When is a fake not a fake? H&H Auctions prompted this question with the firm's recent press release highlighting the latest Brough Superior "restoration" (or de-restoration?) by marque specialist Simon Miles. We're advised that this old master (Lot 170) was meticulously re-worked using as many old parts as possible in order to maintain that time-worn and authentic patina. Some would rightly say that it's nothing new. Thousands of bikers (including us) have been doing this forever, usually due to depleted funds rather than artistic bent. Meanwhile, the fake ageing of motorcycles, cars, guitars, furniture and oil paintings has long been part of the dedicated forger's arsenal. Some creations are crafted to deceive. Some are more honest homages. But does it matter? And do we really care? Either way, this 1932 680cc Brough Superior Black Alpine will be going under the hammer on 30th July 2019 at the National Motorcycle Museum Sale. The estimate is £100,000 - £150,000. Now how's that for fake news?


July 2019  Classic bike news

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


Motorcycle news

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

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Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

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New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

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Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

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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

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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

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Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

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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

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Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

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Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

Dirtquake VII 2018 at Arena Essex
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Mecum Auctions at Monterey 2018
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Daniel David Kirwan: 1950 - 2018
Reg Allen Motorcycles is closing
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World Motorcycle Rally 2018
Glynn Edwards: 1931 - 2018
Den Hartogh Museum Sale
Grip-Tite Sockets, tried & tested
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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

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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

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We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

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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

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Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

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George Beale appointed H&H director

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Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

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Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

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Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

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September 2017 Classic Bike News

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

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

Sump news archive



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1932 Brough Superior Black Alpine


H&H NMM sale tops £1.3 million


Story snapshot:

Plenty of "bargain" bikes sold (and not sold)

Definite signs of cooling in the classic bike market


Unsurprisingly, the top selling lot at the latest H&H sale on 30th July 2019 was the immediately above 1932 Brough-Superior Black Alpine (Lot 170). The sale happened yesterday at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, West Midlands where the Brough sold for £118,125. The estimate was £100,000 - £150,000 which gave H&H plenty of latitude for anticipating the hammer price.


Brough Superior log book


Registered for the road as TV 7124, this "de-restored" 680cc V-twin (see Sump Classic Bike News July 2019) was at one point (1934) the property of none other than George Brough whose name is listed on one of the five "log books" supplied. The petrol tank and gearbox, we're told, is original, and the numbers match.


Originally there were 313 lots in the sale of which 5 were withdrawn. Of the remaining 308 lots, 77 didn't sell. That (according to our dodgy maths) suggests a 75 percent conversion rate, which is pretty good.


But underlying that are plenty of bikes that sold for low money. So okay, H&H was in many instances pretty conservative with its estimates. Nevertheless, we found numerous machines that just a few years ago would have commanded significantly higher prices. We're talking about 20 - 30 percent higher in some instances.


Check out these bikes...


1976 Triumph T160 Trident


Lot 195, for instance, was a 1976 750cc Triumph T160 Trident. The estimate was £6,000 - £8,000 which is reasonable at, or near, the top end of those numbers. We would have expected around £7,500. This, after all, was advertised as a two owner re-import in running order. Certainly, in recent years we've seen decent T160s hit £8,000 - £9,000, and even higher asking prices for pristine examples fitted with "sensible" mods. But this example sold for £6,750.


1973 T150 Trident


Of course, we weren't there on the day. So we can mark this sale as just a good bargain for a bidder in the right place at the right moment. However, we also see two T150 Triumph Tridents that sold for lower prices than they might have just a few seasons ago. One was Lot 224, a 1973 US/Export specification machine which carried an estimate of £4,000 - £5,000. It sold for £5,062.50.


This red and black re-import (image immediately above) needs re-commissioning, but the engine/frame numbers match, and it's pretty much all there. So we would have expected much closer to six grand plus a little change. And as if to consolidate the relatively low prices, another 1973 750cc T150V (see image immediately below), also a matching numbers bike from the USA, carried a £5k - £6k reserve but sold for just £4,837.50. All cheap Tridents, we say—and great bikes when they're on song.


1973 T150V Triumph Trident


1979 Triumph Bonneville T140E


Meanwhile, the immediately above 1979 750cc Triumph Bonneville T140E (Lot 225) was staring at a reasonable £4,000 - £5,000 estimate, but changed hands for just £3,375 which is, or at least was, Tiger Cub money. The numbers match, by the way, and it appears to be from the same US re-import batch. And the bike looks fairly sorted (subject to some fettling). But three grand plus a few hundred is the kind of money you'd pay ten—or even fifteen—years ago for a half decent T140.


1978 Triumph T140D


If more evidence is needed, a slightly ropey (but not seriously damaged) 1978 750cc T140D Bonnie Special (Lot 228) with matching numbers sold for just £2,475. That's sub-basement entry level for anyone wanting to get a leg over a T140. Yes, it looks like it would suck up £1,000 or so in work and parts. But spread over a few months that's a good and easy project for someone.


1954 Ariel Huntmaster


And it's not just Triumphs in the bargain bin. Check out the immediately above 1954 650cc Ariel Huntmaster FH and Watsonian sidecar (Lot 117). The estimate was a fairly modest £5,500 - £6,500, and it sold for £5,850. A few seasons back, however, we would have expected £7,000. Maybe £7,250. But this example fell short of six.


That said, we might point out that the bike (purists look away) is running a front disc conversion, but the original wheel/brake is included in the sale. And it's an older restoration (which is code for "a little tatty in places"). But we still think that the sale price indicates a cooling of maybe 10 - 15 percent. Meanwhile, a clean looking mildly modified 1959 650cc Ariel Huntmaster (Lot 128) sold for just £2,925 (the estimate here was a conservative £2,500 - £3,500).


Moving on, a 1971 Norton Hi-Rider (Lot 119) sold for £5,512 which sounds a little mean perhaps. But re-commissioning is required. And at the very least it perhaps suggests that the H-Rider still hasn't attracted much interest from Norton collectors. Almost no one wants these bikes in their chopperesque guise, and few appear to have much enthusiasm for converting them to more conservative specifications.


1963 BSA D7 Bantam


There were numerous other examples of "bargain" bikes, including a clean 1963 175cc BSA Bantam D7 Super (Lot 235) pictured immediately above. Estimated at £1,000 - £1,500, it sold for £1,068.75. That's arguably around forty to fifty percent less that the asking prices of a few years ago—and in terms of practicality, we think that's a more realistic price for a Bantam, as much as we love 'em.


Suzuki Titan 500cc


But whoahh! There were still plenty of examples of bikes making relatively big money—or, at least, holding their own. The immediately above 1973 500cc Suzuki Titan (Lot 51) sold for £5,175 (est: £4,000 - £5,000). Some would say that this "show winning" example should have fetched slightly more; maybe £6k. But it's a fair price, we think—although we're still waiting to see when the great explosion of classic Jap bike prices is actually going to happen.


Some other lots that caught our eye...


1921 Rudge Multi

1921 350cc Rudge Multi (Lot 79). £8k - £10k estimate. Sold for £10,125


1970 Honda CB750 KO

1970 Honda CB750 KO (Lot 44). £18k - £20k estimate. Sold for £20,250


1959 BSA A10 cafe racer

1959 650cc BSA A10 cafe racer (Lot 132). £3k - £4k est. £3,037.50


1949 Vincent Black Shadow

1949 998cc Vincent Black Shadow (Lot 158). £90k - £110k? Not sold


1928 Norton 16H

1928 Norton 16H (Lot 167). £10k - £12k estimate. Sold for £24,150



Overall, H&H will be reasonably pleased given the generally slow trading market through which we're wading. The sale, we're advised, totalled £1.2 million.


Early 650cc unit Triumphs are still holding up well at £10k plus, and BSA DB Goldies are where they were a few years back (which can be seen as good or bad depending on your point of view). But there's definite cooling in the classic bike market. So if you're selling, you might want to revise your expectations a little—and we advise against rushing to sell. That's a surefire way to further lower prices, and it probably isn't necessary. Classic bike prices are down generally, but there's no need to panic. There are constant adjustments in the market that can easily distort viewpoints, including ours. And the normal whims of fashion play a part here.


Meanwhile, if you're buying-to-ride (as opposed to store and invest), happy days seem to be returning.


So ride on, friend...


UPDATE: Note that all posted prices are hammer prices plus 12% commission, but don't include UK VAT @ 15% on that commission (not applicable to bikes bought by overseas buyers)



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"Secret Triumph Daytona" to auction


Story snapshot:

Test rig Trumpet (allegedly) escapes the Hinckley net

Estimated to sell for £10k - £12k


When you get to a certain age you never really know what to believe, if anything. You've long since learned that most news is essentially fake and that there are X-number of sides to every story. Which is why—if you're like us—you treat pretty much everything with warm doubt and cold suspicion. And so it is with the back story to this 1997 Triumph Daytona that's set to be sold at the next H&H auction at the National Motorcycle Museum on Tuesday 30th July 2019.


We're hearing that this was a test bike built to evaluate a new chassis designed for the T595 Daytona. Frame maestros Harris Engineering was the outfit summoned to create the (heavyweight) steel trellis. And in fact, Harris created three. However, Hinckley Triumph was said to be unhappy with the result (probably due to the weight) and decided to take another route. In doing so, the Big T consigned this one to the crusher (the other two frames were, apparently, destroyed).


However, the bike (together with a few other machines) had inadvertently been despatched from the factory and sent to a nearby dealer to facilitate "trials and comparisons" with rival motorcycles built by other manufacturers.


Still with us?


Well, somewhere along the way the test rig was "bought through the back door" and had its Speed Triple engine Dyno-tuned. Triumph Motorcycles, goes the story, was very unhappy about it and tried to block the project. But that failed, and now the bike is going to be sold, much to the further annoyance of Triumph. The estimate is £10,000 - £12,000, and the bike is registered in the UK and ready for use on the roads.


Is any of this true? We don't know, but there are certainly lots of questions arising—and lots of points in the press release that aren't clear. For instance, how exactly did the bike get to be sold "through the back door"? And are we really talking about a complete bike built by Hinckley, or just the chassis? And what's the current legal position regarding ownership? And are there any challenges to that ownership? And is any of this really significant and worth £10k upward? And while we remember, what's on TV tonight?



The auction will perhaps sort out the value of this bike, and if the story is true, and if Triumph is really unhappy, Hinckley can stick someone in the room with a bag full of cash. Bloor's got deep commercial and private pockets. Meanwhile, there's the added concern here that someone, somewhere is being tacitly libelled by this tale, or at least misrepresented. So we ought to make it clear that we've got no info regarding anything illegal or nefarious going on, etc, and no one is naming names. But we wouldn't want to get involved in this at any price.


MCN, by the way, wrote a piece on this motorcycle (or motorcycle frame) back in July 1997. But as we've said, these days we question all news sources and take little at face value.


There are some other considerations here that reside in a place where we're simply not going. But if you're interested in the bike (Lot 108, incidentally), our advice is to ask some very pointed questions before you put in a bid.


UPDATE: There's conflicting information on the press release stating that the frame was in fact developed for the T509 Triumph, not the T595. Certainly, that agrees with the MCN story.


UPDATE 2: The bike didn't sell.



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The Bike Shed new event at Lydden Hill, Kent, 4th - 6th October 2019

Carole Nash Insurance leaks "accident prone" UK postcodes. Wise? Not?

London Met Police trialling night vision drones to target speedsters

June 2019 11,643 bikes sold UK. Down 1,446 compared to June 2018 

CRF1100L Africa Twin - SD09

CRF1100L Africa Twin (SD09) mooted for 2020. 86cc increase

MV Agusta/Loncin: new deal for low capacity bikes by 2021. No details


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Curtiss Hades


Curtiss Motorcycles Hades concept


Story snapshot:

Yet another CAD concept electric bike thingy

Except that this one, we're told, will be with us next year



Try not to fall asleep during this news story because there's an outside chance that something might actually come of it somewhere down the line.


We've injected this note of well-tempered caution into our report because what you're looking at isn't a fully-formed ready-for-production motorcycle. Instead, it's yet another CAD rendering, this being of an electric roadster that's supposedly going to be ride-ready in 2020 at a cost of around $75,000.


Curtiss reckons that there will be 217hp on tap with 147lb-ft of torque—which, coincidentally, are the same numbers as suggested for the firm's V8 Hera concept released a few weeks ago (see further down this page).


Here at Sump we're not sure how to view this concept. Steampunk? Nouveau baroque? Or just plain confused? Either way, we're reserving judgement until we see an actual example as opposed to a virtual.


Meanwhile, the Hades' designer—a certain JT Nesbitt—has been quoted as saying (wait for it....):


"We have a deep and abiding respect for materials. Our goal with Hades is to build the least wasteful machine possible. This not only applies to how the motorcycle operates, but also how it is constructed. Most of the parts on the machine serve more than one purpose. Like Miles Davis, we’re playing the fewest possible notes to convey the emotion. That’s minimalism."


Now is that a quote worth repeating? Or is that a quote worth repeating? Miles Davis fans step forward...


Check here for a larger image of the Curtiss Hades




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Good time to buy a Piaggio scooter or MP3

Dealer Jack Machin retires

Call for clampdown on fake helmets

MCIA 'heartened' by DfT road safety statement


Euro study says MCs are the worst transportation form, socially speaking

Gasoline vehicle bans coming and motorcycling isn't ready

We might have more new riders if bikes weren't all manual


Starting to ride: Giving the Suzuki its first wash

Best electrics of 2019

New Top Gun trailer features a pair of Kawasaki Ninjas

Motorbike tyre advice: know your bike's boots

Honda CB750: The world's first superbike turns fifty


Government proposes changes for safer riding

Top 10 300-400cc scooters (2019)


The best naked bikes of 2019

Trucker saves baffled scooter rider on M27

Shameful trade in fake crash helmets

Six ways to keep cool when riding your motorbike this summer


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Mecum Monterey Sale, August 2019


Story snapshot:

Cool Zündapp K800 is on the auction list

... and check out the rare 1928 Neander


If you're into art deco and motorcycles, the next Mecum Auction at Monterey, California is offering a treat in the shape of the above 1937 Zündapp K800 (Lot R284). Mecum's website images fail to do it justice, but this motorcycle is to BMW what Armani is to Moss Bros.


Manufactured between 1933 and 1938, only 550 of these flat fours were built. That's right. Flat four, not flat twin. With a capacity of 800cc (798cc), Zunderund Apparatebau GmbH created a masterpiece of motorcycle engineering; one that was rooted in 1933 when designer Richard Küchen crafted an unusual design concept featuring an all-chain 4-speed gearbox terminating with a shaft final drive.


That bike, boasting a 398cc flat twin sidevalve engine, was the first of the K-Series Zündapps and was badged as the K400. A 496cc K500 was also offered which in 1936 was joined by the OHV KS500 and KS600.



The K800 was introduced as a tourer/sidecar hack and was considered very refined, smooth, reliable and stylish. The frame was pressed steel. The engine/gearbox was in unit, with shifting by hand. The girder fork was nothing radical, but it was acceptable for the era. Braking was just okay.


You can think of this bike as the Gold Wing of its day, but it's a thin comparison when you consider how this machine was cutting edge as opposed to the more workaday (albeit worthy) design of the original Wings.


Fritz Neumeyer founded Zündapp in Nuremberg in 1917. The venture enjoyed backing from Friedrich Krupp AG (the huge German armaments manufacturer) and Thiel (machine tools). Originally, weaponry was one of the firm's chief products. But in peacetime the company also produced microcars, scooters, mopeds, aircraft engines and sewing machines. And interestingly, Zündapp and Ferdinand Porsche conceived and built a prototype "car for everyone" or "people's car" six or seven years before Volkswagen cornered the name—but it should be pointed out that the "people's car" concept can be attributed to many other manufacturers, not least Henry Ford who gave the world the redoubtable Model T.


Zündapp collapsed in 1984, but the brand is now owned by a Chinese firm (Xunda Motor Co) which currently produces small capacity and electric motorcycles/three wheelers.



Moving on, you can be forgiven for not immediately recognising the above motorcycle. This rare and very sophisticated bird is a 1928 500cc Neander, the handiwork of a certain Ernst Neumann who began his career as a commercial artist in Munich, Germany.


Following a meeting in Paris with some of the most influential men in the automotive world (such as it was at the turn of the 20th century), Neumann was sufficiently inspired to create a firm of his own.


Founded in Düren in 1926, Neander Motorfahrzeug GmbH was nothing if not an original-thinking company ready and willing to experiment with novel designs and advanced concepts, many of which featured pressed steel or aluminium beam frames and a front fork arrangement that switched back and forth via a spring box located beneath the headstock. Engines were supplied by Villiers, Küchen, JAP and Motosacoche and ranged in capacity between 122cc and 996cc.



This example features the rare 496cc Küchen overhead-camshaft single-cylinder engine, a design that acquitted itself on the local racetracks of the age and was good for around 75mph. The ride was said to be stable and predictable, so much so that in 1929 the Neander frame design was licensed to Opel which subsequently produced the Opel Club. Overall, around 2,000 Neanders are thought to have been built. The firm (Neander) closed in 1929. Neumann left the automotive industry, returned to painting, and died in 1954 aged 83.


Mecum Auctions hasn't posted an estimate for this bike (Lot R283), and we've no idea what it might make on the day. The bikes rarely come up for auction, and although much respected (especially in the German classic market), this motorcycles commands a relatively small, but dedicated, commercial buying pool. But we can tell you that in 2008 Bonhams sold a similar looking MAG (Motosacoche Acacias Genève) powered P31 V-twin for a little over £31,000.



As a sidenote, in 1929 Fritz Von Opel strapped a brace of rockets on a Neander and looked to grab the world speed record—which didn't happen, largely due to safety concerns. But this Opel Raketen Motorrad went on the tour circuit and for many years wowed European crowds. Later, Von Opel developed a rocket powered car, Rak 2, and a rocket propelled handcart, Rak 3 that ran on rails. These vehicles hit 148mph and 158mph, respectively.


Other Mecum lots include:


Lot R286: 1963 Bultaco TSS 125, 125cc, 6-Speed

Lot R539: 2014 Lotus C-01, 1195cc, 6-Speed

Lot T38: 1936 BSA Y13 OHV V-twin

Lot R421: 1914 Flying Merkel V-Twin, 1000cc

Lot R414: 1914 Indian Board Track Racer, 8-Valve 61ci


The auction date is 15th - 17th August 2019. The venue is the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, Del Monte Golf Course 1, Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, CA 93940.


At the time of writing, we count 54 lots in this sale.




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Gift T-shirts for motorcyclists


Great news! T-shirt prices are up!


Story snapshot:

You get what you pay for

Repeat: you get what you pay for


The good news is that we've raised the prices of many of Sump's cool and casual biker T-shirts. And that's good because we've also raised the quality with better stock, better printing and more durable colours. And there are other improvements here and there, mostly related to quality control.


BAD-ASS BIKER T-shirtConventional orthodoxy, however, suggests that we keep prices way down and/or offer everything on discount. That's what pretty much everyone else does in a slower-than-usual market.


But that's no recipe for long term viability. You have to be realistic. Besides, we figure that you guys and gals are prepared to pay for quality, and someone has to foot the bill—and we don't flog anything that feel is poor value for money.


So we've hiked the quality, and we've upped the prices to match—generally by around 5 percent to 10 percent. No more than that.


Royal Enfield Ride The World T-shirtThat said, one or two items are exactly the same price today as they were yesterday. But when these stocks are depleted, we'll be ordering improved replacements with slightly higher sales tags—assuming, that is, that we decide to keep that particular line on the shelves.


Which we might not.


So take a look at the Sump shop. There are plenty of tees there (plus some other interesting classic bike goodies), and there's pretty much something for everyone—and our prices are still great value. See for yourself.


And if you spot which prices are slightly higher, be grateful for it. Meanwhile (as ever), if you want rubbish or poor quality knock-offs, try eBay, Amazon et al.


At Sump we've got standards to maintain, ya know?




I see you say nothing whatever about ensuring that the people who actually make the things and generally are paid derisory wages, have to endure appalling working conditions and suffer oppressive bosses are looked after.—Best wishes, Ian Soady
Editor's note: You’re right. We said nothing about all that. That’s because it was a story about T-shirt price rises, not a piece about worker "exploitation" in the third world. That would be a different story. We said nothing about a lot of other things that people might want us to say. T-shirt chemicals polluting the environment. Ethical disposal of worn out T-shirts. Equal rights for gays and transexuals in the T-shirt industry. Third world debt. Etc. Etc. Pretty much everyone knows that in many places worldwide, workers are badly paid. We don’t much like that, but we can’t control everything (as much as we’d want to). We have to accept certain realities and hope things improve for everyone. And occasionally we write news stories about oppressed minorities and suchlike. We do what we can (and we've given your hobby horse space to graze right here, right now). But this isn’t Amnesty International or Greenpeace or Action Aid or the UN. This is Sump. You could argue that we help keep people in the third world fed and clothed by selling the product they create. Yes, they ought to earn more. But as we said, there are things that we can’t do much about. It’s an unfair world. However we can see that you feel strongly about this. So if you send us, say, ten pounds we’ll be happy to pass it onto our T-shirt supplier and ask them to forward it to someone appropriate in the third world. Of course, it’s possible that our supplier will simply trouser the money. But we’re prepared to have a go if you will. What do you say?

There is possibly some irony that the method Ian Soady communicated his support for the under paid & oppressed of the world was probably via a device made by . . . the under paid & oppressed of the world. It’s tough to be a preux chevalier in these modern times, eh? —Tim

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Elvis Presley and Harley-Davidson Electra Glide


Elvis's Electra Glide goes to auction


Story snapshot:

The sale date is 31st August 2019

One car and a pick-up truck also belonging to Elvis must go


Three items of automobilia that were once the property of "The King of Rock'n'Roll" are to go under the hammer on 31st August 2019—and yes, we know that Chuck Berry is the real king of that particular musical genre, but the weight of public opinion appears to be against us.


The three lots are a 1976 Harley Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide (said to be the last motorcycle bought by Elvis); a 1973 stretched Lincoln Continental (complete with a TV set and other amenities); and a GMC pickup truck (one of three that Presley purchased in 1967 for his Circle G Ranch in Mississippi).


The items are all part of Kruse GWS Auctions' "Artefacts of Hollywood Sale" which includes lots that once belonged to the likes of Steve McQueen (possibly the world's most famous biker); James Dean (famous among bikers as a kindred spirit); Judy Garland (who didn't have much to do with biking, if anything) and Marilyn Monroe (who would have been welcome on the back of one or two of our motorcycles).


The information on this sale is, at best, sketchy. And because we haven't got time to waste hunting any more around the auction house's klunky website, we'll leave you to follow the link below and find out what else you need/want to know. Beverly Hills appears to be the location of the auction. But better check if you want to attend, etc.


Finally, we can tell you that the Harley-Davidson is being offered with the original bill of sale that was made out to Elvis. We hear that the bike belonged to "The King" until about three months before he died when he sold it to a bike dealer (which arguably takes the edge of any acquisition). The Electra Glide has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, since the late 1980s.


Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) died aged just 42—which seemed reasonably old when it happened, but now seems like no age at all.


Such is life.


And death.




UPDATE: The Harley-Davidson sold for $800,000.



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Auction fever

What am I bid for this classic fuel tank?
Start me off at thirty quid
Thank you, Sir, this thing's a bargain
Now do I hear a counterbid?

Has some holes but could be soldered
Chrome is thin, but not worn through
Just weld the tabs and slap some filler

Coat of paint and good as new


Sold for twenty! Moving onward

Here we have a Goldie frame

Headstock's cracked, and lugs are missing

But scrapping this would be a shame

C'mon gents, do I hear fifty?
Forty then? Cheap at the price
Thirty? Done! And now some girders
Bent and rusty, but still quite nice


And how about these classic wheel rims?

Nearly matching at a glance

Quick re-spoke and scrape the worst bits

Sorry, unknown provenance...



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Triumph triple specialist and noted bike builder Les Williams has died

"Up to 200" bikers in North-East UK anti-crime protest, 7th July 2019.

Curtiss reveals the Hera V8 "E-Twin" concept. 217hp claimed. 147lb-ft

Horton M/Cs, Sutton Coldfield, heavily ram-raided. Three pit bikes stolen

Actor Rip Torn (1931 - 2019) has died. Movies include Beach Red (1967)

Lego creates life-size Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. Available in Aug 2019.

UPDATE: Sumpster Steve Rose has tipped us off that this story isn't clear. Apparently, the bike isn't life-size at all. So we checked the source of this story, and it's confusing. We quote: "Developed in collaboration with Harley-Davidson, this detailed LEGO interpretation of the iconic Milwaukee motorcycle captures the beauty of the real-life machine with finishes, surfaces, and design elements crafted to replicate the full-size Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. Featuring 1,023 pieces, the model comes complete with solid-disc wheels, teardrop fuel tank, integrated speedometer, and dual exhaust pipes." A little further on we found: "The finished model measures over 7 inches (20 cm) high, 7 inches (18 cm) wide and 12 inches (33 cm) long..." However, Lego has indeed created a full-size Fat Boy, but only as a promotional tool for the model. The Fat Boy model above is the 7 inch retail version which sells for around £85. Thanks to Steve for helping clarify this.


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Triumph extends roadside cover


Story snapshot:

Triumph Assist support is raised from 12 months to 24 months

Offer applies to new and secondhand bikes bought via official dealers


Simple story here. For some time, if you bought a Triumph motorcycle from an official dealer, a year's breakdown cover backed by the RAC has been part of the deal. This package includes home assistance, roadside assistance and recovery in 20 other EU countries.


Well Triumph has now upped the ante and doubled that support to two years for both new and used bikes. The offer was launched on 1st July 2019 and will continue until further notice.


We're advised that wherever you break down in any of the designated countries, English-speaking managers will be on hand and they'll arrange, where necessary, for your bike to be taken to a Triumph dealer for repairs. And if you need accommodation, that can also be sorted out.


These are the specific countries covered:


UK, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, San Marino, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


... and we note that increasingly popular EU member states such as Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czechia and Hungary are not on the list. So if you're headed for these nations, you'll have to work out a rescue deal with another provider.


More details from your local Triumph dealer, etc.



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John Anstice-Brown and Douglas motorcycle combination


10 "rare Douglas motorcycles" to go


Story snapshot:

H&H is the auctioneer

30th July 2019 is the date


If you were a regular reader of The Motor magazine (founded 1903), you might remember the writings of the late John Anstice-Brown. But aside from being a keen journalist and the 1972 British GT motor racing champion (chiefly campaigning Lotus and Rejo sports cars), he was a fan of Douglas motorcycles.


Over the years, in fact, he collected 10 of them which he stored in a lock-up in Berkshire (but also said to be in Hitchin, Hertfordshire). Many of these bikes are super rare and forgotten; so much so that even the Douglas Club apparently had no idea they were still around.



c1929 Douglas DT5, or Dirt Track 5 if you prefer. With their low centre of gravity, these 498cc OHV flat twins were excellent speedway bikes and enjoyed a long and successful reign in the hands of popular riders such as Fay Taylour, Lloyd "Sprouts" Elder, Alf Metcalf, Bob Coll, Billy Lamont, Jack Barber, W M Smith, Arthur Westwood—and you can add your own names. There were hundreds.



c1926 Douglas TT replica fitted with a Norton front fork. No reserve



Well, on 30th July 2019 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, near Birmingham, those 10 rare bikes will be offered for sale to the highest bidder. Not all the lots are complete. But somewhere in all that precious metal you'll find a couple of Douglas DT race bikes and a TT replica, or what's left of them.



The lot that would most interest us here at Sump is a 1927 Douglas Model SB27 with sidecar. It's a totally unrestored and original bike with a Watsonian sidecar, and that's the outfit that featured immediately above and at the top of this news story (the top picture shows John Anstice-Brown and wife Brenda aboard). The bike, we hear, was last used on the Banbury Run in either 1959 or the early 1960s. It requires recommissioning.


The estimate for this Douglas is £5,000 - £8,000, which is a pretty wide range. But apparently there's no reserve on any of the machines.


H&H is the auctioneer. You've already been told the venue. We'll update this story with prices as and when the dealing is done.





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EU new electric car noise requirement


Story snapshot:

Artificial engine sounds to benefit sleepy pedestrians

1st July 2019 is/was the start date


People used to complain about noisy motorcycles. Now they're complaining about silent electric cars. And that's the reason why since 1st July 2019, all new electric cars sold in the EU are required to have a noise generating device on board. Actually, the new regulations also apply to hybrids, but we're still trying to find out if electric motorcycles are in the mix. As is typical with transport policy, it doesn't appear that bikes have got a mention—certainly not on the UK government website (not at the time of writing, anyway).


The noise generators (officially called Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems, or AVAS) will kick-in at speeds below 20kph which is around 12mph. Presumably, at speeds above that there's sufficient tyre noise to wake up sleepwalking pedestrians. Also, the noise generators must operate when the vehicle is reversing—unless, perhaps, you're reversing at speeds above 20kph (and yes, we are being facetious here).


But how much noise is enough? Well, 56db is the minimum required, and 75db is the maximum. That's roughly the difference between a washing machine wash cycle and a spin cycle. Anything above 85db is generally considered to be damaging to hearing. Everyday chit-chat is around 60db (unless you're chatting with grandma). Rock concerts routinely crack 120db.


Interestingly, the driver of the vehicle will have a temporary override button if he or she considers it necessary to push it. But we haven't any details (or any idea) of why a silent approach might be necessary under some circumstances (Funeral procession? Cow in the road? Creeping in late at night half-cut and half dressed?).


The sound, incidentally, will be/must be similar to that of a conventional petrol engine, but whether that's a two-cylinder, three, four, five, six, V8 or V12 (or whatever) isn't clear. Also, as we understand it, all electric cars on the road will, from 2021, be required to have AVAS fitted—making the regulation retrospective, which is fairly unusual in motoring law. The idea here is, of course, to negate the disparity between old and new electrics.


If and when the new requirements are applied to electric motorcycles, it could give the classic megaphone a whole new purpose. And of course, the underlying message here adds extra weight to the old claim that LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES.


Meanwhile, there's nothing in the new laws to prevent a pedestrian from getting mown down by a high speed pushbike.


Makes ya fink.



Fink I do. Am I missing something here? Agreed: when it comes to road users, the approach of a high speed cyclist can be relatively silent; and pose a risk to Walkman-wearing, mobile phone-absorbed Joe Public, who are effectively audibly challenged albeit in a self imposed way. But consider the user who is hard of hearing who must pay strict visual attention or get flattened! Hence there is no substitute for stopping, looking and seeing-and AVAS could be a backward step in road education. Most folk wouldn’t cross the road in thick fog or dark of night without looking so why think that it is any safer in broad daylight? The message must be "vehicles are becoming quieter or silent and that their presence should be actively sought" then everyone will benefit. Sound mag, Sump. Keep it up.
—Roj, Sheffield.

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Mutt Mastiff 125cc


2019 Mutt Mastiff 125


Story snapshot:

Still powered by a 125cc, 11.8bhp Suzuki engine clone

Priced at £3,495


Mutt Motorcycles has released images and details of the latest addition to its ever growing range of "factory customs", and like all Mutt bikes, it looks good.


Based at Upper Trinity Street, Birmingham, Mutt has exactly the kind of sensitivity required by a firm operating in this sector of the motorcycle market. Shape, form, texture and style, etc; these guys understand the subtleties of custom motorcycle design, and they never seem to put a foot wrong. Nice.


At £3,495 this single is, however, clearly priced at the upper end of the 125cc spectrum, but Mutt spends a lot of time and money on upgrades and detailing its product. It's a hungry and ambitious firm that wants to dominate its sector, and we expect much better things to come when they're both fully established and have the necessary development funds to take the next step up.


Check out the main Mutt Mastiff 125 news item on Sump's Motorcycle News pages, then go talk to Mutt if you want to buy into the company story. We don't know the guys, but their reputation for quality work and service is growing.



A nice looking machine but I'm not really convinced that adding a lot of value? (price) to what is essentially a product of the Chinese motorcycle Industry is a great plan. In a world where new vehicles from well established western manufacturers devalue at alarming rates I suspect these, and the numerous other Chinese incarnations with different names will lose value faster than a Whirlpool tumble drier. All manufacturers infer what they are selling is some sort of investment but apart from very high end machines that's not generally true. Of the mainstream producers it seems to me Harley Davidson maintain the best resale values. Not much use if you want a 125cc machine though. But hey, in the short term ownership, fashion driven world of modern motorcycles maybe no one cares?—The Village Squire

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