1977 750cc Triumph T160. We've already given this bike a brief mention. It's on Sump's May 2019 Classic Bike News page (and there's another mention of it somewhere or other around here). But we think it warrants yet another heads up. The T160 is the National Motorcycle Museum's Summer 2019 prize, and one hell of a prize it is. The super-clean un-run and unregistered bike has, we're told, just "9 push miles" on the clock, which makes it something of a shame having never seen a decent strip of tarmac. And although we're hoping that the new owner will put that right and splatter some bugs, we figure the Trident is headed for a cozy garage and a life of cosseted investment luxury. The tickets, meanwhile, are £10 for five—and you have to buy the full five. The winner will be announced on Saturday 26th October 2019. And note that you have to be UK resident to enter the raffle (excluding Northern Ireland). The odds of winning? Pretty bleedin' good, we think. Relatively speaking. Someone, somewhere is going to be a very happy bunny (and no, we're not on commission). Feeling lucky? www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk


June 2019  Classic bike news

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


Motorcycle news

Poet's Corner - 1959

One liners

Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!

Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date

February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost

Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

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


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

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

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

December 2017 Classic Bike News

Information on this picture wanted

Levis Motorcycles set for comeback?

One Liners

Oops, we screwed up [again - Ed]

H&H December 2017 sale at the NMM

Immortal Austin Seven from Veloce

Triumph T140V for sale: 237km

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

MCN closes its biker forum

Arm rural UK coppers suggestion

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

Falling bike sales, 11 straight months

Triumph Birmingham is set to close

New electric black taxi breaks cover

Semi naked girl straddles an Indian!!

November 2017 Classic Bike News

Riding Japan; new touring website

British motor racing anniversary day

Triumph T140 restoration guide

Ratchet handle taps & dies - Chronos

White Helmet Triumphs reach £12K

H&H's first timed automobilia auction

Goldtop £50 off gloves—limited offer

London pillion rider ban idea

Ford Design in the UK - Veloce

Thruxton Track Racer Kit offer

Want to post a comment on Sump?

New Davida "Koura" full face helmet

One liners

NMM BSA Gold Star winner details

Norton 650 twin scrambler planned

RE travel book: Hit the Road, Jac!

Stoneleigh Kickback Show April 2017

Brough Superior Pendine racer

One liners

H-D Battle of the Kings 2017 winner

New Royal Enfield 650 twins launched

NMM's 2018 Speedmaster prize

Meriden Off Road Tiger Cubs

One liners

Andy Tiernan's 2018 calendar

Scrappage scheme classic car poser

Norton launches the California

Scooter gangs face new response

One liners

September 2017 Classic Bike News

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

New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

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

Sump news archive



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Harley-Davidson's Chinese takeaway


Story snapshot:

MOCO moves to make small capacity motorcycles in China

A new 338cc roadster is planned for 2020


There's more heat than light with this story, but what little detail we have gleaned suggests that Harley-Davidson is planning to build and launch a 338cc motorcycle on the Chinese mainland. The new bikes, to be built in collaboration with Qianjiang, are intended to help redress struggling sales revenue in H-D's domestic market (the USA) whilst exploiting rising opportunities in the increasingly affluent Asian marketplace.


Qianjiang, take note, owns Benelli. Consequently, there's a direct line of access to the latter's European factory thereby possibly avoiding EU tariffs—but there's so far no suggestion that larger capacity bikes would be assembled in Italy.



H-D's long term strategy is that by 2027 the firm wants to draw at least 50 percent of its sales (and presumably profits) from outside the USA where its revenues are shrinking as Harley-Davidson's traditional middle-aged and even older American customer is rapidly (if not terminally) in decline. This contrasts with the significantly younger demographic in the Asian sphere which holds the Harley-Davidson brand in high esteem and is prepared to pay for it.


In 2018, MOCO saw a 27 percent sales increase in China, much of this attributed to its manufacturing and marketing operations in India and Thailand. The new Chinese-built bikes are expected to go on sale by the end of 2020, but it's not clear how the machines will be badged, or what form they'll take. But initially, (unreliable) computer renderings that we've seen make it appear that we're looking at a roadster.


Perhaps a little worryingly for H-D's hardcore fans is the fact that MOCO will be putting not only Qianjiang on the pillion (or possibly holding the handlebars), but will also indirectly be forming a new alliance with Geely which is the Qianjiang parent.



Plans to build Harley-Davidsons in China are likely to anger US President Donald Trump who already has ongoing "issues" with MOCO and has threatened to hit the Milwaukee firm with punitive tariffs. "Harley-Davidsons should be built in America," says Trump, never mind that H-D already has plants in India, Brazil and Thailand. Like it or loathe it, it's a global world. You can't move ahead by standing still.



Geely was founded in 1986 by Li Shufu and has rapidly grown to become a huge player in the automotive sector. The firm also owns Volvo, Lotus, and the London Electric Vehicle Company (a black cab manufacturer based in Coventry). And of course, Geely has its fingers in a lot of other automotive pies largely unknown in the UK.


It's easy therefore to speculate on how Harley-Davidson, now struggling to reposition itself in the 21st century, might conceivably at some point in the foreseeable future be subsumed by a firm such as Geely which has been recently valued at $16 billion (June 2019 figures). But there's no suggestion whatsoever that H-D is in imminent danger of changing hands. All the same, Geely is hungry and rich and influential. So you can follow the breadcrumbs for yourself and see where they could lead.





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Speed limiters: "Bikes not included"


Story snapshot:

EU denies the pending introduction of ISA tech for bikes

The Federation of European Motorcyclists gets clarification


It was back in March 2019 that we reported on the outline threat of speed limiters for cars and motorcycles. The warning came in the shape of new proposals from the EU that "Intelligent Speed Assistance devices" (to use the EU's preferred choice of words) could be with us as early as 2022. Well, following lobbying and a request for clarification from the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEMA), the EU is said to have since issued a statement making it clear that whatever ISA proposals may be on the way, they won't affect motorcycle usage.


On behalf of the EU, deputy director-general for mobility and transport and European coordinator for road safety Matthew Baldwin has been quoted as telling FEMA: "You mention some information circulating in the media to the effect that Intelligent Speed Assistance will be required for motorcycles. This is certainly not true. As you are aware, motorcycles are not within the scope of the General Safety Regulation and the Pedestrian Safety Regulation. Even if the Commission were eventually to make a proposal making ISA mandatory for motorcycles, this would require an impact assessment and a cost-benefit analysis. This evaluation would take into account the specificities and needs of these vehicles and the paramount need for the safety of riders."


In other words, it's not so much that motorcycles have been entirely ruled out as eventually being ripe for ISA adulteration. Not in principle, anyway. It's simply that motorcycles have different operating dynamics to cars, vans and trucks. Consequently, bikes would need a separate assessment and feasibility study before any motorcycle oriented legislation could even be considered, let alone drafted.


Until then, it's GAME ON and PARTY ON as usual. But we trust the EU about as much as we trust Whitehall, so we'll keep a weather eye open regarding the introduction of ISA technology. It's coming.


On the plus side, coupled with other forms of artificial intelligence technology and autonomous vehicle systems, ISA just might help bring an end to the tired old excuse of: "I'm sorry, but I didn't see the bike."


Until then, stay defensive.


See also:

EU speed limiter proposals gain pace




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Today is International Ride to Work Day
Ewan McGregor and V85 TT are stars in Sardinia
Pedal-power takes eRockit to 80kph
Suzuki announces presence at MK show
Oxford helps hi-tech fight against thieves
Dramatic fall in uk car production


Knife branding moped thug jailed
5 ways to own a Yamaha R6
Motorcyclist claims "polite vest" ruined my life
Free tags bid to save lives
German firm reveal pedal-powered hybrid
Hardcore KTM 790 Adventure R Rally revealed
Official! Ducati Streetfighter V4 confirmed for 2020


UK motorcycle sales dip in May

Motorcycles could ease congestion says Belgian motoring federation
Watch: One man's $400,000 superbike collection
Charley Boorman reveals latest details about Long Way Up
What it's really like to own an electric motorcycle
Yamaha announce the EC-05 electric scooter


New DVSA videos aim to increase motorcycle awareness


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Ireland "petrol & diesel new car ban"


Story snapshot:

Climate Action Plan set to hammer internal combustion engines (ICEs)

Other environmental proposals form part of a new "green" package


If this kind of thinking spreads, it doesn't bode well for the established/traditional classic bike community—unless, that is, we all remove our motors and replace them with something more environmentally agreeable. Such as pedals. Bicycle pedals, that is.


Only, this kind of thinking is spreading and it didn't begin with Ireland. The land of the little people, however, feels it's getting left behind when it comes to carbon footprint bragging rights, and it wants to boost its international image and get into the electric fast lane, and as quickly as possible.


So by 2030, the plan is to stop the sale of new petrol and diesel cars on the Irish mainland and give the (ultra) green light to the electrics. We should say that we haven't heard specifically that new petrol-powered motorcycles will also be on the slab come 2030, but we figure that the legislation (if and when it arrives) will apply to all fossil fuel vehicle types.


We've heard these threats many times before, and the clock is clearly ticking all around the world. The real problem for the classic bike community, such as it is, is that the petrol infrastructure is likely to take a serious hit following any widespread switchover. Why? Scale of demand. As fewer people use "traditional" fuels, that fuel is likely to become more expensive to transport and supply—unless, that is, there's a very carefully and shrewdly managed shift from petrol to electric. But experience suggests that whenever social trel+"nofollow" ipping points happen, the other end of the see-saw usually comes down with a bump.


On the other hand, it's conceivable that mainstream petrol stations will be replaced by "boutique" petrol stations (or similar) catering to the classic bike and classic car community (which, take note, is worth hundreds of millions of pounds in Ireland, and worth billions in the UK).


That would perhaps herald a return to the pioneer automotive days when enthusiasts bought their fuel initially at chemists, and then at hardware stores and hotels and eventually garages. On the other hand, given the fact that the vast majority of classic vehicles don't actually cover many miles, maybe the new electric regime won't be much of a hardship.



And then there's technology itself which, conceivably, could throw a lifeline to classic vehicles in the form of aftermarket electric wheel hubs and high power batteries. Sounds far fetched, but electric vehicle technology has recently made huge strides and there's no obvious reason to believe that the pace of new development will slow.


By 2030, there are likely to be around one million vehicles on Irish roads with an estimated overall Irish population of around five million (Irish government figures). That compares to an estimated 40 million vehicles on UK roads with a UK population of around 68 - 70 million (UK government numbers).


With regard to the various anti-ICE threats on the loose, in the short term no one need panic. We suspect that appropriate adjustments will be made, and we reason that the classic bike and classic car community will be lobbying hard to ameliorate any problems. On a more morbid note, many of us reading this might not even be around come 2030—and it might well be a few more years after that before the fuel taps are effectively turned off, if that happens in the foreseeable future.


Nevertheless, life is all about changes. So keep riding, keep doing what you do, but be ready. And remember this; classic bikes won't come to an end when the petrol runs out. The scene simply will adjust. After all, if someone offered you, say, a rare 1903 electric motorcycle, think you might enjoy owning and riding that for a while?




At Sump, we're not convinced that global warming is actually happening. Yes, we've heard the propaganda from the usual self-interested (and often agenda-toting) doom-mongers, but we're just not convinced. We're not in "denial", to refute a popular insinuation. We just think the long term evidence is ambiguous, at best, and non-existent, at worst.


More to the point, we doubt that human activity has much to do with any changing weather patterns, all of which are probably completely indifferent to our complex machinations. And even if we have pulled the pin on a climate grenade, we suspect it's only human conceit and arrogance that makes us believe we can control the size, shape and effect of the bang.



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Shed song

When my plugs refuse to fire
When my mag has lost its spark
When my crank is bent and broken
When my lights have all gone dark
When my gears have all been stripped
When there's nothing from my coil
When my clutch has lost its grip
When my sump has dumped its oil
Don't rush me to the hospital
And park me in a bed
Just dress me in my overalls
And haul me to my shed

There's my lathe, and there's my drill press
Service manuals nicely stacked
Bikes are clean, freshly serviced
All my tools neatly racked
Lots to do, always something
In the place I best belong
Life is short and filled with woe
Mercifully, death is long

No monument need mark my spot
No grieving hearts, no funeral drum
If epitaph is ever needed:
"Average bloke, still having fun"

And if perchance in later years

You think of me, then do this pray

Knock but once the door of memory

Smile and quietly walk away

So shut off the ignition
When I've carburetted my last breath
Life has always kept me busy
And busy will I be in death
But lo! Just keep the quacks away
No medicines or pills be fed
Just dump me where my ghost belongs
Nil by mouth, and all by shed



How is that when I read this,it was like it was being sung, in my head (tune and all!), by Ian Dury!? Good effort, and keep it up.— 'av a good 'un
Mad Ol' Jack

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Goodwood Festival of Speed: 60yrs of Honda MCs, 4th - 7th July 2019

Wildman MCs (Spilsby Bike Night organiser); new owner, former apprentice

2019 Royal Enfield Bullet Trial Works Replica price announced: £4,699

"New" airless tyre from Michelin/GM. "UPTIS" concept "ready by 2024"


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Nick Sanders gets an MBE for biking


Story snapshot:

Global adventurer picks up a gong for holidaying around the world

He's also a boater and a pilot


You've probably noticed that here at Sump we're often (way) off-message, and it looks like we're off-message again with the news that serial adventure biker Nick Sanders was awarded an MBE in the 2019 Birthday Honours List for ... wait for it ... services to endurance cycling and motorcycling.


That's right: Services to endurance cycling and motorcycling. Sanders, we hear, has been round the planet seven times. On motorcycles, that is. In 1997 he picked up the world record for the fastest circumnavigation; this being 31 days and 20 hours. He was piloting a Triumph Daytona.


Then, in 2005, he did the trip again in 19 days and 4 hours on a Yamaha R1. At that speed we can't imagine that he actually saw much of the topography. Probably all went by in a blur. In fact, he's been quoted as admitting he really can't remember two trips. They just vanished from memory.


He's also motored from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. He's been to Timbuktu. He's cycled into the record books all over the country, and has cycled twice around the globe. And we hear that he's piloted narrow boats across the channel and has flown hot air balloons and microlights.


Wow! What a guy!


"The Greatest Motorcycle Adventurer in the World!"


Now, we don't know the bloke, and we've certainly got nothing against him. Honest. He's probably a very lovely fella. But getting an award simply for sitting on your butt and riding around the planet on a motorised jolly and wearing out your knee and hip joints on a bicycle doesn't exactly impress us as the kind of activity that warrants an MBE.


Had he been, say, rescuing political prisoners from North Korea and bringing them home on the pillion, we might feel differently. Or had he been clearing minefields in Iraq and/or towing a vacuum cleaner up and down Mount Everest or something equally worthwhile, we'd probably hold a different view about that too.


But enjoying yourself on a round-the-world high-speed jaunt simply to say that you've been there and done it just doesn't strike us as the sort of thing that ought to make the Queen sit up and take notice. Or perhaps we're missing something.


However, these days they dish out medals for pretty much anything and everything that makes the headlines or the Guinness Book of Records (and he's in there somewhere). "For God and the Empire" is the legend on the medal. Need we say more?


Nick is a Mancunian, by the way. He lives in Wales and has three sprogs. He's written extensively about his adventures, and we haven't any doubt he's made a few friends along the way and has fluttered a pennant for Blighty. But beyond that, we're left scratching our heads at what makes it MBE-worthy by riding around on largely well-trod paths and well-made metalled roads whilst following in the tyre tracks of hundreds who've gone before—especially in an age of mobile phones, geo-positioning satellites, comprehensive rescue services, whilst riding state of the art motorcycles.


Meanwhile we're wondering what self-absorbing, self-serving activity we could possibly get involved in that might cause Her Majesty to glance favourably in our direction. Services to cynicism perhaps?


Strange days, indeed.




It's a matter of enduring annoyance to me that the guy who spent 40
years cleaning the toilets, or someone working in a factory or any
number of other people that have spent their lives doing 'ordinary' work
and making a contribution never get one of these awards.
—The Village Squire

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Big Brother isn't simply watching. He's also listening. Meanwhile, there's no truth in the rumour that these ears were modelled on Tony Blair's.


UK Gov roadside noise camera tests


Story snapshot:

New technology to tackle "anti-social" road users

Government in full listening mode


"Noise cameras." That's the way the British government chooses to describe these new devices. Others, meanwhile, are talking about "audio cameras". Regardless, they're currently being tested at seven unspecified locations around the UK with a view to rolling them out nationwide.


Essentially, of course, these are roadside listening devices designed to eavesdrop on passing traffic and pass judgement on whether or not oncoming vehicles are within official levels or have fallen foul of them.


There's nothing new about "noise cameras", however. We used to have them all over the UK, and they were called coppers, and these coppers also monitored speeding road users and wayward farm animals and generally served as a check on idiotic motorised behaviour.


But the coppers were too expensive (and not entirely reliable), so various non-biological devices have been developed, or are under development. So much for the history lesson.



How these gizmos will perform is likely to be a matter of huge controversy, and no doubt the usual vigilant rider and driver groups will howl in extra noisy protest at real or imagined issues, problems and unintended consequences.


But the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA), at least, has reportedly already thrown its weight behind the government, no doubt hoping to stay pally-pally with the Whitehall (or Brussels) mandarins and thereby moderate or help obviate any new engine or exhaust regulations coming down the pike.


Cunning stuff, huh?


Anyway, the incoming government press release has actually told us very little else, except to say that noise can be a nuisance (blah), and can lead to health issues such as raised blood pressure (blah), and has reminded us that law-abiding drivers are not the intended target.




So okay, most of us recognise the aural complaints made against the usual motoring suspects. Noise can be a pain, physically and otherwise; especially if you're particularly sensitive to that kind of stuff. Our more immediate concern, however, is the continuing decline into remote monitoring by the state (and all that kind of big brother stuff)—although we also wonder what new motoring behaviour might follow as noisy drivers/riders seek to dodge the technology. And yes, you'd think that that could be achieved simply by shutting off the throttle and cruising past on the over-run. But who knows? Maybe some shrewd algorithm will be at work that will decode your whisper mode, or something.


Idle thoughts.


On the specific motorcycle front, this tech could clearly have a fairly serious impact on bikes with modified/aftermarket exhausts, and we wonder if the noise equipment might have a greater impact on single cylinder machines, particular older bikes or large capacity singles. Or will there be special exemptions and suchlike? And yes, the noise-o-meters will be linked to ANPR cameras to put a name to the racket and ensure that your motoring/motorcycling penalty will find you within 14 days, etc.


And one more thing to consider; noise isn't simply a question of how much racket a road user is making. Noise also relates to the type of racket and the frequency and register and the rhythm and similar.


If you're a manufacturer, or a retailer of performance modifications, it's easy to speculate on how the new "cameras", if they're ever rolled out nationwide, could have an impact on your business.


Sounds vaguely like trouble brewing.



Since you mention ... Frequency, Register and Rhythm. Isn't that what we all want? Well, perhaps I'm one of the lucky ones. Having got thoroughly 'pigged off' with traffic din and the overhead drone of forty three flights a day to or from Leeds Bradford Airport, I moved to a nice place with a glider club nearby. The fact that large aircraft are restricted from the area seemed a good proposition: all I hear now is the pleasant sound of single-engined types doing a few circuits. But the deal was sealed when I found out that the chap next door had a Norton Dominator—and he uses it. It sounds great. An interesting but alarming article and yet another prod for me to resurrect the B31. Then we'll see what they think of that.—Roj, Sheffield.

Hi Sumpers. The proposed noise monitoring devices throw some interesting challenges not only to noisy bikers—and let's be honest, some boy racer types really kick the @r$e out of it, and as usual the few spoil it for the many. Will the authorities focus solely on bikes 78/1015/EEC? There are a lot of noisy vehicles out there, 70/157/EEC, not only the hot hatchback-hat-on-backwards-white-rap-fans but the haulage and public transport industries are heavy noise polluters. Let's hope the data collected by these proposed devices is made public and maybe a can of worms will be found. Try standing at an urban bus stop and see what's more of a problem and then stand at a rural bus stop. Seems to me a few Tory councillors had their garden parties disturbed by an oik on a ten year old R1 with a straight through and suddenly there's action but Mrs Smith and little Johnny walking to school in killer air pollution have to put up with the noise in their environment without any help. Bah, humbug!—Phil Cowley

This news comes at a time when the ‘do-gooders’ can’t decide if electric vehicles are TOO quiet and a danger to pedestrians! They are talking about adding an artificial sound so they can be heard approaching. That sounds like a really great idea – imagine the latest electric car sounding like a 500 Goldie on full throttle! Cheers.—Terry Lester

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The Great Escape


It looks like Steve McQueen's Triumph from The Great Escape
Right colour, right sound, all the detail's there
Amazing how it turned up after all these years
Just roared out of the woodwork as if from nowhere
Now some folk believe someone's made a big mistake

(but have stopped a long way short of calling it a fake)
But if 'Enry says it's true
Then we're all on song
'Cos 'Enry ain't the type to get his facts all wrong

For many years the bike was herding sheep (or so we hear)
And when the farmer died the TR6 was barned away
By coincidence a Mr Shepherd tracked it down
And now the sun is shining and it's time to make some hay
And yes, we know that anyone can buy a cheap old banger
Then run it through a workshop and create a doppelgänger
But if 'Enry says it's so
Then we're happy to believe
Cos nobody would ever call 'Enry Cole naive

So this really is the bike on which Bud Ekins hopped the fence
History's been made and the truth can only grow
And everyone is happy to believe what they've been told
(and even if it was a fake, who would ever know?)
Yes, it's a lovely, lovely story that has left us all agape
A genuine POW that made the great escape

And if 'Enry says it's so

We offer no contradiction

We're satisfied that Mr Cole knows his facts from fiction



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Velocette Vogue


"Secret collector's" 21 motorcycles


Story snapshot:

A Velocette Vogue and a BMW with a Steib is part of the collection

Bikes to go at the NMM sale in July 2019


This is hardly news, really. It's the kind of thing that's been going on forever, and it will probably continue until the universe collapses beneath the crushing weight of human mediocrity (sorry, sudden cynicism attack). But we mention it here because ... well, it's arguably a cosy reaffirmation of our collective obsession for collecting and hoarding (and also because H&H Auctions wants/needs to get some precious metal shifted).


The story centres on a "Kent-based" man referred to only as "Dad" who over the past few decades had squirreled away 21 bikes, of which his family were largely ignorant. Pride of place, we hear, goes to the immediately above (and undated, but pristine) Velocette Vogue. But there was also an (undated) BMW R60/6 hitched to a Steib sidecar, plus a couple of "spare" Steibs, plus an (undated) 650cc Matchless, and a collection of autocycles.


Kentish Dad, it seems, had begun restoring and hoarding motorcycles way back in the 1950s and 1960s. His daughter, Su [sic], well recalls one or two of the machines, notably the Matchless which she "remembers" riding around the Brands Hatch circuit when she was just 7 years old (so presumably sat on the petrol tank with Dad at the helm).


She also remembers Dad having a garden bonfire which, despite him sitting up well into the small hours to ensure the flames were out, nevertheless managed to creep across the ground and set fire to a wooden fire escape beneath which was the aforementioned Vogue and the Steibs. Naturally there was pandemonium when the blaze was discovered, but mercifully none of the bikes or chairs were damaged; it seems that their blankets or tarpaulins protected them. Less mercifully, Dad suffered burns to both hands, but evidently not enough to put his crafting days behind him.


BMW R60/6 and Steib sidecar


We know that to be true because at some point in the 1970s or 1980s Dad's attention switched to woodworking, and the bikes were deeper stored/secreted/buried around the family home; in sheds, in the garage, under the stairs, in the cellar, etc.


When unearthed, all the bikes were stored appropriately; drained of oils, on blocks, beneath covers, and all were perfectly and meticulously documented in a folder containing log books and sundry paraphernalia (or is that paperphernalia?). Following Dad's demise, the family began a kind of treasure hunt around the property and discovered the motorcycles "hidden in plain sight". And now Dad's two-wheeled legacy is to go under the hammer on 30th July at H&H's National Motorcycle Museum Sale at Bickenhill, Solihull (B92 0EJ).


So there you have it; a familiar tale that's also something of a non-story—and certainly one that lacks all kinds of useful information, such as a comprehensive list of the bikes, the years of manufacture, the condition, the estimates, the lot numbers and other catalogue info (so take a hint all you press release elves).


However, over the next few weeks you can check the H&H catalogue for yourself and see what's what. As of ten minutes ago, the bikes weren't listed. So be your own detective and keep checking, etc, if anything tickles your fancy.






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Transport for London (TfL) marks new 2020 Central London 20mph zones

Moto Guzzi offers 3% finance on V7 III bikes (includes £500 accessories)

Mutt Motorcycles

Mutt Motorcycles/Barbour forge commercial tie-up at Soho Radio Studios

TT racer Daley Mathison killed. Leaves wife and 5 year old daughter

(Desperate?) MCN offers free Oxford Panniers with annual subs (£78 print)

2019 Heritage Classic Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson is celebrating its 5 millionth motorcycle (Heritage Classic)

Malcolm John Rebbenack (Dr John) has died aged 77 (1941 - 2019)


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Paul Valentine Birkby: 1941 - 2019


Story snapshot:

Co-star of the 1970s short-lived sci-fi show has died

He was best known by his stage name of Paul Darrow


Remember Blake's 7, the 1970s British sci-fi show that melded elements of Star Trek, drew hints of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, gave more than a passing nod toward medievalism, anticipated both steampunk and Red Dwarf, and felt as if it was filmed on a shoestring in a BBC broom closet? Well Blake's 7 co-star Paul Darrow, born Paul Birkby, but better known to fans as the character Kerr Avon, has died aged 78.


Blake's 7, broadly speaking, was an on-going yarn about the crew of the spaceship Liberator shuttling around the galaxy and getting into all kinds of death-defying, gravity-defying and Terran Federation-defying exploits.


Dark, obscure, cynical and distinctly dystopian, the Liberator is actually a stolen alien spacecraft cunningly manufactured from washing-up liquid bottles, bits of plastic piping, sealing wax and whatnot.


The crew are a motley bunch of criminals, dissidents and other personas non grata. The plots were often convoluted, highbrow, oblique, overblown and confusing. The motivations of almost everyone was suspect. The theme music was recklessly melodramatic. The sound effects were courtesy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. And overall, it was the kind of show that, like Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner, you have to judge within its own terms.


The lead character was Welsh actor Gareth Thomas who played Roj Blake. Unwilling to commit further to the adventure, he jumped ship after series three leaving Paul Darrow's Kerr Avon character (think Mr Spock) to man the helm and crack the whip. So it was actually Blake's 7 without Blake (and for a while there were only five of them).


Chief antagonist was Supreme Federation Commander Servalvan, the ambitious and ruthless femme fatale played by Jacqueline Pearce (who looked like she cracked a few whips of her own). And there were many other likeable/hateable/smash-'em-in-the-faceable characters including Vila, Gan, Jenna and Cally. And of course there's a computer (named Zen; what else?).


The series was broadcast between 1978 and 1981, and for many of you Sumpsters that would have been when you were mucking around with your first motorcycles and were therefore too occupied to watch TV (unless it was The Sweeney). But we caught a few episodes—not that we can remember watching any adventure from beginning to end.




The cast of Blake's 7 (left to right); Michael Keating as Vila, Jan Chappell as Cally, Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Sally Knyvette as Jenna, Paul Darrow as Avon, and David Jackson as Gan. Note that there are only six of them in this BBC publicity shot.



Paul Darrow was born in Surrey and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Notably, fact fiends, we hear that he shared a flat with actors John Hurt (1940 - 2017) and Ian McShane, better known as the roguish TV antiques dealer Lovejoy.


Darrow worked both in theatre and television and lent his slightly sardonic face and style to British sixties and seventies drama shows such as Emergency – Ward 10, The Saint, Z-Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, and Within These Walls.


He also appeared in later TV shows such as Dombey and Son, Maelstrom, Making News, Pie in the Sky, and Hollyoaks. Meanwhile, on the big screen he took a role in The Raging Moon (1971) starring Malcolm McDowell, and the Bond movie Die Another Day (2002) starring Pierce Brosnan.


Beyond that, when he wasn't a visible presence, Darrow found much work as a voice-over artist, notably with Richard Dawkins's The Root of All Evil? and articulated numerous characters in computer games and similar.


But Blake's 7 (which evidently dispensed with the apostrophe in the logo design; see main image this story) was the production that propelled him to national attention, and if the show (created by Terry Nation who brought the Daleks to Dr Who) is now often viewed as classically camp, corny and even pretentious, it's perhaps a small comfort to know that in its day it was ... well, also largely seen that way.


However, whatever else Blake's 7 was, some of us (actually around 10 million of us in the UK) watched it in a mix of amusement, puzzlement and fascination, and Paul Darrow acquitted himself well given the demands and limitations of the script and budget.


He was still working as recently as 2018 on a TV game show, but time was not on his side. His health took a marked downturn in 2014, and it was the complications of that that heralded his end on 3rd June 2019.


Paul Darrow married once, and that marriage lasted almost 50 years.


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1927 AJS K2


Charterhouse Auctions reminder


Story snapshot:

Saturday 1st June 2019 is the date

73 lots are listed, but we count 69


The highest estimate of any lot at the next Charterhouse Auctions sale is the immediately above (and immediately below) 1927 AJS K2 sidevalve outfit. This handsome 799cc V-twin was built during the salad days of the firm when AJS was still under the control of the Stevens brothers—Harry, George, Albert John (‘Jack’), and Joe Stevens Junior.


In 1938, the Collier Brothers, operating as Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) bought the company and began the process of effectively assimilating/subsuming the AJS brand into their own Matchless marque. But prior to that, AJS had a more distinct identity and presence on the street and produced a long line of very creditable motorcycles, not least the firm's range of V-twins, many (if not most) of which were pressed into sidecar duties for tradesmen and everyday folk looking for reliable and cost-effective motorised transport.


This example is being sold as the property of a "recently deceased's estate" and is estimated at £16,000 - £18,000. It's restored (naturally), but will need some re-commissioning.


The sale will happen on Saturday 1st June 2019 at The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne DT9 3BS.


1927 AJS Model K2 engine

Notionally, there are 73 motorcycle lots on offer, but four of the auction slots are empty. So the true number appears to be 69 (unless we're missing something here).


1928 Matchless T3 500cc


Look out too for a very attractive 1928 500cc Matchless T3 sidevalve single (image immediately above) estimated at £7,500 - £8,000. The bike, we understand, is being sold due to loss of storage—which sounds like a thin excuse when you've still got a living room or bedroom. But that ain't our business.


Here's what Charterhouse has to say about the bike:


A 1928 Matchless T3 500cc, registration number UO 5773, frame number 3689, engine number T3/3055, black and white. UO 5773 has been in the current family ownership (father and two sons) since 1995. Fully restored to a show standard in the late 1990s, the Matchless still presents very well and could still be exhibited today. A well equipped machine it features full acetaldehyde lighting, leather saddle bags and nickel plating throughout. The accompanying history contains a run of previous MOTs and DVLA documents.


Loss of storage, of course, is pretty much an open invite to bidders to get a pretty sharp deal. Whilst we hope the vendor gets a fair price, we'd be naive to ignore ordinary market forces and bidding shrewdness.


So make your play, ladies and gentlemen...





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May 2019





We used to be rockers back in fifty-nine
That was the high point for our gang of five
Everyone's gone 'cept for me alone
But way back when, we were very much alive
We lived for the thrill of the road ahead
And oh we had our moments when our blood ran red


Speed was the drug and petrol the fuel

Death rode pillion and life could be cruel

But whenever the open highway beckoned

The bikes came first, and the birds came second

Clip-ons, rear sets and barking megaphones

Polished aluminium, metal flake and chrome

Five star, Redex and smoking pheremones

Anything might happen when the boys were in the zone

Oh what a high-speed life we led

And how we had some moments when our blood ran red


We never did the Ace (it was way off our beat)
Our turf was Rayleigh down to Shoeburyness
Lenny was the fastest and the first to go
We buried him in leather and we prayed "God bless"
"Is me bike okay?" was the last thing he said
"Just scratches", we told 'im while his blood ran red

Jacko went next, June 1961
Got dumped by his bird, and we feared the worst
Late that night on Eastwood Old Road
He said "See you in hell, boys" and got their first
He gunned his Goldie, hit a wall, crashed through it
Fist in the air, and we saw he meant to do it
"Silly, silly boys" is what the coppers said
But you do what you do when your blood runs red

Ronnie rode an Enfield and was built like a gun
Had a face like Eddie but was any mother's son
He was either standing still, or headed for the ton
Loyal to his mates, and sworn to fun
One day racing on Marine Parade
His bike hit some diesel and everybody prayed
But Ronnie was a legend and never lost his ride
Had the devil in his nature, but God was on his side
Young men rush in where angels fear to tread
And how we loved those moments when our blood ran red

On the Margate run once we came across some mods
Three Lambrettas motoring ahead

Slick suits, hair cuts, cocky looking sods

Sid crept up on his Norton Featherbed

Moddy boy panicked and he went into a spin

Slid down the road but no one lost their skin
Later on the beach their mates came running
We got a good kicking and away they strode
We all agreed that we had what was coming
It's the price you pay for fun on the road
Then wailed the coppers and away we sped
And oh what a laugh when our blood ran red


Fists from our dads and tears from our mothers

We were the original leather band of brothers

Nobody's enemy and nobody's friend

(and never quite as bad as we liked to pretend)

Eddie got it wrong, there are two ways to heaven

It's the A13 or the A127

But that's all over and those days are done
The eyes are dim and the knees are gone

The blood's got thin and there's not a drop for spilling

And although the flesh is weak, the spirit is still willing
Still got my bike, mind, but rarely get to ride it
Sits in the shed with me leather hung beside it

It's not just the closing of the day that I dread

But the loss of those moments when our blood ran red




Hi Sump, enjoyed the Poet's Corner. I once wrote a poem called "Racer Road" about my 1980 Suzuki GS450ST.—Phillip R Brown, USA

1959 is a brilliant poem and that’s how it was! Slightly before my time but got first bike in 1964 at age 16 ... and I’m still riding a T140 with open megas (bit concerned about the recent news about noise cameras though). Cheers—Terry Lester

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City of London Corp wants 15mph Square Mile speed limit (ex TfL routes)

TT rider Charlie Williams autobiography: It was the best of times. £13.50

US print magazine Motorcyclist will be online only from July/August 2019

Fluid Inside liquid crash helmet impact protection system from Canada

Electric Motorcycles 2019: new guide to the top batt-bikes by Micah Toll

Veitis eV-twin


eV-Twin Veitis - British electric roadster

Veitis eV-twin 70mph/100mi/£40k. Stylish electric homage, or corny fake?

The Brooklands Motorcycle Show. 30/6/2019. £14.50 adult. 10am - 5pm


Re: Fluid Inside crash helmet. An interesting idea to reduce impact shock. However, there is no information regarding a potential increase (or not) in the weight of a helmet that employs such a system. Increased helmet weights can have negative effects when it comes to neck injuries in an accident, so it's also an important issue.—The Village Squire

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Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!


Story snapshot:

New R18 engine concept rolls a little closer to production

Possible new 1,800cc Boxer cruiser on the way




"With its clear aesthetics openly on display, the Concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about. It is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. This concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. But when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance. I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. Our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age."


Edgar Heinrich, BMW Motorrad Head of Design


In case you're wondering what that's all about, BMW has released images of its new R18 cruiser concept (see image immediately below) and has evidently being smoking too much skunk whilst talking about it.


For the past year or so the R18 engine project has, in various ways, been kicking around two or three design studios and workshops and now takes another revolution towards full scale (or at least limited) production. Evidently, BMW is hedging its bets and canvassing for reaction, and we suspect that most of it will be favourable.



The engine, now looking pretty much sorted and housed in a new and reasonably elegant rolling chassis, has just been unveiled at the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy (24th - 26th May 2019).


There's little written detail from BMW (which, incidentally, is the leading sponsor at this event), but what we can tell/surmise is that this retro is an 1,800cc air-cooled, pushrod, low-revving, torquey shaft-drive boxer twin proudly (or is that shamelessly?) raiding the company archives and parts bins desperately incorporating as many classic styling cues as possible.


The last BMW production cruiser, note, was the R1200C which, despite James Bond's/Pierce Brosnan's best efforts to publicise it in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), was axed in 2004. Why? Well it was supposedly because the 1,170cc engine was considered (by Dr. Herbert Diess, President BMW Motorrad) as "unsuitable for the current market"—which could also be reinterpreted as "too radical for its intended buyers".


And that wouldn't be a first for BMW.



The R1200C (image immediately above) sold over 40,000 units over a seven year production run, which averages at around 5,700 bikes per annum. Not great, but not shabby either. Regardless, it was never quite the hit for which BMW had hoped, but it was a bold, inventive, original and (if you like that kind of thing) very stylish piece of motorcycling hardware.



Well, the new R18 concept picks up more or less where the R1200C left off (in terms of aspirations if not design) and will see its motor re-imagined in a variety of motorcycles that will be teased over the coming weeks and months.




As revealed, the R18 cruiser (as shown) features carburettors which, in-line with EU regs and strictures, will be replaced by fuel injection. But if BMW sticks to its own concept orthodoxy, that will be pretty much the limit as far as electronic bells and whistles are concerned. The idea is to keep it simple, pure and unadulterated (never mind the high-tech manufacturing techniques that underpin this Zen wannabe).


Other features include an inverted front fork. A cunningly designed rear suspension system masquerading as rigid. An exposed drive shaft (which almost certainly won't get past the safety fascists). Inverted brake and clutch levers (which will no doubt confuse some riders). A 21-inch front wheel. An 18-inch rear wheel. And lashings of chrome and polished aluminium alloys.



In December 2018 Custom Works Zon, a noted Japanese chop shop, took first place at the Yokohama Hot Rod Show with ‘Departed’ based around an official sneak release of the R18 engine concept.



Meanwhile, US Revival Cycles arguably upped the ante with the firm's "Revival Birdcage" concept as displayed at the Handbuilt Show in Texas in April 2019.


With the R18 flat-twin platform, BMW is said to be gunning for the likes of Harley-Davidson and Indian (if and when it actually makes it onto the assembly line). But if so, we wonder if BMW is missing the mark (or is that marque?).


Harley-Davidson is comfortably in a world of its own campaigning a hard-boiled cruiser and bad-ass heritage that only Indian can match, and even then with considerably less authority given the fact that Indian Motorcycles has a broken manufacturing/heritage line—whereas H-D has been on the road since day one and taking a leak up every passing post and streetlight.


But until we see the price and the marketing spiel, it's impossible to say exactly where this tent will be pitched and whose rear end is likely to fit the saddle.



To us at Sump, the BMW R18 concept looks more suited to the European market and just doesn't convince as anything other than a slightly fromagey (and even cynical) attempt to throw a bucket of yesterday at us instead of design and develop a more original tomorrow.


In other words, it feels like we've seen it all before—which, of course, is an unwelcome irony given that that's exactly what BMW wants us to think.



Well chaps, cynicism, irony, sarcasm, and dour thoughts are obviously not the sole right of ‘over sixties’. My take: at last a bike that doesn’t require a 40-inch inside leg measurement. A motorbike that doesn’t require a computerised diagnostic system. A two-wheeler that can be easily serviced at home. A two wheeler, albeit ‘chopper-esqe’ that doesn’t look like something out of a Lego catalogue. A shame that it’s not British. Price please and my savings, previously earmarked for a Norton or a 1200 Speed Twin could well be saying ‘auf Wiedersehen’.—Andy, Telford

I like it and would buy if the computer tools to fix are available and not pricey. Would fit well with my Boss Hoss and Beagle.—Best, Leo

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Henry Harrison riding his OK-Supreme at the IOMTT


Harrison OK-Supreme to auction


Story snapshot:

Twice raced at the IOM TT

H&H to auction this bike in July 2019


If you're a classic biker from the general Liverpool area, this motorcycle might be at least vaguely familiar. For everyone out of the Scouse loop, this 1935 250cc RC37 OK-Supreme racer was largely the handiwork of a certain Mr Henry Harrison. Fitted, notably, with a swinging arm and AMC rear suspension units, the quarter-litre OHV cammy single was entered into the 1951 TT by Liverpool motorcycle dealer, Victor Horsman. One of the great British motorcycle racers of his era, Horsman was based at 65 Pembroke Place where he sold a wide range of used motorcycles from Ariel to Velocette.


Victor Horsman Liverpool motorcycle dealer


Henry Harrison was at the helm during that TT race. He averaged 60mph around the IOM course and finished 14th—which, of course, was a considerable feat. The following year the bike was again entered into the legendary Tourist Trophy races. This time, Henry Harrison arrived in 22nd place having attained a slightly higher speed of 66mph.


Henry Harrison and OK-Supreme


Following that achievement, the OK-Supreme was fitted with a Velocette front fork and raced on short circuit tracks until 1958. In 1959, the bike was bought (by its current owner) from Henry Harrison. It was restored in the 1980s and displayed at numerous Liverpool bike shows for the next decade or so. Then it was tucked away somewhere.


That's Henry Harrison immediately above, incidentally. And at the top of this news story, that's him on the TT circuit.


1935 250cc OK-Supreme


Fast forward to 30th July 2019, and H&H Auctions will be offering the bike for sale at the National Motorcycle Museum. The estimate is a lowly £6,000 - £8,000 which is a steal for a pre-war bike with a reasonably successful TT history.


Nearer the day we'll be looking closer still at other bikes in this sale. Meanwhile, you might want to check out the "Rode Safely" video that was made by Victor Horsman in 1955.


"Rode Safely" YouTube video






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Brighton Speed Trials


2019 Brighton Speed Trials date


Story snapshot:

Saturday 7th September 2019

As ever, Madeira Drive


Brighton and Hove Motor Club badgeAround 150 cars and 75 motorcycles are expected to compete in this year's quarter-mile races along the world famous seafront dragstrip. The practice runs start at 8.45am. The timed runs start at 11.15am and are scheduled to finish at 5:30pm. After that, the fastest six cars and bikes will compete for the overall winner.


To ensure that you see all the action, a 21 square metre LCD screen will detail the entire strip. The entry price (including a programme) is £15—or £12 online.



Brighton Speed Trials 2018


As we've said before, Brighton is a pretty cool place to be, even if you're not gay. And while you're there, check out The Lanes where you'll find a huge selection of independent shops and boutiques flogging everything from antiques, fake antiques, Native American curios, guitars, trendy jewellery and fashion. Some of it is kitsch, but there are odd delights, etc.


We might even go this year, so if you see anyone who looks like us, it's probably us.






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H J Pugh & Company, Ledbury


H J Pugh & Company Ledbury Sale


Story snapshot:

The auction date is Saturday 1st June 2019

A large collection of British bikes and NOS spares is on offer


We haven't got a decent image of any of the bikes in this sale, but we've cobbled together the (immediately) above graphic to help give this news story some legs.


The date will be Saturday 1st June 2019. The auctioneer is a firm called H J Pugh & Co. These guys are based in Ledbury, Herefordshire.


Here are some of the bikes listed (some without manufacturing dates, and none with lot numbers assigned):


1961 Norton 500 ES2,

1939 Triumph Tiger 100

1947 Norton Model 30 International

1938 Matchless 990X V Twin

1952 Ariel Square Four

1939 Triumph 3H 350

1935 Sunbeam Model 9

1921 Sunbeam 3.5HP

1938 Norton 16H

1921 Royal Enfield 200

1929 Triumph NSD 550

Vincent Comet

Matchless G50

AJS 650

Triumph Speed Twin


The firm's website could use a little polish and fine tuning, and a new Box Brownie wouldn't hurt, but this looks like an olde worlde set-up (as opposed to a bunch of trendy new-age slicksters), and we can happily live with that.


Entries, as far as we can tell, are still being accepted. The venue for the sale is Hazle Meadows Auction Centre, Ledbury HR8 2LPS (and that looks to be the correct spelling for Hazle). The auction will start at 10am.


If you haven't been to a motorcycle sale, you could be missing a pretty good day out. There are often real bargains to be had. Just remember to set your limit and try not to succumb to auction fever.






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National Motorcycle Museum raffle


NMM Norton Commando raffle winner


Story snapshot:

Prize 850cc Norton is unregistered and un-run

A 1977 Triumph T160 Trident is now being raffled


Dave Street from Aberdeenshire, Scotland was the winner of the National Motorcycle Museum (NMM) 2018 Winter Raffle and has collected his 1977 850cc Norton Commando. TT rider Ian Hutchinson drew the winning ticket on 28th April 2019.


Triumph T160 Trident raffle 2019 - NMM


Meanwhile, if you're the gambling type, you're reminded that the immediately above 1977 Triumph Trident T160 with "9 push miles" on the clock is the star prize in the NMM's Summer 2019 raffle. Tickets are notionally £2 each. But, as we've mentioned once or twice before, you have to buy in blocks of five, so that's five tickets for a tenner.


A Sealey Retro style combination tool chest will be the second prize, whilst third prize is a luxury hotel break and dinner for two. The raffle draw will be in October 2019.



See also:  Sump Classic Bike News, November 2018



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Beryl Swain Exhibition & ride out


Story snapshot:

The Bike Shed, Shoreditch is the meeting place for the run

The exhibition dates are 1st to 16th June 2019


She was the first woman to compete solo in the Isle of Man TT races. That's the main claim to fame of fêted East London motorcyclist Beryl Swain who's about to be honoured in a new exhibition.


The venue for this "Need for Speed" presentation is the 1B Window Gallery at Copper Mill Lane in Walthamstow, E17 7HA. Attractions will include photographs, archive films, numerous original documents and one of Swain's skid lids on display. There will also be talks from curator Kirstin Sibley and Gemma Harrison from the VC motorcycle club.


To help mark the event, a motorcycle ride-out will take place on Thursday 1st June 2019* beginning at 9.30am at The Bike Shed in Shoreditch, East London and pausing at The Duke pub in Walthamstow. Following that, we hear that attendees will be invited to the nearby unveiling of a Beryl Swain motorcycle mural.


Beryl Swain was born in 1936 as Beryl Tolman. In 1958 she married Edwin Swain who owned a motorcycle shop in the Walthamstow area, and she became involved in bikes, both as a rider and as a mechanic.


In 1962, aged 26, she entered the Isle of Man TT races campaigning a 50cc Itom. She gave a good account of herself and finished 22nd—and to finish at all was a notable achievement, not least for a "mere" woman. At the time, her racing prowess, such as it was, caused something of a sensation. So much so that the racing authorities, fearing the loss of their domination/masculinity/pride promptly revoked her international licence. Ostensibly, that was because she couldn't meet the new (and hastily introduced) weight limit.


Regardless, Beryl Swain had her 15 minutes of fame, and she retired from the sport with dignity. It's said that biking's loss was Sainsburys' gain, because she found employment with the supermarket chain and, apparently, stayed with them for many years.


There were no more female TT competitors until 1978 when Hilary Musson hit the fabled track in the Formula 2 class on a Yamaha (competing eight times between 1978 and 1985).

Beryl Swain died in 2007 aged 71.


*Note that MCN had earlier posted the ride-out date as 25th July 2019. We checked with VC, which is organising the run. 1st June is the correct date.


See also: Desperate Triumph woos the vaginas



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Kickback Show custom Triumph


Kickback Show discount ticket offer


Story snapshot:

10% off a weekend pass

Get it done by 10th June 2019


The Kickback Show at the Prescott Bike Festival is just a few weeks away. The event will take place on 15th - 16th June 2019 (see here for details of the Kickback competition). Book in advance and the organiser is offering a 10% discount on a weekend pass.


We have to say that we're a little confused about the ticket pricing structure, but it looks like an adult weekend ticket is £24.00. However, we suggest you follow the link and draw your own conclusions.


To get that discount, you need to enter the code: kickback10. You'll find the right spot to do that easily enough—but you need to book by 10th June 2019.







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H&H July 2019 sale shapes up


Story snapshot:

A Vincent Comet estimated at £13,000 - £15,000

And a Harris T140 Bonneville estimated at £6,000 - £7,000


We've been regularly monitoring the build-up to the next H&H sale which will happen on 30th July 2019 at the National Motorcycle museum, and we've already headlined the 1934 493cc Sunbeam 95R (see the main image top of this page).


Meanwhile, there are one or two other lots that warrant a brief mention, such as the immediately above 1951 Vincent Series C Comet. This 498cc air-cooled Stevenage single has apparently been in "long term family ownership" and is said to be running well and in presentable condition.


We also note that although the engine and frame numbers match and are correctly recorded on the V5C, the Vincent Owners Club (VOC) has not authenticated those letters and digits as being original factory stampings—and that might help explain the estimate which is just £13,000 - £15,000.


Now, that might be a reasonable price for a Vincent bitsa (if that's what this ultimately is—and it might not be, take note). However, it walks like a Vincent Comet, and it quacks like a Vincent Comet, and if your interest lies more in riding as opposed to collecting or investing, you might want to check out this bike.


It's some time since we rode a Comet, but we remember them as enjoyable bikes that feel significantly more lithe and nimble than a Vincent twin with slightly better stopping power and a so-so willingness to rev. They like to be kept on the boil, and (unlike the twins) you can push them almost to the max without running yourself off the road.


Of course, H&H might be posting the relatively low estimate simply to stimulate bidder interest, and it's certainly done that around these parts. Rival auction house Bonhams sold a couple of Comets earlier this year; one at £14,950 and one at £21,850. And last October, Bonhams sold a Series C Comet for £21,125. The condition of all three was comparable.


So if you're looking to acquire your first Vincent, this might well be the lowest rung on the ladder you're going to find.



At the same sale we note that an unrestored c1986 Harris 750cc T140 Bonneville is on the list (image immediately above). These machines, you might recall, were built under licence in Newton Abbott, Devon by long-time Triumph parts manufacturer, Les Harris. Around 1,200 bikes (slightly more according to some claims) were manufactured between 1985 and 1988.


This example looks to be all there, but is fitted with Norton Peashooter silencers—which always sound good on a T140. However, the original Lafranconi silencers are included in the sale if originality is your thing.


The estimate is £6,000 - £7,000, and given the general unloved (but apparently not abused) condition of the bike, that looks a little strong in the current market. Yes, the Harris bikes were, arguably, built better than the Meriden T140s, and the Harris bikes were equipped with numerous arguably superior parts (Marzocchi rear shocks, a Paioli front fork, Radaelli rims, Brembo calipers, Magura switchgear & master cylinders, etc). Also, the petrol tank, with its Monza style flip up filler cap, is a 3-gallon Italian pressing which, as most T140 fans would perhaps agree, looks far less attractive than the original 2.8 gallon Meriden US spec item.


But for all that, the Harris bikes simply ain't Meriden bikes, and that usually sees them change hands at a lower price. Moreover, disagreement still rages over the general reliability of Harris machines which have had their problems (porous engine cases, blown pistons, vibration). But Meriden bikes of that era were also prone to similar faults and failures.


So why the £6k - £7k estimate? Well it could be because this bike is also hinted at being the last Harris Bonnie to be registered. Not built, note. Just registered. But does that matter to anyone? Maybe. However, we doubt that this small claim to fame will add more than a few shillings to the hammer price. Expect to find a collection of old documents and related paperwork.


On the other hand, we could be wrong and will see this bike reach at least bottom estimate. However, we were thinking more about £5,000 - £6,000, and we'll find out soon enough.



Beyond these bikes, H&H is fielding a fairly modest selection of iron and ally. But we ought to mention in passing the 2010 Ducati Desmosedici RR which is carrying an estimate of £50,000 - £60,000. We're advised that 1,500 of these were manufactured. This one was number 1,162. Since 2010 when the bike was first registered, it's covered just 940 and is said to be in immaculate.


Well, a measly 940 miles doesn't say much for the claim that these are race bikes for the road. We'd be more impressed if it carried 50,000 miles and had been dropped three or four times and then patched up for another blast. But this is likely to be re-squirreled away in a garage or loft in the usual manner.


No lot numbers have yet been assigned to anything. The auction date is 30th July 2019. The venue is: National Motorcycle Museum Sale, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EJ.


See also (at the same sale): BSA Gold Star prototype







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UK Government report: 20mph zones ineffective and increase air pollution

Indian Motorcycles patents "Thunderstroke III" Variable Valve Timing tech

Fuel Motorcycles Scram Africa 2019 Royal Enfield Himalayan

Fuel Motorcycles Royal Enfield Himalayan Scram Africa 2019 contender

US State Oregon is considering lane sharing legislation for motorcyclists

US North Carolina optional (aged 21 and over) helmet law proposal failed

Hinckley Triumph launches a two year TE-1 electric motorcycle project

Royal Enfield has applied to Euro-trademark the "Meteor" name


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1938 Vincent HRD Series A


"Vincent & Grigg Collection" to sell


Story snapshot:

Seven "unearthed" classic bikes discovered in LA

Vincent Victor replica to be sold


You might recall the name Liquid Asset Partners (LAP). Sump reported on these guys back in early 2016 when they bought the assets of failed Eric Buell Racing (EBR). At the time there was much talk about revitalising the company, etc, but it didn't come to pass.


More recently, we've learned that LAP has stumbled across a collection of classic motorcycles long buried in an industrial unit in Los Angeles, USA. We're trying hard to get excited by the find. But our interest and enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that the bikes were the collection of a recently deceased man named ... well, the press release didn't condescend to name him. But we understand that he was British and, as a young man, left the UK for the USA and took a lot of motorcycles and parts with him. He was also reclusive, and that's the extent of our information.


That aside, there are seven bikes under the spotlights. Here's the list:


1923 693cc Grigg Blackburne

1938 998cc Vincent-HRD Series A

1953 998cc Vincent Black Shadow – Series C

1955 499cc Vincent Victor Single Replica

1954 998cc Vincent Rapide D/C

1948 998cc Vincent Series B Rapide

1950 499cc Vincent Comet basket case



The '38 Vincent-HRD (main image this story) is expected to be the top selling motorcycle. LAP is "entertaining offers above $400,000." We've no word on the estimates of the other machines. But special interest might fall upon the Vincent Victor replica based on the one-of-a-kind 1955 499cc single-cylinder prototype made by the Stevenage factory.


Bonhams sold that bike in April 2011 for £107,100 (including premium). See the image immediately above. Meanwhile, the bike immediately below is the replica.



Grigg 693cc V-twin


Moving on, the 693cc Grigg is thought to be the sole survivor of its type, although there are four other Grigg motorcycles known to be in existence. Grigg—founded in 1920 by Harry Grigg—was originally based at Winchester Works in Twickenham, Middlesex. The short-lived firm subsequently relocated to Croydon, Surrey and saw fairly rapid expansion.


Grigg Motor Cycles advert


Initially the company produced miniature commuter scooters powered by two-stroke engines. But soon the firm was producing larger machines, some offering water-cooling, and was becoming popular (albeit mostly in the London area) for its sidecar outfits. However, the general difficulties of the UK economy in the 1920s put paid to Harry Grigg's ambition to become a much bigger player. The company folded in 1925.


Grigg 693cc V-twin primary side


For $20 entry/access, you can view the collection at Grand Rapids, Michigan USA on 22nd May 2019. And note that as far as we can tell, this isn't exactly an auction. But it's certainly some kind of sale or asset disposal gathering. That much is for sure. Just take a peek and make an offer. Or make an offer sight unseen.


When you're at this end of the market, a few thousand pounds or dollars either way doesn't really make much difference, does it?






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The numbers game

I used to read the biking mags
This much is true
But lately every page I turn
Feels like déjà vu

16 bikes you gotta road test
15 boots you have to try
14 helmets for your noggin
13 roads before you die
12 ways to stuff the pages
11 journos on the schmooze
10 idle factory rumours
9 editors stuck for news
8 ways to own a Triumph
7 ways to get a loan
6 hints for faster corners
5 electrics you must own
4 budget heated insoles
3 tips for off-road thrills
2 tyres we recommend
1 expert shows his skills

I used to buy
But this is now
And that was then



Well said Dexxion, MCN has been a "rag" for years now apparently, fit only for wrapping up fish and chips . . . if we were still allowed to do that nowadays by the "safety" men in grey suits.—Wynsel, IOM

Hi Sump, very amusing, very true and very pithy (had to look up that one to be sure). But MCN aren't the only offenders of crimes against idle journalism. They're all at it these days (present company notwithstanding). Keep doing what you do, please.—David Egg, Cambridgeshire.

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Scooter Moda: five scooters nicked


Story snapshot:

Be on the look out for a handful of hairdryers

Also, note the few words we've posted on Scomadi Scooters


It happened on Monday night (6th May 2019) when five motor scooters were purloined from the premises of Scooter Moda of Preston, Lancs. The bikes are, respectively, three Scomadis, a Lambretta GP200 and an AJS Modena.


Founded by Spencer Coe, Peter Reid (who personally owned the aforementioned GP200) and Nigel Godwin, the business is relatively new and trades in new LML and Scomadi scooters, plus used Lambrettas and used Vespas. The burglary, we understand, happened whilst the firm was moving premises, but we've got no details. We also hear that a couple of names (of "local scumbags") have been forwarded to the rozzers. But any extra information is, naturally, welcomed. Meanwhile, we checked the Scooter Moda Facebook page, and the burglary has been confirmed.


On a related note, we hesitate to say that on Scooter Moda has also suggested that Scomadi Scooters is going into liquidation. We're still looking into this assertion and will post an update if and when needed. But we've also seen a counter statement explaining that this is just a rumour and isn't at all true.


Normally, we avoid rumours; certainly with regard to spreading them. But in this instance, we figure it's perhaps wiser to qualify an already circulating rumour and highlight the fact that it is indeed uncorroborated.


We reported on Scomadi (SCooter MAnufacture and DIstribution) back in Sump Classic Bike News July 2018. Founded by Paul Melici and Frank Sanderson, this was/is evidently an energetic and ambitious firm. But if you check the Sump story, you'll see that the business has been operating on a very shaky foundation related to other claims on the Scomadi name. And we're not by any means implying that Scomadi is doing, or has done, anything untoward. It's simply that business interests and commercial claims to rights and intellectual property and suchlike often clash, and often in perfectly good faith. Keep that in mind if you will.



However, there are/have been plenty of claims, allegations and counter-allegation flying every which way, and we're staying out of it until we hear definitive statements, etc. But at this point, we're certainly not persuaded that Scomadi is finished. It might well be that there is simply some corporate restructuring underway. Certainly, there's no mention of the firm's liquidation on the company website (9th May 2019); not that there necessarily would be.


If you're in the scooter scene either as a rider, owner or business, our advice is to check the websites below and make your own enquiries.


It ain't over until it's over. Meanwhile, we're hoping that Scooter Moda sees the safe return of its hairdryers.





UPDATE: See also British Dealer News Scomadi story



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Cop cleared of scooter take down


Story snapshot:

Scooter rider was seriously injured in North London forced stop

PC Sutton was "doing his job and behaving reasonably"


We briefly mentioned this story a few days ago as a Sump "one liner" (see a little further down this page). Since then we've learned that the officer in question, 49-year old PC Edwin Sutton, has been cleared of professional misconduct charges and can keep his job.


The matter refers to an incident that happened almost two years ago on 21st May 2017. Simply, a trio of scooter riders was spotted showing off and generally misbehaving in the street in East Finchley, North London. Wheelies, swerving in traffic, hi-jinks. The kind of thing that most of us have done at one time or another (and a few of us would like to have the nerve to do again).


One of the teenagers, a 17-year old (referred to in court as "Mr G"), had some kind of blue handbag strapped or otherwise secured to his handlebars. Patrolling PC Sutton, well aware of the recent spate of motorised handbag thefts and scooter muggings in the capital, tried to stop the fleeing riders, notably by swerving across the pavement to block an escape route.


The rider of one scooter came down hard and suffered serious injuries. Sutton was subsequently charged for breaching professional standards and was, on Tuesday 7th May 2019, finally exonerated by a disciplinary tribunal.


The policy of "tactical contact" is now established as another vital weapon in the police arsenal, notably by "Scorpion-trained" officers. But in 2017, this policy was a greyer area of conflicting advice, allegedly causing some cops to break off pursuits and otherwise disengage whenever the situation suggested that an injury—or worse—was imminent.


Since Sutton was charged, his colleagues have understandably rallied and offered whatever support they can, the general sentiment being that they're damned if they don't intervene, and damned if they do.


London Police Federation chief Ken Marsh was been quoted as saying: "PC Sutton has been through hell for doing his job. Why are they [the government and/or disciplinary board] putting our colleagues in this position? This was a policy of the Independent Office for Police Conduct. It’s an absolute travesty."


Except that it probably isn't a travesty. As much as we despise the scooter thieves and muggers, especially those using acid as part of their attacks, we have to recognise that the cops still need to be kept in check and investigated whenever there's justifiable suspicion (whatever that means to you) that the officer has, in any specific instance, behaved inappropriately (whatever that means).


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who guards the guards?


Of course, tribunals, arbitration panels and (not least) the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are notorious for getting the balance wrong and bringing the wrong people to book, often on the flimsiest of evidence. At Sump, we've had direct experience of being involved in the incompetence of the CPS, and cleared of all charges.


Nevertheless, the cop was involved in a serious (and near fatal) incident that might well have involved recklessness or other illegality on his part. Therefore an appropriate hearing goes with the territory.


It's a bitch, and the British police are no particular friends of ours. All the same, it seems that in this instance PC Sutton behaved reasonably under the high-pressure circumstances, and did his job in the best way he could. The downside, however, is that there are now a lot of very disgruntled coppers out there who might well be less inclined to become involved in a hard take down if they believe that directly putting their necks on the block is a step too far.


Chances are, mind, that as the Sutton incident fades from memory, the rozzers will readjust their perspectives and return as "normal" to their regular duties which often demands they take potentially fatal chances—and then another similar incident will happen, and we'll be back to square one.

PC Sutton, we hear, is just weeks away from retirement. He's been in the job for 30 years or so. The tribunal cost thousands of pounds, and there's been a huge impact on Sutton's salary—which, we assume (and hope) will be reinstated/reimbursed.


It's not much of a send off for three decades on the thin blue line. But as we've said, it goes with the territory. Accept it, or don't accept it.


It's an unfair world.


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Triumph TFest starts on Friday


Story snapshot:

The complete 2019 bike range is yours to test this weekend

Just make sure you ask about the excessive insurance excess...


The dates are 11th - 12th May 2019, and that's a Saturday and a Sunday. And in case you're out of the loop, TFest is when Triumph dealers across the UK throw their doors open extra wide and organise some eats and music and invite us all along to try a bike, buy a bike and/or splash out on a few accessories or riding clobber.


Being plied with nosh and jokes and anecdotes and sounds is a pretty shrewd way to soften us up as the salesmen move in for the kill. But buying and selling is what greases the wheels of civilisation, and your cooperation in this regard is welcomed.


However, we ought to mention (again) the thorny issue of test ride insurance; specifically the "excess" that you'll be required to sign up to. The last time we spoke to a Triumph dealer about this (about ten minutes ago, actually), that excess was £1,000. In other words, if you drop a test bike you'll be expected to pay anything up to the first grand in repairs.


We've actually spoken to a few Triumph dealers about this—and spoken to more than a few dealers of other marques—and they tell much the same story. Customers rarely drop test bikes, they say. And when accidents do happen, the repairs usually total no more than a few hundred quid ("and we do the work ourselves" is the typical indifferent mantra). Nevertheless, you could be looking at a big bill if you take a tumble.


Car hire firms, meanwhile, usually level a relatively small (and optional) fee to completely waive the excess, and this might well suit some folk who'd rather pay a low sum to avoid a high risk. But this option is evidently beyond the wit of the motorcycle trade. Consequently, you pay nothing up front to test ride a bike, but could be looking at losing a very large wedge if the machine goes down.


We've commented on this before, but it's worth repeating. So our advice is to ask your local dealer about the excess question before you put your moniker on the test ride T&C form.


That aside, we hear that there should be lot of demonstrator bikes on call, even if the weather for this weekend doesn't look too promising.



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The Kempton Song

The day we went to Kempton
T'was a freezing day in May
We were looking for a bargain
But we weren't prepared to pay
How much for that badge, mate?
How much for those yokes?
50p? And fifty quid?
Hilarious, you blokes


A box of carburettors

Right, we'll take 'em off yer hands

Fiver for the lot if you

Include the centre stands

Well how about those girders?

And what about that wheel?

Forty nicker in yer mitt

C'mon, guys let's deal

So we haggled and we quibbled
And we dickered and we squabbled
But everything was overpriced
And everyone got nobbled
Eventually the day was done
We left with junk a plenty
Nineteen quid left in the pot
And we started out with twenty


Yo ho ho, you're in for a lark

When you try to bag a bargain at Kempton Park

Yo ho ho, you're heading for a tumble

If you want a sweet deal at the Kempton Autojumble



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A British police officer faces gross misconduct charge re hard moped stop

March UK car production fell 14.4%. 126,195 units. 10th consecutive drop

UK first 3D zebra crossing (North London) hailed a success. 12 month trial

Kop Hill Climb Festival seeks motorcycle/car entries. 21- 22 Sept 2019

Sutton MCs, Tamworth is new Triumph dealer (Triumph Birmingham East)

Triumph T160 Trident raffle 2019 - NMM

Triumph Trident T160 raffle. NOS. 9 "push" miles. Tickets 5 for £10. NMM


Regarding the 3D crossing, I’ve seen something similar in France that looks like speed humps but isn’t. I have to say it’s very effective.—The Village Squire

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