January 2015 Classic bike news 


Lot 246. A circa-1949 Sunbeam S7/S8 cutaway engine. This unit, as we understand it, was one of two S7/S8 engines sectioned by Sunbeam for display at the London Earl's Court Motorcycle Show. There's no specific information on what year, so we're assuming 1949. Regardless the model was acquired by US collector, Herb Harris, who restored it to its present condition. The lot is just one of many cutaway British motorcycle display units to be auctioned by Bonhams at its Las Vegas Sale on 8th January 2015, just a few weeks away. Bonhams is estimating $15,000 - $20,000 (£9,700 - £13,000). A little optimistic? We can't decide, so we're just watching. But when it comes to pretty motorcycle engines, we think this 500cc in-line, air-cooled, shaft-drive twin is up there with the very best of 'em. Shame to wreck one simply for people to gawp at. But this is (arguably) motorcycle art, and a little relaxed gawping never did us much harm.


UPDATE: The Sunbeam S7/S8 cutaway engine sold for $23,000 (£15,071) inc.premium.


January 2015 Classic bike news

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

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

December 2014 Classic bike news

John Robert "Joe" Cocker: 1944 - 2014
British Bike Bits for Interceptor Mk2s
Billie Honor Whitelaw: 1932 - 2014
Mike Hailwood print from the ACU
Ian Patrick McLagan: 1945 - 2014
One million Ducati dreams: Official

Cool Ducati 60 limited edition poster
European H.O.G Rally 2015 details
Goldtop Large Leather Care Kit
Mann-Hailwood-Beart bikes to sell

Norton Dominator SS for 2015?
Akrapovič custom "World Premiere"

Andy's Tiernan's Triumph 3HW
New style police court bright idea

First seven Hesketh 24s set to ship
2015 Limited Edition Rocket Three X
"500 Nortons headed to Australia"
Swinton execs fined £928,000

Old Empire Imperial Ducati Typhoon
Sterling Autocycles replica flat tanker
Ultra Low Emission Zone update
Barn Built Cafe Racer Dot Com kit

November 2014 Classic bike news

Noise complaint e-petition appeal
Bonhams Bond Street Sale 2014
Gold plated Speed Twin on eBay
"True Greats" sale at Coys
£12.50 per day classic bike charge
Frankie Fraser: 1923 - 2014

Driving licence changes for January 2015
"Last V1000 Hesketh" is produced
1964 Triumph TRW: asking £5,000

Warning: Have you seen this man?

Watsonian GT4 Sports Touring chair
Triumph recalls various 2014 models
Rare 1934 BSA R34-4 now on eBay
H&H Chateau Impney auction
Bell Bullitt RSD Viva helmet
Hedon crash helmets

Terblanche shifts to Royal Enfield
Greeves Motorcycles Ltd is for sale

Vapour blasting service by SVS ...
Andy Tiernan's 2015 calendar
NMM 30th anniversary Vincent draw
New Broughs unveiled at EICMA

Bernard Stanley Bilk: 1929 - 2014
Sump's moving. Expcet prolbems
New emissions threat from TfL
Stolen Triumph Tiger Cub alert

October 2014 Classic bike news

Matchless Model X: new teasers pics

Time to switch off London's traffic lights?

Limited edition "space age" Ural MIR
John "Jack" Bruce: 1943 - 2014

London to Brighton Run Sale
UK adult minimum wage rise

Alvin Stardust: 1942 - 2014

Oops! We screwed up
£104,540 Flying Merkel at Bonhams
Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Fonda's chop: $1.35 million. Sold!
New Sump T-shirt "spy shots"

Herb Harris Vincents for Bonhams

BSA M-Series clutch chain wheels
Samuel Truett Cathy: 1921 - 2014
Police bail time limits proposed
Slovak Aeromobil drives and flies
H&H Duxford Oct 2014 Sale results

Ace Cafe's "Ultimate burn up" ride
Venhill generic switchgear

Johnny Foreigner clampdown plan
Holly Ariel Cyclone makes: $457,500
Bikesure-Sump insurance link
Atalanta relaunched and unveiled
Plausible Ferrari safety fear recall
No deathanol increase before 2017, promise
Council vandalises Bansky artwork
Lynsey De Paul: 1950 - 2014
Metzeler Sportec Klassic launched
New Mitas motocross mudpluggers
October tax disc changes crash DVLA website
2014 London-Brighton Run reminder
Triumph unveils the T214 Bonnie

"Nurb's" by Fred "Krugger" Bertrand

September 2014 Classic bike news

Bob Crewe: 1930 - 2014
Graham Coxon's bike collection charity auction
GSXR-powered Bond Bug for sale

Norman Hyde's half century, and not out
Distinguished Gents charity ride

Mole Benn Collection for Stafford

Battlesbridge urgently needs your support
British Customs "Cassidy" project
Andrew Victor McLaglen: 1920 - 2014
Captain America's bike is for sale
The DVLA wants your classic view

Triumph Thruxton Ace unveiled

H&H Duxford Sale: 8th October 2014
Donald Alfred Sinden: 1923 - 2014
British Customs gel saddle: $329.00
New Bristol car promised by 2015
Free vintage Brit movie screenings
The Scottish independence myth
Triumph 250cc single project "on hold"
Bonhams Beaulieu 2014: Top lot
Elvis Presley found alive on moon
Ex-Buddy Holly Ariel to be auctioned
Three car shows bought by Mortons
Worst ever Netley Eurojumble?
New "road tax" complications ahead
"Anti-social" Ace Cafe warned off
IKON shock absorbers/dampers

August 2014 Classic bike news

Ken Rees, the real Steve McQueen?

Mortons buys Fast Bikes magazine
William Henry "Bill" Kerr: 1922 - 2014
Britain First "hijacks" The Royal Crown
National Motorcycle Museum robbery URGENT APPEAL: £20,000 REWARD
Ugly Fish Slingshot Ozzie shades
New Heritage Buses Festival 2014
Watch the Foley beheading video and get nicked—Met Police
1953 Triumph Terrier. £10,000. eBay
Richard Attenborough: 1923 - 2014
Don't forget the 2014 Brighton Speed Trials
New domestic abuse laws mooted
"Last Hughie Hancox restoration"
McQueen's 1930 Chief: $100,000. Sold
170,000 Continental tyres recalled
Bob Derrick, RIP
Matthew Thompson ePetition opened
The Empire buys Wrighty's Show
Confederate Hellcat Speedster X132
BMF 2014 Tail End Show cancellation

European Bike Week: 2 - 7 Sept 2014
Stephen Hill's off the wall design
Lauren Bacall: 1924 - 2014
Video recording at English local council meetings is "now legal"
Jean Panhard: 1913 - 2014
Harley-Davidson Road Glide returns
Romney Marsh inaugural bike auction 2014
Motorcycling in the 1970s - new eBook series
Foundry Matchless 500cc G9 bobber
2015 69-inch Indian Scout launched
Classic Car Boot Sale goes Olympic
The UK "tax disc" is soon to vanish
Savatech Sport Force tyre recall

July  2014 Classic bike news

Ex-McQueen 1912 Harley X8E to sell
Half price Gasolina boots at Foundry
Dora Bryan: 1923 - 2014
The 42nd International British Biker Meeting
Harley-Davidson VRSC V-Rod guide
Kieran Shortall: 1959 - 2014
James Garner: 1928 - 2014

"Quadrophenia Lambretta" to auction
Electric cars for 10 Downing Street
Johnny Dawson Winter: 1944 - 2014
Cheffins' July Cambridge Auction
Northampton Classic Club Scramble
Coys Auction kicks off at Blenheim
Dave Bickers: 1938 - 2014
Government scraps 60mph limit plan
MyLicence insurance honesty checks
Ex-servicemen's charity Euro jolly
Mecum's July 2014 Harrisburg sale
So who the hell are you people?
Francis Barnett "makes a comeback"
2014 Indian Chieftain at Sturgis

June 2014 Classic bike news

Ariel Motorcycles launches the Ace
Eli Wallach: 1915 - 2014
Francis Matthews: 1927 - 2014
Government set to limit CCTV cars
New Harley-Davidson Sump features
Harley-Davidson "LiveWire" concept
High Beech tea hut under threat
The Hesketh 24 is officially unveiled
Bonhams' Banbury "Record" Sale
Avon & Somerset Police's Ariel Atom
1937 Matchless Model X eBay scam
Cotswold Classics is bust
Northants Classic MX Club appeal

May 2014 Classic bike news

VMCC petition seeks blood

£60 million left on TfL Oyster Cards

AJS Model 18 & Matchless G80 guide

London Congestion Charge hike

Banbury Run 2014 reminder

Maserati centenary celebrations

Mechanical Art Devices Exhibition

First UK Royal Enfield Store opens
Dangerous Dogs Act amendment
Police dog ePetition wants your vote
Fiat-Chrysler chooses London
New logotype for Royal Enfield?
Sump plates for Triumph T140s/T120s

Cheffins April Cambridge Sale results

Bournemouth Wheels Free Festival
Efrem Zimbalist Jnr: 1917 - 2014

Charges dropped against Les Allen

Two civic plaques for George Brough

48% of bikers want to vote away your right to decide—IAM

Clarkson utters the "nigger" word

April 2014 Classic bike news

New political T-shirt from Sump
Mark Upham nabs Brough's Brough
Ex Hailwood/Surtees Sportmax sells
Reunion of the Rockers, 3rd May 2014

u r txtng. stp drvng u mrn
Looking for a Stafford alternative?

Another implied classic bike threat from London Mayor Boris Johnson?

Houston Motorcycle Auction results

Government to scrap camera cars?

Cheffins Vintage Sale: 26th April 2014

The Stranglers Bonneville raffle

Rare DKW SS250 leads Duxford Sale

BSA C15, B25, B40, B44 & B50 aficionados look this way
Johammer electric motorcycles
Death comes calling at Bonhams
Wal Handley's Lagonda to sell at H&H

Vincent Series C Rapide raffle

Classic British Bikes book

Stuff we like: Bell Bullitt Helmet - TT

Triumph Model P from Andy Tiernan

Foundry First Anniversary Ride In
April - Houston Motorcycle Auction
Ernest "Ernie" Lyons: 1914 - 2014
UK campaign to reinstate .22 pistols

March 2014 Classic bike news
DVSA to name and shame ex-MOT stations
Mick Woollett: 1930-2014
Richard Edmonds Sale - March 2014
Captain Maurice Seddon: 1926-2014

Introducing Stephen Hill, pop artist

Classic bike tax discs are on a roll
Kempton Park bike jumble sells out
BSA Bantam 3-string steel guitar
Boris Johnson to ban classic bikes?
Gruppo Bertone's in trouble. Again
Paris bans cars and motorcycles
Southend Shakedown & Margate Meltdown:
2014 biker diary dates

Rabers British motorcycle parts
Agostini and Cooper to headline
Mallory Bike Festival

Second Classic Car Boot Sale rocks
Anthony Wedgwood Benn: 1925-2014

Hinckley bullish about 2014 sales
UK bike parts distributor now accepts bitcoins

New BSA M20 T-shirt from Sump

New AA-Halfords "safety" campaign

Bandit 9 customs - Made in China

Secret British Government webcams
in the home...

Anglia's first classic sale "success"

UK magazine sales continue to drop

De Bruir Parachuter leather backpack

February 2014 Classic bike news

New Lotus Bike: Not Made in Britain
Met set to pay out huge rape compensation
Any information on this outfit?
National Motorcycle Museum appeal
"Whole life sentences" ruled legal
Brian Hampton appeal bid update
Tom Armstrong Manx Norton for sale
Martin Squires Sketchbook Volume 4
ACA's first classic motorcycle sale
New Rocker T-shirts from Sump
Alex Botwright steps down as Fenman Classic Bike Show chairman
"Droves" at Bristol Classic Show
Kool new Davida candy coloured lids
Rare 1930 MGC makes £15,297
Nobody hurt in small earthquake
Royal Enfield "Valentine's Day sale"
Chris Bushell takes over Nourish
SBS Harley-Davidson "Speed Demon"
New 69 Club T-shirt from Sump
Mr & Mrs Oil Drip: under the hammer

January 2014 Classic bike news

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

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




1948 Land Rover manufacture exhibit


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) call it the Defender Celebration Line. It's an on-going exhibit built to recreate the original 1948 production line at the famous Solihull, West Midlands factory.


This year, 2015, production of the current Defender model will cease. Why? Because, say JLR, the vehicle is unable to meet "certain conditions" as required under EEC regulations.


A likely story? Who knows. Either way, having enjoyed a production run of over two million vehicles, this classic British icon (arguably the most famous 4X4 in the world), will breathe its last.


To mark the auspicious moment, JLR has commissioned a replica production line that includes original Series 1 Land Rovers being built from both new-old-stock and re-manufactured components.



The firm is hoping that around 20,000 visitors will attend the exhibit during its first year. The display is located in the centre of the Land Rover factory, and to maintain the visual authenticity, visitors will be asked to wear authentic "cow gowns" overalls as worn by workers during manufacture.


The spiritual father of the Land Rover is Maurice Wilks (1903 - 1964). Way back in 1947, Wilks owned a Willys Jeep that had been kicking around his Welsh farm and used the rolling chassis as the basis for the Series 1 prototype. It was intended as a utility vehicle for farmers, but was quickly adopted by British military forces, and then other forces worldwide.


Wilks had been employed by General Motors in the USA, but later returned to the UK to work for the defunct British marque, Hillman, and then for Rover (hence the Land Rover association). He later worked on Rover's "cutting edge" gas turbine engine project.


If you'd like to visit the exhibition, the queue could be long and might well be filled with moist eyed aficionados. And how much does it cost? That would be £45 per person, but note that children under the age of 10 will not be admitted.


They killed off the Jump Jet well before its time. They scrapped Concorde while their was life yet in the airframe. They aborted the TSR2 and the Rotodyne, scrapped the carriers, decimated the British rail network, wrecked the shipping yards, murdered the Moggie Minor, and quietly pulled the plug on a thousand other Great British icons and institutions, so it's only natural that the classic Land Rover should end its life while it's still very much in demand. It's all so terribly, terribly British.


Land Rover Experience

Girl Happy




UK Triumph Scrambler sales jump

Triumph Motorcycles has released figures detailing its most successful year to date for the UK market. For 2014, Triumph motorcycle registrations were at their highest at 8,127 machines. The Bonneville Scrambler (above) saw registrations jump by a whopping 84 percent. Meanwhile, the Tiger 800XC enjoyed a rise of 24 per cent, while the 1200cc Explorer XC saw registrations jump by over 54 per cent.


However, Triumph's market share dropped slightly from 8.19 percent to 8.03 percent. That's hardly anything to worry about. In fact, given the current world market conditions, the Hinckley-based firm is probably pretty pleased with itself. Currently, Triumph is manufacturing around 50,000 motorcycles per annum.

The Third Man



Billion Dollar Baby Harley-Davidson


Mecum Kissimmee Sale results


The top selling motorcycle lot at the Mecum Auctions Kissimmee, Florida Sale (16th - 25th January 2015 was a Harley-Davidson Duo Glide (Lot S91) sold on behalf of rock'n'roll hoodlum Jerry Lee Lewis. But no, that ain't the bike immediately above. Jerry Lee's wheels are detailed further down this page. The ugly motorcycle that's heading this news story is billed by Mecum as: 2014 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Billion Dollar Baby.


Specifically, it's a 2014 Sportster 48 customised and auctioned for a couple of children's charities. The Billion Dollar Baby part is a reference to Alice Cooper's album of the same name which is recaptured in the garish graphics taken from that album—except that we owned that LP many years ago, and it was mostly green snakeskin, wasn't it?). Either way, Alice Cooper has "cooperated" with this project and has signed the gas tank.


The motorcycle was commissioned by Joseph Norelli of the Norelli Family Foundation. To cut a long story short, in 2014 Norelli was impressed by another custom bike that he saw being auctioned and decided that that was (a) a good way to raise money, and (b) a good way to raise awareness of the charities he supports.


In this case, the charities in question are the New Hope For Kids based in Orlando, and Alice Cooper's Solid Rock based in Phoenix, Arizona (Solid Rock is actually a foundation for teenagers intended to help them "... build confidence and discover their passion through music, dance, self-expression and creativity."


A lot of copy has been written about the creation of this motorcycle, but it's all pretty familiar stuff (engraved this, billet that). Only, it's not a very exciting machine, and it raised only $30,000 which is probably about what Alice Cooper earns every day. But still, charity is charity, so some good might come of it.


Alice and Sheryl Cooper


Alice Cooper and wife Sheryl (Alice is on the right). We liked him better before he became Mr Nice Guy. Still, there is a certain irony that a bloke who murdered so many babies on stage and told us that "school's been blown to pieces..." is now fronting a kiddie's charity. Alice Cooper for president, huh? He wants to be elected, and we love him.



Beyond that, a 1947 Harley trike (looks like a Servicar to us) fetched $20,000, and various other run-of-the-mill machines found buyers between $11,000 and $4,500. But then, Kissimmee was never billed as the motorcycle auction of the century. Mecum are actually car people, not bike people, and in that arena they did pretty good and fielded some interesting stuff. The Jerry Lee Lewis bike was simply the icing on a cake that someone forgot to bake.


See you next year.

The Third Man



Ikon Basix

shock absorbers

These are new. They're made by Australian firm Ikon. They cost from £199.60 a pair. And they're aimed at cash strapped bikers.


Only, in the retail world you can't say things like "cash-strapped". You've got to dress it up and deploy euphemisms like "budget conscious" and "penny saving".


Either way, two-hundred nicker is still a lorra-lorra dosh for anyone who hasn't actually got money to throw away, and it's a lot more than you'll pay for a pair of basic Hagons.


But then again, if these shocks are built as well as the Koni Dial-a-Rides that the design is clearly derived from, they're probably pretty good.


Ikon says that the shocks are rebuildable and revalve-able. There's a three-position pre-load collar. The bodies are chrome plated. The progressive-rate springs are black powder-coated. And Ikon also say the shocks have been dyno-tested, whatever that means (must be like a litmus test or something).


But note that unlike the more expensive Ikon shocks on the market, these units don't have adjustable damping control (which, for most of us, most of the time, is really just a gimmick and never gets deployed).


Anyway, if you're skint, and/or have lately started shopping at Lidl, and/or currently sign on the dole, and/or use a local food bank, these Basix might suit your next/ongoing motorcycle project.


For more info call: 01926 430562



Girl Happy




Sump BSA M20 metal sign—£14.99


This one is our first, but it ain't gonna be our last. We're got half a dozen designs in production right now, and we're contemplating more. Why? Because we love this metal sign garage art junk thing and can't get enough of it. And we want to make some money.


So okay, garage art ain't as important as wars and the failing National Health Service and the current malaise with the AK-47 Muslim morons murdering all and sundry across mainland Europe (and elsewhere). But in another kind of way, it is important stuff.


It's essential.


These metal signs add a lot of colour to what increasingly feels like a drab and depressing world (okay, so it's winter here in the UK, and someone murdered the British economy with a financial AK). And these signs are the images we carry around in our tortured heads (and we need to unload). Also, they're a timely antidote to ... well, whatever else is ailing you, brother.


We've already got a range of classic bike signs for sale on our metal motorcycle signs page. But this BSA M20 metal sign is a Sump original and is designed for guys like us who own and ride these bikes. But hey, just because you ain't tough enough to ride one of these wonderful 499cc sidevalves, that don't mean you can't own a sign. We ain't stingy here.


The price is £14.99 plus postage and packing (unless you're a murdering Muslim moron, in which case the price is your head on a tin tray). The size is 400mm x 300mm. The signs are printed on heavyweight mild steel (and you can skim one pretty good across a lake). Also, they've got holes drilled in four sensible places for ease of hanging on your favourite wall.


If you're sharp, you'll see that we recycled (or is that upcycled) a slogan from one of our M20 T-shirts: It's not just the bike. It's the journey. And that's a message for all of us.


We've earmarked the first batch of these signs for a bunch of M20 boys on Henk Joore's uber-cool BSA M20 forum. But we've got a second batch on the way and expect them within a week. So if you want one, you know exactly what you have to do [Update: We've got plenty of these signs in stock now].


We can offer postal discounts, and we'll do whatever else we can to accommodate odd requests (and we get quite a few of those). So that's it. That's the pitch. Check the link below for more sales propaganda.


Original BSA M20 metal sign from Sump

— Big End



Another great Marlboro Man has snuffed it

Tonight we're having an extra pint and remembering Darren Winfield who's just died.


Many of you will know Winfield. He was one of numerous Marloboro Men picked for their rugged, outdoors, man's-man looks. They cropped up everywhere from custom bike magazines to street bike magazines to custom car magazines—and pretty much all the other motorvating magazines we used to read when we had money in our pockets and iron in our blood.


Darren Winfield's gift to the world was to persuade as many people as possible to chug away on Marlboro fags (cigarettes to you Americans who might get the wrong idea), and risk getting a nasty disease.


Philip Morris, the firm which makes these particular cancer sticks, picked Winfield as one of their models because he didn't merely look like the real thing; he WAS the real thing.


Born in Oklahoma, Winfield became a ranch hand and moved to Wyoming where he lived a genuine outdoors life, wore his own clothes on photo-shoots, eschewed make-up (and probably eschewed a lot of baccy - joke) and generally did his own Stetson thing. For 20 years (count 'em) this was one cool dude, slowly murdering himself with the world's most popular drug.


Of the other Marlboro Men in the boxed set, pretty much all of them developed exactly the diseases that Philip Morris said were bunk. But Winfield, being the tough hombre he obviously was, soldiered on with his fags and coughs and finally shuffled off this mortal coil to a different kind of Marlboro country.


And how old was he?


Apparently, he made it all the way to 85, which is a pretty fair innings for a bloke who was poisoning himself 20 or 30 times a day, not to mention falling off horses occasionally, wrestling cattle and fighting range wars.


But we're not sneering. Mucho respecto and all that. Here's a bloke who lived his life the way he wanted to live it. And if he helped kill a few millions around the planet, he also made billions for others.


Way to go, dude.




Vincent White Shadow


Mixed Bonham results at Las Vegas


This is the top selling bike (immediately above) at the Bonhams Sale at Bally's Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, USA held on 10th January 2015. It's Lot 174, a 1950 998cc Series C Vincent White Shadow. It sold for $224,250 (£147,790) including buyers premium. One of only 15 bikes produced, this classic British motorcycle smashed its $140,000 - $170,00 estimate and, we hear, has broken the world record for a Shadow sold at auction.


So what exactly is a White Shadow? Well, it's a Vincent Black Shadow without the usual black enamelled engine cases. Or, if you prefer, a Vincent Rapide built by the factory to Black Shadow specifications.



Vicnent Rapide and Blacknell Bullet sidecar


The next highest selling motorcycle was Lot 236 (immediately above), a 1949 Vincent Touring Rapide with Blacknell Bullet Sidecar. This outfit, says Bonhams, became the most valuable post-war Rapide sold at auction when it reached $126,500 (£83,471) also including buyers premium. It was part of the Herb Harris collection which saw numerous Harris bikes go under the hammer.


Brough Superior SS80 Matchless engine


Third up is Lot 181, another British motorcycle, specifically a 1936 Brough Superior SS80 with Watsonian Sport Sidecar (image immediately above). This lot, says Bonhams, achieved a world auction record for a Matchless-engined Brough SS80. The combo sold for $115,000 from an estimate of $110,000 - $130,000 ( £72,633 - £85,839).


Series B Vincent HRD experimental


Disappointingly for Bonhams, however, is Lot 237 (image immediately above); the first Series B HRD manufactured by Vincent. The estimate was $350,00 - $450,000 (£220,000 - £290,000), and hopes were high for this British bike. But it simply failed to sell. Why? Perhaps because it's something of a bogus construct.


This machine is said to be a 1X Prototype Series B V-Twin, an experimental bike developed in 1946 by Vincent. However, the reality is that all that remains of that original motorcycle is the engine/gearbox which emerged some years ago on a British online auction site. Everything else from the tail light to the headlight was long gone. However, US collector Herb Harris bought the engine/gearbox and recreated the rest of the machine as a homage to the original. Clearly the buyers weren't convinced either, and they weren't persuaded to reach the reserve.


1912 Harley-Davidson X8E Big Twin


Beyond that, a 1912 Harley-Davidson X8E Big Twin (Lot 171, image immediately above—see Sump July 2014) that once belonged to Steve McQueen sold for a creditable $117,300 (£77,453) including buyers premium.


An ex-Dick Mann 1962 Matchless G50 Roadracer (Lot 195) sold for $115,000 (£75,960) including buyers premium. And an ex-Jimmy Guthrie 1961 Beart Norton Manx 350cc Manx Racer (Lot 155:) sold for $75,900 (£49,735) including buyers premium. But various other star lots didn't sell, including Lot 196, an Ex-Dick Mann circa 1965 BSA Gold Star Flat Tracker, and Lot 154: Ex-Mike Hailwood 1957 F.B. Mondial 250cc Bialbero GP Racer. See Sump December 2014 for more on these bikes.


Additionally, Bonhams fielded 14 (mostly British) cutaway classic motorcycle engines/bikes of which just 4 sold. The expectation (by Bonhams) was very high for these lots. And a couple of engines certainly did very well. But the rest foundered.


We're still analysing the auction, but Bonhams is claiming a turnover of $4.47 million (£2.95 million) which is big bucks and represents a very successful sale. Nevertheless, it looks like the Bally's event fell a long way short of expectations.



Del Monte




Stolen Norton appeal for information

We don't have a picture of the bike. Nothing was supplied by Roswitha Broadbent who emailed us. But we've got some details. The Norton in absentium was nicked from a lock-up garage in a back garden in Pye Nest Road (A6142) in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Apparently, the machine was seen being "coasted" away. It happened at 3.11am, and we assume that means this morning (16th January 2015).


The owner is a guy named Rick who can be contacted on 07783 066869 (mobile) or 0113 343 6445 (work number). There's no mention of a reward, and a reward shouldn't be needed to do what's right. But last time checked, this is still the real world, so a reward of some kind might not be a bad move.


Here are some details of the bike:

Black and silver Norton

Registration number: ABE 643B
Engine number: 18ss/110309/p
Frame number: 18/110309
Lots of chrome, BSA Goldstar silencers, Manx fittings
Alloy wheels, silver alloy petrol tank lined out with paint - not transfers
Fibre glass oil tank
Clip-on handlebars, rear set footrests.


If you purloined the bike, please put it back. If you know who nicked it, kill 'em. If you're offered a Norton that bears some resemblance to this one, call the cops or something. And if you've got a bike of your own that's unlocked right now, or is under-locked, you can take this as a timely and depressing reminder to do something about it (and at any given moment, we're betting that half the classic bikes in the world are inadequately secured, including one or two of ours).


We don't need to tell you how devastating these things can be, but we're saying it anyway. Rick has owned the bike for 23 years and has spent 3 years rebuilding it, and that's got to be a wrench.





UPDATE: We have since received a photograph of the bike, and we are advised that a small reward is on offer. Whoever did it is quite probably local. Please call Rick if you can name the thieves.

Big End


The Reunion

by Jack Elgos


Okay, we're going to make this one short and sweet. This is a novel about a group of bikers. It's "set in Yorkshire initially before the story continues on over Europe."


As far as we know, Yorkshire is more or less in Europe, but we're as guilty as anyone else about making this odd Anglo-Saxon distinction.


That aside, British author Jack Elgos sent us greetings from the Bahamas asking us to help promote his book which is centred around "a crew of bald, fat, grumpy old men - men who may have just one last ride in them."


The novel is available on Amazon and we don't have further details of that. Jack didn't offer us a copy in return, and he didn't bother to tell us how much he likes Sump, etc, but we're going to give him a plug anyway.


What the hell?

Del Monte




VMCC December 2014 raffle winner

The VMCC is bloody useless at times. Take the above image. It shows Tony McGaw from Southampton, Hampshire taking delivery of the 1954 Norton ES2 that he won as first prize in the VMCC's July 2014 - December 2014 raffle. Ticket No 232165.


Only, we don't know which one is Tony because the VMCC neglected to say as much on the press release. However, we're assuming that it's the bloke on the left because anyone looking that miserable must have just won something pretty cool and expensive. We've seen it before. Many times.


In any case, the bloke on the right is looking a bit smugly magnanimous, so we're assuming that he's "Mr Giles Willison, VMCC General Manager." But we could be reading this all wrong.



Then we learn in the same press release that the January 2015 - June 2015 first prize in the next VMCC raffle is the above 1964 Triumph T100SS, and that the second prize is the 1961 Triumph T20 Tiger Cub shown below. But guess what? Once again the VMCC forgot to mention the ticket price.


The last couple of years we had to phone 'em up to check. And each time they kept us waiting forever while Joe asked Flo who asked Ted who asked Fred who asked Ben who asked Len who told Mindy who told Cindy to tell us that they think the tickets are £1. So we're assuming that that's the price they think it is this year. £1.


But we could be wrong about that too.



Regardless, hope is a wonderful thing, and in these depressing days of diminishing optimism, the outside possibility of latching onto one of these bikes for a miserable one quid is something to be savoured.


The second prize winner in the December draw, by the way, was J Prett from Rochester who won the BSA C12 250cc. Ticket No 380006.


So, are these raffles a fix? We don' think so. If it was a fix, the bloke above would be grinning like an idiot. And anyway, the VMCC might be bloody useless at times, but we trust 'em to run an honest raffle. And so should you.


If you want to buy some tickets, check the link below (the ink is dry). And when you find out the price (and when you find out which one's Tony), let us know, huh? We've got enough to do around here without hanging on the phone while the VMCC gets its act together.

— Sam 7





Brian Horace Clemens: 1931 - 2015


Pretty much everyone in the UK knows this guy's work, but almost nobody knows his face. Brian Clemens, who has died aged 83, was a scriptwriter and television producer who gave us, notably, classic British TV series such as The Avengers (1961 - 1969) and The Professionals (1977 - 1983).


If that was all Clemens achieved in his time, it would still be something to brag about. But he also wrote scripts for, or was instrumental in bringing us memorable productions such as:


Sir Francis Drake (1961 - 1962)

Danger Man (1960 - 1961 and 1964 - 1967)

The Man from Interpol (1961 - 1965)

Richard the Lionheart (1961 - 1965)

Adam Adamant Lives! (1966 - 1967)

The Baron (1966 - 1967)

The Persuaders (1971 - 1972)

My Wife Next Door (1972)

The Protectors (1972 - 1974)

The Adventurer (1972-1974)

The New Avengers (1976-1977)


In terms of British exports, Clemens' prolific writing skills and instincts brought home millions of pounds for the British economy. His productions have been viewed in over 120 countries, and they're continuing to amuse and otherwise entertain new generations of fans.


So okay, his scripts were frequently camp, corny and utterly unbelievable. And his characters (John Steed, Adam Adamant, Brett Sinclair, Mike Gambit, and William Bodie) were frequently ... well, camp, corny and utterly unbelievable, and oh-so British in their individual ways. But Clemens also flirted with numerous interesting ideas and concepts, and his work has stood the test of time.



Diana Rigg as Mrs Peel, and Patrick Macnee as John Steed in the hit series, The Avengers. Perfectly cast, perfectly poised and always performing perfectly. Four decades after the series was first aired, The Avengers is still highly enjoyable hokum and is still earning money for the British economy. But who was the best Avengers girl? Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman), Mrs Peel (Diana Rigg), Tara King (Linda Thorson), or Purdey (Joanna Lumley)? Answers to the usual address, please ...



Actor Gerald Harper as Adam Adamant, the Victorian gent frozen for half a century in a block of ice and thawed out for a series of swashbuckling adventures. Think Catweasel meets Zorro meets Sherlock Holmes. You can't make up this stuff. But guys like Brian Clemens did. The series was "almost a huge hit". The girl is Juliet Harmer who played Georgina Jones. Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) directed a couple of episodes.



If you grew up in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, you undoubtedly watched his shows over and over again. And if you've got satellite TV or Freeview, you're probably still watching them. If you subtract his creativity from the complex equation of the latter half of the 20th century, you'll find a huge hole in the British TV entertainments listings. In fact, when it comes to primetime TV action drama, the late Brian Clemens practically was the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.


He also wrote scripts for 10 movies, and he wrote 16 plays. In the later half of his life he worked on series such as The Father Dowling Mysteries; Bergerac; and Diagnosis: Murder.


Brian Clemens was born in Croydon, South London. He suffered a stint of National Service at Aldershot, worked for a while as a London messenger boy, progressed to an advertising agency, and from there moved into script writing.


In 2010 he was appointed OBE. He died on 10th January 2015 and is survived by his second wife and two sons.


The next time you watch any re-runs of the above mentioned series (as most of you probably will sometime), check for the name Brian Clemens in the credits and spare him an afterthought, if you will.


You might not like his entire output, or indeed any of it, but he entertained countless millions and helped keep Britain on the world map, and we can all be grateful for that.





Metal classic bike signs from Sump

So okay, a lot of people are selling metal motorcycle wall signs. But most products are rubbish. Don't think we didn't check. Many signs on the market are very low resolution. Some have bike images printed in reverse. Others have the wrong names above or below the bikes. And one that we bought online still hasn't arrived after about two months of waiting and arguing with the trader.


We've long been looking for products to add to the growing range of Sump T-shirts and stuff, and we caught sight of these.


We've got a thing about garage art and old signs and posters and suchlike. Currently, we've got every sign in this series hanging on the wall in one of our garages, and now we're hooked and are looking for more. If nothing else, these signs give the spiders something to look at when we ain't there twiddling spanners (which, what with one bike project and another, isn't often these days).


We ain't pretending these are high-end artworks. They ain't old masters.Or even young masters. They don't belong to any particular school, except maybe the old skool. They certainly ain't art nouveau or art deco either.


Instead, you can think of them as art bikeau, and you can be sure that in ten thousand years, when there's only one or two examples left on Earth, they'll be worth a lot of money as rare and interesting examples of 21st century motorcycle culture (and is it our fault you won't be around to enjoy that precious moment?).


Matchless G3C metal motorcycle wall plaque


The signs are all around 300mm x 410mm. That's roughly two sheets of A4 paper side by side. Or A3, if you prefer. The image quality is very high at 1,400 dpi. And they're printed direct-to-metal in the time-honoured way. The edges are either folded or rolled, and we send them out in stiff cardboard envelopes with beefed up corners. Note that postal discounts apply if you buy one or more of these along with a Sump T-shirt or something.


Cafe racer Norton AtlasVincent RapideBsa Gold Star DB

 850cc Norton Commando Royal Enfield 500cc BulletG3C Matchless

500cc Velocette Thruxton650cc Triumph T120 Bonneville500cc Triumph Speed Twin

Triumph TR65 ThunderbirdTriumph Tiger CubRoyal Enfield Crusader Sports

650cc TR6 Triumph350cc Triumph 21650cc BSA Spitfire


The cheapest metal wall sign is £11.99 (Royal Enfield Bullet). The most expensive are £13.99 (BSA Gold Star, Triumph Bonneville T120, and Triumph TR6 Trophy). There's a postage and packing charge on top of that, and we think they'll make your garage, shed, hallway, lounge, bedroom or bathroom just that little bit more colourful and appealing, and so we think they're worth every penny.


They make pretty good biker gifts, by the way—if not for someone else, then simply for yourself. Come check 'em out.


Sump metal motorcycle signs

Girl Happy



Rod Taylor: 1930 - 2015


Australian actor Rod Taylor has died aged 84. He was most famously cast as Mitch Brenner in The Birds (1963, directed by Alfred Hitchcock), and as The Traveller in The Time Machine (1960, based upon the H G Wells novel of the same name).


Born Rodney Sturt Taylor in Sydney, his great-great-grand uncle was 19th century British explorer Captain Charles Napier Sturt (this is the correct spelling; not Stuart) who famously helped open up the Australian outback by leading numerous expeditions.


Rod Taylor trained as a commercial artist before moving into radio. His first film in Australia was King of the Coral Sea (1953), a tale about people smuggling in which he played a character named Jack Janeiro. He then took a role as Israel Hands in Long John Silver (1954), another Australian production.


Soon after, Taylor won a radio talent competition. The prize was a trip to Los Angeles, USA and then onward to London, England. But he never made it to London. Not then, at least. Instead he got off the plane in LA, took a look at Hollywood, liked what he saw and stayed there for most of the rest of his life.


To succeed in the American movie industry of that era, it was considered necessary to lose his Australian accent, and Taylor managed this without much difficulty. He generally took leading man roles playing the tough, handsome, no nonsense, self reliant hero-type employing an acting style that owed more to the 1950s than to the Lee Strasberg "method acting" orthodoxy of later years.


Giant movie poster and The Time Machine movie poster


He also starred, notably, with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean in Giant (1956), and later with Karl Malden and Richard Conte in Hotel (1967)


He worked throughout his life both in the USA and his native Australia. But through the 1970s and 1980s (in particular), the American film industry never really knew what to do with Rod Taylor. He was never really
A-list, but was way too good for B-list. He made over 50 movies and also took on numerous TV roles.


Other Rod Taylor films include:


A Gathering of Eagles (1963)

Young Cassidy (1965)
The Liquidator (1966)

The Mercenaries (1968)
Dark of the Sun (1968)
Zabriskie Point (1970)
The Treasure Seekers (1979)
Mask of Murder (1985)
Point of Betrayal (1995)


Rod Taylor as Winston Churchill


His last film was Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009) in which he took on the role of Winston Churchill (image immediately above). It's said that Taylor, who was in retirement at the time, recommended British actor Albert Finney for the part (who had played Churchill once before). But finally, Taylor was persuaded to take the role and flew from Los Angeles to Germany for filming.


Rod Taylor was a reliable actor with a large and enduring screen persona, and still has a huge fan base. An American by residence, he was nevertheless very much Australian at heart and really ought to have had much better roles than those that came his way following his heyday in the 1960s.


He was married three times and is survived by his third wife.


— Big End




Derek Minter: 1932 - 2015

Racing legend Derek Minter, the "King of Brands (Hatch)", has died aged 82. He was a highly successful British Grand Prix and short-circuit racer who began his career in 1955. His first win was at the Isle of Man 250cc Lightweight TT riding a Honda Four.


He was also the first man to lap the Isle of Man TT course at over 100mph on a single-engined bike (Manx Norton). That's Derek Minter above, by the way, leading Phil Read.


Minter rode a variety of machines including Manx Nortons, Gold Stars, Bianchis, MZs, Gileras and Moto Morinis. He also campaigned a Cotton Telstar and Seeley 350s and 500s.


Mike Hailwood occasionally referred to him as "The Mint" and expressed the view that Derek Minter was his toughest opponent.


He retired from professional racing in 1967 and later became a truck driver operating from his home in Kent. He was still riding (in a more relaxed way) into his late sixties. He spent his final days in a local nursing home and died on 2nd January 2015.


Del Monte




Tiernan's looking for a Flea crate


That would be Andy Tiernan of Andy Tiernan Classics. And that would be a Royal Enfield Flying Flea. And that would be a parachute crate.


These 125cc two-stroke British lightweights were developed by Royal Enfield during WW2 as transport and signals machines for allied paratroopers. Officially designated by the model initials WD/RE, the 45mph, 4-speed bikes were thrown out of aircraft, or sardined into gliders and landing craft and/or carried into the battle zones.


However, they "enjoyed" limited military success, except perhaps post war when surplus bikes were released into the civilian market.


British Classic bike dealer Andy Tiernan has owned one of these for a while, and he'd like to reacquaint it with a parachute crate, ideally with a parachute. So if you've got a Flying Flea crate (or parachute) in the garage or loft, and if you want to drop it on Andy Tiernan (so to speak), he'd be pleased to receive it.



Telephone: 01728 724321

The Third Man




Jerry Lee Lewis Duo Glide to sell

Harley-Davidson gave him this FLH Panhead 55 years ago and now Jerry Lee Lewis is, at age 79, hanging up his lid. He might not be the King of Rock'n'Roll (Chuck Berry unquestionably sits on that throne), but Lewis is certainly rock and roll royalty and a time-served biker to boot.


So okay, he hasn't exactly clocked up record mileage on this beautiful Duo Glide. The odometer (to use Yankee speak) has recorded just 2,257 miles, which makes it around 41 miles per annum.


And that's still way more roadwork than plenty of other bikers these days, and Lewis, when he wasn't stompin' around on pianos and/or enjoying the company of his 13-year old cousin (once removed, whom he married and in doing so famously wrecked his career), was kicking around on Harley Davidsons before most of us were born.



Seven times married Jerry Lee Lewis, Myra Gale Brown (cousin and third wife), and one of Lewis's Harley Panheads circa 1959. There's clearly been a whole lotta shakin' going on somewhere. But ya gotta get it while it's going, are we right?



There were actually two Harleys courtesy of the factory. The first went to Lewis. The second went to Elvis Presley. Why this munificence? Simply because both performers were at the height of their popularity, and Messrs H & D wanted to ride their wave and flog a few bikes. Which is fair enough.


The Pan is being auctioned by Mecum at their Kissimmee, Florida sale held between 16th and 25th January 2015. It's Lot S157 and you have to call to find out the estimate. The figure of $1 million is being bandied around.


Investment potential? Pretty good, we figure. Jerry Lee hasn't ridden the Glide for a while. He says he's getting on (as opposed to getting it on), and it's hard to kick over now, so it's time to let go of the 'bars. The bike is said to be in excellent, factory-fresh condition, and the provenance is unimpeachable. And if that ain't rock'n'roll, we don't know what is.



— Big End





"Killer drivers" sentencing review


Here's a story that will satisfy thousands of bikers around the country. Mike Penning, UK Justice Minister (and ex Roads Minister) has promised to ensure that imprisoned drivers who have killed on the road are not immediately given back their licences.


Currently, if a driver kills and receives (for instance) a one year prison sentence together with a one year driving ban, the ban will start concurrently. Therefore, if the driver serves a full year in the pokey, he or she will be released and ready to go straight back on the road.


Penning (pictured below) wants to change that. He wants drivers to first serve their prison sentence, and upon release begin their driving ban—and let that ban run its course. The minister also wants driving bans to be increased in line with general public opinion.


However, there's a minor snag. The new Criminal Justice and Courts Bill is ready and willing to deal with this issue, but the House of Commons and the House of Lords are still wrangling over details before the bill can be let loose on the nation. So Penning plans to exercise similar powers as drafted in the 2009 Coroners and Justice Act.


In other words, the six-gun at his hip won't fire, so he's taking out his Derringer to get the job done.


While regular (and new) Sumpsters might be delighted that new judicial wheels appear to be turning, it's worth considering that this isn't really about British justice.


This is about revenge, and if you're happy with that, then so be it. But taking a dangerous driver off the road for X amount of time will not in itself make him or her a better/safer driver. What's really needed is a change in the driver's mindset; i.e. some serious re-education. How you do that is anyone's guess.


Currently, driving re-tests are commonly ordered and will be an increasing feature in motoring punishments. But simply re-testing a dangerous driver and catching him or her on their best behaviour will probably do little or nothing to deal with the underlying problem. It would make more sense to ban the driver for life. But God help any of us who find ourselves facing a death by dangerous driving charge.


Mobility is everything, and there are none of us who hasn't done something pretty brainless on the road at one time or another (and mercifully got away with it). Fact is, people are fallible. And no, that doesn't excuse most (or any) of the morons who do take a life. But it does help put things into perspective.


Death on the road is something that motorcyclists know better than all other road users, except perhaps cyclists. We don't like it, and we want to stop it. But it's not clear that state sponsored revenge is going to help.


— Dexxion




2011 FLSTFB. If you trust your life to one of these, take a tip and have the brakes checked out. Details below.


Harley-Davidson recalls 19,000 bikes

There used to be dozens of jokes flying back and forth about the lousy brakes on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, not least that the absence of any credible stopping power made their lack of speed a distinct selling point.


But times have changed markedly, and Harley, having significantly raised its performance game over the past decade, needs those brakes more than ever. And to that end, it's taking no chances. Or so we're told.


That's why 19,000 Hogs are being recalled because a banjo bolt in the braking system, specifically the front master cylinder, is prone to premature corrosion.


We're not aware that anyone has yet come to grief. But if you own or ride a Softail or Dyna model built between August 2011 and February 2012, you might want to have a word with your local dealer and see if you're on the list.


Affected bikes include:




But why take chances? Just ask any official Harley dealership to give you the good or bad news. Meanwhile, here are some recent Harley-Davidson recalls that might interest you.


October 2013: "Certain touring models" were recalled for suspected clutch faults. A DO NOT RIDE notice was issued to owners, and a DO NOT DELIVER NOTICE was issued to dealers. The number of bikes recalled was later said to be 25,000, and then rose to 107,000.

August 2014: 3,000 Hogs recalled for ignition switch problems. This was said to invite a possible stall risk.


Is any of this likely to hurt Harley-Davidson? Probably only in the short term, and maybe not even then. Recalls are routine these days, and they provide lots of new sales opportunities and help reinforce customer loyalty and confidence.


Interestingly, we hear that the recall is not due to start until 14th January 2015. But why wait, Sir? It could be something serious.


— Girl Happy



Mk2 Ariel Square Four engine cutaway, 1000cc

Cutaway engine bonanza at Bonhams


We're probably incorrigible Philistines here at Sump, because given the choice of having a few Rodin sculptures loitering on plinths around the mansion, or having a cluster of cutaway British motorcycle engines collecting house dust, the Rodins would end up in the recycling bin, or beside the bird table.


Ditto for anything by Moore, Hepworth or even Michelangelo. Artworks by these celebrated sculptors are all nothing but driveway-gravel-in-the-making when compared to, say, the 1953 Ariel Square Four lump immediately above, or the 1957 BSA A10 engine immediately below.


1957 BSA A10 engine cutaway


And yes, we're deeply ashamed to make that admission, but we suspect a fair number of you guys and girls are harbouring dirty little cutaway secrets of your own.


Auction house Bonhams is certainly counting on that because, come 8th January 2015, the firm is putting a bunch of classic British motorcycle engines up for sale, and all of them are artistically hacked about to reveal their gory innards. Lovely.


[More on the British classic bike cutaway engine lots]






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Pioneer Run eBook:

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