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RealClassic November 2020

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!)

United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
$4.57(Incl. tax)
$39.55(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the front

Whenever I'm asked - and it happens a lot - I always insist that only a fool would buy a motorcycle without riding it. Or at least inspecting it closely in the metal while hearing it run. Or at least checking that it is what it says it is, that it looks exactly as it did in those tempting photographs, and that there 's no sign of idiot tampering in the past. Never, ever, under any circumstances, I say sternly, buy a bike you've never seen. Sight unseen, as the Trade mysteriously puts it. Oh no. Down that path there is madness. You can probably guess what I'm going to say next. Of course you can. I have just bought a motorcycle - an old motorcycle, not a relatively safe modern…

14 min
riding with a legend

Isn't it entertaining when an idea which you've previously considered, failed to achieve, forgot about, then pondered again ... quite suddenly and entirely unexpectedly and with no planning at all - actually happens! What am I talking about? Well, as you might recall from last month's magazine, my everyday go-to machine is a mostly modern Triumph, a Street Scrambler of a thrusting 900cc capacity . Its styling is a cleverly deliberate derivation of soft-roader Triumphs of long ago - a retro, if you like the term; a roadster for most modernists . And it's great, as I have said probably a hundred times already. When the modern Triumph concern rose from the ashes of the classic Meriden company, its Top Chaps all confirmed that the new company wanted to distance…

20 min
in coming

BEST SINGLES ANYWHERE Early in 1970 I had a good friend who was a professional motorcycle mechanic employed in a 'government department '. Under threat of secrecy he related a story to me of how he had once borrowed, as emergency transport , a 833 from a mutual acquaintance of ours in exchange for agreeing to 'look at its engine' which was reported to be making strange noises. The bike's owner had no mechanical idea and only owned a motorcycle as a means of commuting to work. Suffice to say the BSA had to be towed home from Liverpool, having blown up in a big way while my mechanic friend had used it for holiday transport at that year's TT. This result was not surprising in view of the state of the…

7 min
british steel abroad

I've owned this BSA A65 Lightning for a few months and thought I'd share its story with you. According to BSA records, NG 02328 was produced in October 1971 as a 1972 model. In those months at Small Heath, the bitter end was approaching fast and I found little information from those days. The previous owner passed the DVLA documents to me, which showed the first UK registration date in March 1992 to a Mr Bond of Bury St Edmunds. He was followed in March 1995 by Mr Boon in Colchester. But what happened between the years 1971 and 1992? It dawned on me that the papers were incomplete! Mr Boon obviously did not enjoy the BSA, as a few months after he bought it the bike crossed the Channel to…

12 min
barn-find build

The term 'barn find' has come in for much abuse over the past few years - so much so that anything described as such must be regarded with suspicion. An amusing Facebook posting summed it up very nicely. The picture showed a bucket of water with a carrot floating in it. The advert said 'Barn find, snowman - will need some reassembly: So why did I succumb to purchasing a Canadian barn find in the shape of a Yamaha RS? I needed a project and had a yearning to re-live my misspent youth. Although I never owned a two-stroke Yamaha, I rode plenty as part of my part-time job at Wraggs Motorcycles in Mansfield during my late teens. My recollection was that the 250cc to 400cc Yamahas were faster, lighter and…

7 min
street sleeper

A few seasons ago I had the pleasure of comparing two of the best ohc singles this isle has ever produced, riding them back to back. The Velocette 350 KTS was beautifully made, a real labour of love from the skilled engineers at Hall Green. Yet this 350 gem compared less favourably with the Norton 500 International, despite the Velo being the better bike in almost every respect. Except one, the one that really matters: performance . The Velo exuded quality and rode and steered with a poise belying its 80-something years, a true'gentlemen's express; based as it was on their fabulous racing cammy singles. But its performance was modest, to say the least. The old stories that the ohc machines were left in a low state of tune deliberately in…