RealClassic October 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
$4.48(Incl. tax)
$38.81(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the front

Do you have favourite rides? Favourite routes to favourite places? Roads and destinations which are so entirely familiar that you can concentrate on enjoying the ride itself, rather than puzzling over the best way to get to where you’re going? I most certainly do, and have long laughed at myself for returning – most months, once the magazine has gone off to press – to the borderlands between Wales and England, where I lived between maybe 1976 and the turn of the century. Roads I know very well indeed. It’s a little like reading a favourite book or listening to a favourite piece of music: although it’s completely comfortable and familiar it is always somehow slightly different. The roads have changed, but are still much the same, and the seasons endlessly…

15 min
klone - with-a-k

It’s hugely ironic that Kawasaki, which ever since the 1969 creation of its H1 Mach III two-stroke triple has almost permanently led all other Japanese manufacturers in the pursuit of performance for its streetbike range, should have started out its life on two wheels in trying to build a better British bike. For that’s what the OHV parallel-twins it built from 1965 to 1974 unquestionably resembled – and even after it trumped Honda’s groundbreaking CB750 four in both capacity and performance terms with the 1972 introduction of the world’s first four-stroke hyperbike, the 903cc Z1, it still kept producing the ultimate version of its BSA A10 Super Rocket klone-with-a-K, the Kawasaki W3 650, right alongside it at its Akashi factory. For a couple of years grilled steak and beef stew both…

1 min
which bike?

The subject of Rowena’s Members’ Enclosure with RC209 was an important one, tackled so differently by the RC community; buying, selling and riding your bikes. I’m always baffled by the folk who’ve owned more than 150 bikes; how could you possibly get to know any one of them with enough familiarity to enjoy a ride? Having owned probably less than 20 bikes in my life, I tend to hang onto them and get them right for me, for my purpose, and to be ultimately reliable for any kind of journey, but I’m probably the odd man out. Robert Murdoch, member Great question, Bob. In fact, so great a question that I’ve adopted it for this issue’s subscriber newsletter… Rowena…

1 min
slow, slow, quick-quick

Roger Bibbings in RC209 hopes readers will respond with tales of bimbling. Our esteemed editor disagrees and describes it as ‘selfindulgence’. I would suggest that classic bikers often bimble. Very different from their old working life and ride to work hacks. I have been back in the saddle for fifteen years. One summer evening I bimbled off from Portsmouth and found myself at Finchdean. I remembered the old Idsworth scramble track, and sat there for a while enjoying Castrol R-infused memories. I also remembered we were nearly out of milk, and bought some on the way home. The bimble then turned into an essential trip, as my wife would not have enjoyed her evening cup of Earl Grey without it. I suggest that the polar opposite of ‘to bimble’ is ‘to…

2 min
high beams

A tip for Frank to set the ignition timing on a Sunbeam, or any other distributor ignition bike. Set the engine at the point where the points should open. Try TDC if no other setting available, you can always advance it a bit if it feels flat. Place a transistor radio (remember them?) on the seat turned on but off any station, preferably on medium AM range. Turn on bike’s ignition and rotate the distributor towards retard, then forward. At the point the points open you will hear a click on the radio. Job done! Anyone know if MBX 692 is still around? DVLA says it’s on SORN. Once much loved but sold over 50 years ago. Peter J Greig, member 9313 I enjoyed Frank’s article on his Sunbeam S8. I felt I…

3 min
top rocket tips

I enjoyed Alan Thirsk’s article in RCl209 about fitting an electric start to his BSA Rocket 3 Mk2. I performed the same operation about five years ago, using the same kit from Les Whiston, and had exactly the same issue with removing the primary chaincase cover. I had performed this operation a few times before fitting the starter and had already come up with a modification which greatly eased this previously tedious process. As Alan suggested, the nearside footrest and hanger is close to the outer cover and unless the entire footrest is removed, it’s impossible to get the cover off. The problem is that the actual hanger is secured to the lower rear engine plate by a bolt, inserted from the inside in a gap of about 1cm between the…