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1934 493cc Sunbeam 95R. It's thought that only four of these bronze head, OHV, single-port
racers were built of which this is the only survivor. As with, say, Rudge and Velocette these pre-WW2
Sunbeams were classy in their day, and today are every bit as classy. These handsome bikes gave the competition a serious challenge, and notched up their fair share of victories. Sunbeam—originally a bicycle manufacturer—was founded in 1887 by Wolverhampton businessman, John Marston. Noted for excellence in engineering and the quality of their all-weather finishes, Sunbeam motorcycles became very much the choice of the discerning gentleman, or gentlewoman—albeit without the commercial success needed to keep the firm free and independent. AMC took over in 1937, and BSA took control in 1943. Featuring an Amal TT carb, a close ratio gearbox (with foot change) and a Smiths "Soup Plate" speedo, this restored example will be on the auction block at the National Motorcycle Museum (B92 0EJ), courtesy of H&H Auctions. The date is Tuesday 30th July 2019. The estimate is £33,000 - £35,000.

 

May 2019  Classic bike news


Motorcycle news | Biking headlines | Latest motor bike stories | Press


 

Motorcycle news


Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date




February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed



 


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost


Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust




 

June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

Dirtquake VII 2018 at Arena Essex
One liners
Mecum Auctions at Monterey 2018
H&H NMM auction shapes up further
Chris Chope gets 'em in a twist
Daniel David Kirwan: 1950 - 2018
Reg Allen Motorcycles is closing
One liners
World Motorcycle Rally 2018
Glynn Edwards: 1931 - 2018
Den Hartogh Museum Sale
Grip-Tite Sockets, tried & tested
Donald Trump's US trade war starts


 

May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route


April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

Stolen Vincent Comet & BSA Bantam
Spirit of '59 Triumph Bonnevilles
We've been adrift, but we're back in port

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall


March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history


February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer


January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges


December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!


November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners



September 2017 Classic Bike News












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








New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt


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


Sump news archive

 

 

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

 

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Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!

 

Story snapshot:

New R18 engine concept rolls a little closer to production

Possible new 1,800cc Boxer cruiser on the way

 

Quote:

 

"With its clear aesthetics openly on display, the Concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about. It is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. This concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. But when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance. I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. Our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age."

 

Edgar Heinrich, BMW Motorrad Head of Design

 

In case you're wondering what that's all about, BMW has released images of its new R18 cruiser concept (see image immediately below) and has evidently being smoking too much skunk whilst talking about it.

 

For the past year or so the R18 engine project has, in various ways, been kicking around two or three design studios and workshops and now takes another revolution towards full scale (or at least limited) production. Evidently, BMW is hedging its bets and canvassing for reaction, and we suspect that most of it will be favourable.

 

 

The engine, now looking pretty much sorted and housed in a new and reasonably elegant rolling chassis, has just been unveiled at the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy (24th - 26th May 2019).

 

There's little written detail from BMW (which, incidentally, is the leading sponsor at this event), but what we can tell/surmise is that this retro is an 1,800cc air-cooled, pushrod, low-revving, torquey shaft-drive boxer twin proudly (or is that shamelessly?) raiding the company archives and parts bins desperately incorporating as many classic styling cues as possible.

 

The last BMW production cruiser, note, was the R1200C which, despite James Bond's/Pierce Brosnan's best efforts to publicise it in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), was axed in 2004. Why? Well it was supposedly because the 1,170cc engine was considered (by Dr. Herbert Diess, President BMW Motorrad) as "unsuitable for the current market"—which could also be reinterpreted as "too radical for its intended buyers".

 

And that wouldn't be a first for BMW.

 

 

The R1200C (image immediately above) sold over 40,000 units over a seven year production run, which averages at around 5,700 bikes per annum. Not great, but not shabby either. Regardless, it was never quite the hit for which BMW had hoped, but it was a bold, inventive, original and (if you like that kind of thing) very stylish piece of motorcycling hardware.

 

 

Well, the new R18 concept picks up more or less where the R1200C left off (in terms of aspirations if not design) and will see its motor re-imagined in a variety of motorcycles that will be teased over the coming weeks and months.

 

Maybe.

 

As revealed, the R18 cruiser (as shown) features carburettors which, in-line with EU regs and strictures, will be replaced by fuel injection. But if BMW sticks to its own concept orthodoxy, that will be pretty much the limit as far as electronic bells and whistles are concerned. The idea is to keep it simple, pure and unadulterated (never mind the high-tech manufacturing techniques that underpin this Zen wannabe).

 

Other features include an inverted front fork. A cunningly designed rear suspension system masquerading as rigid. An exposed drive shaft (which almost certainly won't get past the safety fascists). Inverted brake and clutch levers (which will no doubt confuse some riders). A 21-inch front wheel. An 18-inch rear wheel. And lashings of chrome and polished aluminium alloys.

 

 

In December 2018 Custom Works Zon, a noted Japanese chop shop, took first place at the Yokohama Hot Rod Show with ‘Departed’ based around an official sneak release of the R18 engine concept.

 

 

Meanwhile, US Revival Cycles arguably upped the ante with the firm's "Revival Birdcage" concept as displayed at the Handbuilt Show in Texas in April 2019.

 

With the R18 flat-twin platform, BMW is said to be gunning for the likes of Harley-Davidson and Indian (if and when it actually makes it onto the assembly line). But if so, we wonder if BMW is missing the mark (or is that marque?).

 

Harley-Davidson is comfortably in a world of its own campaigning a hard-boiled cruiser and bad-ass heritage that only Indian can match, and even then with considerably less authority given the fact that Indian Motorcycles has a broken manufacturing/heritage line—whereas H-D has been on the road since day one and taking a leak up every passing post and streetlight.

 

But until we see the price and the marketing spiel, it's impossible to say exactly where this tent will be pitched and whose rear end is likely to fit the saddle.

 

 

To us at Sump, the BMW R18 concept looks more suited to the European market and just doesn't convince as anything other than a slightly fromagey (and even cynical) attempt to throw a bucket of yesterday at us instead of design and develop a more original tomorrow.

 

In other words, it feels like we've seen it all before—which, of course, is an unwelcome irony given that that's exactly what BMW wants us to think.

 


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Henry Harrison riding his OK-Supreme at the IOMTT

 

Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

 

Story snapshot:

Twice raced at the IOM TT

H&H to auction this bike in July 2019

 

If you're a classic biker from the general Liverpool area, this motorcycle might be at least vaguely familiar. For everyone out of the Scouse loop, this 1935 250cc RC37 OK-Supreme racer was largely the handiwork of a certain Mr Henry Harrison. Fitted, notably, with a swinging arm and AMC rear suspension units, the quarter-litre OHV cammy single was entered into the 1951 TT by Liverpool motorcycle dealer, Victor Horsman. One of the great British motorcycle racers of his era, Horsman was based at 65 Pembroke Place where he sold a wide range of used motorcycles from Ariel to Velocette.

 

Victor Horsman Liverpool motorcycle dealer

 

Henry Harrison was at the helm during that TT race. He averaged 60mph around the IOM course and finished 14th—which, of course, was a considerable feat. The following year the bike was again entered into the legendary Tourist Trophy races. This time, Henry Harrison arrived in 22nd place having attained a slightly higher speed of 66mph.

 

Henry Harrison and OK-Supreme

 

Following that achievement, the OK-Supreme was fitted with a Velocette front fork and raced on short circuit tracks until 1958. In 1959, the bike was bought (by its current owner) from Henry Harrison. It was restored in the 1980s and displayed at numerous Liverpool bike shows for the next decade or so. Then it was tucked away somewhere.

 

That's Henry Harrison immediately above, incidentally. And at the top of this news story, that's him on the TT circuit.

 

1935 250cc OK-Supreme

 

Fast forward to 30th July 2019, and H&H Auctions will be offering the bike for sale at the National Motorcycle Museum. The estimate is a lowly £6,000 - £8,000 which is a steal for a pre-war bike with a reasonably successful TT history.

 

Nearer the day we'll be looking closer still at other bikes in this sale. Meanwhile, you might want to check out the "Rode Safely" video that was made by Victor Horsman in 1955.

 

"Rode Safely" YouTube video

 

www.handh.co.uk

www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk

 


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Brighton Speed Trials

 

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date

 

Story snapshot:

Saturday 7th September 2019

As ever, Madeira Drive

 

Brighton and Hove Motor Club badgeAround 150 cars and 75 motorcycles are expected to compete in this year's quarter-mile races along the world famous seafront dragstrip. The practice runs start at 8.45am. The timed runs start at 11.15am and are scheduled to finish at 5:30pm. After that, the fastest six cars and bikes will compete for the overall winner.

 

To ensure that you see all the action, a 21 square metre LCD screen will detail the entire strip. The entry price (including a programme) is £15—or £12 online.

 

As we've said before, Brighton is a pretty cool place to be, even if you're not gay. And while you're there, check out The Lanes where you'll find a huge selection of independent shops and boutiques flogging everything from antiques, fake antiques, Native American curios, guitars, trendy jewellery and fashion. Some of it is kitsch, but there are odd delights, etc.

 

We might even go this year, so if you see anyone who looks like us, it's probably us.

 

www.brightonandhovemotorclub.co.uk

 


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H J Pugh & Company, Ledbury

 

H J Pugh & Company Ledbury Sale

 

Story snapshot:

The auction date is Saturday 1st June 2019

A large collection of British bikes and NOS spares is on offer

 

We haven't got a decent image of any of the bikes in this sale, but we've cobbled together the (immediately) above graphic to help give this news story some legs.

 

The date will be Saturday 1st June 2019. The auctioneer is a firm called H J Pugh & Co. These guys are based in Ledbury, Herefordshire.

 

Here are some of the bikes listed (some without manufacturing dates, and none with lot numbers assigned):

 

1961 Norton 500 ES2,

1939 Triumph Tiger 100

1947 Norton Model 30 International

1938 Matchless 990X V Twin

1952 Ariel Square Four

1939 Triumph 3H 350

1935 Sunbeam Model 9

1921 Sunbeam 3.5HP

1938 Norton 16H

1921 Royal Enfield 200

1929 Triumph NSD 550

Vincent Comet

Matchless G50

AJS 650

Triumph Speed Twin

 

The firm's website could use a little polish and fine tuning, and a new Box Brownie wouldn't hurt, but this looks like an olde worlde set-up (as opposed to a bunch of trendy new-age slicksters), and we can happily live with that.

 

Entries, as far as we can tell, are still being accepted. The venue for the sale is Hazle Meadows Auction Centre, Ledbury HR8 2LPS (and that looks to be the correct spelling for Hazle). The auction will start at 10am.

 

If you haven't been to a motorcycle sale, you could be missing a pretty good day out. There are often real bargains to be had. Just remember to set your limit and try not to succumb to auction fever.

 

auctions@hjpu

www.hjpugh.co.uk

 


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National Motorcycle Museum raffle

 

NMM Norton Commando raffle winner

 

Story snapshot:

Prize 850cc Norton is unregistered and un-run

A 1977 Triumph T160 Trident is now being raffled

 

Dave Street from Aberdeenshire, Scotland was the winner of the National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) 2018 Winter Raffle and has collected his 1977 850cc Norton Commando. TT rider Ian Hutchinson drew the winning ticket on 28th April 2019.

 

Triumph T160 Trident raffle 2019 - NMM

 

Meanwhile, if you're the gambling type, you're reminded that the immediately above 1977 Triumph Trident T160 with "9 push miles" on the clock is the star prize in the NMM's Summer 2019 raffle. Tickets are notionally £2 each. But, as we've mentioned once or twice before, you have to buy in blocks of five, so that's five tickets for a tenner.

 

A Sealey Retro style combination tool chest will be the second prize, whilst third prize is a luxury hotel break and dinner for two. The raffle draw will be in October 2019.

 

www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk

See also:  Sump Classic Bike News, November 2018

 


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Beryl Swain Exhibition & ride out

 

Story snapshot:

The Bike Shed, Shoreditch is the meeting place for the run

The exhibition dates are 1st to 16th June 2019

 

She was the first woman to compete solo in the Isle of Man TT races. That's the main claim to fame of fêted East London motorcyclist Beryl Swain who's about to be honoured in a new exhibition.

 

The venue for this "Need for Speed" presentation is the 1B Window Gallery at Copper Mill Lane in Walthamstow, E17 7HA. Attractions will include photographs, archive films, numerous original documents and one of Swain's skid lids on display. There will also be talks from curator Kirstin Sibley and Gemma Harrison from the VC motorcycle club.

 

To help mark the event, a motorcycle ride-out will take place on Thursday 1st June 2019* beginning at 9.30am at The Bike Shed in Shoreditch, East London and pausing at The Duke pub in Walthamstow. Following that, we hear that attendees will be invited to the nearby unveiling of a Beryl Swain motorcycle mural.

 

Beryl Swain was born in 1936 as Beryl Tolman. In 1958 she married Edwin Swain who owned a motorcycle shop in the Walthamstow area, and she became involved in bikes, both as a rider and as a mechanic.

 

In 1962, aged 26, she entered the Isle of Man TT races campaigning a 50cc Itom. She gave a good account of herself and finished 22nd—and to finish at all was a notable achievement, not least for a "mere" woman. At the time, her racing prowess, such as it was, caused something of a sensation. So much so that the racing authorities, fearing the loss of their domination/masculinity/pride promptly revoked her international licence. Ostensibly, that was because she couldn't meet the new (and hastily introduced) weight limit.

 

Regardless, Beryl Swain had her 15 minutes of fame, and she retired from the sport with dignity. It's said that biking's loss was Sainsburys' gain, because she found employment with the supermarket chain and, apparently, stayed with them for many years.

 

There were no more female TT competitors until 1978 when Hilary Musson hit the fabled track in the Formula 2 class on a Yamaha (competing eight times between 1978 and 1985).
 

Beryl Swain died in 2007 aged 71.

 

*Note that MCN had earlier posted the ride-out date as 25th July 2019. We checked with VC, which is organising the run. 1st June is the correct date.

 

See also: Desperate Triumph woos the vaginas

 


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Kickback Show custom Triumph

 

Kickback Show discount ticket offer

 

Story snapshot:

10% off a weekend pass

Get it done by 10th June 2019

 

The Kickback Show at the Prescott Bike Festival is just a few weeks away. The event will take place on 15th - 16th June 2019 (see here for details of the Kickback competition). Book in advance and the organiser is offering a 10% discount on a weekend pass.

 

We have to say that we're a little confused about the ticket pricing structure, but it looks like an adult weekend ticket is £24.00. However, we suggest you follow the link and draw your own conclusions.

 

To get that discount, you need to enter the code: kickback10. You'll find the right spot to do that easily enough—but you need to book by 10th June 2019.

 

Okay?

 

www.prescottbikefestival.co.uk

 


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H&H July 2019 sale shapes up

 

Story snapshot:

A Vincent Comet estimated at £13,000 - £15,000

And a Harris T140 Bonneville estimated at £6,000 - £7,000

 

We've been regularly monitoring the build-up to the next H&H sale which will happen on 30th July 2019 at the National Motorcycle museum, and we've already headlined the 1934 493cc Sunbeam 95R (see the main image top of this page).

 

Meanwhile, there are one or two other lots that warrant a brief mention, such as the immediately above 1951 Vincent Series C Comet. This 498cc air-cooled Stevenage single has apparently been in "long term family ownership" and is said to be running well and in presentable condition.

 

We also note that although the engine and frame numbers match and are correctly recorded on the V5C, the Vincent Owners Club (VOC) has not authenticated those letters and digits as being original factory stampings—and that might help explain the estimate which is just £13,000 - £15,000.

 

Now, that might be a reasonable price for a Vincent bitsa (if that's what this ultimately is—and it might not be, take note). However, it walks like a Vincent Comet, and it quacks like a Vincent Comet, and if your interest lies more in riding as opposed to collecting or investing, you might want to check out this bike.

 

It's some time since we rode a Comet, but we remember them as enjoyable bikes that feel significantly more lithe and nimble than a Vincent twin with slightly better stopping power and a so-so willingness to rev. They like to be kept on the boil, and (unlike the twins) you can push them almost to the max without running yourself off the road.

 

Of course, H&H might be posting the relatively low estimate simply to stimulate bidder interest, and it's certainly done that around these parts. Rival auction house Bonhams sold a couple of Comets earlier this year; one at £14,950 and one at £21,850. And last October, Bonhams sold a Series C Comet for £21,125. The condition of all three was comparable.

 

So if you're looking to acquire your first Vincent, this might well be the lowest rung on the ladder you're going to find.

 

 

At the same sale we note that an unrestored c1986 Harris 750cc T140 Bonneville is on the list (image immediately above). These machines, you might recall, were built under licence in Newton Abbott, Devon by long-time Triumph parts manufacturer, Les Harris. Around 1,200 bikes (slightly more according to some claims) were manufactured between 1985 and 1988.

 

This example looks to be all there, but is fitted with Norton Peashooter silencers—which always sound good on a T140. However, the original Lafranconi silencers are included in the sale if originality is your thing.

 

The estimate is £6,000 - £7,000, and given the general unloved (but apparently not abused) condition of the bike, that looks a little strong in the current market. Yes, the Harris bikes were, arguably, built better than the Meriden T140s, and the Harris bikes were equipped with numerous arguably superior parts (Marzocchi rear shocks, a Paioli front fork, Radaelli rims, Brembo calipers, Magura switchgear & master cylinders, etc). Also, the petrol tank, with its Monza style flip up filler cap, is a 3-gallon Italian pressing which, as most T140 fans would perhaps agree, looks far less attractive than the original 2.8 gallon Meriden US spec item.

 

But for all that, the Harris bikes simply ain't Meriden bikes, and that usually sees them change hands at a lower price. Moreover, disagreement still rages over the general reliability of Harris machines which have had their problems (porous engine cases, blown pistons, vibration). But Meriden bikes of that era were also prone to similar faults and failures.

 

So why the £6k - £7k estimate? Well it could be because this bike is also hinted at being the last Harris Bonnie to be registered. Not built, note. Just registered. But does that matter to anyone? Maybe. However, we doubt that this small claim to fame will add more than a few shillings to the hammer price. Expect to find a collection of old documents and related paperwork.

 

On the other hand, we could be wrong and will see this bike reach at least bottom estimate. However, we were thinking more about £5,000 - £6,000, and we'll find out soon enough.

 

 

Beyond these bikes, H&H is fielding a fairly modest selection of iron and ally. But we ought to mention in passing the 2010 Ducati Desmosedici RR which is carrying an estimate of £50,000 - £60,000. We're advised that 1,500 of these were manufactured. This one was number 1,162. Since 2010 when the bike was first registered, it's covered just 940 and is said to be in immaculate.

 

Well, a measly 940 miles doesn't say much for the claim that these are race bikes for the road. We'd be more impressed if it carried 50,000 miles and had been dropped three or four times and then patched up for another blast. But this is likely to be re-squirreled away in a garage or loft in the usual manner.

 

No lot numbers have yet been assigned to anything. The auction date is 30th July 2019. The venue is: National Motorcycle Museum Sale, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EJ.

 

See also (at the same sale): BSA Gold Star prototype

 

www.handh.co.uk

www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk

 

 


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UK Government report: 20mph zones ineffective and increase air pollution


Indian Motorcycles patents "Thunderstroke III" Variable Valve Timing tech


Fuel Motorcycles Scram Africa 2019 Royal Enfield Himalayan

Fuel Motorcycles Royal Enfield Himalayan Scram Africa 2019 contender


US State Oregon is considering lane sharing legislation for motorcyclists


US North Carolina optional (aged 21 and over) helmet law proposal failed


Hinckley Triumph launches a two year TE-1 electric motorcycle project


Royal Enfield has applied to Euro-trademark the "Meteor" name


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1938 Vincent HRD Series A

 

"Vincent & Grigg Collection" to sell

 

Story snapshot:

Seven "unearthed" classic bikes discovered in LA

Vincent Victor replica to be sold

 

You might recall the name Liquid Asset Partners (LAP). Sump reported on these guys back in early 2016 when they bought the assets of failed Eric Buell Racing (EBR). At the time there was much talk about revitalising the company, etc, but it didn't come to pass.

 

More recently, we've learned that LAP has stumbled across a collection of classic motorcycles long buried in an industrial unit in Los Angeles, USA. We're trying hard to get excited by the find. But our interest and enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that the bikes were the collection of a recently deceased man named ... well, the press release didn't condescend to name him. But we understand that he was British and, as a young man, left the UK for the USA and took a lot of motorcycles and parts with him. He was also reclusive, and that's the extent of our information.

 

That aside, there are seven bikes under the spotlights. Here's the list:

 

1923 693cc Grigg Blackburne

1938 998cc Vincent-HRD Series A

1953 998cc Vincent Black Shadow – Series C

1955 499cc Vincent Victor Single Replica

1954 998cc Vincent Rapide D/C

1948 998cc Vincent Series B Rapide

1950 499cc Vincent Comet basket case

 

 

The '38 Vincent-HRD (main image this story) is expected to be the top selling motorcycle. LAP is "entertaining offers above $400,000." We've no word on the estimates of the other machines. But special interest might fall upon the Vincent Victor replica based on the one-of-a-kind 1955 499cc single-cylinder prototype made by the Stevenage factory.

 

Bonhams sold that bike in April 2011 for £107,100 (including premium). See the image immediately above. Meanwhile, the bike immediately below is the replica.

 

 

Grigg 693cc V-twin

 

Moving on, the 693cc Grigg is thought to be the sole survivor of its type, although there are four other Grigg motorcycles known to be in existence. Grigg—founded in 1920 by Harry Grigg—was originally based at Winchester Works in Twickenham, Middlesex. The short-lived firm subsequently relocated to Croydon, Surrey and saw fairly rapid expansion.

 

Grigg Motor Cycles advert

 

Initially the company produced miniature commuter scooters powered by two-stroke engines. But soon the firm was producing larger machines, some offering water-cooling, and was becoming popular (albeit mostly in the London area) for its sidecar outfits. However, the general difficulties of the UK economy in the 1920s put paid to Harry Grigg's ambition to become a much bigger player. The company folded in 1925.

 

Grigg 693cc V-twin primary side

 

For $20 entry/access, you can view the collection at Grand Rapids, Michigan USA on 22nd May 2019. And note that as far as we can tell, this isn't exactly an auction. But it's certainly some kind of sale or asset disposal gathering. That much is for sure. Just take a peek and make an offer. Or make an offer sight unseen.

 

When you're at this end of the market, a few thousand pounds or dollars either way doesn't really make much difference, does it?

 

sales@liquidap.com

www.liquidap.com

 


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The numbers game

I used to read the biking mags
This much is true
But lately every page I turn
Feels like déjà vu

16 bikes you gotta road test
15 boots you have to try
14 helmets for your noggin
13 roads before you die
12 ways to stuff the pages
11 journos on the schmooze
10 idle factory rumours
9 editors stuck for news
8 ways to own a Triumph
7 ways to get a loan
6 hints for faster corners
5 electrics you must own
4 budget heated insoles
3 tips for off-road thrills
2 tyres we recommend
1 expert shows his skills

I used to buy
MCN
But this is now
And that was then

 


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Well said Dexxion, MCN has been a "rag" for years now apparently, fit only for wrapping up fish and chips . . . if we were still allowed to do that nowadays by the "safety" men in grey suits.—Wynsel, IOM


Hi Sump, very amusing, very true and very pithy (had to look up that one to be sure). But MCN aren't the only offenders of crimes against idle journalism. They're all at it these days (present company notwithstanding). Keep doing what you do, please.—David Egg, Cambridgeshire.


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Scooter Moda: five scooters nicked

 

Story snapshot:

Be on the look out for a handful of hairdryers

Also, note the few words we've posted on Scomadi Scooters

 

It happened on Monday night (6th May 2019) when five motor scooters were purloined from the premises of Scooter Moda of Preston, Lancs. The bikes are, respectively, three Scomadis, a Lambretta GP200 and an AJS Modena.

 

Founded by Spencer Coe, Peter Reid (who personally owned the aforementioned GP200) and Nigel Godwin, the business is relatively new and trades in new LML and Scomadi scooters, plus used Lambrettas and used Vespas. The burglary, we understand, happened whilst the firm was moving premises, but we've got no details. We also hear that a couple of names (of "local scumbags") have been forwarded to the rozzers. But any extra information is, naturally, welcomed. Meanwhile, we checked the Scooter Moda Facebook page, and the burglary has been confirmed.

 

On a related note, we hesitate to say that on Scooter Moda has also suggested that Scomadi Scooters is going into liquidation. We're still looking into this assertion and will post an update if and when needed. But we've also seen a counter statement explaining that this is just a rumour and isn't at all true.

 

Normally, we avoid rumours; certainly with regard to spreading them. But in this instance, we figure it's perhaps wiser to qualify an already circulating rumour and highlight the fact that it is indeed uncorroborated.

 

We reported on Scomadi (SCooter MAnufacture and DIstribution) back in Sump Classic Bike News July 2018. Founded by Paul Melici and Frank Sanderson, this was/is evidently an energetic and ambitious firm. But if you check the Sump story, you'll see that the business has been operating on a very shaky foundation related to other claims on the Scomadi name. And we're not by any means implying that Scomadi is doing, or has done, anything untoward. It's simply that business interests and commercial claims to rights and intellectual property and suchlike often clash, and often in perfectly good faith. Keep that in mind if you will.

 

 

However, there are/have been plenty of claims, allegations and counter-allegation flying every which way, and we're staying out of it until we hear definitive statements, etc. But at this point, we're certainly not persuaded that Scomadi is finished. It might well be that there is simply some corporate restructuring underway. Certainly, there's no mention of the firm's liquidation on the company website (9th May 2019); not that there necessarily would be.

 

If you're in the scooter scene either as a rider, owner or business, our advice is to check the websites below and make your own enquiries.

 

It ain't over until it's over. Meanwhile, we're hoping that Scooter Moda sees the safe return of its hairdryers.

 

www.scootermoda.com

www.scomadi.com

 

UPDATE: See also British Dealer News Scomadi story

 


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Cop cleared of scooter take down

 

Story snapshot:

Scooter rider was seriously injured in North London forced stop

PC Sutton was "doing his job and behaving reasonably"

 

We briefly mentioned this story a few days ago as a Sump "one liner" (see a little further down this page). Since then we've learned that the officer in question, 49-year old PC Edwin Sutton, has been cleared of professional misconduct charges and can keep his job.

 

The matter refers to an incident that happened almost two years ago on 21st May 2017. Simply, a trio of scooter riders was spotted showing off and generally misbehaving in the street in East Finchley, North London. Wheelies, swerving in traffic, hi-jinks. The kind of thing that most of us have done at one time or another (and a few of us would like to have the nerve to do again).

 

One of the teenagers, a 17-year old (referred to in court as "Mr G"), had some kind of blue handbag strapped or otherwise secured to his handlebars. Patrolling PC Sutton, well aware of the recent spate of motorised handbag thefts and scooter muggings in the capital, tried to stop the fleeing riders, notably by swerving across the pavement to block an escape route.

 

The rider of one scooter came down hard and suffered serious injuries. Sutton was subsequently charged for breaching professional standards and was, on Tuesday 7th May 2019, finally exonerated by a disciplinary tribunal.

 

The policy of "tactical contact" is now established as another vital weapon in the police arsenal, notably by "Scorpion-trained" officers. But in 2017, this policy was a greyer area of conflicting advice, allegedly causing some cops to break off pursuits and otherwise disengage whenever the situation suggested that an injury—or worse—was imminent.

 

Since Sutton was charged, his colleagues have understandably rallied and offered whatever support they can, the general sentiment being that they're damned if they don't intervene, and damned if they do.

 

London Police Federation chief Ken Marsh was been quoted as saying: "PC Sutton has been through hell for doing his job. Why are they [the government and/or disciplinary board] putting our colleagues in this position? This was a policy of the Independent Office for Police Conduct. It’s an absolute travesty."

 

Except that it probably isn't a travesty. As much as we despise the scooter thieves and muggers, especially those using acid as part of their attacks, we have to recognise that the cops still need to be kept in check and investigated whenever there's justifiable suspicion (whatever that means to you) that the officer has, in any specific instance, behaved inappropriately (whatever that means).

 

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who guards the guards?

 

Of course, tribunals, arbitration panels and (not least) the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are notorious for getting the balance wrong and bringing the wrong people to book, often on the flimsiest of evidence. At Sump, we've had direct experience of being involved in the incompetence of the CPS, and cleared of all charges.

 

Nevertheless, the cop was involved in a serious (and near fatal) incident that might well have involved recklessness or other illegality on his part. Therefore an appropriate hearing goes with the territory.

 

It's a bitch, and the British police are no particular friends of ours. All the same, it seems that in this instance PC Sutton behaved reasonably under the high-pressure circumstances, and did his job in the best way he could. The downside, however, is that there are now a lot of very disgruntled coppers out there who might well be less inclined to become involved in a hard take down if they believe that directly putting their necks on the block is a step too far.

 

Chances are, mind, that as the Sutton incident fades from memory, the rozzers will readjust their perspectives and return as "normal" to their regular duties which often demands they take potentially fatal chances—and then another similar incident will happen, and we'll be back to square one.
 

PC Sutton, we hear, is just weeks away from retirement. He's been in the job for 30 years or so. The tribunal cost thousands of pounds, and there's been a huge impact on Sutton's salary—which, we assume (and hope) will be reinstated/reimbursed.

 

It's not much of a send off for three decades on the thin blue line. But as we've said, it goes with the territory. Accept it, or don't accept it.

 

It's an unfair world.
 


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Triumph TFest starts on Friday

 

Story snapshot:

The complete 2019 bike range is yours to test this weekend

Just make sure you ask about the excessive insurance excess...

 

The dates are 11th - 12th May 2019, and that's a Saturday and a Sunday. And in case you're out of the loop, TFest is when Triumph dealers across the UK throw their doors open extra wide and organise some eats and music and invite us all along to try a bike, buy a bike and/or splash out on a few accessories or riding clobber.

 

Being plied with nosh and jokes and anecdotes and sounds is a pretty shrewd way to soften us up as the salesmen move in for the kill. But buying and selling is what greases the wheels of civilisation, and your cooperation in this regard is welcomed.

 

However, we ought to mention (again) the thorny issue of test ride insurance; specifically the "excess" that you'll be required to sign up to. The last time we spoke to a Triumph dealer about this (about ten minutes ago, actually), that excess was £1,000. In other words, if you drop a test bike you'll be expected to pay anything up to the first grand in repairs.

 

We've actually spoken to a few Triumph dealers about this—and spoken to more than a few dealers of other marques—and they tell much the same story. Customers rarely drop test bikes, they say. And when accidents do happen, the repairs usually total no more than a few hundred quid ("and we do the work ourselves" is the typical indifferent mantra). Nevertheless, you could be looking at a big bill if you take a tumble.

 

Car hire firms, meanwhile, usually level a relatively small (and optional) fee to completely waive the excess, and this might well suit some folk who'd rather pay a low sum to avoid a high risk. But this option is evidently beyond the wit of the motorcycle trade. Consequently, you pay nothing up front to test ride a bike, but could be looking at losing a very large wedge if the machine goes down.

 

We've commented on this before, but it's worth repeating. So our advice is to ask your local dealer about the excess question before you put your moniker on the test ride T&C form.

 

That aside, we hear that there should be lot of demonstrator bikes on call, even if the weather for this weekend doesn't look too promising.

 


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The Kempton Song

The day we went to Kempton
T'was a freezing day in May
We were looking for a bargain
But we weren't prepared to pay
How much for that badge, mate?
How much for those yokes?
50p? And fifty quid?
Hilarious, you blokes

 

A box of carburettors

Right, we'll take 'em off yer hands

Fiver for the lot if you

Include the centre stands

Well how about those girders?

And what about that wheel?

Forty nicker in yer mitt

C'mon, guys let's deal


So we haggled and we quibbled
And we dickered and we squabbled
But everything was overpriced
And everyone got nobbled
Eventually the day was done
We left with junk a plenty
Nineteen quid left in the pot
And we started out with twenty

 

Yo ho ho, you're in for a lark

When you try to bag a bargain at Kempton Park

Yo ho ho, you're heading for a tumble

If you want a sweet deal at the Kempton Autojumble

 


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A British police officer faces gross misconduct charge re hard moped stop


March UK car production fell 14.4%. 126,195 units. 10th consecutive drop


UK first 3D zebra crossing (North London) hailed a success. 12 month trial


Kop Hill Climb Festival seeks motorcycle/car entries. 21- 22 Sept 2019


Sutton MCs, Tamworth is new Triumph dealer (Triumph Birmingham East)


Triumph T160 Trident raffle 2019 - NMM

Triumph Trident T160 raffle. NOS. 9 "push" miles. Tickets 5 for £10. NMM


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Regarding the 3D crossing, I’ve seen something similar in France that looks like speed humps but isn’t. I have to say it’s very effective.—The Village Squire

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April 2019

 

 

Raising Dust in the Desert

 

Story snapshot:

From the Atlantic convoys to the North African desert

One man's account of his part in WW2

 

We haven't seen this book up close, but we're happy to give it a little publicity. It's the story of Alan Rothwell Johnson, now in his 99th year on Planet Earth and clearly a man with some colourful and eventful history.

 

As told to military motorcycle enthusiast Simon Warner, this is a factual account firstly of Johnson's time spent as a WW2 merchant seaman on the Atlantic convoys. If you know anything about the second world war, you'll remember that Winston Churchill professed that his greatest fear of the conflict was the threat of the U-Boats which, he believed, came perilously close to winning the war for Nazi Germany.

 

Those Atlantic routes which brought home vital food supplies and munitions were terrifying, mind-numbingly traumatic, brutal, tragic, and as dangerous as pretty much any other theatre of war. But Alan Johnson was clearly one of the lucky ones who somehow came through it and landed safely back in Blighty. However, not content to sit out the rest of the war in whatever manner was practicable, he promptly joined the Royal Corps of Signals as a despatch rider (or Don R) and subsequently became a member of the 3rd Air Formation Signals in the Middle East—and was later to become a founder member of the famous Bar None Motor Cycle Club founded in 1944 in Cairo.

 

Well, next year (2020) is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Corps of Signals; a joint occasion in which Alan Johnson will be expecting a telegram from the Queen. This book is therefore timely and will serve as a small, but no doubt compelling literary monument to the most significant event of the 20th century.

 

So okay, we suspect that the production of this home-produced publication will be a little amateurish. We expect to find the odd grammatical error and one or two literals. We expect minor flaws and imperfections. But we haven't the slightest doubt that this story will be the real stuff told straight from the heart; a direct line back to 1939 and the events that followed WW2 as seen from the freezing waters of the Atlantic to the broiling sands of the Middle East.

 

If you've got an interest in the military, especially with regard to first-hand accounts, this book will perhaps find a suitable place on your bookshelf. And if you've got an interest in both the military and military bikes, you'll be doubly satisfied. People create these publications not for money, but because there's a tale that needs to be told. And these first-hand accounts are invariably nuanced with detail that you don't generally find elsewhere.

 

The book is priced at £12.50 plus £2.50 P&P for mainland UK, £5 for Europe, £7 for USA and £7.50 for Australia/NZ). Bank transfer is preferable for UK sales. Outside of the UK, PayPal is the preferred choice.

 

ISBN 978-1-9160809-0-4

Published in 2019 by Simon Warner.
 

smwarner@dsl.pipex.com

 


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Hi. On your recommendation I have just read the book. Bearing in mind that it is the recollections of a 96 year old it is very good. It is short on detail but interesting to read how make do and mend prevailed during the war. He was a very keen motorcyclist who very much enjoyed his own company. Worth getting for the price of three London pints.—Ian


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Bristol Bike Night at Fowlers

 

Bristol Bike Night dates for 2019

 

Story snapshot:

It begins on 10th May

Triumph will be bringing the big truck

 

It's starting a month later than last year, but Bristol Bike Night is firmly on the calendar for 2019. It will happen, as ever, at Fowlers Motorcycles, and your attendance is welcomed between 5.30pm and 8.30pm. Friday 10th May is the beginning. From then onward the event will happen on the first Friday of every month until September (2019).

 

There's no admission charge, and any (well behaved) rider/motorcycle is invited. Essentially this is a simple social gathering to talk bikes, look at bikes, hear bikes, smell bikes, and see and be seen. But Triumph Motorcycles will also be there in force with the firm's show truck. Peek inside that and you'll catch a glimpse of Hinckley's Moto 2 contender and the latest Triumph Thruxton limited edition factory custom.

 

Also, Muc-Off will be on hand showcasing various cleaning products and discussing the benefits/issues, etc. Sound dull? Well it can be, but if you've invested any significant money in your wheels, you'll naturally want to maintain them to maximise and maintain the value. So a few minutes at the Muc-Off stand might be time well spent.

 

Other attractions include DJ Chunky, a BBQ in the car park, Harry’s Cafe (for those who prefer to sit while they're eating), SaddleSoreTed, and the Badge Man.

 

Almost forgot, look out for Husqvarna which is doing well at the moment, saleswise, and no doubt wants to maintain the momentum.

 

You can find Fowlers at 2 - 12 Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3DR. That's on the A38 inner ring road and a 5-minute walk from Temple Meads mainline railway station.

 

Walk? Who are they kidding? Park the shoes and steal a bike if you have to. Just be there if you're anywhere within an hour or so travelling distance.

 

Talk to Fowlers on 0117 977 0466 and enjoy the delights of their push-button call-steering system. Or check the website.

 

www.fowlers.co.uk

 


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Bud Ekins' 1962 ISDT Triumph Trophy

 

Bud Ekins' Trophy sells for £97,750

 

Story snapshot:

Ex-ISDT Triumph twin sets one of "three world records"

A Coventry Eagle and a Vincent Series A Comet also hit new heights

 

Bonhams is claiming it as a world record*, but so far the firm hasn't explained exactly what that record is. Regardless, the 1962 650cc Bud Ekins ISDT Triumph Trophy (Lot 309, image immediately above) sold for a whopping £97,750 at the Stafford Sale on the weekend of 27th - 28th April 2019 courtesy of the 39th Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show. That auction price was more than three times its upper estimate (£20,000 - £30,000). It was an American bidder who paid top-dollar for the Triumph.

 

1925 Coventry Flying Eagle

 

Bonhams is also claiming a record for a rare 1925 Coventry Eagle 981cc Flying-8 V-twin (Lot 505, image immediately above) which set a new auction record for the marque. This bike sold for £218,500. We're advised that a three-way bidding battle resulted in an unnamed lady walking away (or riding away) with the prize. The bike is said to be headed for a "renowned collection".

 

1935 Vincent Series A Comet

 

Meanwhile, a third world record was established for a 1935 Vincent-HRD 498cc Series-A Comet (Lot 516, image immediately above). This bike was restored in 2015 by Vincent-HRD restorer Glyn Johnson and sold for £97,750 to a bidder in the room.

 

Dad's Army Brough Superior

 

Meanwhile, the "Dad's Army" 1934 Brough Superior 11-50 outfit (as mentioned on Sump Classic Bike News March 2019) set no world record, but nevertheless sold for a respectable £71,300.

 

1926 Brough Superior Grand Alpine Sports

 

Moving on, the immediately above 1926 Brough Superior 986cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sports Sold for £ 207,000. This bike has had a chequered history under multiple owners (reading between the lines we're counting at least five, and possibly six). It has fairly recently been comprehensively restored, and sometime in its history an engine swap has taken place (apparently the correct type).

 

Noteworthy features, according to Bonhams, include:

 

"... a Binks 'Mousetrap' carburettor, Bonniksen six-pointer speedometer (rare), bulb horn, Terry saddle, hinged carrier, prop stand, anti-theft ignition cut-out switch, a modern electrical generator (concealed behind the gearbox), and a removable drip tray beneath the engine/gearbox. In addition, the vendor has made numerous minor modifications (list available) in the interests of improving reliability and practicality, which nevertheless are removable if not required by the next owner."

 

The price reflects the rarity of these bikes, the affection within which they're held, and the fact that the history can be documented right through to the 1930s. Also, it's been in the hands of the same owner since 1986.

 

The ultimate vintage-era Brough Superior? That's what Bonhams is telling us, and we're not arguing when the £200k+ price tag can speak for itself.

 

All prices, incidentally, include buyers premium.

 

See also: Sump Classic Bike News March 2019

 

* We spoke to Bonhams regarding the Ekins Triumph world record. Apparently, £97,750 is being claimed as the highest price paid for a 1960s TR6 Trophy. Sound a little thin? We're not sure. But you can qualify anything and claim it as some kind of record if you look for an angle. Regardless, it's a serious chunk of change for a fairly ordinary (albeit fairly desirable) Triumph twin.

 


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Family owned

For Sale, a 1913 Triumph
Family owned from day one
Grandad got it from his father
Later gave it to his son

Percy raced it on the island
Crashed it twice, but very tough
Chipped some paint, but nice patina
Another diamond in the rough

Brother Tommy in the thirties
Bought the Trumpet for some beers
He was killed at Alamein
The bike was left for 20 years

Sister Katie (quite a tomboy)
Found the bike in sixty-four
Oiled the works and got it running
Rode it hard to Bangalore

Sometime after it was stolen
Then recovered minus wheel
Found a new hoop made by Honda
Does the job, but not ideal

Back in Blighty brother David
Arty student, came out gay
Made a sculpture with the Triumph
Installed it at the V&A

1980 deconstructed
Part restored but not quite done
Now for sale, any offers?
Family owned, from day one

 


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Kickback Show bike entry reminder

 

Story snapshot:

The organiser wants a quick peek at what ya got

Free tickets and camping space for entrants

 

Friday 10th May 2019 is the deadline for entries in the 2019 Kickback Show at the Prescott Bike Festival. We're talking, of course, about the 2019 Custom Bike Building National Championship.

 

Alternately, you might eschew the competitional dimension and simply want to display the mechanical fruits of your loins without being embarrassed by yet another trophy. Either way, the organiser (Lorne Cheetham) would like you to take a snapshot of what you've got between your legs and check that it's the right shape, size, proportions and suchlike.

 

Any make or model of bike is welcomed. But (spoiler alert!) standards are stratospheric, and Cheetham wants to keep it that way. However, we don't know if that necessarily means that a time-served, super-cool, road weary, rat-infested, oily, terminal apocalypse sled will necessarily be rejected. Custom bikes, being what they are, are naturally subject to unfathomable subjective whims and fancies. So just take out the Box Brownie, load some film, find the right angle, start snapping away and send some images to Mr Cheetham.

 

If your bike passes muster, you'll be offered a display podium (or similar) at the event together with a couple of entry tickets and a free patch of grass to erect your tent and stash your beer.

 

 

There are five competition classes:

 

Freestyle
Young builder
Butchered (modified) classic
Budget build
Modified performance sportsbike
 

The show details are:


Devitt Kickback & Prescott Bike Festival
15th - 16th June 2019 (Saturday & Sunday)
Prescott Gloucestershire GL52 9RD


lorne@rwrw.co.uk

www.thecustomshow.com

See also: 2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors
 


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BSA Gold Star "prototype" to auction

 

Story snapshot:

Well-used factory test rig is looking for a new home

985 FOC is the registration

 

January 1962 was the date. Small Heath was the place. BSA was the manufacturer. And the above Rocket Gold Star was the bike (or at least a bike) created as a development prototype, test bed, press hack and general run-around. That's the story.

 

The motorcycle, we hear, has had a chequered past, first being tested by Motorcycle Sport magazine which, it appears, broke the frame—or, at least, had it break beneath them. Back at the factory BSA replaced that, then handed the bike over to 1960s and 1970s sidecar racer Chris Vincent who used it as personal transportation, notably on the IOM.

 

BSA Rocket Gold Star metal signAt some point, the Worcester County Constabulary felt its collar. Then BSA dealer G Harding enjoyed it for a spell. Then in December 1963 BSA sold it as a "used bike" to Aston Autos in Birmingham—and very well used by the sound of it (and probably roundly abused).

 

What happened over the next few decades isn't stated. Suffice to say that the Beezer was privately bought in 2017 and "sympathetically" restored using as many of the original parts as possible. That restoration was completed in 2018, after which the Rocket Gold Star was paraded at events and displayed in the usual manner. Now it's up for sale complete with the original RF60 buff log book, plenty of documentation, and a collection of original parts deemed unfit for further use.

 

H&H will be hoping to sell the bike at its National Motorcycle Museum Sale, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EJ. The estimate is £35,000 to £40,000.

 

Does that price sound about right to you? At Sump, we're not sure what we think. But we'd certainly want to take a very close look at the documentation and get some expert eyes on this bike before buying. No special reason for that, except that we feel something is missing here.

 

Ever get feelings like that?

 

www.handh.co.uk

www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk

 

Note: See also the Vincent Black Knight story further down this page. And if you're an RGS man or woman, check out our BSA Rocket Gold Star metal sign.

 


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I had a good look at this bike at Stafford. Frankly, I thought the frame number had been restamped. Right or wrong? Who knows. I’m pretty familiar with these details on BSAs but it’s just my opinion at the end of the day.—The Village Squire.


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Sump will be offline for maybe 18hrs

 

Story snapshot:

The date will be Saturday 11th May 2019

Normal service will be resumed asap

 

There's not much we can do about this. It's the future coming at us again. But having just migrated Sump to a secure server, we now hear that the server itself (and all the gubbins) is being shifted 30 miles down the road from where it currently resides.

 

Consequently, there will be a BIG SWITCH OFF starting at around 6pm on Saturday 11th May 2019 followed by a BIG SWITCH ON at midday the following day (Sunday 12th May 2019). But these times, note, are for rough guidance. We could be offline for a considerably shorter period.

 

Either way, we'll be right here taking care of business—if we're not down the pub taking care of another kind of business. And while we remember, any orders for T-shirts or metal signs or whatnot will catch up with us soon after the lights go back on. We're on the case.

 

So okay, you probably won't remember the date or the time of the switch off. But if someday soon you boot up your computer or smartphone and can't find us where you left us, you might vaguely remember that we had to see a man about a dog or something and will be back sooner or later.

 

That's it. Don't panic. Stay tuned. We'll repeat this message as and when.

 


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1955 Vincent Black Knight

 

One owner 1955 Vincent Black Knight

 

Story snapshot:

The bike is to be sold at the NMM Sale in July 2019

The estimate is £40k - £45k

 

The trouble with a "one owner from new" bike is that as soon as you buy it, you become the second owner; consequently, some of the cachet— or charm if you prefer—has been lost. So the act of buying effectively dilutes the appeal and, quite possibly, even devalues the motorcycle.

 

Of course, a "one owner" bike doesn't in itself mean that the motorcycle has been well looked after and maintained. It might have been neglected in all kinds of ways (wrong oil, wrong spanners, wrong adjustment, wrong service intervals, etc). So it would be better to have, say, a "two owner" bike if both of those owners were dedicated engineers with a feel for steel and ally, and a skilled mechanic's touch.

 

All that philosophical stuff aside, most of us are still likely to be especially drawn to bikes that haven't been bounced around the nation's sheds and garages, and that's what auctioneers H&H is counting on when the above 1955 Vincent Black Knight goes under the hammer on Tuesday 30th July 2019 at the firm's National Motorcycle Museum Sale, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EJ.

 

The bike was purchased in 1955 by a certain Rex Bigg who hailed from Muswell Hill, London. Nearby Turner Brothers handled the sale. The Vincent cost £381.18 and was bought on hire purchase, aka the never never.

 

Bigg, we're told, used the Vincent on his honeymoon, and he made regular trips to Ireland and the Lake District. As he aged, so the weight and bulk of the Vinnie made it less and less compelling, so Bigg increasingly preferred to use his lighter Douglas Mk5. Nevertheless, he kept the Black Knight, and in the early 1980s he restored it. In later years, the Vincent was used only on occasional days and for show parades and display.

 

Rex Bigg died in 2017, and so the time has come for his estate to sell the bike and close that particular chapter in its history. The odometer is showing 58,000 miles. The Black Knight is being offered with the original bill of sale, an RF60 buff logbook and a factory workshop manual.

 

H&H, we see, has posted an estimate of £40,000 - £45,000. This compares to another Vincent Black Knight (and sidecar) that was sold by the firm in 2018 for £51,750.

 

Engineers with a feel for steel and aluminium are especially welcome to apply.

 

www.handh.co.uk

www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk

 


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Bonhams promising 400+ bikes. April Stafford Sale. 27th - 28th April 2019


Norton Atlas & Ranger get 12,000 sq-ft purpose built factory at Donington


BSA Owners' Club Open Day. Sunday 26th May 2019. LE16 9HF. Free


Harley-Davidson Liverwire motorcycle

H-D is now taking electric Livewire "pre-orders". £29k. Autumn delivery


Bike Shed London Show. 24/25/26 May 2019. London E1W 2SF £22 - £25


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Bike Social's ULEZ support offer

 

Story snapshot:

Is your pre-2007 bike subject to the ULEZ charge?

If so, Steve Rose wants your details...

 

You might not be familiar with Bike Social. The site is almost invisible unless, perhaps, you're a customer of Bennetts Insurance or related to someone on the firm. The company created the Bike Social site no doubt to lure some more names onto its database whilst bolstering its street cred.

 

Something like that, anyway.

 

Steve Rose (ex-EMAP, ex-Bauer and ex-Mortons man) is the publisher, and he's been around the block a few times on classics, customs and modern bikes. As a journo, he's pretty reliable and has edited more than his share of bike magazines.

 

Lately, meanwhile, he's looking to hear from riders whose bikes have fallen foul of the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone that came into force on 8th April 2019 (see Sump's Riverbank Motorcycles ULEZ Hope story).

 

To reiterate, some motorcycles are capable of hitting the Euro3 targets, but they don't have a certificate of compliancy (C-of-C) because the blunt axe (or hammer if you prefer) fell on bikes manufactured before 2007. Moreover, the testing methods and procedures, we're reminded, take little or no account of real-world motorcycle travel in urban or extra urban areas. That in turn has radically skewed the emissions data.

 

So, some pre-2007 bikes are far cleaner than Transport for London (TfL) thinks they are, and it's TfL that sets the pace and levies the fines. The problem is there's no single register that lists the "also ran" machines. As a result, two bikes might have come off the production line one after the other, and one gets the nod, and the other one doesn't. It's unfair, but there is something you can do about it.

 

To that end, Steve wants to grab details of all those bikes that owners feel ought to enjoy no-charge travel into the zone and compile a database. No doubt, this is a great opportunity for Bennetts to grab a lot more names and emails and whatnot and then start canvassing for insurance business. You can decide for yourself what Steve's real motivation is here. At Sump, we're happy to take him at face value (but we're amazingly naive at times).

 

Anyway, if your bike is subject to a charge, and if you feel you're being hard done by, you might want to contact Steve (and Bennetts) and tell him/them your sorry story.

 

We might mention here that when we recently contacted Bike Social regarding some road safety and bike promotion videos we produced, we didn't get any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. But let's not be mean. Our (three) emails probably got lost in cyberspace.

 

It happens. Doesn't it?

 

enquiries@bikesocial.co.uk

www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bennetts.co.uk

 


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Hi Sump. For years I had numerous bike policies with Bennetts, but NEVER again. Lousy service, poor attitude, unhelpful telephone staff—and the rate just got unrealistically and unjustifiably high. Finally I cancelled and shifted to Adrian Flux. I'd like to say that these guys are miles better. But they're not. They're only better in some ways. Haven't yet found a firm that's consistently good value and treats the customer right. So if anyone knows of such a firm, I'd like to hear about it. —PeeWee, Brum


PeeWee, try Peter James. Excellent for classic and/or modern.
Usual disclaimers, just a satisfied customer.
—Pete Chatburn


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Southend Shakedown April 2019

 

Southend Shakedown back for 2019

 

Story snapshot:

3,500 free motorcycle parking places have been allocated

The Oilheads Motorcycle Club is the organiser

 

The last time the Southend Shakedown took place was on 28th March 2016. That was Easter Monday. The Ace Cafe was the prime organiser. Thereafter the event was cancelled. Why? Because the police and the local council made organisational and security demands that the Ace felt were impractical, unworkable, or just too expensive. That's the official word, anyway. But maybe you know otherwise.

 

Well now the event is back courtesy of Southend motorcycle club, The Oilheads (image immediately below), and it will happen on 22nd April 2019. That's also Easter Monday, and everyone is invited along to help put this gathering back on the annual fixtures list.

 

The original event, we're told, was started by Roger Glover (aka Southend Roger), Ronald Miles and Ace Café's Mark Wilsmore. The Rayleigh Riders Club handled the marshalling. This year, Ronald Miles is back in the saddle (both literally and metaphorically) and has been instrumental in getting this event back on track.

 


 

"In 1998, the year the event launched, we were really pleased that around 300 bikes turned up," says Roger. "Then it started to grow. At one point the event was so huge that we saw around 10,000 bikers on the seafront."

 

Naturally, it remains to be seen how many bikers show up for this one, but we can imagine a very healthy turnout on the day, weather permitting.

 

The important thing is for everyone to behave themselves, which they probably won't. So a few show-offs and idiots are expected. Just keep in mind, if you will, that it's biking misbehaviour like this that helps shut down otherwise fun gatherings (as if you need to be told that).

 

Note too that the Essex cops have used stingers at the Showdown, and they'll be ready and waiting to feel a few collars and maybe even confiscate a bike or two—which is within their powers depending on what charge they throw at you.

 

3,500 free parking spaces for bikes have been allocated. If you park outside of these designated areas (pavements, grass verges, beach etc), you risk a fine. So find a bona-fide parking spot/meter—if you can, that is. Moreover, we see that there are many other rules that you'll be expected to obey, so check the website, wipe your nose and remember your Ps & Qs, etc.

 

On the day, you can expect motorcycle club displays stands, trade stalls, music tribute bands, face painting for the kiddies, "and more". The hours are 10am - 5pm. The sponsors are Devitt Insurance, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Stambridge Security Services. The benefactor is the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

 

Most of you reading this probably don't need to be told much about Southend-on-Sea. But for everyone else, the town is roughly 40 miles east of London on the north bank of the Thames Estuary, Essex. There are two routes in; the A13 or the A127 Arterial Road. We prefer the latter, which is more northerly and a two-laner (as opposed to three lanes for much of the A13).

 

Southend-on-Sea is okay to hang out in. Not great. But not bad. It's got the longest pleasure pier in the world (at 1.34 miles), and lots of chip shops and pubs. The beach front struggles a little. There are plenty of hotels and guest houses. It's got a certain down-to-earth vibe and is reasonably civilised. So it's maybe worth travelling a few miles if you've not been this way before.

 

Just watch the cops. They're not our favourites.

 

www.southendshakedown.com

 


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Motorcycles and Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939Motorcycles & Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939

 

Story snapshot:

Sump book review

Hardback, £25

 

Last month we briefly mentioned Motorcycles & Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939, a new book from Veloce Publishing that's been looking for a review.

 

Well, we've since had a chance to dip deeper, and we can tell you that this is a more interesting tome than we expected.

 

Reading through the pages and studying the images is, however, a little like first day at school. Everything—or almost everything—is unfamiliar. The factories. The personalities. The politics. The propaganda. The sporting achievements. The art. The culture. And of course many, if not most, of the bikes.

 

Cold War politics has, after all, given most of us a pretty slanted view of what went on behind the Iron Curtain where everything appeared to revolve around missiles, bombs, grain harvests, five year plans, spies, KGB arrests, labour camps, and executions. So it's gratifying to be reminded of the more prosaic achievements of everyday folk building, developing, riding, racing and otherwise enjoying motorcycles.

 

People, we're tacitly reminded, have the same needs, hopes and aspirations pretty much wherever you go. It's invariably the politics and bureaucratic systems that queer the pitch. Author Colin Turbett has underlined this truth and has encapsulated it in 128 pages with 286 colour and b&w shots.

 

Clearly there's also much unsaid—and no doubt much that's been forgotten. Nevertheless, this book appears to be a pretty solid foundation for further investigation into Soviet era life as seen from, say, the saddle of a Ural, or an IZH or a Voskhod or a Jawa.

 

A Social and Technical History, is the sub-heading, and that sums it up. The writing is unfussy and reads authoritatively. The images take us way beyond the curtain and into the factories, towns and villages and help clue us in to the mindset of the Soviets since 1939, which isn't actually a lot different to the underlying mindset in the west.

 

 

Without knowing a lot more about the subject matter, there's not a lot we can praise or criticise. But we are satisfied that the author has made a serious study (as is usually the way with these books), and we note that many of the images are from the authors private collection.

 

This is what Veloce has to say about the publication:

 

• The first English language text on postwar motorcycles produced in the Soviet Union
• Technical information on every motorcycle produced in the USSR between 1941 and 1990
• Extensive use of previously unavailable material
• Fully illustrated throughout in both black and white and colour
• A fascinating insight into the lives of ordinary citizens in the USSR
• Hidden history of Soviet motorcycle sport – from ice-racing and speedway to road-racing
• Rare family photographs illustrating the place of motorcycles in social life in the USSR
• 20th Century Socialist-Realist iconography applied to motorcycling
• Aspects of motorcycling not seen elsewhere – bears as riders, camels as passengers!
• Describes state production of utilitarian motorcycles on a scale not seen before or since

 

... and all that sounds pretty accurate. But to find out for sure, you'll have to pick up a copy and do a little digging for yourself. The (hardback) book dimensions are 250mm x 207mm. Veloce is asking £25, which sounds reasonable enough. And it's available via the link below.

 

www.veloce.co.uk

 


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MOTORCYCLE NEWS EXTRA

 

Story snapshot:

New picture-driven bike news portal coming atcha

Think lightweight. Think simplified

 

Life is short, and time is tight—and for many of us it's getting tighter. As such, it's easy to miss those motorcycle news stories on Sump that might be of interest—and it's nice to be reminded occasionally of the stuff that was thought-provoking or important to us weeks, months or even years ago.

 

So to that end, we've created an image-driven catch-up page titled MOTORCYCLE NEWS EXTRA. Catchy name, huh?

 

Anyway, it's no big deal. Just a collection of images and graphics highlighting some of our more interesting/amusing/provocative news stories. We figure it will suit people who like to have a casual browse rather than a more thoughtful study.

 

We'll be adding to the page every once in a while, so keep checking back if that's how you like to receive your information.

 

We're still fooling with the feature, so it might change a little, or might get a total revamp. But for now, it's out there and looking for a little attention. So follow the links and see if it grabs ya. Any problems, just wing an email this way and we'll look into it.

 

'Kay?

 

MOTORCYCLE NEWS EXTRA

 


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Allen Millyard Velocette V-twin

 

Story snapshot:

Genius Berkshire-based bike builder notches up another one

One of a kind Velocette to display at 2019 Stafford Show

 

If you've been anywhere in or around the British classic bike scene in recent years, you've probably stumbled across numerous examples of Allen Millyard's amazing handiwork. He's a serial bike builder and engine fabricator, and he's got a string of convictions to his name.

 

Among his creations is a 2,300cc V12 Kawasaki, built by grafting two KZ1300 water-cooled lumps onto a common crankcase. He built a six cylinder RC374 replica by re-imagining two Yamaha FZ250R engines. He built a 4,804cc V-twin from a nine-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine (The Flying Millyard). He built the Millyard Viper V10 (8-litre Dodge engine). He built a five cylinder 883 KH Kawasaki two-stroke (actually we think he's built a few of those). He built a 1,600cc V8 Kawasaki. And he's cobbled together all kinds of other stuff. Evidently, he just can't help himself. [More...]

 


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Hi there. Just a follow up to the article about Allen Millyard's Velo V twin; its an amazing beast but not one of a kind. We have a 1000cc Velo V twin combo chugging round Derbyshire built by Bob Higgs, its called the Vulcan. Goggle Velocette Vulcan to be amazed.—Andy Cobb


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EU road safety stats: "disappointing"

 

Story snapshot:

Britain officially has the safest roads in the EU

28 fatalities per one million inhabitants is the number to watch

 

Once again, we see that the safest EU country within which to motor around is the UK. You might want to keep that fact close to your savagely beating heart the next time you're screaming white hot steaming fury at the mush-head who almost T-boned you at the junction.

 

This welcome, but still grim, information comes courtesy of an EU report published this week which suggests that in the UK in 2018, for every one million residents, 28 of them died in a traffic accident—which, to paraphrase motoring organisation Brake, is invariably an avoidable incident.

 

At the other end of the scale, Romanians are responsible for the most fatal avoidable incidents with a whopping 96 deaths per million, which is over three times higher. Meanwhile, we hear that the European average is 49 deaths per million.

 

These stats should be viewed in the context of the EU's Vision Zero programme which is looking for zero deaths on continental roads by 2050. How they're going to do that without banning motorcycles and cyclists (and pedestrians) remains to be seen. But no doubt successive generations of automated vehicle control systems will have a part to play.

 

The next three safest countries, we hear, are Denmark (30 per million), Ireland (31 per million) and Sweden (32 per million). But if you prefer to live on the edge (or even over it), try Bulgaria (88 per million), Latvia (78 per million) and Croatia (77 per million).

 

The figures are headed the right way, say the EU. But only by one percent since 2017, hence the disappointment.

 

Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport, is looking for ideas on how to solve the problem of avoidable incidents, and given that there's been no significant change over the past five years, it certainly seems that the EU has run out of meaningful ideas.

 

Ultimately, we suspect that the problem can't be "educated-out". It can't be "legislated-out". And it can't be "prayed-out". Rather, it needs to be "designed-out", and that probably means power limits, stringent traffic controls and an accelerated push towards full autonomy on the highway, none of which is likely to appeal to the average motorcyclist or motorist.

 

In the meantime, we'll just have to suck it up and accept that the UK, for all its faults, appears to have the best drivers in the EU. And although we can take some kind of chest-heaving pride in that fact, we also need to remember that proverbially speaking, after pride comes a fall.

 

Ride defensively. Don't ride angry.

 


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Shane Lance Deacon: 1929 - 2019

 

Story snapshot:

"Scott Tracy" of Thunderbirds fame has died

He was best known to us as Shane Rimmer

 

Was his the most recognisable voice in British television? It was certainly one of them, and one that we, here at Sump, never tired of hearing. This was Canadian actor and honorary Brit known by his professional name of Shane Rimmer who has died aged 89.

 

To most people, he will be best remembered for voicing the Scott Tracy character in the puppet action TV series, Thunderbirds (1965 - 1966). But there was much, much more to Shane Rimmer than that.

 

He was born Shane Lance Deacon in Toronto, Ontario. For professional purposes, he adopted his maternal grandmother's maiden name of Rimmer and thus began his career, first as a disc jockey and then as a singer in a cabaret act called The Three Deuces.

 

Touring with that short-lived group in the mid 1950s brought Rimmer to the UK, and it was around that time that he "discovered" acting and took a role in his first TV series, Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans (1957); a joint US/Canadian production filmed in Canada. With that sharp, ringing, surefire Canadian accent, producers soon noticed Rimmer and hired him for voice-over work, firstly via an Italian sci-fi movie that needed dubbing into English.

 

In 1959 TV beckoned. Shane Rimmer, now settling in the UK, appeared in numerous British TV series such The Saint, starring Roger Moore, and Compact, a now largely forgotten soap opera set in the world of magazine publishing.

 

In 1964 Rimmer appeared in the movie Dr Strangelove (Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb). Soon after he took a role in Dr Who playing against William Hartnell, the first Doctor. Throughout this period, Shane Rimmer continued singing and found time to record a few records (none of which hit notable heights), and then came Gerry & Sylvia Anderson's Thunderbirds (AP Films).

 

Rimmer auditioned for the role, carried it away, and so began consolidating his grip on the ears of TV audiences both in the UK and worldwide. He voiced Scott Tracy in all episodes of the show and helped make the character real and enduring.

 

 

 

Rimmer also helped devise plots for the series, and later wrote numerous scripts for Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, and Joe 90—both of which were produced by the Gerry & Sylvia Anderson's AP Films. Next time around, check for his name in the credits; it'll pop up sooner or later.

 

In 1966, Shane Rimmer took a role in the James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice, and was invited back for Diamonds Are Forever and Live and Let Die (voice only).

 

Soon he returned to soap opera, this time in the British northern kitchen sink series, Coronation Street. Subsequently, he appeared in the Gerry & Sylvia Anderson live-action series, UFO (1970) starring Ed Bishop, George Sewell, Wanda Ventham and the inimitable Vladek Sheybal.

 

Later, if you were a fairly regular TV watcher or movie goer, you might have seen Rimmer in the British TV series, The Protectors; the 1975 movie Rollerball; the Brit TV series Space 1999, Alternative 3 (a TV "hoax" show similar to Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio programme); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Star Wars (1977); Superman (1978); Superman (1980); Gandhi (1982); and Out of Africa (1985).

 

Following that, he took roles in various less-successful TV  projects, then returned to Coronation Street for a handful of episodes (as a different character), took on some theatre work, appeared in Batman Begins (2005) and in Dark Shadows (2012). He published his first novel in 2014 (Amazon eBook).

 

 

Shane Rimmer married in 1963 and fathered three sons, all of whom survive him. He spent many years on the Gerry & Sylvia Anderson convention circuit and was always a popular figure among fans of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, Joe 90—and all the other AP Films puppet shows on which he worked.

 

So okay, his physical presence on screen was never as relaxed or as comfortable as the A-list stars with which he appeared. He didn't have the looks or the charm or the depth. But he stood his acting ground reasonably well and delivered his lines more than acceptably. Beyond that, he popped up everywhere and was safely backstopped by that clear-cut voice that rang out through our TV speakers, never losing his Canadian accent, and we wouldn't have wanted him to.

 

Here at Sump we'll remember him primarily for the Scott Tracy/Thunderbirds role that he made his own. But clearly, this was a man of many talents and numerous facets who was always on call, always in demand, and always enjoyed.

 

The bottom line? Shane Rimmer was nobody's puppet.

 

See also: Francis (Captain Scarlet) Matthews obituary

SHANE RIMMER ON YOUTUBE

 


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Inside Oxford Products video

 

Story snapshot:

A glimpse into one of Britain's biggest biking firms

"Making life better on two wheels" is the embedded message

 

Oxford Products has sent us a link to a new company video hosted on YouTube, and we have to say immediately that we don't much like it. At 1:54, it's no great strain on your patience, but it simply doesn't do the firm justice.

 

Oxford Products is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of motorcycle and bicycle equipment, clothing and accessories. At Sump, we've got various items from the company; some of which we even paid for. And although the firm gets its fair share of criticism, it delivers the goods time and time again, and we think the products are pretty much priced right and fit for purpose.

 

But the video is just plain dull and uninspiring, and nowhere in the footage is there a motorcycle or a pushbike—notwithstanding a fleeting catalogue shot. Maybe we're missing something, but it's not clear who this mini-production is aimed at. It's just a collection of shots of people working on CAD screens, or destruction testing bike gear, or rolling around in forklift trucks, and suchlike.

 

However, as a piece of corporate promotion, it ought to leave us feeling upbeat and animated. It ought to make us smile, or gasp, or light up in some other way, or sagely nod approval, or have any kind of positive emotional reaction. But for our taste it's simply ho-hum. And we're not bitching about it for bitching's sake. We genuinely like this kind of stuff (when it's done right), and we like to help keep the commercial and industrial wheels turning. However, we just weren't very impressed with this one.

 

But what do we know? Go take a look and see if you feel differently. Oxford is clearly broadcasting a message here. However, it's not coming through very well on our receiver.

 

INSIDE OXFORD PRODUCTS

 


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Royal Enfield marketing hype

 

ATTENTION! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!

 

Story snapshot:

Over-hyped motorcycle marketing alert

Tip: Do not stare directly into the blast

 

"With Royal Enfield the philosophy is let history inform the future. We are unique in the motorcycle world, we remain as faithful to the original machines as possible that built the legend of Royal Enfield. This is our core & our soul, for the future Royal Enfield will continue to be inspired by legendary names from the past, these will help shape our future."

Royal Enfield UK website, 5/4/19

 

Wow!

 


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Triumph "Blueprint" T-shirt reprinted

 

Story snapshot:

Good quality pre-shrunk cotton T-shirts

£15.99, in stock now

 

The pubs are open, so we'll make this quick. The story is that we've gone and reprinted our popular Triumph "Blueprint" T-shirts. These were originally a brighter blue, and we've got one or two of those left on the shelf. But this time we opted for a richer hue and settled on "gunmetal", which is actually called blue dusk.

 

Either way, we think they're improved and we've just taken stock of the first batch which are ready for immediate delivery, while supplies last. The price is a good-value £15.99. The design is exactly as you see it above. Sizes are M - 2XL. The shirts are good quality, heavy-duty cotton (reinforced in the usual places). We'll ship overseas. And if you don't like it, just send it back for a no-quibble refund. We don't buy rubbish in our private lives, and we don't sell it.

 

Meanwhile, if you're a Norton rider, we've got a similar design in the same colour. Just click on this Norton T-shirt link, and check it out. And for BSA boys & girls, especially those with military bikes, we've also got our BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt in stock.

 

TRIUMPH BLUEPRINT T-SHIRT

NORTON BLUEPRINT T-SHIRT

BSA M20 BLUEPRINT T-SHIRT

 


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Vinod K. Dasari replaces Siddhartha Lal as Royal Enfield Chief Exec


Met Police mobile mugshot vans "successfully target/snag" moped thieves


Wardill Motorcycles back after 90 years. Wardill 4, 250cc prototype shown


This year's Banbury Run (pre-1931 MCs) is scheduled for 16th June 2019


Carole Nash cites Belfast as UK female rider capital. 2.5x national average


Warwickshire/Solihull Blood Bikers "replaced by Ltd firm". £14 million deal


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‘The Wardill’.... Please, please, please, no more ‘Hand crafted in England’ motorcycles with an overblown sales pitch, generic Chinese engine and an out of date chassis (not much of a front brake either...).—The Village Squire


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#OpDarwen: "High Speed, High Risk"

 

Story snapshot:

67 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured in North Wales in 2018

This season, the local heddlu (as usual) are looking to cut that number

 

The cops in North Wales (or heddlu if you prefer) have long been banging on about the problem of excessive motorcyclist deaths and injuries on their manor. And rightly so. In the biking season, it's great biking country up there comprised of (mostly) good roads, superlative views, favourable temps, and even a few rays of sunshine between the rain bursts and deluges as and when God spares a kind thought for the beleaguered Welsh.

 

Well on 24th March 2019, Dyfed-Powys Police launched #OpDarwen. The idea is to highlight the fact that in 2018, 67 bikers were either killed or seriously injured in the (sometimes) fair counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

 

Lumping together the deaths and serious injuries isn't actually very helpful, not if you want to take a closer look at the stats—and not if it isn't clear exactly what currently constitutes a "serious injury". And the definition varies depending on who you talk to.

 

Nevertheless, the new operation is underway. So expect even more well-intentioned, over-zealous, pain-in-the-butt policing in North Wales until October 2019. That could mean cops in high-viz cars, or cops on low-viz bikes, and even the odd helicopter.

 

Meanwhile, we're reminded that the national speed limit in the UK is 60mph (70mph on motorways). But many of the country and rural roads in North Wales, in certain conditions, require us all to cut the power and respect the bends. Also, we hear that men are eight times more likely than women to come a cropper, which doesn't really help us when out on the open road.

 

The local fuzz, we hear, is working with partners in Go Safe, Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS), and the Welsh Ambulance Service—and with all the doom and gloom surrounding that lot, you might instead prefer to forgo North Wales and spend some time in the garage.

 

Whatever you decide, try to not take-out anyone else with your silly antics, especially when you're out in a group. More than once, we've found the biggest threat on a busy biking road is another biker. And here at Sump we're not above doing stupid things every once in a while.

 

But what's your experience on that score?

 

Dyfed-Powys Police Campaigns

 


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Hi Sump. Simple answer to this one. Don't ride in groups. Not even in close pairs. I had a friend killed some years ago in North Wales. I wasn't with him that time, which was just as well. We've always been competitive, and that was basically what happened. A couple of guys got into a mini race. Eventually someone hit the hay, except that it wasn't hay. It was a road barrier. He died two days later. My advice is to simply stay at least a 50 - 100 yards apart, if not more. And be flexible with arrival times at stopping points. Allow 15 min windows.—Marc from Worcester.


This has got to be my favourite biking read. Keep it up, please. regarding over-zealous cops, you want to try living down here in Australia. Our gun-toting "boys in blue" are famous (or is that infamous?) for the way they treat road users in general, and ordinary motorcyclists and bikies in particular. Everyone gets pushed around and screamed at, and bikes are often subject to long roadside checks. Complain, and you soon end up in jail and sometimes come out bloody. Never been to the UK, but I'll be sure to check out North Wales and see how it compares.—Bill Seymour, NSW


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Headlight safety video from Sump

 

Story snapshot:

DISABILITY GLARE KILLS

Watch it, and support it if you can

 

Here's another video from Sump that we're hoping to disseminate as far and as widely as possible. It's 52 seconds long, and the message reiterates what everyone knows; that maladjusted headlights are dangerous and can lead to a collision, etc.

 

Like many of our other safety videos, we created this a few years ago and put it on YouTube. We didn't give it that extra push, however. Why not? Just busy doing other stuff mostly. You know how it goes. But we're addressing that matter now, and we've fired off details of this video to all the major UK bike magazines and newspapers, various road safety organisations, various bike clubs, numerous political groups and many other individuals who we feel might have an interest.

 

Naturally, human apathy being what it is, we're not expecting fireworks. But a few sparklers here and there might help light up this particular problem.

 

We'll just have to see.

 

The underlying hope is that some riders/viewers will (a) spread the message among whatever car clubs they belong to, and/or (b) will be inspired and create a safety video of their own, and/or (c) will tag our footage at the end of their own production.

 

Once again, we'll happily forward the video footage to whoever wants it, and we don't much care if people remove our logo and web address. We just want to do something rather than sit on our hands and do nothing. So watch the video, if you will. And do what you can.

 

Human inertia is a powerful phenomenon. Pity we can't draw energy from it.

 

DISABILITY GLARE KILLS video

 


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Nice little video, Sump people. Brief and to the point. But good luck if you can get any of the other online or offline biking magazines to back it. These days it's every man for himself. You'll get more response painting the link address on a motorway bridge.—Brassic Thompson, Leicester


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March 2019

 

 

Find It, Fix It, Drive It: new TV show

 

Story snapshot:

Henry Cole returns with yet another telly programme for petrolheads

And naturally, Sam Lovegrove is back with him

 

We would have told you about this earlier so you could be sure to catch the first episode. But as mentioned elsewhere on this page, we've been away from the Sump desk, and we're still catching up with the news. However, we can tell you now (if you haven't already found out) that Henry Cole and sidekick, Sam Lovegrove, have a new TV show.

 

Find It, Fix It, Drive It is the name of the programme (which sounds suspiciously like something we used to say when we were young & wild and whenever a nice looking member of the opposite sex walked by).

 

But let's not go there.

 

The content of the new show involves "crazy challenges" such as sorting out a classic tractor, a custom bike, a Brooklands racer, and something or other on the Isle of Man circuit. Sound like fun? Well we certainly enjoy Henry's adventures of the automotive kind even though (and whisper this among friends only), he's constantly at risk of being upstaged by Sam.

 

Episode uno was on Wednesday 27th March 2019 (i.e. five days hence). The TV station was More4. The time was 9pm. And there will be another nine episodes in the series coming along in the weeks to follow—and naturally, they'll all be repeated ad infinitum, and possibly ad nauseum. So if you missed the beginning, you'll be sure to catch up with it somewhere down the pike.

 

See also: Henry Cole wants your shed, Sump February 2019

 


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2018-bonneville-t100

 

Triumph recall: clutch cable woes

 

Story snapshot:

Bonneville and Street models need a check-up

Possible electrical short or control issue

 

This message is directed at owners or operators of the Triumph Bonneville and Street range. Apparently, Hinckley has outlined some concerns that the clutch cable on these motorcycles could rub up against the wiring harness and cause a short circuit or some other untoward riding or control issue.

 

So owners/riders are, in the usual way, being advised to go and talk to their nearest Triumph dealer and have the bike checked out. The recall, we understand, will affect tens of thousands of bikes worldwide. But of course the only one you need worry about is the one you're astride.

 

These are the models specifically (or at least possibly) affected:

 

Triumph Bonneville T100/T100 Black (2017-2019)
Triumph Bonneville T120/T120 Black (2016-2019)
Triumph Street Cup (2017-2018)
Triumph Street Scrambler (2017-2018)
Triumph Street Twin/Street Twin A2 (2016-2018)

 

If you've got any doubts or suspicion that your machine might be in the mix, you can first check Triumph's recall website.

 

Meanwhile, we're heard nothing about any injuries caused as a result of this problem. But for some riders at least, this needs to be fixed before it breaks.

 


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2019 Royal Enfield Bullet Trials Works Replica

 

RE Bullet Trials Works Replicas

 

Story snapshot:

Royal Enfield launches two new models...

... but so far these are for the Indian market only

 

Noted trials rider Johnny Brittain, who died earlier this month, is the inspiration for two new Royal Enfield motorcycles. Marketed as Bullet Trials Works Replicas, the bikes will be available soon in the Indian market with a choice of 348cc or 498cc engines. Other features will include dual-channel ABS, trimmed mudguards, a single saddle, a luggage rack, and a mesh headlight guard. Wheels are 19-inch front, and 18-inch rear. Tyres are CEAT. The front fork has 35mm tubes. Rear suspension is via twin gas-charged shock-absorbers/dampers with five-step adjustable preload and 80mm travel. Brakes are a single two-piston caliper up front coupled with a single piston caliper at the rear.

 

 

Johnny Brittain Royal Enfield trials rider

 

 

Between 1948 and 1965, Johnny Brittain notched up over 50 championships on Royal Enfields. Following the Indian launch, the company is expected to roll these machines out across most world markets, but we've no specific information regarding when these motorcycles will arrive on British shores.

 

Colours are either green or red. Prices to be announced as and when.

 

www.royalenfield.com

 


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1915 Harley-Davidson Model F

 

Mecum's March 2019 Glendale Sale

 

Story snapshot:

Top lot was a restored H-D Model F

Nothing else too startling at this Arizona auction

 

It wasn't the most exciting auction ever held by Mecum. But no one really expected it to be, so few were disappointed at the results which were fairly modest, workaday, and respectable.

 

The top selling lot was the immediately above 1915 Harley-Davidson Model F (Lot S246.1) which sold for $121,000. There's not much detail regarding this clearly over-restored V-twin, except to say that 1915 was the first year for HD's three-speed transmission, and that the bike was part of the Dr Craig Venter Collection.

 

Craig Venter is an ex-US soldier who, in 1968, served as a corpsman in the Vietnam War. Post-conflict, he arrived in London, bought a new Triumph Bonneville, largely (we hear) to help blow away the memory of his no doubt gruelling tour of duty, and so seeded his interest in motorcycles.

 

After spending some time in the British capital, Venter returned to the USA and achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology, both from the University of California at San Diego. Later in his professional career he founded, or co-founded, various institutions that addressed issues of scientific education and human longevity.

 

His passion for old motorcycles developed steadily over the years and grew into a large range of machines from Harley-Davidson, Indian, Brough Superior, Vincent and of course Triumph. However, as is the way of collections, it eventually became unwieldy and needed reducing. So Mecum was tasked with the job of finding buyers for all the bikes that simply had to be re-homed.

 

Mike Parti, incidentally, was the restorer. He's barely known (if at all) on this side of the Atlantic. But in the USA he's a well respected craftsman.

 

We don't yet have an official statement from Mecum regarding the sale. But we have looked carefully at the results, and they appear to be fairly modest and without any special surprises one way or the other.

 

Meanwhile, here are the next nine lots...

 

1940 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead

Lot F7: 1940 Harley-Davidson EL, 61ci, $62,700

1970 Clymer Indian Enfield

Clymer Indian Enfield - 1970

Lot F289: 1970 750cc Indian Enfield Floyd Clymer, $44,000
Lot T328: 1929 BSA Sloper 500cc single, $20,900
Lot F21: 1958 Triumph TR6A, $20,350
Lot T127: 1956 Triumph TR6, $19,800
Lot F17: 1947 Triumph T100, 500cc. $19,800

2017 Rewaco ST2 Trike

Lot U21: 2017 Rewaco ST2 Trike.140 HP. Automatic, $19,800
Lot F20: 1963 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc, $18,700
Lot T124: 1960 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc, $17,600

 

Mecum's next motorcycle sale will be at NRG Center One, NRG Park Houston, TX 77054 USA on 4th - 6th April 2019. So far, we see that around 100 bikes are listed. Mecum is looking for further consignments.

www.mecum.com

 


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Road Safety GB, in association with THINK! gave us some much appreciated webspace for our short (1:17) biker safety video. So okay, our initiative ain't likely to exactly change the world, but we figure it's better to do something than nothing. What do you say?

 

Sump THINK BIKE video gets support

 

Story snapshot:

Dozens of press releases sent out

Most were unanswered...

 

Earlier this month Sump launched a mini-campaign focussed around a couple of videos we knocked-up some time ago and simply left floating around in their YouTube bottles for anyone to retrieve. The first was our YOU CAN'T BEAT THE BIKE video, and the other was our THINK BIKE, THINK CAMERA, THINK JAIL vid.

 

Not unexpectedly, they didn't get much attention. Probably washed up on the wrong beaches, etc. So we fired them off again into various orbits, and (as expected) we received very limited support. But the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club (TOMCC) gave us some generous web space. So did British Dealer News, the National Motorcycle Museum, the Ariel Owners Club, and Road Safety GB. We might have missed someone, but we don't think so.

 

However, we haven't given up, and we're anticipating maybe just a little more support from the dozens of press releases we sent out. Meanwhile, we're still hoping that a few more of you everyday guys and girls associated with clubs and forums can give these videos a mention—especially if your interests cross over into the car world, classic or otherwise. That's where these messages needs to land.

 

And as we stated in our original stories, we'll happily send the video footage to anyone who wants it to tag onto videos of their own—and if you want to edit Sump out of the frame (as much as is possible, that is) then so be it. We just want to (a) increase interest in biking in the UK, and (b) make it safer.

 

We'll be naming names later regarding the guys in the wider biking world who couldn't or wouldn't support these videos. We're talking about magazine editors, bike industry heads and suchlike. And naturally, all of them purport to support British motorcycling. But for now, we're just watching and waiting to see what happens next.

 

Meanwhile, lend your support if you can. Please.

 

YOU CAN'T BEAT THE BIKE

 

THINK BIKE, THINK CAMERA, THINK JAIL

 


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I think you're aiming at the wrong websites to promote your THINK BIKE video. Motorcycle owners' clubs and dealers may be interested, but to make a difference it needs to be seen by "Joe Public". I'd suggest trying the UK online newspapers, as they are desperately hungry for "content" especially if there's a video included (which keeps their punters logged in to their site for longer). —Ted Wilkinson.

[Sump comment: Hi Ted, thanks for your input. But we ARE trying the online newspapers—plus online car magazines, motoring bloggers, road safety organisations, government departments, etc. However, we've also aimed these videos at bikers because many riders have connections with other sites (cars clubs, music groups, and so on); hence our request for support. You never know when your message will be picked up and disseminated by a very influential source. Just because you've seen this video on a motorcycle magazine, that doesn't mean it wasn't aimed at other targets. Meanwhile we'll continue to do what we can.]

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Riverbank Motorcycles' ULEZ  hope

 

We probably ought to have knocked up the above collage using an image of City Hall (where Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor hangs out) rather than the Palace of Westminster (where he doesn't). But the latter image is generally more recognisable than the former, and it amounts to the same thing.

 

The underlying story here is that Riverbank Motorcycles in East London has been authorised by TfL (Transport for London) as an approved emissions testing centre. What that means, specifically, is that if your motorcycle falls foul of the new ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) regulations, you can now have your machine officially tested by Riverbank. If the bike passes, you can ride freely into London without having to pay the £12.50 per day charge (note; this is not the same as the Congestion Charge, which doesn't apply to bikes. Yet).

 

As it stands, motorcycles manufactured before 2007 (excluding bikes registered as historic) are subject to the new ULEZ charges which will be in force from 8th April 2019. However, many of these bikes are either powered by the same engines as post-2007 machines, or are in any case equally "clean". But the TfL hammer has, up to now, been blunt. You're either on-side, or off-side.

 

Well, that could change for many motorcycles that occupy the grey area that's caused so much concern and frustration among riders. The threshold for exempt bikes is 0.15g/km. We don't really understand exactly what that means. Sounds harmless perhaps. However, plenty of folk complain about chronic breathing problems in the capital, and elsewhere. But the gas analysing machines do understand, and if these gizmos detect NOx emissions above that level, you'd better reach for your wallet if you want to continue commuting into Central London on that particular machine.

 

 

We spoke directly to Riverbank (a firm we know a little), and Neil Freeman and John Rusby confirmed the story. They're still working out some of the technical issues, but feel they could be up and running in a week or so. And in the meantime, they are taking bookings.

 

The test fee isn't exactly cheap. But we've no doubt it's fair. And that fee is £175. Just make the call, wait your turn, and they'll plumb you into their dyno equipment and give you the nod where appropriate. And £175 is probably a lot less than the money you'd lose trading in your bike and mucking around buying a later/compliant model.

 

We're advised that riders should present their bikes in tip-top condition for the best chance of passing. That's means tight inlet gaskets/seals/filters, and gas tight exhausts too. And if you give the cylinders a good high-speed flush before presentation, that won't hurt.

 

 

 

Testing on their dyno will look at idling, acceleration and deceleration numbers. Your bike will be run-up three times, and the average figure is the one that counts. With luck, you'll then be Euro3 compliant, which is acceptable to TfL. However, we don't yet know whether your successfully tested bike will still be compliant further down the line as new standards come into force. You'll have to ask your own questions in that regards. Our suspicion is that that eventuality hasn't yet been closely looked at.

 

While we remember, we should mention that once tested, your bike's registration details will be uploaded to the TfL website and marked as exempt.

 

If nothing else, this news suggests that TfL has indeed been listening to, and acting upon, the concerns of bikers who have vociferously challenged the logic behind the aforementioned blunt hammer approach to motorcycle exhaust gas emissions. We live in hope that powered bikes will be increasingly accepted (and supported) as viable, practical and efficient modes of transport, both in and out of our cities,

 

In the meantime, call Riverbank on: 0208 983 4896. And also while we remember, try not to be put off by Riverbank's premises (and we mean that with no disrespect). The firm, which is integral to the London bike scene, operates from little more than a hole in the wall in an old industrial estate near to Blackwall Tunnel. Glamorous it isn't. But hundreds, if not thousands of bikers have good reason to be grateful for this outfit. Riverbank repairs bikes, conducts MOTs, hires motorcycles and generally does whatever they reasonably can to keep the wheels turning.

 

www.nationalemissionstestcentre.com

 


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UK car production Feb 2019 down 15%. 123,203 units. 9th consecutive fall


Marlin Sports (kit) Cars founded 1979 is for sale: terry@marlincars.co.uk


New universal Ixon airbag system. £760 inc "brain". Partial lease option


Ace Cafe Scooter Sunday. 31/3/19. Bring old pics. Youth Culture Museum


The Wolverhampton Sunbeam factory (1912 - 1937) is for sale. Google it


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Yes, we doctored the image above. That's a Metropolis Motorcycles shot with a Triumph logo grafted on. Lind isn't yet trading there (see text).

 

 

Triumph Motorcycles Central London

 

Story snapshot:

The Lind Group is opening a Central London solus Triumph dealership

Look for it opposite the MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross

 

This used to be the site of Metropolis Motorcycles. The location is Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, London. You can find it opposite the MI6 Babylon-on-Thames building as featured in numerous movie and TV dramas.

 

Well, Metropolis went bust in September 2018, and that was a great blow to many London bikers. For a decade or more, franchises represented at Metropolis included Ducati, Triumph, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Piaggio (not necessarily in that order). The business also carried the usual racks of biker riding clobber, motorcycle luggage equipment and general accessories.

 

What's changed is that the Lind Triumph Group will soon be opening a solus Triumph dealership at the site. The move will give Triumph Motorcycles (Hinckley) a sweep of dealer coverage from Romford in East London to Ashford (Middlesex) way over to the South West (both of which are nominally operated by Jack Lilley*), with Lind more or less in the centre.

 

Metropolis Motorcycles enjoyed 10,000 square feet of space which it used for retail, workshop and administration purposes. The failure of the business, which has roots dating to 1987, was put down to numerous factors including the current general retail decline coupled with rising motorcycle theft, acid-attack issues, rising costs, increased competition and (wait for it) bad weather.

 

Yes, it's official. Bad weather affects motorcycle sales.

 

Regardless, it's a prime location that's put a fat smile on the management at Hinckley. But naturally it remains to be seen whether the Lind Group can thrive here, etc.

 

We don't have details of exactly when the new dealership will open. But the premises, as far as we know (and we're personally familiar with the site), look to be in good condition, and there's no obvious reason why Lind couldn't be operating within a few weeks if not a few months.

 

Beyond that—and this is pure speculation—we wonder if the landlord here is Network Rail which, in September 2018, announced plans to sell off its railway arch properties to private investors. The sum involved was reputed to be £1.5 billion. As a direct result of the sell-off, many firms (both small and large) announced plans to relocate or cease trading in anticipation of punitive rent rises.

 

We'll try and speak to the Lind Group sometime and see if they can set us straight on this point. And if you have any pertinent information, we'd be interested to hear it.

 

Note: *The Lind Group owns the aforementioned Jack Lilley Triumph shops, plus four Harley-Davidson stores (Guildford, Newmarket, Norwich and Reading), and two BMW Motorcycle stores (Norwich and Welwyn Garden City). Additionally, Lind car showrooms represent Audi, BMW, MINI, Honda, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Subaru, MG, Rover, Volkswagen, Porsche and Land Rover.

 

www.lind.co.uk

 


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EU speed limiter proposals gain pace

 

Story snapshot:

Speed restriction technology is looking to make it into UK law

Volvo to voluntarily restrict its vehicle speeds to 112mph

 

Ultimately, it's bound to happen sooner or later—and probably sooner than that in this era of confused and frequently irrational safety consciousness. But motor vehicle speed limiters have long been on the agenda; ever since the first cars and motorcycles hit the highway, in fact. Trouble was, there were few reliable/viable/practical ways to do it aside from swingeing engine power cuts that have been forcefully and artfully resisted by the motoring companies and associated lobbyists.

 

However, a new Red Flag Act is effectively on the way—assuming that the latest proposals from the EU actually make it all the way through to hard legislation. Petrolheads, and probably the new breed of electroheads, are concerned about how vehicle speed caps might work in practice, and how hard that introduction will impact upon the excitement of motoring. But road safety campaigners and cycling groups are agog at the idea that such limiters could be with us by as early as 2022.

 

Other measures in this new round of proposals are automatic braking protocols, electronic data recorders, and technology designed to improve visibility—such as intelligent cameras all round, A-pillar monitors, vehicle-to-vehicle distance locks, and so on.

 

Officially, the Eurocrats are talking not so much about speed limiters but intelligent speed assistance (ISA) devices. But of course it amounts to the same thing.

 

On the one hand, there's clearly a need to wrest back some control from the usual morons who evidently don't understand the difference between "merely" breaking the speed limit and speeding when it's totally inappropriate. And of course there is a difference. But as alluded to before in Sump, there are still practical, legal and moral issues to be unravelled and thrown into the legislative mix.

 

For instance, how do we deal with those instances where it is perfectly sensible and advisable to accelerate beyond the posted limit such as when overtaking (and especially when you suddenly spot some mush-head coming right at you who is unable or unwilling to duck back where he or she belongs)? An accelerator "kick down" device to assist your own manoeuvre? Or a verbal override? Or a simple panic button on the dashboard?

 

And how do we deal with the issues of legal responsibility as and when the systems fail (which they inevitably will from time to time? And how do we reconcile the issue of—or even the conflict between—new high-tech vehicles fitted with limiters, and older low-tech vehicles that are effectively allowed to run free on shared roads? And, more pertinently to Sump, how will ISAs affect motorcycling, both in terns of riding pleasure and road safety?

 

Meanwhile, there's also the question of whether or not these new EU laws will have any impact on the UK if and when the country actually makes that long promised final Brexit leap. But the word is that Whitehall will indeed follow the mainland Europeans into this particular battle and incorporate speed limiter protocols into UK legislation. And if Brexit is cancelled, the EU will simply do what they want with us.

 

 

All this news, take note, comes just a couple of weeks after Volvo announced that all new vehicles built by the company will, from 2021, be limited to a maximum speed of 112mph. That's still a very respectable rate of knots, but it (arguably) points at further limits to come. The underlying plan, incidentally, is Volvo 2020 Vision goal designed to ensure that by the year 2020, no one is seriously killed or injured in a Volvo car.

 

No word yet from the firm on how that might impact (pun intended) on anyone outside the vehicle.

 

Antonio Avenoso, the executive director of the European Transport Safety Council, has been quoted as saying: “There have only been a handful of moments in the past 50 years which could be described as big leaps forward for road safety in Europe. The mandatory introduction of the seatbelt was one, and the first EU minimum crash safety standards, agreed in 1998 was another.

 

“If [this new] agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force.”

 

Hmm.

 

But true or false, when this new anti-speeding paradigm finally arrives, it might be interesting to see how the motoring and motorcycling marketers spin and re-present their products in what is likely to be a new era of socially responsible motoring oneupmanship.

 

 

 

Speed and performance (in the widest sense of "performance") pretty much go together, and you can't really have one without the other. Or can you?

 

We'll be watching with interest to see how the admen and engineers deal with these issues in what could be a brighter dawn for personal transportation—and we'll be watching closely to see how safer roads might in turn lead to increased bike usage.

 

If at all.

 


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I wonder how many lives might be saved by reducing to zero the allowed blood/alcohol content whilst riding or driving? Nice'n'cheap to do. No grey areas, Easy. —Regards, Mick


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Arlen Darryl Ness: 1939 - 2019

 

Story snapshot:

US "King of the Motorcycle Customisers" has died

He was 79 years old and had for some time been ill

 

There have been a lot of great custom motorcycle designers and fabricators in the bike business. But it's difficult to think of anyone who matches, let alone eclipses, guys like Arlen Ness who has died aged 79.

 

As a badge of style and quality, the words "Arlen" and "Ness" on a product, or on an item of packaging was pretty much all you needed to be confident that you were getting the best of the best.

 

He was an original thinker, a pioneer, a skilled craftsman, a shrewd businessman and a great ambassador (whatever that means to you) for the motorcycle business as a whole—and the custom bike business specifically. More than that, he was modest, very much down-to-earth, and accessible.

 

Among his near legendary creations were motorcycles such as Two Bad, Nesstique, QuickNess and Ness-Stalgia. He was also very closely associated with the design and build of numerous baggers and custom cruisers, many of which echoed and amplified his interest in Art Deco styling.

 

Operating from Dublin, California USA, Arlen Ness Motorcycles has for decades been managed by son Cory Ness, himself a noted custom motorcycle builder and innovator. The company currently designs, builds and markets a huge range of aftermarket motorcycle accessories and biking bling primarily for American V-twin motorcycles, but also retails biker apparel including boots, T-shirts, saddle bags, hoodies, jackets and hats. Annual turnover is reputed to be around $20 million. Roughly 70 people are directly employed by the business.

 

Arlen Ness Two Bad

 

In July 2016, Sump Magazine reported that Arlen Ness had received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sturgis Museum, in South Dakota, USA. There's some more biographical information there about Arlen that details his rise to fame and his many achievements. Suffice to say here that his regrettable passing has been well noted by us at Sump, and no doubt by tens of thousands of custom motorcycle builders and enthusiasts around the world.

 

Arlen Ness is survived by Beverley, his wife of 59 years, his son Cory, and daughter Sherri. His grandson, Zack Ness, is now also firmly embedded within the business and will be campaigning the next generation of Necessities.

 

www.arlenness.com

 


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Sump Magazine is back in the saddle

 

Story snapshot:

We've been travelling far and wide

Getting quickly back to normal

 

At least a couple of you Sumpsters have probably been wondering what's happened to the news on this page. Well, we can tell you now that we've been away on a long (and physically shattering) trip to some of the more remote, distant and not altogether enjoyable locales in Europe, and we're slowly getting back in the saddle, businesswise. So apologies if you've been going cold turkey for biking info and suchlike, but there's more news and views coming atcha soon.

 

Meanwhile, for all of you guys and galls who've been patiently awaiting your Sump product orders, we're dealing with this right now and should have the backlog sorted within the next 24 - 48 hours (and as far as we know, everyone has been notified and is otherwise happy with our service). But if you know differently, tie a note to a digital brick and lob it this way, if you please.

 

Beyond that, thanks for indulging us, and stay tuned for some belated news...

 


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UK reported bike thefts: 27,000 in 2018. Down from 34,000 in 2017


Noted Royal Enfield Bullet trials rider Johnny Brittain (left) dies aged 87


 

DfT launches feeble L driver "Road Whisperer" THINK! safety campaign


Electric Aston Martin Rapide E to feature in new/untitled James Bond film


Shed Rides announces "highly configurable, future proof" DIY electric bike


Ian Murray, Scots Ducati/RE dealer arson conviction. £50k shop damage


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Think bike, think camera, think jail

 

Story snapshot:

New road safety initiative from Sump

Can you help us promote this?

 

We've got another motorcycling video that we're looking for help in promoting. As with our YOU CAN'T BEAT THE BIKE video, we knocked-up this vid some years ago and put it on Sump's YouTube channel and pretty much left it to sink or swim.

 

Well it didn't swim very far, but we liked the message and we wanted to dry it out and give it another shot.

 

Getting other people to ride on your hobby horse is very difficult. Most of us mean well, but few of us actually do well. That's how the world works. However, that doesn't mean we ought to give up trying to improve our lot as motorcyclists. We certainly ain't giving up.

 

We've sent appropriate press releases out to many, if not most, of the other online magazines. We've asked them to back this THINK BIKE, THINK CAMERA, THINK JAIL initiative and give it some promotional space. But we ain't holding our breath over this one. All the biking rags and newspapers, both online and in print, are pretty mean spirited when it comes to this kind of stuff. They've got vested interests that they want to protect. They tend to think small rather than big. And that means that messages from rival (did we actually say rival?) online publications are considered a threat or something, and they're consequently ignored.

 

Here at Sump, meanwhile, we'll give almost anyone a free shot if it backs biking and helps make the roads a little safer. But we ain't everyone else.

 

Anyway, we've dried our tears, and we're asking you guys and gals to (a) view the video, and (b) forward the link to someone who you feel might want to see it (or who needs to see it), and (c) consider using the footage as an advert on one of your own videos—especially if that video might be seen by car drivers.

 

We'll send the footage out to anyone who's interested. Just fire off an email and ask. You can have it gratis.

 

That's the whole thing right there. View the video. Help us promote it in some way (club website—or car website if you're a member of a car club and/or use a car forum). And maybe you could consider tagging the advert onto one or more of your own vids. YouTube can be a great tool if we use it appropriately. Just needs a little imagination and gumption.

 

That's it. Help, or don't help.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKfLk_IpqnU

 


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2019 Suzuki Katana prices and spec

 

Story snapshot:

Updated slant on an older modern classic set to arrive soon

Yours for £11,399

 

There's no question that the original GSX1100S Suzuki Katana, introduced in 1981, was a near instant modern classic. It arrived seemingly from nowhere and was a stunning looking German styled concept backed by an ass-kicking 1,100cc, 16-valve, 111bhp transverse four-cylinder engine capable of propelling the bike up to 132mph with concomitant blistering acceleration.

 

Yes, it had many faults such as excessive engine noise, induction issues, dodgy black chrome exhausts and silencers, increasingly ineffective anti-dive forks and a high centre of gravity. But as a statement of pure motorcycling machismo and bravado, the GSX blew the dust off numerous lesser machines from rival marques which quickly had to play catch up.

 

Well, a new Katana is soon to arrive on UK shores, and Suzuki has just sent us prices and some (very limited) specifications. Clearly, the original curvy Katana concept is notionally embedded in the 2019 angular drapery. And clearly the designers have done what they can to ensure that it's the same motorcycle, but distinctly different. And yes, it looks pretty good from where we're sitting—and will probably look much better up close and personal.

 

But arguably the newcomer simply hasn't got the visual impact of the original which pushed the boundaries of design and made many of us catch our breath long before we hit the high numbers as they appeared on the slightly wacky speedo/tacho. In short, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. However, there's still a little marketing magic in the Katana name. So we are where we are...

 

 

We have to confess that we removed the Quasimodo hump on the back of this guy's riding leathers. We know that many sections of the biking community like to ride around looking deformed. But at Sump we're traditionalists. Next time round, we're going to stick him in a Brando jacket and skid lid. Any objections out there?

 

 

Based on the current GSX-S1000, the asking price for the new retro muscle bike is £11,399. The engine capacity is down from the 1981 model's 1,100cc to 1,000cc (although there was also an homologated GSX1000 Katana introduced in 1981 with slide carburettors which many riders preferred for its snappier reflexes).

 

Maximum grunt for the 2019 model is 110kW (148bhp). Maximum torque is 108Nm (80lb-ft). The weight is 215kg (473lbs). And the seat height is 825mm (32-inches).

 

 

Other features include 10-hole fuel injectors and dual throttle valves for precise metering and flow. ABS, traction control and a slip-assist clutch is a given. So are the usual rider modes and LED lighting.

 

The front fork is an inverted KYB unit. The radial front brakes, incidentally, are courtesy of Brembo. The cast wheels are 17-inch front and rear (120/70 R17 & 190/50 R17). Rubber is expected to be Dunlop Roadsport 2. The colours are silver or black.

 

And note the image immediately below inviting us to register our interest in "Katana". Not "a Katana", or "the Suzuki Katana", but simply "Katana" which, presumably, we can think of as a religious experience or something. Maybe they should have called the bike the Nirvana Katana.

 

 

We've been given conflicting information on when the bike is due to arrive. But most UK Suzuki dealers are telling us to bring our lid and licence along come May 2019.

 

Lastly, an optional "Samurai Accessory Pack" will be available for around £1,000. That, we understand, will include a smoked fly screen, a carbon effect front mudguard, carbon fibre engine covers, heated grips, blinged up calipers, a Katana logo on the saddle, and some other goodies.

 

It ain't the original machine. So just try and think of it as a new beginning or something. Sounds corny, we know, but it's a corny world.

 


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Norton Motors dissolution notice

 

Story snapshot:

Companies House issues an official notification

But don't jump to conclusions...

 

It's dated 5th March 2019, and it's posted on the Companies House website. So we're taking it at face value. The above document reads:

 

Companies Act 2006 (Section 1000(3))

 

The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, at the expiration of 2 months from the above date the name of

 

NORTON MOTORCYCLES (UK) LIMITED

 

will be struck off the register and the company will be dissolved.

 

Upon dissolution all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and accordingly will be belong to the crown.

 

"Bona vacantia", incidentally, is Latin for "vacant goods" or "ownerless goods." But we should beware of reading too much into this. These dissolution notices happen for a variety of reasons, and not necessarily because the company is dead.

 

 

The notices are posted, for instance, simply because a company has failed to file its accounts on time. So Companies House duly fires a "First Gazette" warning shot to bring the offending firm into line—and upon checking with Companies House, we note that Norton is indeed late with its accounts.

 

And sometimes it happens because a company changes its registered address and fails to notify Companies House. And there are other reasons why a dissolution notice is issued.

 

To have the strike-off notice suspended or set aside, a firm will need to first contact Companies House and uncover the root cause of the suspension (which will usually be pretty obvious to the company directors), and then the firm will be required to redress the problem and make an appropriate strike-off objection application.

 

If nothing is done, however, the dissolution will run its course—assuming there are no creditors or other intrigues involved. And frequently, take note, a company is simply naturally winding down, has paid off its creditors, has tied up any loose ends and wants to exit its business. So the dissolution notification is effectively a formality.

 

Our guess is that someone in accounts is going to get beaten up tomorrow and that Norton will still be in business for some time to come.

 

Then again...

 

UPDATE: Norton Motorcycles appears to have now fixed what looks to be an administration error (later filing of the accounts, as mentioned above). Stuart Garner has since made a statement that it was just an oversight.

 


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Salvage firm Synetiq to end cash for crashed bikes. Bank transfers only


Trevor Pope Motorcycles, Gosport, Hants. Four KTMs stolen. £15k loss


Erik Buell electric Fuell start-up. 11kW & 35kW. "Ready by 2021". $11k 


Sammy Miller Museum. Planning permission for 2-floor 10k sq ft extension


2019 Indian Roadmaster Elite Limited Edition

2019 Indian Roadmaster Elite Ltd. Rear pot deactivation. Gold Leaf. £34k


New Suzuki Katana pre-production bike now touring UK Suzuki dealers


Tesla reckon "sleeping driver" cars "could" be rolled out by 2021


Oliver's Mount, Scarborough to see "the return of road racing" July 2019


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Classic Car Boot Sale Kings Cross April 2019

 

The Classic Car Boot Sale is back

 

Story snapshot:

Cool central London boot sale with a little class

Traders can apply now for pitches

 

You can see the date; 27th & 28th April 2019. That's a Saturday & Sunday. The location is Kings Cross, London. And of course it's the Classic Car Boot Sale which has returned for its first outing of the season.

 

The specific story here is that the organisers are looking for more traders to come forward and show the world what they've got. This could mean that the organisers are having a tough time filling the available slots. Or it could mean that the event is continuing to grow. Or it could just be the usual marketing push needed to keep all interested parties in the loop.

 

Either way, we've attended a couple of these events, and they're great fun. Just forget yer average grass roots motorcycle boot sale, mind (not that we've got anything against them). But these guys think differently. You can call these events trendier, if you like. Think hipster. No, better still think Bohemian.

 

The traders (and many of the visitors) make a serious effort to ham it up and add as much colour as possible. So expect a hint of Steampunk and old school punk. Expect girls in feathers and guys in immaculately tailored suits. Expect moustachios and high and low fashion. Expect leather and lycra. Most of all, expect to enjoy yourself. And in case you were wondering, we don't know these guys and have no other contact with them. We just like what they do.

 

So if you've got a classic car, van, motorcycle or scooter, truck, bus, jump jet or anything, get in touch for the display details. And if you're looking to sell stuff (old records, 50s furniture, comics, upcycled lamps and whatnot) the visitors to these shows are generally ready to buy. But it's not really the place for floggin' engines and frames and petrol tanks. Keep that in mind.

 

Advance tickets for both days are £4. No word yet on gate prices, but they won't leave you penniless.

 

www.classiccarbootsale.co.uk

 


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"You can't beat the bike"—Sump vid

 

Story snapshot:

Can you help us promote this YouTube video?

Just have a look and a listen, and pass it on

 

Look, here's the situation. We made this video a few years back, and since then it's been kicking around on the Sump hard drive and has been languishing on the YouTube servers.

 

Yes, we should have promoted it more energetically. Some of our videos, after all, have been watched by tens of thousands of people. But this one's been viewed (at today's count) a total of ... 145 times.

 

The thing is, it really ought to be seen by a lot more people, especially those who spend weary hours each day in traffic jams. And if the video somehow came to the attention of one or two people in local and national government who'd like to legislate bikes from the road, it might help in some small way.

 

So here's the plan. Go and watch the video, if you please. Then watch it again or something. And if you can put a link on your club website, or your own website, that would rack up some numbers—and we could yet see 200 views. Or even 250.

 

Might happen.

 

 

A little cheekily, we put a Creedence Clearwater Revival track with the video. We say "cheekily" because we deliberately "spoiled" it by overlaying some motorcycle racket, and we also faded the music before it was done. That's because John Fogerty deserves to be paid for his stuff, and we don't want to be giving away his music unadulterated.

 

Anyway, that's it. The video carries an important message, and as we said, it might help promote biking across the UK, and elsewhere.

 

Message ends.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbJ6jAP18Co

 


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Transdiffusion Broadcasting System

 

Story snapshot:

Insightful website for anyone with an interest in British broadcasting

 

This won't appeal to everyone out there. But some of you guys and gals will perhaps find this fascinating—not least because it relates to matters and issues that formed the backdrop to the lives of many of us and helped shape our views and, probably, characters.

 

We're talking about the stories and features on the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System website that we've recently stumbled upon. Put simply, this is a history portal for British radio and TV broadcasting, and it covers issues such as wartime propaganda, the early days and development of the Beeb, the introduction of new broadcasting frequencies and platforms, and all the associated political, technical and creative issues that passed largely unseen by the wider general public.

 

 

It's a well written and insightful site that takes us back to the beginnings, fleshes out the present and gives us a thoughtful glimpse into how the future of broadcasting might unfold. In particular, we like the Faces of War page; a feature about the BBC announcers of WW2 charged with spreading the news whilst talking a fine line between spin, blatant propaganda and outright lies. There's a lot more going on here that a few plummy Old Etonian voices blabbing out the headlines. So if you're of a military bent, check it out sometime.

 

To avoid a nostalgia overload, our advice is to open the site and stick it on your computer monitor or smartphone and dip into it every once in a while. There's plenty there to read.

 

If it's for you, you'll know it pretty quickly. And if not, just move on, brother.

 

www.transdiffusion.org

 


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Motorcycles and Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939Motorcycles & Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939

 

Story snapshot:

New book from Veloce

Hardback, £25 UK

 

We haven't yet seen a copy of this book. There's probably one on its way to us—and if so we'll have a peek and a poke and will write a review.

 

But for now we're just telling you it's out there. The author is Colin Turbett (no one we know). The sub-title is: A Social & Technical History. And the focus is on Soviet Era motorcycles and related political and industrial issues and intrigues.

 

The book dimensions are 250mm x 207mm. There are 128 pages and 286 colour and b&w pics. The asking price is twenty-five quid.

 

Sound interesting?

 


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Found your review of the new Veloce book on the subject so interesting. Years ago during my road racing days a sparring partner was John Caffrey. When the iron curtain came down he went on to act as a bridge between the west and the former Soviet satellites. He helped Joey Dunlop in Estonia with racing and humanitarian aid. Raymond Ainscoe has done an excellent book on the Vostok Road Racers; machines that really impressed on their few appearances outside the iron curtain. Published in 2006 by Ilkley Racing Books ISBN 0 9524802 2 O. Do try and access a copy.
—Cheers,Alex Ayers


 

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World record Brough Superior claim

 

Story snapshot:

F P ("Gentleman") Dickson's Brough Superior SS100 sells for £425,500

H&H Auction Sale "nets £1.2 million"

 

The estimate was £160,000 - £200,000. But on the day (2nd March 2019), the above 1930 Brough Superior—once the property of F P ("Gentleman") Dickson—sold for a whopping £425,000. It happened at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, near Birmingham UK.

 

Who was Dickson? Well, aside from being a close friend of George Brough, he was also one of the team riders in the 1930 International Six Day's Trial held in Grenoble, France, and taking in the scenery of Switzerland and the Italian Alps (see the story immediately below for more on this).

 

During the event, Dickson—riding his Brough (reg: TV 2001)—crashed and suffered a particularly nasty break on his leg. He was rushed to hospital, and his Brough Superior factory teammates decided to retire from the event. To make matters worse, en route to the hospital George Brough was hit head-on by a car that was said to be motoring along on the wrong side of the road. George also suffered a broken leg. It was an injury that plagued him for the rest of his life.

 

 

Well, in February the following year Gentleman Dickson (pictured immediately above astride TV 2001) contracted pneumonia (said to as a result of not having his foot amputated relating to injuries received in the ISDT crash). He died soon after aged just 42 and was buried in Geneva. George Brough was one of the mourners.

 

This Brough Superior SS100 sale is claimed by H&H to be a world record for such a bike, and that tallies with our reckoning. It overtakes the next most expensive Brough Superior which was sold by Bonhams in November 2014 at its Bond Street Sale in London. That bike, a 1929 Brough Superior 986cc SS100 'Alpine Grand Sports' (Lot 14) sold for £315,100 including premium.

 

Overall, H&H claims a sale turnover of £1.2 million which, we hear, saw 70% of the lots sold. The ISDT history and the direct connection to George Brough and F P Dickson are cited as the main reason for such a high price (£425,000). The Brough Superior was bought by an American and is now on its way to the USA.

 

Other sale highlights cited by H&H include:

 

1993 Ducati Supermono. Est: £70,000 - £80,000. Sold: £73,125
1937 Brough Superior SS80 Outfit. Est: £40,000 - £60,000. Sold: £56,250
1951 Vincent Rapide. Est: £35,000 - £38,000. Sold: £34,875
1999 Yamaha YZF-R7. Est: £25,000 - £28,000. Sold: £28,687.50
1938 Norton Manx 30M. Est: £24,000 - £27,000. Sold: £21,937.50
1932 Matchless Model X. Est: £13,000 - £15,000. Sold: £19,406.25
1956 BSA DB34 Gold Star: Est: £6,000 - £8,000. Sold: £15,468.75
1934 Velocette KSS. Est: £14,000 - £16,000. Sold: £14,625

 


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BSA M20 & M21:
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Pioneer Run eBook:

What's it all about? Well, it's a photoshoot of the world's greatest veteran motorcycle run with poetry and quotes from Ixion to John Masefield to William Shakespeare to William Wordsworth. It's unique (as far as we know) and has been downloaded thousands of times from both the Sump website and the website of the Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club. Think of it as poetry in motion. It's a treat. Sorry, it's not available in hardcopy or for Macs.



 

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