If you're getting a slow service from us over the next few days (particularly email) please be patient. We're upgrading the servers and checking the plugs and timing and all that techy stuff. But as usual, we don't know what the hell we're doing, so we need a little space to sort it out.
Stay with us...
Welcome. We've been expecting you. Sump is a 100% FREE independent online classic bike magazine. We Sumpsters are into all historic and modern British iron, American iron, cafe racers, bobbers, choppers, specials, projects and vintage motorcycles. Actually, we're into pretty much everything on two wheels that pumps a piston, lays down a strip of rubber, fills the air with filthy hydrocarbons and takes our sorry souls somewhere new and exciting.
Sump Magazine is located mostly in the UK, but being a web-based magazine, we often find ourselves on the move and bouncing around the satellites and reaching those corners of the world where the established mags and rags have never been.
Visitors come to Sump Magazine from Australia to Canada to South Africa to the USA to all over South America. And we've built a pretty good presence across Europe, Russia and the ex-Soviet states, Japan and China. In short, Sump Magazine is out there.
Sump Magazine is run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, meaning people just like you (unless you're a Googlebot or a web spider, in which case, just do what ya gotta do and move along there, if you please. You're blocking the view).
Around here, we run Triumphs, BSAs, Nortons, Harleys and AJSs mostly. But there are always new old motorcycles coming into our garages and sheds. And new stuff is constantly being test-ridden (or just joy-ridden).
We don't buy personal data, and we certainly don't sell the information of the people who buy our T-shirts and books, or who advertise with us.
You simply come and go onto this site as you see fit and leave a minimal trail. There are no log-in fields. No questions. No hassle. And no pop-ups. If you like what you find, tell your friends. If not, jerk our leads and we'll listen carefully to what you have to say. And if we've got any news or feature information wrong, give our leads an extra jerk and we'll put it right.
That's it. That's Sump. Do your worst.
We've created the biggest, most comprehensive, most insightful, most amusing, most provocative motorcycle news magazine in this corner of the galaxy (don't think we didn't check). But as much as we love old British iron and aluminium and sundry two-wheeled vintage junk, we occasionally lope out of the garage (sometimes drunk) and take a more sober look at what the hell else is going on in the world of sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, politics or whatever. And now and again we like to take a little pop at the religious hypocrisy of the world. So if you're a card carrying member of a so-called "faith", you'd better duck or wear goggles and a lid, because it's coming atcha.
You can contribute news items if you want. But if not, sit back and agree or disagree and see how it looks over here from way down there. Here's a link to our news page.
We also pen classic motorcycle buyers guides to help you decide what's what, what's hot, and what might not suit you. There are hundreds, or even thousands, of wonderful old crocks out there, and we're working our way through the more obvious ones and will end up wherever we end up. We ain't in any particular rush.
But if you're riding a hobby horse that you'd like to gallop onto our pages, ring our bell and make your pitch. If we like it, we'll sort something out. If we don't like it, we'll probably try to spare your feelings and will fob you off with some excuse.
But generally speaking, there's not much out there that we really hate. So don't be shy. Just honk our horns, make your pitch and we'll see what happens...
That's Graham Maughan from Maughan Vincent admiring another example of his firm's handiwork. And well he might.
Maughan Vincent knows its business, and so do the other specialists that are featured on Sump Magazine. Guys like Jake Robbins, for instance, who re-manufactures girder forks. And guys like Les Emery and Mick Hemmings, both experts with Nortons. Or Stuart Towner, magneto specialist, now semi-retired but still selling magneto and dynamo spares. Or Jesse Bassett in Ohio, USA who builds stunning custom bikes. And we like to add specialists as and when we can. So check 'em out when you get the chance. Do some business. And tell 'em who sent ya.
And if you're in the old motorcycle or customising business, get in touch. We'll show you ours if you flash yours. Know what we mean?
Our classic bike events pages ain't anywhere near as comprehensive as we'd like. But that's partly because many of you club secretaries and show organisers need to fire your plugs more often and make yourself known.
But we do what we can to stay up to date, and we can steer a lot of custom your way if you tip us the wink. So send your full details (who, what, when, where, how and why, etc), and we'll put it out on the www.
As for you culture vultures—whether you're interested in autojumbles, shows, race meetings, or vintage club runs and rallies—you might want to peruse our event pages and get out a little more.
And we also run occasional event reports which you can enjoy if you care to explore the links on the right side of this page.
Finally, if you're thinking of starting a new bike show or jumble, or want to develop your existing event, check our Classic Bike Showtime page. It's packed with tips and advice on how to get the usual magazine suspects on your side, and how to increase your numbers. Ignore it at your cost.
This is a fairly new diversion for Sump Magazine and we haven't quite settled on a suitable format. But we've put a FOR SALE page online, so you can take a peek at your convenience and maybe buy yourself another of life's necessary toys.
If, on the other hand, you've got something historic to sell, email the details together with a picture, and we'll hang it where the whole planet can view it.
The ad will stay live for a month, or two, or three and then we'll take it down unless we hear otherwise. Okay?
But look, we ain't "working" the page as hard as we might. The truth is, we Sumpsters are busy riding most of the time, and (as the bishop said to the actress, etc) we have to fit things in when and where we can. Maybe when the economy picks up, when people actually start buying bikes again, we'll put a fresh coal on the fire. Meanwhile, you'll just have to take what you can get.
So okay, Sump Magazine isn't exactly Marks and Spencers (read Walmart in the USA), but if we're not fielding the same range of tees, we think ours are cooler.
We keep adding to them as and when possible, and of course we've also developed tees promoting ourselves. You can take a closer look at them on our growing T-shirt pages.
We usually despatch the next day, or immediately after the weekend, and we think our stuff is good quality sold at fair prices. But you can decide that for yourself when you get yourself inside one of them.
These classic bike wall signs ain't exactly an essential part of life. They ain't air, or petrol or beer, and you probably won't die if you haven't got a few nailed on the wall somewhere.
But they do brighten up your miserable life and make your garage or shed or whatever that much more inviting. And anything that makes our lives a little brighter is welcomed.
We've got a handful of quality signs here drawn from other manufacturers. But we've also got a few of our own design, and we'll be adding to them as and when the hand of whatever-God-you-hardened-atheists believe-in makes it happen.
So if you're ever looking for a sign, come and look here. The world can be a dull old place when you forget to add some motorcycle colour.
Has the golden age of motorcycle stickers been and gone? We think so. There was a time when stickers were an essential part of your bike's livery. Today, bikers are generally more fussy with the paintwork, and modern luggage doesn't always provide a suitable spot for the colourful little scraps of sticker vinyl.
Nevertheless, we've produced a few stickers that you just might feel differently about. That's because they're mostly road safety stickers, and that's something that interests all bikers, classic or otherwise.
Click the image to see what's on offer...
We're probably more akin to Ealing Studio comedies than MGM blockbusters, but we do what we can with a video camera and a clapper board, and we've knocked-up a few thousand feet of digital footage to amuse, edify and entertain.
People complain all the time that we don't include enough motorcycle engine noise, and that we play too much music. But we LIKE music, and we want to hear the engines of our old heaps only when they're going wrong. The rest of the time, we've got rock'n'roll (and maybe some fusion jazz) playing between our ears. Only the occasional bark of the exhaust is allowed to disturb the rhythm of our souls (whatever the hell that pretentious crap means).
Anyway, you can check out the videos as and when you come across them, or go to YouTube and look for anything from Sump Magazine. Then you can decide for yourself if you prefer a nice chord progression on a vintage Fender Stratocaster, or the clatter of valves and the whining of a camshaft.
Okay, impress me with some videos...
We ain't the world's greatest motorcycle mechanics, you understand. But we've got a lotta heart, and we do what we can, when we can.
Lately we've got into the habit of recording our spannerisms so that ... well, so that we can enjoy all over again the things that we screwed up and the stupid things we did.
Not that that this kinda stuff is funny, really. Good maintenance is essential if you want to get the best from your heap, and if you want to stay on the right side of the hereafter. And good advice is essential too. We have no idea exactly how useful our advice will be to you, but you can have it anyway. Gratis.
We're also featuring on this page some of the general problems and solutions that we've heard about here and there. So the next time you come up for air, check the link below and see if there's anything pertinent, or even impertinent, to your good selves.
It's pretty early days for this magazine feature, and we're trying not to spend much time in the garage while the sun's in the sky. So don't expect too much. On the other hand, if you've got some interesting tales about your own problems and solutions, and if you've got a snapshot or two, send it all along. We'll hammer it in somewhere.
TAKE ME TO SUMP'S WORKSHOP PAGES, PLEASE
If you're running a motorcycle business and can get by through word-of-mouth alone, then good luck to you. But for the rest of us, promotion is the name of the game.
Our ad rates are pretty cost-effective, and we reach a lot of people that the usual old bike rags don't. But we don't do the heavy sell. If you want an ad, email us or throw a brick through the window with a note attached.
We figure that you're big enough to decide for yourself whether you want some space here, or not. And okay, that's not the way the hardnosed professionals do it, but around here, we're all pussy cats.
However, if you're flogging mobile phones or Spanish timeshares, don't call us. We'll call you, etc. This is an online motorcycle magazine dedicated to ancient, historic, and generally long-past-their-sell-by-date two-wheelers and we want to keep it that way.
... such as Henk Joore (right) who owns and runs one of the best—if not the best—motorcycle forums on the planet. And if that ain't the truth, we're all Dutchmen.
Henk's special interest (but by no means his only interest) is the venerable 500cc BSA WM20 military sidevalve. He also enjoys an interest in other military motorcycle mounts from the Norton 16H to the Matchless G3/L. In fact, he's into a lot of stuff, especially pre-war, and especially-especially Beezas.
Round here. we're coming across interesting people all the time and are adding them to our pages as and when time and energy allows. But most of these people keep moving around, which makes 'em hard to pin down. All the same, check back now and again. There's gonna be another one along any time now.
You can follow this Henk Joore link as see what makes him tick, or visit his fantastic website that carries the aforementioned forum. www.wdbsa.nl
Buying a motorcycle crash helmet
Here's a new feature on Sump. Actually, it's part of a range of features about bike gear, so watch out for them.
We've been planning this helmet buying guide for some time, but there's always another beer to drink and another road to ride. Are we right? Anyway, the title of this page speaks for itself, so we won't labour it here.
Most of you Sumpsters have already got yourself sorted out with riding kit and don't need any advice or guidance. Nevertheless, there might be something here you haven't considered, and you're never too old to learn, are you?
On the other hand, if you're starting out in biking and need a few pointers about buying a suitable lid, we just might have something to offer you. Click on the crash helmet image (immediately above) and you'll be whisked away via the usual satellites.