October 2015  Classic bike news


Lot 20N. A circa 1918 Thor Model U.
This 76.25 cubic inch twin is going under the hammer next month courtesy of auction house Bonhams. The bike is part of the 50-strong Lonati Collection of American Motorcycles, and if this lot doesn't make you cry, you'd better send out a search party for your motorcycle soul. We'll be looking closer at the collection in the near future. Meanwhile, drool and dribble over this one. The estimate is £28,000 - £35,000 (€38,000 - €48,000). The date is 17th October 2015. The place is Stafford. Expect some records to be broken.

UPDATE: Sold for £32,200 inc premium.

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

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

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

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

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

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

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

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

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

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

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

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

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

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

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

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

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

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

March 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

New drug-driving regulations are here

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

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

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

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

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



January 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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


December 2014 Classic Bike News

John Robert "Joe" Cocker: 1944 - 2014
British Bike Bits for Interceptor Mk2s
Billie Honor Whitelaw: 1932 - 2014
Mike Hailwood print from the ACU
Ian Patrick McLagan: 1945 - 2014
One million Ducati dreams: Official

Cool Ducati 60 limited edition poster
European H.O.G Rally 2015 details
Goldtop Large Leather Care Kit
Mann-Hailwood-Beart bikes to sell

Norton Dominator SS for 2015?
Akrapovič custom "World Premiere"

Andy's Tiernan's Triumph 3HW
New style police court bright idea

First seven Hesketh 24s set to ship
2015 Limited Edition Rocket Three X
"500 Nortons headed to Australia"
Swinton execs fined £928,000

Old Empire Imperial Ducati Typhoon
Sterling Autocycles replica flat tanker
Ultra Low Emission Zone update
Barn Built Cafe Racer Dot Com kit


November 2014 Classic Bike News

Noise complaint e-petition appeal
Bonhams Bond Street Sale 2014
Gold plated Speed Twin on eBay
"True Greats" sale at Coys
£12.50 per day classic bike charge
Frankie Fraser: 1923 - 2014

Driving licence changes for January 2015
"Last V1000 Hesketh" is produced
1964 Triumph TRW: asking £5,000

Warning: Have you seen this man?

Watsonian GT4 Sports Touring chair
Triumph recalls various 2014 models
Rare 1934 BSA R34-4 now on eBay
H&H Chateau Impney auction
Bell Bullitt RSD Viva helmet
Hedon crash helmets

Terblanche shifts to Royal Enfield
Greeves Motorcycles Ltd is for sale

Vapour blasting service by SVS ...
Andy Tiernan's 2015 calendar
NMM 30th anniversary Vincent draw
New Broughs unveiled at EICMA

Bernard Stanley Bilk: 1929 - 2014
Sump's moving. Expcet prolbems
New emissions threat from TfL
Stolen Triumph Tiger Cub alert


October 2014 Classic Bike News

Matchless Model X: new teasers pics

Time to switch off London's traffic lights?

Limited edition "space age" Ural MIR
John "Jack" Bruce: 1943 - 2014

London to Brighton Run Sale
UK adult minimum wage rise

Alvin Stardust: 1942 - 2014

Oops! We screwed up
£104,540 Flying Merkel at Bonhams
Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Fonda's chop: $1.35 million. Sold!
New Sump T-shirt "spy shots"

Herb Harris Vincents for Bonhams

BSA M-Series clutch chain wheels
Samuel Truett Cathy: 1921 - 2014
Police bail time limits proposed
Slovak Aeromobil drives and flies
H&H Duxford Oct 2014 Sale results

Ace Cafe's "Ultimate burn up" ride
Venhill generic switchgear

Johnny Foreigner clampdown plan
Holly Ariel Cyclone makes: $457,500
Bikesure-Sump insurance link
Atalanta relaunched and unveiled
Plausible Ferrari safety fear recall
No deathanol increase before 2017, promise
Council vandalises Bansky artwork
Lynsey De Paul: 1950 - 2014
Metzeler Sportec Klassic launched
New Mitas motocross mudpluggers
October tax disc changes crash DVLA website
2014 London-Brighton Run reminder
Triumph unveils the T214 Bonnie

"Nurb's" by Fred "Krugger" Bertrand


September 2014 Classic Bike News

Bob Crewe: 1930 - 2014
Graham Coxon's bike collection charity auction
GSXR-powered Bond Bug for sale

Norman Hyde's half century, and not out
Distinguished Gents charity ride

Mole Benn Collection for Stafford

Battlesbridge urgently needs your support
British Customs "Cassidy" project
Andrew Victor McLaglen: 1920 - 2014
Captain America's bike is for sale
The DVLA wants your classic view

Triumph Thruxton Ace unveiled

H&H Duxford Sale: 8th October 2014
Donald Alfred Sinden: 1923 - 2014
British Customs gel saddle: $329.00
New Bristol car promised by 2015
Free vintage Brit movie screenings
The Scottish independence myth
Triumph 250cc single project "on hold"
Bonhams Beaulieu 2014: Top lot
Elvis Presley found alive on moon
Ex-Buddy Holly Ariel to be auctioned
Three car shows bought by Mortons
Worst ever Netley Eurojumble?
New "road tax" complications ahead
"Anti-social" Ace Cafe warned off
IKON shock absorbers/dampers


August 2014 Classic Bike News

Ken Rees, the real Steve McQueen?

Mortons buys Fast Bikes magazine
William Henry "Bill" Kerr: 1922 - 2014
Britain First "hijacks" The Royal Crown
National Motorcycle Museum robbery URGENT APPEAL: £20,000 REWARD
Ugly Fish Slingshot Ozzie shades
New Heritage Buses Festival 2014
Watch the Foley beheading video and get nicked—Met Police
1953 Triumph Terrier. £10,000. eBay
Richard Attenborough: 1923 - 2014
Don't forget the 2014 Brighton Speed Trials
New domestic abuse laws mooted
"Last Hughie Hancox restoration"
McQueen's 1930 Chief: $100,000. Sold
170,000 Continental tyres recalled
Bob Derrick, RIP
Matthew Thompson ePetition opened
The Empire buys Wrighty's Show
Confederate Hellcat Speedster X132
BMF 2014 Tail End Show cancellation

European Bike Week: 2 - 7 Sept 2014
Stephen Hill's off the wall design
Lauren Bacall: 1924 - 2014
Video recording at English local council meetings is "now legal"
Jean Panhard: 1913 - 2014
Harley-Davidson Road Glide returns
Romney Marsh inaugural bike auction 2014
Motorcycling in the 1970s - new eBook series
Foundry Matchless 500cc G9 bobber
2015 69-inch Indian Scout launched
Classic Car Boot Sale goes Olympic
The UK "tax disc" is soon to vanish
Savatech Sport Force tyre recall


July  2014 Classic Bike News

Ex-McQueen 1912 Harley X8E to sell
Half price Gasolina boots at Foundry
Dora Bryan: 1923 - 2014
The 42nd International British Biker Meeting
Harley-Davidson VRSC V-Rod guide
Kieran Shortall: 1959 - 2014
James Garner: 1928 - 2014

"Quadrophenia Lambretta" to auction
Electric cars for 10 Downing Street
Johnny Dawson Winter: 1944 - 2014
Cheffins' July Cambridge Auction
Northampton Classic Club Scramble
Coys Auction kicks off at Blenheim
Dave Bickers: 1938 - 2014
Government scraps 60mph limit plan
MyLicence insurance honesty checks
Ex-servicemen's charity Euro jolly
Mecum's July 2014 Harrisburg sale
So who the hell are you people?
Francis Barnett "makes a comeback"
2014 Indian Chieftain at Sturgis


June 2014 Classic Bike News

Ariel Motorcycles launches the Ace
Eli Wallach: 1915 - 2014
Francis Matthews: 1927 - 2014
Government set to limit CCTV cars
New Harley-Davidson Sump features
Harley-Davidson "LiveWire" concept
High Beech tea hut under threat
The Hesketh 24 is officially unveiled
Bonhams' Banbury "Record" Sale
Avon & Somerset Police's Ariel Atom
1937 Matchless Model X eBay scam
Cotswold Classics is bust
Northants Classic MX Club appeal


May 2014 Classic Bike News

VMCC petition seeks blood

£60 million left on TfL Oyster Cards

AJS Model 18 & Matchless G80 guide

London Congestion Charge hike

Banbury Run 2014 reminder

Maserati centenary celebrations

Mechanical Art Devices Exhibition

First UK Royal Enfield Store opens
Dangerous Dogs Act amendment
Police dog ePetition wants your vote
Fiat-Chrysler chooses London
New logotype for Royal Enfield?
Sump plates for Triumph T140s/T120s

Cheffins April Cambridge Sale results

Bournemouth Wheels Free Festival
Efrem Zimbalist Jnr: 1917 - 2014

Charges dropped against Les Allen

Two civic plaques for George Brough

48% of bikers want to vote away your right to decide—IAM

Clarkson utters the "nigger" word


April 2014 Classic Bike News

New political T-shirt from Sump
Mark Upham nabs Brough's Brough
Ex Hailwood/Surtees Sportmax sells
Reunion of the Rockers, 3rd May 2014

u r txtng. stp drvng u mrn
Looking for a Stafford alternative?

Another implied classic bike threat from London Mayor Boris Johnson?

Houston Motorcycle Auction results

Government to scrap camera cars?

Cheffins Vintage Sale: 26th April 2014

The Stranglers Bonneville raffle

Rare DKW SS250 leads Duxford Sale

BSA C15, B25, B40, B44 & B50 aficionados look this way
Johammer electric motorcycles
Death comes calling at Bonhams
Wal Handley's Lagonda to sell at H&H

Vincent Series C Rapide raffle

Classic British Bikes book

Stuff we like: Bell Bullitt Helmet - TT

Triumph Model P from Andy Tiernan

Foundry First Anniversary Ride In
April - Houston Motorcycle Auction
Ernest "Ernie" Lyons: 1914 - 2014
UK campaign to reinstate .22 pistols


March 2014 Classic Bike News
DVSA to name and shame ex-MOT stations
Mick Woollett: 1930-2014
Richard Edmonds Sale - March 2014
Captain Maurice Seddon: 1926-2014

Introducing Stephen Hill, pop artist

Classic bike tax discs are on a roll
Kempton Park bike jumble sells out
BSA Bantam 3-string steel guitar
Boris Johnson to ban classic bikes?
Gruppo Bertone's in trouble. Again
Paris bans cars and motorcycles
Southend Shakedown & Margate Meltdown:
2014 biker diary dates

Rabers British motorcycle parts
Agostini and Cooper to headline
Mallory Bike Festival

Second Classic Car Boot Sale rocks
Anthony Wedgwood Benn: 1925-2014

Hinckley bullish about 2014 sales
UK bike parts distributor now accepts bitcoins

New BSA M20 T-shirt from Sump

New AA-Halfords "safety" campaign

Bandit 9 customs - Made in China

Secret British Government webcams
in the home...

Anglia's first classic sale "success"

UK magazine sales continue to drop

De Bruir Parachuter leather backpack


February 2014 Classic Bike News

New Lotus Bike: Not Made in Britain
Met set to pay out huge rape compensation
Any information on this outfit?
National Motorcycle Museum appeal
"Whole life sentences" ruled legal
Brian Hampton appeal bid update
Tom Armstrong Manx Norton for sale
Martin Squires Sketchbook Volume 4
ACA's first classic motorcycle sale
New Rocker T-shirts from Sump
Alex Botwright steps down as Fenman Classic Bike Show chairman
"Droves" at Bristol Classic Show
Kool new Davida candy coloured lids
Rare 1930 MGC makes £15,297
Nobody hurt in small earthquake
Royal Enfield "Valentine's Day sale"
Chris Bushell takes over Nourish
SBS Harley-Davidson "Speed Demon"
New 69 Club T-shirt from Sump
Mr & Mrs Oil Drip: under the hammer


January 2014 Classic Bike News

Vintage Boot Sale, London
Chelsea Bridge tea stall petition
Stylish café racer T-shirt from Sump
Triumph again tops UK big bike sales
2014 Brighton Speed Trials is back on
First British motorway pub has opened
Hurricane tank from Burton Bike Bits
1936 Brough SS80 and chair on eBay
General Jumbo control freaks ahead
Festival of 1000 Bikes is cancelled
New congestion charge "con"
Bonhams Sale: "New records set"
Twenty jobs at Triumph Motorcycles
Cafe racer rival for Triumph Thruxton
Phil Everly: 1939 - 2014
Stuff we love: Vanishing Point (1971)
Derringer electric board track bicycle
Illegally fingerprinting the kids







Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015


It was just a few weeks ago that we discovered, or rediscovered, Mark Murphy. His was a sound that for years had been on the periphery of our ears, fading in and fading out without making much of an impact, the kind of rare voice you never quite track down because it's always playing on someone else's radio, or is in the background in a movie or TV show. And now he's gone and died on us before we could send him some fan mail.




If you're not a jazzaholic, Murphy probably won't mean much to you. But some of you will know and appreciate him. Born in New York State, he built a reputation as a cool, soulful and ultra-smooth vocal improviser knocking out not only the old standards, but a few left-field tracks to keep it edgy. If you supplied the tune, Murphy would spontaneously produce improvised lyrics and random vocal pops and burrs, magically turning something merely great into something wonderful.




If you were Rockering around in the 1960s, you might have caught sight of Murphy on the box or suchlike. He came to London during the early part of that era and stayed a while picking up occasional acting roles, but music was his real passion and he presently hopped a flight back Stateside and found happiness on both American coasts by recording everything from swing to bebop to blues to bossa nova, with the usual classic crooning underpinning.


But he was largely a jazzman's jazzman, meaning that other professionals looked up to him in something approaching awe, while the wider general public mostly turned a deaf ear.


He recorded his first album in 1956 (Meet Mark Murphy, Decca), and his last in 2013 (A Beautiful Friendship: Remembering Shirley Horn, Gearbox Records). If you like George Fame, you'll love Mark Murphy. If you like Nat King Cole, you'll love Mark Murphy. There's a touch of Sammy Davis Junior too, plus any number of influences. Murphy kept his ear close to the beat and brought it all home in his inimitable way. He did the odd Beatles cover too.


If you want to hear some of his stuff, we suggest you listen to Speak Low and take it from there. And if you hate this music (and what's to hate?), just stand clear, if you will. You're blocking the noise.


But if you like a spot of vocal jazz, and if ever you need some serious ear therapy, you might give this guy a try. Murphy spent his final years in a New Jersey rest home for actors. He was 83 years old, and still in voice.


We'll be looking very closely at this guy's back catalogue. Itain't over until the jazzman sings, huh?

— Dexxion


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Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC


If you're headed for the Classic Motorbike Show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on the 13th - 15th November 2015, you might want to check out Comet Classic Motorcycles' stand.


Why? Because this year, Comet is sponsoring the Pride of Ownership Competition in which 25 to 30 motorcycles/scooters will be hoping to walk off with the top prize. [More...]


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Stand up for Owen


Okay, we're not making any apologies for this story, but we ain't gonna ignore it, and we're not going to bang on about it either.


Most people give financial aid to others as and when they can, and these things ought to be private and personal. So pay attention or move on as you see fit.


The character in the image (right) is Owen Picker. He's not a biker, and never was. He's just a sixteen year old guy who suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy and, we hear, has pretty much lost all independent mobility. Also, he's said to be more or less in constant pain.


Anyway, the upshot is that he needs around £32,000 for a high tech stand-up F5 Corpus VS wheelchair gadget, which includes £24,000 for the chair, and the balance for insurance and extra warranty.


If you're anything like us, you mistrust most of these campaigns. And we've got no special insight into, or connection with this one. But we're gonna stick a tenner into this guy's wheelchair-gadget fund, and then we're gonna forget about it and move on. You can do as you see fit.


Some might argue that being motorcyclists, we've got a special connection with personal mobility, etc. Except that mobility is important for everyone.


The campaign is called STAND UP FOR OWEN. So stand up or sit down. We'll try not to run anything else like this any time soon.



— Big End


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Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator


We've featured these guys before on Sump (see this amazing Ducati Typhoon). The firm is based in Diss, Suffolk, and has sent us details of its Victory custom low rider—and because the bike is still smoking hot, we're throwing it over to you guys.


There's some clever and very discreet work on this machine. So take a little time out, if you will, and see what gives.


Lastly, you can get up (fairly) close and personal with this bike at Motorcycle Live 2015 at the NEC in November. It'll be there somewhere on its own plinth.


Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

— Dexxion


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Record money at Bonhams' Stafford


Is it possible that auction maestros, Bonhams, has now sold more Brough Superiors than George Brough himself? At times, it certainly seems possible. In fact, there are moments when the names "Bonhams" and "Brough Superior" are almost synonymous.


Take the Stafford Sale on the 17th and 18th October 2015. Bonhams (never short of a Brough or two) had no less than four Superiors on the block; one of them complete and running, and three projects. The cheapest of the trio was Lot 191 (image immediately above). This 1937 Matchless-engined SS100, which was first displayed at the 1936 London Olympia Show, was sold for £208,700. [More...]


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Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015


Need a thick, truculent, irritating, loudmouthed Welshman for your drama or situation comedy? No problemo. Just call Central Casting (or whatever the British equivalent is) and ask for Richard Davies. Except that Richard Davies has died and won't be taking on any more roles this side of eternity.


During his life, it can be argued that Davies did the Welsh no favours whatsoever by reinforcing a classic (and not very pleasant) Celtic stereotype. But this is comedy and drama, remember? And when it comes to thick and unpleasant Brits, the Welsh are by no means over-represented (and appear to punch above their weight in the acting and music professions).


And besides, ya gotta eat.


Davies was born in Merthyr Tydfil in Glamorgan, Wales. He was the son of a railwayman and did a tour of dirty duty down the coal pits before switching to drama and joining a repertory company in London. Then war came (WW2) and he spent some time in the Burma Military Police. However, his acting talents didn't go unnoticed, and he was called up by the Combined Services Entertainment Unit where he trod the boards until hostilities ceased.



Post war, Davies returned to repertory. In 1955 he appeared with Michael Redgrave, Sheila Sim and Denholm Elliott in The Night my Number Came Up. In 1964, he took a role in Zulu and appeared alongside Michael Caine and Stanley Baker.


By then, television had discovered him, and vice versa, and Davies took roles in productions such as Z-Cars and Coronation Street. But the part for which he will perhaps be best remembered (by members of the Sump generation) is that of Mr Price, the science teacher in the popular (but terminally lame) TV comedy series, Please Sir first aired in 1968.


He later appeared in The Fenn Street Gang (a Please Sir spin-off); Oh no, it's Selwyn Froggitt, and Fawlty Towers. And if you check his CV, you'll find mentions of Dr Who; The Sweeney; One Foot in the Grave; Van der Valk; Whoops Apocalypse; and Oh! What a Lovely War.


In short, Davies was always out there somewhere, doing his bit for comedy and drama, but not necessarily meeting the approval of his fellow Welshmen. If you remember Davies at all, it will probably be as a passing character actor who achieved no great heights, but was nevertheless loosely keeping us entertained by being the butt end of someone else's joke or abuse (which is often the same thing). And because he did it so effortlessly, it's all too easy to overlook the fact that he was a good actor, albeit one who rarely enjoyed a great part or was given memorable lines.


Richard Davies is survived by his second wife, two sons and a daughter.




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Gear Gremlin bandana fleece thingy


Gear Gremlin ought not to call this thing a "fleece". Why not? Because the word "fleece" also has negative connotations. For instance:



obtain a great deal of money from (someone), typically by overcharging or swindling them.


Therefore, Gear Gremlin ought to instead call this thing a "muff". That's a nice word, and a word that most of us are familiar with. Hence the expression, "I'm looking for a nice muff." Or, "Hey, anyone know where I can get a nice muff around here?"


But instead, Gear Gremlin prefer to call this a "fleece", which is their business (and might not be helping sales). That aside, we recently received a couple of these things in the mail, and we've been trying them out (in bed, in the bath, on the phone and even on the bike).


The first thing you notice is that you need a neck like a giraffe to wear one of these fully extended twixt shoulders and chin. They're about two feet long, so you have to bunch 'em up to ensure that they fill the gap around your collar. Cunning stuff, huh?


Also, they ain't manufactured from one long tube of fabric. No, there are two types of fabric in the tube; one type is kind of fleecy (with a seam down the back or front or side or whatever), and the other bit is kind of ... well, not fleecy. This second type of fabric is the usual high-tech, polyester, stretchy, wicking material that enables you to wear this pretty much anyway you want and sweat like a pig and stay dry. Or dryish.


Tip: we cut one of ours in half and used it as a neck thingy and a bandana.


The fleecy fabric ain't exactly high class looking. It feels like the same kind of stuff they use to make baby romper suits (not that we'd know about that from recent personal experience, you understand). That fabric is however very warm, and you'll be glad of it unless or until is starts raining heavily. And even then, it's probably a fairly efficient gasket.


Beyond that, it's hard to say much else about these things except that they ain't very sexy and they do what they're supposed to do, which is keep out the draughts. Also, you can wear 'em as a beanie (or a face mask or a balaclava if you're thinking of holding up a post office).


The price is £13.99 which sounds a bit fleecy, but it's about on par with similar items on the market (but there's got to be about two quid's worth of cardboard packaging with every item, which isn't exactly "green").


Our advice? Buy one. Stick it in your pocket. Remember it when you need it. And be creative. In this life, you just can't have enough muffs. Are we right?


The Key Collection on: 0117 971 9200



The Third Man


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Yamaha 125cc Resonator concept


Did Yamaha ever make a resonator guitar? We don't know. Never seen one, anyway (and that's an Ibanez below, which cunningly sounds Spanish, but was founded in 1957 in Nagoya, Japan).


Dobro and National are the firms mostly closely associated with resonators. These curious instruments were introduced way back in the 1920s and were designed to make a louder orchestral racket than a standard acoustic (but were later enjoyed simply for their distinct clanging-rattling sound). [More...]


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Odd things are happening on Sump...


...but it's nothing to get excited about. We've simply got a few techy things to do around here to improve functionality and bring us out of the digital stone age into the digital bronze age. Something like that, anyway.


It's another example of how, just when you thought you had the universe by the throat, you suddenly realise that you were clutching only air and need to get a new grip.



What it means for you is that phantom pages could pop up and dissolve. Or bits and bobs might start moving left and right, or up and down, and images might unexpectedly lose resolution or expand. Also, it's just possible that your computer will explode and kill ya, so if you see anything glowing red, duck.


And if you're using a mobile phone, things might get even weirder. That's because we're developing a parallel and more mobile friendly site (which is a paradox because we hate the bloody things).


If you're a mobile man, or woman, you can follow the link below and check out what we're doing. But don't expect too much just yet (and it might not look right on a PC or Mac). And if you care to give us some feedback on problematic functionality, Allah will think kindly of you, etc.


Anyway, stay with us, keep nosing around Sump, and no flipping channels. Normal service will be resumed as soon as we figure out which bit goes where, and which switch to pull.



— Dexxion


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Weise "affordable" Lima gloves


We haven't yet shoved our mitts in a pair of these, but we're gonna tell you about them anyway. They're new, they're from Weise (just like it says in the heading above), and they're designed primarily for winter use (but naturally, you can wear 'em all year round, and in all weathers). They're claimed to be top-of-the-range quality, and the price is £49.99—which, we understand, is "affordable".


Of course, we know of some guys and gals who can't afford to breathe anymore and have a very different idea about what is affordable and what's not, but let's not go there at the moment. It's complicated stuff.


These gloves have a 40-gram Thinsulate™ thermal layer with a "waterproof, wind-proof and breathable" inner liner (so at least the gloves can afford to breathe, huh?) [That ain't funny—Ed].


But don't go away yet because there's more. These Lima gloves are manufactured from (a) full-grain leather and (b) some kind of up-to-the-minute textile. The knuckles are armoured. And there's double-layer leather sewn in at key areas.


To keep these gloves hugging your delicate fingers, there are stretch panels here and there, and there's some NASA Velcro® stuff and an elasticated cuff section to keep the breeze at bay and ensure they don't fly off if and when you crack the ton. Finally, there's some reflective piping on the periphery intended to help ensure those all-important hand signals stand out at night.

In a more serious tone, these actually look pretty good and, if it's important to you, probably won't look too out of place on your later classic bikes (80s and 90s stuff, etc). But most of you Sumpsters are also riding modern motorcycles (which are featuring more and more on Sump), so you could be in the market for these.

Weise Lima gloves come in sizes S to 3XL, and in case you missed the price, it's £49.99 including VAT. Call 0117 9719200 for more info.



— Del Monte

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Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser


On 28th October 2015, it looks like Triumph Motorcycles will be officially unveiling the new and much awaited 2016 Bonneville. The firm has posted a 30-second piece of "footage" on its Official YouTube Channel showing flashing images of (new?) motorcycle components, plus various graphics and snapshots of older Meriden bikes in the Bonneville range. The music is big and overblown (and all that kind of cinematic Captain America meets Jurassic Park noisy boomy stuff). And the video poses the questions: "What is real character?" and "What does it mean to be original?"


Heavy trippy hippy stuff, huh? Our minds, dude, were totally blown, ya? Meanwhile, we're told by Triumph that "Something big is coming".


Well let's hope it ain't the price.



There are no clear images showing the new bike in its entirety, and speculation is rife that the new Bonnie will be liquid-cooled and offered in various guises including a cafe racer and a bobber.


Certainly all kinds of capacity claims have been mooted, but we ain't repeating them because the simple truth is that no one really knows for sure, except perhaps those most intimately associated with Triumph.



The only thing we are expecting (and there's no certainty about this either) is that the new machine will be more visually faithful to the original Meriden-era bikes. Beyond that, you'll have to take a peek at the YouTube video and make up your own mind.


Tip: Don't watch it if you suffer from epilepsy.


Official Triumph YouTube channel

Girl Happy


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Another Hayward T140 belt failure


A Sumpster from Australia has contacted us with details of a Hayward belt drive failure that was pretty much identical to ours. We know and like Tony Hayward, and he's worked hard at developing his products—and he believes in them. Nevertheless, this needs closer examination. If you're thinking of buying a T140 belt drive system (from any manufacturer), first check our CLASSIC BIKE WORKSHOP page.


Tony Hayward: 01244 830776

Del Monte


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Second generation HUD for bikes


We know we're going to be in the minority here with our immediate reaction to this Dan Dare gadget (see further down this story). But that's okay. It gives us a lot more space, and in this increasingly crowded universe, you can never get enough of that. Es correcto?


This news story is about the second generation Bike HUD system. It's been launched by what sounds like a go-getting British firm, and apparently they've spent a lot of money developing this (£260,000 for HUD 1, and £200,000 for HUD 2), so they'd very much like to capitalise and get their hands on your dosh.


HUD, in case you're not hip to the latest techy groovy awesome buzz words, stands for "head-up-display". It's the optical thingamajig that fighter pilots use so they can conveniently and efficiently shoot down enemy aircraft and drop ordnance on ... well, on whoever's definitely not flavour of the month and needs to be murdered from a high altitude.


Commercial aviation pilots use the HUD system too. And so do lots of other professionals (and amateurs) who need (or think they need) up-to-the-nanosecond information projected immediately in front of their eyeballs. Or even onto their eyeballs.


Bikesystems is the British firm in question. It's run by a guy named Dave Vout. The company is based at Stoke-on-Trent, one-time centre of the British pottery industry. What makes this system so appealing and potentially very profitable is the fact that it can be retrofitted into most crash helmets (as opposed to the Skully project which is crafted into a purpose-built lid).



Useful intelligence? Or just more information for information's sake? This 2nd gen Bike HUD device ensures that you get no distractions on the road (except for the device itself). The readout shows gear, time, engine revs and speed. How did we manage without these?



We haven't quite got the heads-up on this system and we haven't tried it. So our reaction has to be considered in that context. But it certainly looks a lot more complicated than a tin opener. Seems you have to hardwire it into your brain bucket and attach wires and sensors and stuff onto your bike's speedometer and centre stand and gearbox and indicators and ignition and whatnot.


Then you ride along on your bike looking like Robocop, and the little gizmo sitting right in your field of view relays all kinds of information that most of us obtain via traditional means. Ultimately, the best that appears to be said of this system is that you can check your speed without taking your eyes of the road for a millisecond.


We've never had much trouble glancing at the speedo or altimeter, or checking whether the undercarriage is up. And we generally know what gear we're in because ... because we just know. In any case, it doesn't seem to matter which gear we're in as long as we're in the appropriate gear for the engine revs and the road conditions, etc. And although the device is supposed to give you a readout in your peripheral vision, we prefer to reserve our peripheral vision for monitoring errant traffic and stray dogs and girls bending over to pick up whatever they'd dropped.


Anyway, this HUD 2 device is out there on the market priced at around £350, and we hope Bikesystems sells one to every man, woman and child in China, India, Germany, Russia and wherever, and in doing so brings the money back home to Blighty.


But here at Sump, we probably won't be buying. When we're on a motorcycle, it's the techy, digital, instant-information-at-any-price demands of the modern world that we're riding away from (and we're generally not going fast enough to trigger a speed camera, anyway). But we're strange like that.





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Marzocchi closes. It's official


It's been coming for a long while, and now it's happened. Officially. Tenneco, the giant US parent company of Marzocchi, has confirmed the closure of the Bologna, Italy workshops with the loss of 127 jobs. Since the beginning of 2015 the stories have been flying around, specifically that Marzocchi was looking for a buyer. There was in fact an announcement to that effect in July this year, but over the last few months it was hoped that salvation would come from somewhere. But hope has now been all but lost.



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Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015


And here is the news, Gordon Honeycombe, writer, actor, playwright and historian has died aged 79. But Ronald Gordon Honeycombe, to give him his full name, was most famous to a generation of Brits as "that baldy bloke who reads the news".


At least, that's how we referred to him. We were just kids then, and baldness was akin to a social disease, and naturally we wondered if it was contagious. What made it "worse" was the fact that Honeycombe was so often paired with the likes of Reginald Bosanquet, Alastair Burnet and Sandy Gall, all of whom were follicly well-endowed. Bosanquet died in 1984. Burnet died in 2012. But Sandy Gall is still around.


itn-new-logo-deviceGordon Honeycombe came from an era when newsreaders could handle more than a dozen words printed on a teleprompter and didn't need to bat stories back and forth with their co-presenter; an era when newsreaders had stature and respect; an era when "breaking news" meant something other than a crude, transparent and sensationalistic ploy intended to persuade us to stay awake for another excruciating minute.


He began his working career as an actor, but he jumped ship (as it were) when a newsreading job presented itself. He had no experience, but he was eager and willing, and he had a voice that was easy on the ear, and a smile that was easy on the eye. His starting wage was £25 per week.


Sometimes, as we yawned through the news, his head shone, and we watched it with grim fascination. And there's no doubt that the make-up girls (or boys) were constantly waiting in the wings to dab on a little powder as and when the studio lights did their worst.


If you remember him, you would have seen him on the box between 1965 and 1977. He was working at the time for ITN and had a political falling out with the bosses following his support for the national firemen's strike. He left and became a full-time novelist and a crime historian, but later returned to the TV screen for TV-am. That was in 1984. He stayed for five years, just as bald, just as tall and lean, and looked thoroughly out of place. The world had moved on "since his day" and a new kind of trivial, unsubstantial, airhead mindset had got a grip. He was in any case tired of the British weather and was seeking a fresh start, so Honeycombe emigrated to Australia where he stayed until the end.




He was born, incidentally, in what is now Pakistan. He went to Oxford, did a stint of National Service in the Royal Artillery (mostly in Hong Kong), and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.


If you see his name on the cover of a book, and if you're the bookish type, pick up a copy and have a browse. He was a well respected writer, and his output will no doubt be on the shelves for many years to come.


In 1993 Gordon Honeycombe became a permanent Australian resident and reported the satisfying news that he was happy with his lot and perfectly settled in Perth. He never married.


Can you catch baldness from watching bald TV newsreaders? Seems that a lot of us did.



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Telematics scupper speeding charge


Far be it from us to call the Northumbria Police a bunch of useless, lying, backsliding, time-wasting idiots. And we wouldn't dream of calling the British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) a bunch of malicious halfwits, but the recent news report regarding a speeding charge levelled at a certain Mr Neil Herron has given us a new crisis of faith.


It seems that Sunderland-based Herron was nabbed by a LTI20.20 Ultralyte 100 Home Office approved laser gun after allegedly travelling at 40mph through a 30mph limit. This was in January 2014.


However, the vehicle Herron was driving just happened to be fitted with a telematics gadget that recorded his true speed and location along with other aspects of his driving behaviour (just as it's designed to do).


Not wanting a fine and points on his licence, Herron resolved to challenge the charge and, 18 months later, had the dubious pleasure of bringing his evidence to court. Faced with this defensive reaction, the CPS promptly dropped the case, whilst the Northumberland Police failed to respond to numerous requests for more information on their radar equipment, specifically the calibration records and maintenance logs, etc. So Herron was acquitted.


It's thought to be the first time that a speeding charge has been challenged and defeated by on-board telematics equipment, but we're certain it won't be the last. Increasingly it seems, the police and the CPS (and local councils) are happy (or, at least, prepared) to bully road users into court armed with either no evidence (at best), or flimsy evidence (at worst), and often fully mindful of the dodginess of their own equipment and/or procedures.


Fact is, much of the speeding equipment used in the UK is woefully inaccurate leading to bogus charges, expensive defence cases, and a whole lot of grief and time-wasting.


Meanwhile, it's quite common for the CPS to present charges without the slightest intention of pursuing the case if and when it's challenged. In fact, this kind of legal opportunism has become the rule rather than the exception. So maybe it's time to start making CPS staff more personally accountable for their actions or negligence (rather than hide behind official procedures), and time to compel the police to actually attend court to follow up their charges.


Would that actually work? We don't know. We're just little people. But throwing out random, casual or unsupportable charges in the hope that some of them will stick, or that road users will simply pay up and accept the points, simply isn't acceptable.


The moral? If the coppers are armed, you need to arm yourself in response. And telematic systems and on-board cameras are the way to do it. Just keep in mind that dogs occasionally bite their masters.


Mind how you go.


UPDATE: We don't actually know what vehicle Mr Herron was driving. We used the Range Rover in our graphic for purely illustrative purposes.


We don't know which type of satellite was used, either.


— Sam 7


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Timely Triumph T140 owner advice


Generally, we don't share the emails we receive from Sump visitors (usually about their bikes). Such emails are usually private, and we want to respect that. But this email was a little different. It sounded like it deserved a few more ears than ours. And we've lately been getting a fair amount of mail asking for T140 advice. So if you ride a Triumph T140 or aspire to owning one, make of this what you will... [More...]


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Pete Thorne at Stafford October 2015


Confession time, everyone, so duck. The truth is, until the press-

release from Mortons Media Group (www.classicbikeshows) dropped in our inbox, we'd never heard of Pete Thorne. Maybe we're spending too much time in the garage. Or maybe it's just fate or something.


But apparently, Thorne is a pretty well known minor celeb and is widely recognised by people who (a) own a working TV set and (b) watch The Motorbike Show. Anyway, it seems that he'll be hosting a Restoration Theatre on the 17th & 18th October 2015 at the annual Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show (to use the full title).


We've never been to a Restoration Theatre, but as long as they sing a few songs and have a decent intermission for a spell at the bar, it sounds like more fun than a party political broadcast. But let's not be nasty. The odds are that Thorne is a decent bloke who knows his stuff, and it's never too late to learn, is it? [Actually, when you're on your death bed, it probably is a little too late - Ed]


John McGuinness, road racing "superstar" will be guest of honour, and Bonhams will be offering around 230 motorcycles for sale. You can buy advance tickets right now. A one-day adult pass will set you back £11 (or "just" £11 to use the full title). Discounts for senior and junior citizens apply.



Big End


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H&H Duxford Sale: 13th October 2015


That's a 1956 BMW Rennsport RS500 Type 256 immediately above. The bike (Lot 54) will be auctioned on Tuesday 13th October 2015 at H&H's Duxford Sale, and they're anticipating around £160,000 - £180,000.


We're advised that just six of these motorcycles were built by the factory, specifically by Rupert Bauer using an ex-Siegfried Schauzu factory short-stroke five-speed engine. Noted racer Walter Zellor finished 2nd in the 1956 500cc World Championship astride one of these bikes. The present owner has had his mitts on the Beemer for the past 40 years, and it's time to move it along. This BMW, by the way, is carrying the highest estimate of any machine in the sale.




The next contender is this (immediately above) 1938 DKW SS250 racing split-single (Lot 36). We've seen it before, and in recent history. Look back at Sump April 2014 and you can read about H&H's hopes of flogging this machine. But in the event, no one was interested enough and it didn't sell.



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Indian Scout Ikon shock absorbers


We're talking of course about the current model Indian Scout as manufactured by Polaris Industries which, in 2011, bought the Indian Motorcycles name and rights.


Australian firm Ikon (think: Koni) has developed an upgraded rear shock absorber/damper for the Scout. The units are part of Ikon's 7610 series, and the firm claims a "dramatic improvement".



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Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft


The Wheatcroft Military Collection at Donington Park, Leicestershire, has acquired an XA Harley-Davidson—or, more accurately, has acquired another XA. Apparently, the museum already has five of these experimental HDs on display, and now it has six.


So what was the XA? Well, the "X" stands for "experimental". And the "A" is for "army". The 23hp, 738cc bike (nominally a 750) was developed during the early part of WW2 following the capture and examination of a sidevalve/flathead BMW R71 (and not a BMW R75 OHV twin as is often stated). The US government was suitably impressed with the sophistication of German motorcycle engineering, particularly the fact that the R71 was equipped with a shaft drive making the bike well-suited to hostile natural environments. In particular, it was noted that the flat-twin layout kept the cylinders significantly cooler than a conventional V-twin, thereby reducing wear, extending the maintenance cycles, and prolonging oil-life. The XA, incidentally, carried a throttle on the left and a clutch lever on the right.




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The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles


"Every model since 1923". That's the claim on the cover of this new book by established author Ian Falloon. So naturally we checked, and as far as we can tell, it's true. Every model since 1923. Every production model, that is.


Not that we're BMW experts. But we've owned a few, and have lusted after many others. And this book certainly covers all the ground that we're interested in. And more.


Overall, it's impressive stuff. Plenty of images, new and old, black & white and colour. Plenty of technical shots too, and a lot of images we haven't seen before. So okay, the cover is a little uninspiring. It looks like this tome is a directory rather than a heartfelt examination of the marque complete with new insights and interesting/oblique opinions, etc. [More...]



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So who's answering the Sump phone?


Want to find out more about Sump's telephone policy? Okay, click on the phone graphic on the right, or hit this SUMP TELEPHONE LINK. We want to stay in touch, but it's not always quite as simple as that...

— Dexxion


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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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