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RealClassic September 2020

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RealClassic magazine features the very best British motorcycles from all eras, plus charismatic Continental machines (and the odd Japanese classics crops up occasionally, too). Long term classic riders will recognise many of the members of the RC team, which includes authors, historians and journalists like Steve Wilson, Dave Minton, Matt Vale, Odgie, Jacqueline 'PUB' Bickerstaff, Rowena Hoseason and editor Frank Westworth -- but the magazine's key feature is that it is firmly grounded in the real world. Our articles are written by real life riders and reflect far more than a simple road test ever can. We're never scared of getting grubby in The Shed (and we even admit it when things go horribly wrong!)

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United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
$4.50(Incl. tax)
$39.03(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from the front

Here's a thing. I really enjoyed my day out aboard the Yamaha triple you should find elsewhere in these pages this very month. It ticked pretty much all of the boxes in the big long questionnaire What Makes A Bike Classic? It hailed from the 70s, started itself, delivered plenty enough power to make riding it at modern roads speeds achievable, steered well and was even comfortable . I'll not even mention the shaft drive and triple disc brakes, nor indeed the characterful three-pot engine. And on the long ride home aboard my own modern machine, I found myself puzzling over how it could be that I'd enjoyed almost everything about the Yamaha, but still would be very unlikely to actually buy one. I didn't when they were current, and I…

10 min.
top triple!

Everyone I know indulges in harmless obsessions. Many of my own involve deciding that I absolutely need a particular motorcycle, whereupon no advert, no auction, no online enthusiasts' group is safe. I plot and I scheme and I find a few, make a shortlist, consider the familial and financial outcomes and .. . do nothing. Usually. Sometimes I even abuse my happy position as a Top Magazine Chappie and go ride one of the chosen few, but mostly I resist that wicked temptation. Mostly . So it was when Rowena of this parish remarked that she was prepping a feature on my almost-favourite Triumph, the T160 Trident. All things being equal, you should be able to read about this elsewhere in this very issue, and a truly handsome machine it is, as are all…

15 min.
in coming

EARLY YEARS This is me on my first bike which cost £10 in 1961, when I was 16. It seems like yesterday. I had just started an apprenticeship earning just £1.50 a week, which meant I had to borrow the money to buy and run the bike . I was told it was an Ambassador with a Villiers 6E 197cc engine. But looking at the photos, it had a swinging arm frame . I think this may have been fitted onto what should have been a rigid frame - who knows? The Ambassador had a very large rear sprocket and would climb up a wall if you weren't careful! My friend at the time had a brand new Tiger Cub which his family bought for him , but he never looked after…

9 min.
piege mortel

I love this bike. It belongs to a mate of mine, Eddy Matt Lomas, and he's just as barmy as the bike looks . I heard tell he was up to something and then, sure enough, he came pottering past one day sounding like and indeed looking not dissimilar to Biggles on a flypast in his Sopwith Camel, letting rip with the twin Vickers. How could I not rush over and arrange a photoshoot? The bike in question is a 1927 Motobecane MB2 175 with a splendid story behind it. Eddy deserves to tell it himself really ... 'A bit of history; I first saw one of these bikes about six years ago and for some bizarre reason fell in love. I think it was because they reminded me of those…

2 min.
more about motobécane

When Charles Benoit and Abel Bardin formed Motobecane in 1923, they chose one of the best-ever names for a powered two-wheeler: 'moto' and 'becane' translate quite literally to 'motor cycle~ That savvy brand name and a pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap philo sophy meant that Motobecane was one of France's top motorcycle manufacturers of the 20th century. Their first model, the 175cc MB1 belt-drive single, was so successful that the company rapidly had to scale up production to meet demand of nearly 40,000 machines per annum for the next four years. With large-scale manufacturing capacity in place, Motobecane kept their workers busy producing sub-assemblies and components for other European manufacturers - which helped to insulate them from the economic shocks of the depression era. After winning hearts and wallets with…

8 min.
the power of the past

Back in 1975, the T160 was hailed as being everything the British bike industry needed ... seven years earlier. If the first Trident had been this competent, said Bike magazine, then 'there wouldn't be half as many Honda fours on the road now.' Ouch. Swing a leg over a disc-braked electric-start T160 and you immediately understand that this is no traditionally svelte Brit single or one ofTurner's pint-size twins. The Trident never lets you forget that it's a big bike, weighing over SOOlb with half a tank of fuel. The 740cc engine sits quite high in the race-bred steel frame, so it boasts decent ground clearance but feels hefty - not unlike the first generation of Hinckley triples, in fact. But while some machines manage to minimise the impression of mass as soon…