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We hope you enjoy our Norton supplement. It’s been good fun putting it together, while it – of course – made me once again start pondering Norton twin ownership. I did have a Featherbed Dominator for a couple of years, though I can’t remember what provoked its sale, usually it is because someone mentions they’d not mind it and then I can’t stop thinking about selling it, until I do! And so another bike bites the dust. That it is 50 years since the Commando was introduced almost caught me out. For some reason I’d signed off the supplement with ‘40 years of Commandos’ on the cover, but then woke up at 1.30am with the realisation it was, in fact, 50 years since the model’s debut in 1968 (which of course I knew, my maths had just let me down – not for the first time). Luckily, it was being printed in-house, so after some early morning phone calls we were able to revise the cover. Phew! It was 1978 when the Commando went out of production first time, so perhaps subliminally that was having an impact too. That it was only in production for around 10 years is interesting too, in that for a relatively short production timespan, a lot were made. We decided to extend the supplement to cover the other Norton twins as well, to add a few extra elements. So this month has been a fairly busy one, what with kicking off with the Stafford show where, as usual, a good time was seemingly had by all. There was the usual array of fabulous machinery on parade, though one of my favourites disappeared before I’d had the chance to take a picture or have a proper look at it. It was a Piazza, a late 1920s beautiful little (175cc) fourstroke single made in Torino. The detailing was exquisite, with much of it very ‘British’ though it was a marque I’d never heard of before. I always enjoy seeing something unfamiliar alongside all the old favourites. I’ve decided to use a picture of the last time I rode Nigel Waring’s Commando, below, as it’s the same one which has featured in our supplement. It really is a superb motorcycle, fast and strong; there’s so much to love about a good Commando and it was fascinating to ride the new 961 alongside it.
JAMES ROBINSON Editor
James Adam Bolton, Tim Britton, Rachael Clegg, Jonathan Hill, Mike Lewis, Roy Poynting, Richard Rosenthal, Martin Squires, Jerry Thurston, Alan Turner, Phil Turner, Andy Westlake, Steve Wilson. THE CLASSIC MOTOR CYCLE (USPS:710-470) is published monthly by Mortons Media Group Ltd., PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6LZ UK . USA subscriptions are $63 per year from Motorsport Publications LLC, 7164 Cty Rd N #441, Bancroft WI 54921. Periodical Postage is paid at Bancroft, WI and additional entries. Postmaster: Send address changes to THE CLASSIC MOTOR CYCLE, c/o Motorsport Publications LLC, 7164 Cty Rd N #441, Bancroft WI 54921. 715-572-4595 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTENTS ISSUE | JULY 2018 Archive photograph .......................................... 6 News ................................................................... 8 Stafford Show.................................................. 14 Letters ............................................................. 18 Subscribe and save ........................................ 24 AJS Model 20 ................................................... 26 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car........................... 32 Moto Morini 3½ Sport ................................... 38 Matchless G2M............................................... 45 BSA Bantam.................................................... 52 Val Emery Transfers ....................................... 58 The 1968 TT ..................................................... 60 Closer look – advertising in 1936 .................. 66 Sketchbook travels ......................................... 72 Men who mattered – Claude Rye.................. 74 Triumph 5TA rebuild ..................................... 76 Roy Poynting column .................................... 80 Jerry Thurston column................................... 82 You were asking.............................................. 84 Restoration guide – prewar Triumph Speed Twin/T100 ....................................................... 88
Technical feature – carb re-sleeve................ 90 Classic components – Wipac ignition .......... 96 Diary..............................................................110 Next month ...................................................112 Classic camera.............................................. 114
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Long distance tourers
A young Australian couple put their AJS single to good use in an epic length journey. Photograph: MORTONS ARCHIVE
Classic archive a
ublished in The Motor Cycle for August 17, 1961, Australian couple Paul and Eileen Dann documented their 16,000 mile epic journey which took them overland from India to England and back to Colombo, Sri Lanka, two up on their trusty 1957 Model 18 AJS. The married couple (Paul aged 28 and Eileen, 23) travelled through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Austria, Russia and England. Of course, there were ups and downs on the journey, including dropping the AJS in Afghanistan. The battered motorcycle was loaded onto a lorry, bound for Kabul. But quickly it became apparent the lorry driver had ‘anger issues’ with a penchant for attacking his co-driver and passengers with the nearest blunt instrument to hand… Another time, Eileen was forced to mount the pillion at bayonet point to cross into Persia. The sentry was merely making it clear that he was enforcing, to the letter, the rule against anyone crossing the border on foot. But despite a few setbacks the journey was, they reflected, a ‘once in a lifetime holiday’ with several experiences classified in the ‘out of this world’ category. The Danns enjoyed wonderful hospitality at practically every juncture, including a 50mph conversation with the driver of a car going in their direction ending in an invitation to lunch in the next town, while there was a royal welcome received at a military camp after they had helped a dispatch rider out of trouble with his motorcycle. Particular delights included wild strawberries brought to them by Turkish children, whose parents plied them with tea and tick, strong Turkish coffee; the hospitality of the farmers of Yugoslavia and Austria and of Greek fishermen who showered them (not literally…) with fish. There was a surprise in going into the Soviet Union too – the surprise being how easy it was to get into the country. They weren’t allowed to ride their motorcycle in but had to travel by train with the AJS in the guard’s van. It may have been easier than expected to get in but once in the USSR they discovered they were being kept under surveillance all the time they were in the Soviet border town of Djulfa and were robbed of a treasure of a picture for their album when a photograph of Mount Ararat was confiscated, apparently because of military activity in the area. The Model 18 bounded on, uncomplaining. They travelled with all their equipment around the motorcycle and endured puncture upon puncture, especially on the rock strewn roads of Iran, while they made the most of their budget by camping out and home cooking the vast majority of their meals. And what of the Ajay? Well, it looks in remarkably standard condition, the 500cc single’s carburettor breathing through an airbox one of few concessions to the very non-British conditions. There’s a screen, a lot of luggage boxes, some crash bars, a spare tyre lashed to the back – and that’s about your lot. The Model 18 was AJS’s 500cc single cylinder overhead valve offering, largely identical to its near-sibling, the Matchless G80 and, like the Matchless, able to directly trace its lineage back to the Second World War Matchless G3L and, before that, various late 1930s offerings. Simple, strong and durable, it was the ideal tool for the job, as there really isn’t or wasn’t anything complicated about the two-valve single; it was designed to be a workhorse, able to serve with purpose and distinction, as this one clearly was and is. The Danns called their AJS ‘one of the family’ on their return and promised that there’d be more globeEnd trotting into the future – on the trusty AJS of course.
THE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE | JULY 2018
New News Events
Where is Anna?
‘Anna’ was a maidservant at the court of King Albert I who a dispatch rider lost his heart to during the First World War. He returned after the cessation of hostilities to search for her and this run is over the roads he would have traversed in the French border zone. It’s on August 18, details from firstname.lastname@example.org
Brough sold for benefit
The top lot of Bonhams’ April Stafford sale was this 1931 Brough Superior 981cc SS100, which sold for an impressive £264,700, well above its pre-sale
estimate of £170,000-220,000. The machine sold to a bidder in the room after an intense sixway battle. The proceeds of the sale are to benefit three charities
NMM summer raffle Following on from the above draw results the National Motorcycle Museum is pleased to announce the details of its next raffle. Museum director James Hewing said: “For our summer 2018 raffle the museum’s own restoration team has carried out a complete rebuild on a Royal Enfield Interceptor Series II, which we are offering as an incredible first prize.” The said motorcycle is a 1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor Series II 750cc motorcycle, the popualr four-stroke twin, the subject of a nut and bolt restoration in the museum’s own workshops, with a value of over £12,000. Second prize is a 1948 James ML 125cc motorcycle, a very nice example of this postwar lightweight, while the third
prize is a hotel break and dinner for two at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in the Manor Hotel, Meriden, www.manorhotelmeriden.co.uk The draw will take place on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the National Motorcycle Museum LIVE event. Tickets cost £2 each and
THE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE | JULY 2018
– the Search and Rescue Dog Association, the RNLI and the Salvation Army. Read more about everything from Stafford from page 14.
they will be distributed during May and June 2018 with some magazines. Tickets may also be obtained via the museum on 01675 444123 or online at www. thenmm.co.uk The National Motorcycle Museum address is Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull, West Midlands B92 0EJ.
Struggling to find some parts for his own restoration projects, Andy Marks decided he would have to arrange manufacture himself. It made sense to manufacture in small batches so he set up Kingpin Components so they could be made available to others. Parts now offered include complete Dunlop rubber saddles, magneto vernier drives and the latest addition – double barrel silencers for vintage Nortons. Among the smaller items available are the new bike-sized cast aluminium GB plates. All of the above parts and more can be found at the website www.kingpincomponents.co.uk
Deckchairs on parade
NEWS IN BRIEF DEE, ATKINSON & HARRISON DATE
The next sale at Sledmore House, Yorkshire, is on July 7. More details via andrews@ dahauctions.com
CAMBRIDGE CLASSIC SHOW
On Sunday, June 24, Cambridge Classic and Vintage Motorcycle Show takes place at Cambridge Sea Cadets HQ, 42 Cheddars Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8LD, from 11am-4pm. Details 01223 843802. Our deckchairs are made up from images from the Mortons Archive and our collections dating back to 1903. The chairs can be one of the images that we have selected or one that you like. If you are looking for that unique gift or something different for yourself then these are perfect. The standard moulding for our deckchairs has a cross-section of 22mm x 47mm and provides great strength and a noticeably more solid feel than some spindly domestic deckchairs. Our deckchairs are very hard-wearing and durable – the frames are made with merpauh wood, treated with teak oil, which provides excellent protection against the elements, extends the working life and enhances the natural appearance. The deckchair slings are made from very hard wearing polyester sail cloth, and they are printed using state-of-the-art technology. Select a suitable image from our extensive range and we can do the rest! The chairs cost £99 each and postage and packing is £10 for the UK. To order or for more information contact Jane Skayman 01507 529423 or email jskayman@mortons. co.uk. To view some of our deckchair designs look on www.classicmagazines.co.uk
MUSEUM LIVE OPEN DAY
Following the continued growth of Museum LIVE over the past four years, Saturday, October 27, 2018 will see the museum host its fifth annual free open day when everyone will be invited to visit the museum collection free of charge.
Austrian expedition The Norton Owners’ Club Austria – Sulzbach Branch – is organising this year’s Norton Owners’ Club International Rally at the campsite next to the Red Bull Racing Circuit, Spielberg, Styria, Austria from August 15 to 20, 2018. There will be guided rideouts and special routes suitable for the speed and brakes of vintage
motorcycles from the 1920s and 1930s. The rally will coincide with the ‘15th Rupert Hollaus Memorial Race 2018’ at the Red Bull Racing Circuit (August 18-19, 2018). This memorial race is one of the biggest events for historic racing motorcycles in Europe. Please find more information at www.noc-austria.at
The Sunbeam S7 and S8 Rally is on July 12-15, at Osmaston cricket ground, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. For more details ring 01538 756927.
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SEE PAGE 24 FOR FURTHER DETAILS
Brooklands’ Great War centenary invitation Previous events have generated much interest in Brooklands’ connection with First World War activities, but there will be a final event, marking the centenary of the end of that conflict on September 30, 2018 from 10am-5pm. It will consist of a gathering of pre-1919 vehicles and will also include some of the museum’s relevant aviation
exhibits. There has been considerable interest already from vehicle owners. The motorcycles will have an opportunity to take part in a re-creation of the original wartime motorcycle trials and these will be held on the recently re-opened original finishing straight with bikes also on display for visitors in the race bays. Machines up to 1920, or
later if accepted to be of special relevance, can either be ridden, or displayed as static exhibits. The organisers would especially welcome entries from those with Phelon & Moore machinery, as these were tested at Brooklands by the Royal Flying Corps. For an entry, please contact events@ brooklandsmuseum.com Alan Turner.
THE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE | JULY 2018
New News Events
Amberley Classic Motorcycle Show
The Bantam Club commandeers a good chunk of the museum’s lawns.
1: The mood of a very hot day. Taking it easy at Amberley, owner John Light looks over his 1950 Triumph Trophy and a Wasp-built 1960s pattern trials chair. 2: A BSA triple? No Rocket three, these are the 500cc Clubman’s Gold Stars of (left to right) Ian Avory, Bob Mason and Joe and Del Taylor. 3: Paul Potter’s 1928 AJS 800cc had been stored and dismantled, for 40 years and rebuilding took six years, but it successfully completed last year’s 182-mile Dorking to Dorset Run. 4: John Robinson’s Matchless Model X. Very nice! 5: Peter Kemp’s 1929 Dunelt 350cc Montlhery, purchased in several boxes and now restored to life.
2 The annual Classic Motorcycle Show at Amberley Museum in West Sussex is well-established in the calendar. For anyone with an interest in industrial heritage, old machinery and traditional crafts, Amberley has a lot of it on offer. Add in fine weather in which to admire long lines of old motorcycles and it becomes a perfect day. The museum is spread over a 36-acre site and is approached by some fine riding roads around the local downlands. The oldest bike entered for this year’s show, on May 6, was Richard Morris’s 1915 Sunbeam 3½hp. With a programme listing more than 160 entries it was possible to trace all the major stages of motorcycle evolution through the following 70 years. The show is usually supported by a number of clubs, but there’s one that
was unmissable by its sheer numbers. Referring to their efforts as ‘the chicken run’ is to risk being insulting, but the BSA Bantam Club added decoration to mark its territory for the day – an impressive area that was otherwise covered with various examples of BSA’s favourite fowl. Another area featured mainly between-wars bikes and inevitably there were interesting tales of discovery and restoration. One of the more unusual exhibits was the 1929 350cc Dunelt Montlhery of Peter Kemp. Launched as the ‘Majestic,’ an example ran continuously around the French Montlhery speedbowl for 25,000 miles, securing the Maudes Trophy. Subsequently, the Majestic adopted the name of the record venue. Next to this was John Robinson’s Matchless Model X, a recently restored 1000cc V-twin from
THE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE | JULY 2018
1937. The biggest capacity bike was probably Tom Moremon’s Excelsior Big X, all 1100cc of olive green American V-twin and exactly a century old. Among the British singles and twins, representing just about all of the major British manufacturers, some of the smallest-capacity entries could be found, such as Keith Tew’s
Norman Nippy moped, or the spartan James Comet, all 98cc of Villiers power for Alan Russell’s 1952 example. It’s not difficult to imagine such machines carrying their owners to work beneath the towering cliffs of the once-busy quarry and lime-burning operations. Alan Turner.
The Triumph Tiger Cub Bible
Author: Mike Estall Veloce Classic Reprint Series Published by: Veloce Publishing Ltd, Veloce House, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 3AR Tel: 01305 260068 Email: email@example.com Fax: 01305 250479 Hardback, 250 x 207mm (portrait); 208 pages with over 160 photographs and illustrations. ISBN 978-1-904788-09-6 UPC 6-36847-00309-8 £50 (UK); $79.95 (USA A labour of love and the result of many years of research, here is the complete reference source to the Triumph Tiger Cub in all its forms – The Triumph Tiger Cub Bible. Every aspect of the Cub’s design, production and development is covered, together with its success in motorcycle sport and record-breaking, and its use by the utilities, police forces and the military. Every now and then there appears a motorcycle destined for stardom – a machine which, when compared to the others in its class, stands head and shoulders above them. One such machine was the Triumph Terrier and, to an even greater extent, the Tiger Cub. When viewed in the light of history, it is obvious that the Terrier was destined to be a winner and also a trend-setter. Not that it was perfect – like all machines it had its failings, many of which were apparent from the start and should have been corrected before the model went into production. But when prospective new owners compared the Terrier or the Cub to the opposition, there was little room for doubt. It’s not known exactly when designer Edward Turner first thought of a new lightweight model – there had not been a small machine in the range postwar. Turner, however, was an astute judge
of the market and, in the summer of 1952, the climate must have seemed just right to him, with an opening for a small commuter motorcycle with sufficient performance to easily carry two people yet not consume great quantities of fuel. To demonstrate this point the factory dreamed up a publicity stunt in 1953 with Turner and two senior staff riding Terriers from Land’s End to John o’Groats under ACU observation. Dubbed the ‘Gaffer’s Gallop,’ the machines successfully covered just over 1000 miles at an average speed of 36.68mph at an average fuel consumption of 108.6mpg. Edward Turner’s principle of making the minimum amount of metal do the maximum amount of work had been the direct or indirect cause of most of the machine’s troubles. It was a flawed philosophy – in other words the Cub’s potential far exceeded its specification. The small Triumphs were exported to many countries and were very popular in American short track and speedway races. In England, too the Cub gained many successes in trials and scrambles events. An excellent and highly recommended book, now part of Veloce’s Classic Reprint Series. Reviewed by Jonathan Hill.
THE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE | JULY 2018
New Events News Archie Beggs on his Sunbeam in ﬁne style at the Festival of 1000 Bikes.
THE WAY WE WERE IN
VMCC Festival of 1000 Bikes This year sees the long-awaited re-launch of the VMCC’s Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park on July 7/8 and although 75% of available entries have already sold, there is still time to be part of the action. As in past festival years the event gives enthusiasts the opportunity to ride their own machines in multiple track sessions over the weekend. Catering for all classes of machines from the earliest veterans through to the machines of the superbike era, this is a truly inclusive event that reflects the wide range of interests within the VMCC. With lesser noise restrictions on Sunday the festival will again allow riders to display their racing machinery in special track sessions running
throughout the day. It was generally recognised that the VMCC Festival event had the best line up of ‘past masters’ and famous machines assembled in the UK for many years. With assistance from Stuart Hicken of Mallory Park, the Sammy Miller Museum and the National Motorcycle Museum, there will be some great riders and superb machines to mingle with throughout the weekend. From the Sammy Miller Museum there will be the 498cc eight-cylinder Moto Guzzi V8 and the Gilera 500cc four. Truly a VMCC Festival, covering all aspects of classic motorcycling, the event will also feature Pre-65 trials, grasstrack, sprint demonstrations, clubs, jumble and live bands.
On the Run again at Banbury
With all the fun and lighthearted rivalry of a local prewar reliability trial, 11 competitors, all Middlesex Motor Volunteers, enjoyed a dispatch-carrying test the preceding week. The entrants were charged with carrying messages from checkpoint to checkpoint, sited along the lanes and byways of Kent and Surrey. Starting at Limpsfield, south east of Croydon, the route took the competitors onwards through Sevenoaks, Penhurst, Hever, Lingfield, Hartfield and Langton, with the final despatch delivered to the Sundridge checkpoint situated between Sevenoaks and Limpsfield. The entrants were tested on hillclimbing, navigational and time-keeping skills with the winner, Private Sharp (Morgan Runabout) losing just two minutes on time penalties despite misreading
Staffed predominantly by skilled women who true crankshafts, machine components, straighten frames and more, Auxiliary Workshops run by various motorcycle firms across the UK rebuild war-damaged motorcycles into usable machines for the Ministry of Supply. Recently, we spent a day with one such works
THE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE | JULY 2018
Results: 1 Pte. Sharp (Morgan), 2min late; 2 Pte. Willshear 6; 3 Pte. Horne, 8; 4 Pte. Wilson, 15; 5 Pte. Clark, 31; 6 Pte. Pike, 48; Riders numbers 2-6 all on Harley-Davidson outfits.
run by Marble Arch Motors ‘somewhere in England.’ During our visit we witnessed the strip of bent, incomplete and non-running motorcycles, and then, once parts were overhauled, re-machined, trued, tested and repainted as appropriate, they were used to build refurbished motorcycles into ‘fit for service’ condition.
Well-known trials champion and ‘cinders’ enthusiast Don Smith has just unveiled his new prototype speedway machine. The ultra light 165lb machine is powered by
a modified Greeves single-cylinder two-stroke engine opened out to 390cc and set up to run on methanol fed via a 1.25in Wal Phillips injector.
Statistics just released by the UK Government confirm motorcycle accidents for the first quarter of this year
were the lowest since records began and represent a 7% reduction compared with the same period a year ago. Richard Rosenthal.
The VMCC premier event for pre-1931 motorcycles, the Banbury Run, is to be held at the Motor Heritage Centre, Gaydon, on June 17.
the route card leading to a four-mile detour. The Runabout’s performance and turn of speed was all the more impressive considering Sharp weighs 16 stone, his passenger 12 stone and steep hills were involved. Major Valentine Smith inspected the entries and their machines before the start, while residents and other road users reported their riding was ‘a lesson in good manners’. The first and second-best performers, Sharp and Pte. Willshear, were members of the Headquarters Central Division (HQCD), AA section of the Special Constabulary and have vast experience of DR duties and riding on air raid nights.