1977 750cc Triumph T160. We've already given this bike a brief mention. It's on Sump's May 2019 Classic Bike News page (and there's another mention of it somewhere or other around here). But we think it warrants yet another heads up. The T160 is the National Motorcycle Museum's Summer 2019 prize, and one hell of a prize it is. The super-clean un-run and unregistered bike has, we're told, just "9 push miles" on the clock, which makes it something of a shame having never seen a decent strip of tarmac. And although we're hoping that the new owner will put that right and splatter some bugs, we figure the Trident is headed for a cozy garage and a life of cosseted investment luxury. The tickets, meanwhile, are £10 for five—and you have to buy the full five. The winner will be announced on Saturday 26th October 2019. And note that you have to be UK resident to enter the raffle (excluding Northern Ireland). The odds of winning? Pretty bleedin' good, we think. Relatively speaking. Someone, somewhere is going to be a very happy bunny (and no, we're not on commission). Feeling lucky? www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk


June 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

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost

Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

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

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

Sump news archive



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


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The Long Good Friday film poster


Bryan Marshall: 1938 - 2019


Story snapshot:

Co-star of The Long Good Friday (1980)

Long-serving supporting actor has died aged 81


"THE BEST BRITISH MOVIE EVER MADE"? That's perhaps overstating the boast on the above poster, both contemporaneously, and since. But we'd certainly agree that The Long Good Friday (1980) is a contender for the BEST BRITISH GANGSTER MOVIE EVER MADE, and although actor Bryan Marshall didn't take top billing in the gritty London-centric crime drama, he did play a significant role in the film—and it's the role for which many (if not most) of us will best remember him.


Bryan Marshall, who has died aged 81, played the boozy and corrupt Councillor Harris in that movie, a tale of a brutal crime boss who finds his metropolitan empire crumbling all around him only to discover that—well, go and watch the movie and see what happens (and if you have seen it, it could be time for a review). And in case you were wondering, we doctored the above poster and put Marshall up there with lead actor Bob Hoskins. On this occasion at least, we think it was justified.


Marshall, with his airline pilot looks and confident but casual bearing and manners, had one of those faces that popped up almost everywhere on the British TV screen from the 1960s through to the 1980s.


He was born in Battersea, London and studied at RADA (Royal Academy for Dramatic Art). After a spell at the Bristol Old Vic, he took his first West End theatre role in the play The Golden Rivet (1964), a satire about the dubious influences and demands of television. He subsequently took roles in numerous television productions such as the football themed drama United (1965 - 1966); Vanity Fair (1967); The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1968-69); and Persuasion (1971).


He popped up in The Professionals TV series, and we're told that he also appeared in The Sweeney (and we think we vaguely remember this, but we can't find any evidence). Nevertheless he was certainly the "type" to show his face in the numerous British cops & robbers or political dramas of that era. He could be cruel, kind, bitter, vengeful, upright and just plain dodgy.


If you watched the British TV drama Warship (1973 - 1976) you might remember Marshall as Commander Alan Glenn; one of three commanders/captains leading the charge on the fictional HMS Hero, a Leander Class Frigate.


Later, Marshall would play a similar role as Commander Talbot in the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) also starring Roger Moore. But the more hardened TV anoraks might still remember him from a few years earlier as one of the transport cafe lorry drivers in Alfie (1966); or as Captain Potter in Quatermass and the Pit (1967); or as Sqd Ldr Neale in Mosquito Squadron (1969).



"Who was that man I saw you with?" If you remember the 1969 episode of the British hit TV series The Avengers, you might recall Bryan Marshall playing Aubrey Phillipson, a James Bond spoof character. He had the kind of face and persona that meant he could have committed a crime in a room full of people, then stood in a line-up of one, and no one would recognise him. Well, almost...



In the early 1980 Bryan Marshall emigrated to Australia; a move that many actors are said to make when their careers begin to flag, thereby switching from being a relatively small fish in a big pond, to a relatively big fish in a small pond. Is that fair in this instance? We don't know. But Marshall certainly found plenty of work down under with many of his performances returning to UK television screens such as Gerard Singer in Neighbours, and Trevor Bardwell in Home & Away (and just because we know these facts, don't think that at Sump we sit around all day, or at all, watching this antipodean crap—not while there's good Anglo-Saxon crap like Coronation Street). His last screen performance was in 2012.


Bryan Marshall was by no means the most familiar British face on UK TV and movie screens (actors Michael Ripper, Sam Kydd and John Le Mesurier are way ahead). Nevertheless, Marshall made his mark in our lives and belongs to our generation (give or take a decade or so), and we remember him here at Sump and, with appropriate regret, note his passing.


We checked carefully and can't find any evidence of marriage or kids or similar, so evidently he was a very private man, and we'll leave it there.


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Bruno Tagliaferri (UK & Ireland Sales Manager) to retire. 29 yrs at Triumph

Over 100 bikers gathered at TT rider Daley Mathison's funeral service

Sammy Miller wins a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Transport Trust

Ex-racer Carl Fogarty MBE opens Carl Fogarty Way in Blackburn, Lancs

Arc Vector electric MC set for Goodwood Festival of Speed (4 - 7/7/2019)

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE takes 5th in class, NORRA Mexican 1000 rally


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BMW Vision DC concept


BMW Vision DC electric roadster


Story snapshot:

The classic boxer concept shapes up for another possible future

No plans to build or sell 'em


We also used to design concept bikes. When we were kids, that is. Some of our fantasy machines could fly. Some paddled over and under water. Others did all kinds of unlikely things, such as vanish and/or travel through time. All had guns.




But BMW evidently hasn't grown up yet because it's still knocking up concept machines to impress us; this time in the shape of this electric Vision DC roadster—and yes, there are similarities with the BMW Vision 100 concept that we revealed in October 2016.


The basic idea is simple enough. Electric motorcycles are much of a muchness under the skin. Or, at least, are simply broken down into core components. Motor. Controller. Battery. Wheels. Etc. Increasingly there are also regenerative gizmos, and some kind of rapid charging system is generally incorporated. But equally important for any motorcycle manufacturer wanting to actually market its electrified products is the need to re-establish that all-important brand identity. A firm needs to stamp its ground. It needs to reassure its potential buyers that they're in the right place.


2019 BMW Vision DC concept


In BMW's case, its motorcycle business has been founded on the boxer-engined concept; i.e. two flat cylinders punching left and right. So it's perfectly understandable that even in an "electric age" the designers might, for instance, want to replicate the cylinder barrels (that traditionally jut out on each side of the engine) with something technical.


And that's what's happened here. Except that those barrels are actually radiators and/or cooling fans that wind out and wind in as and when the wheels get rolling/stop rolling. To further emulate the boxer layout, the main power batteries form the "crankcase" of the engine. And of course BMW has incorporated a "traditional" shaft drive—that, we would have thought, would simply waste power at one or more bevel joints (or maybe a production version would ditch the shaft?).


2019 BMW Vision DC concept cooling radiator


The frame is aluminium, supposedly machined from an outsized billet. The front fork is a Duolever arrangement. Naturally, there's plenty of carbon fibre splashed around. And luminescent tyres and LED lights and other clever stuff will help raise the profile of this thing when on the move. We also hear talk of a purpose-built riding suit and a magnetic backpack (for the guns, probably).


And yes, like most of the modern electrics it's as ugly as sin with its over-sculpted lines, oblique angles and scallops. But what's the point of having CAD design technology if you can't throw idle shapes at everything? Although in fairness, some of these shapes are probably needed to stiffen structures and all that stuff. Nevertheless, there's almost always a clinical coldness with electric bikes—and, come to that, with many modern petrol-engined contemporaries.


Maybe tomorrow will bring something fresher.


2019 BMW Vision DC concept - shaft drive side


Meanwhile, there's no suggestion of the likely pricing of such a machine let alone a delivery date. It's just a chewing gum concept and will probably go into the "nice idea" wardrobe with the other fanciful stuff.


But don't misunderstand us. We like new things. Well, some. We just prefer it when designers and motorcycle firms have the courage of their convictions and ease up on the engineering teasers and offer us something ready to rock'n'roll. When Edward Turner gave us the Speed Twin, for instance, he went pretty much straight ahead and trusted his instincts—and look what we got.


Imagine what might have happened had CAD got in the way...


Finally, BMW has had a lot to say about this bike. But like the Vision DC itself, it's pretty much all hype, smoke and mirrors, and we've had enough of that recently (see last month's Incoming nuclear hype from BMW!! story)



It doesn't matter how much engineering is applied to these things,
without an ICE rattling away below decks it will never be as exciting in
my book...I guess I'm the lucky generation that has lived through the
age of free movement on relatively unrestricted roads aboard anything
you could put together......You know, the 'Freedom of the Open Road' and
all that...Sadly it's all disappearing before our eyes and the future
looks pretty bad to me...Will this thing pick up the dog hairs off the
carpet?...That's the important question...
—The Village Squire

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Harley-Davidson's Chinese takeaway


Story snapshot:

MOCO moves to make small capacity motorcycles in China

A new 338cc roadster is planned for 2020


There's more heat than light with this story, but what little detail we have gleaned suggests that Harley-Davidson is planning to build and launch a 338cc motorcycle on the Chinese mainland. The new bikes, to be built in collaboration with Qianjiang, are intended to help redress struggling sales revenue in H-D's domestic market (the USA) whilst exploiting rising opportunities in the increasingly affluent Asian marketplace.


Qianjiang, take note, owns Benelli. Consequently, there's a direct line of access to the latter's European factory thereby possibly avoiding EU tariffs—but there's so far no suggestion that larger capacity bikes would be assembled in Italy.



H-D's long term strategy is that by 2027 the firm wants to draw at least 50 percent of its sales (and presumably profits) from outside the USA where its revenues are shrinking as Harley-Davidson's traditional middle-aged and even older American customer is rapidly (if not terminally) in decline. This contrasts with the significantly younger demographic in the Asian sphere which holds the Harley-Davidson brand in high esteem and is prepared to pay for it.


In 2018, MOCO saw a 27 percent sales increase in China, much of this attributed to its manufacturing and marketing operations in India and Thailand. The new Chinese-built bikes are expected to go on sale by the end of 2020, but it's not clear how the machines will be badged, or what form they'll take. But initially, (unreliable) computer renderings that we've seen make it appear that we're looking at a roadster.


Perhaps a little worryingly for H-D's hardcore fans is the fact that MOCO will be putting not only Qianjiang on the pillion (or possibly holding the handlebars), but will also indirectly be forming a new alliance with Geely which is the Qianjiang parent.



Plans to build Harley-Davidsons in China are likely to anger US President Donald Trump who already has ongoing "issues" with MOCO and has threatened to hit the Milwaukee firm with punitive tariffs. "Harley-Davidsons should be built in America," says Trump, never mind that H-D already has plants in India, Brazil and Thailand. Like it or loathe it, it's a global world. You can't move ahead by standing still.



Geely was founded in 1986 by Li Shufu and has rapidly grown to become a huge player in the automotive sector. The firm also owns Volvo, Lotus, and the London Electric Vehicle Company (a black cab manufacturer based in Coventry). And of course, Geely has its fingers in a lot of other automotive pies largely unknown in the UK.


It's easy therefore to speculate on how Harley-Davidson, now struggling to reposition itself in the 21st century, might conceivably at some point in the foreseeable future be subsumed by a firm such as Geely which has been recently valued at $16 billion (June 2019 figures). But there's no suggestion whatsoever that H-D is in imminent danger of changing hands. All the same, Geely is hungry and rich and influential. So you can follow the breadcrumbs for yourself and see where they could lead.





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Speed limiters: "Bikes not included"


Story snapshot:

EU denies the pending introduction of ISA tech for bikes

The Federation of European Motorcyclists gets clarification


It was back in March 2019 that we reported on the outline threat of speed limiters for cars and motorcycles. The warning came in the shape of new proposals from the EU that "Intelligent Speed Assistance devices" (to use the EU's preferred choice of words) could be with us as early as 2022. Well, following lobbying and a request for clarification from the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEMA), the EU is said to have since issued a statement making it clear that whatever ISA proposals may be on the way, they won't affect motorcycle usage.


On behalf of the EU, deputy director-general for mobility and transport and European coordinator for road safety Matthew Baldwin has been quoted as telling FEMA: "You mention some information circulating in the media to the effect that Intelligent Speed Assistance will be required for motorcycles. This is certainly not true. As you are aware, motorcycles are not within the scope of the General Safety Regulation and the Pedestrian Safety Regulation. Even if the Commission were eventually to make a proposal making ISA mandatory for motorcycles, this would require an impact assessment and a cost-benefit analysis. This evaluation would take into account the specificities and needs of these vehicles and the paramount need for the safety of riders."


In other words, it's not so much that motorcycles have been entirely ruled out as eventually being ripe for ISA adulteration. Not in principle, anyway. It's simply that motorcycles have different operating dynamics to cars, vans and trucks. Consequently, bikes would need a separate assessment and feasibility study before any motorcycle oriented legislation could even be considered, let alone drafted.


Until then, it's GAME ON and PARTY ON as usual. But we trust the EU about as much as we trust Whitehall, so we'll keep a weather eye open regarding the introduction of ISA technology. It's coming.


On the plus side, coupled with other forms of artificial intelligence technology and autonomous vehicle systems, ISA just might help bring an end to the tired old excuse of: "I'm sorry, but I didn't see the bike."


Until then, stay defensive.


See also:

EU speed limiter proposals gain pace




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Today is International Ride to Work Day
Ewan McGregor and V85 TT are stars in Sardinia
Pedal-power takes eRockit to 80kph
Suzuki announces presence at MK show
Oxford helps hi-tech fight against thieves
Dramatic fall in uk car production


Knife branding moped thug jailed
5 ways to own a Yamaha R6
Motorcyclist claims "polite vest" ruined my life
Free tags bid to save lives
German firm reveal pedal-powered hybrid
Hardcore KTM 790 Adventure R Rally revealed
Official! Ducati Streetfighter V4 confirmed for 2020


UK motorcycle sales dip in May

Motorcycles could ease congestion says Belgian motoring federation
Watch: One man's $400,000 superbike collection
Charley Boorman reveals latest details about Long Way Up
What it's really like to own an electric motorcycle
Yamaha announce the EC-05 electric scooter


New DVSA videos aim to increase motorcycle awareness


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Ireland "petrol & diesel new car ban"


Story snapshot:

Climate Action Plan set to hammer internal combustion engines (ICEs)

Other environmental proposals form part of a new "green" package


If this kind of thinking spreads, it doesn't bode well for the established/traditional classic bike community—unless, that is, we all remove our motors and replace them with something more environmentally agreeable. Such as pedals. Bicycle pedals, that is.


Only, this kind of thinking is spreading and it didn't begin with Ireland. The land of the little people, however, feels it's getting left behind when it comes to carbon footprint bragging rights, and it wants to boost its international image and get into the electric fast lane, and as quickly as possible.


So by 2030, the plan is to stop the sale of new petrol and diesel cars on the Irish mainland and give the (ultra) green light to the electrics. We should say that we haven't heard specifically that new petrol-powered motorcycles will also be on the slab come 2030, but we figure that the legislation (if and when it arrives) will apply to all fossil fuel vehicle types.


We've heard these threats many times before, and the clock is clearly ticking all around the world. The real problem for the classic bike community, such as it is, is that the petrol infrastructure is likely to take a serious hit following any widespread switchover. Why? Scale of demand. As fewer people use "traditional" fuels, that fuel is likely to become more expensive to transport and supply—unless, that is, there's a very carefully and shrewdly managed shift from petrol to electric. But experience suggests that whenever social trel+"nofollow" ipping points happen, the other end of the see-saw usually comes down with a bump.


On the other hand, it's conceivable that mainstream petrol stations will be replaced by "boutique" petrol stations (or similar) catering to the classic bike and classic car community (which, take note, is worth hundreds of millions of pounds in Ireland, and worth billions in the UK).


That would perhaps herald a return to the pioneer automotive days when enthusiasts bought their fuel initially at chemists, and then at hardware stores and hotels and eventually garages. On the other hand, given the fact that the vast majority of classic vehicles don't actually cover many miles, maybe the new electric regime won't be much of a hardship.



And then there's technology itself which, conceivably, could throw a lifeline to classic vehicles in the form of aftermarket electric wheel hubs and high power batteries. Sounds far fetched, but electric vehicle technology has recently made huge strides and there's no obvious reason to believe that the pace of new development will slow.


By 2030, there are likely to be around one million vehicles on Irish roads with an estimated overall Irish population of around five million (Irish government figures). That compares to an estimated 40 million vehicles on UK roads with a UK population of around 68 - 70 million (UK government numbers).


With regard to the various anti-ICE threats on the loose, in the short term no one need panic. We suspect that appropriate adjustments will be made, and we reason that the classic bike and classic car community will be lobbying hard to ameliorate any problems. On a more morbid note, many of us reading this might not even be around come 2030—and it might well be a few more years after that before the fuel taps are effectively turned off, if that happens in the foreseeable future.


Nevertheless, life is all about changes. So keep riding, keep doing what you do, but be ready. And remember this; classic bikes won't come to an end when the petrol runs out. The scene simply will adjust. After all, if someone offered you, say, a rare 1903 electric motorcycle, think you might enjoy owning and riding that for a while?




At Sump, we're not convinced that global warming is actually happening. Yes, we've heard the propaganda from the usual self-interested (and often agenda-toting) doom-mongers, but we're just not convinced. We're not in "denial", to refute a popular insinuation. We just think the long term evidence is ambiguous, at best, and non-existent, at worst.


More to the point, we doubt that human activity has much to do with any changing weather patterns, all of which are probably completely indifferent to our complex machinations. And even if we have pulled the pin on a climate grenade, we suspect it's only human conceit and arrogance that makes us believe we can control the size, shape and effect of the bang.



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Good on him!Bob Rutherford, Dingwall, Scotland

"Good on him?" What a totally crass thing to say. Well done Sump for presenting this interesting observation—Mark Anders, Norton Interstate, Bournemouth, Dorset

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Shed song

When my plugs refuse to fire
When my mag has lost its spark
When my crank is bent and broken
When my lights have all gone dark
When my gears have all been stripped
When there's nothing from my coil
When my clutch has lost its grip
When my sump has dumped its oil
Don't rush me to the hospital
And park me in a bed
Just dress me in my overalls
And haul me to my shed

There's my lathe, and there's my drill press
Service manuals nicely stacked
Bikes are clean, freshly serviced
All my tools neatly racked
Lots to do, always something
In the place I best belong
Life is short and filled with woe
Mercifully, death is long

No monument need mark my spot
No grieving hearts, no funeral drum
If epitaph is ever needed:
"Average bloke, still having fun"

And if perchance in later years

You think of me, then do this pray

Knock but once the door of memory

Smile and quietly walk away

So shut off the ignition
When I've carburetted my last breath
Life has always kept me busy
And busy will I be in death
But lo! Just keep the quacks away
No medicines or pills be fed
Just dump me where my ghost belongs
Nil by mouth, and all by shed



How is that when I read this, it was like it was being sung, in my head (tune and all!), by Ian Dury!? Good effort, and keep it up.— ''av a good 'un
Mad Ol' Jack

Love this poem. Got s shed of my own. 8’x10’. I've got three bike in there. When I am in the shed, I don’t have any problems, except for when I am working on one of my bikes. All thumpers! Keep up the good work. More Poet's Corner, and all the other good stuff. Keep on thumpering.
—Phillip R Brown USA

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Goodwood Festival of Speed: 60yrs of Honda MCs, 4th - 7th July 2019

Wildman MCs (Spilsby Bike Night organiser); new owner, former apprentice

2019 Royal Enfield Bullet Trial Works Replica price announced: £4,699

"New" airless tyre from Michelin/GM. "UPTIS" concept "ready by 2024"


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Nick Sanders gets an MBE for biking


Story snapshot:

Global adventurer picks up a gong for holidaying around the world

He's also a boater and a pilot


You've probably noticed that here at Sump we're often (way) off-message, and it looks like we're off-message again with the news that serial adventure biker Nick Sanders was awarded an MBE in the 2019 Birthday Honours List for ... wait for it ... services to endurance cycling and motorcycling.


That's right: Services to endurance cycling and motorcycling. Sanders, we hear, has been round the planet seven times. On motorcycles, that is. In 1997 he picked up the world record for the fastest circumnavigation; this being 31 days and 20 hours. He was piloting a Triumph Daytona.


Then, in 2005, he did the trip again in 19 days and 4 hours on a Yamaha R1. At that speed we can't imagine that he actually saw much of the topography. Probably all went by in a blur. In fact, he's been quoted as admitting he really can't remember two trips. They just vanished from memory.


He's also motored from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. He's been to Timbuktu. He's cycled into the record books all over the country, and has cycled twice around the globe. And we hear that he's piloted narrow boats across the channel and has flown hot air balloons and microlights.


Wow! What a guy!


"The Greatest Motorcycle Adventurer in the World!"


Now, we don't know the bloke, and we've certainly got nothing against him. Honest. He's probably a very lovely fella. But getting an award simply for sitting on your butt and riding around the planet on a motorised jolly and wearing out your knee and hip joints on a bicycle doesn't exactly impress us as the kind of activity that warrants an MBE.


Had he been, say, rescuing political prisoners from North Korea and bringing them home on the pillion, we might feel differently. Or had he been clearing minefields in Iraq and/or towing a vacuum cleaner up and down Mount Everest or something equally worthwhile, we'd probably hold a different view about that too.


But enjoying yourself on a round-the-world high-speed jaunt simply to say that you've been there and done it just doesn't strike us as the sort of thing that ought to make the Queen sit up and take notice. Or perhaps we're missing something.


However, these days they dish out medals for pretty much anything and everything that makes the headlines or the Guinness Book of Records (and he's in there somewhere). "For God and the Empire" is the legend on the medal. Need we say more?


Nick is a Mancunian, by the way. He lives in Wales and has three sprogs. He's written extensively about his adventures, and we haven't any doubt he's made a few friends along the way and has fluttered a pennant for Blighty. But beyond that, we're left scratching our heads at what makes it MBE-worthy by riding around on largely well-trod paths and well-made metalled roads whilst following in the tyre tracks of hundreds who've gone before—especially in an age of mobile phones, geo-positioning satellites, comprehensive rescue services, whilst riding state of the art motorcycles.


Meanwhile we're wondering what self-absorbing, self-serving activity we could possibly get involved in that might cause Her Majesty to glance favourably in our direction. Services to cynicism perhaps?


Strange days, indeed.




It's a matter of enduring annoyance to me that the guy who spent 40
years cleaning the toilets, or someone working in a factory or any
number of other people that have spent their lives doing 'ordinary' work
and making a contribution never get one of these awards.
—The Village Squire

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Big Brother isn't simply watching. He's also listening. Meanwhile, there's no truth in the rumour that these ears were modelled on Tony Blair's.


UK Gov roadside noise camera tests


Story snapshot:

New technology to tackle "anti-social" road users

Government in full listening mode


"Noise cameras." That's the way the British government chooses to describe these new devices. Others, meanwhile, are talking about "audio cameras". Regardless, they're currently being tested at seven unspecified locations around the UK with a view to rolling them out nationwide.


Essentially, of course, these are roadside listening devices designed to eavesdrop on passing traffic and pass judgement on whether or not oncoming vehicles are within official levels or have fallen foul of them.


There's nothing new about "noise cameras", however. We used to have them all over the UK, and they were called coppers, and these coppers also monitored speeding road users and wayward farm animals and generally served as a check on idiotic motorised behaviour.


But the coppers were too expensive (and not entirely reliable), so various non-biological devices have been developed, or are under development. So much for the history lesson.



How these gizmos will perform is likely to be a matter of huge controversy, and no doubt the usual vigilant rider and driver groups will howl in extra noisy protest at real or imagined issues, problems and unintended consequences.


But the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA), at least, has reportedly already thrown its weight behind the government, no doubt hoping to stay pally-pally with the Whitehall (or Brussels) mandarins and thereby moderate or help obviate any new engine or exhaust regulations coming down the pike.


Cunning stuff, huh?


Anyway, the incoming government press release has actually told us very little else, except to say that noise can be a nuisance (blah), and can lead to health issues such as raised blood pressure (blah), and has reminded us that law-abiding drivers are not the intended target.




So okay, most of us recognise the aural complaints made against the usual motoring suspects. Noise can be a pain, physically and otherwise; especially if you're particularly sensitive to that kind of stuff. Our more immediate concern, however, is the continuing decline into remote monitoring by the state (and all that kind of big brother stuff)—although we also wonder what new motoring behaviour might follow as noisy drivers/riders seek to dodge the technology. And yes, you'd think that that could be achieved simply by shutting off the throttle and cruising past on the over-run. But who knows? Maybe some shrewd algorithm will be at work that will decode your whisper mode, or something.


Idle thoughts.


On the specific motorcycle front, this tech could clearly have a fairly serious impact on bikes with modified/aftermarket exhausts, and we wonder if the noise equipment might have a greater impact on single cylinder machines, particular older bikes or large capacity singles. Or will there be special exemptions and suchlike? And yes, the noise-o-meters will be linked to ANPR cameras to put a name to the racket and ensure that your motoring/motorcycling penalty will find you within 14 days, etc.


And one more thing to consider; noise isn't simply a question of how much racket a road user is making. Noise also relates to the type of racket and the frequency and register and the rhythm and similar.


If you're a manufacturer, or a retailer of performance modifications, it's easy to speculate on how the new "cameras", if they're ever rolled out nationwide, could have an impact on your business.


Sounds vaguely like trouble brewing.



Since you mention ... Frequency, Register and Rhythm. Isn't that what we all want? Well, perhaps I'm one of the lucky ones. Having got thoroughly 'pigged off' with traffic din and the overhead drone of forty three flights a day to or from Leeds Bradford Airport, I moved to a nice place with a glider club nearby. The fact that large aircraft are restricted from the area seemed a good proposition: all I hear now is the pleasant sound of single-engined types doing a few circuits. But the deal was sealed when I found out that the chap next door had a Norton Dominator—and he uses it. It sounds great. An interesting but alarming article and yet another prod for me to resurrect the B31. Then we'll see what they think of that.—Roj, Sheffield.

Hi Sumpers. The proposed noise monitoring devices throw some interesting challenges not only to noisy bikers—and let's be honest, some boy racer types really kick the @r$e out of it, and as usual the few spoil it for the many. Will the authorities focus solely on bikes 78/1015/EEC? There are a lot of noisy vehicles out there, 70/157/EEC, not only the hot hatchback-hat-on-backwards-white-rap-fans but the haulage and public transport industries are heavy noise polluters. Let's hope the data collected by these proposed devices is made public and maybe a can of worms will be found. Try standing at an urban bus stop and see what's more of a problem and then stand at a rural bus stop. Seems to me a few Tory councillors had their garden parties disturbed by an oik on a ten year old R1 with a straight through and suddenly there's action but Mrs Smith and little Johnny walking to school in killer air pollution have to put up with the noise in their environment without any help. Bah, humbug!—Phil Cowley

This news comes at a time when the ‘do-gooders’ can’t decide if electric vehicles are TOO quiet and a danger to pedestrians! They are talking about adding an artificial sound so they can be heard approaching. That sounds like a really great idea – imagine the latest electric car sounding like a 500 Goldie on full throttle! Cheers.—Terry Lester

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The Great Escape


It looks like Steve McQueen's Triumph from The Great Escape
Right colour, right sound, all the detail's there
Amazing how it turned up after all these years
Just roared out of the woodwork as if from nowhere
Now some folk believe someone's made a big mistake

(but have stopped a long way short of calling it a fake)
But if 'Enry says it's true
Then we're all on song
'Cos 'Enry ain't the type to get his facts all wrong

For many years the bike was herding sheep (or so we hear)
And when the farmer died the TR6 was barned away
By coincidence a Mr Shepherd tracked it down
And now the sun is shining and it's time to make some hay
And yes, we know that anyone can buy a cheap old banger
Then run it through a workshop and create a doppelgänger
But if 'Enry says it's so
Then we're happy to believe
Cos nobody would ever call 'Enry Cole naive

So this really is the bike on which Bud Ekins hopped the fence
History's been made and the truth can only grow
And everyone is happy to believe what they've been told
(and even if it was a fake, who would ever know?)
Yes, it's a lovely, lovely story that has left us all agape
A genuine POW that made the great escape

And if 'Enry says it's so

We offer no contradiction

We're satisfied that Mr Cole knows his facts from fiction



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Velocette Vogue


"Secret collector's" 21 motorcycles


Story snapshot:

A Velocette Vogue and a BMW with a Steib is part of the collection

Bikes to go at the NMM sale in July 2019


This is hardly news, really. It's the kind of thing that's been going on forever, and it will probably continue until the universe collapses beneath the crushing weight of human mediocrity (sorry, sudden cynicism attack). But we mention it here because ... well, it's arguably a cosy reaffirmation of our collective obsession for collecting and hoarding (and also because H&H Auctions wants/needs to get some precious metal shifted).


The story centres on a "Kent-based" man referred to only as "Dad" who over the past few decades had squirreled away 21 bikes, of which his family were largely ignorant. Pride of place, we hear, goes to the immediately above (and undated, but pristine) Velocette Vogue. But there was also an (undated) BMW R60/6 hitched to a Steib sidecar, plus a couple of "spare" Steibs, plus an (undated) 650cc Matchless, and a collection of autocycles.


Kentish Dad, it seems, had begun restoring and hoarding motorcycles way back in the 1950s and 1960s. His daughter, Su [sic], well recalls one or two of the machines, notably the Matchless which she "remembers" riding around the Brands Hatch circuit when she was just 7 years old (so presumably sat on the petrol tank with Dad at the helm).


She also remembers Dad having a garden bonfire which, despite him sitting up well into the small hours to ensure the flames were out, nevertheless managed to creep across the ground and set fire to a wooden fire escape beneath which was the aforementioned Vogue and the Steibs. Naturally there was pandemonium when the blaze was discovered, but mercifully none of the bikes or chairs were damaged; it seems that their blankets or tarpaulins protected them. Less mercifully, Dad suffered burns to both hands, but evidently not enough to put his crafting days behind him.


BMW R60/6 and Steib sidecar


We know that to be true because at some point in the 1970s or 1980s Dad's attention switched to woodworking, and the bikes were deeper stored/secreted/buried around the family home; in sheds, in the garage, under the stairs, in the cellar, etc.


When unearthed, all the bikes were stored appropriately; drained of oils, on blocks, beneath covers, and all were perfectly and meticulously documented in a folder containing log books and sundry paraphernalia (or is that paperphernalia?). Following Dad's demise, the family began a kind of treasure hunt around the property and discovered the motorcycles "hidden in plain sight". And now Dad's two-wheeled legacy is to go under the hammer on 30th July at H&H's National Motorcycle Museum Sale at Bickenhill, Solihull (B92 0EJ).


So there you have it; a familiar tale that's also something of a non-story—and certainly one that lacks all kinds of useful information, such as a comprehensive list of the bikes, the years of manufacture, the condition, the estimates, the lot numbers and other catalogue info (so take a hint all you press release elves).


However, over the next few weeks you can check the H&H catalogue for yourself and see what's what. As of ten minutes ago, the bikes weren't listed. So be your own detective and keep checking, etc, if anything tickles your fancy.






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Transport for London (TfL) marks new 2020 Central London 20mph zones

Moto Guzzi offers 3% finance on V7 III bikes (includes £500 accessories)

Mutt Motorcycles

Mutt Motorcycles/Barbour forge commercial tie-up at Soho Radio Studios

TT racer Daley Mathison killed. Leaves wife and 5 year old daughter

(Desperate?) MCN offers free Oxford Panniers with annual subs (£78 print)

2019 Heritage Classic Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson is celebrating its 5 millionth motorcycle (Heritage Classic)

Malcolm John Rebbenack (Dr John) has died aged 77 (1941 - 2019)


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Paul Valentine Birkby: 1941 - 2019


Story snapshot:

Co-star of the 1970s short-lived sci-fi show has died

He was best known by his stage name of Paul Darrow


Remember Blake's 7, the 1970s British sci-fi show that melded elements of Star Trek, drew hints of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, gave more than a passing nod toward medievalism, anticipated both steampunk and Red Dwarf, and felt as if it was filmed on a shoestring in a BBC broom closet? Well Blake's 7 co-star Paul Darrow, born Paul Birkby, but better known to fans as the character Kerr Avon, has died aged 78.


Blake's 7, broadly speaking, was an on-going yarn about the crew of the spaceship Liberator shuttling around the galaxy and getting into all kinds of death-defying, gravity-defying and Terran Federation-defying exploits.


Dark, obscure, cynical and distinctly dystopian, the Liberator is actually a stolen alien spacecraft cunningly manufactured from washing-up liquid bottles, bits of plastic piping, sealing wax and whatnot.


The crew are a motley bunch of criminals, dissidents and other personas non grata. The plots were often convoluted, highbrow, oblique, overblown and confusing. The motivations of almost everyone was suspect. The theme music was recklessly melodramatic. The sound effects were courtesy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. And overall, it was the kind of show that, like Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner, you have to judge within its own terms.


The lead character was Welsh actor Gareth Thomas who played Roj Blake. Unwilling to commit further to the adventure, he jumped ship after series three leaving Paul Darrow's Kerr Avon character (think Mr Spock) to man the helm and crack the whip. So it was actually Blake's 7 without Blake (and for a while there were only five of them).


Chief antagonist was Supreme Federation Commander Servalvan, the ambitious and ruthless femme fatale played by Jacqueline Pearce (who looked like she cracked a few whips of her own). And there were many other likeable/hateable/smash-'em-in-the-faceable characters including Vila, Gan, Jenna and Cally. And of course there's a computer (named Zen; what else?).


The series was broadcast between 1978 and 1981, and for many of you Sumpsters that would have been when you were mucking around with your first motorcycles and were therefore too occupied to watch TV (unless it was The Sweeney). But we caught a few episodes—not that we can remember watching any adventure from beginning to end.




The cast of Blake's 7 (left to right); Michael Keating as Vila, Jan Chappell as Cally, Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Sally Knyvette as Jenna, Paul Darrow as Avon, and David Jackson as Gan. Note that there are only six of them in this BBC publicity shot.



Paul Darrow was born in Surrey and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Notably, fact fiends, we hear that he shared a flat with actors John Hurt (1940 - 2017) and Ian McShane, better known as the roguish TV antiques dealer Lovejoy.


Darrow worked both in theatre and television and lent his slightly sardonic face and style to British sixties and seventies drama shows such as Emergency – Ward 10, The Saint, Z-Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, and Within These Walls.


He also appeared in later TV shows such as Dombey and Son, Maelstrom, Making News, Pie in the Sky, and Hollyoaks. Meanwhile, on the big screen he took a role in The Raging Moon (1971) starring Malcolm McDowell, and the Bond movie Die Another Day (2002) starring Pierce Brosnan.


Beyond that, when he wasn't a visible presence, Darrow found much work as a voice-over artist, notably with Richard Dawkins's The Root of All Evil? and articulated numerous characters in computer games and similar.


But Blake's 7 (which evidently dispensed with the apostrophe in the logo design; see main image this story) was the production that propelled him to national attention, and if the show (created by Terry Nation who brought the Daleks to Dr Who) is now often viewed as classically camp, corny and even pretentious, it's perhaps a small comfort to know that in its day it was ... well, also largely seen that way.


However, whatever else Blake's 7 was, some of us (actually around 10 million of us in the UK) watched it in a mix of amusement, puzzlement and fascination, and Paul Darrow acquitted himself well given the demands and limitations of the script and budget.


He was still working as recently as 2018 on a TV game show, but time was not on his side. His health took a marked downturn in 2014, and it was the complications of that that heralded his end on 3rd June 2019.


Paul Darrow married once, and that marriage lasted almost 50 years.


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1927 AJS K2


Charterhouse Auctions reminder


Story snapshot:

Saturday 1st June 2019 is the date

73 lots are listed, but we count 69


The highest estimate of any lot at the next Charterhouse Auctions sale is the immediately above (and immediately below) 1927 AJS K2 sidevalve outfit. This handsome 799cc V-twin was built during the salad days of the firm when AJS was still under the control of the Stevens brothers—Harry, George, Albert John (‘Jack’), and Joe Stevens Junior.


In 1938, the Collier Brothers, operating as Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) bought the company and began the process of effectively assimilating/subsuming the AJS brand into their own Matchless marque. But prior to that, AJS had a more distinct identity and presence on the street and produced a long line of very creditable motorcycles, not least the firm's range of V-twins, many (if not most) of which were pressed into sidecar duties for tradesmen and everyday folk looking for reliable and cost-effective motorised transport.


This example is being sold as the property of a "recently deceased's estate" and is estimated at £16,000 - £18,000. It's restored (naturally), but will need some re-commissioning.


The sale will happen on Saturday 1st June 2019 at The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne DT9 3BS.


1927 AJS Model K2 engine

Notionally, there are 73 motorcycle lots on offer, but four of the auction slots are empty. So the true number appears to be 69 (unless we're missing something here).


1928 Matchless T3 500cc


Look out too for a very attractive 1928 500cc Matchless T3 sidevalve single (image immediately above) estimated at £7,500 - £8,000. The bike, we understand, is being sold due to loss of storage—which sounds like a thin excuse when you've still got a living room or bedroom. But that ain't our business.


Here's what Charterhouse has to say about the bike:


A 1928 Matchless T3 500cc, registration number UO 5773, frame number 3689, engine number T3/3055, black and white. UO 5773 has been in the current family ownership (father and two sons) since 1995. Fully restored to a show standard in the late 1990s, the Matchless still presents very well and could still be exhibited today. A well equipped machine it features full acetaldehyde lighting, leather saddle bags and nickel plating throughout. The accompanying history contains a run of previous MOTs and DVLA documents.


Loss of storage, of course, is pretty much an open invite to bidders to get a pretty sharp deal. Whilst we hope the vendor gets a fair price, we'd be naive to ignore ordinary market forces and bidding shrewdness.


So make your play, ladies and gentlemen...





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