February 2012  Classic bike news

 

Above:  1937 1000cc Ariel Square Four from the Roger Banks Collection. This is one of four Squariels that H&H Auctions will be putting up for sale on 19th April 2012 at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire. The estimate is £10,000-£12,000. Pre-war classics have been doing well in recent years, but there have been indications of a slight cooling in the market. However, we think this one is on the money, or even a little under. Certainly, four Squariels at the same auction are likely to focus attention and bring the bidders in from far and wide. Watch this space ...


February 2012 Classic bike news

Brightspark "EasyCap" Condensor C03
"Autopilot cars within 10 years"

Derek and Don Rickman: The Métisse Story

Norton Transformer video

DVLA set to close all regional offices by 2013

In search of Mr Nelk

1,000,000 UK drivers are aged 80+
Spare some change for the BNP?
Drivesafe goes live
Dennis Slaughter gets an MBE
"Time warp" c1917 BSA 4¼hp sold at Bonhams' February Paris Sale
OEC-Anzani replica outfit
Girder Fork & Classic Motor Cycle Club
Kevin Schwantz to ride at the 2012 Festival of 1000 Bikes


 

January 2012 Classic bike news

AP Racing brake calipers are back on sale.
But not just yet ...

BMW to fit Datatags as standard
£65.72 KLG spark plug (and tin) on eBay
London Mayor Johnson opens Red Route bus lanes to bikers, permanently
8th Hotrod Hayride
Daylight saving bill thrown out
"Mandatory French high-visibility vests" to be replaced by armbands?
"Dayglo" e-petition gathers support
France bans SatNav speed camera warnings
Eighty bikers quiz MEP Pete Skinner
South of England RealClassic Show & Bikejumble Sunday 11th March
Du Pont Vegas sale hits $1 million
"High visibility jackets" to become
compulsory in France

New Tiger Cub on the way?
New winter classic show gets off to
a warm start

New Raleigh bicycle book
Continental time for British bikers?
MEP Pete Skinner's biking surgery
Triumph to build bikes in India
Carole Nash free iPhone app(lication)
VMCC July-Dec competition winner
"Wrong way" cycling to be legalised?
Dealer decals from Val Emery


December 2011 Classic bike news

Manx Norton screen for Thruxton Bonnies

2012 Andy Tiernan calendar

Top five UK biker gripes revealed

Harley-Davidson sued over "dodgy" ABS warning light

London bus lane victory for bikers

JVB Brit Bobber—yours for €15,000

Annual SORN to be scrapped. And V5Cs too?

Royal Enfield Crusader info wanted

"Joint enterprise" bikers cleared

50-plus classics found in a hall

BBC online road death map

Warning: London Low Emissions Zone, 2012


November 2011 Classic bike news

Royal Enfield Bullet Desert Storm

Bonhams to auction WW11 POW

One hundred years of Watsonian

Newly minted Commando bearing shells from Andover Norton

Du Pont Collection to be auctioned

New McQueen photo book

Hot Work by Hepworth & Grandage

2012 Triumph Speed Triple R

Brussels protest ride gathers pace

Von Dutch Bonnie: last chance to buy

Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200

Rollerburn picks Davida

$250,000 Brough offered online

MoTs to be scrapped for pre-1960s bikes and cars?


October 2011 Classic bike news

Classic "Rode Safely" YouTube vid
VMCC BSA Rocket Gold Star raffle closing...
Steve McQueen T100 Bonneville
Moby Dick fails to reach estimate
Bonhams back in Harrogate
Grand Prix helmets set for launch
Sammy Miller's honorary membership
New law is set to target dangerous drivers
$13,975 for a BSA M20?
Indian production re-started
London Motorcycle Museum expansion plans
2012 AJS and Matchless owners club calendar
Riders Digest is bust
Fonzie's Bud Ekins Triumph sale


September 2011 Classic bike news

80mph limit back on the agenda?
Diabetes driving licence woes
Thirty years of the Suzuki Katana
John Favill to talk at Coventry
Tell it to Penning
Thomas Humber gets a plaque
10th anniversary of the Davida Jet
"Gus Kuhn" Commando: £6,670
Wideline Featherbed from Andover
Mike Wheeler: new Royal Enfield dealer
2012 Triumph 675 Daytona unveiled
1936 Panther on eBay - £14,999
Three dead at the 2011 Manx


August 2011 Classic bike news

Hughie Hancox:1938-2011
John Howard Davies: 1939-2011
Radical shake up of the MOT regulations?
Custom BSA takes World Championship freestyle second
MOSI's Customising, Culture and Harley-Davidson exhibit
Cheffin's T140 Bonneville bargain
Mick "Hesketh" Broom hospitalised
Solicitors from Hell
Gary Nixon: 1941-2011
Vince Cable's Norton Loan
Bill Saker's new venture
Rick Edwards: 1967-2011
Rockingham Classics & Sports have closed


July 2011 Classic bike news

New DVLA organ donor rules apply

Davida "fighter pilot" visor

Unique DOHC 250cc Velo sale

Scott Hardy UK charity bike ride
H&H Buxton auction results
Captain America's Harley on show
Avon Tyres unearths Vincent film
Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 at Quail
Braking News
New Ariel badges from Draganfly
Last ever Brough Superior SS100
H&H's Rare Brough Superior racer
Harley-Davidson shares intrigue
Frost Automotive's "ethanol fix"
Coventry Transport Museum exhibit pays homage to the Ace Cafe
Classic Vespa ACMA on eBay
Hightown Crows


 

June 2011 Classic bike news

Don Godden :1936-2011

Ted Simon Foundation

Norman Vanhouse

Romney Marsh Bike Jumble

"2000 visitors" at Enfield Weekend

"Gold Star number one" on eBay

Ugly Fish biker specs from Down Under

£45,600 for a British Anzani V-twin engine
Road Safety Minister Penning launches new "Think!" initiative
Draganfly's 35th birthday
Andover Norton Commando production racer head steady
Roy Bacon dating certificates doubts
New T120 & T140 pistons from Norman Hyde
First Daventry Motorcycle Festival
Travelling with Mr Turner


 

May 2011 Classic bike news

Lambeth Council redefines potholes

McQueen's Husky breaks auction record
New EC legislation threat to online
classic bike spares traders

Big Dog Motorcycles is bankrupt
Sheriff of Cambridge buys Hyde Harrier
Jubilee prototype

500,000th Hinckley Triumph arrives
Ultra rare AJS Porcupine heads for
Bonhams' Carmel Auction

Lambrettas back on the streets
The Norman Club is 10 years old
Electronic speedos and tachos from SRM
A Gagg & Sons is selling up
Cambridgeshire bike shop doubles as a
post office and grocery store

Cat & Fiddle cameras are switched on
Indian Motorcycle acquired by Polaris


April 2011 Classic bike news

£2 million netted by Bonhams at the 2011
Stafford Show

Judges throw out No To Bike Parking Tax case

Dymag relaunched

Tory MP moots dangerous and reckless
cycling law

Hailwood's TT Cromwell to be auctioned
Hobgoblin Enfield Bullet winner
New ethanol warning
T120, T140 & T160 clutch cush drive "rubbers" from Tony Hayward

MAG gets a grip
Harley-Davidson 883 SuperLow Sportster
gets a Watsonian chair

Two Norton racers added to
Bonhams' Quail Lodge auction


March 2011 Classic bike news

Kawasaki W800 suspension mods

Spring Veterama 2011

Cylinder Head Shop ties up with BLR
Engineering and G&S Valves

Francis-Barnett: The Complete Story
Bike death on Mike Hailwood memorial run
BSA A7, A10 & Ariel Huntmaster
dynamo belt drive kit

Captain America's chopper on the block
UK Government switches drink drive
emphasis to drugs

Shadows' bassist Jet Harris dies
Moto Guzzi celebrates 90th birthday
Pre-65 Motocross Club extra event
Electric bikes debut at the 2011
Red Marley Hill Climb

New rocker book from Mick Duckworth
Welcome to The Manor Cafe
Bristol cars go in administration
Battistinis Retro Revival
Steve McQueen bounds back on the big screen
1938 350cc Excelsior Manxman
sells for £26,640


 

 

February 2011 Classic bike news

Dave Degens at South of England Ardingly Classic Bike Show

Vinnielonglegs under the hammer

50 years of the Welsh Dragon Rally

Charge warning light driver

Round Kurland Latvian Rally

Mike Hailwood Memorial Run

Triumph Tiger 90 register

Crash Card launched at the Ace Cafe

VMCC raffles a T160 Triumph Trident for 2011

Harley-Davidson Sportster Custom

KLN 804, where are you?

Douglas: Light aero engines from Kingswood
to Cathcart

Bonhams' Paris Grand Palais
Auction draws near...

£144 Lucas ammeter on eBay. Sold!

BSA Golden Flash eBook from Sump


January 2011 Classic bike news

Record sales for Rolls Royce

1942 Royal Enfield WD/CO for sale on eBay

WW2 Waltham watch for sale

Steve McQueen Husqvarna for sale at Bonhams

New Royal Enfield V-twin denied

Carbon fibre T140/T120 frame

BSA-Indian bobber on eBay

VAT rise hides dealer price hike

Meriden blockade stepped up

Ealing to boot bikes from bus lanes?

Harley-Davidson share price rise

New Norvil Catalogue

Triumph leading UK big bike sales

Rare Megola heading for Bonhams' Grand Palais Paris auction

Draganfly John Bull knee grips & toolboxes

Hildebrand & Wolfmüller sells for a record $161,000 at Las Vegas

BSA Golden Flash eBook from Sump


 

December 2010 Classic bike news

$15,000 tin toys auctioned

Captain Beefheart 1941-2010

Two old Texans head for Bonhams' big one

Two more HD dealers hit the skids

Prince Charles: "I hate motorbikes"

1925 Brough Superior prototype set to smash marque auction record

Police supt changes speeding plea

UK blocks Euro wide motoring fines plan

"Select" MPs call for new drink driving purge

New old stock US container bonanza from Burton Bike Bits

US Government bailed out Harley with $2.3billion

April ‘Real Classic’ Malvern Classic Bike Show date change

Calling Panther owners...

Eight Vincents on offer at Bonham's 1st Las Vegas sale

Simulated riding research "shock"


 

 

November 2010 Classic bike news

Penning's Triumph?

Royal Enfield Fury set to launch

Roberto Rossi Rivale Bonneville

Amazing key fob camera

White line warnings

1926 Indian Scout tops Bonhams'
18th Harrogate sale

Zero emissions racer hits cyclist

Fall in London bus driver assaults

120,000 tons of Aussie salt on the way

Off duty New York cop shoots bike thief

Rare AMC Rickman Métisse auction

1929 Scott 3-speed Flyer TT Replica

Michelin wants its windows back, please

5p off Shell V-Power—for one day only

Stolen bike recovery rate falling

Accident Exchange

Royal Enfield and Watsonian Squire
are flying again

Bike theft risk

Douglas: The Complete Story

High level Hinckley Bonnie exhausts

The end for Pontiac

Oxford speed cameras back in the frame

Bonhams to auction rare Hildebrand
and Wolfmuller


Norvin cafe racer from Sump Magazine

October 2010 Classic bike news

Low sun warning from the IAM

"Plain clothed" traffic wardens

100,000 anti terror suspects stopped in 2009: zero arrests

Bud Ekins memorabilia auction

Brough Superior makes a record £286,000

Triumph 675R Daytona tank badge intrigue

Philip Hammond criticised over insensitive
suicide remarks

EC rejects ABS "switch off" option

100 Years of AA Ireland stamp issued

Norman Hyde triple pistons

Norvin cafe racer auction result

Quarter of a million pound Brough?

Dave Aldana's Rocket for sale

Andy Tiernan Air Ambulance calendar

Big UK freeze on the way

Helmut Fath's URS outfit sells for
£102,700 at Stafford

New sliding gear for BA or BAP gearboxes

Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket Three oil pumps from Hyde

AJS 7R & Matchless G50 looking for £25-£28k & £28k-32k, respectively

Triumph Tiger XC images released

2011 Adventure Travel Film Festival

Keis bodywarmer

Eric Patterson at the Ardingly Show

Motorcycle Action Group organising
mass lobby of Parliament

Tom Swallow James Comet for sale

Mayor Johnson launches
motorcycle safety campaign

Sussex Police on TV

2011 ABS Triumph Speed Triple

Bonham's £12,000-£16,000
1939 Triumph Tiger 100

Norman Wisdom 1915-2010

New driving test rules take effect

125p per litre petrol soon?

New Rocker culture book

Legendary 100 Club set to close

Cycle lobby to challenge motorcycle
bus lane access

M4 bus lane now open to cars

Norvin cafe racer to fetch £29,000?

1931 500cc Sunbeam Model 9 Plus


September 2010 Classic bike news

New VMCC Devon section proposed

Michael Scott Wade

Pensioner jailed for assaulting Hells Angel

Schwarzenegger signs noise emissions bill

Harley-Davidson extended warranty offer

Biker cleared of filming hysterical gun toting cop

New buckles from Chequered Flag

Thefts at Triumph Live

£33 billion road safety economy drive

Norfolk Speed Cameras "facing the axe"

The "sun shines down" on Netley

AJS-Matchless Calendar 2011

Morgan to build cycle cars again?

Biking Brigadier's charity appeal

Blueye eyewear

BSA kevlar clutch plate kit

Bedford is next to open bus lanes to motorcycles

Stolen 1931 Sunbeam Lion

Francis Barnett trademark for sale

'53 Squariel sells strong for £11,900 at
Bonham's Beaulieu

Friends of Speedway film appeal

Triumph - Britain's largest automotive company?

Ariel Square Four repro 'rods from Draganfly

3D Wonderbra distraction

Police predict a riot

Johnny "Chester" Dowling

Easy Rider special screening

Scottish police need help

Repro Triumph Speed Twin forks

1937 Stevens auctioned for £12,980

Police officer guilty of killing 60s pop star's son

Canadian optical "safety" illusion

1200cc shaft-drive Triumph spotted

Councils cut the streetlight budget

Real Classic sold to Mortons Media

Helmetless bike thief dies in smash

Triumph X-75 Hurricane at Cheffins

Rare 1932 Triumph XO?

Superbike magazine sold to Vitality Publishing?

Two killed at the Manx Grand Prix

Hinckley Bonnie wheels

Crash proof Volvo?

Ace Cafe Reunion

Bike Parking Tax demo

Velocette M Series

War Department's 1940's day

BSA M20 bobber

Norton Commando hits 129mph at
Bonneville Salt Flats

Matthew Dieckmann killed in bike/car crash


 

August 2010 Classic bike news

Schwarzenegger to rule on noisy bikes
Northamptonshire police compensation claims
Kawasaki W800 is rolling
Interesting helmet research
Ace Classics to race at Goodwood
Bikers carjack celebrity wife
Taxi driver wasn't dead
New Amal parts for monoblocs
Val Emery Decals
Cameron & Clegg scrap pub plans
England gets the thumbs up
RoSPA's Communiqué
Villiers book
New three cylinder Triumph engine confirmed
Road pricing survey results
Drag Bike Racing - from Veloce
Road sign cull
Interphone
The Fabulous Teddys
Davida 92
Draganfly's new plunger tubes
ID Document Bill
Morton's picture archive online
MO1 magneto replacement
Eddie Crooks
Triumph & The Stranglers
Royal Enfield Pub opens
Peter Williams Autobiography
Helmut Fath's outfit auctioned
Sammy Miller bikes on the block
8 Vincents auctioned
New V5Cs
TR3OC Breakfast
"Lewis Leathers" Enfield Bullet


 

Classic Bike Events

Brightspark "EasyCap" Condensor C03

 

We discovered this device (top left) about ten minutes ago and don't know anything about it other than the fact that it's designed to boost the spark of a tired old Lucas MO1, N1 or KN1 magneto.

 

It's up on eBay right now (29th February 2012) and carries an asking price of £13.

 

The seller is claiming it's simple to fit and is a straightforward service item good for around 10,000 miles or two years, or possibly longer. But like all capacitors (or points, or plugs), it will fail sooner or later.

 

To fit it, you'll need to perform a "simple condensectomy" to disconnect/isolate the old condensor. Special tools are available on loan if needed;

 

The upside is that unlike the standard condensor, you won't have to strip the mag to replace it. It all fits right there under the ignition points.

 

Sounds like a great device. But does it work the way the makers, or sellers, claim? We don't know, so you'll have to do some legwork yourself. If it does work, pass the word. We'd really love to find out. Note that the ignition points aren't included in the price. What you get for your thirteen quid is the little square thing that's on the green and silver bit.

 

http://www.brightsparkmagnetos.com

—  The Third Man

 

 

 

"Autopilot cars within 10 years"

 

We've been hearing this kind of stuff forever, but that was then, and this is now, and Bill Ford, boss of a fairly well known Detroit-based motor company, reckons that this time the hour really is nigh.

 

Exercising his tongue and lips at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Bill predicted semi-autonomous cars within seven years, and the Full Monty soon after.

 

We've already got cars with sensors front and rear, cars that know how to park themselves, cars that know when they need a service and when they're about to crash, cars with cameras and satnavs and more computer power than anything that landed on the moon, so maybe he's right.

 

Sounds a little scary at first. But perhaps it's actually a great idea if the great washed and unwashed British motoring public finally gave up the steering wheel completely, climbed into the back seat with their mobile phones and iPods and let the machines have their day. Got to be safer than the present system which currently kills a couple of thousand people each year, a disproportionate number of whom are motorcyclists (actually, 403 for 2010).

 

Better still if the vast majority of British motorists simply stayed at home to watch the football/soaps and sent the car out for the shopping. The only real problem being that when one of these new fangled Fords, or whatever, has a bad day or comes at you with a chip on its shoulder, so to speak, it won't be anywhere near as clear who's to blame, and who to punch.

 

Better enjoy those classic moments while you can. The times they are a'changing again, and there just might come a time when manually operated vehicles are seen as anti-social as having a quiet fag.

 

—  Dexxion

 

 

Derek and Don Rickman: The Métisse Story

 

Fifty bloody quid? Someone's having a laugh, ain't they? Well actually no. They're deadly serious. This book is on special offer until the end of April 2012, with ten quid off. But hey-ho, the press release we got doesn't make it clear if that's ten quid off of fifty, or ten quid taking it down to fifty. Doesn't even tell us if it's new or old or what? Smart thinking, huh?

 

Either way, this book by David Gittens, "well known authority and author of classic motocross and scrambling" (never heard of him) details the complete history and development of Métisse Motorcycles and is probably the definitive work on ... well, Métisse Motorcycles.

 

Sounds like a pitch. But as ever, the tightwads didn't bother to send us a review copy; just a press release hoping for a free lunch. Well, hey; here's your free lunch, guys. Eat it while it's hot.

 

Meanwhile, if you people out there parked up on the internet super highway want more info, check out the site. Just don't expect sumfin for nuffin, like some guys do.

 

metisse-motorcycles.com

—  Dexxion

 

 

 

Norton Transformer video

 

This YouTube vid has actually been around for a couple of years (and almost half a million views), but it bears mentioning again.

 

It's one of the amazing videos that doesn't stand too many viewings (or you'll end up seeing some, or all, of the strings). But it's worth watching for the first time for its sheer inventiveness. Special treat for Norton Commando owners. Check it out. Applaud. Share.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKqpvriKZuA

—  Del Monte

 

 

DVLA set to close all regional offices by 2013

 

Actually, the consultation document for this was launched on 13th December 2011, but something must have shorted in the office wiring loom because we completely overlooked it until someone jerked our lead (thanks, Mike). But there's still time to read, study and, if necessary, react if you don't the sound of it.

 

The upshot is that the government wants to close all 39 regional DVLA offices by 2013. That number includes 10 regional enforcement offices.

 

The impact on the classic bike community could be huge, not least when it comes to recovering a vehicle's number plate/registration document. At present, vehicle inspections are carried out at local DVLA centres. But when these centres get the chop, you could find yourself hauling your wheels all the way to Swansea, wherever that is.

 

The pressure behind this proposal is cost and efficiency, which is usually one and the same. The DVLA handles 200 million customer "interactions" each year, an increasing proportion of whom now prefer to "interact" online. Consequently, the department is trying to rationalise services. And that, they say, could lead to "less stringent enforcement", whatever that means, plus the closure of offices and even more people on the employment scrap heap.

 

The closing date for this consultation is 20th March 2012. We still haven't properly looked into this, so we'll update this story as and when interesting and relevant new information comes to light. Meanwhile, better take a look if you think it even vaguely affects you, which it probably does.

 

If you can circulate to story to your local bike club, that can only help. Meanwhile, we're going to interact with a couple of bottles of beer and try and get our heads around this.

 

http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/consultations.aspx

—  Sam 7

 

 

In search of Mr Nelk

 

"Forensic Historical Motorcycle Archeovist" David G Hartwick, from San Jose, California, is looking for any info he can get on bikes built by a certain Mr Carl Nelk sometime around 1905 -1912.

We checked our Tragatsch, and there was nothing listed. So we looked at half a dozen other reference tomes, and eventually found a mention of a motorcycle built in Palo Alto, California by a guy of the same name.

 

This engine was a liquid cooled, overhead cam, 220cc rubber-mounted single housed in a bicycle frame. Top speed was around 35mph. The horsepower was a modest two. Drive was direct, and by chain. A crude form of front brake was installed. List price was £225. And that's pretty much it. That's all we got.

But the supplied image above is clearly of a different model which, as David advises us, is a Nelk Motor Coaster. This front wheel drive motorcycle-cum-scooter carries the fuel tank up by the handlebars, has a battery to provide the sparks, odd wheels, and is steered partly by weight-shifting.

 

We've never seen if before, but then, we don't get around as much as we used to—and obscure Americana isn't our strong suit, anyway. So we're throwing it open to Sump visitors.

 

Carl Nelk, incidentally, was born in 1870 and died in 1946. The Nelk Motor Coaster pictured above is thought to be the only one of its kind, but whether that means "the only one made" or "the only one still in existence" isn't clear.


David is looking for any information at all. Snippets of gossip. Old adverts. Hearsay. Pictures. Or whatever. He'll take it any way it comes and needs the information for the final draft of his book; In Search of Mr Nelk. So if you can help, you know what you have to do.

Meanwhile, he's also looking for info on the bicycle on the right.

 

The machine is a Speed-O-Byke built in the US in the 1930s and 1940s and sold at between $25-$50—with many being given away as prizes. As you might have guessed, David is also writing a book on these bikes and, as before, is looking for information.

Contact David at: motorcycle.history@yahoo.com

—  Girl Happy

 

1,000,000 UK drivers are aged 80+

 

There was a time when some folk hoped they died before they got old. Today, those same people are more likely to be hoping they can hold onto their driving licences beyond age seventy and get a decent insurance quote.

 

2,593 of them, it seems, are over the age of 90, with 121 of them over 100. Amongst their number, thousands have never passed a driving test (if that actually means anything) which was introduced in 1935.

 

Who says so? The government says so. They've just released figures that paint either a bleak, or an optimistic, vision of a future that lies in store for many, if not most, of us.

 

We don't have figures that reveal how many of these geriatric licence holders own and/or ride motorcycles. But the increasing number of silver-haired bikers we've been seeing in recent years at motorcycle shows and autojumbles suggests that we're likely to be in good company.

 

As it stands, British motorists/motorcyclists are obliged to renew their licences when they hit the big seven-oh. After that, the law requires them to reapply every three years—which actually defies logic because ageing doesn't occur in triennial bursts of decrepitude. Seems to us that the renewal period should progressively shorten as the knees go and the eyesight fades, etc, until it gets down to every ten minutes or so.

 

But who are we to argue?

 

On the positive side, older drivers are (according to the official stats) much less likely to run into older, or even younger, motorcyclists. In fact, you're three-times more likely to be T-boned, carved-up or rear-ended by a 17-19 year old (unless he or she is on the AA Drivesafe program—see below).

 

But should there be an automatic upper age limit on driving a motor vehicle? We don't think so, and so far the government agrees. But there is some talk of putting the motorways off-limits to anyone beyond their Biblically allotted-three-score-year-and-ten. And there is some talk of further restrictions on where and when the aged can go, which could someday mean that if the grim reaper doesn't get you, the DVLA will.

 

Meanwhile, better get it while it's going. The end of personal mobility is a scary thing, huh?

—  The Third Man

 

 

 

Spare some change for the BNP?

 

Let it not be said that here at Sump we're afraid to tackle a little controversy. In fact, we love it, especially when it comes from the British National Party; the party that everyone loves to hate—or is that hates to love?

 

To that end, we've just received a press release from BNP chairman Nick Griffin complete with an attached begging bowl seeking funds.

 

Fifty-two year old Griffin is already a Member of the European Parliament (North West England) and now he's campaigning to seize control of the London Assembly; that august body of never-do-wells who run the political machinery underpinning one of the greatest cities on earth.

 

Only, the way Nick's carrying on at the moment, it looks more likely that he's gonna find himself not in the mayors seat but in jail for stirring up some serious racial hatred at a time when tensions are higher than they've been in a generation.

 

Just check out the rhetoric:

 

"Everyone in London, and indeed all over the country, will still have the vivid memories of the horrific events of last August when immigrant communities rioted, first in London, then in other cities across England.

"Just think about those images for a moment… burning buildings and black gangs ransacking shops and houses, and – worst of all – the police just standing by and watching the destruction and violence."

 

But it gets worse (or better, depending on your point of view):

 

"Think of the thousands of young British girls groomed, drugged and gang raped by Muslim Paedophiles. Think of the shame of the Establishment, who have ignored this systematic abuse of our innocent children and even tried to jail me for speaking out about it in two gruelling trials in Leeds Crown Court in 2006. I was judged, twice, by 12 members of the great British public and found NOT GUILTY."

 

Heavy stuff, huh? Except that our recollection of those riots revealed an awful lot of white faces mixed up in the melee. And as for Muslim paedophile gangs, we've never seen the slightest evidence that Asians have demonstrated a greater propensity for illegal "grooming" than any other demographic.

 

But what's it all got to do with British classic biking? Well, quite a lot actually. Most of us are into our Triumphs, Nortons, BSAs, Ajays and whatever not simply for the hardware, but also for the cosy illusion of a golden age of British biking that goes with it; the idea of rolling English countryside and quaint English country towns and the lilac-smelling freedom of the open road. And all of that dissolves in Nick's "rivers-of-blood" portrait of the present and his apocalyptic vision of the future.

 

Don't get us wrong. Here at Sump we hate multiculturalism and would love to turn back the clock to a more genteel English age of carefree motorcycling, tea shops, friendly roadside inns, and saluting RAC patrolmen.

 

Except that that age never really existed; certainly not to the extent as portrayed by the ad men who'll say and do pretty much anything to get us to put our hands in our pockets and buy their product.

 

So okay, much of what the BNP says is the truth. Trouble is, so much more is so far off the beam that these latterday home-brewed Nazis lose credibility for exploiting concerns that deserve a better airing than any of the other mainstream British political parties have the stomach for.

 

Fact is, the country's changing, and way too quickly for many of us who are still clinging to what's left of our youth with attitudes hardening faster than our arteries. But you can take some comfort in the fact that old England is still out there if you look long enough and hard enough in the right places.

 

In 1998, Griffin received a suspended prison sentence for stirring up racial hatred, but was acquitted in 2006 of similar charges. If the Muslim fanatics don't get him first, it now looks as if he's well on his way to a fresh arrest if he carries on disseminating material like this.

 

Worse still, he's spoiling the rose-tinted view from our classic saddles; a view that's getting harder and harder to maintain as multicultural (as distinct from multi-racial) Britain continues to threaten ideals and values that have taken a thousand years or so to establish.

 

And worse than that even, what if he really is right?

—  Dexxion

 

Drivesafe goes live

 

The next time you're out plinking happily along on your classic heap, don't be surprised if you notice some unusually courteous driving from the younger members of the motoring community.

 

What's happened is that the Automobile Association (AA) has today launched its Drivesafe initiative. Basically, it's a piece of "black box" technology that sits under car bonnets and monitors the driving behaviour of the usual suspects.

 

In return, young drivers are in line for huge insurance discounts—of "up to £850"—on their policies which currently cost, on average, around £3000 per annum. The technology is a long way from new. It's been coming for a while. But with the AA throwing its not inconsiderable corporate weight behind it, the system is likely to be rolled out across the UK at a faster pace that it otherwise might, thereby causing plenty of ructions in the insurance industry while the actuaries punch the new numbers and recalculate the risks in the new world driving order.

 

The "pack pf playing card-sized" box of tricks will allow users to log on to a home-based "dashboard" and see for themselves the errors of their ways by highlighting issues such as speeding, heavy braking, over-sharp cornering and, of course, exactly what led to that that final massive thump into a tree/drystone wall/phone box/or whatever.

 

More ominously, it will also potentially give Big Brother yet another way to pinpoint the inch-by-inch movements of tens of thousands of young men and women—who are already being routinely tracked and plotted by their mobile phones.

 

Meanwhile, the calendar is counting down the days to 20th December 2012 when a ruling by the European Court of Justice comes into force making it illegal for insurers to discriminate against male drivers purely on the basis of gender, even though women are said to 40% less likely to be involved in a smash up. It remains to be seen whether this (on the face of it) daft ruling will simply be circumvented by some shrewd sleight-of-hand insurers, or whether female drivers will have to financially carry more than their fair share of the risk.

 

But cheer up. Anything that helps dilute all that youthful testosterone should have an impact (so to speak) on your riding enjoyment. And fortunately, because most of us classic bikers are either well into the autumn of our years, or rapidly approaching it, we've already got a fully functional black box right in the middle of our heads, and the insurers know it.

 

There ain't many benefits in getting old, but cheap classic policies are certainly one of 'em.

—  Dexxion

 

 

Dennis Slaughter gets an MBE

 

He's  83 years old and has spent 71 of them supporting British motocross, which is why Her Majesty the Queen has seen fit to award him an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.

 

Dennis Slaughter began his association in 1940 at Lyng, Norfolk, home of the Norwich Vikings. He was 12 years old. Three years later he joined his brother Bernie in the motorcycle trade.

 

In 1949 he began riding in competitions by campaigning a 250cc Ttriumph Tiger 70, followed by a Triumph HW 350cc and later a 350cc Matchless. In 1955 he became Eastern Centre Grasstrack Champion. His riding career, however, came to a sudden and unfortunate end following an accident in which he ruptured his spleen.

 

In 1960, Dennis started his own motorcycle business. Four years later he became a Greeves dealer and forged a good friendship with Bert Greeves and Derry Preston Cobb. Subsequently he took on Yamaha, Suzuki and Maico.

 

The 1960s proved to be good years, and Dennis proved to be an astute and ambitious businessman buying ever larger premises and land, and consolidating his reputation as a man to be reckoned with.

 

He left the bike trade in 1995, but retained throughout his very close links to motocross including sponsorship of riders and getting down and dirty as a volunteer on the track marshalling and helping prepare race bikes.

 

His awards and achievements include honorary life membership of the Eastern Centre ACU (1980); ACU Motocross Committee Chairman (1997); honorary life member of the ACU (2010); and now an MBE for a lifetime of support for motocross.

 

Here at Sump, in view of the recent public banking knighthood debacle involving Sir/Not Sir Ron Goodwin, we haven't got anything positive to say about the archaic British honours system. But no one around here, or probably anywhere else for that matter, is challenging or questioning Dennis Slaughter's achievement and dedication.

 

The only wonder is why they took so long to pin a medal on him.

 

—  The Third Man

 

 

 

"Time warp" c1917 BSA 4¼hp sold at Bonhams' February Paris Sale

 

Now here's a pretty flat tanker that Bonhams sold on 2nd February 2012 at its Paris Sale at La Halle Freyssinet. The hammer went down at €10,350, inclusive of Buyer's Premium.

 

Originally, this BSA was despatched to the French army. But at some point, it came into the hands of the vendor's grandfather, and subsequently was passed down through the family to where, in the late 1950s, it ended up in "safe storage" in the South of France. The vendor says it has never been restored, and because the vendor is a lady, we're taking her at her word.

 

The bike, which was imported by Brown Brothers, comes with a French sidecar (not shown), BSA catalogues, an instruction manual (in French, several boxes of spares, assorted photographs & correspondence, numerous bills, plus French registration documents, all of which underlines the fact that provenance is everything in these sales. Without the paperwork, chances are that this BSA would have sold for a couple of thousand euros less.

 

Also sold at the Paris sale was was a 1948 Vincent 998cc Rapide that fetched €37,950 inclusive of buyer's premium (frame number R2887, engine number F10AB/1/2170).

 

OEC-Anzani replica outfit

 

... meanwhile, the OEC-Anzani "Claude Temple replica" outfit (below) was optimistically estimated to sell for £75,000-£85,000, but failed to find a buyer.

 

 

 


 

This 2,003cc, 715lb monster, for all its custom kudos, bears little authentic relation to anything manufactured by the original Osborn Engineering Company (OEC).


The V-twin Anzani-style engine is, rather, built around Harley-Davidson and home-made parts. The cylinder heads are machined from aluminium billets. The overhead camshafts are bevel driven. Bore and stroke is 105.5mm x 114.5mm. The claimed power output is 80bhp at 5000rpm. The top is speed is said to be 102mph. The brazed-lug frame is home made. And an aluminium-bodied sidecar is offered with the bike.

 

OEC's roots began in Gosport, Hampshire in 1901 when Frederick Osborn built pioneer-era bikes propelled by Minerva and MMC engines. In the 1920s, his son, John Osborn, took the helm and manufactured machines that would include (two-stroke, sidevalve and OHV) engines supplied by Blackburne, Sturmey Archer, Villiers, Brockhouse, JAP and Matchless.

 

In 1927, John Osborn unveiled the firm's unorthodox duplex fork/chassis arrangement, said to be the next big thing in motorcycle handling and marketed as: "A new standard in two wheeled stability". More conventional sprung rear suspension was optional.

 

 

In the 1930s, racer Joe Wright campaigned a supercharged 996cc Claude Temple-JAP V-twin (immediately above) housed in an OEC frame using the firm's radical "self-centring" duplex steering arrangement. At Arpajon, France, Wright hit record speeds of 137.3mph. However, the German, Ernst Henne, piloting a supercharged BMW, promptly snatched back the record with a measly extra .3mph.

 

Soon after, in Cork, Southern Ireland, Wright re-took the record when he topped 150mph—which was an entirely bogus achievement (officially speaking) as the OEC machine used made only one pass instead of the required two.

 

It was in fact a "reserve" Zenith-Jap that made the (OEC's) second run after the OEC suffered mechanical mishap due to a sheared woodruff key. The whole affair was essentially an audacious sales-driven cover-up that, despite the rumour, was not fully exposed until decades later.

 

Regardless, OEC motorcycle production stopped during the Second World War when OEC took on military contracts. Post-war, the company focussed on two-strokes.

—  Girl Happy

 

 

Girder Fork & Classic Motor Cycle Club

 

So okay, it's not the world's catchiest name for a bike club. But PR firms don't come cheap, and slick corporate branding costs a fortune, so sometimes you just have to do what you can do, and be happy with it.

 

Anyway, the pitch is that this club is looking to promote itself on these hallowed web pages, and we're happy to oblige. They sent us a newsletter and seem to be both an active and a proactive bunch of hooligans, and they're keen to raise as much dinero as possible for their two adopted charities: The Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and Manorlands Hospice.

 

The club is based in West Yorkshire and meets regularly at a pub between Skipton and Keighley. All classic bike riders are welcome. For more details, contact Brian Sanderson.

 

Mobile: 07931 312579

Email: briansanderson@talktalk.net

—  Del Monte

 

 

Kevin Schwantz to ride at the 2012 Festival of 1000 Bikes

 

Now here's a confession; we don't actually have the faintest idea who Kevin Schwantz is. Seriously. But we figure he must be important and have a lot of fans, because he's riding at this year's Festival of 1000 bikes at Mallory Park.

 

No, hang on, wait a minute ... some more info coming in on the telex. Oops, it says that he's the 1993 500cc GP Motorcycle World Champion. Now all we have to do is figure out what a GP is. Probably a doctor or something. Yeah. 1993 500cc General Practitioner Motorcycle World Champion. That sounds right.

 

Ish.

 

Anyway, if Dr Kev means anything to you, go along to the Festival of 1000 Bikes and yell and cheer and drink beer or whatever. Let's just hope that he's facing the right way when the racing starts, huh?

 

The VMCC is, naturally, once again organising this event. It  takes place on 6th, 7th and 8th July 2012.  So go, go, go, Kevin. We're all rooting for you down here in the Sump garage.

 

www.vmcc.net

—  Dexxion

 

STOP PRESS: We've just been told that Randy Mamola (and we've heard of him) will be "riding his original 1980 Suzuki XR31M1 in the spectacular Past Masters feature", but you'll have to be there on the Sunday to see him in action.

 

—  Del Monte

 

 

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