Remember when this bike was launched? We do. It was 1993 and

Hinckley Triumph was still groping through the early stages of product development as faced

by all new start-ups, and that's effectively what Triumph was. A start-up. An old name, but a new beginning. Modular engineering helped keep costs down, and pretty much everything was over-engineered. When this Tiger 900 happened along, we rode one and were impressed. Yes, it was tall, top heavy, relatively crude, had grabby brakes and over-soft forks. But it was rugged and it had its own peculiar style, and the motor felt bomb-proof—and many of these engines have since covered huge mileages with only minor issues. This example (Lot 232) is going under the hammer on 24th June 2020; just one motorcycle lot in H&H Auction's online sale. It's had one owner from new, is showing 21,135 miles, has been dry stored and needs a new home. And take note, it's a Category D repair job. H&H have estimated £500 - £1,500. We think it could be a good investment for someone, and at 27 years old is already something of a classic modern Triumph. www.handh.co.uk. UPDATE: The bike sold for £1,350.


June 2020  Classic bike news

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


Motorcycle news

How to write a great motorcycle for sale advert

100 years of Alvis exhibition

Allan Jefferies BMW prize draw offer

Kickback Show: entries sought

Calling all coffin dodgers...

One liners - Vic Eastwood

Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 "tin" sign

Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

Poet's Corner: 1959

One liners

Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!

Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date

February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost

Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

Sump news archive



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


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MOT testing to be reintroduced from

1st August 2020


Story snapshot:

The six month exemption is ending soon

Check the detail to see if it applies to you


Since 1st March 2020, many UK owners of motorcycles, cars and vans have "enjoyed" a relaxation of the MOT regulations. Specifically, vehicles due an MOT test before that date were still subject to the standard MOT requirement.


But vehicles due an MOT after that date were granted a six month extension to 1st August 2020. And that six month extension will be ongoing until that date. So if your MOT test falls on, say, 6th July 2020, you won't have to visit a garage and be tested until 6th December 2020.


However, vehicles due an MOT test after 1st August 2020 will once again be required to get their wheels prodded and poked in the conventional way.


The changes can be seen as another sign that the country is getting back to normal, except that it looks likely to be a new normal with very different rules and procedures.


What's helped prompt the government into re-establishing the MOT requirement are increasing fears that there are now too many unchecked vehicles on the roads, many of them dangerously so. We don't have any figures. But there are many anecdotal reports of vehicle accidents which have been associated with overdue MOT tests.


Two other points to consider:


1.Vehicle owners are still at liberty to have their motorcycle, car or van tested regardless of the legal requirement—and if the vehicle fails that test, it will require another test before being granted a certificate. No exemptions will apply.


2. Many garages are offering a collection and return service for owners who are self-isolating.


Meanwhile, the government is reminding riders and motorists of the requirement to maintain their vehicle in good mechanical condition, etc.


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The 2020 EICMA Show is cancelled


Story snapshot:

3rd - 8th November 2020 was the date

11th - 14th November 2021 is the new date

We're not even going to bother writing a piece on this. Just check the organiser's message immediately above. Note that it doesn't specifically mention Covid-19, but we can take it for granted that that's at the root of it. Or can we?


Either way, the event is cancelled.


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2020 Dirt Bike Show hits the dirt


Story snapshot:

Morton Motorcycle Media has cancelled the event until 2021

The coronavirus claims another victim


We haven't been told anything about this cancellation except (a) that the show isn't going to happen this year, and (b) that it will be returning in 2021.


So if you've booked tickets or trade space, you'll have to talk to The Empire and see exactly what the deal is.


The 2020 date was scheduled for 31st October to 1st November. And of course, Stafford was the planned venue.


As for returning next year, our advice is not to book anything until you see exactly how this coronavirus issue resolves.


Judging from recent news reports of people gathering en masse on beaches and at raves, and literally running riot in various UK cities, a second wave of infections is highly likely.


Beyond that, an uplift is predicted come the end of the year when the usual flu epidemics return.


Keep your distance, we say.




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Pensions Ombudsman: Stuart Garner ordered to repay £14m, plus £110k

UK motorcycle dealers report second hand stock shortage. Time to unload?

New UK DVLA service launched allows online updates to log books (V5C)

"Green number plates" for all UK low emission vehicles by Autumn 2020

Film director Joel Schumacher dies at 80 (Batman Forever, Falling Down)

Abernathy's H-D dissociates itself from its anti-BLM Facebooks comments

Harley-Davidson and Polaris revoke Abernathy H-D franchise


I bought a new Guzzi V85TT recently. My 8 year KTM 990 Adventure I hoped to sell separately, when I’d prepped it. I trawled around a little to get an idea of the current market, trade and private. The price was shall we say taken advantage of by dealers claiming the downturn in demand due to Covid. So I don’t get how there is a shortage of second hand bikes in dealers other than the game plan didn’t work out for them as expected. Expecting too much leverage of the situation. I shall keep both, use the KTM as a winter disposable rather than give the second hand industry a new but fake angle to shaft me.—Regards, Chobbler

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Don't say Confederate, say Combat


Story snapshot:

The Birmingham, Alabama firm de-toxifies...

... again

If the current wave of statue bashing, monument smashing and rampant political hysteria regarding the Black Lives Matter movement has got you foaming, you might want to read about the new and official name change of Confederate Motorcycles to Combat Motors.


But if you don't want to get into all that political crap and racial controversy, we suggest you pass this story and watch TV or brush your teeth or something.


Either way, file this one under World Gone Mad.


Confederate to Combat story


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Harley-Davidson evicted from top stock index

The passing of John Craigie [Centurion, Ketts, Peter Gleave Distributors]

Testing and training centres to remain closed [except for essential workers]


Emergency call system by Bosch aims to halve ambulance response times

Wheels to Work scheme set up to get people moving cheaply and easily

New Bullit V-Bob 250 twin offers cool cruiser style for less than £4k

Return of the Hondamatic? Patent reveals clutchless CB1100


Advanced training restarts but learners left waiting

Zontes entering the maxi scooter market


Is this what a Bentley motorcycle would look like?

This 15,000 brick LEGO Ducati Panigale V4 R looks like the real thing!


Is Honda returning to Hondamatic transmission?

Royal Enfield launches first women’s riding gear

Is web motorcycle purchase the new normal?


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1972 Yamaha XS650


H&H online June auction reminder


Story snapshot:

Fairly run-of-the-mill classic collection

A 1951 Vincent Comet tops the estimates

We been counting the motorcycle lots, and it seems that the next H&H online auction, scheduled for Wednesday 24th June 2020, has shaped up quite nicely and now boasts 53 bikes—of which only a few are in bits.


The highest estimate is for Lot 231, a 1951 500cc Vincent Comet which, say H&H, is looking at around £18,000 - £19,500. The other bikes are a reasonable spread of Brit, Jap and mainland European machines, notably with a bunch of NSU's (7 actually, including a project) that look to be the collection of one, or maybe two, people. The estimates of these bikes range from £1,500 - £7,000.


1939 Ariel VH Red Hunter


There's a nice looking 500cc 1938 Ariel Red Hunter VH (Lot 215) estimated at £11,000 - £13,000. It's said to be restored to a high standard, but it's hard to see that from the posted images. Not that it looks shabby; it's just hard to study clearly. But viewing is available if you're quick. You've got four days left. Or ask the auctioneers for some better/larger images.


1972 BSA Rocket Three


And if you're into "classic" 750cc BSA Rocket Threes (and why would you not be?), there's a 1972 example that's been repatriated from Florida USA, but is UK registered. It looks a bit uncared for, and the engine has been painted or enamelled black (not our taste, but there you go). Otherwise these triples are fabulous riding machines (if a little under-braked) and make a satisfying racket in a narrow street with tall buildings, etc. The estimate is £10,000 - £11,500. It's Lot 241, incidentally. We've seen Rockets of this era fetching much bigger money. Can't imagine these selling much cheaper. But the world is a perverse place...


XS650 Yamaha


Other stuff we like include the 1972 650cc Yamaha XS650 as illustrated (a) at the top of this news story and (b) the image immediately above (Lot 251). Apparently it was restored a few years back and has the patina of a machine that hasn't seen much use (you know the warning signs). Could be restored again, but it doesn't appear to have gone that far. In fact an afternoon or two should double its kerbside appeal.


And these are great twins and worth their money—except that it seems to us that the prices have remained pretty stagnant for many years. So, has the world simply forgot about the venerable XS Yam? Maybe. The H&H example, take note, isn't the very early model with the drum brakes. You'd pay a fair bit more for an equivalent condition early example (they were introduced in 1969, by the way). But this one looks to be otherwise well sorted and displays the classic livery of that era.


It's now June 20th 2020, the longest day (meaning that it's downhill from here to late December). So better contact H&H if you want to get make some more biking hay while the sun is shining.


Note: also see the Triumph Tiger 900 story at the very top of this page.




The 1951 Vincent Comet didn't sell

The 1938 Ariel Red Hunter was, apparently, withdrawn

The 1972 BSA Rocket Three sold for £9,225

The 1972 Yamaha XS650 sold for £3,600


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2020 Intermot show is "suspended"


Story snapshot:

The Cologne Show is now looking at a digital event

But EICMA is still listed


The event date was to be the 6th and 11th October 2020. But it's all over before it began for obvious reasons. The best that might come out of it is a digital event that's planned for later in the year, but there are no details.


Intermot is a major gathering for the motorcycle trade. Founded in 1998, it's a chance to showcase the latest motorcycles and related products. It was for a while staged in Munich, but Cologne (or Köln if you prefer) is where it's at. It's a biennial event.


So far, however, we note that the EICMA Show in Milan scheduled for 5th - 8th November 2020 is still listed. But we'll be very surprised if it goes ahead. Many shows live and die on very thin margins. Consequently even a small drop in visitor numbers can make an event non-viable. But let's not bury the body until we're sure it's dead, etc.


Stay tuned.


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2020 Goodwood Festival is cancelled


Story snapshot:

Tickets refunds or a ticket rollover is offered

And the (never 'eard of it) GSA is being re-launched

We can't imagine that there were too many Sumpsters planning to attend this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed near Chichester, West Sussex between 9th and 12th July 2020. But there were bound to be a few. And if that includes you, you might want to know that the fish is off, so to speak.


Yes, it's the coronavirus emergency yet again, and because many of the (filthy rich and well connected) Goodwood set are enjoying the autumn of their lives (some of whom being long past their three score years and ten, and therefore statistical time bombs), Covid-19 is no doubt a bigger threat than it is to many other demographics. So for this season they're foregoing the champagne and caviar.


Meanwhile, anyone holding 2020 tickets can ask for a refund (and they'll probably get it), or they can "rollover" their tickets to next year (2021). And because the Goodwood organisers are now considerably out of pocket and need a cash injection, they've re-launched the Goodwood Supporters' Association (GSA).


We haven't looked too deeply into this august body or group, but there seems to be some kind of membership scheme with various "benefits" for the cognoscenti. But between you, us and the internet, it sounds more like an upper class begging bowl. Or are we being too cruel?


Wouldn't be the first time.




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Motorcycle metal sign - Coventry-Eagle


Cool Sump metal signs back in stock


Story snapshot:

Coventry-Eagle metal garage signs reprinted

Norton Commando, Vincent & Honda CB750-Four too


Honda CB7504 metal wall signThe coronavirus hasn't been bad for us at Sump, saleswise. We've sold more of pretty much everything, and we sold out of many items that were hard to restock (courtesy of our usual UK suppliers).


But the above Coventry-Eagle metal sign is back in small numbers (apologies to those among you who tried to order one), and we've currently got pretty much everything else on the shelves. However, general online sales are up, and we feel that these won't last—but it's all a small recompense for the coronavirus that no one needs.


Vincent motorcycle metal wall signSo why don't we simply print fifty signs at a time? Hard capital, that's why. Actually, it's the twin horns of hard capital and a fickle market. We've got 30-odd signs on our books, and we're working on more. And it doesn't pay to order stock that doesn't move fast enough. That's how business works. And how it fails. Ordering 50 of each sign would tie up thousands of pounds. And markets can abruptly change. And we're also buying and stocking many other items.


But wait, why don't we order hundreds or thousands of metal signs and sell them through other retail outlets? Because we don't want to.


We don't want to be the next Amazon or Primark. We just want to be big enough and comfortable enough, and then go biking and enjoy our lives. We want to stay smallish. Boutique even.


So we order in relatively small batches; 5, 10 or occasionally 20 at a time. And there's no telling when the stock will run out, and when we'll stop ordering. Consequently, if you like what you see, make it yours.




Sump metal garage signs


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Mark Williams: Running Out Of Road


Story snapshot:

Bike magazine founding editor has a new motorcycle blog

Expect to be upset sooner or later

Many of you greybeard Sumpsters will be very familiar with the "scribblings" (his word, not ours) of Mark Williams, bigmouth biker in the best tradition and an oft refreshing voice in a wilderness of generally stale and excruciatingly predictable motorcycling rhetoric. You'll perhaps recall that he was the founding editor of Bike magazine way back in the very early 1970s (when Bike wasn't just worth reading, but was essential reading).


You'll perhaps also associate him with MotorCycle International, WhichBike?, Classic Bike Guide and various other rags (not necessarily in that order).


We certainly remember him. Indeed, we cite Mark Williams—who decades ago we met once or twice (although he won't remember)—as one of our own influences. And although we didn't read his output religiously, we did occasionally enjoy a meaningful sermon in his temple.


However, we're a little disturbed to be reminded that all that visceral and trenchant opinion started around 49 years ago, which goes to show that time really does fly when you're ... well, getting old.


Well now, to celebrate and/or erect a monument to the passage of that elusive time, Mark has begun repackaging his literary output in a brand new motorcycle blog called Running Out Of Road which, strangely enough, sounds oddly familiar. Moreover, he plans/threatens to add to that outpouring with new material.


So if you're interested in watching a bloke skin his knuckles right down to the bone on the ragged edge of controversy, and if you enjoy a few "wild claims and mindless nonsense", you're advised to go ahead check his blog.


If nothing else, you'll no doubt be dubiously and variously entertained, illuminated and edified, and you'll be shown that we at Sump aren't the only people in biking with a track record of upsetting people.


It's early blogging days, mind. But we'll be watching to see just how much more asphalt Mark can put under his tyres.


It ain't over 'til it's over, etc.


Mark Williams: Running Out Of Road



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Mutt Razorback 125 hits the streets


Story snapshot:

Birmingham built with a Chinese motor

Lots of bells and whistles help keep this on song


The guys at Mutt Motorcycles in Birmingham must get through a lot of Shredded Wheat because they keep finding new ways to keep the Mutt flame burning when Covid-19 is leaving many other motorcycle manufacturers in the dark.


The latest offering from the aggressively ambitious Brummie firm is the (immediately above) Razorback 125 which is on sale now at £3,495 plus whatever OTR costs are applicable. We've already posted a few snaps on Sump's June Motorcycle News page. So you might want to take a ride over there and see if you can be persuaded to part with £3.5k (plus change) for a lightweight urban gadabout powered by a cloned Jap 125cc four-stroke built by the Chinese—albeit hitched to a rig that's been heavily reworked right here in Blighty by the blokes and birds at Mutt.


Follow the link, etc, as required...


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Hackers halt Honda Production Worldwide

May [motorcycle] registrations down but not out

CMC closes Manchester store [permanently]

MV Ride app


False ecology: The truth about electric motorbikes and the environment

Blowing hot air: Yamaha set to fit turbos across their range

 The new modular helmet from SHARK


Aprilia Tuono 660 edges towards production

Scoop: production-spec Benelli 1200 images leaked

New Benelli TRK800 spied


We want to pull wheelies like Sammy Miller when we’re 86-years old!

VR46 COVID-19 face masks are now a thing!


Electric Emula will emulate any motorcycle [engine sound]

Harley-Davidson plans self balancing bike

Indian Motorcycle plans electric EFTR


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Story snapshot:

Sump calls on the MCIA and the wider motorcycle industry for support

200-300 million tons of plastic dumped annually in world landfills (UN figure)

We're not picking on any particular motorcycle manufacturer with this clumsy but pointed graphic (immediately above), and no inference should be drawn regarding the size and/or positioning of the signs. Fact is, all the world's bike firms use plastic to a greater or lesser extent, and we're all guilty of buying it. The environment, however, is taking a massive hit—and it's getting worse every year.


At Sump we're not protest junkies. But this issue is simply too big to ignore and become complacent about. Thousands of tons of motorcycle plastics are trashed every year, and that includes plastics from helmets, body armour, luggage and much more. If you care about this issue, send a message to your bike dealer when you next venture forth. Ask about the plastics used. Can they be recycled—or is that remotorcycled? Is there a recyclable alternative? Ask your dealer to pass the word along to the MCIA and other trade groups.




We can ride, but we can't hide




We sent a press release on this issue to the MCIA (Motor Cycle Industry Association). We also sent it to MCN, Visordown, Bennetts Bike Social, Mortons Motorcycle Media, Bike Magazine, Back Street Heroes, the BMF, plus various other mags, groups and individuals in the motorcycle scene. In the event, only British Dealer News offered support and ran the press release. Everyone else kept quiet, just as we expected.


Once again, self-interest and corporate denial-of-rivals rules.


But we're calling these guys out once again. It's newsworthy if they back this initiative and help spread the word that we need to GET A GRIP ON THE PLASTIC! But it's also newsworthy if they don't—and yes, the chances are they'll get around to it sooner or later.


We can wait. And we don't much care who shouts loudest over this, just as long as we start cleaning up the mess and reducing our plastic consumption.


Meanwhile, keep in mind that motorcycles used to be made almost entirely from metals and rubber. It's time to turn back this clock wherever we can, and look for new solutions, and get a grip on motorcycle manufacture related pollution.


Help spread the word if you can, and if you will.


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Harley-Davidson backs George Floyd


Story snapshot:

MoCo climbs off the bikes and onto the bandwagon

Statement posted on the company's Facebook page


Being the cynical b@$t@rds we are, we're almost compelled to treat the recent H-D Facebook post regarding George Floyd as little more than unashamed commercial opportunism. That might be putting it too strongly, but it's a highly sensitive subject that would give many if not most PR agencies huge scope for questioning the wisdom of politicising the company's public profile.


George Floyd, you'll recall, was the 46-year old man (note that we don't say "black" man) recently killed by one or more members of the Minneapolis police force following a botched arrest in which a cop knelt for around nine minutes on Floyd's neck cutting off vital air and/or blood.


The (slightly klunky) H-D message reads:


‘Racism, hate or intolerance have no place at Harley-Davidson. We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues and riders, as we condemn acts of racism and bigotry of any kind, and move forward together toward an equitable society for all.

United we ride.’


Now don't misunderstand. What happened to George Floyd was, it appears, an outrage; and one that might not reach a satisfactory settlement in terms of justice now that the nuances of the latest charges might be inappropriate for the offences. In other words, Floyd's killer/killers might later be acquitted because a "higher charge" than simple manslaughter simply won't stand the judicial test. It happens.


"Black lives matter" is the ongoing rallying cry, and it's one that Harley-Davidson is now trumpeting courtesy of Facebook. But it's an ill-advised call to arms inasmuch as it wrongly focuses attention on the issue of colour and inadvertently reinforces racial division.


In other words, it matters not what colour Floyd was, he simply ought not to be dead. But he was a big bloke, and cops often prefer to push the big guys around to show how tough they are, etc. And as a result he died whilst under their dubious control. As a result, we're now witnessing an orgy of protest around the world (and watching statues being murdered), largely by people who we suspect are just as interested in having a good street brawl with the fuzz as broadcasting a clear and unequivocal message through the media to the politicians and the populace.



Meanwhile, H-D, struggling to survive an ongoing decline in sales and now facing the added problem of a global pandemic wants to reassure everyone that it's on the right side of history, hence its willingness to kneel (so to speak) for nine minutes in solidarity.


Maybe the company genuinely meant well, but we think that's a mistake. If the Harley-Davidson execs and general workforce don't mind dirtying their knees and trouser cuffs, then fine; get down there in the dirt and show some support. But for the company to make such a gesture at this point in time and with the balance books showing plenty of red ink looks as cynical as anything we could offer and could even backfire a little as and when the mood turns against corporate America.


At Sump, we've got no reason to question H-D's fundamental integrity. We take that for granted. It's a great firm with a stand-up history. So maybe it was simply the last line in the company's Facebook statement that tipped our opinion from quiet acceptance of MoCo's stance to something bordering suspicion.


"United we ride".


Could have been worse, mind. The statement might have read;


"United we ride ... a Harley-Davidson, now on offer with great aftersales support and a thriving social scene with a heritage second to none. Take a test ride on the mean streets near to you and feel the wind of freedom."


Close one, huh?


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Motorcycle companies, along with actors, supposed celebrities, sports personalities, etc, should really stay out of the moral grandstanding arena and stick to what they do 'best'. It's not a good look, and they don't generally come across as sincere, rather as champions of virtue signalling.—The Village Squire

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Sarah Gibson UK Admiralty dispatch rider

Sarah Gibson of the celebrated "The Fighting Wellses" has died aged 98

UK May 2020 motorcycle sales (at 5,394 units) down 50.4% on May 2019

Seven month photocard licence renewal extension. Check DVLA website

Steve Priest, bass player with 70s glam rockers "The Sweet" dies aged 72

Triumph Lockdown Heroes Campaign. 10 nominees. Gift boxes.

2020 Motorcycle Live postponed until 2021 - coronavirus issues cited


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Stafford Show postponed again


Story snapshot:

The Spring Stafford Show is long dead

But The Empire plans to revive it for the Autumn

It was to be held in April 2020, but the coronavirus emergency put paid to that, so the Spring Stafford Show was rescheduled for August 2020. But things being what they are, and what with the experts and politicians failing to provide a seriously hard, rock-solid, shoot-on-sight lockdown at the start of the pandemic, that was considered impractical with regard to social distancing, etc. So Mortons Motorcycle Media has shifted the event again; this time to the Autumn Classic Mechanics show on 10th & 11th October 2020, and that's a Saturday and Sunday.


Amusingly, Mortons tells us that the events have joined forces (whatever the hell that means). So if you need your annual classic fix at Stafford, and many people still do, and if the goalposts don't shift again, head for October.


We also note that trade bookings and ticket sales for the Spring event will be honoured.




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1986 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica


Bonhams 30th May online auction


Story snapshot:

Bonhams rightly claims a 100 percent sell-through rate

However, there were only 11 motorcycle lots on offer


The immediately above 1986 1,000cc Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica was the top selling lot at the Bonhams online auction held on 30th May 2020. The bike sold for £16,875 including premium.


The lowest selling lot was a 1990 1,000cc BMW K100RS which sold for £1,462 (also including premium). The bike requires some re-commissioning and restoration, and is showing 56,032 miles—and if you're looking for a future classic, this would probably fit the bill. But you might have to wait a few decades for it to come of age. Tip; the BMW K1 is a far better investment if you can find one, and these rare Bavarian birds are already on the way up.


The other motorcycles on offer were a pretty unremarkable mix of similar sports or sports touring machines except for a 2012 Triumph Bonneville 865 SE which sold for £4,725.


It's perhaps sacrilege to say it, but the really interesting stuff on offer was on the classic cars which included a bevy of charming 1930s Austins, MGs, Alvis's, Sunbeams and suchlike. But we note that there's a lot of downward price adjustments and no-sales of more modern 1970s Aston Martins (if that interests anyone).


Meanwhile, the rapid rise of classic Fords of the 70s through to the 90s (Escorts, Sierra Cosworths, etc) seems to have topped out. But that's just a quick impression and not an in-depth analysis.


The next Bonhams online auction is scheduled for 24th June 2020. We count 26 motorcycles consigned so far, and we'll probably take closer a look at those in due course.




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Around 400 Triumph staff axed


Story snapshot:

240 jobs lost in the UK

150 jobs lost overseas

There's really not much more to say beyond the raw headlines. Triumph motorcycles has released a statement telling us that about 400 staff worldwide are being made redundant. The reason, naturally, is collapsed sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Exactly where the cuts will be made isn't known yet. But we suspect that it will be across the board from marketing to production and possibly R&D. It's bad news for Triumph, and even worse for the staff members being shown the door while Covid-19 is on the loose. But did Triumph have any viable choice?


You tell us.



If you're looking for the Job Centre in Hinckley, Leicestershire, you need to head for the Hub. But don't bother moseying down there at the moment because when we last checked, it was temporarily closed.



On a related note, we see that Triumph owner John Bloor, 76, has recently seen his £1.1 billion piggy bank jump to £1.9 billion. At least, that's how The Sunday Times reports it.


So what are the chances of Bloor meeting any of his redundant staff down at the Job Centre? Not very likely, we reckon.


Meanwhile, click this JOHN BLOOR PIGGY BANK LINK to find out what £1 billion looks like when expressed in millions (just in case you were curious). And if The Sunday Times has got its numbers right, remember to pretty much double what you see.


It's a hard life if you don't weaken, whatever that means.



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