1973 X-75 Hurricane. This 44 year old 740cc BSA Rocket-Three in a Triumph topcoat looks as ridiculously cool and impractical today as it did when it first rolled off designer Craig Vetter's drawing board way back in 1969. BSA was about to go bust. The Triumph Trident simply wasn't impressing the Yanks enough. The Honda 750-4 was offering a more modern package at a more compelling price. Something radical was required. It took a few years before Triumph pulled the right production strings, and around 1,200 bikes were built. Today there are probably more than that kicking around the world. But only the originals draw the big money—which is currently anywhere between £25,000 - £30,000. Mecum Auctions will be flogging this prime example at its Las Vegas Sale on 23rd - 27th January 2018. It's Lot S159. The mileage is quoted as 6,900. www.mecum.com


January 2018  Classic bike news


January 2018 Classic Bike News

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

Irresponsible journalism from MCN?
Hagon Triumph Bobber mono-shock
Bruce Alan Brown: 1937 - 2017

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

Bought a Sump T-shirt? Check your email...

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

Bobby Vee: 1943 - 2016
EX-WD 500cc BSA WM20: £6,325
Essential autojumble sweatshirts
Mahindra has bought the BSA brand
Dave Cash: 1942 - 2016
BSA M20 "Blueprints" back in stock

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

VMCC Pip Squeak Run April 2016
Ed "Stewpot" Stewart: 1941 - 2016
Calling British spares manufacturers
Stupid biker gives away his KTM 690
Festival of Motorcycling autojumble

December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar

November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

Gear Gremlin bandana fleece thingy
Yamaha 125cc Resonator concept
Odd things are happening on Sump...
Weise "affordable" Lima gloves

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

BAD-ASS BIKER T-shirts are in stock
Buying a crash helmet; a Sump guide
Romney Marsh Classic Bike Jumble
New Goldtop silk scarf

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

New Kawasaki W800 buyers guide
Bonhams Beaulieu 2015 results
Lord Edward Montagu: 1926 - 2015
Triumph's $2.9 million US recall fine
New Fab Four coffee table book
Dean Carroll Jones: 1931 - 2015
Harley-Davidson test ride competition
Still awaiting your Skully AR-1 lid?
Two rare Italians headed for Stafford
Sump BAD-ASS T-shirt coming soon
Who the hell can you trust anymore?
Austel Pullman 1300 combo to sell
Oldtimer Motoren Museum
£4m government grant for Norton
BSH sells out to Mortons Media
Sammy Miller Run August 2015

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

For sale: Ex-display team TRW?
91 English & Welsh courts to close?

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

Confederate P51 Combat Fighter
Subscribe to Sump - it's free

Cheffins Harrogate Sale August 2015
Lambeth Council bans nitrous oxide
TRF's £10,000 green lane appeal
Harley Street 750 set for Sept launch
Trouble: Triumph bobber on Ebay
Great new T-shirt designs from Sump
George Edward Cole: 1925 - 2015
Sammy Miller at Donington Classic
185,272 Harley Baggers recalled
Fifth Classic Car Boot Sale, London
Mecum Harrisburg results Aug 2015
Mecum Monterey Sale August 2015
Ace Cafe Beijing has opened
Free disc locks courtesy of the Met Police

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

Rare 1912 Pierce at Netley
7 pence per minute to talk Triumph
Cheffins Cambridge Sale: 25th July
Matchless sunglasses: "Only £299"

Cool BSA Bantam diesel special
Brighton Speed Trials 2015 reminder
New Royal Enfield despatch bikes
M.A.D X-ray Art Exhibition Matchless
1964 Speed Twin bobber on eBay
Chris Squire: 1948 - 2015
Movies we love: Smokescreen (1964)
Road race & exhibition for the gents

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

Classic bikes for sale reminder
Hope Classic Rally: all for charity
Riley "BB" King: 1925 - 2015
Grace Lee Whitney: 1930 - 2015
Stondon Museum April sale results
RE buys Harris Performance Products
Geoff Duke: 1923 - 2015
Classic Motorcycle Restoration and Maintenance
NMM's winter raffle winner details
Stafford Sale: "£2,262,109: 86% sold"

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

One of the Love Bugs is up for sale
Ronnie Carroll: 1934 - 2015
Sixty museum bikes to be auctioned
Goldtop classic fleece-lined gauntlets
Harley-Davidson Kansas lay-offs
Mecum's Walker Sign Collection results

March 2015 Classic Bike News

Ted Simon's website is "hacked by Isis"
Frank Perris: 1931 - 2015
ULEZ Zone charges for motorcycles
We're all down with a nasty disease
Eric "Shaw" Taylor: 1924 - 2015
E J Cole Collection at Mecum's

Rare 500cc Linto for Duxford Sale
Classic Car Boot Sale final reminder
DfT road safety website is to be axed
Autocom GPS bike tracker is "coming soon"
Jem Marsh: 1930 - 2015
New Triumph Thruxton book from Panther Publishing

New drug-driving regulations are here

HMS Sump is torpedoed!
New £350,000 Jensen GT for 2016

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

Race Retro Feb 2015 auction results
£4.7 million grant for Brooklands

Full size "Airfix" motorcycle kits
Two Francis-Barnett bikes "launched"
Gerry Lloyd Wells: 1929 - 2014

Harley-Davidson's "dream job" offer
Road accidents & preventable events
The velocity of money? What's that?
ACA auction Saturday 7th March 2015
Sump's new road safety stickers
Kickback Stoneleigh to be televised



January 2015 Classic Bike News

1948 Land Rover manufacture exhibit
UK Triumph Scrambler sales jump
Mecum Kissimmee Sale results
Ikon Basix shock absorbers
Sump BSA M20 metal sign—£14.99
Another great Marlboro Man has snuffed it

Mixed Bonham results at Las Vegas
Stolen Norton appeal for information
The Reunion by Jack Elgos
VMCC December 2014 raffle winner
Brian Horace Clemens: 1931 - 2015
Metal classic bike signs from Sump
Rod Taylor: 1930 - 2015
Derek Minter: 1932 - 2015
Tiernan's looking for a Flea crate
Jerry Lee Lewis Duo Glide to sell
"Killer drivers" sentencing review
Harley-Davidson recalls 19,000 bikes
Cutaway engine bonanza at Bonhams

Sump news archive



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Ron Johnson speedway rider


Can anyone add info on this rider?


Story snapshot:

Speedway fans look this way, please

We think it's Ron Johnson


'Speedway Riders Association Benevolent Fund'. That's what's written on the back of the right hand photograph above, and that's all the information we've been given by a Sump visitor regarding the ID of this speedway rider. There was no information about where the picture was taken, or when, or what bike he's riding.


But we did a reverse picture search via Google, and it looks like it might be Ron Johnson. In fact, one website suggests that it was taken at the pits at New Cross, London sometime between 1947 and 1949; New Cross being the speedway track where Johnson made his name.



Further information suggests that Johnson was a Brit who, as a child, emigrated to Australia with his family. Back in the UK as an adult, he lost a toe in a speedway crash in 1929, and lost the tips of two fingers whilst adjusting a primary chain at Crystal Palace. Later, we hear, he suffered a fractured skull at Wimbledon and "was never the same after".


He "enjoyed" a chequered career riding for the Crystal Palace Glaziers, the New Cross Lambs/Rangers, the Ashfield Giants, the West Ham Hammers, the Edinburgh Monarchs and possibly the Glasgow Giants. Various comebacks saw him competing with ever younger riders, and apparently he was still trying his luck when he was in his fifties.


Ron Johnson was born (possibly as Ronald Johnston) on 24th February 1907 at Duntocher, Scotland. He died on 4th February 1983 aged 75 in Australia. That's about all we have on this guy. But there is more career info online. However, our Sump visitor is interested in discovering more personal information about Johnson, or Johnston. His friends and associates, etc.


So polish your peepers, if you will. We'll pass on your email, or will put you in contact with our enquirer if it's more appropriate.


That's it. Message ends.


Defunct Speedway website

National Speedway Museum

Ron Johnson Speedway Rider - Wikipedia


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HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

Story snapshot:

New flaming open-face lid, XS to XL

£139.99, or thereabouts


The trouble with some products is that as hard as the manufacturer, importer or retailer tries to sell it, the worse it sounds. For instance, if we were simply told that this lid is made from Kevlar and fibre glass, has a cool looking flame job, and carries a recommended retail price of £139.99, we might like the cut of its jib and nip out and buy it.


No questions.


But once we hear that it's got "anti-bacterial properties", the imagery and connotations change a little, and not for the good. And then, when we learn about its "Silvercool moisture wicking interior" and its "removable and washable crown and cheek pads", we start to get turned off of the whole idea of buying a new lid and look for something that doesn't refer to hygiene stuff and hairy fungus and wotnot.


But you can't blame the lid manufacturers for addressing these more personal matters. Ya gotta wear a helmet in most parts of the world, and you need to keep 'em as clean as reasonably possible—and if you've got some latent mushroom growing neurosis festering beneath your brain bucket, well that's something you're gonna have to deal with, buddy-boy.


Or girl.


Meanwhile, we ought to mention some of the other features such a drop-down sun visor system and the lightweight superior fit & comfort using advanced CAD technology. But—whoah!—as soon as they mention "interchangeable liners" we start to think about baby nappies and stuff and begin signing off.


Our advice? Try not to read so much propaganda and sales hype. HJC has been around for long enough to know how to manufacture a reasonable product at a reasonable price. And sometimes you just have to trust people to deliver the right goods. So visit your local dealer, take a peek at the merchandise, try it, buy it (or don't buy it), and either way try not to fall off. Beyond that, just chuck the helmet away at the end of the season and pick up something ... well, fresher.




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Wow, modern helmets though: wicking, washable, changeable-but its all too late. Where were they forty years ago? I could have had bonce protection and been acne- and dandruff-free. I feel cheated. Its all so easy nowadays.—Roj, Sheffield.

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UK Government pegs first MOT at 3 years not 4 as mooted in consultation

Triumph Speedmaster (Jet black) price revealed. £11,650. Extra for colour

Harley-Davidson's Battle of the Kings competition is back for 2018

Ducati's 214bhp V4 Panigale is now in the showrooms. £19,250 upward

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Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018


Story snapshot:

Star of Department S and Jason King has died aged around 90

Or maybe not quite 90...


It ain't easy writing a few words in memory of British actor Peter Wyngarde who has died possibly aged 90. That's because the frequently mysterious and always interesting characters he played on screen are matched by the frequently mysterious and always interesting character he was in reality.


His real name might have been Cyril Goldbert. He might have been born in 1927, or maybe '26 or '28 or '29. He might have been born in London. Then again it might have been Marseille or Singapore. His father might have been a diplomat named Wyngarde, or a merchant navy engineer named Goldbert.


Wyngarde was married at least once, and might have been heterosexual by inclination—or he might have had inclinations in other directions (and he was certainly once prosecuted for gross indecency with another fella—but that's all private stuff, and we ain't going any further in that direction).


What is known about Peter Wyngarde (to use the name he preferred) is that he was one of the most flamboyant characters on British TV, notably in the 1970s crime series Department S (Interpol agency pot boiler), and Jason King (crime writer and amateur sleuth). But his screen career dates much further back to 1949 when he appeared in a Hammer production entitled Dick Barton Strikes Back.



Joel Fabiani, Peter Wyngarde and Rosemary Nicols in Department S, the hit ITC Entertainment crime series. Wyngarde played Jason King, and a spin-off series was later created for him. Career-wise, this was his high point. Fabiani and Nicols, we're pleased to say, are still around somewhere.


Wyngarde's part was that of a soldier. He was uncredited and you could easily miss him if you blink too often, but you have to start somewhere. He played Pausanius in the 1956 production of Alexander the Great, also starring Richard Burton and Claire Bloom. He appeared in the Siege of Sydney Street (1960) with Donald Sinden and Nicole Berger. And he enjoyed a more satisfying role as Peter Quint in The Innocents (1961), a psychological gothic horror based on Henry James' The Turn of Screw. That film also starred Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave.


Then came Night of the Eagle (1962) which saw Wyngarde playing the role of Norman Taylor, a psychology professor mixed up in a celluloid romp involving witchcraft, superstition and other forms of mind control.



The late Patrick McGoohan and the late Peter Wyngarde in The Prisoner. The sardonic look was not typical of Wyngarde's on-screen personas, but he appears to have got it cracked.



He later appeared in various British TV series including The Saint; The Baron; The Avengers; The Prisoner; The Champions; and Dr Who. But he'll be best remembered as Jason King, the man with the unlikely bouffant hair-do, the Fu Manchu moustache, the slick tailored suits and a different cravat for every episode.


He also made a record or two, narrated a few TV productions, did numerous tours on the celebrity circuit, wrestled with an alcohol problem (and evidently won) and outlived practically everyone he ever worked with.


Pretty much everything else about Peter Wyngarde—his personal life, his career, his predilections and suchlike—can be treated as gospel, or taken with a pinch of salt.


However, it's simpler to accept that he came and went, and in between enjoyed one hell of a long and colourful ride. And that's just about all you can ever do on this earth, are we right?




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Since you mention it, I remember Peter Wyngarde as Jason King in Department S. Fifty years ago much of telly was staid and homely but this was great, and influential. Plots aside, as a fourteen year old, the exotic scenes of 'abroad', French cars and jazzy music added a degree of sophistication to my school visit to Paris. My sister was a fan and even named her Labrador after him!—Roj, Sheffield

Hi Sump, The 1970s was certainly "my era" TV-wise. Yes, many of the scripts were pretty unbelievable. But the characters were usually "right". Best of all, the 1970s theme music to TV shows is yet to be beaten. Listen again to Department S or The Prisoner or the Avengers. Glad to see Peter Wyngarde get a mention here.—Herman, Consett, County Durham

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Death Machines of London - Airforce

Story snapshot:

DMOL's latest creation takes flight

Giovanni Ravelli would be proud, we're told


Around here, we're already big fans of Moto Guzzi—not that any of us has ever owned one. But we've ridden and road-tested a fair number, and we've been "watching" Guzzis in the usual sidelong way waiting for the right moment to make our move.


Well that moment has arrived. This machine arrived in the email a few days back, and we've been looking at it and wondering if we should keep it as a more personal pleasure machine (if you know what we mean, fnarr, fnarr, etc), or whether we should turn it loose on the world.


But then, seeing as the Death Machines of London publicity machine has been in top gear firing off images and emails in all directions, we figured we'd do the right thing (if not the only thing) and let you have it. So check the link below for full details, or click on the image.


And get ready to weep. It's a cracker.


Death Machines of London - Airforce



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Good day, gents. Nice bit of eye-candy. But looks painful. When are the custom bike builders going to make machines that go the distance?—Sev

The exercise of engineering for its own sake without function as a primary aim...When applied to motorcycles is that art?....It frequently fails to produce practical motorcycles in many cases and this is one of those.... Personally I’m not too keen on taking a motorcycle and removing its functionality, which is really the reason for its existence. From a motorcyclists perspective, not an art critics point of view, that just looks like bad design....—The Village Squire

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Lancaster Insurance; reality check


Story snapshot:

Looking for a good motor insurance company recommendation

We'll be sure to quote ya


They say there's no smoke without fire, and there's a hell of a lot of smoke blowing this way from Lancaster Insurance reviewers. We mention this only in passing, you understand. As a heads-up.


We've just bought a new 4X4 (yes, we admit to driving one when we're not biking around the neighbourhood), and we decided to check the reviews before we handed over any cash rather than after. Lancaster claim to be specialists, and it has to be said they gave us the best quote by far. But a good quote isn't much use if everything else goes south.


Anyway, if you're thinking of using this outfit, check the links first—and that goes for all the insurance companies out there. We're trying hard to think of a firm that we would recommend, either for bikes or cars, but we can't.


Meanwhile, we'd be interested to hear if anyone out there can recommend a good firm (good prices, fast service, reliable support, etc).


We're all holding our breath here...


Lancaster insurance review



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Hi Sump, been with my insurance company for years (Adrian Flux). Bikes, house and car. I was recently quoted a whopping £841 for an old Land Rover Discovery that other insurers quoted at £333 and £351. Now is this just a blatant rip-off, or do they make the numbers up as they go along? My advice is to keep them all on the boil and shift around year by year. If you get lazy, they sniff you out and hike the premiums —PeeWee

Hello Mr Del Monte, IMHO they're all as bad as they're good. But for the last few years I've had my bikes with Peter James. Live telephone answering. Good service. Fair rates. So far. —The BSA Kid

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Harley-Davidson is coming back to Manchester. Store opening "soon"

eCall crash alert system is mandatory on EU cars built after April 2018


McQueen's "other" Bullitt Mustang "rediscovered" after almost 40 years

2017 UK new car sales fell 5.7% to 2.54 million units. 2.69 million in 2016


Harley-Davidson SnowQuake. Ice Rosa Rink, Italy 17th January 2018

Oil at $70 a barrel. Highest since 2014. Petrol prices already up slightly

Steve Jones (Steve's Stainless) died in November 2017 on holiday in India

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Fast Eddie Clarke


"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018


Story snapshot:

Motörhead's last "classic" line-up member has died

He was 67


Okay, tricky one this. But we'll give it a go. "Fast" Eddie Clarke, one of the original and "classic" members of the original Motörhead line-up has died aged 67. We haven't run a full obituary here on Sump, and we're not going to. We've got nothing against the bloke, you understand. We just didn't really "know" him, either as fans or whatever.


But we've had a few people contact us today (13th January 2018) asking why we haven't run an appropriate piece marking his demise, and we gave the same reason.


We don't run obits on every celebrity or noted biking personality who's died. Instead, we have to be a little selective, and we based that selectivity around people we're familiar with, or who we feel have some significant connection with biking, or just when it "feels right".


Some do. Some don't.


None of us here at Sump are Motörhead fans (but we did carry an obit for Lemmy, mostly because we knew him from Hawkwind, and we knew him for his biking "credentials"). And yes, we do know the more familiar Motörhead music. But beyond that there's no familiarity.


We could try and bluff it and pretend we're paid up members of the Motörhead mosh pit. But we're all bluffed-out for this month, so we're leaving it well alone.


But clearly "Fast" Eddie Clarke meant a lot to others who peruse these web pages, so we figured that a passing mention was appropriate—and we're happy to do so. We've got no doubt that he was quite a character who gave a lot to music and to his fans. We just don't count ourselves among them.


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Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder


Story snapshot:

The auction date is 25th January 2018

86 bikes are currently listed


At the time of writing, we counted 8 Vincents, 2 Brough Superiors, 13 Harley-Davidsons, and 13 Indians. These classic motorcycles are all going under the hammer at the Bonhams Sale at Las Vegas, USA on 25th January 2018.


But if none of them prime your carburettors, the auction is also offering an Excelsiors or two (US Excelsior, not the British Excelsior), a small tribe of Ducatis, a couple of MV Agustas and one or two Guzzis, plus the usual brace of Triumphs, Nortons and so on.


The headline lot is the (immediately) above and (immediately) below 1951 998cc Vincent Black Lightning (Lot 131Ω). It's a rare machine that was imported to Australia 67 years ago by Tony McAlpine. Vincent aficionado and racer Jack Ehret campaigned this bike and notched up 141.5 mph at Gunnedah, NSW. That feat set a new Australian speed record. There's also talk that this motorcycle threw down the gauntlet at George Brown's legendary Gunga Din and won. But we all know how boys will talk, and we've haven't yet heard any reliable accounts of this event from elsewhere, so we're keeping an open mind.




Vincent specialist Patrick Godet has re-commissioned this racer, and interest is likely to be high. Bonhams, however, is playing it cool and hasn't posted an estimate. Just "refer to the department", we're advised, and naturally you can read what you like into that.




Next, the (immediately) above 1950 Vincent Rapide Series-C Touring model (Lot 133) carries an estimate of $95,000 - $120,000 (£70,000 - £89,000). Bonhams tells us it's one of 107 models delivered to the USA in that year. First sold by Mickey Martin (the Burbank, California dealer), the bike is said to be original and unrestored—except for the petrol tank which has been repainted. The first owner was Ray Schumacher, a friend of legendary Vincent racer Marty Dickerson. Here's how Bonhams tells it:


"Throughout his interactions over the years with the seller, Marty would talk about how this Rapide went along on his first trip to Bonneville. Marty tells the story of how he went out to Bonneville in 1950 to watch, and to assist his friend Rollie Free. Three riders undertook the 28-hour journey to the Salt Flats. Marty rode his blue bike, still set up at that time for the street. His friend Ray Schumacher rode this Red Rapide, and their acquaintance Don Bishop went along on his 500cc Triumph. Marty said, 'Don was such a very nice guy, but we had to stop all the time because the tiny tank on his Triumph kept running out of gas, so we would pull over and get the hose out to top him off from the tanks of our Vincents.' As if that wasn't bad enough, the trip out to Utah became an even greater adventure. 'Don's bike got a flat rear tire, too. We gave him a bunch of grief because it was so very cold out there'".



In 1950, 2,800 Vincents were manufactured at Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Just 78 of them were finished in Chinese Red. This motorcycle is offered with the works order form (which we assume will be original), and the bike is recognised by the Vincent Owners Club (VOC).


Other lots that have caught our eye include:

▲ Lot 109: 1962 Norton Petty-Molnar 519cc Manx Road Racing Motorcycle. Frame number: PETTY PR93006. Engine number: MOLNAR 066. The estimate is $30,000 - $35,000 (£22,000 - £26,000).


▲ Lot 138Ω: 1926 Brough Superior 980cc SS80. Frame number: 437. Engine number: KTR/A 35485/Y. $125,000 - $150,000 (£92,000 - £110,000). Note that this engine was rebuilt with new cases. The original damaged cases (KTC/Y 56785) are included in the sale.



▲ Lot 162: 1951 Triumph 6T. This 650cc Trumpet was raced at Bonneville by the near-legendary Bobby Sirkegian. In the early 1950s, aged just 13, this US racer hit 120mph+ on this machine. Restored a handful of years hence, Bonhams is estimating $20,000 - $22,000 (£15,000 - £16,000).



▲ Lot 126: 1914 Pope. Steve McQueen, we hear, bought this bike either in the 1970s or 1980s. Following his death, it was sold privately, and for many years was on display at the Otis Chandler Museum in California, USA.

The estimate is a cool $120,000 - $140,000 (£88,000 - £100,000).



So far, there are 86 motorcycles in the sale, plus 19 other motorcycle related lots which are mostly comprised of Kenny Von Dutch drawings.


Lastly, if you're puzzling over the Greek letter "Ω" (or omega) that accompanies some of the lots, it means that an extra customs duty of 2.5 percent is applicable.




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Ban on credit/bank card charges


Story snapshot:

The price you see will soon be the price you pay

... in theory


From Saturday 13th January 2018, UK traders will no longer be able to levy a surcharge for credit card or bank card payments. At present, around 13% of UK businesses ask/demand around 2 - 3% extra on the purchase price to cover their own costs with regards to the credit card companies or banks.


Meanwhile, some businesses or agencies charge a flat fee of perhaps £2.50, such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for road fund licence payments, etc.


But all this will by law come to an end—although it's not clear what penalties will be applied even if the resources to pursue offenders are put in place. In other words, there might not be an available cat to chase the rats.


It's thought that some traders might well raise their prices to cover their real or perceived losses. But that will (a) possibly impact on their sales, and (b) "unfairly" hit customers who pay by cash or by other means.


Regardless, when you next buy an exhaust system or crash helmet or whatever—whether on or offline—the price quoted will be the price you pay. Unless the trader trots out the old "plus VAT" line.


The European Union is the motive force behind the new legislation, and this rule will be drafted into UK statute if and when the UK finally and fully exits the EU.


We've spoken to a lot of traders about this, and many are completely unaware of the forthcoming changes. So if you feel so inclined, you can sally forth and enlighten them. Alternately, there's nothing to stop you volunteering an extra 2 - 3% if you're of a more charitable bent.


But do traders really incur extra charges on card payments? Well some do, but the costs have for years been coming down. However, the bike trade—like other sectors of the UK trading market—is already (largely) screwing prices to the floor and in many cases is seriously struggling.


You might want to remember that should you discover a small rise in prices over the next few weeks or months.


And in case you were wondering, Sump has never levied a credit card, bank card or PayPal surcharge on anything on offer on our shops page (hint hint).


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Already, my local coffee and sandwich shop had already added a "service charge" to all orders. It's a nice cover to raise prices for customers, including those who pay with cash.—TK

Hi Sump, most businesses haven't got anything to complain about. It might cost a few pennies or a even few quid to handle credit card payments, but it also costs businesses money to handle cash. Just remember that all prices are negotiable. If you don't like it, don't buy. Simple.—LemonLady

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British comedy actor Bernard Cribbins made light of inappropriately shaped holes in inappropriate locations. But for UK road users, not least bikers, it's no joke.


Lane rental scheme "to go national"


Story snapshot:

New road repair incentives to be "rolled out nationwide"

£2,500 per day fines for utility firms


If you're tired of the roads being constantly dug-up and butchered by the utility firms, you'll be at least vaguely interested in this news story.


It seems that the government is considering (and note the use of the word "considering") rolling out its "lane rental scheme" across the country. The scheme involves local council levying a charge on utility firms that carry out roadwork at peak hours. That charge is £2,500 per day, which isn't huge in the context of large commercial contracts. But the pennies add up, and when a company is carrying out dozens, or even hundreds, of repairs at any given time (firms such as BT or any of the gas supply firms), it represents a large hit on profits.


Kent County Council and Transport for London (TfL) have for the past couple of years been operating tandem schemes as part of a pilot project. The upshot, we hear, is a 55% decrease in serious congestion in 2015/2016. Additionally, there has supposedly been a 616% increase in "collaborative work"; i.e. two or more suitably incentivised companies getting down and dirty in the same hole and sharing the costs. But we haven't seen any hard stats, so we're viewing these claims appropriately.



It's amazing that it's taken the UK God knows how many years to sort out this perennial road breaking problem, if it is sorted. But it's certainly beginning to look as if the cavalry has finally arrived.


Consequently traffic disruption is said to be down, and the roads are becoming clearer—with regard to these pilot schemes, anyway. As a result, the UK government is now thinking about persuading the rest of the national councils to adopt the same rules, protocols and—above all else—charges.


But will it also result in smoother, neater and safer road repairs? Probably not, we figure, at least not until the usual culprits are suitably incentivised.

The roll out should start some time in 2019.

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Sheffield Motorcycle Centre launched Steel City Classics. 70s & 80s bikes

John Lennon's Honda Z50A monkey bike. £30K+ expected. 4/3/18. H&H

Suffolk classic dike dealer Andy Tiernan reports "buoyant winter market"

New fines from March for ignoring UK M-way lane closures. £100. 3 points

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Harley-Davidson sues Affliction T-shirts

Harley-Davidson sues Affliction


Story snapshot:

Yet another lawsuit from Messrs H-D

We suspect an out-of-court settlement is on the way...


We've never heard of Affliction, the California-based clothing outfit. But apparently a lot of people are familiar with the firm and its products. More pertinently, Harley-Davidson has also heard of the company and has been studying its merchandise, notably the above T-shirt design.


It's one of many, we understand, that have come under the scrutiny of H-D's lawyers, and they've taken instructions (possibly based upon their own encouragement) to sue Affliction for every dollar and cent they can grab. We're talking about potentially millions of greenbacks for loss of trade, damage to reputation, punitive damages, lawyer fees, this fee, that fee, etc, etc.


And as you might gather we're not entirely sympathetic towards Harley-Davidson; not in this instance, anyway. That's because we've been looking at the various products in the Affliction range, and although there is a similarity (and occasionally a striking similarity) to H-D's world famous bar and shield device, it's not clear to us that Affliction has done anything much more than "pay homage" (and we use the term advisedly) to Milwaukee's most famous son.


Certainly there's no direct/exact copy of any of H-D's product, and if you check Affliction catalogue you'll see that the firm has hundreds, if not thousands of designs, any or all of which must bear some similarity to something else in the universe. The acid test here (or at least one of the tests) is whether or not Affliction's designs are likely to cause confusion in the market place, or directly soak up HD product sales.


In other words, would anyone even half-smart buy the above T-shirt (for instance) in the belief that they were buying a genuine branded Harley-Davidson product? It's possible, but it looks doubtful. And if anyone really wants a genuine Harley-Davidson branded T-shirt, would they buy the Affliction tee?


Has anyone else noticed the distinct similarity between the H-D eagle and the Wisconsin Eastern District Court eagle? And how about the colour blue and turquoise? And while we remember, we spotted some clouds yesterday that looked awfully familiar...



Beyond that, the US courts will look to see if the Big H-D has seriously and unfairly lost any sales or goodwill, or if Harley-Davidson is simply overstepping its legitimate corporate reach and flexing muscle that it ought not to be flexing—and there can be severe penalties for doing that. To clarify this point, if a company (either in the US or the UK) vexatiously launches a legal action for copyright infringement, or if such a company deliberately harasses and/or bullies another corporate entity for commercial gain or for business positioning or prestige, it can expect a huge fine if found guilty, possibly with a prison sentence for the owners, directors, managers or litigants.


It doesn't happen often, note. But it happens.


And Harley-Davidson is, of course, a serial suer (or is that sue-ist?). Hardly a month goes by (or goes buy?) without another story popping up in the press telling us that Milwaukee is gunning for someone else or is trying to register a trademark for anything and everything that might have the word "glide" or "hog" in it, or might make a "potato-potato" sound when chugging along down the road.


However, in fairness to Harley-Davidson, the company's brand and logo is one of the most recognisable on the planet, and the firm has ploughed countless millions into its heritage—only to find that everyone with a silk screen rig from Berkhamstead to Beijing is directly ripping off its intellectual property and flogging such items on eBay, at boot sales and (shock) even at bike shows and jumbles.


So we're leaving it to the lawyers who usually end up on the winning side no matter who loses. And in case you're looking at the image at the top of this story and are still trying to work out which design is the Harley-Davidson bar and shield device, you're probably not even as half smart as you think you are.


But then, who is?


See: Harley sues Urban Outfitters. Again.


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Hi Sump. Great magazine. Keep it up. Harley-Davidson should be pleased there are so many imitators out there. Isn't it the sincerest form of flattery? If there weren't so many aftermarket companies developing products and advertising the brand, the Milwaukee eagle would have crashed into the dirt years ago. I ride a Harley-Davidson and I've owned five, and I buy the company T-shirts and stuff. But there's room for competition on the market. Harley is simply showing us how weak it is. Let Affliction do what it does.—Splodge

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Rockers Reunion 2018 poster


Rocker's Revival extra early plug


Story snapshot:

Only eleven months until the next ageing rocker shindig

Repeat: only eleven months until the next ageing rocker shindig...


The story is simple. We got an email from the organisers asking us to give this event an early mention, and even though there's another eleven months to go before the shindig happens, we decided to oblige. Why? Well, for a couple of reasons actually.


1. News has been a bit thin on the ground what with Christmas and the New Year celebrations, and we had a hole on the page to fill.

2. When you get to a certain age, the days and weeks and months are apt to whizz past at highly improbable speeds.

3. Because when you get to that aforementioned chronological juncture, memory simply ain't what it used to be, and a few extra advance nudges in the right direction are often needed before the message sinks in.


So if you're an ageing rocker (or even a less ageing rocker, whatever "ageing" means) and fancy attending, you can grab the details from the above poster. But we'll repeat those details here for the benefit of the internet search engines.


The date is Saturday 3rd November 2018. The venue is Harrow Leisure Centre, Christchurch Avenue, Harrow HA3 5BD. The contact number is: 07760 727874. Advance tickets are £20. The price on the door is £25. The hours are 4pm until midnight. And the musical entertainment will be provided by Lou Cifer and the Hellions; Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers; Graham Fenton with Wight Lightning; and Johnny Fox and the Hunters.


Beyond that, expect beer, hot food, plenty of unlikely rocker tales, plenty of worryingly likely rocker tales, and possibly some very dodgy dancing. And in case your ageing brain cells really can't soak up any more information (least of all information relating to gatherings that will take place almost a year into the future), we'll post the details on our events page.


Try and remember that at least.




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