1934 Brough Superior 11-50 outfit (Lot 507). If you don't recognise this motorcycle, you haven't been watching enough TV. Arguably, its greatest claim to fame was appearing on two classic British shows: Dad's Army (ghosted image immediately above), and George & Mildred. So okay, George & Mildred was lame. But Dad's Army has since become something of a national treasure—albeit with some episodes much better than others. However, this 1,096cc V-twin sidevalve was (as a solo mount) also campaigned in the works entry in the 1934 International Six Day's Trial (ISDT)—and it won a Gold. Bonhams will be offering it for sale at the Spring Stafford Sale on 27th April 2019. The estimate is £60,000 - £80,000. Cheap? UPDATE: The outfit sold for £71,300.


March 2019  Classic bike news

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


Motorcycle news

February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost

Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

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

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

Sump news archive



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Find It, Fix It, Drive It: new TV show


Story snapshot:

Henry Cole returns with yet another telly programme for petrolheads

And naturally, Sam Lovegrove is back with him


We would have told you about this earlier so you could be sure to catch the first episode. But as mentioned elsewhere on this page, we've been away from the Sump desk, and we're still catching up with the news. However, we can tell you now (if you haven't already found out) that Henry Cole and sidekick, Sam Lovegrove, have a new TV show.


Find It, Fix It, Drive It is the name of the programme (which sounds suspiciously like something we used to say when we were young & wild and whenever a nice looking member of the opposite sex walked by).


But let's not go there.


The content of the new show involves "crazy challenges" such as sorting out a classic tractor, a custom bike, a Brooklands racer, and something or other on the Isle of Man circuit. Sound like fun? Well we certainly enjoy Henry's adventures of the automotive kind even though (and whisper this among friends only), he's constantly at risk of being upstaged by Sam.


Episode uno was on Wednesday 27th March 2019 (i.e. five days hence). The TV station was More4. The time was 9pm. And there will be another nine episodes in the series coming along in the weeks to follow—and naturally, they'll all be repeated ad infinitum, and possibly ad nauseum. So if you missed the beginning, you'll be sure to catch up with it somewhere down the pike.


See also: Henry Cole wants your shed, Sump February 2019



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Triumph recall: clutch cable woes


Story snapshot:

Bonneville and Street models need a check-up

Possible electrical short or control issue


This message is directed at owners or operators of the Triumph Bonneville and Street range. Apparently, Hinckley has outlined some concerns that the clutch cable on these motorcycles could rub up against the wiring harness and cause a short circuit or some other untoward riding or control issue.


So owners/riders are, in the usual way, being advised to go and talk to their nearest Triumph dealer and have the bike checked out. The recall, we understand, will affect tens of thousands of bikes worldwide. But of course the only one you need worry about is the one you're astride.


These are the models specifically (or at least possibly) affected:


Triumph Bonneville T100/T100 Black (2017-2019)
Triumph Bonneville T120/T120 Black (2016-2019)
Triumph Street Cup (2017-2018)
Triumph Street Scrambler (2017-2018)
Triumph Street Twin/Street Twin A2 (2016-2018)


If you've got any doubts or suspicion that your machine might be in the mix, you can first check Triumph's recall website.


Meanwhile, we're heard nothing about any injuries caused as a result of this problem. But for some riders at least, this needs to be fixed before it breaks.



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2019 Royal Enfield Bullet Trials Works Replica


RE Bullet Trials Works Replicas


Story snapshot:

Royal Enfield launches two new models...

... but so far these are for the Indian market only


Noted trials rider Johnny Brittain, who died earlier this month, is the inspiration for two new Royal Enfield motorcycles. Marketed as Bullet Trials Works Replicas, the bikes will be available soon in the Indian market with a choice of 348cc or 498cc engines. Other features will include dual-channel ABS, trimmed mudguards, a single saddle, a luggage rack, and a mesh headlight guard. Wheels are 19-inch front, and 18-inch rear. Tyres are CEAT. The front fork has 35mm tubes. Rear suspension is via twin gas-charged shock-absorbers/dampers with five-step adjustable preload and 80mm travel. Brakes are a single two-piston caliper up front coupled with a single piston caliper at the rear.



Johnny Brittain Royal Enfield trials rider



Between 1948 and 1965, Johnny Brittain notched up over 50 championships on Royal Enfields. Following the Indian launch, the company is expected to roll these machines out across most world markets, but we've no specific information regarding when these motorcycles will arrive on British shores.


Colours are either green or red. Prices to be announced as and when.





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1915 Harley-Davidson Model F


Mecum's March 2019 Glendale Sale


Story snapshot:

Top lot was a restored H-D Model F

Nothing else too startling at this Arizona auction


It wasn't the most exciting auction ever held by Mecum. But no one really expected it to be, so few were disappointed at the results which were fairly modest, workaday, and respectable.


The top selling lot was the immediately above 1915 Harley-Davidson Model F (Lot S246.1) which sold for $121,000. There's not much detail regarding this clearly over-restored V-twin, except to say that 1915 was the first year for HD's three-speed transmission, and that the bike was part of the Dr Craig Venter Collection.


Craig Venter is an ex-US soldier who, in 1968, served as a corpsman in the Vietnam War. Post-conflict, he arrived in London, bought a new Triumph Bonneville, largely (we hear) to help blow away the memory of his no doubt gruelling tour of duty, and so seeded his interest in motorcycles.


After spending some time in the British capital, Venter returned to the USA and achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology, both from the University of California at San Diego. Later in his professional career he founded, or co-founded, various institutions that addressed issues of scientific education and human longevity.


His passion for old motorcycles developed steadily over the years and grew into a large range of machines from Harley-Davidson, Indian, Brough Superior, Vincent and of course Triumph. However, as is the way of collections, it eventually became unwieldy and needed reducing. So Mecum was tasked with the job of finding buyers for all the bikes that simply had to be re-homed.


Mike Parti, incidentally, was the restorer. He's barely known (if at all) on this side of the Atlantic. But in the USA he's a well respected craftsman.


We don't yet have an official statement from Mecum regarding the sale. But we have looked carefully at the results, and they appear to be fairly modest and without any special surprises one way or the other.


Meanwhile, here are the next nine lots...


1940 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead

Lot F7: 1940 Harley-Davidson EL, 61ci, $62,700

1970 Clymer Indian Enfield

Clymer Indian Enfield - 1970

Lot F289: 1970 750cc Indian Enfield Floyd Clymer, $44,000
Lot T328: 1929 BSA Sloper 500cc single, $20,900
Lot F21: 1958 Triumph TR6A, $20,350
Lot T127: 1956 Triumph TR6, $19,800
Lot F17: 1947 Triumph T100, 500cc. $19,800

2017 Rewaco ST2 Trike

Lot U21: 2017 Rewaco ST2 Trike.140 HP. Automatic, $19,800
Lot F20: 1963 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc, $18,700
Lot T124: 1960 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc, $17,600


Mecum's next motorcycle sale will be at NRG Center One, NRG Park Houston, TX 77054 USA on 4th - 6th April 2019. So far, we see that around 100 bikes are listed. Mecum is looking for further consignments.




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Road Safety GB, in association with THINK! gave us some much appreciated webspace for our short (1:17) biker safety video. So okay, our initiative ain't likely to exactly change the world, but we figure it's better to do something than nothing. What do you say?


Sump THINK BIKE video gets support


Story snapshot:

Dozens of press releases sent out

Most were unanswered...


Earlier this month Sump launched a mini-campaign focussed around a couple of videos we knocked-up some time ago and simply left floating around in their YouTube bottles for anyone to retrieve. The first was our YOU CAN'T BEAT THE BIKE video, and the other was our THINK BIKE, THINK CAMERA, THINK JAIL vid.


Not unexpectedly, they didn't get much attention. Probably washed up on the wrong beaches, etc. So we fired them off again into various orbits, and (as expected) we received very limited support. But the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club (TOMCC) gave us some generous web space. So did British Dealer News, the National Motorcycle Museum, the Ariel Owners Club, and Road Safety GB. We might have missed someone, but we don't think so.


However, we haven't given up, and we're anticipating maybe just a little more support from the dozens of press releases we sent out. Meanwhile, we're still hoping that a few more of you everyday guys and girls associated with clubs and forums can give these videos a mention—especially if your interests cross over into the car world, classic or otherwise. That's where these messages needs to land.


And as we stated in our original stories, we'll happily send the video footage to anyone who wants it to tag onto videos of their own—and if you want to edit Sump out of the frame (as much as is possible, that is) then so be it. We just want to (a) increase interest in biking in the UK, and (b) make it safer.


We'll be naming names later regarding the guys in the wider biking world who couldn't or wouldn't support these videos. We're talking about magazine editors, bike industry heads and suchlike. And naturally, all of them purport to support British motorcycling. But for now, we're just watching and waiting to see what happens next.


Meanwhile, lend your support if you can. Please.







I think you're aiming at the wrong websites to promote your THINK BIKE video. Motorcycle owners' clubs and dealers may be interested, but to make a difference it needs to be seen by "Joe Public". I'd suggest trying the UK online newspapers, as they are desperately hungry for "content" especially if there's a video included (which keeps their punters logged in to their site for longer). —Ted Wilkinson.

[Sump comment: Hi Ted, thanks for your input. But we ARE trying the online newspapers—plus online car magazines, motoring bloggers, road safety organisations, government departments, etc. However, we've also aimed these videos at bikers because many riders have connections with other sites (cars clubs, music groups, and so on); hence our request for support. You never know when your message will be picked up and disseminated by a very influential source. Just because you've seen this video on a motorcycle magazine, that doesn't mean it wasn't aimed at other targets. Meanwhile we'll continue to do what we can.]

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Riverbank Motorcycles' ULEZ  hope


We probably ought to have knocked up the above collage using an image of City Hall (where Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor hangs out) rather than the Palace of Westminster (where he doesn't). But the latter image is generally more recognisable than the former, and it amounts to the same thing.


The underlying story here is that Riverbank Motorcycles in East London has been authorised by TfL (Transport for London) as an approved emissions testing centre. What that means, specifically, is that if your motorcycle falls foul of the new ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) regulations, you can now have your machine officially tested by Riverbank. If the bike passes, you can ride freely into London without having to pay the £12.50 per day charge (note; this is not the same as the Congestion Charge, which doesn't apply to bikes. Yet).


As it stands, motorcycles manufactured before 2007 (excluding bikes registered as historic) are subject to the new ULEZ charges which will be in force from 8th April 2019. However, many of these bikes are either powered by the same engines as post-2007 machines, or are in any case equally "clean". But the TfL hammer has, up to now, been blunt. You're either on-side, or off-side.


Well, that could change for many motorcycles that occupy the grey area that's caused so much concern and frustration among riders. The threshold for exempt bikes is 0.15g/km. We don't really understand exactly what that means. Sounds harmless perhaps. However, plenty of folk complain about chronic breathing problems in the capital, and elsewhere. But the gas analysing machines do understand, and if these gizmos detect NOx emissions above that level, you'd better reach for your wallet if you want to continue commuting into Central London on that particular machine.



We spoke directly to Riverbank (a firm we know a little), and Neil Freeman and John Rusby confirmed the story. They're still working out some of the technical issues, but feel they could be up and running in a week or so. And in the meantime, they are taking bookings.


The test fee isn't exactly cheap. But we've no doubt it's fair. And that fee is £175. Just make the call, wait your turn, and they'll plumb you into their dyno equipment and give you the nod where appropriate. And £175 is probably a lot less than the money you'd lose trading in your bike and mucking around buying a later/compliant model.


We're advised that riders should present their bikes in tip-top condition for the best chance of passing. That's means tight inlet gaskets/seals/filters, and gas tight exhausts too. And if you give the cylinders a good high-speed flush before presentation, that won't hurt.




Testing on their dyno will look at idling, acceleration and deceleration numbers. Your bike will be run-up three times, and the average figure is the one that counts. With luck, you'll then be Euro3 compliant, which is acceptable to TfL. However, we don't yet know whether your successfully tested bike will still be compliant further down the line as new standards come into force. You'll have to ask your own questions in that regards. Our suspicion is that that eventuality hasn't yet been closely looked at.


While we remember, we should mention that once tested, your bike's registration details will be uploaded to the TfL website and marked as exempt.


If nothing else, this news suggests that TfL has indeed been listening to, and acting upon, the concerns of bikers who have vociferously challenged the logic behind the aforementioned blunt hammer approach to motorcycle exhaust gas emissions. We live in hope that powered bikes will be increasingly accepted (and supported) as viable, practical and efficient modes of transport, both in and out of our cities,


In the meantime, call Riverbank on: 0208 983 4896. And also while we remember, try not to be put off by Riverbank's premises (and we mean that with no disrespect). The firm, which is integral to the London bike scene, operates from little more than a hole in the wall in an old industrial estate near to Blackwall Tunnel. Glamorous it isn't. But hundreds, if not thousands of bikers have good reason to be grateful for this outfit. Riverbank repairs bikes, conducts MOTs, hires motorcycles and generally does whatever they reasonably can to keep the wheels turning.





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UK car production Feb 2019 down 15%. 123,203 units. 9th consecutive fall

Marlin Sports (kit) Cars founded 1979 is for sale: terry@marlincars.co.uk

New universal Ixon airbag system. £760 inc "brain". Partial lease option

Ace Cafe Scooter Sunday. 31/3/19. Bring old pics. Youth Culture Museum

The Wolverhampton Sunbeam factory (1912 - 1937) is for sale. Google it


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Yes, we doctored the image above. That's a Metropolis Motorcycles shot with a Triumph logo grafted on. Lind isn't yet trading there (see text).



Triumph Motorcycles Central London


Story snapshot:

The Lind Group is opening a Central London solus Triumph dealership

Look for it opposite the MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross


This used to be the site of Metropolis Motorcycles. The location is Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, London. You can find it opposite the MI6 Babylon-on-Thames building as featured in numerous movie and TV dramas.


Well, Metropolis went bust in September 2018, and that was a great blow to many London bikers. For a decade or more, franchises represented at Metropolis included Ducati, Triumph, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Piaggio (not necessarily in that order). The business also carried the usual racks of biker riding clobber, motorcycle luggage equipment and general accessories.


What's changed is that the Lind Triumph Group will soon be opening a solus Triumph dealership at the site. The move will give Triumph Motorcycles (Hinckley) a sweep of dealer coverage from Romford in East London to Ashford (Middlesex) way over to the South West (both of which are nominally operated by Jack Lilley*), with Lind more or less in the centre.


Metropolis Motorcycles enjoyed 10,000 square feet of space which it used for retail, workshop and administration purposes. The failure of the business, which has roots dating to 1987, was put down to numerous factors including the current general retail decline coupled with rising motorcycle theft, acid-attack issues, rising costs, increased competition and (wait for it) bad weather.


Yes, it's official. Bad weather affects motorcycle sales.


Regardless, it's a prime location that's put a fat smile on the management at Hinckley. But naturally it remains to be seen whether the Lind Group can thrive here, etc.


We don't have details of exactly when the new dealership will open. But the premises, as far as we know (and we're personally familiar with the site), look to be in good condition, and there's no obvious reason why Lind couldn't be operating within a few weeks if not a few months.


Beyond that—and this is pure speculation—we wonder if the landlord here is Network Rail which, in September 2018, announced plans to sell off its railway arch properties to private investors. The sum involved was reputed to be £1.5 billion. As a direct result of the sell-off, many firms (both small and large) announced plans to relocate or cease trading in anticipation of punitive rent rises.


We'll try and speak to the Lind Group sometime and see if they can set us straight on this point. And if you have any pertinent information, we'd be interested to hear it.


Note: *The Lind Group owns the aforementioned Jack Lilley Triumph shops, plus four Harley-Davidson stores (Guildford, Newmarket, Norwich and Reading), and two BMW Motorcycle stores (Norwich and Welwyn Garden City). Additionally, Lind car showrooms represent Audi, BMW, MINI, Honda, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Subaru, MG, Rover, Volkswagen, Porsche and Land Rover.





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EU speed limiter proposals gain pace


Story snapshot:

Speed restriction technology is looking to make it into UK law

Volvo to voluntarily restrict its vehicle speeds to 112mph


Ultimately, it's bound to happen sooner or later—and probably sooner than that in this era of confused and frequently irrational safety consciousness. But motor vehicle speed limiters have long been on the agenda; ever since the first cars and motorcycles hit the highway, in fact. Trouble was, there were few reliable/viable/practical ways to do it aside from swingeing engine power cuts that have been forcefully and artfully resisted by the motoring companies and associated lobbyists.


However, a new Red Flag Act is effectively on the way—assuming that the latest proposals from the EU actually make it all the way through to hard legislation. Petrolheads, and probably the new breed of electroheads, are concerned about how vehicle speed caps might work in practice, and how hard that introduction will impact upon the excitement of motoring. But road safety campaigners and cycling groups are agog at the idea that such limiters could be with us by as early as 2022.


Other measures in this new round of proposals are automatic braking protocols, electronic data recorders, and technology designed to improve visibility—such as intelligent cameras all round, A-pillar monitors, vehicle-to-vehicle distance locks, and so on.


Officially, the Eurocrats are talking not so much about speed limiters but intelligent speed assistance (ISA) devices. But of course it amounts to the same thing.


On the one hand, there's clearly a need to wrest back some control from the usual morons who evidently don't understand the difference between "merely" breaking the speed limit and speeding when it's totally inappropriate. And of course there is a difference. But as alluded to before in Sump, there are still practical, legal and moral issues to be unravelled and thrown into the legislative mix.


For instance, how do we deal with those instances where it is perfectly sensible and advisable to accelerate beyond the posted limit such as when overtaking (and especially when you suddenly spot some mush-head coming right at you who is unable or unwilling to duck back where he or she belongs)? An accelerator "kick down" device to assist your own manoeuvre? Or a verbal override? Or a simple panic button on the dashboard?


And how do we deal with the issues of legal responsibility as and when the systems fail (which they inevitably will from time to time? And how do we reconcile the issue of—or even the conflict between—new high-tech vehicles fitted with limiters, and older low-tech vehicles that are effectively allowed to run free on shared roads? And, more pertinently to Sump, how will ISAs affect motorcycling, both in terns of riding pleasure and road safety?


Meanwhile, there's also the question of whether or not these new EU laws will have any impact on the UK if and when the country actually makes that long promised final Brexit leap. But the word is that Whitehall will indeed follow the mainland Europeans into this particular battle and incorporate speed limiter protocols into UK legislation. And if Brexit is cancelled, the EU will simply do what they want with us.



All this news, take note, comes just a couple of weeks after Volvo announced that all new vehicles built by the company will, from 2021, be limited to a maximum speed of 112mph. That's still a very respectable rate of knots, but it (arguably) points at further limits to come. The underlying plan, incidentally, is Volvo 2020 Vision goal designed to ensure that by the year 2020, no one is seriously killed or injured in a Volvo car.


No word yet from the firm on how that might impact (pun intended) on anyone outside the vehicle.


Antonio Avenoso, the executive director of the European Transport Safety Council, has been quoted as saying: “There have only been a handful of moments in the past 50 years which could be described as big leaps forward for road safety in Europe. The mandatory introduction of the seatbelt was one, and the first EU minimum crash safety standards, agreed in 1998 was another.


“If [this new] agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force.”




But true or false, when this new anti-speeding paradigm finally arrives, it might be interesting to see how the motoring and motorcycling marketers spin and re-present their products in what is likely to be a new era of socially responsible motoring oneupmanship.




Speed and performance (in the widest sense of "performance") pretty much go together, and you can't really have one without the other. Or can you?


We'll be watching with interest to see how the admen and engineers deal with these issues in what could be a brighter dawn for personal transportation—and we'll be watching closely to see how safer roads might in turn lead to increased bike usage.


If at all.



I wonder how many lives might be saved by reducing to zero the allowed blood/alcohol content whilst riding or driving? Nice'n'cheap to do. No grey areas, Easy. —Regards, Mick

No Volvo for me. —Leo

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Arlen Darryl Ness: 1939 - 2019


Story snapshot:

US "King of the Motorcycle Customisers" has died

He was 79 years old and had for some time been ill


There have been a lot of great custom motorcycle designers and fabricators in the bike business. But it's difficult to think of anyone who matches, let alone eclipses, guys like Arlen Ness who has died aged 79.


As a badge of style and quality, the words "Arlen" and "Ness" on a product, or on an item of packaging was pretty much all you needed to be confident that you were getting the best of the best.


He was an original thinker, a pioneer, a skilled craftsman, a shrewd businessman and a great ambassador (whatever that means to you) for the motorcycle business as a whole—and the custom bike business specifically. More than that, he was modest, very much down-to-earth, and accessible.


Among his near legendary creations were motorcycles such as Two Bad, Nesstique, QuickNess and Ness-Stalgia. He was also very closely associated with the design and build of numerous baggers and custom cruisers, many of which echoed and amplified his interest in Art Deco styling.


Operating from Dublin, California USA, Arlen Ness Motorcycles has for decades been managed by son Cory Ness, himself a noted custom motorcycle builder and innovator. The company currently designs, builds and markets a huge range of aftermarket motorcycle accessories and biking bling primarily for American V-twin motorcycles, but also retails biker apparel including boots, T-shirts, saddle bags, hoodies, jackets and hats. Annual turnover is reputed to be around $20 million. Roughly 70 people are directly employed by the business.


Arlen Ness Two Bad


In July 2016, Sump Magazine reported that Arlen Ness had received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sturgis Museum, in South Dakota, USA. There's some more biographical information there about Arlen that details his rise to fame and his many achievements. Suffice to say here that his regrettable passing has been well noted by us at Sump, and no doubt by tens of thousands of custom motorcycle builders and enthusiasts around the world.


Arlen Ness is survived by Beverley, his wife of 59 years, his son Cory, and daughter Sherri. His grandson, Zack Ness, is now also firmly embedded within the business and will be campaigning the next generation of Necessities.





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Sump Magazine is back in the saddle


Story snapshot:

We've been travelling far and wide

Getting quickly back to normal


At least a couple of you Sumpsters have probably been wondering what's happened to the news on this page. Well, we can tell you now that we've been away on a long (and physically shattering) trip to some of the more remote, distant and not altogether enjoyable locales in Europe, and we're slowly getting back in the saddle, businesswise. So apologies if you've been going cold turkey for biking info and suchlike, but there's more news and views coming atcha soon.


Meanwhile, for all of you guys and galls who've been patiently awaiting your Sump product orders, we're dealing with this right now and should have the backlog sorted within the next 24 - 48 hours (and as far as we know, everyone has been notified and is otherwise happy with our service). But if you know differently, tie a note to a digital brick and lob it this way, if you please.


Beyond that, thanks for indulging us, and stay tuned for some belated news...



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UK reported bike thefts: 27,000 in 2018. Down from 34,000 in 2017

Noted Royal Enfield Bullet trials rider Johnny Brittain (left) dies aged 87


DfT launches feeble L driver "Road Whisperer" THINK! safety campaign

Electric Aston Martin Rapide E to feature in new/untitled James Bond film

Shed Rides announces "highly configurable, future proof" DIY electric bike

Ian Murray, Scots Ducati/RE dealer arson conviction. £50k shop damage


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Think bike, think camera, think jail


Story snapshot:

New road safety initiative from Sump

Can you help us promote this?


We've got another motorcycling video that we're looking for help in promoting. As with our YOU CAN'T BEAT THE BIKE video, we knocked-up this vid some years ago and put it on Sump's YouTube channel and pretty much left it to sink or swim.


Well it didn't swim very far, but we liked the message and we wanted to dry it out and give it another shot.


Getting other people to ride on your hobby horse is very difficult. Most of us mean well, but few of us actually do well. That's how the world works. However, that doesn't mean we ought to give up trying to improve our lot as motorcyclists. We certainly ain't giving up.


We've sent appropriate press releases out to many, if not most, of the other online magazines. We've asked them to back this THINK BIKE, THINK CAMERA, THINK JAIL initiative and give it some promotional space. But we ain't holding our breath over this one. All the biking rags and newspapers, both online and in print, are pretty mean spirited when it comes to this kind of stuff. They've got vested interests that they want to protect. They tend to think small rather than big. And that means that messages from rival (did we actually say rival?) online publications are considered a threat or something, and they're consequently ignored.


Here at Sump, meanwhile, we'll give almost anyone a free shot if it backs biking and helps make the roads a little safer. But we ain't everyone else.


Anyway, we've dried our tears, and we're asking you guys and gals to (a) view the video, and (b) forward the link to someone who you feel might want to see it (or who needs to see it), and (c) consider using the footage as an advert on one of your own videos—especially if that video might be seen by car drivers.


We'll send the footage out to anyone who's interested. Just fire off an email and ask. You can have it gratis.


That's the whole thing right there. View the video. Help us promote it in some way (club website—or car website if you're a member of a car club and/or use a car forum). And maybe you could consider tagging the advert onto one or more of your own vids. YouTube can be a great tool if we use it appropriately. Just needs a little imagination and gumption.


That's it. Help, or don't help.





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2019 Suzuki Katana prices and spec


Story snapshot:

Updated slant on an older modern classic set to arrive soon

Yours for £11,399


There's no question that the original GSX1100S Suzuki Katana, introduced in 1981, was a near instant modern classic. It arrived seemingly from nowhere and was a stunning looking German styled concept backed by an ass-kicking 1,100cc, 16-valve, 111bhp transverse four-cylinder engine capable of propelling the bike up to 132mph with concomitant blistering acceleration.


Yes, it had many faults such as excessive engine noise, induction issues, dodgy black chrome exhausts and silencers, increasingly ineffective anti-dive forks and a high centre of gravity. But as a statement of pure motorcycling machismo and bravado, the GSX blew the dust off numerous lesser machines from rival marques which quickly had to play catch up.


Well, a new Katana is soon to arrive on UK shores, and Suzuki has just sent us prices and some (very limited) specifications. Clearly, the original curvy Katana concept is notionally embedded in the 2019 angular drapery. And clearly the designers have done what they can to ensure that it's the same motorcycle, but distinctly different. And yes, it looks pretty good from where we're sitting—and will probably look much better up close and personal.


But arguably the newcomer simply hasn't got the visual impact of the original which pushed the boundaries of design and made many of us catch our breath long before we hit the high numbers as they appeared on the slightly wacky speedo/tacho. In short, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. However, there's still a little marketing magic in the Katana name. So we are where we are...



We have to confess that we removed the Quasimodo hump on the back of this guy's riding leathers. We know that many sections of the biking community like to ride around looking deformed. But at Sump we're traditionalists. Next time round, we're going to stick him in a Brando jacket and skid lid. Any objections out there?



Based on the current GSX-S1000, the asking price for the new retro muscle bike is £11,399. The engine capacity is down from the 1981 model's 1,100cc to 1,000cc (although there was also an homologated GSX1000 Katana introduced in 1981 with slide carburettors which many riders preferred for its snappier reflexes).


Maximum grunt for the 2019 model is 110kW (148bhp). Maximum torque is 108Nm (80lb-ft). The weight is 215kg (473lbs). And the seat height is 825mm (32-inches).



Other features include 10-hole fuel injectors and dual throttle valves for precise metering and flow. ABS, traction control and a slip-assist clutch is a given. So are the usual rider modes and LED lighting.


The front fork is an inverted KYB unit. The radial front brakes, incidentally, are courtesy of Brembo. The cast wheels are 17-inch front and rear (120/70 R17 & 190/50 R17). Rubber is expected to be Dunlop Roadsport 2. The colours are silver or black.


And note the image immediately below inviting us to register our interest in "Katana". Not "a Katana", or "the Suzuki Katana", but simply "Katana" which, presumably, we can think of as a religious experience or something. Maybe they should have called the bike the Nirvana Katana.



We've been given conflicting information on when the bike is due to arrive. But most UK Suzuki dealers are telling us to bring our lid and licence along come May 2019.


Lastly, an optional "Samurai Accessory Pack" will be available for around £1,000. That, we understand, will include a smoked fly screen, a carbon effect front mudguard, carbon fibre engine covers, heated grips, blinged up calipers, a Katana logo on the saddle, and some other goodies.


It ain't the original machine. So just try and think of it as a new beginning or something. Sounds corny, we know, but it's a corny world.



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Norton Motors dissolution notice


Story snapshot:

Companies House issues an official notification

But don't jump to conclusions...


It's dated 5th March 2019, and it's posted on the Companies House website. So we're taking it at face value. The above document reads:


Companies Act 2006 (Section 1000(3))


The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, at the expiration of 2 months from the above date the name of




will be struck off the register and the company will be dissolved.


Upon dissolution all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and accordingly will be belong to the crown.


"Bona vacantia", incidentally, is Latin for "vacant goods" or "ownerless goods." But we should beware of reading too much into this. These dissolution notices happen for a variety of reasons, and not necessarily because the company is dead.



The notices are posted, for instance, simply because a company has failed to file its accounts on time. So Companies House duly fires a "First Gazette" warning shot to bring the offending firm into line—and upon checking with Companies House, we note that Norton is indeed late with its accounts.


And sometimes it happens because a company changes its registered address and fails to notify Companies House. And there are other reasons why a dissolution notice is issued.


To have the strike-off notice suspended or set aside, a firm will need to first contact Companies House and uncover the root cause of the suspension (which will usually be pretty obvious to the company directors), and then the firm will be required to redress the problem and make an appropriate strike-off objection application.


If nothing is done, however, the dissolution will run its course—assuming there are no creditors or other intrigues involved. And frequently, take note, a company is simply naturally winding down, has paid off its creditors, has tied up any loose ends and wants to exit its business. So the dissolution notification is effectively a formality.


Our guess is that someone in accounts is going to get beaten up tomorrow and that Norton will still be in business for some time to come.


Then again...


UPDATE: Norton Motorcycles appears to have now fixed what looks to be an administration error (later filing of the accounts, as mentioned above). Stuart Garner has since made a statement that it was just an oversight.



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Salvage firm Synetiq to end cash for crashed bikes. Bank transfers only

Trevor Pope Motorcycles, Gosport, Hants. Four KTMs stolen. £15k loss

Erik Buell electric Fuell start-up. 11kW & 35kW. "Ready by 2021". $11k 

Sammy Miller Museum. Planning permission for 2-floor 10k sq ft extension

2019 Indian Roadmaster Elite Limited Edition

2019 Indian Roadmaster Elite Ltd. Rear pot deactivation. Gold Leaf. £34k

New Suzuki Katana pre-production bike now touring UK Suzuki dealers

Tesla reckon "sleeping driver" cars "could" be rolled out by 2021

Oliver's Mount, Scarborough to see "the return of road racing" July 2019


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Classic Car Boot Sale Kings Cross April 2019


The Classic Car Boot Sale is back


Story snapshot:

Cool central London boot sale with a little class

Traders can apply now for pitches


You can see the date; 27th & 28th April 2019. That's a Saturday & Sunday. The location is Kings Cross, London. And of course it's the Classic Car Boot Sale which has returned for its first outing of the season.


The specific story here is that the organisers are looking for more traders to come forward and show the world what they've got. This could mean that the organisers are having a tough time filling the available slots. Or it could mean that the event is continuing to grow. Or it could just be the usual marketing push needed to keep all interested parties in the loop.


Either way, we've attended a couple of these events, and they're great fun. Just forget yer average grass roots motorcycle boot sale, mind (not that we've got anything against them). But these guys think differently. You can call these events trendier, if you like. Think hipster. No, better still think Bohemian.


The traders (and many of the visitors) make a serious effort to ham it up and add as much colour as possible. So expect a hint of Steampunk and old school punk. Expect girls in feathers and guys in immaculately tailored suits. Expect moustachios and high and low fashion. Expect leather and lycra. Most of all, expect to enjoy yourself. And in case you were wondering, we don't know these guys and have no other contact with them. We just like what they do.


So if you've got a classic car, van, motorcycle or scooter, truck, bus, jump jet or anything, get in touch for the display details. And if you're looking to sell stuff (old records, 50s furniture, comics, upcycled lamps and whatnot) the visitors to these shows are generally ready to buy. But it's not really the place for floggin' engines and frames and petrol tanks. Keep that in mind.


Advance tickets for both days are £4. No word yet on gate prices, but they won't leave you penniless.





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"You can't beat the bike"—Sump vid


Story snapshot:

Can you help us promote this YouTube video?

Just have a look and a listen, and pass it on


Look, here's the situation. We made this video a few years back, and since then it's been kicking around on the Sump hard drive and has been languishing on the YouTube servers.


Yes, we should have promoted it more energetically. Some of our videos, after all, have been watched by tens of thousands of people. But this one's been viewed (at today's count) a total of ... 145 times.


The thing is, it really ought to be seen by a lot more people, especially those who spend weary hours each day in traffic jams. And if the video somehow came to the attention of one or two people in local and national government who'd like to legislate bikes from the road, it might help in some small way.


So here's the plan. Go and watch the video, if you please. Then watch it again or something. And if you can put a link on your club website, or your own website, that would rack up some numbers—and we could yet see 200 views. Or even 250.


Might happen.



A little cheekily, we put a Creedence Clearwater Revival track with the video. We say "cheekily" because we deliberately "spoiled" it by overlaying some motorcycle racket, and we also faded the music before it was done. That's because John Fogerty deserves to be paid for his stuff, and we don't want to be giving away his music unadulterated.


Anyway, that's it. The video carries an important message, and as we said, it might help promote biking across the UK, and elsewhere.


Message ends.





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Transdiffusion Broadcasting System


Story snapshot:

Insightful website for anyone with an interest in British broadcasting


This won't appeal to everyone out there. But some of you guys and gals will perhaps find this fascinating—not least because it relates to matters and issues that formed the backdrop to the lives of many of us and helped shape our views and, probably, characters.


We're talking about the stories and features on the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System website that we've recently stumbled upon. Put simply, this is a history portal for British radio and TV broadcasting, and it covers issues such as wartime propaganda, the early days and development of the Beeb, the introduction of new broadcasting frequencies and platforms, and all the associated political, technical and creative issues that passed largely unseen by the wider general public.



It's a well written and insightful site that takes us back to the beginnings, fleshes out the present and gives us a thoughtful glimpse into how the future of broadcasting might unfold. In particular, we like the Faces of War page; a feature about the BBC announcers of WW2 charged with spreading the news whilst talking a fine line between spin, blatant propaganda and outright lies. There's a lot more going on here that a few plummy Old Etonian voices blabbing out the headlines. So if you're of a military bent, check it out sometime.


To avoid a nostalgia overload, our advice is to open the site and stick it on your computer monitor or smartphone and dip into it every once in a while. There's plenty there to read.


If it's for you, you'll know it pretty quickly. And if not, just move on, brother.





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Motorcycles and Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939Motorcycles & Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939


Story snapshot:

New book from Veloce

Hardback, £25


We haven't yet seen a copy of this book. There's probably one on its way to us—and if so we'll have a peek and a poke and will write a review.


But for now we're just telling you it's out there. The author is Colin Turbett (no one we know). The sub-title is: A Social & Technical History. And the focus is on Soviet Era motorcycles and related political and industrial issues and intrigues.


The book dimensions are 250mm x 207mm. There are 128 pages and 286 colour and b&w pics. The asking price is twenty-five quid.


Sound interesting?



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World record Brough Superior claim


Story snapshot:

F P ("Gentleman") Dickson's Brough Superior SS100 sells for £425,500

H&H Auction Sale "nets £1.2 million"


The estimate was £160,000 - £200,000. But on the day (2nd March 2019), the above 1930 Brough Superior—once the property of F P ("Gentleman") Dickson—sold for a whopping £425,000. It happened at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, near Birmingham UK.


Who was Dickson? Well, aside from being a close friend of George Brough, he was also one of the team riders in the 1930 International Six Day's Trial held in Grenoble, France, and taking in the scenery of Switzerland and the Italian Alps (see the story immediately below for more on this).


During the event, Dickson—riding his Brough (reg: TV 2001)—crashed and suffered a particularly nasty break on his leg. He was rushed to hospital, and his Brough Superior factory teammates decided to retire from the event. To make matters worse, en route to the hospital George Brough was hit head-on by a car that was said to be motoring along on the wrong side of the road. George also suffered a broken leg. It was an injury that plagued him for the rest of his life.



Well, in February the following year Gentleman Dickson (pictured immediately above astride TV 2001) contracted pneumonia (said to as a result of not having his foot amputated relating to injuries received in the ISDT crash). He died soon after aged just 42 and was buried in Geneva. George Brough was one of the mourners.


This Brough Superior SS100 sale is claimed by H&H to be a world record for such a bike, and that tallies with our reckoning. It overtakes the next most expensive Brough Superior which was sold by Bonhams in November 2014 at its Bond Street Sale in London. That bike, a 1929 Brough Superior 986cc SS100 'Alpine Grand Sports' (Lot 14) sold for £315,100 including premium.


Overall, H&H claims a sale turnover of £1.2 million which, we hear, saw 70% of the lots sold. The ISDT history and the direct connection to George Brough and F P Dickson are cited as the main reason for such a high price (£425,000). The Brough Superior was bought by an American and is now on its way to the USA.


Other sale highlights cited by H&H include:


1993 Ducati Supermono. Est: £70,000 - £80,000. Sold: £73,125
1937 Brough Superior SS80 Outfit. Est: £40,000 - £60,000. Sold: £56,250
1951 Vincent Rapide. Est: £35,000 - £38,000. Sold: £34,875
1999 Yamaha YZF-R7. Est: £25,000 - £28,000. Sold: £28,687.50
1938 Norton Manx 30M. Est: £24,000 - £27,000. Sold: £21,937.50
1932 Matchless Model X. Est: £13,000 - £15,000. Sold: £19,406.25
1956 BSA DB34 Gold Star: Est: £6,000 - £8,000. Sold: £15,468.75
1934 Velocette KSS. Est: £14,000 - £16,000. Sold: £14,625



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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.










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