▲ 1947 Salsbury Model 85—and yes, that is the correct spelling of "Salsbury". These cool and quirky Yankee West Coast motor scooters were launched in 1947 and continued in production until 1950. The brainchild of E Foster Salsbury, the Model 85 was built largely to woo car drivers from four wheels to two via a range of shrewd easy-transition features coupled with smooth and streamlined bodywork intended to keep as much weather at bay as possible whilst cutting a stylish dash in post-war traffic. The 600cc single-cylinder 4-stroke air-cooled engine was rated at 6hp and featured a gear type oil pump (and rubber mounts). A Fairbanks-Morse mag handled the sparks. The automatic transmission was by variable pulley belt and was controlled via an automatic clutch. Suspension was sprung on single-sided struts thereby facilitating quick wheel changes. The two foot-control pedals handled throttle and braking, respectively. A spare wheel was carried beneath the rear top panel. There was no front brake. The list price was around $800. Around 1,000 were built at the Pomona, California factory. Top speed was 40mph, or thereabouts. This good looking example will be offered by Mecum Auctions on 12th August 2021 at Monterey, CA. Look for Lot T176. We lurve the curves on this jet-age velocipede and will be watching to see what it fetches. Nice.

UPDATE: The Salsbury sold for $8,250



August 2021  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



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


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International Dirt Bike show moves to 2022 [Mortons; postponed again]

Bumper Expo for 2022 [Or: 2021 UK bike trade Expo postponed again]

Eddie “Webby” Jago 1936-2021

Shock Southampton closure (Park Road Superbikes closes]


Triumph Tiger Sport 660 unveiled: Trident engine used to take on Tracer 7

Garner faces prosecution: Ex-Norton man due in court over pensions

Honda Africa Twin models updated for 2022


New look at electric ‘Benelli’

What is E10 fuel and is it safe for your bike?


ULEZ 2021: Londoners considering a switch to electric pre-zone expansion


Strange line markings could save riders’ lives [Austrian road safety idea]


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2021 Brighton Speed Trials: No bikes


Story snapshot:

The cars will be running

But apparently it's "too dangerous" for motorcycles


It's just been (belatedly) announced that bikes will not be sprinting at this year's Brighton Speed Trials (BST). But it's got nothing to do with the ongoing coronavirus situation.


Apparently, the issue revolves around the condition of Madeira Drive which, as usual, serves as the beach side race track. Here's what the organiser has to say about it:


"It is with regret that we have to announce that the motorcycles will not be running at this years BST.

"The ACU inspected the track and have decided that on the grounds of safety, a track certificate and permit cannot be issued this year.


"Some of the reasons given were the green painted cycle lane and the red painted pedestrian crossings. There are [also] projections which have been moved during recent works and are a cause for concern, to name a few. However, they [the ACU] have promised to proactively be in contact with the City Council to try to resolve these issues as they are keen to help us run in 2022. It is a great shame, but we have to accept their decision. We must all remember that the safety criteria for cars is somewhat different for bikes.

"The cars will be running, and we always appreciate their kind invitation year on year and wish The Brighton and Hove Motor Club great weather and a fast, safe and successful day and look forward to returning in 2022."


To clarify all that, The Brighton & Hove Motor Club has been running the event since forever. The VMCC Sprint Section has, by invitation, been handling the bike racing. However, for this year at least, the ACU has effectively queered the pitch (so to speak). The risks are considered too high.



The loss of the bikes will for many fans be a serious blow. Nevertheless,  you might want to mosey along there anyway and sniff some fumes and hang out. The date is Saturday 4th September 2021. And as we're fond of saying around here, Brighton is a pretty good place to visit every once in a while.


On the face of it, it looks like motorcycles could be permanently off the menu. But that thought, we stress, is pure idle speculation.



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Charles Robert Watts: 1941 - 2021


Story snapshot:

The iconic Stones drummer is gone

He was 80


Q: What do you call a bloke who hangs around with musicians?

A: A drummer.


And yes, that's a very old musician/drummer joke, and it's totally inappropriate in the case of Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones who has died aged 80. Watts, who was possibly the most famous rock drummer in the world, was also a highly accomplished jazz man and spent over five decades behind the skins holding down the beat in his cool, calm and unemotional manner.


He hailed from Wembley, North London; the son of a lorry driver and, well, a mother. Reputedly, he started playing drums on a banjo. "I didn't like the dots on the neck, so I took the neck off." He then put the banjo head on a stand and created a makeshift snare drum. His burgeoning musical influences included all the jazz greats of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and he studied the drumming techniques via his large collection of 78s which he played on a bedroom gramophone.



After a stint playing with various local jazz combos in coffee shops and suchlike, he met Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard, all of whom were exploring the London rhythm and blues scene. By 1963, Watts was a permanent member of The Rolling Stones—and, thanks to some experience as a graphic artist, he helped design many of the early album covers and much of the promo material.


In stark contrast to the hi-jinks behaviour of the other members of the band, Charlie Watts projected a very moderate and modest image. In later years he became famous for his Savile Row suits and other stylish accoutrements.


While rock fans will best remember him for his contribution to tracks such as Brown Sugar, Miss You, Honky Tonk Women, Get Off Of My Cloud and Jumpin' Jack Flash, jazz fans will perhaps better remember him for his work with the Charlie Watts Quintet and the Charlie Watts Tentet. He also had a passion for boogie-woogie music which, in the 1980s, he enjoyed with Rocket 88 (look it up).



One of the low spots of Charlie Watts' career happened in 1969 at Altamont, California where an 18-year old fan (Hunter Meredith) was stabbed to death by a Hells Angel—allegedly after having kicked a motorcycle. Sonny Barger, president of the group, has since been quoted as saying on a radio phone in show: "When they started messing over our bikes, they started it. Ain't nobody gonna kick my motorcycle. When you're standing there, looking at something that's your life—and you love that thing better than you love anything in the world—you know who that guy is. You're gonna get him."


"Nice one, Sonny..." replied a mildly sarcastic Charlie Watts who was fielding questions and comments on the show. And that phrase, "Nice one, Sonny," subsequently became a Stones catchphrase for any foolish word, deed or action.



Charlie Watts was married once and fathered one daughter who in turn provided him with a granddaughter. He had been suffering from ill health for some time and finally succumbed on 24th August 2021.


The last word goes to the Rolling Stones website which we checked about ten minutes ago. Everything on the site is gone—all except for a single and very eloquent image of Charlie; the final beat in what was a long and, we hope, very satisfying life.




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I have every copy of The Stones UK studio albums. I've been a lifelong fan. RIP Charlie—Terry Lester

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H&H October 2021 Sale at the NMM


Story snapshot:

Cool looking 1934 Sunbeam Lion up for grabs

Low estimate


You know the drill. You're getting on in life. Locked in your peculiar groove. Head full of cobwebs. Etc. But you're not quite ready to surrender to that good night, meaning that you're still looking for adventure. Excitement. New horizons, Indiana Jones style. But you need a little transportation for those long desert jaunts and wilderness forays—and the above 1934 Sunbeam Lion outfit could be exactly what you need.


A simple and rugged sidevalve. Five hundred of the best cubic centimetres. A lazy four-speed hand-change. Solid Webb-pattern girder front fork. Rigid frame. Enclosed rear drive chain. Token brakes. A pillion seat for whatever runaway princess you happen to meet. And a chair on the side to haul your tent, Webley revolver, ammunition, theodolite, tins of dried beef, tins of jam, tools, change of socks, spare fuel and oil—and of course you also need the sidecar to carry away all that buried Inca treasure as detailed on the scrap of parchment you found squirreled away in the British Museum Library.


Know what we mean?


Well, what makes this rig all the more tempting is the estimate as suggested by Messrs H&H who will be offering the Sunbeam for sale on Wednesday 27th October 2021 at the National Motorcycle Museum. And that estimate is a lowly £4,500 - £5,500.


So okay, an estimate isn't a sale price. We know that. But auction estimates have a curious way of guiding/directing/informing buyers and setting the bidding pace and limits. That's why so many lots pretty much hit the bullseye. It's not so much that the auctioneers know the market so intimately (although most are pretty shrewd characters). It's more that buyers generally rely upon the estimates and thereby keep close to the posted numbers.


Consequently, this British Lion just might be a great bargain for any latter day adventurers out there, and as such we'll be watching it closely. And while we remember, Bonhams sold a Model 6 solo bike in 2019. That fetched £7,500. We've seen them asking more than this.






▲ 1932 600cc Model 7 Sunbeam Lion Longstroke. 26 x 3.50 tyres front and rear. Dynamo lighting. Electric horn. Front and rear stands. Legendary enamelled finish and superior build quality. More power for hauling a chair, but the 500 (the Model 6) was almost equally capable. £75 new.


We're advised that the bike is in good working order and is about as original as you're gonna get, if not 100 percent. It's been re-bored and fitted with new rings, valves and guides—but some re-commissioning will be required. And, of course, an oily rag or two to preserve that patina wouldn't hurt.


There's a dicky seat, by the way (in case the princess has a sister). And the lucky buyer should remember to buy a pith helmet and a safari outfit to complete the fantasy.



We're currently taking a more in depth look at the other lots in this sale and, naturally, will report anything that catches our eye. But for now, we're focussed on this Sunbeam which would look fine in the Sump garage if only we had the space.




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2022 Kawasaki Z900RS-SE


2022 Kawasaki Z900RS SE revealed


Story snapshot:

A few upgrades, but nothing sensational

£12,499 is the price


Kawasaki has introduced a special edition of its current 948cc Z900RS. It's called the Z900RS-SE and we've posted a few words on it via Sump's Motorcycle news section (as opposed to our Classic Bike News portal).


Given that it's a retro—and probably a modern classic—we could have run the full news story right here, right now. But like a lot of things in this life, it is what it is, and we wanted it there rather than here. So take a peek and come back soon.


There's bound to be some more interesting news on the way.


2022 Kawasaki Z900RS-SE story


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London Red Route fines looking to jump from £130 to £160. Consultation

John Bloor: "We donate money to the Tories and expect nothing in return."

ULEZ expansion set for October 2021. Check the M/C scrappage scheme

Motorcycles permanently banned from Pike's Peak "Race to the Clouds."


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Second Harry Dunn Memorial Ride


Story snapshot:

All bikers welcome at this event

A candlelit vigil will also be held


The above graphic taken from the Facebook page tells you most of what you need to know about this news story. A Harry Dunn Memorial Ride. Friday 27th August 2021. RAF Croughton. 6pm.


We figure that most of you guys and gals will recall that Harry Dunn was the young British motorcycle rider killed in 2019 in a motoring accident outside an RAF base in Northamptonshire. Anne Sacoolas was the driver of the other vehicle—that was apparently motoring along on the wrong side of the road. Sacoolas has since gone to ground in the USA and, rightly or wrongly, is claiming diplomatic immunity.


Meanwhile, the Harry Dunn campaign, driven by his tenacious parents, is not letting go of this issue—and evidently neither are hundreds, if not thousands, of British bikers. Hence this second memorial ride out.



▲ RAF Croughton—as seen from, say, a Russian spy satellite (or Google Maps). It's currently home to the US 422nd Air Base Group and is essentially a listening post and communications switchboard. There are no runways here. Just radar dishes and antennas and suchlike. It was built in 1938 as Brackley Landing Ground. Then it was renamed RAF Brackley, and then changed to RAF Croughton. They used to fly Hampdens, Blenheims, and Wellington from here. We'd tell you much more, but we'd then have to kill you, etc...


The meeting point is Buckingham Road Industrial Estate, Brackley, Northamptonshire NN13 7ES. The ride begins at 6pm. Spectators (spectators?) are advised to meet at the entrance to RAF Croughton which you can find on the B4031.


The riders, meanwhile, will be completing a circular route near or around the base. And there will also be a candlelit vigil starting from around 7.30pm and finishing thirty minutes later.

"LET'S RIDE FOR JUSTICE" is the slogan for the ride. Need we remind anyone to stay cool headed, etc?


No, we didn't think so.


Harry Dunn Memorial Ride Facebook page


Sump Harry Dunn background story


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Don't say GB. Say UK. OK?


Story snapshot:

It's a stick up

New expectations for British drivers and riders


From 28th September 2021, GB stickers will no longer be officially recognised on British vehicles travelling in mainland Europe. Instead, British drivers (and presumably riders) will be expected to display UK stickers.




Because the letters "GB" refer specifically to Great Britain, and that means England, Scotland and Wales—but not Northern Ireland. Evidently, until recently no one cared too much about that. It was largely taken for granted and was politically expedient to overlook the omission.


But things have changed. The UK is now out of the EU, and the controversial and divisive "border down the Irish sea" is a live and highly charged issue. And people on both sides of the Irish argument (or arguments) have ... well, let's say enhanced sensitivities.


So GB is out, and UK is in.


The new stickers and wotnot will be available anytime soon. So if you're planning on a European sortie or sojourn, you know what England (or the UK) expects of you.


And while we remember, if you are heading across the English Channel (or is that UK Channel?) better gen up on the latest road traffic rules and regulations. Leaving the EU club hasn't made us many friends, but it's antagonised a lot of people, some of whom are no doubt wearing uniforms and carrying guns.


Makes you think.


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July 2021



e-scooter petition launched


Story snapshot:

Road registration is being sought

Cyclists are also in the cross-hairs


Nicholas Frank Freeman is the author of this new petition, and he's no one that we know. Regardless, he's looking for 100,000 like-minded people to share his concerns about riders of e-scooters and cyclists who, he feels, need regulating.


The deadline for this petition is 7th December 2021 (the day Pearl Harbour was attacked by the Japanese in 1941, fact fiends). If, by then, 100,000 signatures have been collected, the government will consider a debate on the matter (note the word "consider"). However, if only 10,000 signatures have left their digital mark, a formal response from the government will be made.


What's driving this appeal is, of course the rising number of e-scooter riders and cyclists who haven't exactly integrated well with modern traffic and pedestrians. The newspapers are rife with tales of collisions and near-misses, and what was once considered to be a minor nuisance is more lately viewed as a serious social threat.


What Freeman is advocating is visible ID, licensing, penalty points, greater enforcement of cycle lanes, and general accountability. No doubt there will sooner or later be calls for compulsory insurance, reflective clothing, mandatory crash hats, mandatory training, direction indicators and stoplights—and maybe even a requirement to have handlebar mirrors.


Here at Sump we've got some sympathy with Freeman's concerns (actually quite a lot of sympathy). But the notion of foisting even more laws and traffic regulations is anathema. What we'd really like is for everyone to simply behave themselves and give much greater consideration to others on the roads and on the pavements (especially the more vulnerable). Better still, we'd like the current international interest in e-scooters to dissipate like yesterday's fad, etc. But that probably isn't going to happen, so we are where we are and will have to deal with the problem sooner or later. And preferably sooner.


We could start with, say, greater public education. Might help. A bit.


Currently (28/7/21) there are almost 7,000 names on the petition. You can add yours by following the link below. Meanwhile, if anyone can explain the appeal of riding around on a seat-less, short-range vehicle with wheels the size of jam jar lids in a country riddled by potholes, corrugated tarmac, tramlines and sundry surface defects, we'd be interested to know. There's gotta be something in it.


e-scooter petition


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Goldtop Shop - Grand Opening


Story snapshot:

The news came in late...

... but we're running it anyway


We had just ten minutes notice regarding the latest press release from Goldtop. We picked it up from our server at around 10.20am today (Friday 23rd July 2021), and we noted immediately that the new shop opens in—what?—ten minutes?


Nice one KC.


We're referring, of course, to Kasey Cullen who some years ago bought the hallowed Goldtop name and rights, and has since been patiently and steadfastly reviving and growing the brand; a brand that now offers a huge range of motorcycle gloves, scarves, leather jackets and other items of essential or luxury biking apparel.


The new store is therefore open from 10.30am today, and will be staging a Grand Opening Weekend (23rd, 24th, 25th July 2021). To that end, all bikers are invited to mosey on down to the premises to hang out, drink coffee, listen to some live music, and dig into their wallets and purses.



There will be numerous special offers and treats throughout the weekend, and Kasey will naturally be on hand to ensure that you get the right product at the right price, etc. He knows his stuff and is very much hands-on.


The aforementioned live bands, incidentally, are: The Rock-ola Rockets (Saturday), and the Hackney Hill Pickers (Sunday). Parking is free, and there's space for over 100 bikes. Hours are 10.30am to 5.30pm—but 4.pm on Sunday. Note that the retail store is generally open Monday through to Thursdays by appointment only.


Here's the bricks and mortar address: Goldtop, Pilgrim's Annex, Gipsy Lane, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 1HA. That's on the Essex/Hertfordshire border, 36 riding miles to the north east of London.


And here's the web address: www.goldtop.co.uk


See also: Goldtop Classic Gauntlets: Sump 2015


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Stock shortages hit Manchester Show [Manchester Bike Show]

New owners for Scottish icon Shirlaws


Norton CEO outlines ambitious racing plans

Riding on coconut shells: Activated carbon inserts


Top 10 motorcycle discount codes & competitions

A2 test to allow 245cc-plus bikes


Father reunited with son after 24 years, 500,000km motorcycling search

How to keep cool and safe while out riding your motorcycle

Indian Motorcycles reveals first of three tattoo inspired designs for the Chief

Paris streets to be restricted to 19mph - and bikes have to pay for parking!


King of biker films dies aged 87 [Interesting piece on William Smith - Ed]

Brussels Museum Celebrates Vespa’s Diamond Jubilee: 75 Rare Models


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Too many email bounces, guys/gals


Story snapshot:

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We've got thousands of subscribers on our Sump News Reminder List (thank you very much, one and all). And each month (or every other month at the moment) we fire off the latest missives designed to keep you Sumpsters in the loop. It all takes time and effort compiling the information, and we don't like to waste a drop. So naturally, we're a little disconcerted at the rising number of email "bounces" that we're receiving.


We're not talking about hundreds. Yet. But it's certainly in the dozens—and then sometime later in the month we receive smoking emails from puzzled or slightly disgruntled subscribers wondering if they're still on the list. Or what?


And responding to that takes time.


The underlying problem is simply that most folk don't check their email software and ensure that it's up to date, or take a peek in their spam boxes to check if the filters have been over-enthusiastic. And sometimes, their email inboxes are just full.


We can live with this situation. But we'd rather not. So if you're not receiving your news updates, you know what you have to do.


And keep in mind too, if you will, that we have the same problem notifying Sumpsters about products they've bought (sizes, availability, addressing queries, etc). In the age of mass communication, the signals don't always get through.


Your cooperation will be much appreciated.


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H&H Online Auction 11th August 2021


Story snapshot:

Consignments are now being sought

Auction viewing by appointment only


We still haven't really got to grips with online auctions. Mentally, we put these sales into the same category as online sex inasmuch as things look the same and sound the same and end up with a fairly predictable result, but it just ain't the same.


But Messrs H&H seems to know what they're up to and are apparently making a good fist of it (so to speak), and they've scheduled another such sale for 11th August 2021. To that end, the firm is looking for more consignments, either bikes are cars or bits and pieces. So if you're downsizing your classics, etc, you might want to give H&H a call.


At the time of writing (16/7/2021, 23:16), there are only twelve lots on the books; two motorcycles, a bicycle, and nine cars. But that will no doubt change soon enough. The balloon goes up at 12 noon. For motorcycles and automobilia, the commission is 15% (plus VAT @ 20%—and that's VAT on the commission only, not on the lot). For cars, the commission is 12.5%.



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Manchester Bike Show is again postponed. 11/12/21 moves to 2-3/4/2022

Petrol price rises seventh month in a row. Average UK unleaded: 129ppl

Triumph and Swiss watch firm Breitling limited edition bike & watch in 2022

Harley-Davidson Sportster S: Revolution motor. 1,252cc. 121bhp. £14k

Tough guy/biker/cowboy/gangster movie actor William "Big Bill" Smith dies aged 88

Actor Stuart Damon (The Champions/General Hospital) dies aged 84

Triumph announces off-road plans for new MX and enduro motorcycles


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Derek Rickman: 1933 - 2021


Story snapshot:

UK top motorcycle engineer and racer has passed the finish line

He was the co-creator of the beautiful Metisse


He was a motocross rider of no mean talent. He was also an engineer, a motorcycle fabricator, a kit car builder, a spares manufacturer, and a very astute businessman who recognised a good opportunity when it appeared on his horizon, and then seized it and made it walk and talk. We're talking about Derek Rickman—one half of the hugely respected and much lauded Rickman Brothers—who has died aged 88.


Elder brother to Don, Derek's riding career began in the 1950s primarily astride Royal Enfield singles. By 1959, the racing duo had created the Rickman Metisse (French for mongrel); a Triumph/BSA twin cylinder sporting hybrid that quickly set the pace for what was to follow. Other motorcyclists, impressed with the success and style of the Metisse, were soon looking to the Rickman brothers to sprinkle some of their engineering magic on their own bikes. Riders included Clint Walker and Steve McQueen.


Steadily, operating from a factory premises in New Milton, Hampshire, a range of frame kits began to appear catering to pretty much whatever single, twin or even multi that came along. We're advised that 16,685 kits and complete bikes appeared in the 21 years between 1960 and 1981. A huge achievement if true.





Next came a range of Hondastyle spares that included fairings, carriers, seats and many other bespoke parts. But already Derek was casting his glance elsewhere, notably at the burgeoning kit car market where he saw a fresh opportunity. Over the next few years around 1,100 kit cars were produced including the Ranger, the Space Ranger, the Rancher and the Metisse—and the firm also sub-produced kits for other companies.


In 1974 the Queen recognised the output and scope of the Rickman boys and bestowed upon them a Queens Award to Industry.


Other high spots in Derek's life and times included the winning of the 1966 FIM Coupe d'Europe 750 astride his hand built 600cc Mk3 Matchless Metisse.



Would it be correct to suggest that Derek Rickman and brother Don are among the top ten British motorcycle personalities ever? We think so. The company produced a world class product, helped develop racing motorcycles, employed hundreds of men and women over the years, and thoughtfully and cautiously dissolved their interests into other hands when retirement came.


Fortunately there are still plenty of Rickman motorcycles out there in the marketplace that are still competitive and great value. And just as fortunately, there are also new bikes available if that's the way you prefer to go. See the links below.


Derek died on 3rd July 2021 at Lymington, Hampshire. He was nothing if not a biking legend in his own lifetime.





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Hi, I guess a few of your readers will be of a demographic that was riding around on BMX’s in the 80s (or even still are, like me!). I noticed this aspect didn’t get a mention in your Rickman piece, so here’s some info gleaned from 'Rickman BMX Official Owners Group’ on Farcebook. Rickman BMX was an offshoot of Rickman Motorcycles (a company formed by Derek & Don Rickman) who during the 1980s were based in New Milton, Hants. All BMX frames, forks & 'bars were made from the finest Reynolds 531 Tubing. Produced from 1984 through to 1985/6 (as far as we know) Rickman BMX frame-sets have become one of THE most desirable Old School BMX items to own as they were produced in limited numbers to the highest quality. It's thought that well under 1,000 of each model were ever made & we are learning more every day.—Tim Ruck

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The helmet law in the Covid-19 era


Story snapshot:

A few words on personal liberty

... and why the riders rights movement is missing an opportunity


In light of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's, latest remarks about the British public taking personal responsibility with regard to the lifting of some or all the UK coronavirus restrictions, it might be a great opportunity for the riders rights community and the more liberal minded bikers among us to re-present the compelling case for repealing the compulsory crash helmet law—and, come to that, the compulsory seat belt law too.


The crash helmet law in the UK came into force in 1973 (note the use of the word "force"). The seat belt law followed in 1991. After those dates, some fundamental rights were removed from British citizens; notably the right to decide one's personal safety behind the handlebars of a motorcycle, or the wheel of a car.


Given the rise of injuries caused by practitioners of extreme sports, not to mention the huge cost of repair work routinely undertaken by the National Health Service in order to mitigate the damage caused by so-called "healthy sporting activities" (broken limbs, concussions, torn ligaments, wrenched shoulders, broken necks, boxing injuries, internal injuries, etc, the wearing of crash helmets (or not) doesn't actually represent a significantly high cost to society.


Add to that the massive cost of alcohol related health issues, smoking issues, eating disorders and general obesity, the financial case for compulsory lids and belts is trivial—never mind the basic moral case regarding self-determination.


Put simply, right now is a very good time to try and claw back some of the libertarian rights that the government had no justifiable case for removing. Moreover, if the crash helmet and seat belt laws were repealed, we suspect that the vast majority of people would lid-up and belt-up anyway. But the point is, we'd have the right to decide.


Which is right.



▲ A stupid advert that underlines a lot of social bigotry regarding bikers. Of course, if you're a sikh, you're exempt from wearing a lid. But why should religion get special privileges while secularism is sidelined? We've been trying to figure that out forever.


Boris Johnson has been quoted as saying: "We should trust the British people to behave sensibly and take responsibilities for their actions and behaviour." This line, remember, is spoken in the context of 128,000 Covid-19 related deaths over the past eighteen months, with thousands more set to follow.


... not that anyone here at Sump would ride a motorcycle without a crash helmet, or drive a car without a seat belt were the laws repealed. Not for any distance, anyway. That's our personal choice. But that ain't the point. The helmet and seat belt laws are self-evidently wrong, and they look increasingly absurd in a nation where mandatory vaccination is, if you believe the government, a non-starter.



▲ Actually, it's still perfectly legal to smash your face in. Just do it abseiling, or in a boxing ring, or playing rugby, or similar. You can't do it in a car, however; not so easily anyway.



So is the helmet law and seat belt issue a lost cause? Well it certainly is if we give up on it. Meanwhile, while you're busy opening an email window to fire off a suitable missive to your MP and/or (noted, or supposed, libertarian) Boris Johnson, just take a moment to reflect on the fact that social freedoms are generally lost not in huge chunks, but are removed piecemeal.


The Covid-19 emergency has thrown a lot of issues and questions into a new light. The lid law and seat belt law needs to come out of the shadows and see what, if anything, can be done about them.


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World record for an AJS Porcupine


Story snapshot:

98% sell-through rate at Summer Stafford Sale

Total sales of £3,585,000


Auction house Bonhams is boasting a record price paid for an AJS Porcupine which was sold at the firm's recent 3-day Summer Stafford Sale (2nd - 4th July 2021). The estimate for the 1940s 497cc E90 (Lot 33), once the property of esteemed works rider Ted Frend, was £250k - £300k. In the event, the bike sold for a very comfortable £293,250.



The second highest seller was Lot 739, a Brough Superior SS100 1,000cc Supercharged Special Re-creation built by Ewan Cameron of Cameron Engineering. It sold for £126,500, and we refer you to the bike at the very top of this page.



Meanwhile, we see that a very rare Pioneer era Brough (but not a Brough Superior, note) did very well at the sale and sold for £103,500. This 1914 Model H (see image immediately above) was built by Nottingham-based William E Brough, father of the more redoubtable George—who was a partner in the venture, but reputedly left following a dispute.


With its air-cooled 497cc, 70mm x 64.5mm, fore-and-aft flat twin configuration and two-speed transmission, the motorcycle cut a stylish dash when first conceived in 1912 and released from industrial captivity the following year. As with later Broughs and Brough-Superiors, the build quality was very high and the model quickly found favour with the more discerning (and well-heeled) members of the buying public.


There were three models in the range. This flat tanker took silver, as opposed to gold and bronze, and was priced at £56. It's the oldest survivor of its type, or so we're told, and it spent the first sixty years of its "life" in Wales. J M Jones, Motor Engineer of Tryal Garage & Motor Works, Cribyn, Llanybyther, was the supplying dealer.


The story goes that in 1974 this machine (Lot 707 incidentally), plus another 1915 model, was discovered by a certain John Greenland [there's slightly more to the tale than this—Ed]. They were 100% original and unused since the 1920s. The 1915 model was subsequently restored. The 1914 bike was in 1989 sold to the National Motorcycle Museum—which, as many of you Sumpsters will know, has recently been flogging off much of the family silver, so to speak.



A large history and build file accompanied the bike which includes photographs, assorted correspondence, and various photocopied items (brochures/magazine articles).


William E Brough, you might want reminding, began building motorcycles in 1902. Prior to that he had built a motorised tricycle and engaged in much mechanical experimentation with other designs and concepts. He closed his firm in 1926 leaving son George (who had left the firm in 1919) to continue the family tradition, such as it was.


Overall, it seems to us that classic bike prices are still depressed when compared to, say four or five years ago. But as ever, there are highs and lows in every auction, such as a 1955 149cc Triumph Terrier (Lot 20) that sold for a respectable £4,140 whilst a clean looking 1951 489cc Sunbeam S8 (Lot 39) realised only £2,760. That said, you have to check the detail before drawing too many conclusions. There are often underlying issues and interesting provenances.


Meanwhile there were a bunch of cheap sprinters starting at Lot 41, a 1980 GR500 Godden grass-tracker that changed hands for just £977, and Lot 42, a 649cc Triumph that fetched £1,610. Of course, with sprinters you're  mostly buying problems rather than solutions. Nevertheless, these are entry level prices and represent a small outlay if you fancy some long fun on short tracks.


In general, it could be that classic bike prices are starting to level off following a long and steady slide. We wouldn't put much money on this vague assertion. But we wouldn't take many sizeable risks at the moment, either.


Other sales include:


▲ 1940 11/50 Brough Superior. Lot 698. 1,096cc. £59,800. Sold.

▲ 1939 Zundapp KS600. Lot 701. 597cc. £13,225. We gave this bike a romanticised vignette because for us, this outfit instantly evokes thoughts of the heady between-the-wars 1930s Art Deco era and all that it promised. Travel. Adventure. Unexplored continents. Spies and skulduggery. And so on. Of course, Hitler came and put a damper on the optimism that much (but by no means all) of the world felt. Regardless, rigs such as this do it for us. How about you guys?


▲ Keith Emerson's 1973 Norton Commando Roadster (Lot 772) sold for £12,650; a fair sum for a handsome bike—and less than we expected given its connection to one of rock's greatest keyboardists (notably The Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmer). The bike was a replacement for a 750 Roadster that was stolen. Keith had been commuting between his Sussex home and a London recording studio at the time. He was impressed with the model and wanted a new replacement, but alas, Norton had since folded. So he opted for a secondhand replacement which, like the first, was sourced through Elite Motors in Tooting, South London. Keith Emerson died in 2016. The Commando was sold by his family, and it will need some re-commissioning.


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