July 2011       Classic bike news


Above: Norton has just appointed its first UK dealer. So what? So everything. Until now, the firm has been flogging its product straight from its Donington factory floor, which is kinda cool, but isn't really the way to sell bikes in any significant number. So RPM Morgan of Perth, Scotland has been the first to see if it can make a living out of Stuart Garner's baby. True, Perth is a long way North. But ya gotta start somewhere, and RPM is already a Morgan car dealer, so it's got access to discerning customers with reasonably deep pockets and a penchant for the more exotic automobilia. Norton has already got dealer coverage in Australia, Canada and Japan, plus the main Euro markets. The firm is now looking for a dealer in London and another in the South West. Bristol would be ideal. But is there a real future here? We hope so. Certainly, Garner has taken the revived Norton project further than anyone else.


July 2011 Classic bike news

New DVLA organ donor rules apply

Davida "fighter pilot" visor

Unique DOHC 250cc Velo sale

Scott Hardy UK charity bike ride
H&H Buxton auction results
Captain America's Harley on show
Avon Tyres unearths Vincent film
Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 at Quail
Braking news
New Ariel badges from Draganfly
Last ever Brough Superior SS100
H&H's Rare Brough Superior racer
Harley-Davidson shares intrigue
Frost Automotive's "ethanol fix"
Coventry Transport Museum exhibit pays homage to the Ace Cafe
Classic Vespa ACMA on eBay
Hightown Crows


June 2011 Classic bike news

Don Godden :1936-2011

Ted Simon Foundation

Norman Vanhouse

Romney Marsh Bike Jumble

"2000 visitors" at Enfield Weekend

"Gold Star number one" on eBay

Ugly Fish biker specs from Down Under

£45,600 for a British Anzani V-twin engine
Road Safety Minister Penning launches new "Think!" initiative
Draganfly's 35th birthday
Andover Norton Commando production racer head steady
Roy Bacon dating certificates doubts
New T120 & T140 pistons from Norman Hyde
First Daventry Motorcycle Festival
Travelling with Mr Turner


May 2011 Classic bike news

Lambeth Council redefines potholes

McQueen's Husky breaks auction record
New EC legislation threat to online
classic bike spares traders

Big Dog Motorcycles is bankrupt
Sheriff of Cambridge buys Hyde Harrier
Jubilee prototype

500,000th Hinckley Triumph arrives
Ultra rare AJS Porcupine heads for
Bonhams' Carmel Auction

Lambrettas back on the streets
The Norman Club is 10 years old
Electronic speedos and tachos from SRM
A Gagg & Sons is selling up
Cambridgeshire bike shop doubles as a
post office and grocery store

Cat & Fiddle cameras are switched on
Indian Motorcycle acquired by Polaris

April 2011 Classic bike news

£2 million netted by Bonhams at the 2011
Stafford Show

Judges throw out No To Bike Parking Tax case

Dymag relaunched

Tory MP moots dangerous and reckless
cycling law

Hailwood's TT Cromwell to be auctioned
Hobgoblin Enfield Bullet winner
New ethanol warning
T120, T140 & T160 clutch cush drive "rubbers" from Tony Hayward

MAG gets a grip
Harley-Davidson 883 SuperLow Sportster
gets a Watsonian chair

Two Norton racers added to
Bonhams' Quail Lodge auction

March 2011 Classic bike news

Kawasaki W800 suspension mods

Spring Veterama 2011

Cylinder Head Shop ties up with BLR
Engineering and G&S Valves

Francis-Barnett: The Complete Story
Bike death on Mike Hailwood memorial run
BSA A7, A10 & Ariel Huntmaster
dynamo belt drive kit

Captain America's chopper on the block
UK Government switches drink drive
emphasis to drugs

Shadows' bassist Jet Harris dies
Moto Guzzi celebrates 90th birthday
Pre-65 Motocross Club extra event
Electric bikes debut at the 2011
Red Marley Hill Climb

New rocker book from Mick Duckworth
Welcome to The Manor Cafe
Bristol cars go in administration
Battistinis Retro Revival
Steve McQueen bounds back on the big screen
1938 350cc Excelsior Manxman
sells for £26,640



February 2011 Classic bike news

Dave Degens at South of England Ardingly Classic Bike Show

Vinnielonglegs under the hammer

50 years of the Welsh Dragon Rally

Charge warning light driver

Round Kurland Latvian Rally

Mike Hailwood Memorial Run

Triumph Tiger 90 register

Crash Card launched at the Ace Cafe

VMCC raffles a T160 Triumph Trident for 2011

Harley-Davidson Sportster Custom

KLN 804, where are you?

Douglas: Light aero engines from Kingswood
to Cathcart

Bonhams' Paris Grand Palais
Auction draws near...

£144 Lucas ammeter on eBay. Sold!

BSA Golden Flash eBook from Sump

January 2011 Classic bike news

Record sales for Rolls Royce

1942 Royal Enfield WD/CO for sale on eBay

WW2 Waltham watch for sale

Steve McQueen Husqvarna for sale at Bonhams

New Royal Enfield V-twin denied

Carbon fibre T140/T120 frame

BSA-Indian bobber on eBay

VAT rise hides dealer price hike

Meriden blockade stepped up

Ealing to boot bikes from bus lanes?

Harley-Davidson share price rise

New Norvil Catalogue

Triumph leading UK big bike sales

Rare Megola heading for Bonhams' Grand Palais Paris auction

Draganfly John Bull knee grips & toolboxes

Hildebrand & Wolfmüller sells for a record $161,000 at Las Vegas

BSA Golden Flash eBook from Sump


December 2010 Classic bike news

$15,000 tin toys auctioned

Captain Beefheart 1941-2010

Two old Texans head for Bonhams' big one

Two more HD dealers hit the skids

Prince Charles: "I hate motorbikes"

1925 Brough Superior prototype set to smash marque auction record

Police supt changes speeding plea

UK blocks Euro wide motoring fines plan

"Select" MPs call for new drink driving purge

New old stock US container bonanza from Burton Bike Bits

US Government bailed out Harley with $2.3billion

April ‘Real Classic’ Malvern Classic Bike Show date change

Calling Panther owners...

Eight Vincents on offer at Bonham's 1st Las Vegas sale

Simulated riding research "shock"



November 2010 Classic bike news

Penning's Triumph?

Royal Enfield Fury set to launch

Roberto Rossi Rivale Bonneville

Amazing key fob camera

White line warnings

1926 Indian Scout tops Bonhams'
18th Harrogate sale

Zero emissions racer hits cyclist

Fall in London bus driver assaults

120,000 tons of Aussie salt on the way

Off duty New York cop shoots bike thief

Rare AMC Rickman Métisse auction

1929 Scott 3-speed Flyer TT Replica

Michelin wants its windows back, please

5p off Shell V-Power—for one day only

Stolen bike recovery rate falling

Accident Exchange

Royal Enfield and Watsonian Squire
are flying again

Bike theft risk

Douglas: The Complete Story

High level Hinckley Bonnie exhausts

The end for Pontiac

Oxford speed cameras back in the frame

Bonhams to auction rare Hildebrand
and Wolfmuller

Norvin cafe racer from Sump Magazine

October 2010 Classic bike news

Low sun warning from the IAM

"Plain clothed" traffic wardens

100,000 anti terror suspects stopped in 2009: zero arrests

Bud Ekins memorabilia auction

Brough Superior makes a record £286,000

Triumph 675R Daytona tank badge intrigue

Philip Hammond criticised over insensitive
suicide remarks

EC rejects ABS "switch off" option

100 Years of AA Ireland stamp issued

Norman Hyde triple pistons

Norvin cafe racer auction result

Quarter of a million pound Brough?

Dave Aldana's Rocket for sale

Andy Tiernan Air Ambulance calendar

Big UK freeze on the way

Helmut Fath's URS outfit sells for
£102,700 at Stafford

New sliding gear for BA or BAP gearboxes

Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket Three oil pumps from Hyde

AJS 7R & Matchless G50 looking for £25-£28k & £28k-32k, respectively

Triumph Tiger XC images released

2011 Adventure Travel Film Festival

Keis bodywarmer

Eric Patterson at the Ardingly Show

Motorcycle Action Group organising
mass lobby of Parliament

Tom Swallow James Comet for sale

Mayor Johnson launches
motorcycle safety campaign

Sussex Police on TV

2011 ABS Triumph Speed Triple

Bonham's £12,000-£16,000
1939 Triumph Tiger 100

Norman Wisdom 1915-2010

New driving test rules take effect

125p per litre petrol soon?

New Rocker culture book

Legendary 100 Club set to close

Cycle lobby to challenge motorcycle
bus lane access

M4 bus lane now open to cars

Norvin cafe racer to fetch £29,000?

1931 500cc Sunbeam Model 9 Plus

September 2010 Classic bike news

New VMCC Devon section proposed

Michael Scott Wade

Pensioner jailed for assaulting Hells Angel

Schwarzenegger signs noise emissions bill

Harley-Davidson extended warranty offer

Biker cleared of filming hystericalgun toting cop

New buckles from Chequered Flag

Thefts at Triumph Live

£33 billion road safety economy drive

Norfolk Speed Cameras "facing the axe"

The "sun shines down" on Netley

AJS-Matchless Calendar 2011

Morgan to build cycle cars again?

Biking Brigadier's charity appeal

Blueye eyewear

BSA kevlar clutch plate kit

Bedford is next to open bus lanes to motorcycles

Stolen 1931 Sunbeam Lion

Francis Barnett trademark for sale

'53 Squariel sells strong for £11,900 at
Bonham's Beaulieu

Friends of Speedway film appeal

Triumph - Britain's largest automotive

Ariel Square Four repro 'rods from Draganfly

3D Wonderbra distraction

Police predict a riot

Johnny "Chester" Dowling

Easy Rider special screening

Scottish police need help

Repro Triumph Speed Twin forks

1937 Stevens auctioned for £12,980

Police officer guilty of killing 60s pop star's son

Canadian optical "safety" illusion

1200cc shaft-drive Triumph spotted

Councils cut the streetlight budget

Real Classic sold to Mortons Media

Helmetless bike thief dies in smash

Triumph X-75 Hurricane at Cheffins

Rare 1932 Triumph XO?

Superbike magazine sold to Vitality Publishing?

Two killed at the Manx Grand Prix

Hinckley Bonnie wheels

Crash proof Volvo?

Ace Cafe Reunion

Bike Parking Tax demo

Velocette M Series

War Department's 1940's day

BSA M20 bobber

Norton Commando hits 129mph at
Bonneville Salt Flats

Matthew Dieckmann killed in bike/car crash


August 2010 Classic bike news

Schwarzenegger to rule on noisy bikes
Northamptonshire police compensation claims
Kawasaki W800 is rolling
Interesting helmet research
Ace Classics to race at Goodwood
Bikers carjack celebrity wife
Taxi driver wasn't dead
New Amal parts for monoblocs
Val Emery Decals
Cameron & Clegg scrap pub plans
England gets the thumbs up
RoSPA's Communiqué
Villiers book
New three cylinder Triumph engine confirmed
Road pricing survey results
Drag Bike Racing - from Veloce
Road sign cull
The Fabulous Teddys
Davida 92
Draganfly's new plunger tubes
ID Document Bill
Morton's picture archive online
MO1 magneto replacement
Eddie Crooks
Triumph & The Stranglers
Royal Enfield Pub opens
Peter Williams Autobiography
Helmut Fath's outfit auctioned
Sammy Miller bikes on the block
8 Vincents auctioned
New V5Cs
TR3OC Breakfast
"Lewis Leathers" Enfield Bullet


Classic Bike Events

New DVLA organ donor rules apply


From tomorrow, Monday 1st August 2011, you won't be able to apply for an online driving licence without ticking an organ donor preference box. The DVLA will be insisting that you answer one of three questions:


You can:

(a) sign away your body parts right there and then

(b) tell them that you're already on the body parts list, or

(c) tell them that you would like to decide on another occasion.


There's no option on the form telling the government to simply eff-off, if that's your preference—which indicates yet another example of how her Majesty's Whitehall Incompetents have yet again heavily weighted matters in the direction they want to go.


Fact is, many people have very strong personal/religious feelings about what happens to what's left of them if and when they wrap their bike, car or whatever around a lamp post. They don't want to end up as transplant fodder, even if someone else has to die. And that might upset many, but that's how it is.


But from Monday, saying "no" is simply not an online option. It will all comes down to "yes," "yes," or "maybe"— which paves the way for a sly shift towards "yes," "yes" and "yes."


The Labour Party, when they were in office, took a difference approach. They wanted an automatic "yes" to body-parts donation if you didn't say "no"—which is a line of argument that wouldn't find much support in, say, a rape trial. And you can be sure that with an automatic "yes", a few misplaced records or clerical errors will do much to boost the NHS's meat locker and sideline your post-mortem sensibilities.


Our advice? If it bothers you, don't apply online. If it really bothers you, tell it to your MP and David Cameron. Both are in the book. Meanwhile, you can concentrate on being a real NHS pariah simply by staying alive. Of course, some poor bastard will die because of it, but it's either you or them.

— Dexxion



Davida "fighter pilot" visor

... so anyway, there we we're, trawling through the inbox when we spot an emailgram from Davida. The gist of it reads as follows:

Dear Whoever, our D4Vi9A JPV1 Visor is now approved to ECER22-05. STOP. And the design is a year old. STOP. And it looks like something a fighter pilot might wear. STOP. And it fits our Jet lids. STOP. And doesn't vibrate and cause turbulence. STOP. And it's got some stainless steel on it. STOP. And it's secured by an elasticated headband. STOP. And it costs fifty or sixty quid (depending on which lens you have). STOP. And you can flip it up and down one-handed. And ... well that's pretty much it. STOP. So any chance of a plug? STOP.

Well I have to say, we weren't too sure, especially as they sent us a pic of a familiar-looking fat bloke on a bobbed Triumph with a skinny tart on the back showing a little too much leg for serious classic biking. I mean, think of the road rash if she fell off. Think of the screams. The blood. The gore. The reconstructive surgery.

Doesn't bear thinking about. And anyway, gratuitous erotic pics like this give biking a bad name.

But we're a broad-minded lot and decided to let this one through. But next time, we want leathers, jeans, boots and gloves—with both models holding up ID cards to prove they're over eighteen (meanwhile, send us the telephone number of the skinny tart).

Address your righteous concerns to Davida at: www.davida.co.uk


— The Third Man




Unique DOHC 250cc Velo sale


You'll have to be very quick if you're interested in this one because Cheffins will be flogging it tomorrow (Saturday 23rd July 2011) at their Vintage Sale at Sutton, Near Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 2QT.


Built by the Hunter Brothers of Melbourne, Australia, this 68mm x 68mm, 250cc, DOHC single was built around 1948 and raced only two or three times by one of the Hunters Brothers who, riding a Velo KTT, was later killed. Fellow Aussie, Sandy Maxwell, raced it for a few seasons and in 1951 brought it to the UK. Later still, yet another Aussie, Ivan Tighe, campaigned the Velo on the continent and, by all accounts, did okay.


Anyway, the bike has some history and, we hear, hasn't been mucked about with/upgraded too much, so it's sold as a "time warp" machine.


The estimate is £6,000-£10,000. Sounds like one strictly for the die-hard Velo enthusiasts. But these days, you just never know. No one trusts the banks anymore, but history is always history, and it ain't getting any cheaper.

— Girl Happy




Scott Hardy UK charity bike ride


Lance Corporal Scott Hardy and Private James Grigg of the 1st Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment were killed on 16th March 2010 whilst on active service in Afghanistan.


Soon after, the Scott Hardy Foundation was established, its aim being to support the families of other soldiers killed in action. Already, over £25,000 has been raised, but that's nowhere near enough to help support the dependants of our woefully underpaid and under-resourced British troops.


Next year, from 26th August 2012 to 9th September 2012, there will be an anti-clockwise ride around England, Scotland and Wales. It starts at Porky's Diner in Basildon, Essex, and will end back in Essex at a camping rally (with another rally in Scotland en route).


If you want to be part of this, get in touch with the organisers asap. August 2012 seems a long way off, but we all know how quickly another year comes aroundand these events take a lot of preparation.


The organisers are also looking for any celebrity guests who can lend their support to this. So don't be shy now. Come and step up to the microphone. Don't you know there's a bloody war on?



— Del Monte




H&H Buxton auction results


Not a very impressive result. That's the bottom line. Held at the Pavillion Gardens, Buxton on 20th July 2011, seventeen bikes went under the hammer, and twelve remained unsold.


That said, there wasn't very much to really set the heart racing. But still, five sales out of seventeen probably made it hardly worth the effort. The top seller was the "unrestored" 1933 KTT Velocette (above) that fetched £9,546.


Other results were:


2001 Harley Davidson FLSTC at £8,910

1966 Honda CB450 Black Bomber at £5,500
1954 Triumph T110 Tiger at £5,390

1962 Norton 650 SS at £4,620


And that was it. Amongst the unsold bikes was:


1938 Sunbeam Model 9

1959 AJS 7R


One machine that caught our eye was a very stylish 1950 125cc, two-stroke, three-speed Aermacchi Mach 1 that failed to find a buyer (see image below). Features include leading-link forks, a swinging arm frame, the fuel tank under the seat, and a tool box in the dummy tank. Wheels are 17-inchers. Top speed is said to be around 47mph from the 5hp engine. This bike, as you'd expect, has been restored. The reserve was £1800.


Aermacchi, incidentally, was an aircraft manufacturer founded in 1913 in Lombardy, Italy. During WW2, the firm made some good aircraft, and began motorcycle production when the shooting stopped. The last Aermacchi was produced in the late 1970s.



So does the poor-selling Buxton auction mean that some of the shine has finally gone from the classic bike sector? We think not. Buxton was, after all, just a small auction and hardly a weathervane for the market as a whole. But still, there should have been some better numbers than this.

— The Third man



Captain America's Harley on show


When it comes to product placement, you have to go a long way to beat Harley's coup. When we first heard on the radio about this (sometime last year), we thought it was a remake of Easyrider with Peter Fonda reprising his classic, drug-fuelled hippy sojourn into Yankee redneck country.


But no. It was just another superhero movie; this time featuring Captain America: The first Avenger. If you know your Marvel Comics (and we were mostly DC fans if you want the truth), the Avengers first appeared back in 1963 and fielded a line of musclebound, Spandex-clad weirdos that included Iron Man, Ant Man, Thor, Wasp and The Hulk.


The Captain didn't appear until Issue 4 when the Avengers thawed him from a block of ice and ... well, you get the idea. The point is, he wasn't exactly the first Avenger, but he was probably the coolest (pun intended).


Well tomorrow (22nd July 2011), the movie is going to hit the cinemas of the UK, and it looks like the most ridiculous, gung-ho, trashy, self-aggrandising piece of overblown, nationalistic, Nazi-bashing rubbish. But we're gonna be right there in the front row supping Coke and munching corn and enjoying every Cinemascopic minute (all we need is to find a nephew or someone that we can take along as cover).


Meanwhile, the Captain's bike (or, actually, two or three of them) has just gone on display at Harley's museum in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USAwhich is what this news story was supposed to be about until we got carried away. But we're feeling better now. Okay?


The bike, incidentally, is supposed to look like a 1942 Harley Flathead. But it's really a 2011 Cross Bones hamming it up with some scrap metal for cooling fins. Tina Turner said that we don't need another hero. But we disagree. Keep 'em coming.


And hey! Wasn't there a Marvel Comics character called Captain Britain way back in the 1970s? Seems to us that there was ...

— Dexxion


Avon Tyres unearths Vincent film


This year marks a century of Avon motorcycle tyres—and that's a century, not out. Avon, note, is Britains only UK-based manufacturer of road-going motorcycle rubber. The company, based in Melksham, Wiltshire, started in 1885 and shortly before WW1 diversified into bikes.


Anyway, it seems that the firm, in looking for old brochure and ad material to mark a gripping 100 years, has turned up a few dusty cans of film. The best of them, circa 1950, shows a Vincent twin leaving Avon's factory gates (which are still there, we hear) and going for a blast up the King's, or Queen's highway.


There's no sound, except for the faint ticker-ticker-ticker of the film. But it's a nice bit of footage all the same. We've got a copy of the vid and might stick it on Sump sometime. But until then, you can view it on the Motor Cycle News website.


Meanwhile, if you've got anything in your own archive that you feel Avon might like to see, you know what to do.

— Dexxion




Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 at Quail


We've been reporting for a while on Bonhams' Quail Lodge auction that will take place in Carmel, California on 18th-19th August 2011 (see the Brough news items below). Well, here's another auction lot that, as likely as not, is going to fetch some serious moolah.


It's a 1928 Coventry-Eagle Flying-8. This example (above) is an OHV model and estimated at £120,000. Meanwhile, a 1925 sidevalve model is also up for grabs, the estimate for that one being less than half the price at (just) £50,000. That's a whole lot of difference for a couple of inverted valves, but who are we to argue with market forces?


But does either Eagle out-Brough a Brough? Some think so, and we'll find out on the day. But either way, we're not buying because we're skint this month.


Coventry-Eagle, in case you're interested, started out as Hotchkiss, Mayo & Meek, a Victorian bicycle manufacturer. By 1897, the name Coventry-Eagle was established. But by 1939, at the start of WW2, it was all over.


How many of the Flying-8s were built, isn't clear. And how many are left is even less clear. A handful maybe. A dozen at best. But rarity certainly does carry a premium, and the Coventry-Eagle makes, say, a Crocker look as common as muck.


— Del Monte

Footnote: This bike actually made $263,500



Yeah, we know that you guys like Sump's news pages. We get regular emails telling us so.


"Yeah, groovy stuff."

"Best classic site on the web!"

"...I've just inherited $28 million dollars and ..."



And we'd like to put even more classic bike news online, but in this internet age of instant communication, reliable info is paradoxically in short supply.


Weird, huh?


But what the hell can you do about it? Well, you can give us the gossip, that's what. We're looking for more up-to-the-minute club news, bike news, event news, product news—and all the other news that makes classic biking in the UK, and elsewhere, such a hoot.


Keep in mind that we're primarily a British classic bike site. But we're interested in intel about ALL classics. Jap. American. German. Italian. Whatever.


Scooters too.


So drop us a line at Sump and spread the word. And if you've got a snapshot, so much the better. But lay off the phone hacking, huh? We ain't News International here. We're just poor boys (and girls) with shallow pockets and a reputation that's still mostly intact.


— The Third Man



New Ariel badges from Draganfly


So okay, these tank badges still turn up from time to time at autojumbles and on eBay. But rarely in good condition, and not always in the colour you want. But stop yer snivelling because Draganfly has had a batch of them re-made, and they're available now.


It's actually a two-part item; the vitreous enamel badge, and the motif/surround (that's the big chrome bit). Both items are made right here in England, and prices are £16.88 for the badge (each) and £22 (each) for the motif. You'll need to add VAT (if you're living in the UK), and postage and packing.


No, they ain't exactly giving 'em away, but Draganfly (as far as we know) make decent parts and only flog what they use for their own rolling stock. Buy quality with confidence.



— Girl Happy




Last ever Brough Superior SS100


There seems to be no end of Brough Superiors on the auction blocks these days. Not that we mind. It keeps the money moving and lets up have a good drool for the good things in life we can't have.


This particular Matchless-powered 1000cc Brough has the distinction of being the last SS100 to roll off the production line. The year was 1940, and it comes with a full Hadyn Road (Nottingham) factory history. The estimate is $350,000-$400,000—which is around £217,000-£248,000 at today's exchange rate (15th July 2011).


It's going to be sold at Bonhams' 14th Quail Lodge sale in Carmel, California on 18th August 2011. There's a 1954 AJS Porcupine, a pair of Coventry Eagle Flying-8s (1925sv and 1928 OHV) and a 1955 Vincent Black Prince also up for grabs.



— Del Monte


Footnote: This bike actually made $295,000




H&H's Rare Brough Superior racer


Meanwhile, here's yet another Brough Superior SS100, this one being auctioned by rival firm H&H on 21st September 2011 at the Imperial War Museum (probably Duxford rather than London; the H&H website doesn't specify).


This 1000cc JAP-powered bike was built in 1938 and despatched to Agar Cross and Co, forwarding agents, who shipped the bike overseas—apparently to Argentina (details aren't clear).


Either way, this is said to be the last SS100 powered by a JAP engine. The date and location of this auction has been mis-reported in the classic bike press, but the details above are taken straight from H&H's website. No estimate has been given yet.



— Del Monte


Harley-Davidson shares intrigue


Oops! Looks like someone's in trouble. The word is that Harley-Davidson execs are going to be investigated over a very dodgy shares intrigue which, if criminal activity is detected, could end up in some lengthy jail sentences.


What exactly happened? Allegedly (and we did say allegedly, remember?), one or more HD suits or company officers spread a rumour that Milwaukee's most famous son was about to be taken over by US investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts thereby sending the company shares soaring into where the final space shuttle flight has just been.


Behind this, an unspecified number of HD shares had been bought up on the QT, and were suddenly dumped back on the market seconds before the rumours were scotched.


The result? A lotta dosh in someone's piggy bank. Or should that be hog bank? Either way, it smells funny and isn't being taken lightly, and someone's gotta pay. Lawyers are now circling and contacting recent investors to check if anyone's been sidling up to them in the mens room, ladies room, or elsewhere, and making improper suggestions.


Sounds like business as usual in the seedy world of corporations and takeovers and insider trading. Makes a good old British street mugging sound almost honest, huh? Thank Godand John Bloorthat Triumph is still a private firm and above all that Wall Street nonsense.


— Dexxion



Frost Automotive's "ethanol fix"


Have you heard about the latest way to deal with that ethanol problem that's gumming up your Amals, rotting your fuel taps, rusting the inside of your steel petrol tank, dissolving your GRP tank, and generally wrecking your entire life?


Well,  Frost Automotive have got the answer. It comes in a little 250ml bottle and can miraculously "treat" and "stabilise" 250 litres of ethanol adulterated petrol. In Frost's own words: "... can improve drivability, increase fuel economy, restore power and reduce exhaust emissions."


And it costs only £12 a bottle.


Sound too good to be true? Well that's what we thought, which is why we tried it on our bald patches—and guess what? It all grew back. And then we tried it on a flat tyre, and it sorted that out too.


But don't take our word for it. Buy a bottle and see it if works for you. It's just gotta do something, huh?

— Del Monte



Coventry Transport Museum exhibit pays homage to the Ace Cafe


In case you haven't yet made the pilgrimage, Coventry Museum of Transport's "Coming of Age at the Ace Cafe" exhibition, which opened on 3rd June 2011, will continue until 2nd October 2011.


What's it all about? It's about youth, and acne, and motorcycles, and greasy hair, and rock'n'roll and pinball and sex and ... well you already know the whole story because it's been done often enough, on TV and the radio and in the pressand you can visit the Ace in North London seven days a week, every day of the year, if you missed a bit.


But Coventry Transport Museum have their own take on it, and it looks like a lot of effort has been spent on getting it right. Except that these things usually turn out a little cheesy and mythologise something that for most Ace faces was actually pretty mundane (truck drivers, stewed tea, arteriosclerosis sandwiches, boredom, etc). But okay, there were great moments too, which is what people want to hear about, and what the exhibit is celebrating. And who the hell wants fact when you can have glorious, rose-tinted fiction? Not us.


Anyway, we haven't been there and ain't planning to make this particular pilgrimage. But as ever, you can decide for yourself. Tickets are a fiver on the day, and £4.40 in advance. There are concessions too. Check the web site below for detail.



— Dexxion




Classic Vespa ACMA on eBay


The bidding starts at £11,300, or you can buy it now (13th July 2011) for just (gulp!) £11,500. What is it? It's a 1952/53, 125cc Vespa ACMA coupled to a rare sidecar, said to be fully restored—except for the speedometer. From 1951 to 1962 ACMA (Ateliers de construction de motocycles et d'automobiles) produced Vespas under licence in Fourchambault, near Dijon, France. The firm built both scooters and micro cars, but eventually was unable to compete with Renault and Citroen and shut up shop.


In terms of classic scooter styling, it's hard (but not impossible) to beat. But £11,500? Can't see a long queue for this one. But classic scooters are definitely continuing to climb in value with strong demand (unsurprisingly) on the Italian market.


This bike's life started in France where it was manufactured, was taken by a Parisian dealer, went through the hands of some Swiss nuns, and ended up in Poland. For 25 years, we hear, it was unused.


If you like this kind of stuff, and don't mind paying near-BSA DBD34 prices for a scooter-and-chair, you'd better make your play. There's just 3 days and 8 hours to go. We've got a suspicion that a lot of people would like to have it, but no one in the current climate is going to stick their hand that deep in their pocket. Or are they?


Update: The Vespa didn't sell.

— The Third Man



Hightown Crows


We don't know if these guys ride motorcycles, classic or otherwise, and we don't care. Whatever they do in their spare time is fine by us, just as long as they keep the music coming.


If you haven't heard of them, welcome to the Hightown Crows. They're best seen live in a marketplace hammering out rootsy, twangy, bluesy, foot-stomping original numbers. But if you can't manage that, check out their free downloads on their online crowsnest.


Either way, you're gonna have to scrape some sand from your ears and get your pacemaker reset because this is gritty, graunchy, heartstopping stuff. Expect amusing lyrics and great riffs driven by a double bass and a drum kit (underpinned by a beat-up 1940s suitcase) and topped by the kind of caterwauling guitar tones that would send Brian Setzer into a rockabilly frenzy.


These guys hail from way down south (in Dorset) and can rip it up with the best of 'em. They've got three or four CDs priced from a couple of quid to around a tenner, and you can hire these smoking guns for your bike show, party or bash. And they do wakes as welland you won't get a better send off than this combo. But don't take our word for it. Check 'em out before you take another breath. There's a YouTube link below. So get it on, brother. You'll get a beautiful nosebleed from this lot.




— Dexxion




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