A new, series of limited edition Hesketh Motorcycles are on the way, or so the firm's current owner, Paul Sleeman, is promising. The bikes will be available from February 2014 and offered at an unspecified price. [More on Hesketh 24...]
We're having an extra beer tonight as we discuss the career, such as it was, of the late Lewis Collins; motorcyclist, actor, musician, judo man and TV tough guy (not necessarily in that order). Aged 67, he died on 27th November 2013.
[More on Lewis Collins...]
They were first manufactured by Watsonian over 60 years ago, and now they're back in production. Built from left-over WW2 Mosquito fighter-bomber fuel drop tanks, 601 of these stylish Meteor chairs were built between 1946-1949. [More on Watsonian...]
He was nine years in the role of CEO of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. Now it's over and James Hewing is "stepping down".
In the press release we received, Hewing says that he "wants to spend more time with his family", which is usually code for getting the push.
[More on VMCC Hewing...]
Apparently, actor Brad Pitt bought one of these from Davida, so now everyone wants one. So okay, not quite everyone, but enough people to make it worthwhile knocking up a few more.
Not that Davida, crash helmet manufacturer to the cognoscenti since 1976, "knocks-up" anything. This firm is the UK's only certified helmet manufacturer, and they create quality products. [More on Brad Pitt Davida Lid...]
One day Andy might surprise us and not produce a new calendar (and one day the Israelis and the Iranians might sit down and have a peaceful lunch together having buried the hatchet elsewhere than each other's heads). But until that auspicious moment arrives, we'll just have to be happy with what we've got. [More on Andy Tiernan 2014 calendar...]
Here's a simple one. Sump visitor Marc Goes has been trying to track down some very elusive OK-Supreme parts and has made this appeal.
Specifically, Marc needs the rockerbox covers from the right side of the engine (above), and the missing cover for the left side rear. He's been looking for these parts for donkey's years and is losing hope. We don't have any further details, but if you're into these bikes, you'll probably know what's what. [More on OK-Supreme missing parts...]
Here's another reminder that Saturday 7th December 2013 is the Southern Classic Off-Road Show at Kempton Park. [More on Southern Classic Off Road Show 2013...]
Sounds like a lot for a BSA C15? Well normally we'd probably agree. Except that this is a C15T and it's a lot rarer. This 1964 250cc single is offered at very close to standard specification, right down to the 20-inch front wheel (as opposed to a 21-incher). [More on BSA C15T for sale...]
This old 990cc workhorse, we hear, hasn't seen much usage over the years, but the current mileage isn't given. However, it's the old story of some regular use at the outset followed by a long period of storage, then a rebuild, then some more storage, and finally a sale. [More on 1938 Matchless Model X at Cheffins...]
This 600cc Ajay belongs to one of our guys who needs to reclaim some garage space and whittle down his collection.
It's a magneto model, has new rear shocks, a new rear tyre, and new clutch plates. It's a first-kick starter, ticks over smoothly and at low revs, and being a '57 bike it's tax and MOT free here in the UK. [More on 1957 AJS Model 30...]
We clocked this guy on ebay tonight (18th November 2013) and were impressed enough by what we saw to find a space for him on Sump (we like to see people get ahead, you understand).
His weld-on frame kit retails on ebay for $199 and is designed to transform your stock XS650 Yamaha into a pretty cool looking bob-job at a budget price by relocating those stock shock absorbers and offering a new seat base. [More on the Monstercraft Brat kit...]
At this moment (18th November 2013) we can see only two British bikes at this sale, but that will no doubt change over the next few weeks.
The two bikes currently listed are a 1949 Triumph 6T bobber, and the ex-Jeff Decker 1952 998cc Vincent Rapide Series C "Black Lightning" Special that failed to sell at Quail Lodge in August 2013 (see Sump August 2013).[More on Bonhams' Las Vegas sale...]
Older drivers, as a group, have poorer vision, but younger drivers are less likely to do anything about it. That, we hear, is the findings of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) which has been asking questions in the run-up to UK Road Safety Week (18th-24th November 2013) organised by Brake, the motoring safety charity. [More on young drivers see less...]
So okay, we're not exactly spring chickens here at Sump, which means that our eyesight ain't what it used to be. And the copious amount of beer that gets guzzled between breakfast and suppertime (and sometimes also between suppertime and breakfast—but strictly when off the road, you understand) simply adds to our general optical confusion.[More on Lightmare campaign...]
▲ Regents Park Mosque ▲ Strangeways Prison
The latest Ministry of Justice report has revealed that the percentage of UK prisoners self-described as Muslim has almost double over the past ten years. [More on interesting UK prison facts...]
The top selling motorcycle at the Bonhams Harrogate Sale held on Wednesday 13th November 2013 is the above 1935 Excelsior (Lot 338) which fetched £15,525 (including premium). This 350cc Model F12 Manxman is a SOHC, two-valve engine and shares the design with its 250cc and 500cc stablemates. [More on Bonhams' Harrogate Sale...]
Skidmarx has released details of three screens to dress up your new Connie.
Left to right, the firm is offering its standard GS cockpit fairing; fibreglass, gel coat, Enfield fitting kit, £79.95. [More on the Royal Enfield Continental screens...]
Seventy-three year old Donald DeVault from Omaha, Nebraska had his 1953 Triumph Tiger 100 stolen 46 years ago in February 1967, shortly before the Summer of Love.
Almost 50 years on, US Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted the bike while it was on its way to Japan via the Port of Los Angeles. It was checked on the computer and came up as stolen, and DeVault is soon to be reunited with the bike that was uninsured when it was purloined. [More on stolen Triumph T100...]
With those "ABBA" looks, the girl in the funny hat (above) just has to be Swedish. Except that she ain't wearing a hat. She's wearing an "invisible helmet", which actually looks pretty visible to us, even when it's not inflated.
But Hövding, the manufacturer which has just developed these bonce balloons, has cunningly designed the device to be worn around your neck like a big scarf, so when some idiot rear-ends you at the lights, it inflates like a solicitor's lie and protects your noggin. [More on Hovding helmet...]
So okay, neither bike has arrived yet. But Triumph, Yamaha and Harley-Davidson are all urgently exploiting the market for lower capacity bikes with new sub-500cc models either in development, or up and running and ready to ship.
Yamaha, in fact, never left that market, and the above 400cc SR400 single (along with smaller capacity models in the range) has been in production for decades and selling well in Japan where these machines have a cult following. [More on this SR400 Yamaha...]
We're hearing that a large number of bikers gathered yesterday (10th November 2013) on the 117-mile M25 London orbital ring road to pay respects to the dead of two world wars, plus the dead of all the other conflicts waged over the past century including Korea, Viertnam, The Falklands Campaign, Iraq and Afghanistan. [More on Ring of Red...]
It's coming up for sale at Bonhams Scottsdale (Arizona) Auction on January 16th 2014, and interest is likely to be high. McQueen wore this jacket in the 1968 movie, Bullitt, and can be seen wearing it in various scenes during the now famous car chase (1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 versus a 1968 375 hp 440 Magnum Dodge Charger). [More on McQueen's tweed...]
The last time we were at Jake's workshop way back in the hilly-billy country of East Sussex, he was working on a new batch of replica Castle forks to satisfy demand for his products (and very good quality forks they were too).
[More on Jake Robbins girder forks...]
It looks like a BSA M20, and sounds like a BSA M20, and was (perhaps unsurprisingly) essentially designed by the same bloke who designed the M20 (Val Page: JAP/Ariel/Triumph/BSA/Ariel). But it's a 1940 Triumph 3SW, and that makes it one of the rarest British WW2-era military bikes.
[More on rare 350cc Triumph 3SW...]
Look, we held out for as long as we could. We're simply not big fans of social media sites. That's because most of what we've seen simply isn't very ... well, interesting.
But increasingly over the past few years we've received emails from Sump visitors wanting to share their views and/or tell us a little about themselves, so we've set up a Facebook page. [More on Sump on Facebook...]
Nineteen American states already have mandatory crash helmet regulations for motorcyclists. Twenty-seven states have a minimum age requirement for non-helmet riding. Two states have age/insurance requirements. And two states leave riders to make up their own minds.
But a federal task force, we understand, is currently examining the status quo and looking to see not how they can save lives, but how they can save money. [More on US lid law story ...]
The first completely new model range from Harley-Davidson™ since the launch of the VRSC V-Rod™ thirteen years ago. That's the story. Messrs H&D are launching two new offerings as part of their Dark Custom™ concept. [More on the new Harley-Davidsons...]
Actually, they're not really cars at all; at least, not in the way most people think of cars. Instead, they're two-seat "driverless" electrically propelled pods that will trundle along the pavements and walkways in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire at a sedate 12mph. [More on these driverless cars...]
At just shy of 1700cc, it's just been launched at the EICMA Show in Milan, Italy and will join the Triumph range of cruiser motorcycles.
It's called the Triumph Thunderbird LT. And yes, it's another variant on the Harley-Davidson big fat tourer clone theme.
In some eyes, at least. [More on the new Triumph T-bird...]
You can select 60°C or 45°C at the touch of a button on the cuff. That, along with the £200 price tag and the "up to six hours" battery life, is the essential information.
Battery life? Well these are rechargeable gloves and have an in-built battery pack. They're new from Weiss (aka Fowlers of Bristol) and might suit classic bikers who haven't got the electrical capacity to run standard heated grips, or simply don't fancy all the extra wiring strung around the 'bars. [More on the Weiss Montana heated glove...]
That's Mark Upham above, CEO of Brough Superior and the man behind the brand new, up-to-the-nanosecond, in-yer-face SS100 that was unveiled today (5th November 2013) at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy.
This 997cc bespoke motorcycle (think Saville Row) has been years in planning and development by Boxer Design in Toulouse, France and Akira Design right here in the UK. [More on the new Brough Superior project...]
This 494cc, OHV, circa-1925 horizontally opposed Douglas Model RA (Lot 337) is on offer by Bonhams at its Harrogate Sale on Wednesday 13th November 2013. The reserve is £10,000 - £14,000. [More on the 1925 Douglas...]
▲ Above: Caterham Cars plans to move into the bike world with the 750cc, DOHC, water-cooled Brutus. Looks like a big Tonka Toy, but does it have any off-road cred? Or is Caterham just muddying its identity?
This has been on the cards for a while, but now it seems that Caterham Cars has spun another wheel of possible fortune by revealing a range of bikes that it plans to put onto the market as early as next year (2014).
There are three models in the pipeline. The first is the (above) Brutus which is being hyped as "the SUV of motorcycles" and is powered by a 750cc quad bike engine driving 14-inch wheels via a quad bike (CVT) transmission. [More on the new Caterham Bikes...]
According to Prime Minister David Cameron, TV presenter Henry Cole is building a "world class product" at his Cotswold base—or so reports the Witney Conservative Association following the PM's recent visit.
Cameron, who describes himself as a "modern compassionate conservative" (hence all the stray ordnance being dropped on innocent Afghan and Iraqi villagers) has been the MP for Witney, Oxfordshire since June 2001. He came in with a majority of 22,740, and will be going out in a body bag (metaphorically speaking) if he doesn't sort out the economy (as if he can). [More on Cameron's Gladstone factory visit...]
We have to admit a personal interest here. We hate solicitors. Not individually perhaps, but as a breed. As an industry. Most are lazy. Many are incompetent. And some are out-and-out crooks.
So okay, a few do a decent enough job. And the odd one or two are even wonderful. But good or bad, it looks as if their days are numbered, at least as far as sole practitioners or traditional partnerships are concerned.
Why? Professional Indemnity Insurance, or PII. That's what. [More on this story and what it means to classic bikers ...]
We haven't been given the numbers, but if the above image is accurate, and if we can still count accurately, it looks like there's eight motorcycles in the line up. And that batch represents the first consignment of 961 Norton Commandos that, even as we type, are on their way to the USA.
Awaiting the arrival of those bikes from Norton are, we hear, three dealers in California, plus six other dealers in Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York State, Texas and Washington.
That looks like at least nine, rather than the eight we counted. [More on Norton Commandos in the USA story ...]
▲ Above: Julia Foster and Graham Stark exchanging confidence in the 1966 movie Alfie.
Many (if not most) will recognise his face, but we suspect that few will remember his name. However, Graham William Stark, who died yesterday (29th October) was one of those reliable and prolific supporting actors who appeared in dozens of 1960s, 70s and 80s movies.
He usually played a slightly pathetic, inadequate hard done by character desperately trying to be civilised and reasonable in a world that was anything but, in reality he was as sharp as a tack and there was nothing pathetic about him. [More on actor Graham Stark ...]