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RealClassic May 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!)

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United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
$4.49(Incl. tax)
$38.90(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the front

One of those familiar waves of introspection has been sloshing around me over the last couple of weeks. A mysterious – and entirely unexpected – email landed, and as well as making me sit back in startlement also produced one of those excellent opportunities to sit and think back to my favourite bikes down the years. There have been many years, too. It’s some 51 years since I rode my first powered two-wheeler, which is quite a while. And that two-wheeler was actually a scooter and not a motorcycle, hence my use of more exact terminology than you might expect. A Vespa. It was faster and less effort than my Triumph Palm Beach bicycle, but apart from that the appeal of scooters has never been obvious to me. Not back then…

16 min
one year wonder

Sunbeams are motorcycles unlike the others. That’s as true of the high-camshaft B-series bikes built by the Collier brothers’ Associated Motor Cycles concern during the Wolverhampton-derived marque’s brief sojourn in Southeast London between 1937 and 1943, when it was purchased by – some say, offloaded to – the BSA Group, as it is of the unique S7/S8 tandem-twins launched in 1946 after its return to the Midlands. Sunbeam was only in AMC’s ownership for a mere six years, three of which formed the first half of WW2, so AMC deserves some credit for what it achieved in the short time available to it. Like so many early British motorcycle marques, Sunbeam’s antecedents date back to its origins as a bicycle manufacturer – though that in fact only came about because cycling…

1 min
online entertainment

Looking for even more RealClassic reading? You’ll find brand-new and previous unpublished features at Real-Classic.co.uk; the articles we couldn’t quite fit into print. The internet has all the room required to give our expert and experienced contributors the space to explore their subjects in depth. For instance: THE AUSTRALIAN DOMINATOR investigation runs to four full episodes of evidence about this unusual 500 twin which appeared Down Under in the early 1950s THE MIGHTY MONSTER: a new book about Ducati’s most profitable model tells the behind-the-scenes story of the accessible Italian sportbike THE PIONEER RUN unveils an all-new destination for the 2021 event READERS WRITE about the perils of getting back in the saddle after so long in lockdown… All this and much more at www.Real-Classic.co.uk…

2 min
a hex on it

I can empathise with PUB’s dilemma re the seized screw with no hex for an Allen key on the Suzuki exhaust. This approach has worked for me many times over the years: before starting, clean the area around the seized part and the head you can see using a wire brush and steel wool. Apply your favourite anti-seize spray (WD40). Wipe off so there’s no fire risk. Heat around the fixing is always good: start and warm up the engine. Switch off. If it isn’t practical to start the engine, consider other forms of local heat. Even a cloth from a bucket of hot water can help. There are hot air guns and hot wire tools which can provide localised heat. Be careful of paint, control cables, electrical wires and if…

3 min
venom heaven

When I returned to two wheels in 1995 it was on a Velocette Viper. It was a bitsa based on a 1965 Special but was the same price as the AJS 350 I had been considering. I’d wanted a Velocette single since my youth and I finally achieved it at the age of 45. Many bikes have come and gone since then, and the Viper stayed until I acquired a 1956 MSS and a 1960 Venom. To answer Phil Holloway’s comments in RC204: yes, they have become expensive but they are worth it. For me, the Venom is slightly over-rated. The MSS and Venom are like night and day in terms of how they behave. Handling is impeccable on both, it’s just that I prefer the comfort and laid-back attitude of…

2 min
tour de france

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Steve Sharp’s article on his adventure through France on his BMW R80GS. It reminds me of my own trip on my Harley-Davidson Road King and several visits to Oradour-sur-Glane. My wife owns a 700 year-old converted cotton mill in the small village of Azay-sur-Thouet, about a 40 minute drive from Poitier. For a week’s holiday, Susan flew but I went on the Harley. We spent the week riding around the local area and over to the coast at La Rochelle. We decided to have a race going home, Susan flying and me on the Harley. We both left at the same time. Susan drove to Poitier airport, caught a flight to Stansted and then drove to Rugby. I took the A85, A11, A28 and A16 to Calais, then…