Introducing the Nostalgia Project limited production custom bike from Nmoto. This Florida, USA-based outfit clearly has a penchant for the 1934 BMW R7 Prototype and has upgraded the concept by recreating it using a current generation 110bhp BMW R nineT Boxer platform complete with ABS, traction control, keyless ignition, front and rear suspension and a 6-speed 'box. The bike's designers handcrafted 74 new parts and re-imagined classic Art Deco aesthetics to give the machine that sleek, streamlined future-shock appeal. The motorcycle has just been shown at the New York International Motorcycle Show (30th November 2018 - 2nd December 2018), and it created exactly the right kind of stir demanded by its $49,500 price tag (currently about £38,348). And that price, we understand, includes a brand new R nineT donor. The big names are queuing up to heap praise on this machine. But haven't we seen one just like this at some time in the past? Seems so. Regardless, the original has been dubbed "The Mona Lisa of motorcycles", which could be interpreted in many ways, not all of them flattering.


December 2018  Classic bike news


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost

Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

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

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar

November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

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

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

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

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

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

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

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

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

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

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

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

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

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

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

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

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

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

March 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

New drug-driving regulations are here

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

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

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

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

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



January 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

Sump news archive



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




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Steve McQueen Speed Twin


Steve McQueen Speed Twin to sell 


Story snapshot:

The most expensive 5T Speed Twin ever?

Bonhams will tell us on 29th January 2019


In view of how often Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) appears on Sump's pages, we ought to start charging rent to his estate. Of course, we could simply ignore him. But for thousands of people—both in the motorcycle world and beyond—the "King of Cool" hasn't worn out his welcome, so he's still newsworthy and is therefore hard to ignore. Not that we really want to. McQueen's okay. But as any actor will tell you, over-exposure can destroy a career just as surely as under-exposure. It's just a question of getting the balance right.


This time Steve McQueen gets a mention because auction house Bonhams is preparing to sell a Speed Twin once owned by the A-list Hollywood star. The bike also has connections to The Great Escape fence jumper Bud Ekins, McQueen's biking chum, favourite spannerman and fellow ISDT companion. And beyond that, there's another possible connection to motorcycle artist and custom builder Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard who may or may not have applied the pin-striping on this bike.


Said Bonhams, "It would be a feel-good thing if we could prove that the pin striping had been done by Von Dutch, a friend of both McQueen and Ekins, but sadly there is no evidence although its style is his."






Having a Bud Ekins sticker on your bike certainly adds a little extra cachet, meaning cash. But in this instance, the big money is on the Steve McQueen name. Pity Von Dutch didn't also leave a sticker on the bike bearing his name (see text for details).




For many, hopes are therefore high when this 1938 500cc 5T Triumph (Lot 53) goes under the hammer at Las Vegas, USA on 24th January 2019. The auctioneers are anticipating a sale price of somewhere between $55,000 - $65,000 (£44,000 - £51,000).

What it all adds up to is the most expensive Speed Twin we've yet encountered—assuming that the Bonhams arrow lands anywhere near the middle of the target.


The bike, we understand, was sold by McQueen's estate in 1984. That was four years after his death. The Twin was bounced around a few times between private owners, no doubt accruing greater and greater value. And now it's looking for a new home. The Bonhams estimate is more than double the price of a current, everyday Speed Twin. But naturally, the big money is really on McQueen and not the wheels.


More on this tale as and when.




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Triumph Trident & BSA Rocket III Buyer's Guide


Story snapshot:

Veloce Publishing

Chris Rooke, £12.99


We're selling this guide from our Sump Shop page, so we've got a bias that we need to declare. That said, we wouldn't be selling it if we didn't think it was worth the asking price.


As everyone knows, buying any bike is something of a risk. Until you've lived with your choice, and broken down with it, and fixed it a few times, and thrown a spanner at it, and enjoyed it on those perfect riding days, you never really know what you've got on your hands. And making the right buying decision is for obvious reasons far more tricky with an unfamiliar marque or machine.


Hence, the need for a buyer's guide that isn't too heavy on the grey matter, and not too deep on the pocket; just a little something you can gen up on before you sally forth in search of the right machine.


These Veloce guides fit that bill adequately. And we stress adequately, because they're by no means sufficiently detailed to impress the hard core (Meriden) Triumph Trident or (Small Heath) BSA Rocket Three man. Or woman. But they will get you broadly pointed in the right directly and will highlight the essential building blocks with which to make your purchase.


We've reviewed many books in this series, and they're all pretty much the same. Handy. Unflashy. To the point. And unpretentious. Yes, you can get all the information that you need by going on line. The problem you'll have then is sorting out the fact from the fiction—not least because much of the fiction is likely to be generated by the guy or girl who's trying to flog you the bike.


This book, meanwhile, isn't trying to sell you anything but the book itself, and that makes the info a lot more objective. Some of the advice is a little simplistic and covers much of the stuff that you already know, or ought to know (paperwork, auctions, tyre-kicking stuff etc). But the guide will certainly acquaint you with the models and the variants, and you'll know a lot more at the end than you did at the beginning. Moreover, if it stops you making fundamental errors and throwing your cash at completely the wrong bike, the asking price is good value.


Veloce is asking £12.99. Same as us. So you can pick your supplier. The author is Chris Rooke. The book is a paperback. There are 60 pages (plus a few advert pages). The size is 195mm x 139mm. There are 90 pictures. The ISBN is 978-1-787113-80-0.


Decision time.




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28th December 2018



1879: It happened at around 7.15pm. At least 60 people were killed (and possibly as many as 75). And the echoes of this British railway catastrophe (and tragedy, in the true sense of the word) are still being felt and argued over by historians. This was the Tay Bridge Disaster in Scotland which, on a windy Sunday [when is any day not windy in Scotland?—Ed], saw a heavily loaded locomotive (one engine, five passenger cars, and a guard's van) crash from the suddenly collapsed bridge into the river. Over the preceding days and months there had numerous warnings that trouble was brewing. Earlier that fateful day, unusual sparks were seen flashing off the train wheels. Odd vibrations had also been felt. The structure itself had been widely criticised for insufficient bracing and cross-bracing. And specifically, British railway engineer Sir Thomas Bouch (it was claimed) simply hadn't made sufficient allowance for wind pressure which, on that memorable Sabbath, was anywhere between 55mph and 72mph.


Thomas Bouch died a few months after the board of enquiry (and some urgent recalculations) pretty much destroyed his reputation. He had, take note, earlier designed a rail bridge for the Firth of Forth. But fortunately, the government brought in another crew and a new design to deal with that crossing, and that bridge (arguably the greatest structure in the UK) is standing firm to the present day. The moral? Hard to say, except to note that we perhaps need to be a little more careful about who we hang knighthoods on. Maybe we should wait a hundred years or so before polishing the ceremonial sword.

1922: He was born Stanley Martin Leiber, but we know him more simply as Stan Lee; the driving force behind the creation of comic book characters such as Spider Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Thor, the X-men, the Fantastic Four, and Iron Man. A Jewish-Romanian by heritage, a Manhattanite by birth and an everyday all-American publishing hero to millions, Stan Lee—closely supported by comic book luminaries Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko—reimagined the super hero archetype as brought to us by rival DC Comics (Superman, Batman et al), and gave us emotionally charged and fragile characters who mixed angst with comedy, pathos and unbridled heroism. For two decades he was the head honcho of Marvel Comics and helped transport comic books from the back pockets of juveniles and adolescents into multi-million dollar movie box office smashes. He was born on 28th December 1922, and died on November 12th last month aged 95. So were you a DC comics man/woman? Or a Marvel Comics guy/gal? Or, much rarer, a fan of both? Here at Sump, we grew up on comic books, which is partly why we never grew up.

1945: In the UK we don't really have an equivalent for publicly expressing dedication, adherence and fidelity to the state, except perhaps by standing up and shutting our gobs whenever the band plays God Save the Queen—and no one does that anymore. But some of us will no doubt still remember when you could get chucked out of the cinema for failing to show traditional vertical support and subservience to the monarchy, and by implication the establishment. But in the USA, the Pledge of Allegiance is still taken very seriously. In one form or another, that oath has been around since 1892.


But the US Congress didn't formally recognise this social covenant until this day in 1945. Currently, the wording of this hallowed national promise reads: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Some argue that unconditional support for any state is highly questionable and point at various political events in history that, they feel, underlines the warning. Meanwhile, others argue that here in the UK a similar pledge is long overdue and would help bind us tighter as a largely fractured, if not broken, multicultural nation. The touch paper for this controversial argument has yet to be officially lit. But if you ever see it fizzing, better stand clear because tribal loyalty is a powerful weapon that ultimately kills indiscriminately.

1957: The greatest car ever made? You might not think so if you've ever driven one, because at best you can describe the legendary Volkswagen Beetle as an acquired taste. At worst, it's a crude, noisy and ugly means of locomotion. But in terms of production numbers and sales, the venerable Bug is up there with the best of them. And on the 28th December 1957, the two millionth example trundled off the German production line. Designed by Dr Ferdinand Porsche, the first Beetle was built in 1938 and instantly drew the approval of Adolf Hitler as, literally, "The People's Car". The last example was manufactured in Mexico in 2003 and drew tears from millions of fans.


The Bug was also assembled as CKD (Complete Knock Down) kits in many other countries from Brazil to Japan to South Africa—and even Ireland. The total number built is 21,000,000. Plus change. But it's not the most produced car ever. That accolade goes to Toyota for its Corolla model which has sold over 40,000,000 (albeit with a wider design variance and therefore less purity of concept). Regardless, when it comes to classic cars, nothing tops the VW Beetle in terms of ownership affection, customisation, parts support and everyday fame. As with the illustrious and uber-practical Citroen 2CV, the VW Bug was an almost instant classic and filled an urgent demand for mass transportation.


Everyone should consider owning one at least once in their life, if only to (a) further their appreciation of automotive engineering, and (b) tick it off the list of amusing/exciting/interesting/dangerous things to do before they die.


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BSA Rocket Gold Star metal sign Harley-Davidson Sportster metal sign


7 new metal garage signs from Sump


Story snapshot:

Printed direct-to-metal

£14.99 each plus P&P


We've been working hard on these metal signs for some time, and we were loosely expecting to have them ready by Christmas. 2018. But in the event, we're running a little late, so they won't be ready. Postman Pat, after all, will be taking his break too (the last posting day is tomorrow), and Santa has told us to try next year.


Royal Enfield Classic metal signYes, we ought to be more commercially minded, and we should have had these ready for Black Friday, never mind bleedin' Christmas. But we try to avoid all that hardnose, till-ringing, carrot-dangling commercialism, and we figure that you guys and girls will get around to buying what you want when it best suits you.


So we're simply telling you that (Christmas notwithstanding) these new signs are ready whenever you are, be it next week, the New Year, next Christmas, your birthday, Shrove Tuesday or whatever.


There are 7 signs in this latest set. They are:


BSA 650cc Rocket Gold Star

Harley-Davidson Sportster

Harley-Davidson Engines

Kawasaki W650 & W800

Royal Enfield Classic Chrome 500

1959 650cc Triumph Bonneville

BSA 650cc A10 Golden Flash


Kawasaki W650 & W800 metal sign Harley-Davidson metal sign


1959 Triumph Bonneville metal sign BSA Golden Flash metal sign


So okay, you're not going to find any of these beauties hanging in the National Gallery or the Tate (and believe us, we've tried). But we think they're pretty cool lowbrow art that you might find a suitable place for in your garage, shed, cellar, den or wherever (and notice that we didn't say "man cave").


The signs are good quality images printed direct-to-steel. The finish is satin rather than high gloss. That, we feel, makes the signs clearly visible from pretty much any angle.


The size of each sign is 400mm x 300mm. The price is £14.99 each plus P&P, and we expect to have them within the next 48 hours (meaning by 20th December 2018). If you want to take a closer look and/or order one (or more), click on the relevant image and our computer fairy will whisk you away to your chosen destination. After that, we'll get one off to you the moment they arrive here at Sump.


If you have any trouble ordering, just fire off an email and we'll look after you. Okay?


More Sump Magazine motorcycle signs


UPDATE: The signs are now all in stock


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Facial recognition warnings return 


Story snapshot:

Big Brother Watch is yelling "fire" again

Better check for smoke just in case...


We've got mixed feelings about the Big Brother Watch pressure group. On the one hand, we think its fuse is a little too short and its powder might be damp. We also think it's politically clumsy—and we might mention that we've had one or two run-ins with it. Argumentatively speaking, that is (see the link below).


But on the other hand, just because the group isn't on our Christmas card list, that doesn't necessarily mean that from time to time we shouldn't listen to what they have to say.


For years Big Brother Watch (BBW) has been warning us/banging on about the "threat" posed by facial recognition software as deployed by the police. As you might imagine, the software is yet another manifestation of artificial intelligence (AI) and is being developed to weed out the bad guys (whoever they are) from the good guys (whoever they are) in a crowded street or football stadium or—perhaps more pertinently—a political demonstration.


The "China-esque" software has been undergoing trials, much of it unsuccessful. Actually, BBW cites 100% inaccuracy. But it's early days, and if there's one thing we can be pretty sure of with AI, it's the fact that it will get smarter (whatever that means). So using appropriately equipped and de-bugged AI cameras, the rozzers will in the future be able to scan a huge group of individuals in real time and pick out the terrorists, the drug dealers, the muggers and whoever else is "known to the authorities".


Sound okay in principle?


Well it probably does on some levels. But like all these weapons designed to fight crime and terrorism, it frequently bites the wrong people. And we don't need to explain that any further. Consequently, BBW has been monitoring developments and warned us yesterday that after much argument and wrangling, the cops will (after a temporary hiatus) be deploying the tech on 17th & 18th December 2018 in Central London.




We tried to contact BBW today (15th Dec) to find out what makes these dates so special. Is there a demo or a march or something? But we got only an answerphone (it was a Saturday morning, mind). So right now (early Saturday afternoon) we're none the wiser. The press release offered no help on this question, so we're figuring the latest facial recognition roll-out thingy is simply another trial run.


This software, we're told, can scan 300 faces per second, which is 18,000 per hour. The system stores the suspect images on a database for a month (or possibly all the images; it's not clear on this point), and naturally the tech is perfectly capable of misidentification on a grand scale. So it's not simply a few cops holding Polaroid cameras.



See anyone you recognise? The Chinese (and others) have for a while been using facial recognition software at cashpoints and casinos to weed out money launderers. But the tech can be used anywhere, on anyone. Including bikers. It doesn't rely purely on how you look. Advanced systems check your mannerisms, and habits. So is this an Orwellian nightmare from which we'll never awaken? Or just plain futurist hysteria?



As we understand it, it isn't simply the violation of our privacy that's at issue. And it's not simply the mis-ID per se. It's also the fact that there's little or no regulation or parliamentary scrutiny of this technology. So the Old Bill currently has way too much latitude—and experience shows us time and time again that when folk have too much power, they end up abusing it.


So okay, you might argue that this tech is simply doing what the old time village bobby used to do, which was keeping a watch on what's going on, recognising the trouble makers and reporting any suspicions. And some time ago we did raise this point with BBW. But of course, AI cameras are a lot more insidious than Dixon of Dock Green (for anyone living overseas, that's a British police TV series from the sixties). AI is capable, or will be capable, of comparing photographic data to all kinds of personal records from passports, to Facebook images, to income tax details, to spent criminal convictions, to the information on an MOT certificate, to just about anything you like. In short, AI will become a minor God as far as omniscience is concerned.



Said BBW, "The police’s use of this authoritarian surveillance tool in total absence of a legal or democratic basis is alarming. Live facial recognition is a form of mass surveillance that, if allowed to continue, will turn members of the public into walking ID cards."


Like we said, we're not entirely happy with BBW. But we can't entirely dismiss the group either. So if this kind of AI/mass surveillance stuff stokes your boiler, go check the website and see how deeply you want to get involved. At some level, we think it's worth keeping an eye on.

Also see: Who's watching Big Brother Watch?



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Give the police a power (and a computer) and you can be sure they will misuse it at some point. There are many examples of this. Mass data collection simply gives them more opportunities. Nothing to worry about if you’re innocent of course—except that we are inexorably moving towards the point when that argument will mean you are DNA swabbed and chipped at birth; just for your own safety of course. Some people will think I’m paranoid but they probably thought that at the establishment of many police states in the past. This technology is not needed and should be resisted in my opinion. It’s another chip off your freedom of anonymity and your freedom to move around without any sort of checks. All of these things remind me of the Chinese proverb about boiling frogs. Heat the water too fast and the frog jumps out. You must heat it up slowly so that it’s too late when the frog realises what is happening.—The Village Squire

Going to a demo in Central London? Everyone wear a Boris Johnson mask. 20,000 facial ID hits on him should put him on the Met radar screen. But there again, all he has to do to beat the rap, old boy, is to apologise to his colleagues in parliament. —Jack Falstaff

You are not alone in being concerned about how all our activities are being monitored. Microchip implants for "our own safety " (the kids will be first ). Cameras in the streets, etc. I don't like the way things are going. Maybe that's why I ride old bikes; a reminder of when life was simple perhaps? Or maybe I am just a daft old bastard! Keep spreading the word! —Cheers, Robert

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India: The Shimmering DreamIndia: The Shimmering Dream travel book review


Story snapshot:

Vienna to Bombay by bike

Available from Veloce


In our time we've read a lot of motorcycle travel books. Robert Pirsig's Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance got us started. That led to Ted Simon's Jupiter's Travels. That led to The Rugged Road by Theresa Wallach (which, for complicated reasons, we never finished).


Somewhere along the way we also read One Man Caravan by Robert Edison Fulton, then Dreaming of Jupiter by Ted Simon, then Lila (which is a follow up to Zen and the Art—but isn't actually about motorcycling at all), and we took a look at The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto "Che" Guevara but couldn't sustain our interest. And there were a few other books that came and went and slipped our minds.


But right now, we're 95% of the way through India: The Shimmering Dream by Max Reisch (1912 - 1985), and it's up there with the best of the best. Unless this book falls off a literary cliff in the final 10 or 20 pages, it'll deliver us satisfactorily to a long awaited destination (and we'll update this review when we get there). [More...]


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Bert Fruin 125cc four-cylinder two-stroke racer


Bert Fruin racer sold to Sammy Miller 


Story snapshot:

Interesting engineer-built 125cc four cylinder two-stroke

Modular "kit" engine from the 1960s


Before there was Paul Carberry and Allen Millyard there was Bert Fruin. And what all three men have/had in common is/was a love of motorcycles, a desire to create something new and original, and the technical nous to actually make it happen.


Between 1957 and 1963 H L "Bert" Fruin—a racer and motorcycle dealer operating from a bicycle shop in Pield Heath Road, Hillingdon, West London—built a limited range of 50cc two-stroke road and race bikes based around Italian 3M Demm engines housed in conventional tubular frames.


At that time, one of his chief rivals was Italian firm ITOM. ITOM was fielding two-stroke four-speeders against Fruin's three. So Fruin incorporated an overdrive two-speed Albion gearbox that was operated by a foot lever (whilst the integral 3-speed 'box was controlled by a handlebar twist-grip). The result was an inventive, but not entirely successful 6-speeder.


Fruin raced one of these "Fruin Dartela" machines at the Isle of Man TT in 1962, but failed to finish (actually, engine trouble in the first lap brought him to a grinding halt). Undeterred, he tried again the following year. But once again, technical problems struck and he retired early.


50cc Bert Fruin two-stroke racer


50cc Fruin Bartela. In February 2013, Bonhams sold this pint-sized six-speed racer for £3,109. Note the two-speed overdrive 'box (close-up image immediately below).


50cc Bert Fruin two-stroke racer overdrive gearbox



Later he built a DOHC 125cc twin cylinder special and a modular V4/V8 two-stroke engine underpinned by his own crankcase design. But perhaps his most interesting project was a 200cc kit engine. For £16, a buyer received a set of unmachined crankcases and a blueprint for a steel do-it-yourself crankshaft.


These kit bikes are super-rare with perhaps only a handful (if that) still in existence. Actually, it's not clear that any were sold (we've seen conflicting information on this question, so enlighten us if you're able).


But now we hear that the Sammy Miller Museum down in New Milton, Hampshire has acquired Fruin's 200cc race bike featuring Bert's own inline engine topped with NSU barrels and cylinder heads, and housed in an MV-Agusta frame supported by Gilera Hub and an Enfield front fork.



H L Bert Fruin 125cc racer - inline four


Fruin 125cc inline four racer. Check the Classic50 website for more detailed information on Bert Fruin's handiwork.



The bike wasn't a great success on the tracks, but apparently fared a little better at sprint meets. We don't have any more details of the acquisition or how the bike will be displayed or campaigned. But you can talk directly to the museum if you've got an interest in the man or the machine.




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Driver survey on alcohol interlocks


Story snapshot:

"Nine out of ten UK motorists want breathalysers in cars"

1,000 drivers surveyed in latest poll


We tend to avoid reporting on surveys as conducted by the government, private businesses, not-for-profit organisations and motoring charities, etc. The reason why is simply that surveys are often used not to honestly elicit the wider (and often uncomfortable) truths in life, but as duplicitous mechanisms intended to underpin existing policies or rules thereby bolstering whatever campaign or modification of the status quo is being planned.


But this one caught our attention, and we figured it was worth a few words. The survey was, we're told, conducted by WhoCanFixMyCar.com which supposedly doorstopped (or wheelclamped) 1,000 drivers and asked if they supported plans to introduce in-car breathalysers. Or, if you prefer, alcohol interlocks.


As the name implies, these high-tech gadgets are hard-wired into a vehicle's engine management system. Before being able to start the motor, a driver is required to provide a sample of breath. Then it's green for go, and red for stop—or whatever colours are preferred.


Currently, these gizmos are in use in Sweden, the USA, France and Belgium. And more recently, Durham Police, right here in the UK, began handing out trial versions of the interlocks to repeat drink-driving offenders as part of the force's anti-crime Checkpoint programme. [More...]


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2019 Triumph Speed Twin details


Story snapshot:

Hinckley reveals a 12th model in the Bonneville range

1200cc with most of the usual bells and whistles


Triumph Motorcycles is describing the 2019 Speed Twin as an "all new model". But to most Triumph watchers, this bike is likely to be viewed as a roadsterized Thruxton that's been rightly or wrongly tagged with a legendary moniker.


The 1200cc engine, for instance, is derived from current Thruxton. Same liquid-cooled, 8-valve, SOHC, parallel-twin architecture. Same 97.6mm bore. Same 80mm stroke. Same 96bhp max power @ 6,750rpm. Same 112Nm of torque @ 4,950rpm. Same 11:1 compression ratio. Same multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection. Same 6-speed gearbox. And the crank angle has the same 270° throw for that fashionable "loping" sound and feel.


But the frame, we're advised, is new—albeit also derived from the Thruxton chassis. The clutch assembly has been revised. Up top is a new magnesium cam cover (that's a claimed 2.5kg lighter). The wheels are also new. And we're fairly sure that a Triumph design engineer could point to dozens (if not hundreds) of other changes, many of them invisible, and most of them well beneath the scrutiny of all but the most hardened rivet-counter/anorak/industrial spy, etc.


In fact, given the plethora of similar modern classics in the Triumph range, we're a little surprised that Hinckley hasn't been a little more radical in terms of styling and performance. [More...]


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Triumph Tiger Trail TR7T 750


Brand new Triumph TR7T for sale


Story snapshot:

Rare NOS, unridden 750cc Meriden off-roader for sale at £19,995

... or buy a cheaper 9K example for £14,995


The TR7T Triumph Tiger Trail was a pretty clever move by the Meriden Workers Cooperative. In the late 1970s and early 80s, time was rapidly running out for the beleaguered factory. Significant development money for a new range of up-to-the-minute bikes simply wasn't available. Cash flow was laughable. Rival manufacturers were leaving Triumph behind in terms of price and performance. The biking journos were getting impatient. The buying public was thinning. Something ... well, different was needed.




So Meriden explored a niche, looked at what was in the parts bin, scratched their heads, made a few financial calculations and set to work. What followed, in this instance, was the above TR7T Tiger Trail; or, if you prefer, a mildly sexed-up 750cc Bonneville with off-road pretensions. You can read our Tiger Trail buyer's guide if you want more on the development and specifications of this machine. Suffice to say that Cosmo Classics in St Leonards-on-Sea (near Hastings) currently has two examples for sale. One is brand new and unregistered. The other has just 9,000 miles on the clock.


750cc Triumph Tiger Trail TR7T


Cosmo has never been the cheapest classic bike dealer on the block. But he does have a knack of finding top quality motorcycles, particularly those dating from the 1970s and 1980s. We know Cosmo a little (as a business friend rather than personal friend), and we figure him for a straight shooter. And he knows his stuff. Try him and find out.


The asking price for the unregistered Tiger Trail is just under £20k. The other bike is just under £15k. Both prices are way less than you might pay for, say, a sorted X-75 Triumph Hurricane. And for our money, as much as we like the X-75, we'd have the Tiger Trail any day—as a rider's bike, that is. But there are aspects of the looks that leave us wanting (the hatchet job on the silencer, the idiot lights in the binnacle, etc (see our buyers guide for more images and details).


As for investment potential, we reckon the TR7T will match the Hurricane, not necessarily in terms of top line prices, but in raw percentage terms.


There's a small and almost cult following for the TR7T—which includes the subsequent 650cc short-stroke TR6T. On the road, there's not much to choose between the two machines (they both have their strengths). But given the rarity, and if you're in the market for one, you'd better grab the first example of either that comes along. These are among the best Meriden Triumphs ever built.



Also check: Sump April 2017, TR7T sells for £10,750


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1973 Triumph TR6R


"Highway Code Tiger 650" for sale


Story snapshot:

H&H Auctions to sell this "famous" TR6R in March 2019

The National Motorcycle Museum is the venue


You've probably seen this bike before many times—assuming, that is, you were active on British roads in the late 1970s and 1980s. But it's unlikely that you saw it from any angle other than the rear view.


This is because the bike—a 1973 650cc Triumph TR6R—was bought new by the UK Ministry of Transport and was used in the 1978 edition of the Highway Code handbook. Consequently, what you would have seen is a grainy, miniature shot of the rear of the bike with a chap on board sticking out his left hand, and then his right hand, and then flapping it up and down in order to teach road users the correct manner for a motorcyclist to indicate his or her intended direction of travel.


In 1978, just after that year's edition of the Highway Code was published, the Tiger was sold to a traffic cop, and he held onto it until 1982 when a guy named Nick Searson bought it. We're advised that Searson kept the Triumph in good fettle, but more recently hasn't had much time to ride it. So it's going under the auction hammer.



It will therefore be coming up for sale on 2nd March 2019 at the H&H Classic Auction at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. The estimate is £4,500 to £5,500—which we think is very conservative.


So okay, it's hardly the bike that Johnny rode in The Wild One. But it's a tangible, albeit minor, piece of British history to which tens of thousands of us can directly relate. And in an age where any kind of fame is treated with almost religious reverence, there's likely to be a demand for this bike.


More pertinently for us here at Sump, this is a Tiger 650; single carburettor, plenty of low down torque, four speeds, and arguably the perfect sized engine for a Meriden twin—unless you're regularly riding two-up, in which case a 750 Tiger (or Bonnie) is perhaps slightly better.



Moreover, Meriden twins of this era have since come into their own and are getting second glances and wolf whistles from many in the old bike community who until fairly recently had largely relegated them to second division classics.


So history aside, a 1973 650cc Tiger in good condition should comfortably land somewhere between four-five and five-five. Sterling. The Highway Code connection ought to be good for another grand or two. Or maybe more. After all, the older you get, so the value of history increases. Therefore, we can see this hitting £7 to £8k or more. But it's a fickle market, so don't take our advice. We make many mistakes. Figure it out for yourself.


The motorcycle will be sold with a copy of the 1978 Highway Code, plus a motorcycle magazine carrying an interview with the aforementioned traffic cop.


We'll come back to this in the New Year.



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Kickback June 2019: entries open


Story snapshot:

Custom Bike Building National Championships details

The competition will happen at the 2019 Prescott Bike Festival


The Kickback Motorcycle Show is once again hosting the forthcoming National Bike Building Championships which is sponsored by Devitt Insurance and will be staged at the Prescott Bike Festival on 15th - 16th June 2019.


There are five categories for entrants:




To earn a place, sort out a good quality colour snapshot detailing the fruits of your labour and fire it off to organiser Lorne Cheetham. Include your name and whatever else you think is appropriate. The event will be held at Devitt Kickback and Prescott Bike Festival, Prescott, Gloucestershire GL52 9RD. More details of this as and when (keep an eye on Sump's events page).


And yes, we know that June 2019 is some way off. But as we constantly say around here (but hardly need repeat), time has a worrying habit of rapidly closing the gap between now and then.


Better get that motor running.





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