Remember when dad took you and your family to North Wales in the Vincent? He ran out of petrol and you had to walk five miles to a garage, and then you got a lift back to the bike on a coal lorry? On the ride home you went blackberry picking and you ate too many and was sick. And then it rained and everyone got drenched. If you haven't got memories like these, you simply ain't trying hard enough. And this 998cc 1952 Vincent Series C Rapide and Watsonian Albion rig is crying out to make those kinds of memories—and you only need one such ride to last a lifetime. Bonhams will be auctioning this bike at the (online) Bicester Heritage Sale, 14th - 16th August 2020. The estimate is £22,000 - £28,000. The Vincent, apparently, was originally fitted with a chair. But that got detached somewhere (North Wales maybe), and another was fitted in 1993. People generally think of Vincents as high speed solo velocipedes. But we actually prefer 'em like this. Big, strong, long-legged family plodders. If you buy this bike, don't leave it in a shed. Go to Margate, Brighton, the Lake District, Peking. Splash some stickers everywhere. Break down somewhere memorable. Run out of petrol. Do some gun running. As we're fond of saying around here, the great affair is to move. This motorcycle could provide you with the greatest trip of your life if you handle it right. Are we right? UPDATE: Sold for £39,100.


August 2020  Classic bike news

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


Motorcycle news


2021 Triumph Trident on the way

How to write a great motorcycle for sale advert

100 years of Alvis exhibition

Allan Jefferies BMW prize draw offer

Kickback Show: entries sought

Calling all coffin dodgers...

One liners - Vic Eastwood

Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 "tin" sign

Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

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

Sump news archive



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Intermittent misfire on Sump


Story snapshot:

Broadband issues

Normal service will be resumed asap


We're experiencing problems with our broadband supplier. No point in explaining exactly what's happening. Pretty much everyone has their own tale of woe to tell regarding the utility firms and knows the story. Suffice to say that we're having problems, and we don't expect them to be fully resolved until 9th September 2020.




We're still uploading stories and features when we can. But it's a little hit and miss, so things are slower than usual.


Meanwhile, stay tuned (if you can). We're dealing with it as best as possible. And there's plenty of other stuff on Sump to read and enjoy.


So do your best, etc.


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Increased demand for new 70 plate bikes in September set to be strong

Pierer [KTM parent] admits to red ink

Biker stock swap spoofs suckers [Indian stock market share issue]


Subtle tweaks for Honda's 2021 500 range [image: 2021 Honda CB500F]

Diamonds are forever: BMW create maintenance-free motorbike chain
Trail riders win Lake District battle over powered vehicles on green lanes


Husqvarna E-Pilen and KTM 750s coming

Motorcycle clothing: The CE approval law explained


Tom Cruise completes huge ramp jump for latest Mission Impossible film

Official trailer for Long Way Up has landed

Aprilia RS660 breaks cover in first official video


What do you store in your pockets?


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29th August 2020


1885: Gottlieb Daimler, first motorcycle patent

It's impossible to say exactly when the motorcycle was invented, or who invented it. That's because it largely depends on where you draw the technological line. All of us, after all, are products of the people and events of yesteryear and are standing on the shoulders of giants, etc. But German engineer Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler (image right/below) is unquestionably in the forefront of candidates justifiably claiming this particular biking prize. On this day in 1885 Daimler received his first patent for the creation of the motorcycle. So okay, it wasn't a motorcycle as we would immediately recognised it today, perhaps. In fact, it was called the Reitwagen, or Riding Car. But it was clearly the seed for pretty much all powered two wheelers to follow, and every biker since that fateful day arguably owes a huge debt of thanks to this visionary German. Daimler was born in Schorndorf, a town in Baden-Württemberg. The son of a baker, his original career choice was as a gunsmith. But that soon switched to a fascination in wider mechanical engineering, and he became an engineer with a railway locomotion industry. His lifelong friend was a certain Wilhelm Maybach (image left). They had worked together on numerous projects, and the tale of their commercial activities and business intrigues is worthy of a dramatic TV series. Other Germans of the era were more interested in powered locomotion projects for the general public (trains, boats, buses). But Daimler and Maybach were focussed more on personal locomotion machines. Dodging various patents and legitimately borrowing technological ideas from inventors and engineers across Europe, this dynamic duo, in 1885, fitted an engine into a two-wheeled single seat vehicle and applied for a patent—which was granted. This Reitwagen was ridden by Maybach who piloted it for three kilometres (or two miles) alongside the river Neckar, from Cannstatt to Untertürkheim. A small ride for man, but a giant leap for the future of motorcycling. Numerous other patents were granted to these noteworthy industrialists. And of course the current Daimler-Benz company bows its head to no one. If you're a beer drinking man or woman, you might want to sink another pint on this particular day. Motorcycling would no doubt have happened without these two Germans. But the fact is, these two guys made it happen sooner rather than later.

1966: Beatles play their last concert

You have to be careful about how you headline this story because, like many things in life, it needs certain qualifications. It happened at Candlestick Park, San Francisco USA where the Fab Four played to a (claimed) crowd of 25,000—but leaving around 7,000 tickets unsold making it a financial loss for the promoters (you'll partly understand why when you read further below). It wasn't the last time that Joe Public saw the Beatles twang their thangs. But it was, apparently, the last time anyone had to pay to hear them live. So why did the Beatles quit touring so early in their career? Well it seems that the band were simply fed up with it all; the high security, the threats, the screams, the claustrophobic hotel rooms, the disorientation, the controversies. Etc. They wanted to write and record music, but were constantly under huge stress from the media, the record companies, the fans, various governments and much more. So they played their final commercial gig on the 29th August 1966; a tour that began on the 12th of that month. To put this event in wider context, this tour came just a few months after John Lennon's infamous comment that the Beatles were "more famous than Jesus now" which heralded a significant Stateside fall from grace for the band. A lot of other groups and performers are frequently cited as providing the soundtrack for the biking sixties. And certainly the rockers favour the likes of Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent and, to a lesser extent, Elvis. But for most UK bikers of that heady era, it was bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, The Move, Manfred Mann and, of course, John, Paul, George and Ringo that set the tone and pace. It's easy to say now that the Fab Four weren't all that good (and we hear that occasionally). But after more than five decades, the Liverpudlian mop tops are still the guys to beat (no pun intended).



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2021 Triumph Trident on the way


Story snapshot:

New middleweight triple is expected for Spring 2021

Around £7,000 is the expected price


The last time Hinckley deployed the 'Trident' name was in the late 1990s. This was with regard to the very worthy, if slightly primitive, modular 750cc and 900cc roadsters; the bikes that first appeared at the 1990 Cologne Motorcycle Show and heralded Triumph's return to full scale motorcycle production.


Those early liquid-cooled triples featured over-engineered motors coupled with oversoft suspension and brakes that lacked feel and feedback. The balance was top heavy. The finish was about average. Frills were minimal. No new ground was being explored.


But the bikes were capable of very high mileages. They were reasonably comfortable. They were built right here in the UK. And they were priced ... let's say, reasonably.


Well, the name is being dusted off with a view to using it on a new middleweight roadster supposedly aimed directly at Yamaha's MT-07 which for a long time has been consistently at the top of the sales league in its respective sector.


The new Trident, such as it is, has just been unveiled at the Design Museum is London, and as you can see from the image immediately above it looks suspiciously like it just rolled off a 3D printer. But we're told that the engineering is almost production ready, and the bikes are "expected" by the spring of 2021.


Why should you buy one? Well, there are a few reasons. The first is the badge on the tank. The second is the likely price point which is quite probably going to be between £7k and £7.5k. Or even less. That's the general consensus, anyway. But until the bikes are on the shop floor, we won't know for sure. The third reason is that Triumph has a welcome habit of getting it right pretty much first time, and then making it better. We suspect something pretty cool is coming.


And there are a few more reasons why there will be a queue of riders wanting to swing a leg over this bike. It's a triple, after all, and for many folk that trumps the Yamaha's twin—and all the other twins in that sector, come to that. And it will be A2 compliant, meaning that this will be the first "big bike" acquired by the next generation of biker.


Power will therefore be limited to 47bhp (35kW). But it's likely that remapping will be an option. The capacity is likely to be north of 600cc and south of 700cc. But Triumph are keeping very tight lipped about the details, happy to let the bike press and the usual pundit fire off their best shots.


As for the features, we've got no definite information at the moment. Nobody has. But it's a given that if the new Trident really comes home at sub £7k, we're probably looking at a more basic riding experience rather than cutting-edge biking. And that's no bad thing as far as we're concerned.


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Hi Sumpers, I just hope they're not going to play the "Britishness" card, There are a few unemployed bike workers in Hinckley that might be offended by that. Is this [bike] familiar, this time in black and not 3D printed?

—Phil Cowley.

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Rare 1948 Norton prototype to show


Story snapshot:

It's the 15th year of the Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance

Classic bikes, cafe racers and chops will be a feature of the event


Every classic Norton fan knows, or ought to know, that Bert Hopwood designed the first post-war Norton twin to go into volume production. That of course was the 497cc Model 7 Dominator of 1947/1948; a bike that helped set the tone and pace for all the other air-cooled parallel twins from Bracebridge Street (and Plumstead) right up to the illustrious 750 & 850 Commandos.


But Bert Hopwood who, pre-WW2, had worked on Edward Turner's 5T Speed Twin at Triumph, wasn't the only person looking to establish the new Norton archetype—which was urgently needed now that (a) Triumph was well ahead in the game, and (b) BSA and others were also fielding, or about to field, new 500cc parallel twins of their own.


Jack Moore's P6A 500cc parallel twin engine appeared in 1946. Like Turner's 5T Speed Twin, this unit featured camshafts fore and aft of the barrel, and also like Turner's twin there were two rocker boxes, also fore and aft. This arrangement differed from the subsequent Hopwood design which featured the head and rocker boxes cast as a single (oil-tight) unit, and which placed a single four lobe camshaft at the rear of the barrel.


Hopwood, it's said, wasn't very impressed with Moore's design, and we can only speculate on the possible reasons for that (technical flaws/professional rivalry/a bit of both). Regardless, Moore's (expensive to produce) concept was elbowed in favour of the Model 7—but not before a couple of Moore prototype engines were squeezed into an ES2 plunger frame for evaluation.




We don't know how well the engines performed in long terms tests. In fact there couldn't have been any long term tests. The project was simply stillborn and faded into that grey area where all legends reside—until, that is, one of the engines, in 2014, was offered for sale at auction. Soon after, the other engine was acquired, and the new owner began the task of recreating the bike that Jack Moore had designed and developed. By October 2019, after 72 years in motorcycle purgatory, the bike (or concept) was rolling. It seems that many of the parts were missing, and there are rumours circulating that this was conceived as a shaft drive model. But this secondary point certainly isn't true. The bike has a "conventional" British layout with a primary chain and a final drive chain.


If you want to have a gander at it, the Norton prototype will be on display at this year's Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance at Blenheim Palace. That will take place, coronavirus issues permitting, on Wednesday 23rd September 2020.


The champagne and caviar event is noted primarily for its focus on expensive, rare and race-winning four-wheeled exotica from Alfa Romeo to Aston Martin to Bugatti to Ferrari to Bentley to Zonda, etc. But motorcycles have in recent years been an increasing feature. Hence the display of the Jack Moore Norton recreation. And that bike will be in similarly interesting company with a promised display of 60s style cafe racers, 70s choppers, and various other contemporary biking quirks and treats.


There will also be a Motorcycle Awards Ceremony with two concours classes: respectively, Exceptional Motorcycles and Exceptional Competition Motorcycles. The Duke of Marlborough (Charles James Spencer-Churchill, no less) will present the awards.




The Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance at Blenheim Palace isn't our thing, so we won't be going. We prefer low-heeled bike shows or just hanging around roadside cafes and chip shops. But if you want to rub shoulders, or whatever, with the more privileged classes, Blenheim Palace at Woodstock, Oxfordshire (no, not that Woodstock) is the place to be.




See here for some additional Jack Moore info


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The shaft drive rumour regarding this Jack Moore prototype started when it was on show at our South of England Show at Ardingly last year, as it was on display with an extraordinary collection of rare and unique Norton and AMC Prototype & Experimental Designs, including the engine and gearbox and components of Norton’s unique shaft-drive prototype. This was October 2019). The bike to be shown at Blenheim uses a conventional Norton rolling chassis as a test-bed, however Norton also carried out work on a shaft-drive twin. You could’ve seen it plus tons more for a fiver at Ardingly last year and not have to find your best clobber and wade through tons of boring car stuff!.—Julie Diplock, Elk Promotions.

[Editor's note: Julie's next show is Sunday 13th September 2020. It's Romney Marsh Jumble, Hamstreet, Nr Ashford, Kent TN26 2JD. It's a good grassroots gathering, so get along there and be part of the crowd. It's great biking country too. www.elkpromotions.co.uk. Pic compliments of Elk.

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NMDA voices dealers' concerns re Triumph's lack of communication

Bennetts joins forces with Oliver's Mount

Bike sales recover in the USA


Bike Stop Stevenage to fight council's ban on ride outs injunction

BMW's carbon-fibre swingarm replacement concept

Harry Dunn update: Sacoolas could face ‘virtual trial’


Bronx gets the bullet

Government considering 70mph hands-off driving

Act now to stop Stevenage ride-out ban


Harley-Davidson Bronx 975cc

Has the Harley-Davidson Bronx been axed already?

An electric Royal Enfield motorcycle is most definitely on the way


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Kickback Show September 2020


Kickback 2020: very limited tickets


Story snapshot:

Sunday 27th September 2020 is the date

Tickets must be booked (no gate entry)


We note that Lorne Cheetham, organiser of the Kickback Show, is still charging just a miserable fiver for visitor entry to this event. And that's pretty good value when you consider the amount of work that goes into organising even the most humble or modest motorcycle gathering.


Five quid.


This year it's a ticket-only "Private Showcase" outdoor event, and naturally that's because of the coronavirus which is still on the loose. What it means for you as a discerning purveyor of cool custom bikes is that you'll need to book your spot (as opposed to simply turning up on the day and rattling the gate). Meanwhile, social distancing regulations will severely limit the number of visitors.



The venue is The Classic Motor Hub, The Old Walls, Bibury GL7 5NX. There will be trade stalls, a cafe (serving decent coffee, we're advised), beer on tap, and snacks, etc. And if classic cars are also your interest, there will be numerous examples on display. The date is Sunday 27th September 2020. The hours are 10am - 4pm. And as we said at the beginning of this news item, tickets are £5.


You'll appreciate that Lorne needs to get these tickets earmarked and sold as soon as possible in order to ensure that this event is still viable—which we're pretty sure it is. He's a sensible bloke and has been doing his sums. But nothing is guaranteed. So get in touch if you will sooner rather than later. And make sure you're a motorcycle rider and not a passing wowser. The bike police will check.


One more thing; Bibury is in the Cotwolds, and that's fine biking country, not least in the autumn—weather permitting, of course. So take a trip. Enjoy a day out at a show that regularly serves up many interesting custom motorcycles.


As Phil Collins and Genesis once pointedly reminded us, they're selling England by the pound. But there's still a little of it left if you're quick.


Don't let it go to waste.


Kickback 2020 tickets



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Bonhams Bicester Sale August 2020


Story snapshot:

£3.67 million turnover claimed

Benelli world record marque sale price also claimed


Auction house Bonhams held a three day sale beginning on 14th August 2020 and concluding on the 16th. The big news, according to the firm, is (a) that the sale turned over a whopping £3.67 million, (b) that a marque world record price was achieved for two Benelli Grand Prix racers, (c) the sell-through rate was 95%, and (d) it was the company's most successful motorcycle auction to date. We're taking Bonhams at its word for all that (while we check it).


Meanwhile, here are some specifics:


The two aforementioned Benelli Grand Prix racers came from the much-touted Morbidelli Motorcycle Museum collection. The highest selling price was achieved by a 1964 250cc machine that was ridden to victory in that year's Spanish Grand Prix. The bike (Lot 680N) was signed by twice world champion Tarquino Provini. It sold for £149,500.



The other Benelli (Lot 678N) was also a 1950 250cc machine (image immediately above) that was ridden to world championship victory by Dario Ambrosini. It sold for £138,000.

However, the lot carrying the highest hopes (estimate-wise) was a 1965 Ducati 125cc four-cylinder Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle rebuilt in the Morbidelli Museum's workshop. Bonhams was anticipating £400,000 - £600,000. But in the event, it was AMENDED.




We've put this word in capital letters because it's worth lingering here for a moment. We asked Bonhams specifically what AMENDED means and we were told it simply means that there's a SALEROOM NOTICE on the bike. That could mean that some detail was changed after its initial listing; perhaps a phone number or some technical point or an issue regarding the provenance.


"But did it sell?" we asked Bonhams, on the phone.

"What does it say on the listing?" said Bonhams.


"Well then it was amended."

"Well what does that mean?"

"A change in the listing."

"So it didn't sell?"

"Not necessarily."

"So it did sell?"

"Not necessarily."

"So it was withdrawn pre-sale?"

"Not necessarily."

"Well for the past 10 years we've often been puzzling over the world AMENDED on the results page, and every time we've seen it, the lot in question hadn't sold. So in future, can we read AMENDED on the results page simply as UNSOLD?"

"No. As I said, it just means that the listing was changed."

"Yes. That might technically be so. But if every time we see that word and the lot didn't sell, AMENDED effectively becomes a synonym for UNSOLD, doesn't it?"


"So to help rule out confusion, why don't you simply put SOLD OR UNSOLD on the results page and clarify things?"

"That's beyond me. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

"Yes. You can tell me if the bike sold, or didn't sell."

"What does the result listing say?"


"Ah. Then it was amended."



We've been here before and have reported on this (we've forgotten where exactly), but Bonhams is still where it was a decade ago. So clearly, UNSOLD is like the N-word; i.e. toxic. Maybe we should start referring to SOLD bikes as UNAMENDED. Or is that too oblique?


So here are some other notable UNAMENDED sales:



▲ 1935 998cc Brough Superior SS80. Lot 356. Fully rebuild, ready to roll, Lycett pillion saddle. Magazine featured. Kept in a vacuum bag. Yes, vacuum bag. Last run in 2019. Sold for £77,050.



▲ 2016 Egli Vincent. Lot 414. This Patrick Godet framed example boasts features such as a new 1,330cc 92mm-bore engine, 8.3:1 compression ratio pistons, dynamically balanced crankshaft, electric starter, 12-volt alternator electrics, electronic ignition, Mikuni 36mm carburettors, Ceriani 35mm GP forks, and a 210mm Fontana-type magnesium 4LS front brake. The bike sold for £63,250. Footnote: Frenchman Patrick Godet died in 2018 (see Sump Classic Bike News September 2018)


▲ 1916 Harley-Davidson Model J Package Truck. We featured this (unrestored) 61-cubic inch bike in Sump Classic Bike News April 2020, but at the time of writing we didn't have an estimate. But we can tell you that Bonhams sold it/un-AMENDED it for £56,500. It was lot 378.


Other lots include:


Lot 408. 1951 Vincent 998cc Series-C Black Shadow. £62,100

Lot 407. 1937 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series-A Comet. £55,200

Lot 411. 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince. Est £55,000 - £65,000. Unsold.


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Vauxhall "Made in Luton" exhibition


Story snapshot:

Company heritage fleet on public display

Starts on 5th September 2020


Apparently there will be just eleven models on show covering the 115 years of the company car making history, and that doesn't sound to us like a compelling reason to visit Luton; hardly the most desirable part of the UK. But if you're a Vauxhall fan (and plenty of people are), the exhibition just might have sufficient magnetism.


Vauxhall began building cars in London (at Vauxhall, of course) in 1903. Within two years the company had outgrown its facilities and moved to Luton, Bedfordshire. US giant General Motors bought the firm in 1925, and in 2019, after 92 years, the company was sold to Groupe PSA which also owns Citroën, Peugeot and Opel.




The 'Made in Luton' exhibition is, we hear, the first time that Vauxhall has publicly displayed its Heritage Fleet. The show starts on Saturday 5th September 2020 and will run through to Easter 2021. As we understand it, the event was originally scheduled for earlier this year, but it seems that the coronavirus forced a rethink.


In terms of heritage, Vauxhall made some interesting cars from the 1920s through to the 1960s, originally aimed at the middle and upper classes, but slowly moving downward towards the masses.


Later models haven't really lit our fuses, but part of that is perhaps because there's a certain amount of taint associated with the brand via the boy racer scene, most of whom are probably barely aware of the classic era vehicles such as the 30/98 (and its many stylish variants), the troubled Vauxhall 25/70 and the more everyman 20-60.



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Re Vauxhall exhibition, no mention of the only surviving 4 cylinder motorcycle designed by Halford? Now resident in the I. O. Man at Miltown. —Old John

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Bennetts Insurance under scrutiny


Story snapshot:

Unfair business acquisition?

The Competition & Markets Authority has got the microscope out


The trouble with the modern business world is the interconnectivity of things. Yes, at times that interconnectivity can be an asset. But it can also be a problem, notably when you think you're dealing with one company or group of companies, only to find you're actually dealing with someone else.


In this instance we're talking about Bennetts Insurance which has recently been bought for £26 million in a deal dating back to February 2020. The new owner is the Ardonagh Group, a UK based holding company focussed on the insurance industry and all its facets.


The group can trace its origins back to 1997, but the path from then to now is probably tedious for most people, suffice to say that Ardonagh bought Carole Nash Insurance in 2017, and purchased Swinton Insurance in 2018. We might mention other insurance firms such as Autonet and Ryan Direct Group. But you get the notion.


Well Bennetts Insurance, which was owned by Saga (insurance, travel & financial services), is now an Ardonagh Group subsidiary thereby giving them a sizeable bite on the motorcycle insurance market and putting them in a highly dominant position.


Well, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) was (back in February) charged with the job of looking into the acquisition and checking that it was in the consumer interest—or at least not hugely against it. But it seems that the coronavirus issue got in the way, and the CMA has only just unwrapped this particular parcel and has been having a good sniff.


As it stands, the authority isn't entirely happy about this acquisition, notably because of the "substantial lessening of competition". So Bennetts has been told to operate as a standalone company for the time being. How that will actually work in practice remains to be seen.


It might transpire that after a suitable spasm of grunting and groaning, the Bennetts deal gets the full green light and the CMA will remove any objection. Alternately, the CMA might want to find a way to block the acquisition (which seems a bit late now), or might have some other cards up its sleeves to mitigate the impact of the acquisition.


Either way, if you've had issues with any of these companies and carry a reluctance to get involved with them again, you might want to keep in mind the fact that ultimately, good or bad, these apples are in the same barrel—and that includes Mackenzie Hodgson Insurance.


We're not condemning any of these firms, take note. Not per se. But we ain't recommending any of them either. You can make up your own mind about where to spend your coin. We're simply letting you know who owns what, and in one way or another, all of these firms have business interests in the UK motorcycle world.


Ardonagh Group


Carole Nash




Mackenzie Hodgson



Uris Group

Price Forbes



Competition is a wonderful thing as far as the consumer is concerned. But there's considerably less competition when most of the top players are on the same team. Better keep your eyes on this particular ball.


See also: Sump Magazine Buying Motorcycle Insurance feature


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It's got to be good news. From small commuter bikes bigger motorcycle
riders grow.
—The Village Squire

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Honda Super Cub 125 - 2019


UK July bike sales register a boost


Story snapshot:

50cc - 125cc bikes/scooters continue to find new buyers

But overall, 2020 sales are down compared to 2019


July sales of new powered two wheelers (PTWs) in the UK have jumped a massive 41.9% to 14,070 units compared to June 2020 sales. Of that number, motorcycles accounted for 10,214 units (or 31%). Over-50cc scooters sold 2,879 units (62.8%). Moped sales registered 852 bikes (38.1%). And trikes notched up 125 units (38.1%).


Big bikes (650cc - 1,000cc) were up 15.3% which is especially welcome after June's depressing figures that saw a big bike decline of 9.3%. While over 1,000cc machines jumped a massive 38.8% (up from June's -1.6%) Meanwhile, 126cc - 650cc sales grew by 38.5%.


So it's all rosy? Not quite. When you look at the year-to-date (YTD) figures, overall powered two wheeler sales are down. Specifically, 126cc - 650cc sales are down 20.8%; 651cc - 1,000cc sales are down 26.3%; and over 1,000cc sales are down 24.9%. But that's still not bad when you factor in the coronavirus crisis which has led to both fewer "traditional" sales as the everyday UK economy all but collapsed, and yet more sales as worried commuters abandoned public transport in search of "safe distance" alternative.


Honda, as usual, did best (34.2% up). Yamaha followed, and was in turn pursued by Lexmoto, BMW and Kawasaki. So how did Triumph fare? Well, Hinckley will be reasonably satisfied, if not overjoyed by a 15.6% increase in sales. And let's not look too closely at Harley-Davidson sales which are down 6.9%.


Finally, 58,276 new bikes have been sold in the UK so far this year. That's down just 16% on 2019—and that's not bad considering the context. What it all means is that there is still money floating around and people are ready to spend it, and although leisure biking is still struggling, UK commuters are continuing to switch to powered two wheeled travel in large numbers.


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It's got to be good news. From small commuter bikes bigger motorcycle
riders grow.
—The Village Squire

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SSDT organisers raise the alarm


Story snapshot:

Long running event "could lose the Thursday route"

Unauthorised riding has been cited as the problem


All the roads used by the long established Scottish Six Days Trials (SSDT) are private. That's the important point to make here. And that means that you can only legally ride these roads and trails with explicit permission of the land owners.


However, some maverick riders have apparently been riding without such authorisation, and in doing so they've been putting fragile eco-systems at increased risk.


One major estate in the Rannoch area is unhappy about the situation and is threatening to cancel all access across its land—which includes the Thursday route.


We could start a small controversy here by asking what moral right have a few privileged members of society to dictate the freedom of the roads and backroads to the less fortunate few who are simply looking to have a good time, etc. And we might question whether or not fragile eco-systems really deserve special protection from a few passing motorcycles, or should be left to fight it out for themselves in the traditional Darwinian way.


But we ain't going there, except to say that the land owners are talking largely about breeding birds that might accidentally lay the wrong egg (or not at all) when some mush-head yelling "Geronimo!" comes thundering past at full tilt with half a dozen mates in tow. And as for the privileged classes, we got over that years ago.




Meanwhile, in the absence of any clear guidance or threats from the organisers of the SSDT, all we can do is suggest that the mavericks out there find somewhere else to terrorise the wildlife.


More seriously, the SSDT is an important event in the annual motorcycle calendar, and it would be another nail in the coffin of British biking if a few screwed it up for the many.


Have a heart and show a little mercy, will ya?



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What a laugh. Don't do as I do, do as Isay. That'll be the 'fragile eco-systems' that the estate owning pheasant pluckers and shooters are protecting by killing all the endangered and protected top predator birds, I assume. Plus anything else they deem to be interfering with their 'sport'. At least they don't want to trap or poison the trail riders, though I'm sure they would if could get away with it.

—The  Village Squire.

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Motorcycle Live is cancelled


Story snapshot:

Covid-19 fears claim another one

The event was scheduled for 30th October 2020


You've got the story right there in the headline and the snapshot. The National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) has pulled the plug on this year's event citing social distancing issues. In short, the NMM can't make the financial numbers work while everyone is avoiding everyone else like the plague.


So to speak.


Museum director James Hewing reckons that the show will be back next year. But we're leaving that page in our diary empty for the foreseeable future.


The fabled coronavirus R-number is, we're hearing lately, on the rise again. Much, or most, of that appears to be younger people throwing caution to the wind, both literally and metaphorically. And okay, you don't get too many folk below the age of, say, forty mucking around with classic motorcycles (or motorcycles in general). Therefore, you might argue that social distancing rules could be relaxed for our demographic.


But King Boris has decreed, and on balance we think the caution is well deserved (and these days, we're so paranoid about infecting ourselves that we stay a metre away from our bathroom mirror whilst trusting our reflections to stay back one metre on the other side of the glass).


You can't be too careful, except that you can. Either way, this particular show won't be going on.


Message ends.


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First UK "Dutch style" roundabout


Story snapshot:

Cyclists and pedestrians get a leg-up

Another dozen are planned


If you spot something like this coming atcha in the near future, you could be in Cambridgeshire, UK, because that's where this new "Dutch style" roundabout has just been opened.


You can find this monstrosity lurking at the meeting of three major roads; Queen Edith’s Way, Fendon Road and Mowbray Road. The idea, as you've probably already figured out, is to further erode the dominance of private motorised transport (i.e. cars and bikes), and in doing so shift the balance of power (so to speak) to bicycles and pedestrians—so it's little surprise that flatland Cambridgeshire was ground zero for this new initiative.


If you venture in that locality, you'll notice that the entry lanes to the roundabout are narrowed, and that there are pedestrian crossings littered everywhere. And of course, it's likely to cause some local confusion until users work out the nuances and the rhythms.


We've no idea how well or how badly this will work in the UK. But the Dutch love 'em, and pedal-pushing Prime Minister Boris Johnson is very upbeat about the project. To that end, he's planning to throw around £2 billion at another 12 of these roundabouts whilst boosting pro-cycling measures across the UK.


So how much did this thing cost? £2.4 million. It's hard to see where all that money went, especially when you consider that the land (or at least most of it) was already in public ownership. But no doubt a few people in favourable positioned have trousered a bob or two. Then again, we still think spark plugs ought to cost 50p.


There's no mention of how motorcycles might be affected by the scheme, or even if motorcycles were seriously factored into the mix at all.


So stay alert, etc, we say.


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I live in Cambridge and am a car, motorbike and pushbike owner and rider/driver. Also do a lot of walking. This particular roundabout is just one more extravagant money wasting scheme in this city, poorly contracted, well over budget and behind schedule. We also have virtual roundabouts, designed to slow down cars, cycle lanes that start and finish in no particular place, traffic lights that replaced roundabouts creating more delays and pollution, multi-storey car parks located in the centre thereby encouraging cars right into the centre, with the related queuing and pollution, major pot holes and sinking lanes (caused mainly by over large buses driving on restricted width lanes) that are dangerous for cyclists, in particular. The list of problems is endless but then I don’t suppose those responsible for the chaos care as long as they continue to dream up never ending ways to spend tax payers' money and keep themselves in overpaid employment.
—Kevin Patterson

I know lockdown has caused people to question what day, or even month it is, but April 1st was months ago... —Tim Ruck

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Bonhams Bicester Online Sale results


Story snapshot:

100 percent sell-through rate for bikes

But only 12 motorcycle lots were on offer


There were 12 motorcycle lots up for grabs at the Bonhams Bicester Heritage Sale held on 25th July 2020, and all found buyers—hence a 100 percent sell-through rate. 


We also note a lot of very interesting and desirable classic car lots changing hands. But we haven't looked at those too closely—aside from observing that the sell through rate was less impressive.


The top selling motorcycle was the immediately above 1948 998cc Vincent-HRD. Here are some details on the bike.


The Rapide (EBX 690) was first registered in Carmarthenshire, Wales.

It's the "property of a deceased's estate" (how we're hearing that phrase a lot these days). It was with the same owner since 1980. It's been extensively modified. It needs re-commissioning. The mileage since restoration reads 693. There's a substantial history file c/w photographs. And it sold for £36,000.


Other bikes in the sale:

1927: Raleigh 248cc Model 14 - £5,625
1953: Velocette 349cc MAC - £3,937
1956: AJS 348cc Model 16MS - £2,812
1957/1959: BSA 499cc DB32/DBD34 Special - £10,687
c1955/1960: BSA 649cc RGS Replica - £6,187
1992: Ducati 750SS - £2,812
1993: Harley Davidson FXSR-SP - £7,312
2006: Triumph 790cc T100 - £3,150
1929: Matchless T4 350cc Special - £3,150
1947: Velocette MAC - £5,400
c1958: Innocenti Lambretta 150LD - £2,250


Overall, prices are down, and we expect this trend to continue for some time to come. But note that we're basing this long-distance assumption on casual observation over a variety of selling platforms/outlets. In other words, we don't really know what the hell we're talking about, but we're taking our best guess, anyway.

Same as everyone else.




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Big Brother Watch: Laws by diktat


Story snapshot:

Is the UK government propagating totally bogus coronavirus laws?

A warning to stay safe, but alert


UK pressure group Big Brother Watch (BBW) has issued a warning about the British government passing "laws" on the fly that have no legal basis. Specifically, the warning comes in the light of the announcement last night (30th July 2020) highlighting renewed and stringent lockdown measures in selected areas of northern England (Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire).


The question here is whether the new restrictions are indeed legally binding and enforceable by the police, or by anyone else. And of the face of it, it sounds suspiciously like BBW is correct.


Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, actually made the renewed lockdown announcement via Twitter, and as popular as that social media platform might be, it's a poor substitute for a properly drafted law that passes through Parliament in the more usual democratic way and is open to scrutiny.


So okay, the government is no doubt doing pretty much what most of the country wants it to do, and that's react rapidly and decisively to fresh coronavirus outbreaks and deal with them appropriately. Whatever that means to you. Nevertheless, in an nation that prides itself on adhering to the rule of law, it's looking increasingly as if the Boris Johnson Roadshow is circumventing due process and, in doing so, surreptitiously removing, or at least eroding, our rights.


We're still trawling the web and looking at the legal basis for what appears to be nothing but advantageous diktat, and visitors to Sump are invited to do the same.


Staying safe in the Covid-19 era is what pretty much everyone wants, and naturally we encourage everyone to go well beyond and above the social distancing and sundry safety measures as advocated by the usual "experts".


But it's also important to stay mindful of our rights enshrined by Magna Carta and remember that just because you want to go to a particular place, that doesn't give licence to the state to drag you there on a whim under the pretext of a legal statute.


Stay aware, people.




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There are enough idiots out there doing just what they want with no consideration of the greater good without Sump pouring oil on the fire.
The government appears to be doing what they can to the best of their ability, let's get over this crisis then sort out the rights and wrongs.
—Graham Hibbs. [No one's pouring oil on any fire. We're simply pointing out that whatever the government does, it must do it legally, and must be seen to do it legally. If we allow the government to do whatever it wants on a whim, we might not later have the luxury of "sorting out the rights and wrongs". All the bad stuff that Joe Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Adolf Hitler did was "for the greater good".

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