September 2016  Classic bike news


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


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

Sump news archive



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McQueen's Husqvarna at Stafford


Story snapshot:

"King of Cool's" Husky at Classic Mechanics Show

Dave Aldana, Don Emde, Mert Lawwill & Gene Romero to attend


It's a 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross and it used to belong to the late "great" Steve McQueen. That's the headline story. But the underlying news is that the 23rd Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show will take place on Saturday 15th October and Sunday 16th October 2016 at Staffordshire County Showground, and the above "Husky" will be on display.


The bike, we hear, has been preserved exactly as Steve McQueen left it, which includes a couple of spare spark plugs taped to the frame, and the signatures of Bud Ekins and Chad McQueen (son of Steve) scrawled on the air box.


On 25th November 1984, four years after the "King of Cool" died, the bike was sold at the Steve McQueen Estate Auction at Imperial Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Since then, the Husky has passed through three subsequent buyers before being acquired two years ago by the current owner (or "custodian" if you really must).


We don't have a full account of the prices paid each time the bike was moved on. But we can tell you that in May 2011 it changed hands for $144,500 (£110,925) including buyers premium.


Now, here at Sump we're frequently off-message and off-script, which is perhaps why it strikes us as a little ghoulish every time we hear about this bike being dragged out of a shed or garage and put back on the block for the next round of profit. Don't misunderstand us. Making money is fine, and we're happy to make as much as possible. But the whole this-used-to-belong-to-mcqueen-and-now-i'm-going-to-be-the-next-to-capitalise-on-it is depressing.



We're not big McQueen fans. Actually, we're not fans at all. But we've got no real grievance against the bloke either. We've just overdosed on McQueen mania and could use a break. Nevertheless, being the sentimental and romantic sods that we are, we'd like it if just for once, a more dedicated sounding McQueen fan could actually buy the bloody bike and, hell, even ride it around or something. And we figure that McQueen would approve.


But of course, at these prices that ain't likely to happen. Instead, the Husqvarna is probably going to be dragged out every so often and be displayed like Lenin's cadaver for everyone to have a good gawp before being re-sold to the next investor.


What's that? That's life? Get over it? Well yeah, we know that, and we're mostly over it already. All the same, there's a nasty aftertaste in our mouths, but probably nothing that a few beers won't put right.



Meanwhile, let's not forget Mortons, which owns the Stafford Show and sent us the press release, and is therefore expecting a little publicity payback. So here's another reminder that it's Stafford Showtime again. So expect hundreds of trade stalls and autojumble plots, a special Suzuki Village (featuring "the two RG500s which Barry Sheene powered to world championship success in 1976 and 1977"), trials demonstrations, expert advice in the Restoration Theatre, and of course the Bonhams Sale which, as ever, has some interesting lots looking for new owners.


The Husky, incidentally, was apparently bought by McQueen during the filming of On Any Sunday. And four of the faces from that near-legendary documentary (Dave Aldana, Don Emde, Mert Lawwill and Gene Romero) will be present at Stafford to field questions and tell the tales, etc.


Adult advance ticket prices are £12 for one day (£14 on the gate), and £24 for two days. Advance discount tickets are on sale until 11.59pm on Sunday 9th October 2016. The Stafford Show hours are 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9am to 5pm on the Sunday.


Lastly, as you pass by the McQueen Husqvarna, just make sure you remove your cap. In this world, you're supposed to show appropriate respect for the dead, and this is probably as near as any of us will ever get to this much-missed and much-respected actor who's bound to have an airport named after him sooner or later.




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Vincent Motorcycles book


New Vincent Motorcycles book


Story snapshot:

Philippe Guyony's 400-page Vincent tome

Published by Veloce, asking £100


We've lost count of how many words we've read on Vincent Motorcycles. 10,000? 100,000? More? Less? Meanwhile, new Vincent publications come around fairly regularly, many promising to offer more than the last, or promising to fill in the gaps, or claiming to present the subject material in a different way.




But we can't think of anything in recent years, Vincent-wise and book-wise, that's told us very much more than we already knew. Not that we're experts, mind. We read, we absorb, and we usually forget everything after the first few beers. There's a limited amount of data you can stuff in your head, huh?


But if something stands out in print, it usually stands out in our noggins. And as we said, nothing very recent has done that.


Well, Veloce Publishing has just released a new book of its own on Vincent motorcycles. The author is long-time Vincent owner, aficionado and serial blogger, Philippe Guyony (that's him immediately above).


The book is sub-headed "The Untold Story since 1946", and the marketing blurb is making a lot of bold promises and claims. But until we actually lay our hands on a copy, we'll reserve judgement. Suffice to say that it's a 400 page tome with 875 black & white/colour images, and Veloce is advertising it on its website at (gulp!) £100.


That's a heap of dosh for any book (and naturally, it's being heavily discounted in the usual monopolised corners of the market). But in our time, we have seen one or two books that really were special and worth a one and two zeros. Or thereabouts. So maybe this is one of them.


But before you decide, we've posted some more info on this book on Sump's Motorcycle News page. Check it out, and then visit Veloce's site.



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H&H Duxford Sale October 2016


Story snapshot:

Cambridgeshire auction on 12th October 2016

Tonkin Tornado estimated at £25,000 - £27,000

Patrick Godet Egli-Vincent estimated at £50,000 - £60,000


The Imperial War Museum (IWM) at Duxford, Cambridgeshire has in recent years been pretty good to H&H Auctions. For instance, last October H&H went to the IWM and flogged a couple of Ferraris with a combined value of £8.5million. And yes, you read that right; 8.5 with another five zeros tagged on. Big numbers for sure, and up there with the best of them.


And in October 2012, H&H also raised a few eyebrows when it flogged a Brough Superior motorcycle for £291,200, a bike that was once the property of George Brough himself, and later VMCC founder Titch Allen. So okay, H&H was expecting around £400,000 for those illustrious wheels. Nevertheless, the sale represents some kind of marker.


Well this year (2016). H&H is fielding a pretty convincing line-up of motorcycles, none of which sends us into a high (or even low) orbit, but one or two bikes in the catalogue are more than mildly desirable.



Take the above 1979 Harley-Davidson XLH1000 Sportster. We had one of these Ironheads when they were new, and they were pretty stupid bikes. The brakes were useless (worst we've ever squeezed). The vicious engine vibration limited excursions to maybe 50 miles max. The generator failed repeatedly. The starter demanded a 100 percent charge (as opposed to 99.9 percent) and still needed a threat with a hammer. The bike didn't handle, didn't crack it on, and flaked paint like dandruff. And if you ever took a peek in the primary case, the oil had turned to emulsion paint. But it was a pretty cool junior Hog at a time when all HDs were very rare on the street, and it attracted exactly the right kind of people (i.e. girls). Most of all, the Sporty made us feel that life was great (as opposed to today when we think life is merely tolerable, but is probably still great).


Well, this example is anticipating £6,500 - £7,500 and is listed as unregistered. We don't know actually what that means. But if the bike has never seen a licence plate, it's a snip at that price. Otherwise, it's probably a little optimistic for a used Sportster of that vintage (but might be a good investment machine). There are no further details yet, but we'll be watching this closely to see if the past thirty-odd years has been kind to these motorcycles, or whether history has no intention of rewriting itself.


In 1979, a Harley-Davidson Sportster such as this cost around £3,400 - £3,600 new. And that helps put the price of the new bikes into perspective where a 2016 883cc Iron costs around £7,500. Not bad for three and a half decades of inflation, especially when the Iron handles (reasonably well), stops (reasonably well) has a rubber-mounted engine, is equipped with a decent alternator, starts like a nagging wife, mostly keeps the oil inside, and returns reasonable performance for an air-cooled, pushrod, single-carbed, environmentally emasculated V-twin.


Beyond that, and more perhaps seriously, H&H is fielding the following:



c1980 Egli-Vincent by Patrick Godet. H&H is expecting to sell this 1,000cc Vinnie for between £50,000 and £60,000. And if you don't fancy blue, there's a near identical one on offer in black.



2004 Matchless 500cc G50 Beale Replica. In classic racing circles, these lightweight bikes are still contenders. And so they should be. George Beale is an ex-Isle of Man TT winner and a master builder. No details on this bike yet. But that looks like a Ceriani fork up front, and a 6-speed gear cluster in a magnesium case is de rigueur. The estimate is £25,000 - £27,000 which looks about right.

2011 500cc Tonkin Tornado. Molnar frame. Fontana front wheel. If you're looking for a street legal Manx Norton, Steve Tonkin could be the bloke to talk to. Check YouTube for a video of either this bike, or one that's very similar. The estimate has been posted at £25,000 - £27,000. The ultimate British cafe racer? Maybe.



We also like this diminutive 1959 250cc BSA C15S. It sits just right. It looks like easy-going, backroad fun. And C15s generally have a nice, unfussed feel. But in the current market, the £5,500 - £6,500 estimate looks a little strong. Hard to see it fetching anything above £4,000.



You can find The Imperial War Museum at Duxford at the Cambrigeshire end of the M11 motorway around 55 miles north of London. Here's a postcode: CB22 4QR. Great place for a motorcycle auction. Hundreds of classic/WW2 aircraft on display.





The 1979 Ironhead Sportster didn't sell

The c1980 Godet-Vincents didn't sell

The 2004 Matchless G50 Beale replica didn't sell

The 2011 Tonkin Tornado was apparently withdrawn, so no sale

The BSA C15 didn't sell


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Compulsory gloves for French bikers


Story snapshot:

New law on 20/11/2016

£58 fine for non compliance


We figured that a diving helmet was an equally appropriate (and more amusing) image for this news story as say, a pair of motorcycle gloves.


That's because the same logic must apply to swimmers and divers as it does to motorcyclists. Meaning that if you're going to ride a bike at any kind of speed, you really ought to wear hand protection of some kind. Likewise, if you're going to splash around in any kind of deep water, you probably ought to wear a diving helmet. Or a snorkel. Or an aqualung. Or a nose clip. Or water wings. Or all of the above.


But should any of these items be compulsory? We don't think so. But the French government evidently does. That's why from 20th November 2016, EVERYONE in France who rides a motorcycle, moped, trike or quadricycle will be compelled to wear hand protection. No ifs. No buts. And that applies to pillions.


If you refuse or forget, the gendarmes will present you with a €68 fine (£58), and you'll cop one point on your driving/riding licence (and God only knows what the froggy rozzers will do if they catch you wearing a burka and no gloves).


French biker groups such as the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC) have naturally thrown up their hands in despair and are looking at ways of fighting this stupid law. Generally speaking, the FFMC feel that wearing gloves is perfectly acceptable and even desirable. And most of their members do. But as ever, it's the compulsory aspect that rankles. That's why they're now showing the French government the finger. Actually eight fingers and a couple of thumbs.


So what can you do about it? Probably not much. Or if it really bothers you, and if you want to ride gloveless for some reason, just play the game and pay the fine if and when you're apprehended. Alternately, if you're not a French resident, just avoid France. Fortunately, touring the country isn't compulsory. Yet.


We don't have details about what kind of gloves are being mandated. Shorties? Gauntlets? Mittens? Armoured? Cotton? Chain mail? But we're assuming that fingerless gloves are a no-no.


But why is the French government doing this? Probably simply as a bit of national window dressing to bolster their road safety credentials and show that they're on the case. And maybe there's a pinch of ordinary Gallic perversity in the mix too.


Can't be long now until all French citizens are compelled to wear Day-Glo clothing at night, parachutes on aircraft, ear plugs at rock concerts, sun block on the beach, and condoms at every conceivable opportunity.


So much for liberté, égalité, and fraternité.



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1951 Series C Vincent Black Shadow


Robert White disappointing result?


Story snapshot:

Mixed results for Bonhams at New Bond Street, London sale

Many bikes fail to reach their lower estimate


The top selling motorcycle lots at the recent Robert White Collection Sale (Monday 19th September 2016) was jointly achieved by the (immediately above) 1951 Vincent Series C Black Shadow (Lot 564), and a c1921 640cc Megola Touring Model (Lot 610, see further below). Both machines are listed as selling at £82,140, including buyers premium.


"Listed as?" We're simply being cautious here because there looks like one or two inconsistencies on the Bonhams web site that we're still exploring. So as ever, we're stating no more than we know, or believe to be true.


1951 Series C Vincent Black Shadow engine


The Shadow was estimated at £50,000 - £70,000, so it comfortably achieved this and more. The late Robert White (see Sump Classic Bike News June 2016) bought the Vincent in 2009 at the Bonhams Stafford Sale. Until that time, we understand that the bike had been in the same family for 46 years, which is an amusing way of disguising the true number of owners (four are listed on the V5). The bike is reported to be in original condition and will require re-commissioning.


1921 Megola


Moving on, the (immediately above) radial-engined 640cc Megola was the brainchild of Fritz Cockerell. It was produced in Germany between 1921 and 1925. With no clutch and no transmission, this innovative motorcycle was designed to be started on the stand, and then pushed away taking it from zero-mph all the way to around seventy—although a racing version managed to hit a creditable 85mph.


The frame was essentially a riveted and welded steel box within which (at the business end) resided the fuel tank. The fuel was pumped to a header tank located on the right side of the front fork, and from there found its way into the engine via gravity.


1921 Megola engine


With leaf spring suspension front and rear, the Megola ride was said to be very comfortable, but the torquey engine mounted within the front wheel provided for some interesting and idiosyncratic handling quirks, not least due to the inherent gyroscopic effect. Nevertheless, it was a machine that could be mastered by the stubborn. Megola produced around 2,000 examples. Fifteen original bikes are known to be in existence, with possibly another eight replicas either on the road/museums/sheds, or being built.


This circa-1921 Touring Model was built four year ago and is based upon a genuine Megola engine found in Brno, Czech Republic. The carburettor and magneto, we understand, are also original. The lighting is courtesy of Lucas. But the frame is a replica.


The purchase price of this machine is said to be €180,000 (unless we're reading this all wrong). Bonhams mooted an estimate of £120,000 - £140,000. But on the day, the hammer fell at just £82,140. The sale included numerous restoration photographs, photocopied literature, starting instructions, and the purchase invoice.


500cc MV Agusta


Meanwhile, an MV Agusta 500cc 4-cylinder Grand Prix recreation (image immediately above) was expected to achieve £70,000-£90,000, but it sold for just £48,300; well below bottom estimate.


Another MV Agusta, this being a 500cc 3-cylinder Grand Prix recreation (Lot 596), carried an estimate of £80,000-£100,000, but didn't sell.


1974 Ducati 750SS


Beyond that, this 1974 750cc Ducati SS (Lot 574, image immediately above) was expected to find £60,000 - £70,000. But the Duke sold for £52,900, once again below its lower estimate.



The (immediately) above 1,301cc Henderson KJ Four safely achieved its estimate of £35,000 - £40,000 and sold for £40,250. Other American bikes in the sale included:


1920 Ace Four (Lot 569) £49,450

1929 Henderson Streamline Four (Lot 570) £48,300

1940 Indian Four (Lot 571), £40,250

1940 Indian Four (Lot 600) £44,850

1947 Indian (Lot 601) £26,450

1940 Indian Scout (Lot 602) £20,700



And we can't close this news feature without mentioning the (immediately) above Egli Vincent (Lot 582, listed as a 1968/2004 model). It sold for a very creditable £55,200.


We're still awaiting a press release from Bonhams providing greater insight into the sale (which included cameras and motorcars). But certainly, the motorcycle side of this auction looks a little disappointing. If our assessment is correct, it all adds further weight to the suspicion (and it is more a suspicion than a conviction) that the classic bike market is beginning to contract significantly, albeit with some notable highs and gains.


Best not take anything for granted for the foreseeable future, as if any of you ever did...





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Guy Martin crashes out at Bonneville


Story snapshot:

Martin uninjured in high speed mishap

Racer hits 274mph


Serial speedster Guy Martin once again flirted dangerously with his death wish when, on 18th September 2016, he crashed his Triumph Infor Rocket streamliner at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah bringing an end to his 400mph record breaking attempt. Luckily, he was uninjured. He's already hit 274.2mph on practice runs, which leaves him with around 125mph left to find.


It's not clear what happens now, suffice to say that Martin will no doubt be up and running at the next possible opportunity. The current record stands at 373.63. See Sump Motorcycle News, August 2016 for more on this obsessive exercise in human folly.



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1990 F1 Norton Rotary


1990 Norton F1: NMM Summer Raffle


Story snapshot:

"£22,000" top prize on offer

1950 Norton ES2 runner up prize


The National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) is raffling the (immediately) above 1990 588cc F1 Norton in its Summer Raffle (May 2016 - Oct 2016). The draw for this "£22,000" bike will take place on Saturday 5th November 2016 during the Museum Live open day.


1950 Norton ES2


Second prize is a 1950 500cc Norton ES2 (image immediately above) which is said to be fully restored and with matching numbers.


Third prize is the usual "luxury classic weekend" at the Windmill Village Hotel which is about six miles from the NMM. Exactly how much more luxurious this is when compared to, say, your cosy front room with your own bed upstairs hasn't been made clear. But it's the thought that counts.


As ever the price of the tickets didn't come down the wire with the press release. But it's probably £2 (we did phone the NMM to check, but typically, no one answered the phone). If you want to try your luck, the contact details are below. The raffle is open only to UK residents.


Lastly, is it smart to raffle two Nortons when there are all those AMC, Ariel, BSA, Triumph and Vincent boys out there, etc? You tell us. That aside, prizes one and two look like a pretty good return for a couple of quid, and someone's gonna get them.


Telephone: 01675 444123



UPDATE: The Norton F1 was won by Mr David Schofield of County Durham. The ticket number was: 1015193. The second prize, a 1951 500cc Norton ES2, went to Mr Colin Hodgkins of Staffordshire. The ticket number was: 1603567.



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Old Empire Motorcycles: Snipe


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New creation from Suffolk custom bike builder

400cc Yamaha single


Alec Sharpe and Rafe Pugh have been up to their stylish old tricks again. We've tried many times to stop 'em, but boys will be boys—and the custom bike boys will be boysier. Come and take a look at their latest creation and see if it does it for you. [Old Empire Motorcycles Snipe...]



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The Day the Earth Caught Fire, 1961


Story snapshot:

Top British sci-fi movie review

Edward Judd, Leo McKern and Janet Munro star


This item comes under the sub-heading; "Movies we love". And, more specifically: "Classic British movies we love." We watched it last night, and we're thinking of watching it again this evening. And if there's nothing much happening during the week, who knows?


Why? Because we think this is one of the all time great sci-fi/doomsday movies, not least because it gives us another chance to ogle Janet Munro who gets top billing on the poster, but actually plays a supporting role.


The star is unequivocally Edward Judd who turned up in the odd episode of The Avengers, The Sweeney and The Professionals, but is probably best remembered from The First Men in the Moon, 1964, an adaptation of the 1901 HG Wells story of the same name.


The plot to The Day the Earth Caught Fire is simple enough; Russian and American scientists have detonated test atom bombs on their respective sides of the world. That's knocked the planet out of kilter leading to freak weather conditions and a total shift in the meteorological patterns.


Worse still, things are heating up, both literally and metaphorically for Judd, who plays jaded journo Peter Stenning, a man whose personal and professional lives are in tatters. Then along comes Janet Munro, as Jeannie Craig, to add a love interest (and a fair amount of flesh). It's getting very hot and misty outside, and it's definitely getting steamy in Jeannie's flat.



Edward Judd and Janet Munro in The Day the Earth Caught Fire. Sadly, Munro died aged just 38. But Edward Judd (who, interestingly, was born in Shanghai) reached the respectable age of 76 and died in 2009.



What makes the film especially interesting is that the plot is set around old Fleet Street, one-time heartland of Britain's newspaper industry. As a glimpse into the machinations of the Daily Express HQ, this movie is hard to match let alone beat. To add authenticity, real life and near legendary Daily Express editor Arthur Christiansen plays editor "Jeff" Jefferson. So okay, Christiansen's acting is klunky and he delivers his lines like a speak-your-weight machine. But magically, he gets away with it all and is totally convincing.


Meanwhile, actor and national British treasure (albeit Australian born) Leo McKern (aka Rumpole of the Bailey) plays Bill Maguire, a time-served, competent, pragmatic and reliable old news hack and Peter Stenning's only friend. Between the two men the drama unfolds and we learn that the Earth's nutation (periodic variation of the axis) has been shifted catastrophically. It's going to get warmer and warmer until everyone fries.


The only hope for mankind is that the detonation of more A-bombs, in exactly the right place, will set things right. We could give away the ending, but we ain't going to. And we ain't gonna tell you why, either. Either you already know, or you're going to enjoy it for yourself when you watch it for the first time.


As a glimpse of old London in the very early 1960s just before "the sixties" really kicked off, this movie is wonderfully evocative. There's footage of Battersea Fun Fair (which will be well remembered by many rockers); Chelsea Bridge (another classic rocker haunt); Ludgate Circus; Trafalgar Square; Parliament Square; the old Daily Express building; Whitehall; numerous shots of the London skyline and embankment; and always the river Thames on call.



 Edward Underdown, Edward Judd, Leo McKern and Arthur Christiansen discuss the strange meteorological changes that are warming up the Daily Express news room. Underdown was said to be writer Ian Fleming's choice for James Bond. Producer Albert R Broccoli disagreed.



But once again, it's the insights into the Fleet Street press rooms during the exciting hot metal era that make this film work so well. It's gritty, authentic, punishing and atmospheric.


The budget for the film was £200,000; a respectable amount for 1961. The director was Val Guest who also directed The Quatermass Experiment, 1955; Quatermass 2, 1957; Expresso Bongo, 1959; and a couple of dozen other films and TV show episodes. Prolific writer and Bethnal Green boy Wolf Mankowitz penned the screenplay.


There's an amusing cameo of an early Michael Caine playing a uniformed policeman directing traffic, and more acting support comes courtesy of Bernard Braden (remember him, anyone?), John Barron (who plays "CJ" in The Rise and Fall of Reggie Perrin), and Reginald Beckwith (playing the matrimonially challenged publican in the Fleet Street bar).


Yes, there are flaws in the movie. The plot is a little unlikely (although it would have been perfectly believable in 1961 when the power of atomic energy was yet to be fully understood by the public). The action slows a little in places, notably when the director exposes Jeannie's charms (at least as far as the censor would allow) and probes Stenning's domestic problems. And Edward Judd, arguably being more suited to light comic-drama roles, is a little wooden in his performance.


But the dialogue is sharp and incisive. The tension builds believably. The special effects, although often commented on as nothing special, are wonderful (especially the shot of the dried up Thames). And there are any number of social and political themes intertwined in the tale.


For us, it's Leo McKern who adds the necessary gravitas to this movie. Take him out, and we'd give this flick six out of ten. But with him in the frame, this movie gets a nine. And a bit.


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Dark Brown Tilstock waxed jacket


Story snapshot:

£119 budget riding gear

"Heavy duty" brown wax cotton and moleskin


Speedwear has sent us details of its new Dark Brown wax cotton motorcycle jacket. We haven't actually seen this product in the cloth. Therefore everything we tell you is simply what Speedwear told us.


So here goes...


It's made from "heavy duty twelve ounce brown wax cotton". It's clearly styled along traditional lines, but it's not a three-quarter jacket. It's a shorty designed to fit just over your waistline. There's brown moleskin at the cuffs and collar—and take note that this moleskin has nothing whatsoever to do with a mole, except that it looks and feels like the hide of one of your least favourite garden mammals (it's actually cotton).


The lining is tartan. There's an inside zip pocket. The cuffs have storm flaps. There's a brass zipper and brass roller buckles. You can fit armour if you're a cissy (or you can risk breaking the odd bone like real men). There's the usual reinforced areas here and there. There's a removable pile liner. And the jacket is supplied with "interchangeable flags on the pocket to suit geographic location". We (still) don't know what that's all about, but we're just plebs and have gaping holes in our general and biking knowledge. But it probably means something to someone.


Overall, it look like a fairly decent bit of clobber, especially when you factor in the price which is £119. Sizes are S to XXL.




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New white collar crime law mooted


Story snapshot:

Corporate criminals targeted with proposed new offences

Worrying implications for British citizens

The British government is said to be looking at a new law aimed at kneecapping white collar crime which is annually costing the economy millions whilst occasionally even threatening the stability of the entire national banking, insurance and related finance industry.


Also referred to as corporate crime, the range of white collar offences includes everything from simple embezzlement, to insider trading, to tax evasion, to creative accounting, to Ponzi schemes (paying dividends to existing investors with monies raised from new investors), to common or garden variety fraud and corruption dodges.


Specifically, the new (mooted) law is intended to make failure to report a (white collar crime) an offence. As it stands, there are few hard statutes compelling bank managers, secretaries, company chairmen, directors and similar to point the finger at whoever's got their fingers in the petty cash, or shifting unusually large sums around the globe. In fact, the existing laws relate only to bribery.


But if the new laws, now being drafted under the Criminal Finance Bill (2016) get the green light, that will change and in due course various (white) collars are likely to get felt. In theory, anyway.


So should you be concerned? Not yet perhaps. But there are a couple of points worth noting. Firstly, such laws could be perilously hard (and expensive) to enforce thereby resulting in an increased burden on all such corporate firms which will inevitably see their costs passed down the food chain to we little people.


Secondly, the suggestion is that there's no point having the home team play fair if the away teams are playing dirty and committing professional fouls. And in the global village, practically all the teams are away teams.


Thirdly, it's inevitable that when the $#!t hits the fan, someone's going to have to carry the burden, and that's as likely to be the weakest link in the chain as the masterminds who originally forged the illegal scheme.


Lastly, such laws would shift the burden of law enforcement from the state to the company and even to the corporate individual thereby helping absolve the government/police/etc of any responsibility, whilst still leaving them with the ultimate power of reprisal (which is never a healthy arrangement).


Moreover, if such laws are introduced, it would undoubtedly help soften us up for other laws compelling us to police our neighbours, which few of us are equipped to do, and which few of us want to do, and which further erodes the necessary demarcation line between the government and the private citizen.



British citizens are already living in a new socio-legal paradigm in which the right to silence has effectively been removed; that is to say, the refusal of an accused to respond to police questions can now be referenced in a criminal trial (as opposed to the laws existing prior to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which made such reference inadmissible).


British citizens are also now expected to assess, collect and return their own taxes whilst refraining from doing anything to minimise their financial burden (even when such machinations are entirely legal).


British motorists have long since largely accepted the notion that they can be fined purely by number plate evidence captured by a roadside camera thereby leaving them guilty until proved innocent.


Since 2010, a precedent was set depriving British citizens the right to trial by jury in a criminal matter (following jury tampering, a trial was heard only by a judge with no jury present, and the accused were duly convicted).


Beyond that, DNA, fingerprint and photographic information is now routinely collected and stored, with photographs being used by the police on digital line-ups, even when the arrested suspect was released without charge, or was discharged by the courts. And the thorny spectre of identity cards has never been totally exorcised.


Meanwhile, in various countries around the world, private citizens are now obliged to carry breathalysers in their vehicles, and there is talk in some think tank circles suggesting that such a law should be introduced here. For starters.


What it ultimately means is that the line between the politicians, the judiciary, the law enforcers, the revenue collectors and Joe Public is further blurred leaving us all in a kind of modern self-criminalising, self-policing, self-convicting, and self-sanctioning society more akin to a socialist state than a mature western democracy.


Worried? Maybe you should be. A little, anyway.



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1939 Triumph T100 Tiger

1939 bronze head Triumph Tiger 100


Story snapshot:

Robert White Collection Sale by Bonhams

19th September 2016, New Bond Street, London


The perfect pre-war British motorcycle? We think so. At least, that's what we're thinking today. Tomorrow, of course, it might be different. It certainly was different yesterday. But right now, on this sunny September afternoon, with the average UK temperature in the high teens or low twenties, we're looking at this beautiful 500cc (actually 498cc) Tiger 100 and thinking that if we had to pick a single motorcycle upon which to pootle around on what's left of this green and pleasant land, we'd probably pick this bike.


The 63mm x 80mm, Triumph Tiger 100 was the sporting version of the seminal Speed Twin that was revealed in 1937 and first sold in 1938. The idea behind the "100" was simple; to create a motorcycle that could be ridden to work five days a week, and on Saturdays or Sundays be quickly converted into a racing steed.


That was why the cylinder head ports were expertly polished. That was why the engine internals were also polished. That was why the pistons were forged high-compression slippers (as opposed the 5T's full skirt items), up from 7.2:1 to 8:1. That was why the silencers were, via detachable end-caps, quickly converted into megaphones.


Other distinguishing features include (but are not limited to) narrower rubber-mounted handlebars, a friction-damped throttle twist grip, a larger oil tank (1.2 gallons instead of 6-pints), a slightly stronger crank, and plenty of extra chrome. New diecast tank badge were also introduced thereby replacing the 5Ts embossed badges.


1939 Triumph T100 Tiger bronze cylinder head


▲ 1939 Triumph Tiger 100 aluminium-bronze cylinder head. The valves hammered directly into the bronze rather than into valve seats. How many of these heads survive isn't known. But it can't be more than a handful or so. Or can it? Tell us please if you know.



The original 5T Speed Twin featured six studs on the cylinder base. That arrangement certainly worked well enough on a road bike, but it wasn't ideal. The joint was weaker, and oil leaks weren't uncommon. So by '39, that design had been upgraded to eight studs, which is how it was on the first Tiger twins.


The Tiger 100 didn't appear until 1939, and it disappeared when WW2 kicked off. The launch price was around £80. Post war (1946), the T100, now fitted with a telescopic front fork, returned with the price massively hiked to around £180. Understandably, very few were sold in near bankrupt Britain.


Performance-wise, the 5T was no slow poke. On a good day Edward Turner's illustrious parallel twin, could hit around 85 - 90mph. But the Tiger 100 pushed that Smiths needle a little further around the clock to the "magic ton". The 5T was said to be good for 26hp @ 6,000rpm. But the T100 claimed around 34hp @ 7,000rpm.


To further warm up this factory hot rod, an aluminium-bronze cylinder head was an optional extra costing another £5 (roughly one-to-two week's wages for the average UK working man). And that's what makes the above motorcycle so unique. The 1939 Tiger 100 is rare enough, but that race-bred head, designed for better heat dissipation than the standard cast iron 5T Speed Twin item, makes it just that little bit more special. 


1939 Triumph T100 Tiger engine primary side


Handling at high speed, however, was far from perfect. Yes, the Tiger had been created with an updated Speed Twin frame that gave it extra trail. That increased straight-line stability. But it wasn't really enough. However, despite its skittishness on hard bends, the Tiger gave the rider plenty of feedback as opposed to suddenly breaking away. It was largely a case of the devil you know...


Meanwhile, both bikes ran Amal carburettors (up from 15/16th on the 5T to 1-inch on the T100). Both bikes ran Lucas magdynos. Both ran 20-inch wheels (3.25 and 3.50, respectively). Both ran Triumph girder forks. Both ran 7-inch brakes front and rear (with concomitant extra engine braking on the Tiger).


To make the bike visually distinct, Triumph painted it silver, as opposed to the 5T's Amaranth Red.


Triumph T100 Tiger for 1939


Bonhams will be selling this restored motorcycle on 19th September 2016 as part of the Robert White Collection. The sale will take place at Bonhams' HQ in Bond Street, London. The estimate is *£10,000 - £15,000. Normally we'd say that this is right on the nose. And normally Bonhams gets it right. But lately things have been looking as shaky as a T100 frame. We've seen some large price falls of classic bikes with regard to private sales, trade sales, and auction sales.


Then again, we've also seen some huge and unexpected jumps (witness the recent Triumph Hurricane X-75 that sold for just shy of thirty grand). Generally, the classic bike market has been a little volatile for a while. But currently, we wouldn't advise that you smoke anywhere near it until the fumes clear.


See Sump Magazine's Speed Twin and Tiger 100 Buyers Guide


*UPDATE: The Tiger 100 sold for £23,000




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Hugh Charles O'Brian: 1925 - 2016


Story snapshot:

Wyatt Earp TV actor dies aged 81

Actor starred with John Wayne in The Shootist


He was the last man killed by the late, great John Wayne; on screen that is. But most of the world will remember him best, if at all, as the man who took the lead role in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, the US TV western series that ran between 1956 and 1962. We're talking about actor Hugh O'Brian who has died aged 91, which in our book is pretty good shooting.


Until The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, it's said that TV westerns such as The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid were always aimed at kids. But O'Brian's Wyatt Earp introduced a new adult TV component to the genre and helped cement the image of the clean-cut legendary marshall with his black frock coat, gold brocade waistcoat, flat brimmed had, stringed tie—and a pair a six guns strapped to his thighs.


The real Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) was a highly dubious character who was apt to operate on both sides of the law when the occasion suited him. But there was little, or nothing dubious about O'Brian. He was born Hugh Charles Krampe in Rochester, New York with Irish, French and German in his blood. During his youth, his family were on the move many times as his father struggled to make a living as a salesman. Eventually the Krampes settled in Chicago.


He was studying at the University of Cincinnati when WW2 broke out. He joined the US Marines, served as a drill sergeant and was demobbed in 1945. Amusingly, the man who would later play the most famous frontier lawman of them all intended to study law and had set his gun sights on Yale. But instead, he drifted into acting and took on a variety of mundane jobs to pay for drama lessons.


Originally he was professionally billed as Jaffer Gray, but later changed his billing to Hugh O'Brian (having misspelled his mother's maiden name of O'Brien). His movie career began with Never Fear (1950) which saw Universal take a liking to him. He was, after all, tall, clean cut, rugged looking and handsome. He had presence too and the camera "liked him". Another 18 movies soon came his way, films in which he played both good and bad guys, and guys who, liked Wyatt Earp, were often somewhere in between.



Hugh O'Brian as Jack Pulford in The Shootist. In the film, Pulford/O'Brian was terminally plugged by John Wayne, but he outlived The Duke by forty years. Interesting how fact and fiction blurs the comfortable truths in life.



Then ABC-TV came along looking for a guy to clean up Tombstone, Arizona Territory in a new TV series, and the consultant to that series promptly nominated O'Brian. Two hundred episodes later, having sorted out the Clantons, the McLaurys and Bill Claiborne at the OK Corral (with the help of brothers Morgan and Virgil, and of course the equally dubious dentist Doc Holliday) O'Brien was one of the most familiar faces on TV and became something of a sex symbol; a kind of Clint Eastwood, 1950s style.

O'Brian later starred with John Wayne in The Shootist (1976), Guns of Paradise (1990, another Wyatt Earp story), The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991) and Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone (1994).


Clearly, the legendary ghost of the frontier marshall had to a greater or lesser degree typecast O'Brian. But he was more than a celluloid cowboy. He also founded the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) development programme; a non-profit organisation inspired by the missionary Dr Albert Schweitzer (who O'Brian once met). It's said that more than 355,000 young people in 20 countries have benefitted from the scheme.


Hugh O'Brian married for the first time in 2006 at the age of 81. He and wife (Virginia Barber) had been together for many years and finally tied the knot. He survived for another ten years before time took its toll.


He was never the best of the best of his profession, but he was a long way from the worst. Overall, Hugh O'Brian was a reliable and focussed leading man, and a solid and dependable supporting actor.


His fame and celebrity is now rapidly fading (less so in the USA than here in the UK). But we can remember him just a while longer.



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Distinguished Gentlemans Ride 2016


Story snapshot:

25th September 2016

24,120 riders in 24 countries

£1,000,000 raised


One of the perversely satisfying things about getting older is the steady and very deliberate disengagement from popular modern culture.


We've never seen that Strictly Dancing show thingy, for instance. We've no idea who the bloody Kardashians are. And until we downloaded an image from the Distinguished Gents website, we couldn't have picked out Don Draper from a police line up if he was the only bloke in it (see image on the right).


But apparently, he was in some TV show called Mad Men (whatever that is), and he wore a suit and sat on a classic bike or something, and now he's a minor world icon. Consequently, other contemporary blokes want to emulate him, and .... well, beyond that we don't really know what the hell is going on. And we're trying hard not to know, hence the perverse pleasure we're taking these days in matters of cultural isolation (as mentioned above, etc).



This is typical of the kind of bike you'll want to be seen straddling on the Distinguished Gentlemans Ride. It's classic, custom and eye-catching. But we figure that any two wheels will do if you otherwise look the part.



Anyway, the next Distinguished Gentlemans Ride, which is somehow related to all this, kicks off on 25th September 2016, and the organisation is looking for more riders. Ostensibly, the idea behind the event is to raise money for men's health charities. But as ever, it's really just an excuse to dress up in tweeds, grow a handlebar moustache, chug on a pipe and ham it up for whoever happens to be watching. The charity stuff is, as usual, an afterthought.


Still, we've got an interest in men's health (in a low key, cough-cough, let's-not-actually-discuss-it kinda way). So good luck to 'em if they manage to raise some more dosh. We'd take part ourselves, you understand, but there's no way that anyone would mistake us for gentlemen, or ladies. And besides, we've got deep-seated misgivings about self-stereotyping, and we're consciously resisting the trained dog ethic.



Apparently, there are now distinguished ladies on the ride. We don't mind, except that part of the aim of this event, as conceived by Australian founder Mark Hawwa, was to improve the image of blokes on bikes.



▲ Here's another Distinguished Lady, and mercifully she ain't got a moustache. Some would say that this event is really just about trying to look cool, which, of course, is about as uncool as it gets.



However, if you want to take part, there are dress codes (naturally), and you'll need to be riding a classic bike, or a brat bike, or a chopper, or a cafe racer, or similar. The event is sponsored by Triumph Motorcycles (who we have heard of), and Zenith Watches (who we've also heard of, but confused with the carburettor manufacturer), and Hedon helmets (who we upset when we expressed a view about the firm's product), and Undandy (who we've never heard of).


At the time of writing, there are 24,120 riders in dozens of countries, and you could be the next on the list. So far, around $1,000,000 has been raised. But the target is $5,000,000. Wanna be a part of this?





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Davida's road legal Speedster helmet


Story snapshot:

ECER22-05 & DOT FMVSS No 218 certification

Priced between £250 and £320


Ambition is a wonderful thing. And a realised ambition is even more wonderful, which is why Davida is pleased to announce a road legal version of its Speedster crash helmet which gets its first airing at Intermot in Cologne on 5th - 9th October 2016.


The Speedster is 26 years old. It's a great looking lid built to a very high specification. In fact, as far as we're concerned, it's always been as good as, or even better than any other open-faced lid on the market. But that all-important road-legal certification has been absent.


Until now. Well, soon...


From 2017 you'll be able to pop one of these on your noggin' safe in the knowledge that the appropriate bureaucrats have stamped it fit for road-going purposes, etc. The specific certification is ECER22-05 & DOT FMVSS No 218. But what that gobbledegook means is that these helmets will put you on the right side of the law when on the street.





Davida call it the Speedster V3, which could be Version 3 or Victory 3, or maybe something more esoteric. We're told that it's got the same low profile composite shell as before, but the manufacturing process has been improved or something. The liner is leather, and you can opt for black, brown or (perhaps appropriately) nut brown.


The lid will be available in 3 shell sizes and 6 helmet sizes from XS (54) to XXL (61). If you want to fit a visor or a peak, you can ask for studs. But it seems a shame to poke holes in this thing just so you can see where the hell you're going.


There's no price yet. But the current Speedster is usually somewhere between £250 and £320. The V3 lid won't be available until 2017, but you can send Davida an email or something and reserve yours. It should be available at most Davida dealers around the world, or buy direct from the Wirral, Merseyside-based manufacturer.


Finally, keep in mind if you will that Davida is a British firm. So buy British whenever you can, etc, especially if you're American (we need to claw back some of those dollars that Google, Amazon, Walmart, ExxonMobil, General Motors, Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Ford, PayPal et al keep taking from us. What comes around has to go around).


Check this link for more on Davida.





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Copdock Show Sunday 2nd Oct 2016


Story snapshot:

Top Suffolk motorcycle show

25th anniversary


If you're in the neighbourhood of Ipswich, Suffolk (and as far as we're concerned the whole country and a large chunk of Europe is in the neighbourhood) you've got just over four weeks to prepare for the October 2016 Copdock Show.


If you've already visited this extravaganza, you don't need us to tell you what a great day out it is. And if you haven't visited, considered yourself now told. Organised by the excellent Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club, this is by far one of the best shows in the country.


Let's repeat that: This is by far one of the best shows in the country.


Why? Because of the range of entertainment, the quality of the autojumble pitches, the size of the venue, the number of custom, classic and performance bikes on display, the beer, the real ale, the club village, and the general vibe. Last time we went, we had to be dragged out by our ankles. It's a family event, but it ain't all bouncy castles and candyfloss. This is an event for bikers young and old, in spirit if not in body.


And then there are the Suffolk skies which, for some odd meteorological reason, have a special quality (spend some time in that neck of the woods and you'll see exactly what we mean).



▲ Fancy a Triumph Bonnie flat tracker? Well this one (shown here being prepared) is being raffled in aid of The Nook, a children's hospice in Norfolk. 2016 is the 25th anniversary of the Copdock Show, and the prize is intended to mark the moment whilst also doing something for the kids. Look out for tickets at the event. Don't be mean. This is England.



This year's show, as before, is sponsored by CAM Rider. Confirmed attractions include:

Dougie Lampkin MBE

2 Bros +1 Stunt Team

Moto-Stunts International (MSI)

Ken Fox's Wall of Death

Vintage Speedway Cavalcade

The Custom Marquee for "All things custom"

Classic Pre 65 Scramble Bike Cavalcade


Guest of Honour, Jim Redman MBE



Advance tickets are £8.50. On the gate you'll pay a tenner. Accompanied under 14s go free.


If you're looking to rent an autojumble pitch or fancy bringing the club along, contact the organisers.


Unless there's an earthquake on the day (which ain't likely in Suffolk) the chances are that you'll come away with some great memories—and possibly the above Triumph custom if your luck's in.


Go to Copdock.




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"£10,000" Triumph TRW on eBay


Story snapshot:

500cc sidevalve twin asking big money

Ex-Canadian military bike


The mileage is said to be just 214. It's claimed to have had just one owner from new since 1956. It looks in perfect condition. It's unrestored. It's a greatly underrated and overlooked bike. It was built for the Canadian Army. And it's now back here in Blighty.


£10,000 is the asking price, which makes this the most expensive 500cc TRW sidevalve twin we've ever seen, or ever heard of. Normally, we'd be inclined to think that the seller is a hopeless dreamer. But we're not so sure lately. Classic bike prices are still fluctuating wildly—as witnessed by the Triumph Hurricane X-75 further down this page which, we understand, has just been sold for £29,995 (also via eBay).


The seller of this TRW is Millennium Motorcycles in St Helens, Merseyside. The firm's eBay name is: motorcyclefinder. The bike is on a classified advert, so there's no bidding. You either buy it at the seller's price, or you don't buy it (or you can call them on: 03309 005191 and make an offer).


Today's date, by the way, is: Tuesday 30th August 2016.


If you want to read more on the Triumph TRW, check the link you've just passed. Somewhere on Sump we've posted a buyers guide on this wonderful motorcycle.


There are plenty of spares around. They motor along very nicely. They sound pleasant enough. And we'd be very happy to own one, but not at ten grand.



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