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▲ 1973 Yamaha TX650. Have you reached the age when all you're really hoping for is
one more great summer, just like the summers you used to know when you were young and
eager and fearless and energetic? We haven't quite got there yet, but we're definitely on the road—and it's motorcycles like this cool Japanese roadster that remind us of how good most of those years were (and how we took them for granted). The SOHC XS650 parallel twin was an instant classic when it was launched in 1969. It gave BSA, Triumph and Norton a serious jolt, and it probably made Harley-Davidson a little nervous. And Joe Public bought these (or later variants) in their tens of thousands. It wasn't without its faults, notably vibes and twitchiness. But it was a great bike at the right time, and it stayed in production (in one form or another) until 1983. This TX650 variant will be offered for sale by H&H Auctions on Wednesday 9th June 2021 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull. The bike has minor cult status, and this example is anticipating £7,000 - £8,000. Forget the price tag, we say. Just think about summer... UPDATE: The Yamaha didn't sell.

 

June 2021  Classic bike news

 


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


 

Motorcycle news

 












2021 Triumph Trident on the way









How to write a great motorcycle for sale advert

100 years of Alvis exhibition

Allan Jefferies BMW prize draw offer

Kickback Show: entries sought

Calling all coffin dodgers...

One liners - Vic Eastwood

Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 "tin" sign

Catalytic converter thefts on the rise









Poet's Corner: 1959

One liners

Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!

Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date




February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed



 


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost


Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust




 

June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


 

May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route


April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall


March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history


February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer


January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges


December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!


November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners



September 2017 Classic Bike News










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June 2021

 

"Mick Hemmings laps Silverstone"

 

Story snapshot:

The late Mick Hemmings, that is...

A few words on the ritualisation of death

 

Either way you look at it, this story is bound to upset a lot of people. But if we wrote only about stuff of which everyone approved, we'd never write a word. Yes, we've said that before on Sump, but it bears repeating. Some things we write will hurt. And some things need to hurt.

 

This story concerns the late Norton engine and gearbox specialist, Mick Hemmings, who died in May 2021. As reported in the motorcycle trade magazine, British Dealer News (see image immediately above), Hemmings managed to complete two full laps of Silverstone Racing Circuit on his way to the crematorium. That's the long and short of it.

 

His coffin was loaded into the rear of a black Ford Transit van (private ambulance) that was driven by friend, Tim Abbott, and together with son Steve Hemmings and ex-race commentator and MotoGP race champion Keith Huewen, the cortège (such as it was) made its grim way to Silverstone (where Mick had spent many happy hours astride various motorcycles dating back half a century). After a couple of circuits and a few words of eulogy, the coffin was taken to Northampton Crematorium.

 

Now, some folk evidently feel that this was a great send off for one of Britain's—if not one of the world's—best known and most respected Old Nortonians. Certainly, Hemmings' widow Angie has been quoted as saying, "It's a good job we're all mad," a comment presumably made in support of the day's itinerary.

 

But others, no doubt, would consider this event not so much mad as tasteless in the extreme, mind-numbingly mawkish and even bordering on gruesome. Indeed, some might also reference the black comedy Weekend at Bernie's and/or Vladimir Lenin's mausoleum which ... well, let's not go there.

 

However, we also hear that this was exactly how, following a grim pact made with the aforementioned Tim Abbott, Mick wanted to go. True or false, it underscores our often bizarre attitude to death in which we think and act as if the deceased still occupy their bodies and lie around for centuries in cemeteries or urns long after they've shuffled off into oblivion.

 

The dead are dead. Full stop. At some point in the future there might be a second coming and a resurrection (but don't bet more than a fiver on it). In the meantime, when the living pop off, they pop off everywhere. They're gone. Defunct. Vaporised. Evaporated. The personalities dissolve into the ether and into history, and all the black feathered horses and crisp suits and oak coffins and carved headstones and hymns are mere trifles, baubles, and bagatelles in this relentless and unforgiving world and have no place in the other.

 

We were sorry to hear about Mick Hemmings. From all accounts, and from what little we personally knew of him, he was decent bloke who served his time on Earth and paid his way. But the idea of lapping Silverstone in a box in the back of a Transit van leaves us as cold as ... well, death.

 

Around here, we've got a different attitude. When we're gone, we're gone. Chuck what's left in the flames. Get a dustpan and brush. Walk away. Move on. Forget or don't forget. But spare us the dignified Transit and all the other Bible black Victorian affectations. And if you carve anything on whatever unlikely memorials remain, just write GAME OVER or something.

 

All that really matters [warning: preachy indulgence incoming] is how we treat the living. We need to get that right before we get too funereal about those who are past caring. And ritualising death, some would say, simply ain't healthy.

 

Or wait! Maybe the Silverstone last gasp is in fact the right way to handle these things. And maybe there is no right and wrong. Maybe the naysayers should simply say nowt and look the other way while the mourners do whatever it is they need to do to close the book on their private grief.

 

Your views on this, dead or alive, are welcomed.

 

British Dealer News story

 


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Hi Sumpheads. You nailed it. Tacky in the extreme. Great mag. Best around by far.—Loose Bruce, Oxon


In a perfect world we'd all live our lives exactly the way we want to. We would also exit the planet in the way we thought most appropriate. It's sad that we now live in a society where people feel it's fine to be judgemental even about an individuals chosen way to leave the world. If it doesn't affect us and it's not illegal then surely it's down to the individual, not us. If Mick Hemmings wanted to do a last few laps best of luck to him and I for one am pleased that somebody thought enough of the man to carry out his wishes.—The Village Squire

[1. Mick Hemmings, as we said, wasn’t in the coffin when the van lapped Silverstone. Mick was gone. He wasn’t anywhere. It was just his body in the van. You could argue that they might as well simply put one of Mick’s suits in the van, because he wasn’t in that either. Our news piece simply questions how we think of death, and how we treat human remains either by agreement/arrangement or otherwise). We’re questioning how we’re conditioned to think in certain ways, and behave in certain ways.
2. It’s fair to pass comment here because this event wasn’t private. It was made public when it was revealed to the biking press via British Dealer News. Therefore, it fairly invites fair criticism.
3. Judgemental actually implies rushing to judgement, and not simply making a judgement. One way or the other, we all judge things.—Ed]

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"World record for unrestored Vespa"

 

Story snapshot:

Early Douglas Vespa comes of age

£10,925 was the sale price

 

We don't know if this really is a world record, and frankly we don't much care. Records, after all, come and records go—and the only ones that really matter to us are the ones on our stereo turntable. This particular claimed record relates to a 1951 125cc Vespa scooter (Lot 24) which recently sold at the June H&H sale at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull and changed hands for £10,925.

 

The bike was actually imported by Bristol-based Douglas which, as a manufacturer, collapsed in 1957. However, the firm enjoyed a last gasp with these "rod type gear change" scooters (as opposed to cables) modified to suit UK tastes and regulations.

 

 

 

▲ According to Douglas-Vespa, these scooters were good for 45mph and could climb a 1 in 4 gradient. When launched, the price was around £100, plus £27s.15s.4d purchase tax (abolished in 1973 and replaced with value added tax, or VAT). However, judging from the "1960" on the road fund license disc, this soldier didn't actually see all that much action. Still, it looks like the bike's journey isn't quite over. A £10,000 price tag will ensure its survival for some years to come...

 

The first Vespas were designed by aeronautical engineer Corradino D'Ascanio. They were produced by Piaggio in Italy from 1946. This example, we're told, has had just one owner since 1955 who used the bike, among other things, to tour Scandinavia. The last UK Douglas-Vespa scooters were sold in the early 1980s.

 

We can't remember seeing other unrestored Vespa hitting the ten grand mark. But then, we don't pay as much attention as we might to these small wheelers—not that we've got anything against them. Regardless, let's hope that whoever bought it will do the decent thing and get it running and maintain its original time-worn patina.

 

Might happen. See below for more on the June H&H sale at the NMM.

 

www.handh.co.uk

 


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London-Brighton Run motorcycles

 

Story snapshot:

Sunday 7th November 2021 is the date

Note that TfL and H.M Customs have some requirements

 

Not everyone is aware that both cycles and motorcycles can take part in the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run—provided that said vehicles fit the entry criteria which means being manufactured before 1905. Of course, pedalling an Edwardian era pushbike, or labouring an Edwardian motorcycle is likely to be hard work. But for 2021 there are fifteen participants from each class already signed up to cover the 60-odd mile route between Hyde Park Corner, London and Madeira Drive, Brighton. And the organisers, we hear, are happy to see a few more motoring masochists join the throng.

 

But note that if you're coming from Europe, the UK's recent Brexit has put an obstacle in your path that you ignore at your peril. Specifically, you'll need to download a C110 customs form and register your vehicle as a tourist bike, tourist pushbike or tourist car.

 

Also (and this makes us want to spit, so join us around the spitoon if you will), you need to open an account with Transport for London (TfL) and beg an exemption from the demands of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). So much for the fabled emancipation credo which lies at the heart of this event (look online for Locomotives on Highways Act 1896). But it's not the organiser's fault; the organiser being the Royal Automobile Club (RAC). And while we remember, 2021 is the 125th event.

 

Meanwhile, here are some links:

 

1. TfL page on historic vehicles

2. Post-Brexit Euro transportation rules

3. Veteran Car Run entry regulations

 

We've no idea how long these links will stay alive, so if you check out this page at some future date, you might have to do your own legwork.

 

Meanwhile, the date to keep in mind is Sunday 7th November 2021. That's when the run kicks off. But you need to get your entry in without delay to be assured of a place.

 


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H&H NMM results June 2021

 

Story snapshot:

Decent, if largely unspectacular sale

But an Indian Four and a Sparkbrook drew big money...

 

£95,450. Ninety-five grand. Plus change. That's the (OTT?) price paid for the top selling lot at H&H's recent sale at the National Motorcycle Museum on 9th June 2021. The image immediately above is the bike in question; a 1,265cc 1937 Indian Four 437 (Lot 61) that looks dangerously close to being over-restored. We posted a small item on this machine on our Classic Bike News page for April 2021.

 

A month or so ago the £45,000 - £50,000 estimate sounded plenty to us. But the market evidently had other ideas because the bidding sailed past those numbers and ended just shy of £100,000—so now we're hastily searching the Sump garage just in case we're got one or two of these squirreled away in there (which we know we haven't).

 

As much as we like Indian Fours (which is less than we like Indian V-twins) we're surprised to see that kind of money being thrown at one (not without some weighty celebrity/industrial/racing provenance). But in these increasingly polarised times, there seems to be no end of folk with whacking great chequebooks endlessly over-inflating the price of pretty much everything on wheels that's more than ten or fifteen years old. Then again, you have to bow to market forces.

 

There were 150 bikes in the sale, of which 25 didn't find buyers. By our maths, that's a conversion rate of around 83%, and that's respectable enough.

 

 

One bike that's perhaps worthy of a passing mention is Lot 13; a 1969 750cc Triumph Hurricane "evocation"—meaning, in this case, a BSA Rocket Three dressed up in Triumph livery. The sale price was £13,800 which is some way short of what you'd now expect to pay for a genuine Hurricane (which would usually fetch around £25k, and often asking a whole lot more).

 

However, in the Sump neighbourhood we'd be perfectly content with a good quality Hurricane "evocation" as long as it walked and talked and otherwise chugged like the duck it was pretending to be. And yes, that's old-fashioned riding talk as opposed to shrewd investor talk. But we don't care. You can get carried away with this genuine-original thing. Are we right? Moreover, the Hurricane is a BSA Rocket Three. So it's almost as if fate is trying to set the record straight [Steady on there—Ed]. Meanwhile, we have to mention our X-75 Triumph Hurricane metal garage signs. We've still got a few of these in the box if you're quick and willing (see image immediately below).

 

 

 

 

Another well built "evocation" is the above 1923 Bradbury racer (Lot 120). There's not a lot of detail on this "between the wars" velocipede, but we'll give you what we've got. It's a single-port 350cc OHV single. It was fabricated in honour of the "1923 TT machine".  Except that we can't see that a Bradbury racer got anywhere near the winner's podium in that year. If it had, this one would have been in the 350 Junior class, and that was won by Stanley Woods on a Cotton (and followed very closely by Harry Harris (AJS) and Alfie Alexander (Douglas). Any info on this would be welcome, Sumpheads.

 

Bradbury Motorcycles hailed from Wellington Works, Oldham, Lancashire. The company, which dates back to 1852 when it manufactured sewing machines, built its first motorcycle in 1902. The firm was both adventurous and ambitious (weren't they all?) and launched the Peerless brand in 1903. A range of engine configurations were subsequently deployed from vertical singles to horizontally opposed twins to V-twins. The largest machine was 750cc, and if you were a racing man, or woman, you would have seen Bradbury's successfully taking part in hill climbs, endurance events and speed trials.

 

But the 1923 TT? Maybe we need to look a little harder. It happens. Meanwhile, we note that the bike was estimated at £20,000 - £22,000, but failed to launch. As for the company, it ceased motorcycle production in 1924, but wound up all its interests five years later (1929).

 

Other bikes sold include:

 

▲ 1943 750cc Harley-Davidson WLC V-twin (Lot 130). Sold for £14,950.

▲ c1940 350cc Triumph 3HW (Lot 97). OHV single. Sold for £4,830.

 

 

▲ Lot 45 1914 Sparkbrook 770cc. We featured this on Sump Classic Bike News April 2021. The estimate for this rare machine was £22,000 - £24,000. But it topped out at £43,700. And note that Lot 104 was a c1912 Sparkbrook V-twin which sold for £18,975 (see the bike immediately above).

 

▲ Lot 137 1949 500cc Sunbeam S8. A decade ago these technically interesting, if slightly ponderous shaft-drive inline twins, were fetching around five grand, sterling. The balloon-tyred S7s, meanwhile, were priced slightly higher. But over the past decade prices appear to have stagnated. Actually, they've dropped a little both in real terms and in relative terms. This example, which appears to be in prime condition, carries a lot of receipts from Sunbeam S7/S8 specialists, Stewart Engineering. Finished in the correct Polychromatic Grey, the bike has collected a few awards, but needs light re-commissioning. It sold for £5,175.

 

▲ Some folk would say that this creation is a bit pointless. This machine, owner-badged as a TriGrumph, carries a 500cc Triumph twin motor in a Greeves Hawkstone frame. Ergo, more power, better handling. That's the plan, anyway. But the bike also carries more weight, which ain't so good. At Sump we'd prefer a fresh-from-the-crate Greeves two-stroke single or twin, but then again, the half-litre Triumph twin is such a good engine with plenty of feel—and it sounds a whole lot better than a smokin' ring-dinger. The frame is from 1974, so that's the year of registration on the V5C. The bike was built in 2019 for long-distance trials, but has actually covered 100 test miles and needs a little debugging. It sold for a lowly £2,760. Not a lot for a lot of fun in the dirt.

 

Overall, it looks like H&H had a pretty good day, especially in view of the pandemic which is still manifesting itself in all kinds of ways. We're still studying the lots and will post anything we feel like mentioning.

 

The next H&H Sale (motorcycles) will be the A | B | C Live Auction Online scheduled for Wednesday 11th August 2021 at 12 noon (A | B | C means Automobilia, Bikes and Cars).

 

www.handh.co.uk

 


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Taiwan geriatric biker advert

 

Story snapshot:

Old gits back in the saddle in this "inspiring" video

Get your hankies ready...

 

We're reluctant to give this YouTube video a mention (let along a thumbs up). That's because it's pretty cheesy and sickly sentimental. But evidently a lot of folk take a more generous view and have helped rack up around seven million views.

 

As best we can figure it, the vid is an advert for Taiwan Cooperative Bank (aka TC Bank). The ad was created by Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world's biggest advertising and PR agencies with a fat list of blue chip clients (and a fair number of controversies notched on its belt).

 

 

It's not a new advert. But it's new to us. It was just lying there on the screen as a YouTube suggestion, so we swallowed the click bait and saw that it was created in January 2011. However, the "live now, die later" message is as valid today as it was a decade ago, and we figured a few people on Sump might want to see it—if they're not already aware of its existence.

 

 

We won't try to explain it. It will all become quickly apparent as you view. Just be aware that for some it will hit the right spot, and for others it will simply hit a nerve and depress the hell out of them. The advert is called DREAM RANGERS.

 

Watch it, or don't watch it. Different strokes, etc.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vksdBSVAM6g

 


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Winter 2021 NMM Raffle winner

 

Story snapshot:

"NOS" Bonnie finds a new home

But is it "correct" (and do we really care)?

 

If your name is Ian Milford, and if you hail from Perthshire in Scotland, you don't need to be told who that is in the image immediately above, because it's you. And you don't need to be told why you're in the frame because you know that too. It's because you've just won a 1979 new-old-stock (NOS) 750cc T140D Triumph Bonneville Special in the National Motorcycle Museum's Winter 2021 Raffle.

 

The (black and gold) T140D was introduced in '79 shortly after the arrival of the (black and gold) Yamaha XS650 Special. One or two of us here at Sump remember the moment well. The SOHC Yam was a pretty cool looking motorcycle with similar performance, generally fewer vibes, and more features (that included an electric starter, a kick starter, and cast wheels). Also, it was cheaper. But Triumph was fairly quick in producing its own Special, and we think the (pushrod) T140D hit the spot, looked better, and felt better/gruntier.

 

Features of the T140D included a (then) fashionable gaiterless front fork, a 2-into-1 exhaust system, a (divisive) stepped saddle, and Lester cast wheels—which, on the machine above, are actually Morris cast wheels that didn't appear in the Triumph range until a year or two later.

 

It was 1980 when Triumph launched an electric starter on the T140 (but never on the Special; not as standard, anyway), and the bike was available in either Euro specification (low 'bars, square tank) or export specification (high 'bars, "peanut" tank). We also note that this example doesn't have the abbreviated T140D front mudguard which, along with the incorrect wheels, throws the as new/NOS claim into question. But let's not go there, except to say that in 1979 through to 1985, Triumph was serving up quite a few variations on a theme that you wouldn't find in the brochures).

 

Either way, it's a nice set of wheels, and Ian Milford is no doubt every bits as pleased as he looks. The winning ticket, incidentally, was: 0969073.

 

Nice.

 


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Thor's Kermit wins Indian build-off

 

Story snapshot:

Custom building on a £3k budget

Cornwall based dealer comes out tops

 

We recently gave this dealer competition a very brief mention; brief because it's simply not all that interesting. Not to us anyway. But we didn't want to be mean and churlish. So we ran a single line and an image to mark the moment (it's on this page a little further down).

 

What we're talking about here is a basic a marketing wheeze designed to point a few more eyeballs at Indian Motorcycles and drum up sales. Nothing wrong with that, of course. However, it's more than a little passé.

 

Officially dubbed the Project £3K Challenge, the idea was to encourage UK Indian Motorcycle dealers to tart up a Scout for less than three grand. A sixteen week build time was granted, and the newly announced winner was Thor Motorcycles from Cornwall which created the bike immediately above; a bike named Kermit.

 

Features of this mild custom (for want of a better word) include mini-apes, stylised exhaust headers, a side-mounted number plate, an LED headlight, and a green vinyl wrapped finish. So okay, the bike looks decent enough. But the thing is, there's nothing remarkable about these creations. The ex-shop custom scene has long since become a little too easy and obvious. A few bits off the shelf. Crank up the welder. Open a fresh tin of paint. And spend a little time in the workshop on a restrictive budget moving some obvious atoms around.

 

Cruel words, perhaps. But they ring true. We've simply seen and heard it all before. Meanwhile, what we're really looking for at Sump is something different. Something inventive. Something surprising. Something else.

 

So okay, some of these ex-shop bikes are/were built by very talented hands. We know that. But without some seriously fresh thinking, it all pretty much comes out exactly the same.

 

What would be a lot more interesting would be, say, a competition to explore the things that people do with their bikes and the places they go. Not just so-called charitable rides, note, but life-building exploits and all that good personal karma hippy s#!t. Or maybe some amateur short films about people's bikes and their riding experience. Or some short motorcycle fiction movies made with smartphones. Or a competition in which people/dealers create homages to their motorcycles (artwork and stuff), or are tasked with devising a biking advert of some kind. The trick, of course, is finding novel/cost-effective ways to market these ideas.

 

Meanwhile, what we've got right now is the same old same old yah-dah-yah-dah wearing the same old groove. Nice bikes, but so what?

 

All that aside, congrats to Thor, etc. However, Déjà Vu might have been a better name for this one.

 

https://thormotorcycles.co.uk

 


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I have to say I agree with the Sump editors on this one. These shop customs are getting very 'samey' and there's just not enough effort going in at the ideas stage. Custom bike styles are like fashion in clothes; you have to move on to something new every so often. These things are stuck in a rut. Punk was edgy and vibrant until you could buy it off the rack in Marks and Spencer and then it just died. If these people can't get away from 'formula build' bobbers and pseudo flat trackers and come up with something fresh we're all going to stop taking any notice. Personally, I already have.—The Village Squire.


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National NHS datagrab imminent

 

Story snapshot:

The UK government would rather you didn't read this

The biggest ever NHS information snatch is about to happen

 

You don't really need to remember the date above; June 23rd 2021. That's because if you care about this issue, you need to deal with it immediately. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But NOW.

 

Alternately, do nothing.

 

What's happening is that the UK government is about to copy a huge tranche of National Health Service patient data to a digital database where it will be available to researchers, government departments and (perhaps more ominously) private institutions. That's around 55 million names and records. Some or all of the data, we're told, will be anonymised. But you'll have to take the government's word for that—and if we've learned anything at all over the past twenty or thirty years, it's that you can't trust the state with digital data. Moreover, anonymised data can be always be reversed when it's politically expedient to do so.

 

Meanwhile, it seems that the collected data will include information relating to pregnancies, abortions, criminal convictions, drug use, alcoholism, relationship status and many other factors. Put simply, whatever you've got on your NHS record will go into the mix.

 

Officially, the title for this project is: General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR). But consultation has been negligible. Transparency is non-existent. And the plans have been hurried through, probably in the hope that no one notices.

 

Backlash

 

A backlash has started, not least within the medical profession where numerous GPs are refusing to hand over their data. The London Borough of Tower Hamlets appears to be the focal point for this burgeoning revolt. But many doctors and other health workers elsewhere in the UK are said to be very unhappy with the proposed data grab. And note that there could be legal consequences relating to this refusal under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, but that's an issue for another day.

 

If this news troubles you, click on the link below for a template letter that you can send to your own GP. Also, we've supplied a NHS link which will register your interest, or lack of, directly to the government.

 

Some would say that accessing this data could have huge benefits, notably when it comes to long term medical and social planning, and when dealing with issues such as pandemics. And naturally, a few people are likely to trouser a lot of money, no doubt in ways that we ignorant mortals probably haven't considered. Either way, it's a huge change and it's being steamrollered through by Whitehall, and that alone is a pretty good reason to hit the pause button.

 

And remember too that this data can and will be correlated with other data profiles already being bought and sold around the planet. Meanwhile, it's only a question of time before the database is hacked and cracked, etc, etc.

 

It's not the first time that this kind of grab has been tried. It first appeared back in 2013 and was quietly abandoned three years later. Well now it's back, and you might be interested to know that the plan was officially announced just six weeks ago. That's how fast this steamroller is moving.

 

Paranoia?

 

Too much paranoia here? You can decide that for yourself. But here at Sump we'll certainly be dropping a line to .gov and suggesting that they include us out of this move. We can, after all, decide later to opt-in.

 

At the risk of overdosing on raw cynicism, it's a sly, underhand and duplicitous world out there. Most of us are already over-exposed with our data, if not voluntarily then simply by being too fast and loose with the personal information that we broadcast.

 

23rd June 2021 is D-Date. But right now is the moment.

 

GP opt-out template letter

NHS opt out link

 

UPDATE 1: We've just completed the opt out process via the link above, and it's fast and simple. Whether or not the government honours our decision remains to be seen. And we might change our minds (albeit unlikely). But for now, we've put the brakes on.

 

UPDATE 2: The government has since extended the opt-out date to 1st September 2021. However, if you want to opt out, we suggest that you do it immediately.

 


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2021-Triumph-Speed-Twin

 

2021 Triumph Speed Twin revealed

 

Story snapshot:

Slightly more power

Faster pick-up and sharper stopping

 

Triumph has just released details of the 2021 Speed Twin. It's all positive stuff, but we're still hoping that the original Amaranth Red might feature on the colour palette. But so far, there's only Red, Grey and Black on offer.

 

Meanwhile, head over to Sump's mainstream Motorcycle News Page for a few more details on the forthcoming arrival.

 


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