2019 Indian FTRS. This 1203cc liquid-cooled "flat tracker inspired" hunk of American hardware has just been unveiled in Cologne at Intermot, and understandably it's drawn a lot of eyes. Engine dimensions are 102mm x 72.6mm. Features include lean sensitive traction control, 3 rider modes (sport, standard, rain), ABS, a slipper-assist clutch, dual throttle bodies, high-flow cylinder heads, a trellis frame, an inverted front fork (no info on size), fully adjustable suspension front & rear, Brembo brakes, an LCD touch screen and LED lights. Max power isn't stated, but peak torque kicks in with 85lbs-ft (115Nm) @ 6,000rpm. Here at Sump we've got mixed feelings. The bike looks good, but ... well, derivative. Maybe it will grow on us. The price is £12,999. Delivery is sometime next year. A standard FTR is also available (simpler suspension and paint). Now, has this fuse been lit a little early?

October 2018  Classic bike news


"Brand new" 1979 T140E for sale

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

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

December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar

November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

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

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

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

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

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

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

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

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

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

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

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

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

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

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

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

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

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

March 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

New drug-driving regulations are here

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

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

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

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

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



January 2015 Classic Bike News

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

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

Sump news archive



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Triumph T140E Bonneville - 1979 model


"Brand new" 1979 T140E for sale


Story snapshot:

11 miles and 39 years on the clock

The auction estimate is £8,000 - £10,000


Yes, we put the "dramatic" highlights on this bike, and we make no apologies for doctoring the image. That's because we've got a special affection for Triumph Bonnevilles of this particular vintage. That, after all, was when one or two of us around here first got into motorcycling—and we still own and run a '79 Bonnie.


Back in 1979, Meriden Triumph—under the auspices of the Worker's Co-op—was desperately struggling to keep the company afloat. The price of a new T140 was then around £1,200, and that price would rise each season by around 10 - 15 percent as reality bit harder and deeper. These machines were largely built on small production lines in limited numbers, and that meant that the kind of economies of scale enjoyed by the likes of Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki were non existent.


So inevitably, the cost of building the bikes would creep up and up, the concomitant being that sales would fall, and that would further compound the problem. But the quality was good, and the factory admin and service people took care of the customers and did everything it could to keep 'em satisfied.


The most significant feature of the "E" models, which first appeared in late 1978, was the switch from the splayed cylinder head induction ports of the outgoing T140V to the new style parallel inlet tracts. That shift also saw the end of Amal Mk1 carburettors and the switch to the divisive (but in our view mostly satisfactory) Mk2s.


Why the carb change? US emission regulations, of course. That was also why Meriden now routed the crankcase breather hose into the airbox as opposed to looping it over the rear mudguard and venting direct to atmosphere. Good for emissions. Not so good for the adulterated mixture.



There were other changes with thread sizes, bearings and fork seals, etc. And the 1979 colours were fresh and exciting; well, for those of us who actually bought the bikes—and that was a diminishing number.


Power was down slightly, as already alluded to. That was also because the new emissions arrangements saw the cylinder compression drop from around 8.5:1 to 7.9:1. Later still, Triumph T140 pistons would be sold with an even lower compression ratio of around 7.4:1 (and some say the compression of the "E" models was always "secretly" 7.4:1). Either way, these 750cc air-cooled, pushrod, twin cylinder engines were smooth, reliable and refined—not least due to the new Lucas Rita electronic ignition modules which convincingly laid to rest the era of contact breakers.


However, out on the open road an outright loss of power and speed mattered little to many, if not most, buyers. And yes, the sales battle with the Japanese had been soundly lost. What was left of the once mighty British bike industry was now relegated to a dilapidated factory in the Midlands that boasted far more space that it would ever need again.


But when it came to looks, charm, poise, pose and handling, the T140 was still a class act, albeit one that wasn't likely to be making too many more encores.


1979 Triumph T140E Bonneville


1979 Triumph Bonneville T140E. These UK/Euro specification machines were never as popular as the "sexier" US/Export bikes with high 'bars and 2.8 gallon tanks.  But for touring, these flat 'bars/4.5 gallon tank examples are the ones you want. Time, we think, has been kind to them.



The above example (Lot 16) is to be offered by H&H Auctions on Friday 9th November 2018 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull B92 0EJ. The T140E was sold new by Vale Onslow in (nearby) Birmingham and has only 11 miles on the clock (and some of those have probably been racked up simply shifting the bike in and out of the garage). It's evidently a UK (or, if you prefer, European) specification bike (as opposed to US spec) with its flat bars, a 4.5 gallon tank, and a slightly wider saddle nose. We also note that the original suppressed spark plug caps are still fitted.


However, even though the tarmac mileage is low, there's 39 years to be added to the tally, and a close up inspection shows the usual signs of incipient corrosion. Nothing serious, let alone terminal. But that fresh-out-of-the-box glint is long gone, and the bike is in too good condition to strip and fully restore (and you never quite get the required factory "newness" anyway. Not in our experience, at least).


1979 T140E Triumph Bonneville engine


H&H acknowledge that recommissioning will be required, and the bidding will start at £4,000. And that, we're advised, is expected to result in a sale price of between £8,000 and £10,000.


Furthermore, there's said to be an "interesting story" with this motorcycle, but the details are not given—unless that interest refers only to the fact that someone squirreled this bike away for half a lifetime when (arguably) it should have been having fun in the sun. Various receipts and documents will come with the bike.


So who's first in line?




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Just a shame about the boring colours on offer…—Steve

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2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200XC


2019 1200 Triumph Scrambler XC. If you've been prevaricating over the purchase of a Triumph Scrambler, this bike could be the tipping point. There's more power. More torque. More action. And more toys. We're awaiting prices, but we're already very close to swallowing the bait.


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details


Story snapshot:

Two new off-roaders take it to another level

1200cc XC and XE variants join the 900 Street Scrambler


Triumph Motorcycles clearly hasn't yet run out of ideas or nuances for its Bonneville-based Scrambler range as evidenced by the 2019 models which have significantly improved upon the current 900cc Street Scrambler concept and taken this particular journey further off-road than at any point in the past.


For the 2019 season there are two bikes coming at us; the XC and the XE—and we hesitate to call them retro. That term, some might agree, is itself a little retro now and hardly worth using. Regardless, both bikes are based around the tried & tested, done & dusted 1200cc T120/Bobber engine, albeit retuned and restrung to give the machines the kind of off-road performance required of these extra-urban dusters.


The XC is aimed at a (slightly) more compromised mix of street and trail. Triumph is claiming 88bhp (90PS) @ 7,400rpm coupled with 81lb-ft (110Nm) of torque at 3,950rpm. And that's a heady brew which is dangerously close to the power and torque numbers boasted by the Thruxton (96bhp/97PS @ 6,750 rpm, and 82lb-ft/112 Nm @ 4,950rpm). But, in keeping with the kind of usage anticipated for the respective mounts, the peaks and troughs are very different. So if you're moving from a Thruxton, a standard Bonnie or a 900 Scrambler to a 1200 Scrambler, expect very different characteristics.


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200XC right side


This XC looks leaner and meaner. The front 'guard needs a raise, but Triumph has an accessory or two to deal with that. Expect saddle and luggage options, plus many more bolt-on high quality goodies.



The engine dimensions of this liquid-cooled, 8-valve, SOHC, parallel twin are 97.6mm x 80mm. The compression ratio is 11:1. And to give the bike that extra loping oomph (and sound) the crank angle is 270° (as opposed to, say, a more conventional 360°). Transmission is still 6-speed.


The XC specification is further enhanced by a pair of Brembo M50 Monobloc calipers up front coupled with twin 320mm discs. A single Brembo 2-piston floating caliper acting on a 255mm disc keeps the rear in check. Switchable ABS at both ends is part of the deal. Traction control is a given.


The front wheel is a tubeless 36-spoke 21 x 2.15-inch aluminium rim. The rear wheel is a 32-spoke 17 x 4.25-incher, also tubeless and aluminium.



Officially, the UK has only a tiny patch of desert, and that's at Dungeness in Kent. So if your pocket is deep enough, and if you "buy into" the above fantasy, California, Arizona, Nevada or New Mexico should be on your shopping/visiting list. Then again, Spain and Portugal ain't such a big hop from Blighty...



The 1200 XC suspension is handled by a 45mm inverted Showa front fork offering 200mm of travel. That's matched by an aluminium rear swinging arm, also with 200mm of travel. Öhlins twin shocks with piggy back reservoirs take care of the lumps and bumps.

Hinckley has also thrown in a torque-assist clutch, keyless ignition, five riding modes, LED lights, optional heated grips, cruise control and a USB port. And interestingly, there's a hook-up for GoPro camera users that allows the rider to control the birdie by twiddling on the switchgear and checking the TFT instrument display.



We haven't seen that feature in action, but it sounds like more fiendishly clever stuff, technically speaking. However, as we've suggested before, it all takes many of us further away from the reasons we ride motorcycles in the first place—which is to get away from "it all". Then again, nobody is forcing anyone to (a) buy the bikes, and/or (b) hard-wire their cerebellums into the digital tech. And if Triumph released a much simplified Model T version of the 2019 1200 Scrambler, would more than a handful of folk buy it? Hint: Your guess is as good as ours. The switchgear buttons, by the way, are now backlit.


There are two colour options for the XC; two tone black (matt & gloss) or two tone green. Dozens of accessories have already been developed for the XC, and accessories are where much of Triumph's profits lie. No prices yet. But as with all (or most) Triumph pricing, it will be competitive.


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200XE


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200XE. Fundamentally the same as the XC, but it sits higher, bounces better and features switchable cornering ABS and switchable cornering traction control. This well equipped bike comes with pretty much everything except a wilderness to explore. But there's only so much you can fit on the spoon. As ever, buy British when you can (not that this piece of Blighty won't sell itself).


Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE 2019 model


Meanwhile the 1200 XE, expectedly, has some differences to the XC. The front fork tubes are 47mm in diameter (also Showa). Switchable cornering ABS and switchable cornering traction control is standard. The physical dimensions are slightly larger (width, length and saddle height) with an extra 50mm on the springs front and rear. That's around 2-inches and will no doubt make a significant difference on the more serious rough stuff. Colours are either white & green, or blue & black.


Overall, these are both handsome bikes. With their sculpted exhausts/silencers and improved poise, it's hard to see why they won't be a roaring success. There's no word on whether the 900 Street Scrambler will survive for much longer. But our guess (based upon very little except what the elves tell us) is that the 900 still has a place at the budget end of the Scrambler range; for now, anyway.


2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200


We're also reading about some very impressive mpg figures of high-sixties and low-seventies. On paper and in the lab, those numbers sound plausible. But it's hard to see anyone behaving themselves on one of these cool Scramblers for long enough to rack up much above 55.




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Colin Seeley astride a 1971 Norton Seeley MK3 Commando 850 Competition/Special. Five-speed Mick Hemmings racing box (with magnesium cases). Race cams. 32mm Amal carbs. Lightened/polished internals. Boyer race ignition. Seeley Mk3 frame built in 2015 by Roger Titchmarsh. Ceriani front fork & 230mm Ceriani double-sided TLS brake.



80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley


Story snapshot:

South of England Motorcycle Classic Show & Bike Jumble

Sunday 28th October 2018


Is there a more affable man in classic motorcycling? Or, come to that, a more affable man anywhere? It's hard to imagine it. Fact is, Colin Seeley is one of the nicest, most genuine blokes we've ever met. He's also an ex-sidecar racer, a great motorcycle designer, a very shrewd businessman and an excellent ambassador for biking.


But you probably already know most, or all, of this. What you might not be aware of is that Colin will be the guest of honour at the forthcoming South of England Motorcycle Classic Show & Bike Jumble which, barring invasion, earthquakes and sundry acts of Gods, will happen on Sunday 28th October 2018 at a showground in West Sussex.



But he's not attending simply because this is an independent bike show with a good vibe that's worth supporting. Rather, the event will also be marking 80 years of AMC, and over the years Colin's had plenty of involvement with this firm. Consequently, there will be numerous AMC motorcycles on display together with a few ex-employees of the world famous Plumstead factory happy and willing to share company tales and also listen to any that you might bring along.


Colin Seeley will also be bringing along a Seeley Matchless Mk3 G50 plus two Seeley-framed TR500 Suzukis, both ridden by Barry Sheene.


Beyond that expect a bike jumble, a free BikeMart for private vendors, a ten quid stall for garage clear out (not for regular professionals) show bikes, food and drink, prize giving, free parking and more. So if this lot doesn't float your boat, you need a submarine.


Anyway, the venue is South of England Showground, Ardingly RH17 6TL. The fun starts at 10am and will continue until early evening (last entry at 1.30pm). Adult admission is £6 on the gate (discounts apply for kids and OAPs, etc).


Need any more info? Go check the link.




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Harley-Davidson is recalling the 238,300 motorcycles. Clutch issues cited

Bruce Main-Smith

Bruce Main-Smith, ex-road tester, Vincent & Velocette Club man has died

Car price distraction scam. Buyers secretly pour oil in coolant and tailpipe

UK MPs call for new petrol and diesel car ban by 2032, eight years early

eBay to notify its online bike breakers to display ELV licence credentials

£12k Manx Norton stolen. Gamlingay, Cambs (24/10/18). Crimestoppers.

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A blue plaque for Rex McCandless


Story snapshot:

Featherbed frame inventor is to be honoured

But no mention of brother Cromie...


History has shown that history generally won't be rushed, which is partly why a man or woman usually has to be long dead before the blue plaque world recognises and honours whatever great achievement was made in their lifetimes.


But motorcycle racer and inventor Richard 'Rex' McCandless has, we hear, effectively been fast tracked onto the honours list of the Ulster History Circle which is a Northern Ireland/Irish equivalent of the long established English Heritage Scheme.


Northern Ireland/Irish?


That's because Ulster is a region of nine counties that bridges both sides of the border in much the same way that the Basque Country bridges Spain and France, or the way the Fens bridge Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.


Rex McCandless hailed from County Down in Northern Ireland and is therefore both an Ulster man and (very arguably) British rather than Irish [Let's not go there - Ed]. Best known as a motorcycle racer, it's less understood that he trained as an aircraft engineer and a vehicle mechanic. Later, together with his brother, Cromie, Rex established a Belfast-based business dealing in heavy equipment repair such as excavators and earth movers. And much later in his life he designed, built and raced cars, and designed, built and flew his own autogyro (or autogiro if you prefer).



In the late 1940s, however, the McCandless brothers were heavily involved in motorcycle racing. Rex's riding choice at the time was a Triumph Tiger 100. It had the power (albeit never enough), but the frame was considered weak and ponderous. So the McCandless brothers designed and built a new twin loop swinging-arm chassis comprised of over 40 feet of tubing courtesy of Reynolds. For shock absorbers/dampers, the boys looked to Citroen. Then they put the construction on a track and tested it, refined it and looked around for an interested party to take it into production.


TT motorcycle racer Harold Daniell subsequently campaigned this new swinging arm frame and, according to the legend, said it was "like riding a featherbed" or "sleeping on a featherned")—a comparison broadly borrowed from Brough Superior which in the 1930s had applied it to the SS100.


The idea of a swinging arm was also far from new. But Norton had been struggling with its weighty and unreliable "garden gate" frame. So after being rejected by Triumph, the McCandless brothers re-introduced the swinging arm concept to Norton and took the firm through the finer points of their strong, elegant and fundamentally simple design that over and over again was to prove its worth on the track. The frame was a revolution and was quickly jointly patented by Norton and Rex McCandless—and then, of course, was emulated by many other motorcycle manufacturers.


Beyond that, the Featherbed frame story is replete with fact and myth and half truths that go well beyond the scope of this news item. But we wonder if perhaps Cromie McCandless (also a successful racer) ought to have his name up there on the plaque too. Cromie (1921 - 1992), as we understand it, wasn't the driving force of the Featherbed project. But there's little doubt that he was at least a convenient sounding board for brother Rex, and he did help to build the first batch of commissioned frames and he did notch up numerous racing victories. Or maybe, come the day, he will get a mention. We'll have to see.


Meanwhile, we should point out that the image at the top of this story isn't the actual plaque. We simply cooked that up in Photoshop to illustrate the unveiling of the real item which will be exposed on Thursday 25th October 2018.


The plaque will be affixed to WAC McCandless Engineering Ltd on the Limestone Road in Belfast. Northern Ireland road racer Jeremy McWilliams will be handling the unveiling.




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"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell


Story snapshot:

165 bikes to H&H auction on 9th November 2018

The National Motorcycle Museum is the venue


53 years. That's right. Fifty. Three. Years. That's how long this 700cc Royal Enfield Constellation has stood in a Birmingham garage at the bottom of a garden pining for a stretch of tarmac, a drink of petrol and a cooling breeze. So okay, fifty-three years* is hardly a record, but neglecting a motorcycle for this long is still a sin.


A guy named John Hardwicke bought the outfit in 1962 for £231. He rode it for about ten minutes (or maybe a little longer), then parked it, abandoned it, and apparently forgot all about it—supposedly following the birth of his daughter.


That was also in 1962, by the way. Following Hardwicke's death, H&H Auctions' man Mark Bryan heard the story and came to view the bike. A tree, we hear, had since grown in front of the garage door, so the Constellation wasn't immediately accessible. But evidently, the rig has since been liberated and now it's headed to the (relatively) nearby National Motorcycle Museum where, on 9th November 2018, it will be looking for a more kindly owner.


The estimate is £3,000 - £4,000. The lot (Lot 44) will include overalls, helmets and maps that were still in the sidecar when the RE was ... well, effectively dumped [oh, that's cruel - Ed]. The engine, by the way, doesn't turn over. The registration plate is transferable. A buff log book is on offer.



Meanwhile, H&H reckon that 165 bikes are now on offer (up from 48 when we reported on this sale back in September 2018. See: H&H Auctions seeking consignments).


We'll come back to this auction in a couple of weeks and see what went down on the day. But meanwhile we've got some studying to do. There are one or two machines here that we're personally interested in ...




* Note that elsewhere on the H&H website it states that this bike has been parked up since the 1980s, which is slightly at odds with the information we have in the firm's press release (and is possibly a misprint of 1960s).


UPDATE: The outfit sold for £8,100.


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Interesting provenance—though I'm not sure who I feel more sympathy for: John, the Enfield or the tree. It would seem that he was expecting to get some use out of the thing, so imagine having to lock it away. That Wessex is a hefty looking chair with plenty of room for mother and toddler, Jayne. But folk react in different ways to being put in a box and shaken about, even with windows, it can be off-putting. I wonder what happened?
Maybe their first rideout was enough for Margaret and she put her foot down. Of course, equally she could have been miffed because hubby wouldn't let her drive? Intriguing story.
—Roj, Sheffield.

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Kawasaki Z-series Restoration ManualKawasaki Z1, Z/K900 and Z/KZ1000 restoration manual from Veloce


Story snapshot:

208 pages, £35

How to restore series


If you're not a fan of the dull, dry, indifferent and witless delivery of the text in, say, the average Haynes Manual, you'll perhaps find refreshment for your beleaguered sensibilities in this Kawasaki Z1, Z/KZ900 and Z/KZ1000 Restoration Manual from Veloce.


We're by no means experts on Kawasakis, and we've never so much as spun a spanner or twiddled a screwdriver on a Zed. So we can't comment on the veracity of the information or the validity of the advice. But having flipped through every chapter and studied the captions and crisper-than-usual images, and having enjoyed the asides, we're reasonably satisfied that this guy (Chris Rooke) knows his fruit and vegetables.


The book, we're advised, has just been published. It follows a now familiar Veloce formula of simple design, convenient chapter breakdown, clear and detailed images, numbered captions, and fairly straightforward delivery of the text—except, as we've said, there's a little more humour and gusto in this one which "humanises" the copy and reminds us over and over again that the author is no doubt a pretty ordinary guy like the rest of us. And largely because of that, we trust him.


If we had to criticise, we might point to the index which perhaps could be a little more comprehensive. But note that we're offering this comment without having used the book "in anger". In other words, all the information you're seeking might be easily accessible once you're in the thick of it, regardless of any indexing deficits. Certainly, if we were restoring a Zed-series Kawasaki, we'd buy this book. It's as simple as that.


The years covered are 1972 - 1980. The book is softback. The dimensions, as with the others in the series, are 270mm x 207mm. There are 208 pages and a whopping 600 pictures. The ISBN is 978-1-787111-58-5. And Veloce is asking £35.


Good value? It is if it saves you time, money, temper and knuckles (which we're sure it will).




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▲ Lot 422*: Earlier this month we reported on this 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project. The estimate of £100,000 - £140,000 was comfortably exceeded and saw this pile of bits sell for £264,500.


Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million


Story snapshot:

1925 Brough Superior box of bits makes top dollar

Bonhams reckons it's their biggest motorcycle sale ever


... actually, according to Bonhams it was more than £3 million. The full amount was £3,479,800. To help put that in context, we're told that 92 percent of lots were sold (281 bikes, 196 memorabilia) with the top lot (a 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project) changing hands for a princely £264,500.


That's right. A quarter of a million quid.


Roughly the average price of a British house.


And yes, that sounds like a perfectly ridiculous sum of money for a box of rusty and incomplete "junk". But market forces are what they are, and there's nothing you can really say or do about that. A UK buyer bought the "bike", and we understand that the price paid is the highest ever for a dismantled Brough Superior.


If that surprises you, you might also be surprised by a 1952 AJS 498cc Model 20 Springtwin Cutaway Model. This bike sold for £68,750 which is more than eight times its estimate (and we've commented many times on the unlikely estimates routinely posted by Bonhams which naturally help hike profits, but arguably undermines the firm's credibility).


Other highlights include:


1937 Böhmerland 603cc Langtouren. Sold for £63,250
1989 Honda VFR750R Type RC30. Sold for £47,150
c.1952 Norton-JAP 996cc Mk1 'Saltdean Special' Sprinter. Sold for £80,500

1992 Honda NR750. Sold for £62,100

c.1930 Henderson 1,201cc KJ Streamline Four. Sold for £56,580

c.1919 Henderson 1,147cc Model 2 Z Four. Sold for £48,300.

Ex-Rem Fowler silver hip flask. Sold for £25,000.


That hip flask, according to Bonhams, is recognised as "the most important piece of TT memorabilia in existence". Hmm. We'll take their word for it if you will.


The sale went down at the Autumn Stafford Classic Bike Show on 13th to 14th October 2018. There were three notable collections: The Adrian Reed Collection, The Willowbrook Collection (100 percent sold) and The Mark Wilsmore Ace Cafe Collection (also 100 percent sold).


The full details of the sale haven't yet been published. When they do, we'll update this news story. So no flippin'...





*Update: Note that we earlier used this picture, Lot 424, mistaking it for Lot 422 (main image this news story). Apologies for that, but as you'll see, the images are similar. This bike (Lot 424) sold for £126,500)


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Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested


Story snapshot:

£99 traditional looking denim and aramid jeans

Comfortable, tough and stretchy - but tight at the ankles


Well no, we didn't deliberately fall off the bike and slide down the tarmac just to see if these Weise® Boston Jeans offer as much protection as the manufacturer claims. That would be stupid. But we did what we reasonably could to check if these denims were otherwise fit for purpose, and given that we ain't got a laboratory or a convenient boffin to hand, we can't give you a definitive scientific answer.


However, the truth with this kind of leg protection is that you (a) have to trust that the manufacturer has done his/her homework and developed the product to a certain reasonably high standard, and (b) accept that all accidents are different and that's there's only so much you can do within the limits of your fashion choice.


In other words, if you want to go riding around in traditional looking denims, you're gonna have to take the rough with the smooth (or possibly the other way around) if and when you take a spill.


That said, we've been riding, strutting and lounging around in these Bostons for a few weeks. We've even been on the deck on the gravel under the bike fixing a problem and checking to see if these jeans pass the Sump Careless & Repeated Scuff Test, and we're pleased to say that they did. More to the point, these jeans are not just tough but very comfortable, and they stretch agreeably no matter how you contort yourself.


Weise®, however, reckon that these strides are semi boot cut. But the pair we've got certainly ain't. Fact is, they're tight on the legs and ankles, and there's no way they're going to fit over heavy boots. And forget the image to the right. That ain't ours. It belongs to Weise®.


We further quote: "... a traditional classic fit, with a semi boot-cut, so they will fit over motorcycle footwear". But we're very doubtful that anyone over the age of 30 (well, maybe 40) is going to wear them at all if this is typical of the range. We measured ours and found them to be 13-inches around the ankle, or roughly 31 - 32cm, and they're equally snug on the calves. Not tourniquet tight, mind. Just ... well, snug.


We're being very generous here because we want to help business do business and keep the money moving. But we also want to be scrupulously fair to the prospective purchaser. And before you ask if this is a normal sized human being talking, or a champion doughnut/donut scoffer, we'll have you know that our in-house test dummy for this review is in great overall shape with no unusual lumps or bulges, except of course where they need to be for everyday bragging purposes.


On the other hand, if you like a tight fit between your hips and ankles (no, don't get smutty), this is probably your stop. So alight this bus and make a purchase at the nearest shop, because everything else is spot on. And if you prefer to wear traditional style riding boots over your jeans (as opposed to under), you'll probably also be very happy with these Bostons. Just take along your selected riding footwear. After all, our idea of "tight" just might be your idea of "loose".


Beyond that, Weise® tells us that these jeans are "lined with aramid fibre panels at key locations, the main seams are double-stitched for greater strength, and CE approved knee protection is included at no extra cost."


Speaking of which, the knee protection is fairly prominent, largely because of the tightness in the legs. And we have to say that the Velcro doo-dahs that hold the armour in place occasionally scratch and irritate those knees—and we're surprise that Weise® designed this feature which feels a long way from ideal.


In long term use, that scratchiness will perhaps fade, but who wants it there are all? Then again, a pair of long johns might fix a problem (that you simply shouldn't have).


Weise logoWeise® is asking £99 for these jeans, and that's not bad if the techy aramid fibres and included armour thingies do their job (knee protection only, remember, but there's provision for more padding at the hips). And as we said, these are very comfortable to wear. Additionally, if you've got to the age when you're uncertain whether you can "still wear" denims without looking like a geriatric teenager (or a teenage geriatric), we can tell you that the denim look, such as it is, is fairly mild.


We've got a blue pair, and they look fine. Not fashion style, but good, practical quality design. Black is an option, and the men's waist sizes range from S to 5XL, or 30-inches to 44-inches. There's also a short leg length in men's black jeans. Check your retailer for details. The women's Boston jeans are also available in black and blue with sizes from 8 – 22.


The bottom line, or ankle line, is this; these are nice, comfortable, tough, decent looking jeans. No problem there. They wash well—and it was post-wash that we noticed the ankle issue (and we washed them at 40C and dried on a heat setting suitable for cotton). But these Bostons came up a little snug for us, and you might want to investigate that at the first opportunity.


One final thought; at the small of your back these Bostons are cut a little higher than "normal" jeans to keep your shirt and T-shirt neatly tucked in and secure, and that, thanks to the fabric stretchiness does its job perfectly. Nice.


Call The Key Collection on 0117 971 9200.



Note: We'll send a copy of this review to Weise® and will report on any feedback.

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Russian Zillers Garage wins the 13th annual AMD World Championship

Marty Balin (1942 - 2018), Jefferson Airplane co-founder has died aged 76

Martin Allcock (1957 - 2018), Fairport Convention guitarist has also died

Ducati Full Throttle - 2019 model

3 new Ducatis: Scrambler Café Racer, Desert Sled & Full Throttle (above)

Cologne Intermot show claims 220,000 visitors (same as last year)

Ducati Approved’ used bike plan launched. 30k miles max. 6yrs old max

Norton to build 50 "Henry Cole" Commando 961 Street limited edition bikes

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On Any Sunday Husqvarna - Steve McQueen

Star attractions at Barber Sale


Story snapshot:

£176,000 for McQueen's Husky

Paul Newman's CZ and Peter Fonda's Bultaco didn't sell


You've probably noticed that at Sump we're not exactly celebrity groupies. Around here, people are just ... well, people. They get born, they (usually) ride bikes, they do whatever the hell else they do, and then sooner or later they shuffle off this mortal coil, etc.


We don't genuflect to any Gods.


But we can't ignore the fact that three celebrity motorcycles went under the auction hammer on 6th October 2018 at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama USA, and it would be churlish of us not to give 'em a mention just because the bikes are associated with the rich and/or famous.

First up is Steve McQueen's 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross, Lot 170. This two-stroke dirt devil was ridden in the 1971 film On Any Sunday directed by Bruce Brown. So okay, the bike didn't feature throughout the movie. But it's right up there on celluloid if you look for it (tip: check the beach riding end scene).


Bonhams posted an estimate of $75,000 - $100,000 (£57,078 - £76,104), and that was clearly way off the mark (no doubt deliberately) because the bike sold for $230,500 (£176,740) including premium.


Then again, we note that another Steve McQueen 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross sold for $144,500 (£110,798) including premium in May 2011 at Quail Lodge, California (Lot 101).

This On Any Sunday Husky, meanwhile, carries the serial number MH134.

The capacity is 396cc. The bore is 81mm. The stroke is 76mm. Induction is via a 36mm Bing carburettor. Max output is a claimed 40hp (30kW). The frame is chromoly. The rims are Akront (21-inch front, 18-inch rear).


We're advised that this motorcycle was one of the first 400 Cross models imported into the USA by racing promoter, designer, entrepreneur and businessman Edison Dye (1918 - 2007), sometimes referred to as "the father of US motocross".


McQueen bought the bike in February of 1970. Or, more accurately, his Solar Productions company bought it. And as soon as McQueen had one between his legs, a lot of other folk had to have one.


Not that we're suggesting that the bike wasn't a worthy mount in its own right. It was. Well balanced, powerful, reliable, fleet-footed and responsive, when you stuck one of these 400cc air-cooled singles in the desert and pointed it in the right direction, it was nothing less than a thoroughbred racing camel.


In fact, in the 1960s and 1970s these Husqvarnas, together with their 125cc, 250cc and 500cc stablemates, would throw down a very large gauntlet and in doing so took 14 world motocross championships, won numerous ISDT medals, triumphed in God only knows how many enduro competitions, and came out victorious in 11 Baja 1000 races.


Impressive stuff.



Next, actor Paul Newman gets a mention here with regard to a 1967 CZ250 (Lot 172) as ridden in the little known movie Sometimes a Great Notion (1971). Also starring Henry Fonda, Lee Remick and Michael Sarrazin, this film is an overblown tale of logging in Oregon and the resulting fallout when an industrial dispute kicks off leaving Newman and family challenging the might of a huge commercial combine.


As the drama unveils, Newman finds himself in a motocross race which, okay, has a few exciting moments—albeit with a stuntman (naturally) doubling for Newman who looks a lot more convincing on a horse than on a motorcycle. Regardless, you can watch the movie sometime and make up your own mind.


The two-stroke CZ carried an estimate of $35,000 - $45,000 (£27,000 - £35,000) and it was offered with documentation attesting to its provenance. On the day, however, the bike didn't sell.



Finally, there's Lot 173; a 1968 Bultaco Pursang 250 MkII. Peter Fonda briefly rode this two-stroke in the movie Easy Rider (1969). The estimate was $60,000 - $70,000 (£46,000 - £54,000). However, this bike also failed to sell—which means that, as with Newman's motorcycle, it will probably be quietly put away for a while and then brought out again with reduced expectations.


Before we depart, we ought to mention (a) the 1974 Ducati 750 SS (Lot 1) that sold for $137,000 (£105,047) including premium; (b) the 1936 Brough Superior SS80 that changed hands for $115,000 (£88,000); and (c) the 1989 Honda RC30 that sold for $27,025 (£20,670).


We're still studying the Barber Sale and will report on anything that we find interesting and newsworthy. But on the face of it, it looks like Bonhams and Barber are both very satisfied with their lot—or, if you prefer, lots.



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Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar


Story snapshot:

The price has been kept down to a tenner

All proceeds to the East Anglian Air Ambulance


We could probably run the same copy every year with regard to Andy Tiernan's annual classic bike calendar. The story, after all, is always the same. Nice motorcycle artwork on a calendar-sized calendar. End of year felicitations. Proceeds to the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Will ship worldwide. Postage included. Etc.


But that wouldn't be doing justice to the spirit of the calendar, or to the effort that goes into it. So we're keeping our story as fresh as the calendar itself which is on the presses and will imminently be available to buy.


Last year Mike Harbar was the artist, and he's been reigned in again for this season. There are six classic bikes, each sharing a couple of months:


1951 350cc Douglas Mk5 (image immediately below)
1951 1000cc Vincent Series C Rapide
1959 650cc Triumph T110
1962 650cc BSA Rocket Gold Star
1965 750cc Matchless G15
1975 750cc Norton Commando Interstate



The price for a single calendar shipped to the UK is £10, all in. That rises slightly to £14 for European purchases, and £15.50 for the rest of the world. If you'd like to buy more than one, check the link below and/or talk to Andy or Justin for details.


Andy Tiernan—who trades from Framlingham, Suffolk as Andy Tiernan Classics—tells us that last year the sale of the calendar raised a very creditable £1,437.97 for the aforementioned whirly bird. And remember that this bag of bolts doesn't just fly around dirtying up the atmosphere. It saves lives. So please help keep it airborne. And if you want to donate a little extra, feel free.


Here are some links:


Andy's calendar page

Mike Harbar, classic line artist

East Anglian Air Ambulance


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Zhongneng and Morini logos



Zhongneng buys Moto Morini


Story snapshot:

Giant Chinese scooter manufacturer bags an Italian

Bikes to "stay in production in Italy"


Most people don't know their Zhongneng from their Zongshen, but we do. Barely. The former manufactures scooters—and, well, so does the latter actually.


But the former (also trading as ZNEN) has just bought Moto Morini, whereas the latter hasn't. And selling out this classic Italian brand (founded in 1937) to a Chinese company is likely to make more than a few hardcore Morini fans reach for the Kleenex.


The deal was formerly concluded just a few days ago, but it's been simmering in the wok for a lot longer than that while the inscrutable Chinese accountants check the books and work out how they can add value to, and extract profit from, a struggling product.


In recent times, Moto Morini has been 100 percent in the control of Italian entrepreneur Ruggero Jannuzzelli (via his AutJann holding company). But Morini is now 100 percent in the hands of the Chinese, and although we don't have the numbers (but we've heard a few rumours), we think it's likely that Jannuzzelli is lately walking around with a huge bulge in his trouser pocket.


The Jannuzzelli family took full control of the company in 2015. Since then, the commercial emphasis has been on rebuilding the brand and stoking the fire in anticipation of a new investor with deeper pockets. Three models are currently in production, all built upon a common 1187cc V-twin platform.


These are the Corsaro, the Milano and the Scrambler. Exact production numbers aren't known, but it's reckoned by one Moto Morini dealer to be around 150 to 200 bikes per annum. Prices are currently between £14,000 and £17,000. There are three Morini dealers on mainland UK, and one in Northern Ireland.


Moto Morini motorcycle


We've heard about folk communing with nature, but this guy on the Moto Morini website evidently prefers to commune with his bike—as seen through his tinted visor. Is this the most cringeworthy picture you've seen this week?




The bikes, we're advised, will continue to be built in Italy—at least, the machines manufactured for Western consumption will be. But we might well see parallel production in China of Moto Morini motorcycles aimed at domestic or neighbouring markets.


Additionally, the near legendary Franco Lambertini (ex-Ferrari and the father of Morini's seminal 350cc, 72-degree V-twin) still has numerous designs and concepts that will almost certainly find their way onto Chinese drawing boards and computers.


Here's what Mr. Chen, the President of Zhongneng Vehicle Group, had to say about the venture:


"[Zhongneng] has great plans to increase the company’s business, which will remain on Italian soil, plans which regard both existing products and new models, also with different engine sizes. We are certain to entrust Moto Morini, its staff, its suppliers and its loyal customers to an important industrial realty which will improve the company growth."


So much for the commercial propaganda.


At Sump, we've never been great fans of Moto Morini, and on a personal level have had almost nothing to do with the bikes. No special reason. We just never went there. But we're pretty much inoculated against contemporary Chinese acquisitions of Western brands (such as MG and Benelli, for example). So it doesn't much hurt; not like it used to, anyway.


But as we suggested, many of the classic/purist Morini clan won't be entirely pleased. So they'll just have to vote with their wallets. However, in fairness to the Chinese, without their input, it's doubtful that the Moto Morini brand has much more road to travel (which for some might be a more acceptable ending than the generally perceived ignominy of brand dilution in the Far East).


Meanwhile, the two Moto Morini dealers we spoke to were very upbeat about the future of the brand and recognise the urgent need for serious long term investment.





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1933 Brough Superior SS100

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview


Story snapshot:

281 bikes at Bonhams' Autumn Stafford Sale

Good mix of machines from all corners of the biking world


The date is 13th to 14th October 2018. The place is Stafford. A total of 477 lots are to go under the hammer (281 bikes, the rest in spares and memorabilia). We've detailed 12 of these motorcycles further down this page (see: The Mark Wilsmore Collection).


Other interesting/selected items include Lot 423, a 1933 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Project that's been in the same ownership for 55 years (image immediately above). The bike, we hear, was purchased by a certain Mrs Jean Knight from South London. That was 1963, and this was her first motorcycle. It came into her possession via a garage sale in which her husband bought the entire contents for £45, and sold the Brough to his wife for £33.




Well that's what we're hearing, and her domestic arrangements are her own business. Regardless, she needed the bike for commuting into Central London; a motor car being financially beyond her means (which underlines the value of Brough Superiors five decades hence).


Here's what Bonhams has to say on the subject:


"A keen cyclist, Mrs Knight didn't think that the Brough would be hard to master. She caused great amusement and bemusement when she attended her first RAC training session near Crystal Palace, as she was the first woman ever to attend the course. 'I couldn't praise the course highly enough,' Mrs Knight said. 'All of the instructors wanted a go on my machine, and they put me on a Tiger Cub to start the lessons with, even though I'd ridden to the course on my Brough in the first place!'

"After passing her test, Mrs Knight used the Brough for her daily commute and for family holidays around Europe, including the Chamonix – Val D'Isere Rally in 1966, though her husband always drove when they were out together. 'I loved the feeling of the wind in my hair, it is the most freeing thing.' Once, after getting fed up of having to wear heavyweight motorcycle boots everywhere, Mrs Knight decided to risk it and ride in a pair of high heels. After one attempt at starting the heavy Brough, the heel promptly snapped. 'It was back to boots from then on.'


"After her first child was born, Mrs Knight continued to ride the Brough, but by the time her second arrived her husband had put his foot down and said that he couldn't cope with the worry anymore. 'I agreed to save our marriage!' she joked. 'I think he worried about me an awful lot. In the end we got a car, which was more sensible, and the Brough was for high days and holidays only.'

"As the car became the family's main form of transport, the Brough was stored in the garden shed where it remained until earlier this year. 'I was surprised when we took it out of the shed again, it seemed smaller than I remember."


That brings us up to the present time where we learn that this Brough Superior is estimated to sell at somewhere between £140,000 and £180,000. Overpriced for a woefully neglected set of classic wheels? We think so, but it's just an estimate, and we'll see what it sells for on the day. If it sells at all.

Meanwhile, we've been looking at...



▲ Lot 516N: 1937 Böhmerland 603cc Langtouren. Czech designed and built. Single cylinder, air-cooled, 80mm bore x 120mm stroke, leading-link front fork, cast wheels, 10.5 feet wheelbase. Designed by Albin Liebisch and built between 1924 and 1939, we're told that between 30 and 60 examples of this radical motorcycle are still on the roads or in collections. Capable of seating four adults, the estimate for this Langtouren is £60,000 - £80,000.



▲ Lot 422: 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer Project. 1925 SS100 JAP V-twin engine (the engine number is incorrectly recorded on the V5C). 1928 Bentley and Draper (B&D) SS100 sprung frame. Castle front fork. "Single family ownership for 70 years." The estimate is £100,000 - £140,000. Note: We earlier mistakenly used the image for Lot 424 which sold for £126,500 (check this Brough-Superior Sand Racer Project link and follow the story down).



▲ Lot 432N: 1972 MV Agusta 750S, one of only 402 made. Ceriani magnesium front brake. 3,283 kilometres from new. "Substantial spares included". Present owner since 1989. The estimate is £55,000 to £70,000.



▲ Lot 431: 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince, £50,000 - £70,000. Factory sidecar fittings. 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels. Matching numbers. Same owner since 1979. Last run over 10 years ago. Note that we had to do a lot of image manipulation to get a decent picture. Just the background really to bring the bike forward. So if you're interested in this machine, don't accept this shot as representative. Check with Bonhams.



There's a lot of other interesting stuff in this sale including a near zero mileage Jubilee Bonnie (Lot 329), and another restored example (Lot 332). The estimates are, respectively, £7,000 - £10,000 and £5,000 - £7,000. There's also a 1927 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Pendine (Lot 427, estimated at £130,000 - £170,000).


Beyond that, there's plenty of Japanese, Italian and German iron to cater for all—or at least most—tastes. And note that as with the Wilsmore bikes estimates further below, the numbers are unrealistic.


One final thought, and this isn't aimed specifically at Bonhams or at any particular firm. But just remember to treat ALL auction houses with due care and caution, and carefully read the terms and conditions.


Repeat: read the terms and conditions and seek clarification. Firms often make mistakes, and it's the buyer who invariably ends up paying.


We mention this now because we've recently been reading some worrying/irritating stuff on other websites that reminds us that as with life in general, things aren't always as they seem.


So always check the provenance. Always check the condition. Always check for any amendments (right up to the point when the hammer goes down). And walk away if you've got any doubts.


In short, buyers should beware wherever the deal goes down.





Lot 423: 1933 Brough Superior SS100 project sold for £161,000

Lot 516: 1937 Böhmerland sold £63,250

Lot 422: 1925 Brough Superior 981cc SS100 Sand Racer sold for £264,500

Lot 432N: 1972 MV Agusta 750S sold for £73,600

Lot 431: 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince didn't sell


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Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018


Story snapshot:

Long established children's TV presenter is remembered here

Geoffrey Hayes was 76


We have to confess that none of us around here ever really watched more than a couple of episodes of the classic Rainbow TV series created by Pamela Lonsdale and developed by Thames Television for the kiddies—not that we were too old or too young, too smart or too stupid, too sober or too drunk, you understand. Mostly, we were just too busy between 1972 and 1997.


That's all.


But had we had a little more time, we might well have popped a beer tab and tuned in regularly to Zippy (the frog), Bungle (the furry bear) and George (a "slightly camp" hippo) and enjoyed the inane shenanigans and puzzled over the in-jokes and subtleties of this series much loved by millions of British kids, and more than a handful of adults.


If you were lucky/unfortunate enough to have had brats of your own in the seventies, eighties and nineties, Rainbow was one of those TV progs that, like Postman Pat and Captain Pugwash, crept out of the living room and into your consciousness, infected you with the theme tune, drew you into the childish dramas, taught you that numbers were fun, and more than occasionally made you smile.



Well, Geoffrey Hayes was the best known presenter of that show (David Cook was the other), and Hayes has just died aged 76—and we think he deserves a passing mention right here on this page. Why? Because he's of our time. Our generation.


His was a small light that shone brightly for a while in a juvenile, or infantile, corner of the universe. He began as an actor and took a fairly regular role in Z-Cars, the classic British police TV series that ran from 1962 to 1978. During the sixties, Hayes also managed to pick up one or two other parts here and there. But nothing memorable.



 We vaguely remember that there was another reason we sometimes tuned into Rainbow, but memory ain't what it used to be. Left to right is Geoffrey Hayes, George, and Zippy—and we think that's musician/presenter Jane Tucker (but tell us if you know otherwise).



Whether it was a lack of talent, a lack of drive, or a lack of luck, his acting career was fairly short lived, and he eventually gravitated to the Thames TV studios and began a dubious relationship with the aforementioned blokes dressed as various stuffed animals.


The show was actually cleverly crafted and skilfully scripted. Hardly Shakespearean, of course. But it was nevertheless thick with wit, inventive, a little sly in place, more than a little sophisticated in others, cheeky, cheery, subversive and madcap. The show also boasted a group of talented house musicians.


After Rainbow finished, so was Hayes pretty much. Rainbow had left him effectively typecast as that bloke on the kiddy show. No one would hire him. He was simply unable to shake off the TV animals. So to make ends meet, he took a job in a Sainsbury supermarket stacking shelves, and then for many years drove a taxi. Nothing wrong with either job (at some point in his life he'd also been a railway booking clerk), but it's unlikely that he enjoyed life in the ordinary workaday world.


Such unscripted everyday roles away from the cameras and theatre lights are usual for actors. Most accept their lot and look forward to better things to come. But Hayes probably knew early on that he was going nowhere very fast. So he (probably reluctantly) lent his face to a couple of pop videos, possibly caricaturing himself, and he appeared on one or two TV game shows and an occasional TV advert.


But that was pretty much it, which is kinda depressing for anyone with ambition, not least in the world of entertainment. We'd like to end this small obit by telling you that Geoffrey Hayes won the lottery or invented a new piece of technology or wrote a couple of best selling novels or something. However, as best we can tell, he lived the rest of his life fairly simply and modestly until he eventually winked out completely.


All the same, for many years at Thames he played the modest part he'd been given. He entertained and educated the kids, didn't take an on-screen hatchet to any of the puppets, and generally acquitted himself as a suitable role model for the target audience. We'll all forget him completely tomorrow. But right now, he's got our full attention.


Geoffrey Hayes is survived by a wife and son.


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Well done, Sump people. Geoffrey Hayes was a cool professional. Shame he didn't get the right breaks. Nice obit. —Rainbow Joe, Oxon

A lovely obit in that traditional SUMP style. If I ever become famous please write mine, I would appreciate it and I am sure my family would as well. —Very best, Krishna Lester (in deepest Burgundy and proud owner of a 1973 T140 Tiger.)

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Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction


Story snapshot:

Ace Cafe boss is unloading 11 Brits and 1 Yank

Bonhams will be auctioning the machines at Stafford


Elsewhere on Sump we recently mentioned that Ace Cafe's Managing Director Mark Wilsmore will be flogging a few bikes at this year's Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale on 14th October 2018. Well, that mention was just a One Liner, and we've since decided to dig a little deeper and see what's at the bottom of the hole.


There are 12 machines in "The Wilsmore Collection", the "vast majority" being British, with the other being American. From where we're sitting, most of the bikes look to be in either reasonably good or excellent condition. But one or two could use a wash and brush up, and maybe a service. Beyond that, we note that in many instances Bonhams' estimates look unusually/laughably low and therefore highly unlikely. And we know why they do that, but it works. We're over it already.


Here the list:


The Wilsmore Collection

Lot 384: 1959 BSA 604cc Gold Star (est: £12,000 - £18,000),
Lot 385:1962 BSA 646cc Rocket Gold Star (est: £6,000 - £10,000)



Lot 390: 1974 Rickman Métisse Triumph 750 (est: £4,000 - £6,000)
Lot 387: 1959 Norton 500cc Dominator/Manx Special (est: £4,800 – £5,600)


Lot 386: 1964 BSA 650cc A65 Rocket (est: £2,800 - £3,600)
Lot 388: 1973 Norton 745cc Dunstall Commando (est: £3,000 - £4,000)
Lot 389: 1975 Norton Commando 850 MkIII Roadster (est: £3,000 - £4,000)
Lot 391: 1982 Triumph 649cc TR65 Thunderbird (est: £2,800 - £3,600)
Lot 392: 1983 Triumph 744cc TSS (est: £ 2,800 - £3,600)
Lot 393: 1979 Triumph T140 750cc 'Flat Tracker' (est: £2,800 - £3,600)
Lot 394: 1980 Triton 750cc 'Café Racer' (est: £3,200 - £4,200)

Lot 395: 1989 Harley-Davidson 1,340cc Electra Glide (est: £ 2,000 - 3,000)

We did try to contact Mark and find out why he's selling the bikes. He certainly doesn't look ready for a mobility chair, and he can't be stuck for cash. But when we called, he was at a bike show in Germany and therefore unavailable for comment.



Anyway, if you've got auction fever—or just a few pre-sale sniffles—you might want to check out these motorcycles on Bonhams' site. And dare we suggest it, but one or two of these machines (if not all) might prove to be reasonably sound investments for when Mark (one of the best known bikers on the planet, remember) ain't around anymore—and yes, that's a bloody morbid thing to say. But we're pretty sure that we're not the only people thinking along these lines.


Let's hope that any such investor has to wait a long, long time before he can cash in. We like Mark right where he is.





Lot 384: 1959 BSA 604cc Gold Star sold for £20,700
Lot 385:1962 BSA 646cc Rocket Gold Star sold for £10,580

Lot 390: 1974 Rickman Métisse Triumph 750 sold for £4,830
Lot 387: 1959 Norton 500cc Dominator/Manx Special sold for £15,525

Lot 386: 1964 BSA 650cc A65 Rocket sold for £5,750
Lot 388: 1973 Norton 745cc Dunstall Commando sold for £6,670
Lot 389: 1975 Norton Commando 850 MkIII Roadster sold for £5,520
Lot 391: 1982 Triumph 649cc TR65 Thunderbird sold for £5,175
Lot 392: 1983 Triumph 744cc TSS sold for £4,025
Lot 393: 1979 Triumph T140 750cc 'Flat Tracker' sold for £4,140
Lot 394: 1980 Triton 750cc 'Café Racer' sold for £5,175

Lot 395: 1989 Harley-Davidson 1,340cc Electra Glide sold for £3,680


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Triumph Street Twin - 2019 model


2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost


Story snapshot:

Lightened internals, more power, better brakes, uprated bounce

No prices yet. Delivery in the Spring of 2019


Probably the most significant upgrade for Triumph's class-leading 900cc Street Twin and Street Scrambler models is a claimed 10 percent horsepower hike. That translates into 65bhp or, if you prefer, 18 percent more grunt (up from around 54bhp). Torque is still 59lbs-ft, but will kick in at higher revs. That redline, incidentally, has been raised to a buzzy 7,500rpm (up from 5,900rpm).


The (270-degree) crank and balance shafts have been lightened slightly for faster pick-up, and the slipper clutch has been shaved and reprofiled to reduce inertia and save a few grams. And pay attention here because we're going to use the word "magnesium" for the cam covers which, although it makes little practical difference, will nevertheless add a little extra metallurgical kudos to the range. And naturally, there's switchable ABS and traction control.


Triumph Scrambler - 2019 model


Stopping all this is now a Brembo four-piston caliper up front acting on a 310mm disc (as opposed to the earlier worthy, but uninspiring, two-piston sliding Nissin). But the rear Nissin (on a 255mm disc) remains.


The front fork gets a new KYB cartridge and boasts 120mm of travel. Two new riding modes (Rain and Road) have been programmed in. And a new tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is optional.


Naturally there are subtle enhancements/design adjustments all over this bike to keep it on the boil—and we're desperately trying to like Triumph's current logotype as splashed (or glued) on the tank. But we can't. We think it look amateurish and feeble.


And cheap.



Other saleable features include new cast aluminium wheels (wire wheels on the Scrambler), a factory fitted immobiliser, a USB socket 'neath the seat, and an LED tail light to dazzle the hell out of whoever's in your slipstream come the hours of darkness. Colours are Jet Black, Matte Ironstone and Korosi Red


Specifications: 2019 Triumph Street Twin


Engine: Liquid-cooled SOHC, 8-valve parallel twin, 270-degree crank

Displacement: 900cc
Bore and stroke: 84.6mm x 80mm
Compression ratio: 11:1
Maximum power: 65bhp @ 7,500rpm
Maximum torque: 59lbs-ft @ 3,800rpm
Induction: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Transmission: 5-speed
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, clipper assist clutch
Final drive: O-ring chain
Frame: Twin cradle tubular steel
Front fork: Non-adjustable 41mm KYB (4.7 inch travel)
Rear shocks: Twin spring-preload adjustable KYB shocks (4.7 inch travel)
Wheels: Cast aluminium
Front wheel: 18 x 2.75-inches
Rear wheels: 17 x 4.25-inches
Front tyre: 100/90 x 18-inch
Rear tyre: 150/70 x 17-inch
Front brake: 310mm floating disc, Brembo 4-piston floating caliper, ABS
Rear brake: 255mm disc w/ Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Wheelbase: 55.7 inches
Rake: 25.1-degree
Trail: 4 inches
Seat Height: 29.9 inches
Tank capacity: 2.6 gallons (12 litres)
Fuel consumption: 65mpg
Dry weight: 437lbs (198kg)

At first glance, these bikes look much as they did. But Triumph has neatly managed to sidestep any "warm over" accusations by producing creditable upgrades to two of its bread'n'butter bikes.


With 65mpg possible (from the 12 litre tank), good looks, a two year warranty and a build quality second to none, these bikes might well be built in Thailand, but they're as British as tea and crumpets; in spirit if not in assembly.


We like 'em. Buy British, or British whenever you can.


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Those 2019 Triumphs twins might have had their performance tweaked (shame about making them more revvy and the addition of even more pointless electronics), but those paint jobs are as dull as ditchwater....Jeez, I can barely stay awake looking at them....Someone put some acid in the stylists latte while there’s still time.—The Village Squire

Have to agree with the last post. Triumph was always about great colours. Hinckley needs to buy a few new cans and then get striping. Agree with the logo comment too. What the hell happened? —Dave Gilling, Kent

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