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RealClassic January 2021

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

Every year at this time - the first issue of the new year - I generally write something about new resolutions, plans for great rides to see great things and to visit great friends. And indeed, my thoughts - as the rains lash down against the windows and my riding gear gets more and more and more lathered in mud - turn with inevitability to those faraway warm days. Days of sunshine, days spent grumbling genially about how it's too hot to ride and other lies like that. It's never too hot to ride - unless you're stuck aboard a three-wheeler in yet another MS traffic jam, unable to move and baking only a lot in the heat. Which happened a lot last year. A three-wheeler? Yes indeed, we have one…

15 min
in the swing

Back in the 1970s my old mate Tuck had an old grain barn in the village of Holt in Wiltshire that attracted motorcyclists from far and wide. Tuck's barn was a cornucopia of British motorcycles and parts, with a number of interesting machines and rolling chassis tucked away in the dark recesses under the floor. As one of Tuck's minions, I spent some time under that floor moving machines around. I was always intrigued by what looked like an Ariel Huntmaster but with a bent top tube, and parts of the front down tubes missing. It turned out to be a Huntmaster frame modified to take an Ariel Square Four motor and gearbox. I helped Tuck move his collection, six HGVs' worth, to Devon in the late 1980s and remember…

3 min
the history bit

The original Square Four engine was designed by Edward Turner in 1928. He was trying to get work as an engine designer with a number of motorcycle manufacturers, using his unique engine design as a calling card to demonstrate his skills. The engine was considered by BSA but rejected. Ariel, however, liked the idea and decided to make it. The early engine with two transverse crankshafts was essentially a pair of across the frame ohc parallel twins joined by their geared central flywheels, with a square, four-cylinder block and a single head. With a chain driven overhead camshaft, the early Square Four 500 used a hand-change, four-speed Burman gearbox. The first Ariel Square Four 4F was shown at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in 1930. In 1932, the cylinder bores were enlarged by…

21 min

CLUTCHING Following on from RC198 and Mick Dobson's superb treatise in 'Torque Sensein RC199Hugo Rose presented an erudite and succinct argument that power and torque are not'things'as such, but concepts derived from Brake Mean Effective PressurePlus . , he explained the relationship between both power and torque in racing and hill climbing, going on to expand and illustrate their relevance in 'real-world' riding. As the popular meme says;'Horsepoweis how fast you hit the wall: torque is how far you take the wall with you: I think this sums it all up nicely, and in a way that most of us will grasp rather more easily! In RC198Paul Miles waxed lyrical over the merits, and very few de-merits, of his beautiful Laverda 750 SFHis main gripe was the standard Italian clutch. I've long…

1 min
top 200

Well done on reaching your 200'h edition of RealClassic. An excellent achievement which I know you have put your hearts and souls into. I especially love the fact that the standards, which started off high, have if anything improved as the magazine has evolved. I have really enjoyed reading every edition. I remember following RC when it was a web-only publication and then sending off my first subscription when you announced the magazine was coming. At the time I thought it was worth taking a punt on something unseen and I haven't regretted it since. The quirky mix of articles continues to entertain. My only challenge is that I never manage to ration the content until the end of the month. Trevor Collier, member 89 Thank you for the free access to RC01 and…

9 min
paraller lines

Were I an advert copywriter, which happily I am not, I might describe Kawasaki's W650 as sweet, neat and fleet of foot. You can see why I'm not an ad copywriter! But in fact that silly set of words sums up the bike pretty well, because it is all of those things, as I discovered for myself, only a few decades after everyone else on the planet had ridden one and made up their own minds. No need to rush things, I feel. We were progressing swiftly enough along a Herefordshire B-road, light traffic, clear views, with endless changes of direction and elevation - a great road for trying out an unfamiliar machine. Except... except that the Kawasaki felt instantly familiar. So much so that I wondered for a while whether my…