April 2014  Classic bike news


1929 Ascot-Pullin.  This 496cc, 3-speed Sports Utility is Lot 178 at Bonhams' Spring Sale at Stafford on 27th April 2014.  "The New Wonder Motorcycle" was introduced in 1928 by the Letchworth, Hertfordshire-based Ascot Motor & Manufacturing Company. Cyril Pullin, the 1914 TT winner, was the mind behind this radical bike. Pullin felt that the car industry was headed in the right direction when it came to mass production, hence the pressed steel frame, pressed steel "dashboard", and numerous other non-motorcycle features of this machine. The price? Bonhams is anticipating £20,000 - £25,000 for this rare creation. Commercially speaking, Cyril Pullin got it so wrong. But we think that in various other ways, he got it so right. Images courtesy of Bonhams. www.bonhams.com. See more of this bike here: Ascot-Pullin feature from Sump.

April 2014 Classic bike news

BSA C15, B25, B40, B44 & B50 aficionados look this way
Johammer electric motorcycles
Death comes calling at Bonhams
Wal Handley's Lagonda to sell at H&H
Classic Bike Bargains - new feature

Foundry first Anniversary Ride In
April - Houston Motorcycle Auction
Ernest "Ernie" Lyons: 1914 - 2014
UK campaign to reinstate .22 pistols

Stuff we like: Bell Bullitt Helmet - TT

Another implied classic bike threat from London Mayor Boris Johnson?

March 2014 Classic bike news
DVSA to name and shame ex-MOT stations
Mick Woollett: 1930-2014
Richard Edmonds Sale - March 2014
Captain Maurice Seddon: 1926-2014

Introducing Stephen Hill, pop artist

Classic bike tax discs are on a roll
Kempton Park bike jumble sells out
BSA Bantam 3-string steel guitar
Boris Johnson to ban classic bikes?
Gruppo Bertone's in trouble. Again
Paris bans cars and motorcycles
Southend Shakedown & Margate Meltdown:
2014 biker diary dates

Rabers British motorcycle parts
Agostini and Cooper to headline
Mallory Bike Festival

Second Classic Car Boot Sale rocks
Anthony Wedgwood Benn: 1925-2014

Hinckley bullish about 2014 sales
UK bike parts distributor now accepts bitcoins

New BSA M20 T-shirt from Sump

New AA-Halfords "safety" campaign

Bandit 9 customs - Made in China

Secret British Government webcams
in the home...

Anglia's first classic sale "success"

UK magazine sales continue to drop

De Bruir Parachuter leather backpack

February 2014 Classic bike news

New Lotus Bike: Not Made in Britain
Met set to pay out huge rape compensation
Any information on this outfit?
National Motorcycle Museum appeal
"Whole life sentences" ruled legal
Brian Hampton appeal bid update
Tom Armstrong Manx Norton for sale
Martin Squires Sketchbook Volume 4
ACA's first classic motorcycle sale
New Rocker T-shirts from Sump
Alex Botwright steps down as Fenman Classic Bike Show chairman
"Droves" at Bristol Classic Show
Kool new Davida candy coloured lids
Rare 1930 MGC makes £15,297
Nobody hurt in small earthquake
Royal Enfield "Valentine's Day sale"
Chris Bushell takes over Nourish
SBS Harley-Davidson "Speed Demon"
New 69 Club T-shirt from Sump
Mr & Mrs Oil Drip: under the hammer

January 2014 Classic bike news

Vintage Boot Sale, London
Chelsea Bridge tea stall petition
Stylish café racer T-shirt from Sump
Triumph again tops UK big bike sales
2014 Brighton Speed Trials is back on
First British motorway pub has opened
Hurricane tank from Burton Bike Bits
1936 Brough SS80 and chair on eBay
General Jumbo control freaks ahead
Festival of 1000 Bikes is cancelled
New congestion charge "con"
Bonhams Sale: "New records set"
Twenty jobs at Triumph Motorcycles
Cafe racer rival for Triumph Thruxton
Phil Everly: 1939 - 2014
Stuff we love: Vanishing Point (1971)
Derringer electric board track bicycle
Illegally fingerprinting the kids

December 2013 Classic bike news

Von Dutch 500cc Triumph to sell...
Cool oil on canvas by Robert Carter
Camera car consultation deadline: motorcycles ignored again
Save the Brighton Speed Trials
Ronnie Biggs 1929 - 2013
Cool stuff from Bonhams Bally sale
Alex Phillip's Clubman Vincent sale
Motorcycle traders look this way
Triumph financial losses overstated
New from Zippo
What's happening to classic prices?
BSA M20/B33 rigid rear lifting handle and mudguard stay
Peter O'Toole: 1932 - 2013
Custom Sunbeam S8 up for sale
Triumph posts a £12.8 million loss
Holden Cars Oz production to end
British Customs "Vintage Vendetta"
Stan Tracey: 1926 - 2013
New Brough SS100. First UK view
Voxan electric motorcycle unveiled
Ten years for Alexander Blackman
Say goodbye to the UK "tax disc"
New radio pulsing bike stop tech
Jake Robbins' Spit and Polish forks
EU plan to trash British road signs

November 2013 Classic bike news

"21st century" Hesketh 24 promised

Lewis Collins: 1946 - 2013

Watsonian Meteor sidecar returns

VMCC Hewing: jumped or pushed?

Brad Pitt Davida lid up for grabs

Andy Tiernan/Nick Ward Calendar

OK-Supreme missing parts appeal

Southern Classic Off-Road Show

For sale: 1964 BSA C15T - £2,850

1938 Matchless Model X - Cheffins

For sale: 1957 AJS Model 30. £3,300

Monstercraft Brat Kit for XS650 Yams

Bonhams Las Vegas, 9th Jan 2014

Young drivers see less, warns RAC

Lightmare campaign reminder

Interesting UK prison facts and stats
1935 Excelsior tops Harrogate Sale
Royal Enfield Continental screens
Stolen T100 returned after 46 years
Hövding invisible cycling helmet
SR400 Yamaha vs baby Triumph?
Ring of Red: respectful or mawkish?
McQueen's "Bullitt" tweed on sale
Jake Robbins taper-girders
Rare 350cc Triumph 3SW at Bonhams
Sump Magazine is now on Facebook
US Government ponders lid laws
Harley-Davidson's new streetsters
Milton Keynes's "driverless cars"
New T-bird, first whitewall radials
Weiss Montana heated glove
Upham's Brough project unveiled
Circa 1925 Douglas RA for Harrogate
Caterham Cars launches bike range
Cameron visits Henry Cole's Gladstone
bobber factory

British solicitors under threat
Norton's first US Commandos sent
Graham Stark: 1922 - 2013

October 2013 Classic bike news

Cheffins' Cambridge sale results
Lou Reed: 1942 - 2013
The Glory Days of British Motorbikes
Triumph Experimental by Mick Duckworth
Liverpool's bus lane suspension
Regent Street Motor Show update
Francis Beart Manx makes £61,980
The Breathometer is coming
Harley-Davidson recalls 25,185 motorcycles
Triumph T120 TT Special hits £16,000
Cool 1939 Triumph T100 on eBay
Superbikes of the 70s from Panther Publishing
"Project" Vincent-HRD Meteor offer
Rare 1938 600cc eBay Triumph 6S
Copdock Commando prize winner
Cambridge cops are nicking bikes
H&H at Duxford: 16th October 2013
Has Triumph run out of ideas?
Rat-out a trader, win ten grand
SuperBike sold, yet again
Norton "export volumes rise"
Last call for the classic Land Rover

September 2013 Classic bike news

Haynes retrenches and regroups
Billy Fury Tribute Night at the Ace
Gear Gremlin First Aid Kit
Ellis e-petition gathers momentum
Southbank car & bike boot sale
Pistons & Props: 28th-29th Sept 2013
Bike buyers robbed at gunpoint
1901 Ariel Quadricycle comes home
RAC demands 5p per litre fuel cut
1st Annual Motorcycle Film Festival,
Brooklyn, NY

"3D gun" on display at the V&A
Grayling's magistrates reform woes
Twenty's plenty in the Square Mile
Cool Ariel Square Four on eBay
Royal Enfield Continental GT roars
Weise Hi Viz jackets for cissies
Triumph T120R eScam taken offline
Bonhams' Beaulieu 2013 sale results
Satnav drivers "returning to maps"
Kenneth Horatio Wallis: 1916 - 2013
H&H invites October Duxford entries
Indian built 500cc Harley-Davidsons?
Brough stuff at Bonneville 2013
Triumph Rocket-3 streamliner details

August 2013 Classic bike news

Huge classic bike collection to sell
£4,600 Harley-Davidson FatBoy scam
Two classic Honda CX500 kits
Stolen BMW R80ST plea for help
Ace Classics (London) 2013 calendar
Sid Bernstein: 1918 - 2013
Judge denies Muslim burka motion
Brent Council shuts Ace "race track"
VW injunction blocks security hole
Bonhams return to Beaulieu in Sept
Pistol-packing copper is still busy on the job
Peter Fonda sues over Easy Rider T-shirt
Southern Classic Off-Road Show
Karen Black 1939 -2013
EU threatens MOT tests for caravans
New Norton T-shirt from Sump
2014 Indian range announced
Werner Lang: 1922 - 2013
Three staff arrested at Les Emery's

July 2013 Classic bike news

Cheffins Cambridge July results
Three "rare" Triumph TSXs on sale
Film company seeks Enfield riders
David Dixon: 1933-2013
Rare Triumph 6-1 on eBay: £16,000
Swinton fined for swindling
York council's 20mph slap in the face
French TV channel will be filming at the Ace
Lesney's Matchbox 60th anniversary
Free tickets to the South of England SuperBike Show and Bike Jumble
"... and do you take this poof to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
Henry Cole's "Gladstone" bobber
Triumph TRW pricing news
David "Fluff" Brown: 1930-2013
New Norton Domiracer breaks cover
£20,000 T120 Bonneville in sight
"Motorways are a rip off!" say IAM
Mortons postpones Big Kent 2013 event
VMCC Velo and Norton raffle update
Vincent Black Shadow T-shirt
Welsh Assembly votes away rights
June Pendine Trials "weathered off"

June 2013 Classic bike news

Roger LaVern: 1937 - 2013
2012 UK road deaths and injury figures
Cheffins fairground biker: £1100
Brake lights that see round the bend
Bonhams' 2013 Banbury highlights
New police powers and penalties
Bonhams & Banbury 2013 reminder
Cafe Racer Festival at Montlhery
Dirt Quake II
Historics at Brooklands results
Cameras to monitor cycle boxes?
Peter Williams £65,000 replica

May 2013 Classic bike news

TT rider Yoshinari Matsushita killed

2013 Brighton Speed Trials cancelled

Ton-Up Day 14th July 2013

Johnny "Chester" Dowling's
getting his kicks again

87 bikes for Historics at Brooklands

Sump seizes Kempton trader's stock

Welcome to classic Britain

DomiRacer liquidated and set for auction

Ray "Doors" Manzarek: 1939-2013

Indian's "sneak peek" at the Chief

Streetfighters magazine closes after 22 years

Bruce Main-Smith stops trading

Bike Shed custom bike exhibition

AJS-Matchless Club draw 2013

Bryan Forbes: 1926 - 2013

Watsonian-Squire Open Weekend

Call to lower the legal age of consent to 13

Royal Enfield's new UK home

April 2013 Classic bike news

Genuine Sump T-Shirt back in stock

VMCC Jan-Jun 2013 Velocette raffle

Storm conversion for XS650 Yams

Drive it Day for classic cars and bikes

Petition to ban mobile phone drivers

£246,400 Vincent; £246,400 Brough

Royal change to the laws of succession

Margaret Thatcher: 1925-2013

Ex-McQueen Indian Model F to sell

Eric's Cafe Racer Corner

Peter "Pip" Harris: 1927-2013

Pendine Sands Speed Trials 22/23 June 2013

Dr James "JK" Kelly Swanston: 1908-2013

Mortons buys Normous Newark

March 2013 Classic bike news
2013 Pioneer Run snowed and iced off

Dambuster charity motorcycle ride

One hundred cafe racers wanted

Hide your classic, and go to jail

Eddie Presbury "cheap" bike art

Norton acquires Donington Hall

James Herbert: 1943-2013

1973: New cut-off date for "historics"

Triumph T140D floating disc from
Norman Hyde

Rare Brough Superior BS4 to sell

First Vincent Lightning also to sell

British justice for sale, says Grayling

Indian reveals new 111-inch engine

Yamaha Bolt challenge to Triumph?

Triumph still in the number one spot

February 2013 Classic bike news

£6975 Triumph Tiger Cub, sold!
Ray "Dalek" Cusick: 1928-2013
Triumph Speed Triple R "Dark"
Despatches. Free eBook from Sump
Bonhams' Grand Palais "success"
Le breathalyser fines "postponed"
Government set to scrap 80mph speed limit hike plan
Driving test interpreters for the chop?
Reg "Wild Thing" Presley: 1941-2013
Bonhams Paris Grand Palais Sale 2013
New licence withdrawal powers

January 2013 Classic bike news

Freddie Williams: 1926-2013
Where's the Gaffer's Gallop film?
Andy Tiernan's ebay warning
2013 Triumph Rocket 3 Roadster
Insulting to be made legal again
One hundred years of Aston Martin
$480,000 1939 BMW Rennsport
Burtons' Triumph TRW register
James Austin's Classic Shows
Winter Restoration Show 2012
2013 Triumph Tiger Sports 1050
Winter Classic Bike Guide Show

Sump news archive



We've got plenty more classic bike news for you to enjoy. Check out the links below.


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Sump news indexes

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

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July 2013

June 2013


Take me to Facebook. I've got something to say.

BSA C15, B25, B40, B44 & B50 aficionados look this way


...and for that matter, fans of the Triumph TR25W might want to look this way too. Panther Publishing has recently sent us a press copy of the long awaited Volume 2 of Rupert Ratio's literary tour de force on B-series Beezer unit singles.


Here at Sump, we run a TR25W, and we've been reading this book with great interest. And if you're running any of the above listed bikes, this block of expert printed paper is ESSENTIAL reading.


We're not going to wax lyrical here about the detail of the book because it's currently on special offer to Sump visitors, and you can read out thoughts when you follow the link below. But we will say that we're hugely impressed with the sheer amount of effort that's gone into creating and publishing this one.


Just go check the RUPERT RATIO OFFER, then buy the book (or books if you haven't already got Volume 1). These are unquestionably among the best motorcycle manuals we've ever seen. Highly recommended.


The book has a soft cover, has 338 pages and boasts approximately 500 illustrations including an 8-page colour section. The dimensions are: 172 x 244mm. The ISBN is: 9781909213142. The book will be launched at the International Classic Motorcycle Show at Stafford on 25th-26th April 2014.


The list price is £22.95 including UK postage, but follow the RUPERT RATIO OFFER and knock a little money off of that. Better get your copy while it's still available.




— Dexxion





▲ Remember the 1968 movie The Girl on a Motorcycle? Well this could be the sequel; The Girl on an Electric Motorcycle. Introducing the Johammer.


Johammer electric motorcycles

It's built in Austria. It runs on electric. It's fitted with an 11kW motor. It's said to be good for around 75mph. It's got a claimed maximum range of 125 miles (or so). It costs between € 23,000 - €25,000. And it's definitely not kickstart.


But who's going to buy it? Well we can imagine quite a few people, but not enough (at that price) to make it mainstream. At least, not yet. But the future is bright. And the future is most certainly electric.


johammer-electric motorcycle


▲ The instruments are built into the rear view mirror. The view behind is the past fading away into the future. Electric classics are on the way.


The Johammer is being marketed as a chopper, which is a bit odd really as you might expect a bike like this to feature more effective streamlining complete with clip-ons, a fairing, a screen, etc.


With its corrugated bodywork and spindly wheels, it actually puts us in mind of an early Citroen 2CV. But this, as you might expect, is no low tech farmer's trolley. Features include hub centre steering, egenerative braking and a single-geared brushless AC motor that's all torque, and therefore offers plenty of instant action.




▲ It dares to be different, and it is different. Batteries are included.




▲ We hear that it take just 2.5 - 3.5 hours to recharge to 80% capacity depending on which version you choose. If that's true, it's shockingly quick when you consider the 125 mile (or so) range.




▲ The motor runs in an oil bath, so these electrics could some day end up leaking the black stuff all over the garage floor. Cool, huh?




▲ Is that all it is under the skin? We could have done that...


In the rush to clean up the planet's atmosphere (or, at least, move the smoke away from population centres), machines such as this are the classic bikes of tomorrow.


In the early days of biking, only wealthy gentlemen could afford them. Well that wheel has turned a full revolution, only this time it's being spun by an electric engine rather than a petrol-powered two- or four-stroke motor.


This motorcycle was originally introduced in May 2012 as the Biiista (yes, the spelling of that name is correct). Built by Austrian firm Hammerschmid Maschienebau, the first generation models had significantly lower performance and "mpg", but the company has since significantly improved its product—but is still lagging a good way behind the leaders in the electric motorcycle field.



— The Third Man





1937 BSA B24.  Lot 104. The estimate is just £3,000-£4,000. That's about twenty to thirty percent less than we'd expect for this very desirable three-fifty single. But we ain't telling Bonhams how to price bikes.


Death comes calling at Bonhams


Property of a deceased's estate. Depressing, huh? But we're hearing those words more and more often as private collection after collection, and at an accelerating rate, re-enters the classic bike market.


Usually the most interesting/coveted lots are cherry-picked and sold at good-to-top money, with the "also-rans" exchanging hands for almost trivial prices.


Bonhams's Spring Sale is fielding plenty of bikes from both ends of the desirability scale and we'll be watching with interest as the (generally) immaculately-presented remnants of someone's life are rolled onto the platform, gawked at by all and sundry, and flogged off for whatever they'll make.


Yes, that's life. Get over it, etc. But all the same, we wouldn't complain (much) if these collections were buried along with the deceased, albeit in airtight, vacuum-sealed bags so that after a decent period of mourning (say, a hundred years) they could be "repatriated" to the land of the living, and we'd all carry on pretty much where we left off.


That ain't gonna happen, of course. And Bonhams (which supplied the images here) is simply going to do what it has to do. But we can take some comfort from the fact that most, if not all of these bikes, will pass on (if you'll pardon the pun) to good hands.




1925 Douglas 2¾hp Model CW.  Lot 104. The estimate is just £3,000-£4,000. That's about twenty to thirty percent less than we'd expect for this very desirable three-fifty


Unless we're reading the Bonhams catalogue details wrong, there are 285 bikes in this sale. The lots cover a wide range of styles, eras, conditions, etc, and there's a lot of very interesting stuff in there. We're still poring over the detail trying to work out which way the prices appear to be heading (according to Bonhams' expectations). But of course, what matters is what they fetch on the day.


Classic bikes have been struggling a little lately. Yes, dealers are talking it up as much as they can/dare, but there's no question that generally speaking, there's been a lot of cooling; certainly for the more run-of-the-mill stuff. Consequently, we think there are going to be some great bargains on the day because the classic bike trend is always upwards.


Well, so far, anyway.


Our advice? Put a little spare cash aside and make your play. This Spring Sale might just put an early summer in your life. Meanwhile, check out some of these offerings...




Lot 106. 1925 Excelsior Ladies Model.  The estimate is £3,800-£4,800 for this JAP sidevalve single. Bonhams sold this bike in October 2010 for £5,175.




  Lot 217. This 1939 5T Triumph 498cc Speed Twin is carrying an estimate of £9,000 - 11,000. We think that's more like £11,000 - £13,000. But what will the market say about the grand-daddy of the modern twin?




Lot 156. Plenty of "Jap crap" at this sale, including this built-from-spares-but-never-used circa 1963 Honda 125cc CR93 racer. The estimate is £13,000 - 15,000.



Lot 171. 1906 Fontaine. The 3hp, 401cc "Pioneer" sidevalve is believed to unique, but is currently listed with the Sunbeam Club as a 1904 machine. Emil Fontaine lived and worked in Le Havre, France.



— Big End




Wal Handley astride a 1937 BSA Brooklands Empire Star. By this year, his motorcycle racing days were behind him. But car racing and high
flying was firmly on the agenda. And it was flying that killed him.


Wal Handley's Lagonda to sell at H&H

The relatively rare 1934 M45 T8 Lagonda (below) comes up for auction this month at H&H's Duxford Sale on 24th April 2014. Aside from being a fairly desirable Lagonda, the car's other claim to fame is the fact that it once belonged to Walter "Wal" Leslie Handley.


Born in 1902, Wal Handley was a four-times Isle of Man TT winner notching up his first success in 1925 in the Ultra Lightweight class (Rex-Acme) and his last at the 1930 Senior (Rudge) He also campaigned bikes built by BSA, OK-Supreme, Motasacoche, Excelsior and Velocette, and he raced cars by MG, Riley and Alfa Romeo.



▲ Established in 1906 by US ex-pat Wilbur Gunn, the name "Lagonda" refers to a creek near to Gunn's birth town of Springfield, Ohio. In 1947, Lagonda was assimilated by Aston Martin, but the brand is still active.



Handley was killed in 1941 at the age of just 39 when he was involved in an air crash whilst serving with the RAF as an air transport pilot. He was flying a P-39 Bell Airacobra. But at some point in the late 1930s, Handley became the owner of  "BLP 494" before lending it to a friend who removed the 6-cylinder Meadows petrol engine and used the vehicle as a test bed for a diesel engine project.




By the mid-1960s, the diesel engine was removed by the current owner and a replacement engine of the correct Meadows-type was re-installed. Therefore, the vehicle in all probability does not have the originally-installed 4410cc, 6-cylinder power unit (unless some quirk of fate brought car and engine together again).


Double sacrilege.


The car hasn't seen asphalt for around thirty years, and it's been Royally mucked around with in various ways since it rolled out of the Staines, Middlesex factory. The engine number on the VIN plate below, we've been told, does not in fact refer to a specific engine, but refers to an engine part number. Lagonda, apparently, didn't record such crucial information. How true that is, we don't know because we're beer specialists, not Lagonda experts. But there's a distinct smell of toffee in the air.



▲ The original engine is said to have been a 4410cc 6-cylinder Meadows unit. We've since been told that the capacity might well have been 4467cc.



Additionally, a replacement gearbox has been fitted. Ditto a new radiator, dashboard, shock absorbers, chrome work, SU carburettors and wiring—all of which means that along with a switched engined, it doesn't sound like much of the original vehicle is still available.


Regardless, H&H (who takes the prize this month for the worst-written press release to land on the Sump doormat) is still anticipating interest at around £60,000 - £80,000. That's a large slice of wedge for a mucked-around motor. But then, a Lagonda isn't any old pile of bits, is it?


In 2008, Bonhams flogged a 1933 M45 tourer for £133,500 (including buyers premium).



— The Third Man




Classic Bike Bargains - new feature


We've got a new page that will interest most, if not all, visitors to Sump. We won't labour the details here because the title more or less speaks for itself. But check it out and see if there's anything for you. Just keep in mind that it's a new feature and will take some time to develop.


Meanwhile, if you're a classic motorcycle dealer or spares trader, come and make your pitch. If it's interesting and reasonable, we'll probably find a spare scrap of screen to fit it on.


Classic Bike Bargains from Sump

— Girl Happy



Foundry's first Anniversary
Ride In

The above poster tells you most of what you need to know about this event. But in case you've lost your calendar, it's now Monday 7th April 2014, and the Ride In goes down on Saturday 12th April.


Five days into the future.


If you turn up, you're promised great coffee, good company, BBQ nosh, cool motorcycles and a photographer on hand ready to immortalise you in digital celluloid. So ride something appropriate if you can, and wear your best duds. You'll feel better for it.



Brat-style BMW courtesy of Foundry Motorcycle engineering. Is it just us that hates the term "brat", or are there others out there?



Foundry Motorcycle occupies a spot just outside Chichester on the South Coast on England. The postcode for your SatNavs is PO20 2EU. But when we checked on Google Maps, we ended up at a kiddies nursery. So you'd better call first for directions and ask them to hang out a couple of flags or something.


UPDATE: We've since been advised that if your satnav gets you to Woodpecker Nursery, you're in the right place. Foundry is "out the back with lots of bike parking".



— Del Monte




April - Houston Motorcycle Auction


We don't have a lot of detail about this one. But it might be worth checking out if you're in that neck of the woods around the appropriate time or fancy taking a punt online.


The date is Sunday 13th April 13, 2014. The time is 11.00am. The venue is The Reliant Center, Houston, TX 77054.


Mecum Auctions is running a number of sales over that weekend ranging from cars to motorcycles to automobilia to whatever comes along. The cars (around 1000 of them) will be sold between 10th and 11th April. Two wheelers go under the hammer the following day. Sunday.


The Mike Doyle Museum Collection gets the star billing on the motorcycle platform and boasts over 100 lots. Doyle, who hails (or hailed) from Dixon, California, amassed a huge private and very eclectic collection of motorcycles. We don't know if he is alive or dead, but the collection is surplus to requirements.


The machines include various Harleys, BSAs, Triumphs and Ajays; a Mustang or two; plenty of Hondas; an Ivory Calthorpe; a Benelli; a tribe of Indians and ...well, all kinds of obscure stuff. You'll get dizzy checking the list.




▲1946 486cc Scott Flying Squirrel. Doyle Collection. "No British motorcycle collection is complete without a water-cooled Scott." We like 'em plenty, but they're very much an acquired taste, and best served rare.




▲Lot U67 1942 Indian 841, one of 1,000 built at the request of the US War Department. Shaft drive, 4-speed, transverse V-twin, the 841 (like Harley's rival XA model) was not a success and helped put Indian in the poor house. That'll teach 'em to muck around with a tried & tested formula...



▲Lot U16. 1960 T20 Tiger Cub. Doyle Collection. A run of the mill Cub filling a Cub shaped hole. Much of the collection looks similarly unfocussed, but represents a lot of obsessive dedication. It is possible to have too many motorcycles. Ask Doyle.



▲ Lot U41. 1953 Mk2 Ariel Square Four. Clean, but sadly long dormant.


Also in the weekend sale are a number of "road art" lots, notably a collection of guitars signed by bands such as Aerosmith, Eagles, ZZ Top, Van Halen and the Rolling Stones. Plenty, if not most of the lots, have no reserves, so there could be a real chance of snapping up a bargain here. We've got our eyes on Lot J24, below, which is a Strat-style guitar autographed by the Rolling Stones. We could certainly find a spot on the Sump garage wall for that.




— The Third Man




Ernest "Ernie" Lyons: 1914 - 2014


Irish Grand Prix racer Ernie Lyons died in February this year aged a very respectable ninety-ninety.


A farmer from Dublin, Ireland, Ernest William Lyons won the 1946 Manx Grand Prix Senior 500cc, a moment that's particularly well remembered by fans for the fact that (a) it was lashing rain, and (b) that some way into the race, the front frame down tube on his Triumph Tiger 100 snapped. Undeterred, Lyons pressed on and both took the winners prize and set the fastest lap.



▲ Bonhams sold the above Triumph Grand Prix in 2009 (not Ernie Lyons' racer). The machine fetched £17,250 including premium. It's thought that around 150 - 200 Triumph Grand Prix motorcycles were built.


Much modified by himself and fellow racer Fred Clarke, this machine's aluminium top-end was taken from the now equally famous Triumph WW2 all-alloy radio-generator rig as used by the RAF on Lancaster bombers.


This prototype racer deployed a Tiger 100 bottom end and was fitted with twin carbs, lightened & polished valve gear, high-compression pistons and race cams. The (then) "state of the art" projectile subsequently became known as the Triumph Grand Prix model and entered production two years later.


Ernie Lyons, we understand, spent his last months in an Irish nursing home and died just shy of reaching the "magic ton"; a feat that, in view of his fabled riding prowess and determination, seems something of a pity.


— Big End



UK campaign to reinstate .22 pistols


This one is bound to be highly controversial. People, after all, still remember the Dunblane Primary School massacre in Scotland, in March 1996, where Thomas Hamilton, armed with four pistols, shot dead sixteen children and one adult before committing suicide.


And people still remember the Hungerford, Berkshire massacre in August 1987 when Michael Ryan let loose with a couple of semi-automatic rifles and a pistol and murdered sixteen people and wounded fifteen others, also before committing suicide.


There have other shootings such as in 1989 at Monkseaton, North Tyneside (one dead, fourteen wounded) and in 2010 at Cumbria (twelve murdered, eleven injured).


But it was Dunblane that had the biggest impact on Britain's handgun laws when, in 1997, the Tory government banned all privately held pistols except .22 calibre weapons and historic & muzzle-loading guns, and then the New Labour government came along later that year and banned the .22s as well.


That's an oversimplification of the law, but that's essentially what led up to the 1997 Firearms Amendment Act. And almost immediately, handguns were rounded-up, and otherwise law-abiding gun-owners were treated with contempt and/or suspicion and, in some instances, arrested and jailed for failure to surrender their "Dirty Harry" hardware.




▲ In the UK, we've got a love/hate relationship with firearms. Trouble is,

it's not always easy to tell who you can trust with them...



As a consequence of this knee-jerk law, the UK Olympic Shooting Team suddenly found itself on the wrong side of history and was obliged to keep its weapons under lock and key in neutral Switzerland (of all places) and nip over to Zurich and pop away at cuckoos, or whatever the training-target of the day was.


In the UK 2012 Olympic Games, special dispensation was granted allowing the aforementioned limey gunners to start blasting away again on British soil. But the Olympics are over, and it's back to Zurich.


Well now there's a campaign to reinstate .22 rimfire, as opposed to centrefire, pistols (minor technical difference). It's led by Firearms UK which wants the weapons to be permitted under the current Section 1 certification system.


The group certainly has a lot of heart, but not an awful lot in the way of compelling rational argument for its cause, except (it seems) that shooting at cardboard bullseyes is "fun" and "sociable" and that "disabled people can also participate" (depending, of course, on the nature of the disability).


But don't get us wrong. We're not sneering. Far from it. Shooting at cardboard targets isn't our idea of fun (although we can think of a few people we wouldn't mind plugging). But it's a big world out there with many and various ways to get your kicks (ask Thomas Hamilton and Michael Ryan). And the UK firearms laws have done absolutely nothing to stem the flow of illegal weaponry in this green and often bloody land. We can't see anarchy breaking out if measured changes were made.


In the USA, there's a gun lobby slogan that reads: IF THEY OUTLAW GUNS, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE GUNS. And that's perfectly true. Tip: check out Harwich Docks, Port of Tilbury, anywhere in South London and pretty much all of Manchester (aka Gunchester).


Only, we live in hysterical times with a hysterical law enforcement apparatus that won't be at all happy about a nation in which pistols are legally owned and discharged (not that the British coppers have a gun safety record to brag about).


Still, you might feel differently and want to lend your support to this campaign—and we know of one or two bikers out there who've got more than a couple of .22 calibre pop guns in the garden shed. And wasn't BSA and Royal Enfield founded on weaponry and munitions? There's bound to be a certain amount of cross-over interest.


Yes, a .22 can kill you easily enough too. We know that, and we ain't sneering about that either. But the chances of the UK government loading up their magazines and firing-off a few clips of common sense are, in this instance at least, probably very low. Unlike the USA, the government has got the guns, and here at Sump, we'd be very surprised if they start handing them back.



— Dexxion




Stuff we like: Bell Bullitt Helmet - TT


This lid isn't particularly new. But it's available, and that's pretty much the next best thing. We spotted this helmet on the British Customs website and fell instantly in love. So okay, we've seen 'em around before. But love is a tricky thing. You never know when, or where, Cupid's little dart will strike.


This helmet, we're told, is a modern take on the very first Bell Star Helmet. And being modern, it's got an ultra low profile composite shell and is aimed at open faced guys who want full faced vintage protection. At it hurts us to admit that we love this one because we're open faced guys and girls around here.


But look, if we really had to wear an all-over, BBC2 television brain bucket, this is probably the one we'd pick (but we'd eventually have to take a hacksaw to the cissy chin guard bit).


British Customs in Gardena, California is offering these lids at £399.95. For that, you get a removable and washable liner, various vents, other technical bits, a windscreen, a 5 year warranty, and a whole lotta cool.


Most of all, you get that wonderful creamy colour (plus another three options that are almost as nice). So don't wait. Buy. Wear. Prance and pose. And remember to keep a hacksaw blade handy.



— Girl Happy




Another implied classic bike threat from London Mayor Boris Johnson?


At Sump, we try not to add to national scaremongering. There's enough of that going on already. But we also try not to leave our heads buried in the sand for too long, which is why we've popped up long enough to take a closer look at this.


It's London Mayor Boris Johnson's Transport for London (TfL) Motorcycle Safety Action Plan (MSAP) which has just been launched. The idea is to cut London's overall deaths and serious injuries by a whopping 40% by 2020.


Achievable? Maybe. But more specifically, TfL has put motorcycling squarely in the spotlight. Or is that gunsight? And it just might be getting trigger happy. But first some hard numbers ...


2012 figures


629 motorcyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) on London's roads.


This number represented 21% of all KSI in London for that year.


2.3% This was the average modal share of journeys for motorcycles with respect to vehicle kilometres travelled n London.


£220million. This was the nominal total cost of those accidents to society.


Note that these are Boris's figures. We don't know how the data was collected or how reliable it is, but we're not challenging it. We haven't the means. Or the brains. But we're not taking the stats for granted either. The term "bike", incidentally, refers to all forms of powered two wheelers, but not cycles.


In simple terms, Boris and his Crew want to make London safer. Hooray for that, etc. To that end, he's planning a new London-wide safety campaign and has got various usual-suspect interest-groups on board. So far so good. But...


The worrying bit


There's a section in the TfL MASTER PLAN that has potentially worrying implications for classic motorcyclists. Read it for yourself:


"The number of motorcycles registered in the Capital (sic) has steadily increased in the past decade. But the number of new motorcycles being sold has steadily decreased since 2000. This suggests that there are likely to be a growing number of second hand, and therefore older, motorcycles on the road. Because of this trend, the rate of uptake of new safety technology, such as motorcycle anti-lock braking systems, in London’s motorcycles may slow."


Couple this statement with Boris Johnson's breezy plan to clean up London's air (see March 2014 Sump), and you can perhaps read the invisible writing on the wall.


Something and nothing? Maybe. Now read this:


"The actions in this plan reflect what we know about how, where and why motorcycle collisions occur. Activity will be targeted to reduce speed-related collisions, reduce right-turning vehicle collisions, increase compliance with the rules of the road, increase the use of Personal Protective Equipment by motorcyclists, and improve motorcyclist skill and riding behaviour. We know that these challenges need to be addressed to reduce collisions involving motorcyclists. We also know that changes to the behaviour and awareness of other road users, as well as those riding motorcycles, will be important."


It's the line about safety equipment, which we read as anything from anti-lock brakes, to airbags, to body armour, to full faced lids, to daytime running lights, to crash bars, to a guy walking in front waving a red flag.


The point is, biking fatalities in the UK, and elsewhere, are still grossly out of proportion as a percentage of the population, and also in terms of vehicle miles (or kilometres) travelled.


Unfortunately, the stats include younger "tearaways" on scooters and moped who make biking for older, more mature riders seem far more dangerous than it is.


TfL is no doubt aware of this. But all the same, if you're a biker in general, and a classic biker in particular, we think you should download the pdf from TfL and have a butchers (Translation for Sump's overseas visitors: Butcher's. Butcher's Hook. Look. Cockney rhyming slang. We know it's stupid, but the tourists love it).


Note that we're not saying that the end is nigh for classic motorcycles in the British capital. But we are suggesting that you might want to keep your goggles clean and look a little further ahead than you usually do.


Boris might well be a bit of a laugh and a love-him or loathe-him fool. But he's smart, effective and can be dangerous too, and he's clearly got an agenda.


Clean air and road safety. Think about that.




— Sam 7




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