about-us-sump-magazine

 

1954 BSA 500cc GOLD STAR. We like this motorcycle and the story that comes with it. Part of the Bob Gardiner Collection, it was sold to him for use in the '54 ISDT, which that year was held in Wales. One of six machines prepared by BSA for private entrants, Bob collected the bike from the factory in Birmingham, took his place in the fray but retired early. Later, he used the machine as a daily ride and competed in various long distance events. In 1958, he entered it again in the ISDT and, despite an injury, won a 3rd Class Award. Then he rode it in a few more competitions before hanging up his boots. In 1966, married with property, he regretfully sold the bike for £125. But a few years on, he bought it back for £75 and managed to recover almost all the original ISDT equipment. Now mostly restored, Bonhams will be selling this Gold Star at Stafford on 27th April 2019. The estimate is a lowly £8,000 - £10,000—which will be a crime if it sells at that dismal price. And where's Bob now? We don't like to ask.

 

April 2019  Classic bike news


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


 

Motorcycle news




February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed



 


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost


Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust




 

June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


 

May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route


April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall


March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history


February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer


January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges


December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!


November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners



September 2017 Classic Bike News












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








New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt


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


Sump news archive

 

 

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

 

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

 

Story snapshot:

Sump book review

Hardback, £25

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

This is what Veloce has to say about the publication:

 

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

 

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

 

www.veloce.co.uk

 


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MOTORCYCLE NEWS EXTRA

 

Story snapshot:

New picture-driven bike news portal coming atcha

Think lightweight. Think simplified

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

'Kay?

 

MOTORCYCLE NEWS EXTRA

 


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Allen Millyard Velocette V-twin

 

Story snapshot:

Genius Berkshire-based bike builder notches up another one

One of a kind Velocette to display at 2019 Stafford Show

 

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

 

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

 


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


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EU road safety stats: "disappointing"

 

Story snapshot:

Britain officially has the safest roads in the EU

28 fatalities per one million inhabitants is the number to watch

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Ride defensively. Don't ride angry.

 


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Shane Lance Deacon: 1929 - 2019

 

Story snapshot:

"Scott Tracy" of Thunderbirds fame has died

He was best known to us as Shane Rimmer

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

See also: Francis (Captain Scarlet) Matthews obituary

SHANE RIMMER ON YOUTUBE

 


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Inside Oxford Products video

 

Story snapshot:

A glimpse into one of Britain's biggest biking firms

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

INSIDE OXFORD PRODUCTS

 


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Royal Enfield marketing hype

 

ATTENTION! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!

 

Story snapshot:

Over-hyped motorcycle marketing alert

Tip: Do not stare directly into the blast

 

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

Royal Enfield UK website, 5/4/19

 

Wow!

 


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Triumph "Blueprint" T-shirt reprinted

 

Story snapshot:

Good quality pre-shrunk cotton T-shirts

£15.99, in stock now

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

TRIUMPH BLUEPRINT T-SHIRT

NORTON BLUEPRINT T-SHIRT

BSA M20 BLUEPRINT T-SHIRT

 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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#OpDarwen: "High Speed, High Risk"

 

Story snapshot:

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

But what's your experience on that score?

 

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


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


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Headlight safety video from Sump

 

Story snapshot:

DISABILITY GLARE KILLS

Watch it, and support it if you can

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We'll just have to see.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

DISABILITY GLARE KILLS video

 


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


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