Welcome, we've been expecting you...
Sump Magazine is an independent online British classic motorcycle magazine. We're into all British bikes, plus cafe racers, bobbers, choppers, specials and projects. Actually, we're into everything that pumps a piston, lays down a little rubber, fills the air with filthy hydrocarbons and takes us somewhere new and exciting.
We're located in the UK, but being web-based, we're bouncing around the satellites and reaching those corners of the world where the established classic rags have never been.
Sump visitors and fans come to us from Australia to Canada to South Africa to the USA to all over South America. And we've got a pretty good presence across Europe, a few in Russia and the ex-Soviet states, plus Japan and China. In short, we're out there.
Sump is run by classic bike enthusiasts for other classic bike enthusiasts, meaning people just like you (unless you're a Googlebot or a web spider, in which case, just do what ya gotta do and move along there, if you please...).
Around here, we run Triumphs, BSAs, Nortons and AJSs mostly. But there are always new acquisitions coming into the Sump garages and sheds, and we're test-riding (or just joyriding) stuff all the time.
We don't buy personal data, and we certainly don't sell the data of the people who buy our T-shirts and books or advertise with us.
You simply come and go onto Sump as you see fit and leave a minimal trail. There are no log-in fields. No questions. No hassle. And no pop ups. If you like what you find, tell your friends. If not, jerk our leads and we'll listen carefully to what you have to say. And if we've got any news or feature information wrong, give us an extra jerk and we'll put it right.
That's it. That's Sump. Do your worst.
We've got the biggest, most comprehensive, most insightful, most amusing, most provocative classic bike news pages in this corner of the galaxy (don't think we didn't check).
But as much as we love old British iron and aluminium, we occasionally lope out of the garage (sometimes drunk) and take a more sober look at what the hell else is going on in the world of sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, politics or whatever. And now and again we like to take a little pop at the religious hypocrisy of the world. So if you're a card carrying member of a so-called "faith", you'd better duck or wear goggles and a lid, because it's coming atcha.
You can contribute news items if you want. But if not, just sit back and agree or disagree and see how it looks over here from way down there. Here's a link to our classic bike news page.
We also pen classic motorcycle buyers guides to help you decide what's what, what's hot, and what might not suit you. There are hundreds, or even thousands, of classic bikes out there, and we're working our way through the more obvious ones and will end up wherever we end up. We ain't in any particular rush.
But if you've got a hobby horse that you'd like to ride onto our pages, drop us a line and tell us about it. If we like it, we'll sort something out. If we don't like it, we'll probably try to spare your feelings and will fob you off with some excuse.
But generally speaking, there's no classic horse out there that totally disinterests us. So don't be shy. Just ring our bell, make your pitch and we'll see what happens...
Classic bike specialists
That's Graham Maughan from Maughan Vincent admiring another example of his firm's handiwork. And well he might.
Maughan Vincent knows its business, and so do the other specialists that we're featuring on Sump. Guys like Jake Robbins, for instance, who re-manufacturers girder forks. And guys like Les Emery and Mick Hemmings, both experts with Norton motorcycles. Or Stuart Towner, magneto specialist, now semi-retired but still selling magneto and dynamo spares. Or Jesse Bassett in Ohio, USA, who builds stunning custom bikes. And ... well, we're adding to our specialists all the time. So check 'em out when you can. Do a little business. And tell 'em Sump sent ya.
And if you're in the classic bike or custom bike business, get in touch. We'll show you ours if you show us yours. Know what we mean?
Our classic bike events pages ain't anywhere near as comprehensive as we'd like. But that's partly because many of you club secretaries and show organisers need to fire your plugs a little more often and make sure you clue us in.
But we do what we can to stay up to date, and we can steer a lot of custom your way if just tip us the wink. So send us your full details (who, what, when, where, how and why, etc), and we'll put in out on the www.
As for you motorcycle culture vultures—whether you're interested in bike jumbles, classic bike shows, motorcycle race meetings, or club runs and rallies—you might want to peruse Sump's event pages and get out a little more..
And we also run occasional event reports which you enjoy if you care to explore the links on the other side of this page.
This is a new diversion for us and we're still trying to figure out a suitable format. But we've got a BIKES FOR SALE page online right now, so you can take a peek at your convenience and maybe buy yourself another of life's necessary toys.
If, on the other hand, you've got something to sell, just email the details to Sump together with a picture, and we'll hang it where the whole planet can view it.
The ad will stay live for a month, and then we'll take it down until you tell us otherwise. Okay?
So okay, we're not exactly Marks and Spencers, but if we haven't got the same range of tees, we think ours are considerably more cool.
We keep adding to them as and when time allows, and right now we've got T-shirts for guys who ride Triumphs, BSAs, Nortons, Vincents, Royal Enfields, and we're working on plenty of others.
Of course, we've also got tees promoting Sump, and you can take a closer look at them on our T-shirt pages.
We usually despatch the next day, or immediately after the weekend, and we think our stuff is good quality sold at fair prices. But you can decide that for yourself when you check 'em out.
If you're running a business and can get by through word-of-mouth alone, then good luck to you. But for the rest of us, promotion is the name of the game.
Ad rates on Sump are pretty cost-effective, and we reach a lot of people that the usual classic motorcycle rags don't. But we don't do the heavy sell. If you want an ad, email us or throw a brick through the window with a note attached.
We figure that you're big enough to decide for yourself whether you want some space here, or not. And okay, that's not the way the hardnosed professionals do it, but around here, we're all pussy cats.
However, if you're flogging mobile phones or Spanish timeshares, don't call us. We'll call you, etc. This is a classic bike website, and we want to keep it that way.
We're probably more like Ealing Studio comedies than MGM blockbusters, but we do what we can with a video camera and a clapper board, and we've knocked-up a few thousand feet of digital footage to amuse, edify and entertain.
People complain all the time that we don't include enough engine noise, and that we play too much music. But we like music, and we want to hear the engines of our classics only when they're going wrong. The rest of the time, we've got rock'n'roll (and maybe a little fusion jazz) playing between our ears, and only the occasional bark of the exhaust.
Anyway, you can check out the videos as and when you come across them, or go to YouTube and look for anything from Sump Magazine. Then you can decide for yourself if you prefer a nice chord progression on a Fender Stratocaster, or the clatter of valves and whining of a camshaft.
CLASSIC BIKE VIDEOS
...people such as Henk Joore (right) who owns and runs one of the best—if not the best—bike forums on the planet. And if that ain't the truth, we're al Dutchmen.
Henk's special interest (but by no means his only interest) is the venerable 500cc BSA WM20 military sidevalve. He's also got an interest in other military bikes from the Norton 16H to the Matchless G3/L. In fact, he's into a lot of motorcycles, especially pre-war, and especially-especially BSAs.
At Sump. we're coming across interesting people all the time and are adding them to our pages as am when time and energy allows. But most of these people keep moving around, which makes 'em hard to pin down. All the same, check back now and again. There's gonna be another one along any time now.
You can follow this Henk Joore link as see what makes him tick, or visit his fantastic website that carries the aforementioned forum. www.wdbsa.nl
We ain't the world's greatest mechanics, you understand. But we've got a lotta heart, and we do what we can, when we can.
Lately we've got into the habit of recording our spannerisms so that ... well, so that we can enjoy all over again the things that we screwed up and the stupid things we did.
Not that that this kinda stuff is funny, really. Good maintenance is essential if you want to get the best from your bike. And good advice is essential too. We have no idea how useful our advice will be to you, but you can have it anyway.
We're also featuring on this page some of the general motorcycle problems and solutions that we've heard here and there. So the next time you come up for air, check the link below and see if there's anything pertinent, or even impertinent, to your good selves.
It's pretty early days for this feature, and we're trying not to spend much time in the garage while the sun's in the sky. So don't expect too much. On the other hand, if you've got some interesting tales about your own problems and solutions, and if you've got a snapshot or two, send it all along. We'll hammer it in somewhere.
TAKE ME TO SUMP'S CLASSIC BIKE WORKSHOP, PLEASE