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WEIRD, BUT WONDERFUL? BEARDmORE PRECISION ODDITY

BEAUTIFUL V-TWIN BEESA mILITARY mIDDLEWEIGHT

Where legends come to life

April 2014

DOmINATOR 88 Top of the terrific Norton twins

InsIde: James Hewing at the NMM: “We have many exciting ideas.”

Classic touring in France BSA’s sidecar racing boys Rudge Multi restoration

Number 04, April 2014

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Editor’s welcome It’s funny how certain things determine various choices we make. We’re not going to veer into a discussion on anything other than motorcycles, no need to worry, but what prompted my thoughts were a couple of pieces, both coincidentally involving Rudges that were on display at the Bristol show. The owner of one of them, Kerry Marsh, attributed his involvement in the marque to a work colleague, while the owner of the other, Brian Petheram, was supremely grateful to the help and friendship (and hard work) of a fellow club member in getting his machine there, where he won a prize. It underlined the significance of friendship in the scene. That was further underlined by the fact that the best in show winning machine was also transported by friends of the owner. Around where we live in Lincolnshire, AMC machines are the marque of choice for many – indeed, I was stood chewing the fat the other day at the garage across the road and talk turned to bikes and a man I’d never met before told me his allegiance to AMC was down to one prominent local enthusiast who encouraged the ‘young ‘uns.’ And that same fellow was the reason so many are in to AMC machines around here. Friendship rather explains why I’ve ended up with Velocettes. I was never a dyed-in-the-wool Velo man, and still don’t consider myself such, but I have/look after a few and a lot of that comes down to people I’ve got to know and what they have. Many of the local Velo fellows have taken me on as a bit of a mascot/project and are forever helping and encouraging me with my stable. The cammy and the pushrod racer (featured on page 22) have both seen me receive help from local enthusiasts – while my dad always helps me out as well. And that theme (friendship and comradeship) brings me back to Bristol (where the picture below was taken). It is the ‘friendly show’, as someone tagged it, though to be fair, I do find the vast majority of classic motorcycle events welcoming – so we’re the friendly scene. That feeling/sentiment is reiterated by the fact that when we turn up/ride past on our machines, people stop, smile and engage us in chat when we stop. People are pleased we’re there – and it’s just another reason why classics are the place to be. Everybody likes to be liked. So, advice to politicians, bankers, tax inspectors et al, is buy a classic – people will be pleased to see you!

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JAMES ROBINSON Editor

Contributors

Ian Kerr, Roy Poynting, Jerry urston, Phillip Tooth, Alan Turner, Richard Rosenthal, 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 chris@classicbikebooks.com


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Super Profile | Norton Dominator 88 Wideline

Trouble shooter’s choice Norton ‘trouble shooter’ John Hudson reckoned the Dominator 88 was the ‘Norton to have’ if restricted to one motorcycle.

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Words: Steve WilSon Photography: Joe Dick

have to confess partiality here. After I got to college, I began contemplating the shift from a parentally-acceptable Vespa to a beneath-the-radar motorbike. A fellow college twowheeler, Mike Sewell, had a beautiful 1956 polychromatic grey and chrome Norton Dominator 88. Before long I was sharing his lock-up with a Norton twin of my own, because I’d got fixated on Mike’s charismatic 88, as well as imbibing his good advice. Okay, mine was a 350cc Navigator, but I later graduated to a ‘Slimline’ 88 De Luxe, then a 650SS, and after that, 750 and 850 Commandos. Thanks to that Dommie, for over 20 years I was primarily a Norton man.

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BSA | OHV V-twin

DR’s favourite? BSA’s best dispatch rider’s motorcycle was the M20, surely? Or the WD B40? Well, perhaps not if they’d managed to try one of these… Words and photography: PhilliP TooTh

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Beardmore | Precision

Misguided precision? The Beardmore Precision was an example of ‘different’ engineering and thinking, of that there’s no doubt... but why has its design been described as ‘stupid’? Words: Roy Poynting Photography: teRRy Joslin

About 30-35mph is the comfortable speed for the Beardmore Precision.

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The Classic MotorCycle - April 2014 - Sample