about-us-sump-magazine

 

 

Introducing the Nostalgia Project limited production custom bike from Nmoto. This Florida, USA-based outfit clearly has a penchant for the 1934 BMW R7 Prototype and has upgraded the concept by recreating it using a current generation 110bhp BMW R nineT Boxer platform complete with ABS, traction control, keyless ignition, front and rear suspension and a 6-speed 'box. The bike's designers handcrafted 74 new parts and re-imagined classic Art Deco aesthetics to give the machine that sleek, streamlined future-shock appeal. The motorcycle has just been shown at the New York International Motorcycle Show (30th November 2018 - 2nd December 2018), and it created exactly the right kind of stir demanded by its $49,500 price tag (currently about £38,348). And that price, we understand, includes a brand new R nineT donor. The big names are queuing up to heap praise on this machine. But haven't we seen one just like this at some time in the past? Seems so. Regardless, the original has been dubbed "The Mona Lisa of motorcycles", which could be interpreted in many ways, not all of them flattering.

 

December 2018  Classic bike news

 


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


December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar


November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up


October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

Gear Gremlin bandana fleece thingy
Yamaha 125cc Resonator concept
Odd things are happening on Sump...
Weise "affordable" Lima gloves

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?


September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

BAD-ASS BIKER T-shirts are in stock
Buying a crash helmet; a Sump guide
Romney Marsh Classic Bike Jumble
New Goldtop silk scarf

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

New Kawasaki W800 buyers guide
Bonhams Beaulieu 2015 results
Lord Edward Montagu: 1926 - 2015
Triumph's $2.9 million US recall fine
New Fab Four coffee table book
Dean Carroll Jones: 1931 - 2015
Harley-Davidson test ride competition
Still awaiting your Skully AR-1 lid?
Two rare Italians headed for Stafford
Sump BAD-ASS T-shirt coming soon
Who the hell can you trust anymore?
Austel Pullman 1300 combo to sell
Oldtimer Motoren Museum
£4m government grant for Norton
BSH sells out to Mortons Media
Sammy Miller Run August 2015


August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

For sale: Ex-display team TRW?
91 English & Welsh courts to close?

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

Confederate P51 Combat Fighter
Subscribe to Sump - it's free

Cheffins Harrogate Sale August 2015
Lambeth Council bans nitrous oxide
TRF's £10,000 green lane appeal
Harley Street 750 set for Sept launch
Trouble: Triumph bobber on Ebay
Great new T-shirt designs from Sump
George Edward Cole: 1925 - 2015
Sammy Miller at Donington Classic
185,272 Harley Baggers recalled
Fifth Classic Car Boot Sale, London
Mecum Harrisburg results Aug 2015
Mecum Monterey Sale August 2015
Ace Cafe Beijing has opened
Free disc locks courtesy of the Met Police


July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

Rare 1912 Pierce at Netley
7 pence per minute to talk Triumph
Cheffins Cambridge Sale: 25th July
Matchless sunglasses: "Only £299"

Cool BSA Bantam diesel special
Brighton Speed Trials 2015 reminder
New Royal Enfield despatch bikes
M.A.D X-ray Art Exhibition Matchless
1964 Speed Twin bobber on eBay
Chris Squire: 1948 - 2015
Movies we love: Smokescreen (1964)
Road race & exhibition for the gents


June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


 

May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

Classic bikes for sale reminder
Hope Classic Rally: all for charity
Riley "BB" King: 1925 - 2015
Grace Lee Whitney: 1930 - 2015
Stondon Museum April sale results
RE buys Harris Performance Products
Geoff Duke: 1923 - 2015
Classic Motorcycle Restoration and Maintenance
NMM's winter raffle winner details
Stafford Sale: "£2,262,109: 86% sold"


April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

One of the Love Bugs is up for sale
Ronnie Carroll: 1934 - 2015
Sixty museum bikes to be auctioned
Goldtop classic fleece-lined gauntlets
Harley-Davidson Kansas lay-offs
Mecum's Walker Sign Collection results


March 2015 Classic Bike News

Ted Simon's website is "hacked by Isis"
Frank Perris: 1931 - 2015
ULEZ Zone charges for motorcycles
We're all down with a nasty disease
Eric "Shaw" Taylor: 1924 - 2015
E J Cole Collection at Mecum's

Rare 500cc Linto for Duxford Sale
Classic Car Boot Sale final reminder
DfT road safety website is to be axed
Autocom GPS bike tracker is "coming soon"
Jem Marsh: 1930 - 2015
New Triumph Thruxton book from Panther Publishing

New drug-driving regulations are here

HMS Sump is torpedoed!
New £350,000 Jensen GT for 2016

RE Continental GT, soon in black


February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

Race Retro Feb 2015 auction results
£4.7 million grant for Brooklands

Full size "Airfix" motorcycle kits
Two Francis-Barnett bikes "launched"
Gerry Lloyd Wells: 1929 - 2014

Harley-Davidson's "dream job" offer
Road accidents & preventable events
The velocity of money? What's that?
ACA auction Saturday 7th March 2015
Sump's new road safety stickers
Kickback Stoneleigh to be televised


classic-bike-news-january-2015

 

January 2015 Classic Bike News

1948 Land Rover manufacture exhibit
UK Triumph Scrambler sales jump
Mecum Kissimmee Sale results
Ikon Basix shock absorbers
Sump BSA M20 metal sign—£14.99
Another great Marlboro Man has snuffed it

Mixed Bonham results at Las Vegas
Stolen Norton appeal for information
The Reunion by Jack Elgos
VMCC December 2014 raffle winner
Brian Horace Clemens: 1931 - 2015
Metal classic bike signs from Sump
Rod Taylor: 1930 - 2015
Derek Minter: 1932 - 2015
Tiernan's looking for a Flea crate
Jerry Lee Lewis Duo Glide to sell
"Killer drivers" sentencing review
Harley-Davidson recalls 19,000 bikes
Cutaway engine bonanza at Bonhams


Sump news archive

 

 

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

 

 

 

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

 

 

 

 

Bert Fruin 125cc four-cylinder two-stroke racer

 

Bert Fruin racer sold to Sammy Miller 

 

Story snapshot:

Interesting engineer-built 125cc four cylinder two-stroke

Modular "kit" engine from the 1960s

 

Before there was Paul Carberry and Allen Millyard there was Bert Fruin. And what all three men have/had in common is/was a love of motorcycles, a desire to create something new and original, and the technical nous to actually make it happen.

 

Between 1957 and 1963 H L "Bert" Fruin—a racer and motorcycle dealer operating from a bicycle shop in Pield Heath Road, Hillingdon, West London—built a limited range of 50cc two-stroke road and race bikes based around Italian 3M Demm engines housed in conventional tubular frames.

 

At that time, one of his chief rivals was Italian firm ITOM. ITOM was fielding two-stroke four-speeders against Fruin's three. So Fruin incorporated an overdrive two-speed Albion gearbox that was operated by a foot lever (whilst the integral 3-speed 'box was controlled by a handlebar twist-grip). The result was an inventive, but not entirely successful 6-speeder.

 

Fruin raced one of these "Fruin Dartela" machines at the Isle of Man TT in 1962, but failed to finish (actually, engine trouble in the first lap brought him to a grinding halt). Undeterred, he tried again the following year. But once again, technical problems struck and he retired early.

 

50cc Bert Fruin two-stroke racer

 

50cc Fruin Bartela. In February 2013, Bonhams sold this pint-sized six-speed racer for £3,109. Note the two-speed overdrive 'box (close-up image immediately below).

 

50cc Bert Fruin two-stroke racer overdrive gearbox

 

 

Later he built a DOHC 125cc twin cylinder special and a modular V4/V8 two-stroke engine underpinned by his own crankcase design. But perhaps his most interesting project was a 200cc kit engine. For £16, a buyer received a set of unmachined crankcases and a blueprint for a steel do-it-yourself crankshaft.

 

These kit bikes are super-rare with perhaps only a handful (if that) still in existence. Actually, it's not clear that any were sold (we've seen conflicting information on this question, so enlighten us if you're able).

 

But now we hear that the Sammy Miller Museum down in New Milton, Hampshire has acquired Fruin's 200cc race bike featuring Bert's own inline engine topped with NSU barrels and cylinder heads, and housed in an MV-Agusta frame supported by Gilera Hub and an Enfield front fork.

 

 

H L Bert Fruin 125cc racer - inline four

 

Fruin 125cc inline four racer. Check the Classic50 website for more detailed information on Bert Fruin's handiwork.

 

 

The bike wasn't a great success on the tracks, but apparently fared a little better at sprint meets. We don't have any more details of the acquisition or how the bike will be displayed or campaigned. But you can talk directly to the museum if you've got an interest in the man or the machine.

 

www.sammymiller.co.uk

 


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Driver survey on alcohol interlocks

 

Story snapshot:

"Nine out of ten UK motorists want breathalysers in cars"

1,000 drivers surveyed in latest poll

 

We tend to avoid reporting on surveys as conducted by the government, private businesses, not-for-profit organisations and motoring charities, etc. The reason why is simply that surveys are often used not to honestly elicit the wider (and often uncomfortable) truths in life, but as duplicitous mechanisms intended to underpin existing policies or rules thereby bolstering whatever campaign or modification of the status quo is being planned.

 

But this one caught our attention, and we figured it was worth a few words. The survey was, we're told, conducted by WhoCanFixMyCar.com which supposedly doorstopped (or wheelclamped) 1,000 drivers and asked if they supported plans to introduce in-car breathalysers. Or, if you prefer, alcohol interlocks.

 

As the name implies, these high-tech gadgets are hard-wired into a vehicle's engine management system. Before being able to start the motor, a driver is required to provide a sample of breath. Then it's green for go, and red for stop—or whatever colours are preferred.

 

Currently, these gizmos are in use in Sweden, the USA, France and Belgium. And more recently, Durham Police, right here in the UK, began handing out trial versions of the interlocks to repeat drink-driving offenders as part of the force's anti-crime Checkpoint programme.

 

Of the 1,000 drivers canvassed, we're further advised that 90 percent of them gave approval to the technology—which is both good inasmuch as it suggests that the vast majority of motorists are at least trying to take a responsible and positive attitude to road safety, but not so good if you're also a little concerned about general public trained-dog complacency and the relentless creep of Big Brother.

 

However, it's worth remembering that the answer to any survey is only as valid as the framing of the question. So naturally, less scrupulous pollsters generally get exactly the responses they've deliberately programmed into their surveys—and even the more honest and unbiased pollsters habitually wrestle with any number of procedural/linguistic/methodological issues relating to his/her interrogations.

 

In short, surveys are at best always dubious.

 

But even if you accept that 9 out of 10 drivers really do favour having a breathalyser bobby sitting right there on the dashboard (either as an ignition interlock, or perhaps also as a real time in-car alcohol sniffer), it's odds on that most of these drivers don't have a "problem" with drink driving and are otherwise legally compliant. In which case, the tech is redundant.

 

Generally speaking, we suspect it's the other 10 percent of drivers who are likely to resist the introduction of such invasive technology. Consequently, in an effort to catch these guys (and gals), the lawful majority is likely to be rounded up along with the unlawful minority and pinned down under the same spotlight of suspicion—in which case we could all ultimately be looking at more complication in our lives if and when the gadgets become compulsory and are blighted by the usual gremlins and software failures that inevitably afflict any kind of computer hardware beyond a desk calculator and a digital watch.

 

 

Durham Police Checkpoint. The idea is to reprogram the more low-key offenders such as vandals, shoplifters, street beggars and drunk drivers. But generally, offences related to motoring are not currently on the menu. However, technology is increasingly being used to monitor and control our behaviour. And some folk want it mandated sooner rather than later. The creep is slow, but it's relentless.

 

 

Moreover, we wonder how the devices will differentiate between a drunk driver at the wheel, and a sober passenger huffing into mouthpiece for however long in takes to get a reading and fire the plugs. And will a canine breath filter be required to further weed out the hardcore offenders travelling with a compliant mutt on the back seat?

 

On the subject of Big Brother, it's also worth mentioning that these devices are being conceived/designed with a camera which, if required, will take a snapshot of the driver and fire it off to the rozzers to prove that the equipment is being used as required—and of course anti-tampering alarms are part of the package.

 

So is all this just alarmist talk? No. The tech is ready, and the legislators and road safety organisations are in the frame. So we'll have to see what awaits us further down the road if and when Parliament sorts out whatever legislation (if any) is required.

 

Meanwhile, we can see a nice little new-age industry spring up around in-car alcohol sniffers in much the same way that mobile phones are routinely unlocked, that VINs cloned, that passports are forged, that our private mail is opened, and so on and so forth.

 

First the lock, then the lock pick.

 

Years ago, the village/town/local bobby used to loiter around outside pubs at the relevant hour of the day (often having been tipped off by a responsible publican or a stand-up member of the local community), and would quietly remove the keys of a vehicle even as a seriously inebriated motorists was struggling to find the ignition barrel—and then calmly and affably escort the drunk back to his waiting wife with the usual finger-wagging admonition.

 

Today we're facing a full scale, highly sophisticated and increasingly networked invasion of our private lives that promises a better quality of life, but often at an unacceptable (or at least painfully high) price.

 

Naturally, here at Sump we prefer the cosy village bobby fantasy. But unfortunately we live in the modern world, and sometimes you have to simply get real and suck it up.

 

It's a problem.

 


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2019 Triumph Speed Twin details

 

Story snapshot:

Hinckley reveals a 12th model in the Bonneville range

1200cc with most of the usual bells and whistles

 

Triumph Motorcycles is describing the 2019 Speed Twin as an "all new model". But to most Triumph watchers, this bike is likely to be viewed as a roadsterized Thruxton that's been rightly or wrongly tagged with a legendary moniker.

 

The 1200cc engine, for instance, is derived from current Thruxton. Same liquid-cooled, 8-valve, SOHC, parallel-twin architecture. Same 97.6mm bore. Same 80mm stroke. Same 96bhp max power @ 6,750rpm. Same 112Nm of torque @ 4,950rpm. Same 11:1 compression ratio. Same multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection. Same 6-speed gearbox. And the crank angle has the same 270° throw for that fashionable "loping" sound and feel.

 

But the frame, we're advised, is new—albeit also derived from the Thruxton chassis. The clutch assembly has been revised. Up top is a new magnesium cam cover (that's a claimed 2.5kg lighter). The wheels are also new. And we're fairly sure that a Triumph design engineer could point to dozens (if not hundreds) of other changes, many of them invisible, and most of them well beneath the scrutiny of all but the most hardened rivet-counter/anorak/industrial spy, etc.

 

In fact, given the plethora of similar modern classics in the Triumph range, we're a little surprised that Hinckley hasn't been a little more radical in terms of styling and performance. [More...]

 


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Triumph Tiger Trail TR7T 750

 

Brand new Triumph TR7T for sale

 

Story snapshot:

Rare NOS, unridden 750cc Meriden off-roader for sale at £19,995

... or buy a cheaper 9K example for £14,995

 

The TR7T Triumph Tiger Trail was a pretty clever move by the Meriden Workers Cooperative. In the late 1970s and early 80s, time was rapidly running out for the beleaguered factory. Significant development money for a new range of up-to-the-minute bikes simply wasn't available. Cash flow was laughable. Rival manufacturers were leaving Triumph behind in terms of price and performance. The biking journos were getting impatient. The buying public was thinning. Something ... well, different was needed.

 

Urgently.

 

So Meriden explored a niche, looked at what was in the parts bin, scratched their heads, made a few financial calculations and set to work. What followed, in this instance, was the above TR7T Tiger Trail; or, if you prefer, a mildly sexed-up 750cc Bonneville with off-road pretensions. You can read our Tiger Trail buyer's guide if you want more on the development and specifications of this machine. Suffice to say that Cosmo Classics in St Leonards-on-Sea (near Hastings) currently has two examples for sale. One is brand new and unregistered. The other has just 9,000 miles on the clock.

 

750cc Triumph Tiger Trail TR7T

 

Cosmo has never been the cheapest classic bike dealer on the block. But he does have a knack of finding top quality motorcycles, particularly those dating from the 1970s and 1980s. We know Cosmo a little (as a business friend rather than personal friend), and we figure him for a straight shooter. And he knows his stuff. Try him and find out.

 

The asking price for the unregistered Tiger Trail is just under £20k. The other bike is just under £15k. Both prices are way less than you might pay for, say, a sorted X-75 Triumph Hurricane. And for our money, as much as we like the X-75, we'd have the Tiger Trail any day—as a rider's bike, that is. But there are aspects of the looks that leave us wanting (the hatchet job on the silencer, the idiot lights in the binnacle, etc (see our buyers guide for more images and details).

 

As for investment potential, we reckon the TR7T will match the Hurricane, not necessarily in terms of top line prices, but in raw percentage terms.

 

There's a small and almost cult following for the TR7T—which includes the subsequent 650cc short-stroke TR6T. On the road, there's not much to choose between the two machines (they both have their strengths). But given the rarity, and if you're in the market for one, you'd better grab the first example of either that comes along. These are among the best Meriden Triumphs ever built.

 

www.cosmoclassic.co.uk

Also check: Sump April 2017, TR7T sells for £10,750

 


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1973 Triumph TR6R

 

"Highway Code Tiger 650" for sale

 

Story snapshot:

H&H Auctions to sell this "famous" TR6R in March 2019

The National Motorcycle Museum is the venue

 

You've probably seen this bike before many times—assuming, that is, you were active on British roads in the late 1970s and 1980s. But it's unlikely that you saw it from any angle other than the rear view.

 

This is because the bike—a 1973 650cc Triumph TR6R—was bought new by the UK Ministry of Transport and was used in the 1978 edition of the Highway Code handbook. Consequently, what you would have seen is a grainy, miniature shot of the rear of the bike with a chap on board sticking out his left hand, and then his right hand, and then flapping it up and down in order to teach road users the correct manner for a motorcyclist to indicate his or her intended direction of travel.

 

In 1978, just after that year's edition of the Highway Code was published, the Tiger was sold to a traffic cop, and he held onto it until 1982 when a guy named Nick Searson bought it. We're advised that Searson kept the Triumph in good fettle, but more recently hasn't had much time to ride it. So it's going under the auction hammer.

 

 

It will therefore be coming up for sale on 2nd March 2019 at the H&H Classic Auction at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. The estimate is £4,500 to £5,500—which we think is very conservative.

 

So okay, it's hardly the bike that Johnny rode in The Wild One. But it's a tangible, albeit minor, piece of British history to which tens of thousands of us can directly relate. And in an age where any kind of fame is treated with almost religious reverence, there's likely to be a demand for this bike.

 

More pertinently for us here at Sump, this is a Tiger 650; single carburettor, plenty of low down torque, four speeds, and arguably the perfect sized engine for a Meriden twin—unless you're regularly riding two-up, in which case a 750 Tiger (or Bonnie) is perhaps slightly better.

 

 

Moreover, Meriden twins of this era have since come into their own and are getting second glances and wolf whistles from many in the old bike community who until fairly recently had largely relegated them to second division classics.

 

So history aside, a 1973 650cc Tiger in good condition should comfortably land somewhere between four-five and five-five. Sterling. The Highway Code connection ought to be good for another grand or two. Or maybe more. After all, the older you get, so the value of history increases. Therefore, we can see this hitting £7 to £8k or more. But it's a fickle market, so don't take our advice. We make many mistakes. Figure it out for yourself.

 

The motorcycle will be sold with a copy of the 1978 Highway Code, plus a motorcycle magazine carrying an interview with the aforementioned traffic cop.

 

We'll come back to this in the New Year.
 

www.handh.co.uk

 


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Kickback June 2019: entries open

 

Story snapshot:

Custom Bike Building National Championships details

The competition will happen at the 2019 Prescott Bike Festival

 

The Kickback Motorcycle Show is once again hosting the forthcoming National Bike Building Championships which is sponsored by Devitt Insurance and will be staged at the Prescott Bike Festival on 15th - 16th June 2019.

 

There are five categories for entrants:

 

FREESTYLE
YOUNG BUILDER
BUTCHERED (MODIFIED) CLASSIC
BUDGET BUILD
MODIFIED PERFORMANCE SPORTSBIKE

 

To earn a place, sort out a good quality colour snapshot detailing the fruits of your labour and fire it off to organiser Lorne Cheetham. Include your name and whatever else you think is appropriate. The event will be held at Devitt Kickback and Prescott Bike Festival, Prescott, Gloucestershire GL52 9RD. More details of this as and when (keep an eye on Sump's events page).

 

And yes, we know that June 2019 is some way off. But as we constantly say around here (but hardly need repeat), time has a worrying habit of rapidly closing the gap between now and then.

 

Better get that motor running.

 

www.thecustomshow.com

lorne@rwrw.co.uk

 


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November 2018

 

 

Henry Cole astride "Steve McQueen's Triumph TR6 as ridden in The Great Escape". This recently rediscovered bike (on loan by Triumph aficionado Dick Shepherd) is currently on display at the Triumph Motorcycles Visitor Centre in Hinckley, Leicestershire. Isn't it amazing how this machine (said to be valued at £1.5 million) has suddenly turned up out of the blue? We're breathless.

 

Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

 

Story snapshot:

The Motorbike Show is back in December 2018

Three one-hour special programmes to be aired

 

He doesn't look a bit like Steve McQueen—or Bud Ekins, come to that. But that's pretty obvious. However, he does look exactly like TV show presenter and serial motorcycle traveller Henry Cole, and that's because that is Henry.

 

On the British side of the pond he's a household name—at least he is in those households where a biker lives. But the rest of the world might not be quite so familiar with him. And the reason he's headlining this news story is that he's about to present three new one-hour TV specials as part of The Motorbike Show series. Henry will, in his inimitable way, be waxing lyrically about Triumph, Norton and Ducati, respectively.

 

The shows will run for three consecutive nights beginning on Tuesday 11th December. Each show will be screened at 9pm. And the relevant TV channel will be ITV4 (which may or may not be accessible overseas—or perhaps the show will be screened via other networks. We've got no info on that).

 

Meanwhile, to clarify the UK viewing dates:

 

Triumph Special. ITV4. 9pm. Tuesday 11th December 2018
Norton Special. ITV4. 9pm. Wednesday 12th December 2018
Ducati Special. ITV4. 9pm. Thursday 13th December 2018

 

We could give you broad details of what Henry will be talking about in each episode. But the odds are that it's going to be the same old same old stuff dragged from the same box and re-polished. Yes, that sounds mean, and we don't mean to be mean. But we can't remember the last time we saw something on TV about motorcycle lifestyle and history that was really compelling viewing, or even interesting viewing.

 

Ultimately, these things invariably become little more than a soapbox for the presenters to strut around showing us their better profiles whilst dumbing-down the content for the non biking world. So the best we can hope for is a re-telling of the tale with Henry reaffirming and re-validating our passion for two-wheeled transportation and mythology.

 

But maybe he'll surprise us. Hasn't happened yet, however.

 


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Shouldn’t that bike be painted in Wermacht ‘Feldgrau’ (Field Grey’)?. I seem to recall the bike as featured in the film was. I also recall there have been various Triumphs that were claimed to be ‘the one’ from the film.
—The Village Squire


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Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket for me

 

Oxford Bradwell Jacket in Onyx Black. And no, it doesn't glow in the dark. For clarity's sake, we threw a digital spotlight on it. That's all. The black is actually very deep and rich.

 

 

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

 

Story snapshot:

Well made, tough, comfortable and secure riding jacket

Doesn't smell fishy

 

Look, if there's anything good on TV right now, or if you've got some chores that need sorting, we suggest you go and attend to them. Life is short, and time is precious. Suffice to say that this Oxford Bradwell jacket in Onyx Black is a great piece of riding kit and well worth the £199 price tag. So you can leave it right there and move along.

 

...however, if you're the kind of bloke who wants a little more detail before parting with his cash, we'll be happy to supply it.

 

A few weeks back, Oxford Products sent us this jacket for review. Our expectations were neither high nor low. Actually, we'd almost forgotten about it until a courier arrived and chucked a box at us. Hurry up, mate. Sign here. Goodbye. Vrooooommmm.

 

You know how it works.

 

 

Since then we've been wearing this jacket daily and laying down a lot of miles. And we're impressed. The fabric is premium British Millerain wax cotton. British Millerain Co Ltd has been around for well over a century and is one of the pioneers of wax cotton technology—and "technology" isn't too fancy a word for it.

 

There's a lot of science and history behind this waxy fabric, most of it hailing from the needs of maritime world. British Millerain were among the first—if not the very first—to export this material to the rest of the world.

 

To cut a long story short, wax cotton sail technology greatly improved the efficiency of the schooners, clippers and sundry vessels of the 18th, 19th and even 20th century. It was far more durable and lighter than ordinary, untreated cotton sails that habitually became saturated with brine and thereby slowed progress. So over the decades, various people experimented with fish oils and paraffin wax and stuff, and that experimentation is on-going with new ideas coming along at intervals.

 

Old time sailors also made personal good use of wax cotton with homespun jackets and hats and stuff, and eventually the fabric was taken up by country squires and horsemen and aviators and, of course, motorcyclists.

 

The Bradwell Jacket, you'll be pleased to know, doesn't smell of fish or paraffin. In fact, it doesn't have any kind of smell, neither wet nor dry. It doesn't feel waxy either. It just feels very durable, holds its shape well and is extremely tough.

 

The cut is, okay, fairly basic, so forget high-end tailoring. Oxford could perhaps have trimmed an inch or two from the waistline. That's because we're all very slim and trim around here. However, most folk will be glad of a little breathing room for that excess flab. And to keep it all in, there's a belt that will help you control those convex curves.

 

But don't misunderstand us. It's not a loose or baggy cut. It's just a little ... generous. On the bike, that's no problem at all. You need the manoeuvring room. We notice the extra inches only when off the bike and walking around with the jacket undone and admiring ourselves in passing shop windows. 

 

It's a fairly heavy jacket, mind. We were sent a LARGE size, and it weighs a little over six pounds (2.7 kilos). That weight might not suit everyone, but it gives us a welcome feeling of security which is backed up by elbow and shoulder protectors (and a back-protector is optional).

 

 

The seams are triple stitched in the high impact areas, and that stitching is very neatly done all over. The pockets are pleated (to lay flat) and are reasonably accommodating. The back of the jacket has a generous box pleat—which is a prerequisite if you've got handlebars of any width or reach.

 

The brass poppers feel like good quality. The zip is heavyweight and is protected by a storm flap (with poppers). Somewhere in the package is a HUMAX membrane designed to keep the wind and water away whilst still being able to breathe (seems to work). And the cuffs and high collar have so far also done a stand-up job of keeping the autumn elements at bay (and currently in our neighbourhood we're suffering from a surplus of autumn).

 

We could nitpick about the buckles (one at the collar, one on the belt). Nothing major to whinge about, but we found them just a little fiddly. No problem when you're at home dressing up to ride. But when you're on the move and need to loosen something (or fasten something), you need to factor in a few extra seconds to do whatever you have to do (alternately, you can be smart and just pull over and sort out your gear). Mercifully, there's no Velcro on this jacket.

 

We like the corduroy collar padding. We also like the tartan lining and have to resist the urge to show it off. That lining is removable and needs to be. Come the summer, you'll die in this jacket unless you strip it bare.

 

Beyond that, we really can't think of anything to bitch about. The Oxford Bradwell jacket looks well thought out, is simple in design, is well cut (like us), is sturdy, tough, warm, protective, and good value (also like us).

 

There is a ladies version around, but it seems that they're in short supply. So if you want one, girls, you'd better start hunting. And note that we haven't compared this Bradwell to any high-end wax cotton jackets because most riding folk, in our experience, want more cost-effective apparel (as opposed to big name fashion gear that offers no more protection or comfort).

 

As for sizing, the Bradwell starts at SMALL and ends at 5XL—which is pretty much a tent for us. The £199 price tag, incidentally, is the recommended retail price (RRP). So the jackets are bound to be on offer somewhere or other. Consequently, if you're looking for a cheaper (but not "cheap") wax cotton biking jacket, give this one a try.

 

It certainly suits us.

 

www.oxfordproducts.com

 


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Egli-Vincent master builder Patrick Godet has died. Private funeral planned


Curtiss Motorcycles launches electric "Zeus" crowd funding appeal


Norton Motorcycles reveals TT-oriented 650cc "Superlight Twin". £19,950


New survey cites Hereford as worst UK drink-drive capital. "London is best"


James Dyson choose Singapore for new electric car manufacturing venture


Diane Abbott MP "slams" Met Police re: "tactical pursuit" contact policy


Carole Nash offers £10 to bikers if the firm can't match car insurance quote


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R.I.P Patrick Godet. Without doubt he produced the most achingly beautiful incarnation of the Stevenage twin. Such skills are there to be admired, whatever they are applied to.—The Village Squire


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1977 Norton Commando Interstate

 

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

 

Story snapshot:

The National Motorcycle Museum is offering an 850cc Commando

Tickets are five for a tenner (see text for details)

 

The start date for this raffle was 28th October 2018. But there's still time to make your play if you feel that luck is on your side, or if you simply have a spare copper or two to unload—but not if you're living outside the UK, note. British gambling laws demand that you have to be resident here in Blighty, etc. So save your money (although it's not clear what happens if you do live oversees and do buy a ticket). And by the way, this also excludes Northern Ireland residents (so much for national unity, huh?)

 

Anyway, the 1st prize is the above 1977 850cc Norton Commando Interstate. Apparently, it's brand new and never registered with just three "push" miles on the clock. Sounds a bit daft pushing a bike for three miles when you can ride it. But maybe he/she ran out of petrol.

 

 

Sealey motorcycle lift

 

Sealey MC680A motorcycle lift. This isn't exactly the lift that's being offered as a second prize. But it's similar. The actual product, which is electro hydraulic, is so new it hasn't yet been photographed (not that we could find, anyway). You can check the Sealey website at your convenience. They're bound to post an image sooner or later.

 

 

More seriously, the 2nd prize is a Sealey MC680E electro hydraulic motorcycle lift. This is valued (by someone, somewhere, somehow) at £1,500. Yes, fifteen hundred. We're advised that it's newly launched, and is a "top of the range electric lift with 680kg load capacity". But still, a grand and a half for a bike lift sounds a little steep—but we haven't directly inspected the merchandise, so we could be way off base here.

The 3rd Prize is the usual "Luxury Hotel Break & Dinner for 2" at the new Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in the Manor Hotel, Meriden. But it's just the one night, we hear. Dinner, bed and possibly breakfast. Great. Aside from grub, you get a VIP tour of the National Motorcycle Museum just down the road.

 

Yes, it sounds a bit of a let down if your ticket fails to bag either the Commando or the bike lift. So maybe next year the National Motorcycle Museum could entice us with the promise of an obscenely dirty two-night weekend at the aforementioned "Luxury Hotel", ideally with your choice of whatever bit of skirt/piece of trouser that takes your fancy.

 

It's a thought.

 

Tickets are "£2 each"—except that once again we have to advise you that they're not. You need to buy in multiples of five, so that makes it five tickets for a tenner. £10. Or ten quid if you prefer. Yes, it kinda, more or less, roughly-speaking, sort of amounts to the same thing. But the marketing is still a little sharp for us. Instead, the NMM might consider making a small adjustment here, such as by saying something like "Five tickets for a tenner." Or maybe: "Hey, buy five tickets ya cheap bastard. Ten knicker for the lot."

 

That ought to do it.

 

 

It's actually a Best Western Hotel, if that makes a difference. Listed as 4-Star, rooms are between £60 - £200 per night. Customer reviews are mostly good, but mixed—which is usual for the hotel/restaurant trade which will never please everyone all the time, etc.

 

 

Meanwhile, if you win the Commando or the bike lift (or even a non-dirty and possibly tedious) overnight stay at a hotel in the Midlands followed by a VIP trip around a bike park), you'll have to wait until April 2019 to get notified. That's when the draw will take place: Sunday 28th at the International Classic Motorcycle Show, Stafford. All monies raised will be re-invested in the museum.

 

Finally, if you do win that Commando, you might try riding it every once in a while. Just down to the shops or petrol station or something. Or are you also going to squirrel it away as an investment and push it around until some other mug takes it off your hands?

 

It happens.
 

www.thenmm.co.uk

www.manorhotelmeriden.co.uk

 


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I had correspondence some years ago with the VMCC about this fact as it would’ve been a waste of mine, and other IoM residents, time and money entering their raffles as we couldn’t legally have entered them and therefore not been awarded any of the prizes had we won any. To that extent I informed the VMCC that they should not have been sending books of raffle tickets with their VMCC monthly journal to the IoM. They weren’t best pleased that I’d told them it seemed. The above also applies to Mortons Media enclosing NMM and VMCC raffle ticket books with their motorcycle magazines and Old Bike Mart newspaper sent to or sold here on the IoM.
—Swein Faarkbeard.


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Gladstone Bobber SE

 

New Bobber SE from Gladstone

 

Story snapshot:

Henry Cole's "bluechip" marque introduces a bespoke 650cc Triumph

£40k is the asking price (and good luck if he can get it)

 

Henry Cole's Gladstone Motorcycles has just announced the launch of a new SE model to complement the existing Gladstone No1 series (see Sump July 2013). Launched in 2013, nine bikes were planned, all powered by rebuilt 750cc Triumph T140 engines.

 

We don't have any definite info on how many bikes were actually built and sold, but we're assuming that the majority of them either found buyers—or will find buyers. And given that these are "bespoke" bikes, it's not likely that Cole's mechanic/engineer (Guy Willison) will be knocking them out as and when the mood takes him and sticking them on a shelf somewhere.

 

Gladstone Bobber SE 2019

 

The new SE bikes, we hear, are slightly different from the originals inasmuch as they're more "earthier". That translates largely as having a 650cc Triumph T120 engine with a right-side gear lever (as opposed to a left side gear shift on the 750cc No1). The gears have also lost a cog; down from five-speed to four.

 

Of course, the trouble that many folk have with a right-side gearshift is that the brake's on the left (or wrong side). No big deal on an easy cruise. You get used to it. But we've got bikes with shifts/brakes on opposite sides, and it catches us out every once in a while as we swap from one machine to the other and zoom off up the road in the morning for a pint of milk when we're still half asleep.

 

Will anyone else care much? Well some will. In which case, it's not likely to increase the appeal of the SE Gladstone. Or will it? Maybe reversing these fundamental controls is just the "earthiness" required by some riders (and maybe hot tube ignition or at least a magneto could further increase that appeal). But we suspect part of the problem at Gladstone is simply finding sufficient decent engine cases with the appropriate cross-over shaft.

 

Other features include:


Norman Hyde M-bars replacing the flat bars
Shorter (720mm) Ceriani front forks
Norton TLS front brake replacing the Ceriani replica Grimeca 4-LS

Flush-fitting petrol cap replacing the Monza design
Doherty levers
Natural rubber Tommaselli handlebar grips
Brass bezel on headlamp and tail light
Alcantara seat with red stitching colour-matched to paintwork

 

The colour is now Aston Martin Rosso red in contrast to the Gladstone No1s which were all black. But parts that are common to both bikes are:

 

Metisse nickel plated rigid frame

Alloy petrol tank and fake oil tank

5-inch Smiths analogue speedo

 

Gladstone Bobber SE T120 650cc engine

 

And now we come to the price which is an outrageous £40,000. That compares to—gulp!—£30k for the No1 model. We looked all over this motorcycle, and we can't see forty grand tucked away anywhere. We can't even see thirty (and we're struggling at twenty). Not that it isn't an attractive bike, and it look very nicely built too. But it will take more than Henry Cole's familial relationship with Uncle Dick "Red Beard" Gladstone to make us reach for the chequebook.

 

Gladstone and Hesketh logos

"Handmade British Motorcycles for Discerning Hooligans." That's the Gladstone claim. We're not crazy about the name "Gladstone" (see text). It sounds a little ... well, 19th century—and it would probably look great on the inside of a top hat or something. But it's not in the Hesketh league (not that we're crazy about the Kentucky Fried Chicken, or whatever the hell it's supposed to be ...)

 

 

 

Meanwhile, we didn't much like the branding when we first saw it, and we like it even less now. Gladstone? We figure that the idea here is to summon up the same kind of vibe that Hesketh had when it was launched in 1982 by Alexander, 3rd Lord Hesketh. But whilst Henry is a popular TV star with one or two reasonably entertaining programmes to his credit, he's not exactly English aristocracy (although he does claim a connection to William Ewart Gladstone, one-time British PM). We think he might have been better calling the marque COLEMOBILE or THE HENRY.

 

Are we kidding?

 

Kinda.

 

That said, the world is a strange place, and some folk might see some real investment opportunity here. Meanwhile, we hope that Henry and chums can shift a lot of these. Keeping the money moving is how the world works, and anyone who can afford £40k for a Triumph chop (not Bobber, wethinks) can probably afford to take a hit in the wallet.

 

Henry Cole and Guy Willison

 

And in case you're wondering, we really haven't got anything against Henry (that's him on the right, with Guy on the left). But we have to call it as we see it, and this bike just doesn't do it for us. Not at that price.  It doesn't have a USP (unique selling point), aside from the Cole connection, that is. It's just another fairly run-of-the-mill (but nicely made) single-carb T120 Triumph custom in a nickel frame.

 

Maybe you see it differently, in which case Henry would like to hear from you and your wallet at your earliest opportunity.

 

www.gladstonemotorcycles.com

 

UPDATE: We've since been told that all the original nine Gladstones have indeed sold at £30,000 each.

 


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£30.000 for what is essentially a BITSA! Bits of this and bits of that. Not for me. —Tom Quin [Actually, £40,000 for the SE model—Ed]


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Performance Bikes magazine is dead

 

Story snapshot:

Practical Sportsbikes and Performance Bikes to "merge"

"A logical progression for both magazines"

 

It comes to us all eventually. Death, that is. And magazines are every bit as mortal as we humans. Given the huge hit that print publications have taken in recent years, it's no huge surprise to learn that Performance Bikes magazine is finished.

 

Of course, that's not the official position as spun by German publisher Bauer. Officially we're told that Performance Bikes and Practical Sportsbikes are merging. But the reality is that the former is being subsumed by the latter. And that means eaten up. Absorbed. Or swallowed whole. The new magazine will be called Practical Sportsbikes (incorporating Performance Bikes), which isn't quite as catchy. But the idea, of course, is to lay some bait for PB readers who, after March 2019, will be looking for their next fix. You know how it works.

 

So what happened, saleswise?

 

Well, the last time we checked (which was about ten seconds ago) Performance Bike's last ABC figures (Audit Bureau of Circulation) revealed that the mag sold an average of just 15,274 copies per month in 2017. Practical Sportsbikes fared only slightly better at 18,035. So it looks as if PS got top billing over PB, perhaps due to the aforementioned sales figures.

 

But it might not be that simple.

 

Magazines also rely on advertising revenue, and PB might have been losing more ground here. Also, there's the question of fashion. Performance Bikes was aimed more at modern machines (which aren't flavour on the month at the moment), whereas Practical Sportsbikes focused on the sportsbikes of yesteryear; i.e. 70s, 80s and 90s machines. The nouveau plastic classics, if you prefer.

 

Anyway, Performance Bikes—currently edited by Chris Newbigging—published its first issue in 1985. Monthly magazines sales (if memory serves us right) eventually hit around 90,000 or so. We can't recall that any of us around here ever bought a copy—but we occasionally had a peek inside at the latest custom crotch rocket (and at the latest bimbo spreading her legs across the saddle or the fuel tank).

 

The image immediately above shows issue number one, which (take note of the masthead) picked up where Motorcycle Mechanics left off. So PB effectively ate MM, and PS has now eaten PB. Sounds like a nice healthy food chain.

 

PB Editor Newbigging has recently been quoted as saying; "[It's a] logical progression for both magazines". Which is probably just another way of saying "We didn't really have much option except fold both mags."

 

And now PB is effectively on life support having been read the last rites—and in the spring of next year it will have its plug pulled. It's not good news for the readers of Performance Bikes. Bauer can't be happy. Conceivably one or two jobs might have gone (and that definitely ain't good). And it all underlines the fact that the UK economy is still ailing.

 

So it's bad all round.

 

Whether or not the "merging" of these magazines ultimately keeps either afloat in the long (or even short) run remains to be seen. We can probably expect a rise in circulation for the first few months or so. But after that, sales will no doubt rationalise somehow.

 

This story might not yet be done.

 


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Steve Goddard:

1951 - 2018

 

Most classic bikers who regularly attend Kempton Park Autojumble at Sunbury-on-Thames will be familiar with Sudbury, Suffolk man Steve Goddard who has died aged 66. In fact, he was fairly well known throughout the classic and custom motorcycle world.

 

Steve, we understand, was preparing to attend the last "Kempton Park" of the year when he was suddenly taken ill.

 

Trading for many years as "Steve's Classics", he was a former rep for the National Chopper Club and was also involved in pre-65 scrambling.

 

His funeral was held on Friday 16th November 2018. It was led by his wife Barbara and was well attended by numerous other family members and friends. Beside the chapel at Braintree Crematorium his treasured BSA Rocket III was displayed. His coffin was suitably emblazoned with a BSA logo to mark his affection for the marque.

 

Following the ceremony, his friends and family came together at Sudbury Delphi Club to reflect on his life and share memories.

 

Steve will be greatly missed.

 


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1979 Triumph T140E Bonneville

 

"New" T140 Bonnie sells for £10,575

 

Story snapshot:

Sold at H&H's November National Motorcycle Museum Sale

Just 11 miles on the clock

 

This 1979 Triumph T140E Bonneville, or one just like it, could have been yours for around £1,200 fresh from the crate. Almost 40 years later, this "as new" example has just sold for almost nine times that amount.

 

The hammer came down at £10,575 at H&H's sale at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull on Friday 9th November 2018. We reported on the upcoming sale last month, and you can read that report and learn a few more details of this bike and how it came to be neglected for so long—and we think "neglected" is exactly the right word for a motorcycle that's barely seen a stretch of tarmac.

 

It had just 11 miles on the clock.

 

Check this link: "Brand new" 1979 T140E for sale

 


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Ural "All Electric" prototype outfit

 

Story snapshot:

Zero Motorcycles and ICG share electric technology

No immediate production plans

 

It's a bit of switcheroo, isn't it? Over the past however many decades, Russian motorcycle firm Ural has invested pretty much everything in the technology of yesteryear with its BMW-derived flat twin 750cc boxer engine. But now the company has started mucking around with an electrically powered outfit and is looking a lot further ahead that it perhaps ever has in the past.

 

Did we say "mucking around"?

 

Maybe we should rephrase that and use the terms "experimenting" and "prototyping" because this rig is evidently pretty far advanced thanks largely to the input (both practical and technical) from California firms ICG (experts in industrial and automotive development and design) and Zero Motorcycles (which needs no explanation).

 

Most of this rolling chassis is based around existing Ural underpinnings (specifically, an off-the-shelf CT frame and chair), whilst the motor, controller and batteries are, we think, taken from a Zero S.

 

We think?

 

Well Ural isn't yet directly giving too much away, least of all comprehensive specifications. But a Z-Force 75-7 brushless DC motor has been cited by one or two otherwise reliable sources, and we're happy to go with that. For now. And if so, we're probably looking at something between 46hp and 60hp with oodles of torque; enough no doubt (and take careful note) to send this outfit into a very rapid spin under inexperienced hands. And that handling aspect might sooner or later require some form of torque limiter. [More...]

 


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"And if so, we're probably looking at something between 46hp and 60hp with oodles of torque; enough no doubt (and take careful note) to send this outfit into a very rapid spin under inexperienced hands." Where on earth do you get that from? People have been dropping BMW 247 series engines in Urals and Dneprs for decades, without putting them in a spin. My R80 powered rig has never tried any rapid spinning, no matter how badly I ride it. Guess the writer hasn't rode many sidecars. —Phill Spowart

[Phill, we were talking about electric motors which provide maximum torque at zero revs. In other words, different characteristic to ICE outfits. And for the record, people DO occasionally put outfits into a spin, and we did explain that we were referring to inexperienced hands. Finally, the writer doesn't have much experience with outfits, but he's got some experience of watching other people lose control of them. —Ed]


Electric URAL…..yes please! Think it will ride well, but always stick the batts in the chair to keep the beggar down! I agree with your comments re getting into a spin. Riding an outfit is an art that has to be learned, but once mastered, you could drift this on greasy roundabouts just lovely (I’ve been chucking them about for 45-odd years so am ready for when the cathedral spire spotters want to sell me one).
Cheers.
—Ray Thirkettle


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Arch KRGT-1 officially hits the UK. £89,500. To launch in Summer 2019


Metisse Motorcycles is building a 20,000 sq-ft factory/museum at Oxon


Winchester Husqvarna dealership. 5 bikes stolen. 13/11/18. 01962 706672


Ducati Scrambler 1100. 12-item accessories from Evotech Performance


UK police trialling new "driving habits" cameras. One kilometre range


Guy Martin fake licence possession charge. Ex-TT racer & TV star to trial


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Ariel Ace of Diamonds Special Edition

 

Story snapshot:

1,237cc Honda-powered British built muscle bike

Only 10 will be built at £20k each

 

You can think of it as a British V-Max if you want. Liquid-cooled V4 engine. Shaft drive. Brutal looks. Street drag bike pretensions. Fat price tag. Etc. But this of course is the latest incarnation of the Ariel Ace introduced back in June 2014. It's just been unveiled and, because it's a limited edition, will find just ten owners before the production run is stopped.

 

Just as we had mixed feelings about the original Ace, we've got mixed feeling about this one. But we've cobbled a few sentences together and you can make up your own mind. So follow the link and flip over to our Motorcycle News Ariel Ace of Diamonds page and see what gives.

 

—but come back soon. There's bound to be some more news around here sooner rather than later.

 


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Royal Enfield Himalyan and Watsonian International sidecar

 

Watsonian International relaunched

 

Story snapshot:

A classic design back on sale

£3,995 inc VAT, plus fitting kit

 

As we've said before (and will probably say again sometime), we're not the world's biggest sidecar fans. Not that we've got anything against them. We just haven't had much to do with them. But we can see the appeal.

 

Kinda.

 

But this particular rig looks a lot more appealing than some, which may or may not have something to do with our fetish for tubular steel. There's something satisfying sparse about these kind of designs. Simple. Functional. And rugged.

 

And no doubt that's what Watsonian (founded by T F Watson in Birmingham in 1912) was thinking when the firm launched the original International back in 1938. However, WW2 quickly got in the way of that venture, and Joe or Jo Public didn't get a look-in until 1950.

 

 

It was around about that time that a Watsonian management team of Ron Watson and Cliff Bennett began trialling an International outfit. That, apparently, was to help promote sidecars as more sporting vehicles (as opposed to touring and utilitarian, no doubt).

 

Anyway, this latest homage is manufactured from steel, aluminium and fibre glass. And as you can see, it's not an exact replica of the 1950's version pictured immediately above—hence our use of the word "homage". But it a relaunch in spirit, and that satisfies us.

 

There's a "generous" locker beneath the seat. And there's a powder-coated 16-inch wheel laced with stainless steel spokes and damped by hydraulic rising rate suspension. That's wrapped in a Bridgestone Trail Wing dual sport tyre.

 

watsonian-sidecars-logo

 

There's little point in telling you about the quality of manufacture and the epoxy powder coating and stuff. If Watsonian can't get it right, no one can.

 

As you can also probably see, this International is hitched to a 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan, and that looks like a great marriage (which we alluded to in the intro). As ever, note, you can't just bolt a Watsonian chair to anything that comes along. Watsonian needs to create the right underpinning with a suitable sub-frame chassis thingy. And that's what's happened here.

 

The price for the International is £3,995 (including VAT). The Himalayan fitting kit costs £450. If you want one, and we reckon that quite a few of you will, it will be available in the Spring of 2019. Meanwhile, if you're of a similar bent to us, you can go and stroke and caress all the lovely, sensual, silky smooth Bible-black tubular steel on the prototype which will be on display on the Watsonian stand (2D10) at Motorcycle Live, from 17th - 25th November 2018.

 

Just remember that it's a public place, mind. So if you've got anything heavy in mind, better save it for the privacy of your garage, huh?

 

Talk to Watsonian on: 01386 700907

www.watsonian-squire.com.
 


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2019 Norton Atlas range revealed

 

Story snapshot:

Two new 650cc bikes: Ranger and Nomad

"Delivery by May 2019"

 

You could argue that Norton is taking an unnecessary risk by saddling its new 650cc, liquid-cooled twins with the Atlas name; notably the scrambler style Atlas Ranger (image immediately above) and the roadster style Atlas Nomad (image immediately below).

 

 

After all, there are still plenty of old school Norton diehards who, with much justification, will immediately associate the Atlas name with the 750 (745cc) air-cooled pile driver built between 1962 and 1968—a machine famously accused of being capable of loosening teeth (and brand loyalty).

 

And there's no denying that. The original Atlas really was something of a beast if you wound it tight and left it on full tilt for extended periods. But buyers (especially in the important US market) liked the idea of a seven-fifty British muscle bike, and Triumph's 750 (744cc) T140 was still a few years away when the Atlas morphed into the 750 (745cc) Commando. So the choice at that time really came down to the Norton Atlas or Royal Enfield's 750 (736cc) Interceptor (both air-cooled parallel twins). [More...]

 


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Morgan EV3 3 Wheeler is cancelled

 

Story snapshot:

The electric dreams are gone

For now...

 

It was back in March 2016 that we reported on the unveiling of the Morgan EV3. This interesting (and arguably overdue) 21st century battery-powered concept was an update of the classic petrol-engined V-twin three wheelers hailing from the Morgan Motor Company based in Malvern, Worcestershire. The EV3 was launched at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and it understandably turned a lot of heads in its direction.

 

Well, after a big bottle of champagne, a lot of back slapping and an unspecified number of orders and "expressions of interest", Morgan has pulled the plug on the venture; for the time being at least.

 

Why?

 

Because the company that was (finally) contracted to help develop the vehicles was Frazer-Nash Research, and Frazer-Nash Research has got itself into a financial mess with large unpaid debts and has since been slapped with a winding-up order.

 

 

If you want to trace the roots of Frazer-Nash, you need to go back to the early part of the 20th century when H R Godfrey and Archibald Frazer-Nash built their first chain-driven GN cycle car ("GN" for "Godfrey Nash"). That was in or around 1910.

 

By the mid 1920s, the market had changed considerably and the business was sold. Soon after, the partners went separate ways with Archibald Frazer-Nash founding a car company that bore his name. That firm began with cycle cars (which were losing popularity), and eventually a series of innovative and stylish sports cars were produced which have long since enjoyed a near cult following.

 

1935-frazer-nash

 

During WW2, a spin-off company was founded which branched into new areas of engineering and produced military equipment. In the 1980s the business found itself in receivership and was split into three divisions. In 1991 Frazer-Nash Research was formed, and that's the outfit that found itself more recently partnering with Morgan (founded in 1910 by Frederick Stanley Morgan). That partnership is now defunct with, we understand, a lot of bad blood flowing, largely as a result of other commercial intrigues that Frazer-Nash was party to.

 

But we don't want to go there. These things are always complicated and messy and a minefield of litigation and dispute. Suffice to say that the EV3 electric three wheeler is currently off the commercial radar.

 

It's a shame of course when these things happen. Hopes. Dreams. Plans. Etc. All shattered. But happen they will, and the collapse of this project doesn't in any way impact on Morgan itself which, as far as we know, is in good commercial health.

 

 

Frazer-Nash Research, by the way, is/was one of those firms that's pretty much invisible to the general public. But the company has been engaged in numerous big and not-so-big high-tech electric transport projects, the most obvious of which is the 2014 Metrocab from Ecotive, a subsidiary of KamKorp (which is the parent of Frazer-Nash). Metrocab is itself in hot dispute with the London EV Company as a result of patent/design challenges [Let's not go there either-Ed].

 

There's really not a lot more we can say about this sorry tale, except that we were looking forward to seeing the EV3 on the roads, which might still happen; but probably not any time soon.

 

See also:

Morgan goes electric with the EV3

Morgan EV3 larger image

 


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2019 Herald Brute 500. The engine is supplied by an unspecified Asian partner. But the rest of the machine, we're told, is designed and built in the UK. Herald has strong engineering roots and is also an importer of bikes. Clearly the company also knows a little about modern styling and presentation.

 

Herald Motor Company: 3 new bikes

 

Story snapshot:

Brat 125, Café 400 and Brute 500 set to launch

"British built" roadster coming

 

The firm used to be called HMC, but it now operates under the Herald brand—and remember that name if you will because this outfit has made great strides in a very short time, and it sounds like they're going places.

 

Based in Cambridgeshire, Herald's parent company is an engineering firm called Encocam. Encocam employs over 200 people, 16 of whom have dedicated themselves to the sale and manufacture of "cult" and "retro" motorcycles. The driving force and vision behind the venture is a guy named Mike Ashmead, and he and Herald are about to launch three new models at this year's Motorcycle Live event at the NEC, Birmingham on 17th - 25th November 2018.

 

The three bikes are the Brat, the Café 400, and the Brute 500 (the latter of which, we're advised, is British designed and will be built right here in the UK).

 

 

The Brat, we understand, will be available in both 125cc (actually 124cc) and 250cc capacities (223cc). Features include a trellis frame, inverted front suspension, a monoshock rear end, a six speed gearbox, a digital dash, a 7-inch LED headlight, an LED rear light, LED indicators, and a stainless steel exhaust system. Colours will be military green, iron grey or copper. The weight will be 135kg (297lb). The licence category will be A1. It's not clear from where this engine is derived, except to say that it's supplied by Herald's "Asian partner".

 

 

The Café 400 (actually 397cc) is also a single cylinder four-stroke, but with a 5-speed transmission. Details include a steel tubular cradle frame, an inverted front fork (adjustable), twin rear shocks/dampers (also adjustable), twin front discs, a "stylish" 12 litre (2.6 gallon) petrol tank, and clip-on handlebars. Colours will be Gloss Red or Cream. The weight is quoted as 165kg (363lb). Power is quoted as 27bhp. The licence category is A2. The engine is derived from a Taiwanese-built Honda unit.

 

 

Finally, the Brute 500 is styled as a "street tracker", whatever that means to you. Herald tells us that this bike has been "built in-house from the ground up at their factory in Cambridgeshire." Features of this single-cylinder 449cc, 43bhp, four-stroke, 6-speeder include adjustable Racetek front and rear suspension (the latter with Herald's "unique" floating-shock linkage system), Racetek 4-piston front brake calipers, a steel and aluminium frame, a digital dash, and LED lights. The engine, once again, is supplied by an "Asian partner".

 

Other Herald bikes already in the market include the Classic 125 and Classic 400; the Café 125; the Scrambler 125; the Maverick 125; and the Mirage 125. These machines sell for between £2,299 and £4,299.

 

There are no prices yet for the Brat 125 or the Brute 500. But the Café 400 will be offered at £4,499 on the road. Delivery dates haven't yet been announced.

 

Herald is clearly very ambitious, is well equipped, and has already made a significant impact in the UK market. As personal budgets shrink for many people who need cheap, cost-effective and efficient motorised transport, firms such as Herald are going to be slugging it out with a new generation of similar motorcycles. And there are some pretty tough contenders out there.

 

So okay, most of these new wave Chinese/Taiwanese rooted bikes still haven't quite made the A-list in terms of quality and status. But there's really not much in it anymore, and the new found British influence on design and manufacture is likely to make these motorcycles competitive with the best that the Japanese have to offer.

 

www.heraldmotorcompany.com

 


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Brough Superior Anniversary model

 

Story snapshot:

New limited edition SS100 to mark "100 years"

£87,175

 

It's one hundred years of Brough Superior. At least, it will be in a couple of months when we motor around the curve of Christmas and pootle down the straight into the New Year. Of course, some might say that it's not 100 years at all. After all, for decades, following the factory closure in 1940, Brough Superior motorcycle production was dormant (or stone cold dead if you prefer) and the brand existed only as a name and a memory. Therefore that "100 year" claim muddies the underlying truth.

 

Regardless, come 2019 it will be 100 years since the firm was founded by George Brough, and for the past 5 years brand new 997cc Brough Superior badged motorcycles have been rolling off the French factory line.

 

But yes (and we've said this before), it would be nice if the bikes were still rolling off the production line at Haydn Road, Nottingham, England. However, Mark Upham—long time BS owner, aficionado, and classic bike collector—is the man behind the rebirth of the brand and he's as British as a bacon butty. And anyway, we're in a global world now (as opposed to living a complacent life in a cosy niche of the old empire). You have to be realistic.

 

All that aside, the company is building a limited edition bike for 2019. Essentially, the newcomer is the same svelte and sophisticated motorcycle as the existing 100bhp, DOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder SS100 88° V-twin. But the stylists have been hard at work (and play), and newly machined body panels and modish flourishes adorn the already heavily sculpted upmarket and expensive velocipede.

 

 

 

New features include four slashcut silencers, "art deco" inspired wheels (machined from aluminium billet), and new mudguards. Each bike will be numbered, and you can get yours by forking out £87,175 (plus whatever extras/refinements you order). That's around £30k more than the basic model.

 

The company tells us that it sold 65 motorcycles in 2017, and 85 (to date) in 2018. In 2019, the plan is to hike that figure to 150 new bikes sales (which, we assume, will include these Anniversary models).

 

It's hard to imagine what founder George Brough (who died in 1970) would think of the revitalised company that bears his name and carries his dream a lot further down the road. But it's hard to believe he'd be upset.

 

Of course, these modern Brough Superiors don't (yet) have quite the same cachet that they once had; "The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles", etc. But the fanbase and mystique is growing, and Mark Upham's Brough Superior has certainly opened a fresh chapter in the motorcycle history books.

 

Meanwhile, if you've already got a Bugatti Veyron, a Bentley Whatever and a couple of Ferraris or Lamborghinis in the shed, ya just gotta have a Brough for those special days.

 

Are we right?

 

www.broughsuperiormotorcycles.com

 


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This Bruff reminds me of a 30s hot rod styled in the 80s, Boyd Codington wheels and bits of billet aluminum everywhere, maybe some neon lights and ZZ top "eliminator" decals on the tank might be in order? —Roger T


I think this bike still has the same identity crisis that was on display in the first version. It seems the designers were unable to decide whether it was going to be ‘retro’ or ‘modern’ and it has ended up having an awkward mix of both. It’s interesting that the original Broughs were also basically bitzas, but probably displayed a more balanced look because they perhaps had a clearer idea of what they were trying to achieve. Personally, apart from anything else, the four silencers look particularly naff in my opinion and just add undesirable weight for no reason. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder though, and some people might love it. —The Village Squire


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Arc Vector electric motorcycle

New Arc Vector electric bike. British. HUD display. Haptic suit. £90k


Malaguti returns. Aprilia powered 125s and 300s coming. Due April 2019


New Triumph TFT connectivity control. GoPros. Google nav. Phone. Etc


Indian Motorcycles reveals new 40-piece accessory range for the FTR1200


New BMW C400GT scooter. 350cc single. £7k. Made in China by Loncin


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Hi Sump, I love the look of the new Bonnies and Scramblers, but the more gewgaws and gadgets that Triumph bolt onto their bikes, the less I'm inclined to buy one. Just wanted to spread that message to anyone at Hinckley who might be listening. —BikeMan, Oxon


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New Triumph Speed Twin coming

 

Story snapshot:

Triumph Motorcycles releases "teaser" video

4th December 2018 launch date

 

We ought not to play the "teaser" game. It's tedious. But we're mentally weak, and we know that general interest will be fairly strong, so we've found a small space on our news page to show you what's on the way from Hinckley Triumph in a few weeks. Not that the "teaser" images reveal very much, mind. But they do confirm that Triumph has finally decided to reintroduce the hallowed Speed Twin name—which for us is far more evocative than "Bonneville" or "Thunderbird" or "Tiger".

 

Edward Turner's seminal Speed Twin was, after all, where modern Triumph motorcycles began. Introduced in 1938, the 500cc 5T Speed Twin was an instant sensation and became the blueprint for hundreds of thousands of bikes built at the Priory Street factory in Coventry, and subsequently at the new Meriden works in nearby Allesley.

 

 

 

 

A sporting version of the Speed Twin was badged as the Tiger 100. The 650cc Thunderbird (an enlarged Speed Twin) arrived in 1949. And ten years later the fabled 650cc '59 Bonneville appeared. But the game changer was the aforementioned 1938 bike which, very arguably, owed something to Val Page's 6/1 650cc parallel twin of 1933 (in design concept if not execution).

 

Hinckley Triumph, privately owned by millionaire house builder John Bloor, took a (relatively) long time to reintroduce the Bonneville name. The first Hinckley bikes arrived in 1991, but it was another nine years before the Bonnie badge appeared on a new motorcycle, this being a 790cc twin. This machine was reasonably "convincing" and a credible successor to the 1959 bike, and year by year Triumph has steadily improved the design and execution.

 

 

Well now the Speed Twin gets an official (and belated?) rebirth too, and the "delivery" date is scheduled for 4th December 2019. You can scrutinise the teaser image at the top of this story for yourself, and then compare it to the image immediately above. And elsewhere on the web you can find some other "leaked" images if you're so minded.

 

But the motorcycle is clearly Bonneville based and isn't a significant leap forward from what's already on offer. We don't know officially what the capacity will be, but it looks likely to be 1200cc). So most of the pizzazz, such as it is, is in the trim, the features, the nuances, and the model badge etc. And because there's a fair bit at stake with this model in terms of heritage and hype, Hinckley has probably got it right in all the other details.

 

However, as far as we know, Amaranth Red—the colour of the original '38 Speed Twin—isn't on the Hinckley colour pallet. Or will that soon be available for the more purist minded?

 

We don't know. But we're hoping...

 


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Royal Enfield 838 Concept KX bobber

Story snapshot:

Inspired by the 1938 RE sidevalve V-twin

No plans for production

 

There's really not much detail on this, but you're welcome to what we've got. At the ongoing Milan EICMA Show, Royal Enfield has just unveiled its 838cc Concept KX bobber, said to have been developed by the in-house design team in just six months.

 

The style harks back to RE's 1938 1,140cc KX V-twin, a heavyweight sidevalve aimed largely at the sidecar market and exported worldwide. With its engine dimensions of 88.5mm by 99.25mm, this well-constructed/well thought out pre-war bike featured dry sump lubrication, a hand-change four-speed Albion gearbox, a dry clutch, a dry sump, six volt electrics with a Lucas magdyno, and a single Amal carburettor feeding both cylinders. Stopping was via (inadequate) 8-inch brakes. Wheels were 19-inch front and rear, quickly detachable and interchangeable. The frame was a "very massive duplex cradle". The handlebars were rubber mounted. The bike was priced at £77 plus change (or easy payment terms with a £19 deposit), and it was the largest in a range of around 20 machines that RE was fielding.

 

 

The new RE KX Concept's more obvious/notable features include an 838cc, air and oil-cooled engine, fuel injection, a girder front fork, a single sided monoshock rear suspension rig, aluminium alloy wheels, twin front discs and an LED headlight unit.

 

Generally speaking, we think Royal Enfield has pulled a very interesting and creditable rabbit from a bag that few saw coming (although there have for some time been rumours). The quality of construction remains to be seen, but at face value (if the price is right) it looks like a hit. Except that we've heard of no plans to put the machine into production. For the time being at least, RE is simply gauging reaction and no doubt using the machine to bolster the firm's growing design and manufacturing credentials.

 

 

 

 

Stylewise, there's not much about it that we don't like, except the livery which is drab, and the stacked silencers which lack the elegance needed on a motorcycle of this type and calibre. But if the idea was simply to make us sit up and pay attention, it's worked.

 

Moreover, the bike will probably hearten Royal Enfield's existing dealers and show them that this is a firm that going places and has plenty of ambition.

 

 


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Since you mention Royal Enfield, a mate's dad had a well-used KX attached to a double adult sidecar. During one particular trip, the bike was struggling and power was well down: he suspected sticky valve gear, so pulled over to investigate; removing one of the cylinder heads revealed a burnt exhaust valve which he was able to re-face sufficiently by using a nearby kerbstone. The fix got the family back home and him to work for the following week, pending a more thorough strip down in the workshop.
Though it's all now a world away, I can only imagine that the bloke would have been enthralled by the idea of the Concept KX.  You can't have too many 'bikes.
—Roj, Sheffield


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Michelin's Dundee car tyre plant is to close by 2020. 850 jobs to go


Kawasaki's W800 is back in production for 2019 (Street & Cafe, Euro4)


5 millionth uninsured UK vehicle warning sent since 2011. Possible £1k fine


UK car registrations year-to-date down 7.2% compared to 2017


 

Triumph T120 ltd Bonnie "Ace" models launched. Storm Grey or Diamond


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Hi Sumpster folks, Erm ...good looking ‘bike, but what went wrong with the seat and rear mudguard (there isn’t one) design and execution (you can read execution either way)? Did the designers start at the front then lose interest, fall asleep, get a child to draw the rear end or what? Maybe some folk like the “ironing board” seat look and enjoy road muck and water thrown up your legs and backs with this styling, but I certainly don’t. It just looks awful and spoils the rest of the ‘bike in my opinion. Why haven’t they fitted a nice dual seat with a semi-raised "hump" at the back end, as with Velo’ Thruxton’s, BSA Spitfire and Clubman Lightning, some Norton Dominators, the original Royal Enfield 250 Continental GT, etc?. I’m sure you know the sort of thing I’m referring to, yes ? Ho hum !—Selwyn, Isle of Man


Looking at the Triumph ‘Ace’ and the Kawasaki W800 it appears both companies share the same paint shop. No originality there then.
—The Village Squire


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Motorcycle locks from Sump


 

BSA M20 & M21:
World's Greatest Sidevalves T-shirt

 

 

£15.99

 

 


 

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.



 

BAD-ASS BIKER T-shirt

£19.99

 

 


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Sprint Manufacturing: Hinckley Triumph Parts & Accessories

 

 

 


 


Triumph Bonneville:
World's Coolest
Motorcycle T-shirt

 

 

£14.99

 

 


Classic motorcycle signs

Classic bike wall signs

from £11.99 plus P&P


 

 

 

 

 

 


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