November 2014  Classic bike news


1929 Brough Superior 986cc SS100 "Alpine Grand Sports". Bonhams will be auctioning this bike at its Bond Street Sale on 30th November 2014. The estimate is a very healthy £270,000 - £320,000. This motorcycle draws its name from the veteran-era Alpine Trial which first took place in 1910, the idea being to pit man and machine against the most difficult riding conditions to be found in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and the infamous Stelvio Pass in Northern Italy. In 1925, George Brough took up the challenge and picked up six cups including one for 'Best Performance', so he decided to mark the achievement with the above pile of ultra expensive nuts and bolts which was offered with a low compression engine for more ordinary touring purposes. So which motorcycle head honcho markets his bikes like this anymore? Makes you think, huh? The pics are courtesy of Bonhams.


UPDATE: The Brough Superior sold for a world record £315,000 including premium.

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
SPS 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




Noise complaint e-petition appeal

An e-petition has been launched demanding that anyone who buys or rents a property close to a motorsport racetrack should waive his or her rights to silence. In other words, don't complain about the walls and windows vibrating if you choose to move into the area.


You can understand what the e-petitioner (Darron Coster) is whingeing about. Motorsport venues in the UK are constantly under threat of closure, or have closed, as a result of noise complaints from the nation's NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yarders).


Except that Darron is misguided.


The fact is, motorsport makes a bloody racket, and persistent noise is a modern evil and damages health. We don't personally mind racetracks, you understand. We live miles from anywhere that's anywhere. But people have to live somewhere, and the UK's population is growing while the coast is eroding.


It's daft demanding that people should forgo the right to try and improve their environment (whatever that means to you). You might as well argue that moving near a polluting factory means that you can't complain about pink rivers and three-legged fish.


In this country, it's increasingly difficult to find, at an "affordable" price, anywhere at all to live, and there's a reason why property is often significantly cheaper when it's close to a racetrack.


And people move to such areas for other reasons, such as the need to be close to their job, or their new job, or their family, or their friends. And don't the children of incoming home owners and residents have rights? Or should their rights be signed away too?


To suggest that a racetrack should remain a noisy area in perpetuity isn't going to impress the legislators. Nor should it.


Fact is, things change. The world moves on. Smoking in pubs is yesterday's norm. So is drinking and driving. So is beating your wife. So is baiting bears.



Motorsport is fun, and long may it continue. But it isn't essential to life (although for many, it's a close run thing). Meanwhile, buying or renting a house is essential, and people are going to seize whatever opportunity comes their way, and then make whatever changes they feel are necessary to improve their lot. And if that means Cadwell Park or Thruxton eventually closes, then so be it. It will be a shame. It will be a loss. And it will be a blow. But everyday life comes first. So get over it.


What's really needed are new initiatives to enable domesticity and leisure, in all its forms, to happily co-exist. Such as new acoustic barriers, or new engine noise suppression technology, or compensation for local residents, or radical sound cancelling devices, or simply by increasing the use of electric racing motorcycles, or whatever.


If you want to bolster Darron's argument (which currently has around 11,000 supporters and needs 100,000 by the end of March 2015 in order to force a parliamentary debate), there's a link below. But for our part, we're turning a deaf ear to this one.


Noise e-petition

Action on Hearing Loss

Sam 7




▲ Lot 15. This 1950 998cc Vincent Black Shadow Series C sold for £63,100 including premium. Since new, this bike appears to have covered just 19,803 miles. So much for the long-legged international cruiser distinction. In the course of a year, you can rack up that kind of mileage on a pushbike. But hey, it ain't our business...


Bonhams Bond Street Sale 2014

£12.7 million. That was the figure turned over by Bonhams at its Bond Street Sale held on 30th November 2014. The top selling motorcycle lot was the 1929 Brough Superior SS100 Grand Sports (see main image and main caption, this page). The top selling car lot was an ex-works 1969-70 Porsche 908.02 'Flunder' Langheck Group 6 Racing Sports-Prototype. That fetched £2,185,500 including premium.



▲ Lot 31. 1939 Miles M14A Hawk Trainer III. Sold for £46,000 including premium. The UK produced 1,200 of these aircraft between 1937 and 1941, with another 100 built in Turkey. Wind up the 130bhp de Havilland Gypsy Major I four-cylinder inline engine and cruise at 124mph, or climb to 18,600 feet. Makes motorcycling look tame, huh?



Bonhams say that it's only the second year that the firm has held this sale. Nevertheless, the world renowned auction house managed to achieve over 80 percent sold in this "record breaking sale". Then again, there were only 31 lots, of which just two were motorcycles.

Girl Happy




Gold plated Speed Twin on eBay

Why anyone would do this to a 1949 500cc 5T Triumph Speed Twin, or any motorcycle, we don't know. But it's out there, it exists, it lives and breathes, etc (cue dramatic music) and the seller is asking £20,000.


There's five days left to run as of Saturday 29th November 2014 (round about 8.30pm). And there probably won't be another anytime soon.



It sounds like something Auric Goldfinger would dream up, except he'd commission a bike in solid gold, not gold plate. The eBay listing tells us that the motorcycle has been completely rebuilt and runs perfectly. No oil drips either, it's claimed.


The seller adds that he'll exchange the bike (or part-ex it) for a British racing single, and adds, "No site (sic) seers, and don't bring the wife."


As if we would...

Del Monte




"True Greats" sale at Coys

Coys are describing this sale as "an important auction of fine historic automobiles", which might well be true. But it's bit lacklustre in the motorcycle department.


The sale takes place of Tuesday 2nd December 2014. The venue is the Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Hall, Vincent Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 2PE. Coys is claiming 364 lots. But the numbering starts from 100 and ends at 467, and there might be omissions in the sequence. So we're confused and taking them at face value.


Regardless, there are certainly (currently) 19 bikes on offer, of which just two are British (a 1967 Triumph T120 estimated at  £7,000 - £8,000, and a 1996 Triumph Metisse 500c estimated at £5,000 - £6,000. These are Lot 401 and Lot 402, respectively).



Arguably, the most interesting bike in the sale is the (immediately above) 1956 Mondial 125 Bialbero GP Ex Works racer. This is Lot 406 and carries an estimate of £100,000 - £120,000. But our eyes are on the bike image above that, a 1931 Indian Four 1300 Model 402, said to be the rarest of the Indian Fours. This machine is estimated at a cool, but not exactly frozen, £70,000 - £80,000.


Beyond that, there's the odd 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 - 6 C Berlinetta (Lot 443) estimated at £1 million - £1.4 million. We were thinking of bidding on that, but we're torn between it and a 1964 Works Prototype Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTP (Lot 444) estimated at £1.1 million - £1.3 million.


Then again there's a French edition poster from the James Bond movie "You Only Live Twice" that we haven't got in our collection of essential 007 film memorabilia (and note that foreign edition film posters feature high in this sale thereby padding out the lots).


Nevertheless, this Robert McGuinness-painted piece of soft porn is estimated at £600 - £800 and depicts (quote/unquote) "a bevy of Japanese beauties washing 007 and his gun!"


Dirty lucky sod.



Here at Sump, we ain't exactly yer average Ferrari-loving types. But ever since we saw the Love Bug in 1968, we've had a thing for Yankee muscle cars and Italian exotica. This short-nosed 275 is said by some to be the finest of its type. Think of it as a rich man's Datsun 240Z.



With its ladder frame chassis and plastic (GRP) body, this 180hp two-litre 904 racer is one of the world's most expensive kit cars. Porsche needed to build 100 (within 12 months) for homologation purposes, and so they did. Squint a little and it's almost a Ferrari, huh?



— Big End



£12.50 per day classic bike charge

If Boris Johnson and Transport for London get their way, that's how much it will soon cost you to ride your BSA A10, Triumph Speed Twin or Norton Commando into Central London. In fact, that will be the charge for the vast majority of motorcycles on the road.


£12.50 per day.


Earlier this month, Sump reported this worrying possibility with the rise of the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). Well, things have moved on a little, and Transport for London (TfL) has since published details of the proposed charges.


The cut-off date for the new tax is 2007. What that means is that if, by 2020, you ride a motorcycle that's thirteen years old or more, you'll be required to stump up £12.50 per day to travel into Central London. But why pick on 2007 as the cut-off point? Well that was when the Euro 3 emissions standard came into force.


The charge will apply 24 hours per day, 365 days per annum. And as it stands, it will be the same for bikes and cars. Sound unfair? Well in view of the fact that motorcycles account for just one percent of London vehicle emissions, it certainly rings a dull note.


But petrol cars, according to TfL, account for only three percent, while diesel cars account for 18 percent. And the real argument, some would argue, is whether or not EVERYONE should pay something regardless of which transport mode they favour.


Supposedly, this is a clean air initiative. And on one level, it probably is. But it's really a thinly-disguised tax because if you want clean air, you ban offending vehicles completely rather than let them slip in for a "small daily charge" and thereby help murder the local populace with their filthy exhaust fumes.


It might be that TfL subsequently relents and allows various concessions for older bikes. But there's no logic here, except perhaps that old bikes add "colour" to the character of London. Your average old British single is, after all, probably a hundred times dirtier, emissions-wise, than almost any 2007 motorcycle. There's no escaping that. And TfL will naturally want to rationalise charges so that one size fits all. But TfL might buckle a little if we all make ourselves heard.


You might also argue that manufacturing new "clean" bikes creates an awful lot of CO2 and dangerous fumes, and possibly much more than the average classic bike is likely to expel over the next 50 years or whatever. Only, you probably won't get far with that one. TfL wants your money, either from dubious emissions taxes, or by forcing/encouraging you onto its buses and trains.


The usual riders rights groups are said to be preparing to combat this threat. Except none of the groups have much credibility left, do they? So it probably comes down (as ever) to individual action. So make your play and follow the links below.


If you've ever toyed with the idea of fitting an environmentally-acceptable and TfL-approved electric motor to your Bantam, Dominator or Black Shadow, you've got six years to sort it out if you want to avoid the ULEZ charge.


See: Sump's earlier story on this threat.


TfL Ultra Low Emission Zone consultation link


Sam 7



Frankie Fraser: 1923 - 2014

He was once one of the most feared British gangsters of the 1950s and 1960s, a man who spent 42 years behind bars for a variety of crimes (most of them vicious, and many involving various forms of torture), a man who (it's said) once buried a hatchet in a rival's head pinning his victim's hand to his skull, a man who was one of the lynchpins of the notorious Richardson gang, and a man who (allegedly) literally got away with murder.


Actually, multiple murders.


Francis Davidson Fraser was born in South London, specifically Cornwall Road SE1. One of five children, he grew up in what was then a post-WW2 slum district and quickly became involved in low-level crimes of theft and black marketing, and then much more serious crimes of violence.


He soon became an associate of London gangster Billy Hill, and later joined Charles Richardson's outfit, the most serious criminal rival gang to the legendary Kray Twins.


London's Soho district, notorious for prostitution and gambling, was where much of "Razor Fraser's" criminal activities were centred, largely around fruit machines which were (then as now) a highly lucrative money-maker. He almost became one of the Great Train Robbers, but declined at the last moment because: "I was on the run from the law."



Fraser boasted Native American blood. He was twice declared criminally insane and punched (or hatcheted) well above his weight and height (five feet four inches). The British public drew vicarious thrills from his serialised vicious exploits. In a hundred years, they'll probably rename Heathrow Airport after this notorious London gangster.



He claimed to have invented the Friday Gang concept (worker's payroll robbery). He claimed to have been the first to wear a stocking mask (not that he needed it). He claimed to have no regrets, and that, at least, rings true. And amazingly, despite having supposedly notched-up dozens of kills, he was never convicted of murder.


Attempts were made on his life too. Part of his mouth was shot away during an attempt on his life. On another occasion, he was shot in the leg shattering his thigh bone. Overall, Frankie Fraser was evidently a man who made Al Pacino's Scarface, Bob Hoskins' Harold Shand and Michael Caine's Jack Carter look like wimps.



When you absolutely have to nail someone to the floorboards and remove their toes with bolt cutters, Charles Richardson (left) and brother Eddie were once the guys to call.



In later years, he became a celebrity all over again after his biography, Mad Frank: Memoirs of a Life of Crime was published (1994). Two more volumes followed, all ghost-written and highly detailed with grisly accounts of his exploits during his golden years of violence.


Even at the age of 89, Fraser found himself being served with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) for making a nuisance of his himself at the nursing home where he spent his last years.


He did find time to marry (Doreen) who died in 1999, and he had four children by her.


Frankie Fraser, who made it all the way to a grand old ninety, adds credence to the notion that only the good die young. Fraser was just about as mean, nasty, vicious and generally undesirable as they come. And he was thoroughly proud of it.


If there's life after death, you can be sure that there's also death after death with guys like Frankie Fraser on the warpath.


Del Monte



Driving licence changes for January 2015


Here's a reminder that the UK driving/riding licence is about to take the next step from paper to full digitisation.


Currently, there are two basic types of licences in circulation; the old "paper type", and the plastic photocard.


The photocard, by "virtue" of its design, doesn't carry licence endorsement history. That's why the DVLA issues a colloquially named "paper part" (officially called a Counterpart Driving Licence). And that's what car rental companies usually ask for when you want to hire one of their vehicles.


The paper part.


If you don't have it, the hire companies can check with the DVLA via a phone call, and via a small charge (usually a fiver or a tenner). But from 1st January 2015, that "paper part" will no longer be issued, nor will it be required. You'll need only your old-style "paper licence", or a photocard without the "paper part" (is it any wonder that Johnny Foreigner thinks we're quaint?).


Old style paper licences will continue to be valid until they expire. If you're still alive when that happens, and still wanting to stay mobile, the DVLA will exchange the paper for a new style plastic photocard subject to whatever statutory requirements are in force at the time (age limit, health status, eyesight, etc). In fact, you'll be automatically issued with a photocard whenever you apply to update your licence details.


There's no charge for this updating. But you will be charged every ten years for a renewal photocard (currently priced at £20). And we're reminded by the DVLA that if you fail to update your details, not least any change of address, you could be looking at a fine of up to £1,000.



We don't want to worry you, but the DVLA has been known to remove motorcycling entitlement following (photocard) licence renewal applications. Be prepared, and do what you have to do to stay legal on two wheels.



Be warned that occasionally the DVLA screws up and removes licence entitlements, such as your right-to-bike. So keep a record. And note that some riders seem to have temporarily misplaced their old licence when updating. It happens. Just be careful, huh?


Finally, another word of warning. The usual online fraudsters are said to be taking advantage of the licence changes by directly contacting all and sundry (by email) whilst purporting to be from the DVLA. The fraudsters are asking any number of bogus questions aimed at collecting identity data.


We know that you Sumpsters ain't stupid enough to fall for that, but you might know someone who is. So pass the word, if you will. The DVLA does not email anyone asking them to update personal details.


Not yet, anyway.



Del Monte




"Last V1000 Hesketh" is produced

Or is it really simply the next V1000? We don't know either, but the Hesketh press release said that the firm wasn't making any more, so we're supposing that this really is it. The last one. The end of the line. The swansong. But you can't buy this one (image above) because it's sold. All that needs doing to the bike is the fitting of a couple of extra parts plus a little fiddling around, and then it's gone.



The new Hesketh 24. £35,000. 2000cc S&S engine. Only 24 will be built. "The bike itself blends cafe racer with American muscle," says Hesketh owner Paul Sleeman. Good luck to 'im, we say.



Apparently, the V1000 has been in continuous, if low volume, production for 32 years. The new Hesketh head honcho and company owner is Paul Sleeman, and he's clearly very pleased at where he's taken this epic project. However, he recognises that he wouldn't have a business at all if not for Lord Hesketh, Bubbles Horsley, and Mick Broom who backed the bike for so long.


But now it's so long to the past and hello to the future, which Sleeman reckons is the new Hesketh 24 that was displayed recently at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC. We wasn't there, but our spies were, and we're told that the new 24 looks a lot better up close than it does in photographs.


We've heard that one before, and often that's because it's true. Let's hope Sleeman can write another interesting and profitable chapter in the Book of Hesketh. It's a page turner.


Want more info on the Hesketh 24? Check Sump News June 2014.


Girl Happy




1964 Triumph TRW: asking £5,000


TRWs have been rising in value for the past five to ten years. We particular like these Meriden military nailheads and have been watching them carefully. But we're constantly behind the prices, and those prices don't look like falling anytime soon.


This example is currently on offer by Suffolk-based classic bike dealer, Andy Tiernan, and he's asking £5,000. That's a sizeable chunk of change in today's classic bike market where mid-range prices are generally either falling, or under stress.


Nevertheless, Andy knows his business, and he tends to market bikes appropriately. That's why he's been in the game since the early 1970s, and he clearly feels that five grand is about where it's at for a decent TRW.



1964 Triumph TRW. Never sold new to the public, these military bikes are now acquiring a growing following. But is £5,000 a bridge too far? Suffolk dealer Andy Tiernan doesn't think so. This TRW is "new in stock", and we think it's generally underrated machine.



Andy's describing the bike as "presentable", which is Andy-code for a decent enough mount, but it's neither perfect, nor is it a rat. He also describes it as having excellent manners. Which is perfectly true. You could take one of these to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party safe in the knowledge that it wouldn't disgrace itself.


Better still, you could lope along your favourite back roads on one enjoying 50-55mph cruising, 70mph at the top end, 45-55 mpg, and reasonable handling. And they're looking better with every passing year, which is more than can be said for the rest of us.


Sump's carrying a buyers guide on Triumph TRWs. Check it out if you need help making a decision, or are just curious. Alternately, just call Andy Tiernan and make a deal. He's usually pretty agreeable and accommodating.


Meanwhile, check this Sump July 2013 feature on TRW pricing, and make up your own mind.






Warning: Have you seen this man?

We have. He goes by the name of Kasey and he sells about five billion styles of gloves, not least repro classic Goldtop Gloves. We bumped into him at the Copdock Show, Ipswich in 2013, and he was there at his stall happily plying his five-fingered trade (or ten-fingered if you've got two hands)


Which is why you should take care. He's got glove-itis and he's infectious.


He knows his business inside out, laughs more than Tommy Cooper, is a mine of amusing anecdotes, and has some pretty good deals going. And if you cross paths with him, there's every chance you'll buy something. Or even two somethings.


Which probably won't be a bad thing. Pretty much all of us could use a new pair of gloves, right? Take a hint, Kasey...


He sells gloves, gauntlets, scarves and boots, plus leather care products. He's not exactly Woolworths yet, but he's on the way.


Anyway, he's just been in touch with us bringing us up to date with progress (smart move). He's got a new website and a Facebook page, and we suspect he's still got more energy than a nuclear power station.


Go check him out as and when you need some fresh leather on your mitts. Or check him out anyway. 



Big End




Watsonian GT4 Sports Touring chair


We're told that this "new for 2015" chair (above) is based upon Watsonian's current RX4 outfit, but with a 15-inch "split style" wheel instead of a 13-inch 5-spoke aluminium alloy item. The mudguard is a "minimalist hugger" design with a "combined LED tail light/indicator unit".


There's another LED indicator fitted into the passenger step, and a wraparound screen that folds up for easy access to the 30-inch wide bench seat. The GT4 weighs 98kg. Prices start from £6,195 including VAT.



For 2015, Watsonian has also introduced a fitting kit to allow owners of the Royal Enfield Continental Cafe Racer (image immediately above) to latch onto its established Meteor sidecar. The firm tells us that the Meteor, the design of which was based upon a WW2 aircraft drop (fuel) tank, "perfectly complements" the Continental. But from where we sit, it's only the fact that they're both painted red that makes them a matched pair.


And we're not sure why you'd want to hook up a cafe racer with a third wheel and a GRP bucket. But maybe we're missing something subtle here. However, it's not an ugly package, and people tell us that there's an awful lot of fun to be had from outfits, not least when the bad weather sets in. So we're not knocking 'em per se. In this life, you have to get it while it's going.


Anyway, if you want the Meteor chair, the entry-level price is will set you back £3,995 plus VAT.



Girl Happy




2014 Triumph Bonneville. Every season, this bike gets better and better (and Triumph does supply them with mirrors). But it's one of a number of Hinckley models now being recalled for a minor electronic fault.


Triumph recalls various 2014 models

If you own one, there's no great panic here. But it seems that the electronic control unit (ECU) of various models have some kind of glitch that can lead to over-fuelling in the engine.


Triumph say the worst that might happen is that one cylinder might inappropriately activate a fuel injector causing the engine to run over-rich and even flood the plug. Or you might experience starting issues. Either way, you need to mosey on down to your local dealer who will, without charge, replace the component (similar to the one in the image on the right).


Affected models are:


America, Bonneville, Bonneville T100, Rocket III Roadster, Rocket III Touring, Scrambler, Speedmaster, Thruxton, Thunderbird, Thunderbird Storm, Tiger 800 and Tiger 800XC.


So far, the recall is aimed at UK, Ozzie and Canadian bikes. But wherever you are in the world, you might want to check with your dealer.


Girl Happy



BSA R34-4


Rare 1934 BSA R34-4 now on eBay


This bike is really for the collectors, or maybe for the occasional parade. It's a pre-war 350cc OHV twin-port single and has a lot of olde-worlde charm. The bidding still has 6 days to run, so you've got time to make a pitch if you think you'd like to share a garage with it.


The current price (as of 23rd November 2014) is £1,550, and 5 bids have been posted (which might mean 5 people in the fray, or just 2 or 3 hopeful souls gently slugging it out). However, buying it could get a little complicated. Why? Because this pint-sized Beeza is registered in Holland, but is located on Spain's Costa Blanca, and is being offered by a UK seller.


1934 R34-4 BSA


R34-4 BSA OHV single


The seller, however, assures eBayers that it's not a scam, and claims that the bike is "original, complete and unrestored". It hasn't been run for the past few years, mind. So some re-commissioning will be needed.


R34-4 BSA tank panelThe R34-4 is a three-speed hand-change model. So if you're interested and are not familiar with using anything but your foot to change gear, you should prepare yourself for a more sedate (and initially confusing) style of riding.


Rated at 3.48hp, these machines were used as solo mounts, or for hauling lightweight chairs. Features include instruments in the petrol tank, and quickly-detachable wheels. Brakes are negligible, but you've got a little engine torque to slow you up and soften the crash.


We're not endorsing this particular bike, by the way. We've got no connection with the seller (a trader who generally imports left-hand drive vehicles into the UK). Therefore, the bike might be a peach, or might not be so hot. We're just pointing you at it in case you're interested.


Telephone: 01572 495005 or 07505 554415, or look it up on eBay.


Del Monte




H&H Chateau Impney auction

You've got around ten days left until H&H Auctions' Chateau Impney Sale on 3rd December 2014. It's primarily a car sale, take note, and there's some pretty exciting four-wheeled exotica on offer, such as the above 1953 XK120/150 Fixed Head Coupe Jaguar (Lot 99). So okay, the car is a bitsa. But these ain't any old bits. This is a regular Six Million Dollar Man on wheels.


The Jag has a long, interesting and respectable history, and it's competed in various rallies—but not for some years, we hear. The vehicle was originally exported to Gold Coast, Africa (now Ghana, Africa), but was repatriated in 1954 and used as a general run-around. A USAF airman owned it for a spell, and it was from him that the current owner bought the car and has owned it ever since. The estimate is £35,000 - £45,000.



Of the 25 bike lots being fielded (now 29 bike lots), just 6 of them are British (now 7, or 8 if you include a Jawa-engined Rickman Metisse), and none are outstanding. But the above (and below) T140 cafe racer (Lot number 10) appeals to us—albeit not at the estimated price, which is £14,000 - £16,000.



Purists, of course, will frown. A "genuine" Triton, some would say, ought to be based around a classic Meriden-era T110 engine, or maybe a T100. The Johnny-come-lately 750cc T140 unit lump doesn't quite have the "authoritative" look of the pre-unit motors. And (Brembo) disc brakes all round instead of a twin-leading-shoe, or even four-leading-shoe drum at the front, and a single-leading-drum at the rear?


Uh huh.


Nevertheless, it looks like a fairly practical and sorted cafe racer with a nice poise and at least most of the right styling cues. It's registered as a 1965 bike, by the way, which is a few years before the T140 engine was introduced. But it's the right era for the Slimline Featherbed frame.


Other features include Marzocchi forks, a Pazon electronic ignition unit, Mikuni carburettors, a Quill stainless steel exhaust system, and an aluminium alloy tank. All good stuff. But £14,000 - £16,000?


We'll see about that...


In the same auction are the following:


1954 BSA Road Rocket (Lot 4) £4,000 - £6,000

1962 Triumph TR6 Trophy (Lot 6) £8,000 - £10,000

1962 Norton Atlas (Lot 6) £7,500 - £8,500

2006 G50 Seeley Superlight George Beale Rep (Lot 9)  £18,000 - £20,000

An uninspiring sounding "Triumph Triple" racer (Lot 11) £12,000 - £14,000


But what and where is Chateau Impney, anyway? Well, it's in Worcestershire, near Droitwich Spa, a hotel and exhibition centre operating within a 19th century house built in the Louis XIII French style. During WW2, the Ministry of Defence requisitioned the property. It was used as a billet for officers and cadets undergoing training. POWs were also contained within the grounds.


Surprisingly, perhaps, a single room at the Chateau could cost you as little as £59 per night, or so we were advised when we checked.


Wiser now?




The Third Man



Bell Bullitt RSD Viva helmet


We featured a pretty cool looking Bell Bullitt crash helmet back in Sump, April 2014, and we're still saving up our pennies to buy one (whilst keeping pretty busy down in the local bike park hoping we can nick one).


But these Bullitt lids are rare beasts. They're not exactly endangered, but you just don't see them all that often in the wild.


Well this newcomer will, in some small way, no doubt help change all that. Bell call it the Bullitt RSD Viva (the firm is no doubt figuring that there's still plenty of mileage left in the word "Bullitt" and it's extracting every last drop).


The lid is a Roland Sands designed limited edition creation. The shell is composite, which could mean anything. Or nothing. The liner is machine washable. The lid has various clever vents. The visor can be popped open in traffic. The trim is leather. The cheek pads are 3D formed.


In fact, it sounds pretty much like ... well, a regular crash helmet. And anyway, most of the techy talk goes right over our heads (who really understands all this stuff except the people who design, build and test these helmets? Not us).


But we trust Bell and we're sold on the looks and the graphics. And if you're really interested in what kind of safety certificates it's got, we're advised that the Yanks, the Ozzies and the Eurocrats have all approved it.


The helmet is offered with both the clear bubble visor (above), and a plain, flat, tinted visor. But it's that bubble thingy that does it for us, uncomplicated souls that we are here at Sump.


So where can you buy one? Well they're on eBay at around $449, which is roughly £300 in BritCash give or take a little change. Or try Moto Central which is currently offering them at around £320. Or try The Cafe Racer. Can't actually see this model on their site (not at the time of writing), but The Cafe Racer deals in Bell lids and certainly carries the earlier Bullitt brain bucket.




Del Monte



Hedon crash helmets

These lids, apparently, have been around since 2011. At least, the company has. But it's the first we've heard of 'em.


The name, as you can see, is Hedon, which might be a reference to a "head on", as in "head on crash". As in "don't have one if you can help it". Or it might stem from something like, "Hey, let's head on down the caff, huh?" Or it might even be some kind of cockeyed word play about sticking one on your bonce.


But no, apparently Hedon refers to hedonism; the pursuit of pleasure. And we can vouch for the fact that a shiny red helmet can definitely be a precursor to a pleasurable experience.


The firm, trading from Hillingdon, West London, was launched by "Lindsay and Reginald". That's them in the snapshot immediately below. Reg, we assume, is the one who evidently needs to wear his lid to drink a glass of dangerous fizzy pop.



We checked the Hedon website and died sixteen gory deaths as we waded through the excrutiatingly overblown copy. Here's a sample. But first a warning: Don't read this unless you're wearing a helmet and haven't eaten in the past 24 hours.


"Hedon’s goal is simply to provide the most pleasant experience on everybody’s journey for Hedonism. In 2011 Lindsay and Reginald, with extensive experience in design and helmet crafting, came together to create Hedon. Tired of conventional style, they set out on a mission to rethink the urban rider’s protective headgear. They wanted something bold, refined and nostalgic with comfort as a driving point above all else. A necessary accessory for the discerning rider.

"Lindsay and Reginald has [sic] always approached design with an eye for raw beauty and originality. Each Hedon helmet has it’s [sic] own unique signature marked in their definitive style and distinctive materials they are crafted from. A fine blend of the old and the new, deftly forged using traditional craftsmanship along with modern technology. They believe when form and function come together seamlessly, style is effortless."


But you can't blame a guy (or gal) for trying. These lids, we're told are made from fibre glass and carbon fibre and brass and leather and whatnot.

The lining is "Merlin anti-bacterial", whatever that is. The sizes are XS-2XL.


These lids actually look pretty good, In fact, we're thinking of getting a few, just as soon as we have our hair done, nails trimmed, bikini-line waxed and visit our therapists.


Prices range from £299 (for the red one above) to £450. We're also advised that these helmets are ECE 22.05 certified, and delivery takes up to 35 days. The firm, by the way, trades as Hedkase Limited. Read what you will into that.


Should Davida be worried? Probably not.



Girl Happy




Terblanche shifts to Royal Enfield


He was a Volkswagen man, a Cagiva man, a Moto Guzzi man, a Piaggio man, a Norton man, and—perhaps most famously—a Ducati man. But now he's a Royal Enfield man having signed on for a voyage of unknown duration.


A South African by birth, 58-year old Terblanche also designed the Confederate Hellcat, and it was at Confederate where he was most recently employed.


We use the word "designed" advisedly when what we really mean is "styled". Because that's what Terblanche is; a stylist who also has a background in boat design and graphic design. Regardless, you can now expect to see evidence of his handiwork on Royal Enfield motorcycles. And there's the rub isn't is?


If the same bee buzzes from flower to flower, you're likely to end up with a lot of cross-pollination and homogenisation—meaning, in this case, a new range of Royal Enfields with distinct Terblanche design cues. And that kind of thing isn't always very desirable when individuality and originality are the watchwords. Or is he going to take Royal Enfield in a totally new direction? Or, on the other hand, will Royal Enfield, concerned about losing its core market, be more likely to restrict him to an overly tight brief?


Much the same cross-pollination issues cropped up with legendary Ariel man Val Page who gave us a range of Ariels that were not unlike the range of Triumphs and BSAs that he also worked on during that era. Ditto Edward Turner and the similarities between the Ariel Red Leaders and the Triumph Tiger 70, 80, 90 and even Speed Twin.


Nevertheless Royal Enfield is said to be very chuffed and is looking forward to a new generation of cool and "western styled" 500cc and even 400cc bikes. And these kind of career moves are usually interesting. So good luck to Terblanche and Enfield, etc.


Girl Happy




Greeves Motorcycles Ltd is for sale

We're talking about Richard Deal's outfit which put the brand back on the motorcycle map in 1999 when he registered and relaunched the name. He's looking for £350,000, which is a lot of money in today's uncertain economic climate.


Then again, the deal (no pun intended) includes 10 bikes, all the tools, jigs, fixtures, castings, moulds, benches, hydraulic presses, manufacturing machinery, spares, intellectual property and so on. The current business turnover is £300,000, and there's a new(ish) bike offered as part of the deal (still no pun intended). This is a Greeves 280TI; a lightweight two-stroke trials machine (image immediately below) weighing in at just 76 kilos and featuring a variable squish cylinder head, Marzocchi forks, an Olins rear monoshock, and Grimeca brakes.


Richard Deal already produces new Anglians and Pathfinder models, and okay, he hasn't sold as many as he'd wanted. But there's clearly scope here for an individual, or group of individuals to run with this particular ball and scores a few new touches.



But why's he selling? Because he's just turned 70, and he's been working brutal hours, fighting a long sales and manufacturing campaign and has earned a retirement rest—and anyone involved in motorcycle engineering at any level will appreciate just how much blood and sweat has gone into this project.


Greeves was founded in 1951 by Bert Greeves, MBE. The legend is fairly well known. But in case you're not familiar with it, Bert Greeves began by developing and producing the Invacar which he designed for his disabled cousin, Derry Preston-Cobb. At that time (early 1950s), England had more than its fair share of disabled ex-servicemen, not to mention ordinary folk struggling with chronic mobility conditions.


With a contract from the Ministry of Pensions & National Insurance, Bert Greeves established a factory in Thundersley, Essex and achieved much success with his Invacar project. In private life, he was also a trials man, and presently he designed and built two-stroke motorcycles by incorporating his own views on what was important and what wasn't.



In trials competition, Greeves machines acquitted themselves extremely well, not least when in the hands of riders such as Brian Stonebridge, Peter Hammond, Jack Simpson, Norman Sloper and the redoubtable Dave Bickers (see Sump July 2014). Models include the Hawkstone, Essex, Scottish, Anglian (image immediately above) Sports Twin, Challenger, and East Coaster. The Greeves diehards are a fiercely loyal and enthusiastic bunch, not all of whom have seen eye to eye with Richard Deal.


We've no idea whether or not the sale offer represents good value as a going concern. But it's worth remembering that the Greeves brand has a lot of steam behind it which could, if handled right, mine a long seam of gold in the fashion industry (a la Belstaff and Barbour).


We'd prefer to see some rich businessman come along and pick up exactly where Richard Deal left off, and that's producing Greeves two-strokes from a collection of workshops in Essex. But you have to be realistic. The logo on a T-shirt or leather jacket is possibly worth more than the logo on a petrol tank.


We spoke to Richard Deal who said, "It will be a wrench selling the business. I've worked very hard on this and have brought it a long way over the past 14 years.


"But it's the right time to look for someone else to take over. I've had interest from 4 or 5 people, but it's still early days."


Would he rent out the workshops as a going concern?


"I would consider it," he said. "I've got three staff working for me. Robert, my mechanic and electrician, Keith the welder, and Charlie who looks after the machining work. They're all great guys and they know their business. But I am looking for an outright sale of the stock, brand and rights. Any leasing of the workshops is another matter that can be discussed."

Greeves Motorcycles Ltd is based in Chelmsford, Essex. The Greeves Anglican sells for £8,100. The new 280TI sells for around £6,995.


Telephone: 01245 227667


Big End




Vapour blasting service by SVS ...


We don't often recommend bike businesses, not because there ain't some very good firms out there in the classic bike world looking for your custom, but because we simply can't get around to reviewing them all.


But we can and will happily recommend Southampton Vapourblast Services. This firm understands motorcycles at all levels, from building, machining, restoring and riding.


They understand how mechanisms are supposed to work, and why they fail. They understand bearing surfaces and how to look after them. They know what's salvageable, and what's junk. And they also know how to handle parts and safely package items for the postman to throw about.


In short, we'd trust SVS with anything in the Sump garage (and there ain't many people or businesses we can say that about).


... and ultrasonic cleaning too


SVS also offers ultrasonic cleaning. This works by using sound waves and little bubbles and ... well, clever stuff like that. It's all pretty technical, but as you can't get drunk on it, we ain't all that interested in the details. This process is ideal for carburettors and fine castings, whereas the vapour blasting process will freshen up crankcases, gearboxes, castings, hubs or what have you.


You can also use these processes for cleaning up burrs on freshly machined components, or for tidying welds, or prepping jointing surfaces for rebuilding, or whatever the hell you need to do in order to clean up your act. Alternately, you can work with greasy, ragged, not-fit-for-purpose parts on your next rebuild and do a half-assed job.


Sump tip: Don't scrimp on the basics.


British, Jap, German, Italian, and American parts are handled with equal care. And while we remember, SVS can offer a while-you-wait service. But make sure you give them some sensible notice.


We could go on about this company, but we ain't gonna. Just talk direct to SVS and find out for yourself what the big deal is. And tell 'em Sump recommended them. Can't hurt.


Telephone: 07860 953960






Andy Tiernan's 2015 calendar

This year, the theme for Andy's annual calendar is eccentric vehicles. As ever, the artwork is by the redoubtable Nick Ward, and as ever, the proceeds from the sale of the calendar are going to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and as ever, the calendar is produced in memory of David "Beret" Berry (Andy's fitter who died in 2006 in a motorcycle accident).


To illustrate this great classic bike tradition, we picked the above 1931 BSA Commercial Van Model TW5. But we might equally have picked any of the other sketches (of which there are six) because they're all good and deserve a frame on a wall somewhere.


Suffolk classic bike dealer Andy Tiernan doesn't make anything from this. But don't let that stop you putting your hand in your pocket and finding some spare change. Send a £10 cheque, if you will, made payable to: East Anglian Air Ambulance.


The address is: Andy Tiernan Classics - Calendar, The Old Railway Station, Station Road, Framlingham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP13 9EE. Your payment includes two UK second class postage stamps. But if you're from overseas, contact Andy direct at: andybuysbikes@aol.com


Need we remind everyone that these air ambulances save lives, not least the lives of bikers? Please support it if you can, either for your own use, or as a gift for someone else.


Big End



Vincent Rapide 1000cc - 1951


NMM 30th anniversary Vincent draw


We're talking about the National Motorcycle Museum (in case you don't know what "NMM" refers to). The Vincent in question is the above 1951 1000cc Rapide that's just been won by Ms Sharon Shaw from London who is evidently about as happy as a girl can look beyond winning the national lottery and/or spending a night with George Clooney (whoever he is). Her ticket number was: 1285048.


We're consoling ourselves that at least Sharon and hubby are genuine classic bike people (as opposed to passing chancers) who, until further notice, will be parking the Vinnie alongside their two BSAs.


The second prize in that esteemed lottery was a 1952 125cc BSA Bantam D1. Ms Rachel Daynes from Wales, owner of ticket 0895555, won that bike, while 3rd prize was a "classic" weekend break for two (which isn't likely to impress many of the hopefuls who have just had a Rapide slip through their fingers—but let's not be bitter).


If any or all of that has whetted your appetite for another punt, the NMM Winter Raffle (November 2014 - April 2015) is offering a brand new Norton Commando 961 (image below). The bike is said to be worth £18,000 and will be supplied with factory extras and special paintwork.


Norton Commando 961


The 2nd prize in this raffle will be a 1958 BSA C12 250cc that's been restored in the museum's workshop. And you can guess what 3rd prize is.


The tickets cost £2 each, or you can buy them in a book of ten. But what are the odds against winning? Well if the bike is costing around £18,000, there has to be at least 9000 tickets on offer. So you're looking at odds of maybe 9000-1, which (in lottery terms) are actually pretty good.


But the NMM is shrewder than that and wants to make a profit, so we're talking about maybe 18,000-1 or even higher. Which is still not bad.


Just remember that it's not just the winning that counts. It's living in hope that matters.



Girl Happy




New Broughs unveiled at EICMA

You know how it is when you look at your wife over the breakfast table and still can't decide if she's butt ugly or beautiful? Well that's how it is when we munch our figurative cornflakes and scrutinise images of Mark Upham's relaunched Brough Superior. Ugly? Classy? Double ugly? Sexy?


Meanwhile, Upham's done gone and launched two new models, the Brough Superior Black (above), and the Brough Superior Titanium (below). Both are designated SS100. The misshapen/bewitching/gorgeous/grotesque bikes have been strutting their foxy stuff on the catwalk at the EICMA Show at Milan, Italy (6th - 9th November 2014) and are pegged to go on sale sometime towards the end of 2015. And that means we're not sure if these are actually 2015 models or 2016. And does it matter, anyway?


SS100 Brough Superior


Brough Superior SS100 launch


2015 Brough Superior SS100


The Brough Superior stand at the 2014 EICMA show. Heavy on tradition, but where are all the celebs and wealthy punters? Nice try, Mark, but a little further point-of-sale development probably won't hurt none...


Development of these bikes has been a continuous process, and that's fitting enough because that was George Brough's vision; a process of relentless upgrades and modifications built around a common platform.


Whatever else people might say about Upham, he's certainly ploughing his own furrow here and has taken his project a lot further down the road than many other pretenders. So good luck to him.


He's invited us over to Austria to test ride the bikes for ourselves, and we just might take him up on that in the near future and see exactly how ugly or how pretty these machines are across an asphalt breakfast table.


Prices are tipped to be around €50,000. But in the Rolls Royce tradition, if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it.


More on the "new" Brough Superior, Sump December 2013


The Third Man




Bernard Stanley Bilk: 1929 - 2014


... but we all know him as Acker Bilk. Or even "Mr Acker Bilk" as he was frequently billed. With his trademark bowler hat, striped waistcoat and goatee, he was one of the most instantly recognisable faces on the Trad Jazz music scene, a man who made the clarinet almost sexy, a constant touring musician and composer of no mean talent who ploughed his own field for around six decades and always gave his fans and audience exactly what they wanted.


No, none of us here at Sump were Acker Bilk fans. When we were growing up (assuming we actually have), guys like Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, George Melly, Humphrey Lyttelton and John Dankworth were way too "square", too middle of the road, too "blue rinse" and obscure for our crude adolescent tastes.


But throughout the sixties, when we were straddling our first bikes (and occasionally straddling members of the opposite sex), Acker Bilk was part of the soundtrack of our lives, not least with Stranger on the Shore, a massive hit in its day, and one that's still selling by the thousands each year to older generations who have worn out their original copies, and to new generations who have discovered him for themselves.



He was born Bernard Stanley Bilk, a West Country man who early on in life lost his two front teeth and the top of one of his fingers. As with Django Reinhardt and Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) and Dr John, Bilk didn't mope about his loss. He simply created his own style around his damaged digit helping to prove that it ain't what ya got, it's what ya do with it that counts.


We ain't gonna suggest that you now all rush out to your local high street charity boutique and buy or shoplift an Acker Bilk record with which to review this man's craft (and God only know that there are plenty of his platters on offer at Save the Children and Sue Ryder). But if you happen to catch an earful of Stranger on the Shore, or Aria, or Limehouse Blues, or Bagatelle or Cuban Love Song, you might want to linger a moment longer and mark the passing of another classic Brit.


When he wasn't clarinetting (which, take note, has a very different meaning in urban dictionaries), he might be found at his easel painting canvasses and expressing himself in tones and hues of a different kind. He was made MBE in 2001, remained a modest man, and is survived by his wide, daughter and son.


But where exactly does the "Acker" come from? Apparently, it's a West Country sobriquet for "mate" or "friend" or "pal".


The Third Man




Sump's moving. Expcet prolbems

Do not adjust your set, and stay tuned to this channel, etc. But note that Sump's usual service may suffer a little over the next week or two. That's because we're relocating, and that means moving half a dozen computers, a lot of books, T-shirts, files, beer and stuff, and we're shifting all our bikes.


Additionally, we've got various utility and net accounts to migrate, plus the usual debugging issues to contend with when our spaceship lands. So although we're going somewhere else, we ain't really going anywhere at all; not as far as your computer is concerned, anyway.


Just stay with us, if you will.


You can still order books and T-shirts. We can pretty much handle that without much extra delay, if any. But we're going to be struggling to stay up with the news and features while we resettle, and our email responses to your various queries and comments might be a little slower.


Just keep watching this screen and no flipping channels. Soon enough, we'll be back where we want to be. Okay?

The Third Man




New emissions threat from TfL


We warned about this back in Sump March 2014, and now the threat has possibly moved a step closer. London Mayor Boris Johnson has just announced a consultation into the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone for London (ULEZ). And the emphasis is on the word "ultra".


The idea is to help reduce the likelihood of Londoners dying prematurely from the usual noxious mix of hydrocarbons and nitrates and whatnots. The Mayor controls Transport for London (TfL) and he's ambitious and looking at the top job in the land as and when he can oust Prime Minister David Cameron.


The consultation is open until 9th January 2015, but it sounds like a formality and a foregone conclusion because Johnson's also announced that the new ULEZ will begin operating from 2020.


"All cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses and heavy vehicles will need to meet the new (and as yet unspecified) emissions standards or pay an additional daily charge to travel within the zone". And ultimately, that means that after 2015, Londoners will still be allowed to die prematurely as long as road users pay a tax for it.


Think that the new standard won't be retrospective? Well maybe not, but keep in mind that retrospective emission controls (and taxes) were applied in January 2012 when the London Emission Zone (LEZ) was introduced which ensnared thousand of diesel vans that suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of history (see Sump December 2011).



▲ Transport for London's rosy toy town image of a cleaner London atmosphere. New exhaust emissions standards are coming that, for tens of thousands of vehicles, possibly including classics, will hike the cost of travelling through the capital.



Classic motorcycles are clearly going to fall foul of the new standards. Thousands of relatively new bikes will also likely be on Johnson's radar. The only questions are whether classics will be ignored for their insignificant contribution to the capital's dirty air, or permitted to move without further charge on special occasions only, and by arrangement.


Worried? Maybe you should be. And maybe not. Either way, TfL is looking for feedback, and you might take the trouble to drop them a line. It might make a difference, but don't put money on it.


TfL Ultra Low Emission Zone consultation link

Girl Happy




Stolen Triumph Tiger Cub alert

The bike was nicked on 1st October 2014 from Buckinghamshire, HP22. It's a 1954 T20 and belongs to a guy named Nigel Eastwood. He's currently posting the Cub on eBay and is offering a £500 reward.


The registration number as shown above and below is, of course, too good to be true. The actual number is:158 YUK.

The frame number is 17384. The engine number is: T12017384. And Nigel's number is: 07799 097920. So if you see the bike, you know what you have to do, which is kill the thieves, recover the bike, call Nigel, collect the reward and hand it over to the charity of your choice (minus a hundred quid or so for a bigger lock). Or just call the coppers.



Is now a good moment to remind all you Sumpsters of the importance of CCTV equipment, ground anchors, SmartWater, GPS tracking technology, attack dogs, tripwires and suchlike?


Christmas is coming. Treat yourself to an early security present.


Del Monte





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