July 2016  Classic bike news


New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar

November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

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

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

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

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

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

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

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

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

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

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

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

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

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

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

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

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

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

March 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

New drug-driving regulations are here

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

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

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

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

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



January 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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


December 2014 Classic Bike News

John Robert "Joe" Cocker: 1944 - 2014
British Bike Bits for Interceptor Mk2s
Billie Honor Whitelaw: 1932 - 2014
Mike Hailwood print from the ACU
Ian Patrick McLagan: 1945 - 2014
One million Ducati dreams: Official

Cool Ducati 60 limited edition poster
European H.O.G Rally 2015 details
Goldtop Large Leather Care Kit
Mann-Hailwood-Beart bikes to sell

Norton Dominator SS for 2015?
Akrapovič custom "World Premiere"

Andy's Tiernan's Triumph 3HW
New style police court bright idea

First seven Hesketh 24s set to ship
2015 Limited Edition Rocket Three X
"500 Nortons headed to Australia"
Swinton execs fined £928,000

Old Empire Imperial Ducati Typhoon
Sterling Autocycles replica flat tanker
Ultra Low Emission Zone update
Barn Built Cafe Racer Dot Com kit


November 2014 Classic Bike News

Noise complaint e-petition appeal
Bonhams Bond Street Sale 2014
Gold plated Speed Twin on eBay
"True Greats" sale at Coys
£12.50 per day classic bike charge
Frankie Fraser: 1923 - 2014

Driving licence changes for January 2015
"Last V1000 Hesketh" is produced
1964 Triumph TRW: asking £5,000

Warning: Have you seen this man?

Watsonian GT4 Sports Touring chair
Triumph recalls various 2014 models
Rare 1934 BSA R34-4 now on eBay
H&H Chateau Impney auction
Bell Bullitt RSD Viva helmet
Hedon crash helmets

Terblanche shifts to Royal Enfield
Greeves Motorcycles Ltd is for sale

Vapour blasting service by SVS ...
Andy Tiernan's 2015 calendar
NMM 30th anniversary Vincent draw
New Broughs unveiled at EICMA

Bernard Stanley Bilk: 1929 - 2014
Sump's moving. Expcet prolbems
New emissions threat from TfL
Stolen Triumph Tiger Cub alert


October 2014 Classic Bike News

Matchless Model X: new teasers pics

Time to switch off London's traffic lights?

Limited edition "space age" Ural MIR
John "Jack" Bruce: 1943 - 2014

London to Brighton Run Sale
UK adult minimum wage rise

Alvin Stardust: 1942 - 2014

Oops! We screwed up
£104,540 Flying Merkel at Bonhams
Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Fonda's chop: $1.35 million. Sold!
New Sump T-shirt "spy shots"

Herb Harris Vincents for Bonhams

BSA M-Series clutch chain wheels
Samuel Truett Cathy: 1921 - 2014
Police bail time limits proposed
Slovak Aeromobil drives and flies
H&H Duxford Oct 2014 Sale results

Ace Cafe's "Ultimate burn up" ride
Venhill generic switchgear

Johnny Foreigner clampdown plan
Holly Ariel Cyclone makes: $457,500
Bikesure-Sump insurance link
Atalanta relaunched and unveiled
Plausible Ferrari safety fear recall
No deathanol increase before 2017, promise
Council vandalises Bansky artwork
Lynsey De Paul: 1950 - 2014
Metzeler Sportec Klassic launched
New Mitas motocross mudpluggers
October tax disc changes crash DVLA website
2014 London-Brighton Run reminder
Triumph unveils the T214 Bonnie

"Nurb's" by Fred "Krugger" Bertrand


September 2014 Classic Bike News

Bob Crewe: 1930 - 2014
Graham Coxon's bike collection charity auction
GSXR-powered Bond Bug for sale

Norman Hyde's half century, and not out
Distinguished Gents charity ride

Mole Benn Collection for Stafford

Battlesbridge urgently needs your support
British Customs "Cassidy" project
Andrew Victor McLaglen: 1920 - 2014
Captain America's bike is for sale
The DVLA wants your classic view

Triumph Thruxton Ace unveiled

H&H Duxford Sale: 8th October 2014
Donald Alfred Sinden: 1923 - 2014
British Customs gel saddle: $329.00
New Bristol car promised by 2015
Free vintage Brit movie screenings
The Scottish independence myth
Triumph 250cc single project "on hold"
Bonhams Beaulieu 2014: Top lot
Elvis Presley found alive on moon
Ex-Buddy Holly Ariel to be auctioned
Three car shows bought by Mortons
Worst ever Netley Eurojumble?
New "road tax" complications ahead
"Anti-social" Ace Cafe warned off
IKON shock absorbers/dampers


August 2014 Classic Bike News

Ken Rees, the real Steve McQueen?

Mortons buys Fast Bikes magazine
William Henry "Bill" Kerr: 1922 - 2014
Britain First "hijacks" The Royal Crown
National Motorcycle Museum robbery URGENT APPEAL: £20,000 REWARD
Ugly Fish Slingshot Ozzie shades
New Heritage Buses Festival 2014
Watch the Foley beheading video and get nicked—Met Police
1953 Triumph Terrier. £10,000. eBay
Richard Attenborough: 1923 - 2014
Don't forget the 2014 Brighton Speed Trials
New domestic abuse laws mooted
"Last Hughie Hancox restoration"
McQueen's 1930 Chief: $100,000. Sold
170,000 Continental tyres recalled
Bob Derrick, RIP
Matthew Thompson ePetition opened
The Empire buys Wrighty's Show
Confederate Hellcat Speedster X132
BMF 2014 Tail End Show cancellation

European Bike Week: 2 - 7 Sept 2014
Stephen Hill's off the wall design
Lauren Bacall: 1924 - 2014
Video recording at English local council meetings is "now legal"
Jean Panhard: 1913 - 2014
Harley-Davidson Road Glide returns
Romney Marsh inaugural bike auction 2014
Motorcycling in the 1970s - new eBook series
Foundry Matchless 500cc G9 bobber
2015 69-inch Indian Scout launched
Classic Car Boot Sale goes Olympic
The UK "tax disc" is soon to vanish
Savatech Sport Force tyre recall


July  2014 Classic Bike News

Ex-McQueen 1912 Harley X8E to sell
Half price Gasolina boots at Foundry
Dora Bryan: 1923 - 2014
The 42nd International British Biker Meeting
Harley-Davidson VRSC V-Rod guide
Kieran Shortall: 1959 - 2014
James Garner: 1928 - 2014

"Quadrophenia Lambretta" to auction
Electric cars for 10 Downing Street
Johnny Dawson Winter: 1944 - 2014
Cheffins' July Cambridge Auction
Northampton Classic Club Scramble
Coys Auction kicks off at Blenheim
Dave Bickers: 1938 - 2014
Government scraps 60mph limit plan
MyLicence insurance honesty checks
Ex-servicemen's charity Euro jolly
Mecum's July 2014 Harrisburg sale
So who the hell are you people?
Francis Barnett "makes a comeback"
2014 Indian Chieftain at Sturgis


June 2014 Classic Bike News

Ariel Motorcycles launches the Ace
Eli Wallach: 1915 - 2014
Francis Matthews: 1927 - 2014
Government set to limit CCTV cars
New Harley-Davidson Sump features
Harley-Davidson "LiveWire" concept
High Beech tea hut under threat
The Hesketh 24 is officially unveiled
Bonhams' Banbury "Record" Sale
Avon & Somerset Police's Ariel Atom
1937 Matchless Model X eBay scam
Cotswold Classics is bust
Northants Classic MX Club appeal


May 2014 Classic Bike News

VMCC petition seeks blood

£60 million left on TfL Oyster Cards

AJS Model 18 & Matchless G80 guide

London Congestion Charge hike

Banbury Run 2014 reminder

Maserati centenary celebrations

Mechanical Art Devices Exhibition

First UK Royal Enfield Store opens
Dangerous Dogs Act amendment
Police dog ePetition wants your vote
Fiat-Chrysler chooses London
New logotype for Royal Enfield?
Sump plates for Triumph T140s/T120s

Cheffins April Cambridge Sale results

Bournemouth Wheels Free Festival
Efrem Zimbalist Jnr: 1917 - 2014

Charges dropped against Les Allen

Two civic plaques for George Brough

48% of bikers want to vote away your right to decide—IAM

Clarkson utters the "nigger" word


April 2014 Classic Bike News

New political T-shirt from Sump
Mark Upham nabs Brough's Brough
Ex Hailwood/Surtees Sportmax sells
Reunion of the Rockers, 3rd May 2014

u r txtng. stp drvng u mrn
Looking for a Stafford alternative?

Another implied classic bike threat from London Mayor Boris Johnson?

Houston Motorcycle Auction results

Government to scrap camera cars?

Cheffins Vintage Sale: 26th April 2014

The Stranglers Bonneville raffle

Rare DKW SS250 leads Duxford Sale

BSA C15, B25, B40, B44 & B50 aficionados look this way
Johammer electric motorcycles
Death comes calling at Bonhams
Wal Handley's Lagonda to sell at H&H

Vincent Series C Rapide raffle

Classic British Bikes book

Stuff we like: Bell Bullitt Helmet - TT

Triumph Model P from Andy Tiernan

Foundry First Anniversary Ride In
April - Houston Motorcycle Auction
Ernest "Ernie" Lyons: 1914 - 2014
UK campaign to reinstate .22 pistols


March 2014 Classic Bike News
DVSA to name and shame ex-MOT stations
Mick Woollett: 1930-2014
Richard Edmonds Sale - March 2014
Captain Maurice Seddon: 1926-2014

Introducing Stephen Hill, pop artist

Classic bike tax discs are on a roll
Kempton Park bike jumble sells out
BSA Bantam 3-string steel guitar
Boris Johnson to ban classic bikes?
Gruppo Bertone's in trouble. Again
Paris bans cars and motorcycles
Southend Shakedown & Margate Meltdown:
2014 biker diary dates

Rabers British motorcycle parts
Agostini and Cooper to headline
Mallory Bike Festival

Second Classic Car Boot Sale rocks
Anthony Wedgwood Benn: 1925-2014

Hinckley bullish about 2014 sales
UK bike parts distributor now accepts bitcoins

New BSA M20 T-shirt from Sump

New AA-Halfords "safety" campaign

Bandit 9 customs - Made in China

Secret British Government webcams
in the home...

Anglia's first classic sale "success"

UK magazine sales continue to drop

De Bruir Parachuter leather backpack


February 2014 Classic Bike News

New Lotus Bike: Not Made in Britain
Met set to pay out huge rape compensation
Any information on this outfit?
National Motorcycle Museum appeal
"Whole life sentences" ruled legal
Brian Hampton appeal bid update
Tom Armstrong Manx Norton for sale
Martin Squires Sketchbook Volume 4
ACA's first classic motorcycle sale
New Rocker T-shirts from Sump
Alex Botwright steps down as Fenman Classic Bike Show chairman
"Droves" at Bristol Classic Show
Kool new Davida candy coloured lids
Rare 1930 MGC makes £15,297
Nobody hurt in small earthquake
Royal Enfield "Valentine's Day sale"
Chris Bushell takes over Nourish
SBS Harley-Davidson "Speed Demon"
New 69 Club T-shirt from Sump
Mr & Mrs Oil Drip: under the hammer


January 2014 Classic Bike News

Vintage Boot Sale, London
Chelsea Bridge tea stall petition
Stylish café racer T-shirt from Sump
Triumph again tops UK big bike sales
2014 Brighton Speed Trials is back on
First British motorway pub has opened
Hurricane tank from Burton Bike Bits
1936 Brough SS80 and chair on eBay
General Jumbo control freaks ahead
Festival of 1000 Bikes is cancelled
New congestion charge "con"
Bonhams Sale: "New records set"
Twenty jobs at Triumph Motorcycles
Cafe racer rival for Triumph Thruxton
Phil Everly: 1939 - 2014
Stuff we love: Vanishing Point (1971)
Derringer electric board track bicycle
Illegally fingerprinting the kids

Sump news archive



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


December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010





Cheltenham Festival of Bikes August 2016Cheltenham Festival of Bikes reminder


Don't confuse it with the Festival of 1000 Bikes which has been replaced by the Mallory Bike Bonanza. The Cheltenham Festival, organised by Kickback, is a bike of a different colour and it gets rolling on Sunday 21st August 2016. The venue is Cheltenham Racecourse (inside the Centaur Main Hall).


Around 100 handcrafted bikes of all types are promised, and it will be the first outing for Death Machines of London's "Up Yours Copper" Triumph Thruxton custom. Click the link you've just passed. It's on Sump.


The Cheltenham sponsors include Michelin, Sinroja Motorcycles, Spa Motorcycles, Oily Rag Clothing, Death Machines of London and 100% Biker. Here's the entry on Sump Events page:


21st August 2016, Sunday

Cheltenham Festival of Bikes

Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH.
The displays will include custom motorcycles and “hand crafted specials”, cafe racers, choppers, bobber, tracker, street racers, and brat bikes. Also there will be trade stands, refreshments, a licensed bar, music, art, etc.
Open: 11.30am to 5.30pm.
Admission (on the gate): Adult £10 (cash only), cheaper advance tickets are available on-line. Bike parking is free.
Telephone: 07758 368 072
Email: lorne@rwrw.co.uk


Go with God (and all that), and try not to come back with Green Flag, the AA, or the RAC.


— Del Monte


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


1966 Velocette Thruxton


Velocette Thruxton barn find record


£19,320. That's the price paid for this 1966 500cc Velocette Thruxton that, since the 1970s, had been languishing in a barn (shame, shame - Ed). It's had two owners, will need more than a squirt of WD40 to re-commission it, and (we're told by H&H Auctions) represents a new world record for a bike of this type. And by that, we presume they mean a Velo Thruxton or Venom.


The bike (Lot number 25) was sold on 28th July 2016 at H&H's Donington Park Sale in Leicestershire. There was no reserve set.  The registration number is MPG 502D. The chassis number is 18768. The engine number is VMT306. And apparently, the Velocette Owners Club doesn't have this machine on its register.


1966 Velocette Thruxton engine primary side


1966 Velocette Thruxton timing side


The Velocette Thruxton was one of the last great factory racers. It was developed from the Velocette Venom Clubman and boasted an impressive package of goodies designed to knock out all comers. And so it did. At the inaugural 1967 Isle of Man Production TT, a Thruxtonised Venom took 1st place, 2nd place, and set the fastest lap.


For many years after, the largely misunderstood marque achieved almost mythical status and fetched high sums of money, many bikes remaining firmly within the Velocette clique and changing hands only among the cognoscenti. And then things changed and Velocette prices in general became subject to considerable fluctuations, often changing hands for way below what most Velo boys (and girls) would expect.


Well this bike has perhaps helped in some small way to re-establish the Thruxton which, when properly sorted, still offers one of the greatest classic British motorcycle rides you're ever likely to get.


See: Sump's Velocette Thruxton Buyer's Guide



— Big End


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Bennetts' EU insurance outlook


Motorcycle Insurance firm Bennetts has recently issued a news statement advising anyone who's interested that the UK's pending exit from the EU isn't likely to affect the current 90 Day European cover attached to many, if not most, bike policies. The current free movement agreements automatically mandates minimum cover for the EU state that you happen to be in. This is part of the EU Motor Insurance Directive (2009/103/EC). And the same minimum level of cover applies to bike trips to any other European country which has signed up to the directive.


However, once the UK completely breaks free (if it ever does), and if the UK chooses to abandon the EU Motor Insurance Directive, things could change. On the one hand, our exit (or Brexit if you must) could actually lead to lower costs. Why? Because at present, the UK is obliged to add an Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) component to insurance policies to cover such EU sojourns. That tax was recently raised from 6% to 9.5%. The suggestion now is that a UK exit could see the price of that component fall.


However, that's not going to make much difference, financially speaking, to most bike policies. More pressing is the fear of EU cover rising significantly to offset real or perceived accident risks when Great Britain is out of the club, not least with regard to emergency accident cover. But the bottom line is that no one knows, including Bennetts.



Are you a Saga customer? Or a Bennetts customer? Chances are that if you're one or the other, you're also the other.



On the subject of Bennetts, we've never had anything to do with them aside from getting the odd insurance quote. The company was founded by Gordon Bennett in 1930. At the time, the business was based in the West Midlands and handled general insurance. Bennetts later switched to motorcycles only and is currently based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.


In 2015, the business was purchased by the Saga group based in Folkestone, Kent. Saga has multiple commercial interests including insurance for the aged, healthcare services (largely for the aged), travel services (largely for the aged), and financial services for the usual suspects. Which perhaps explains why Saga is interested in the motorcycle market, what with its ageing population, travel interests and propensity for getting injured and needing some urgent cash.


It certainly makes you wonder how this firm is using your captured data when you innocently telephone to get an insurance quote for your crotch rocket and/or riding gear, or take out a policy. Tip: Check your junk mail.


Anyway, we thought we'd drag a net or two see what feedback other bikers had on Bennetts motorcycle insurance services. We'd like to tell you what we found, but we've haven't yet spoken to our lawyers.


Better go check for yourself, and compare it to comments about other players in the market...

— Sam 7


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Ducati Icon Scrambler & Sixty2 offer


If you're looking to buy a 2016 Ducati Scrambler Icon or a Scrambler Sixty2, now sounds like a pretty good time to make your move. Ducati dealers in the UK are currently offering zero finance deals on these two models only.


The 803cc Icon Scrambler (image immediately above) is £7,487 on the road. The deposit is £2,627, and you'll be looking at 36 monthly payments of £135. The Icon is available in red or yellow. Features of this bike include an 88mm bore and a 66mm stroke, Ducati's stunning air-cooled L-Twin engine, a wet multi-plate clutch, a 6-speed gearbox, and chain final drive.



The 2016 399cc Scrambler Sixty2 (image immediately above) costs £6,544 on the road. The deposit will set you back £2,044, with 36 monthly payments of £125. This offer is available on all the Sixty2 colours. With its 72mm bore and 49mm stroke, the Sixty2 has half of the capacity of its bigger brother, but it's almost as much fun.


To further sweeten the offer, Ducati Croydon is also offering £500 towards your deposit, or towards accessories, or to help offset servicing costs. The offer is open while stocks last.


These offers, note, are for outright sales, and are not PCP (Personal Contract Purchasing) deals. You buy it. It's yours.


— Del Monte


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Classic Bike Guide offer


New Classic Bike Guide promotion


Is the motorcycle magazine industry in crisis? We're ain't sure about that just yet, but in recent years it's looking increasingly desperate. Take the latest offer from Mortons Media. Buy the July issue of Classic Bike Guide (CBG) and, within the same hermetically sealed cellophane wrapper you'll find a copy of Mortons' Motor Cycle Monthly, plus a copy of Mortons' Old Bike Mart (OBM).


So okay, Motor Cycle Monthly (which cunningly abbreviates to MCM) is a freebee rag that's never short of an advertorial or two. But Old Bike Mart (also never lost for an advertorial) is a subscription newspaper that normally costs £17 for 12 issues.


The news trade generally requires promotional offers at intervals in order to encourage retailers to take on more stock, hence the occasional plastic tyre tread checking gizmo or badge glued to the cover.


Of course, if you're already an OBM subscriber and/or pick up a freebee copy of MCM each month at your local dealer, the CBG offer probably won't impress you quite so much. And human nature being the perverse thing it is, giving away free copies of OBM might even be a little galling seeing as you paid hard cash for yours. Worse still, when the magazine is wrapped in cellophane, how the hell are you supposed to loiter at the news rack cribbing the bike-for-sale ads?


But it's not only Mortons which appears to be getting desperate for fresh blood. It wasn't that long ago that Motor Cycle News (cunningly never abbreviated to MCM) was offering a free copy of Classic Bike Magazine or Bike Magazine to anyone who telephoned the office and requested a copy.




Anyway, you're best advised to pick the fruit while it's ripe. It can, after all, turn very sour very quickly and leave a bitter taste in the mouth.


So if you can feel the tears welling up for Mortons, nip on down to your local Tescos or Asda poste haste and fight 'em off for your copy while it's going. When we last checked our supermarket, there were only dozens left in the rack.


And what's the current price of CBG? We don't know. The numbers were printed way too small for our peepers. But no doubt the scanners at the payment till won't have any trouble at all reading the barcode and subtracting the money from your electronic purse.


Also see: British bike magazines losing sales, Sump March 2012


— Sam 7


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



1931 Henderson KJ Four to sell


Here's another choice lot from Bonhams' upcoming sale on 19th September 2016 at Bond Street, London. It's part of the Robert White Collection (see Sump Classic Bike News June 2016), and this 1,301cc Henderson KJ Four is looking at an estimate of £35,000 - £40,000 ($46,000 - $53,000). The frame number is: 2537. The engine number is: KJ30694. And that image is courtesy of Bonhams, thank you very much.


The bike lived in Switzerland for a while. It was bought in 2010 by the late Robert White. There are no documents with the Henderson, hence the lower than expected price.


The sale starts at 10am BST.



— Queen of Sump


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Bill Little retirement sale: Sat Aug 6th


Normally, you'd never call Bill Little shy. Or retiring. But retiring he is, officially as from Saturday 6th August 2016. He's been telling us for years that he's been downsizing and reducing his stock from huge to merely large.


And he's long been lamenting the changes in the classic bike scene over the past decade or so. He used to have large open days at his emporium at Braydon, Wiltshire in which dozens of riders and traders turned up to enjoy a little honest business whilst soaking up the vibe of camaraderie.


But things changed, and they changed fairly rapidly. It was nothing that Bill did wrong. Just different rider/visitor habits coupled with harder-to-get parts, and also the loss of a number of once familiar faces on the scene. [More...]


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



2016 Mallory Bike Bonanza reminder


This is the 60th anniversary of Mallory Park in Leicestershire, which means that this year's Bike Bonanza will have a special resonance. It happens on the 30th and 31st July 2016, which is a Saturday and Sunday.


Now in its third year, and organised Real Motorsports Limited, you can expect the established mix of racing, trade stalls, live music, autograph signings, an open paddock, club stands, eateries, drinkeries and a hell of a four-stroke and two-stroke racket in a fume filled atmosphere.


On the Saturday, the Owd Codgers Motorcycle Club will be staging a Classic Charity Trial. We're also advised that Saturday will be given over to PR5 road machines. Sunday, meanwhile, with focus on PR6 race machines. Also expect the Mallory Masters parade.



— Queen of Sump


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



First of the last 1942 Indian Four


There's hype, and then there's hyped hype. Case in point is Mecum Auctions which is preparing to flog the above 1942 1260cc Indian Four at Monterey, California sometime between 18th & 20th August 2016.


What makes this bike newsworthy, according to Mecum, are two things. The first being that the giant US auction house is anticipating big money; specifically $120,000 - $130,000. The second is that this is the first bike off the 1942 production line.


So wait a minute; first off the last year's production line, huh? Well we can't get too excited about that. Most folk are more interested in the first ever built, and the last ever built. But hype is hype, and the world loves superlatives. So this example is the first of the last year (which is similar to saying that today is the first day of the rest of your life, etc).

[More on this Indian Model 442...]


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Venior Tractor 04


Venier: The Art of Movement


Stefano Venier wasn't on the map pre-2012. At least, not as far as custom bikes are concerned. But today, in just four years, this Guzzi-hugging New Yorker has forged a reputation as a motorcycle designer par excellence.


To that end, his "Tractor" series of bikes has been one of the cornerstones of his custom shop. Venier began this series by customising a military specification Moto Guzzi NTX 750. He's now campaigning the fourth generation as witnessed by the bike immediately above. The Tractors are all built to order, and Venier has a waiting list.


Venior V75 Moto Guzzi


▲ Venier V75.  This is the original Venier Tractor concept. You can think of it as 01 in the series. Or you can think of it simply as the NTX 750 project. It started as a military off-roader and became a pretty cool street bike (if the stripped & clipped, wrapped-pipe brat look primes your pump).


Venior Tractor 02


▲ Venier Tractor 02. Based upon a 2013 750cc V7 Moto Guzzi Stone, Venier got a tighter grip on the wheels which came from a V7 racer and he fitted knobblies. The silencers are Norton peashooters. A dual seat was part of the brief. Old style rockers are fitted. The overall look is one of contrasts. Rough. Smooth. Gloss. Matt. Yin. Yang. Whatever. Nice.


Venior Tractor 03


Tractor 03. This one's based on a 2011 750cc V7 Scrambler. Aluminium tank and fenders. Renthal 'bars. IKON shocks. Old style rocker covers.



Further details on all these bikes is pretty scant. Clearly Venier prefers to build than talk. Consequently, you'll just have to take these designs at face value and get onto Venier's website for a closer look. We're simply making the introductions.


The bike at the top of this feature, incidentally, is the 04 Tractor, also based on a 750cc V7 Moto Guzzi. That's the latest in this line of bikes and shows that Venier feels he's got a good formula with which he hasn't quite finished tinkering.


The 04 tank has been reshaped and elongated (when compared to earlier designs). Like the bodywork and handlebars, it's aluminium. The seat is leather. The lights are LED front and rear. The shocks are IKON. The speedo is a custom GPS type.


There's much more in the Venier catalogue, all created under the Art of Movement umbrella. And prices? We've got no info except that everything's negotiable.


Photos by: Alex Logiaski. www.alexlogaiski.com



— Del Monte


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Death Machines of London Thruxton


Death Machines of London


Check out this superlative Triumph Thruxton 900 custom from Death Machines of London. The bike is called Up Yours Copper, and we're featuring it on our General Motorcycle News pages for July 2016.



— Big End


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P

Arlen Ness King of Motorcycle Customisers


Arlen Ness's "Lifetime Achievement"


The king of motorcycle customisers? We think so. It isn't simply the designs, the poise, the finishes, and the sheer audacity of this man's craft. It's also the dedication, the consistency and the staying power that puts Arlen Ness head and shoulders above the rest—and the competition out there is both fierce and dangerous.


Now, having been made a Sturgis Hall of Fame member in 1992, the Sturgis Museum, in South Dakota, USA has created a special category and has bestowed on Ness a Lifetime Achievement Award as an adjunct to the Class of 2016 award ceremonies.



Arlen Darryl Ness was born in Minnesota in 1939. His family later relocated to San Leandro, California where he later began his motorcycling career as an auto painter. It's said that his first interest was bowling, and it's also said that the proceeds of a bowling win was used to buy his first bike, a Harley-Davidson Knucklehead.


He began experimenting with customising, particularly with regard to paintwork, and he soon established himself as a useful bloke with a spray gun. In 1970, together with his wife, he opened his first store and began designing and retailing custom motorcycle parts.


Over the next three decades, Ness was a cornerstone of the custom bike building scene and created machines such as Two Bad (an outrageously low and double-engined Sportster with trick hub-centre steering and a supercharger), NessStalgia (think of a two-wheeled '57 Chevy), and SmoothNess (think of a two wheeled art deco Bugatti and you're getting close).


Arlen Ness Two Bad


▲ You can take a close look at Arlen Ness's Two Bad Sportster (see text) when you visit Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, New York, NY. There are 500 bikes on show dating from 1897, plus some other circular attractions for fans of motordromes. www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org



Today, Arlen Ness is more than a custom bike builder. He's an industry supplying a huge and luxurious range of custom parts for Harley-Davidson, Indian and Victory motorcycles. He owns Arlen Ness Motorcycles which is located in Dublin, California.


Arlen Ness is now 77 years old. His son Cory has long since established himself as a forward-looking and quality custom motorcycle builder. And Cory's son, Zach, is following in the family tradition, no doubt mindful of the fact that dad and granddad are hard acts to follow.




— Del Monte


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Harley and the Davidsons TV series


If you've got a satellite dish pointed at the Discovery Channel, or are connected to the network in some other way, look out for Harley and the Davidsons, a new mini-series set to air on Monday 5th September 2016. The first two hour screening will be followed over the next two nights by two more two hour instalments. The show starts at 9pm.



As the name suggests, this is a dramatisation of the early days of William Harley and the Davidson boys (Arthur, Walter and William). The stars include Robert Aramayo, Bug Hall and Michiel Huisman.




The budget for this production is estimated at $22 million. And sadly, it appears that most or all of the filming was shot in Bucharest, Romania. We've got nothing against the Romanians, but an all-American story such as this deserves a more local setting (we'd suggest Milwaukee, Wisconsin and thereabouts).


But you have to be realistic. Twenty-two mill ain't a lot of money anymore in the movie business. And the backers and financiers are no doubt far more interested in profit than fidelity. However, we're betting that the dust kicked up by the bikes won't quite look like American dust. And we're fairly sure that the scenery and the skies and the panoramas just won't quite ring true.



Nevertheless, a story such as the birth of Messrs H&D is a tale worth telling, and we've already bought some popcorn and coke and have pencilled it in the diary.


Meanwhile, we've seen some trailer footage of this series (check YouTube), and it looks pretty dramatic—in a kind of hyped-up, overblown, let's-not-stray-too-close-to-the-facts kind of way. But if you're into old time board track racing (and who isn't?), this might be the best thing you'll be doing on 5th September.

— The Third Man

H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Clifford A Vaughs: 1937 - 2016


A civil rights activist, a producer, an ex-US marine, a film maker, and a custom motorcycle designer, Clifford Vaughs died this month aged 79.


Vaughs is also (belatedly) credited as the man who designed the two Harley-Davidson Panheads used in the 1969 cult movie, Easy Rider.


So what's the story there? Well, Vaughs was working at the time as an associate producer on the film and commissioned friend Ben Hardy to build the Captain America bike ridden by Peter Fonda, and the Billy Bike as used by Dennis Hopper. Vaughs laid down the specifications, and Hardy set to work.



These iconic machines were by no means Vaughs' first custom bikes. And for decades numerous people had claimed the credit for these chops (it's a messy tale, and we don't want to go there). But the evidence for Vaughs' contribution seems very credible.


Clifford Vaughs was born in Boston Massachusetts. In 1953 he joined the US Marine Corp. Later he travelled to Mexico City where he earned a masters degree in Latin American Studies.


By 1961 he had relocated to Los Angeles where he discovered the burgeoning chopper bike scene and soon found himself astride a green Knucklehead chop. A black man on a motorcycle, especially a custom motorcycle, was a rare sight in the sixties (and isn't exactly commonplace today). So it was perhaps natural that he and Ben Hardy, a local black custom bike builder, should find much common ground.



Over the next few years, other custom bikes were designed by Vaughs (and perhaps partly or largely built by Hardy), but his interests went way beyond mere mo'sickles. Using a 1953 Chevrolet pick-up truck and occasionally his Harley chop, Vaughs travelled throughout the American South recording the black struggle for equality, and in doing so he often found himself face-to-face with black luminaries such as Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Julian Bond and Stokeley Carmichael (Kwame Ture) all of whom he interviewed on film.


Vaughs also found himself face-to-face with numerous US National Guardsmen and outraged white citizens who, broadly, weren't keen on changing the status quo and were actively resisting the oncoming US Civil Rights Act of 1964.


During this period, Vaughs received numerous death threats, and was long considered a target for whatever anti-black power radical had him in his (or her) gun sights. In short, he was not the kind of guy people liked standing beside for too long.



Clifford Vaugh and his early Shovelhead chop. Springer fork. No frame rake. Slash cut drag pipes. Peanut tank. Skinny front wheel sans brake. 16-inch rear rubber. This looks like LA sometime around the mid-1960s. Chops were still rare then. Black men on chops were rarer still.



In 1967, he was asked to find and buy four motorcycles to be used in a new (and untitled) counter-culture motorcycling movie being produced by the late Dennis Hopper (1936 - 2010). Vaughs agreed and attended a Los Angeles Sherriff's auction and reputedly picked up a bargain on four Harley-Davidson Panheads. Two of those bikes were to be used as stunt doubles.


Vaughs also claimed to have suggested the title Easy Rider. The name, it's said, was taken from a 1913 ragtime song recorded by Mae West in 1933 and entitled "I wonder where my easy rider's gone..." Mae West made it sound much more sleazy and suggestive, but it was simply a "hard luck" ditty about a girl who was ripped off by a jockey following a horse race.


Of those four Easy Rider bikes, it's said that three were stolen and possibly broken for parts. But one survived. It was sold in October 2014 for $1.35million (see Sump September 2014).


During the filming of Easy Rider, there was a sudden change of management when the money ran out, and Vaughs was considered surplus to requirements. Part of the "laying off" deal included an agreement that neither his name nor Ben Hardy's name would be included in the movie credits.



The Chopper by Paul D'Orleans, aka The Vintagent. Buy this classy and authoritative book to learn more about the Easy Rider bikes and the history of the chopper culture. Published by Gestalten, the price is €49.90




In 1974, Vaughs abandoned the USA. He travelled to the Gulf of Mexico where he lived for many years on a sailboat. In 2014, however, his name became associated once again with the movie Easy Rider, and he returned to the United States.


He was once asked if he'd ever seen the movie, and he's been quoted as saying "What for?" It's not clear if he was seriously embittered by the commercial politics surrounding the film. But given his experiences recording the black civil rights struggles and the atrocities that occurred, it's doubtful that the absence of his name on the closing titles would have cost him too much sleep.


Ben Hardy, aka "Benny" and "King of Bikes" died in 1994. Clifford Vaughs died peacefully in his sleep.

— Dexxion


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



1964 125cc Dot Scrambler. We don't have any details of this bike which hails from Manchester, England. It's part of the Moto Talbott Museum collection and looks like a very high quality restoration. There's another image below...



Moto Talbott Museum to open "soon"


We've been waiting for months to write this news story intending to time it with the opening of this new motorcycle museum in Carmel Valley, California. But clearly some things just won't be rushed, and this motorcycle museum is still being organised. So to get it off the back burner, we're running this news item now and will update it as and when.


Rob Talbott is the man behind the project. He made his name and money after spending 33 years developing the Talbott Vineyards in his native state of California. Talbott caught the biking bug as a young man, but it wasn't until 2015 that he was fully able to indulge his passion.



In that year, inspired by Art of the Motorcycle Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum (1998 - 2003), he sold the vineyards and put his energies into creating a not-for-profit West Coast, USA museum (Moto Talbott) which will display the 140 bikes he'd already amassed, plus a few more that he's since added to his collection. He's now custodian of 160 machines, an eclectic mix of classic roadsters, trail bikes, customs, cafe racers and pretty much anything else that's caught his attention.



1970 125cc Penton-Wassell. This rare Sachs-engined scrambler owes its existence to W E Wassell, the Birmingham, England based aftermarket parts firm created in 1946 by Ted Wassell. Wassell produced everything from aluminium tanks, handlebar levers, seats, mirrors, footpegs, etc, and he ultimately developed a complete scrambles frame kit. BSA Bantams and Sachs motorcycles were typical donors.



John Penton of Amherst, Ohio developed the 125cc Penton. It's not clear how many of these bikes were manufactured. This example, we believe, was sold by Bonhams at Las Vegas in January 2014. The price was $4,370 (£3,296) including premium. Last time we checked, there were three or more Pentons in the Owen Collection based just outside Los Angeles, California. www.owencollection.com



1974 Honda CB550 bobber. Moto Talbott collection.


Friend Bob Weindorf has climbed on the pillion as curator and restorer. Weindorf, we hear, has donkey's years of experience as a Honda race team technician and also ran his own bike dealership in Santa Barbara, California.


The collection includes bikes from the America, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Japan, the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia), Mexico, Germany, Sweden, Spain, China and France. Said Talbott: “This whole thing wouldn’t work if I didn’t have the passion. I love motorcycles.”


If you're in the neighbourhood, you might want to check this out when the doors finally open, etc. Looks like some very high quality stuff.



— Queen of Sump


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



New show: Classic Bike Live, 2016


A new two-day classic bike show will be launched on Saturday October 29th 2016. The venue is Peterborough Arena. Attractions are set to include all the usual stuff such as bike displays, trade stands, club stands, food stalls, drinks vendors, motorcycle parades, loos, etc, plus special guests John McGuinness, Mick Grant, Henry Cole and Sam Lovegrove. Parking is free. Leave the camera drones at home. Advance tickets are £9, or you can pay £12 on the day. The postcode is PE2 6XE.


We called the Classic Bike Live promotions office, and we spent ages waiting on the line hoping to get responses to our queries. Classic Bike is currently owned by Bauer Media. The new show is owned by Live Promotions which hails from Spalding, Lincs, with Classic Bike magazine so far the only sponsor.

Reading between the lines, it looks like this event has a long way to go before it reaches operating temperature, and there's only a few months until the gates open. But no doubt a few people will show up on the day.


If you're interested in attending as a visitor or exhibitor, or otherwise, you know what you have to do.



— Del Monte



H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Harley-Davidson brake recall threat


Harley-Davidson is being investigated by the US National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) with a view to recalling thousands of bikes. The alert came after 43 riders complained of sudden and unexpected brake failure said to be ABS related.


Details are sketchy, but the fault appears to involve brake fluid absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. The manufacturer has warned that the fluid must be changed every two years. Many owners, and possibly HD technicians, neglect this.


As many as 430,000 bikes manufactured between 2008 - 2011 could be affected. And so far, the problem has been identified only on US bikes. The fault, however, might well be more widespread. There have been some related injuries, but (as far as we know) no fatalities.


In 2014, around 60,000 H-Ds were recalled following another problem in which the brakes unexpectedly engaged rather than failed.


As ever, wherever you are in the world, talk to your Harley-Davidson and see what the deal is.


Harley-Davidson recall, Sump, October 2013

Harley-Davidson recall, Sump, January 2015

Harley-Davidson recall, Sump, August 2015

— The Third Man


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Dirt Quake Poster


Dirt Quake V reminder


Here's a final wake-up call for Dirt Quake V which is taking place tomorrow, Saturday 16th July 2016. But the festivities and action starts tonight from 6pm.


The location is Adrian Flux Arena (formerly Norfolk Arena), King’s Lynn, PE34 3AG. An adult ticket is £15. Concessions are available at £13. 11 - 15 year olds will be charged £5. Under 11s get in for free.


Expect lots of racing, Ken Fox's Wall of Death, a mini custom show, live music, trade stalls, food, beer, and general motorcycle fun and games. Camping is available at £10 per person per night.


Need more info?



— Big End


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Increase in untested cars and bikes


In the UK, we still call it an MOT test even though the Ministry of Transport (MOT) has been defunct since 1970. The Department for Environment took over until 1976, and then the Department of Transport was formed which held reign until 1997.


After that, it became the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Then it was Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. And currently it's the Department for Transport again.


But this story isn't about the official appellation of government transport offices. This story is about the rise in vehicles that are currently motoring around without a current MOT certificate.


A recent motor industry survey reckons that 91 percent of UK testing stations have seen an increase in cars and bikes coming in for testing that are "out of test". And 43 percent have seen a significant rise (i.e. months out of date rather than weeks).


The digitisation of the road fund licence (tax disc) in 2014 is said to be one of the major causes of the increase. Prior to 2014, the vast majority of vehicles registered for use on UK roads were obliged to buy and display a paper "tax disc". That disc was more often than not bought on or about the time of the vehicle's MOT test.


But with the abolition of the paper tax disc, and with more and more drivers and riders paying monthly for their road tax, road users are apt to forget the MOT test completely—or until a police patrol stops them and pointedly advises them of the lapse. And in that case, a maximum of a £1,000 fine is available to the local beak.


Ultimately, the responsibility for having a valid MOT test certificate is the responsibility of the driver/rider. But human nature being what it is, people are inclined to forget, and the government knows it. But there are no figures to show if HM Gov makes more money from the court fines or from the testing stations. But we're guessing that it's the latter.


The digitisation move was, of course, simply a device to save some money, which is arguably fine in principle. But in practice, most road users need something a little more obvious attached to their vehicle to remind them that their time is nigh.


Some riders and drivers now display unofficial tax discs to help them jerk their own leads. But if the aforementioned survey is correct, which we're satisfied it is, an MOT disc or similar device sounds like an idea whose time has come. It could easily be attached to the MOT certificate, albeit at additional cost (which is something the government wants to avoid). In other words, the paper tax disc might be dead, but there's a need for a visible MOT testing certificate or sticker (which is how it works in some countries).


Meanwhile, many MOT stations now send a text message when the next test is due. But not everyone has a mobile phone, and not everyone even knows how to access their messages, and a message once read is easy to forget over the succeeding days, weeks and even months.


And by the way, that's not a new MOT disc at the top of this news story. It's just something we cooked up in Photoshop.


Better check your MOT status today.

— Del Monte


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


Triumph Trophy Bible reprinted


This book's been kicking around since 2006. And now it's part of Veloce' Publishing's "Classic Reprint" series, which some might cruelly suggest is a bit like serving up yesterday's leftovers.


Except that this is Harry Woolridge's book, and Harry was a time-served Meriden man, first in the Service Department, then in the Experimental Department, then in Quality Control/Inspection, and finally once again in the Service Department. In total, he worked at the factory for around 30 years right up until Meriden closed its door forever and gave him his P45. And if he hasn't learned an awful lot about the model range and the minutiae of Triumph motorcycles, he must be stupid.


And he ain't stupid.


The bottom line is that this is still a great book. It's packed with history and detail that will aid restorers and satisfy most of the questions and queries asked by diehard fans. If you're looking for technical specifications, it's probably in here somewhere. If you're looking for old sales and marketing material, Harry's serviced up dozens of examples in both black & white and colour. If you're looking for a breakdown of build numbers and engine/frame numbers, or model identification detail, or colour schemes, you're in luck. And for the hardcore anorakista it's even got a section on notable registration numbers associated with the Trophy models, and the engine/frame numbers of bikes built for various shows around the world.





There are around 140 pages in this book. And there are hundreds of illustrations, many from the factory. There's also a section (loosely) covering the 500cc and 750cc unit-construction Tigers. And to be blunt, this section looks and reads like a later add-on side dish rather than a serious look at the machines. But Veloce advises us that the Tiger content was there in the first edition.


Regardless, it's all highly informative stuff and very satisfying eye candy, and Harry spills the beans in his usual no-frills way, a mostly invisible narrator telling the Triumph Trophy tale.


If you've read Harry's earlier book, The Speed Twin Bible, you might feel that this tome is less focussed, less dedicated and less authoritative. But even if that's true, this publication is nevertheless batting very high numbers, and it's hard to see how any Trophy fan is going to whinge about it.



The design looks a little dated, but some of that is simply due to the material. Certainly, nobody's given the layout much thought. But that's not really an issue. It's not, after all, a coffee table tome. It's an enthusiast's book, and accuracy is far more important than style.


So how accurate is it? Well, Harry Woolridge knows his stuff, and this isn't stuff and nonsense.


Veloce is suggesting a retail price of £35 for this soft cover edition, and you can buy direct from the publisher. But if you go onto to Amazon (see image immediately above), you can pick up a hard cover copy for only ... £233.56 (used), or £621.58 (new).


Go figure.


ISBN-10: 1904788025
ISBN-13: 978-1904788027



— Big End


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Michael Cimino: 1939 - 2016


He wasn't exactly the most famous Hollywood director. In fact, most movie goers have probably barely heard of him, if at all. But Michael Cimino, who died on 2nd July 2016 aged 77, certainly made his mark on the film industry, but not entirely for the right reasons.


His most famous cinematic contribution was The Deer Hunter (1978). Starring Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Cazale and George Dzunda, the film explores the tortured relationships of three Russian-American steelworkers who'd served together in Vietnam and were subsequently psychologically and socially damaged by their harrowing experiences. The Deer Hunter cost $15 million to make and grossed almost $50 million. The film earned five Academy Awards including best picture and best director. The American Film Institute reckoned that it was the 53rd best movie of all time.



Robert DeNiro helped Michael Cimino hit the target with The Deer Hunter (1978). But after that, it all began to unravel for one of Hollywood's most controversial and challenging movie directors...



But it was actually Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) that gave Cimino his first shot in the directorial chair. The movie, starring Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, George Kennedy and Geoffrey Lewis cost $4 million to make and grossed around $25 million. It was the tale of a robbery (actually, the second robbery) on a Montana bank vault by means of a 20 millimetre cannon. The film has since achieved near cult status and is variously described as a buddy movie, a crime caper, and a comedy drama. Except that it's no comedy. If anything it has more of a road movie feel.


Cimino also co-wrote Silent Running (1971) starring Bruce Dern, and he co-wrote Magnum Force (1972) starring Clint "Dirty Harry" Eastwood.


Where things went seriously wrong for Michael Cimino was his third directorial effort, Heaven's Gate (1980). With a stellar cast that included Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Joseph Cotten, Mickey Rourke, Brad Dourif, Geoffrey Lewis, and Willem Dafoe, the movie cost around $40 million to make and—oops—made barely a tenth of that in the USA (the distributors were so upset with the film that they put the brake on a worldwide release).



▲ A one room schoolhouse in Warsaw, Montana. That's the key to the plot of Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974). Clint Eastwood (as The Thunderbolt) maintains the gravitas, but it's Jeff Bridges (as Lightfoot) who walks away with the movie. Gary Busey makes an appearance too.



Heaven's Gate was quite simply a 325 minute (subsequently cut) epic western disaster that all but wrecked United Artists and pretty much wrecked Cimino's career. It bombed with the critics, and it bombed with audiences. Indeed, it was hard to find anyone who had a good word to say about the movie. Ultimately, the film marked a sea change in the relationship between the big studios and the talent, and it left Michael Cimino in the doghouse thereafter. Moreover, it damaged the western genre and made cowboy flicks generally too risky to contemplate. It wasn't until Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves (1990), and Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992) hit the screens that westerns were once again considered to be big box office tickets.


After Heaven's Gate, Cimino's career wasn't at an end. But he had been summarily relegated from the premier league to somewhere out in the wilderness. However, whatever went wrong with the movie was nothing compared to the bad blood that began flowing leading to accusations of creative incompetence, artistic bullying, rampant egotism, obsessive behaviour, and animal cruelty (relating to horses used in Heaven's Gate). In short, where Cimino's star had blazed fiercely with The Deer Hunter, it suddenly collapsed into a commercial and reputational black hole.




Later films included The Dogs of War (1980), The Sicilian (1987), Year of the Dragon (1985), and finally Sunchaser (1996). But there was to be no redemption; at least, not from the big studios and Hollywood players, many of whom kept their axes and tongues honed. Cimino was considered too "out there", too complex, too commercially unstable, too ... too Ciminoesque.


From most accounts, including his friends, he was certainly an oddball character who appeared to enjoy playing oddball characters in his private life. He was a small guy who dressed in cowboy boots and experimented/flirted with unconventional hair styles and outfits. He was apt to say "odd" things and respond to questions from oblique angles during rare interviews. Even his birth date varied.


He was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. He was rebellious at school and, although considered a child prodigy (or perhaps because of it), he showed delinquent tendencies. His father was a music publisher. His mother was a costume designer. He had one brother. And he never married.


Cimino lived remotely in a world of very private friendships and was always a soft touch for his detractors. He published a couple of novels, wrote numerous other scripts, produced many films, spent years working on stillborn private projects, and remained "out there", wherever that might be.




In recent years, Heaven's Gate—with its huge panoramas, its slow, drawn-out camera work, its improbable silences and its ponderous characterisations—has been re-appraised, and many now consider this western to be a masterpiece.


Michael Cimino will be widely remembered as one of the most controversial, most divisive and most maligned figures in the history of modern movie making. But here at Sump, we'll be content to remember him as the bloke who entertained us many times with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot which is a great moment in cinema with a great vibe, a great cast, a great beginning, a great middle and a great ending.


Watch it again sometime and spare a passing thought for the late Michael Cimino who, from all accounts was (like most of us) a far from perfect individual, but one who perhaps didn't really deserve the treatment that Hollywood gave him.


— Dexxion


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P


1866 BSA A65L Lightning


Carl Wilson's BSA A65L for sale


If you're looking for a classic motorcycle with extra good vibrations, look this way, stranger. This 1966 650cc BSA A65L Lightning was once the property of the late—and exceedingly great—Beach Boy Carl Wilson, brother of Brian and Dennis; a man possessed of one of the most soulful voices in the history of popular music.


This bike was bought new by Wilson (1946 - 1998), and it's his name on the Californian documentation (care of Beach Boys Enterprises, no less). The mileometer/odometer is showing 2,923. The engine and frame numbers match (A65LA163). The condition looks to be generally pretty good and mostly original. It just needs re-commissioning, and then it's ready to rock and roll.



▲ Left to right, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Brian Wilson. Carl sang backing vocals on the Beach Boy's hit, Little Honda. But at heart he was a BSA man and knew a great sound when he heard one.



The unit construction 650cc A65 appeared in BSA's catalogue in 1962 and superseded the very worthy, but "ageing" pre-unit 650cc A10. The A65L arrived three years later as an up-tempo sportster gunning for machines such as Triumph's pack-leading Bonneville and Norton's hard-boiled 650SS.


With its bore of 75mm and stroke of 74mm, BSA dealers claimed 54bhp and anything from 108 - 120mph. The lower figure is, naturally, the more accurate, and the 54bhp claim is nothing if not wildly optimistic. Nevertheless, the twin-carbed short-stroke parallel twin offered a lusty feel, competent handling and reasonable brakes, and it did its best to be worthy of the factory's reliability claims.


This example is to be sold by Mecum Auctions at Monterey, California on 18th - 20th August 2016 (no exact times yet). It's Lot R463, and so far there's no estimate. But we can see a long queue of bidders for this motorcycle.


BSA A65L Lightning


A twin cradle frame, a two-way damped front fork, 19-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear. Oil leaks were a problem. But re-engineering has (mostly) fixed that. We've seen Lightnings with very high mileages.


A65 Lightning BSA


The A65 platform suffered numerous teething problems related to vibration and drive side (plain) bearing failure. Early bikes failed to impress, performance wise. But a new, twin-carb head and 9:1 compression helped mitigate complaints. Modern engine improvements have since made this bike as fast as BSA intended, and reliable to boot.



1866 BSA A65L


At Sump, we're generally not too interested in purchasing the ephemera of late (or extant) celebs. But we'd make an exception for Rory Gallagher's Fender Strat, Marilyn Monroe's knickers, and Carl Wilson's A65L. It's silly, we know. But everything Wilson did sounded fantastic, and it just might be that there a special kind of soulful harmony locked into this motorcycle.


Think it's possible?



— Dexxion


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Sisters Centennial Motorcycle Ride


Meet the Van Buren sisters. That's Augusta on the left, and that's Adeline on the right. It's 100 years since these two gals, on 4th July 1916, straddled their motorcycles and set out from Sheepshead Bay Racetrack in Brooklyn, New York City headed for Los Angeles, California, and beyond. The intended route was largely the Lincoln Highway (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado/Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California).


"Gussie" and "Addie" each rode a 1915 1,000cc Indian Powerplus V-twin heavily loaded with food, fuel, spare parts, clothing, maps, medical equipment, camping gear and suchlike. They travelled 5,500 miles, much of it on unpaved roads and dirt tracks through storms and deserts, and arrived at their destination on 8th September 1916. Note that we've seen conflicting information on the dates and arrivals location. But it seems that they travelled by way of San Francisco, down to LA, onward to San Diego, and finally called it a day at Tijuana on the Mexican side of the US/Mexico border. They'd spent 60 days in the saddle.



Aged 24 (Augusta) and 22 (Adeline), the girls were descended from Martin Van Buren (1782 - 1862), the 8th president of the USA. President Van Buren was often referred to as Martin Van Ruin having been largely blamed for the US depression of 1837 (he also opposed Texas joining the union).

Consequently, it could be argued that these biking babes had something to live down and were anxious to restore some credibility to the Van Buren name. But it's said that the real motivation for their motorcycle expedition was that they were active members of the US Preparedness Movement; an organisation founded in 1915 to get America ready for entry into WW1 (which finally happened in April 1917).


The Van Burens believed that girls should be allowed to serve as military despatch riders, and they were also keen advocates of US national suffrage (all American women got the vote in 1920).


They were clearly a privileged society pair (Augusta a librarian and later a pilot, and Adeline an "educator" and later a lawyer), but they could evidently get down and dirty when duty called, and their epic ride across a potentially still hazardous continent has become an inspiration for other women to get out there and make their mark, be it industrially, commercially, socially, politically and—it has to be said—recreationally.



"WOMAN CAN. IF SHE WILL" T-shirt from Van Buren. This one is for the girls, and you can have it for $35. Note that shipping is available only to residents in the USA and Canada. See the link below for ordering, or click on the T-shirt.



On the ride, the women became lost in the desert in Utah and were perilously close to dying of dehydration, and along the way they became the first riders to scale Pike's Peak in the Rocky Mountains (14,109 feet) on a motorcycle.


Much of the contemporary press, however, had little or no time for the sisters. Their ride was variously described as a "vacation", and they were much derided for their immorality and affront to Yankee conservatism. Indeed, they were arrested on numerous occasions for wearing men's clothing (military breeches).


"Woman can. If she will," said Augusta Van Buren. And these women clearly would and did. One hundred years on, The Sisters Centennial Motorcycle Ride is recreating that journey, coast to coast. It began on 3rd July 2016, and the riders are on the road right now hoping to raise funds for Final Salute, a national women’s veterans’ organisation, and The Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists which helps provide motorcycle training. The journey began at New York City and will end on 23rd July 2016 at San Francisco with a Grand Finale party.



The original 1916 ride is said to be the first time that two women crossed the USA on separate motorcycles. But it's worth mentioning that the year before (1915), Effie Hotchkiss and her mum (image immediately above) travelled 9,000 miles on a Harley-Davidson sidecar outfit to San Francisco. And back. That journey took three months.


In 2002 the sisters were inducted into the American Motorcyclists Association Hall of Fame. In 2003 they were inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame.


Sponsors for the Van Buren centennial include BMW, Indian Motorcycles, Women's Motorcycle Tours, Suzuki, and Kuryakyn.


— Queen of Sump


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P



Winfield "Scotty" Moore: 1931 - 2016


He was Elvis Presley's original lead guitarist and was better known for his sound than his looks. But Scotty Moore, who has died aged 84, is unquestionably one of the founders of the classic twanging, bass-loaded, heavy-rhythm rock'n'roll slapback sound of the 1950s and deserves a heavy round of applause for his unique contribution to the "devil's own music".


If you're familiar with the songs That’s Alright; Mystery Train; Blue Moon of Kentucky; Jailhouse Rock; Blue Suede Shoes; Hound Dog; Money Honey; Baby Let’s Play House; and Milk Cow Blues Boogie, you know exactly what Scotty Moore's finger/thumb-picking technique sounds like. And that was the wonderful racket that Sam Phillips of Sun Studios fame heard way back in the early 1950s when Phillips was searching for a new sound and a new act.



It was a teenage Elvis Presley who came along to Sun Studios in Memphis looking to cut a track or two on Phillips' recording equipment. Phillips was impressed with what he heard, but needed convincing that this was a marketable sound.


Phillips introduced Presley to Scotty Moore (lead guitar) and Bill Black (on bass) and switched on the mics and watched and listened. The sound was good, but it wasn't really happening until Moore began fooling about with a handful of fingers and a thumb and fretboard of strings, and Phillips tried a slapback idea he'd been experimenting with. There was no drummer. Just the lead and bass guitar with Presley on rhythm. But it was enough to light up the studio decks, and a new sound was born.


So okay, there was plenty of Chet Atkins in the mix, plus a lot of familiar blues licks and even a hint of gospel. Nevertheless, the music had youth, energy, vitality and even sex appeal, and a few platters were cut and sent out for airplay. And you pretty much know the rest.



Scotty Moore was born in Tennessee and began playing the guitar at age eight. He joined the US Navy at age 17 and began seriously developing his talent with the help of a gold Gibson ES 295 guitar built for jazz, but more closely associated with rockabilly. During those early years touring the USA with Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and a new guy named D J Fontana (on drums) developed that sound and became an integral part of Presley's stage act. The combo was always right there whenever Presley needed it, filling-in as and when required, musically ad-libbing and punching out the right chords and beats on demand.


Sounds easy, perhaps. But Presley was constantly improvising on stage, and he needed his backing musicians to be always on message. However, during the late fifties and early sixties, Moore and Elvis drifted apart. The Presley management were looking for new commercial sounds, and Moore's approach and technique was considered "old" and too small for the wider music arena. Consequently, Moore and Presley collaborated for the last time in 1968. It was, by all accounts, a great reunion. But it was a dead end for Scotty Moore.


It's said that Moore never earned much from his association with Presley. At least, not in terms of hard cash. But he was a huge influence on guitarists such as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, George Harrison and Keith Richards. And if you were playing rock'n'roll guitar at pretty much any time since the 1950s, there's probably some Scotty Moore in you too.


Post-Presley, Moore pretty much mothballed his guitar and became a producer working with the likes of Ringo Starr and Dolly Parton. But in more recent years, Moore boarded the comeback train and discovered first hand how much he was revered by fans, old and new. He found the opportunity to record a number of albums, married three times, divorced three times, and is survived by a son and four daughters.


In the year 2000 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and certainly not a millisecond before time.

— Dexxion


H   O   M   E

T   O   P

S   H   O   P




▲ Top




Classic bike dealers, engineers, mechanics and experts


BSA M20 & M21:
World's Greatest Sidevalves T-shirt



£15.99 plus P&P


Pioneer Run eBook:

What's it all about? Well, it's a photoshoot of the world's greatest veteran motorcycle run with poetry and quotes from Ixion to John Masefield to William Shakespeare to William Wordsworth. It's unique (as far as we know) and has been downloaded thousands of times from both the Sump website and the website of the Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club. Think of it as poetry in motion. It's a treat. Sorry, it's not available in hardcopy or for Macs.



Sprint Manufacturing: Hinckley Triumph Parts & Accessories

Triumph Bonneville:
World's Coolest
Motorcycle T-shirt



£14.99 plus P&P

Classic motorcycle signs

Classic bike wall signs

from £11.99 plus P&P




 £19.99 plus P&P


Copyright Sump Publishing 2015. Terms and conditions