      I have to disagree here. I bought a 2007 Hinkley Bonneville (the first one in China) and a friend had a W650. We swapped bikes for a day. The Bonneville is a really nice modern bike looking like it came out of the 1960s. The Kawasaki sounded and rode like a cheaper imitation. Nothing on it felt as solid as the Bonnie. I lost my fascination with the W650 after that day.

      • jimbosidecar

        But I do have a Marusho, the flat twin BMW slash 2 lookalike.

    • Doug Towsley

      We have a cabin up in the woods not far from Eugene and those bikes fit into the character of that area. Quirky and unusual. Not especially valuable but cool all the same. That area is shall we say,… Wildly fluctuating economic status among the residents there.
      The lilac is cool.quirky and very obscure. You would be the hit of many bike shows especially with the VJMCC crowds,. The rest.. especially wallet & Chain wearing Do-Rags would be Huh???. The W series Kawis were never huge in the US but their earlier versions (Basically a OHC BSA with Metric Bolts) sell really well and highly sought after in the UK and Europe by collectors. The later Ws like this one were kind of cool but in my opinion soul-less.
      back in the 1990s at the California Hansen Dam ride with is a British bike only ride cycle world brought one to see how the anglophiles would react.
      Jay Leno was there and they sent him off on it for a test ride. He was famously quoted to the outrage of many “Its like dating a fat girl, lots of fun to ride but embarrassing when your friends see you”.
      As to the Military bike,,, thats cool and collectible all on its own. Maybe not super valuable but I LOVE Guzzis and any military bike will always have a a fan section especially in original livery. Cool posting

  4. James Lep

    Does anybody know what the white 1970 Cadillac Seville weighed for that particular year, talk about not feeling any bumps, the closest I came was driving my wife’s grandfathers 1974, and all I could think about were 2 things are these tires strong enough to hold all this weight, and it felt like driving with no feeling of roadway.

  5. jtnc

    I don’t recall such a green. I checked out 1964 Studebaker paint chips with several sources, and while there are a couple of greens, neither of them look anything like this green. So whoever “said” this is an original color is mistaken. It looks good in this green, but it’s not original.

    • Yellowjax Member

      Screen sees on 256 colors the human eye see over a million give or take a few thousand.

      • Yellowjax Member

        Sees only 256

  6. Paul B

    There was a beautiful dark metallic green in ’64 but I recall it t as darker and more emerald than this. Hawks and Cruisers looked fabulous in it.

  7. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Paul B — You are correct, the 63 & 64 Hawk metallic green is a lot darker, my best friend had one, bought as a used car in 1969 for $300, and it was a beautiful rust free vehicle!

  8. Vince Habel

    Jet Green was the dark one. Horizon Green was the lighter 0ne. I don’t like the Horizon green.

  9. The One

    Stoodlabaker Hoch:
    He’s really outa sight!
    Stoodlabaker Hoch:
    He does it every night!
    Stoodlabaker Hoch:
    He treats the flies all right
    That’s why they never bite, hey!

  10. ROTAG999

    The Marusho Lilac is pretty rare bike they also made one with a Boxer style Bmw motor instead of the upright Moto Guzzi look.

    • jimbosidecar

      I never knew they made a V Twin until I saw this Barn Find.

  11. ROTAG999

    Never heard anything bad about the W650 slow seller because priced on the high side with lot’s of comp. from other Japanese bikes with more pistons and more displacement us Yanks like all the BIG motor CHROME exhaust stuff.

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    More details about the Stude…..gosh darn… LEAST it was Bought and drove home !

  13. David Frank David F Member

    Anywhere you dig on the Hawk it is the same green, the firewall, door jams, everywhere. I was surprised to see how different the color looked from the pictures in the ad and how different the color is in different pictures I’ve taken. In this picture at the hotel the color looks darker but it’s still nothing like any other Hawk or picture I’ve seen.

  14. David Frank David F Member

    I’ll try again to upload…

  15. Dave Wright

    I think there was a much larger assortment of colors available in these later cars than the earlier ones, there may have been cars painted custom colors from the factory like Mercedes that was associated with Studebaker in the 50’s. This car had been built for 9 years with minor changes by the time this one was built, they were struggling for survival, I am sure they would have done about anything you wanted for a sale.

  16. Paul B

    Yes that was it, Jet Green! Thanks. I could not recall the name.

  17. ROTAG999

    Love the Green Hawk !

  18. Bill Pressler

    Not even close to Jet Green. Still, an interesting car and my favorite year and model of Studebaker.

    I am nearly certain this very car was for sale in Richmond, Indiana several years back. I seem to remember the chevron emblem on the right door was in the wrong place (either behind or in front of the nameplate; not a huge thing but difficult to fix).

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