1938 Indian Four Model 436 to sell in Nevada
1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11F also looking for a buyer
Here's a timely reminder that Mecum Auctions will be back in Las Vegas early next year (2017). It's a car and motorcycle auction with the bikes going under the hammer on Wednesday 25th January, with the action beginning at 1pm. That will quite likely continue on Thursday through to Saturday (at least, that's what Mecum is currently telling us). The catalogues should be ready in early December.
Of particular interest is the above (main image in this news story) 1938 78 cubic inch (1,278cc) Model 438 Indian Four. Restored by long time Indian aficionado Elmer Lower, a one-time owner of a Pennsylvanian electrical store, the 3-speed/hand-change bike boasts original or NOS parts only, a full engine rebuild by Mark Hill (sorry, we don't know who that is), numerous Best in Show awards, and 6lbs of receipts, restoration photos and general correspondence. Mecum reckons it's the best available anywhere, but the firm hasn't yet posted an estimate.
Also on offer is this handsome (immediately above) 1915 Harley Davidson, Model 11F V-twin. 1915 was the first year for the engine-driven oil pump, and the first year for the 3-speed transmission. For many riders, this more expensive gearbox was a welcome upgrade from the earlier one-year-only two-speed transmission. But conservatism, then as now, rules, and many buyers (particularly those living in the mid-west prairie flatlands), opted for the single speed chain-drive solution.
The expanding band rear brake, incidentally, offered little more stopping power than shoe leather, but if you had all of Kansas to fool around in, a few yards more or less probably wouldn't hurt none. At the front was no brake at all, and no one cared too much about that.
That aside, these bikes are legendary in their solidity and are easily capable of crossing continents, as has been proved many times. For this year, Harley-Davidson claimed a 37-percent power increase over the 1914 model. Larger valves and a bigger intake manifold was primarily responsible for the extra juice on tap, and to cope with the slightly wilder horses the firm fitted a (larger) 1-inch crankpin. The Milwaukee engineers claimed 29 refinements for the 1915 F-head engine.
The cylinder bore was 3-5/16-inches. The stroke was 3.5-inches. Fuel capacity was 1.75 gallons (US). The oil tank held 2.5 quarts. The horsepower was 11, and HD guaranteed that in writing, its reputation on the line. The 325lb bikes were good for around 80mph. The price new was $275. And it's said that the factory built 9,855 of these wonderful bikes. Very impressive figures for a single model.
Meanwhile, can you imagine how life must have changed when a man, or a woman, took ownership of one of these motorcycles and opened his or her horizons all the way from coast to coast, and beyond?
This example has evidently been restored. There's no estimate posted yet, but we can tell you that Mecum sold a 1915 Model 11F in 2014 for a very creditable $91,000.
Ex-Falklands GR3 S/VTOL Jump Jet looking for a new home
Fully restored, might need some additional fettling
If you're of a "certain age", and thousands of you Sumpsters are, you'll probably remember when the Harrier Jump Jet first flew. That was 28th December 1967. In fact, some of you will remember a little further back to the Hawker Siddeley P1127 which went airborne in 1960, and the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel in 1964.
The Jump Jet, in spite of its sub-sonic performance, is unquestionably one of the greatest aircraft ever conceived and built, and is arguably way up there with the Spitfire. It was designed as a S/VTOL (Short/Vertical Take Off) light tactical support fighter, and was subsequently adapted for various support roles.
Its greatest moment was during the 74-day Falklands War of 1992 when 28 Sea Harriers and 14 Harrier GR3s took on around 122 aircraft of the Argentinian air force, many of these being air-superiority fighters designed for aerial combat, which was never the Harrier's role.
By all accounts, the Argentineans were extremely reluctant to get into a skyborne punch-up with the Harriers fearing some unexpected combat tricks and lateral/upward/downward/backward movement from these still largely unknown aircraft. Twenty-five Argentinean aircraft were shot down by Jump Jets without a single combat loss (but several Harriers were lost due to other forms of enemy engagement). British Jump Jets later operated in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, and the Americans, Indian and Spanish military bought a couple too.
In 2010, as part of its Strategic Defence & Security Review, the entire British Harrier fleet (Royal Air Force and Royal Navy) was retired. The following year, the UK government sold off the remaining 72 aircraft and spares to the Americans who incorporated them into the US Marine Corp.
But they didn't quite get them all, because this one has just been restored and is up for sale. The asking price is around £100,000, which is probably as good as giving it away. Around 2,000 man hours are said to be been expended on this aircraft, and that includes everything from the Rolls Royce Pegasus engine to the tyre rubber. That engine, incidentally, has apparently been run to 35 percent of its power during a 4 minute and 30 second test.
Brough Superiors and Vincent twins might well still represent a good value investment for your money. But a $100,000 original ex-Falklands Harrier is a bloody steal. As it stands, it's a "ground-running" aircraft. But put this on the auction block in a few years and we'll see how high it gets.
So who do you talk to if you're interested? Jet Art Aviation Limited near Selby, Yorkshire. This firm restores aircraft, transports them and disposes of used aircraft parts. And if the Harrier doesn't do it for you, there was also a Tornado for sale the last time we checked.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
24th November 2016
1903: New Yorker Clyde J. Coleman was granted a patent (745157) for an automobile electric starter. He'd filed the application two years earlier in 1901 having long experimented with the idea. A 1912 Cadillac was the first car to use his invention, and the vehicle had no starting handle at all. The electric starter motor might well have been called a "Coleman Crank." But it wasn't, and today almost no one remembers this US inventor.
1963: Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner, shot dead Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who killed JFK. Ruby was tried and found guilty in Dallas, but died of health issues pending a re-trial. He was 55.
1971: Hijacker D.B. Cooper (not his real name) jumped from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington State with $200,000 ransom money in a bag. Nothing was ever found. Not for certain, anyway.
1991: Freddie Mercury, born Freddie Bulsara, flamboyant frontman for the pop-rock band, Queen, died in Kensington, London aged 45. Freddie was born in 1946 in what used to be called Zanzibar (now Tanzania),
Tonight at Sump, we're having an extra beer and playing Queen albums pretty much back to back. Do you remember where you were the day Freddie died?
New government bill carries data loss worries
Call to contact your MP
We meant to post this story about two weeks ago, but we took our eye off this particular ball, and now it's headed for the goal. Today is Thursday 24th November 2016. In four days (Monday 28th), the Digital Economy Bill, Part 5, goes back to Parliament.
This bill explores various aspects of the burgeoning digital economy including the erection of mobile phone masts, online age checks for viewers of pornography, sentencing for digital copyright infringement, mandating minimum internet download speeds, and increasing the penalties for nuisance calls. And there's some other stuff that's being addressed.
However, one particular area of concern is how personal data is stored and used. Pressure group Big Brother Watch is worried that there aren't sufficient safeguards in place to ensure that the usual suspects at the local council offices or the DVLA or any other government department handles, stores and (worryingly) disseminates your information appropriately.
These things are always complicated, and there's not much time to make your case to your MP. But at the very least, you might send an email expressing your general concern that your data needs an ultra-efficient lock and key, and that you don't like your information being handed out willy-nilly.
Specifically, Big Brother Watch has suggested that the bill (if left unchallenged) will limit, or completely block, your right to correct inaccurate data. Also, the bill will allow that data to be shared without your permission or knowledge.
Doesn't bother you? Okay. Do nothing, hope for the best. But if you're troubled by government laptops being left on underground trains, or general data breaches, or just idiotic civil servants getting their wires crossed, a brief word in your MP's ear can't hurt.
Google Big Brother Watch for the latest paranoia (which might in this case be justifiable), and check Wikipedia for details of the new bill. You might think that there's no point at this stage, but you'd be wrong. MPs check their email about every ten minutes, and public objection can have a huge impact.
Don't take our word for it. We've just voted to get the hell out of the EU, haven't we?
▲ Lot 507. AJS 7R 'Boy Racer'. Estimated at €25,000 - €27,000. No reserve, and no further details.
Big Milan sale of cars, bikes, boats and bicycles
Some great "no reserve" bargains
Here's a note that might have a special interest to all you Italian Sumpsters out there (and we know there are a lot of you guys and girls because you're on our subscription list). This weekend, 25th - 27th November 2016, RM Sotheby's will be putting 430 cars and 150 motorcycles on the auction block in Milan, Italy.
There will also be 60 boats, hundreds of bicycles, and God know how many tons of automobilia. The event is part of the Milano AutoClassica event, and the venue is the Fiera Milano Exhibition Center. That's a little off our usual pub-crawl grid, but we're advised that this locale is easily accessible from three international airports.
Which airports? Get out of here already, and check Goggle Maps or something [I think you mean Google Maps - Ed]. Or talk to your travel agent. The world just ain't that big anymore. And everyone knows where Italy is.
▲ Lot 503. 1956 BMW R 50. The estimate is €1,000 - €1,500, and there's no reserve on this bike either. Chances are that the price is going to rise a lot before the hammer falls. But you never know (and you have to be in it to win it, etc).
▲ Lot 735. Five mini-motos. €2,500 - €5,000. No reserve for these pint sized off-roaders.
RM Sotheby's calls this event Duemila Ruote, and that translates as 2,000 wheels. We did some maths, and we figure that there will actually be more wheels than that at this event. But who cares? We always lose count after 67 or so. Just get along there if you're in the vicinity, or if you fancy an aircraft ride or a long drive from Poland or wherever.
Irritatingly, RM Sotheby's isn't giving away too much information about any of their lots. Or did we miss something? It's possible. If you're an auction kinda guy or girl, go check the website and email for details. The site could use some improvement in functionality, by the way. So stay calm. It's all there somewhere, and the clock is ticking. The doors open from 10am Central European Time (CET).
So who is RM Sotheby's? Well, the RM bit is Canadian. Sotheby's is British (and that apostrophe is in the right place). The two firms forged a partnership in 2015 when Sotheby's bought a 25 percent stake in the Canuck boys. The company is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, but it maintains offices in London, Germany and the USA. As a footnote, RM (but not Sotheby's) holds four of the five records for top-selling automobiles or something. Does anyone care about that? No? Yes? Well either way, go to it everyone.
Italy is thataway...
EBR Racing releases details of "street-oriented" model
"Quick, dark and low" US sports bike teases the market
It's a V-twin, and it's called a Black Lightning, but it's no Vincent. This, instead, is a reworking of the existing 1190SX EBR sports bike with a Vincent monicker tagged on.
Aside from the moody livery, the bike has been lowered 25mm, higher handlebars have been added, and someone's twiddled some knobs on the engine to make it more raunchy for the street. And that engine, according to the factory engineers, churns out around 185hp which is pretty much standard for this model.
The Black Lightning has just been unveiled at the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show in California, and we can't imagine too many people needed resuscitation after the dust sheet came off.
Over the past year or two, EBR Racing has had more than its fair share of commercial woes. A group called Liquid Asset Partners (LAP) bought the brand, and at first it was thought that the company would have it's assets kicked and stripped. But lo! LAP soon issued a statement announcing that bikes would soon be back in production, and the first machines are expected in the spring of next year (2017).
This bike, we suspect, has been announced simply to keep at least one spotlight on the EBR brand while the restructuring is being completed. Buell motorcycles have had more comebacks than Sinatra, but we like to think that there's a place in the world for this struggling marque. That said, you wouldn't bet your life on it being around 12 months from now.
EBR's call to patriotic American (September 2016)
EBR resumes production (March 2016)
▲ Lot 87, a 1932 BSA Model G12 combination (in need of re-commissioning) that was estimated by H&H to sell at between £16,000 - £18,000. But it didn't find a buyer. Check below for other no-sales.
Two bikes sold for big money, but many failed to sell
37 bikes offered for sale post-auction
H&H Auctions tell us that they're pleased with their recent sale at Donington Park, Derbyshire. It was held on 16th November 2016. The firm is claiming a 73 percent conversion/success rate for motorcycle sales. But we've been looking at the numbers and it doesn't quite check out.
Note, however, that H&H has clearly included all motorcycle lots (which is reasonable), whereas we've looked only at the bikes (which include a BSA three wheeled car). Of those 91 motorcycles, 62 bikes sold, and 29 did not sell. Therefore, our maths suggest that the conversion rate is actually 69 percent.
If you include all motorcycle lots (i.e. bike parts), there were 103 in total of which 74 sold. That's a conversion of around 71 percent, and it's slightly less than H&H's 73 percent. But we won't quibble, especially when our maths is so poor, and we might have missed a bike/lot.
However, that's not the complete picture. The top selling lot at the sale was a 1938 Series-A HRD (Vincent) Rapide which changed hands for £267,696. That's a pretty big headline number, and H&H is justifiably pleased. But the following bikes, all with big (or biggish) price tags, didn't sell.
Lot 14: 1990 Godet Vincent (est £50,000 - £60,000)
Lot 25: 1930 Brough Superior 680 (est £150,000 - £160,000)
Lot 36: 1993 Hyde Harrier (est £16,000 - £17,000)
Lot 42: 1939 Brough Superior SS80 (£80,000 - £85,000)
Lot 57: 1961 Honda CB92 (est £8,000 - £10,000)
Lot 69: 1961 T120 Triumph Bonneville (est £10,000 - £12,000)
Lot 71: 2004 Beale G50 Replica (est £20,000 - £23,000)
Lot 76: Triumph T160 (Steve Tonkin) Replica (est £25,000 - £27,000)
Lot 77: circa 1980 Egli Vincent (est £50,000 - £60,000)
Lot 87: 1932 BSA Model G12 combination (est £16,000 - £18,000)
And note that some of these bikes were on offer at H&H's sale at Duxford on 12th October 2016.
On the plus side, a 1934 680cc Brough Superior Black Alpine sold at Donington for £131,560 (the estimate was £120,000 to £140,000). But beyond that, the sale results look very poor. Consequently, H&H is offering 37 bikes for post-sale reconsideration if anyone is interested.
You can't blame H&H for trying to put a good spin on a poor sale. That's how the business works. But if you're thinking of buying or selling at auction, you need to know exactly what's happening to prices. In this instance, it might simply be that H&H has failed to get the word out to the right buyers, and that's one of the basic jobs of a successful auction house. But it might also be that prices are cooling.
That's a conclusion we've been flirting with for some time. And just when we think we're sure, we see some sudden and unexpected upturn on auction prices. So as ever, treat what we say with caution and make your own analysis. Check the results on the H&H site and see what you think.
See here for more on H&H's Duxford Sale
See here for more on the Donington Sale
Twin cylinder basic factory bobber gets rolling
A2 licence friendly and ABS
Honda Motorcycles has released details of a new mid-capacity bobber aimed at the younger biking market. We didn't actually know that there was a younger market anymore, unless the firm is referring to anyone under fifty. But it looks like a decent enough bike that could have a much wider appeal... [More on the Honda Rebel bobber...]
Prize winning Poles take Best Sportster at Faaker See, Austria
Music themed radical HD hits the right notes
If you were one of the estimated 120,000 visitors at the Sept 2016 European Bike Week Custom Chrome Bike Show in Faaker See, Austria, you might have seen this bike. It took 1st Prize for the Best Sportster and set a lot of people busily scratching their heads as they tried to figure out the theme. And that's simple enough once the penny drops.
The bike was built for the Hard Rock Café in Krakow, so it was only natural that the theme was music, hence the microphone style air filter, the guitar fretboards for the swinging arm, the amplifier styled battery box, a saxophone for the front caliper stay, and a Fender guitar shaped horn (at least, we think it's the horn).
And naturally, the more you look, the more music-related cues there are to see. The engine is a relatively humble 883 Harley-Davidson Sportster lump, and as we understand it, it's standard internally but heavily dressed for a night on the town. And what a night.
Game Over Cycles is based in Lisie Jamy, near Lubaczow, Poland. The outfit has been around for some time and operates from a nondescript building that you wouldn't look twice at in passing.
The firm focuses on Harley-Davidson based customs, but also customises cars, restores vintage automobilia, and manufactures high-quality motorcycle parts. In that regard, the business operates some pretty sophisticated CNC equipment and can handle everything from media blasting to powder coating to traditional paint to leather work.
Naturally, themed bikes ain't everyone's cup of tea, and we've got mixed feelings about this one. But as ever, even if the style doesn't suit, the engineering will no doubt impress.
The Steampunk interpretation is ours, by the way. Game Over Cycles make no mention of the sci-fi sub-genre. But from where we're sat, it looks exactly like the kind of motorcycle you might expect to find yourself astride when piloting through a Jules Verne novel.
Game Over Cycles is always looking for new projects, and the weirder, whackier and more wonderful they are, the better. Check the link to the firm's website, check your pulse, and then check your bank balance.
Whatever else these bikes are, they ain't cheap.
Game Over Cycles
Sellers need to check their pages
Active content to be restricted
Just when you thought you had your ebay shop sorted, the firm has gawn and shifted the goalposts. It's not an urgent problem, but it's coming this way, so you'd better think ahead if you want to continue flogging those motorcycle parts or bikes or whatnot.
It's to do with active content. Active content is background scripting stuff. You can think of it as pretty much anything on a webpage that's moving, such as video clips, or animations, or drop-down menus or scrolling galleries.
Mobile phones often have trouble with active content, and ebay has found that an increasing number of people are using mobile phones to buy and sell. Consequently, the auction site is pandering to consumer whims and habits and is demanding that its online shopkeepers make some adjustments.
For some, or even most, ebay shops it's not a problem. You can carry on doing business as usual. But a few of you will need to do whatever needs to be done. There is a third-party tool to check your page or pages for mobile phone friendliness. We haven't tried it because we don't do ebay (it just gave us grief), and we can't vouch for the tool. So suck it and see, or don't suck it and don't see. There's a link to that tool at the bottom of this story.
And take a tip. If you need professional support, it shouldn't cost very much at all. It's relatively basic stuff. So query any prices that are thrown at you. That said, you can probably do it yourself if you set aside an evening or so.
The start date for compliancy is January 2017. But you'll actually have until June 2017 to do what's necessary. Of course, the chances are that you'll spend a lot of time and trouble shooting through the new goalposts only to find that (a) the posts have since been shifted somewhere else, or that (b) mobile phones suddenly have new software/capabilities and no longer have active content issues. But who are we to argue? We're just little people.
See the following story for more on software troubles.
Minor text display issue needs clarifying
Otherwise business as usual
Who can figure out computer software? Not us. We just keep pressing the stupid buttons until something suitable happens. Then we forget about it and go riding. Or start drinking. Or whatever.
But over the past couple of weeks we've been wrestling with a persistent glitch that, we hope, will be sorted by the close of play today (17th November 2016). And we've noticed that other websites are facing the same issue.
Put simply, some of our T-shirts and whatnot are showing the correct prices. And we're showing the correct postage and packing. And PayPal is showing the correct total. And our customers are paying the correct money.
But the postage and packing price isn't displaying at every step of the way during the buying process. Therefore, occasionally it looks like an extra couple of quid is being tagged on, which isn't the case. And if that did happen, we'd spot it pronto and you'd get an instant refund.
Practically everyone has recognised that there isn't really a problem. But two buyers did query this, so we thought it prudent to issue some kind of clarification. We've since given PaylPal a slap, and we're generally happy with the service (and we've never had a problem with a Sump payment, and neither has any of our customers as far as we know). But it's an irritating glitch, and we're addressing it. Stay in there if you will. Email us if you need too. We're never far away.
Donington Park Sale of HRD (Vincent) twin fetches top money
A 1934 Brough Superior Black Alpine sold for £131,560
£200,000 - £220,000 was the estimate. But H&H auctions found a buyer for this 1938 Series-A HRD (Vincent) Rapide who paid £267,696 (£234,000 on the hammer, plus 12% commission & commission VAT). It happened on Tuesday 15th November at Donington Park, Derbyshire. The bike is one of 78 Series-A Rapides built, of which around 50 are said to survive.
This machine was the genesis of Vincent twin cylinder motorcycles. It came about in 1936 when two Meteor cylinders were grafted onto a newly engineered crankcase. The result was a 45hp (@ 5,500rpm), 998cc, 110mph road-burner. It was an instant success and propelled HRD (as the company was then known) onto to the A-list. Or is that Series-A list? Either way, this was the HRD (Vincent) that was affectionately, and perhaps occasionally derisively, referred to as the plumber's nightmare (due to the numerous external oil pipes).
This example, we hear, had been stored for many years. It's said to be highly original, not only due to "matching" frame and engine numbers, but also because the gearbox, oil pump and magneto numbers conform to information on the Stevenage worksheet. And its provenance is otherwise well documented and is apparently the only Series-A photographed with Philip Conrad Vincent at the helm.
The story is that Brian Verrall—of Verralls Motorcycles in Tooting, South London—discovered the bike, sold it to ex-AMC man (and long time Vincent enthusiast) Bill Cakebread. Cakebread part-exed a Black Shadow for the Rapide and set about restoring it.
Brian Verrall subsequently re-purchased the bike, and it was sold to a collector in Japan. More recently, the Rapide was "discovered by its present owner" (whatever that means) and was returned to the UK.
The registration is CUP 660. It was Lot 64. The chassis number DV1515. The engine number is V1020. A V5C is present.
The last Series-A Rapide was manufactured in 1939.
At the same sale, a 1934 680cc Brough Superior Black Alpine (image immediately above) was sold for £131,560 (115,000 on the hammer, plus 12% commission & commission VAT). The estimate was £120,000 to £140,000.
With matching numbers, we hear that the bike is well restored, is in good condition, has optional factory-fitted rear suspension, and has a Castle front fork. It's also had the same owner for the past 50 years.
*Note: There was conflicting information on the H&H website that caused us to change these prices three times. The listed prices are now, we're assured, the correct prices. So far...
Classic British actor dies aged 89
TV credits include Emergency Ward 10, the Avengers and Dr Who
In a week that's seen the loss of legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen and ex "Man From Uncle" Robert Vaughan (equally famed for the Magnificent Seven and Bullitt), we've also learned that actor John Carson has died. His passing will earn significantly fewer column inches than Cohen or Vaughan, but we think a few lines here on our (ahem) modest web magazine might be appreciated by some of you Sumpsters.
John Carson (born John Derek Carson-Parker) was a highly prolific British actor, and one whose face was far more familiar than his name. He appeared in numerous British TV shows including (not in order): Dixon of Dock Green; Telford's Change; Doctor Who; The Avengers; Man in a Suitcase; The Adventures of Robin Hood; The Avengers; The Saint; Adam Adamant Lives!; The Baron; The Champions; Tales of the Unexpected; The Professionals; Crown Court; The New Avengers; Out of the Unknown; The Troubleshooters; William Tell; Emergency Ward 10; and Department S.
Among his movie credits, many of which were low budget pot-boilers, he appeared in Seven Keys (1961); Smokescreen (1964); The Night Caller (1965); The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970); and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970). And if you remember the old Sunsilk shampoo or Benson & Hedges cigar adverts in the 1960s and 1970s, that was John Carson handling the voice-over. It was a vocal talent that kept him in demand.
Affable, gentlemanly and very British, John Carson was a reliable supporting actor who was often compared to James Mason, but only with regard to his well modulated voice that could switch easily from to genial and generous to cool and calculating to sinister and even sadistic. He could be suave. He could be threatening. He could be deadly. And he was always watchable.
Born in Ceylon to British parents, he was educated in Australia, did national service in the British army (artillery officer), took a law degree at Oxford, but chose instead to "walk the boards" instead of joining the bar. Restless, he travelled to New Zealand, became a member of a repertory company and presently made his way back to the UK. In 1947 he took his first movie role, and he never looked back.
TV producers loved his style, and he was evidently an easy man to work with. From the public's point of view, Carson was very well known in the 1960s and 1970s and, as he once commented, often found it difficult to travel around London and elsewhere without being buttonholed by fans. It was sometimes a problem, but a problem that he accepted and dealt with as necessary.
In the 1980s, John Carson emigrated to South Africa and developed a new career by employing much of the old "magic" that had served him so well for around four decades. Allegedly, his phone was bugged during that period by the South African authorities, largely (if not entirely) due to the fact that his second wife, Luanshya Greer, was a writer who frequently antagonised the South African establishment.
He later returned to the UK and discovered that he'd re-emerged as something of a classic actor from the old school. He was rewarded by many new fans who'd since stumbled upon his huge back catalogue of work, and film and TV producers noticed him once again.
Carson took a role (as a faded actor) in The Deal (2008), and in Doomsday (2008). His last UK TV role was Midsomer Murders (2013)
In 2007 he returned to South Africa, and it was there that he died this month aged 89. John Carson is survived by his second wife and two children, plus four children from his first marriage.
Unfortunately, we don't have a recent picture of John Carson. But as he was a man with many characters and faces, we're happy to remember him as the face in the image at the top of this news item. How about you?
National Motorcycle Museum offers a £13,800 Thruxton prize
An AJS Model 18 is the second prize
The National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) is raffling a 2017 1200cc Triumph Thruxton R valued at around £13,800. Included with the prize is a Track Racer Kit (fairing, tail tidy, brushed Stainless Vance & Hines silencers, LED indicators, etc). The second prize is a 1954 500cc AJS Model 18. Third prize is a classic weekend break.
Tickets are £2 each, and they're on sale right now via the NMM. The draw will happen on Sunday 23rd April 2017 at the International Classic Bike Show.
Tickets are £2.00 each when bought at the museum or at various upcoming shows. But if you purchase online, you'll have to buy five ticket at once (or in multiples of five). All the monies raised will go towards museum funding.
One final thing: the UK gambling laws mean that you have to be a UK resident to enter.
NMM Summer 2016 Raffle and winner details
Basic RE buying advice
Published by Veloce
Peter Henshaw is a name that many of you Sumpsters will be familiar with. Based in Dorset, he's been around the block a few times and has penned numerous buyers guides on a variety of motorcycle marques including Triumph, Norton, Harley-Davidson and Honda.
Well, we've been reading another little guide by Henshaw, this one on the Royal Enfield Bullet. The publisher is Veloce, and the book was launched in September 2016. Like all Henshaw's books, it's a fair enough little pint-sized publication that, in this instance, deals with the nuts and bolts of purchasing your first Indian-built Bullet. But it doesn't "shine" anywhere, or impress you with humour, or leaving you feeling particularly good about the marque, or the production. [More ...]
Triumph adds a new Scrambler to the Street Twin range
An A2 restrictor kit is available
The latest addition to the Triumph Street Twin family is the (immediately) above 2017 Street Scrambler. The details have just been released at the 2016 EICMA show (Esposizione mondiale del motociclismo), and at first glance the bike looks pretty much like the "old" Scrambler. But of course, the Street Twin architecture has significantly upped the ante what with Triumph's new high-torque, 900cc, liquid-cooled engine; ride-by-wire-throttle; switchable traction control; switchable anti-lock brakes; and a torque assist clutch. [More on the Triumph Street Scrambler...]
Injured rider needs cash
£10,000 is the initial target
Introducing Carl Martin. In September this year (2016), Carl was seriously hurt at a motorcycle track day event at Brands Hatch. Amongst his many injuries is spinal chord damage at chest level. We don't know the details, but the long term prognosis is pretty bleak and will see Carl in a wheelchair indefinitely, if not permanently.
He therefore needs maximum support which will include long spells in rehab, a stair lift at his home, and other forms of domestic adaptation. Unfortunately, in this instance we're told that the family is not eligible for a financial grant (presumably from the government).
Married with one two-year old daughter, Carl had recently been undertaking major DIY work at the family home. This, naturally, has left the property in some disrepair. But the immediate need is around £10,000 for the aforementioned stair lift.
We haven't communicated directly with Carl. But we have checked with Brands Hatch, and we're satisfied that this isn't a scam. The appeal, incidentally, came through a family friend (Saral Kiely), and because the initial email was so clumsily written (and contained inconsistencies), it simply couldn't be taken at face value.
But Brands Hatch are aware of the crash and have communicated with the family, and this appears to be a perfectly genuine appeal for an injured biker looking for some support. Of course, you can just forget that he's a motorcyclist and think of him as a bloke who needs help.
So if you want to contribute, you know what you have to do.
BBC News story
UPDATE: We've just checked the appeal, and it appears that a little over £17,000 has already been raised by 348 supporters. But don't let that put you off. Carl might have got his stair lift, but there are still huge costs to be faced.
Andy Tiernan's flogging this handsome outfit
Suffolk classic bike dealer Andy Tiernan is offering the (immediately) above BSA M22 & Steib outfit for sale. This bike, we hear, was despatched from the BSA factory on 13th March 1939. We're mentioning it here because these bikes don't come around too often, and we know there are other M22 fans out there who would be very interested in this handsome duo.
The 496cc OHV M22 Sport was introduced in 1937. Val Page was the newly arrived chief designer whose first job was to revitalise the BSA singles range which was beginning to look a little stale.
What followed was a line-up of very worthy and very attractive bikes that entirely matched BSA's ethos of practical and reliable transport, and at an "affordable" price. The 496cc M22 Sport, a standard version of the flagship M23, was available with either a single-port head, or a twin-port. Other features included a stylish panel tank, a 4-speed gearbox, and quickly detachable wheels.
The cylinder bore is 81mm. The stroke is 94mm. The engine produces a claimed 22bhp @ 5,400rpm. Brakes are 7-inch front and rear. Wheels are 19-inch. Top speed is around 85mph, with a cruising speed of 55 - 60mph.
Andy Tiernan says that the motorcycle came his way as part-exchange for a V-twin. And as attractive as this outfit is, he will consider splitting the pair. The asking price is £12,500.
— Icon 1000, Portland, Oregon, USA
Lincolnshire's "oldest motorcycle dealer "is for sale
The asking price is £300,000
Long established Lincolnshire motorcycle dealer, A E Wildman & Son, is looking for a buyer. Better known as "Wildmans", the business is the sponsor of the well-established Spilsby Bike Night which takes place in May every year and draws around 1,500 motorcyclists to the small rural East Midlands town. The key beneficiary of the event is the local air ambulance.
Wildman Motorcycles was founded in 1926 by Ted Wildman. Primarily an AJS and Matchless dealer, the business in fact sold pretty much all British marques from Ariel to Triumph. Ted Wildman was also a keen scrambler and serviced Manx Norton racers during the 1940s and 1950s.
Ted Wildman died in 1969, His son, John, took over the business and retired in 2005. For a short period, a guy named Mike Powell owned the shop. However, it was not a success, and in 2007 Powell sold the business to ex-builder, Peter McDowell.
McDowell has worked hard on the business which, we hear, sells around 100 bikes per annum. These are mostly Chinese Sym lightweight models which suit the more restrained budgets of this relatively poor region. But Wildman also sells a small range of more contemporary second hand bikes and scooters, including some classics and motorcycle projects.
Additionally, a chief source of income is the MOT station which accounts for maybe 500 to 600 tests each year. And there's also the bijou Triumph Cafe which serves up drinks and snacks during normal opening hours.
McDowell, now 64, runs the business with his wife, Lisa. There are two other staff on the books; a mechanic and an apprentice. The reason for the sale? McDowell, a long-time motorcyclist and former Wildman customer, is said to be looking to retire.
And the price? £300,000. This includes the main shop premises (actually two connected shops with bay windows), a residential flat, an adjacent showroom, a workshop and storage space at the rear.
If you're interested in buying, this is a nice looking business with an old world feel situated very close to the centre of Spilsby, which is just a small town, but fairly busy. Wildmans is well known throughout the immediate area, and even further afield—and as far as we know, the business has generated plenty of goodwill.
Contact Peter McDowell on: 07786 693459 or 01790 753219
National Motorcycle Museum opens its doors for free
Norton F1 Summer Prize Draw to be made
Okay, we'll keep this one short and to the point. On Saturday 5th November 2016 (which is in just a couple of days), the National Motorcycle Museum (NMM), adjacent to Birmingham and Solihull, will be throwing open its doors to all comers. It's the third such Open Day. The museum will also be making the draw for the (immediately) above 588cc F1 Norton which tops the NMM's Summer Raffle.
Free access to the museum is offered for the one day only, and there's a comprehensive programme of entertainment to make this a pretty good day out. On the roster are numerous biking celebrities including Carl Fogarty, James Whitham, James Ellison, John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson and Maria Costello. Frame building maestro Ken Sprayson is also expected to be in attendance. And Norman Hyde, ex-Meriden development engineer will be on call to both entertain and edify.
If you're hungry there will be food. If you feel like getting drunk, there will be a bar (not if you're riding or driving, please). And if you fancy spending some dosh, there will be trade stalls.
The nights are drawing in, as if you need reminding. Events such as this can help stave off those end-of-season blues. Here are some contact details:
National Motorcycle Museum
Telephone: 01675 443311
UPDATE: The Norton F1 was won by Mr David Schofield of County Durham. The ticket number was: 1015193. The second prize, a 1951 500cc Norton ES2, went to Mr Colin Hodgkins of Staffordshire. The ticket number was: 1603567.
A new, faster and limited edition Ariel is promised
In June 2014, Ariel Motorcycles announced the launch of the Honda VFR1200F-powered Ace. The 1,237cc, 16-valve, 150mph V4 model was tipped (by Ariel) to be in production by 2015, and 150 bikes per annum were planned.
Ariel's production, however, hasn't exactly exceeded expectations. We don't have any figures, and we haven't been able to peek in Ariel's order book, but there are certainly at least a couple of examples rolling around somewhere.
Undeterred, the new Ariel R (computer-generated image immediately above) is expected to feature a "more unique colour scheme, a lot of carbon, lots of machined aluminium parts and a lot of power". An Ariel spokesman further explained that the new R is to be a limited edition bike with a production run of just ten.
Ariel Motorcycles operates from Crewkerne, Somerset. The company currently boasts numerous dealers around the world. But it should be noted that all of these dealers appear to be catering for the space-framed Ariel Atom car, not the motorcycles.
Motorcycle Live takes place on Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th November 2016. The venue is the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham.
See Classic Bike News June 2014: Ariel Ace