RealClassic November 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
$4.50(Incl. tax)
$39.02(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the front

Back when I was blatting along on the diminutive Ariel you’ll see further inside this issue, I was trying to remember the last time I wrote about a smaller capacity bike in these smudgy pages. It is a while. I know perfectly well that I could sit down with a stack of back issues (or a set of page proofs, which live inside this very PC and involve no grubby page turning – or I could even use the ‘search’ facility in this very word processing software) to locate the exact machine and date, but… but I’m relying on my memory. This is at best unreliable and at worst entirely wrong. What I want to remember is which were the most memorable. If you see what I mean. Velocette. Velocette Vogue.…

9 min
little italy

It’s been around forty years since I last swung a leg over a 250 as a teenager. That was my tatty old 1965 BSA C15 SS80, which got me to work and back most days before I stepped up to a Norton Model 77. I really can’t say I’ve ever looked back until very recently when this Royal Enfield came my way. The 1965 Continental GT (Gran Turismo) represents the pinnacle of the unit construction 250’s lineage, produced from late 1956 until 1966. It’s easy to think, as I did, that it’s just a Crusader with some cosmetic bling bolted on. Rather, over a decade in production, the unit construction 250 was constantly being evolved and power rose from 13bhp to 20bhp. The iron head became alloy, the inlet valve was…

6 min
many, many motorcycles

It took a while to tot up how many bikes I have owned or looked after long-term. From 1981 to date the number is 60. 40 years, 1.5 bikes a year. Although ‘a’ bike may be swapped in any given year, ‘some’ bikes have stayed for a long time or many miles. The CB900F2 bought new in 2003 moved to a friend when it had over 40,000 miles on the clock and was five years old. Indeed, the reason I have owned multiple bikes at a time is that I like to ride, a lot. Why do I change my bikes? Sometimes it’s simply opportunity. I was really enjoying my Jawa 350TS, then I noticed that the Jawa dealer had an XBR500 for sale. I’d always wanted to try the Honda,…

2 min
en vacance

Nearly 40 years ago, Roger and Linda got together while Linda was providing physio to Roger after a motorcycle accident. They decided to start a new life together in France at Burlaoen. Over the years they acquired some land around the house and set themselves up as a working woodmill. They’ve had a few set-backs along the way, the most serious being when Roger donated two of his fingers to a JCB digger! For the last 20 years they have been providing accommodation and motorcycling-based holidays to visiting bikers and motorcycle clubs, hidden away at the end of a lane amid 20 acres of woods, fields, stream and a pretty wildlife lake. There are no through-traffic or passing cars to disturb the peace and you will be serenaded to sleep at…

1 min
kwaking up!

Readers interested in the W3 article may like a look at a 1965 W1 I rebuilt with a lot of help from my son during lockdown. Frame #0052, so an early one. It started as a long fork chopper with many parts missing, so we decided to build a nice, riding bike as near standard as possible. Interesting facts? We found a full roller-ball pressed-up end-feed crank; an engine shock absorber and another one in the rear hub; duplex primary drive; confusing gears with neutral above first so it’s N, then 1, 2, 3, 4 down; a replaceable paper filter in the oil tank, and many more nice touches. Everything over-engineered and listed as built by Kawasaki Aircraft Co. Neil Williams I found Alan Cathcart’s write-up about the Kawasaki W3 very interesting. I…

1 min
smoke signals

A friend has a Triumph 3TA that smokes mainly on the right hand cylinder. The longer he rides, the worse it gets. First thoughts were valve guides and/or rings so we had a look. On start-up, oil returns to the tank – but in a constant stream and not the intermittent bursts I normally expect from a Triumph. It carried on far longer than I thought it would to empty a crankcase full of oil. We took off the filter cap (which had been put on with a chisel by the PO…) but there was no debris, despite the fact the gauze screen had a hole in it! The pressure relief valve was gungy but the piston seemed to move. Why is there so much oil being pumped back? Is there…