The Classic MotorCycle6 min read
A Priory Appointment
It may be months before the International West Kent Run, but every year, January is but a couple of days old before the eponymous Vintage MCC section has received a full quota of entries. Miss it, and there’s a slim second chance with a waiting list
The Classic MotorCycle3 min read
A Question Of Timing
In the mid-1980s, at the Stafford show I spotted a 3HW Triumph that had been modified and updated in Italy. It was simply gorgeous and I was immediately seduced by its Latin charms and made the purchase there and then. That beguiling 3HW became the o
The Classic MotorCycle5 min read
Sketchbook Travels: Summertime Special
Summer always brings a plethora of events for the motorcycling fraternity to attend, a lot of them leaning more towards the active side of motorcycling. This month’s entry into the sketchbook covers two events that both took place at stately homes in
The Classic MotorCycle5 min read
Readers’ Letters
I really appreciated the letter from Nigel Megson regarding the great article by Andy Westlake on my Greeves 197cc Scottish in the September 2019 issue of The Classic MotorCycle. In answer to his question concerning my ride in the 1971 ISDT, it was c
The Classic MotorCycle9 min read
You Were Asking
Chatting to Oz Ellison (one of our much younger enthusiasts) at Founders’ Day this year, the conversation drifted to a 250cc ohv JAP engine, which, along with a carburettor, BTH racing magneto and a four-speed Albion gearbox, was literally thrust on
The Classic MotorCycle6 min read
More Than The Sum Of Its Parts
The early 1970s was a difficult time for MV Agusta. Not least because in the January of 1971, while accompanying the President of Finland Urho Kekkonen on a visit to the factory, company founder Count Domenico Agusta suffered a heart attack. He passe
The Classic MotorCycle2 min read
Pre-war Norton Es2
‘Vintage Norton’ is an absorbing, photo-based website. John de Kruif and Simon Grigson both have a keen interest in their topic and a desire to have early Nortons correctly described wherever they are presented. With any machine now at least 80 years
The Classic MotorCycle10 min read
Over – and ‘out’!
Spring and early summer are the best times to go jaunting in Europe on an old motorcycle, so the Dutch Ariel Club’s weekend rally at the end of May looked ideal. I’d had my 1954-ish 350cc NH Red Hunter for over a year and only put around 600 miles on
The Classic MotorCycle4 min read
Restoration Guide
The aluminium crankcase housed a built-up crank assembly with substantial flywheels and an uncaged roller big-end for the steel con-rod. Pre-1931 models had a single drive side roller bearing and a self-aligning ball race on the timing side. This arr
The Classic MotorCycle5 min read
Cycle Aid
A quick glance at the Cykelaid gives the impression that it was some sort of antecedent to the ubiquitous post-Second World War VeloSolex. Well it is, and it isn’t. The idea of hanging the engine on the front wheel where it doesn’t interfere with the
The Classic MotorCycle12 min read
The Old Art
My story first. As a teenager over 50 years ago, I happily sprayed any form of paint which would pass through a spray gun without a thought of using masks, although occasionally, when the air became a ‘bit thick,’ an old duster was tied over one’s no
The Classic MotorCycle2 min read
A Forgotten Option
A brief summary of the sporting, financial, manufacturing and business restructuring leading to the launch of the British Anzani two-stroke twin cylinder motorcycle engine could fill a chapter, or even a book! Ultra-briefly… Alexandre Anzani, son of
The Classic MotorCycle9 min read
Tiny Tigers
Angela Carter ticks many of the boxes from the original brief for Triumph’s Tiger Cub. She’s young, and keen on Triumphs – her 250cc Tigress scooter featured in TCM March 2019, and there’s a 3TA 350cc twin awaiting completion. And she’s female – the
The Classic MotorCycle8 min read
An Angelic Demon
Mention the name ‘DOT’ to any classic off-road motorcycle enthusiast and they will be instantly taken back to that golden era of off-road sport in the late 1950s and early 1960s, where the Manchester-made, Villiers-powered two-strokes were at the hea
The Classic MotorCycle3 min read
Diary
Mod ’n’ Mini Night ‘Italian Special’. Ace Cafe, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD.london.acecafe.com Wales Rally GB. www.walesrallygb.com Bumtoberfest. Essex Outdoors, Rewsalls Lane, East Mersea, Colchester, Essex CO5 8SX. ww
The Classic MotorCycle1 min read
Notes:
* Where possible, the maker rather than the agent or importer has been detailed. However, a few listed as makers (including Wooler) didn’t have full facilities to make their own machines. * While some makers listed and displayed new models, others pr
The Classic MotorCycle1 min read
Artist On Location
From the early days of motorcycling, right through to the 1970s, the artist was an important part of the press process, but rarely do we get to see the men behind the work, which makes this an interesting picture. Depicted is Manx artist John H Nicho
The Classic MotorCycle7 min read
A Paton Of Progress
It’s almost impossible to miss a Paton racing past – even with your eyes closed. The machine’s deep, resonating hum is enough to identify the Italian racer even from half-a-mile off. And if you can’t hear it, you’ll spot the machine’s bright green, s
The Classic MotorCycle4 min read
A Brief Chat With... Ron Langston
For someone so associated with Gloucestershire, it was a surprise to learn Ron Langston was born in Warwickshire. “But I’ve been in Gloucestershire for 80 years,” grins the former British sidecar trials champion. We’re in his workshop where he is pro
The Classic MotorCycle2 min read
Editor’s Welcome
What’s your favourite motorcycle of all time? And by what criteria would you judge or base it? Would you go for something that you’re sentimentally attached to – or something you’ve always aspired to and never attained? A dream machine or a dream rea
The Classic MotorCycle5 min read
An Optimistic Re-launch
Exactly 100 years ago, over 150 makers or importers exhibited their 1920 season motorcycles, scooters, cycle attachments, runabouts, sidecars, proprietary engines and accessories at the November 1919 Olympia Show, London. Of the exhibitors, 91 were d
The Classic MotorCycle4 min read
A touring Triumph
At first glance, the photograph asks more questions than it answers, with a particularly intriguing scene taking place. In the foreground, a 1951 Triumph TR5 Trophy can be seen fitted with some rather dusty and thoroughly used luggage. The TR5 was ba
The Classic MotorCycle4 min read
TYRELL SMITH “He Was Known As Sir Tyrell, In A Light-hearted Recognition Of His Elevated Social Background.”
HG (Henry George) Tyrell Smith was born at Blackrock, Dublin, in 1907. His father was a keen motorcyclist and passed that passion to Tyrell (who was always known thus). From a young age, Tyrell was fascinated by motorcycles. His first taste of action
The Classic MotorCycle10 min read
News & Events
A beautiful restored Kreidler, owned and raced by Robert Dunlop, is set to be one of the highlights at the upcoming Classic Motorcycle Mechanics show. The German-built 50cc bike will be proudly displayed alongside thousands of fascinating machines at
The Classic MotorCycle7 min read
Making Steady Progress
It’s a fair bet anyone reading this has moved house/workshop a time or two. You know the drill – stuff is packed in boxes, and what’s in the box is written on the outside in marker pen so there’s some idea of what’s where… at least, that’s the theory
The Classic MotorCycle2 min read
The Way We Were In November
Since the Edwardian days, a handful of engineers had conceived large capacity two-stroke motorcycle engines, though most were stillborn. But Messrs Dunford & Elliott (Sheffield) Ltd – Sheffield steel founders – had developed a 499cc single cylinder,
The Classic MotorCycle3 min read
Judging The Judges
Given my role here, it’s probably not surprising that I’m sensitive to the misuse of written English, and perhaps the most aggravating instance is the so-called greengrocers’ apostrophe, when the poor little ‘mid-air comma’ is recklessly pushed into
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