RealClassic10 min read
Incoming!
I’d like to award five service stars to Avondale Welding, who corrected my stupidity and dented pride. Being an impatient chump, I tried pushing my Enfield Continental 250 up the ramp backwards onto the bench on my own. It fell off, breaking the stee
RealClassic2 min read
Family Album
This photo came to light while rummaging through my father’s old files. He wouldn’t go near a motorcycle, but my grandfather, Donald Bright Hoseason, was a keen rider so we presume this is him. The Rudge looks to be from roughly the right era for a c
RealClassic11 min read
Matchless German
Horex was Germany’s leading manufacturer for almost 50 years either side of WW2, and was in many ways comparable to Britain’s older Matchless marque in terms of product and marketplace positioning, as well as in its road racing involvement. But, curi
RealClassic10 min read
The Awkward Ajay
Can a motorcycle get so deeply enmeshed in your psyche that you simply can’t get rid of it? Despite being regularly advertised, concatenations of uncanny circumstances mean that this motorcycle never actually leaves the shed in someone else’s hands.
RealClassic9 min read
The Civilised Scratcher
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 250 single of the 1960s was every schoolboy’s dream. I lusted after one. But my old man deduced that blood-red paintwork and bacon slicers were far too much performance for a sixteen year-old learner. So he reneged on
RealClassic2 min read
THEN & NOW
Modern Indian-built Enfields trace their roots back to 1955 when Enfield India Ltd manufactured 350 Royal Enfield Bullets under licence from Redditch UK. The 350 Bullet became immensely popular across the subcontinent. When the Redditch factory close
RealClassic1 min read
The Specialist
It’s a well-established tradition from the days of the old British bike industry that dealers and specialists would take bikes fresh from the factory, pull them apart, fit a stack of trick bits and create something rather remarkable. These machines w
RealClassic7 min read
Happy Horseplay
Ariel were at the top of their game in the 1930s with the dream team of Val Page on engineering and Edward Turner on styling. Page the quiet gentleman joined Ariel from JAP in 1925 to redesign and modernise the Ariel range for 1926, saving the compan
RealClassic9 min read
FROM CALEDONIA TO California
Moto Guzzi was founded in 1921 and the so-called ‘loop’ frames first hit the street in 1967 – 46 years after motorcycle production started and 51 years ago. The loops have a particular niche in the nearly century-long continuum of the marque, arrivin
RealClassic4 min read
Outward Bounnd
➤ There’s a CLASSIC BIKE AUCTION at the National Motorcycle Museum at Bickenhill, B92 0EJ. Viewing from 9am, sale starts 1pm. thenmm.co.uk ➤ If you’re into classic cars as much as bikes then the CLASSIC MOTORBIKE SHOW at the NEC near Birmingham might
RealClassic3 min read
Write 4 Real
➤ WE WANT TO PUBLISH more stories about real life classic bikes. You don’t need to be an inspired writer to see your story in RealClassic, but you do need to say something relevant. We like profiles about a single model (or maybe two very similar one
RealClassic11 min read
Built To Last
Over my recent summers I worked on a couple of Honda CB750 sohc fours. Both are owned by childhood friends of mine, both needed engine work. Jim, Ray and I have remained friends since high school, all the way into our 60s! When we were teenagers we h
RealClassic7 min read
TRIALS With TRIBULATION
So far, a pile of loosely-assembled parts have been given an engine and gearbox rebuild, a new rear wheel and petrol tank, and half the frame has been painted. My project to transform a mid-1950s Royal Enfield pre-unit 250 Clipper into a tidy trials
RealClassic4 min read
Ollie's ODDJOBS
There’s a growing band of unhinged, usually young, mechanical geniuses who have taken upon themselves the task of hacking about the most popular motor vehicle in history, the Honda Super Cub. The Super Cub has been in production since 1958, and over
RealClassic3 min read
From The Front
There’s a terrible temptation when putting an old bike back on the road – especially an old bike which has been standing for quite a while. Right at the back of this very issue you’ll find some maniac – that would be me – waffling maniacally away abo
RealClassic7 min read
Pub Talk
Sunday is usually the better day to attend Kop hillclimb, but other commitments mandated that PUB go on Saturday. A poor weather forecast for Sunday may have persuaded others to make the same choice, but whatever the reason this year the event was re
RealClassic7 min read
Blown Away
Arguably the most beautiful motorcycle ever built, it’s no surprise there’s a Hurricane in the Smithsonian Institute. While the history of how the Ogle-designed BSA Rocket 3 ugly duckling morphed into the Triumph X-75 Hurricane surely doesn’t need re
RealClassic8 min read
Tales From The Shed
Once upon a time, in a magazine far, far away, every year at around this time we would run a story. Magazines do this. Although the words and pics were always different, the title was always the same: Winter Drawers On. It was a feeble joke when it w
RealClassic8 min read
A Trio Of Twins
A friend of mine, another Paul, had recently been through the unsatisfactory experience of buying a 1930s bike from a dealer before finding out it came with a whole heap of undisclosed yet major problems. Refund duly secured, the money was scorching
RealClassic1 min read
Taken For A Ride
I’d been teasing Paul Miles about borrowing one of his old bikes … and here I was on the VMCC Dorset Giants Run. Paul briefly went over stuff, double de-clutch to change down with the hand change, etc, etc. ‘You’ve done all that before: right?’ ‘Ye
RealClassic3 min read
BRISTOL BUILT & SHIPSHAPE
The Douglas Engineering Company produced motorcycles from 1907 to 1957, and the family-owned concern remains synonymous with the opposed twin cylinder configuration. Geographically distant from the epicentre of motorcycle manufacture – the Midlands –
RealClassic7 min read
YORKSHIRE Plodding
I had not ridden off-road since my early teens. Public roads were not an option then; even a provisional license was well over a year away. I had no bike and not much idea how to ride one. What I did have, though, was a couple of like-minded friends
RealClassic3 min read
Outward Bounnd
➤ There’s a Charterhouse AUCTION of classic and vintage motorcycles at the Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Yeovil, BA22 7LH. charterhouse-auction.com ➤ The COPDOCK MOTORCYCLE SHOW opens 9am at Trinity Park, Ipswich IP3 8UH. Dougie Lampkin and Allen M
RealClassic4 min read
PLUGS & LEADS
There will be an added attraction at next year’s Classic TT on the Isle of Man in August in the form of an historic motorcycle auction. This new sale is being hosted by Charterhouse, who you may know from the Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show. The Clas
RealClassic2 min read
Reader Ads
JAMES SPORTS CAPTAIN, 200cc, 1965. Restored for riding. £850 spent on engine rebuild. Receipts. Rare example of this bike, great fun to ride. Dodgy knees and old age forces reluctant sale. £ 2500. 07734 796308. Wirral MOTO GUZZI NUOVO FALCONE, Blue,
RealClassic12 min read
Classic Techniques
“Good wiring should discreetly blend into the background of the motorcycle, but we’ve all seen wiring that doesn’t: the psychedelic spaghetti that seems to have been strewn around by a partially-sighted, colour-blind chimp; the excess cable bulging b
RealClassic2 min read
To Solder Or Not?
I soldered virtually every joint I made until 1978 when I found a Ministry of Defence report that challenged this approach. I was working on new warships that had hundreds of miles of cables and tens of thousands of joints and connections. As the shi
RealClassic3 min read
From The Front
Famously, variety is the spice of life. I’d not argue with that, and one of the many merry features we enjoy about this often odd magazine is the variety of machinery on view. This issue is no exception, which is also slightly wonderful, and it keeps
RealClassic6 min read
Purists Look Away Now!
There is a gentleman, not far from here, who knows when he’s beaten and isn’t afraid to admit it. He purchased a US-import BSA Thunderbolt, missing more than a few items, and started on a rebuild to while away the idle hours. Time passed oh so quickl
RealClassic6 min read
Triple Knockers
No matter how long we’ve been knocking around with old bikes, we never know everything. You investigate just one new thing and another whole world opens up… as a recent visit to my mate Brian revealed. There’s never an ‘ordinary’ visit to Brian’s. It
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