February 2014  Classic motorcycle news


circa 1930 art deco Majestic. Built of sheet steel and powered by a 500cc Chaise OHV  engine, this beautiful machine, complete with Bernadet sidecar, will be offered for sale by Bonhams on 6th February 2014 at its Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais sale in Paris. The estimate is £74,000 - £99,000 (€90,000 - €120,000). For more images of this Majestic, click here.


UPDATE: The Majestic didn't find a buyer.

January 2014 Classic bike news

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

December 2013 Classic bike news

Von Dutch 500cc Triumph to sell...
Cool oil on canvas by Robert Carter
Camera car consultation deadline: motorcycles ignored again
Save the Brighton Speed Trials
Ronnie Biggs 1929 - 2013
Cool stuff from Bonhams Bally sale
Alex Phillip's Clubman Vincent sale
Motorcycle traders look this way
Triumph financial losses overstated
New from Zippo
What's happening to classic prices?
BSA M20/B33 rigid rear lifting handle and mudguard stay
Peter O'Toole: 1932 - 2013
Custom Sunbeam S8 up for sale
Triumph posts a £12.8 million loss
Holden Cars Oz production to end
British Customs "Vintage Vendetta"
Stan Tracey: 1926 - 2013
New Brough SS100. First UK view
Voxan electric motorcycle unveiled
Ten years for Alexander Blackman
Say goodbye to the UK "tax disc"
New radio pulsing bike stop tech
Jake Robbins' Spit and Polish forks
EU plan to trash British road signs

November 2013 Classic bike news

"21st century" Hesketh 24 promised

Lewis Collins: 1946 - 2013

Watsonian Meteor sidecar returns

VMCC Hewing: jumped or pushed?

Brad Pitt Davida lid up for grabs

Andy Tiernan/Nick Ward Calendar

OK-Supreme missing parts appeal

Southern Classic Off-Road Show

For sale: 1964 BSA C15T - £2,850

1938 Matchless Model X - Cheffins

For sale: 1957 AJS Model 30. £3,300

Monstercraft Brat Kit for XS650 Yams

Bonhams Las Vegas, 9th Jan 2014

Young drivers see less, warns RAC

Lightmare campaign reminder

Interesting UK prison facts and stats
1935 Excelsior tops Harrogate Sale
Royal Enfield Continental screens
Stolen T100 returned after 46 years
Hövding invisible cycling helmet
SR400 Yamaha vs baby Triumph?
Ring of Red: respectful or mawkish?
McQueen's "Bullitt" tweed on sale
Jake Robbins taper-girders
Rare 350cc Triumph 3SW at Bonhams
Sump Magazine is now on Facebook
US Government ponders lid laws
Harley-Davidson's new streetsters
Milton Keynes's "driverless cars"
New T-bird, first whitewall radials
Weiss Montana heated glove
Upham's Brough project unveiled
Circa 1925 Douglas RA for Harrogate
Caterham Cars launches bike range
Cameron visits Henry Cole's Gladstone
bobber factory

British solicitors under threat
Norton's first US Commandos sent
Graham Stark: 1922 - 2013

October 2013 Classic bike news

Cheffins' Cambridge sale results
Lou Reed: 1942 - 2013
The Glory Days of British Motorbikes
Triumph Experimental by Mick Duckworth
Liverpool's bus lane suspension
Regent Street Motor Show update
Francis Beart Manx makes £61,980
The Breathometer is coming
Harley-Davidson recalls 25,185 motorcycles
Triumph T120 TT Special hits £16,000
Cool 1939 Triumph T100 on eBay
Superbikes of the 70s from Panther Publishing
"Project" Vincent-HRD Meteor offer
Rare 1938 600cc eBay Triumph 6S
Copdock Commando prize winner
Cambridge cops are nicking bikes
H&H at Duxford: 16th October 2013
Has Triumph run out of ideas?
Rat-out a trader, win ten grand
SuperBike sold, yet again
Norton "export volumes rise"
Last call for the classic Land Rover

September 2013 Classic bike news

Haynes retrenches and regroups
Billy Fury Tribute Night at the Ace
Gear Gremlin First Aid Kit
Ellis e-petition gathers momentum
Southbank car & bike boot sale
Pistons & Props: 28th-29th Sept 2013
Bike buyers robbed at gunpoint
1901 Ariel Quadricycle comes home
RAC demands 5p per litre fuel cut
1st Annual Motorcycle Film Festival,
Brooklyn, NY

"3D gun" on display at the V&A
Grayling's magistrates reform woes
Twenty's plenty in the Square Mile
Cool Ariel Square Four on eBay
Royal Enfield Continental GT roars
Weise Hi Viz jackets for cissies
Triumph T120R eScam taken offline
Bonhams' Beaulieu 2013 sale results
Satnav drivers "returning to maps"
Kenneth Horatio Wallis: 1916 - 2013
H&H invites October Duxford entries
Indian built 500cc Harley-Davidsons?
Brough stuff at Bonneville 2013
Triumph Rocket-3 streamliner details

August 2013 Classic bike news

Huge classic bike collection to sell
£4,600 Harley-Davidson FatBoy scam
Two classic Honda CX500 kits
Stolen BMW R80ST plea for help
Ace Classics (London) 2013 calendar
Sid Bernstein: 1918 - 2013
Judge denies Muslim burka motion
Brent Council shuts Ace "race track"
VW injunction blocks security hole
Bonhams return to Beaulieu in Sept
Pistol-packing copper is still busy on the job
Peter Fonda sues over Easy Rider T-shirt
Southern Classic Off-Road Show
Karen Black 1939 -2013
EU threatens MOT tests for caravans
New Norton T-shirt from Sump
2014 Indian range announced
Werner Lang: 1922 - 2013
Three staff arrested at Les Emery's

July 2013 Classic bike news

Cheffins Cambridge July results
Three "rare" Triumph TSXs on sale
Film company seeks Enfield riders
David Dixon: 1933-2013
Rare Triumph 6-1 on eBay: £16,000
Swinton fined for swindling
York council's 20mph slap in the face
French TV channel will be filming at the Ace
Lesney's Matchbox 60th anniversary
Free tickets to the South of England SuperBike Show and Bike Jumble
"... and do you take this poof to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
Henry Cole's "Gladstone" bobber
Triumph TRW pricing news
David "Fluff" Brown: 1930-2013
New Norton Domiracer breaks cover
£20,000 T120 Bonneville in sight
"Motorways are a rip off!" say IAM
Mortons postpones Big Kent 2013 event
VMCC Velo and Norton raffle update
Vincent Black Shadow T-shirt
Welsh Assembly votes away rights
June Pendine Trials "weathered off"

June 2013 Classic bike news

Roger LaVern: 1937 - 2013
2012 UK road deaths and injury figures
Cheffins fairground biker: £1100
Brake lights that see round the bend
Bonhams' 2013 Banbury highlights
New police powers and penalties
Bonhams & Banbury 2013 reminder
Cafe Racer Festival at Montlhery
Dirt Quake II
Historics at Brooklands results
Cameras to monitor cycle boxes?
Peter Williams £65,000 replica

May 2013 Classic bike news

TT rider Yoshinari Matsushita killed

2013 Brighton Speed Trials cancelled

Ton-Up Day 14th July 2013

Johnny "Chester" Dowling's
getting his kicks again

87 bikes for Historics at Brooklands

Sump seizes Kempton trader's stock

Welcome to classic Britain

DomiRacer liquidated and set for auction

Ray "Doors" Manzarek: 1939-2013

Indian's "sneak peek" at the Chief

Streetfighters magazine closes after 22 years

Bruce Main-Smith stops trading

Bike Shed custom bike exhibition

AJS-Matchless Club draw 2013

Bryan Forbes: 1926 - 2013

Watsonian-Squire Open Weekend

Call to lower the legal age of consent to 13

Royal Enfield's new UK home

April 2013 Classic bike news

Genuine Sump T-Shirt back in stock

VMCC Jan-Jun 2013 Velocette raffle

Storm conversion for XS650 Yams

Drive it Day for classic cars and bikes

Petition to ban mobile phone drivers

£246,400 Vincent; £246,400 Brough

Royal change to the laws of succession

Margaret Thatcher: 1925-2013

Ex-McQueen Indian Model F to sell

Eric's Cafe Racer Corner

Peter "Pip" Harris: 1927-2013

Pendine Sands Speed Trials 22/23 June 2013

Dr James "JK" Kelly Swanston: 1908-2013

Mortons buys Normous Newark

March 2013 Classic bike news
2013 Pioneer Run snowed and iced off

Dambuster charity motorcycle ride

One hundred cafe racers wanted

Hide your classic, and go to jail

Eddie Presbury "cheap" bike art

Norton acquires Donington Hall

James Herbert: 1943-2013

1973: New cut-off date for "historics"

Triumph T140D floating disc from
Norman Hyde

Rare Brough Superior BS4 to sell

First Vincent Lightning also to sell

British justice for sale, says Grayling

Indian reveals new 111-inch engine

Yamaha Bolt challenge to Triumph?

Triumph still in the number one spot

February 2013 Classic bike news

£6975 Triumph Tiger Cub, sold!
Ray "Dalek" Cusick: 1928-2013
Triumph Speed Triple R "Dark"
Despatches. Free eBook from Sump
Bonhams' Grand Palais "success"
Le breathalyser fines "postponed"
Government set to scrap 80mph speed limit hike plan
Driving test interpreters for the chop?
Reg "Wild Thing" Presley: 1941-2013
Bonhams Paris Grand Palais Sale 2013
New licence withdrawal powers

January 2013 Classic bike news

Freddie Williams: 1926-2013
Where's the Gaffer's Gallop film?
Andy Tiernan's ebay warning
2013 Triumph Rocket 3 Roadster
Insulting to be made legal again
One hundred years of Aston Martin
$480,000 1939 BMW Rennsport
Burtons' Triumph TRW register
James Austin's Classic Shows
Winter Restoration Show 2012
2013 Triumph Tiger Sports 1050
Winter Classic Bike Guide Show



New Lotus Bike: Not Made in Britain


The badge says "Lotus", and the colour scheme (arguably) says "Lotus", and Lotus say it's a Lotus. So it's a Lotus, right? Well kind of. That's because this new—and first—sortie by "Lotus" into the two-wheeled world is promising us an 1195cc KTM V-twin engine housed in a steel, aluminium and carbon fibre chassis and built in Germany by Kodewa, the Formula 1 specialists currently up to their suspension wishbones in the FIA World Endurance Championship.


Lotus has simply rented out its name and heritage and hasn't much else to do with the project beyond collecting a royalty. The bike is called the C-01 (which rhymes with...well, take-the-money-and-run), and we hear that a limited batch of 100 machines will be built.


The usual hyperbole such as "raw" and "aggressive" and "breathtaking" is being bandied about by the PR people. And we've heard a few other words being bandied about that we won't repeat here. As for looks, we actually quite like it. But looks ain't everything. And the price? Stick around. Sooner or later they'll think of a convincing number.


If you want to see some more images of the Lotus C-01 click here.


— Big End



Met set to pay out huge rape compensation


Two women rape victims have been given leave to sue the Metropolitan Police for negligence following "systemic (investigation) failures".


The story revolves around London black cab driver John Worboys who, between 2002 and 2008, is said to have raped over 100 women and is now serving a "life" sentence to offset whatever dubious pleasure he got from his acts.


The ruling was made today (28th February 2014) by Mr Justice Greene who identified multiple instances of police negligence and incompetence which conspired (for want of a better word) to leave Worboys at liberty to continue his sexual attacks.


It's well established that the modern British police force (and probably plenty of other forces worldwide) is barely fit for purpose. But in fairness to the rozzers, it's not entirely their fault. Fact is, the economics of the Western world have changed hugely over the past 20-30 years. Practically all police forces are seriously strapped for cash and grossly undermanned (even when you factor in the often huge salaries of the top officers).


But if we doubled the size of the various UK police forces, it still wouldn't be enough, and as tax-payers, we simply don't want to pay more. And now, given the economic constraints placed upon the UK, we can't afford to pay more tax, anyway.



▲ "You'll never guess who I had in the back of my cab the other day!" takes on a whole new meaning following Worboys' attacks.



So Worboys drugged and raped the women in the back of his cab, and the Met screwed up the various investigations and missed numerous opportunities to jerk Worboys' lead, and now the victims have been told they can sue the Met and thereby extract more cash from the public purse which underpins police budgets. Moreover, we're told that this is a green light for dozens, if not hundreds, of other rape victims to come forward with their hands out.


Rape is a pretty horrific and traumatic crime, but we're scratching our heads and wondering why it is that every time someone wants compensation, it has to be in terms of cash (or cheque).


So okay, it's hard to figure out exactly what else to offer. But we might start by making coppers more personally accountable for their negligence.


And we could try fast-tracking changes to policing practice in line with victim experience (rather than simply leave it all to inept police steering committees).


Or we could simply acknowledge that there isn't really any compensation that's going to undo or mitigate whatever trauma has been inflicted on the victim and tell 'em to get over it.


Or we could nail the perpetrators to a cell wall and give the victims licence to extract their own form of restitution.


Or we could continue taking more and more money from the public purse, thereby further undermining the police and making it even more likely that further screw ups will follow.


Currently, the British police compensation bill is running at hundreds of millions of pounds per annum, often with obscene payouts awarded for trivial things such as bruising, hurt feelings, and (we hear) flea bites.


It's gone way beyond compensation. Today, it's largely a culture of con-pensation (albeit not in this instance). Regardless, it's got to stop somewhere. But currently, there's no end in sight.


— Girl Happy




Any information on this outfit?


If you've got any information on the above firm, Classic British Motorcycles, we'd very much like to hear it.






National Motorcycle Museum appeal


The National Motorcycle Museum has sent us a press release advising that they're celebrating 30 years since its 1984 launch. To that end, there are going to be numerous events held throughout the year including the showing of GP race movies and a pop-up art gallery displaying the work of artists, art students and local school kids. The event will be entitled: A Celebration of the Motorcycle.


The pop-up gallery kicks off in June for six months, and the museum is looking for more entries—and if you manage to flog anything, 100% of the money will be yours. Various corporate events will also take place, and the year will close with a Christmas party.


Doesn't sound like a very exciting programme on offer, but it's only February. Then again, this is the National Motorcycle Mausoleum. You can't expect too much from what is essentially a motorcycle graveyard.



— Del Monte




"Whole life sentences" ruled legal


This is a row that's been going on for a long time, and has now been settled. Or so we're advised. The upshot is that the European Union took exception to the idea that the UK will, in extreme circumstances, sentence a murderer to a "whole life term with no hope of parole"—as happened just today with one of the killers of Lee Rigby, the soldier who was hacked to death at Woolwich, South London, on 22nd May 2013.


The EU cited Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which outlaws inhuman or degrading punishment; i.e. sticking someone behind bars until they croak. Specifically, says the EU, "there must be both a prospect of release and a possibility of review".


Some would argue that Rigby's killers, Michael Adebolajo, aged 29, and Michael Adebowale, aged 22 deserve nothing less than inhuman and degrading treatment. But that, of course, isn't how any civilised justice system works.


However, Lord Thomas (above) recently ruled that the UK was not in breach of Article 3, so the EU can eff off. How so? Because we already have a "get out of a jail early" clause written into the British Crime (Sentences) Act of 1997. It's called Section 30, and it allows the Home Secretary to show mercy and release a "whole life prisoner" in extreme circumstances.


This is what happened with Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs who, in August 2009, was released early on compassionate grounds when doctors agreed he was terminally ill and didn't have far to shuffle off this mortal coil. Biggs actually kept his pecker up until December 2013, further underlining the long-established fact that you can't trust the quacks.


Biggs wasn't convicted of murder, note. But he still had a long sentence to finish.


Another example of the statutory early-release powers relate to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the infamous Lockerbie bomber who was also released (by the Scots under similar authority to Section 30) having been diagnosed with a terminal illness (and who also didn't die quite as quickly as some hoped and expected). The Home Secretary was vociferously against that decision, but the control had long since devolved to Scotland.


Regardless, it seems that the EU misunderstood the full extent of the Home Secretary's powers which actually have a wide, and undefined, latitude. Therefore, Michael Adebolajo's whole life term could, in theory, be commuted at some point in the future to an early release (but we sincerely hope the bastard rots). Meanwhile, his companion in crime, Michael Adebowale, will serve a minimum of 45 years.


Why the difference in sentence? We don't know. Seems to us that Adebowale was equally guilty, but we weren't at the trial, so we're not arguing about it.


The bottom line for this story is that for once, the EU hasn't been able to humiliate our judicial system, and that a British Judge has been able to give Strasbourg his own interpretation of Churchill's famous V salute. That said, it's hard to understand why it took so long for everyone to read the relevant legal documents and figure out that there has been no breach by the UK.


As a biker, however, you might want to keep in mind that Lee Rigby was identified (by his killers) as a soldier not only because he was in the vicinity of Woolwich Arsenal Barracks, but also because he was wearing a "Help For Heroes" hooded sweatshirt.


Well plenty of you guys have raised funds for this soldiers' charity, and more than a couple of you wear the sweatshirts too. Better keep that in mind if you fit the general profile of a serving squaddie. Worth a thought.



— Big End




Brian Hampton appeal bid update


In case you're not in the know, here's the basic story. Brian Hampton, the fat and unhappy looking git on the right (immediately above), killed Jade Clark (above left) on the A31 in Dorset. It happened on 24th February 2013.


Fifty-eight year old Hampton (a health and safety inspector) was drunk, and was driving his Volvo car whilst under a drunk-driving ban when he hit 16-year old Clark who was riding her moped to work. Hampton, who was also driving without insurance, stopped briefly at the scene, then left Clark lying in the road, and drove away.


Clark was subsequently hit by other vehicles and was killed.


Hampton tried to cover up the crime by telling his wife that the Volvo had broken down (or had hit a deer, according to some stories), when in fact the vehicle was actually being crash repaired. The police, it seems, did a stand-up job of investigating this hit-and-run and visited over 1,000 owners of suspect vehicles, and presently felt Hampton's collar.


He was charged, tried and convicted of causing death by careless driving. For that, he received a two year jail sentence, plus four years for perverting the course of justice, making six in total. Since then, the bastard has appealed the length of his sentence, but not the conviction itself.


That's what prompted the ePetition aimed at Her Majesty's Ministry of Justice asking them to step in. It was launched recently by a guy named Robert Parker and is currently being backed by the Motorcycle Action Group. They want Hampton locked-up forever, never mind cutting his sentence. And to that end, they need more signatures.



However, this ePetition is misguided, and here's why:


Firstly, it's NOT the place of the Ministry of Justice to interfere with the independence and machinations of its own judiciary. It doesn't matter how nasty the crime, or how odious the Volvo driving scumbag happens to be. Appeals stand and fall on their own merit, and we'll be in serious trouble if and when the Ministry of Justice panders to appeals for what, it can be convincingly argued, is essentially public retribution fuelled by perfectly understandable bitterness and anger.


Secondly, the ePetition specifically asks that the appeal should be rejected and that the sentence should be increased. Well, you can't have it both ways. You have to hear the appeal first. And the objective of the appeal is to ensure that there have been no judicial irregularities before, during or after the trial, and then review the sentence. And that review can find that (a) the sentence was correct; (b) that the sentence was too high; or (c) that the sentence was too low.



But there's no legal mechanism to simply ignore Hampton and throw a bigger book at him. He first has to have his day back in Court and plead his case. And if the appeal is granted, Hampton could get significantly more porridge. However, we'd guess that six years is about on the nose for this one. He'll do about half that and will be out, and probably back behind the wheel and drunk as a skunk.


Thirdly, the ePetition cites the fact that Hampton received the greater part of his sentence not for causing a death, but for perverting the course of justice. Well logically, and perhaps counter-intuitively, perverting the course of justice IS the more serious crime. Why? Because that justice underpins everything ELSE. If you want murderers, rapists, thieves and drunk drivers to get their due come-uppence, you have to bulwark the system itself with extra heavy penalties. It might be that he should have received a heavier sentence for causing the death, but it sounds as if he received exactly what the law prescribed or mandated given the usual alcohol-abuse-is-a-social-illness-plus-I've-got-a-family-to-feed mitigation plea.


What's more worrying here is that every time a motorcyclist is killed on British roads, lynch mob mentality breaks out and the villagers start lighting flaming torches and go after the nearest monster.


Well if you don't like the current system, change it. Tear it down. Help build something better. If you can, that is (just do it without the flaming torches, huh?).


But Hampton did what he did, and he was duly sentenced, and naturally he wants a shorter ride through the penal system. Who wouldn't?


So he's made an appeal. And if he has his day in Court and gets his sentence hiked by a few more years, we won't lose any sleep over it. And if, on the day he comes out of nick, he gets drunk and drives a car into a tree and dies in a huge fireball, we won't be sending flowers.


But we ain't signing the ePetition because it's inappropriate to try and compel the Ministry of Justice to interfere with its own due legal process. And it won't influence the appeals process one way or the other, anyway.


The British legal system is one of the best in the world, albeit a long way from perfect. But let's get some perspective back here. Jade Clark should not be dead. Hampton is a scumbag. The law has to run its course. And we need to calm down a little out there.


Hampton ePetition


— Dexxion




Tom Armstrong Manx Norton for sale


It's on eBay right now (20th February 2014) and is carrying an asking price of £39,998. Or forty grand. We've got no idea if this is realistic or not, but the market will no doubt tell.



The bike is a 1959/1960 499cc Model 30 Manx Norton. It was bought in 1962 from J.F. Jackson of Bradford who, we understand, was a specialist in racing motorcycles. Tom Armstrong bought the bike himself for £295. Over the next ten years the Norton was heavily raced (and not without some success) having been worked upon by the legendary Francis Beart.



The frame was lightened, which saw the removal of the frame plate which carried the numbers. The numbers were re-stamped on the frame, and Armstrong says that they're still there under the paint.


The Norton was campaigned at the Isle of Man TT and Manx. Names such as Reg Dearden, John Tickle and John Hartle all, it's said, had a hand in keeping this machine moving at maximum velocity. The last race of that period was the Scarborough International of 1972. Andy Molnar, we're told, has since rebuilt the engine, and Armstrong, who now runs a guitar shop in Sunderland, feels that the time has come to part company with the bike.


According to his eBay listing, the ad has six days to run, and Armstrong will consider "sensible offers". You can reach him via eBay, or through the link below.



— The Third Man




Martin Squires Sketchbook Volume 4


It isn't only Robert M Pirsig who put some Zen into the art of motorcycles. There are a lot of other quality artists out there patiently and methodically recording the world as seen from the tips of their pencils, pens and brushes.


Martin Squires, who we've featured before on Sump, has his own updated take on the bike scene, and he's just released Volume 4 of his sketchbook which is available now for just £5—or £10 for the colour version. Could make a nice gift for someone if you're looking for something a little different and uplifting.


If bike art is your thing, contact Martin through the link below and get your copy while it's available.  Life without motorcycles would make the world a much duller place. But life without art is unthinkable.


Meanwhile, check out Martin's latest video advert:





— Del Monte




ACA's first classic motorcycle sale


Most of you probably won't know Anglia Car Auctions (ACA). They hail from Kings Lynn in Norfolk and are well known in the region as a car auction firm. But now they've decided to expand into the classic motorcycle world and will be holding their first oily bike sale on Saturday 1st March 2014, which is just over two weeks away.


We've checked their listings and, as far as British bikes are concerned, there's not too much to get excited about. The lot with the highest financial expectations is the above 1954 500cc Vincent Comet which is carrying an estimate of £15,000 - £17,000. Doesn't seem that long ago when you could easily pick up a Comet for sub-ten grand. But they've moved up a lot in recent years. We've got no idea if that's a realistic price in the current economic climate. But we'll know in a fortnight.



Also on offer is the (immediately above) 1933 250cc Velocette MOV. The estimate is a more modest, but not necessarily more realistic, £6,000 - £7,000.



Meanwhile, the 1971 250cc BSA Fleetstar (immediately above) is looking for £1,500 - £1,700, or above. These are rare and docile bikes that were built largely for national police forces, and in this case, the money looks to be about right.


There are a few rough-and-ready Greeves motorcycles at "affordable" prices in this sale, and Greeves seem to be fairly good value at the moment as classic bike prices continue their "downward adjustment". There are a couple of Triumphs on offer too, which you can check out for yourselves.


Overall, Anglia Car Auctions could do themselves a favour by (a) supplying some better pictures for the classic bike market, and (b) supplying a little more information on the lots. We don't want to tell anyone their business, you understand. But a quiet word in the ear often helps, and this sale needs a little more spit and polish if it's going to compete with the bigger outfits.



— Girl Happy




New Rocker T-shirts from Sump


Everyone's getting cheap these days. Have you noticed? Budget this. Discount that. Pile 'em high and flog 'em cheap. Well screw ASDA, we say. Some things in life have got to be just right, hence our new Second Skin range of T-shirts, the first of which is this cool rocker tee.


All our shirts are good quality. We pick 'em carefully and spend long hours on the designs, and we get plenty of repeat orders. Meanwhile, the shirts that don't make the grade end up as rags in the garage for cleaning the Sump motorcycles (polishing aluminium and wiping away road grime being the ultimate fate for any T-shirt, huh?)


But with this new range we're working on, we didn't want to go cheap. We're leaving that to Primark and the aforementioned ASDA. Instead, we wanted to aim even higher than usual and come up with something a little more special.


Hence this here skin job.



These tees are £19.95. They look nice. They certainly feel extra nice. And we're very happy to put them on these hallowed pages.



If you want one, click on the link below, or hit one of the images and you'll be teleported to our buying page. You'll feel a lot better inside of one than you do outside.


And hey! When this shirt reaches the end of its life, don't waste it on something run-of-the-mill. Keep it for that special bike in the garage. A cool cafe racer will do nicely.


Sump British Rockers T-shirt

— Big End



Alex Botwright steps down as Fenman Classic Bike Show chairman


He spent ten years in the role and helped raise £110,000 for numerous charities, but now he's given up the chair.


But he hasn't gone far. In fact, Alex is now the vice-chairman. Not the greatest leap in the history of mankind, but our guess is that that nevertheless represents a lot of responsibility shifted from his shoulders to someone else's.


Last year, the Fenmen celebrated their silver anniversary at Wimbotsham, Norfolk. This year, the annual event will be held on 25th August 2014 (August Bank Holiday Monday). If you want more details, call: 01953 889499 or 07710 828022.



— Del Monte




"Droves" at Bristol Classic Show

Morton Motorcycle Media hasn't given us any hard numbers, but we're told that despite the extreme wet weather that we're experiencing in the UK at the moment, the "crowds came out in droves" last weekend (8th & 9th February 2014) at the 34th Carole Nash Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show.


The Best in Show prize went to Gaby Hunt who displayed his freshly restored 1929 San Sou Pap Emmags 50 (image above). We know very little about this elusive marque, but we can tell you that this example is running a Swiss MAG engine (presumably 500cc) housed in a pressed steel frame.


The name "San Sou Pap", we understand, actually means "without valves"; a reference to the firm's earlier 98cc - 248cc two-stroke engines. Subsequently, the company built OHV machines running engines manufactured by JAP and MAG. The marque appeared in 1923, and was discontinued in 1936.



Beyond that, Mortons also tell us that the Norton Owners Club won a Best Club Stand award for a pretty good display modelled on a 1960s shop-front (image immediately above). Elsewhere, someone (unnamed) designed a stand around a horse stable.


Sounds like trivial stuff, we know. But it's essential trivia that helps keep the classic bike scene trundling along year after, so congrats to all who put in the time, energy and enthusiasm.


Mortons are back, as it were, at Stafford in April. But check Sump's events listings to see what else is on.

— Del Monte




Kool new Davida candy coloured lids


Davida crash helmets are a bit like Fender guitars in that there ain't too many products in the range, but somehow the firm manages to keep moving the project on in subtle and not so subtle ways.


These six new lids, resplendent in their achingly exciting hot rod/chop shop candy colours, fall into the not-so-subtle category, and are pretty enough just to hang on the wall, never mind stick on your head and go riding.


But they are built for riding, and we've got no doubt they're manufactured to Davida's usual high standards. The helmets are part of the firm's "Colourways" range, and go by the name "Cosmic Candys".


Colours include: Cosmic Candy Silver-150; Cosmic Candy Red-151; Cosmic Candy Blue-155; Cosmic Candy Yellow-153; Cosmic Candy Green-154; and Cosmic Candy Burgundy -152.



We took one look and were instantly sexually aroused and had to nip off sharpish and do something about it. But how about you guys and girls? Got any red blood left? Or too far gone to even think about staying young?


Tip: Stay young as long as possible. It's better than death.


Finally, Davida is asking £265 for these hand made candies when splashed on the Davida Jet and Ninety2 lids. When splashed on the Davida Speedster and Classic, the price is £220.83. Talk to them direct, or harass your Davida dealer.


These are the coolest colours we've seen on anything for a long time. When we get ours, we'll be keeping them in the fridge.



— Big End




Rare 1930 MGC makes £15,297


Here's another interesting bike that Bonhams flogged on 6th February at its Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais sale. It's rare, it's quirky, it's oh-so-very-French, and it puts us in mind of something they might have used in the cult 1960s psychedelic sci-fi movie, Barbarella.[More on this MGC Grand Sport Type N3]




Nobody hurt in small earthquake


...that would be a cyber earthquake, as opposed to anything tectonic, you understand. But one of our computers imploded a couple of days ago, and then the back-up suddenly went down, and then it was serious action stations here at Fortress Sump.


The upshot is that some of you guys and girls might have noticed odd things going on around here, such as news stories appearing and disappearing, and pages vanishing off line, and the odd link that refused to connect.


We think we've pretty much got it cracked now, but there might yet be one or two bugs that we've overlooked and have yet to put right. So bear with us if you will while we get a bigger hammer.


Commander Shore (above), head honcho in the 1960s TV Series, Stingray, famously warned us that: "Anything can happen in the next half hour." And he was right.


Apologies if anyone lost sleep over it.

— Dexxion




Royal Enfield "Valentine's Day sale"


You can expect to see more price cutting as the UK economy fails to make any significant recovery here at the beginning of 2014. From 14th February, Royal Enfield is shaving £200 off the list price of the new Continental GT Cafe Racer knocking it down from £5,199 to £4,999.


Meanwhile, we're reminded that the standard Bullet, list-priced at £4,100, will be dropping to £3,999. However, we've just spoken to a Royal Enfield dealer who said, "Well it's all news to me."


In recent times, Royal Enfield has been struggling for sales, with many dealers now bolstering their showroom stock with cheap Chinese imports and classic motorcycles. The new Enfield importer is MotoGB which recently took over from Watsonian Squire and planned to inject new cash and energy into the brand.


Unquestionably, the build quality has improved significantly over the past few years, but its unique selling point—i.e. the ultra low price—has long been creeping upward and forcing customer reappraisal in the wake of "rival" machines such as the entry level Triumph Bonneville (£6,549 RRP), the Kawasaki W800 (£6,899 RRP), and the Harley Sportster (£6,899 RRP).


Note too that when we spoke to the relevant Triumph, Kawasaki and Harley dealers, all three bikes had special offers and/or discount attached.


Clearly, Royal Enfield is looking to put a little more price space between itself and its rivals, and bringing the Continental GT price down below £5,000 isn't going to hurt anything, except profitability.


So who's buying?

— Del Monte




Chris Bushell takes over Nourish


At age 83, it was about time that Dave Nourish put out to graze. At the cutting edge (literally) since around 1945, Dave Nourish has spent the best part of a lifetime building and modifying motorcycle engines for grass track racing, road racing and any number of other competition disciplines—and more than a handful of people are still running his famous 8-valve power units on the street. His engines have notched up win after win after win, and he bows to no one. In short, he's something of a legend in his own lifetime.


But Chris Bushell, the UK face of the Moto Giro d'Italia, is now the man to talk to and aims not only to carry on where Dave Nourish left off, but to take the business a few stages further.


Based on a farm just outside of Tonbridge, Kent, Chris has moved all the machining equipment, the spares, and half a century of production records, charts, blueprints and notes from Rutland to a new 1200 square foot home (plus mezzanine). And because Dave Nourish avoided computers the way most of us avoid income tax, the history of Nourish Engineering is mostly documented on paper (with, we hear, stacks of carbon copies).


"Were already up and running," said an upbeat-sounding 57-year old Chris Bushell. "We've got three staff, an easy commute, fantastic views, and a lot of little pigs running around outside and fattening up nicely for bacon. But we're concentrating on new engineering work and have just built and sold our first batch of billet crankshafts for Triumph, Norton, and BSA twins, plus one or two for the G50 Matchless. And we've got more on the way."


The core products at Nourish Engineering are crankshafts and 8-valve kits for Triumph twins. But the firm also handles general engine machining, gas flowing, dynamic crank balancing, engine fettling work, and pretty much anything else than goes on between the head and the sump.



A complete Nourish parallel twin race engine currently costs £6,750, plus VAT. An 8-valve head and barrels kit for a Triumph twin costs £2,350, also plus VAT.


Chris Bushell has a background in IT and is actually more closely associated with Ducatis. But he'll no doubt be cross-pollinating his skills and knowledge and bringing a new dimension to Nourish Engineering (which now, and for the first time, has a website and an email address).


Dave Nourish is therefore officially in retirement, but we suspect that he'll be a familiar face around the relocated engineering business that served both him, and thousands of motorcyclists, so well since the end of World War Two.


We're hoping that his retirement is a long and satisfying one.



— Big End













SPS Harley-Davidson "Speed Demon"


Bonhams is auctioning this pretty radical 91-cubic inch/1,525cc custom motorcycle built by SPS (Special Parts Supply). Based in the Geertruidenberg, Netherlands, SPS builds bespoke Harley-Davidson customs and clones, and sells custom goodies and services. [More on the SPS Speed Demon]



New 69 Club T-shirt from Sump


These might not be to everyone's taste, so to speak, but over the past few weeks (during which we've been busily testing them in the, er, field as it were), we've grown very attached to them.


The idea came to us in a dream, ya understand. The number 69 just appeared one night in the ether like it was a message from the other side.



Even more weirdly, when we talked it over the following morning and added up the number of parking tickets we got between us last year, it also came to ... you guessed it, 69. So we were straight down the local T-shirt printer who looked at our fag-packet artwork, sniggered, and suggested that we got the number wrong.


"You mean 59, don't you?" he said. "The 59 Club and all that motorbike malarkey?"


And we said, "No. 69. Like the Taoist-Buddhist ying-yang symbol thingy. That's what it means, don't it?"


So he smiled like the wise old Buddha himself and said, "Well it's your money." And he went ahead and ran off a couple of dozen. So now you can have one too. Or 69 of them if you like.


These tees come in the traditional 59 Club colours of black and white, and by an even weirder coincidence, they're produced for us by the same firm that produces the famous 59 Club T-shirts (freaky old world, huh?).


But we like 69 better, and we're betting that you do too. Our recommended retail price is £69, but we're flogging 'em at a more realistic twelve quid plus postage and packing.


And if any of you guys or girls out there understand what the printer was sniggering about, let us know, will you? There are some things in the world that even smart people like don't understand, and we can't make head nor tail of this one.


Okay. I'm interested. Take me to 69 heaven.


— Big End


Mr & Mrs Oil Drip: under the hammer


If we had one of those funky New York loft apartment des res hideaways, we'd be inclined to made a bid on these characters. They're four feet high, made of fibreglass, and look like they're getting ready to procreate. Which is a hell of an idea. Stick those in the loft for a couple of hours, and who knows what might happen?


But if we had them (so to speak), they'd only go in the back of one of the Sump garages along with the old motorcycle frames and crankcases and spiders and whatnot.


But don't let that stop you. These two oilheads are being sold by Bonhams at its Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais sale in Paris which is in a place called France. It happens on 6th February 2014, and the hour will be 12.30pm, Central European Time.


Both have got an estimate on their heads, which is £490 - £660 each (€600 - 800), and that makes them what some folk like to call "affordable". If you're a bike dealer, classic or otherwise, these would look pretty cool guarding the entrance to your emporium and welcoming in your customers.


So okay, there are plenty of other Mr and Mrs Drips scattered around the planet. It's not like you'll be buying anything too original. But the price looks right, and as far as motoring icons go, you gotta work hard to find anything more memorable. Or evocative.




UPDATE: Mr Oil Drip sold for £2,000, and Mrs Oil Drip fetched £2,125


— Big End





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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]



Copyright Sump Publishing 2012