▲ 1937 Triumph 6S De Luxe. This rare and handsome 600cc (597cc) sidevalve has Edward Turner's fingerprints all over it, so to speak. The underlying architecture is the handiwork of the redoubtable Valentine (Val) Page; not the most stylish motorcycle engineer of his age, but unquestionably one of the most pragmatic and dependable. Turner arrived at Triumph (from Ariel) in 1936 and immediately set about revamping the company's dated catalogue. Triumph was already fielding a Page designed 350S and 550S sidevalve. Edward Turner re-imagined the bikes with new petrol tanks, forks, frames, wheels and brakes. But Page's engines were altered very little, except in raising the capacity from 550cc to 600cc (5S to 6S). The 6S was good for 18bhp @ 4,800rpm. Top speed was around 60mph. The gears numbered four. The tyres were 26 x 3.25 front and rear. Brakes were a modest (and underwhelming) 7-inch. The price was £61. The 6S wasn't the last sidevalve manufactured by Triumph; that was the 496cc TRW twin. But the 6S was the last Triumph sidevalve single. This example (Lot 148) will be offered for sale on Saturday 19th December 2020 at the National Motorcycle Museum. H&H is the auctioneer. It's an ex-display dry-stored bike and part of the museum's duplicate collection being flogged off to balance the books at a very difficult time. The estimate is £6,000 - £8,000. Sounds low to us. But these days money is tight.

December 2020  Classic bike news

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


Motorcycle news


2021 Triumph Trident on the way

How to write a great motorcycle for sale advert

100 years of Alvis exhibition

Allan Jefferies BMW prize draw offer

Kickback Show: entries sought

Calling all coffin dodgers...

One liners - Vic Eastwood

Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 "tin" sign

Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

Poet's Corner: 1959

One liners

Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!

Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date

February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost

Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

Sump news archive



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The 2021 Bristol Veloce 500 Lands In the Philipines [sic]


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1925 Brough Superior SS100


H&H December 2020 sale results


Story snapshot:

The sell through rate was 83%

A 1925 Brough Superior tops a reasonable auction


In an ever changeable universe (coronavirus, Brexit, Donald Trump, etc), it's reassuring to know that there are still some constants—such as the (outrageous?) price of Brough Superior motorcycles. Case in point is the above 1925 SS100 (Lot 125) that was recently (19th December 2020) flogged off by Mssrs H&H at the National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) near Solihull, West Midlands.


The sale price for this hunk of motorcycling aristocracy was £184,000 and is apparently one of "possibly" 20 known examples—which, in BS terms (and we've mentioned before somewhere), makes it as common as muck.


But of course it's not muck. It's a very competent and stylish 1,000cc OHV JAP V-twin powered bike, and we wouldn't boot it out of the garage if it stumbled between our loving legs. But we wouldn't hand over £184k for it either. It just doesn't strike us as that remarkable and isn't attached in any obvious way to any celeb except, of course, George Brough himself who probably had his mitts on it at some time. But some folk have deeper pockets than us and evidently "know a bargain when they see one", so we'll leave it right there and will go and pick on someone else.


It looks like there were 175 motorcycle lots in the sale. Of that 175, 145 found buyers, with three withdrawn. That boils down to a sell-through rate of 83% (and remember our maths is lousy). And 83% is pretty good, especially during these troubled economic times (although we might mention that there are plenty of folk making a fortune these days, largely because of the pandemic and Brexit).


The next highest selling item was Lot 55, a 1936 Brough Superior SS80 which sold for £55,200. And we might mention a couple of other Broughs (one estimated at £70k - £80k, and one at £35k to £45k which didn't sell on the day, but are under offer).


1944 Triumph 3HW


1944 Triumph 3HW ex-WD


▲ 1944 Triumph 3HW. This handsome 350cc OHV ex-WD bike (Lot 149) was despatched by Meriden to Littlewoods in Liverpool for onward distribution to the British Army. There's some dispute about when it was actually built (1940 v 1944), but there's a V5C present. No history with the bike. It was part of the National Motorcycle Museum's reserve collection.

Dry stored. Ex-display bike. Needs recom. The price? £12,650. Not bad.



▲ 1968 BSA A65 Spitfire Mk4. Here's Lot 137,  a restored 650cc Beezer twin fresh from the National Motorcycle Museum reserve collection. These motorcycles look as good today as when they were launched in the mid-1960s. But it's only in recent years that we've seen prices hit ten grand. But this one pipped that at £10,925. Needs re-commissioning. Matching numbers. Showing 734 miles (for what that's worth).



▲ 1955 Vincent Black Prince. This was Lot 35, and it didn't find a buyer. The estimate was £60,000 - £65,000, which is about right for these 1,000cc Series D Stevenage roadsters. But some folk simply can't get past the plastic, mentally speaking. So they're a bit hit and miss on the auction block. We like 'em plenty, simply for their oddness. But that kind of money is too much for any Vincent (in our grovellingly humble opinion). It was described as "well maintained", but close up shots suggest to us that it was actually a little tatty and leaky. Might still be available, so talk to H&H if you're a Black Prince kind of guy, or gal.



▲ 1939 Vincent HRD Series A Comet. The selling points were:


Correct numbers on its original registration
Restored by its previous owner in 1999/2000 to a very good standard
In good running order and used regularly
Comprehensive history file including photos/letters from previous owners, copy of original build sheet, Vincent Owners Club letter of authenticity, old MOT's, original manual and other associated paperwork
Fitted with dual front alloy brake plates
Current V5C and old RF60 continuation buff logbook
Described by our vendor as "a dream to ride and an easy starter".


Most of all, we think, it just looks so good. This pre-war 500cc single (Lot 68) found a buyer at £44,850.



▲ 1969 BSA D14/10 Bantam (Lot 9). Over the past five years or so we've seen some very unlikely prices being asked for BSA Bantams—which are still great fun to ride. Two grand. Three grand. Three and a half grand. We know of one bloke who spent somewhere around £20k having his Bantam professionally restored (there's a sidelong comment or two we could make about that, but we're feeling generous today and we ain't going there). So it pleases us a lot to see that this 175cc example was sold for a very reasonable £1,250. Ex-NMM. Needs the usual workshop inspection and prep before use. Pity we missed that one.



Overall, the sale doesn't look too shabby. Some stuff strikes us as a little low (when compared to, say, a year or two ago). But other classic stuff has moved up a notch or two, and that might simply be a matter of price adjustment in line with fashion. It happens.


H&H, meanwhile, is claiming a near £2million overall turnover and reckons that it shifted 100 percent of the NMM reserve collection. We haven't checked every bike (life's too short, and we're busy dodging the virus), but it sounds reasonable. Certainly the company is sounding pleased with the results of its final sale of 2020.


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Two Tyres is open for business


Story snapshot:

New(ish) Central London motorcycle tyre workshop

Buy online, or ride in for a fitting quote


As far as we know, these guys have been around since August 2020 (but don't quote us on that). The point is, they've only recently come to our attention—and it's always wise to stay in the loop regarding motorcycle services and related suppliers.


This outfit is run by Chris and Ben—Ben being Ben Cope who used to run Visordown but has since moved onto other projects. As far as we call tell, he's a pretty shrewd character and knows what he's doing. But he's no special friend of ours, so you can make up your own mind about this latest venture.


Two Tyres is based in the Lambeth area of London; think Battersea Park or the Oval sports ground. The business will flog you tyres online, or will fit whatever rubber you bring (subject to their workshop charges). They deal with all types of motorcycles from tourers to cruisers to crotch rockets to classics. Tip: ask about track tyres.


You can also enjoy these services:


Motorcycle puncture repair
Motorcycle battery supply and fit
Motorcycle brake servicing
Motorcycle, moped and scooter servicing
Motorcycle oil and filter changes
Replacing wheel bearings
Supply and fitting a chain and sprockets


We're not recommending these guys. But we're certainly not warning you. We wouldn't carry this story if we had any concerns there. Good enough?


Here's an address and other contact details:


Two Tyres

15-17 Clyston Street



0207 205 2205



One final word. Go and check your tyres before you next ride your bike. Better that you discover an accident waiting to happen before that accident actually happens. Are we right?


Happy new year if we don't speak to you again before then. And try and stay locked down until the vaccine's rolled out everywhere. It just might say your life.



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Urgent Action Alert from BBW


Story snapshot:

Big Brother Watch has launched a new petition

A recall of Parliament is demanded


The boys and girls at Big Brother Watch (BBW) have been in touch again, this time appealing for signatures on their latest petition. This relates to Prime Minister Boris Johnson who's effectively "cancelled Christmas".


BBW feels that Johnson needs to explain his latest diktat and justify it before the nation's MPs. And once again, we should point out that we've got some misgivings about BBW. But then, we've got misgivings about pretty much everything. So we're always listening to what they have to say even though we're not necessarily persuaded by all their claims and arguments.


The organisation, however, certainly has a valid point that Boris has left himself wide open for much criticism regarding his recent failed promises to (a) give Xmas the go-ahead, and (b) his refusal to criminalise anyone wanting to celebrate or otherwise mark the festive season in the traditional way. And in a parliamentary democracy, there has to be full accountability where possible.


On the other hand, poor old Boris, who's since cancelled the festivities, is going to be damned for acting too slowly, damned for acting too quickly, damned for being in control, damned for not being in control, and damned for doing pretty much anything. You'd think he was personally responsible for the arrival of the virus (although okay, he does have a few more questions to address regarding the government's anti-virus strategies over the past year).


Overall, we think he's doing the very best he can, and it's hard to see who else is in the frame who could do a better job. Certainly not Keir Starmer.


However, you've no doubt got your own views, so sign the petition or don't sign it. But whatever else you (and Santa) do this Christmas, make sure you STAY AWAY FROM US! This new variant of Covid-19 might well be over-hyped (as some are saying). But we're keeping well locked down until the boffins agree on what's going on and how to deal with it. Not that they ever agree about anything. And that's no bad thing.


As we write, a little over 4,100 people have signed the petition. But 10,000 sigs are needed to trigger an official government response. We're not sure that that will directly lead to a parliamentary recall. Nevertheless, it might indirectly help speed things along.


Stay safe, peeps.



Recall Parliament petition


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Maybe they should have a petition suggesting people stay away from each other a bit more. Quite frankly, we're in the position we are because too many people are carrying on as if there is no virus (like lemmings in other words). Packed beaches in the summer (remember?). Packed shops for the sales. Packed pubs and other venues before each restriction. And packed illegal raves and parties. Slack PPE behaviour at every turn. It really is a great way to control a pandemic. Never mind looking to Boris for  excuses. The BBW people should look to themselves for accountability
and so should everyone else.
—The Village Squire

Dear Sumpers, your Orwellian friends [They're not our friends—Ed] are perhaps a bit too easily riled. My advice to them is; "pick your fight". The Village Squire represents the views of much of the population I suspect, and now may not be the time to challenge the decisions made to protect lives. Follow Keir Starmer's lead, you can attack Boris and his competence, (which is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel on so many fronts right now) but appearing to counter decisions to save lives is a not a winning position. However come the revolution brothers...—Phil Cowley

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Brough Superior SS100 1936


Bonhams 2020 Winter Sale results


Story snapshot:

Once again, we're seeing some significant price adjustments

But overall, classic bike prices continue to fall


We counted around 258 motorcycles at the recent Bonhams Winter Sale at Bicester, Oxon—plus many other items of memorabilia. It's hard to give precise numbers because Bonhams hasn't yet sent us a statement of the event, and we've got too much going on at the moment to spend valuable time counting and recounting each and every bike and checking the small print (withdrawn, etc). But roughly speaking, we think we that 237 motorcycles were sold, and 21 weren't. We're talking about complete bikes (with two 3-wheelers and two 4-wheelers in the list from the likes of Morgan, Douglas, AJS and BSA). So 258 lots covers it. But if exact numbers are important to you, you'll have to do your own counting.


And no, we can't simply look at where the lots begin and where they end because they're not consecutively numbered. Regardless, once again we're seeing some very low prices (when compared to what classic bikes were fetching a decade ago). And it points to a little readjustment as some bikes have moved up in terms of appeal and therefore value, while others have clearly moved down.


But let's get the top selling lot out of the way first, and that bike was the immediately above 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS100 (Lot 232) which sold for a whopping £276,000 including premium. Special factory-fitted features of this machine include:


Foot gear control
Separate oil tank c/w filter and C&S cap
Battery on engine pin bracket
Detachable carrier – not fitted
Small type curved top pannier bags
Non-valanced rear split guard – Wasdell
Wasdell front guard – with flap
Alum oil bath front chain case
Top & bottom rear chain covers
Amal handlebar fittings – R & LH internal twist grips
LHS brake pedal
Pillion footrests
Dual silencer & fishtails


What makes it more valuable than many other SS100s is that this bike carries the lowest engine number of any Matchless (AMC) powered Brough Superior (see Sump Classic Bike News November 2020 for more on this). Bonhams had estimated £260,000 - £280,000, so they got this one spot on at £276k (or are there other factors at work here?).


This machine had been part of the National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) Reserve Collection. But it's been flogged off like the family silver largely, if not entirely, because of the coronavirus hitting museum visitor numbers. That's the "official" dope, anyway.


1979 Triumph Bonneville T140


And there were plenty more motorcycles selling for much less impressive numbers. Such as a 1950 Vincent Meteor for £12,650, and a 1952 Vincent Comet for £13,800. Or a 1979 Triumph Bonneville T140 with just 7 miles on the clock for £5,750 (Lot 222, see image immediately above; also part of the NMM Reserve Collection).


1959 Triumph T120


Or how about a 1959 T120 Bonnie (Lot 218) for £11,500? A few years ago these Trumpets were asking, and often getting, £15,000. Granted that this one has been unused for some time. But it has been fully restored by noted experts and is showing just 500 miles or so since that rebuild.


And there are many other examples of cut-price British classics. But okay, it went the other way too. For instance a 1957 498cc Triumph TRW was expected to sell for £4,000 - £6,000, which we thought was perhaps a bit mean. But the bike (Lot 224) actually sold for an impressive £10,120. Much more than we expected.


Meanwhile, Lot 205 was a Royal Enfield Series 1 Interceptor that fetched £10,350, which looks like a fairly decent price (although we don't see enough of them for sale to be certain of that). We suspect that the wider resurgence of Royal Enfield has had something to do with what appears to be rising prices of these classic twins.


Other interesting lots  (pricewise) are Lot 207, a 1939 599cc Ariel Square Four which sold for £20,700, and Lot 208 a 1935 Ariel Square Four 4F 601cc which realised £25,300.


Lovejoy TV series BSA A10 646cc

Lovejoy TV show motorcycle


▲ 1960 646cc BSA A10. This was the motorcycle combination used in the first series of the Lovejoy TV show starring Ian McShane (as Lovejoy, right) and Chris Jury (as Eric, left). The bike has had a lot of modifications (much by SRM Engineering), and it was restored ten years ago. A new tank has been fitted, but the original is available. A V5C is present too. The bike sold for £5,750 which is about average for a BSA A10. But we might have expected this motorised antique and TV star to do a little better. No?


c1938 Triumph Tiger 70


▲ Grasstracking ain't our thing. But if it was, at £1,610 we might be tempted to take home this c1938 249cc Triumph Tiger 70 once owned by noted motorcycle racer and enthusiast Peter McManus. No docs, but it looks pretty much all there. Cheap pre-war off-road fun—and there were many more at similar prices where this came from.



c1955 Cimatti motorcycle


▲ c1955 160cc Cimatti. Founded in 1937 by Olympic gold medal cyclists Marco Cimatti, the firm started with bicycles and late made a variety of lightweights and three-wheels. Never such a big name in the UK, these bikes were popular in the USA. The business went to the wall in 1984. No docs with this one. Restored. Stylish. Very. £2,530.


1954 Vincent Comet 499cc


▲ 1954 499cc Vincent Series C Comet. Not super cheap at £16,100. But the steady rise of Comets over the past 5 - 10 years appears to have slowed and even slipped a little. Some still see these machines as second fiddles in the Vincent orchestra. But in fact plenty of Comet owners feel that you can push these (lighter) 90mph singles much harder on the road than the twins and therefore get more fun from them. A copy V5, part V5C, and the original logbook is available. Six private owners from new.


The upshot of all this is that, as we said, there's some price adjustment going on. But overall, it seems that many classic bike prices are still 25 - 30 percent down on what they were ten years ago.


Some of those adjustments strike us as perfectly "fair" and reasonable. Triumph TRWs for instance, have long been under-valued. And (dare we suggested it?) 1959 T120s were overvalued.


Beyond all that, another apparent change is the price of flat tankers which seem to be struggling a little, but not desperately so.


As ever, we'll be taking a closer look at this sale and trying to work out exactly which way the wind is blowing. The bottom line is that we can't take prices for granted (as if we ever really could). There are some clear "bargains" around if we're patient and keep a weather eye on the auctions.


If we had to say, we think that we haven't yet hit the bottom, pricewise.


See also: Sump Magazine Bonhams Winter Sale, Dec 2020


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I see that the1979 T140 7 push miles only that sold for £5,750 at Bonhams is now for sale on Ebay at £13995! —Roy Cole

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Moto Guzzi 2021 V7 range updates


Story snapshot:

Two models in the line-up

Capacity raised from 744cc to 853cc


Moto Guzzi has released details of its revised V7 range, and aside from a fairly decent power increase and a few styling tweaks, there's not much to get excited about. But check the details and decide for yourself. So if you're so minded, flip over to our Motorcycle News page and see if anything grabs ya.


Sump Motorcycle News December 2020


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Bike broker buys into artificial intelligence [Principal Insurance]

NMDA Comment on November motorcycle registrations

Ride free with Bennetts [90 free Compulsory Basic Training course]


Royal Enfield Meteor 350 could be the ultimate budget city bike

Camden shock: Council plans extortionate bike parking charges


New Royal Enfield Meteor 350 launched in Europe

Exotic tie-in creates MV Agusta Superveloce Alpine


Norton Commando 961

Norton Interim CEO releases statement regarding 961 deposits

Royal Enfield Meteor 350

Official specs and price for UK-bound Royal Enfield Meteor 350


Honda 350 Scrambler

Honda could come out with CB350 Scrambler soon


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H&H NMM December sale reminder


Story snapshot:

Saturday 19th December 2020 is the date

The NMM is the venue


Here's a reminder that H&H will be holding a live auction on Saturday 19th December 2020 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull (B92 0EJ). We've been checking the 174-lot catalogue, and there's some very decent stuff there including British, European and Japanese classics. We're talking about six or seven Vincents, at least three Broughs, plus some other pre-war exotica. There's some plastic racer stuff that doesn't appeal much to us. And there's a fair range of flat tankers if you're into pioneer era bikes. Also see the 1937 Triumph 6S De Luxe at the top of this page. We've got our eye on that, but the garage is pretty full.



Interesting/rare bikes include the immediately above 750cc 1934 Douglas Z1 Powerflow. Can't remember that we've ever seen one of these in the wild, and possibly not in captivity either, come to that. This example is unregistered and is an incomplete barn find, so it's probably for hardcore Douglas fans only. Then again, pretty much all Douglas motorcycles are for hardcore Douglas fans, aren't they?


Although technically not a Powerflow (the name wasn't used until 1935), this bike is nevertheless essentially the same flathead 76mm x 82mm flat twin that was intended as a sidecar hack. Customers could opt for a 4-speed foot change or 4-speed hand change gearbox, this example being the former.


There was no sump on this engine. The oil was carried in a compartment in the petrol tank and fed by gravity and a gear driven pump. Moving the oil from low to high, incidentally, was a shame because some earlier Douglas engines featured a beautiful finned sump beneath the motor. But Bristol based Douglas (1907 - 1957) had been struggling for survival in the 1930s, and cost cutting was demanded to keep the marque afloat. That's a Lucas magdyno above the intake manifold, incidentally.



▲ By 1937 the British Aircraft Company had taken over Douglas and reconfigured the business as Aero Engines. Pride & Clarke, a London distribution and retail firm that was always quick on the trigger when it came to new marketing opportunities, became the sole agent for the marque and assembled machines directly from stock. But the 750cc bikes didn't survive and were supplanted by more cost effective models.



Performance was on par with rival machines from other manufacturers, but Douglas still had plenty of street cred thanks to its various TT successes, and these fore-and-aft flat twins carried their weight low (minimising wind resistance) and generally delivered smoother mustard than many rivals.


Bonhams flogged a very clean example (with a chair) back in 2013 and realised £8,050. H&H is anticipating £5,000 - £7,000 which sounds realistic.


Other lots include:



▲ Lot 172. 1929 Morgan Super Aero fitted with an 1,100cc water-cooled JAP engine and, we're guessing, a 3-speed plus reverse gearbox. The estimate is £32,000 - £36,000. Cool pre-war seat-of-the-pants motoring.



▲ Lot 155. 1950 Triumph T100 with rare Meriden factory touring kit. If you're looking for some laid back classic touring, you could so much worse than this stylish 500cc Trumpet. Dry-stored. Will require some re-commissioning. Ex-display bike. Estimate: £5,000 - £7,000.


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Glasgow Ducati-Triumph is bust


Story snapshot:

Creditors force closure

Bad day for Triumph, and even worse for Ducati


Last year (2019) this dealership turned over a very respectable £8.9 million. This year, with the impact of Covid-19, the nine month accounts to 31st October turnover fell to £5.5 million. So the creditors (said to be Clydesdale Bank) have pulled the plug. Lack of spare cash/working capital appears to be at the root of this particular evil.


Sounds like something else is going on here? Maybe. We're no accountants. But it seems that given the status quo, it doesn't appear that this company has actually done that badly—and the signs are good that 2021 will see a big general improvement in the UK economy. Hence our uninformed feeling that this closure is premature.


So where does that leave the firm? Well, it appears that the creditors are looking for some kind of commercial continuity, and they're hoping that someone will come in at the fire-sale level, if necessary, and keep this ship afloat. And that reinforces our (ignorant?) suspicion that there's another "person of colour" in this particular woodpile [oh-oh, we could get a reaction over that comment—Ed].


Triumph also enjoys Scottish dealer representation in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. But Ducati Glasgow is the only Ducati dealership north of the Scottish border.


Someone will surely take up this opportunity; probably one of the bigger combines looking to consolidate its grasp on a few more throttles. And if so, a Christmas bargain is possibly to be had.


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A good turnover, but that was also probably a big loss. It's all about
profit, not turnover. No doubt the finances weren't too good. They
probably won't be the last as many newer dealerships set out with large
debts (overheads) from day one
—The Village Squire

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November 2020



2021 Isle of Man TT cancelled


Story snapshot:

Uncertainty forces the shelving of this event for the second year running

It's unclear if the Manx and Classic will happen


There's nothing much to add to the headline. The coronavirus is still very much a feature of life in the UK (and of course in the wider world), and events such as the TT take many months to organise and prepare—and that requires what the poet T S Eliot would call "certain certainties". But such certainties are not forthcoming, and the promise of a vaccine will be too little, too late.


So the 2021 event follows the cancelled 2020 races and is off the boil. But the Classic TT and Manx GP are still up for grabs; or, to clarify, they haven't yet been cancelled. So there might yet be some racing on the island. But the big event simply ain't gonna happen.


That's the word direct from the organisers.


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SME forges an off-road/touring deal with RE and RE distributor Moto GB

Family of Harry Dunn loses "diplomatic immunity" High Court review plea

Government go-ahead for Stonehenge Tunnel. Ride-past days are numbered

Ducati announces Diavel Lamborghini limited edition. 630 units. Price TBA


CMX1100 Honda Rebel bobber for 2021. 86bhp @ 7000rpm, £9k - £10k


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"Hero dog" betrayed by its handlers


Story snapshot:

The troops stay in their fox holes

The mutt gets the bullet


Get ready everyone because we're about to upset an awful lot of people, and we make absolutely no apologies. We think a few people need heavy duty upsetting over this story, and we're in the bloody mood for it.


We're talking of course about the above mutt named Kuno, a handsome beast if ever there was one. Attached to the British Army, this animal is currently in the mainstream press after suffering "life changing" injuries in Afghanistan.


What happened? Well apparently, in 2019, a UK assault force got itself into trouble after attacking an Al-Qaeda compound. The Afghans were hitting back hard, and the Brits were pinned down and couldn't move without suffering serious casualties. In particular, we understand that there was this one Al-Qaeda fighter equipped with night vision goggles and a box of grenades, and he was plinking away big time with a machine gun.


Understandably, from the British point of view, he needed to be stopped.


So naturally, there was only one thing to do, and that was to enlist the services of the dumbest (but possibly most loyal) member of the squad and tell him to go sort it out. So Kuno the cute and canny canine was led forward, pointed at the opposition, told what to do, wound up and released.


The four year old dog answered the call exactly as he was trained to do and ran full tilt into the line of fire. Despite being shot in both hind legs, Kuno duly attacked the Afghan fighter and savaged the man. Soon after, the cavalry arrived to relieve the mutt from duty.


Since then, the animal has been honoured for bravery and has had the PDSA Dickin Medal pinned to his chest. This is a gong designed specifically for animals and is the equivalent of the Victoria Cross; i.e. the highest award you can get. So far, the other recipients have been ... wait for it, 35 other dogs, 32 WW2 messenger pigeons, four horses, and one cat.


Yes, messenger pigeons. 32 of them.


If this wasn't so sad, it would be richly funny. But it's not funny. What this story is really about is a bunch of guys who signed up for a fight in full knowledge of what they were doing and what they were getting into, and who suddenly got into trouble. That's either bad luck or bad planning, or both. But instead of ante-ing up and dealing with the problem directly, they sent in man's best friend to take the odd bullet for them. It's just a dog, after all. It's expendable. Disposable. And biodegradable.


And later, when Kuno had his paws amputated, they gave him an extra bone and a medal and told him and the rest of the world what a hero he was. But as you can tell, we don't see it that way at all. The dog was no hero (but he was clearly no coward). He was just a dumb (but dangerously adorable) military mutt programmed to take risks of which it had no real comprehension. In other words, the dog was a victim and shouldn't have been used in that way.


Perhaps if and when the British Army runs out of dogs, and when they need a minefield clearing, they can elicit the help of a few Alzheimer sufferers and pin a few medals on them when they get blown to bits staggering around a suspect patch of dirt.


Meanwhile, the mind boggles trying to figure out why the hell the PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) put itself in this particular frame (as far back as 1943 actually). The organisation was founded in 1917 by Maria Dickin. Its remit was to offer care for sick and injured animals owned by the poor. A worthy cause. But recognising "gallantry" in creatures that are too stupid to understand how they're being used strikes us as cynicism in the extreme.


The UK is a nation that supposedly loves animals, not only when served up in the Sunday dinner or collected at KFC or McDonalds, but as family friends, pets and companions. But of course, we also love 'em when they're mob handed and chasing a fox or charging round a race track at Ascot or Epsom or having their brains experimented on while they're still conscious.


Kuno can rest happy now. After numerous surgical procedures, this abused and de-mobbed animal can take comfort in the fact that he's the first UK military working dog to be fitted with prosthetic limbs.


Isn't that something?


▲ WW2 anti-tank dog bomb. The Soviets trained pooches to carry mines and other ordnance on "suicide missions" specifically targeting German tanks. But it wasn't just the Russians who exploited animals in warfare. Pretty much all the major combatants devised their own weapons also using horses, mules, camels, dolphins, and bats (incendiary weapons). At least the Japanese Kamikaze pilots had a choice. Well, sort of...



The army folk who exploit these mutts are hardly worthy of the name "soldiers". Not in our book. And the use of animals in this way will eventually be outlawed. History is, as ever, on the move. Meanwhile, we can continue to make a glorified fuss over it. We can roll out the flags with the doggie stretchers, play Elgar on the loudspeakers and tell ourselves how brave these creatures are, but it doesn't hide the fact that the troops hunkered down, and the dumb mutt took the bullets.


At Sump we love dogs, and apparently a lot more than the British Army do. We love 'em alive, and chasing sticks, and even helping with home security—but we wouldn't send one to tackle an armed burglar, not when we were equally armed and able to hit back and take our knocks.


And while we remember, it's not that we think that dogs can't necessarily be used to support human activity. Mutts and men work well together and enjoy each other's company. But there are limits, notably when animals become little more than cannon fodder.


Meanwhile, what we particularly object to is the way society attempts to dignify what is, we repeat, nothing less than animal abuse.


Get writing everyone. Our mailbox is wide open.


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What’s this got to do with motorcycles? If I wanted to listen to your pontificating I’d subscribe to the snowflake news. Stick to point of the website.www.dallaskeith.co.uk

It's got nothing whatsoever to do with motorcycles, except that it's written by motorcyclists who've got something else to say. Check our homepage. You'll see that Sump is a "magazine for motorcyclists", and not just "a motorcycle magazine". There's a difference. We've got around one million words on Sump. It's the biggest magazine of its type in the world. It's all free. It costs you absolutely nothing. We suggest that if you don't want to read about military dogs or political stuff or commentary on fringe social issues, then look at our other pages. No one stuck your nose in this piece and said "eat". And if you can't find something more to your taste around here, go someplace else, brother. Does that solve your problem?—Sump

Guys, Could not agree more. I felt sick when it was on the news. Well written, thank you.—Steve H

What you wrote about Kuno could not have been put better. I remember the story about the prosthetic feet but hadn't read the details. As a dog lover myself I'm as disgusted as you.—Terry Lester

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bill-snelling-motorcycles, mates & memories book


Motorcycles, Mates and Memories


Story snapshot:

Sixty-odd years of motorcycle sport—in Bill Snelling's own words

Down to earth, unpretentious, insightful


This book arrived just a few days ago in the post, and we stuck it to one side for a while to de-Covid it. But finally we got curious and spread some pages and put our feet up and started reading. And reading. And reading. And we like this book plenty. That's the long and short of it. It's a great collection of tales and truths and anecdotes.


We don't know motorcycle racer and biking author, Bill Snelling, and we don't have any connection with him. There's been little reason for our paths to have crossed. Different orbits, etc. But we know of him, and so do an awful lot of people—some of whom we do know. And so will you, no doubt.



Bill's long been a fixture on the British motorcycle scene campaigning sidecar outfits, competing in road trials, trying his luck at road racing, track racing, and off-road trials, plus riding in rallies and enjoying spills, thrills and dealing with the loss of one or two comrades.


He's worked as a mechanic and "grease monkey" for numerous motorcycle workshops in various parts of the country. Later he earned his coin as an ad-man for the original Motorcycle Sport publication ("not the Mortons magazine"). But we recognise his name largely from the 1980s with regard to his Despatch Riding column in the now defunct Motorcycling Weekly newspaper—a column that you'll perhaps remember if you were a regular or even occasional reader of that august newspaper periodical (and not to be confused with Motor Cycle Weekly magazine).


Bill Snelling hails from Kent, but is currently better associated with the Isle of Man where he took up residence (on and off) back in the 1970s and is now surgically attached to the place (there's a bad pun there, as you will see, but Bill won't mind. We hope). He's amassed hundreds of interesting, amusing, sad, and thought-provoking biking stories and has catalogued them in the numerous books he's penned, including this one.


The writing style is unflowery and simple—but by no means clumsy or naive. He simply gets on with the narration and shares with us insights into the places he been, the highs he's enjoyed, the lows he's endured, and all the other achievements and defeats of his life. He's ridden practically everything at one time or another, but clearly has a special place in his heart for Vincents and Velocettes, and pretty much anything else that rolls. Whatever else he is, he's no biking snob.


What we're left with is a feeling that his life has been "properly" lived, throttle wide open.



There are plenty of photographs, both B&W and colour, and pretty much all of them are too small for our taste and left us squinting or reaching for a magnifying glass. But you could enjoy this book without a single snapshot. The real imagery will be in your head.


If we had to criticise (and of course we do), the anecdotes are a little episodic and undeveloped. In other words, you start reading something interesting and looking for more depth and/or a bigger payoff only to find that that's all you've got; a few words on this, and a sketched tale about that. Fortunately, there's still enough meat on this particular bone to feel well fed. And, of course, many of the incidents that populate our lives do arrive in a flash of light and noise, and disappear just as quickly leaving us little except outlines. But a little extra effort here would have been welcome. It's something we've commented on before with other books.


Regardless, Bill Snelling has included those outlines and has committed them to print as tasters rather than snacks. Others can perhaps take these memories add some more colour to their own narratives. And if you're interested in the TT, particularly the Manx, Bill's got one or two tales to tell directly from the saddle,


The chapters are arranged so that you can dip in here and there while the kettle's boiling or during the TV adverts or whatever. Or you could spend the entire evening lying on the sofa with this book—but we doubt that many will get through this in a single sitting. Or a single lying.


The book dimensions are A5 (210mm x 148.5mm). There are 150 or so pages. There are 202 pictures. There's a price tag of £16.99 direct from Veloce Publishing—but check their website to see what deals they're currently running, if any.


The bottom line (or finish line if you prefer) is that this is a great little book busting with nostalgia. But don't take our word for it. Just buy it. There's every chance you'll enjoy it.




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New series of The Motorcycle Show (started 11/11/20. 6 x 1hr episodes)

Fantic to buy Motori Minarelli

New EU bike derogation law passed (modifying Euro4 end-of-season rules)


Ducati announce track-focused Panigale V4SP in 2021 superbike range

Covid-19 and motorbikes: Lockdown riding confusion reigns

Boxer goodies: Polish custom house stunning café racer BMW R100RT


Can you use a mobile phone in a car or on a motorcycle?

How new coronavirus lockdown restrictions affect motorcycling

Norton video exclusive! New boss on the future


Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride switches to May date [Sunday 23/5/21]

Police warn of threat of thieves targeting Facebook sellers


Could India Harley Dealers Sue Harley-Davidson?


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UK built electric Beezers on the way?


Story snapshot:

A new range of £5,000 - £10,000 bikes has been mooted for 2021

Production is planned for a site "near Small Heath"


We placed a question mark at the end of the headline for this news story because it's yet another speculative tale promising the advent of new 21st century BSA motorcycles.


The latest press teaser has just appeared in The Guardian newspaper which has been chin-wagging with Anand Mahindra, head honcho of the huge Indian Mahindra group.


Supposedly, the first of the new bikes will be built from a range of "bought-in" parts and assembled in a factory "near Small Heath", West Midlands. Exactly how near is anyone's guess at present. But it stands to reason that any company investing millions of pounds into the resurrection of a defunct heritage motorcycle brand would in all probability want to recommence manufacture as close as possible to the brand's most recent spiritual home. Ask John Bloor who re-established Triumph production at Hinckley, Leicestershire just 26 miles from Meriden Works in the West Mids.


Meanwhile we note that the decision to manufacture in the UK might be at least vaguely connected to the fact that a £4.6million UK government grant has apparently been made in the hope that a few hundred British jobs might be created.


So okay, £4.6million isn't actually very much in industrial terms, and it's mere pocket fluff for Anand Mahindra who's reputedly worth over £1billlion. But no doubt there will be other significant concessions from the relevant local authority that will make any deal even sweeter. On the other hand, the money has been granted to bolster development in electric motorcycle technology, and who's to say where that development will take place, and whether any of it will really support British jobs?


Not us.


Meanwhile, as we understand it, the Beezers will indeed be manufactured here in Blighty. That's the plan. But in a world of hardnosed accountancy and commercial pragmatism, we're a long way from convinced that the new BSA brand can pull this off—not unless it moves into higher end bikes, which apparently isn't the plan. The current promise is for motorcycles costing between £5,000 and £10,000, which puts the brand in direct competition with Triumph—and we recall Triumph waxing lyrically about British bikes being built in Britain.


As opposed to Thailand.


Mahindra already owns Jawa which was re-launched in 2018. And depending on whose numbers you believe (if any), Mahindra has ramped Jawa production up from 30,000 units annually to over 50,000.


No doubt, after some delay in moving the BSA project onward, the company has also been buoyed by the huge success of Royal Enfield which continues to grow and consolidate its position in both domestic and foreign markets.


Our view on all this? Switch off your engine for now and save gas. It might all happen, but the market is pretty crowded and it's not clear if the numbers are likely to stack up in a Covid-19 world where some huge financial challenges are coming at us.

See also: Sump Classic Bike News October 2016


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Mash MCs appoints (Dutch owned) Motomondo UK as a new distributor

Benelli brand reviver Andrea Merloni has died aged 53 (9th November 2020)

Triumph Motorcycles tease new 850 Sport. "Global reveal on 17th Nov 2020)

Royal Enfield 350cc Meteor announced for Far East. Euro bikes "soon"

Royal Enfield also announces new [350 Meteor] Tripper satnav system

 New UK smart M-way sections coming. 32mi/M13. 17mi/M6. 23mi/M1


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NMM summer 2020 raffle winner


Story snapshot:

National Motorcycle Museum waves away its 1977 Jubilee Bonnie

Winter 2020 raffle is another Triumph


That's Dr Graham Hagan in the image immediately above. His winning ticket (number 1172017) earned him this 1977 750cc Triumph T140J Silver Jubilee Bonneville, a bike that carries the ignominy of never having been ridden. The prize draw was to have taken place at the museum's LIVE event. But Covid-19 concerns meant that Velocette aficionado Ivan Rhodes did the honours from elsewhere in the biking universe.


Mr Stewart Bentley from East Yorkshire took the second prize and walked away with a Sealey Retro Style Combination Tool Chest (ticket number 5103343).



Meanwhile, we learn that the NMM is now offering a 1979 Triumph T140D Bonneville as the top prize in its Winter 2020 Raffle (November 2020 - April 2021) which is open to UK residents only. And this bike is also offered in unmolested, untried and un-enjoyed condition—at least as far as gainful tarmac in concerned. Tickets are £10 for 5 (and you have to buy a minimum of 5), and the NMM is accepting payments only by debit card. One more thing, check the raffle T&Cs before you buy; residents of some regions are excluded by UK or local gaming laws.


And we ought to mention the news that the museum has recently been denied a Heritage Lottery Grant to help offset the impact of Covid-19 (Culture Recovery Fund). The NMM had applied in the sub-£1million category, but the purse holders and accountants have favoured other cultural assets. We're hearing that this is a major blow for the museum which has launched an appeal and is asking for your support.


Not for the first time, and taking a less partisan view, we might mention that the NMM is (for us at least) unquestionably the most boring motorcycle event or establishment we've ever visited. Moreover, we once again question the wisdom of putting so many prized motorcycles in the same location (reference the September 2003 fire which damaged over 650 bikes, many of them destroyed).


But many folk disagree and enjoy the museum and its activities, so we're happy to support the appeal for money. If you're feeling generous, hit the link below and/or buy some raffle tickets for the T140D.


Someone's gotta win it.




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Dear Team, Thank you for the link. I have entered the raffle. If I win it, rest assured I will be riding the bugger to extinction, summer and salt season, as I don’t do cars. I was at technical college when it was originally launched. I could not afford it at the time as I was a British Rail Engineering workshops apprentice on a good for the times £50 a week. Still not enough. I had to settle for a Yamaha XS250 SE “boulevard cruiser” which was a learner clone. It was rather dull in comparison and I was a bit smaller then, so the silhouette was acceptable. I think the silhouette will look ok now as life has turned out quite proportionate in many ways. Thus my interest. (Christ, I’m sounding more like Mark Williams nowadays).
—Chris Taylor

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On the road to totalitarianism?


Story snapshot:

Ride a motorcycle for fun and, as from today, you're a criminal

New lockdown measures passed with barely a protest


This is a tricky one because almost no one wants to see people get sick or die as a result of Covid-19. Consequently, the vast majority of us have been happy, or at least willing, to adhere to the various forms of lockdown restrictions that have been inflicted on us this year.


But evidently, the UK government's coronavirus counter-strategy isn't working. We're now motoring rapidly into the "flu season" which typically manifests itself in an increased take-up of NHS hospital beds and generally keeps the undertakers busy, and Covid-19 is rampant.


The latest outbreaks have led to a very stringent lockdown for the next month (at least) starting today 5th November 2020 and (supposedly) ending on 2nd December 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is anticipating it will all be over by Christmas, but evidently he's been smoking too much hopium. There's clearly a very long haul ahead.


Arguably, however, even more worrying than the "Chinese disease" (to paraphrase US President Donald Trump) is the fact that the British people have pretty much surrendered their liberty to the legislators with barely a protest. We've blithely accepted home incarceration as a necessary short-term evil without publicly considering the wider implications. In short, we're on a road that ultimately leads to a totalitarian state. Yes, in the British mindset that's all but unthinkable. We fought the bloody Nazis, etc. But wearing compulsory face masks, maintaining a two metre distance from each other, avoiding members of our families, shutting schools, shutting down the airlines, locking down students in dormitories, washing our hands every time we touch something in public and isolating ourselves for weeks or months on end would have been unthinkable this time last year.


And now, once again, venturing beyond the perimeters of our homes without "good reason" (i.e. for shopping, to go to work, for educational needs, etc) means that we're breaking the law and can be fined by a growing army of clipboard enforcers on the prowl checking our habits and movements, issuing fines and hounding us off the streets.


The maximum fine in England increases to £6,400. And yes, the cops can arrest you if they think it is proportionate and necessary. That's straight from the Metropolitan Police.



▲ This is a scam. We're hearing that around £1million has already been fleeced from people who, presumably, committed some minor extra-domicile transgression and believed that they'd been caught. But the cops are also ready to hand you up to a £200 fine for a first offence—and much more if you're a serial liberty-lover. Meanwhile West Yorkshire Police have been leaving these warnings on vehicle windscreens (see image immediately below). Park the bike. Switch on the TV. You're grounded, son.




Don't misunderstand us; we're in favour of population lockdowns where and when it's reasonably possible. But there's a world of difference between voluntary compliance and government diktat. Consequently we're wondering if it's time to entirely abandon lockdown compulsion in favour of a different system.


Such as what, for instance?


Well, such as encouraging the more vulnerable members of British society to voluntarily self-isolate, and fully support that isolation, and then allow the rest of the population to simply take a hit and behave "normally" as they see fit—albeit with all the usual advice and encouragement to stay safe. And unless a vaccine is found soon and successfully deployed, that's exactly what has to happen (not that exposure to Covid-19 will lead to long term immunity). The virus needs to burn itself out just as it did with Spanish Flu way back at the beginning of the last century. But that's not happening. Instead, we're keeping it percolating in the pot, and that's no way to deal with any epidemic or pandemic.


Part of the key here is viral load. NHS workers, it seems, have been disproportionately dying of Covid-19 largely because of the increased amounts of virus to which they've been exposed. That needs to be better addressed, possibly with the new generation of breathing equipment. But for the population at large, moderate doses of the virus generally leads to either no symptoms or low symptoms. In other words, low doses of the virus is survivable by the vast majority of people.


And it's worth reminding ourselves in passing that the average age of a coronavirus victim is still around 82, and death usually occurs only where there are underlying conditions. To be blunt, you have to be half dead in the first place before you can get the other foot in the grave.


Meanwhile, Test & Trace is pure nonsense. It didn't stop the Germans, or the French or the Italians or the Spanish from introducing new full or partial lockdowns. Only a few Far Eastern countries have made that idea work, but mostly by a full-on, hardboiled, heavy duty no exceptions lockdown. That seems to work. For some. But a (relatively) softly-softly approach, UK style, is simply stirring the pot.


Micromanaging the economy from 10 Downing Street is manifestly leading to all kinds of anomalies and seriously disrupting the economy and creating a debt bubble that sooner or later is going to burst. Ultimately, that will lead to the biggest public financial liability since WW2. It's happening, and if any of you reading this live long enough, it's going to hurt.


So why have we published this story? Because today we received an email from our old "friends" at Big Brother Watch (BBW) detailing the recent vote in the Commons that saw 516 MPs vote for Lockdown 2, and only 38 against it (while 21 Tory MPs had no vote recorded). And these are shameful and worrying numbers for a bunch of civil servants charged with the responsibility of, above all else, defending our liberty.


Check that word again: Liberty.


Feel like protesting that vote? Well you can't. Not for another month, and perhaps not even then. The government removed your right. We're prisoners of our own complacency. We're getting exactly what we deserve. We did the crime and now we're doing the time.


Our advice is to visit the BBW website. Get talking to your MP and check his or her stance. Reconsider your response to these half-hearted percolating lockdowns and start lobbying for a fresh approach.


Full on totalitarianism might be unlikely, but it's become an increasing possibility.




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See Sump letters extra for much more on this story

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October 2020



New call to keep British Summer Time


Story snapshot:

Should the UK keep BST all year round?

And what impact has Covid-19 had, if any, on this question?


We were wondering when this subject would reappear on the political agenda, and it seems that the time has come round again (pun intended). We're talking of course about the annual ritual of turning back the clocks from British Summer Time (BST) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) every autumn to add an extra hour of daylight in the morning.


British Summer Time first arrived in 1916 (The Summer Time Act). The idea was to put an extra hour of daylight during the summer months for both industrial and recreational purposes, and of course to save energy. During WW2, this daylight saving shift was particularly apposite. In fact, in the war years Britain enjoyed Double British Summer Time (DBST). That is to say GMT +2).


Currently in the UK, British Summer Time (BST) begins on the last Sunday in March each year, and reverts to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on the last Sunday in October. And each year there are arguments for and against maintaining this arrangement; notably providing extra morning light for school children, and with regard to road safety concerns—not least the safety of bikers.



▲ William Willett (1856 - 1915). A builder and businessman, Willetts wasn't the first to suggest daylight saving time (DST). The notion has been around for centuries. But he was a significant promoter of the idea and published pamphlets and campaigned for change. He died of flu shortly before DST made it into UK law. Take a hint lawmakers...



So what, if anything, has changed this year? The simple answer to that is the Covid-19 emergency. The novel Coronavirus, as most people are aware, spreads far more easily in enclosed environments/space. Consequently encouraging more outdoor activity seems, on the face of it, to be the wiser move. And increased daylight naturally helps facilitate that.


Of course, with a new national Covid-19 lockdown phase on the horizon, this extraneous activity question might be a moot point. Nevertheless, there are serious implications here that warrant a careful approach. And yes, "winding the clocks back" has just occurred in the UK, so that particular horse might have bolted for what's left of 2020.


Except that this is a time of national emergency, and it might yet be possible for the government to introduce emergency measure with regard to the clocks (albeit probably with huge implications for industry, commerce, transport and other activities). Either way, it will hurt someone.



Organisations such as RoSPA, the RAC, the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) are all on the case again and studying the implications of any possible changes, and ostensibly all these groups are in favour of maintaining British Summer Time all year round.


Meanwhile, it seems that the majority of British people (59% according to a YouGov survey) agree; BST is the popular way to go. However, there are probably other surveys that indicate the opposite.


For our part, we've long been of the opinion that BST (GMT +1) is, on balance, the right move forward. Actually, we'd like to see DBST, largely because our lifestyle here at Sump hasn't much regard for mornings and favours the evenings.


But you might see it differently.


So if you're on speaking/email terms with your MP, you might want to take this opportunity of rattling his or her tree and sharing your opinion.


Don't waste time, now. It's always later than you think.


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Fowlers of Bristol 2020 Bonneville Build Off winner


Fowlers win 2020 Bonnie Build-Off


Story snapshot:

9 UK dealers fought it out

Military style Triumph Bonnie custom homage eats the biscuit


Fowlers of Bristol has won the 2020 Bonneville Build-Off Competition with the immediately above entrant entitled VE Commemorative Bike—which wasn't our choice, but looks to be a fairly worthy winner. The paint isn't quite right, for us. And we would have preferred chunkier tyres, a blackout headlight and a stencilled Triumph logo (or similar) on the tank. But that's nitpicking stuff. Basically it just doesn't honk our horn.



There were nine bikes in the comp which was open only to UK-based Triumph motorcycle dealers. Norfolk Triumph's flat tracker inspired and oddly named "Flat Bonnie" took the Design Award (see the bike image immediately below). TV celeb and architect George Clarke presented the prize. Check the colour scheme and the finish, painthounds.



Other awards were for Inspiration Winner; Paint and Custom Winner; and Retail Choice Winner. But all the dealers fielded credible challenges.


You can read more about the competition via the link below—but note that the link might not remain active for ever (it's on Triumph's site). So better check it out sooner rather than later.


There's some great handiwork there.


See: Classic Bike News 2020 Bonneville Build-Off challenge


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2021 Triumph 660cc Trident riding


2021 660cc Triumph Trident launched


Story snapshot:

New Hinckley middleweight is gunning for Yamaha's MT-07

£7,195 is the asking price


Take a good look at the above Hinckley upstart because this is the bike that's going to kick some Yamaha MT-07 ass. That's the plan, anyway. The capacity is 660cc (same as the existing Street Triple). The cylinders number three (naturally). The power is a claimed 81PS (80bhp/60kW) @ 10,250 rpm. The torque is a claimed 64Nm (47lb-ft) @ 6,250rpm. The engine is Euro5 compliant.


And it's all new. The motor, chassis, and cycle parts. Hinckley knows it's got a serious hill to climb if it wants to give the Yammy a whammy, and from where we're sat we think it's got a good chance—subject to that critical price point which is already looking challenged given that the MT-07 can be had for around £6.5k while the Trident is asking £7.1k. Then again, the Triumph badge on the tank carries a little extra gravitas, and we suspect the Triumph build quality will be just that little bit higher. But maybe not.


Nevertheless, the Yamaha is sex-on-a-stick for many riders, and the MT-07 has built up a considerable head of steam. And it's a twin rather than a triple, which means different strokes for different folks.




2021 Triumph 660cc Trident engine



Engine & transmission: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline triple
Capacity: 660cc
Bore: 74mm
Stroke: 51.1mm
Compression: 11.95:1
Max power: 81PS (80bhp/60kW) @ 10,250rpm
Max torque: 64Nm @ 6,250rpm
Fuel injection: Multipoint sequential with electronic throttle control
Exhaust: Stainless steel 3-into-1 header system with low single sided stainless steel silencer
Final drive: X-ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, slip and assist
Gearbox: 6-speed
Chassis: Tubular steel perimeter frame
Swinging arm: Twin-sided, fabricated steel
Front wheel: Cast aluminium, 17 x 3.5 in
Rear wheel: Cast aluminium, 17 x 5.5 in
Front tyre: 120/70-R17
Rear tyre: 180/55-R17
Front suspension: Showa 41mm inverted separate function fork
Rear suspension: Showa monoshock RSU, with preload adjustment
Front brakes: Nissin 2-piston calipers, 2 x 310mm discs, ABS
Rear brakes: Nissin single-piston caliper, single 255mm disc, ABS
Instruments: Multi-function with colour TFT screen
Width (handlebars): 795mm
Height without mirror: 1,089mm
Seat height: 805mm
Wheelbase: 1,401mm
Rake: 24.6 degrees
Trail: 107.3mm
Dry weight: 189kg (415lbs)
Tank capacity: 14 litres (3.1 gallons)

Colours:  Sapphire Black, Matt Jet Black & Silver Ice, Silver Ice & Diablo Red (note some colours carry extra charges)


2021 Triumph 660cc Trident


Other features include a ride-by-wire throttle and two riding modes (road and rain). And Triumph thinks it's offering a good balance between mid range grunt and top end thrills, but without losing that low down torque.


As ever, Hinckley is offering a range of optional extras, many of which are now de rigeur for bikers; options such as a quickshifter/blipper, a connectivity module, tyre pressure monitors, etc.


Service intervals are a welcome 10,000 miles, and a two year warranty is part of the Triumph promise.


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Joe Ryan barn find classics to sell


Story snapshot:

Legendary Irish bike tuner's collection comes to light

H&H to auction the bikes at the NMM in November


Tommy Robb, Raymond Spence, Ralph Bryans, Cecil Crawford and Sam McClements. If you recognise these names, you might also recognise the connection to near legendary engine tuner Joe Ryan.


Through the 1950s to the 1970s, Joe Ryan prepared machines for some of the great Norton riders of the day who claimed victories at the IOM TT and at the Ulster Grand Prix. Ryan died in 1997 at the age of 84, and (unsurprisingly) as well as being an engine tuner, he was a collector.



Well eight of his treasured motorcycles have recently been unearthed in a straw covered barn in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland having been squirreled away since who knows when.


The Joe Ryan barn-find bikes are:


c1922 Norton Model 9 Brooklands Special 500cc. Est: £8,000 - £10,000.
c1923 Zendher 110cc. Est: £3,000 - £5,000
c1911 Triumph 3-1/2hp TT Roadster. Est: £7,000 - £9,000
c1925 AJS E6 Big Port 350cc. Est: £7,000 - £9,000
1923 Douglas Model TS 2-3/4hp. Est: £5,000 - £7,000
c1913 Triumph 3-1/2hp TT Roadster. Est: £4,000 - £6,000
c1923 Kenilworth 75cc. Est: £3,000 - £5,000
c1935 Rudge 250cc Sports 4-valve. Est: £6,000 - £8,000


That's a fairly eclectic collection. But it's odds on that the bikes are in reasonable to good condition.


As you can see, the estimates range from £3,000 - £10,000 with the bikes being offered for sale by H&H Auctions on 14th November 2020 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull.



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Bonhams Winter Sale, Bicester


Story snapshot:

Rare Vincent-HRD Python Sports is on the list

It's the rescheduled Autumn Sale, take note


Bonhams is gearing up for its Winter Sale at Bicester, Oxfordshire on 5th - 6th December 2020. Details are pretty scarce at present, and lot numbers are yet to be assigned. But we can tell you that over 50 motorcycles and "motorcycle related cars" from the National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) Reserve Collection will be up for grabs.


Reserve Collection? These are largely duplicate bikes or machines that don't fit comfortably into the museum's lists.


We're still looking through that collection and will be adding to this story as and when appropriate. Meanwhile, we want to draw your attention to the immediately above (and immediately below) 1933 500cc Vincent-HRD Python Sports powered by a Rudge four-valve single engine.


It's a fairly rare machine and is one of just 8 known (complete?) survivors from a batch of 107 produced at Stevenage, Herts between 1932 and 1934. What killed it off was the advent of Phil Irving's 499cc single cylinder Comet and the Meteor, both of which arrived in 1935.


Vincent-HRD had, up until then, been installing Rudge and JAP engines. But there were numerous "issues" relating to both supply of the engines and some issues with the technicalities, and the Rudge and JAP units (for all their prowess on the race tracks) were quickly pensioned off once a home brewed motor was available.



No doubt Bonhams will supply some more details on this particular example; a bike that's carrying an estimate of £20,000 - £25,000—and we note that the firm offered another Python Sports in Las Vegas in January 2017 with an estimate of £76,000 - £96,000. But that didn't sell.


Our guess is that this bike (featured here) will pass its top estimate, but we've no idea where it will go after that. They're just too rare and little known, and they represent one of the quirkier facets of the Vincent marque and history that will no doubt cool some of the anticipated heat, especially in today's more cautious market.


Museum director James Hewing has been quoted as saying;


"We are pleased to be offering enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to acquire motorcycles from our Reserve Collection, with those that have been restored in our own workshop having a solid silver plaque fitted to them confirming the provenance.

"This year’s events have given us the time to assess our reserve and duplicate inventory, and we can now look forward to reopening having freed up some desperately needed storage space."


The sale will also liberate a lot of much needed cash too for the NMM. And we ought to make it clear that there are other non-museum bikes in the sale. We counted around 109 machines (give or take a couple). And there is some interesting stuff there carrying what looks, in many instance, like pretty low estimate.


Stay tuned, etc...


Below are some of the other lots that caught our eye


▲ 1929 AJS 9hp. £8,000 - £14,000 estimate.


▲ 1921 Douglas 10hp. £10,000 - £15,000 estimate. Well built. Distinct.

▲ 1951 498cc Triumph TRW. £4,000 - £6,000 estimate. These are smooth, gentle and refined sidevalves are capable of 65 - 70mph. But they're best enjoyed at 55mph. Underrated and largely overlooked.

▲ 1975 741cc Triumph T160 Legend. Created by ex-Triumph race shop foreman Les Williams who produced a limited run of these beautiful triples and got them oh so right. It seems that only 60 or thereabouts were hand built by expert hands. Shades of the Heskeths are lurking here. But the Legend came first. £8,000 - £12,000 estimate. Meanwhile, if you'd like one of these with a 750cc Meriden Bonneville engine, search the web for "Triumph Buccaneer"; another very classy limited run re-imagining.

▲ 1910 500cc Favourite. These rare Australian bikes were built by Bill Smith in Petersburg (later renamed Peterborough in response to turn of the century rejection of anything German; 58 other towns also changed their names). The frame and engine are identical to those of the Abingdon King Dick (Kerry Abingdon) motorcycles built in Tyseley, Birmingham. But unlike King Dick, the front fork is Druid. £12,000 - £15,000 estimate. Three time London to Brighton entrant.

▲ 1965 Series 1 736cc Royal Enfield Interceptor. Big, bold, and powerful—if a little vibey. These handsome twins were a knockout in the 1960s and eclipsed just about everything else on the British market. Today they look better than ever, and Bonhams think this will fetch somewhere between £8,000 - £10,000. That blue is almost pornographic.


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2021 Honda MX125 "Grom". 5-speed. 9.6bhp. 58mph. No UK prices yet

Kempton Park Autojumble cancelled for Sat 24th Oct 2020 - refunds offered

Carole Nash Irish Motorbike & Scooter Show 2021 shifted to March 2022

New UK gov plans. Handling mobile phone while driving to become illegal

RAC London to Brighton Run (Sunday 1st November 2020) cancelled

UK gov threat to seize direct control of TfL (Covid-19 funding crisis intrigue)


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▲ We love the olde-worlde charm of these primitive, seat-of-the-pants boat-tailed microcars of the 1920s and 1930s. Trouble is, the sales brochure picture-perfect England of yesteryear is gone, if it ever really existed. Hard to see where you'd use this today, but we'd give it a go...



H&H A | B | C Auction 21st Oct 2020


Story snapshot:

Buyer premium: 12.5% (+ VAT @ 20%) for cars & motorcycles
15% (+ VAT @ 20%) for Automobilia

There's not really anything at this online auction that primes our carburettors. Not motorcycle-wise, that is. But we like the look of the above 1933 BSA Three Wheeler which is Lot 225 and is carrying an estimate of £10,000 - £12,000.


This machine was designed by F W Hulse using the Hotchkiss 1,021cc twin cylinder air-cooled engine. Interestingly, unlike many other three wheelers of the era, this Beezer (built at Small Heath) featured front wheel drive. One of its chief rivals was the sportier V-twin driven Morgan, but the BSA is said to be much easier to operate and offered greater comfort. Think "family machine" rather than "sportster".



At its peak, BSA was manufacturing around 2,000 units per annum, mostly bought by people looking to take advantage of the considerably lower vehicle purchase tax rates of around £4 per annum—which compared to around £1 per horsepower per annum for four-wheelers.


Prices were between £100 and £125. Manufacturing standards were pretty much as good as it got for the era. What eventually sounded the death knell for these three wheel microcars was, of course, the advent of vehicles such as the once ubiquitous Austin 7 which drove many of the smaller manufacturers straight into the poor house. Many of the surviving three-wheelers did so by morphing into four-wheelers as an when taxation and market conditions allowed—not that many off these firms survived for very long.



This example has been restored and hasn't seen much action since. It's been re-wired and has also been converted to 12-volt electrics. There's a V5C present and a stack of related paperwork on file.


Regarding the auction itself, it's an online only event, and that seems to be the future for many auctioneers looking to (a) move with the digital times, (b) cut their operational overhead and (c) maintain a healthy coronavirus distance.


Of course, being the difference between television and theatre it won't suit everyone. And it's hard to know how the online-only move will impact prices, if at all. We'll just have to wait and see if we can figure it out.


Meanwhile it looks like there are 27 motorcycle lots on offer; a mix of complete bikes and motorcycling bits & pieces, etc. The rest is cars and car stuff.


The date, in case you missed it, is 21st October 2020. That's a Wednesday, and the fun (such as it is) starts at noon.




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MV Agusta teams up with Hertz Ride Rentals

Bike trade insurer Wilby rebrands


Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro gets the Dark treatment

BMW reveal R1250RT with radar cruise control
Thieves take over £20k of stock from Maidstone Harley dealer


Ducati Multistrada V4 gets 60,000km service interval by dropping Desmo

2021 BMW R1250RT now available with Radar Cruise


KX-inspired Royal Enfield Cruiser spotted again… but this time undisguised


Norway removes wire rope barriers

Orders for Langen’s two-stroke are now open


The 'KX inspired cruiser' from R.E.bears about as much similarity to the original KX as a Chinese 125 does to a Vincent Black Shadow  Hopefully Royal Enfield aren't going to start making the tenuous links to history that Triumph do with some of their models and 'limited editions'. Unlike the KX the new cruiser isn't a V Twin and has an engine capacity of approx. half that of the KX. Perhaps the inspiration was the colour of the frame?...They're both black. This isn't Royal Enfield 'hate speech' either. I own a Royal Enfield in amongst my various bikes and consider it a good machine overall
—The Village Squire

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Bonhams' Oct 2020 Barber results


Story snapshot:

Some very low classic bike prices here

Very modest results overall with nothing sensational happening


The top selling motorcycle lot at the 10th October 2020 Barber Motorsports Museum Sale in Birmingham, Alabama, USA was the immediately above single cylinder 1934 Benelli Monalbero (Lot 132).


Monalbero translates as single camshaft; in this instance a single overhead camshaft driven by a right-side train of gears. But it's not a factory bike. This 496cc racer, as we understand it, is a "re-imagining" of what might have been had the Benelli brothers decided to make a track version of the firm's contemporaneous Sport street bike.


As best we can tell, the bike was created in France some years ago and was subsequently imported to the USA where it was restored. Bonhams evidently had elevated hopes for this lot because the estimate was $55,000 - $65,000. In the event, it sold for $69,000 (£ 53,031) including premium, which means that the auction house was on the money.


But other lots at this sale fell well short of the estimates. Check this:


1970 BSA 650cc Firebird. Est: $5,000 - $7,000.  Sold for: $3,220


1973 750cc Norton Commando. Est: $10,000 - $14,000. Sold for: $8,050


1988 885cc Triumph Thunderbird. Est: $4,000 - $6,000. Sold for: $2,415


1965 500cc Triumph T100. Est: $4,000 - $6,000. Sold for: $2,300


1977 BMW R100S custom. Est: $4,000 - $6,000. Sold for: $2,415


2005 82-inch H-D Evo custom. Est: $5,000 - $7,000. Sold for $3,680




▲ The firm did a little better with this 1990 BMW K1 (Lot 126) which carried an estimate of $5,000 - $7,000 and sold for: $5,750. We're still waiting for these to hit some really big numbers, but it evidently hasn't happened yet. Maybe it won't. Not in our lifetimes, anyway.



▲ Meanwhile a 1937 1,200cc Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead (Lot 115) was looking at $60,000 - $70,000, and changed hands for $63,250.



▲1928 BMW R57 (Lot 134). This bike was looking at $50,000 - $70,000. It sold for $51,750.



▲1967/74 750cc Triumph flat tracker (Lot 145). Bonhams estimated $4,000 - $6,000 for this motorcycle. But it sold for...wait for it...$1,265 or £972. Of course, you have to be careful getting your mind and opinion around stuff like this. There are often underlying issues at the sale and/or details that need looking into, such as clear provenance or documents or whatever. Nevertheless, a sub-£1,000 750cc Triumph is practically giving it away. Or is it?



▲ Elvis Presley Roustabout poster (original, 22" x 28", Lot 32). That's "The King" astride a Honda 305 Superhawk (which probably didn't much impress Harley-Davidson when the movie was distributed in 1964). This piece of cinematic art sold for $382 (£293). But many other bike marketing and racing/club posters in the sale failed to sell. Like the music record market, we suspect that it's a heavily nuanced scene, and we don't know much about it. Nevertheless, it feels like buyers are being more and more selective and cautious. The poster was framed, incidentally, and Bonhams recommended "closer inspection". Hmm.



We counted 76 motorcycles in the auction catalogue. But one bike was withdrawn. That leaves 75 of which 22 didn't shift, thereby leaving 53 sold. That gives a conversion rate of 70%, which isn't bad—but Bonhams has done way better than that in other sales. And as ever, hard numbers don't really tell you too much anyway until you correlate the information with exactly what did sell and what didn't.


Our general impression is one of continued cooling in the classic bike market, but it's impossible to know how much of that is due to Covid-19, either directly or indirectly. So we're drawing no firm conclusions. We're just watching. That said, we can't think of a better time over the past 20 years or so to buy a classic bike.


Trouble is, it's not exactly the greatest time to get out and ride one.




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Harley-Davidson mental wellbeing aid


Story snapshot:

It's World Mental Health Day again

Bikers reveal their innermost fears, hang ups and psychiatric woes


Mental health is a big topic these days. There was a time when admitting to being depressed or suicidal would earn you a clout around the head and/or a suspicious frown, both literally and metaphorically. But things have moved on, and these days some folk wear their mental health problems like a badge of pride.


That's a pretty cynical comment. We know that. But you don't have to look far for the evidence. However, most people with psychiatric issues are apt to simply suffer in silence thereby compounding their problems.


Harley-Davidson is aware of this, and the company quite rightly sees motorcycling as one way of tackling that inner torment and misery that most of us feel at one time or another. Not that it's exactly the motorcycles themselves that inject a feelgood shot. Not in our view, anyway. The really important thing is to simply get out into the wider world and throw some perspective on our issues—and motorcycling is simply a convenient and enjoyable mechanism with which to mobilise and expand your emotional viewpoint. Other options include anything from walking to cycling to hang gliding or whatever. The danger zone is when you sit at home brooding alone, etc.


To that end, Harley-Davidson has created a series of six man/woman-in-an-armchair videos in which biking folk talk about how the freedom of two wheels has impacted their lives bringing freedom, fulfilment and at least some kind of relief.


Yes, it sounds like a lot of navel-gazing, ego-centric, self-absorbed couch misery. And at its most basic, and cruellest, that's exactly what it is. Misery unleashed. And the reason why Harley-Davidson has made the aforementioned movies (aside from hoping to flog a few extra bikes and bolster its credentials as the most vibrant social biking platform on the planet) is that tomorrow, 10th October 2020, is World Mental Health Day. It comes around every year at the same time.


.... and we should mention that we're happy to believe that H-D also has some genuine goodwill in the mix. The company has enough problems at the moment without us putting the boot it.


There are six videos on the H-D YouTube channel. There's a link below if you care to take a look. We did exactly that, and so far there's not much uptake. That might be because some of the biking rags and websites still don't feel comfortable about discussing and highlighting "mental problems", or maybe people both in and out of the biking industry generally don't care too much.


Or maybe anything.


So take a look if it suits you. The link will take you to the H-D channel, but you'll possibly have to trawl around to find exactly what's what.


And a note to Harley-Davidson: Get those guys off the armchairs and talk to them from the saddles, ideally when moving along in the breeze. Don't just tell us. Show us.


Meanwhile, if you're having similar "issues" we suggest that you take 'em out into the wider world and move your life's story further down the road.


It works (and don't ask us how we know that).


Harley-Davidson YouTube Channel



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Ace Classics (London) 2021 calendar now available: ten quid

Bennetts Insurance acquisition by Ardonagh fails. CMA forces reversal

TT M/Cs (Glasgow) changes name (trademark woes). Now CA Motorcycles

HM Gov duplicate logbook service; delivery cut from 6 weeks to 5 days

48th Tokyo Motorcycle Show (March 2021) cancelled—Coronavirus fears

Polaris signs a 10 year deal with Zero to develop electric powersport bikes


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2021 Triumph Trident moves closer


Story snapshot:

New official images of the new triple have been revealed

But no confirmed details have been forthcoming


There's plenty of ongoing speculation from the usual online motorcycle rags. But the fact is, there isn't any certainty about the new 2021 Triumph Trident which is, apparently, on the way. Yes, we can clearly see some of the components (brake calipers, forks. etc). But pre-production bikes often change specification before full production happens. So we'll just wait and see what's what.


Last month (August) we ran a piece on this bike (that Triumph's been busy "teasing"), but there's nothing else to add to that story—except that new official factory images have been released (see immediately above).


But the bike has at least been photographed on the move, so you can read what you will into that. Meanwhile, see the link below for the August story.


2021 Triumph Trident [still] on the way



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Funny or ironic how the once iconic Triumph 3 cylinder Trident was copied but not equalled by Yamaha with the very good but not great XS750 and XS850 from Japan. How the tables are turned now as an Asian manufacturer Triumph are trying to match the excellent MT09, the revised version of which is lighter and better than the target Triumph might have been aiming for. Being a small fish in a big pond is a different game, this sink or swim new Trident bike could be a real winner or a damp squib if they miss the mark.

—Phil Cowley

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New parent for sorrymate.com [bike accident compensation firm]

Post furlough funding [new industry job support scheme; Covid-19]

Norton settlement still vague


New report on Norton debt
30 years on: The story behind Triumph's rebirth
Colour updates for 2021 Kawasaki Z900, Vulcan S and Ninja 1000SX


Bringing back the 2-stroke: Interview with Langen Motorcycles founder

Everything you need to know about m/c insurance but were afraid to ask


Harley-Davidson Sportster line-up set to be axed from European range
Harley-Davidson exits India amid warning ‘Rewire’ rising restructuring costs

Hurry! Triumph is offering a massive deal on the Speed Triple RS and S


Harley-Davidson closes up shop in India, kills Sportster in Europe

Terminally ill 83-year-old Anne Turner gets her wish to ride a Harley


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WW2 era Vincent-HRD Comet to sell


Story snapshot:

1939 499cc Vincent-HRD Comet with some interesting history

£40k - £50k is the estimate


This machine is being marketed as: "The motorbike that helped to speed Britain's war effort..." which, okay, could be said about many other motorcycles circa 1939 - 1945. But if you want to make the punters sit up and pay attention, you've got to say something, and this piece of auctioneer hype does the job.


The bike is a 1939 499cc Vincent-HRD Series A Comet. Its wartime credentials harken back to its first owner, a certain Mr Peter Falconer. Falconer was a Gloucestershire based architect who was commissioned by the British government to convert mills into munitions factories. And it was on this steed that he zipped around the country identifying suitable buildings and whatnot, and probably having plenty of fun on the open road. That's him in the images immediately below (note the period blackout mask on the picture to the right—and note the lack of protective headgear, if that matters to you).




Peter Falconer, who died in 2003 aged 86, enjoyed a varied architectural practice. He designed breweries and distilleries, and he was involved in the remodelling of Highgrove House for the Prince of Wales.


He kept the bike until 1947 when it was sold—possibly to an apprentice at the Vincent factory in Stevenage, Herts. But that part of its history is vague. Certainly the bike was back at the factory at around that time when it was fitted with a dual seat and alloy mudguards.



The current owner is Andrew Howard whose father, Mike, restored the bike some years ago. It was in a poor condition when purchased, and it was a decade in the making (or re-making) after which father and son enjoyed an Isle of Man jaunt aboard this machine and another classic. That was in 2013. And we should mention here that Vincent specialist Bob Dun handled the motor work.


The bike is coming up for sale at the H&H Sale on Saturday 14th November 2020 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull. Looks like that's a "live" sale, but we think it might become online only. Best check with H&H nearer the date and see what's happening, coronavirus-wise.


The estimate is £40,000 - £50,000. A V5C is present, plus an old RF60 continuation buff log book. Dual alloy front brakes are fitted. There's a comprehensive history file. And the bike is said to be in good running order.


Nice rounded story?


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Andy Tiernan 2021 calendar


Story snapshot:

Your support for the East Anglian Air Ambulance is sought

Mike Harbar is once again the artist


Artist Mike Harbar has improved a lot since last year's Andy Tiernan Calendar. That's immediately obvious when you check the six sketches he's created for 2021, and it's clear that only someone with an intimate and sensitive knowledge of motorcycles could have created these works of art.


The six bikes are: a BSA Rocket Three, a Norton Classic Rotary, a Matchless G80, a Suzuki RE5, a Honda 750-4, and a Triumph T160 Trident. And if you can count you'll notice that there are six bikes, but twelve month in the year. So you can figure out for yourself how the calendar pages might be arranged.


As ever, the proceeds from the sale of the calendars go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Last year, that raised a very creditable and airworthy £2,022.


Here are the postage details:


United Kingdom - 1 calendar including 2nd class postage is £11.00

European Union - 1 calendar including European postage is £17.00

Rest of the World -1 calendar including overseas postage is £20.00


Note that the calendars are being printed imminently, so you can buy now and expect delivery as soon as they leave the press. Andy Tiernan, who trades from Framlingham, Suffolk (and who's been buying and selling classic bikes since forever) won't let you down.


Andy Buys Bikes Calendar Page


Mike Harbar Classic Artist


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The Coronavirus Act: Call to Action


Story snapshot:

Important government vote coming up

You're encouraged to do what you can to influence it...


Big Brother Watch (BBW) has contacted us regarding an emergency call to action with reference to a UK parliamentary vote that will happen on Wednesday 30th September 2020. The subject/concern is The Coronavirus Act that will give the government swingeing new powers that will stay active for at least the next six months—and possibly well beyond. The more specific bone of contention is Schedule 21 which contains legal provisions on powers intended to deal with potential infectious persons. Note the word "potential". There's some worrying stuff here that bears closer scrutiny.


As we've mentioned before on Sump, we've got mixed feeling regarding BBW, but we're certainly not ignoring them or their warnings. You can decide for yourself how serious this issue is by reading the copy below and checking out the YouTube Coronavirus Act link.



Meanwhile, here's a draft letter (courtesy of BBW) for you to cut and paste and forward to your MP if you feel so inclined. Send it or don't send it. But at the very least we suggest you read it.


Subject: Repeal Schedule 21 in the Coronavirus Act on 30th September 2020

Dear [MP],

I am writing to express my concern about the Coronavirus Act renewal motion. In particular, I urge you to support the amendment to repeal Schedule 21 on Wednesday 30th September, to protect rights and justice in the UK.

The Coronavirus Act represents the biggest expansion of executive power in a generation. Some of the powers in the Act are extreme, unexplained and simply unjustified — but, nodded through on the premise of urgency, the Act suffered from a lack of parliamentary scrutiny. It is vital that this motion to review the Act is not a rubber-stamping exercise but a genuine review and repeal of the Act’s unnecessary and dangerous powers. The most dangerous and excessive of these powers in Schedule 21 of the Act.

Schedule 21 contains some of the most extreme detention powers in modern British legal history. It gives unprecedented, almost arbitrary powers to the police, immigration officers and public health officials to detain “potentially infectious” members of the public, including children, potentially indefinitely and in unspecified locations. In a pandemic, that could mean anyone.

Schedule 21 detention powers have been used for 121 prosecutions — every single one of which was found unlawful by the CPS on review. This 100% unlawful prosecution rate, which has continued over six months, is unprecedented and unacceptable. Big Brother Watch has found cases of innocent and healthy individuals not only being arrested and fined but even held in police cells unlawfully under these draconian powers.

Renewing Schedule 21 in the Coronavirus Act would be dangerous and indefensible. Significant powers in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 already allow for the forced detention and testing of potentially infectious people with the authorisation of a magistrate, which is a vital safeguard. Furthermore, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) Regulations 2020 require individuals returning from countries on the quarantine list to self-isolate and give police the power to forcibly return an individual to an isolation place.

Will you support an amendment to the Coronavirus Act renewal motion to repeal Schedule 21?

Yours sincerely,



Message ends.


YouTube Coronavirus Act video

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October 2020 Stafford cancelled


Story snapshot:

This year's event is toast

But the April 2021 show remains on the calendar


It was scheduled for 10th & 11th October 2020, but the recent tightening of coronavirus restrictions ("Rule of Six") has made the event impractical.


So it's cancelled.


There's not much else to say about it, except that the organiser (Mortons Media Group) is nevertheless still planning to push ahead with the April 2021 show.


Might happen, of course. But we're simply not looking that far ahead. Meanwhile there's no information regarding refunds of advanced tickets or booked trade space. So you'll have to make your own enquiries.


FOOTNOTE:  We've just been notified that the Capesthorne Hall show scheduled for Sunday 27th September 2020 has also been cancelled. The organiser is: www.classicshows.org


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Cancelling Stafford is no great loss to the bike world. The event has been steadily going downhill for years with cheap unrelated tat replacing quality classic parts. I've already lost money on this year's event (bed & breakfast booking), and I'm not about to do it again. Stafford 2021 is in my mind already a non-event.—Jelly Belly

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"Time capsule" Norton Commando


Story snapshot:

1977 850cc Interstate still in its original box

£20,000 - £30,000 is the estimated sale price


Clearly these oddities are still turning up from time to time. Classic bikes squirreled away for decades. Unused. Untested. Unenjoyed—except perhaps as a garage trinket and/or an objet d'conversation wiv your mates, or conceivably as an investment. And there's no reason for that to change in the coming years. Different bikes, perhaps, but same principle.


Or lack of.


Either way, these "time capsule" motorcycles leave us with mixed feelings. That's because as much as we like to see and hear bikes being ridden, there remains a sneaking pleasure in discovering one that's still intact, so to speak.


This one has been in its box since 1977. It's an 850cc Norton Commando Interstate, and it will be offered for sale at the H&H Sale at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull on 14th November 2020. As far as we can tell from the press release, that will be a live sale—as opposed to an online sale. Except that Covid-19 is, apparently, on the rampage again, and it looks like another major lockdown is coming.


The bike, we're told, was shipped from the UK to Belgium in 1977. For some time it remained untouched, then travelled to Holland and then Spain. That was over a 43 year period.


Here's what the current owner, Keith Maddocks, has to say about this machine:

"It was in the mid 60's that my 'love affair' with Norton began. I'd owned plenty of bikes including Matchless, AJS, BSA, Velocette, Royal Enfield, and Triumph, but the one bike that took my breath away was the Norton 750 Atlas.

"The Atlas, in beautiful red with lots of chrome swept me off my feet and after several years of saving on apprenticeship money, I forked out very willingly. At last, she was mine and boy did we have some fun! She was fast, reliable, stood out at bike meets and a pleasure to ride. We went all over England and Europe.

"I have since owned many bikes and currently ride a 2014 Norton 961 Cafe Racer and the New Triumph Rocket 3. Although the latter is probably the most powerful bike in the world, I still get so much more pleasure riding my Norton. It has so much character and class and always draws a big crowd; she makes me very proud!

"Imagine how excited I was when I recently heard of a 1977 Norton Commando 850 Interstate that was still in its original packing case - 43 years old and still 'brand new'. I just had to buy it and I tracked down the owner in Spain. The Spanish collector, who owned 98 bikes, had bought it 10 years earlier at an auction in Belgium, after the owner of a Belgian motorbike shop passed away. Apparently he had kept it in his store room, in its original packing case, for about 35 years and for some strange reason refused to sell it to anyone!

"Since owning her I have never really touched her - she would look even better if I could give it a spring clean but to do it properly, I'd have to remove her from the packing case. Everything is there; three sets of keys, manufacturer’s advice sheets for the dealer, owners manual, service book, plus even a small spray can of Norton chain lube! (Possibly the only one in existence?)

"My intention was to display her this year at many of the big bike shows and lend her to museums from time to time. Covid-19 stopped me doing that this year and I have since decided to move to Spain permanently. Therefore, I cannot do any of this properly from Spain so I reluctantly have to sell. I hope she ends up in a good home and the lucky custodian keeps her another 43 years!



The expectation is that the bike will sell for somewhere between £20,000 and £30,000, and we think the chances of it being assembled and shown some asphalt are pretty remote. Like a rare wine, it could be that this Norton is doomed to languish in its bottle until forever. As for being an investment, it would have to sell for a lot more than £30,000 to show a decent return on the original outlay.


If we were wealthy, we'd buy this one, reassemble it and ride the hell out of it just to put it out of its misery. But no doubt a heated garage awaits this relic, and that will be the end of that until it next surfaces for re-sale.


It's a cruel world, brother.


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I would leave as is and put it upstairs next to my 11 mile T140D which I bought new and never got around to using.—Leo Brady

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US Cycle World to cease print publishing in Oct 2020 (digital mag only)

BMW Motorcycles is developing active aerofoil technology—patents filed

UK 60mph M-way (emissions) trials on sections of M1, M5, M6 & M602

The "Mini Moke" is back as "Moke". UK/French built. 1,035cc. 66bhp. £20k

Royal Enfield to supply CKD (Complete Knock Down) kits to Argentina


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Bonneville Build-Off Challenge 2020


Story snapshot:

Nine bikes this year

But nothing startling or original


Last year (2019) Laguna Triumph in Ashford, Kent was the winner of the Bonneville Build-Off Challenge with The Drag Racer; a homage to the illustrious X-75 Hurricane. This year, Laguna doesn't appear to be fielding an entry. But nine other Triumph dealers have certainly nailed their colours to this particular mast, and it's anyone's guess who's going to walk away (or, rather, ride away) with the prize.


In case you're not au fait with this comp, the idea is that UK Triumph dealers can choose from a 900cc or 1200cc Bonnie as a platform and, using a range of off-the-shelf-parts and homespun engineering skills, are invited to create a champion fit to wear the Triumph dealer custom crown. Etc.




We've had a look at the entrants, and without wishing to sound negative, we haven't found anything that particularly floats our boat—but there's nothing on the list that might sink it either. If we had to choose, and mercifully we don't, we might opt for the immediately above flat track style entrant from A1 Moto of York (two images shown).


Everything else is pretty much run-of-the mill. But naturally you might have different feelings. So have a look for yourself and, if you're so inclined and motivated, cast your vote.



The image at the top of this story, incidentally, is the Fowlers of Bristol entrant entitled VE Day Commemorative Bike. Immediately above these words is another shot of it. And there are a couple more snaps immediately below.




Yes, we think this despatch style motorcycle is a little cheesy and hasn't gone anywhere surprising or original. But the build quality looks high, and this bike is almost certainly going to get a lot of votes hurled in its direction—if only out of military sentiment. Pity Fowlers didn't get the livery sorted better. This colour is just ... vague. It needs some texture maybe, or some other trick paintwork. Just doesn't quite work for us.



Regardless, there's a link below awaiting your attention. But we have no idea how long that link will stay active, so better make your move sooner rather than later. However, voting ends on 14th October 2020. The winning bike will be chosen on 28th October 2020.


We'll run an update story as and when.


Bonneville Build-Off voting link


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▲ Left to right: Hank of Trike Design, Norman Hyde, Simon, Charlie Bevan, Paul from Trike Design


Norman Hyde's Simon Weston plan


Story snapshot:

Falklands War veteran's hopes to get mobilised

A charity project trike is looking for crowdfunding support


Simon Weston, you might recall, came to prominence during the 1982 Falklands War. He was the unfortunate Welsh Guards soldier who was aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Sir Galahad when it was attacked and crippled by Argentine Skyhawk fighter jets.


Twenty-two of his fellow soldiers were killed. Simon suffered 46% burns and subsequently endured over 98 medical reconstructive operations to restore his face and body to some kind of normality.


He has since become heavily involved in various charities, is a campaigner for numerous military causes, has become a television celebrity, and has written numerous books including an autobiography.


Well now it seems that a motorcycle—specifically a trike—is being built to help Simon fulfil a long-standing dream of taking to two wheels. So okay, the nature of his disabilities means that he'll have to settle for three hoops. But the spirit is willing even if ... well, if the flesh is weak.



Enter Norman Hyde, ex-Triumph Meriden development engineer, businessman and speed record holder who recently met Simon, heard about his biking dream, and set about making it happen. Since then, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched in the hope of raising £25,000 to build the bike/trike and ensure that it fully addresses Simon's needs.


Triumph Motorcycles has donated a T120 Bonneville (organised through Bevan Triumph of Cardiff). We also hear that the Triumph Owner's Club has forked out £2,000 (but we can't establish that that's been confirmed). Other donations are already flooding, or at least trickling, in (£1,250 at the time of writing, which is five days into the campaign).


The trike will be built by Trike Designs which happens to operate from Simon's home town of Caerphilly in Wales. We're advised that Simon will use the bike as a charity vehicle (no pun intended), and that he won't personally benefit from the project.


Want to support this?




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H-D LiveWire "sets new EV record"


Story snapshot:

Yankee speed queen goes electric

11.156 quarter/110.35mph


World records always fail to impress us. That's because they're invariably qualified by details—not least motorcycle records. As such, you can pretty much create your own category and become the fastest, most economical, tallest, shortest, ugliest, sexiest or deadest legend in your own lunchtime.


So it is with Harley-Davidson which is claiming a new record for an electric motorcycle—for a production motorcycle, that is. And, additionally, on a drag racing strip. Which, of course, means that someone else is also claiming a similar record on, maybe, a non-production bike, and on, maybe, sand, or an air strip, or a dried lake bed in Utah, or whatever.


So it goes.


Right now, we're talking specifically about US speed queen Angelle Sampey who piloted a 2020 model LiveWire to 110.35mph posting a quarter mile time of 11.156 seconds. Furthermore, this fast lady covered the eighth-mile in 7.017 seconds. And that's another (qualified) record. It happened at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on 4th September 2020.


Amusingly, news of these high speed drag-racing antics took a full seven days to land in our mailbox—and that, in an internet age, is pretty much akin to not arriving at all. Next time out, we expect to see details of the new record hit us milliseconds after this drag queen (or whoever) blasts/whines over the finish line. That might impress us.




Here's what Sampey (apparently) had to say: "Let me tell you what’s amazing. That was the first time I rode the LiveWire. I could not wait to get it on the track. The LiveWire is so easy to ride. Just twist the throttle and go, and you really go!"


Wow. Sounds exactly like the kind of thing that H-D's marketing dept might dream up.


Also amusing is this line: "Sampey is the winningest female in motorsports history with three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle championships (2000-2002) and 43 Pro Stock motorcycle wins."


Winningest. Ya gotta love these Americanisms—and we mean no disrespect to our American cousins. Bring us all ya got, we say (and we've got a few howlers of our own that we'll trade).


Anyway, all that loose and dangerous banter aside, the bottom line with this press release is an invitation to all and sundry to get yourself astride a LiveWire asap and experience the thrill of motorcycling without all that noise, smoke, vibration and stuff.


It's a new world coming, people, and we're gonna have to make some adjustments whether or not we want to.


That's semi-official.



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Excitement at the achievements of an electric motorcycle will never be something I am affected by. Not for me the friendly banter at a club night debating who's got the most powerful washing machine motor between their legs. Fortunately I'm of a certain vintage that means the pleasures of my BSA Gold Star and the other bikes I own will see me out before the these things become compulsory. I have indeed been lucky enough to enjoy the 'open road' when it was still 'open' and when average speed cameras, excessive volumes of traffic and now, soul less electric vehicles were not what it was about. Sadly, we're witnessing the passing of a golden era.
—The Village Squire

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9/11/2020 Weston Beach Race has been cancelled (Coronavirus concerns)

Harley-Davidson UK LiveWire Tour planned. 8 dealers. Check locally.

US Sturgis Rally 460k visitors cited by IZA as Covid-19 "superspreaders" 

Melbourne Raceway Yorks back up to speed following £180,000 donations

From 14/9/20 maximum 6 riders (social gatherings). New Covid-19 rules

Diana Rigg actress

British "Avengers" (UK TV series) actress Diana Rigg has died aged 82


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Barry Sheene Bultaco TSS 250


Barry Sheene Bultaco TSS 250 to sell


Story snapshot:

To be sold at the NMM

£25,000 - £35,000 is the estimate


There's not an awful lot to actually say about this story, but we're going to say it anyway. The 1968 Bultaco TSS 250 featured immediately above was, we're advised, the bike (or at least one of them) that pretty much launched the racing career of Barry Sheene (1950 - 2003), one of the most charismatic racers that the UK has ever produced.


It was ridden by Sheene at the start of the 1968 season. But there are no details offered about whatever race wins there might have been astride this motorcycle. As for the provenance, we're advised that Sheene's Bultaco-dealer father, Frank, has authenticated the bike as the one he imported in 1967.



On the 14th November 2020, the bike will be offered for sale by auctioneers H&H; the venue will be the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, West Midlands. The estimate is £25,000 - £35,000.


The current owner has kept the bike safe since 1985 (largely by not riding it, no doubt), and it's up for sale because the owner "won't be riding it again". All the original parts, we're advised, are available along with a spare consecutive numbered engine. But note that some or all of these items are to be sold separately.



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August 2020


Intermittent misfire on Sump


Story snapshot:

Broadband issues

Normal service will be resumed asap


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




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


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


So do your best, etc.


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

Pierer [KTM parent] admits to red ink

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


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

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


Husqvarna E-Pilen and KTM 750s coming

Motorcycle clothing: The CE approval law explained


Tom Cruise completes huge ramp jump for latest Mission Impossible film

Official trailer for Long Way Up has landed

Aprilia RS660 breaks cover in first official video


What do you store in your pockets?


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29th August 2020


1885: Gottlieb Daimler, first motorcycle patent

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

1966: Beatles play their last concert

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



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2021 Triumph Trident on the way


Story snapshot:

New middleweight triple is expected for Spring 2021

Around £7,000 is the expected price


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

—Phil Cowley.

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Rare 1948 Norton prototype to show


Story snapshot:

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

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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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




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




See here for some additional Jack Moore info


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

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

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

Bennetts joins forces with Oliver's Mount

Bike sales recover in the USA


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

BMW's carbon-fibre swingarm replacement concept

Harry Dunn update: Sacoolas could face ‘virtual trial’


Bronx gets the bullet

Government considering 70mph hands-off driving

Act now to stop Stevenage ride-out ban


Harley-Davidson Bronx 975cc

Has the Harley-Davidson Bronx been axed already?

An electric Royal Enfield motorcycle is most definitely on the way


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Kickback Show September 2020




Kickback 2020: very limited tickets


Story snapshot:

Sunday 27th September 2020 is the date

Tickets must be booked (no gate entry)


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


Five quid.


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



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


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


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


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


Don't let it go to waste.


Kickback 2020 tickets



UPDATE: This event has been cancelled (Covid-19 gathering rules)


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Bonhams Bicester Sale August 2020


Story snapshot:

£3.67 million turnover claimed

Benelli world record marque sale price also claimed


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


Meanwhile, here are some specifics:


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



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

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




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


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

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


"Well then it was amended."

"Well what does that mean?"

"A change in the listing."

"So it didn't sell?"

"Not necessarily."

"So it did sell?"

"Not necessarily."

"So it was withdrawn pre-sale?"

"Not necessarily."

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

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

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


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

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

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

"What does the result listing say?"


"Ah. Then it was amended."



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


So here are some other notable UNAMENDED sales:



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



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


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


Other lots include:


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

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

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


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Vauxhall "Made in Luton" exhibition


Story snapshot:

Company heritage fleet on public display

Starts on 5th September 2020


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


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




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


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


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



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

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Bennetts Insurance under scrutiny


Story snapshot:

Unfair business acquisition?

The Competition & Markets Authority has got the microscope out


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Ardonagh Group


Carole Nash




Mackenzie Hodgson



Uris Group

Price Forbes



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


See also: Sump Magazine Buying Motorcycle Insurance feature


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

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Honda Super Cub 125 - 2019


UK July bike sales register a boost


Story snapshot:

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

But overall, 2020 sales are down compared to 2019


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


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


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


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


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


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

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SSDT organisers raise the alarm


Story snapshot:

Long running event "could lose the Thursday route"

Unauthorised riding has been cited as the problem


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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



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

—The  Village Squire.

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Motorcycle Live is cancelled


Story snapshot:

Covid-19 fears claim another one

The event was scheduled for 30th October 2020


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


So to speak.


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


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


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


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


Message ends.


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First UK "Dutch style" roundabout


Story snapshot:

Cyclists and pedestrians get a leg-up

Another dozen are planned


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


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


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


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


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


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


So stay alert, etc, we say.


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

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

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Bonhams Bicester Online Sale results


Story snapshot:

100 percent sell-through rate for bikes

But only 12 motorcycle lots were on offer


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


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


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


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

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


Other bikes in the sale:

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


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

Same as everyone else.




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Big Brother Watch: Laws by diktat


Story snapshot:

Is the UK government propagating totally bogus coronavirus laws?

A warning to stay safe, but alert


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Stay aware, people.




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

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

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