1954 BSA 500cc GOLD STAR. We like this motorcycle (Lot 308) 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. UPDATE: The Gold Star sold for £9,775 including buyers premium.


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.


December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

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







Raising Dust in the Desert


Story snapshot:

From the Atlantic convoys to the North African desert

One man's account of his part in WW2


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


ISBN 978-1-9160809-0-4

Published in 2019 by Simon Warner.




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

Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Bristol Bike Night at Fowlers


Bristol Bike Night dates for 2019


Story snapshot:

It begins on 10th May

Triumph will be bringing the big truck


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Bud Ekins' 1962 ISDT Triumph Trophy


Bud Ekins' Trophy sells for £97,750


Story snapshot:

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

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


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


1925 Coventry Flying Eagle


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


1935 Vincent Series A Comet


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


Dad's Army Brough Superior


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


1926 Brough Superior Grand Alpine Sports


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


Noteworthy features, according to Bonhams, include:


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


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


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


All prices, incidentally, include buyers premium.


See also: Sump Classic Bike News March 2019


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



Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P




Family owned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Kickback Show reminder


Kickback Show bike entry reminder


Story snapshot:

The organiser wants a quick peek at what ya got

Free tickets and camping space for entrants


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


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


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


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



There are five competition classes:


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

The show details are:

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



See also: 2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors


Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



BSA Gold Star "prototype" to auction


Story snapshot:

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

985 FOC is the registration


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


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


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


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


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


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


Ever get feelings like that?





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



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

Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Sump will be offline for maybe 18hrs


Story snapshot:

The date will be Saturday 11th May 2019

Normal service will be resumed asap


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


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


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


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


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



Your comment will appear here.....

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


1955 Vincent Black Knight


One owner 1955 Vincent Black Knight


Story snapshot:

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

The estimate is £40k - £45k


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






Your comment will appear here.....

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


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

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

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

Harley-Davidson Liverwire motorcycle

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

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


Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Bike Social's ULEZ support offer


Story snapshot:

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

If so, Steve Rose wants your details...


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


Something like that, anyway.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


It happens. Doesn't it?







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

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

Your comment will appear here.....

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Southend Shakedown April 2019


Southend Shakedown back for 2019


Story snapshot:

3,500 free motorcycle parking places have been allocated

The Oilheads Motorcycle Club is the organiser


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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





Your comment will appear here.....

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


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.





Your comment will appear here.....

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P





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.







Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



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...]



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

Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



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.



Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



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




Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



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.





Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Royal Enfield marketing hype




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





Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


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.







Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


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


‘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

Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



#OpDarwen: "High Speed, High Risk"


Story snapshot:

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


But what's your experience on that score?


Dyfed-Powys Police Campaigns



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

Your comment will appear here.....


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Headlight safety video from Sump


Story snapshot:


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.





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

Your comment will appear here.....

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P




▲ Top










Classic bike dealers, engineers, mechanics and experts


Motorcycle insurance

Buying a motorcycle crash helmet

Classic bike parts & services

Motorcycle transportation services


The Bet

S#!t Happens



Motorcycle locks from Sump


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







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.












Sprint Manufacturing: Hinckley Triumph Parts & Accessories





Triumph Bonneville:
World's Coolest
Motorcycle T-shirt






Classic motorcycle signs

Classic bike wall signs

from £11.99 plus P&P










Copyright Sump Publishing 2019. Terms and conditions