1957 Harley-Davidson Sportster. When this 4-speed, air-cooled, 55 cubic inch (900cc) XL was introduced, it was a huge leap forward for Harley-Davidson. Its OHV engine was (arguably) an overdue upgrade on the Model K sidevalve motor (and offered a claimed 40 percent more power). The XL handling was unquestionably superior to the "big twins" in the H-D range. The brakes were ... well, let's not talk about the brakes. And the looks were intended to give the "British invasion" bikes from BSA, Triumph and Norton a bloody nose (with limited success). At 495lbs (225kg), the XL was considered "light" by H-D standards and was the template for all the Sportsters to follow—and the model is still in production. This restored example is said to include 97% original parts. Liveried in Black & Pepper Red, the Sportster is a legend in its own lifetime. Mecum will be auctioning this example at Monterey, California between 23rd and 25th August 2018. The estimate is $25,000 - $35,000. We don't like it. We love it.


August 2018  Classic bike news



June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

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

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar

November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

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

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

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

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

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

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

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

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

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

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

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

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

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

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

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

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

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

March 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

New drug-driving regulations are here

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

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

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

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

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



January 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

Sump news archive



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




December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010





Watsonian GP700 and Triumph Rocket Three


Watsonian's GP700 for Rocketeers


Story snapshot:

Triumph's Rocket III gets hitched

£7,545 is the total price


The GP700 chair is the largest in Watsonian's Grand Prix sidecar range. Introduced in 1966, the body (we're told) is "made from aluminium with a gelcoat finish". That doesn't sound quite right to us, but we ain't arguing*.


Regardless, it's a wide body design, and you can fit either an adult up front with fair amount of luggage (185 litres) at the rear, or replace the adult with a couple of brats.


Triumph Rocket Three and Watsonian GP700


The real story here, however, is that you can now buy this chair with specially engineered tubular attachments for a Triumph Rocket III—and if the Rocket's liquid-cooled, 2.3 litre, triple cylinder engine isn't enough power for you, better nip out and buy a Volvo or something.


The rig is, of course, British made and manufactured in Watsonian's factory in the North Cotswolds. Prices for the GP700 sidecar start at £6,295, and you'll be expected to fork out another £1,250 for the fitting kit.


Call Watsonian on: 01386 700907




UPDATE: *We've since been advised that the body is in fact fibre glass.


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...


Ethanol fuel pumps


Increased ethanol in petrol mooted


Story snapshot:

Time is running out to complete an important survey

E10 unleaded looks to be on the way


The 5% ethanol already added to UK petrol has caused no end of damage to classic vehicles, specifically with regards to rubber seals, rubber hosing, fibre glass fuel tanks and so on. Moreover, the water content in ethanol will naturally attack iron and steel, and doesn't much care for aluminium. And now we hear that the Department for Transport (DfT) has issued a consultation document with a view to increasing the strength of the brew.


Currently, the E5 unleaded fuel in the UK is laced with 5% ethanol. Under new plans, that could increase by another 5% thereby creating E10 (or 10% ethanol), and that could wreak even more damage—or so warns Roger Bibbings, convener of the VMCC (Vintage Motor Cycle Club) Regulatory Action Group.


Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not doubling the ethanol actually does double the damage. It might be that beyond a certain threshold, it makes little difference how much C2H60 is flowing through your motor. Either way, we'd just as soon see ethanol phased out in favour of some more agreeable substitute.


FBHVCMeanwhile, the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs has developed a survey aimed at owners of cars, bikes, buses and trucks, etc, that run on petrol and are 25 years old or more. The idea of the survey is to collate info from interested parties and then formulate a suitable (and timely) response to Her Majesty's Government.


Normally (or at least sometimes), Sump gets early warning of this kind of stuff, and we post the story asap. But these guys haven't tipped us off at all. Instead, we got this info through another party. And what that means is that the deadline to complete the survey is ... wait for it, tomorrow. 31st August 2018 (and these are the guys supposed to be protecting the interests of the classic vehicle community, gawd 'elp us...).


The Department for Transport, meanwhile, is talking positively about maintaining E5 for the foreseeable future. But the DfT must have a very cloudy crystal ball, because that future stops at 2020, just two years away. And further down the line, we've been advised by Roger Bibbings, we could be facing an even more evil concoction which will be called E30—and you can figure out for yourselves how much ethanol is in that.


"Do your bit to defend our right to ride vintage and classic motor cycles!" proclaims Roger. So take a look at the survey, if you will. But quick. And while you're doing that, the VMCC and the FBHVC will be twisting the government's arm and forcing the department to maintain a "protection grade" of E5.


That's the plan, anyway. But the thing to remember with old crocks and old crockers like us is that we're essentially history. That sounds a little defeatist, we know. But there are powerful environmental forces out there, and even if the government does allow E5 to remain available at certain pumps, what do you suppose will happen to the price? Look what happened to leaded petrol.


But the fat lady hasn't sung, so come on chaps and chappesses. If we have to go down, let's do it fighting rather than whingeing, huh? So check the survey (if you've got time) and all hands to the pumps. And keep an eye on the FBHVC website for more on this—and we'll monitor it too and will tip off ourselves next time.


Meanwhile, we've just received an urgent email from NASA telling us that a humping great asteroid is coming right at us in about ... oh whhhhhat? ...



FBHVC survey

Frost Automotive ethanol fix


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Hi, I tried really hard to do the government survey, but lost the will to live. They definitely do not want us to do the survey (you are asked for options which are not on the form).—Ian Clare

Your comment will appear here...


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


You've heard of the Magnificent Seven? Well, to many H-D fans here are the Magnificent Thirteen. These ex-AMF execs liked the company so much they bought it. That's CEO and chairman Vaughn L Beals Jnr bottom right. And that's Willie G Davidson standing behind him.



Vaughn LeRoy Beals Jnr: 1928 - 2018


Story snapshot:

The man who "saved" Harley-Davidson has died

He was 90 years old


Remember back in 1981 when Harley-Davidson splashed the momentous message across the world's business and biking media reading: THE EAGLE SOARS ALONE?


We remember it well.


So okay, the message wasn't exactly in the same league as VICTORY IN EUROPE or A GIANT STEP FOR MANKIND. But in the crucible of the motorcycle world, it was one of the most significant news items of that year.



Between 1969 and 1981, Harley-Davidson had been owned and controlled by AMF (American Machine and Foundry); a huge US conglomerate that manufactured anything from bowling equipment, to bicycles to nuclear reactors. Well since 1976, Vaughn L Beals Jnr was vice president of the AMF division that managed Harley-Davidson, and it was Vaughn L Beals who in 1981 led a management buy-out of HD and made it a private company once again, and in doing so restored the desperately waning fortunes of America's greatest motorcycle manufacturer.


Well yesterday we've received the unwelcome news that Vaughn L Beals Jnr has died aged 90, and that gives us pause for thought to reflect on his monumental achievements.


Vaughn L Beals Jnr was born in Massachusetts, USA. His earliest foray into the world of business was delivering Boston newspapers before running a small team of newsboys. After graduating from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), he moved into aviation and joined the staff of Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, in New York State NY where he met his wife Eleanore Woods Beals. In the early 1950s, he took a research post at North American Aviation and helped develop technology pertaining to carrier-based supersonic aircraft—a new and exciting field of research.


He subsequently moved to Cummins, the world famous US engine manufacturer, and from there he moved to AMF and became involved in motorcycle engineering.



To its credit, (much derided) AMF had kept "the eagle" flying at a time when it might otherwise have crashed to earth. But the AMF Harley-Davidson years were not good years, certainly not in terms of quality control and production efficiency. Most—if not all—of the motorcycles that rolled off the line were defective in some way and required remedial work, and often major work. Some of those problems were immediately obvious. And some took a while to percolate. Dealers complained. Customers complained. The accountants complained. Bankruptcy was looming.


The bikes themselves were for many exciting to look at. The XLH Sportster range. The FX Superglide. The FXS Low Rider. The FXB Sturgis. These were all rare machines in the UK and they were brutally expensive. A 1980 Sportster, for instance, was priced at around £3,600 OTR. That compares to roughly £1,400 for T140 Bonneville. A Harley-Davidson Superglide, meanwhile, would set you back around £4,800 or more.



1980 80-cubic inch (1,340cc) FXB Sturgis. Think of it as a Low Rider with both a primary belt, and a secondary belt. The name "Sturgis" meant little or nothing in the UK. But once you've been indoctrinated into the H-D fold, it all makes sense. These Shovelheads were not a great sales success, but the collectors are taking notice.



In 1981, around 130,000 motorcycles were being produced annually by AMF Harley-Davidson accounting for roughly $300,000 of sales. The company was still dominant in the domestic big cruiser market. But by the late seventies it had more or less given up on smaller capacity bikes being unable to compete with ultra fierce pricing from the likes of Honda, Yamaha et al.


Harley-Davidson had a few years earlier complained about "dumping" bikes on the US market, and the firm took its complaints to the United States International Trade Commission. After much deliberation the commission agreed that the lower capacity bikes were being dumped, but also ruled that H-D was not been commercially damaged—which was only partly true because cheap Hondas drew fresh blood, and when moving up to bigger machines, that blood generally stayed loyal to the brand.

Finally AMF, which had been advancing a programme of cuts and downsizing tentatively put H-D on the block. Vaughn L Beals Jnr saw the opportunity and approached CitiCorp for a loan. After much negotiation, $81.5 million was put on the table, and Beal became CEO and chairman of the new firm.


It wasn't until Vaughn L Beals Jnr had full control of Harley-Davidson that he was able to introduce modern manufacturing methodology, much of it borrowed from the Japanese who had refined the noble art of bike building.



1979 AMF Harley-Davidson Sportster. 1,000cc. Cast wheels. Siamese exhaust. And a huge airbox that no one wanted except the US EPA. The brakes were terrible, the generator was dodgy, and the bike clunked along occasionally weeping oil. But we liked it for its sheer presence and unapologetic charm. Some day, AMF-era bikes will be highly sought after, but probably not any day soon.



Willie G Davidson (grandson of co-founder William A Davidson) was among that 13-strong buy-out group, and his presence lent much needed credibility to the acquisition. Moreover, Willie G—one time head of design—also had much practical experience and brand sensitivity, and he was known and respected by rider groups.


Within a few years of the buy-out the first Evolution engines appeared marking a giant leap forward for Harley-Davidson. The workforce had, however, been ruthlessly slashed, but morale was suddenly high and the "Eagle" was soaring into new altitudes.


Vaughn Beals Jnr remained as CEO until 1989, and he stayed on as chairman until 1996 when he retired. He's since been added to the US Motorcycle Hall of Fame.


Beals is credited with introducing the just-in-time production orthodoxy, and he was largely responsible for the formation of H-D's HOG groups. Most of all, he's be remembered as the man who "saved" Harley-Davidson. And yes, had he not been there at the right time, someone else might have taken the reins and occupied his seat.


Nevertheless, Beals was the man who got the job done, and Harley-Davidson fans everywhere can doff their lids at that.


Vaughn Beals Jnr died in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. He's survived by his wife of 67 years and a small tribe of children and grandchildren.


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P




Ace Cafe marks its 80th anniversary


Story snapshot:

Three days of ridin' & rock'n'roll

7th - 9th September 2018


The Ace Cafe London is getting set to celebrate two significant anniversaries, and all and sundry are invited along to be a part of it. The dates to watch are 7th to 9th September 2018 (inclusive). The event is marking 80 years of the world's most famous transport cafe/biker haunt, and also marks the 25th annual Ace Cafe Reunion.


Billed as "Three Days, Three Rides, One Reunion!" the fun begins with The Continental Run Ride-In on Friday 7th September. This long haul motorcycle march begins a day or so earlier at the huge Glemseck 101 motorcycle event at Leonberg, Germany. It will hit the Ace just in time to start partying—and much of that partying will extend into the small hours. Expect a DJ and three live bands.



On Saturday 8th September, there will be breakfast at the Ace Cafe starting at 7am (whatever the hell 7am is). That will be followed by a Cafe Racer & Rockers Ride-Out from the Ace, with motors starting at 10.30am. The destination is Battersea Park, Central London, and that makes it a fairly easy jaunt of maybe 8 - 10 miles or thereabouts. What happens at Battersea isn't clear. So presumably you'll just have to hang around in the time honoured style and chin-wag and kick tyres and such like. Regardless, the ride will eventually head back to the Ace arriving at 2.30pm. And then it's party time again with a bike show and prizes, DJs, live music, food, drink, etc.



No, the Ace Service Station isn't where the cafe now stands. Redirect your peepers to the right of the image. That's the Ace Transport Cafe lurking behind the truck. Meanwhile, if you're from overseas, or otherwise uninformed, the locals like to pronounce the name as Ace "Caff" not Ace "Caff-ay," and it's best heard in a London accent. Just a word to the wise.



On Sunday 9th September, you can take part in the Brighton Burn-Up & Ride With The Rockers. This also departs the Ace at 10.30am and will culminate at Madeira Drive, Brighton, West Sussex. The route is: A406 (North Circular Road) to the A40, then around the M25 orbital to the M23, and then down the A23. That's an anti-clockwise ride around London before heading due south, and unfortunately it takes in a lot of dull, congested, and poorly maintained tarmac. The saving grace is the A23 into Brighton which (mercifully) is still an optimistic and upbeat route (well it is for us, anyway).



Beyond this, we don't have any more detail. Publicity for this event has been pretty poor, and at the time of writing we're still waiting (... and waiting) for more information on the Glemseck ride-in. So if that's the part that interests you, better dial-up the Ace Cafe and see if you have better luck squeezing the juice from this particular orange.


All this aside, if you're into mass ride-outs and stuff, it looks like a pretty fun way to spend the weekend—and need we remind anyone that when you're riding with the pack, try not to pack yourself in too tightly?


You can reach the Ace by phone on 0208 961 1000. The address is, The Ace Cafe, North Circular Road, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD.


UPDATE:  We've since been advised that this year's run will last four days. It starts in Germany on Monday 3rd September and will motor through Luxembourg and France to the Ace Cafe in London. The riders—which will include TT rider Connor Cummins and Ace head honcho Mark Wilsmore—will arrive on Thursday 6th September.



Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Supercharged Caledonian Bobber*


Story snapshot:

Glasgow Triumph showcases a pumped up Bonnie

120bhp at the rear wheel, claimed


Cruising around the motorcycle websites we stumbled across this hot-rodded Bonnie and decided to find a little space for it on Sump. Built by Glasgow Triumph, the bike was intended to showcase what can be done with the Bobber Black, and it's clearly aimed at anyone with a little loose change and a power complex.


The firm responsible for the supercharging was, as we understand it, TTS Performance at Silverstone. This company has form in (Rotrex) supercharging, not least with regards to Carl Fogarty’s Supercharged Thruxton R. The company website is irritating and dizzying, note, but the engineers there seem to know their stuff.


The power output of a standard 1,200cc Bobber Black is, according to Triumph, 77hp. Bolting on the supercharger has, we're told, upped that to 120bhp at the rear wheel. Meanwhile, the standard 78lb-ft of torque has been boosted to 98lb-ft.



Features include:


Customised airbox
Custom fuel map and electronic set-up
Custom built Intercoolers
Custom built supercharger
Unique custom headers
Uses end cans from a Thruxton R
White wall tyres
8 Ball custom painted fuel tank
Full black treatment from Triumph’s catalogue


At Sump, we'd be perfectly happy with a stock Bobber Black, largely because we're lazy, unhurried, back-road cruisers and haven't much enthusiasm for anything too fast for too long. But we've no doubt that some of you Sumpsters drink from a higher octane bottle. So talk to Triumph Glasgow if you'd like a piece of this pumped up action.


No word of how much it cost, but the standard Bobber Black retails for around £11,000. So that's the starting point for this particular ride. After that, how fast you spend it depends entirely on how fast you want to go.




*Apologies to our many Scottish and Irish Sumpsters. We earlier confused  Caledonia with Hibernia. We do know the difference, but we drink a lot.
Nuff said?


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

It might also be worth contacting your insurance company. The probably substantial premium increase will have to be factored in as well. It may be that a different, faster, but unmodified bike would be a considerably cheaper and easier way to the same performance...Just saying...—The Village Squire

Your comment will appear here...


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Harley-Davidson FXDR Milwaukee Eight 114


Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 for 2019


Story snapshot:

New Milwaukee Eight® street dragster coming at us soon

Heavy use of lightweight materials


H-D is having a few problems lately, what with a struggling market and Donald Trump and the unions and production plant closures and so on.


And for that lot, the company has our sympathies. But that ain't why we're giving the firm plenty of space on Sump these days. We're doing it because (a) the company is fairly hot—or at least warm—news at the moment, and (b) we know we've got plenty of Harley riding Sumpsters around here somewhere, and (c) we just like Harley-Davidsons.


Meanwhile, there are a bunch of new Hogs on the way in for 2019, and we'll get around to detailing them in due course.


Meanwhile we're taking a closer look at the (immediately above) FXDR. But you'll have to switch over to our Sump [General] Motorcycle News pages to check it out. Just follow the link below, or click on the image above. Got it?


2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Triumph Scrambler 2018


Selected Triumph 0% finance deals


Story snapshot:

24th August 2018 to 31st October 2018

Street Scrambler, Street Cup and Street Twin models


We can't imagine that there are too many owners of Triumph Scramblers who'll want to take their nine grand wheels onto a beach and cover them with salt and sand and sea slime and whatnot. But the imagery looks okayish—in a contrived, unlikely, marketing kind of way. And never mind that this guy might well be breaking half a dozen laws, bylaws or local ordinances whilst intimidating other beach users. When you're a Triumph man (or woman) on cam, to hell with the rest of the world. Are we right?


Regardless, if you fancy cutting a few donuts of your own in the mud, and if you've been hankering for a new Trumpet, now looks like a pretty good time to make your play.


From 24th August 2018 until 31st October 2018, you can get a 0% deal on the £9,000 Street Scrambler, the £8,800 Street Cup, or the £7,800 Street Twin.


You'll have the option of a maximum three year deal, and you'll need to sign up with TriStar finance (which is effectively Triumph's own outfit, backed by Black Horse Finance)—so no PCP deals. We spoke to a few Triumph dealers to check the position and offers, and amusingly one or two hadn't even read the Triumph press release relating to the deal. But that, apparently, ain't unusual.


Nevertheless, the offer is genuine, so try one and buy one if it suits your tastes and disposition. As for the above sandy antics, remember that (a) motorcycles don't float, and (b) large, flat, endless beaches are usually hit with very fast and very dangerous tides.


Buy British we say, even though these bikes are made in Thailand.


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


David Silver Museum, Suffolk


Honda CB750-4 50th anniversary


Story snapshot:

David Silver Honda Museum to mark the golden occasion

50-plus bikes expected


David Silver is well known and well respected among the worldwide Honda fraternity. Since 1986 he's been buying and selling Honda spares, and more recently (July 2016) he founded the David Silver Honda Museum in Leiston, Suffolk.


Well from all accounts, that museum has gone from strength to strength. It currently displays models from 1948 to the 1992, and boasts over 150 machines—some of them very rare. But right now, the spotlight is on the near-legendary CB750 which is celebrating its golden anniversary.


Honda 750-4


So far, we're advised that over 50 CBs have already registered for entry, all of which will be taking part in one or more of eight competition categories. Further entries are welcomes, but there's a 31st August 2018 deadline.


The event itself will take place on Saturday 29th September 2018 at the Leiston museum. Three-times world champion Freddie Spencer will be in attendance. Admission is free to all.


Erling Kleve

Among the competition entrants will be a one-owner-from-new 1969 CB750 sandcast model that's covered 620,000kms (385,000 miles). It's a Norwegian bike owned by Erling Kleve (image right), and has only minor modifications.


Kleve is a 70 year old ex-Honda dealer who, we understand, has attended 20 Krystall Rallies where temperatures drop to minus 41 degrees (though why anyone would want to inflict such masochistic pain upon themselves is a mystery to us). He'll be riding the Honda from his home in Molde, Norway to Leiston, Suffolk. If anyone out there can match—or top—that, David Silver will be pleased to shake your hand (and check out your wheels).


See also:

David Silver Honda Museum to open



Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



DVLA computers weekend shut down


Story snapshot:

Buying second hand vehicles this weekend can "lead to a fine"

No word of a DVLA amnesty


The RAC (Royal Automobile Club) has been warning UK motorists (and by implication UK motorcyclists) that if they buy a used vehicle this weekend (18th & 19th August 2018), they could find themselves liable to an £80 fine.


The reason is that the DVLA website is "down" for routine maintenance, and because in most instances it's illegal to drive (or ride) a motor vehicle without paying the road fund licence (road tax), purchasers of such vehicles are likely to find themselves on the wrong side of the law.


The basic fine for having an untaxed vehicle is £80 (reduced to £40 if paid within 28 days). But if a motorist/motorcyclist fails to pay in time, or disputes the offence, it could end up in court—in which case the maximum penalty is £1,000.


Under the old paper tax disc system (pre-October 2014) a taxed motor vehicle could be transferred between owners without further bureaucracy. The new owner would simple re-tax the vehicle as and when it became due (possibly a year into the future). But since Oct 2014, under the new digital system, the road tax stays with the owner who may or apply to the DVLA for whatever refund/rebate is due. In other words, the road tax is void once a vehicle changes hands.


Therefore, a new owner is obliged by law to immediately re-tax a purchased second hand vehicle before it can be used on the road. And because it's a weekend, and because the post offices close at 1pm on Saturday (normally offering an alternate taxing route), and because the DVLA server is not open for business, re-taxing can't happen.


In practice, we suspect that many people will go ahead and buy and sell vehicles without worrying too much about the ramifications. But some folk won't buy (or at least won't move) a vehicle until all the legalities are in place. It's bad for business.


It doesn't look as if the government or DVLA even thought about this issue before taking the servers offline. Certainly we haven't see any notification of a tax disc amnesty for this weekend.


The "new" vehicle taxation rules have been very unpopular with bikers and motorists. It all makes buying and selling that much more complicated, and it can lead to double taxation on a vehicle—which, naturally, is viewed as unfair. But the government claims it's saving millions each year by not having to print and send old style paper tax discs. Also, it's quicker and simpler to check the taxation status of a vehicle during a police roadside check.


We've been perusing the motoring and motorcycling forums. There's actually not much talk about this issue so far (seems that many people are totally unaware of the DVLA computer shutdown). But there have been a few critical comments—most of them referring to government "scams" and incompetence. However, our favourite so far comes from Leonard Gore on the RAC website who, apparently, wrote:


"Yet another piece of nonsense legislation dreamed up by civil servants with their heads where the sun doesn't shine. I hope some of them at least will trip over their own clumsy feet."


Trip over their own clumsy feet? Tough talking there from a clearly disgruntled voter. Anyway, it's another screw up from the DVLA, but we're taking it in our stride. Where the hell would we be as a nation without a regular Great British Balls-up?


Meanwhile, if anyone actually falls foul of this systems breakdown, we'd be very interested to know. So tip us the wink, will ya?


Also see: October tax disc changes crash DVLA website


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


1980 Suzuki OR60 Chopper


Wayne Plit Collection at Coys


Story snapshot:

South African classic vehicle collection to sell

18 motorcycles, 75 cars


We're a little slow off the mark with this one. We blame it on our recent trip to mainland Europe that (a) for a week kept us away from computers and phones and contacts, and (b) the severe bout flu that hit us afterward like a brick and more or less laid us out flat.


But we're out of the oxygen tents now, and we're catching up with beer'n'stuff. And right now we're looking at the Wayne Plit Collection of classic cars and bikes that was recently put under the hammer by Coys of Kensington.


However, the sale wasn't in Kensington, or anywhere near it. Wayne Plit is a South African from Jo'Burg, and that's where the deals were done.


The auction took place on 11th August 2018 at Steyn City. We had known the sale was coming up, but nearer the date (for reasons mentioned above) we just lost track.


Lot 137, 1950 XK120 Jaguar estimated at £116,000 - £127,000


Wayne Plit had built up a collection of over 250 vehicles; 93 of which are up for sale. He's been quoted as saying that he has a team of five looking after/exercising the cars and bikes, most of which are fairly modern classics.


We're talking about such exotica as a 1963 Maserati 3500GTI (Lot 143) which carried an estimate of £155,000 - £178,000; a 1964 Volvo P1800S (Lot 146) which was estimated at £25,000 - £29,000; and a 1990 Lotus Elan M100 SE TURBO (Lot 127) estimated at £15,500 - £17,500.



▲ Lot 138, 1966 Ford Cortina Mk1 "Historic Race Car". These Dagenham 'Tinas were sensational when launched in 1962, and today good examples with pedigree are highly sought after. Therefore, the £11,000 - £12,000 estimate for this Alan Mann Racing example made no sense—until way down in the copy we stumbled on the word "replica". Still, it's a nice piece of kit if you're into this kinda stuff.

▲ Lot 156, 1931 Ariel Sloper SB31. The £10,000 - £12,500 estimate for this 500cc motorcycle sounds about right. This handsome 557cc mount with its 30-degree sloping sidevalve engine and twin-pipe set-up is often overshadowed by its SF31 OHV stablemate. But for many, sidevalves have a special, chuffing, relaxed feel, and this motorcycle is all you need for back road touring. Expect to be another 20 - 30% more for the SF.


▲ Lot 147, CB450 Honda Black Bomber Cafe Racer. Clean example, but no special merit points, hence an estimate of £8,500 - £10,500. Still sounds a little steep to us, though...


Suzuki OR50 Chopper


But perversely, it was Lot 109, a 1980 Suzuki OR50 Chopper that lit us up the brightest (image immediately above, and main image on this story). Plenty of guys and gals like us started out on small bikes such as this, and for many (or most), the days spent in those saddles were the best days of our lives.


Suzuki marketed the OR50 as the "Whopper of a Chopper", and although it boasted just 5.5 horses, it weighed just 148lbs (67kg) and was all you needed to hit the neighbourhood tarmac and strut your stuff. With its ape hangers, extended front fork, banana saddle and cast wheels all you needed was a bedroll, some ciggies and a little juice for the tank, and you were living as high as you were ever gonna get.


The estimate for this baby Easy Rider motorcycle was £1,300 to £1,600. And we'd like to tell you what it sold for—and also give you a heads up on other sale prices—but at the time of writing (Saturday 18th August 2018), Coys still haven't published the results. Moreover, the last time we asked Coys to give us sale results, it took them almost a month (and four phone calls) to get around to it, by which time the news wasn't just stale, but mouldy.


Anyway, watch this space. We'll follow up this story as and when we can—unless, that is, the flu we're still recovering from mutates into something worse.


It happens, amigos and amigas. Meanwhile, stayed tuned, but don't get too close...




Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


French secondary road speed limit cut from 90km/h to 80km/h (1/7/2018)

Nextbase (dashcams) has launched direct-to-police footage upload scheme

Eddy Marley of Greyhound Motors (Croydon riots victim) has died aged 92

The 2018 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride will happen on Sunday 30th Sept

Australian bikers petition for reform of outdated handlebar height laws

BMW ups unlimited mileage warranty from 2 to 3 years (excl HP4 RACE)

Want to comment on these stories? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Triumph Scrambler 1200 2019


Triumph teases new Scrambler 1200


Story snapshot:

New bike to be unveiled in October 2018

Check YouTube for the teaser video


We haven't provided a direct link to the YouTube video. That's because we don't want a dead link on this page. But you're not missing much anyway. However, if you're desperate to see the teaser, Google SCRAMBLER + TRIUMPH + 1200 + YOUTUBE. It worked for us when we just tried it. Just scroll down the list a little.


The simple story here is that a new bike is on the way and should be officially revealed on 24 October 2018. It's not clear if the bike will be shown at Intermot at Cologne on 3rd to 7th October 2018, or if it will appear at the EICMA Show in Milan on 6th to 11th November 2018. But we're assuming that Hinckley won't want to miss either opportunity.


Then again, we make lots of false assumptions, so we'll just wait and see.



Meanwhile, we see that Intermot is providing a Ladies Only hall. This will be Hall 7, stand number C 040/E 045, indoor "...where all lady bikers can meet – and embark on a tour of the fair centred on biking for women. In addition, the programme includes clubs, associations and interest groups as well as events and information to do with touring, technology and sport, geared specially for women."


Now is that patronising? Or discriminatory? Or sly? Or cynical? Or shrewd? Or just a little extra feature at the event and nothing to get excited about?


You tell us. We'd love to know.

Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

If it were announced that there was to be a men only hall, all the do gooders would come screaming out of the woodwork.—Ian Clare

As a rule I think women-only events almost offensive, given the strident opposition to men-only events. On the other hand, in men-predominant areas I can understand that an all-women special makes it easier for them without feeling outnumbered. On the third hand, if women need a separate event that implies they’re not really equal, because if they were they could cope with a mixed event. But I’m a bloke so what do I know?
—Peter Stokes, Cheltenham

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Sundown Cinema


Sundown Cinema set to return


Story snapshot:

IOM outdoor cinema will be back at the Classic TT

Star Wars (A New Hope), Grease and Quadrophenia to screen


The 2018 Classic TT starts on Friday 24th August and will last four days until Monday 27th August. Highlights of the event include the Paddock Carnival, the Show & Shine display, the Comedy Club, the Festival of Jurby, and of course some of the most exciting classic racing on the planet. But if you're a movie fan (and a general lover of all things 1970s), the return of the Sundown Cinema will be an extra shot of excitement.


First up on the big screen is the 1977 movie Star Wars. We're big fans of the original film, but the rest of the franchise is a major disappointment. The 1977 movie is the original, but has been re-badged as: Star Wars: A New Hope. That's because a couple of prequels have been added to the series, and that's pushed movie number one into third place—if that makes any sense.


Anyway, this is the original film which, if you recall, put both sci-fi and swashbucklers back on the big screen and (a) gave us a pretty exciting 121 minute joyride across the galaxy and (b) helped boost the career of Harrison Ford who, of course, later became even more famous as Indiana Jones—possibly the greatest adventure hero in the history of cinema.


But we digress.


Star Wars will be showing on Friday 24th at 9pm. The movie Grease (1978) will be showing on Saturday 25th, also at 9pm (though gawd only knows why the organisers think that anyone would want to watch Grease). The film Superman (1978) is scheduled for Sunday 26th (this is the first outing for Christopher Reeves and is still faintly amusing in places). And last up is Quadrophenia (1979) which pretty much everyone has seen half a dozen times, but is still an amusing romp through the fictional lives of a bunch of working class scooterists and gives us a slice of history that's as true as it's false. It's a nice look at Brighton too, if that's of interest.


We ought to mention Bennetts Insurance which is backing the Classic TT this year. And we have to tell you that this year is the 40th Anniversary of Mike Hailwood's comeback. To mark "Mike the Bike's" 1978 Formula One TT win following an 11 year absence, 23 time TT champion John McGuinness will be parading the original Ducati that Hailwood piloted to victory four decades hence.


If all this sounds like an occasion worth enjoying and remembering, you'd better scoot over to the Islands and put your atoms in the appropriate places.


You've got just one week to make your plans (if you haven't done so already).




Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



We've been on mainland Europe...


Story snapshot:

Your favourite biking journos have returned

We'll be catching up with the news imminently


... but now we're back. We mention this in passing because we haven't posted any news, events or features for the past four or five days, and to us it seems like a very, very, very long time.


But then, when you've been off your beat for more than a couple of nights, it usually feels like you've been away for longer. That's how it is around here, anyway.


We've been out flying, driving, biking, walking and doing an awful lot of eating and drinking in some of the lesser explored regions of Eastern Europe. We've also been dodging some of the worst drivers in the world and ogling some of the best looking girls since Adam first bumped into Eve and said; "Hey! Better stand back. I don't know how big this thing is gonna get."


So much for the good stuff.


However, as a result of industrial disputes at Ryanair, we've also endured a painfully long return flight delay, and a painfully long delay at British passport control. We're hot, exhausted, discomposed, disoriented, dehydrated, and generally discombobulated. But we're relieved to be back on home turf.


Tip: Avoid Ryanair if you possibly can.


Anyway, we're now trying to catch up with the news and stuff, so bear with us a while longer. Your favourite motorcycle magazine is on the case.


Meanwhile, merci beaucoup, grazie, danke and so on to all you (patient) Sumpsters who've placed orders for T-shirts and whatnot. We've had a much better and busier summer than usual, and we've got an orders backlog (that you're more than welcome to add to). It's our products, after all, that keep Sump viable. Remember that, if you will.


Stand by for a news update...


Want to comment on these stories? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


4th & 5th August 2018, Llangollen Motorcycle Festival (Wales) reminder

Kent M-way sign info beamed direct to vehicles in 5G mobile tech trials

Moto Tattoo launches "unique" dealership helmet graphics design booths

Average UK unleaded petrol hits 128.8 pence per litre (£5.79 per gallon)

Piaggio to fit trackers to some scooters until October 2018 (T&Cs apply)

BP buys Chargemaster, UK's largest EV charging network (6,500 points)

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler rescuer/merger exec has died aged 66

Harley-Davidson developing "rider-assist" autonomous braking with override

Lee Munro (Indian streamliner) is back at Bonneville aiming for 200mph

Want to comment on these stories? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

Your comment will appear here...

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



For a Yorkshireman, Bernard Hepton was a pretty good German. Auntie Beeb and Universal Studios co-produced this once prime time WW2 POW drama which we know as Colditz. It's dated and a little wooden, but somehow still watchable.



Bernard Hepton: 1925 - 2018


Story snapshot:

Co-star of Colditz (TV series) and Get Carter has died

He was 92


His real name was Francis Bernard Heptonstall, and if you remember anything of the 1970s, you might know him better as the weasel Thorpe (or Thorpey if you prefer) in the British gangster movie Get Carter (1971), or perhaps as the Kommandant in the British TV series Colditz (1972), or even Toby Esterhase in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979).


But Bernard Hepton, who has died aged 92, was a man of many more names and was well known to theatre goers, TV viewers, movie audiences and radio listeners. He could be dour and forbidding when he needed to be. He could be comical, untrustworthy, steadfast, heroic, pathetic and tragic. But he was always a welcome presence on the screen or airwaves, an actor who never attempted to steal a scene or overshadow the lead; a reliable thespian of the old school.


He was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire and came from relatively humble "mill worker" stock. He narrowly missed WW2 military service (due to poor eyesight), and instead trained as an aircraft engineer and draughtsman. He also became a fire warden and, during this period, took his first steps into acting—as much through chance and boredom as intent. But once he discovered the world of drama, it became clear to him that that was where he most wanted to be.


He was never in the starring role, however; at least, not in any major production. He was invariably a supporting cast member and always convincingly acquitted himself, often without audiences being able to put his real name to his face.


His early years were largely spent in repertory theatre where he developed an unusual skill as a fight choreographer, notably in period and Shakespearean dramas. For a brief period he was also the director of the Liverpool Playhouse. But it wasn't a satisfactory gig and saw him in conflict with the old guard (or at least the conservative guard), and he moved to the BBC to work as a producer.


In the 1960s, he took roles in numerous classic dramatisations from Charles Dickens (Great Expectations) to George Eliot (Middlemarch), but his big acting moments came in the 1970s when the dramatic BBC TV series Colditz (1972 - 1974) hit the small screens.


Jack Hedley, Robert Wagner and David McCallum got the highest credits in that production. You might recall that it had a filmed-in-a-BBC-closet vibe and made Anthony Valentine (as the slimy and sinister character, Major Horst Mohn) something of a national bad-guy-we-love-to-hate.


But Bernard Hepton, as the very human and civilised prison camp Kommandant, suggested to us that it was possible to be both a German soldier and a decent human being. Pity the producers of Colditz never thought to give his character a surname and revealed only that his Christian name was "Karl"—or perhaps that was deliberate for reasons upon which we can only speculate.


Bernard Hepton and Jan Francis in The Secret Army—and if this image reminds you of René Artois and Yvette Carte-Blanche in the BBC WW2/French resistance sitcom 'Allo 'Allo! (inset image), you're on the right track. The Secret Army drama became more farcical as the series developed, and then it seems someone had a bright idea...


In 1979, Hepton had further opportunities to reveal new facets of his acting talent when he took a role as Toby Esterhase in John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, this time with Alec Guinness hogging the limelight and being underpinned by worthy acting notables such as Ian Bannen, Hywel Bennett and George Sewell.


During that heady period, you might also remember Bernard Hepton for parts he took in I, Claudius (1976), The Secret Army (1976 - 1979), An Inspector Calls (1982), Mansfield Park (1983), Bleak House (1985), The Woman in Black (1989), The Old Devils (1992) and Emma (1996).


Indeed, one of the things that characterised Hepton's work was his near invisibility with regard to his personal identity. In other words, he never played himself in theatre, TV, radio or movie productions. He was always the person that the director needed him to be, and perhaps for that reason he's largely overlooked as one of the great supporting actors of his time.


Bernard Hepton married twice and survived both wives, but he fathered no children. He was 92.


Want to comment on this story? Okay. Hit the icon on the left and email us. Note that we moderate this field to weed out the more obvious cranks. feedback@sumpmagazine.com

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 2018. Terms and conditions