So okay, it's over-restored. We know that. Mecum Auctions has posted maybe a dozen images on its website of this 1912 Indian Board Track Racer, and each one makes us both wince and nod in perverse satisfaction. Motorcycles simply shouldn't look this good, not if you want to ride 'em—and sadly, this one's riding days are probably done. It's a 61ci (1,000cc) inlet-over-exhaust V-twin and was built when Indian racers were knocking 'em down faster than the competition could set 'em up. George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom had set the wheels turning 11 years earlier in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1911, the year before this motorcycle was built, Indian scored a decisive 1-2-3 hat-trick at the Isle of Man TT. Nice. This example is Lot F142. It carries an estimate of $100,000 - $175,000. The auction date is 15th - 17th August 2019. The place is Monterey, California. We're thinking of setting up a Sump crowd funding page so we can buy it and give it the road it deserves. If we do, give generously...

UPDATE: The bike sold for $253,000.

August 2019  Classic bike news

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


Motorcycle news

Poet's Corner: 1959

One liners

Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!

Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date

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



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Messengers of war

In September '39 I joined the British Army
Just like my father had so many years before
My mother cried and told me I was much too young to go
But go I must I said because the Hun was at the door
"England expects me to do what I must do."
And if the worst should happen, then a message will get through
And I'll be thinking of you both, and you will think of me
But live or die, I have to try, and what will be will be
The last I saw of either they were waving at the door
And off I tramped into the world headed for the war

I racked my satchel on my back and thumbed my way down south
Just like my father had when he went to fight the Hun
I was too thick for the RAF, and never seen the sea
But the army would take anyone prepared to shake a gun
The next afternoon I was standing in a queue
The King had called us all to arms, the signal had got through
One hundred thousand men were setting out to slay the beast
While overhead we heard the roar of engines headed east





 At 16 I was given a Triumph 3HW that possibly done the same. Gave me goose bumps to read this. —Pete C.

Dear Sump, by the end of the poem I was sobbing. Having defeated evil twice, Britain is again within an ace of being subjugated by the Hun. What was all the bloody sacrifice for? — Regards, XLoSaurus

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Norton Dominator Street launched


Story snapshot:

Limited edition run of 50 motorcycles planned

Prices at around £22k


Back in October 2018 Norton Motorcycles announced the launch of the Norton Commando 961 Street model. One year on, the firm has unveiled the new 961 Dominator Street. Like the aforementioned Commando Street, just 50 examples will be built.


Features include a hand-formed petrol tank, a 2-into-1 exhaust system, upright handlebars, Öhlins suspension front and rear, polished handlebar yokes, polished engine covers, a drilled clutch cover, a drilled chainguard, a flyscreen, a carbon-fibre hugger, and a choice of a traditional or an inverted front fork.


Interestingly, we hear that this bike doesn't comply with Euro 5 emission regulations. Instead, Norton will release the machines under the SVA (Single Vehicle Approval) regulations. If true, that relaxes one or two requirements, which translates into increased performance and concomitant noise. Better check if you're thinking of buying. The order book is open now.

Prices will be around £22,000.






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Sump Route 66 Road Trip in pictures


Story snapshot:

Make the journey with us down The Mother Road

Chicago to LA, and further...


It's taken us three years to get this together, and at first glance it might be difficult to see where all the time went. But the fact is, it took a helluva lot of effort to collate all the images and tweak 'em and create the overlays. Then we had to develop the web pages and remember where we were when this happened, or when that happened, and there was the copy to write—and of course there's always a selection process regarding which pages will make it to the "final cut". And naturally there was all that beer we drank.



But we're nothing if not persistent, and we've finally got it sorted—although we're working on improving the functionality when viewed on devices other than a desktop computer.


And here it is; the Sump Route 66 Road Trip. In words and pictures. We might add to this feature as time goes by, and there are bound to be a few adjustments and corrections along the road. However, it seems to be more or less ready to view. So if you're the Route 66 type, whatever that is, you might want to check out this feature (it's around 40 pages or so). And if you're inspired, you might also want to take a peek at our Route 66 T-shirt. We've still got a few left.


Hope you enjoy the journey.


Sump Route 66 Road Trip

Sump Route 66 T-shirt



Thanks for this one, guys. Long time since I’ve been on (bits of) that road.
Very well done. Thanks again.
—John, Chiangmai, Thailand

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Norton Motorcycles seeks investors


Story snapshot:

CEO Stuart Garner ready to dilute ownership

Anyone got £5 million or so?


The Times has reported that Norton Motorcycles' CEO Stuart Garner is looking for investors to help buy parts for the Commando 961 and Dominator models in order to sign-off a £26 million order book.


Leicestershire-based Norton has long been underfinanced. Garner has used millions of quid of his own money, and his pockets are only so deep. Yes, the firm has secured numerous loans and government grants, etc. But designing, developing and building motorcycles is an increasingly expensive and competitive business, and as the UK lurches towards recession (as if we're not already in some kind of long-standing economic slow down) the money tree is looking increasingly thin.


Consequently, Norton has apparently appointed law firm Fieldfisher to check out a few more willing pockets. What it amounts to is that Garner is finally prepared to dilute his ownership of the business in order to keep it viable.



It's fairly common knowledge that customers have in the past been asked to pay large deposits, or pay in full before bike orders could be fulfilled. And Norton has been plagued by complaints of non- or slow-delivery. But throughout it all, Garner is still standing and building a range of excellent British motorcycles. However, the financial underpinnings of the company have been wanting, and now he needs around £5 million to prop the roof.

In January 2019 the firm secured an important £20m export deal enabling it to sell 1,000 bikes to Japan over five years. For the year to March 2018 sales rose 20 percent to £6.7m. That swung the cash pendulum away from a £201,842 loss to a £33,701 pre-tax profit.


Other reports, meanwhile, suggest that the investment money will in fact be used to finance the building of a new factory close to Donington Hall. But we suspect that the cash (if it's indeed forthcoming) will more likely be used to plug a variety of holes in this leaking dam. Note that it doesn't necessarily mean that Norton is in serious trouble (although it might be). It's more that Stuart Garner needs to adjust his financial horizons and sacrifice a little ownership.


So if any latterday Victor Kiam's* out there like the product so much that they want to buy the company, this could be your chance.


* Serial US entrepreneur famed for fronting and buying Remington Products





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The Red Baron's Ultimate Ducati Desmo ManualThe Red Baron's Ultimate Ducati Desmo Manual


Story snapshot:

English language edition

Published by Veloce


... after we managed to get the bloody cling film-type wrapper off without savaging the pages, the rest was relatively easy. Make a cup of tea, open a packet of biscuits, flip to page one of the book and start reading.


But we have to make a confession. We're way out of our depth with Ducati repair and maintenance—and we haven't even ridden many Ducatis either. It happens. So keep that in mind as you read this review because the accuracy of the text (or not) is way above our Ducati ignorance threshold.


That said, we do know a little about motorcycle manuals having struggled for years with dozens of examples, and all of them, to a greater or lesser degree, have their shortcomings. But this book certainly looks as good as any we've seen, and we haven't the slightest doubt that the author has put everything he's got into getting his facts straight and presenting them in as manageable a way as possible.


That author is Eduardo Carbrera Choclán. Born in 1972, we hear that he bought his first motorcycle in the year 2000. That bike was a Ducati 750SS, and since then he's owned, lived and breathed only Ducatis.


The Red Baron's Ultimate Ducati Desmo Manual - see inside


This book was originally published a few years hence in his native language, which is Spanish. It proved to be a huge success, we're told, and after some revision the English language version hit the shelves in April this year. And now it seems that if you want to gen up in matters desmodromic, this guy is quite probably top of the list.


With 288 pages and a whopping 1,220 images this volume covers everything from general servicing to diagnostic software to homemade and commercial special tools,  to schematics, to theory, to metrology (scientific study of measurement). If all that sounds a little too highbrow for the average home mechanic, we think the text and instructions are clear and comprehensive and demystify the technicals—meaning that just about anyone with even a modicum of common sense and a reasonably logical mind can follow these breadcrumbs without panic.


There's not much, if anything, between the pages on upgrades and modifications. It seems that the author is keeping with the factory fundamentals and is leaving the more advanced stuff to others.


Clearly this is a labour of love aimed at other lovers currently carrying on a hot affair with belt-drive L-twins built between 1979 and 2017. We can't say that it's essential reading. Presumably people were repairing these bikes long before this book hit the shelves. But were we Ducati Desmo owners, we'd definitely want this volume close at hand when we reach for those first spanners. In short, it comvinces.


Meccanice Ducati workshop


So what's the Red Baron thing all about? Well, it's no big deal, but in Ducati circles Eduardo Carbrera Choclán has long been toting the epithet: Barón Rojo—which should not be confused with the Spanish hard rock/heavy metal band of the same name. That's him on the Duke immediately above.


Following the publication of the original Spanish edition of his book, the author founded his own workshop specialising in Ducatis. That workshop is located in San Sebastián which is in Northern Spain. Check the link below for web access.


Veloce has also wisely advised potential buyers which bikes are and aren't covered. So check this mini-list:


Models covered
This work covers all Ducati L-twins with belt-driven cams of the "Pantah" generation: From the original 1979 500 Pantah to the models still in production in 2017

Models not covered
Bevel drive generation Desmos.
New generation "Superquadro" engines used on all Superbikes "Panigale" 1199, 1299, 899 and 959 capacities. DVT (Double Variable Timing) Heads as used on Ducati Multistrada 1200 ’16 and Ducati X-Diavel 2016.

Veloce's price is £65, and we haven't bothered looking to see if the book is on offer elsewhere. Beyond that, we think you can buy with confidence safe in the knowledge that you're getting your money's worth. But keep in mind that we're as short as we're thick when it comes to Ducati technicals.


It's a softback, by the way. The dimensions are 270mm x 207mm. ISBN: 978-1-845848-78-1.





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Distinguished Gentleman's Ride; Sunday 29th September 2019. 8th year

Hartside Café (Cumbria). Post-fire redeveloper plans new "cult biker venue"

Easy Rider co-star and counterculture actor Peter Fonda has died aged 79

UK gov report: "Hands-free mobiles pose equal risk." Outright ban sought

Scomadi Scooters has re-launched following a turbulent trading history

Hubless RMK E2 electric roadster from Finland to "launch in 2020".


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Premier Motorcycles


New Triumph dealer: Premier Bikes


Story snapshot:

Noted KTM dealer takes on the Hinckley franchise

The business will be trading as Triumph Oxford


Triumph Motorcycles has appointed Premier Motorcycles of Didcot, Oxfordshire as the latest addition to the family. Owned by Andy Valentine (image right), a long serving and successful KTM dealer, the new venture will be known as Triumph Oxford.


Premier was founded in 1997. In 2003 the firm took on the KTM franchise and is said to be highly respected in the motorcycle world—which almost goes without saying given the fact that Triumph would have checked 'em out fairly carefully.


The appointed, however, carries a slightly bitter taste given that Hughenden Motorcycles had been the local Triumph dealer for many years (since around six months after Triumph production started at Hinckley, actually), but ended the relationship in September 2018 amid some considerable disappointment and acrimony.


According to Hughenden managing director Robert Rooney (image left), Triumph felt that Hughenden was in the wrong place and wanted the dealership to move north and west of Oxford city. Hughenden, meanwhile, felt that that was both a commercial mistake and not very practical, and their association was terminated.


We're talking about a relocation of just ten or fifteen miles or so. Nevertheless Rooney believes the move was unsuitable and feels he received short shrift from Triumph, notably at the way the firm handled the matter. Beyond that, we're not getting into it, except to say that Triumph has since acknowledged that it was indeed slowly rationalising its dealership trading catchments, and that agreement simply couldn't be reached.


Nuff said.


Premier currently sells around 600 KTMs each year and has a buoyant used bike list. Valentine is now hoping to sell between 150 and 200 new Triumphs during his first year of trading. The two brands, we feel, don't exactly compliment each other, and Triumph certainly prefers solus dealers (i.e. dealers operating a single franchise). But clearly the company wanted to close this "open point", which is not intended as an implied slur on Premier which will no doubt do a great job.


Shame about Hughenden, however. The business was very conveniently placed close to the M40 motorway with easy access down from Oxford or up from London, and the company had given decades of good service to Triumph.


The company now operates as The Motorcycle Barn (also in Oxfordshire) and trades in used motorcycles and custom Triumphs.


Go check sometime.



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Grimsthorpe Speed Trials


Grimsthorpe Speed Trials 2019


Story snapshot:

1/4-mile tests for pre-war and Edwardian cars and motorcycles

£15 tickets with access to castle and grounds


Grimsthorpe Castle near Bourne, Lincolnshire hosted its first speed trials event in 1903. Members of the Lincolnshire Automobile Club held timed runs over a half mile course in the old deer park.


Fast forward more than a century to 24th August 2019 and a meeting will once again be held at that locale. With over 100 cars and motorcycles dating to the pre-war and Edwardian era, we're advised that racing vehicles will each be tested three times up and down the "sinuous ½ mile track from the start line beside the lake, gently climbing to the finish beside the castle."


Visitors will have ample paddock opportunity to hob nob, chin wag and chit-chat with the drivers and engineers of the "rarely seen" cars and bikes from Rudge to Bugatti to Douglas to Sunbeam to Aston Martin. And much more.



This stately pile actually looks more like a country house than a castle. Although there was a "small castle" there in the 13th century, and technically it still is a castle because it has a keep, or "fortified tower". That's what the Grimsthorpe estate office is telling us.


Regardless, it's a pretty impressive looking bolt hole set in around 3,000 acres with gardens designed by Capability Brown. The Royal Flying Corp and Royal Air Force have used the property during various martial conflicts, and there are other military connections of interest to history buffs.



Tickets for the event were £10 up until 1st July 2019. But now that's been hiked to £15. Is that fair? Supply and demand, etc. Get over it. But if it's any consolation, entry includes access to all areas that are generally open to the public.


The gates open at 9am and will close at 5pm. Last entry is at 4pm. The organisers haven't given us as much detail as we'd like, but we can point you at the castle address which is:  Grimsthorpe Castle, Grimsthorpe, Bourne PE10 0LZ. Beyond that, search online for Grimsthorpe Speed Trials. There are a few more scraps of information to be had here and there.




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Durham cops abandon Mosaic AI


Story snapshot:

UK campaigning group claims a success

"Not-so-smart" Artificial Intelligence challenge succeeds


We've covered stories from Big Brother Watch (BBW) once or twice. Right here on Sump, that is. And we've not always given this London-based outfit the publicity it might like. Nevertheless, it's generally prudent to listen to folk who are yelling a warning, and when it comes to monitoring the activities of the state, our ears are always wide open and focussed.


This time, Big Brother Watch is claiming a prompt climb down by Durham Constabulary which had been trialling an artificial intelligence algorithm known as Mosaic. Developed by the credit agency Experian, Mosiac is a social profiling tool that attempts to squeeze everyone in the UK into one of 66 pigeonholes. The idea is to provide manageable data categories which can be accessed by whatever group, organisation or government department feels it has a need for.


Mosaic, we understand, has captured 850 million pieces of data pertinent to all 50 million adults in the UK. This data includes:


Family composition, including children
Family/personal names linked to ethnicity
Online data, including data scraped from the pregnancy advice website ‘Emma’s Diary’, and Rightmove
Child benefits, tax credits, and income support
Health data
GCSE results
Ratio of gardens to buildings
Census data
Gas and electricity consumption

So why did the Durham rozzers want this data? Well, the obvious uses lie in predicting crime, helping manage police resources, formulating policing strategies, and generally processing criminals (and the innocent, take note) who are moving through the criminal justice system. But there are no doubt dozens of other ways that the cops can deploy AI algorithms, many of them perfectly justifiable.


However, Big Brother Watch has "serious" concerns about the reliability and accuracy of Experian's data management tool, specifically with regard to social stereotyping.


For instance, Experian’s Mosaic code includes demographic characteristics such as Asian Heritage; Extended Families, living in inexpensive, close-packed Victorian terraces; Disconnected Youth, listed as avid texters whose "wages are often low with first names like Liam and Chelsea".


Meanwhile, people named Stacey were cross referenced to "Families with needs who receive a range of benefits"; Abdi and Asha  were "Crowded Kaleidoscope" and described as "multi-cultural families likely to live in cramped and overcrowded flats; Terrence and Denise were recorded as Low Income Workers who have "few qualifications and are heavy TV viewers".


The list goes on, and it actually (and worryingly?) looks fairly accurate. As we've said before on Sump, stereotypes exist largely because society naturally recognises certain characteristics in groups and individuals and uses them as benchmarks for discussion, or for general assessment, or for formulating government policy, or for humour, or for policing, or whatever.


Bikers, for instance, tends to be heavily tribal, but of course not all bikers are. Suicide bombers tend to be Muslim, but not all Muslims want to light a fuse. Labradors tends to be friendly and good natured, but some ain't. What Experian appears to have done is use AI to fine tune pretty much what everyone already knows and accepts, and then offer that data on a manageable platform.


But Big Brother Watch sees it differently. The group is clearly anti-stereotyping in any form and feels that this kind of shotgun policing is likely to hit a lot of wrong targets along with the right ones. And they've probably got a point. Moreover, the law regarding the collection of this kind of data is either weak or non-existent.


Either way, when challenged over its use of Mosaic, Durham Constabulary has climbed down and has abandoned the idea. Or so we're told (and of course, the Durham cops might have abandoned it for other reasons that have nothing to do with Big Brother Watch, such as depleted funds, or unreliability). Nevertheless BBW is claiming victory, but is continuing to monitor this and other state intrusions into the lives of everyone in the UK.


It's not clear if other UK police forces are currently using this tool, or are planning to. But with police resources being continually stretched, it's odds on that the cops will do whatever it can to cut the crime rate (check out the rising concerns regarding the use of facial recognition software).



Meanwhile, if you're concerned about the continued and largely unchecked rise in AI and general data capture, our advice is to build your own data bomb which means sending out the wrong data wherever you possibly can.


Sooner or later, we figure that that has to happen. But don't hold your breath whilst awaiting the Data Revolution War. We figure the world is still a long way from recognising the threats that lie buried in the benefits of AI.





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Huge turnout at funeral of [motorcycle] dealer Andrew Hart

Dealers [CMC Cannock] act after bike stolen in hammer raid

"Drugs and guns found" in police raid on The Hogfather Motorcycles

[UK] July registrations bounce back

Healthy rise in European registrations


Is it okay to listen to music on a motorcycle?

50 years later, why Easy Rider [movie] doesn't matter anymore


Blind veteran joins 200 mile charity ride

Starting to ride; theory chaos

How to pass your motorcycle theory test


Yamaha planning 125cc onslaught

What is Kawasaki planning for the Meguro brand?


Best motorcycles for beginners 2019

NeuWai release world's ugliest electric bike


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Hyundai blind spot mirror concept


Story snapshot:

Blind Vehicle Monitors; a safety bonus, or a sop to driver complacency?


If the balance of car design was aimed more at practicality than style, there probably wouldn't be such a thing as a blind spot. Then again, without the style, the queue of car buying customers would perhaps be considerably shorter and we'd all be driving around in the 21st century equivalent of the Citroen 2CV*.


But we are where we are, and modern cars tend to have far more (and more profound) blind spots than the vehicles of yesteryear, not least through girder-size A, B and C pillars, oversized headrests (often with embedded TV screens), barn door mirrors and rear privacy glass. But mercifully, technology has been on the march with a variety of driver-assist camera concepts aimed at enhancing/improving everything from overtaking to parallel parking to in-car entertainment and online communication.


Well in recent months Hyundai has been developing and refining its own blind spot mirror concept that's operated by the indicator switch—or, for the benefit of our American Sumpsters, turn signal switch. The idea is simple, but different from other systems.


You're motoring along and checking your speed/fuel/oil pressure/email, then you flick on the indicator and are alerted as the dash display suddenly switches into a video screen. And right there is some mushhead on a motorcycle lurking on the equivalent of the dark side of the moon, or legitimately executing an overtaking manoeuvre that you haven't registered. So you either temporarily abandon your own manoeuvre and/or motion the biker to move along. Then you both go about your business unharmed and undamaged.


Other blind spot cameras work in different ways. Some simply flash a warning light or backlit icon in the relevant mirror. Others also sound an alarm. Some vibrate the steering wheel. And one or two others have permanent screens on the dashboard that reveal a wide angle view on either side of the vehicle.


But Hyundai's system only flashes up when it has to, which is either good because it operates as a wake up call, or bad because it doesn't give you a continuous view of more distant but approaching hazards.


Meanwhile, there's the concomitant worry that drivers become overly dependent on electronic systems that might fail at inopportune moments, which serves to remind us of the salient fact that really good driving/riding is all about constant and cautious observation coupled with timely manoeuvres, etc.


But you have to be realistic. People will do stupid things—not least bikers who habitually or occasionally ride in vehicle blind spots (and we've encountered this many times, often with a brilliant headlights frazzling our retinas). And yes, we're also guilty of occasional crimes against road safety and general riding misdemeanours.


Ultimately, Hyundai's system (called BVM, or Blind View Monitor) is simply a solution to a problem that we ought not to have. And take note that this system allows the driver to simply switch it off. If nothing else, we'd all be a little wiser to keep updated on exactly how modern motorists see us out on the road—or not see us as the case might be. Electronic tech could be a great leap forward for rider safety, but perhaps less so if everyone ignores the basics.


Ride defensively.


*Apologies to Citroen 2CV owners for the unintended slur of these great little French potato transportation devices



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Kickback Super Saturday


Kickback Super Saturday Sept 2019


Story snapshot:

Cheltenham Town Hall is the venue

Tickets are £8 advance


Book now and get 20 percent off the gate price. That's the offer from Lorne Cheetham who organises the now well established grassroots Kickback Motorcycle Show that been kicking around for 10 years. Only he's now talking about his Super Saturday event which will happen on Saturday 21st September 2019.



As ever, you can expect a stylish and colourful line-up of chops, cafe racers, brat bikes, streetfighters and all kinds of custom bikes—one or two of which will no doubt defy classification.


The gates will open at 11am, and you'll be shown the exit at 5pm. The event is sponsored by Oily Rag and Bristol Bobbers. Advance tickets are just £8. The venue is Cheltenham Town Hall GL50 1QA.





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Herald Maverick 125cc

Herald Maverick 125 down in price*


Story snapshot:

125cc "off-road" retro

*On offer while stocks last


The price was £2,650 on the road, but now it's dropped to £2,499. That's a saving of just £151—which isn't much, but it's better than nowt. Then again we suspect that most, or at least many, of Herald's customers are younger riders living at the lower end of the economic scale, so they'll probably appreciate any extra buying incentive.


That said, there are plenty of older and wealthier bikers out there seduced by the appeal of a modern lightweight four-stroke with rugged off-road retro poise, and one hundred and fifty quid still gets you a decent new pair of riding boots or a motorcycle jacket, or even a fairly decent lid.


The Maverick 125 features include:


Wire spoked wheels

Knobbly tyres

Unique scrambler lines

Side number boards

Electric ignition

A custom LED tail light


Herald Maverick 125


The base motorcycles are manufactured in China, but the machines are extensively modified at Herald's base in Cambridgeshire to suit UK tastes. The engines are Chinese-built clones of the Suzuki GN125 motor.


A 24 month warranty is offered. The first year covers parts and labour; the second year covers parts only. And a two year RAC breakdown warranty is also part of the deal.


The power output is 9.8bhp. There are 5 gears. The weight is 266lb (121kg). Top speed is 60mph. The bike is Euro 4 compliant. And Herald is offering seven colours.


The discount is time-limited to current stocks, note, so better make your move if this bike tickles your fancy.







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David Silver


David Silver's September Honda fest


Story snapshot:

Over 100 bikes are expected

The place is Leiston, Suffolk


If you're the owner of a Honda SOHC "Four", huddle a little closer to the speaker please; we have an announcement that might interest you. David Silver—one of the UK's leading experts on Honda motorcycles (if not the leading)—has announced another open day for owners and fans of the aforementioned range of models.


Last September, 2018, David marked the 50th anniversary of the Honda 750-4 with a gathering at his premises in Leiston, Suffolk. The response was such that he plans to reprise the event this year on Saturday 28th September 2019.



Cue dozens, or possibly hundreds, of SOHC Fours including the CB750, CB550, CB400 and all the derivatives. You can also expect food, drink, prizes, live music and a "pub" quiz on ... Honda motorcycles. And if you don't actually own a Honda, you can turn up anyway—but try and be a little sensitive about where you park your Harley, Triumph, Indian, chopped BSA, apocalypse trike, etc. This is a "Jap crap" mini festival.


David Silver founded his business in 1986 offering NOS parts to Honda owners. Today he advertises spares for over 1,000 models from the 1960s through to 1999. He also owns and manages the David Silver Honda Collection which includes numerous rare and restored examples of his favourite marque.


The September Honda gathering is free to attend.



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