1939 350cc OK Supreme. This Road Racing Special (RRS) was once the property of Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot Flight Sergeant Frederick Fenton ‘Freddie’ Vinyard. Vinyard bought the machine from Stan Hailwood, father of Mike, and raced it at Donington Park, Derbyshire. That was August 1939. A month later he was called up for active service and sent aloft to intercept German raiders. During that legendary period, Vinyard rode the OK around the country lanes near his North Yorkshire airbase, but by October that year he was dead having crashed his Spitfire into the North Sea whilst on a "routine tour". His name, we hear, is recorded on the Roll of Honour in the Battle of Britain Chapel at Westminster Abbey. His bike will be auctioned at the Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale on 22nd April 2018. The estimate is £17,000 - £22,000, which isn't a lot for a bike such as this—and certainly not with this kind of provenance. UPDATE: The bike sold for £18,400.


March 2018  Classic bike news


March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

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

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar

November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

Gear Gremlin bandana fleece thingy
Yamaha 125cc Resonator concept
Odd things are happening on Sump...
Weise "affordable" Lima gloves

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

BAD-ASS BIKER T-shirts are in stock
Buying a crash helmet; a Sump guide
Romney Marsh Classic Bike Jumble
New Goldtop silk scarf

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

New Kawasaki W800 buyers guide
Bonhams Beaulieu 2015 results
Lord Edward Montagu: 1926 - 2015
Triumph's $2.9 million US recall fine
New Fab Four coffee table book
Dean Carroll Jones: 1931 - 2015
Harley-Davidson test ride competition
Still awaiting your Skully AR-1 lid?
Two rare Italians headed for Stafford
Sump BAD-ASS T-shirt coming soon
Who the hell can you trust anymore?
Austel Pullman 1300 combo to sell
Oldtimer Motoren Museum
£4m government grant for Norton
BSH sells out to Mortons Media
Sammy Miller Run August 2015

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

For sale: Ex-display team TRW?
91 English & Welsh courts to close?

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

Confederate P51 Combat Fighter
Subscribe to Sump - it's free

Cheffins Harrogate Sale August 2015
Lambeth Council bans nitrous oxide
TRF's £10,000 green lane appeal
Harley Street 750 set for Sept launch
Trouble: Triumph bobber on Ebay
Great new T-shirt designs from Sump
George Edward Cole: 1925 - 2015
Sammy Miller at Donington Classic
185,272 Harley Baggers recalled
Fifth Classic Car Boot Sale, London
Mecum Harrisburg results Aug 2015
Mecum Monterey Sale August 2015
Ace Cafe Beijing has opened
Free disc locks courtesy of the Met Police

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

Rare 1912 Pierce at Netley
7 pence per minute to talk Triumph
Cheffins Cambridge Sale: 25th July
Matchless sunglasses: "Only £299"

Cool BSA Bantam diesel special
Brighton Speed Trials 2015 reminder
New Royal Enfield despatch bikes
M.A.D X-ray Art Exhibition Matchless
1964 Speed Twin bobber on eBay
Chris Squire: 1948 - 2015
Movies we love: Smokescreen (1964)
Road race & exhibition for the gents

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

Classic bikes for sale reminder
Hope Classic Rally: all for charity
Riley "BB" King: 1925 - 2015
Grace Lee Whitney: 1930 - 2015
Stondon Museum April sale results
RE buys Harris Performance Products
Geoff Duke: 1923 - 2015
Classic Motorcycle Restoration and Maintenance
NMM's winter raffle winner details
Stafford Sale: "£2,262,109: 86% sold"

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

One of the Love Bugs is up for sale
Ronnie Carroll: 1934 - 2015
Sixty museum bikes to be auctioned
Goldtop classic fleece-lined gauntlets
Harley-Davidson Kansas lay-offs
Mecum's Walker Sign Collection results

March 2015 Classic Bike News

Ted Simon's website is "hacked by Isis"
Frank Perris: 1931 - 2015
ULEZ Zone charges for motorcycles
We're all down with a nasty disease
Eric "Shaw" Taylor: 1924 - 2015
E J Cole Collection at Mecum's

Rare 500cc Linto for Duxford Sale
Classic Car Boot Sale final reminder
DfT road safety website is to be axed
Autocom GPS bike tracker is "coming soon"
Jem Marsh: 1930 - 2015
New Triumph Thruxton book from Panther Publishing

New drug-driving regulations are here

HMS Sump is torpedoed!
New £350,000 Jensen GT for 2016

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

Race Retro Feb 2015 auction results
£4.7 million grant for Brooklands

Full size "Airfix" motorcycle kits
Two Francis-Barnett bikes "launched"
Gerry Lloyd Wells: 1929 - 2014

Harley-Davidson's "dream job" offer
Road accidents & preventable events
The velocity of money? What's that?
ACA auction Saturday 7th March 2015
Sump's new road safety stickers
Kickback Stoneleigh to be televised



January 2015 Classic Bike News

1948 Land Rover manufacture exhibit
UK Triumph Scrambler sales jump
Mecum Kissimmee Sale results
Ikon Basix shock absorbers
Sump BSA M20 metal sign—£14.99
Another great Marlboro Man has snuffed it

Mixed Bonham results at Las Vegas
Stolen Norton appeal for information
The Reunion by Jack Elgos
VMCC December 2014 raffle winner
Brian Horace Clemens: 1931 - 2015
Metal classic bike signs from Sump
Rod Taylor: 1930 - 2015
Derek Minter: 1932 - 2015
Tiernan's looking for a Flea crate
Jerry Lee Lewis Duo Glide to sell
"Killer drivers" sentencing review
Harley-Davidson recalls 19,000 bikes
Cutaway engine bonanza at Bonhams

Sump news archive



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Watsonian and Indian Chief


Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief


Story snapshot:

£6,295 including VAT

Plus an £800 fitting kit


Apparently, this is Watsonian Sidecar's first pairing of one of its products with the contemporary Indian Chief, which makes a nice change from the more usual Harley-Davidson outfits we've seen around and about—not that we've got anything against H-D, you understand.


This example features Watsonian's established wide-bodied GP700 tub set upon a (typically) bespoke platform designed specifically for the 1,811cc  Thunderstroke-engined Chief.


2018 Indian Chief and Watsonian GP700 sidecar


Watsonian build this big rig at its factory in the North Cotswolds. Prices start at £6,295 for the chair (inc VAT), plus another £800 for the Indian Chief fitting kit. Does that sound a little steep? You tell us. But we suspect that Watsonian will be flogging a few such outfits over the coming years.


 Call Watsonian on: 01386 700907



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Lot 229. c1920 398cc ABC. Granville Bradshaw designed it. The Sopwith Aircraft Company built it. And Sammy Miller restored it (1991). Seems that the registration docs are missing, but the bike appears to check out on the DVLA database. The owner, we regret, is no longer with us. So whatever it makes on the day will perhaps taste a little bitter. Bonhams reckon this rare OHV, 4-speed flat twin will fetch £5,000 - £8,000.



Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018


Story snapshot:

Update on what's on the menu

Plus a more depressing angle that's got our attention. Again


If there really was a God, and if he was a God worth worshipping, we feel sure that when the closing credits roll on our miserable lives, he'd let us take our prized motorcycles with us into the hereafter. It wouldn't be so hard to organise, would it? Certainly not for any bona fide, self-respecting, omnipotent, worth-his-pillar-of-salt deity.


Then again, maybe there is a God, and maybe he's has secretly made some kind of arrangement whereby the spirit of our bikes goes with us into that good night, if not the actual metal and rubber. But until we hear otherwise, we're probably gonna carry on thinking what we think. And that revolves around accepting that when it's over, it's over, and that our motorcycles don't go to heaven. They just go to Bonhams.


And we don't mean any disrespect to one of the world's most well regarded auction houses. It's just that when we're perusing the Bonhams catalogue or scrolling through the firm's website and read over and over again the grim phrase "PROPERTY OF A DECEASED'S ESTATE", we're apt to come over all morbid and philosophical. And that's exactly what happened tonight as we were studying the latest auction lots that will be on offer to the highest bidder come 22nd April 2018 at Stafford.



1955 Norton Dominator 88. The late Jim Best, toolmaker and restorer, rebuilt this bike many years back. Now we hear that it's under the hammer because the owner has also died. These 497cc OHV twins are great handling and stolid mounts. But over the past decade, prices have lagged. It's Lot 214, and Bonhams is estimating £4,000 - £5,000. "Nicely patinated". Needs re-commissioning. Old and new books. Non-matching numbers.



1958 Norman 197cc B2S Roadster. These Kentish bikes built by Charles and Fred Norman enjoy a fairly busy social life with the Norman Motorcycle Club. More pertinently, they're generally charming and very "affordable" two strokes. Bonhams has estimated that this one (Lot 205) will sell for somewhere between £1,400 and £1,800.



In particular, we've been mulling over a collection of British two stroke lightweights once the property of a man (or woman) who's evidently shuffled off this mortal coil and no longer has any use for his (or her) bikes. If we're reading it right, there are four Normans in this modest collection (197cc/197cc/197cc/249cc); one 1962 Excelsior Universal (150cc); and a James Colonel (225cc). The estimates range from £1,000 - £2,400, and they're all going to be sold without reserve.


Meanwhile, we notice another 27 bikes listed as the "PROPERTY OF A DECEASED'S ESTATE", and we strongly suspect another large group of machines, mostly flat tankers, to be surplus to the last owner's corporeal needs. But that is just a guess, note.


Either way, there are some interesting collections coming at us, and the prices look fairly suppressed. So we think a few of you Sumpsters are going to bag a bargain on the day.



And if any of you good people are Engelbert Humperdinck fans, you'll perhaps be interested to know that a 1992 Harley-Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic is up for grabs (image immediately above). It was bought in 1996 in the USA under his real name of Arnold Dorsey. The mileage is 21,107. The bike is currently wearing a Nevada, USA registration plate. However, the machine (Lot 324) hasn't been registered for use in the UK, but a NOVA certificate is available.


The estimate is £9,000 - £11,000. And to us, that sounds like it's not carrying much premium for being Engelbert's wheels. So okay, he's not a man that most people immediately associate with motorcycles. But he's owned a fair number of bikes, and he's put in some respectable mileage. And even if he ain't Elvis, he's a celebrity nonetheless. So we figure that the price is about right (if not a little low) and will probably go up instead of down. And seeing as we've hit a morbid/mawkish theme with this story, we can only (grimly) speculate what might happen to that price when Engelbert's no longer with us [Will everyone please pretend that we didn't actually say that? - Ed].


Beyond these bikes, there's a 1970 1,117cc Munch Mammoth (Lot 261) estimated at £75,000 - £100,000; a 1973 750S MV Agusta (Lot 262) estimated at £70,000 - £90,000; and a 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Knight & Steib 501 Sidecar (Lot 31). The estimate for this rare factory-built outfit is £38,000 - £42,000 which strikes us as very low.


We'll be taking a closer look at these over the next few days or weeks.




Lot 229 (c1920 398cc ABC) sold for £10,925

Lot 214 (1955 Norton Dominator 88) sold for £5,520

Lot 205 (1958 Norman 197cc B2S Roadster) sold for £2,300

Lot 324 (1992 Harley-Davidson FLSTC) sold for £10,350


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Harley-Davidson IAM union lobbies Trump over Kansas factory closure

uk.gov to review police "no chase" policy. Increased officer support sought

New RAC report cites dangers of high intensity vehicle headlights


CCM Spitfire to feature at Confused.com London Motor Show, May 2018

Shell installs first UK hydrogen fuel pump at a standard fuel station (M40)

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We Ride London new demo date


Story snapshot:

Tuesday 27th March 2018 is the date

Your chance to protest again the £12.50 ULEZ charge for bikers


We Ride London, the campaigning group seeking "fairer" treatment for bikers with regard to UK-wide transport/motorcycle security policy has organised a demo ride for Tuesday 27th March 2018.


Bikers, say the group, are being (unfairly?) discriminated against and urgently need to fight back. The big whinge is still about the forthcoming £12.50 per day/7 days a week London ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) charge which, depending on how you view it, is unfair to bikers.


The ULEZ charge comes into force on 8th April 2019.


"Motorcycles are part of the solution to congestion in London", goes the battle cry; which is true, but it's not the whole truth. As we've said before, when looked at per person/per square metre, five people in a car take up no more room on the road than two on a motorcycle. And a-car-and-five (or even six) is probably less polluting per person/per metre than a bike.


Regardless, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has decided that pretty much everyone on bikes, cars, vans and trucks has to pay. And pay heavily.


Khan's problem perhaps lies in calling the new tax a ULEZ charge. If he had just called it a Motor Tax, or a Central London Engine Tax or a Person Tax, that might have made it seems fairer. You breathe, you drive, you ride, you pay. Simple. And if he'd levied a smaller charge on bikes, that would have appeased many objectors.


But Khan, a man with a chronic asthma problem, has pinned his mayoral colours firmly to the emissions bandwagon, and consequently he's lit the fuse for endless argument about which type of vehicle is greener/dirtier or more/less fuel efficient. And bikers are naturally doing all they can to weight the argument in their favour even if it doesn't stand up to logical scrutiny.


Are we on Khan's side? Hardly. We don't like the bloke. We didn't help put him in office, and we'd like to see him out. But when you look at the issues rationally, bikers are no more right than he's entirely wrong.


Fact is, he can't provide significantly more policing because he's skint. He can't provide the kind of bike security in the capital for much the same reasons. He can't compel the coppers to chase the "moped" hooligans and get the acid attacks down until Parliament changes the law and increases protection for the cops if and when they're hit with a careless/dangerous driving charge when a chase turns ugly (as they often do).



Anyway, the bikes will be gathering at 4.30pm in Parliament Square. And note that there are legal issues here regarding organised runs and necessary permissions, etc. So the organisers, as we understand it, are lightly distancing themselves from officially leading the charge. However, if you fancy an afternoon bimble in Central London on Tuesday 27th March 2018, you might care to mosey on down to the aforementioned location. And if the We Ride London organisers, plus Charlie Boorman, plus Matthew Wright from off the TV just happen to be there, that will be a surprise.


If you want to find out more about the We Ride London campaigns, check the website and see which issues get you frothing and foaming.


Meanwhile, as a publicity suggestion (and we're by no means completely in favour of these kinds of  risky demos, note) check the Sadiq Khan mask graphic at the top of this story. Our feeling is that if you've got a complaint about anything, you need to take it straight to the man at the top and let him have it.


So, if the organisers act quickly, they might consider printing a few hundred such masks and making sure that on the day, the Khan is seen aboard an equal number of motorcycles. Putting the mayor directly in the saddle might help focus his mind on the complaints, and an image like that might even make its way into the mainstream media.


Just a thought.


UPDATE: This is the ride that was scheduled to happen on Wednesday 28th February 2018 but was postponed due to poor weather.




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This IS a charge for most people, not a tax. A tax is something you can’t avoid, a charge is something you can avoid by not doing it. The idea behind the congestion and ULEZ charges are to discourage people from driving in those areas. Ideally those who can avoid the congestion charge would do so, when there would probably be enough road space for what’s left and so no need for the charge, at which point the emissions would also be low enough to make the ULEZ charge unnecessary. Of course the hole in the theory of an avoidable charge to discourage users and thereby reduce congestion/emissions is the number of people who CAN’T avoid it, at which point it becomes a tax. Thus it becomes a win-win for the politicians - either reduce the congestion/emissions or make loadsamoney - and a lose-lose for real people. —Peter Stokes, Cheltenham

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Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale


Story snapshot:

Bad weather fails to spoil Driffield auction

Vincent Series A Comet tops the sale


We haven't seen too much of Dee Atkinson & Harrison on Sump. The firm, which is based in Yorkshire, is primarily involved in property sales, lettings, valuing and surveying. But the company also runs numerous auctions throughout the year, including auctions related to classic bikes.


In that regard, the most recent sale was on 3rd March 2018 at Sledmere House, in Driffield. Fifty machines, we understand, were entered for the auction. But due to very poor ("Siberian") wintry weather, three bikes failed to show up on the day.


Of the remaining 47 machines, the top lot was the above 1938 Series A Vincent Comet. In the same family for 60 years, evidently with two or more owners, the 499cc Stevenage-built single (with non-original crankcase) fetched £34,000 from a £35,000 - £40,000 estimate.



The next top selling lot was a circa 1962 Matchless G50, previously owned by ex-TT racer Dave Storry. The estimate was £18,000 to £22,000, and it looks like the bike (pictured immediately above) sold for £26,000—note that the Dee Atkinson & Harrison press release is phrased a little clumsily, so we're not 100 percent sure of this price.



Here are some of the other sales at Sledmere House:


1938 Velocette MSS: £8,200

1932 Cotton (Blackburne engine): £5,750

1931 Triumph WL restoration project: £3,320

1943/45 Ariel W/NG: £5,520

1960 Royal Enfield Constellation: £5,750

1972 Kawasaki Z1000: £4,025

1975 Suzuki GT250: £2,415.

We don't have a full list of sales, so we can't give you a conversion rate. If we can, we'll follow this up over the next few days (no promises, mind).


All the prices include 15% buyers premium including VAT (on the premium). The next classic bike auction from this firm is scheduled for the 7th July.


Talk to Andy Spicer regarding consignments.



Dee Atkinson & Harrison Ben Noble Manx Norton sale Oct 2017


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Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers


Story snapshot:

Essential riding gear, but check the fit before buying

£149.99 from Oxford Products


There was a time when the only thing we wanted to be seen wearing when riding our motorcycles was a leather jacket, matt black lid, T-shirt, cotton shirt, motorcycle boots, gloves, shades and a pair of Levis—or maybe a pair of Wranglers to maximise our street cred and keep a foot in both camps.


But Levis and Wranglers ain't the jeans they once were, not in terms of fit or quality of manufacture. And we ain't quite the shape we once were either. Consequently, as the years roll by, the impulse to sally forth into the world of men (and women) clad in increasingly expensive denim isn't as strong. So the cheap/middle-age/crusty options are saggy-ass 'George' jeans from ASDA, or a pair of saggy-ass cargo trousers from Primark. And of these two fashion evils, Primark wins (but not by very much). [More...]


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Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint


Story snapshot:

Fresh from Veloce Reprint Series, reprinted March 2018

The story of Indian designer & engineer Charles B Franklin


We've seen this book before. Many years back. As far as we know, it was first published by Panther (now defunct). That was round about 2011. And it was good then, and it's good now.


Jointly written by Harry V Sucher, Tim Pickering, Liam Diamond and Harry Havelin, the book claims to be the most authoritative account of the life and times of Charles B Franklin who, in many (but not all) respects was to Indian 'Motocycles' pretty much what Phil Irving was to Vincent.


TT motorcycle racing star, designer and engineer, Charles Bayly Franklin was born in 1880 in Dublin, Ireland and emigrated to the USA in 1916. Over the next 16 years he designed the Indian Scout, Chief and Prince, and played a huge role in the development of many other Indian models of that era—not least with regard to his work on gear trains, sidevalve gas-flowing, overhead cam technology, and four-valve cylinder head design.


What this book sets out to achieve is to trace the entire path from birth to grave in the relatively short life of Charles B Franklin. He died aged just fifty-two, take note, but leave a huge legacy in the shape, sound and performance of some of the world's greatest motorcycles of the age.


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Ivano Beggio, Aprilia motorcycle and scooter brand founder, has died, 73


We Ride London "rant and call to action" demands new bikers rights

Motorcycle acid attack teenager Derryck John gets 10 years in jail

David Sykes sidecar racing novice day. Mallory Park 23/3/2018. BHR

Legal proceedings against Skully founders Marcus & Mitch Weller dropped

Evotech Performance releases new Ducati V4 Panigale accessories

1928 BSA S28 DeLuxe stolen. Fyfield, Essex. Frame: 11120. Eng: 19748

Air Rider patented retro-fit inflatable seats available from mid-August 2018

Ducati and Indian are running 2018 roadshows. Talk to your dealer

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Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018


Story snapshot:

Britain's "last music hall era entertainer" is gone

He was 90 years old


Hand's up everyone who's been telling the old Ken Dodd joke today? You know the one:


"Hey, Ken Dodd died last night."

"Did he?"

"No, Doddy."

Boom, boom.


Well Ken Dodd—or Doddy to his millions of friends and fans—did die last night, and we're having a quiet beer in memory of one of Britain's greatest, most stately, and most enduring comedy circuit troopers.


Yes, you can laugh at him and his hysterical antics, and generally speaking he'd want you to. He was awkward, and dated, and about as far from glamorous as you can get. But Kenneth Arthur Dodd kept 'em smiling for more than 60-years, and he was still laughing and making them laugh until the end.


He was born in 1927 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool where he lived his entire life—and it was, of course, Knotty Ash where Doddy developed his Diddy
Men (little men, played on stage by children) and made them a household name.


He began as a ventriloquist and moved swiftly into comedy stand-up routines, steadily becoming more popular until, in 1958, he was awarded top billing. Among his peers were Max Miller, Arthur Askey, Norman Wisdom, George Formby and the inimitable Jimmy Clitheroe.


Throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s, his popularity waxed and waned. But he was never entirely unpopular. Never unloved. It was simply that his brand of comedy was a relic of another age that was less and less funny as the decades rolled on. But Ken Dodd persevered and popped up everywhere from Scarborough to Minehead to Bradford to Brighton to Clacton-on-Sea to Blackpool to Torquay. If there was a theatre in town, sooner or later Doddy was bound to put in an appearance—and it was a rare occasion when the house wasn't filled to capacity and roaring with enough laughter to blow the roof off.


He also knew his way around The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and was a regular at The London Palladium where the Royal Variety Performance was staged.


Beyond that, he was a singer of no mean talent, and with his rich baritone voice he managed to put 18 records in the UK top 40 chart. "Happiness" (Doddy's signature tune) made it to number 31 in 1964. "Tears" made it to number one in 1965 and was the UK's best selling single that year. In hard numbers, Ken Dodd has sold millions of records, and if you don't mind a little syrup in your ears, one or two of them are still enjoyable.


In 1989 the British taxman famously went after Ken Dodd and hauled him into court. Doddy, it was discovered, preferred to keep most of his money in a suitcase at his home, and he vigorously defended himself and his tax affairs, no doubt aided by the odd one-liner delivered from the dock (whilst waving his trademark tickling stick, we hope).


And we're please to say that at the end of the trial, it was Doddy who prevailed—and he later incorporated aspects of that trial into his performances and gave his audiences something else to laugh about.



With his wild hair, bucked teeth (supposedly the result of a bicycling accident as a boy or young man), his eccentric clothes and his machine gun delivery of jokes, Ken Dodd was one of the most recognisable figures in British light entertainment, and one of the fastest guns on the street. Even the late, great Bob Monkhouse couldn't match Doddy's comedy speed. In fact, Ken Dodd holds a Guinness World Record for telling 1,500 jokes in 3.5 hours.


In 1982 an OBE came his way, and he accepted it with his usual gusto. And in 2017 he was knighted for services to charity. Many other awards and accolades came his way, notably in 2009 when a statue to him was erected at Liverpool's Lime Street Station.


Ken Dodd died at his Knotty Ash home following a brief illness. He lived with Anne Jones, his partner of 40 years, and three days before he died he tied the knot (allegedly for tax advantages).


Following the death of a great entertainer, it's frequently claimed that we won't see his like again; that he was one of a kind. But in this instance, we think that might be very close to the truth.


Love him or loathe him, Ken Dodd was unique and irreplaceable. In terms of talent, persistence and good naturedness, he was a giant among diddy men.



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Hi Sump. Nice obit. Doddy was a great entertainer and a decent bloke too. I met him once vaguely. You have to respect his staying power and grit even if his humour wasn't to everyone's taste. —Charles King, Oxfordshire

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Carole Nash Google petition


Story snapshot:

Motorcycle insurance firm wants your email details

But is it friendly support? Or just sly data capture?


You could look at this simply as a worthy story about Carole Nash Insurance doing its heartfelt bit to help British biking by lobbying Google to update its maps. Or you could look at it as a tale about Carole Nash Insurance cynically doing what it can to crank up a little extra business and further its domination of the UK bike insurance industry.


And you've probably figured out where we stand on this. Not that we mind. In principle, that is. You've got to pick it where it's growing, and you have to feed that growth from time to time with a little ... well, let's call it fertiliser.


The basic story is this. Google maps provide travel information specifically for drivers, cyclists, walkers, train passengers, air passengers, etc—but not for motorcyclists. We're talking mostly about details of how long it takes to get there from here, or wherever to wherever using various modes of transport. So Carole Nash has kindly and generously opened a petition hoping to persuade Google to remember bikers when planning new map features, or updating old features.


The Carole Nash press release also tells us that if just 10 percent of the cars on the road were replaced by motorcycles, congestion would be slashed by 40 percent. Which is about as useful as telling us that if all the eggs eaten in one year in the UK were made into a giant omelette, it would cover Birmingham.



In other words, it's useless information for information's sake rather than meaningful intelligence with which to promote/underpin British biking, because levering 10 percent of car drivers from their steering wheels simply isn't gonna happen. Not any time soon, anyway.


Except that this info does have a use. For Carole Nash, anyway. It's the padding around the parcel. Or, if you prefer, the stuffing in the turkey. Meaning that this idle fact-fodder has, of course, been generated purely to make the bogus campaigning message sound more newsworthy and "right on" whilst giving news editors a bit of filler to plug a hole in a page. Also, it helps take our eyes off the ball. Or is that bull?


Meanwhile, we see two very telling (pre-ticked) tick boxes on the petition form (see above). The first reads: Keep me updated on this campaign and others from Carole Nash. The second reads: Display my name and comment on the petition. Meaning it's another free data grab that, for all we know, will be traded, sold, exchanged and/or otherwise used as Carole Nash sees fit. Or maybe Carole Nash will keep your info safely in a little box in a great big vault, for their eyes only.


But does it matter? You tell us.


Either way, here at Sump we could sit all day long and listen to a slick marketing maestro try to flog us everything from toenail clippers to Tower Bridge. That kind of stuff can be a real art. But Carole Nash ought to do a little better than this if it wants both the data and the kudos.


Beyond all that, if you want to know how long it takes a motorcycle to get from one place to another, need we suggest that you simply ask Google the typical car journey time and then subtract around 30 percent (plus a few extra stops for ciggies, bug wipes and the usual necessary retreats behind a roadside hedge)?


Works for us.



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Hi Sump, the thing I hate about insurance companies is that they feed the accident management rip-off merchants. I had a minor bump and told my insurance company. I wasn't making a claim. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't breaking any contractual requirements. Big mistake. Less than two days later I had phone calls from two accident management firms. A week later I had a firm of solicitors on the line. So how did that happen? Don't believe any insurers who say they have your interests at heart. It's all just data. They are not your friends.—Mark Gooding, Sheffield

Much though it seems that Big Brother is alive and well, some of what he, she or it is up to isn't all bad. After 25 May this year Mrs Carole Nash and anyone else caught flogging our personal data to dubious guys on street corners will be in for a very hefty fine under the new General Data Protection Regulations. Marketing ruses thinner than a cafe racer seat aimed at collecting your personal data will be a thing of the past. —David

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New Musical Express is out of print


Story snapshot:

NME has published its last paper copy

The future of the digital magazine is unclear (see footnote)


Some of us around here at Sump got into motorcycles at about the same time we got into music. This was back in the days when there were only two up-to-the-minute and tell-it-like-it-is news rags to poke your snout into it. One was Melody Maker (published weekly). The other was New Musical Express. Or NME (also published weekly). And some kids even defined themselves by their choice of reading matter, as in "I'm an NME kinda guy." A bit like saying that you're into the "Blue 'Un (meaning The Motor Cycle) or the Green 'Un (meaning Motor Cycling).


In fact, during those heady juvenile days of acne and cadged cigarettes, if it wasn't in Motor Cycle Weekly or NME (or, okay, in Melody Maker), it simply wasn't news. It was merely "all that other crap" floating around in the ether such politics and football and stuff we didn't want to even think about let alone read about.


New Musical Express was founded in 1952, just in time for the (second wave) skiffle era and the rock'n'rock explosion. By 1964, when The Beatles were at the top of their game and popularity, NME sold a record 306,881 copies in a single week. By 2015, that had plummeted to around 16,000.


The digital genie was clearly out of the bottle, and in 1996, in recognition of that fact, NME launched a digital edition. Circulation quickly rose, and was eventually claiming over seven million free subscribers.


The print edition struggled on however. And in 1998, the newspaper format morphed into a magazine, but it wasn't enough to stop the slide. So in 2015 the magazine was re-launched as a freebee, and the publishers soon claimed a print circulation figure of (once again) over 300,000 copies per week.


Three years later however the game was up for print—at least as far as NME was concerned (although there are also plenty of other current print magazines and newspapers headed for, or queuing up beside the dustbin, or recycling bin, of history—talk to Bauer and Mortons for details).



Over the years, NME has "enjoyed" a very rocky road of success, failure, new success, decline, re-emergence, growth and any number of controversies both inside and outside the publication. Editors and writing personalities have dizzied themselves in the revolving door of employment. The publication's musical compass has also spun erratically as it struggled to keep pace with rapidly changing genres and tastes. Skiffle. Rock'n'roll. Pop. Glam rock. Reggae. Punk. Hard rock. Stadium rock. Electronic. Synth. Grunge. Garage. Britpop. Hip-hop. Indie. And more.


At whatever age you were emerging from childhood to stupidhood, NME (and Melody Maker) was there to light your way, beat your drum, tell you who was in and who was out and put the right sounds in your ears for your consideration, edification, entertainment and enjoyment.


The publication also frequently flirted with politics. It railed against Thatcher and Blair, chased the usual fascists, condemned US troop placements in the UK, and more than once attacked various sports and sports personalities.


But at its core was always the music, and whatever happens now that the "last" print edition has rolled off the presses, the music will go on and it has for the last ten thousand years or more.


We can't remember the last time we looked at a copy of NME let alone bought one. But then, if we had maintained our interest throughout the changing seasons of our lives, it would only show how badly out of touch the publication has been. In short, NME changed because we changed.


NME will now "expand" with two digital radio stations: NME 1 and NME 2. Meanwhile, an online feature called The Big Read will replace the magazine’s weekly interview with the erstwhile cover star.


But cry ye not. Music is actually better now than it ever was, both in terms of production, musicianship, sound quality, accessibility, and sheer writing talent. But naturally, it's never gonna sound as good as it once did. Right?


Long live NME

And Melody Maker.




UPDATE: We tried contacting NME to see if there will still be a digital edition of the publication. We made around 30 calls to around 30 numbers from editorial to publishing to classifieds to accounts. But everyone was on answerphone, or out, or not-known, or terminally engaged or possibly dead. Except for one guy, that is, who was as coy as a police informer and said that he'd been told not to say anything and simply refer everyone to the media office (which wasn't answering its phone).


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Hello Sumpheads, I used to be an avid reader of both NMW and Melody Maker and got into bands such as Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, The Cure and King Crimson through the papers. I was also a regular Motor Cycle Weekly reader, but I bought MCN too occasionally. Back then, I also bought a dozen mags a month and read then cover to cover. Not now. Things have become dull. But I'm still riding, and I still play in a pub band. Looks like the end of another era. Nice article. Thanx, —Eric, Bristol

Don't forget Sounds. That was started by a couple of Melody Maker journos and was usually ahead of the competition. Went bust in the 1990s though. Still got a Sounds T-shirt somewhere. —Vivian Allen, Middlesborough

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1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop


Story snapshot:

Looking for a fast ride back to the 1970s?

Andy Tiernan might be able to help...


We love chops, and we ain't ashamed to admit it. We don't currently own one, and it's a long time since we even rode one. But we love 'em anyway. Just looking at 'em makes us feel young and stupid (as opposed to old and stupid), and for many of us the chopper craze was the start of our lifelong passion for motorcycling.


So okay, this example might not be as old as it first appears. We think it's a relatively recent build. But it's got all the right circa-1970s ingredients—including a frame that really needed a neck rake. But hey! For most chop builders of the day, that was the look. Jacked up and angled back. It was only the experts who knew how to weld or braze and had the nerve and the skills to remove and reset the headstock.



The frame on this bike is Matchless. The engine is from a 500cc Triumph Tiger 100. And, in a very unchoplike twist, the builder has bolted on a supercharger.


If you're interested in acquiring these unlikely (but crucial) wheels, Suffolk classic bike dealer Andy Tiernan has got the bike at his shop. And you're right, it doesn't exactly fit Andy's trading style and usual stock list. So he'll be glad to shift it on.


To that end he's dropped the price from £8,650 to £5,500, and that's pretty realistic, if not a bargain.


We don't have a problem with the flowery livery, but if we bought this particular time machine, we'd soon be investing in a few pots of purple metal flake paint, a couple of iron cross mirrors, a 21-inch front wheel, a new pin-striping brush, a pair of platform shoes, a pair of flared jeans—and maybe an afro wig.


Ya gotta walk it like ya talk it. Right?


Andy Buys Bikes


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Sorry, but I think the whole chopper look is hideous. Cafe racer for me every time.—Pete Tommo

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J Wood Auctioneers


1,800 bike collection to be auctioned


Story snapshot:

Largest single owner collection ever

No reserve on everything


Who the hell collects 1,800 motorcycles? Earl Harrington Junior from Florida, USA, that's who. We can't tell you exactly where this family began their bike trading enterprise. The auctioneer's blurb doesn't mention it. But we can tell you that Harrington Senior began flogging motorcycles back in the 1960s (and possibly 1950s). The machines he sold were mostly Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs, but Honda was later added.


1973 Triumph Hurricane


In 1971, Harrington Senior moved to Northern Florida. By 1978, he and Harrington Junior were running Earl's Bikes in Ocala; a city of 57,000 in Marion County. As best we can tell, dad was more cautious about holding onto stock. He simply wanted to sell, sell, sell. But when he died in 1998, Harrington Junior began "taking the stock home with him". And that led directly to this gargantuan collection.


We might have got some pertinent details wrong here. The website of auctioneers J Wood & Co, after all, looks and sounds like it was written and designed by a five year old. But what it lacks in style and coherence, it makes up for in raw numbers. You could go blind looking at the list of 1,800 bikes (or lots); a list that includes a 1973 Triumph Hurricane with a claimed 510 miles on the clock.


1970 Norton Commando


There are also some reasonably respectable looking T140s, Norton Commandos, Harleys, Kawasakis and similar. But as you wade through the lists, the stock rapidly degenerates. Most of the other bikes look like projects. And some of the projects hardly look like bikes. Then there are cars, trucks and whatnot, much of it exposed to the elements which have clearly left their mark (but in the case of the '31 Ford immediately below, the Florida weathering has arguably added to the charm).


It's a three days auction held on site at two (or possibly three) locations. The auctioneers are inviting interested parties to turn up in person and wave some cash around. That's because there will be no internet hook up or telephone bidding. You're either there, or you're elsewhere. So forget virtual trading and all that stuff. But if you really must, you can drop 'em a line stating what you're interested in together with a $1,000 deposit (which is returnable—but there will be some transfer fees).




Earl Harrington motorcycle collection


Incidentally, we use the term "collection" with huge reservation. That's because this looks more like an object lesson in pathological hoarding and reckless waste rather than an organised or meaningful accumulation of desirable and/or significant motorcycles.


And while we're putting the boot in, the general auction set-up also fails to impress. But then again, you just might get some great deals here if you snick in early and cherry pick. And J Wood and Co might be auctioneers par excellence. We just don't know this firm.


Lastly, why is Earl Harrington Junior selling his "collection"? Simple. It's because he wants to retire and move to Georgia—and judging from the state of these machines, that can't happen a moment too soon.




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Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's


Story snapshot:

200 works of art on display

16th May 2018 to 28th May 2018, inclusive


Bikers generally might not be oil paintings, but this one is. It's called "The Biker" and it was skilfully slapped onto a sheet of stretched canvas by Tom Kelly, a "local" artist in the Christchurch area of Dorset—which is great biking country, incidentally. We know it well.


The painting illustrates (no pun intended) an art exhibition to be held by the Christchurch Arts Guilds at (nominally) the Sammy Miller Motor Cycle Museum between 16th May 2018 and 28th May 2018. If you motor along there, The Biker will be one of around 200 works of art covering figurative, contemporary, abstract and modern genres. In other words, pretty much everything and anything that can be squeezed from a tube of paint.


The idea, we're advised, isn't simply to showcase the local talent (no, not that kind of talent...). It's also intended to nurture that talent and consolidate the Guild's credentials which have taken a few members all the way to the Royal Academy in London. Consequently, stewards will be on hand to chinwag about all matters relating to art and provide a direct route into the Guild.


Our experience of art exhibitions is that the best stuff is frequently found at smaller events such as this, and 200 oily works is a fair size collection. The paintings will be offered for sale, so bring some cash.



The exhibition opens daily at the adjacent Bashley Manor Tea Rooms from 10am to 4.30pm, seven days a week. And the show is free, note. But you will be expected to pay an entry fee for access to Sammy Miller's well stocked and well organised museum (currently £9 for adults, with concessions, discounts, etc). However, you should check these times before you set off.


The museum is a family place, and Sammy's got it all pretty well worked out from car parking to play areas for the brats and refreshments and information. If you haven't visited this place, go. If you've been, go again.


A few hundred pieces of art will be a rewarding antidote to all the eyeball pollution we have to live with in the modern world.


The address is: Sammy Miller Motor Cycle Museum, New Milton, Hants, BH25 5SZ. Contact: Geoff Storer, Christchurch Arts Guild on 01202 922456, or Jackie Malley on 01425 674453.



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2018 Cardiff Classic & Contemporary Motorcycle Show


2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

Story snapshot:

Peter Williams is the guest of honour

Show bikes, trophies, autojumble, food, drinks and more


Actually, the full title is the 2018 Cardiff Classic & Contemporary Motorcycle Show. But we abbreviated it in order to fit the allocated heading space. We can't tell you anything else about the show other than what's printed on the flyer. So talk to the organisers if you're interested and if you're in the vicinity. Or just mosey along there anyway. A little adventure is good for the spirit. Are we right?


The entry fee is just a fiver, which is as cheap as it's gonna get. And it's worth that just to sit and chat with the redoubtable guest Peter Williams, ex-John Player Norton Rider and Development Engineer. Williams is one of those rare (and very gutsy) riders who really understands racing tactics and motorcycle engineering, and he's got a few interesting tales to tell about life on and off the track.


And that's why we're taking this opportunity to give his book a plug. It's been around for a few years, but it's still a great read and a must-have volume for anyone seriously interested in motorcycle racing. It was published by Redline Books. However, it's out of print. So check out Amazon or eBay or wherever. Or maybe Peter Williams will turn up on the day with a few spare copies.


Ask. Bring cash.


Meanwhile, don't forget the Cardiff Show. We frequently take these events for granted, but people go to a lot of trouble to create and develop gatherings such as this. So support them if you can, and if you will.


The biking scene depends on it, etc.




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John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500


Story snapshot:

World record price for a Honda Z50A

Also a world record price for a CB750 Honda


"It's motorcycle history" according to auctioneers H&H Classics which hit two world records at its 4th March 2018 sale held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, West Midlands.


A 1969 Z50A monkey bike once owned by the legendary John Lennon changed hands for £57,500. Meanwhile, a pre-production CB750 Honda found a new owner for £161,000; and that price, take note, was achieved against an auction estimate of £35,000 - £40,000.



The monkey bike (XUC 91H) had been owned for the past 47 years by John Harington. He bought it around 1971 from Henry Graham of Hook, Hampshire. Graham was the then owner of Motor Cycle City in Farnborough, Hants. And he purchased the bike directly from John Lennon who was living at upmarket Tittenhurst Park in Sunningdale, near Ascot, Berkshire (hardly the average retreat of your power-to-the-people, give-peace-a-chance, working class hero, but let's not go there right now, huh?).


We've already covered the back story of the pre-production CB750 Honda. Click the link you've just passed or check Sump Classic Bike News, February 2018.

We'll be further analysing the auction over the next day or so, but it certainly looks as if H&H has had a pretty good day. Stay tuned.



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Ex-TT man Roy Hanks shuts Fred Hanks (Birmingham) shop after 60 years

80 yrs trading Vale-Onslow shop shifts to Bordesley Green Trad Est, Brum

Scottish Motorcycle Show (3/3/18) postponed to 7-8/4/2018 (weather)

MCIA insists London Mayor Khan must honour m/c election pledges

UK average unleaded price 2018 - 121ppl (2016 - 102ppl; 2017 - 115ppl)

Harley-Davidson buys a stake in Alta Motors, electric MX manufacturers

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Hi Sumpheads, Didn't Harley-Davidson once makes a model called a Silent Grey Fellow? If they switch to electric, they'll be making a lot more silent fellows. Can't imagine Harley-Davidson life without the potato-potato sound. —Harley Ed, Texas

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1st March 2018      


1966: Many of you Sumpsters won't

remember "the good old days" before the UK government decimalised British money. But some will. Back then, money was ... well, friendly. It had character. Identity. We had half crowns, florins, shillings, sixpences, thru'penny bits, pennies and ha'pennies. But James Callaghan, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that those days were all but done. And by 15th February 1971 pounds, shillings and pence (or LSD, from the latin Libra Solidus Denarius) was history. Instead of 240 pennies in the pound, we had just 100 and had to learn the value of everything all over again. With coinage in multiples of ten, decimalisation was supposed to be simpler. But try dividing 10 by 3. In other words, the LSD system—based on multiples of 12—was more flexible, albeit a little harder to get to grips with. Hands up everyone who'd like the LSD system back? Now hold still. We're counting...

1981: What's Bobby Sands' telephone number? That's right, Nuneaton ate-nothing-ate-nothing. And that was the standing funny/not funny joke after IRA man Bobby Sands began his legendary hunger strike. He was incarcerated in the notorious Maze prison in Northern Ireland. So what happened? Well then Home Secretary William Whitelaw removed the Special Category Status which had allowed the IRA men to be granted distinction as political prisoners—which meant they were effectively prisoners of war (with all that that implied). Sands took great exception to the loss of status and starved himself to death. During his protest, he was actually elected as an MP but died in custody. Whitehall soon closed that route to political influence. Sands was just 27 years old. His death is still a bitter memory for many.

2007: The Swiss Army accidentally invaded Liechtenstein. It seems that the Swiss soldiers were on exercise and had their maps upside down or something. They fired off some rockets whilst on exercise and killed a few trees. Then they realised that something was wrong when a bunch of Liechtensteiners turned the maps the right way up. The 171-strong combat unit did a quick about face, lost a lot of face, and ended up paying damages. In war, these things happens. And it seems that they happen in peacetime too.


2008: USS New York launched. This San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship was named in memory of the World Trade Centre 7/11 attacks on 11th September 2001. The naval architects recovered 7.5 short tons of steel from the collapsed buildings and incorporated the metal into this vessel. With a crew of 360, the USS New York can transport 700 US Marines and pretty much all the equipment they need to launch a beach assault almost anywhere in the world. That includes 12 helicopters. Remember where you were when the twin towers were hit? Some things you just can't forget, not that you'd want to.


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BSA M20 & M21:
World's Greatest Sidevalves T-shirt







Pioneer Run eBook:

What's it all about? Well, it's a photoshoot of the world's greatest veteran motorcycle run with poetry and quotes from Ixion to John Masefield to William Shakespeare to William Wordsworth. It's unique (as far as we know) and has been downloaded thousands of times from both the Sump website and the website of the Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club. Think of it as poetry in motion. It's a treat. Sorry, it's not available in hardcopy or for Macs.












Sprint Manufacturing: Hinckley Triumph Parts & Accessories





Triumph Bonneville:
World's Coolest
Motorcycle T-shirt






Classic motorcycle signs

Classic bike wall signs

from £11.99 plus P&P










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