▲ Honda CB1100 2015 Tokyo Show concept. When you're losing forward momentum and looking into a murky crystal ball, you can always raid the news and design archives for inspiration. If retro's your thing, you'll probably broadly approve of this backward facing motorcycle. But the design ain't going anywhere that, say, the more muscular Yamaha XJR1300 hasn't been.
BMW 6 Days Scrambler kit
Wunderlich, the noted German company which manufactures spares and accessories for BMW motorcycles has been in the news quite a lot lately revealing its ever growing range of bolt-on goodies. Now the firm has announced that its Six Days Scrambler Kit for the R nineT range of Boxer twins will soon be available in the UK. The kit is designed "as a homage to the scramblers campaigned by the BMW factory team in the late 1970s ISDT events". It uses parts from Wunderlich's extensive R nineT range. [More...]
"Helmet cams are safe"
Hard to believe the recent news that anyone went to all the expense and trouble to figure out whether or not wearing a helmet camera can cause you injury or death, but the BBC and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) certainly got a lot of underwear in a tangle over it. During the Summer of 2015, the BBC commissioned the TRL to find out exactly what might happen if a helmets camera turned around and bit the wearer/user. And the TRL, happy to earn an extra buck or two, obliged.
Royal Enfield Himalayan
Video images of the long awaited Royal Enfield Himalayan have just been posted on the Royal Enfield website. But very little is known about the new bike beyond the fact that it's an OHC single-cylinder adventure motorcycle. The consensus of opinion is that the displacement is 410cc, and that the engine will produce around 28bhp. The road tester on the video is CS Santosh, who we understand is the first Indian rider to finish the Paris-Dakar Rally. Santosh has been quoted as saying: "For a common man, [the Himalayan] will not be intimidating at all. The power is there but it's not gonna be aggressive." [More...]
Matchless Andrews Boots
Nobody ever called us fashion junkies. That's because we buy our clobber mostly from our local army surplus store. And if that's shut, there's always Primark, Tesco or Shoe Zone. But these Andrews Boots from the fashion house, Matchless, have put a huge dent in our sartorial perspective and made us realise that we're missing out on something wonderful. [More...]
British Custom Motorcycles
This isn't actually a new book. It was first published in April 2014 (although it's marked "NEW" on Veloce Publishing's website, and when we originally asked about it we were told it was new). Either way, it's certainly new to us, and a good book (new or old) deserves a little extra publicity if it's still in print. The title is British Custom Motorcycles. The hardback book features dozens of custom bikes, choppers and bobbers from around the world. [More...]
KTM record sales figures
Austrian motorcycle marque, KTM, has just posted details of its 2015 sales figures, and the news is that the numbers are hitting impressive new highs. Motorcycle sales for the brand have for the first time exceeded €1 billion with 180,801 units sold worldwide. That's 14 percent up on last year, and it represents a fifth consecutive year of growth. And to put that into a wider perspective, it means that KTN built and sold around 30,000 more bikes than BMW, and around 120,000 more bikes than Triumph. [More...]
Are Buell's assets sold?
Going ... going ... gone. That appears to be the current situation regarding the assets of Eric Buell which have just been "sold" for $2 million. The buyer was Liquid Asset Partners, a firm that hails from Michigan and ... well, liquefies assets. These assets have ridden a rocky road. There have been two attempts at realising the assets and settling with Buell's creditors (click the link for Sump's earlier news story on Erik Buell's auction woes). But the simple story is this: [More...]
Win a Jack Lilley voucher
Long established Triumph dealer, Jack Lilley, is offering a £50 voucher for story contributions highlighting the fun of motorcycle ownership, or for amusing anecdotes about your first bike, or for a tale about a great motorcycle trip you've made, or for any other interesting or illuminating narratives about biking. The competition is open until the end of February 2016. [More...]
2016 Speed Triple prices
Triumph Motorcycles has just released details of the 2016 1050cc Speed Triple S and Speed Triple R prices. The bikes are currently "enjoying" a press launch in Southern Spain, and early road tests suggest that the 104 engine changes haven't exactly elevated the new Speed Triple onto the next level of motorcycling combat. Not that there's anything significantly wrong with it. The engineers at Triumph have clearly dialled in a lot of refinement. [More...]
International trade is important. But it's also important to support home grown motorcycle businesses wherever you can. Why? Because unrealistically cheap foreign products ain't cheap if they cost you more in the long term—and such products ALWAYS end up costing more. However, these British firms (marked with a union jack) produce great motorcycle spares at realistic and competitive prices. They're not paying for this feature. We're simply supporting these companies because we want to back British manufacturing and industry. Join us.
Evotech is the trading arm of Drury Precision Engineering. The firm is based in Alford, Lincolnshiere. Drury was founded in the mid-1970s by Rob Drury. He began by manufacturing sheet metal parts for motorcycles. Evotech/Drury has facilities for CNC machining, vacuum forming, powder-coating, metal forming plus design & prototyping. The range of motorcycle parts include handlebar bar-end weights, radiator guards, engine guards, levers, tail-tidies/fender eliminators and crash protection systems. Most of the major motorcycle brands are catered for from Aprilia to Yamaha. The company is very much up-to-the-minute, and it can produce designs within weeks of the launch of a new model. [More...]
Ace Classics Triumphs
Ace Classics is the home of pre-unit Triumphs. We're talking about everything from the illustrious 1959 Bonneville to the stunning Steve McQueen TR6 replicas that Ace builds to order to the cool 1950s 650cc Thunderbirds to the seminal pre-unit 500cc Speed Twins. The guv'nor is Cliff Rushworth. In his younger years, Rushworth was a Triumph-powered rocker regularly running with the London boys. Four decades later he's still managing to keep the rocker flame burning and boasts an impressive collection of personal Triumphs from the classic 1960s era. [More...]
Claymore Wax Cotton gear
Claymore Jackets in Yorkshire is owned and run by Carl Wilson. The wholly British company was founded in 2003. Its remit is to create bespoke, stylish waxed cotton jackets at realistic prices for people who prefer not to wear gear created in a Far East sweatshop and/or off the peg items from established brands. Instead, Claymore's jackets are cut, machined, finished and despatched right here in the UK. [More...]
News and feedback relating to these motorcycle trade dealers is always welcomed.
In fact, we're interested in comments on anything on this page. Fire off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll either treat it in confidence and will use the information sensibly and responsibly, or we'll try and blackmail you...
MCA parts & accessories
MCA hails from Aston in Birmingham. It's one of the UK's largest motorcycle parts manufacturer and distributor. The business origins date to 1935 when the company traded as Aston Auto Motors.
That was in the now defunct Potters Hill district of Brum (Birmingham) where, fact fiends, the Cycloratio bicycle was manufactured. In the 1950s, a compulsory purchase order led to the demise of Aston Auto Motors. As a result, two new companies were formed: Auto Tools & General Engineering, and MCA (Aston) Ltd.
LF Harris Triumph spares
We're talking about Meriden-era Triumph twins, not the Hinckley bikes. But we're also talking about spares for Rotax-engined Matchlesses. LF Harris (International) Ltd is by far the biggest "player" in the Triumph twin spares market. That includes parts for 750s, 650s and some 500s. The company was founded by Leslie Frederick Harris (1939 - 2009). Harris was born in Torquay, Devon. A biker and businessman, he founded his business in 1974 and began amassing, selling and manufacturing parts for Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs. This venture began in Newton Abbott, Devon. For many years, Harris, operating as Racing Spares Ltd, manufactured and supplied parts to Meriden Triumph. [More...]
Electrex World Ltd
Electrex was founded 25 years ago by Peter Houghton, and he's still the MD. We know little about this business. However, the firm's name has come up a few times in biking conversation, and we can't remember that anything negative (pun intended) was said about them. In fact, it was all positive (and yes, that's another sad pun). However, we're happy to feature the company on Sump because it reckons that 99 percent of its product is made right here in the UK. Electrex manufactures electrical parts, much of it being original equipment for major manufacturers. The parts cover a wide range of motorcycle marques including Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, KTM, Ducati, BMW, Moto Guzzi and ... well, you get the idea. But they don't sell wiring looms/harnesses, and they carry very limited parts for Harley-Davidsons. [More...]
Cymarc Bike Parts
We have to confess that we know very little about Cymarc. So if you're interested in doing business with this North Lincolnshire-based firm owned and run by Mark Hooton, you'll have to ask some sensible questions and/or do a little detective work of your own. However, we've been looking at Cymarc's website and reading the copy, and we like the sound of this guy. He's says that he's invested in a £300,000 Trumpf Trumatic laser profiling machine plus a lot of other equipment, and it looks and sounds like he's a dyed-in-the-wool biker happy to develop new products and scratch whatever creative itches he's got.
Norvil Motorcycle Co Ltd
Norvil is Les Emery. Les Emery is Norvil. The firm was effectively founded at the beginning of the 1980s and is now perhaps the largest producer of Norton motorcycle spares. Specifically, Les Emery has created a huge range of parts for the Norton Commando and the Norton Dominator range. What he doesn't have, he makes. What? Every single part? Well not quite. Just 99 percent of them. That's the Norvil claim, and we've visited Les Emery's premises and can testify that the parts bins are comprehensive and full to capacity.
Unity Equipe Cafe Racers
Unity Equipe specialises in Manx Nortons, Tritons, Norvins, Tribsas, Norbsa and pretty much all varieties of classic British cafe racers. The firm was was founded by the much respected John Newby. For many years the business was based in Todmorden, Lancashire which is in the Rochdale area. But now Unity Equipe is based near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and the current owner is John Phelan, aka "Bantam" John Phelan.
Halcyon classic goggles
We love Halcyon goggles. Like Marmite, Yorkshire Tea, Golden Syrup, and OXO cubes, the brand is one of those things that you grow up with. At least, if you're British, that's what happens. But Halcyon Classic Parts does more than manufacture eye protection for classic aviators, traditional bikers, and vintage motorists. The business was founded over 40 years ago and is based in Hertfordshire. If you recall Stadium products, that's where Halcyon's roots lie. For many years the two companies worked together until Stadium refocused its business interests and moved away from the classic sector leaving Halcyon to go it alone. [More...]
Venhill hoses and cables
Venhill Engineering has been in business for over 45 years. When it comes to motorcycle control cables and brake hoses, there probably isn't much that Venhill doesn't know. But that doesn't mean they've become lazy and complacent. Far from it. The firm is adding new products to their range, and Venhill tests their merchandise to destruction so that you don't have to. Friends of ours? Not particularly. We know the firm and have visited their 20-strong factory in Dorking, Surrey. But that's as far as it goes. However, this is a British firm that's managing to keep a small workforce employed in a market flooded with inferior products at lower prices. [More...]
Hagon shocks and wheels
Hagon has been around for so long that it's easy to take the firm for granted. The business was created by well-respected grasstrack and drag racer Alf Hagon, and is currently managed by his son, Martin. Alf Hagon made his name and racing reputation back in the 1960s and was regularly in the news. Martin Hagon raced too. He was a very active and successful competitor in the 1980s and 1990s. Currently operating from an industrial unit in Hainault, Essex, Hagon picked up where Girling left off and bought the original shock-absorber/damper tooling. [More...]
Knox leather jacket system
Planet Knox is the parent company which trades under the Knox brand. The business was founded in 1981 and claims to have launched the world's first commercially available back protector for motorcyclists. And we're taking Knox at its word for that. In 1988, the company developed the Pro-Tek Elite Suit; said to be the world's first motorcycle jacket with back, elbow and shoulder protection built-in. [More...]
Oberon billet-ally parts
Oberon Performance is based in Havant, Hampshire. The company was founded in 1987. The business was originally aimed at the marine industry and focussed on hose fittings. Later, the biking directors, frustrated with various aftermarket motorcycle products, developed a range of their own which they sold under the OEM brand. Today, that range includes handlebar levers, clutch slave cylinders, footpegs, headlights, mirrors, bar end weights (etc) all CNC machined from billet-aluminium. Oberon manufactures parts for Aprilia, BMW, Triumph, Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Kawasaki, Moto Morini, KTM, and many other marques. The company motto is "Creative precision". [More...]
Davida crash helmets
Dave Fiddaman is the man behind Davida. He founded the firm around 30 years ago and has built the business into one of the most respected crash helmet manufacturers in the world. Most of the products are aimed at the classic and custom end of the market. But you can wear these lids (all of which are open faced, so far) on whatever bike you choose, including sports bikes. And Davida customers do wear these lids on everything from sports Ducatis to GSXRs to what-have-you? [More...]
Bell's 360° helmet camera
Bell manufactures the Star crash helmet. 360fly manufactures a 360-degree camera. Put them together and you have the Bell Star 360fly. The lid is fitted with a 4K video camera that will capture all the action around you. The camera is also Bluetooth compatible and Wi-Fi equipped, so you can record your antics on the move (and the antics of everyone else in the frame) and then stream that to your home computer or store it on the cloud. [More...]
Street Twin Feb launch
On Thursday February 11th 2016, the new, 2016, 900cc, 54hp Street Twin will be launched at Triumph dealers nationwide. Noted dealer Jack Lilley Triumph (one of the largest in the UK) has two shops; the first in Ashford, Middlesex, and the second at Romford, Essex. The business is cordially inviting you to register your interest in attending. The show kicks off at 6.00pm. [More...]
2015 bike sales news
The headline news is that in 2015, British dealers sold 114,160 new motorcycles. That's a jump of 12,883 on 2014 which makes it a 12.7 percent increase. So who says so? The MCIA (Motor Cycle Industry Association). We're advised that this is the highest annual increase since 2008 and marks a general upward trend. It's hard to see the figures reflected on the street. But then, you'd need a much bigger jump to make a really obvious visual impact. [More...]
Brough's UK dealer network
Mark Upham, the man behind the revitalised Brough Superior brand, has announced that the firm is now ready to establish a UK dealer network. At present, the company is focussed on its 997cc SS100 V-twin which was unveiled in the UK in November 2013 (see Brough Superior unveiled). Three UK customers are reported to have now bought an SS100, each machine costing around £36,000 each (which is the starting price before extras and upgrades). Originally, much higher prices were being mooted by the biking news media, but it looks as if the firm has done much to bring the costs down to more realistic/achievable levels. [More...]
25th Las Vegas Auction
A smoking press release from auction house Mecum has just landed on our news desk. Mecum is the firm behind this long established MidAmerica sale, and it's expecting a particularly big sale. The date is Thursday January 7th to Saturday January 9th 2016. The venue is South Point Casino and Exhibition Hall, Las Vegas, USA. This is a huge auction of motorcycles and motorcycle related memorabilia, much (if not most) of it with no reserve. Expect to find everything from a 1963 Velosolex (Lot T35), to a 1979 Yamaha XS650 custom bike (Lot T50) to a 1953 Vincent Black Lightning Replica (Lot T93) to a 2003 Suzuki GSXR600 (Lot T126). [More...]
"Chat with your Volvo" watch
Here's more evidence that the tech is taken over and the human race is becoming redundant (cue Zager & Evans: In the year 2525). Volvo has joined forces with Microsoft to develop a Microsoft Band 2 wristwatch that allows owners/drivers to tell their car to unlock, or heat up or switch on the lights or tune to their favourite radio station. Talking to your car ain't exactly news, of course. We've been talking to our cars and bikes for years. And we once knew a woman who regularly talked to her watch, or house plants, or passing lamp posts (usually whilst yelling about the bloody Germans). But this, as you'd expect, is a whole new world of madness. [More...]
BMW's "heads-up" helmet
BMW is unveiling its new "heads-up" concept helmet at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA. The show runs from the 6th January 2016 to 9th January 2016. It's not the world's first heads-up helmet to market. Skully has already been there and done it. Nevertheless, BMW is evidently keen to get on-board at the ground floor, hence the new lid. Features include a forward-facing camera to record your ride and act as a legal witness; a rear-facing camera that acts as a virtual mirror and displays in heads-up mode; and V2V (Vehicle-2-Vehicle) integration. [More...]
BMW side-view cameras
The trouble with conventional car side mirrors is (a) they ignore the blind spots on either side of the vehicle (b) they're noisy due to aerodynamic drag, and (c) they get in the bloody way when you're filtering on your motorcycle through traffic. Well BMW (which has just unveiled a new heads-up helmet concept; eyes left everyone) is also busy developing side-view cameras to replace those "oh-so-last-century" mirrors. What make these cameras more interesting than some concepts is the fact that the electronic eyeballs are networked around the vehicle via supporting cameras thereby providing a more seamless view of the world behind.[More...]
London Motorcycle Show
Here's a reminder that the London Motorcycle Show is almost upon us. Organised by Motorcycle News and backed by Carole Nash Insurance, the show starts on 12th February 2016, and ends on 14th February 2016. The venue is Excel London which is in Docklands, East London, and if you haven't attended, it's a pretty soulless place. But it's probably better than nought. Advance ticket are £17, and on the door, you'll pay £21. [More...]
Mustang saddle for Ducatis
Classic tuck-n-roll upholstery with detailed seam lines. That's the pitch from US firm, Mustang, creators of this new saddle for 2015 Ducati Scramblers. But the fact is, the technology hasn't changed much in decades, and you'll buy this saddle simply because you like the look of it. [More...]
Wulfsport Black Knights
Wulfsport is based in the Scottish Border country. The firm was founded in 1980 and is noted for its racewear; notably stuff for motocross, sidecar cross, grasstrack, longtrack (whatever that is) and BMX, and that's why these Black Knight boots are aimed at ... well, the adventure market, greenlaners, and even commuters. In fact, if you've got two feet at the bottom of your legs, there's probably a pair of Wulfsport Black Knights kicking around somewhere for you.
Street Triple RX Black
Yes, it's another special edition motorcycle from Triumph. And why the hell not? Everyone else is at it, and if you don't keep raising the stakes, you're out of the game. This bike's a new twist on the 675cc, 12-valve, 105hp Street Triple Rx. Triumph calls it the Rx Black. But it ought to be called the Rx Black-with-a-bit-of-girlie-pink-thrown in. Not that we've got anything against pink, and we've certainly not got anything against girls (neither the pink ones or the black ones). [More...]
CBE for John Surtees
You really have to be a member of the older generation of bikers (70s to 90s) to fully appreciate the impact John Surtees had on the world of motorsport. He won six Isle of Man TTs (four in the 500cc Senior class, and two in the 350cc Junior), and during that exciting period he was invariably up there in the news with the best of them finding himself somewhere on the podium. TV loved him. Radio loved him. The press loved him. And the racing public adored him. [More...]
USA Honda VFR recall
If you're riding a 2010, 2012 or 2013 VFR1200F or VFR1200FD, better give your dealer a call and check the recall position. It appears that one or more driveline U-joint bearings are suspect and could work loose or separate and lock the swinging arm. But don't panic if you're reading this anywhere other than America. It's (so far) a US issue, so panic all you want over there.
Oil price forecast for 2016
According to leading oil industry pundits, the price of oil is set to continue its fall leading to cheaper prices at the pump. It is just a news prediction, remember. But there is credible evidence to support the claim. Currently, the average petrol pump price in the UK is around £1.04 - £1.06 per litre. It's reckoned that within a few months, we'll be looking at around 90 pence per litre, or less. [More...]
BMW R-nineT Sport
The word is "Pure", with a capital "P". That's how BMW is promoting its new 1,170cc R-nineT Sport model. Pure, as in Pure Aluminium, Pure Riding, Pure Passion, Pure Authenticity, Pure Customising, and Pure Lifestyle. The Pure Aluminium is an in-yer-face reference to the fuel tank which is an aluminium alloy fabrication boasting smooth (or optional visible) welded seams plus hand-brushing with a gloss topcoat (as distinct from the plain black fuel tank on the standard bike). And the Pure Aluminium also refers to the hand-brushed aluminium alloy seat hump, but the penalty is the loss of the pillion pegs. [More...]
Got any motorcycle news? Since 2010, Sump has been busy covering news from the classic bike world. But more recently, we've expanded our remit to cover contemporary bikes. Why? Because many of you Sumpsters ride both oily old heaps and modern motorcycles (we carried out a survey, don't ya know?). And more to the point, we ride old and modern bikes too. We're already pretty effective at gathering motorcycle news worldwide. Hour-by-hour we trawl the media and the world wide web looking at interesting and relevant info. We study and decode the latest press releases. We check the bulletins. We field telephone calls from supporters and informers. We talk to manufacturers, importers, dealers, and Joe (& Josephine) Biker, and then we present the information in the most thoughtful, intelligent, incisive, original and entertaining way we can. [More...]
200+ classics to auction
We ought to make it clear from the start that many of these motorcycles are modern classics, as opposed to ... well, old classics. We're talking about machines ranging from a 1917 Wanderer 620cc V-twin (Lot 147; est £30,000 - £35,000) to a 1938 Rudge Ulster (Lot 142; est £10,000 - £12,000) to a 2001 Ducati MH900 (Lot 195; est £18,000 - £20,000) to a 1964 Bianchi 500cc Bicilindrica Bialbero (Lot 191: est £120,000-£140,000). All the bikes are going under the hammer courtesy of Coys Valuers and Auctioneers at the Carole Nash MCN Show on the 13th February 2016. The venue is the Excel Centre in London's Docklands, and we're advised that it's the first time that an auction has been held there. The auction kicks off at 2.30pm. [More...]
First the sexy details of this new bad-ass motorcycle from Harley-Davidson:
Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B engine
Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather Elite open-element intake
Hydraulically operated slipper clutch
43mm inverted forks
Dual front floating discs
Reduced reach front brake lever
"Wind-cheating speed screen"
Electronic cruise control
H-D's Smart Security System
Smoke Satin Chrome & Scorched Chrome finishes
Black blunt-cut mufflers
Two round wheels
And a saddle to sit on
H-D Low Rider S for 2016
This new Harley-Davidson variant is based upon the Dyna platform, which basically means that you get a swinging arm frame as opposed to a Softail frame, and a rubber-mounted engine. The Low Rider S is powered by the Screamin' Eagle 110 cubic-inch (1,801cc) twin cam engine, and is the latest member of the Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S sporting family. In other words, the "S" gives you more power as standard. Special features include a Fat Bob 2-into-2 exhaust, a six-speed Cruise-Drive transmission, throttle-based cruise control, ABS, dual front floating discs, and a Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather performance intake.
Bajaj V150 Valor launched
The word "launched" is perhaps very appropriate when used in connection with the new Bajaj V150 Valor. That's because this Indian motorcycle, currently being teased out by the manufacturer, is fabricated using steel from a recycled aircraft carrier, specifically INS (Indian Naval Ship) Vikrant. This ship was originally ordered as HMS Hercules, UK number R49. It was a Majestic Class light fleet carrier. The vessel was laid down in 1945 on the banks of the River Tyne by UK shipbuilders Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. But with the war over, defence procurement suddenly changed, and Britain was in any case skint. So construction stopped in 1946 and Hercules was mothballed.
Click the link for last month's news: December 2015 motorcycle news from Sump
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Biking product news
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Bike industry news
Without industry, the wheels won't turn. We're keeping an eye on the guys who grease your spindles.
Motorcycle legal news
Fortunately, in the UK we have the rule of law. Unfortunately, few know what all those laws are, and the government keeps changing them anyway. But if it affects you, we'll tip you the wink...
Motorcycle safety news
In a dangerous world, we're intent on keeping you shiny side up. So mirror, signal, brake, stop and read the latest news.
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Motorcycle news - Dec 2015
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