Helmut Fath's legendary
URS sidecar outfit.
See Bonhams Auction
story below.


 Classic Bike News


August 2010 Classic Bike News

Schwarzenegger to rule on noisy bikes
Northamptonshire police compensation claims
Kawasaki W800 is rolling
Interesting helmet research
Ace Classics to race at Goodwood
Bikers carjack celebrity wife
Taxi driver wasn't dead
New Amal parts for monoblocs
Val Emery Decals
Cameron & Clegg scrap pub plans
England gets the thumbs up
RoSPA's Communiqué
Villiers book
New three cylinder Triumph engine confirmed
Road pricing survey results
Drag Bike Racing - from Veloce
Road sign cull
The Fabulous Teddys
Davida 92
Draganfly's new plunger tubes
ID Document Bill
Morton's picture archive online
MO1 magneto replacement
Eddie Crooks
Triumph & The Stranglers
Royal Enfield Pub opens
Peter Williams Autobiography
Helmut Fath's outfit auctioned
Sammy Miller bikes on the block
8 Vincents auctioned
New V5Cs
TR3OC Breakfast
"Lewis Leathers" Enfield Bullet

Classic bike events



Schwarzenegger to rule on noisy bikes


From January 2013, California cops will be able to issue citations to riders of bikes registered after 2011 and fitted with exhausts that fail carry a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label.


What it means is this: California has, since the early 1980s, had fairly stringent motoring equipment anti-tampering laws. But up until the present day, the cops have had limited sanctions against owners of bikes that flout the statutory noise standard. However, if a new bill comes into law, cops will be able to request that the offending equipment is "rectified". Failure to do this will result in a fine.


This new bill (SB435) has been given the thumbs up by the California State Senate (21 votes to 16), but is required to be laid before 63-year old Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger before it becomes law.


The US riders rights group, ABATE, has registered objections to the bill on the grounds that there are already long established laws that can be used against excessively noisy bikes. Moreover, ABATE argues that the bill is unfairly restrictive in that exhaust systems that don't carry the required EPA label will automatically become illegal, regardless of how effective they are in meeting or even exceeding standards.


Arnie owns a number of bikes, and was famously involved in a minor fender bender when a car backed out into the Harley outfit he was riding (with his son in the chair). At the time, the "Governator" did not have a full motorcycle licence, but was riding lawfully under a full car licence which in California permits the use of a three wheeler.


The smart money is said to be on Schwarzenegger ratifying the bill.


— Del Monte



Northamptonshire police compensation claims


Northamptonshire police, we learn, have forked out £250,000 in compensation claims over the past five years as a result of crashing their vehicles into members of the public, or through causing said members to jump out of the way of oncoming patrol cars thereby doing themselves various nasty injuries.


Superintendent Sean Bell,  head of operations, has been quoted as saying that the force—which coughed up £77,000 in 2007-2008, £62,500 between 2008-2009, and £35,000 since then—has introduced a "strategy to reduce the amount of money paid to third parties as a result of police vehicle collisions."  Exactly what these strategies are isn't clear. So we can but speculate.


This, incidentally, is the same force that just last week nicked a certain member of Sump for hurtling along at the breathtaking speed of 35mph in a 30mph limit leading to either 3 points and a sixty quid fine, or a long day in the magistrates court arguing the toss, or an afternoon at a "speed awareness course".


What makes the aforementioned nicking all the more more galling is that the Northamptonshire fuzz, like most police forces, ought not to be throwing stones around their own glass houses.


In fact, their online Roll of Honour  reveals that they've lost quite a few of their number as a result of various motoring mishaps, but apparently not through any fault of their own.


Such as one officer who was killed when "his vehicle was in collision with a tree". And another fatally injured when his car "went out of control, left the road and overturned at Kettering" (it's not clear if either car, or tree, was charged with any offence).


Meanwhile, another officer was killed when he stepped into the road to stop a vehicle and was hit from behind.

And yet another was killed when he was struck by a drunk biker in the course of a routine (and highly irritating) traffic census.


All very regrettable deaths, and no one in their right mind takes any delight from these human losses. But having witnessed first hand over the past few years the ever more daring motoring antics of the boys in blue as they "lawfully" career at breakneck speeds through the various High Streets the length and breadth of Britain (often in pursuit of relatively trivial offences, and often causing multiple deaths and injuries), it's clear why the road traffic laws are these days treated with such contempt.


The British police driving record in the UK is lamentable. They might well be trained to drive like hoodlums in a video game, but the rest of us aren't trained to dive over hedges at their approach.


Better watch it next time you're bimbling through Northamptonshire otherwise minding your own business and travelling at a perfectly reasonable (if slightly over the limit) speed. Once upon a time that used to be a pretty reliable defence against a ticket. But lately, you're just digging the hole deeper—unless, of course, you're a copper otherwise doing his duty.

— Dexxion


Kawasaki W800 is rolling


Kawasaki W800

Kawasaki's long awaited successor to its popular W650 parallel twin is on the way. The W800 is once again gunning for Hinckley Triumph's Bonneville cash cow, and according to a Kawasaki spokesperson, is expected to be priced "very competitively".


Power on the W800 is said to have been hiked to around 60bhp—up from 49bhp. Fuel injection is almost certain (the old carburetted W650 upset the green meanies and got the chop). The rear drum, however, has been replaced by a disc, and the kickstarter appears to have vanished (both retrograde steps in our opinion). But then, this is a retrobike; you go backwards and forwards at the same time on one of these. Get over it.


The W650 was introduced in 1999 and fell off the production line in 2007. Unquestionably, it's a future classic. Let's hope the big K does something about that God-awful lime green paint by the time the W800 hit the shops (and let's hope the firm also puts back the rear drum and kickstarter). No info yet on which world markets this is aimed at, but when we know, you'll know.


Kawasaki W800 buyers guide



— Coffee Stop



helmet research


Dr Ian Walker, a professor of traffic psychology at the University of Bath, has been recently pooh-poohed by the Department for Transport (DfT) for having the audacity to claim that wearing a cycle helmet (or not) can significantly affects the behaviour of passing drivers.


Walker's research suggests that wearing a lid caused drivers to pass up to 9cm closer than when he wasn't wearing one. More interestingly, when said prof donned a long girly wig, drivers gave him a significantly wider berth.


The conclusion being that cyclists with helmets look safer and ride more predictably; therefore drivers can afford to be less cautious. At the other extreme, women are thought to be about to fall off at any moment and so need all the room they can get.


At Sump, we're not sure whether we should applaud a professor who's prepared to dress up like a Sheila in the name of research, or whether we should agree with the DfT that this bloke might not be firing on all cylinders.


Makes you think, huh?

— Girl Happy


Ace Classics to race at Goodwood


Cliff Rushworth's Ace Classics is planning to field a 1954 Triumph T110 racer at the Goodwood Revival's Barry Sheen Memorial Trophy Race on September 17th-19th 2010.


Meanwhile, Cliff's

busy taking orders for Ace's 2011calendar. If it's anything like the last one, it'll just be filled with a lot of dates and glitzy snapshots of pre-unit Triumphs and cool looking dudes and stuff like that.


We're still reading last year's edition and haven't got past April. But don't let out illiteracy deter you from sticking your mitt down there in your pocket fluff. Yours for a tenner.




— Del Monte



Bikers carjack celebrity wife


Joe Cole, who kicks a ball around for Liverpool Football Club, has had his driving licence suspended this week for just 50 days (subject to an appeal) after being found guilty of blatting along at 105mph in a 70mph limit in Surrey. Apparently, he would have got a stiffer sentence, but he needs his licence (it was revealed) to ferry his distraught wife around who is too traumatised to drive having been carjacked a few weeks ago by a bunch of bikers.


"And I can't take the bus," Mrs Cole (Carly Zucker) told magistrates, "because I'm too famous."


Twenty-eight year old Cole earns around £90,000 per week, depending on who you ask—which, according to our reckoning, buys a lot of chauffeur hours. But aside from 50 days on a couch and a £750 fine, Cole could be free to drive like a maniac again after just seven weeks, plus change.


You might want to cut this item out of your computer and show it to the judge the next time you're caught doing 37mph on your Bantam in a 30mph limit, but I doubt the beak will show you any mercy. As ever, it's one rule for we poor proles, and another rule for the celebrity classes.


Meanwhile, the rozzers are still searching for the carjacked wheels.


— Dexxion



Taxi driver wasn't dead


Taxi drivers are definitely no friends of ours. Having been deliberately whacked by one whilst riding through Central London, we know what a short fuse these bastards have and how dangerous they can be. But you've got to feel a spark of sympathy for cabman Steve Woodward from Swindon, Wilts, who nodded off in a car park before he paid his due.


A prowling traffic warden caught him napping and slapped a ticket on the screen, and now Woodward feels aggrieved that the warden didn't check that he was alive before feeling up his wallet.


'This just shows these traffic wardens aren't concerned about people's welfare," said whingeing Woodward. "All they're interested in is the money.'


It sounds to us that it wouldn't have made much difference either way. More than once a traffic warden has slapped a ticket on an ambulance, police car, fire engine and hearse, and black cabs are a lot further than that down the food chain.


Mr Woodward said he will be paying the fine.

— Sam 7


New Amal parts
for monoblocs


Burlen Fuel Systems have announced a new range of parts for monobloc carburettors including a beefed up slide (chrome on brass), Stay Up floats (closed cell foam and Viagra), a hexagon head pilot air screw (for when only a spanner will do), and some other in-carb goodies which you can find on their website. The Stay Up floats, by the way, are also available for Mk1, Mk1.5 and Mk2 carbs.


No prices came our way, so you'll have to do your own legwork.


Meanwhile, a note to the wonderful guys at Burlen: There's no such word as "pre-order". Let's strike a blow in favour of better English, huh?



— Coffee Stop


Val Emery Decals


You know how it is when that older restoration has got seriously tatty from neglect and could almost pass as an unrestored barn find?


Trouble is, you scraped off the original dealer decals that used to adorn the mudguard or oil tank when you had it repainted.


Well now you can turn the clock back a little tighter with these transfers from Val Emery that are said to be very accurate repros of the original stickers and would fool just about everyone.


Sound a little too fakey? Well we love 'em. It's those little touches that get the old nostalgia juices flowing. So enjoy it before it dries and check out the range at: www.dealerdecals.co.uk


You can see them up close at the Classic Mechanics Show in October (see Sump events). Val's laid claim to Stand 217.

— Del Monte


Cameron & Clegg scrap pub plans


In case you've forgotten what they look like, here are a couple of mug shots of public enemy number one and two. What have they done? Simple. They've reneged on Labour's commitment to plough £3.3 million into country boozers as part of a programmes aimed at propping up ailing local communities.


What this means for you as a classic biker is that the chances of breaking down outside a convenient watering hole have been significantly reduced.


John Healey, Labour's minister for Pubs, had also pledged £330,000 a year for three years as part of the Pub-is-the-Hub scheme, but the Tory/Lib Dem coalition has said that the country can't afford it, so it's been axed.


Mike Benner, chief exec for the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said, "Without financial support, many communities simply cannot afford to keep their pubs afloat.” Hear, hear (hic).


We're pleased to say that at Sump, we didn't vote for either of these two comedians (or for Labour come to that), and we now feel vindicated.


A pint in the country while you're fixing a broken drive chain might be small beer to them, but to guys like us, it's the meaning of life in a pint pot. Remember this when election time comes around again, huh?


It might not be politically correct to say this, but maybe you'd better wet your whistle before you take that Sunday afternoon jaunt into bandit country, or at least take a couple of cans with you.

— Sam 7



Jim Gleave Atlantic Motorcycles

England gets the thumbs up


With all the doom and gloom around regarding the British

economy, it's amazing that we haven't all topped ourselves in a mass suicide pact.


But hold off for a while with that razor blade/bottle of aspirin/open window because all is not lost—at least, not according to Jim Gleave at Atlantic Motorcycles in Twyford, Berkshire.


"Britain," says Jim, "is still the best place in the world to buy and sell classic motorcycles. I think we've got one of the strongest economies, not one of the weakest. The US was good for a while, but the market has dropped off badly. Recently, most of my best deals have been right here in the UK. For instance, I sold four bikes last week, and I might have found a buyer today (Saturday 28th August) for a wonderful unrestored 1947 Triumph Tiger 100 that I'm asking a little over £10,000 for. It's had four owners, but is otherswise exactly as it was when it left the factory—except for the tyres which have been replaced.


"I have done well from America, mind. Recently, I sold and exported a Velocette MK8 KTT for £40,000. But overall the market is now very weak. Each year, I usually take 10-15 bikes to the USA flying them out in batches to spread the pain of the freight costs. But I'm not sure I'll be attending the next big event, which is the 20th Annual Las Vegas Antique Motorcycle Auction & Races on January 6th-8th 2011 and organised by Mid America Auctions. The market really is that bad, and if my bikes don't sell, it's too expensive to bring them back—and leaving them in a dead market isn't much use to me. So I'll have to think hard before I commit.


"For the first time, Bonhams will be taking on Mid America in Las Vegas (January 2011), which should prove interesting.


"In the past, the Mid America auction has sold 500 bikes with takings of over £5 million. But with Bonhams' huge experience, who know what might happen?"



If you want to nip over to Sin City for the big showdown, find your way to Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in the heart of the strip and look for a sign reading: Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction.  Be there on Thursday, January 6th, 2011. And take lots of money. If Jim is right, you could snag a bargain.


Atlantic Motorcycles: www.atlanticmotorcycles.com (Now defunct)

Mid America Auctions: www.midamericaauctions.com

Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction: www.bonhams.com


— Dexxion



RoSPA's Communiqué


The Royal Society for the Prevention of Anything (RoSPA) has issued a statement in conjunction with the AA, the London Road Safety Council, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (and a bunch of other self-appointed safety "experts") reiterating the dubious claim (based on half-assed statistical misinterpretation) that speed cameras save 100 lives per annum.


Anyone with half a brain recognises that speed cameras do little but interrupt the progress of hightailing vehicles and simply fleece the otherwise perfectly sensible and reasonably law abiding road user of hard-to-come-by dosh. But you can't tell that to the experts and safety fascists.


Meanwhile, following on from Oxfordshire's decision to cut funding for its speed cameras, Essex, Lancashire and Dorsetshire County Councils are said to be conducting "reviews of policy".


Last year, Swindon was the first town in the UK to shut down its cameras and has since seen a significant reduction in injuries and fatalities—which is hardly conclusive, but certainly does nothing to reinforce the argument for Gatsos and sundry forms of electronic,

blunt-hammer policing.


Brain donations to RoSPA at: www.rospa.com

— Dexxion



Villiers book

Villiers book


Either you like Villiers-engined bikes

or you don't. At Sump, we like pretty much anything that gets you rolling. Pushbikes too. But we haven't read this one, partly because we're too busy mucking about in the garage trying to stop a carburettor leaking, so we don't know if it's drivel or divine. But if your carburettors are in fine fettle, and if you're a "Villiers man", you might want to check this out.


288 pages. Soft back. Mick Walker and Rob Carrick. £29.95


— Coffee Stop


New three cylinder Triumph
engine confirmed



Triumph has confirmed the development of a new three cylinder engine rumoured to become the driving force of a new range of machines aimed at the "adventure" market. Like all the other magazines, we don't have any more information. Triumph, typically, is being very coy; and rightly so. The firm is on a roll and is milking its brand for all the cream it can get. The best we can do is tell you to watch this space.

— Big End



Road pricing
survey results


A new Department for Transport (DfT) survey has found that "more than half of UK adults believe that road charging should be based on usage". Almost fifty percent (up 10-15% from the last survey) said the money raised should be used exclusively on roads and transport—meaning buses and trains. One in ten felt that road pricing was unacceptable under any circumstances.


These essentially meaningless statistics come from a fairly recent sample of 2798 people buttonholed over a three month period—regardless of the fact that motorcyclists and drivers are already paying through the nose in fuel tax, and are thereby being charged for every hard won mile.


Of course, buttonholing the public is usually done at least partly in shopping precincts—meaning that such surveys invariably include a disproportionate number of pedestrians who are often all too happy to foist taxation onto road users, especially when said taxation funds more buses, trams and trains.


But let's be generous and assume that the right statistical sampling was done and that the figures accurately reflect public sentiment/bias. Either way, a DfT spokesperson has thrown his or her weight behind the survey, while the government has said it has no plans to do much about new road pricing during the current parliament—and isn't really looking much beyond that. We'll believe it if you will.

— Dexxion


Drag Bike Racing - from Veloce



Veloce Publishing is set to launch a new book detailing 20-odd years of drag bike racing. Author Keith Lee, we hear, has been involved in the sport for a couple of decades (at the blunt and sharp end), and for a while was the drag racing journo for Motor Cycle Weekly.


Paperback. 96 pages. 100+ pictures. The price is £14.99.


— Dexxion


Road sign cull


If the Tory-Lib Dem coalition have their way, road signs could soon be on the endangered species list. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond have been spamming local councils in a bid to clean up the countryside and purge us of all those bits of coloured tin that are obliterating the view of ... well, all the other bits of coloured tin.


And it's not just road signs on the government hit list. It's all manner of street furniture including unnecessary lamp posts, extraneous benches, billboards and patchwork pavements. Mr Pickle cites over-zealous use of safety regulations, etc, and has thrown down the gauntlet.


We suspect that what's at the heart of this is just cash-strapped Britain looking for another way to get its financial neck out of a sling. Maintenance of road signs costs a fortune; money that could be better spent propping up the bankers and bombing the citizens of third world nations. But it sounds like a move in the right direction. Just watch out for those unmarked tight bends, unexpected hump backed bridges, sudden roundabouts and oncoming drivers coming at you from all directions.


You've been warned.

— Sam 7



We've never had much time for these things and prefer to let the mobile phone ring and ring when we're on the move. But the march of progress grinds us all down eventually, so we'll probably come around sooner or later.


This gadget is called an F2 City and lets the modern world come crashing in on your classic ride. It's got Bluetooth this and hands-free that, and your SatNav can tell you which way to go while you're enjoying the scenery. It plays music too.


The suggested retail price is around £99.00, which is pretty nearly the price of a new Amal carburettor for the Bonnie (and we know which one we'd rather have). Anyway, that's the pitch. Take it or leave it.


— Big End


The Fabulous Teddys



Crossbow Calendars have sent details of their 5th Calendar Party at which The Fabulous Teddys will be do-wopping and sha-na-naing for however long it takes to get through the set.


The Ignition Girls will be posing with bikes and guests, so any of you with pacemakers, make sure your points are gapped properly.


The venue is the The MFN Club which you can find off J26 on the M1. The date is Saturday 30th October 2010.


Free camping and hardstanding for your motorhome (see how spoiled you are these days?). Tickets cost a fiver.




— Girl Happy


Davida 92


If you're tired of having your crash helmet blowing off your ears and rattling around in the breeze, this might interest you. Davida has launched its new Ninety Two model, a pint size pot for riders looking for that extra snug feel. The firm says it's the smallest profile lid they've made.


Fibreglass and kevlar reinforced, this one's got a British Safety Standard BS 6658: 1985 Type B certificate, for whatever that's worth. It comes in one shell size and two helmet sizes: Small 54-56, and Medium 56-58, and retails at £225. Pity the price hasn't come way down with the reduced dimensions. But what can you do? In this age of supposed low inflation, everything's on the rise. Except wages.



— Coffee Stop


Draganfly's new plunger tubes



So your plunger BSA Bantam, BSA C10L, or Ariel Colt has lost its bounce, huh? Well the tubes and columns could be the problem. Suffolk based British bike spares firm, Draganfly, has got the solution by the throat and are offering the above items to put you out of your misery.


Draganfly is a company worth supporting. They remanufacture hundreds of parts, many of them obscure and hard to source. Equally importantly, they know their bikes and ride them with a passion. Good advice. Fast service. Stick your hand in your pocket and do what you have to do.


The 90-4113 Plunger Tube retails for £25.00. The 90-4121 Plunger Column costs £18.50 (prices for each plus p&p and vat).


Telephone: 01986 894 798


— Girl Happy


ID Document Bill


The government's bill to scrap ID cards and dismantle the National Identity Register is due to go through to the Report Stage in the next couple of weeks (15th September 2010). What this means for you as a classic biker, as a person, and as a citizen of a country that's all but trashed everything that made it great, is that you should have a smidgen more freedom of the open road if and when the bill is passed into law.


In theory, anyway.


The Tory manifesto pledged to kick this one into touch, and it looks like it's going that way (aided and abetted by the Lib-Dems). If and when it happens, it will be a long overdue stab in the eye for Labour who've traded away just about every civil liberty we have except breathing.


Of course, the police aren't too happy and believe that "ID cards have been shown to be very effective in European countries"—never mind that Europe also has a world class industry churning out fake ID for anyone who needs it.


More amusingly, Labour have recently been whingeing that anyone who's forked out £30 for one of the 15,000 cards already issued will feel "cheated if they are denied the right to use them".


See what we were up against?

— Dexxion


Mortons' picture archive online



They're claiming four million motorcycle images of which over 4000 are now online, and rising. This is Mortons Media Group's archive, a repository that's now accessible to pretty much anyone's coin. The photographs have largely been drawn from the archives of magazines and periodicals including The Motor Cycle, and Motorcycling, both founded in 1903.


But it's not all sepia and black and white. The pictures cover pretty much everything from those first shaky rides to the present day. Mods and Rockers. TT racers. Specials. War bikes. Old factory shots. Road test pics. Etc.


Mortons, note, currently own pretty much all the classic bike magazines in the UK including Old Bike Mart, The Classic Motorcycle, Classic Mechanics and Classic Bike Guide.


This archive could well be another very lucrative string to a very long bow. Meanwhile, if you're looking for a picture for personal or commercial use, you know where to start looking.


Find out more at: www.mortonsmediagroup.com

— Big End


MO1 magneto replacement

BT-H MD1R magneto


Tony Harris is marketing his new BT-H MD1R magneto—a direct replacement for the ubiquitous Lucas MO1 unit. Only, this mag features an electronic ignition module that Tony says is a doddle to "time". Electronic advance and retard is, naturally enough, built in.


Made from steel, the sealed-bearing unit requires a small ignition coil (supplied) which can be located in any convenient spot. Your standard dynamo will clamp straight on, and you can "plumb in" your redundant advance and retard cable to ensure that all your rivets are counted. You can opt for a twin-plug unit too.


The price is £570, which is steep. But this kind of short-run technology is expensive to make. And on the upside, you can forever forget about setting the points and just putter around on your pride and joy with a regular spark lighting your fuse, and no advance and retard to fuss with. It'll probably also help with those dodgy knees—and might save you the embarrassment of a long succession of "no-starts" when you've drawn a crowd (and that's got to be worth a few bob).


Carriage, incidentally, is £15. You can talk to Tony on: 01455 844244.

Or visit him at: www.bt-h.biz/mag-dyno.htm

— Girl Happy



Eddi Crooks

Eddie Crooks


Suzuki dealer and Manx GP winner Eddie Crooks has died aged 78. Crooks, who won the 1959 Manx Grand Prix and three ISDT gold medals, was also one of Suzuki's pioneering dealers having started out in 1960 selling Triumphs and Greeves.


In 1963, he established Crooks Suzuki in Barrow-in-Furness, a business that still trades in Suzukis and is now managed by

his son, Martin.



— Big End



Triumph & The Stranglers


The Stranglers are set to put in an appearance at the
Triumph Live event at Mallory Park on 18th September 2010. But if you're expecting Hugh Cornwell to be in the line-up, you're in for a disappointment. Cornwell, who left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career, will not be where the vast majority of fans want him to be, which is right up there beside JJ Burnel. Nevertheless, the Stranglers are said to be in fine voice and fettle and are nothing if not always one of the most exciting bands on the planet. The current line up is; Jet Black, Jean-Jacque Burnel, Dave Greenfield, and Baz Warne.


For more details on Triumph Live, check out Sump's motorcycle events page, or visit the Triumph Live site at: www.triumph-live.co.uk


For more on The Stranglers, go to: www.stranglers.net


— Del Monte


Royal Enfield pub


Royal Enfield Pub opens


JD Wetherspoon, one of Britain's largest pub operators, has recently opened a new watering hole in Redditch, Worcestershire appropriately named The Royal Enfield. Managed by landlord James Doughty, the £850,000 venture serves up a large range of real ales and gallons of biking heritage, and you can even have a fag (legally) on the pavement cafe out front.


Wetherspoon started with a single pub back in 1979 and now have 700 premises on their books. If this one's a success, it's odds on that in the foreseeable future, we'll see similar boozers in Meriden, Small Heath and Plumstead. But will the greasy classic bike fraternity be welcome?


You can twist Wetherspoon's drinking arm by visiting then at:



Meanwhile, here's the address of the pub:

The Royal Enfield, Old Cinema, Unicorn Hill,

Redditch, Worcestershire B97 4QR

Telephone: 01527 590970

— Sam 7



Peter Williams


It was a long time coming round the track, but Peter Williams' autobiography "Designed to Race" has finally crossed the finishing line and will be on sale from September 2010. Published by Redline Books, this 288 page, four-colour hardback tome will be sold primarily from the Redline website. Peter Williams is a rare gentleman racer who's made major contributions, both on and off the saddle, to motorcycle sport. This one has to be worth a read. The price is £29.95. www.redlinebooks.co.uk

— Del Monte


Helmut Fath's outfit to be auctioned


At the Classic Mechanics Show at Stafford, 17th October 2010, Bonhams will be auctioning Helmut Fath's home made four cylinder URS racing sidecar outfit (see main image on this page). This legendary three-wheeler propelled Fath and co-pilot Wolfgang Kalauch to victory at the 1968 Sidecar World Championship. In 1971, another pair of Germans, Horst Owesle and Peter Rutterford, proved that this was no one-hit-wunderbike and re-took the title. Bonhams are expecting this lot, from a private collection, to fetch £60,000-£70,000. Also under the hammer are a large quantity of spares for the same.




Sammy Miller
bikes on the block


Meanwhile, from the Sammy Miller Museum in New Milton, Hampshire, three notable bikes are up for grabs at the Bonham auction:


● a restored 1933 AJS 496cc Model 34 (£10,000 – 12,000)


● a restored 1934 Matchless 596cc Silver Hawk V-Four

(£30,000 – 35,000)


● a unrestored 1922 Velocette 220cc EL3 Lady’s Model

(£3,500 – 4,500).


8 Vincents auctioned


Finally, eight Vincents (six from a single private collector) are going under the Bonham's hammer.

The bikes include:


● a 1954 Black Shadow Series C (£40,000 – 50,000)


● a c.1948 Rapide Series B (£17,000 - 20,000)


● a 1949 Rapide Series C (£17,000 – 20,000)


● a 1955 Rapide Series D (£18,000 - 22,000)


● a 1969 Egli-Comet (£8,000 – 12,000)


● a 1951 Comet Series C (£8,000 – 10,000).

— Girl Happy



New V5Cs


New style V5C "logbooks" are in force as of 15th August 2010. The key points of the change are as follows:


● both types are valid.


● the new V5C (with the red panels) makes it clear that possession of the logbook should not be regarded as proof of ownership.


● there's no longer a tick box for scrapped vehicles. Everything now has to be taken to an Authorised Treatment Facility, or ATF.


● a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) will be issued by the ATF.


● keepers must declare SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification)
   if the vehicle is kept and broken for spares.


— Big End




TR3OC Breakfast


The Triumph and Rocket Three Owners Club (TR3OC) will be stuffing their faces at their annual Hurricane Meeting on Sunday August 29th 2010 at the London Motorcycle Museum's Big Breakfast in Greenford, Middlesex. Entry is £8, which includes nosebag and access to the exhibits. Bill Crosby and family have put a lot of hard work into the museum. So mosey on down there and support it if you can. There's always new stuff on show.

Location: Ravenor Farm, 29 Oldfield Lane, Greenford UB6 9LD
Tel: 020 8575 6644

— Dexxion


"Lewis Leathers" Enfield Bullet



For £5695, you can bag yourself one of these limited edition
Royal Enfield Classic 500s. Designed by Nick Clements (a Royal College of Art "style aficionado") as a homage to Lewis Leathers, Enfield are building fifty of these numbered bikes and expect to sell them all without too much effort.


Single cylinder and fuel-injected, these disc-braked and electric start Indian takeaways are a far cry from the original Bullet. But they look cool enough if kitsch and/or retro is your thing. However, at five and a half grand plus change, we're wondering if Enfield have done their marketing sums right. But who are we to argue?


Call 01386 700907 or visit www.royal-enfield.com.

— Dexxion


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Classic bikes for sale

Cafe Racer T-shirt:
Vivo ergo veho

(I think, therefore I ride)


£15.99 plus P&P

[for details, click here]


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