Page 1

ightning Supe ve affair Nimb 20-year romance with a special BSA

Bonneville beauty rid

e acci useum Rick Hambli tastic shed

19 PAGES OF

ic C lasrsld Wo s New

FR IKE'S A TT F1 COMEBAC Re-living the dream The '78 race report in its full unedited glory

REPLICA ON THE ROAD Thudding good times on Ducati's tribute

Workshop 22 pages of fixes and fettles

PLUS: INSIDE HONDA'S 6-CYLINDER 250 | JAPAN'S GOODWOOD |

ROYAL ENFIELD UPDATES | WIRING LOOMS | CB250N ENGINE STRIP

D Mike got hooked on racing again’ Aussie races that fired his return

WE RIDE MIKE’S BIKE

Fast laps on the TT-winning 900

May 2018 UK Apr 25 – May 22 £4.30 USA $9.99

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WELCOME MAY 2018 ISSUE 460

CLASSIC BIKE IS MADE BY...

Editor Gary Pinchin, gary.pinchin@bauermedia.co.uk Executive editor Mike Armitage, mike@classicbike.co.uk Art editor Stewart Parkes, stewart.parkes@bauermedia.co.uk Production editor Mark Holmes, mark.holmes@bauermedia.co.uk Technical editor Rick Parkington, classicbike.workshop@ bauermedia.co.uk Editorial assistant Colleen Moore, colleen.moore@bauermedia.co.uk, 01733 468099 ADVERTISING To sell your bike: email cbreaderads@ bauermedia.co.uk, call 01733 366340 or use the coupon in the reader ad section. Group Commercial Director Gareth Ashman 01733 468118 Commercial Manager Gina Knighton 01733 366311 Account Manager Phil Martin 01733 366368 Senior Telesales Francesca Chiarizia 01733 366360 Telesales Exec Victoria Jelleyman 01733 366424 Reader classified queries Victoria Sadler 01733 366483

34 Isle of Man, June, 1978 – Mike Hailwood does the unthinkable on his Sports Motorcycles Ducati 900

SUBSCRIBE Get Classic Bike delivered every month (see p82). The mag is also available as a digital edition to download onto your device on the same day the mag goes on sale. Browse back issues, zoom pictures and blow up text for easier reading. From all good digital newsagents.

ike Hailwood’s TT comeback was, and is, remarkable. Returning to the Island after an 11-year absence was unprecedented, but storming to victory in 1978’s TT F1 race was staggering. To mark 40 years since this momentous occasion, we relive the event word-for-word with the original race report on page 34, then go behind the scenes with team boss Steve Wynne and life-long pal Ron Winder (page 40). We also ride Mike’s actual bike (page 42), thud down sunny lanes on Ducati’s Replica (page 50), and tell the little-known story of the Aussie races that lead to his sensational TT display (page 56). Many of us dream about bikes to add to our sheds, despite having more than we need (nowt wrong with that). However, for Rick Hamblin the collecting bug hit so hard he’s accidentally opened a museum (page 76). We meet other inspirational folk too, including the genius behind Honda’s sensational 1960s GP bikes (page 68) and Katharine Hook, who entices us into her world of desirable British twins and, er... chocolates. Plenty of workshop shenanigans too, including part two of our wiring guide and a moped resurrection. Enjoy the issue.

M

MIKE ARMITAGE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR mike@classicbike.co.uk

Write to Classic Bike, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA

LES GRANDS FROMAGES Editorial Director June Smith-Sheppard Managing Director Motorcycling Rob Aherne Group Managing Director Rob Munro-Hall CEO Paul Keenan

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BORING BUT IMPORTANT © Bauer 2018 ISSN 0142-8906. Bauer Automotive Registered Office: Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA Bauer Consumer Media is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 01176085, registered address Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any form in whole or in part, without the prior permission of Bauer. All material published remains the copyright of Bauer and we reserve the right to copy or edit, any material submitted to the magazine without further consent. The submission of material (manuscripts or images etc) to Bauer Media whether unsolicited or requested, is taken as permission to publish that material in the magazine, on the associated website, any apps or social media pages affiliated to the magazine, and any editions of the magazine published by our licensees elsewhere in the world. By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to and authorise Bauer to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer. If Bauer receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and / or for reimbursing Bauer for any losses it has suffered as a result. Please note, we accept no responsibility for unsolicited material which is lost or damaged in the post and we do not promise that we will be able to return any material to you. Finally, whilst every reasonable care is taken to ensure accuracy, Bauer is not responsible for any errors or omissions nor do we accept any liability for any loss or damage, howsoever caused, resulting from the use of the magazine.

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THIS MONTH’S HIGHLIGHT: taking to warm, dry roads on Ducati’s fabulous road-going Hailwood Replica and dreaming of turning fast laps over on the Island...

FEATURES

34 Hailwood stalks Read in TT fairytale

Hailwood 1978 TT COMEBACK 34 RE-LIVING THE DREAM The original 1978 race report of Mike’s legendary TT return, word for word

40 NEVER THOUGHT HE’D WIN Hailwood’s boss and a life-long friend reveal the behind-the-scenes story

42 RIDING MIKE’S BIKE Taking the controls of the actual 1978 TT F1 race-winning Ducati. Oh my...

50 JUST LIKE MIKE’S Glorious spring frolics aboard Ducati’s booming official Hailwood Replica

55 TERBLANCHE’S TRIBUTE The bold and breath-taking MH900e

50 The MHR is ace; pity ‘Gez the Bike’ doesn’t ring right

56 WE’LL JUST HAVE FUN The little-known tale of the Aussie race antics that inspired his comeback

62 BEEZAS, CHOCS AND GIN Sloe-infused gin, rich dark Belgian chocolate... oh, and Katherine Hook’s long-term love affair with a brace of desirable no-fuss Brit twins

68 SHOICHIRO IRIMAJIRI Meet the genius behind Honda’s ’60s GP bikes, and be amazed at his original drawings

76 OLD DALBY MUSEUM Collection getting unwieldy? Might as well open a museum, just like Rick Hamblin has

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62 Delicious chocs just out of shot...


23 PAGES OF CURRENT EVENTS IN THE CLASSIC WORLD 6 Sideway Trophy looks like our kind of bash

10 Supercharged seven-fifty special

6 JAPAN’S GOODWOOD

race class devised for period-correct 250 and 350cc two-strokes of the early 1980s. It’s safe to say we’re really rather excited...

Classic racers, period clobber, laid-back feel – Festival of Sideway Trophy is rather like Goodwood, only it happens near Tokyo

17 IVANO BEGGIO

10 BLOWN NIMBUS 750

CB celebrates the life and achievements of Aprilia’s forwardthinking founder

Supercharged Danish inline four inspired by Bonneville

14 NEW CLASSIC RACE SERIES GP Originals is a new

19 AUCTIONS Hammer activity from around the planet, including a preview of Mecum’s looming Las Vegas spectacular

22 DIARY Scrambles, endurance, runs, jumbles... where you heading this week?

24 MCN FESTIVAL Rub shoulders with the great Freddie Spencer

26 YOUR CLASSICS Mini board racer and a mate’s old bike revived

28 YOUR LETTERS The contents of our fat mail sack. Grab a pen, join the conversation

14 Crackling spannies and Castrol R – imagine a packed grid of these

TH E

Workshop

We 129 Vincent, girl, sun. Heaven

86 RICK’S FIXES Obstinate heads, peaky headlights and compression conundrums

92 PROJECT MARTINSYDE New cases for Rick’s 1920s twin

98 MAKE A LOOM Part 2 of our wiring masterclass

103 ENGINE STRIP Inside a Honda CB250N motor

129 WAY WE WERE 110 OUR CLASSICS 98 Making a loom is complex, but it’s fun too – just look at Rupe’s grin C50, Enfield and TY175 mischief

Your fabulous old photos and priceless memories. We’re waiting to see yours...

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NEWS EVENTS AUCTIONS DIARY AND MORE

MAY 2018 F E S T I VA L O F S I D E WAY T R 0 P H Y

DECEMBER 3 2017

Japan’s answer to Goodwood

Imagine the Goodwood Revival on a much smaller scale, and just outside Tokyo rather than the South Downs of England... WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: HIRO MAEDA

The Festival of Sideway Trophy is a clubman race meeting for classic bikes and cars – a one-day event that takes place twice a year. The event at Sodegaura Forest Raceway in Japan attracted around 130 entrants, with total attendance estimated at around 500 – all encouraged to dress in period clothing, Goodwood-style. It’s organised by Tazunu Kaneko from classic car specialist Parc-Ferme and his long-time colleague Yuya Kunimori, a mechanic at an outfit called Paddox. They have a great relationship with specialists in the UK and have attended Goodwood

Ryota ‘Mr Velocette’ Yamaguchi prepares his KTT MkI 6

since the early days of the Revival. Unusually their Festival gives equal importance to cars and motorcycles, which was Tazunu’s intention from the outset. He used to ride bikes and is still passionate about them, so when he first set up the gathering he contacted the organisers of Japanese classic motorcycle racing event ‘Legend of Classic’ and got them involved. The privately-owned Forest Raceway has a twisting 1.5-mile lap and is set within a plantation of 10,000 trees in the Chiba prefecture, an hour’s drive from Tokyo. The

secluded circuit is a fitting location for this true clubman’s event – you don’t see star riders or millionpound vehicles tucked away in VIP areas – you can walk around freely in the compact paddock. The single row of garages has motorcycles at one end and cars at the other, with hand-painted signs hanging at the entrances which are prepared by the organisers themselves. Tazunu also draws the event posters by hand; he also prepares the programme, armbands and other necessities with help from his friends. There are four classes for bikes.

A bit of smoke always adds to the atmosphere


Noriaki Usuta has been racing with cammy Nortons for many years

Several changes of clothes are always handy

Black leather racing gear is de rigeur for that period mood

Grid girls are superbly turned out and suitably demure Competitors are as enthusiastic about looking stylish as being competitive

Vintage aficionado Akihiko Kato brought two gems: a KTT MkVIII and this AJS 7R 7


EVENTS ‘IT’S AMUSING AND EXCITING RACING’ Vintage Tourist Trophy is for both two-stroke and four-stroke GP and clubman racers built between 1960 and 1969, and attracts European, American and Japanese machinery ranging from Bridgestone and Greeves to Ducati. The Manx Trophy is for British GP models and production clubman machines up to 1969, with prizes separated for preand post-1951, attracting Manx Nortons, BSA Gold Stars and Velocette KTTs. The Thruxton Trophy aims to recreate the atmosphere of the Thruxton 500mile races, and is for production bikes in standard trim. For those who want to ride the circuit without the competitive element, there’s a Café Racer’s Tribute Run. Cars must pre-date 1969, with classes for sports cars, saloon cars and single seaters, plus a historic parade. There’s also the intriguing Freddie Dixon Trophy, specifically for outfits and three-wheelers. The machines used here are not genuine

classics, but hand-built replicas using small-capacity engines, typically around 100cc. It’s amusing and exciting racing for both entrants and spectators, a big factor in the ongoing attraction of the festival. Trophies for the race winners are ordered specially from the UK. They look fantastic, are very high quality and have a classic feel. “It is expensive, but I like entrants to want to win the trophies, and to cherish them,” says Tazunu. “That is why I keep ordering them in the UK.” At the prize-giving ceremony there was a speech from special adviser Tetsu Ikuzawa. He competed in Japanese motorcycle racing back in the ’50s and later became one of the pioneers who raced abroad on four wheels, going to the Jim Russell racing school and competing in the UK during the ’60s. When a fusion of car racing and fashion became a huge movement in Japan, he was one of the heroes. Now in his mid-70s he still races and still wins, and his Porsche for this event stood beside the podium. Ikuzawa always comes with his own team, all dressed in the same outfit, and his machinery is always perfectly prepared. He fully embraces the spirit of the Sideway Trophy, and has become a role model for all attendees.

Hiromichi Tachibana won the Manx Trophy on his Thruxton – with a broken pipe!

Hand-painted signs prepared by the organisers are a cool touch Riders on bikes number 221 and 222 are father and son. They always enjoy fighting each other!

This Manx was rebuilt by Japan one and only Manx specialist, Toshihiko Maki

Good rivals Hirotaka Tachibana (right on Gold Star) and Keiichi Doi (Manx) always enjoy a dog fight

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Akihiko’s racing outfit was specially made two decades ago


SPECIAL

Supercharged Nimbus

This road-going Nimbus 750 is an exquisite tribute to a Bonneville salt racer, with custom pipes that let the noise of the supercharged motor flood out WORDS:CHRISTOPHE GAIME. PHOTOGRAPHY: ALEXANDRE KRASSOVSKY

Pascal Dietsche had a couple of high-quality British specials under his belt. A self-taught restorer, as happy tackling a house as a bike, the man from Grenoble had built two bikes based on Triumph T140s, but fancied something different. So he bought himself a four-cylinder Nimbus… and supercharged it. Introduced in 1934, the Nimbus 750 Type C was the second machine from Fisker and Nielsen of Denmark (who made ‘Nilfisk’ vacuum cleaners). Powered by an air-cooled inline 746cc engine, the shaft-driven bikes used a rivetedtogether frame made from flat steel bar that ran directly from steering head to rear wheel spindle, with undamped telescopic forks up front and a rigid rear. Popular with the Danish military, police and postal services, over 12,000 were produced before the final batch of army bikes was delivered in 1959. Pascal came by his example after a chat at the Bol d’Or Classic with Gaëtan Caquineau, of classic dealer Hound Motorcycles, who offered him a complete, rolling but non-

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running Nimbus. After a sevenhour drive from Saint-Pardoux to the foothills of the Alps, the bike was safely tucked inside Pascal’s workshop, where it was completely disassembled and checked over. There was a surprise inside the engine, as it appeared to have been rebuilt but then probably never started. “It was surely a bike of the Danish administration,” reckons Pascal. “Probably a post office machine.” Given that the postal service persevered with the aging Nimbus into the early 1970s, he’s probably not far wrong. Direction for the rebuild came during a spot of internet browsing. In 2014, Pascal had planned to attempt some speed records at Bonneville on a Honda CFR450 he’d built himself, but never made it to the salt. Nosing through land

ABOVE: Fine finish and subtle colours give the 750 the feel of a period special

RIGHT: Imagine the hubbub of the fourinto-four when the motor’s under load

‘THE ENGINE APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN REBUILT BUT THEN NEVER STARTED’

speed stuff online, he came across a supercharged Nimbus Type C racer called ‘Odin’s Fury’. It had been created by Lars Nielsen, who Pascal met during a visit to Bonneville during 2013. “I decided to use a supercharger, to pay tribute to him and keep a Bonneville link,’ he says. Sourcing a suitable supercharger for an eighty-year-old motor intended to make 22bhp at 4500rpm wasn’t easy. The break came when Pascal found a Peugeot Satelis. From 2006 to 2012 the French manufacturer put blowers on this 125cc scooter, taking power from 15 to 20bhp and giving the performance of rival 250s. “I removed the dynamo that’s driven by the overhead camshaft through a transmission shaft,” reveals Pascal. “This lets the engine rev higher, and its speed is then sufficient to run the supercharger at the right revolutions. It gives 500 grams more than atmospheric pressure at 5000rpm. I adapted a Boyer ignition system for a Triumph twin, converted from two to four magnets and with double coils, and mounted a lithium battery that allows a battery life of five hours.” With the dynamo removed, the drive from the camshaft now turns the blower via a toothed belt and pulley, with a Mikuni carburettor in place of the Nimbus original. After forming the cool-looking exhausts himself, Pascal turned his attention to the chassis. Though


Peugeot blower is driven from the camshaft

Discreet boost gauge sits behind the fuel tank

Gauze prevents the Mikuni eating your flares

Nimbus’ needle has never been flicked so quickly

Badge is so convincing it passes off as factory

Rigid frame, shaft drive, paddock stand bobbin


SPECIAL by a company in Copenhagen. Starting the Nimbus Kompressor requires two or three kicks with a little throttle opening to get the fourpot firing with a subdued sound. Add more throttle and you get the aggressive sound of a ’30s racing car. Selecting first gear in the three-speed gearbox requires a firm press, with a clonk signalling the ratio is engaged. On small roads around Pascal’s home the 750 feels low, thin and quite short. Increasing speed and moving through second into third, it’s difficult to know precisely when the supercharger comes into play as there’s no tacho... but it’s impossible to miss the additional power. Pascal estimates he’s found a dozen extra horses, which is a 50% increase. Push the engine higher up the rev range and the sound is captivating – yet despite the absence of anything remotely resembling silencing it’s not overwhelmingly loud. It’s not all topend rush, though, the Nimbus remaining flexible and friendly. That rigid rear end shakes you about on bumpy roads, but the 750 is always manoeuvrable. Its architecture hides the bike’s 170kg, and it turns tightly and easily. It’s a surprisingly usable bike that’s ‘PASCAL ESTIMATES AN different, yet retains EXTRA DOZEN HORSES – a healthy amount of A 50% INCREASE’ period appeal. And sounds fantastic.

the riveted sheet metal frame is original, the telescopic forks are from a 1980s Yamaha with a Honda CB350 front brake. Aluminium wheel rims are from parts supplier Seurat 3 in Beaune, laced to hubs by Pascal. The leather saddle was made by a Harley-Davidson specialist, and the original mudguards were re-cut to lighten their line. There are fabulous details, including badges ordered from Nicolas Baux, known in France for his beautifully presented Royal Enfield 500 called ‘Black Bullet’. Colour inspiration came while out and about. “I met a guy in a Bugatti Type 35,” recalls Pascal. “Besides the fact the car’s eight-cylinder inline engine is blown, I was seduced by its bodywork, the alloy and rivets, the colours. I used it as motivation, so the bike remains quite sober yet still has bright and sporty red rims.” With the 750 finished the focus shifted to getting it on the road. After applying for registration, the documentation arrived and the 750 had been given a number beginning with DK – the letters for Denmark. A fitting touch for a bike designed

Blurred background must be an everyday occurrence with a supercharger...

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Fine attention to detail sees tail lamps angled to follow the bracket line

Rigid frame means the bespoke seat’s springs dictate ride quality


EVENT YAMAHA TZ350G

HARLEY-DAVIDSON 250RR

Owner: Stuart Tonge TZ350G frame. Davies Motorsport shock. Single AP front caliper. Yamaha rear caliper. Jim Lomas crossover exhausts. Campagnolo wheels. Avon tyres. Scitsu rev counter.

Owner: Dick Linton Harley-Davidson frame. Ceriani forks. Twin AP front calipers. Drum rear brake. Falcon shocks. Avon tyres. Veglia rev counter.

Goodwood two-strokes get their own UK series

GP Originals class developed at annual Goodwood Members Meeting paves the way for a full ‘period correct’ two-stroke GP short circuit championship PHOTOGRAPHY: GARY MARGERUM

This season sees the birth of GP Originals, a new classic road racing series. It’s for 250cc and 350cc two-stroke Grand Prix bikes as raced in the early 1980s – and it’s entirely thanks to the Goodwood Members meeting. Held in early March, the Members Meeting (GMM) is regarded as the season-opening spectacular of classic motorsport. Motorcycles have been part of the GMM programme since 2016

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when the organisers invited Gordon Russell develop a different class of racing from the four-stroke classics run at the Goodwood Revival (held in early September on the same circuit). “We wanted something with history and glamour,” says Gordon. “So what better than 250/350cc two-stroke GP bikes for the early 1980s?” The middleweight two-strokes fitted the bill perfectly, with the

ABOVE: A crosssection of the varied machines that will be contesting the Grand Prix Originals class this season

ACU naturally reluctant to encourage any bikes that could lap much faster than Revival classics on a circuit with virtually the same layout (and limited run-offs) as used in its 1950s/’60s heyday. The class has proved such a success that it also raced at another short-circuit event last year. “We ran one race in 2017 at a No Limitsorganised Oulton Park meeting and had such a great response to the bikes and the racing that we thought: ‘this thing has legs’.” says Gordon. “This year we’ve organised a fourround championship, plus an end-ofseason non-championship race at Portimao. It’s taken off in a big way. People are dragging bikes out of sheds and rebuilding them to come back to the track. We’ve got 45 bikes registered for this year’s series – all to correct spec – so it’s the early 1980s all over again.” What’s different about GP Originals is that the bikes have to be


FORMULA 750 REVIVAL

YAMAHA TZ350G Owner: Gordon Russell Ex-Damon Hill. Standard Yamaha frame. Davies Motorsport shock. R5 350 Yamaha cases. Swarbrick pipes. Single AP front caliper. Astralite wheels. Avon tyres.

period correct, with the cut-off dates set at 1981 for 350s and 1984 for 250s. The differences compared to other organisations which are running similar bikes are subtle, but important. Gordon explains: “In other series for these bikes, people had been allowed to run bigger-diameter forks, six-pot caliper brakes, remote master cylinders and much later bodywork. They just didn’t look right. “We wanted our bikes looking period correct [which is also the Goodwood ethos for the Members and Revival meetings which are totally separate from GP Originals]. “It sounds picky, but people have bought into it because, by keeping the bikes looking stock, it means that everyone starts on a level playing field. “Our rules aren’t to slow bikes down. It’s to honour the greatest period of racing when you could buy a bike and go GP racing.”

Goodwood deserves much praise for encouraging motorcycles as an integral part of its motorsport programmes – and reviving the interest in old bikes with innovative ideas. For the first-ever Revival meeting in 1998, the late John Surtees organised a grid of 20 original Manx Nortons, G50 Matchless, AJS 7Rs, etc; this was a catalyst for the birth of the Lansdowne Trophy, preserving the spirit and history of Grand Prix racing of the 1950s and ’60s. With GP Originals blossoming into a new series and the Members Meeting likely to include a Formula 750 class in 2019, there is eager anticipation of a new wave ofLike interest RDs, GTs,in the bikes that dominated KHs? You’ll be the early days of F750. OK here then Gordon Russell says: “We’re looking at running up to 1972 F750 air-cooled bikes here next year. Ducati 750s like Paul Smart won on at Imola, XR750TT Harleys like Cal Rayborn raced; John Player Nortons, Seeley Nortons like those raced by the Gus Kuhn team; Rob North BSA and Triumph triples, the Hadleigh Honda and 350cc two-strokes like Don Emde’s 1972 Daytonawinning Yamaha TR3.” With the such a huge variety of engine configurations, all running to similar ‘period correct’ rules as the GP Originals series, it sounds like a class with the potential to be something really special. Watch this space!

RIGHT: Gordon Russell has been the driving force behind creating the series

2018 GP ORIGINALS SERIES Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Non-champs

April 21/22 May 12/13 June 23/24 August 11 Oct 19-21

Cadwell Park (No Limits Racing) Donington Park (CRMC) Cadwell Park (BMCRC) Oulton Park (No Limits Racing) Portimao, Portugal (with Lansdowne)

‘WE’RE LOOKING AT RUNNING AIR-COOLED F750 BIKES NEXT YEAR’

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OBITUARY Beggio proudly shows Aprilia’s trophies in 1994

Ivano Beggio 1944-2018 CB remembers the visionary responsible for Aprilia’s market-leading motorcycles and their staggering success on the world racing stage WORDS:MIKE ARMITAGE. PHOTOGRAPHY: BAUER ARCHIVE

Ivano Beggio, founder of Aprilia, passed away in March. He was 73. Brave and forward-thinking, it was Beggio’s enthusiasm that grew the small Italian factory into a famous brand, and racing force – Aprilia have more Grand Prix race victories than any European manufacturer. Aprilia was a bicycle firm started by Cavaliere Alberto Beggio. His son Ivano joined him in the 1960s, took control in ’68 and diversified into powered two-wheelers. Aprilia the motorcycle company was formed in 1975 and quickly made an impact, winning the 125 and 250cc Italian motocross championships in 1977. Beggio was passionate about bikes and in-tune with trends. At the start of the 1980s he moved Aprilia away from the popular motocross and enduro models and into smallcapacity sports bikes, sidestepping the market’s sudden disinterest in dirt bikes. He recognised success on the world racing stage would boost the company’s status, so set-up a small Grand Prix team which rapidly found success in the 125 and 250 classes. Loris Reggiani won their first race in 1987, and Aprilia have gone on to win 38 titles. They’ve also claimed world titles in World Superbike, supermoto and trials.

‘BEGGIO’S ABILITY TO SPOT THE NEXT BIG THING EXTENDED TO RIDERS’ Above: Aprilia’s first 250cc Grand Prix racer, ridden by Loris Reggiani during 1985

Beggio’s ability to spot the next big thing extended to riders. He had an eye for talent, the list of people he hired reading like a who’s who of greats: Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Manuel Poggiali, Alessandro Gramigni, Loris Capirossi and more all made their name on Aprilias. “Ivano Beggio was a sort of father in racing to me,” said four-times world 250 champion Max Biaggi, who joined Aprilia in 1992. “He gave me his trust and a competitive

bike when I was little more than a boy. His was a brave choice, but also intelligent.” Beggio’s foresight went further. Aprilia became the go-to scooter brand with 1991’s large-wheeled Scarabeo and by being first with catalytic convertors on two-strokes. He also saw two-strokes were dying and cut a successful deal with Rotax to supply 650cc four-stroke singles and later a 998cc V-twin. Aprilia was Europe’s largest bike manufacturer by 2001, making over 300,000 machines a year. When Moto Guzzi went bankrupt, Beggio stepped in and bought the Mandello del Lario firm, and mopped up the remains of Laverda, too. However, changes to Italian helmet law and steeper insurance hit profitability, just as Aprilia invested in these two brands. After making a loss of 43 million euros in 2003, Beggio sold up to Piaggio the following year. This should in no way undermine Beggio’s achievement. His belief and imagination took Aprilia from tiny outfit to worldwide brand. “Beggio succeeded in combining the skills and courage of an entrepreneur with creativity and a genuine passion,” said Piaggio’s current CEO, Roberto Colaninno. “He was a visionary.”

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Est. 1993

FOR THE CLASSIC COLLECTOR

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The National Motorcycle Museum Auction An Auction of Classic Motorcycles | Thursday 26th July

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+44 (0)1925 210035 | www.HandH.co.uk *All hammer prices are subject to a Buyer’s Premium of 12.5% (+ VAT).


AUCTIONS 1912 Indian Big Base eight-valve could be the Vegas showstopper

Mecum’s Vegas auction M E C U M

P R E V I E W : L A S

V E G A S

J U N E

1 - 2

This 600-bike offering could well distract gamblers from the card tables American motorcycles top the early entries for Mecum’s second Las Vegas sale of the year, with some fascinating machinery being offered. Heading the pack might just be an ultra-rare, 1912 Indian Big Base eight-valve model. Described as having a genuine Big Base engine fitted with a Fred Lange eight-valve conversion, the bike has been the subject of a meticulous, three-year build – restored to running order, but never started. Another home-built star is an ultra-rare 1915 HarleyDavidson 11K boardtrack racer. Despite being discovered in incomplete condition in Argentina approximately 10 years ago and having been restored using a number of newly-fabricated parts, the bike remains extremely desirable. The K designation (included in the original engine number) was only used for 1915, and features unique to that year include the cam covers, oil-pump cover and cylinders ported at the base to release blow-by gases to allow higher revs for racing. The side-braced forks and frame have been lovingly restored, with missing parts hand-crafted, and the engine rebuilt using modern forged alloy pistons and

Quite comfy for a boardtracker ABOVE: Engine is a Fred Lange eightvalve conversion

BELOW: 1915 Harley 11K boardtracker is a rare offering

other components. It won the Most Outstanding American Motorcycle award at the prestigious Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in June 2017. Other interesting machines already consigned include a rare 1936 Val Page Triumph Tiger 80 and another Harley Davidson 11K – a 1914 model with narrow-case F engine, believed to be the factory’s first attempt at a performance engine. Mecum plan to offer 600 bikes at the sale. Further additions can be found at mecum.com

Concours-winning H-D 11K engine has modern alloy pistons within

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A U C T I O N

D A T E S

AUCTIONS May 2 Charterhouse sale at The Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset charterhouseauction.com

AUCTION REVIEW 1955 Aero Caproni Capriolo Cento 50 fetched 18,336 euros (approx £16,000)

26 Mathewsons sale at Roxby Garage, Thornton-leDale, Pickering, North Yorkshire mathewsons. co.uk June 1-2 Mecum sale at the South Point Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA mecum.com 7 Dorset Vintage and Classic Auctions sale at Athelhampton House, near Dorchester, Dorset dvca.co.uk

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Lightweight Rumi heaven at Finarte’s Bergamo sale The Rumis that comprised the first 26 lots at Finarte’s recent Migliazzi Collection sale certainly lived up to expectations. A 1950 Rumi 125 Turismo made 8281 euros (£7200), a 1952 Rumi 125 Sport made the same and a 1955/56 Sport Bicarburatore was 8872 euros (£7750). But the star of the sale was a 1955 Aero Caproni Capriolo Cento 50 that went for 18,336 (£16,000) well over its 14,000 euro high estimate. Finarte’s next sale is on May 14 at The Museodelle Mille Miglia in Brescia. For more information, see finarte.it

AUCTION PREVIEW

July 7 Richard Edmonds Auctions sale at Allington, near Chippenham, Wiltshire. richardedmondsauctions.com 21 Cheffins Cambridge Vintage sale at The Machinery Saleground, Sutton, Ely, Cambridgeshire. cheffins.co.uk 26 H and H sale at The National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham handh.co.uk

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Estimate: £18,000-20,000

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE

A TRIP TO THE BARBER

Restored cammy Norton in Somerset sale

New sale announced for vintage festival

Pick of the 50 machines so far consigned to Charterhouse’s forthcoming sale at Shepton Mallet is this 1954 Norton International Model 30M. An older restoration, though looking in good cosmetic condition, it is estimated to make £18,000-20,000. Other interesting lots already confirmed include a restored, non-matching numbers 1969 Triumph T120 Bonneville (estimate: £7000-8000), a very original looking and wonderfully patinated 1939 Velocette KSS (est: £7500-8500) and a part-restored 1966 Norton Dominator project offered with some restored and new parts (est: £1600-1800).

Bonhams’ US operation is ramping up its profile with a new sale date for 2018. Hot on the heels of a successful Las Vegas sale in January comes the announcement that they will be hosting a sale at the Barber Vintage Festival on October 6. “The Barber Motorsports Museum is worldrenowned for its motorcycle collection,” says Bonhams’ US motorcycle specialist Andy Barrett. “Hosting an auction in partnership with ‘The Barber’ is a natural extension for us and we couldn’t be more pleased.” Entries for the sale are invited at Bonhams’ website: bonhams.com


M AY 5

Classic scrambling

The second round of the Toughsheet National Twinshock Championship will be anything but a stroll in the park – but you’ll need to take one to be a spectator

A Saturday twinshock meeting at Hawkstone Park gets the weekend off to a fine start, as the Cumbria Twinshock Club host the second round of the national series. Classes include clubman, intermediate and expert twinshock, 125cc twinshocks and evos (pre-89 machines), plus over-50 and over-60 (riders). The Shropshire circuit is brilliant for spectators – and a real challenge for riders. Expect last year’s expert champ Barry Turnbull to be on the pace from the off, with the rest of the field flat-out trying to knock him off his perch. nationaltwinshock.co.uk

RIGHT: Loads of classes and close racing guaranteed

BELOW: The Hawkstone Park track is great for spectators

E V E N T

N AT I O N A L T W I N S H O C K C H A M P I O N S H I P

L I S T I N G S

DIARY May 4/5 PRE-65 SCOTTISH TWO-DAY TRIAL, Kinlochleven, Lochaber pre65scottish.com 12/13 ENDURANCE LEGENDS, Donington Park Circuit, Derbyshire endurancelegends.com 19-20 CAROLE NASH MCN FESTIVAL OF MOTORCYCLING, East of England Arena, Peterborough motorcyclenews.com 20 ROMNEY MARSH CLASSIC BIKEJUMBLE, with New Ride-In Show, at Hamstreet, Near Ashford, Kent elkpromotions.co.uk June 2 VINTAGE JAPANESE FESTIVAL, Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, Bashley, New Milton, Hampshire sammymiller.co.uk 2/3 COUPES MOTO LEGENDE, DijonPrenois coupes-moto-legende.fr 17 VMCC BANBURY RUN, The British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire banbury-run.co.uk 24 ROMNEY MARSH CLASSIC SHOW AND BIKEJUMBLE, at Hamstreet, Near Ashford, Kent elkpromotions.co.uk July 6-8 FESTIVAL OF 1000 BIKES, Mallory Park Circuit, Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire VMCC.net

22


Hunt for bargains outside, check out the exhibits inside

M A Y

M A Y

2 0

TWO-STROKE DAY AT THE ACE CAFE ROOM FOR EXPANSION PIPES AT ‘BLUE HAZE’ DAY The air turns blue – in the nicest possible way – as the Ace hosts its annual celebration of all things two-stroke. Drag out your RDs, GTs and KHs and join the massed ranks of stroker lovers at London’s favourite biking café. The Yamaha LC Club have got group rides scheduled from various starting points in the south (see lcclub.co.uk for more details), so there will be plenty of Elsies on show. Make sure you fly the flag for your own pet stinkwheel. Turn up from 9am – and be prepared for some heavy smoking. london.acecafe.com

6

AUTOJUMBLE ROUND AT SAMMY’S FANCY AN EXCELLENT DAY OUT? HOW ABOUT A VISIT TO A TOP MUSEUM WITH AN AUTOJUMBLE THROWN IN... If you’ve never been to Sammy Miller’s excellent museum on the edge of the New Forest, you really should. And the first of Sam’s autojumbles for 2018 makes the perfect excuse. Combine a leisurely wander through the five display halls of the museum with some bargain hunting outside in the autojumble. Admission to the autojumble is £4, with reduced admission rates for the museum, too. sammymiller.co.uk

M A Y

Like RDs, GTs, KHs? You’ll be OK here then

1 2 - 1 3

DONINGTON LEGENDS TOP NAMES COMPETE IN FOUR-HOUR SCRAP Your one chance to see the fantastic spectacle of classic endurance racing on British soil this year as the European Endurance Legends Cup comes to one of the best circuits in the country. Top former riders Steve Parrish, Niall Mackenzie, Terry Rymer and James Whitham are all competing and the machinery ranges from Classic (1968-1981) through Legend (19751984) right up to Superstock (19721986) and Superbike (1975-1986). The main four-hour race gets away at 11.30am on the Sunday, but there’s a full supporting programme – including a round of the classic Lansdowne Racing series, GP Originals races and classic track sessions – happening throughout the weekend. endurancelegends.com

Top up on endurance enjoyment with a long weekend

23


EVENTS M C N F E S T I VA L

M AY 1 9 / 2 0

Spencer kickstarts summer Multiple world champion Fast Freddie Spencer is just one of the attractions for classic fans at Peterborough Arena in May American legend Freddie Spencer, arguably the greatest racer of the early 1980s, is guest of honour at this year’s Carole Nash MCN Festival. A true multidiscipline star, he started out on dirt tracks near his home in Shreveport, Louisiana at the tender age of four – and was winning regional championships by the age of 11. Switching to tarmac in his teens, he won the 250cc US National Road Race Championship in 1978 when he was just 16. He swapped to AMA Superbikes to ride Honda’s CB750F in 1979 and also competed in the Transatlantic series, winning at Brands Hatch and beating Barry Sheene and Kenny Roberts. In 1983, at the age of just 21, Freddie became 500cc World Champion on Honda’s NS500. Two

Spencer during his Honda America days in AMA Superbikes, with Merlyn Plumlee (second left), Mike Velasco (third left), Ron Haslam (second right) and Fred Merkel (right)

24

years later he became the only rider to ever win all three major races in Daytona Bike Week (F1, Superbike and Lightweight), then the same year went on to win both the 250cc and 500cc Grand Prix titles – again, the only rider ever to do so. After finishing on the podium in well over half of the Grand Prix races he started, Spencer returned to AMA during the 1990s riding both Honda and Ducati machinery, and also had a bash at World Superbikes. He finally retired in 1996. At the MCN Festival you’ll be able to hear about his fabulous high-flying career and the vast array of machinery he’s ridden from the man himself. Spencer will be on stage at various times throughout the festival weekend, May 19-20, at the

Peterborough Arena. He’ll also be signing autographs, meeting fans and generally being the ruddy good egg that he is. There will be a special collection of race bikes reflecting his staggering career, and he also lends his name to the Freddie Spencer Fire Up Paddock – organised by the skilled folk at Brackley Festival of Motorcycling, it’ll be your chance to get giddy at the sound (and smell) of everything from crackling twostroke to modern bellowing MotoGP beast. There’s plenty more to get us classic fans in a froth. Our sibling publication Practical Sportsbikes will be showing the finelycrafted period machinery competing for their Special of the Year award, and there’ll be a vast amount of classics in the expansive club display zone. New attendees are being added all the time, with those already confirmed including the Moto Guzzi Club GB, Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, Air-cooled RD Club, UK Honda Turbo


STYLE WITH SUBSTANCE Freddie Spencer on an early superbike at Daytona – when superbikes looked different!

‘SPENCER WILL BE ON STAGE, SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS AND MEETING FANS’

Have a good ogle at all the bikes – and maybe even buy one...

OPEN FACE XS-XL

Association and British Two-Stroke Club. There’ll be plenty of modern retros present at the festival, too – many of which you will be able to sample. Among the new bikes available for road test will be the Bonneville T120, Street Scrambler, Thruxton, Bobber and new Speedmaster from Triumph’s modern classic line-up, not to mention Ducati’s Desert Sled, Monster and new Scrambler 1100. Want more? There’s a round of the Dirt Track Riders Association National Series happening at the on-site dirt oval, with the vintage class containing classic two-strokes, Harley V-twins, big Brit singles and twins and plenty more. Saturday evening sees the track handed over to speedway, with Peterborough Panthers taking on Newcastle Diamonds – camp over for the weekend and entry to this evening showdown is included. There will also be live bands on the Saturday night, plus Ducati’s Multistrada Experience, two stunt areas and even a wall of death. Is there a better way to celebrate the start of summer? Get full details and keep up-to-date with the latest show news at mcnfestival.com

£69.99 GARAGE (SHOWN) £49.99 WHITE/BLACK/MATT BLACK

There’ll be plenty of two-wheeled entertainment of all varieties on offer

T F E W

0117 971 9200 0117 972 5574 info@thekeycollection.co.uk www.thekeycollection.co.uk


YOUR CLASSICS Howard Bradley’s pocket boardtracker is pretty enough to make any father proud

My beautiful baby Vindian Necessity is the mother of invention – a mother that inspired this Indian boardtrack mini-racer I love bikes, particularly old ones, and old Indian boardtrack racers even more so – bare bones motorcycles at the dawn of their development. Due to injuries sustained and the ravages of time, I cannot ride two-wheelers any more – but even if I could, the contortions required to be able to bend oneself around a boardtrack racer would be a struggle for someone half my age and fit. Genuine boardtrack racers are also so rare and highly prized that their value puts them out of reach of most of us. Replica racers are big business in the States and scouring the internet has revealed that boardtrack racing is becoming more widely recognised on this side of The Pond, with tribute bikes powered by small Chinese two-stroke engines being sold on auction sites. I am not going to criticise or pass any adverse comments on this choice of engine, because it is down to what people can

26

‘I WANTED THIS TRIBUTE TO BE MY “FOREVER” BIKE’ afford and get hold of, and these are just as much genuine enthusiasts as those with original bikes and deeper pockets. I wanted my own personal tribute to

these fearless racers and their machines to be my ‘forever’ bike, with no intentions to sell – even if I could not ride it, I would still start it up. I also wanted the ‘power’ unit of my homage to this sport to be old. One other disadvantage to my ambition was that I am not adept at mechanics, welding, fabrication, painting or, in fact, any of the skills necessary to build a bike. So I knew that I would have to find a builder/enthusiast who shared my view of these bikes but was also affordable. Eventually I found a small advert for a company called Bespoke Emporium, run by a young chap called Nathan Ward and his partner Emma. From a very small 14 x 12ft workshop in Nottinghamshire they make small items of ‘industrial furniture’ as well as the odd project bike (‘odd’ being the operative word). It also transpired that Nathan tended to rescue old and distressed British engines, no matter what the source or how


SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO

Classic Bike, Media House, Lynchwood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA classic.bike@bauermedia.co.uk

Tank (and most of the rest of the bike) is a bespoke creation

Everything bar engine and carb is hand fabricated

A COUPLE OF BLASTS FROM THE PAST One of my classics has a special personal significance to me. It’s one of the bikes in the black-and-white photograph on the right – it shows me and my mate Ronnie Magee on his new Ducati Elite and myself on my Bianchi Tonale in May 1965. I was there at Campell Donagheys Bike Shop in Limavady near Londonderry when he collected it new – it cost £204, a lot of money back then. About six years ago, I heard that Ronnie’s old bike had turned up again. The Ducati had been bought at an autojumble by a guy who knew Ronnie and he phoned me to see if I wanted to buy it. It was in a sorry state – completely stripped, including the engine, with bits missing – but he had the original log book with Ronnie’s name on it as first owner, and I knew it was correct as the frame and engine matched, so I bought it anyway. There followed a restoration that went fairly well. I was formerly an engineering workshop lecturer at the local technical college and have a reasonably-equipped workshop at home, so I do most of the work myself – the only job I out-source is plating. Parts were sourced from Italy and from Barry Jones at Classic Ducati, a very helpful and informative chap. The photograph here shows the bike in racing red, but I’ve since had it resprayed in the correct metallic bright maroon – the colour she was when bought new. I also bought a rough Bianchi Tonale

Ronnie (left) and Terry on their Italian mounts in 1965

Ronnie’s old Ducati and Terry’s replacement Tonale and restored it, so as to have both machines shown in the old photo in my collection. The Bianchi Tonale proved a bit more difficult to restore, as all the parts had to come from Italy, but the sad thing was that Ronnie passed away and never saw the Ducati finished. We had planned to retake the 1965 photo again, but it was not to be, although his son has said we should take it with him on the Elite – and we will do that. TERRY GRIFFITH, LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND

Villiers engine had been waiting for a good home dilapidated, and breathe new life into them. As luck would have it, Nathan had a small Villiers engine of 1921 vintage lying around and waiting for a home. Being on the same wavelength as me, it took very little discussion before Nathan knew exactly what I was looking for. This is the part of the story in which one might normally say how or where other parts of the project were sourced. But this story is different. Using just period photos of Indian boardtrack racers, Nathan fabricated the entire bike by hand – from the frame to the forks and the tank, in fact everything bar the engine and carb. The whole thing took a mere nine weeks from start to finish – while he was also carrying out his day job, welding steel beams – and Nathan managed to deliver to me one of the prettiest little bikes I have ever seen. A Villiers-engined tribute to the Indian – my baby Vindian.

Terry has restored Ronnie’s old bike – and made a lovely job of it

HOWARD BRADLEY

27


YOUR LETTERS

WIN A YEAR’S MEMBERSHIP TO THE VMCC

Commandos in conflict zone Famous poster girls in late ’90s Balkan comeback shock... When the Kosovo crisis kicked off I worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). We were based in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, and nearly every bus stop in the city centre had a huge poster of a Commando featuring the Norton Girls. I was gobsmacked. Commando production had stopped about 25 years previously, but

the posters seemed recent. As a Commando owner, I was seriously tempted to ‘acquire’ one, but the headline ‘Aid worker steals poster’ wouldn’t have helped MSF negotiate with the Macedonian Government for access to the Kosovo refugees.

SEND A STAR LETTER AND BECOME A VMCC MEMBER Lead letter wins a year’s membership of the VMCC, giving access to a wealth of expert advice, a massive archive, registration assistance and discount insurance.

ALAN JENKINSON

ONE OF A RARE PLATOON OF COMMANDOS Great section on the Commando in the April 2018 issue, but I could find no mention of the one I bought new from Huxhams of Poole back in (I think) 1971. It was a Commando LR (‘Long Range’), a Fastback with the ‘ears’ cut off the front of the seat so an Atlasstyle metal tank could be fitted. Apparently only 400 were made, with most going to Australia. Sadly, my Commando experience was not a happy one. Below 3000rpm

28

it shook so badly that the exhaust rings unscrewed themselves. Also the single-leading-shoe front brake was poor and the prop-stand broke, depositing the bike on its side. But it went like the clappers and looked fantastic. Strangely, after many vibratory 650 twins, I found I did not like the smoothness above 3000rpm, so it had to go. What do I ride now, at 75? A super-smooth Honda CBR600F! JOHN COTTERELL, PORTLAND

Commando LR: a rarity over here as most were deported to Australia


SEND YOUR LETTERS TO

Classic Bike, Media House, Lynchwood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA classic.bike@bauermedia.co.uk

HOPWOOD’S A HERO

PROSPEROUS PIECE

Reading the April issue of Classic Bike, I couldn’t help noting that the classic motorcycle press still find it hard to give Bert Hopwood any credit. An issue pretty much devoted in its entirety to the Norton Commando failed to say much at all about its power plant. The engine (a slightly modified but essentially oversized Dominator) first ran as a 500 in 1947 and remained largely unchanged for 30 years – but there was no mention of Hopwood, its designer. The design phase took Hopwood a mere two weeks – it probably took longer to rubber mount the enormous 828cc incarnation. Hopwood’s book, first published in 1981, angered many – but as the latest edition’s foreword notes, his book ably demonstrates that he was far ahead of anyone else in his day. Hinckley Triumph’s fantastic success with their early modular approach is the best example of his foresight. Maybe when all those who were even tangentially involved in the industry have left us and their collective and selective memories gone, Bert Hopwood will be rehabilitated and his many achievements finally recognised. Or perhaps CB could do a little research and make a start now? I look forward to that day, whenever it comes.

The article you had on Prosper Keating riding his Velo KSS in Paris was one of the most enjoyable I have read in your magazine for a long time (I have a Velo Venom, so may be biased). It summed up to me how you should be riding your old bike. The last two sentences were spot on and are what I adhere to, seemingly against the mutterings and astonishment of most old bike riders today. The ‘concours restorers’ and ‘how much is my bike worth this month’ mob are making it increasingly difficult for the rest of us to enjoy old bikes. More articles on interesting people who ride their bikes regularly please.

M COMIOT

We’re quite aware of Bert Hopwood’s contribution to the engine that ended up powering the Commando. If readers wish to look into this further, we’d recommend CB contributor Mick Duckworth’s book Norton Commando (available from andover-norton.co.uk): ‘Hopwood designed the Model 7

STEVE TURNBULL, BUCKNELL, SHROPSHIRE

HELLO VELO ABOVE: Hopwood’s Dominator engine, the basis of the Commando’s lump

Dominator – he had arrived from Triumph to become Bracebridge Street’s chief designer in the spring of 1947... in his memoirs, published after his retirement, he recalled that he envisaged the 500cc twin as a stopgap model before a really modern range with overhead camshaft engines, reputedly including a 250cc twin and a 500cc four, could be developed on modular lines.’ MARK HOLMES

LAST COMMANDO’S DESPERATE MISSION

Regarding the photograph of the Velocette in The Way We Were in the April issue, the bike is an MSS, 495cc. There are at least four indicators. 1) The frame: vertical seat post behind gearbox and, in sunlight behind and below woman’s foot, one of the pair of sidecar lugs to take 3 / 8in bolts. 2) Gearbox operating linkage behind ’box. MAC’s is in front of the ’box. 3) Oil tank taller than fore and aft. MAC’s is shallower but longer. 4) Petrol tank is deep (3.5 gallons). MAC’s is shallow (2.5 gallons). AJ HERBERT, BRIDPORT, DORSET

Thanks for the interesting issue on Norton Commandos. I read somewhere that Norton were so broke at the end that they had to give one of their final machines away in payment for their accountant’s bill – and the accountant didn’t even ride! Can’t imagine that happening now…

Thanks for the information – I didn’t realise there were so many differences between 350 and 500 having never been a Velo-fellow myself. Every day is a learning day!

VIC MORETON, DERBY

RICK PARKINGTON

THE VINTAGE MOTOR CYCLE CLUB KEEPING OUR MOTORCYCLE HERITAGE ALIVE ONLINE: VMCC.NET SHOP ONLINE: VMCCSHOP.COM TEL: 01283 540 557 VINTAGE MOTOR CYCLE CLUB (VMCC) @VMCCUK 29


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Hail od 1978 TT COMEBACK It’s 40 years since one of the most magical victories in racing history. Time to celebrate... 34 FULL 1978 TT F1 RACE REPORT 40 THE MEN WHO HELPED HIM WIN 42 A RIDE ON MIKE’S ’78 TT F1 BIKE 50 HAILWOOD REPLICA TESTED 55 DUCATI’S MH900e TRIBUTE 56 MIKE’S COMEBACK WARM-UP

MIke Hailwood during practice for the 1978 F1 TT. Everyone was wishing him to win it – and sometimes wishes come true

33


When it comes to crowdpleasing victories, this one ranks right up there

34


Hailwood ’78 CLASSIC COMEBACK

S AT U R DAY J U N E 7, 1978

Re-living the dream Forty years ago, Mike Hailwood made grown men weep with joy when he returned to the Isle of Man after an 11-year break to win the Formula 1 TT – one of the greatest comebacks of all time WORDS: PETER HOWDLE. PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES, BAUER ARCHIVE

+++ To celebrate the anniversary of Mike’s magnificent achievement, we reproduce the original eye-witness report from Motor Cycle News +++ Tears of emotion streaming down his cheeks, Mike Hailwood climbed the winner’s rostrum for the 13th time in his legendary TT career after six record smashing laps with a 900 Ducati in Saturday’s Formula 1 world championship race. As he sprayed his cheering fans with champagne, after leading from start to finish and beating John Williams on a works Honda by nearly two minutes, the magic of Mike the Bike made a mockery of the passing years. Despite an absence of 11 years, 38-year-old Hailwood surpassed himself over the 37¾ mile circuit over which he first raced 20 years ago – and stunned his rivals with a race record of 108.51mph and a lap record of 110.62mph. It was unreal… fantastic… but he had done it; he had won the greatest gamble of his life with a devastating victory that captured the imagination of the thousands of fans who waved him to his tenth world title. The King was back… long live the king! Racing as if he had never been away, he had set a scorching pace and forced favourite Phil Read to push his works Honda to destruction. After months of preparation and a practice week during which he tried different cams, Hailwood’s race average was only fractionally slower than his old record lap of 108.77mph on the 500 Honda with which he won the Senior back in 1967. The big Desmo Ducati from Manchester’s Sports Motor Cycles never missed a beat. It ran as superbly as its jockey who, with characteristic professionalism, did

How MCN hailed Hailwood’s victorious return to the Isle of Man

35


Hailwood’78 CLASSIC COMEBACK

Hailwood pushed his Sports Motor Cycles Ducati right from the start of the race

Pre-race tension is obvious in Mike’s face as the task at hand looms large

‘THE WAY HAILWOOD CAUGHT AND PASSED PHIL READ SENT THE CROWDS DELIRIOUS’ not wave back to the crowds until he had crossed the finish line. Afterwards he said: “They were waving all the way, but I could hardly wait for the end. I was worried by my helmet pressing on my forehead and lost a bit of concentration. “I never buzzed the bike. I ran so well that I am sure I could have gone round at 112mph,” he added after nursing the V-twin home and beating Williams by one minute 59.4 seconds. Tom Herron, who took over on the Mochek Honda with Yoshimura cams after Tony Rutter broke a leg in practice, was Hailwood’s most serious challenger. He was gaining on the maestro until his frame broke. The only time Hailwood did not lead the race was at Ballacraine on lap one, where Herron was five seconds ahead on corrected time. Then, at May Hill, a twitch from Herron’s back end gave him a gipsy’s warning. But it was the way Hailwood caught and passed Read that sent the crowds delirious. He started 50 seconds after Read and pursued him so relentlessly that, before the halfway mark, Hailwood was leading on the road! Second on the road by the end of the first lap, Hailwood was 8.8 seconds ahead of Herron and 20.4 seconds in front of Read on corrected time. Although his opening lap speed was just under 110mph, Hailwood’s average from Ballacraine to Ballacraine was in excess of 111mph. He was really on his way! Herron was going well too. But after closing the gap to four seconds the big Honda became too hot to handle

36

and Hailwood was back in business. At Ballaugh, where the time difference between himself and Herron remained unchanged, Hailwood was clearly catching last year’s F1 champion. He was averaging more than 110mph. At the Bungalow, he had Read in sight! Electrified by news of Hailwood’s progress, the grandstand crowds waited expectantly as the two old timers hurtled over the Mountain road. The lights signalling their arrival at Signpost Corner were almost simultaneous; Hailwood had Read beaten by sitting on his tail, but Herron was still a threat. After two laps, Hailwood was leading Herron by 15 seconds, and although Read was still in front on the road, he had no hope of getting away. His only hope was to keep going. Together at Ramsey, where a stray dog tried to join the scrap, the two gladiators tackled the gruelling climb for the third time, but Herron didn’t make it. With both rear damper brackets broken, he was out of the race at Quarry Beds. And, at the Bungalow, Hailwood was 100 yards ahead of Read! It was the most exciting comeback the TT has ever seen. And the battle neared its turning point as pit crews prepared to tank up the leaders after three laps. Hailwood took on three gallons in 41.2 seconds, but Read was quicker. The Honda fired instantly, but the Ducati needed an extra push to help the limping Hailwood. The situation on the road was reversed, but the Honda was on the blink. Puffs of smoke told their own story as Hailwood hounded his rival throughout the fourth lap. As they began their fifth lap, Read was still a few yards ahead. Not for long though! His engine smoking badly, Read

RIGHT: Months of preparation and trying different cams in practice week paid off


Hailwood catches prerace favourite Phil Read, who had started 50 seconds ahead of him

John Williams was runner-up on an RCB Honda similar to Read’s

37


Hailwood ’78 CLASSIC COMEBACK

‘STRETCHED BEYOND THE LIMIT, HIS CHAIN WAS SO SLACK YOU COULD TIE A KNOT IN IT’ was behind through Union Mills. His leathers smothered in oil, he gave up at the 11th Milestone after hectic slides at Ballacraine and Sarah’s Cottage. It was all over. With some 60 miles to go, Hailwood could afford to slacken the pace. He hammered on regardless, but his rear chain would not have lasted another lap. Stretched beyond the limit, it was so slack that you could almost tie a knot in it. A long way behind, Williams had his work cut out holding a petrol tank which broke loose as he screamed down the Cronk-y-Voddy straight. “I caught it with my right arm when it flew up”, he said. Ian Richards, who finished third on a Peckett and McNab 1000 Kawasaki which reached him only two days before the race, developed an oil leak which spilled on his rear slick. Handicapped by two pit stops to tank his thirsty beast, Richards won a good scrap with Helmut Dahne, the West German who switched from BMW to Honda during practice. Alex George recalled the heydays of ‘Slippery Sam’ as he raced to fifth on the seven-year-old ex-Tony Jefferies Triumph triple he inherited after Sam McClements broke a collarbone in practice. “It ran perfectly, with only a spot of oil escaping from the gearbox breather,” he said. Charlie Mortimer, who ran out of road at the Bungalow, was surprised he had gone as quickly after the scrutineers insisted on 26mm carburettors instead of

1978 F1 TT RESULTS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

38

M Hailwood (860 Ducati) J Williams (890 Honda) I Richards (984 Kawasaki) H Dahne (860 Honda) A George (855 Triumph) C Mortimer (1000 Suzuki) M Lucas (850 BSA) K Wrettom (1000 Kawasaki) D Casement (810 Honda) I Tomkinson (850 Triumph)

Time 2hr 5min 10.2s 2hr 7min 9.6s 2hr 8min 7.4s 2hr 8min 26.8s 2hr 8min 28.2s 2hr 10min 50.4s 2hr 12min 0.4s 2hr 12min 3.2s 2hr 13min 26.6s 2hr 14min 16.6s

mph 108.51 106.81 106.01 105.74 105.72 103.81 102.89 102.85 101.78 101.15

Jubilation as Mike takes the flag and the impossible dream comes true

Helmut Dahne on an Eckert Honda finished fourth

the 29mm instruments which gave his Kuhn Suzuki more speed in practice. He finished sixth. Kevin Wrettom’s Pantall Kawasaki misfired from the start, but he was more successful than Roger Nicholls on a Ducati identical to Hailwood’s. Runner-up last year, Nicholls retired after the sight glass of his oil sump shattered and the hot lubricant soaked his leg. George Fogarty was in such a hurry after he oiled a plug at the start that he burnt the clutch of his Ducati. Eddie Roberts, on a similar twin, retired at the pits with a misfire. Jim Scaysbrook, Hailwood’s Australian racing partner, laid his Ducati down at Governor’s after a fullthrottle fright caused by a broken coil bracket. The coil shorted on the throttle cable! Dave Cartwright finished with the rear carburettor of his Ducati dangling off, while Dennis Casement, on the other Mocheck Honda, survived the last lap with a badly slipping clutch. Bill Smith on the Bimota Suzuki burnt a hole through a piston. But Charlie Sanby completed the distance on one cylinder after his Guzzi twin broke a conrod. After the race, Williams told Hailwood: “It’s been a pleasure to race with you. I hope I shall now have the pleasure of beating you!” And after flying to Manchester and a row over hotel bookings, Read talked of his old rival: “Mike was really riding great. Just like the old days. I was delighted for him.”


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TOUGH ENOUGH FoR THE WILDERNESS


Hailwood ’78 THE INSIDE LINE

‘It was just another race...’ Team boss Steve Wynne and Hailwood’s long-time friend Ron Winder reveal the story behind the epic 1978 race INTERVIEWS: ALAN CATHCART, GARY PINCHIN

HOW ON EARTH DID THIS HAPPEN? over to wish us good luck. In typical Ron Winder: “I’d known Mike since cheeky form, he suggested I support he was 18. He rang me to discuss him by wearing a Phil Read T-shirt! riding a Ducati on the Island. I’m I spent the race in the pits apparently just a gopher in racing but had been supporting our greatest rival, till around the sport a while. Mike Mike’s light came on at Signpost came to Silverstone in 1977 and I Corner, miles in the lead at the end introduced him to Steve Wynne – of the last lap. Only then did I start he’d run Roger Nicholls on a Ducati to take the Read T-shirt off, but at the TT, and nearly won.” Pedretti stopped me: ‘Keep it on,’ he Steve Wynne: “Roger was in the TT said, ‘or it may cause bad luck.’ F1 support race at the British GP. I “The motor blew up when the Steve Wynne: fettled Mike’s bike Ron Winder: Mike’s gopher at ’78 TT bottom bevel gear on the rear was introduced to Mike Hailwood, who was visiting from New cylinder disintegrated – just as Mike Zealand. He sees the Ducati, slings shut off to cross the line and win! I didn’t know this till I got the bike his leg over and says: ‘This is the home, because there was strict noise kind of old-fashioned bike I control and all finishers were understand – wouldn’t mind doing supposed to be tested at the end of another TT on this!’ Half-jokingly I the race. There was doubt whether say: ‘Why don’t you?’ – and with the Ducati would pass, even with just a few words and a handshake the Triumph silencers we’d grafted the deal is done, for a nominal advances in brakes would allow him to on to the Lafranconi exhausts, but the rider’s fee of £1000. Mike just wanted to run deeper into corners. Unbelievable how noise meter man didn’t fancy being have an enjoyable ride on the Island – his a rival would help him, but then people lynched for disqualifying Hailwood – so original plan was to ride under an had so much respect for Mike. as I pushed the bike to parc fermé I was assumed name, thinking nobody would “The interest his comeback generated greeted with the rhetorical: ‘The engine realise it was him. Some hope!” was huge and took us by surprise. It was won’t start, will it?’ I was happy to agree. HAILWOOD WAS A BIG NAME – DID I wonder: if I’d removed the Read T-shirt, fantastic. On the Island everyone dropped DUCATI GET BEHIND HIM? would the timing gear have broken at what they were doing to help us.” SW: “There were 10 months before the TT Governor’s Bridge a few hundred yards SW: “The atmosphere throughout practice but I immediately contacted Ducati. It was from the finish?” was electric. Honda were going all-out to agreed I must pay for the bikes for Nicholls retain their title. During pre-race testing and Hailwood, one up front, the other at DID YOU KNOW WHAT IMPACT THE WIN and TT practice our engine proved fast the end of the year. There was a third bike WOULD HAVE? and reliable – Mike topped the F1 for Jim Scaysbrook (see p56), paid for by RW: “I don’t think any of us realised just leaderboard with a new lap record at the Aussies. Having the bikes early meant I what a momentous event it was. It was just 111mph, yet was convinced he’d only done could prepare very carefully, reworking another race meeting, and then we’d move 105mph or so because the Ducati felt so the heads and changing pistons, ignition, on to the next short circuit [the Post-TT at easy and relaxing to ride. clutch and the gear cluster, the Achilles Mallory]. It was only later it really sunk in. “Two race engineers, Franco Farnè and heel of a Ducati.” The after-party was a bit special – Pan’s Giuliano Pedretti, turned up from Ducati People had a do on upstairs and to observe and help out. Farnè became DID YOU EXPECT MIKE TO DO SO WELL? downstairs we were having a tug of war concerned over the high mileage this RW: “If I’m honest, we never thought Mike competition! Mike left his trophy behind engine had done in practice, so persuaded would win. We expected Nicholls to do in the restaurant – we had to get a taxi to me to fit a new one they had brought over that. Steve got a lot of hate mail from fans go back and get it! He was such a special with them. Mike did a solitary lap with it who worried about Mike’s TT comeback. character. He got on with everyone in the on Friday night, the day before the race.” Everyone was so concerned for him. They sport and they all loved him. Everyone BET YOU COULDN’T BELIEVE THE RESULT... didn’t want their hero to get hurt. It wasn’t hung out together in the paddock back SW: “There was good-natured banter just fans – Mick Grant followed him then. The races to the track were often as between Honda’s Phil Read and Hailwood round and came back in to ask why he much fun as the races on the track. You and before the start of the race Phil came was braking so early. He told Mike don’t get that kind of camaraderie now.”

‘THE AFTER-PARTY WAS A BIT SPECIAL – PAN’S PEOPLE HAD A DO ON UPSTAIRS’

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MIKE’S VICTORY IN HIS OWN WORDS “Basically, the whole TT business was a bloody silly idea that turned out reasonably good. I’d like to stress, however, that not once during the whole TT period did I stick my neck out. Not once did I have a full-out go – I always had a lot in hand. At most, I rode at eight-tenths, so I’m naturally delighted I was able to lap reasonably fast.” MIKE HAILWOOD, writing for MCN, 1978

Mallory Park post-TT meeting, 1978. Another weekend, another race...

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Hailwood ’78 MIKE AND HIS BIKE

Riding Mike’s bike The background, the engineering detail and an exclusive ride on Hailwood’s ’78 Ducati. Yes, the real one... WORDS: ALAN CATHCART. PHOTOGRAPHY: KYOICHI NAKAMURA

Just the sight of the most famous Ducati 900SS ever is enough to raise the goosebumps. And that’s before it’s started up...


The round-case bevel-drive V-twin has always been a thing of great beauty. Steve Wynne’s engineering mods made this one beautiful on the inside too

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Hailwood ’78 MIKE AND HIS BIKE

t the start of practice week for the 1978 TT, Mike Hailwood boomed past me on his Sports Motorcycles Ducati on the way into Schoolhouse Corner in Ramsey. He nonchalantly waved his left hand to this unknown and much slower rider, as he cruised to a tonup lap on his desmo V-twin. Grappling with weave caused by the dip in the road surface peeling into the left hander, I realised his Ducati was thundering through ahead unabated, shrugging off the inconveniences of the Manx public roads. I remember wishing I was riding that bike. And now I have… Hailwood’s race-winning Ducati 900SS was supplied by Steve Wynne of Sports Motorcycles. His team had almost achieved a debut victory at the TT in 1976, when Roger Nicholls and Steve Tonkin built a substantial lead in the 10-lap Production TT on Wynne’s 750SS, only to suffer a broken piston. In 1977, Nicholls had the beating of Phil Read’s worls Honda on Wynne’s 900SS-based NCR-built Formula 1 bike, before the race was cut short

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ABOVE: Acceleration is strong enough to leave a modern 600 Supersports bike in its wake out of bends

BELOW: Long shocks mean you sit high, in a well-padded seat with a fat bum pad

in circumstances that gave Honda victory. Yet despite his record, Wynne had to agree to buy the 900 TT1 bikes from Ducati for Hailwood and teammate Nicholls (plus a third for Jim Scaysbrook in Australia – see p56). Ducati didn’t have a racing department in their factory back then, so the machines were constructed in the Scuderia NCR race shop, a long stone’s throw from the Bologna factory. They were modified versions of the NCR900 endurance racers, with special sand-cast round-case crankcases – 20 sets were made with stiffening internal webs, as permitted under F1 rules. These were also modified to accept a Pantah-style screw-in oil filter, and housed a close-ratio gearbox and all-metal dry clutch, with magnesium outer cover. As had become standard practice, Wynne dismantled the bikes to the last nut and bolt, before rebuilding them to TT F1 specification, and with many modifications. Beautifully-polished standard rods and flywheel webs were bored out to accept a larger-diameter crankpin and oversize rollers, to overcome what was proving to be the engine’s Achilles heel – rev a bevel-drive Ducati big twin much over 8000rpm on a standard big end, and its life is shortened drastically. The 86mm diameter NCR pistons were junked for 87mm American Venolias, these stronger Teflon-coated pistons giving increased 11:1 compression and taking capacity from 864 to 883cc. After rebalancing, these mods ensured the engine would remain reliable up to 9500rpm. Flowed and ported factory cylinder heads with a 60° valve angle (stock heads are 72°) used oversize 43.5mm inlet valves (39mm is standard) and 39.5mm exhausts (up from 36mm). ‘Super-Imola’ factory camshafts gave 12.5mm of inlet lift and Wynne added extra keyways in the bevel gears to vary the valve timing at choice. He also fitted a Lucas Rita electronic ignition running 36° of advance at 6000rpm. Standard PHM40 Dell’Orto pumper road carbs were used, as required under the rules, but with about half the plastic bellmouth cut away to obtain optimum intake length and the accelerator jets removed, for smoother running at the part-throttle


‘STEVE WYNNE DISMANTLED IT BEFORE REBUILDING IT TO TT F1 SPEC, WITH MANY MODS’

Magnesium outer cover for the all-metal dry clutch. A neat shaft through the swingarm pivot coverts the V-twin to a left-foot shift Kawasaki steering damper below the right clip-on keeps the front wheel stable over the bumps – essential for the Isle of Man

Standard PHM40 Dell’Orto pumper road carburettors, as demanded by Formula 1 rules, have sawn-off bellmouths for optimum intake length

Cast iron Brembo discs and two-pot black calipers were state of the art in 1978. Combined with the Ducati V-twin’s engine braking, they haul the bike up well

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Hailwood ’78 MIKE AND HIS BIKE

openings commonly used on the Isle of Man. Peak power was 87bhp at 9000rpm, measured at the wheel – a good 20bhp up over a stock 900SS. To deal with this, the clutch springs were replaced with Ducati 450 singlecylinder components, and the three backlash dogs on fourth gear were ground away to address the problem of jumping out of gear. It didn’t cure it, so Mike used connections with Hewland Gears to get a new close-ratio gear cluster made with many improvements. Though the chassis used a speciallymade lightweight chro-moly frame, it was built on the same jig as the roadgoing 900SS. The swingarm was broader than standard to allow a wider rear wheel, and 13in Girling gas shocks replaced the shorter, less compliant Marzocchi units the bike came with. These worked better and also raised the rear, removing ground clearance problems and steepening the effective head angle to sharpen up the steering. The lower mountings for the rear shocks were copiously drilled, to offer a choice of preload positions. The finishing touch was the now-famous paint scheme. “We painted the two Sports Motorcycles bikes red and green, a colour scheme I designed from a can of Castrol oil as they were Mike’s main sponsors,” recalls Wynne. “It had nothing at all to do with the Italian tricolore – it was just a happy coincidence.” The most remarkable thing you immediately notice about Hailwood’s TT F1 racer is how normal it feels – not just to sit on, but to ride. Save for the substitution of an oil cooler for the headlamp, and the classical whitefaced Veglia rev-counter staring up at you, this could be any faired Ducati V-twin roadburner ever made. Though the clip-on ’bars on Mike’s bike are steeply dropped, they allow you to tuck elbows and shoulders behind the fairing. Those long shocks mean you sit a little higher off the ground, slotted into a comfy and well-padded seat. A fat bum pad wedges you in place, helping push you forward a little to offset the 52% rear weight bias of the air-cooled 90° V-twin. Footrests feel lower and a little further back than is usual on a racing Duke, and certainly more comfortable. They’re perhaps due to Mike’s crash at the Nürburgring which ended his

ABOVE: High bottom gear lets you hightail it out of Mallory hairpin and into the chicane without changing up

BELOW: Speciallymade chro-moly frame has broader than standard swingarm to take a wide rear wheel

F1 car racing career in 1974, causing permanent leg and foot damage. For his comeback he had to learn to use a left-foot racing gearchange, here neatly installed on the Ducati using a linkage through the swingarm pivot. As expected, this TT-winning Ducati has muscular, meaty power low in the revs, even with high-lift cams. I’m riding at Mallory Park, and the higher compression ratio helps it pull crisply out of the hairpin from very low revs. It’s as smooth and tractable as a road bike, and almost as measured in the way it builds revs. Things suddenly happen a lot faster from 7000rpm, however. The exhaust note hardens, acceleration increases noticeably and the tacho needle dashes for the five-figure zone. The big twin feels very loose and freerevving at any revs, with notably less inertia compared to any other bevel-drive desmo I’ve ridden – including Paul Smart’s Imola 200-winning 750SS. Any gear is the right one; the Hewland gearbox is precise and makes light work of clutchless upward changes, but you really don’t need to work the gearbox.

‘THE FRAME WAS BUILT ON THE SAME JIG AS THE ROAD-GOING 900SS’


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Hailwood ’78 MIKE AND HIS BIKE

The Ducati’s 87bhp is delivered in a forgiving manner, yet it’s deceptive. Unlike any other big desmo I’ve ever ridden, Hailwood’s bike goes into fast forward above that seven-grand threshold, so you need to make sure you get it lined up right before you pull the trigger. With its long wheelbase the 900 is ultra-stable round Gerard’s, its Kawasaki steering damper stopping the front wheel flapping over the bumps on the exit, but there’s some front-end pattering. There’s also pretty dramatic understeer on the power when exiting both Gerard’s and the Esses – you have to work hard to get back on line. After that legendary TT win, Hailwood won again on this bike at the Post-TT meeting, here at Mallory. This relatively unsung victory was arguably an even greater achievement – this bike is fundamentally unsuited to such a tight yet deceptively fast track. One factor that helped is the way the Ducati slows, especially compared to the heavier four-cylinder bikes of the era. The Brembo discs and two-pot black calipers were the benchmark stoppers back in 1978, and stop the bike well – add in the engine braking of the desmo V-twin, and you have the potential to out-brake modern bikes into tight turns like Mallory’s hairpin. Having positive valve operation means you need to remember never to use the hefty rear disc, and to fan the clutch lever with your left hand to avoid locking the rear on the over-run. Wynne says Mike never used the rear brake. With the Girlings set to their softest setting, the Ducati must surely have been a great ride by the standards of the day over a bumpy course like the Isle of Man. Riding this bike has also made me change my opinion of the Mike Hailwood Replica that Ducati produced. I’d always had a slightly jaundiced view of it – the MHR seemed a triumph of styling over true racereplica engineering. However, having ridden the bike it was derived from, I have to alter that opinion. The replica was like a production bike because Mike’s TT-winner is definitely a modified Production racer, rather than a period twin-cylinder Superbike.

‘HAILWOOD WON AGAIN IN ’78 ON THIS BIKE AT THE POST-TT MEETING, HERE AT MALLORY’

CB ’s Alan Cathcart makes like Mike at Mallory Park

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SPECIFICATION

Classic white-faced Veglia rev-counter is the only clock that Mike needed

For emergencies only – Hailwood didn’t usually use the rear brake when racing

ENGINE / TR ANSMISSION Type Air-cooled four-stroke 4v desmo 90° V-twin Dimensions 87 x 74.4mm Capacity 883cc Output 87bhp at 9000rpm (at rear wheel) Compression ratio 11:1 Carburation 2 x 40 mm Dell’Orto PHM Ignition Lucas Rita electronic, total-loss battery Gearbox Hewland close-ratio five-speed, straight-cut gear primary CHASSIS Frame Chro-moly tubular steel trellis Head angle 27° Trail 100mm Front suspension 40mm Marzocchi telescopic forks Rear suspension Girling gas shocks Brakes front/rear 2 x 278mm discs, two-piston calipers/ 1 x 278mm disc, two-piston caliper Tyres 110/0-18 front, 130/50-18 rear (Avon for test; Hailwood used Dunlop) DIMENSIONS Wheelbase 1500mm Weight 166kg with oil, no fuel Weight distribution 48% front/52% rear PERFORMANCE Top speed 158mph (IoM TT 1978)


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Hailwood ’78 RIDING AN MHR REPLICA

J ust likee Ducati’s Hailwood replica has the air of being more than just a dressed-up SS. The image is impeccable, but will it fulfil your Hailwood fantasies on the road? WORDS: GEZ KANE PHOTOGRAPHY: GARY MARGERUM

It won’t make you ride like Mike, but you definitely get the Hailwood halo effect 50


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Hailwood ’78 RIDING AN MHR REPLICA

Contis make for a great noise. Aftermarket Marzocchis make for a plusher rear end

open up the throttle and the rev counter hits 6000rpm. Then all hell breaks loose. A throaty rumble becomes an angry roar as the red, green and white Ducati hurls itself (and me) forwards at an improbably rapid pace and I’m reminded just how quick Ducati’s 864cc bevel drive V-twin engine is. The admiring glances I collect any time I come to rest reminds me just what a great looking – and sounding – bike this is. You’d think that a loud, fast and very in-your-face motorcycle like this 1980 Mike Hailwood Replica might be regarded as an irritant rather than an attraction by the population of rural Kent. But, as I rumble through a sleepy village, trying my best to keep the big Duke under the 40mph limit, a group of cyclists resting outside the pub wave cheerfully and a gentleman of a certain age enjoying the fine spring weather in his front garden pauses from his hoeing to amble, beaming, to his front gate for a better look. I’m no Mike Hailwood – I don’t look like him and I certainly can’t ride like him, but for a couple of hours on this bike I can at least pretend. And that’s what the MHR is all about. It’s an unashamed poseur’s tool. If you don’t want to get noticed, this isn’t the bike for you. But if you believe that part of a classic bike’s function is to take you away from the everyday world for a while when you’re out riding it, then it’s also an instant classic. But the MHR also a very serious bit of kit for hard riding. Introduced to cash in on Hailwood’s amazing comeback win at the Isle of Man in 1978 (see page 34), the Hailwood rep also did serious business for Ducati – boosting sales and providing a cash lifeline to keep the company ticking over as they developed their new (cheaper to produce) belt-drive models. It’s not

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More imposing than a regular 900SS and gets more respect

unreasonable to make a case for Mike’s win in the 1978 F1 TT having saved Ducati’s bacon. The MHR might have been a show pony at its launch in 1979, but it’s a great bike, too – as I’m finding out. Essentially, it’s a 900SS in flashy new clothes modelled on Hailwood’s 1978 TT winner. The only material differences under the skin are the 40mm Dell’Orto carbs (the 900SS got 32mm carbs in some markets from 1976), slightly different (marginally lighter) cast wheels and Conti (rather than Lanfranconi or Silentium) silencers. The larger carbs and more free-flowing silencers give the MHR the urge of the rortier and less civilised early SS models, while the Bosch electronic ignition has a more progressive and big end-friendly advance curve


Big 40mm Dell’Ortos need a good flood to prime for starting

Brembo Goldline calipers make for confident stopping

Period Italian switchgear. Don’t you just love it... See-through beveldrive covers are an non-standard addition

Get that rev counter round to 6000 and the fun really starts

than the Ducati Electronica of earlier SS models. Despite the rest of the differences being cosmetic, though, the MHR somehow feels markedly different to the SS. It looks and feels bigger for a start – and it is. The full fairing and larger fuel tank add 38lb (17kg) to the all-up weight if period road test spec panels are to be believed, and the fairing with its high screen definitely makes the Hailwood rep look a lot more imposing than the svelte SS. But it pulls off the trick of feeling like an early ’80s race bike very effectively. The riding position is pure race style, with high rearsets and traditional clip-ons, while the long, fivegallon tank forces me back into the removable pillion seat cover that doubles as a race-style seat hump. There are indicators and lights fitted but I can’t really see them, and the inside of the fairing has a satisfyingly racer-like raw glass fibre mat finish blown over in satin black paint rather than a fancy gel coat. So far so good. And if the rider’s-eye view is convincing, so too are the first impressions once I fire up the big Ducati. And don’t believe any horror stories you may hear about how difficult it is to start a big Ducati – there might be no electric start on the MHR, but it honestly doesn’t need one. It might take a kick or three to fire it up from cold, after flooding the Dell’Ortos (a difficult task for the front one, as it’s buried inside the fairing) but, once the engine is warm, it takes no more than a firm prod to bring it back to bellowing life.

So the MHR sounds a treat and looks wonderful. But there’s more to come. Sure, the clutch is heavy, the controls for the indicators fiddly and the riding position singularly uncompromising, but once I find some fast, flowing A-roads, the bike makes supreme sense. The riding position – all aching wrists in heavy traffic – feels relaxed and the Nippon Denso speedometer heads towards the naughty step. The gearchange, although not quite up to the level of Japanese bikes in its in slickness of operation, is nevertheless positive and assured. The handling of the long Ducati chassis is as good as its reputation. The suspension – aided no doubt by the aftermarket Marzocchi shocks at the rear in place of the universally derided stock Cerianis – feels compliant and effective. It’s certainly a far cry from the old stereotype of ultra-firm Italian suspension. And the forks are really very good, remaining unruffled by a ridge of cracked Tarmac I encounter mid-corner on a fast right-hander. I’d say the extra cash the owner splashed on the optional airassisted forks was money well spent. The bike is super-stable in a straight line and cornering is the delight I expected it to be. On fast bends it’s rock steady, holding a line perfectly, but it’s surprisingly agile for a bike with a 60in wheelbase, too. Flicking from side to side on twistier back lanes is equally exhilarating. The big Duke is a bike that could flatter any rider’s abilities – except perhaps Mr Hailwood’s.

‘LARGER CARBS AND MORE FREE-FLOWING SILENCERS GIVE IT THE URGE OF THE EARLY SS’

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Hailwood ’78 RIDING AN MHR REPLICA

Stable as well as flickable, the MHR’s cornering is exhilarating

‘SUPER-STABLE IN A STRAIGHT LINE AND CORNERING IS THE DELIGHT I EXPECTED IT TO BE’ The big desmo V-twin engine is a beauty. Period spec sheets put power output anywhere between 63-70bhp. That doesn’t sound like much these days, but it was enough for Bike magazine to wring 132mph out of their test bike when a mightily impressed Dave Calderwood rode a 1980 model. That’s fast. But it’s also flexible. I can let the engine tractor me along from 3000rpm, rolling on the throttle and letting the torque lug the bike up to speed without any sign of distress. But it’s when the rev counter sweeps past 6000rpm that the real fun starts. With the engine spinning hard, the Ducati feels genuinely quick. There’s a rush of acceleration that hints at the racing achievements of Hailwood’s TT winning bike and I’m reminded of what a fine engine the bevel drive desmo is. On an open road, it’d take something with a lot more power than the MHR to best it. And while ’70s disc brakes are often not the finest stoppers in the world, the Brembo Goldline calipers and three-disc set-up on the Duke are really very good. It’s a good stretch (for my short fingers anyway) to the front brake lever, but a firm squeeze delivers plenty of power to tame the velocity of the bike. I rarely need to use the rear brake at all, but it’s equally positive and effective – reassuring to know that it’s there in case of emergency. I trickle reluctantly back into the yard at Anthony’s retail unit and snick into neutral before coming to a halt. It’s time to give the bike back and I’m trying to form an overall impression of my ride before heading for home. But the fact that I’m still smiling as I take off my helmet gives me a big pointer. Sure, the Hailwood Replica is not a bike to ride slowly and it’s not a machine for stop/start traffic. In fact, it would be hard to describe the MHR as a great allrounder. But that’s the beauty of the beast. It’s been designed with one thing in mind – the most rewarding experience for the single-minded pursuit of riding hard and fast. And looking sharp while doing it. Which it does in fine style. I’m sure Mike would approve.

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AS SUPPLIED BY MIKE HIMSELF The bike we used in this test has a pretty special history. For a start, it’s one of the more collectible early models with a one-piece fairing, but it’s also got links to the great man himself. The owner of the bike is actor Oliver Tobias, who starred in 1978 blockbuster The Stud opposite Joan Collins and has appeared in numerous TV series including Holby City. Oliver – a genuine motorcyclist – has owned the bike from new and collected it from Mike the Bike personally. Oliver was friendly with top racers including Hailwood and when he decided to add an MHR to his collection, he went straight to the top, buying the machine from Hailwood and Gould in Birmingham. “The bike has been carefully maintained from

new,” says Anthony Godin, who is selling the bike on behalf of its owner. “It was restored for Olly some time ago, when original spec Conti silencers were fitted and it was resprayed. Strictly speaking, the fairing lowers shouldn’t have the Ducati logo on them but, apart from that, the Marzocchi piggyback rear shocks and the see-through bevel drive covers, the bike is as it should be. It has the optional, air-adjustable forks, as recommended to Olly by Mike. This is one of the first batch of 300 production models with steel tanks that followed the first batch of 200 so-called ‘pre-production’ bikes. It’s a lovely example.” Anthony is asking £29,995. Interested? Contact him on 01622 814140, 07769 970559 or see anthonygodin.co.uk


Terblanche’s tribute The Hailwood replica wasn’t the only road-going Ducati inspired by Mike’s TT victory… WORDS: MIKE ARMITAGE

hown at Munich’s Intermot event in 1998, the Ducati MH900e concept was a bang-up-to-date showstopper inspired by Hailwood’s famous TT bike. Rather than create a modernised copy, Ducati’s head of design Pierre Terblanche had carried out a ‘neo-classic’ reworking for this Mike Hailwood evoluzione – which means he looked at the ’70s design, then drew something futuristic. The MH900e show bike featured paint inspired by the works NCR Ducati team, an air-cooled twovalve V-twin, plus a rear-view camera, exotic composite brakes, voice-controlled ignition and rear indicators mounted on the ends of its extravagant exhausts. Munich’s concept bike was constructed in just 11 weeks, but it was a tad longer before we could buy one. Despite positive reaction and being 90% production-ready, the MH900e didn’t go on sale until 2001. Assembly was intended to be handled by Bimota, but the small firm’s on-going instability meant Ducati kept it in-house. It was the first motorcycle ever sold online, with a numbered run of 1000 going on

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sale at 12.01am on January 1, 2001 for £11,500 each. They sold out in half an hour, with around a third going to Japan. Buoyed by this success, Ducati knocked up another 1000 the following year. Though most of the concept’s futuristic features didn’t make it to production, the MH900e is still loaded with delicious details. The spokes of the cast aluminium wheels have the same cross-section as the magnesium Campagnolo wheels on Hailwood’s racer. Master cylinders are machined aluminium, the headlight surround is a quality casting, and the finned ‘sump’ houses electrical parts. Its fuel-injected 904cc twin is from a 900SS. While 74bhp is quite modest, the MH900e weighs less than the donor and has snappy gearing, so acceleration is lively. Handling is traditional Ducati with steady steering, fine stability and a fondness for high corner speed, with a stretch to the clip-on ’bars. The bike is very much Terblanche’s vision, and his 6ft 4in can be sensed in the high seat. Mint used bikes are now near £20,000, with zero-milers nearer £25k. Clear indication that classic status is assured.

Old-school rev counter mixes it with digital speedo

Indicators connected to cans? Well, it looks cool...

‘THE MH900e IS LOADED WITH DELICIOUS DETAILS’

First run of MH900e production bikes sold out in 30 minutes. We’re talking instant classic


Hailwood ’78 THE COMEBACK TRAIL

‘Don’t worry, we’ll just have fun’ The year before his famous ’78 TT win, Mike Hailwood started his comeback in Australia. Teammate Jim Scaysbrook tells the story... INTERVIEW: ALAN CATHCART. PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES, BAUER ARCHIVE & DON MORLEY

got to be mates with Mike Hailwood through being in the right place at the right time. He’d packed up Formula One car racing after injuring his leg in a crash at the Nürburgring and moved to New Zealand to be involved with McLaren Marine. He was a guest at the All-Historic weekend at Amaroo Park on the outskirts of Sydney in January 1977, a combined car and bike meeting in the infancy of historic racing in Australia. They got him to drive an F1 Lotus and ride an ex-Kel Carruthers Manx Norton. I won the main race on an AJS 7R and Mike was second on the Norton. There’s a photo of us coming into the pits, my eyes big as plates: ‘I beat Hailwood!’ We had a few drinks afterwards – he was a down-to-earth, frank, normal bloke and we struck up a bit of a friendship.

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Jim Scaysbrook at the 1977 Castrol 6-Hour at Amaroo

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Owen Delaney was a radio announcer, and knew Mike from working in New Zealand. Owen approached the ACU to get Mike over for the historic race at Bathurst. They weren’t interested, so Owen paid for him to come and Barry Ryan supplied his Norton again. I won that one, too – and again Mike was behind. After the race he came to our campfire on the Mountain, and as we’d finished racing for the weekend we got stuck into the grog. He didn’t go back to his motel, but just slept next to the fire. We were becoming good mates, and he knew I could ride a bit too. So a plan came up, again through Delaney, to do the Castrol 6-Hour race at Amaroo with Mike in October ’77. I hadn’t done any serious road racing at this stage – I’d ridden in the 6-Hour races in ’71 and ’72 on a Honda CB500, but was still a motocross rider at heart. I asked what we were going to ride, who was going to pay, and he said: “Don’t worry, we’ll sort all that”. I left it to him. His friend Malcolm Bailey owned a motorcycle wreckers called Moreparts, and next thing I knew they had arranged to buy a Ducati for us. I suspect that they chose Ducati because Malcolm’s business was in Newcastle, home of the Ducati importer. I didn’t question it – I was still pinching myself as the whole thing unfolded. Mike was just trailing along, expecting everything would be worked out, without his making any money; I still have the letter in which he said he would expect his expenses to be met. A friend of mine who owned an animation studio that did TV commercials sorted sponsorship, and Malcolm assembled guys to run the team. Avon supplied tyres – just a pair, we only used one set for practice, qualifying and racing. Metzeler, Avon and later Pirelli had supported teams up there weeks before the 6-Hour, trying different tyres and set-ups. We didn’t have any of that; we were so low on money we didn’t run the bike unnecessarily at all. They’d bought a Ducati 900SS. We needed a leftfoot gearchange because of Mike’s injured right foot,


Scaysbrook and Hailwood became good mates and their exploits at the Castrol 6-Hour hooked Mike on racing again


Hailwood ’78 THE COMEBACK TRAIL

Hailwood on the way to coming second in the 750 class at the ’78 Castrol 6-Hour

and the 900 was a ’76 model with the right-side shift. It was sold and we got a ’77 model square-case 750SS with the left-foot shift. Being a transition model it had Conti exhausts that were worth a bit of extra power – the 6-Hour organisers were strict on box-stock parts – although Mike kept underlining this was for fun, so it didn’t matter if it was a 750 or a 900. Amaroo was very tight, with Armco all around and no room to move – tricky and very technical. Something torquey and forgiving like the Ducati would’ve been good, except it had a long wheelbase and was difficult to manoeuvre. The biggest drawback was ground clearance – the front pipe was dragging in right-handers. We found out later other teams cut the pipe, welded it, chromed it and put it back on to give lots more lean-angle. We just put up with what we had. We used a big-section front tyre to get extra ground clearance, but that made the steering even heavier – it was a bus. We had to kickstart the bike for the Le Mans start – non-Ducati riders had a button, but we picked our way through. I rode for a stint and handed to Mike. It was an incredible relief – there were 15,000 people waiting to see him race a Ducati V-twin for the first time! He got into his stride and we finished sixth outright and second in the 750 class – not bad, considering I was inexperienced and Mike was so rusty. We were one place behind BMW works rider Helmut Dähne on an R90S and one ahead of Graeme Crosby on a Kawasaki Z1 – both 900s – and we had an extra pitstop compared to everyone else. Mike got hooked on racing again because of that race. He wasn’t cut out for walking around showrooms selling boats. He started thinking about doing the TT, the wheels turning faster about a comeback – and on a Ducati. Our sponsors were happy with all the publicity, and that led to the Adelaide 3-Hour race in March ’78 on the same bike. This was at Adelaide International Raceway, a circuit that was part speed bowl, part road course. Mike

LEFT: Adelaide 3-Hour in March 1978 resulted in a top 10 finish Ducati 750 was maintained on a shoestring and never run unnecssarily

ABOVE: Jim Scaysbrook’s wife Sue with Mike in 1978


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Hailwood ’78

Scaysbrook pulls a wheelie wearing Hailwood’s helmet for pre-race publicity

THE COMEBACK TRAIL

Hailwood mixes it up at the Adelaide 3-Hour in 1978

figured it was good practice to get in the groove for his TT comeback, but in practice I crashed through a heap of straw bales and hit the concrete wall behind. The local Ducati Club members stripped parts off their own bikes, then took the 750 to a dealer in Adelaide who stuck them on. On the first lap the front forks went straight onto the bump stops at the end of the straight – they’d only filled one leg with oil, and the front wheel locked when the weight transferred. I was just trying to get to the changeover, but ran out of petrol five minutes short – I just managed to get to the pits. I told Mike it was hopeless, and he said: “Don’t worry, we’ll just have fun”. He started clowning around with Crosby on a Kawasaki Z1, riding high on the rim of the banking, roaring down, then banging into each other. The crowd loved it, and we finished in the top 10. I figured we wouldn’t see him again after he won the TT, but Mike was up for a ride on the 750 in the 1978 6-Hour at Amaroo. The Ducati was knocked around and getting uncompetitive at that stage, then Mike chucked it into an earth bank in practice. After an all-nighter getting it fixed, reserve rider Stuart Avant hopped on, did three laps and fell off. They just got the bike ready for qualifying. Mike did one lap and as he came past the pits it went ka-boom – it’d blown the big-end. They managed to get the bike ready in time to shove fuel in and push it to the back of the grid for the race – I hadn’t ridden it, the bike hadn’t qualified full stop, but they still allowed us to race. By the time Mike handed over to me he was leading the 750 class. I jumped on, and about ten laps into my stint the bike went from under me. The gearbox seized on the shaft and locked the gearbox. It made a hell of a mess, and they took me away in the ambulance. The Ducati sat as a wreck at Moreparts until Malcolm gradually restored it, and it sat in his lounge for twenty years before going on display at the Bathurst Museum. In 2006 the Hailwood Ducati became the first purchase of Motorcycling Australia’s Museum and Heritage Committee; it kicked off the MA Museum where it’s on permanent show, and is also regularly displayed in action.

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ABOVE: Scaysbrook is now a key figure in Aussie classic racing

RIGHT: Mike exits the pits after a handover in ’77 Castrol 6-Hour

The Ducati 750 Scaysbrook and Hailwood raced still comes out to play these days


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NO-FRILLS BSAs

A M ATTER

Katharine Hook relishes riding and fettling her brace of British twins until the weather turns – then turns her hand to something even tastier... WORDS: GARY PINCHIN. PHOTOGRAPHY: GARY MARGERUM

resh gin infused with the finest sloes, blended into a creamy ganache, cased inside a deep dark Belgian chocolate... handmade chocolates aren’t normally Classic Bike fayre, but on this occasion we make an exception. Because Katharine Hook, the creator of a range of heavenly chocolates evocatively called Sloe Seduction, also happens to be a classic bike enthusiast with two A65 BSAs and a Norton 99 Dominator in her shed. During spring and summer, Katharine works in her husband Martin’s bike shop, Breakaway Motorcycles in Tunbridge Wells. When the summer ebbs, autumn beckons and the bike shop work tails off, she fills her days making her range of

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chocolates laced with her selfbrewed sloe gin. Any downtime from that – and family life – sees her finding freedom in riding or fettling her bikes. “I like the diversity of my life now. I used to work in an office five days a week. I did 15 years as a business travel agent. Then I decided to have a complete career change and came up with a business plan to develop Martin’s business. I’ve worked for him for 17 years now. “It was funny when I worked in the travel agents. The girls used to go shopping at lunchtime and come back with new clothes – I used to come back with new spark plugs or a bottle of oil!” Motorcycling has long been her passion, and she loves nothing more than riding


of TASTE

Katharine’s Lightning Clubman was modified in its prime and she wants to keep it that way – warts and all

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NO-FRILLS BSAs Farmer’s daughter Katharine has been into bikes since her childhood

the glorious 1965 BSA Lightning Clubman she rescued from a barn in the winter of 2012/13 and finally got on the road last year. But before that came a Thunderbolt...

Thunderbolt and Lightning “I bought my 1964 BSA Thunderbolt 20 years ago off a chap called Mick Smitherman,” explains Katharine. “He’s a friend who builds BSA engines. I saw the bike and fell in love with it. Mick rode the bike for 11 years and since I’ve had it, apart from changing oil and spark plugs, I’ve done nothing to it. I did fit ace bars because I always had a thing about café racers, but they never felt right so I took them off. There’s even a picture of me on the Thunderbolt in November 2000’s Classic Bike, taken on the Millennium Run.” Then came a chance to buy a Lightning Clubman – one of the hottest pre-oil-inframe A65s to own, and the café racer styled bike she had always dreamed of.

The mechanical simplicity of Brit bikes is a big attraction BELOW: Thunderbolt and Lightning. Very, very frightening? Well, depends how you ride ’em...

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Lightning’s previous owner was something of a dial freak

“My husband used to rent a barn off a lady and she offered me the bike initially in 2006. It was all yellow and filthy and hadn’t been run for a while, but I fell in love with it and really wanted it. I was six months pregnant at the time and couldn’t kickstart it, but I still wanted to buy it as I’d always wanted a café racer. We couldn’t agree on a price, though. “So I forgot about it. Then six years later, totally out of the blue, she called and said: ‘Katharine, are you still interested in buying the BSA?’ She named a price. I discussed it with my husband and 24 hours later, it was here in the garage. “The bike’s history suggested it might be a good idea to strip the engine before I started to use it – and I’m glad we did, because there was a part missing from the oil pressure relief valve which would have meant no oil circulation in the engine! We knew the engine had been run with no oil, but luckily they had turned it off before doing any real damage.” Katharine admits she’s no expert, but says: “I like to play around, working on my own bikes. Spanners and tools always fascinated me from a very young age when I used to help my father in his farm workshop. I would simply pass the spanners, but always with a keen eye to see what was going on. When it comes to stripping and rebuilding engines I’m a bit out of my depth, so I took the engine out and gave it to Mick to rebuild.” Katharine’s 1962 Dommie wasn’t around when we visited. It was off being fettled by Mick after it started burning too much oil. “I bought the Norton 12 years ago – I heard about it at my husband’s 50th birthday party,” she laughs. “An associate


Looks a lot sleeker now it’s been de-dialled

Exhaust bracketry is a practical example of period Improvisation Whoever drilled the brake plate had a slippery drill bit...

Central oil tank is replenished via the hole in the aftermarket seat

Repaint and polish? Never. Katharine loves the tank’s patina of ours came up and said: ‘You like bikes. My friend is selling an old British bike – I think it’s something beginning with N.’ So I took details. On the Sunday we were on the way to a grasstrack race – my husband used to race and is now a commentator – so I called the number and asked the guy about the bike. By Sunday night it was sitting in my garage! “It’s a fun bike to ride, but she’s started to smoke. We got a box of pistons with it – burnt-out pistons – so obviously something is wrong. We’re going to find out what...”

Grandma’s Indian There have always been motorcycles in Katharine’s family. “My grandmother owned an Indian inline four in the 1920s,” she says casually, “and used to throw her golf clubs over her shoulder then ride off to the golf club in Rye! Sadly, I never knew about this until one day, out of the blue, my dad told me all about it. There were no pictures, so I never had any idea. I’ve tried to trace the whereabouts of the Indian, but had no luck so far. “We’re a pretty eccentric family,” she adds. No kidding – she’d just told us she used to windsurf, and the weekend before

‘I WAS SIX MONTHS PREGNANT AND COULDN’T KICKSTART IT, BUT I STILL WANTED TO BUY IT’ we met her had been to an indoor skydiving day to celebrate her birthday! “I used to live on a farm and we had an airfield, so there were always planes flying in and out. One of my relations had a Tiger Moth and my father used to have an opentop Bentley car. For his 75th birthday we managed to trace the owner of the car and got him and his wife to bring it to the house. The chap had fully restored the car. “Our family sat down to dinner and suddenly we could hear the noise of the car coming up the drive. My dad looked out of the window to instantly recognise his old car. They went for a drive, so dinner was put on hold! Dad’s 83 now and the Bentley owner still keeps in touch!” Katharine’s passion for motorcycles was kickstarted by riding pillion on her father’s bike. “Dad used to take me out on his

Kawasaki and one day he picked me up from school. I was at the bus stop as usual, waiting for mum to turn up, but there he was on his bike. He said: ‘Mum is playing tennis, so hop on, I’ll take you home’. I had no helmet and was wearing my school skirt. It was a two-and-a-half mile ride on rural roads. I stuck my head out to see where we were going and thought: ‘This is the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done!’ Katharine didn’t hang around after that. “At 16 I was on the road on a Honda C50 – and then an AR50. I went travelling at 19 and when I came back I took my test so I could get a big bike. I’d been riding a Suzuki 125 four-stroke and bought a Honda CB750. Both bikes were the same colour and my dad told me that mum had said to him: ‘Has Katharine bought a bigger bike? I’m sure the bike she has now has more exhaust pipes.’” She owned a Ducati 900 Monster for a while and had an SR500 Yamaha. “It was a pig to start,” she says. “Another chap I knew called Mick had a C15. We

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NO-FRILLS BSAs did a straight swap. I loved the little BSA, loved tinkering with it. But it wasn’t fast enough for me. I was always a bit of an adrenaline junkie and that’s when I bought the Thunderbolt. I like the British bikes for the simplicity of being able to work on them. My husband even bought me the workbench which makes life so easy when working on the bike!”

Lightning Clubman’s high-lift cams and close-ratio gearbox make it ‘an animal’ says Katharine

No trailer queen Katharine’s Lightning is nowhere near standard and wears its patina proudly. It has a central oil tank, and the brackets holding on the exhaust system are chunky bits of drilled alloy strip. The headlight’s all wrong and so is the seat, but somehow it looks just perfect. It’s an original Lightning Clubman that’s been modified by a previous owner back in the day. And that’s exactly how Katherine wants to keep it – original and honest. She didn’t keep it exactly as she bought it, though. When the bike first arrived it came fitted with an array of dials and gauges. “I took off six – yes, six – mini dials, including two carburettor pressure gauges, an ammeter, a voltage meter and an oil pressure gauge which would have never worked anyway!” When Mick rebuilt the Lightning Clubman engine, the only part he had to replace was the crankshaft main bearing – although the motor also now sports an external oil filter which Mick fits to all the A65s he builds. The engine has a closeratio gearbox and high-lift cams, so there’s

‘I DIDN’T WANT TO RUIN IT BY BOLTING LOTS OF SHINY NEW BITS ON IT’

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more urgency from the engine than the Thunderbolt’s. It has a central alloy oil tank, the seat was recovered by Katharine. There are no side panels and it has twin swept-back exhausts with Goldie silencers. “I had the rear numberplate made from steel after the alloy one broke,” she says, adding: “the fish-slicer front brake trim was on there when I bought it. Someone had drilled loads of holes in the front brake plate – they’re not very well spaced and two of them actually join up. “It’s got a broken tank badge which we glued up, but I don’t mind that or the tank patina – or the rust on the chrome of the exhausts. It’s original and I wanted to keep it that way. I didn’t want to ruin it by bolting lots of shiny new bits on it. I had the seat recovered by Viking Vinyl in Ash,

Kent and what a great job they did. We’ve repainted the frame and that’s about it.” Katharine’s originality rule even extends to the tyres. “Yes, it’s got a KR76 front Dunlop and a KR73 rear – and they are rock hard, but I can’t bring myself to change them. They are original racing tyres, but I don’t push them. Having said that, with this bike you really have to throw it into a corner compared to my Thunderbolt, which is quite a relaxing ride in comparison. The Lightning is much harder to ride. And so uncomfortable.” You can tell she’s spent many hours savouring the riding experiences of both her BSAs. “With the Thunderbolt you point it into a corner and it just goes there – it’s so easy to ride, so smooth and comfortable. The Lightning is an animal. You have to throw it into the corners, but it’s a fabulous feeling, lying over the tank to reach those clip-ons, riding at speed in the corner. It’s grin factor all the way. “The Thunderbolt feels very much a tourer. It felt exhilarating when I first got it, but it’s a really different kind of beast to the Lightning. The Lightning engine is faster and the close-ratio gearbox makes it feels very different, especially with the very tall first gear. I can pull in first past all my neighbours’ houses before I need to change up – probably much to their annoyance! I just love being able to ride it.”

This is one café racer that looks like it’s been through many a ruck on the road


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SHOICHIRO IRIMAJIRI Irimajiri happily relives his time at the cutting edge of four-stroke GP bike engineering in the ’60s, including designing the fivecylinder 125cc RC148 (pictured right in 1965)

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‘Honda R&D was like

Disneyland’ Shoichiro Irimajiri tells how he designed all-time great Grand Prix engines – from a nine-speed 50cc twin to the famous RC165 250cc six WORDS: MAT OXLEY. PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTONIO LOPEZ CASTRO & BAUER ARCHIVE

ou don’t need to be old to understand the significance of Shoichiro Irimajiri’s achievements. His 50cc twin, 125cc five and 250cc six scored dozens of Grand Prix wins and a dozen world titles in the ’60s, surpassing 20,000rpm and 250 horsepower per litre in their race to beat the two-stroke. That alone makes Irimajiri’s engines arguably the greatest in GP history. What makes the RC115, RC148 and RC165 even more remarkable is that half a century later they cause as much of a stir as when they were at the cutting edge of technology. Possibly more. Whenever a five or a six is fired up at Goodwood or Donington, the bike becomes a people magnet. Bike people, car people, everyone stops what they’re doing, stunned by the staccato bark of the

Y

six or the spine-chilling yowl of the five, then gravitate towards the source of the racket as if they’re in a trance. Irimajiri’s creations hark back to a time when there seemed to be no limit to man’s endeavours. The Americans were working towards landing on the moon when the 23-year-old arrived at Honda in June 1963, after studying at Tokyo University. Within two years he had designed all three engines (although the 250 six, despite generally accepted history, wasn’t all his own work) and became known as Honda’s prince. He was the man most likely to succeed Soichiro Honda at the head of the company. And all by the time he was 25. Today he’s a small, neat and very precise septuagenarian who enjoys talking about the good old days. He chuckles often, still delighted that he was able to be where he was, when he was. “For me Honda R&D

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SHOICHIRO IRIMAJIRI was like Disneyland!” he beams. “I enjoyed every day – and they even paid me money!” Irimajiri had studied aeronautical engineering at university, mostly jet engines, because that’s what he wanted to do, but his dreams were denied by post-war realities. “On my final day at university, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries invited me and other graduates to dinner. They asked me what I wanted to do. ‘Jet engines,’ I replied, naturally. They laughed. I was shocked. Then they said we cannot make jet engines because Japan’s aero industries were banned from developing or making aeroplanes and jet engines after World War II. I was so surprised; so I asked them: ‘What are you doing?’ They told me they were only repairing US Air Force jet engines from Korea and Vietnam. I was very disappointed. “A month after I finished university, I still had no idea what I would do in the future. Then a friend came to my house with some newspapers. One of the newspapers had a story about Honda’s first Isle of Man TT win. I had finally found my next step! After jet fighters, motorcycle Grand Prix machines were the most exciting thing!” Perhaps Irimajiri’s obsession with jet engines explains his ability to create internal combustion engines that were so far ahead of their time. Or maybe his capacity to visualise radically new technology comes from a lifelong love of engineering, inherited from his father, who during the war had worked for Kobe Steel, a major supplier to the Japanese military. “After the war my father and his colleagues lost their jobs because their company was devoted to military manufacturing, so they started developing commercial products on their own. My father designed a hand-driven water pump for farmers. It was a unique machine. He used to bring his drawings home every night. I was always sitting with him and I was very curious about how he made his designs, so I started learning drawing techniques and how to make calculations. I was very fortunate because I did engineering studies in my very early childhood, so my brain developed in this way.” Irimajiri was a child prodigy of the internal combustion engine, just as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy of music. By the time he got to Tokyo University, Irimajiri’s brain was already firing on all

Luigi Taveri on the RC113, on the way to a podium finish at the 1963 Japanese GP. Irimajiri reworked the 50cc twin to make it fully competitive

Irimajiri still relishes the fact that he came to Honda during one of their golden eras

cylinders. He was a confident and ambitious student, studying piston engines as well as jet engines, which is what brought the precocious youngster into contact with the Honda Motor Company for the first time. “We had a university project to develop a full-sized hovercraft. I was nominated to take care of the engine side, so I went to Honda R&D, just outside Tokyo in those days, and asked for one of their CB72 engines – a very good small-size engine. I disassembled it, did some tuning, adapted the exhaust and intake manifolds and designed a propeller. This was a very good lesson for me, to learn about motorcycle engines.” Some months later, Irimajiri was back at Honda R&D, asking for help with his finals. “At the end of my time at university I had to design an engine, so I designed a flat12 Formula One car engine. I calculated the performance but it wasn’t good enough, so I went to Honda R&D again. I asked how to increase the horsepower. They told me their new theory to increase the horsepower of a piston engine – the intake inertia and pulsation effect. This was a very new theory to increase horsepower. They gave me a small booklet, which I studied. I calculated that by using the inertia and pulsation effect I could increase horsepower by 120%. Only Honda engines used this theory at that time. But the problem with this technology is that you only achieved peak performance over a very short rpm range, so my idea was to make an adjustable valve-timing mechanism.” Irimajiri’s first new engine technology was years ahead of its time and didn’t go down well with his university lecturer Ryoichi Nakagawa, Japan best-known engineer. Nakagawa had designed the famous 18-cylinder Nakajima Homare aero engine, which powered Japanese

‘THEY ASKED ME WHAT I WANTED TO DO. “JET ENGINES,” I REPLIED’ 70


Irimajiri’s RC115 twin had 12mm-diameter valves, revved to 22,500rpm and won the 50cc riders and constructors world titles

Ralph Bryans on his way to winning the 1965 French GP at Rouen (and the world title) on the RC115 50cc twin

fighters and bombers during the war. “Mr Nakagawa requested me to throw away my ideas. He told me that all the technology and techniques for piston engines had already been done, so no more new technology was needed!” Of course, Irimajiri threw away nothing. Instead he went back to Honda. “I needed a computer to calculate the engine performance. In those days there were almost no computers, but Honda had an analogue computer. I asked to use this to calculate the valve timing and the best performance curve. I explained to the staff at Honda R&D why this performance could be achieved. It was a very long discussion! Nobody had such ideas at that time, but changing valve timing is very normal today, even in production engines.” When Irimajiri applied for a job at Honda R&D, the company’s vice-president seemed suspicious of his drive and determination. “When I showed him my designs and told him I wanted to make this kind of racing engine, he laughed. He wanted to be president of the company and he asked me: ‘Do you have bigger ambitions?’ ‘No,’ I told him, ‘my only dream is to design this kind of engine.’ He couldn’t understand, but I was allowed to join Honda.” There could hardly have been a better time to arrive at Honda than the summer of ’63; 15 years after its foundation the company was well on its way to becoming the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer, with an annual output of 1.25 million units, so racing budgets weren’t a problem. “There was no limit!” Irimajiri grins. And just as well, because Honda had a huge fight on its hands. In October 1962 the two-stroke won its first world championship when Suzuki took the inaugural 50cc crown. Honda knew that the two-stroke would only get faster, so they were already working hard to counter the threat. Honda went into 1963 with its first ultra-miniaturised, ultra-high-rpm engine, the RC112 twin-cylinder 50, but Suzuki retained the 50cc title – and, even worse, stole the 125 title from Honda’s fourcylinder RC146. Enter Irimajiri… “When I started my work in June 1963 it was already very clear these four-strokes couldn’t exceed the twostroke, so Honda needed a new engine. My first target

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SHOICHIRO IRIMAJIRI

72


Mike Hailwood on the famous Honda 250 six

Drawings for the RC165 250cc six give a fascinating insight into Irimajiri’s genius. He was responsible for the crankshaft, camshafts, drive train and gear train

‘I DESIGNED THE RC114, 115 AND 148, BUT WAS A SUPPORTER TO THE RC165 PROJECT was to tune the RC113 50cc twin for the final Grand Prix of the season at Suzuka. Every day I manipulated the engine, changed the timing, the exhausts, the inlet systems, everything. Then I went to the dyno.” Honda’s R&D budget was unlimited, but Irimajiri was one of only a dozen staff in the Grand Prix engine section, so he didn’t just design engines, he also stripped them to analyse the results of his ideas. This was the only way to check the quality of combustion and for signs of valve bounce or piston flutter at the top of the stroke, which would leave tiny chattering marks on the cylinder wall. These were still the days of trial-and-error tuning. “Very fortunately, one week before the Suzuka Grand Prix the horsepower of the 113 increased dramatically, so we took the bike to Suzuka and Luigi Taveri won the race. But I knew the 113 was limited by its combustion, because in those days Honda engines had a very wide valve angle. The intention was to use the inertia of the intake and exhaust to improve scavenging, but I found that this combustion-chamber shape had some weak points, because it was very deep; therefore you needed a very tall piston crown to get a lot of compression. “Whenever we disassembled the 113, the piston crowns were very wet, which showed that the combustion wasn’t good. So I started designing the RC114. My idea was to reduce the valve angle, to make a very shallow angle, with the intake ports almost straight up.” The RC114 won three GPs in 1964, just failing to regain the title. Iri’s next 50 twin, the RC115, won the four-stroke’s first and only 50cc riders and constructors world titles in 1965. The 115 had 12mm-diameter valves, revved to 22,500rpm and made 280 horsepower per litre, which is more than a 2017 MotoGP bike. Iri’s 50cc twin was the father of his 125 five, which he created for the 1965 season. “Mr Honda requested much more powerful engines. We discussed a lot about what would be the next 125 engine. We had two groups, the first to develop a new four-cylinder 125, called the RC147, with a much smaller engine and much higher rpm than the previous four. “My group worked on a five-cylinder 125, the RC148. I was confident that we could use the same parts we had used in the 115. When we started testing the engines we

73


SHOICHIRO IRIMAJIRI

‘GENERAL ELECTRIC SHOWED US STEEL THEY USED IN TURBINE SHAFTS’

found that the four had very big troubles. Nobody had developed four-cylinder engines beyond 15,000rpm, so we were the first victims of the very big vibration of the gear train fours get from 15,000rpm. The four-cylinder group couldn’t overcome the problem, so the focus switched to our five-cylinder. My idea was to make a six-cylinder 150cc engine, take out one cylinder and put in the gear train. Then we used 50cc parts, so that design was very smooth.” Irimajiri didn’t spend all his time locked in the design room and dyno. Engines and castings were outsourced, so he had to visit suppliers to make sure everything was just perfect. High-quality steels for crankshafts, valves and valve springs were more of a problem, but there was always a way.

CBX: AN APPETITE FOR SIX Irimajiri likens his Grand Prix engines to wild animals and his road-bike engines to pets. His most famous road bike is the CBX1000 six, launched in 1978. The CBX is often hyped as a bigger, road-going version of the 250 six, but of course it’s nothing of the sort. “Honda needed some evolutionary new machines,” he says. “We hadn’t launched anything completely new for a long time, so the market was being taken by Yamaha’s triple and Kawasaki’s 900. The CBX was ideal, but it was completely different to the 250 six.” Irimajiri is immensely proud of the CBX six, which like the 250 six is renowned for its sound. Iri’s engineers worked hard on this, taperecording the Phantom jet fighters at a Japanese military airbase. “They captured the Phantom sound perfectly!” says Irimajiri, who at the same time designed a very different road-bike engine, the pushrod CX500 V-twin.

74

“In Honda R&D there was the doctor of metallurgy, Mr Osawa. He had many friends outside Japan. When we had some trouble with materials, he took me to General Electric or Pratt and Whitney in the USA. When we had trouble with crankshafts we went to General Electric – they introduced us to a very special steel, a new material they were using for turbine shafts. In those days American companies were kind to us, so we could overcome these problems. We took samples home, then went to Daido Steel or Nippon Special Steel. They analysed the steel and then made the same steel for us.” Irimajiri’s crowning achievement is thought to be the RC165 250 six, but he only worked on parts of it, whereas he was wholly responsible for the 125 five and 50 twin. In fact, by 1964 he was also busy with the RC115, RC148 and Honda’s first F1 car engine! “I designed the 114, 115 and 148, but with the RC165 I was assigned the drive train, crankshaft, camshafts and gear train. I was a supporter to that project.” Nevertheless Iri’s input played a major part in the legendary successes of the six, with important work on bearing performance and reducing reciprocal weight. The six was remarkable in so many ways. The 24-valve 39 x 34.8mm engine was barely wider than its four-cylinder predecessor and peaked beyond 18,000rpm. The engine was also virtually bulletproof, even when bored-and-stroked to 297cc for 350 GPs. Irimajiri played his part in the Honda legend. After these three iconic motorcycle GP engines he designed Honda’s RA270 and RA273 F1 engines, then switched to road bikes and in the late ’70s returned to motorcycle racing, creating the oval-piston NR500 engine.


Taveri was a three-time 125 Grand Pix champion riding for Honda

LUIGI TAVERI 1929-2018 Switzerland’s greatest solo racer, Luigi Taveri, died on March 1, aged 88, days after suffering a major stroke. During his international career from 1954 to 1966, the genial but determined rider from Horgen near Zurich rode for the Ducati, Honda, Kreidler, MV Agusta and MZ factory teams. He won 30 GPs (including three Isle of Man TTs) in the smallercapacity classes that his short build was suited to, most of his successes being on 125cc and 50cc Hondas from 1961 until his retirement in 1966. He got his ride with Honda when his wife Mathilde (known as ‘Tilde) wrote to them, asking if he could join the fast-rising team for 1961. The request was granted and rewarded with a win at the 125cc Swedish GP. In the 125cc TT Taveri set a lap record at 88.45mph in a close race with winner Mike Hailwood. In 1962, Taveri collected his first 125cc world title and led Honda’s challenge in the new 50cc GP class, finishing third in the points table. In 1964, Honda fielded 125cc fours and Taveri was on top again. Honda fielded its five-cylinder 125 in 1966. Testing the ultra-compact multi in 1965, Taveri asked Honda technicians if they were trying to barbecue his belly. They fitted an oil cooler to disperse scorching heat from the engine. Revving to 22,000rpm with an ultra-narrow powerband, the five was difficult to ride but technically-minded Taveri mastered it, winning the title. Taveri later ran a car body repair business with a private bike museum on the premises and made popular appearances at historic events, including a TT parade lap on an original 250cc six in 1989. His last demo ride was at the age of 86.

The creation of the RC148 125cc five was the result of making an engine with six cylinders and then lopping one off Taveri at the Spanish 125 GP in 1966, his final title-winning year

75


OLD DALBY MUSEUM

‘I NEVER PLANNED TO HAVE A MUSEUM’ There are no polished plinths in Rick and Helen Hamblin’s hoard of motorcycles and memorabilia. And that’s part of the attraction – it’s like it all just grew there organically WORDS: MIKE ARMITAGE. PHOTOG

IMON LEE

ocated in the corner of a small industrial area, tucked discreetly behind a farm on a quiet country lane, there’s nothing obviously exciting about this old breeze-block shed. The only external indication that it might be worth investigating is a small sign on a door and a Standard Eight parked alongside. Slip inside, however, and what the nondescript exterior hides is genuinely remarkable. Motorcycles, parts, memorabilia and yet more motorcycles are squeezed into every inch of available space. There are so many intriguing delights, you don’t know where to look first. Yet despite being a treasure trove of classic bikes, you might say the history of Old Dalby Motorcycle Museum in Leicestershire is accidental. “I didn’t set out to open a museum, and it’s not a business,” says Rick Hamblin, the modest bloke behind this impressive assembly. “It’s just a private collection, really. It simply got so big that I needed somewhere to keep all the bikes; after that I decided it’d be nice to have them in a place where other people could enjoy them.”

L

76

As a young man Rick was employed by local dealer Len Manchester. He then moved to Melton Motorcycles, running the workshop before taking over the business for himself and renaming it Motorcycle Services. Spannering meant sampling all manner of machinery on test rides, though his own bikes were British and a particular fondness for Triumphs developed. Having sold the business in the mid1980s, Rick had a successful career racing grasstrack, first on solos and then piloting methanol-burning outfits, but didn’t have a bike on the road for some 20 years. This changed in the early 2000s, when his longheld passion for Triumphs and a curiosity for pre-war bikes led to the purchase of a 1930 Triumph NSD. “It’s the bike that started it all off,” he admits. “After getting the NSD, I went and bought a pair of 1955 Triumph Speed Twins. My wife Helen really liked the look of them, claimed one as her own and

Rick Hamblin amongst his gloriously random accumulation of biking stuff also known as Old Dalby Motorcycle Museum


77


OLD DALBY MUSEUM

Plenty of scope for Rick to exercise his workshop skills here

Current location was taken on after space ran out at home

What collection is complete without an Ariel Square Four cylinder block?

A love of motorcycle paraphernalia goes hand in glove with the need to share it with others here

passed her test so she could ride, too. And the collection grew from there. When I ran out of space at home, we took on this unit and decided to open it as a museum.” People soon started offering bikes and parts, and passing on information about bikes that had been spotted tucked in nearby sheds or peeking out from under tarpaulins. The collection swelled and Rick now has more than 50 bikes on display, plus another 11 disassembled in his workshop at home, waiting their turn to be resurrected. Benches, tools and bright lighting are clear indications that Rick’s workshop

skills are still put to good use, and there’s racking, shelves and drawers overflowing with parts. However, despite an AJS project on a bike lift and assorted engines on the bench, Rick doesn’t go out looking for work. “I mostly do stuff on my own bikes. I do the odd bit for other people, though it’s generally for friends or through word of mouth. The AJS is a rare Silver Streak we’re restoring for the family of its owner. He bought the bike in 1949 – it was in a house that was bombed in the war, and the receipt describes it as having blast damage. My friend Brian Shaw helps me out; we’ve had to work from drawings and a couple of pictures, and make parts to suit. Then last week a fella came in asking if we had any AJS spares. I asked what they were for and it turns out he’s got a Silver Streak – and lives in the next village! “This bike’s owner had loads of motorcycles but never

‘MOST OF THE MUSEUM’S CONTENTS HAVE INTRIGUING STORIES BEHIND THEM’ 78

Rick’s slide into Amal heaven continues finished the AJS, and unfortunately now has problems with his memory. It’s the only bike he can remember, so his son will ride it into his home once we’ve finished it.” One of the best things about Old Dalby Motorcycle Museum is that most of its contents have equally intriguing stories behind them. There’s a BSA BB33, found locally hidden under some scrap and cut into three pieces. The Douglas T35 up on the shelf was bought new by a nearby farm and only ever used for fetching the cows in – and still has bovine by-product all over the rear wheel. There’s a Panther outfit that spent 10 years under a sheet on someone’s drive and seemed completely covered in rust, but it turned out to be thick protective coating of some sort – three long days of extensive cleaning revealed an almost perfect bike. And then there’s the 1931 Excelsior, used by the RAF to guide bomb carriers out to the aircraft on foggy days, and fitted with an oversize tail-light, upward-facing


IN THE MUSEUM

1930 TRIUMPH NSD “As far as I can tell they only made these for a year or so, for the AA to use with a sidecar, but it was more expensive than the rival BSA, so the AA went with Beezas,” says Rick. “That’s why I’ve put the RAC badge on the ’bars... I bought it off an old boy in Bridlington about 16 years ago. I used it all the time – I was doing about 3000 miles a year, all year round, including winter. I’ve not really had to do anything to it. I’d just wash it down every now and again, and then coat it in furniture polish again! The previous owner had painted the tank himself using some sort of varnish, and I’ve left it as it is. There’s a second tapped hole in the one-piece head-and-cylinder, directly above the piston, so I’ve fitted a second plug. It flies using this one, but isn’t so happy at low revs.”

No, the bike has never had roadside assistance itself!

According to Rick, the NSD belts along in all weather

Lovely levers are all part of the attraction

Curiously, the tank has had a coat of varnish applied

Which spark plug would sir like to use today?

This is a well seasoned bike – Rick used it all year round when he first bought it 16 years ago

79


OLD DALBY MUSEUM

Forget polished presentation – this is bike stuff in the raw

US version of the T20 Hustler is a recent arrival in the collection IN THE MUSEUM

1967 SUZUKI X-6 HUSTLER

Not a good idea to take this one out on salty UK roads...

“I only bought this a couple of weeks ago, from a local woman who does some wheel building and has old race bikes that she shows. It’s an American import – the UK version was the T20 Super Six. It’s a really pretty bike, and the quality of the castings, automatic lubrication and six-speed gearbox put it way ahead of British bikes when it was launched. Reports said it would do 100mph, too. I remember road testing one at the time – the owner complained it wasn’t right above 80mph, so I went out to see for myself. This was before the helmet law, and I was only wearing a pair of overalls. I was going down a hill at about 90 when a pigeon came out of nowhere. I ducked, but it still hit my shoulder and pulled my hand back off the ’bars. I was lucky to stay on!”

lamp on the tank and a whistle on the exhaust. It’s not just the bikes that have interesting tales; for example, there’s an unusual red AA flag that was used to warn traffic of stranded vehicles, rather like today’s warning triangles. Better still, the bikes aren’t just static ornaments. “All the bikes that are complete are in roadworthy condition,” says Rick, with the contented air of a man who has a dream toy box. “Friends are always popping in and out, and Brian is here a couple of days most weeks. During the summer we take bikes out every day we

Auto lube and six-speed ’box were state of the art in ’67

The technology put Brit bikes to shame when it came out

80

Engines and other bits of bike litter the workshop

Two-stroke 250 twin gave alleged 100mph capability

‘THEY ALL GET RIDDEN, AS THE DISPLAY IS CONTINUALLY ROTATED’


Hard to believe it had been dismembered when discovered...

IN THE MUSEUM

1954 BSA BB33

Rick can’t resist buying any old bike-related stuff can. The display is continually rotated so they all get ridden.” To demonstrate this, Rick tickles the Triumph NSD, which hasn’t been out since last July, and the yard reverberates to the rich thud of a 550cc side-valve single. Yes – it starts first kick. “I sell the odd one or two every now and again, and buy the odd one or two. There isn’t a particular favourite – the 350cc Ariel Red Hunter is one of the nicest to ride, although I think the Sunbeam S7 is the one I’d hang onto the longest...” The museum doesn’t really advertise. Rick gets out and about a lot, so drops a few leaflets at classic and steam events, but the place seems to run on word-of-mouth. A lot of the visitors are organised groups, with sections of the VMCC and a local autocycle club among the returning visitors; however, most of those who drop in to view the collection, ask about getting work done or enquire about spares, do so after hearing about the museum from a friend of a friend, or through a conversation while at a local meet. Not only does this suit the character of this low-key yet high-interest place, it’s exactly how the collection’s lucky custodians like it. Old Dalby Motorcycle Museum: 01664 820480

“A bloke I know spotted this on a farm trailer, sticking out from underneath a load of old gates and other scrap. It had been found in a ditch with a hedge growing through it, and cut into three pieces so they could get it out. We think it’d been used as a field bike, and simply dumped when it stopped – the primary chain had come off the clutch and was lying in the cases, so it was probably kids who thought the gearbox had gone. Its tank and handlebars were rusting away, the spokes had dissolved and the engine was full of mud, but I’ve tried to keep as much as possible. The frame has been pinned and repaired, but its Gold Star engine internals haven’t been changed. We’re just waiting for the DVLA to finish sorting out re-registering it using the original number.”

Gold Star engine internals are largely original

Beefy boot from a brawny leg required here...

Restoration has made the bike resplendent once more

81


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Worksh

Spannering supremo Rick Parkington welcomes you to our Classic Workshop

88

Rick’s Fixes Your problems solved

92

Project bike Martinsyde cases

98

Wiring Pt2 Looms for beginners

classicbike.workshop@bauermedia.co.uk


Workshop

Rick’s Fixes Solving the problems of the classic world

If the bolt doesn’t fit the hole, it’s worth making one that does.

RICK’S PATCH

Not as bad as it sounds

A ride on Rick’s latest acquisition results in a noise that sends alarm bells ringing... “Clacka-tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka…” stammered the Sunbeam’s engine as I peeled off the main road into a lane. Oops, that doesn’t sound good. It’s engine speed… piston? Big end? It’s loud, so more likely piston, but (despite having opened up a bit to shake off a tailgating car) there’d been no sign of any seizure. I limped gently along, home still ten miles away… Try a hand-pumpful of oil. No difference, hmmm... I’d expect a splurge of cold oil to take the edge off a noisy big-end or piston. Try a bit of ignition retard; taking the punch out of the combustion usually quietens – or at least alters – rattles. Not this time...

‘IT WOULD BE JUST MY LUCK TO BLOW IT UP SO SOON AFTER BUYING IT’ 86

WHO IS RICK? Rick Parkington has been riding and fixing classic bikes for decades. He lives and fettles in a fully tooled up shed in his back garden.

My thoughts turned to the events I’ve booked the bike in for this year – and what I’d take instead. Just my luck to blow it up so soon after buying it; whatever the trouble it can be fixed, but it will take time and money. Spotting a lay-by, I pulled in for a quick look and bingo! The rocker support plate bolts had come loose, allowing the rockers to jump about on the head; the noise was that and the consequent slack in the tappets. After a few spanner tweaks, we completed the journey in (relative) silence. Back home, instead of simply reaching for the Loctite I had a closer look and the true cause of the problem became clear. One hole in the side plate is oversize and a loose fit on the bolt. Without the location of being a snug fit in the hole, the clamping force of the bolt will struggle to hold it from shifting and working loose. I made a shouldered bolt and hopefully that will be the last I hear of that problem. ILLUSTRATION: IAIN@1000WORDS.FI


HOW TO

Make vintage bike grips You can adapt a regular handlebar grip like this...

1

Here’s the problem – most handlebar grips have a closed end. If you have a vintage bike with inverted levers – or a more recent bike with handlebar weights – you need to make a neat cut.

3

Lucky me, I have an arbor press which makes it simple, but a hammer would also do the job. It may be necessary to turn the punch after the first blow to ensure a clean cut all the away round.

2

A knife makes a mess of the job, but a wooden or nylon bar makes it easy to use a wad punch – the bar gives the necessary support of an ‘anvil’ against which the punch can do its work.

4

There we go – a nice, neat job that doesn’t look like it has been chewed out by mice. One other tip: hairspray makes a good lubricant for handlebar grips and sticks ’em in place when it dries.

THE BIG FIX

Do the maths Bob Covey emailed with what he called a ‘simple’ question. “Rick, my BSA B44 is stripped for rebuild. It should have a compression plate, but I can’t find out what thickness it should be for the correct 9.4:1 ratio. Do you know, or can you tell me how to work it out?” I don’t know – and I failed maths O-level twice before giving up. But thanks to mechanical problems like this, I’ve picked up a bit since. To work out the compression ratio, you need to know the volume of the combustion chamber at TDC, measured by tilting the engine and filling the plug hole to the bottom threads with a

Higher-tuned Victor had a scary 11.4:1 compression ratio measured quantity of oil. This, added to the swept volume of the cylinder and divided by the combustion volume, will give you the ratio. For example, if the combustion volume is 100cc on a 500cc engine, 100 + 500 = 600. Divide that by 100 and you get 6, or 6:1.

So can you adjust the equation to work out the combustion volume from the CR and the capacity? Suppose the 441cc BSA chamber was 50cc, then 491/50 gives a ratio of 9.82:1 – close. Trying again, I find 52.5cc chamber volume would give a 441cc engine a 9.4:1 ratio. The next thing is to work out by how much volume is increased by, say, a 1mm shim. The B44 is 79mm bore, so using Pi x R sq x H, we can work out that a 79mm x 1mm cylinder has a volume of 0.49cc (which is hardly surprising since a 490cc Norton’s bore and stroke is 79 x 100). So, for instance, if Bob’s current volume is 51.52 (working out at 11.7:1) he would need a 2mm shim to correct it. I reckon my maths teacher should eat his cruel words…

87


RICK’S FIXES

Workshop

RICK ANSWERS YOUR QUERIES

Studying studs Pt1 Tony Dodsworth in Johannesburg is building a pre-unit 500cc Triumph for which he acquired a nice set of late Speed Twin crankcases, but there’s a catch: “None of my 500cc barrels fit them – but 650 barrels do! Any ideas what’s going on?” As it happens, Tony, yes. Because I ran into a similar problem building my Tribsa scrambler. The answer is to be found in Harry Woolridge’s excellent Triumph Speed Twin and Thunderbird Bible. Prior to 1956, the barrel stud spacing was different between 500 and 650 but from then it was standardised to the 650 pitch so pre-’56 500 barrels won’t fit. In my case I had mismatched

cases – one pre-’56, one post – but in the 30-odd years since I bought them I only realised when I fitted cylinder base studs in the empty holes, having already rebuilt the bottom end. Luckily I had another bottom end with the right stud spacing – but that led to another problem. Although it appeared to be the ‘big-bearing’ crankcase I needed, it turned out to be the big-bearing casting – but machined for a smallbearing crank. I managed to machine it out OK, but it underlined the fact that although these engines all look the same, there are significant changes that need to be borne in mind.

ABOVE: Barrels corroded to a head may require recourse to a press

LEFT: Late 500cc Triumph crankcases share stud spacings with the 650, but early ones do not

STUDYING STUDS PT2

Tony Allanson has a particularly nasty problem to resolve. Corrosion has stuck his BSA A65 cylinder head fast onto its studs. After unsuccessfully trying a spanner on the crank nut with the combustion chamber filled with rope (via the plug hole), he has now removed the top end as a unit but is unsure where to go next, heat and penetrating oil having already failed. I think the only way to do this is with a press. The barrel will need to be supported on flat bars, upside down. Then I would use two pistondiameter pieces of aluminium (or wood) that can be bridged at the exposed end with a strong plate and see if the head can be pushed off that way. Hopefully, the even pressure would cause the head to throw in the towel – but if it’s stubborn, beware breaking off the cylinder flange. It may be necessary to have a thick plate laser cut and drilled to replicate the crankcase mouth so that the barrel can be bolted through all its holes for strength.

RICK’S TOP TIPS

Call that sturdy? Lever it out, mate!

I’m not impressed with this new inverted lever, bought by a friend on the internet. Compared to an original it’s very spindly – little thicker than a teaspoon handle. You wouldn’t need to be Uri Geller to bend it – as you might discover under emergency braking...

This is not what I call boxing clever My mate Bruce showed me a customer’s Monet Goyon gearbox that jumps out of gear. Despite being a matched pair, the machining was way out, with the selector shaft misaligned by 5mm! It’s all fixed now, but be aware – just because it’s original doesn’t necessarily mean it’s correct...

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RICK’S FIXES TAKING A PEAK

Pete Grogan emails from Australia, asking about the headlight peak he’s spotted on one of my bikes. “Was there any benefit in these or were they just cosmetic? I like the look and am trying to find one for my BSA Super Rocket,” he says. These peaks were an anti-dazzle accessory, first seen on acetylene lamps in the vintage era and re-introduced in the 1950s – despite the improbability of dazzling anyone with a 6v 30/24watt headlight bulb! Adding a bit of ‘bling’ to the front end, they regained popularity during the Rocker era. Very hard to find by the time I started looking, I managed to get the odd one here and there until I had one on every bike I owned – including a little one

Workshop on my 98cc Excelsior. My dad regarded them as bolt-on junk that, if anything, slowed the bike down and I eventually gave in and stopped using them. But finding I had a couple left recently, I fitted them for old time’s sake. These days they are popular accessories for British classic cars of the ’50s and ’60s, which also used a 7in headlight, so they fit just the same. They have a turned-up lip that clips in between the lamp glass and the rim, retained by the headlight W-clips – although the peak sometimes slips round to a jaunty angle, so I usually glue them in place with some silicone sealant. You can probably find them at car shows or online, but avoid ones for VW Beetles – the laid-back headlight position means the peak points down when fitted to a bike.

Love them or hate them, headlight peaks have been around a long time

RICK’S FINAL WORD

Signed and sealed Bill Hannah writes to suggest I retract my advice about machining pre-unit Triumph timing covers to accept an oil feed seal instead of the standard phosphor bronze bush (Fixes February). He says although this conversion is alleged to improve oil pressure, he has seen the seal lip ‘blow out’, resulting in zero pressure and a wrecked engine. The original bush, he points out, can wear but cannot fail completely, adding that if the cover has been cast off-centre, the hole will ‘daylight’ if machined, needing an ally-welded repair (see above). Well, I understand your concern, Bill, but this is not my experience. I had my first cover converted in the mid-’80s after finding that new bushes were no longer available. My casting was off-centre, causing the circlip groove to break though at one point but it worked perfectly for years on my Tribsa before getting ‘borrowed’ for a ’59 Thunderbird. It’s still on there and I have never even changed the seal since. In my feature on ‘Rockerbox’ a while ago, I passed on their warning about cheap pattern seals – apparently there have been some very flimsy ones on the market, and suspect these caused Bill’s problem. Triumph fitted garter seals to all big twins from ’63on and I don’t remember hearing of any problems – even with the 750’s uprated oil pump. The seal conversion may not be an improvement but it’s an easy fix and I still can’t see anything wrong with it.

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Project Martinsyde Rick moves towards full potential from the motor

Martinsyde cases cracked Not literally. Rick’s old crankcases were knackered, but his mate Bruce produced a set of replacement castings. That was just the start of the journey, though – there was a whole lot of machining to be done before they were ready for service... WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: RICK PARKINGTON

he re-manufacture of parts is crucial to the survival of old motorcycles, be it turning up a special bolt on your lathe or casting a new crankcase. I make a lot of bits for my bikes and find it very rewarding, but I know when I’m out of my depth. Machining these castings was obviously going to be a complex job, but even so I had no idea just how much time and effort would be involved in producing a perfect outcome. My mate Bruce Hazelgrove at Cloud Nine Developments in Norfolk (07546 080103) made the patterns and had the cases cast, so the next step was the machining. Watching skilled engineers like Bruce and his assistant Jon De Bohun reduce these heavy lumps of aluminium into accurate supports for a crankshaft, valve gear and cylinders was a revelation. Engineers often spend more time thinking, measuring and setting up than actually removing metal, especially when ‘reverse engineering’ like this. These castings would have been machined to factory drawings which no longer exist; simply copying the old crankcase will duplicate the inevitable machining inaccuracies found in that particular example, so it’s necessary to unravel the clues to figure out what the drawing must’ve said. Then there’s plotting a schedule for the operations so as not to create problems later and devising methods of machining in the absence of the fixtures used by factory machinists. Also, when Chris Tait modified the original crankcases in the ’40s, he created compromises which we now have the chance to avoid. Bruce and John make the most of two worlds, using modern computer and digital measuring techniques alongside manually-operated machines, so although the machinist who made my crankcases in 1922 would recognise the

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machines, their accuracy is beyond what he could achieve. There may be easier or quicker ways to do it, but I’m delighted with the result. The heat-treated LM25TF castings (from New Pro Foundries Ltd, West Drayton, Middlesex) were superb quality, cleanly cast, well aligned with no flaws and machined beautifully – but at any stage of machining, a simple mistake could reduce them to scrap. Bruce’s philosophy is simple – aim for perfection at every step. With consistent accuracy, mistakes are unlikely, but if they occur you’re more able to go back to a previous point and remedy it. The behind-the-scenes starting point was to

‘I HAD NO IDEA JUST HOW MUCH TIME AND EFFORT WOULD BE INVOLVED’ send an original crankcase away for a CMM (co-ordinate measuring machine) scan. This provides a diagram showing precise positions of the crankcase features, hole positions and diameters, angles, etc. Originally machined using fixtures (drilled plates bolted to the cases to guide hole positions) few of the of the original holes were symmetrical, so time was taken to work out the most likely correct positions. Work like this doesn’t come cheap, but having built the rest of the bike myself on a reasonably small budget I can’t complain. I’ve ended up with old parts made to a new standard of accuracy, so now the bottom end is strong enough to handle the power, I can open up without fear of disaster. The job’s not finished yet, but we’re getting there!

THE TOOLS FOR THE JOB

VEE ANGLE PLATE: Machined alloy plate with a 50° vee angle on one side has perfectly square back and sides so it can be set dead square on the milling table using a ‘Verdict’ gauge.


Workshop

It’s not worth the risk of just getting one set of cases cast, so Rick has a spare set – all he has to do is remember how to machine them…

DRO (DIGITAL READ OUT): Sensors on mill table indicate X (left/right) and Y (fore/aft) movement, giving precise location of the work, with none of the backlash that can occur on graduated hand wheels.

SLIPS: Precision-ground in incremental thicknesses, ‘slips’ are used for accurate packing and measuring, particularly with a sine bar (right). In effect they are like very thick feeler blades.

SINE BAR: Propped up at one end on slips, a sine bar becomes the hypotenuse of a triangle. Precise length between its cylindrical feet enables accurate angle calculations, using trigonometry.

WOBBLER: Spinning in a chuck, as the articulated pointer makes perfect contact with a surface it becomes a roller and flicks out. Subtract half the diameter of the ‘roller’ for a perfect centre point.

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1

The CMM drawing gives precise dimensions of a scanned original case. Production methods of the 1920s mean few dimensions are the same, side to side.

So Bruce and John start by ‘reverse engineering’, figuring out the most likely correct positions for the holes, then altering the CMM drawing to suit.

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Using ‘slips’ for packing and a height gauge, an acceptable level surface is achieved. This is the only surface that won’t be machined so it needs to be right.

4

After further checks, guided by the DRO, a ‘spotting drill’ – a sort-of drill equivalent of a centre punch – is used to mark the hole centres, as per the diagram.

5

6

7

8

This case is back in the Vee plate for machining cam bearing and follower spindle holes. Then Vee plate is rotated so one vee face is parallel with bed.

Feet attached to the pillars are clamped to the lathe face plate. John machines the joint face, join register and the interior surface of the case.

94

Vee plate is set square on the mill bed. The un-machined casting isn’t a perfect fit in the angle but it’s close, needing just minor alignment by eye. Next step is levelling.

Slightly offsetting the case allowed more material to be left above crank axis for strength with same sump volume. Main bearing housings can now be bored.

Holes are drilled in the crankshaft axis and one for the cam. Three engine bosses are milled flat, drilled and threaded to attach alloy pillars, milled to height.

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On the left case, a ‘proof’ cut across each face gives a datum for later. Drilling is duplicated, pillars fitted and levelled for face plate ops.

Now the proof machining cut is checked for level with the Verdict gauge. A multi-point cutter will be used to machine the surface.

Bruce opened it out to cylinder size with a boring bar. The case will lightly grip the cylinder spigot, increasing support at the cylinder base.

Despite all the shifting about, back on the lathe the surface is still true to within a thou. Mouth is bored to a depth and the slot milled later.

Cases are returned to the mill and bolted to an angle plate. Bruce has made up a dummy crankshaft, a precise, measurable diameter and perfect fit.

Depth of cut is checked with the digital height gauge, which is zeroed off dummy crank, halving whose diameter provides the exact crank axis.

Case is rotated on the angle plate to machine second cylinder face. Spirit level position is adjusted using the Verdict; central register hole is bored.

Mounted on a spigot through the main bearing bore, the DRO is zeroed to the joint face. ‘Wobbler’ is spun against dummy crank to zero the X axis.

I’d hoped to do some machining... until Bruce pointed out it was “a bit beyond my skill set”. But he did let me chain drill out the crankcase mouth...

Mouth needs just a slot for the conrod to prevent over oiling, so swapped to the other side of the angle plate, cases return to lathe faceplate.

Trouble at t’mill: I’d assumed the inlet tappet position was same as scanned case, but it’s been moved inward and doesn’t match the Quick Six barrel we’ll be fitting.

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PROJECT MARTINSYDE

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21

Luckily we spotted this before machining the holes. Amendments provided a suitable position, drilled and tapped along with base stud holes.

22

Exhaust tappet platform is 10° off horizontal, so a sine bar was set up at that angle. Cases were rotated to level the surface of the bar.

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After milling, we fitted spindles and cam followers to doublecheck alignment positioning for exhaust tappet guides before drilling/tapping.

24

Timing cover has bores for cam and follower spindles to align it for best fit before clamping it in place and match drilling cover holes for tapping.

25

And that’s about it. There’s still some fiddling left for Bruce to do, setting the crank end-float, etc, but what a fantastic bit of kit it looks!

26

Here’s the other side. Top ends need doing, but this reinforced crankcase will allow me to exploit the Martinsyde’s full potential.

NEXT MONTH

Time for Rick to move on to a new plaything, with a bit of Triumph project action...

27

Next month Bruce will be machining this monster straight eight head from a car engine, but I’m heading for another restoration...

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SORT YOUR WIRING

Workshop

Build your own loom PART 2 Last month it was a case of sparking your inspiration by dealing with drawing a diagram, buying materials and renovating old stuff. Now it’s time to bring the whole thing to life. You may start seeing wires in your sleep, but eventually you’ll wake up to a reliable bike WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: RUPERT PAUL

Step 1 Plan the layout I reckon this is the hardest part of making a loom. Factories spend months getting it right, so don’t rush. You want to make the loom as neat and unobtrusive as possible. It also needs to be reliable. So grab some cables and spend a long time testing out how the main trunk and all the spurs will run along the frame without looking unpleasant, snagging on rough edges or squeezing through gaps that are too small. Where is the best place for each connector block? Some frames, especially Norton Featherbeds, are a real pain because they don’t give you anywhere to hide the main trunking. Try different options. Above all, organise the cable branches in one direction for the front, another for the back, not crossing each other (see Loom Layout on the right). You’ll use a bit more cable, but the finished result will look and work so much better.

LOOM LAYOUT All the spurs at the front should face forwards, and those at the back should face backwards.

  This means some cables have to go backwards to go forwards, like this

Headlight switch

Headlight

Step 2 Lay out the cables An earth subassembly can get pretty involved. This is for a 350 Morini

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Tape a reference mark on the frame that most cables will go past. Lay the cables out one colour at a time, adding a reference mark on each colour to locate its front-to-rear position, so when you finish you can bundle the cables together accurately. Allow at least 12in extra length either end. As you complete each colour, lay it to one side pinned out with weights to keep it tidy. NEVER use the same colour for two jobs! For colours with spurs (earths and feeds), label each cable using insulation tape and indelible pen. Put the splices where the resulting spurs will form smooth routes.

Who would have thought that wiring could be fun? Rupert’s expression proves it...


HOW TO SPLICE A key skill in loom building is branching one cable into two or more (ie on earths and feeds). The aim is a smooth, strong soldered joint with no sharp edges to puncture the heat shrink insulation.

1

Prepare two stripped cables in this way

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Solder both sets of strands individually

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Hold iron equally to both and let solder merge

4

File the splice smooth; insulate with heat shrink

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SORT YOUR WIRING

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Step 3 Time to try it Once all the cables are done, bundle them together with tape strips or small ties and try the layout on the bike. Will they all reach with length to spare? Is clearance good under the tank? Do any spurs need to emerge at a different angle? If so, re-align individual cables. Have you made a mistake with a colour or a spur? Now is the time to re-do it. Above all, quadruple-check that your bundle corresponds to the wiring diagram.

It looks a bit of a mess, but it’s all under control

Step 4 Sleeve the loom This is where your rat’s nest turns into something much easier to handle. There are two stages: 1 Take each spur and add a PVC sleeve. Secure the sleeve to the main cable trunk with a loop of cloth tape. Don’t worry if the sleeve is too long – the problems come if it’s too short! Quadruplecheck against the wiring diagram that the right colours are in the right sleeve. Label each sleeve. Try the loom out on the bike again. Last chance... 2 Cover the main trunk. The easiest way is to wrap it with non-adhesive loom tape. Start two inches from (say) the back end. Use cloth tape to anchor the loom tape, wrap towards the

back, then forwards again, to hide the start. Keep the spiral evenly spaced, and just tight enough to self-cling – any tighter and you’ll produce a spring. Tie off the other end with cloth tape and perhaps some heat shrink. Another method is to sleeve the main trunk with big heat shrink. If you hold it as it cools in the curve you want, it can fit the bike nicely. Start at the outer edges and work inwards, creating overlapping joins at the spurs. Silicone grease helps get heat shrink sections over a tight spot. Take care with the heat. You really don’t want to melt a PVCsleeved spur.

Motobi 200 loom with spurs sleeved. Next job is wrapping the main trunk

Wrapped loom for a Manx Weslake. Extra slack on fuse makes fuse-changing easier

Step 5 Add the plugs This is the fun bit. With luck you’ve ordered the right quantities of connector blocks. Now work round the loom connecting them up. Most of the spurs should be too long. Rehearse how they’re going to lie on the bike and, when you’re sure it’s ideal, snip off where the cables need to end. Use nail scissors to shorten the sleeve by the same amount for each spur, to ensure a neat overall look. Strip the insulation, and crimp on the plug connectors or bullets. Focus on making everything neat, tucked in and unstressed. You can, of course, add the plugs before wrapping or sleeving the loom. That way you can test it works before you cover the wires up. But you can get left with uneven lengths of cable which need careful tucking away.

100

Short lengths of PVC sleeve help organise the cables in this headlight If your wiring diagram was right, and you’ve been testing and checking all the way through the build, the loom will work. But it’s a moment of triumph when it actually does. Congratulations. It’s quite an achievement.

Make sure the plugs don’t get pulled tight when the bars turn


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Workshop

WORDS: MICK DUCKWORTH. PHOTOGRAPHY: TIM KEETON

1978 HONDA CB250N

Ubiquitous ’80s commuter? Yes. But inside it’s an ingeniously engineered motor t the end of the 1970s, when technically adventurous superbikes were coming thick and fast from Japan, the 249cc Honda Super Dream could easily be dismissed as a bland, sluggish commuter of little interest. Today, the overhead-cam twin claims classic status on at least two counts: it was hugely popular with approximately 70,000 sold in the United Kingdom alone and it contains ingenious engineering, with three-valve cylinder heads and twin balancer shafts. Honda’s first three-valve twins appeared during 1977, in the form of the CB250T Dream, the CB400T Dream (called the Hawk in the US), replacing the admired CB400F Four, plus a CB400A with semi-automatic transmission that flopped. Within months, the basically similar Dreams were revised for European market tastes and renamed Super Dreams. The CB250N and CB400N had six gear ratios instead of five, a sportier riding position and sleeker Vetter-inspired ‘Euro’ styling that blended the fuel tank, seat base and side panels. Engine performance boosts

A

were also claimed. With minor revisions, both remained in production until 1986 and the US market got a 450 version. The three-valve combustion chamber had been tested by Honda’s Racing Service Centre (RSC), trying the layout in the 750cc version of its confusingly-named CB500R four-cylinder racer. With a claimed 86bhp it was entered in European Endurance events, but withdrawn after RSC development rider Morio Sumiya was killed at Le Mans in 1975. Ultra short strokes are a feature of the three-valve twins, the 249cc version seen here having 62 x 41.4mm dimensions. A short stroke avoids excessive piston speeds at high rpm, while a relatively large bore makes more room for valves and allows optimal spark plug location. The 360° crankshaft is manufactured in one piece, with the two journals for split shell big-end bearings set between pairs of webs and the three main bearing journals also in split shells. The mains housings are at the horizontal joint between the upper crankcase casting and a crankshaft hanger piece bolted up to it, with dowels for precise location. The

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ENGINE IN BITS

Workshop

hanger arrangement was previously seen in Honda’s racing sixes and the early four-speed CB450. Two sprockets are integral with the shaft, to the right of the middle main bearing. One, midway between the bore centres, is for the camshaft drive chain, an inverted-tooth Hy-Vo type seen for the first time in a Honda engine. The larger sprocket to the right of it engages with the conventional chain driving the balancers located ahead of and behind the crankshaft. To turn the balancer bob-weights in the opposite direction to the crankshaft, the top of the upper run of the chain engages with the lowermost teeth of the drive sprocket, with a fixed slipper guide under the chain. The balancers’ sprockets attach to the weights via shock absorbers formed by six rubber inserts for each sprocket. The bushed weights turn on fixed shafts, in the upper crankcase at the front and in the crankshaft hanger at the rear. Primary drive output is on the right, by a spur gear on splines at the end of the crankshaft. Outboard of it are a sprocket for the oil pump’s chain drive and a spiral gear for rev-counter take-off. The other end of the shaft carries a large gear containing a clutch mechanism to receive drive from the electric starter’s reduction gears. The tapered nose of the shaft carries the rotor of the 130 watt alternator, which surrounds stator coils mounted on a ring fixed to the outer crankcase wall. A timing trigger and pulser unit for the CDI ignition system mounts on the stator. The lower crankcase half forms an oil sump and the base of the gearbox. The gudgeon pins run directly in the small-ends of the steel H-section connecting rods. The rods carry deep-skirted three-ring pistons, which have smoothly-contoured humps on their crowns with recesses to clear the pairs of inlet valves. The subtle forms were the result of thorough research by Honda. The one-piece alloy cylinder barrel has sealing O-rings around the liners where they project into the crankcase, although there is also a gasket. The camshaft chain is restrained by a guide on its front run, pivoted in slots at the top of the barrel. A long tensioner blade, held

ENGINEERS’ NOTES

One of the balancers, with marks to set correct timing

BALANCING ACT Balancer shafts to make engines run more smoothly were proposed by Frederick Lanchester in 1904. Timed counter-weights rotating in the opposite direction to the crankshaft cancel out unbalanced forces to subdue vibration. Yamaha fitted single balance shafts to 180° four-stroke twins, starting with the TX750 of 1973, while Kawasaki adopted twin balancers for 360° twins in 1976, followed by Honda’s threevalvers. Twin balancer shafts had been used in the abortive 360° 750cc Norton Cosworth twin-cylinder engine of 1975.

A gauze strainer stops any debris circulating through the oil system Camshaft sprocket has cut-out to allow it to be fitted to middle of shaft

Trochoidal oil pump draws oil from the wet sump

Casting has rocker spindles pressed in, and forms top halves of camshaft bearings 104


One-piece crankshaft has integral sprockets: one to drive the cam, one for the balancers

‘ULTRA SHORT STROKES ARE A FEATURE OF THE THREE-VALVE TWIN’ against the rear run, sets adjustment when an external hexagon at the rear of the barrel is slackened off and re-tightened at tickover. The camshaft sprocket has an aperture allowing it to be passed over two of the four cam lobes and fixed to flanges on the shaft by two bolts. The shaft bears partly in the head metal and partly in two holder castings, held to the head by eight long bolts passing through the barrel to thread into the crankcase. In a compact arrangement similar to that in Honda’s GL1000 Gold Wing engine, each holder supports two pressed-in rocker spindles. The rockers are located laterally by coil springs on the spindles and have twin valve-opening arms for the paired valves on the inlet side. There are lock-nut clearance adjusters on the arms. Placed in parallel, the inlet valves have 21mm heads while the single exhaust valves are 26mm with larger-diameter double coil springs. Split collets hold the springs’ caps to the valve stems, with seating washers underneath the springs. Seals on the stems prevent oil from running down the guides. An alloy top cover secured to the head by two bolts has a groove on its joint face holding a rubber seal. A baffle plate bolted inside the cover keeps oil away from a breather outlet on its top. A hose leads blow-by to the air filter box protecting a pair of Keihin CV carburettors. The straight-cut primary output gear engages with another riveted to the back of the clutch basket, which has a free-spinning sleeve at its centre to bear on the gearbox mainshaft. Clutch operation is by a lifter mechanism in the right-side engine cover. It pushes a short rod that presses on a ballrace in a lifter plate and compresses the four coil springs to release pressure on the driving and driven plates. The mainshaft is supported in a ballrace behind the clutch and a needle roller bearing at its other end. The firstgear pinion is integral with the shaft and the pinions for the third and fourth ratios are a single piece. The secondary shaft directly behind has a ball bearing adjacent to the splined output sprocket and a needle roller on the right.

ENGINEERS’ NOTES

Cylinder head has two inlet valves and one exhaust per combustion chamber

THREE IN A HEAD

Three valves make for better breathing than two, improving efficiency and widening the powerband, while requiring fewer wearing parts than four valves. Three-valve heads enabled Honda’s 400cc twins to produce more power than the two-valves-per-cylinder CB400F four. As well as using three-valve heads in parallel-twin engines, Honda used them in an admired series of V-twin units from the late 1980s until recently. In 1954, AJS won a TT with a three-valve 350cc single, but that had two exhaust valves rather than two inlet valves.

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ENGINE IN BITS

106

Workshop


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ENGINE IN BITS

Workshop

Crankcase hanger piece bolts to upper crankcase casting (assembly here shown inverted)

A shaft running across the gearbox transmits operation of the gearchange lever to a selector drum activating three forks, via a positive stop mechanism at its rightward end, where the drum is supported by a ballrace. On the left it runs in a plain journal turning in the gearbox wall. The trochoidal oil pump draws from the wet sump through passages in the crankcase hanger, via a gauze strainer. It is pumped to a cartridge filter in a detachable housing on the base of the crankcase, with a pressure relief valve in the line and another in the cartridge retaining bolt. Oil is then delivered to the crankshaft via numerous holes in the main bearing housings and shells. Feeds also supply the balancers, both gearbox shafts and the valve gear. Fed through the rocker spindles, oil collects in troughs that the cam lobes dip into before it drains back to the sump through the cam chain tunnel. The kickstarter, not fitted after 1979, turns a shaft supported in the right-side engine cover as well as a support in the lower crankcase casting. A spring holds a ratchet against mating teeth on a gear that engages with the secondary shaft’s first gear pinion. To quieten the exhaust, the two pipes are bridged by a shared chamber under the power unit.

RUNNING ONE

‘IT ALWAYS KEPT GOING’

Yes, it’s true – more people are getting into the Super Dream...

Despite the numbers sold, the CB250N is not plentiful today and is becoming increasingly sought-after. Ridden by thousands of learners under the 250cc rule, it was reliable but gutless. John Wyatt of Honda specialist Sunrise Restorations owned a 400cc version. “I bought one in France,” he recalls. “It was totally knackered, smoked and rattled, but it always kept going. The more I rode it, the better it got. I sold it to a friend and he got another few years out of it.” Weak points are the ignition system and cam chain wear, although the Hy-Vo chain can be readily replaced with the cam cover off. Prices asked for both sizes range from £125 to £2795 dependent on mileage and condition.

SPECIFICATION

1980 Honda Super Dream 250 Engine/transmission

Thanks to Honda Classics Restoration Services (01327 323006) for lending an engine. Previously bought by HCRS as part of a job lot, it turned out to be lacking the clutch and alternator when stripped for photography at Motorcycle Works (01733 578883).

108

PHOTOGRAPH PSPARROT.

Type Air-cooled ohc parallel twin Capacity 249cc Bore x stroke 62 x 41.4mm Compression ratio 9.4:1 Ignition Electronic CDI Valve size 21mm inlet, 26mm exhaust Valve clearance inlet 0.12mm, exhausts 0.16mm Valve timing Inlet opens 10° BTDC, closes 30° ABDC; exhaust 40° BBDC, closes 5° ATDC Carburation 2 x 30mm Keihin Spark timing 45-49° before TDC (fully advanced) Primary drive Gears Clutch Wet, multiplate Gearbox Six-speed Lubrication Wet sump (2.3 litres) Final drive Chain Weight 55kg (120lb) Power output 27bhp @ 10,000rpm


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Workshop

OUR CLASSICS

Cub for all the family Mike and his brood get stuck into reviving a step-thru’. A heartwarming tale of welding and bonding – and it even has a happy ending MIKE ARMITAGE

After languishing in a dark corner since 1983, Mike’s diminutive Honda rolls back into the light and displays an overwhelming desire to be back in service…

y father-in-law Tony acquired this Honda C50 in 1980. Although just seven years old, the cheery four-stroke step-thru’ only cost £10 due to voracious tin worm. After fabricating repair sections for the forks and structural rear mudguard, he used it for the run to work before tucking it away in ’83. Hasn’t moved since. The current Mrs Armitage fondly recalls pootling about on the back as a nipper and I have a questionable attraction to small-capacity machinery, so the invitation to unearth it can’t be refused. Careful extraction reveals a C50 in better condition than expected – tyres hold air, brakes aren’t seized, and the 49cc overhead-cam single turns over freely. I press £40 into Tony’s hand (what he paid in today’s money) and gleefully wheel it away. My two boys are inspired at the idea of resurrecting grandpa’s bike, which is christened Rhonda, so we wade in. Honda have built over 100 million Cubs since 1958 – yes, 100,000,000 – so parts are a doddle to source. And cheap. Oil, filter, plug, brake pads and battery are

M

Somewhere in here is a dinky Honda, pretending to be a work bench

110

ABOVE: Mike loves life’s simple pleasures. A dry stone wall and a Cub does the job

dispatched by wemoto.co.uk for beer money. The flared exhaust end crumbles away, but it’s £36 for a complete system, and the motor phut-phut-phuts into life third kick. Though the tubed tyres display resolute firmness, they’re swapped for new Anlas items as a precaution. I grind corrosion out of the forks, fabricate a patch using a hammer and ignorance, and friend Andy Gurski welds it on. The red Hammerite Smooth finish looks splendid. Broken switchgear is bothersome, as nobody seems to offer parts in the style we have. However, a set of used handlebars with light, speedo and switches is a quick

Youngest son Lyle gets stuck in to servicing the 49cc unit

Ed investigates a sticky seat catch


GARY PINCHIN

RICK PARKINGTON

1957 Matchless G3L 1976 Triumph TR7-RV 1979 Yamaha XS650 1991 Harley Sportster

1928 Sunbeam 1936 Rudge Ulster 1968 Triumph TR6 Lots of other junk

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WIPES

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Switchgear didn’t survive storage

Crusty pipe proved a minor issue

FOLLOW US ON


OUR CLASSICS

Workshop

Now it can stand up for itself The frame rebuild gets finished and the bike gets on its wheels RUPERT PAUL

After “titting around with this bike for seven years” Rupert’s efforts are looking like coming to fruition sometime soon-ish...

an’s text message was short and direct: “Your bike is done. Curtis Mayfield saw it and thought it was super fly. The bill is £950.” That’s a big wedge, but I know I’m not going to make progress without acute financial discomfort. What Ian Davis of Etto Motorcycles had done was chop the back off the frame and rebuild it at a height suitable for a normal human being, minus the original bike’s excess weight and visual clutter. A quick sit revealed the riding position is appalling. The rearsets need to go forward about four inches – but that’s where the gearbox and kickstart are. I want to have comfy legs and be able to lean over 45°. Probably an impossible dream, but I’ll find out when I fit the engine properly. As it came from Etto it still had a set of 2008 Enfield 500 Bullet forks with leading axles. I wanted centre axle forks for better looks, geometry and steering directness. I’d bought a set of Suzuki GS550 Katana forks for the job, but the stanchions were pitted, and new ones are £240. However, the Enfield stanchions are almost brand new, and the same 35mm diameter. A quick strip showed that I could easily transplant the Enfield innards into the Suzuki slider. Only snag: the top inch of the Enfield stanchions was threaded, to screw into the top yoke. I took the problem to the ever-ingenious Steve Baker at QPrep, my local engineering shop. He

I

This is the point at which a project turns back into a motorcycle again

machined off the threaded portion, cut a new internal thread for the Enfield fork caps and bored a smooth area for the sealing O-ring – £120 well spent. The only thing now stopping me from putting the front wheel in was the absence of a suitable wheel spindle. The Suzuki forks clamp two 22mm tubes in the bottom of the fork legs; you then push the spindle through them. Complex and flex-prone, I reckon. I asked two engineering-minded mates, Torbjörn Bergstrom and Thomas Hauge, to help. Torbjörn had the genius idea of accidentally picking up an XJ900 spindle which was lying around in the garage. It fitted the wheel and the fork clamp, with no need for tubes. The two designed a threaded sleeve for the opposite fork, and returned to Sweden to make it. For now, I’ve cobbled up something on the lathe. Now I can push it around – and I’ve loosely bolted in the engine to see how it looks. It’s fantastic!

Smoke signals success after three years of trials It’s true – visible proof of Gez’s running TY

GEZ KANE

Gez’s TY175 finally smokes into life once more. It’s been a long time coming...

Like the HS2 rail link, my TY175 project is overdue and over budget. But, unlike HS2, at least it’s finished. Well, nearly. I still have the exhaust heat shield to paint, decide whether to paint the alloy tank, get a dating certificate and jump through all the administrative hoops in order to get it registered. At least it runs, though – and pretty damn well, too. It seems to pull OK and

112

has a full complement of six gears available. The front brake feels like it needs a little bedding in, but overall it feels pretty good for a 40-somethingyear-old trials bike. What I imagined would take a year at the most has become a three-year-plus build – and cost considerably more than I anticipated too. I paid £700 for the bike back at the end of 2014 and I reckon it stands me at somewhere around £3000 now. That’s probably a little more than I could get for it, so has it all been worth it? Well, the final verdict will have to wait until I’ve ridden it a bit more, but just pottering round the garden feels like some sort of result after so long.


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Tel: 07544 320150

POWDER COATING Unlike our competition, we do not paint garden chairs or office furniture. So you can be sure we will not rush your valuble parts through with some industrial job lot. UK collection & delivery service. QUALITY IS NOT EXPENSIVE IT IS PRICELESS

Unit 3, Harris Street, Bingley, BD16 1AE 01274 562474 5% Discount Visit our website www.Triple-S.co.uk

Classic Coatings Ltd www.classic-coatings.co.uk 01476 576087


SHOCK ABSORBERS

STAINLESS STEEL

SPARES - JAPANESE

STAINLESS STEEL FROM

Kits for Norton Commando’s 36 YEARS OF EXPANDING AND HONING MY RANGE FOR MOTORCYCLES

£72

Stainless Steel Bolts, Nuts, Allen Screws, Hose Clips, Exhaust Clamps, Nipples, Bar, etc. Cycle, BSF, BSW, BSP, UNF, UNC Metric and Metric Fine. D. Middleton, Unit 5, Lady Ann Mills, Batley, W. Yorks, England WF17 0PS Tel: 01924 470807 (24-hour). Fax: 01924 470764 Email: sales@stainlessmiddleton.co.uk

www.stainlessmiddleton.co.uk

SPARES BRITISH

TRANSPORTATION

ALIEN MOTORCYCLES LTD BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Classic motorcycle collection and delivery service Contact Jason 07813 029875 Speedfreak0900@yahoo.co.uk

www.alienmotorcycles.co.uk

SPEEDOMETERS

STICKERS/ TRANSFERS

SPEEDO REPAIRS CHRONOMETRIC & BRITISH MOTORCYCLE INSTRUMENT SPECIALIST

M 1st Class Workmanship M M Competitive Prices M M 12 months guarantee M Tel/Fax: (01252) 329826 Mobile: 07824 884434 http://www.speedorepairs.co.uk Email: a.pople@btconnect.com Speedo Repairs, c\o A & E Coachworks, Unit 12/13 Station Yard, Ashchurch Road, Aldershot GU12 6LX

www.atik-graphics.com

Tel: 01227 262799

S ECU R EB I K E MOV E R HAWKSHAW M/Cs LTD Large stock of new/used parts and books for TRIUMPH, NORTON, BSA & other British Bikes built up over last 43 years – 13,000 lines in stock Full list of parts and prices on our website Worldwide Mail Order Specialists Phone/Fax 0151 949 0991 Email: hawkshaw@btconnect.com

PETROL TANK REPAIRS

Securebikemover is run by a Classicbikeowner for Classic bike lovers. A fully equipped new LWB high top Ford Transit van is used to transport your bike only, we do not multi load. Fully insured up to £30,000 per bike • Customer satisfaction is our aim. Contact Geoff on 07961 061519 or email geoff@securebikemover.co.uk THE

CAR & MOTORCYCLE

www.hawkshawmotorcycles.com

A SITE FOR SORE BIKES

BSA A10 B31 and Goldstar Stainless Parts

Email: info@shippio.com Tel: +44 (0)1604 419 815

MOTORCYCLE COLLECTION & DELIVERY SERVICE Also Range of Parts for Cafe Racers Alloy Rearsets, Stainless Clip-ons

Tel 01379 586728 www.barleycorn.co.uk

NUMBER PLATES

Chestnut Registrations Ltd.

PETER HAMMOND MOTORCYCLES LTD

parts@hammondmotorcycles.co.uk

Tel: 01285 652467 www.hammondmotorcycles.co.uk

Also for Scooters – Quads – Pushbikes – ATVʼs Sidecars – Mobility Scooters, etc. Call for details

Call ACCELERATION 07774 964386 or 01244 532443 www.accelerationcads.co.uk

BSA & TRIUMPH SPARES

Specialising in BSA & Triumph Spares, 1958 onwards. Mail order also available. 44 Watermoor Road, Cirencester, Glos GL7 1LD.

• Nationwide and fully insured • 20 years experience, competitive rates • Secure storage available • Satellite navigation systems fitting thus ensuring a speedy delivery any time • Vans are fully equipped to hold securely

HERITAGE MOTOR WORKS

PETROL TANK & TINWARE REPAIR SPECIALIST

Dents and rust repaired to a high specification Chain guards • Toolboxes • Mudguards • Rear carriers Car body panels • Rad shells • Bumpers • Chassis We also manufacture a range of spares for James ML & RE Flying Fleas

Tel: 01189 731631 • Email: metaltel@yahoo.co.uk Metal magic, Busta Farm, Brickhouse Hill, Eversley, Hants, RG27 0PY

www.wdmotorcyclespares.co.uk

TANKS

Devon Bike Tank Restorers All tanks repaired and ethanol-resistant liners applied.

Viking Motorcycle Seat Specialist – Tel 07977 874075 www.viking-motorcycle-seats.co.uk www.facebook.com/leetheseat Specialists can carry out all custom work to motorcycle seats, covering them in vinyl, leather and many real and faux animal skins. We supply and fit gel pads, memory foam and many sundries involved with our business. We provide a while you wait service to all our customers or a 24hr courier service for mail order work

ASH ROAD, SEVENOAKS. TN15 7HJ. GB

ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS Manufacturers of all vintage and classic number plates. Mail order online or by phone. PO Box 333, Crosby Liverpool. L23 2WB Tel: 0151-924 6480 Mob: 07860 145384

www.chestnut-registrations.co.uk PETROL TANK REPAIRS

SEATS

REWINDS & REPAIRS MAGNETOS

WHEELHOUSE TYRES

ARMATURES

info@wheelhousetyres.co.uk www.wheelhousetyres.co.uk

3 year warranties on fully reconditioned units Typical turnaround 7- 14 days In house winding facilities Not just E3L’s MO1 & K2F’s

WEB DIRECTORY

Armoto Ltd

www.biketankrepair.co.uk tankrestorers@gmail.com 01409 254750/ 07585 606433

DYNAMOS

WHEELS

Tel: 01246 826667 Unit 26, Markham Lane Commerce Park, Chesterfield Derbs, S44 5HS

armoto.co.uk

email: sales@armoto.co.uk


T-Shirt fabric: 97% cotton, 3% polyester, extra soft Belcoro® yarn. Sizes available Medium - 4XL

Bonneville 60th Celebration T-Shirt

ONLY £14

.99

(SAVE £5 – website price £19.99)

Also available in Navy and Red

On Saturday, 5, May, at 2.PM in St Mary Of Eton Church, Eastway, Hackney Wick, E9 5JA … We give you a one off opportunity to relive the

Birth Of The Motorcycle Club Created By Fr Bill Shergold’s decision to open his Church to the Rockers of that era. In doing so a Legacy & Heritage was Born, Along with Fr Graham Hullett they formed what became the Biggest Motorcycle Club in the World by the mid 60’s…

The Ethos ? TO HELP AND EDUCATE YOUNG PEOPLE, WHO RIDE MOTORCYCLES. Many 1960’s Rockers gained much from this Ethos & went on to become Solid Citizens… Did you ever wish that you were a Teenage Rocker in the 1960’s & watched the Film clips of the First 59 Club, Wished you could have been there ? Well your Wish Can Come True !

Beautifully designed, quality Heather Grey, Fruit-of-the-Loom T-Shirt featuring a 1961 Triumph Bonneville T120, in retro launch style illustration. Rider & pillion resplendentafl`]aj;gjc]jkY^]lq`]de]lkYf\;daeYp?g__d]kYkfYhk`gl of an early 1960s couple. Silk-screened in 3 colours. Claim your 25% discount, quote CB05. Go to www.thettstore.co.uk or call 020 8972 9722 to order yours.

Come join us as we go Back in Time to 1962... A Short Church Service starts at 2:15… Refreshments & off Rd Bike (free) parking available. We Leave at 3pm For Bolt Motorcycles. Stoke Newington, N160AH. Where a 50’s Rock n Roll Band & DJ will entertain you… From 3:30pm onwards. A Hot Food/Drinks stall, Beer- Memories refreshed & Original Rockers await you all… Food & Drinks you pay for the rest is FREE… Provided By : The Spirit Of 59 Club… Representing the Original Ethos of the 1960’s 59 Club….

Want more info? Spirit Of 59 club Facebook

www.thespiritof59club.com www.thettstore.co.uk

Important Note: We are TOTALLY Independent from the existing FiFty Nine Club. No connection whatsoever is implied.

The worlds leading supplier of spares for the majority of Vincent models. Order online, by phone, fax or e-mail (orders@vincentspares.co.uk). Worldwide shipping. Visitors welcome 9-5 Monday - Friday 9-4 Saturday.

We act as a ents for the sale of Vincents on behalf of VOC members. Current machines include

Series BRapide, Series CComet and Black Shadows, Series DRapide and Black Knight

FT200-FT206 Brampton Fork Links - 2 types for Series Aor Series B

Further details and pictures on the website www.vincentspares.co.uk WůĞĂƐĞĐĂůůďĞĨŽƌĞǀŝƐŝƟŶŐƚŽǀŝĞǁŵĂĐŚŝŶĞƐ

PR55 Tank Cover 3 types - plain HRD or Vincent woven logos

Mudguards in Alloy, Comet or Twin, Fronts and uncut rears for Lightning or Grey Flash Replicas all Available.

The VOC Spares Co Ltd www.vincentspares.co.uk - orders@vincentspares.co.uk Phone +44 (0)1536 312220 - Fax +44(0)1536 312225


READER ADS

SELL YOUR BIKE FOR FREE Britain’s biggest and best selling magazine for oily-fingered bike addicts To be the first to see the classified adverts, make sure you take out a subscription to Classic Bike. Adverts for privately-owned bikes registered before 1986 are free (for bikes registered after 1985 they cost £20; super double-column adverts cost £30)

BOOK BY POST:

BOOK BY EMAIL

ENQUIRIES

Please fill in the form below, specifying the type of advert you want (classic, autojumble, bike for sale or bike wanted). Include make, model, year, price, phone number and area, and up to 25 words of text. Please include your name & address, which will not be published or used for other purpose. Then post to: Reader Ads, Classic Bike, Media House, Lynchwood, Peterborough, Cambs, PE2 6EA Photographs (we regret that we cannot return these) should be of a good quality, with your name and address on the back.

Send your advert details to: cbreaderads@bauermedia.co.uk Please include your surname and the type of advert in the subject line. Include make, model, year, price, phone number and area, and up to 25 words of text. Please include your name & address, which will not be published or used for other purpose. Include your photo as an attachment, named accordingly, preferably as a jpeg. If a payment is required we will call you to take your card details.

We do not take advertisements over the phone. Should you have a query regarding an advert, please call 01733 366340. For trade advertising, please call Farah Ball on 01736 755508.

Your advertisement will automatically be placed in the next two available issues of Classic Bike – please state if only one issue is required. Due to high demand, we can only accept a maximum of 3 adverts per customer per issue. You may photocopy the coupon below if necessary

1 2 3

Please tick the advert you want...

Bike details... Make

FREE PLUS

CLASSIC FREE

AUTOJUMBLE FREE

Single column picture ads for privatelyowned classic bikes registered before 1986

MODERN £20

Ads for spares and miscellaneous items

TRADE £20

Single column picture ads for privately-owned classic bikes registered in or after 1986

BIKES WANTED FREE Ads for motorcycles you’re looking to buy

PARTS WANTED FREE Need something to finish your rebuild? Ask here

SUPER £30

Single column picture ads for trade sales

Double-column, high-impact picture ads, including make, model, year, price, phone number and area, also up to 200 characters

Please include make, model, year, price, phone number and area, also up to 25 words of text. For Super ads please supply up to 50 words of text and submit separately. PLEASE USE CLEAR BLOCK CAPITALS Model

Year

Name ...................................................................................................................... Address..............................................................................................................

............................................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................. Postcode ........................................................................................................... Daytime tel no ..................................................................................................

Price

Checklist: 1. Please use block capitals and start your advert with the make and model. 2. Specify the type of advert. 3. Don’t forget your phone number. Advertisements submitted by email must contain a name, daytime phone number and full postal address. 4. Have you included a cheque made payable to Bauer Automotive? Alternatively we will call you for your card details. You must include your phone number. 5. You may photocopy this form if you have more than one bike to sell. 6. Due to demand, we can accept a maximum of three adverts per customer per issue. 7. We do not accept trade adverts without prior agreement. All trade advertisements should have (T) at the end of the advert copy.

Conditions of Acceptance: For private advertisers only and for trade by prior agreement. No correspondence can be entered into. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that your advertisement will appear in a particular issue. Bauer Media does not accept any errors or mistakes in adverts. All advertisements are subject to approval of the publisher, who reserves the right to amend, refuse, withdraw or otherwise deal with copy submitted and/who will have no obligation to provide you with any reason for so doing. Bauer Publishing reserves the right to publish your advert in our other magazines that we deem relevant. If you do not wish to appear in our other titles please make us aware.

Your advert will appear in the next available issues.

BUYING OR SELLING A MODERN BIKE? You can advertise a bike in Motor Cycle News, in print and online from just £13.99 www.mcnbikesforsale.com


CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES LTD Invest In Recession Proof Classic Motorcycles WANTED CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES - BRITISH & JAPANESE UP TO 1980 - COLLECTION FROM ANYWHERE

ITALIAN CLASSICS

DUCATI 250 ROAD 1974 ................................. £7,250

DUCATI SL48 1966.......................................... £3,750

GILERA ARCORE 150cc 1973 &74 Choice of 2 ........................................................................ £1,999

MOTO GUZZI DINGO 49cc 1964. 3 speed ............£1,850

MOTO GUZZI 250 AIRONE 1949 outside flywheel original ........................................................... £5,999

MOTO GUZZI CARDELLINO 65cc 1955 Matching Nos ..................................................... £4,500 Choice of 3

MV AGUSTA 125 TRE 1965.......... £3,750 Choice of 3

MV AGUSTA 150 RAPIDO SPORT 1962 ..................................................... £4,999 Choice of 2

MV AGUSTA 125 SPORT 1976 ........................ £8,999

MV AGUSTA CHECCA 99 GTE SPORT for restoration 1961................................................................ £1,650

CLASSIC BRITISH

CLASSIC VELOCETTE

AJS 7R 1950 348cc Road Registered.....£29,999

ARIEL ARROW 250cc 1961............................. £2,495

ARIEL HUNTMASTER 650cc 1956 & WATSONIAN PALMA SIDECAR.........................................£7,495

BSA B44 VICTOR 1967 441cc.................... £4,999

BSA BANTAM D1 125 cc choice of 3 ............................................from £2,450 to £3,250

BSA ROCKET 3 1969 750cc......................£14,999

INDIAN VELO 500cc 1970 Very Rare.......... £22,500

VELOCETTE THRUXTON Choice of 3............... £POA

VELOCETTE VENOM 500cc 1959 Original Reg ...................................................£9,999 Choice of 2

VELOCETTE VENOM CLUBMAN 499cc 1968 .................................................£14,999 Choice of 2

BSA GOLDSTAR

BSA SUPER ROCKET 1961 650cc Original, Transferrable Reg .......................................£7,999

FRANCIS BARNETT CRUISER 84 249cc 1959 ....................................................................£3,499

NORTON COMMANDO 750 Roadster 1970 Matching Nos........................................... £10,999

BSA GOLD STAR DBD34 CLUBMANS 500cc 1961 Factory Pairing...................... £18,999 Choice of 2

BSA ROCKET GOLD STAR 650cc 1962 ............................................... £23,500 Choice of 2

JAPANESE CLASSICS WANTED NORTON DOMINATOR 88 1959 500CC MATCHING NUMBERS ....................................................... £6,999

ROYAL ENFIELD INTERCEPTOR Mark I 750cc 1965.. £8,999

TRIUMPH SECTION

TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120 1960 650cc Matching Nos. ........................... £13,500 Choice of 3

TRIUMPH TIGER T110 650cc 1961 Matching Nos ........................................................................ £5,999

TRIUMPH T100C 490CC 1969 MATCHING NUMBERS ........................................................................ £8,999

TRIUMPH TRIDENT T150 1972 740cc ............ £7,995

Tel: 01928 788500 DOOR TO DOOR DELIVERY AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT UK & EUROPE. WORLDWIDE SHIPPING CAN BE ARRANGED

SCOTT 2 Speed 1925 486cc Matching Nos ... £9,999

BSA GOLD STAR DBD34 1959 New Pearson Engine & Electric Start ............................£22,999

JAPANESE CLASSICS

HONDA CB, CD, & CL ALL CC’S PRE 1983

HONDA CT90 1970 89cc .......... £2,395 Choice of 4

HONDA CB500 Four 1972 choice of colours.. £5,999

KAWASAKI BUSHMAN 1970 90cc ..............£2,500

SUZUKI TS90 TRAIL 1972 ............................... £1,899

YAMAHA RD350 1974..................................... £5,999

YAMAHA YDS3 249cc 1966 Matching Nos ....£7,500

WANTED HONDA’S PRE 1980 - ANYTHING CONSIDERED

MOB: 07979 852000 ASK FOR LAWRENCE

PO BOX 1, NORTHWICH, CHESHIRE CW8 2RD Email: classicbikes1@yahoo.co.uk VISITORS WELCOME WEEKDAYS 9am – 5.30pm AND SATURDAY MORNINGS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. PLEASE RING FIRST FOR DIRECTIONS FINANCE AVAILABLE - SUBJECT TO STATUS

PLEASE SEE EBAY SELLER ID ‘CLASSICMOTORCYCLES-LTD’ FOR MORE DETAILED PHOTOS AND VIDEOS


Jacksons of Knebworth

          

Sales, Service & Repairs of all classic, vintage & veteran motorcycles

( *""! % %,:*$( %$, 49

%" - 3. #*# !(!'* 053,333 %" - 3/ &#!" ! *49,333&%& 053,333 %" - 30 !'*!#  047,<83  31, , 3, &!&$! %! ,%#$%$&"# 047,:83 %"31,$!41  % $%!# 047,333 %" - 33 &#$%!#%! $%&   046,:83 21,$!41 %&  !# ##!( 045,:83 31, -3 &"#  *! 044,833 %"5,,0 &"#)" 044,583 $($ 4141 %&  &#$%!,#  (    044,333 31, .31 ,!'*$% #! %! 0<,583 $($-,,,4, &"#)" # (% 0;.<83 %" (--,,.4- &"#$% #)" 0:,833 $($--,,4, &"#)" (!# )&$%$ 0:,833 5,,4,  ()&$%$ 09,833 $($-,,,4,  !# )&$%$ 09,733 %"21,/33 %&     09,583 -&33  * !#%$$&"# 08,583 $($ 1,32 #*!#  07,833

/)2 #" !!#'

34<8< 777774 $ !&# &## % !%! %-

BSA A7 500 SHOOTING STAR, 1956 Restored..............................................ÂŁ5995 BSA A65 THUNDERBOLT, 1971 ..................ÂŁ4995 BSA A65, 1965 Restored.....................SOLD BSA BANTAM B175 1971 Very nice, ready to ride .......................................................SOLD EXCELSIOR TALISMAN TWIN TT2 1955 complete restoration ............................ÂŁ4895 GILERA 124CC OHV, 1969 Nice Restoration ......................................................... ÂŁ3995 HONDA CB100N ................. ARRIVING SOON HONDA C95, 1966 Blue Nice original condition............................................. ÂŁ2350 HONDA CB250 TWIN, 1977 for restoration .............................................................SOLD HONDA CL450 1970 Very rare & very nice ............................................................ÂŁ4795 KAWASAKI W650, 2001, 5960 miles...ÂŁ4850 MOBYLETTE 50CC 1972 .......................ÂŁ895

ROYAL ENFIELD 2004 500CC â&#x20AC;&#x153;65â&#x20AC;? E/start, sports exhaust ......................................SOLD ROYAL ENFIELD ELECTRA 350, 2004 single/ pillion seats, 5-speed...........................ÂŁ1995 ROYAL ENFIELD ELECTRA X 500, Immaculate electric start, R/Hand 5-speed...............SOLD ROYAL ENFIELD ELECTRA EFI RED, 2010. ............................................................ÂŁ2795 SCOTT 600 1956 PROJECT . CALL FOR DETAILS SUZUKI GS1000G 1982 shaft drive restored Immaculate .........................................ÂŁ4595 TEAGLE CYCLEMOTOR on period gents Raleigh bicycle.....................................ÂŁ1495 TRIUMPH 3TA BATHTUB, 1967 ............... ÂŁ3995 VESPA 125 1962 Restored ..................ÂŁ3995 VESPA 125 1968 restored choice of two ............................................................ÂŁ3995

OTHER VEHICLES AUSTIN 10 SALOON, 1947, for restoration............................................................................... ÂŁ2995

Top price paid for your classic, vintage or veteran motorcycle

%'" /,6 "  "#

(((.#$$$.!

124 London Road, Knebworth, Herts SG3 6EY 01438 812928 harvey-jackson@btconnect.com

Mereworth, Kent 01622 814140 Viewing by appointment only

1938 Brough Superior SS80 ÂŁ74,995

1927 Zenith 6-80 ÂŁ34,995

1949 Egli Vincent ÂŁ49,995

1964 Enfield 1983 Harley2007 HarleyInterceptor MK1 Davidson XR1000 Davidson XR750 ÂŁ9,995 ÂŁ18,495 TT ÂŁ39,995

1980 Ducati 900SS ÂŁ24,995

1996 Ducati 916 SP3 ÂŁ16,995

1980 Ducati MHR ÂŁ29,995

1991 Ducati 750 Sport ÂŁ5,995

1981 Norton-Seeley 850 ÂŁ11,995

1974 Norton Commando 850 ÂŁ8,995

1966 Triumph Daytona Racer ÂŁ15,495

We urgently need your bike!

2015 Bimota Tesi 3D ÂŁ19,995

1977 Ducati 860 ÂŁ19,995

2010 Triumph Scrambler ÂŁ19,995

2015 Norton Domiracer No.20 ÂŁ44,995

1969 Honda 750/4 ÂŁ9,995

1975 BMW R90S ÂŁ7,495

Brough Superior SS100 - New models available call for details

Consignment Sales Undertaken Anthony Godin Tel. 01622 814140 / 07769 970559

www.anthonygodin.co.uk

Authorised Dealer


BIKES FOR SALE


NCM

North Cornwall Motorcycle

01288 355162 • www.ncmc.co.uk • info@ncmc.co.uk

NEW CAFE NOW OPEN ALL WEEK Great food, fantastic prices. All clubs welcome. Discount for Ride Outs, please call.

2018 ROYAL ENFIELD METEOR. Brand new, ABS ..... £11,000

2018 MASH MOTORCYCLES TRACKSTAR. Looks like a Norton, ABS, 140 kilos, very light ...£4,699

2018 MASH MOTORCYCLES DIRTSTAR. Brand New, very light, 140 kilos, retro bike . £3,595

1993 SUZUKI RG125F Stunning, original condition ........ £3,750

2018 ROYAL ENFIELD HIMALYAN. Brand New .......... £3,995

1983 YAMAHA RD350. Perfect, as new condition ...... £7,950

1948 SCOTT FLYING SQUIRREL. Full restoration, perfect...£9,950

2001 ROYAL ENFIELD BULLET. Stunning, as new....... £3,950

2017 MASH MOTORCYCLES ROADSTAR 400 Demo bike now available.ONLY £2,950

2003 DUCATI 748 SENNA, fantastic condition UK bike......£10,500

1964 PANTHER 65. MODEL 35. Nice and tidy ............. £3,350

1978 BMW R00/7 RESTORED. Luggage included....... £4,695

1957 DOT TRIALS TDHX TRIALS, road legal .............. £4,950

1979 TRIUMPH TIGER. 100% restored, perfect condition ..£9,500

1975 HONDA CL. Perfect condition............................. £4,950

1979 Honda CB400 Automatic, stunning original condition.........£2,950

1990 KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 550. Rare and Desirable.... £3,195

1961 JAMES CAPTAIN Very nice and clean original.... £2,750

2018 BRAND NEW ROYAL ENFIELD GT. Should be £5,399 now .. £4,750

2018 BRAND NEW MASH ROADSTER. XBR Motor, twin exhaust, 140 kgs ...WAS £4,200 NOW £3,750

Unit 8c, Stowmarket Business Park, Ernest Nunn Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 2ED

Tel:

01449 612900

Please call first if travelling any distance.

Moto Guzzi NF500 Electric start £5,500

American Eagle 750 lovely £9,500

Bimota DB5, low miles fantastic £11,950

Ducati 900GTS, the best you’ll find, fully restored £19,000

Moto Guzzi V7 sport, Very nice £15,950

Benelli 750 Sei 1975, lovely £12,950

Ducati 900SS 1975, V good history. £38,000.

Moto Guzzi 160 Stornello, restored fabulous £3,950

Laverda Formula 500, great history and road registered £19,950

Bimota SB8R, new just reduced to £12,950

Moto Guzzi Café racer £5,950

Ducati TT1, stunning £19,950

Aprilia 6.5 Starck, low miles V good .....................................................£4,500 Bianchi MT/61 1961, 330CC................................................................£3,750 Bimota DB6 Delirio carbon, stunning ................................................£11,950 Bimota DB4, low miles V good..............................................................£7,500 Bimota SB4, Excellent.........................................................................£12,000 Bimota KB1, Excellent.........................................................................£18,000 Bimota YB10, new ..............................................................................£11,000 Cagiva 650 Alazzurra GT V good .........................................................£4,950 Ducati 900SS 1979, original, lovely .....................................................£27,000 Ducati 900 Monster, really lovely...........................................................£3,950 Ducati MHR 900 1982, lovely .............................................................£14,950 Ducati 750 Monster dark, one owner service history .......................£2,750

Ducati 350 Sebring, restored, excellent................................................£5,500 Ducati Elite easy project........................................................................£5,950 Ducati 24 Horas, lovely .........................................................................£7,950 Ducati 900 NCR replica, V good........................................................£15,000 Ducati 748R, low miles excellent...........................................................£9,000 Ducati 350 Street scrambler, restored excellent ..................................£8,500 Ducati 851 WSBK, Davide Tardozzi’s factory bike ..............................£59,000 Laverda Jota 1981 ................................................................................£9,950 Mondial Piega, New............................................................................£18,000 Moto Guzzi Daytona, V good ...............................................................£8,500 Moto Guzzi NF 500 Electric start ..........................................................£5,500

Tuesday – Saturday 8:30am to 5:30pm.

Email: john@madeinitalymotorcycles.com

Moto Guzzi T3 California, excellent .....................................................£7,500 Moto Guzzi Centauro, miles from new! ...............................................£7,950 Moto Guzzi NF 500, Very good.............................................................£5,500 Moto Guzzi V7 sport 1972, unrestored in great condition..................£15,950 Moto Guzzi V7 California .....................................................................£9,500 Moto Guzzi V 50 Monza, lovely ...........................................................£3,950 Moto Guzzi 250 Airone sport, lovely ...................................................£7,950 Moto Morini 350 Strada 1973, lovely ...................................................£5,950 Moto Morini 350 K2, Very good............................................................£3,950 Moto Morini 350 Sport 1977 wire wheels, good................................£5,500 Moto Morini 500 sport V good ............................................................£4,950

Italian Bikes always wanted any condition. Try Us.

www.madeinitalymotorcycles.com


BIKES FOR SALE

AUTOJUMBLE


A n d y Est. 1972 Tier nan 1930 AJS R12 250cc attractive lightweight....................................£7,850 1929 AJS BIG PORT 350cc late saddle tank .................................£9,000 1955 AJS 16MS 350cc presentable .............................................£3,250 1947 AJS 16M 350cc lovely telerigid ...........................................£4,650 1927 AJS V-twin 800cc running for improvement......................... £16,500 1957 ARIEL COLT 200cc beautiful two-tone green ..........................£4,000 1960 ARIEL LEADER 250cc outstanding...................... REDUCED £4,850 1956 ARIEL NH 350cc lovely mellow bike .....................................£4,650 1931 ARIEL SLOPER 500cc 4-valve very desirable! ...................... £16,000 1950 ARIEL VB 600cc handsome in black ....................................£6,500 1937 BROUGH SUPERIOR SS80 1000cc beautiful ...................... £82,500 1952 BSA Bantam D1 125cc lovely mellow plunger .......................£2,500 1931 BSA B31-2 250cc handsome refurbished lightweight..............£6,650 1952 BSA C11 250cc lovely lightweight .......................................£3,250 1957 BSA C12 250cc ex Irish police ............................................£2,000 1969 BSA B25 250cc unmolested runs well...................................£3,250 1927 BSA L 350cc OHV ultimate sporty flat tanker ...................... £12,000 1914 BSA K 500cc Pioneer 3 speed chain/belt .......................... £18,500 1959 BSA M21 500cc paintwork could be improved .....................£3,500 1933 BSA W6 500cc attractive SV ..............................................£7,250 1926 BSA H26 557cc nice flat tanker...........................................£9,500 1931 BSA Sloper 557cc SV long history .......................................£8,200 1934 BSA G34-14 1000cc attractive V-twin ............................... £17,500 1929 COVENTRY EAGLE 122cc shed stored .................................£3,250 1951 DOUGLAS MK5 350cc gleaming in blue ............ REDUCED £5,500

WANTED! WANTED!

1954 EXCELSIOR TALISMAN 250cc handsome twin .... REDUCED £4,650 c1940 GNOME & RHONE 745cc French military run for restoration ...£9,500 1965 HEINKEL TOURIST 175cc German scooter ............................£5,000 1952 JAMES AUTOCYCLE 98cc lovely Suffolk bike ........................£2,000 1953 KAPTEIN AV31 49cc unique Dutch moped ................................£600 1955 MOTO RUMI 125cc little ant! ..............................................£6,500 1939 NIMBUS C 750cc 4-cylinder ...........................REDUCED £10,000 1939 NORTON ES2 500cc prewar plunger. ........................................ ASK 1955 PANTHER 65 250cc tidy bike ..............................................£3,750 1954 PANTHER 75 350cc handles well ........................................£4,500 1922 RALEIGH 350cc nice belt drive ............................................£7,250 1949 RELIANT REGENT 3-wheeler van ideal for advertising ...........£5,850 1963 ROYAL ENFIELD Clipper 250cc tidy bike ..............................£2,500 1949 ROYAL ENFIELD G 350cc nicely presented .........REDUCED £4,450 1930 SCOTT SUPER SQUIRREL 600cc 2 speed biscuit barrel........ £11,500 1938 SUNBEAM 250cc older restoration ......................................£5,250 1930 SUNBEAM 350cc SV wonderful patina ................................£6,500 1934 TERROT 100cc French lightweight ........................................£2,150 1966 TRIUMPH T20 French army cub 200cc choice of 3 ................£5,000 1961 TRIUMPH T110 650cc same family ownership for 16 years ....£8,350 1950 VELOCETTE LE 200cc SV clean early example.......................£1,600 1922 VELOCETTE Ladies Model 220cc SV rare project ...................£7,000 1959 VELOCETTE KSS Special 350cc Suffolk bike....................... £12,500 1956 VELOCETTE VENOM 500cc extensive work done .. REDUCED £9,850

VINTAGE & CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES BOUGHT & SOLD! MACHINES / COLLECTIONS WANTED ANY YEAR - ANY CONDITION - FROM BASKET CASES TO CONCOURS! WILL COLLECT! OUTRIGHT CASH PAYMENT! CONTACT: RICHARD GAUNT

See website for current list. Email: andybuysbikes@hotmail.com

www.andybuysbikes.com GOOD PRICES PAID Old Railway Station, Station Road, Framlingham, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 9EE.

D.R.CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES LTD

TEL: (01728) 724321. MOB: 07802 896114

TEL 01283 536379 / 07889 292536 | email: richard@drclassic.co.uk

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w e b u y a l l b i k e s @m a i l . c o m

PHOTOS AND REPORTS AVAILABLE, DELIVERY AT COST

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CLASSIC BIKES ALWAYS WANTED, CASH PAID

Call ANTHONY 07866 637792 ALISTAIR 07794 100386 or 01834 860505 Viewing by Appointment

75 Suzuki TS400 Apache, 64 NSU Quickly M23, restored/ fabulous, low miles .......... £4,250 superb.............................. £1,495 54 BSA Bantam D1, runs well ..............................£1,895 ):(:[HYÃ&#x201E;YLYLZ[VYLKILH\[PM\S ......................£3,350 ):()9PNPK]ZTHY[ ............................£5,500 ):()YPKLYLZ[VYL...............................£3,495 )\S[HJV7\YZHUNYLHK`MVY[OL[YHJR........  »Z*V[[VUº-)YV^U»*VIYHH^LZVTL .......  +V\NSHZ4R[^PUY\UZ]LY`^LSS .............£3,695

s.com Classic 85 Laverda SFC1000, rare and

www.

shire Pembroke

,_JLSZPVY(\[VI`RWYVQLJ[HSS[OLYL ....................£695 .YLL]LZ;YP\TWO;(=NYLH[IPRL ..............£4,995 .YLL]LZ(UNSPHU .......................................  /VUKH* UPJLJVTT\[LY ............................£1,195 /VUKH*)?V^ULYZRHSSVYPNPUHS ........... 2H^HZHRP:(;YPWSLYHYLMHI\SV\Z ..........£6,495 4H[JOSLZZ. *S\ITHU\ZHISL ...............£4,495

77 Triumph T140V/Gen amazing ......................... £17,500 Hurricane seat/tank ......... £5,995

4A;:(SWPULZ\WLYI................................£1,495 4A;:SV]LS`IPRL ..................................£1,495 5VY[VU([SHZSV]LS`[^PUIHYNHPU .............£7,500 7HU[OLY]VYPNPUHSYPKLZ^LSS ..............  :\a\RP)LHTPZOYLZ[VYLKZ\WLYI ............  :\a\RP.;Z[\UUPUN<2IPRLPUYLK...........£8,995 ;YP\TWO;;)PYK ............................................£4,995

;YP\TWO+H`[VUHTH[JOPUNZTHY[ ...........£6,995 =LSVJL[[L=PWLYNYLH[IPRL........................£5,995 @HTHOH+;V^ULYRYPKLYLZ[VYL .......  @HTHOH4?YLHK`[VYHJL ........................ @HTHOH@.YPKLYLZ[VYL .............................£895 @HTHOH;;V^UTH[LZJY\`TV[ .................£595

Lots more bikes in stock! Visit www.pembrokeshireclassics.com for more bikes to ride or restore

E S T A B L I S H E D

Authorised Dealer for Royal Enfield, Herald and Mutt

w w w.hay wards.co.uk

Haywards Anniversary Celebrating 85 years 1933-2018

OPEN TUESDAY TO SATURDAY, LOCATED REAR OF THE BP FUEL STATION NEAR GIRTON COLLEGE

HUNTINGDON ROAD, CAMBRIDGE CB3 0LQ ENGLAND. TEL: 01223 276128

1 9 3 3

â&#x20AC;¢ All models stocked â&#x20AC;¢ â&#x20AC;¢ Full range of demonstrators available for test rides â&#x20AC;¢ â&#x20AC;¢ Over 40 new and used machines on display â&#x20AC;¢ â&#x20AC;¢ Part exchange welcome â&#x20AC;¢ ROYAL ENFIELD HIMALAYAN 410cc

ROYAL ENFIELD BULLET 500cc

£4199 on the road

£4199 on the road

WEIGHT 182kg POWER 24.5bhp SEAT HEIGHT 800mm FUEL 15L COLOURS black, white

WEIGHT 187kg POWER 28bhp SEAT HEIGHT 820mm FUEL 14.5L COLOURS black, grey, green


BIKES WANTED PARTS WANTED

AUTOJUMBLE


Cosmo Classic Motorcycles Ltd

ITALIAN MOTORCYCLE SPECIALIST

BIKE

Gilera Saturno 500, 1954

OF THE MONTH

$(50$&&+, $/$ '·252, 250cc, red, restored, superb, 1961......................................£9,995 $-6 02'(/   &65, blue/chrome, restored, superb, 1963 ....................................£9,995 $5,(/ 9+  5(' +817(5, red/black, older restoration, superb, 1959......................£5,995 $5,(/ +8170$67(5  7:,1, red, ride or restore, 1958.......................................... %6$$),5(%,5'6&5$0%/(5, bronze/white, restored, superb, 1972 ....................£7,995 %6$$52&.(7, blue/chrome, ride or restore, vgc, 1964........................................... %6$$67$5, blue, project, V5, mostly there, 1962 .................................................... %6$&$7$/,1$6&5$0%/(5'%'*2/'67$5, restored, superb, 1959 ............. &+(952/(7&96+257%('3,&.83brown/white, VGC, 1965 ...................... '8&$7,0.'(6025(3/,&$, yellow, restored, superb, 1974............................£7,995 '8&$7,660+5, UK bike, second series, restored, superb, 1980 ........................ '8&$7,3$8/60$57/(, silver, low miles, superb, 2005 .................................. '28*/$6'5$*21)/<, black/silver, older restoration, 1956 ......................................£4,995 +$5/(<'$9,'621)$7%2<*5(<*+267, grey, superb, 1990 ............................ +$5/(<'$9,'621:/'55(3/,&$, ex Fred Warr, superb, 1942 ...................... ,1',$16&287%, Indain red, restored, superb, circa 1942 ................................... .$:$6$.,=$, US import, green, restored, superb, 1976 .................................. /$0%5(77$*3,112&(17,, ochre, restored, superb, 1969 .................................£9,995 0272*8==,/(0$160.&;, red, superb original condition, 1979 ................... 0272*8==,63, blue, superb original condition, 1982 .........................................£5,995 125721&200$1'20.$,17(567$7(, black, 1974, VGC, ...........................£7,995 125721&200$1'2,17(567$7(, black, restored, superb, 1972 ....................£9,995 125721&200$1'20.$52$'67(5, restored, superb, 1974.................... 125721&200$1'20.,17(567$7(, silver, new old stock, 1975 ..................... 6+(//*$6)8(/3803UHG\HOORZUHVWRUHGVXSHUEFLUFD·V ............................ 68=8.,*6, US import, red, wire wheels, low miles, superb, 1978 ........................ 75,803+75,'(177952%1257+, CRMC registered, superb ......................... 75,803+7523+<7&, green, US import, low miles, superb 1971 .........................£7,995 75,803+7566, US spec, white/blue, restored, superb, 1966.....................................£9,995 75,803++855,&$1(;, orange, US import, restored, superb, 1972 .................... 9,1&(175$3,'(6(5,(6&, black, restored, superb, 1953 ..............................£59,995

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, 1972 Moto Guzzi Sport 15 Combo, 1931 Moto Guzzi 500 GTV, 1947 Moto Guzzi Cali Stone, 2001 Moto Guzzi Griso, 2006

Ducati 250 Desmo, 1974 Ducati 750, 1974 Ducati 750GT for restoration Ducati 900 S2, 1982 Ghezzi-Brian 1100 SuperTwin, 2004

Laverda RGS1000, 1983 Laverda Jota, 1983 Moto Morini 350 Kanguro, 1983 MV Agusta 350 Sport, 1973 More Stock Online...

The Garage, West Chiltington, West Sussex RH20 2QR 01798 813260 www.dimarino.co.uk

Get a quote at

0844 409 7587

Tel: 01424 437719 HASTINGS, E. Sussex

www.cosmoclassic.co.uk

CALLS TO 0844 NUMBERS ON THIS PAGE COST 5P PER MINUTE PLUS YOUR PHONE COMPANYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ACCESS CHARGE

l na es io ic at rv rn Se te g In ppin i Sh

Will & Tomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family business specialising in Classic 70â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Super Bikes, especially Z1 900 Kawasakiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. BUYING or SELLING see our website

www.classicbikes.co.uk or give us a call.

Around 50 bikes in stock. SIMILAR BIKES WANTED!

HRD Series A Rapide 1937 ..........ÂŁ175,000

Triumph Grand Prix 1949

ÂŁ29 500

BMW R100RS 1976 .........................ÂŁ6,950

Triumph Trident 900 1992 .............ÂŁ3,500

AJS 16M LDTrial 1956 .......................ÂŁ2,950 Triumph 5TA 1960 .............................ÂŁ4,950 Triumph T120C TT 1966................ ÂŁ18,500 Norton N15CS 1968 .......... JUST ARRIVED Norton Commando 850 ..... JUST ARRIVED Honda XL250 K0 Motosport ......... JUST IN BMW R100RS 1976 ..........................ÂŁ7,750 Moto Morini 3.5 Sport 1977............ÂŁ4,950

Benelli Sei 750 1977 ...................... ÂŁ14,950 Silk 700S 1979 ................................ ÂŁ14,500 Moto Morini 3.5 Sport 1978............ÂŁ5,500 BMW K75S 1986................................ÂŁ2,495 Honda XL125R 1987.........................ÂŁ3,250 Gilera Nuovo Saturno 1989 ............ÂŁ2,950 Ducati 851 1992 ................................ÂŁ9,750 Honda NR750 1993 ....................... ÂŁ79,950

KAWASAKI Z1-Z900 SPECIALISTS for 30+years. Stock is constantly changing with usually 5 to 10 bikes available between ÂŁ6000 and ÂŁ16000+; =FDQG\RUDQJH SULFH WR EH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG 75 Z1B 900, candy blue, excellent ÂŁ15995 SOLD =%FDQG\EOXHYRULJLQDO SULFH WR EH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG =%FDQG\UHG SULFH WR EH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG =8.ELNHGLDPRQGJUHHQ . 62/' =GLDPRQGJUHHQ  =GLDPRQGEURZQ SULFH WR EH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG 76 Z900 being fully restored ÂŁ15995 =%YHU\RULJLQDO . $SSUR[ =&65EODFNORZPLOHV SULFH WR EH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG 6UHGYHU\JRRG SULFH WR EH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG 76 KH500 UK bike for restoration. ÂŁ1795 SOLD *3=5UHGEON8.ELNHVXSHUE SULFH WR EH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG HONDA 73 CB500 K1 blue, for restoration ÂŁ1795 ono 75 CB750K5, black, very good, ÂŁ8K approx 75 CB750K5, red, superb, ÂŁ9995 &;&EOXHVXSHUE SULFHWREH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG &%;UHGSUL]HZLQQLQJH[DPSOH  83 GL1100, Gold Wing Interstate, black SULFHWREH FRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG

YAMAHA 76 XS500 black, restored ÂŁ5995 ;6PDURRQ  BMW 5UHGODVWRZQHU\HDUV  TRIUMPH 7'%RQQHYLOOH6SHFLDO%ODFNORZPLOHVVXSHUE SULFHWREHFRQĂ&#x20AC;UPHG NORTON 69 650 Mercury Silver ÂŁ7995 JAGUARs & Other Classic Cars in stock include; ;. (7\SH%HQWOH\$OYLVHWFVHHRXU website.

SIMILAR BIKES & CARS WANTED!

DELIVERY SERVICE AVAILABLE GLOBALLY. - BUYING or SELLING? Our website is updated daily with photos and details of all our stock, â&#x20AC;&#x153;machine of the Monthâ&#x20AC;?, Links and Information. We are only â&#x20AC;&#x153;a clickâ&#x20AC;? away! Visit us and ... See all our bikes at: www.classicbikes.co.uk

Classic Bikes Ltd

01252 625444

Nr. Market Drayton

STAFFORDSHIRE Tel: +44 (0)1630 657156

www.classicbikes.co.uk

(20 minutes M6 J14 & J15) Open: 10am to 5pm WEDNESDAY to FRIDAY & 10am to 1pm SATURDAY

PHONE or email for DIRECTIONS & APPOINTMENT PLEASE. Tel. +44 (01630) 657156


EAST OF ENGLAND ARENA

THE LATEST 2018 BIKES THE HOTTEST 2018 BIKING BARGAINS TEST RIDES GEAR & KIT SPEEDWAY FREDDIE SPENCER FIRE-UP PADDOCK STUNT SHOWS DTRA FLAT TRACK RACING YAMAHA DARKSIDE MT TOUR DUCATI MULTISTRADA & XDIAVEL EXPERIENCE GET YOUR KIDS RIDING WALL OF DEATH CLUB DISPLAYS MEET THE MCN TEAM LIVE BANDS MUSIC RIDES & INFLATABLES

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WE SELL CLASSIC BIKES Call 07932 577377 www.wesellclassicbikes.co.uk

1948 Ariel VCH Competition 1938 Ariel Red Hunter 1932 Ariel Red Hunter 1959 AJS M18 1981 BMW R100RS 1956 BSA Star Twin Outfit 500cc ................. £14,500 Hunter .................. £14,500 ............................. £7650 ............................. £4650 ............................. £5500 ............................. £7650

1982 Honda CB750F 1972 Honda CB500 KO 1979 Honda Britain 1954 BSA D1 1959 BSA Super Rocket 1957 BSA DBD34 Rep Electric Start ....... £16,500 ............................. £7950 ............................. £2850 ............................. £9950 ............................. £7950 ............................. £5950

1972 Jim Redman Honda 1964 Honda CB77 1985 Honda XBR500 1971 Honda CB750K1 1980 Honda CM400T 1979 Honda CB750K .......................... £25,000 ............................. £6970 ............................. £3450 .......................... £11,950 ................................£TBA ............................. £5750

1978 Honda CB400/4 1979 Honda CB550/4 1979 Kawasaki KH250 1980 Laverda Jota 180 1943 Matchless WW2G3L 1982 Moto Guzzi Le Mans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £TBA ............................. £5750 ............................. £4450 .......................... £15,950 ............................. £6350 MKII...................... £8500

1986 Norton Classic 1973 Norton Commando 1948 Manx Norton 500 1965 Norton Atlas 750 1956 Norton Dominator 1970 Norton Commando Rotary ............... £12,750 Custom .............. £24,950 .......................... £22,500 ............................. £8950 88......................... £6950 ............................. £9450

1971 Norton Commando 1961 Royal Enfield 1930 Rudge Ulster GP 1985 Suzuki GS550L 1972 Suzuki T350 1973 Suzuki GT750 ............................. £8950 Crusader ............... £3350 500cc ................. £15,500 ............................. £1975 ............................. £4650 ............................. £7750

1973 Suzuki T500 1973 Suzuki T500 1950 Sunbeam S7 1965 Triton T120 Pre-Unit 1939 Triumph T100 500cc 1975 Triumph Slippery ............................. £5995 ............................. £5750 ............................. £9450 .......................... £10,950 .......................... £29,950 Sam ...................... £9950

1954 Triumph T100 1958 Triumph 500 Cafe 1965 Velocette Viper 1955 Velocette Mac 1955 1950 Vincent Rapide C 1953 Triumph 6T ............................. £9950 ............................. £8750 Racer ................... £4450 Sport .................... £7650 350cc .................... £6450 .......................... £59,999

PART EXCHANGE WELCOME • See More Motorcycle Stock On Our Website • Based in Gloucestershire


TH E YOUR OLD PHOTOGRAPHS ON THE PAGES EVERYONE TURNS TO FIRST

We

THE RAPIDE ROAD TO ROMANCE This is Judith Gurney with my 1948 B-Series Vincent Rapide, taken in May 1964, a few weeks before we were married. We’re still together (the girl and me). Judith bought me a Gold Star as a wedding present. The Vincent, after being dismantled and in boxes for 50 years, is now owned by my oldest friend and being prepared for a visit to the Classic TT this year. James Bowen

BEEZAS AND BOATS

ABOVE: Frederick on the BSA he exported to Kuwait to ride in the desert... LEFT: ... and on the bike he used to go to work on during his Merchant Navy years

The main photograph here is of my father Frederick Taylorson, on his 350cc plunger BSA – a ZB31? This bike was registered in Sunderland in 1950/51. He had travelled the world with the Merchant Navy, and would ride the BSA to meet his ships in Glasgow and Wales from his home in County Durham; my grandfather, travelling as pillion, would ride the bike back home. The photograph below is of his girlfriend at the time (my mother) on the same bike. After the Navy, he spent time working in Kuwait. He exported another BSA to ride in the desert on his days off – another 350cc BSA B31 I think – complete with Arabic numberplates. I understand he left the bike behind when he returned to the UK. Brent Taylorson, Windsor Your observations on the bikes seems OK, except that your father’s ‘desert’ bike seems to have a 21in front wheel – this and the chrome primary cover make me think it might be a ZB32 Competition, the more sports-minded version of the B31. Rick P

RIGHT: Frederick’s girlfriend on same BSA as main photo

129


TH E We

NORTON SOAP OPERA WHO SAYS THE PEOPLE CARRIER’S A NEW IDEA? This photo is of my great grandparents, John and Alice Newman, taking the family out for a Sunday ride. My great grandpa was a gardener at Hampton Court and great grandma owned pubs around there (at least that’s the story). They lived at 1 New Cottages, Barge Walk, Hampton Wick, Kingston upon Thames. Could you tell us anything about his rig and the registration (AU 5654)? Craig Newman, Edmonton, Canada Hi Craig, I can’t date the registration number,

but it comes from Nottinghamshire. Obviously you can’t see much of the bike, but from the design of the forks and sidecar chassis I would say it is a Model H Matchless. These were introduced after World War I and only supplied as a sidecar outfit. They were unusual for the time in having rear suspension and the usual engine was a 1000cc MAG. The model continued until 1927, but they were probably at their peak of popularity in the early ’20s. Rick Parkington

A COUPLE OF SPECIAL BIKES FROM MY PAST I am 72 years old and ride a Moto Guzzi Breva these days, but the main photograph below is of me on my second bike – a 1956 Triumph, taken in 1963. I have also sent a couple of pictures of my 1950 Harley-Davidson WLA – this was my first attempt at building a ‘special’ and it did not reflect the customising trends of the time (1969) in America. You can spot the bicycle ‘goosenecks’ for the drag bar, a bulb horn, hand shift and ‘Sportster’ oil tank – the frame was modified to accept the gas tank. Stephen Lambert, Albuquerque, USA

ABOVE: Stephen’s first foray into the world of specials – a Harley-Davidson WLA LEFT: Stephen Lambert giving it some high-bar action on his ’56 Triumph

130

I found this Norton in a barn adjacent to Esholt Hall (former home of Emmerdale Farm) where I worked in the ’50s. The barn was very warm and there was no rust evident on the bike – I was told it was a Norton 350cc dated 1937 and I helped to restore it to working order, then used it for work for a couple of years till it gave up. Sadly, I never discovered what was wrong with it and it was taken away by a local bike breaker. Mike Hawkins

Same bloke, separated by 42 years (and a Norton)

PAST AND PRESENT

As a regular reader of Classic Bike, and being drawn to the ‘back pages’, I’ve often regretted my lack of old bike photos – but I recently turned up one that my brother took of me fishing about in the engine of my 1974 Norton Commando 850 at my parents’ house in Hertfordshire in 1976. Fast-forward to February 2018 and I still have the same bike – it was used as my regular (only) transport in the ’70s and as a commuter hack in the ’80s, before I stripped and completely rebuilt it in 1990. The current mileage stands at 82,000 and I love the bike just as much now as I did when I first bought it from Slocombes of Neasden when it was just a year old. It now comes out on VMCC runs and rides out on empty Pennine roads around where I live. Over the years many happy miles were spent touring Scotland and England, with a couple of trips to Norway and a visit to the Island in 1978 where we stood at Ballaugh Bridge and watched Mike Hailwood; I returned on the same bike to watch the Classic TT in 2008. Steve McLellan, a friend with a bike and a keen interest in photography, had the idea of creating the ‘then and now’ image of me above, taking the original and adding a current photo to produce the image shown here. You’ll notice that the practicality of fork gaiters took precedence over the look of naked chrome for me back then! Richard Graham, Cumbria


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of customers would recommend Carole Nash Based on reviews from July 2017 – December 2017

carolenash.com UK opening hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm, Sat 9am - 5pm, Sun 10am - 4pm. As with all insurances, terms and conditions apply. **Rider Cover®: Both bikes must have comprehensive cover visit carolenash.com/rider-terms-and-conditions for full T&C’s. Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, irm reference no. 307243. Carole Nash is a trading style of Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd, registered in England and Wales no. 2600841.

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