Yamaha based cafe racer from Switzerland
It ain't every day that a new Egli motorcycle comes hurtling around the bend. In fact, it's 25 years since the last variation on the Egli theme took shape. But then, you could also say that this particular Swiss roller has actually taken 51-years to arrive, because that's how long it is since the company was founded by Fritz Walter Egli.
Developed at the Egli Motorradtechnik AG workshop in Bettwil, Switzerland, this new cafe racer is based upon the Yamaha XJR1300 platform. Details are scarce, but we can tell you that (a) the chassis is structured around the now classic Egli central tube concept; (b) the rake angle is 24.5-degrees; (c) the wheelbase is 1,470mm (57.8-inches); and (d) the swinging arm length is 21.6-inches (but in the real world, how many riding folk really need to know any or all of that?).
Actually, there's a little more info. The front fork is a 43mm Öhlins RSU. Rear suspension is via a pair of Öhlins shocks. The front brakes are twin 297mm cast iron Beringer Aeronal discs gripped by twin Beringer 6-piston fixed calipers. And the rear brake is a 267mm steel disc with a Beringer fixed twin-pot caliper.
The engine is, apparently, a stock XJR1300 four-cylinder air-cooled lump. The bore and stroke is, respectively, 79mm x 63.8mm. The capacity is 1,251cc. Maximum power is 97.8PS (96.4bhp) @ 8,000rpm. Maximum torque is 108.4Nm (79.9lbs-ft) @ 6,000rpm. The gears number five. And the all-up weight is a hefty (208kgs) 458lbs, wet. That, we hear, is around 36kg (79lbs) less than a stock XJR1300 (which doesn't really sound all that impressive).
The price is 51,000 Swiss francs. At today's exchange rate (31st March 2017) that converts to £40,590.
Here at Sump we've been discussing this bike, and we've got mixed feelings. The Egli name obviously has a lot of gravitas, but the consensus is that, as much as we like the Yamaha XJR1300, we reckon that the Egli monicker ought to have been affixed to something inherently more sporty rather than the big, blustering muscle bike that's made the big Yam so popular.
Amusingly, Egli's PR people tell us that this bike is "true to the Egli slogan" which is; "Rides as if on rails". We know what they mean, of course, but riding on rails also means that you can't turn any way you want to just because you feel like it. Not a great marketing line for a cafe racer.
Maybe a new slogan is overdue.
"Garage" themed retro lid
£59.99 - £69.99
So okay, we've already got a cupboard full of crash helmets. But we're curious bunnies and like to try on pretty much everything for size (if you know what we mean, sailor). If you're looking for a new lid at the more cost-conscious end of the market, follow the link below and try this one on, virtually-speaking...
Duchinni D501 crash helmet
Murder conviction quashed. Manslaughter verdict handed down
But there's an unspoken angle here...
Back in December 2013 we carried a news story about Royal Marine Alexander Blackman who had just been handed down a minimum 10 year prison sentence for shooting dead a wounded Taliban fighter in September 2011 in Helmland Province.
Then, as now, it seemed unfair that given the conditions he'd been operating under (i.e. the heat of battle coupled with the recent deaths and injuries to comrades), Blackman should have been dealt with so harshly.
Well now Blackman has had his murder conviction quashed and has instead been found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The new prison sentence is seven years, but because of time spent in jail, he's likely to be released within a week or two.
We weren't there at the trial, so we're not arguing with the sentence or the legal process. However, as much as we broadly support Blackman (with reservations), it's worth remembering that a wounded fighter, contrary to the relevant Geneva Convention, contrary to the rules of "British cricket", and contrary to the ordinary consensus on human morality, was blatantly murdered. But in the glare of triumphalism following the court ruling, you'd hardly know that.
"There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***."
— Alexander Blackman speaking after shooting dead an injured
"... obviously this doesn't go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention."
— Alexander Blackman, thirty seconds later
We've watched dozens of news reports and couldn't find a single compassionate or regretful mention of the dead Afghan. Instead, the media has been awash with commentary on Blackman's "heroic service" and Blackman's "lioness" wife who has shown "courage and dignity" and who has "kept the flame alive".
Well good for her. And yes, Blackman has paid what feels like a more appropriate price for his actions in Helmland Province. Nevertheless, we wouldn't be writing this news story if the Blackmans and associates had quietly accepted the quashing of his conviction and discreetly faded from view without turning a miserable and shameful incident into a flag-waving, air-punching, jingoistic victory parade.
Personally, we don't much care for the Taliban. If they all die in battle, then so be it. That's their choice. And yes, the dead Taliban fighter probably wouldn't have shown Blackman much mercy had the circumstances been reversed. But that ain't the point.
The point is that British soldiers still need to behave like professionals rather than self-appointed executioners, albeit with some considerable mitigation. And if they don't, there has to be a price to pay. However, it's hard to see why the champagne corks ought to be popping when the guilty man walks free.
Sump Alexander Blackman story, December 2013
Leaner riders and returning riders get a dedicated newspaper
The Empire colonises another piece of the galaxy
It's aimed exclusively at learner riders or those thinking about taking up motorcycling, and it's available right now from various motorcycle dealerships and sundry organisations and outfits with an interest in biking (museums, cafes, etc).
This is Morton Media Group's latest contribution to the world of journalism (stop sniggering), and initially it's a bi-monthly publication with a view to becoming a monthly later in the year.
Formatted in the style of Mortons' other motorcycling freebee paper, Motor Cycle Monthly, the new rag will cover all the usual stuff that might interest newcomers, or even oldcomers returning to the fold after an absence.
So what does Mortons get out of it? Well, it helps The Empire consolidate its grip on the motorcycle world by providing a new platform for marketing its magazines, shows and products, and the cunning freebee aspect allows the firm to maintain or even increase advertising exposure at a time when magazine sales are, to put it mildly, struggling.
Most of Mortons' output is hardly high-quality prose, stimulating rhetoric and evocative photography. But good, bad, or merely average, the Horncastle Yellowbellys keep it all coming regardless, and it would be churlish of us here at Sump to deny this huge Lincolnshire-based publisher a few miserable lines on our own modest media organ.
The editor is a guy named Mau Spencer who's been quoted as saying, "Wherever you are on the journey, O2W is the inspiration you’ve been waiting for."
Put like that, this new paper is practically a religious pilgrimage. We'll be grabbing a copy on our next trip to Lourdes or Jerusalem. Meanwhile, you guys and gals can pick up your own copies and make up your own minds.
It's never too late to get a little religion, huh?
The noted cafe racer parts creator and Senior TT winner has died
Eddie Dow, master of the BSA Gold Star, was 92
Senior TT winner, cafe racer parts maestro, race commentator, motorcycle dealer, car dealer and Oxfordshire businessman William Edward "Eddie" Dow has died aged 92.
He was born in Sunderland (also quoted as born in Derbyshire) and worked as a Rolls Royce (RR) apprentice at Derby before being called up for WW2 army service. It's said that at RR he helped develop the first jet engines. After the war, he stayed on in the army attaining the rank of captain. It was during this period of his life that he became involved in training newcomers for motorcycle duties in the RASC (Royal Army Service Corps).
In 1955 Eddie Dow won the Isle of Man Clubmans Senior TT. That same year, sharing the honours with Eddie Crooks, he won the first Thruxton 9-hour race. He was also a familiar face at ISDT, Clubman, and Thruxton long distance events. And if there wasn't a Gold Star beneath him, it probably wasn't Eddie.
In 1956 he left the army with a £1,000 gratuity and became a business partner with a certain Arthur Taylor of Shipston-on-Stour. Trading as Taylor-Dow, he sold and repaired pretty much whatever motorcycles came his way. Within a few years Eddie Dow founded Britain's Gold Star Service (BGSS) in Banbury, Oxfordshire and specialised in BSAs.
Mostly "Ed", or "E.D" sold BSAs, but various other marques passed through his hands giving him an intimate knowledge of all the popular and (particularly) fast machines.
Working closely with the BSA factory, Eddie Dow helped develop the Gold Star and Rocket Gold Star range and soon manufactured numerous bolt-on goodies that helped transform the average garage bitsa into a primo cafe racer as worshipped by hundreds, if not thousands, of sixties rockers. At one point, his firm was able to boast the largest stock of BSA parts in the world.
He exported to all corners of the planet including Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA. The components he sold included silencers, clip-ons, rear-seats, Superleggera fork conversions, Duetto hopped-up braking systems, Brealey-Smith GRP components, Dolphin fairings, and competition magnetos.
In the late 1960s, with the British motorcycle industry in sharp decline, he switched to selling cars and traded in MG, Renault and Volkswagen. In 1991 he sold the business and retired aged 67, but he kept himself busy with his various motorsports involvements. He spent the last years of his life in Sulgrave, Northamptonshire.
Among his personal interests (aside from racing) was an interest in skiing and a passion for fine wines. And for many years he was the vice president of the BSA Owners Club.
Eddie Dow is survived by his wife, daughter, and three grandchildren.
Sump Magazine August 2010: Eddie Crooks has died
Sump's "Political Graffiti" draws an interesting postbag
Some clarification is needed...
We thought we'd get some reaction from our recent "Political Graffiti" item (see further down this page) commenting on the attack on Westminster Bridge and at Parliament on 22nd March 2017. And the reaction we received was entirely predictable.
Some correspondents wondered if we were defending Islam. Some wondered if we were confusing Islam with a mental illness. Some felt that we were inadvertently "tainting" people who suffer from such a mental condition. And some were simply puzzled. A little clarification has been asked for, and here it is.
The point we were making was simply that we shouldn't be giving these murderous bastards the oxygen of publicity. Clearly, what they want is press coverage, and the world's news networks have duly obliged—which is probably exactly what prompted, just one day after the Westminster incident, an attempted copycat attack in Belgium.
In a society with a free and open press, it's a tricky balance between reporting the news that needs to be reported, and suppressing information that could be damaging to the "common good" (whatever that is at any particular moment). But such suppression, by necessity, happens all the time. That's what government "D-Notices" are for; to shut down dangerous intelligence. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, "Some things are too hot to touch..."
And already it seems that the UK government is edging towards a new (and overdue) posture of depriving "Islamists" of the satisfaction of enjoying the disruption caused by these attacks. Hence Theresa May's latest "business as usual" mantra. It's the right message. Maybe it's the only message.
▲ The late (but not late enough) Osama Bin Laden and a piece of fruitcake. But can you tell which is which? We couldn't.
What we really need now is a prime minister who makes it clear to all-comers that okay, they'll kill some of us. Maybe even a lot of us. But we'll kill some or all of them. But whatever else happens, UK and world business will continue. Life will continue. Death will continue. Nothing they do will achieve anything except put some blood on the streets, and we'll mop that up poste haste and will move on.
Meanwhile, the oxygen of publicity is now being turned off. That will mean changing the language of the press, reducing the column inches, curtailing the agony, minimising the gossip, looking the other way as far as reasonably possible, moving on to the football results, and getting back to normal in the shortest possible time.
In the aftermath of the US Twin Towers atrocity, we were hoping that the US government would commission an exact duplicate of the towers and put them back on the New York skyline in the shortest possible time. That would have been a wonderful example of national resilience. You kill us, and we're still here.
Put another way, the attack at Westminster on 22nd March 2017 should not be dignified by referring to it as a political act. We think the "politics" is, as ever, an excuse for those who simply want to kill and maim. Therefore, these attacks should be referred to as murders, either criminal or prompted by a mental health issue (and we figure that you have to be a little doo-lally to mow down a few dozen pedestrians, then attack someone with a knife in the sure and certain knowledge that someone else is going to pump a few bullets into you and put your lights out forever).
And for the record, we're not confusing Islam with mental health issues. But we do believe that kowtowing to a deity and structuring your entire life around a self-inflicted conviction (be it Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Islamic or whatever) isn't exactly rational behaviour. We loathe and despise all forms of mental imprisonment, and the most prominent danger in the UK at the moment hails from religious fundamentalists, and the long grass they hide in. And to press the question a little further, we certainly don't believe that Islam is compatible with western democracy.
Lastly, our "Political Graffiti" item doesn't at all imply that sufferers of a mental illness are "mass murderers in waiting" (as one correspondent suggested). We don't have any statistics to prove what we're about to say, but we strongly suspect that people suffering from mental illnesses are actually hugely under-represented when it comes to "mindless acts of violence". Mostly, folks with psychiatric problems are only a danger to themselves and should be given maximum support and treated sympathetically.
What happened at Westminster was M.U.R.D.E.R. And whatever excuses the perpetrator might have had in his disturbed mind, Islam, general politics, the state of the weather or the price of fish almost certainly had nothing to do with it.
He might not have been mad in the technical sense. But he had to be a bloody fruitcake. And either way, the oxygen of publicity needs to be heavily restricted if not switched off.
New air-cooled Duke aims to rekindle the old flame
£8,200 plus change
They all go back to basics sooner or later. Musicians. Sculptors. Politicians. Preachers. Motorcycle factories. You could argue that they do this because they've lost forward momentum or something. Or maybe they're afraid to stray too far from the watering hole. Either way, Ducati is about to officially launch a new Ducati Monster. More specifically, an air-cooled Ducati Monster based upon the successful Scrambler L-twin engine and offering an entry level riding experience for those who like their steak served bloody.
So why is this motorcycle called a 797 when it's running an 803cc engine? Best we can figure is that it's simply intended to fill the gap between the now discontinued 796 and the Monster 1100. Or maybe we're more stupid than we think.
The most obvious feature of this new baby-bouncer is the stock-in-trade trellis frame which is naturally painted red. The output is reckoned (by Ducati) to be 75hp (55kW) @ 8,250rpm. The torque is reckoned to be 50.89lb-ft (68.9Nm) @ 5,750rpm.
The engine bore & stroke is 88mm x 66mm, respectively. Valves are Desmodromic. The gears number six. The wheels/tyres are a 3.50 x 17-inch front, and a 5.50 x 17-inch rear.
Other treats include a 43mm Kayaba front fork, a Sachs rear shock, a twin-side swinging arm, and a pair of Brembo M4.32 monobloc radial calipers operating on 320mm front discs. The rear brake, incidentally, is a far more modest single-piston caliper (that Ducati hasn't dignified with a name) acting on a 245mm rotor.
To keep the price down, there's no traction control, and therefore no rider modes. But ABS is mandatory on all bikes of any size in the UK or EU markets. However, to add a little modern sparkle, the factory has included LED indicators and a USB port under the seat (and when you get back to basics, how the hell can you manage without a USB port?).
Overall, it's a nice looking bike and is likely to play all the right notes for the initiati. But why wouldn't it be nice when it's pretty much the old (and highly successful) blueprint dusted off and run through the mill?
The price is likely to be a little over £8,200.
The grandfather of rock and roll is dead
In private, you won't hear many celebrity musos speaking well of Chuck Berry. At least, not as a personality. Yes, most agree that he was one of the greatest rock'n'rollers of 'em all, if not the greatest. A brilliant showman. A rhythm player par excellence. A gifted songwriter. A sharp lyricist. And a huge presence on stage. But beyond that, the criticisms often outweigh the tributes. But here at Sump we're not hearing any of it because Chuck Berry had died aged 90, and death puts a new perspective on just about everything. And everyone.
A pioneer of the classic guitar-driven 1950s rock'n'roll sound, Chuck Berry gave the world hits such as Johnny B Goode; Roll Over Beethoven; Maybellene; No Particular Place to Go; You Never Can Tell: Nadine; Sweet Little Sixteen; Rock and Roll Music; School Days; Too Much Monkey Business; and Promised Land (this last ditty largely based upon the folk song Wabash Cannonball).
His hits have been played straight by just about everyone from the Beatles to Elvis Presley to Jerry Lee Lewis to Johnny Winter to Tom Jones to Elton John to the Rolling Stones to the Electric Light Orchestra to The Animals to David Bowie to Eric Clapton to Rod Stewart to Gene Simmons to Rory Gallagher to Roy Orbison to just about anyone else you can think of.
And then there are the hundreds, if not thousands, of Chuck Berry homages/rips-offs such as Surfin' USA by The Beach Boys; Fun, Fun, Fun also by The Beach Boys; Down on the Bay by Jeff Lynne; and Come Together by The Beatles which saw John Lennon get his knuckles (and wallet) rapped for blatantly borrowing the rhythm and even some of the lyrics from Berry's You Can't Catch Me.
Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry in St Louis, Missouri, Chuck Berry was the fourth of six children. His parents were respectable folk living in a working-class/middle class neighbourhood known as The Ville. But Chuck Berry, aged 18, didn't let that stop him robbing three local stores and carjacking a replacement vehicle after his own "broke down".
He was sent to a reformatory (approved school) where he learned to box a little and where he formed a singing combo. At age 22, he married and fathered a daughter. Soon enough he was an average father and husband working on automobile assembly lines or scrubbing floors as a janitor.
By the early 1950s, Berry, heavily influenced by the likes of T-Bone Walker, Nat King Cole and a long line of bluesmen, was honing his guitar skills playing R&B in clubs and bars, and steadily he developed his ideas about what the white folk might like.
In 1955 he moved to Chicago and met Muddy Waters, and that was his break. Waters introduced Berry to Leonard Chess, founder of Chess records and noted champion of R&B. However, Leonard Chess was trying to move away from the more traditional blues sound and was looking for a new contender. Chuck Berry fitted the brief, and Maybellene (an adaptation of a traditional American song called Ira Red) was recorded and hit the airwaves.
Soon after, Roll Over Beethoven followed, and then came a string of hits, each one helping consolidate his position as a rock'n'roller at the top of his game. He became friends with Carl Perkins, and he toured with The Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly.
Then, in 1960, he was convicted of having unlawful sex with a 14-year old Apache girl who he'd transported across state lines to work in his club. For his sins, he was fined $5,000 and was handed a five year prison sentence. On appeal, that was reduced to three years, and a second appeal knocked that down to 18-months.
By now, his public was beginning to desert him, but he twanged on in his inimitable style (which was largely borrowed from earlier blues performers), and continued to record and tour. However, he was also developing a reputation as an irascible artiste who was difficult to please and hard to work with. But he was still a big name, and the "British invasion" bands which had newly discovered Berry's material quickly recorded and performed his songs, and that helped keep his satellite in a high orbit, and slowly the tales of his human weaknesses began to fade from memory.
In 1972, his novelty song My Ding-a-Ling hit number one in the UK and US pop charts. It was his only number one single, and it was not written by Berry. Rather, it was a song penned by US composer, musician, producer and band leader Dave Bartholomew and first recorded in 1952. Nevertheless, it re-lit Chuck Berry's fading torch, and he quickly followed up its success with a new/live recording of Reeling and Rockin' which was the last time he reached the top 40 on either side of the Atlantic.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Chuck Berry continued being ... well, Chuck Berry. He was famous for travelling alone with his Gibson ES-335 or Gibson ES-355 semi-acoustics and leaving his producer or record company to have a band ready and willing play on demand upon his arrival. The word is that Berry wouldn't even hand out a set list for a given performance. Expecting everyone to simply know his repertoire, he would just start playing and leave the musicians to pick up the beat. And for the next 60 or 90 minutes he would rattle of the songs, and would then abruptly unplug, take his leave, and catch a plane or train to wherever he next needed to be.
There were clashes and flashpoints, but he was, for all his faults, becoming something of a national treasure; the kind of performer who did what he did without fear or apology, and often not expecting much praise.
He collected Cadillacs. He was arrested for lewd behaviour involving a hidden video camera (it was never proved in court, but 59 women received a pay-off). He was sued for failing to acknowledge another musician's contribution to his songs (Johnnie Johnson - not to be confused with Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon). The case was dismissed. He received another (suspended) prison sentence; misdemeanor possession of marijuana. And he was frequently in the news over one minor drama or another.
Chuck Berry was still playing into his 90s and had recently been working on a new album (Chuck) which is due to be released this year. He'll be remembered as a brilliant songwriter and musician, a world class performer, and a flawed and complicated man who travelled alone and inspired millions of fans to pick up their guitars and play, or turn up the music and dance. The music, of course, doesn't expiate all his sins, but for many it certainly goes a long way in mitigation.
He is survived by a son and a daughter, and by his wife (Themetta Berry) of 68 years.
It's said that rock and roll will never die. But a little of it did just that when Chuck Berry made his exit from this world.
The Cafe Racer Kits man adds another string to his bow
Check him out at Stafford in April
CRK, the Cafe Racer Kits people, has sent us a few snapshots of the firm's new Triumph Roadster package which the firm first showcased earlier this year at the February Bath & West Show, and will be displaying at the Stafford Show on 22nd - 23rd April 2017.
Based upon the very worthy and "affordable" 1991 - 1996 750cc/900cc triples and 1000cc/1200cc Hinckley fours, creator Ian Saxcoburg has drawn upon his wide and varied engineering background and has developed a range of impressive kits capable of transforming these platforms from competent and durable off-the-peg Triumphs into handsome and individual customs ready for the show or street, or both.
That said, we don't have much specific details on the new Roadster kit (main image this feature). But we can talk you through the current cafe racer package (image immediately above) which variously includes a new (and far more attractive) subframe, an aluminium fuel tank (with a GRP cover), a seat base (c/w upholstery) new side panels, an instrument module, a mudguard module, a chainguard, a hugger, and various brackets. The price is a creditable £1,995.
We imagine that the new Roadster kit is an extension of his general outlook and capabilities, and from what we can see from our desk, this is a man who knows what he's doing and will go far.
Ian, who's based on the Isle of Wight and runs the business with wife Tracey, also has mucho experience writing technical manuals, and we're persuaded that these kits will provide all the instructions needed by the home (or professional) bike builder. Additionally, he's created numerous videos supporting his designs and manufacturing ethos, and we encourage you to take a look for yourself. He's a modest, competent, clear speaking guy, and you're going to like him.
Check Cafe Racer Kits Hondas for more on this firm.
New "tradesman's" sidecar unveiled
£2,995 and built to order
Here at Sump, this is our kind of sidecar—not that we're sidecar people at all. But if we did decide to hitch a wagon to one of our horses, it would probably be the new Mule from Watsonian.
Essentially, this is a British designed and manufactured tradesman's sidecar in the old tradition. Watsonian tells us that the box has a massive 300 litres capacity, which will haul an awful lot of beer (albeit never enough). But the firm is keeping in mind motorcyclists who like to fish and/or camp it up (and don't we all, ducky?). And at your leisure you can figure out all the other possibilities.
The body is galvanised steel, and for good measure it's powder-coated. The chassis is box section steel and has been specially developed for this rig. The suspension is Flexor. The sidecar wheel is a 10-incher. The mudguard is GRP. And lights and indicators are fitted with sufficient cable to hook up to your 12-volt motorcycle wiring loom.
You'll want the dimensions too which are 1,370 mm x 480 mm x 480 mm. To keep your stuff secure, there's a dual locking mechanism. And if you need a spare wheel, which you do, there's one hooked on the back.
Watsonian build these to order, so you can opt for a luggage rack, spotlights, jerry cans or whatever. The price, including VAT, is £2,995, and the factory will fit it to your bike if required.
Finally, we think Watsonian is missing a trick by not giving this sidecar some more personality and character. So we took a shot at it and first tried to work out a backronym for MULE, and we got as far as Multipurpose Utilitarian Load ... but couldn't figure out what to do with the letter "E". Envoy? Express? Expediter? So we gave up on that and simply stuck an image of a kicking mule beneath some stencilled lettering. Makes it more memorable, dontcha fink?
Either way, if Watsonian takes up our suggestion, you'll know where ya heard it first.
Might happen. Cash will do.
Telephone: 01386 700907
Barristers are being less than honest
Shock horror warning from the Bar Council
The Bar Council has issued a warning to barristers to keep their online boasts on a very short lead, or else. The statement comes after Michael Wolkind QC was fined £1,000 by the Bar Standards Board for making claims "likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public placed in him or the profession".
Apparently, Wolkind had claimed on his website that he was:
widely recognised as the UK’s top murder barrister and QC
the UK's top protest case barrister and QC
the UK's top terrorism barrister and QC
the UK's top property householder self-defence rights barrister and QC
the UK's top regulatory, inquest, health and safety and tribunal barrister
Wolkind also bragged he was so good that his professional machinations could get even Stevie Wonder a driving licence.
Consequently, the Bar Council has taken umbrage and has issued revised guidelines instructing its members that professional claims of experience and skills should be backed up by peer-approved fact rather than wishful thinking and self-satisfied braggadocio (our words, not theirs). Furthermore, the council takes a dim view of barristers who (like Wolkind) are happy to boast that they managed to get Gangster X or Vicious Vic acquitted of whatever high crime or misdemeanour for which they'd been accused.
Given that the internet has been operational in some form for around three decades and has been a household facility since the turn of this century, it's taken a long time for the Bar Council to get around to slapping anyone's wrist over this issue. Furthermore, at the time of writing, we can't actually see what clear sanction is being wielded to punish errant barristers who put their best foot a little too far forward.
That aside, what's really worrying us is simply that there's a lot of vicarious pleasure to be derived from sitting back with a beer and reading or listening to the outrageous and overblown claims of the nation's professionals, be those professionals legal eagles, quacks, tax advisers, politicos, or otherwise. Our general experience is that most such non-manual salaried operators are, at best, little more than money-grabbing nitwits usually spinning way out of their competency orbits, and at worst, complete and shameless rogues and reprobates.
But perhaps you've got completely different experiences. Either way, it'll be a much sadder world if we let a little truth, such as it is, get in the way of a cartload of enjoyable professional bu!!$#!t.
Check Wolkind's website while you can. At the time of writing, it's amusing reading, and it can only be a matter of time before the Bar Council actually does something about it. A couple of decades should do it.
Limited edition Jack Daniel's themed cruiser unveiled
Only 100 to be built
Sump Classic Bike News January 2016 carried a story about a special edition Indian Chief Vintage commissioned to support the Operation Ride Home charity aimed at US servicemen and women. The bike also celebrated 150 years of Jack Daniel's Whiskey, hence the bespoke livery designed to evoke the ethos and coolness, etc, of the world famous Tennessee distillery. Other touches on that bike included the scripted names of the firm's seven master distillers, and note that Indian was at pains to point out that "Bottle and Throttles don't mix".
Well, Indian had at the time mooted the idea of a limited edition run based on that bike, and here it is. Brian Klock at Klock Werk Custom Cycles is once again heavily involved in the project which will see 100 examples of this fine looking Yankee mo'sickle hitting the bricks.
Additionally, every bike will be offered with wooden facsimile of Old Glory, more common known on the British side of the pond as the Stars and Stripes flag or the Star Spangled Banner. The flags, we understand, are made from strips of Jack Daniel's whiskey barrels which probably gives the banners a fairly heady fragrance.
Features of this limited edition Jack Daniel's themed Indian include:
A 19-inch, 10-spoke front wheel.
A pure silver and hand-crafted Jack Daniel’s horn cover badge.
A one-of-a-kind white and black crystal paint job with Jack Daniel's-inspired charcoal-coloured accents.
Jack Daniel’s “Old No. 7” billet driver and passenger floor-boards.
Debossed leather tank pouch with Jack Daniel’s "Old No. 7" logo.
Custom embossed tank console with unique build number.
Unique cam, primary and air intake covers.
Inscription of Jack Daniel’s "Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix" mantra.
200 watt audio system.
Electronically adjustable screen.
Underpinning all this is the already classic Thunderstroke 111-cubic inch (1,811cc) 49-degree V-twin engine featuring a 101mm bore, a 113mm stroke. And keyless ignition, ABS, cruise control, and all the other upmarket features you'd expect on a bike such as this are present and correct.
We're told that just 10 bikes are coming to Europe, and only one is aimed at the UK. And the price? That will be $34,999, which currently converts to £28,789.
Legendary motorsport racer has died aged 83
World champion on both two and four wheels
In December 2015 we carried a news item about John Surtees who had just been made CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's 2016 New Years Honours list. Well he's now the subject of another Sump story, and for a regrettable reason. John Surtees has died aged 83 thereby bringing to a close one of the most exciting and most evocative eras in British, or indeed world, motor racing history.
The stories of Surtees' racing integrity, prowess and dedication to both motor and motorcycle sport are legendary. And there's not much we can add to our original story except to say that tens of thousands of his fans will be greatly saddened at the news of his demise.
John Surtees is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Follow this link to read more of John Surtees' life and racing career.
Uprated Street 750 hotrod is on the way
No delivery information yet
£6,745. That's the asking price for the newly unveiled 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod™. Based upon the firm's current "High Output Revolution X™ 750cc V-twin" platform, this competitively priced mid-range fuel-injected street cruiser features a liquid-cooled, SOHC 8-valve 60-degree V-twin engine, a 43mm USD front fork, dual 300mm front discs, and 17-inch cast wheels front and rear (120/70 R17V & 160/60 R17V). And ABS, for the UK and European market at least, is mandatory. [More...]
Very useful cleaning device for clean-living bikers
£49 for the complete kit
Back in Sump, December 2016 we ran a small news item on the SonicScrubbers Professional cleaning kit. Nippy Normans, the BMW specialist, has since sent us a box of appropriate bits for direct testing. Check our SonicScrubbers Professional review and see if this suits your bike cleaning needs.
Toulouse is now on the map
£595 return. £400 one way.
Last month we reported on group discount rates with Bikeshuttle, the weekly scheduled Geneva bound motorcycle transportation service. Well now the firm has added Toulouse to its network. What it means is that for UK riders planning to tour southern France, Spain or Portugal, they can now fly into Toulouse Airport courtesy of easyJet and have their motorcycle and riding gear awaiting their arrival.
If you're a travelling hardcase and want to ride all the way from your front door to Madrid or Nice or Lisbon, Bikeshuttle isn't much use to you. However, there are times when you just don't have the time to muck around with cross channel ferries, or the channel tunnel, or spend half a day of your life motoring down the M6, M4 or M1, and then spend another half a day or more on the return leg. And you certainly don't always have the time to sit on a 24-hour Portsmouth-Bilbao Ferry.
Bikeshuttle will charge you a very reasonable £595 for a return trip, or £400 one-way. And remember that that includes your riding gear. The offer assumes you can get to Luton Airport (or make other flight arrangements). And it also expects you to arrange your own airline tickets. The bikes, meanwhile, will be delivered to the hotel Inter in Toulouse. Note that there will be just five runs this year, but we don't know how they're spaced.
We haven't tried this service, but we're fairly confident that these guys have got it worked out properly. Any feedback you care to give us, however, will be welcomed.
Persuaded? Or merely curious?