ZINIO logo

RealClassic March 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

We’ve tried something rather different this issue. Yes indeed, we’ve altered the magazine’s usual format to include a lot more spannering stories. Is this some kind of editorial insanity? A rush of blood to the brain caused by too much excitement? No. Well, not entirely. Speaking personally, this has been one of the most wintry winters I can recall. Not simply a question of temperatures, either, more that unusual dilemma of having too much time on our hands, time which would more usually be entirely filled by travelling, at home and abroad, by wheels in any combination and by other methods less relevant to this magazine. Lots of us have taken advantage of this unexpected free-time bonus to do many things – far too many to list! – and in our…

8 min
living with legends yet again

Not another Velocette! you may be thinking. Sorry, it’s become a recurring theme lately; a precedent set by Editor Westworth with his seemingly never-ending supply of rattling Matchlii. I have a strange relationship with Velos, regarding them for years as being pointlessly over-complicated, difficult to start and just a tiny bit dull to ride. After all, had I not ridden a Clubmans Velocette for RealClassic a while back (see RC150) and dismissed it as over-complicated and under-practical? Slide rule calculations for the kickstart position in order to start and the need to fold both foot AND toe pegs out of the way, a terrible riding position and as for that dreadful clutch… All of that is still true, up to a point, but the balm of time soothes such painful memories.…

18 min

RECOMMENDED READS My husband and I love your bike mag and always read it from cover to cover. I especially enjoy the ‘we’ve been reading’ recommendations – they always mention something different and interesting. I’ve just finished reading the Baltic Book Shop’s book of the month, Lewis Amnesia by FMT Macdonald. It is the second in a series after St Kilda Fever, and it picks up the tale where the last one left off. The Outer Hebrides will be a go-to destination in coming years, and while these books are set in the 1970s, they paint a vivid picture of land and climate there. They are also brilliant thrillers, with a Cold War spy plot in one and countless murders in the other. But they are also written with real humour. Oh…

16 min
barn found

OK, so it wasn’t a barn. My old AJS has been buried in the darkest recesses of The Shed for almost two decades, ever since we moved down to ever-sunny Cornwall and forsook the wooded uplands of Shropshire’s border country. Those years have not been kind – not in a cosmetic sense, as the saline Cornish air destroyed much of the bike’s finish before I understood what was happening and protected what was left. What’s the bike, you ask? It’s an AJS, a Model 20 built by the Plumstead factory for the 1953 season. Model 20? A 500cc twin, using AMC’s slightly unusual parallel twin engine in almost – but not quite – its original form. From my own personal perspective, this was genuinely the first motorcycle I bought as…

9 min
substitute six- fifty

As we are all well aware, the late 1960s and early 1970s saw the once-dominant British motorcycle industry succumb to the invasion of reliable and increasingly complex Japanese machines. Almost 50 years later, the majority of my bikes are 1960s British machines. I love ’em to bits because, despite derogatory rumours to the contrary, they don’t leak that much oil, are very enjoyable to ride and have proved to be reliable. In fairness, however, they most certainly are not exposed to rigours that they would have been back in the day when they were everyday transport. They’re also far better maintained now than they ever were back then. Still, back in the 70s, after ownership of mostly BSAs and Velocettes I did own a multi-cylinder Japanese bike which was fairly new at…

5 min
a continental compulsion

In mid-1962, Roger Boss of Royal Enfield put together a prototype 250 single and invited dealer Wilf Green to view the proposed new model. Roger was RE’s home market sales manager and had obtained management permission to put together the prototype and assess how British dealers and riders might respond. Wilf Green’s dealership in Sheffield was a big seller for Royal Enfield and his opinion was respected. Wilf indicated to Roger that the new bike would be successful with its sporty looks, ace bars and so on. This was the kind of bike the young rider of the time would want. Riders were fitting aftermarket clip-ons from suppliers like Deeprose to the more staid roadsters of the time. The suggestion of speed was fashionable and this was what the youngsters wanted…