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The Classic MotorCycle

The Classic MotorCycle December 2020

Started in 1903, The Classic MotorCycle has more to offer the true vintage motorcycle enthusiast than any other publication, backed by Europe's largest motorcycle image archive.

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United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
$4.57(Incl. tax)
$50.17(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s welcome

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by toy/model motorcycles (and cars), and the whole lockdown and isolating period has shown me that there’s plenty of other people who think alike. It came into my mind recently, as I walked back through the local forest, on a leaf-strewn path, and spotted something blue and sparkling in among the first of the fallen autumn foliage; I stopped and picked it up, it being a small (say, 1:64 scale) Chevrolet toy car. Alongside the path, there was a log and so I carefully placed it on the top of it, in case its owner returned. Why did I think that? Well, when we were children, my brother Simon had a bathtub Triumph toy he took everywhere with him, and it…

4 min.
journey from khartoum

Posed in the car park of The Motor Cycle offices at Dorset House, Stamford Street, London – is 28-year-old Egyptian Thabit Abdel Said, who, on his self-built Matchless G3L, had ridden from his home city of Khartoum, the Sudan, to England. The Motor Cycle’s report, published in the August 6, 1953 volume, began: “It is rapidly becoming almost commonplace for a motorcyclist to turn up… and remark casually that he (or she) has ridden from some distant part of the world… [but] Abdel Said called in with a tale of determination and courage that would be hard to equal.” It was explained that two years prior, Thabit Abdel Said had decided he would like to see more of the world, and the best way he could do it was by motorcycle. But…

4 min.
nmm machines at bonhams

More than 50 British motorcycles – and motorcycle-related cars – from the National Motorcycle Museum will be offered by Bonhams Motorcycle Department at the Winter Sale on the weekend of December 5/6 at Bicester Heritage. The sale will be conducted online, though viewing will be available at Bicester. Highlights include some fabulous vintage ware, including two Bullnose Sunbeam Model 90s – one of which was the machine we featured in our January 2018 issue – and a 1929 Model 18 Norton, purchased from Bonhams and restored in the museum’s workshops. Rarities from the 1930s include a pair of 600cc Ariel Square fours – the earlier being a 1935 ohc example – and a single-cylinder OEC with the firm’s own special front end. Also from the 1930s comes a Python-engined Vincent-HRD. Triumphs are well represented…

1 min.
cancellations are everywhere

Among the events which have sadly been put off owing to the current Covid-19 situation, are the Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic, due for January 9/10 2021, while Kempton Park autojumble was cancelled too. The veteran car run (November 1, 2020) from London to Brighton – which was to feature a select group of early motorcycles – has also gone, while the Sunbeam MCC’s own London to Brighton event, due for March 2021, has been put back until October. There are a few outdoor autojumbles and such still occurring, but please check before setting off.…

2 min.
book review

“Classic TT Racers” The Grand Prix Years 1949-1976 Author: Greg Pullen Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd, Ramsbury, Marlborough Wiltshire SN8 2HR enquiries@crowood.com www.crowood.com Tel: 016725232 Hardback, 220 x 260mm (portrait); 160 pages with 157 colour and black and white photographs and illustrations. ISBN: 9781785006296 £25 (UK), $44.95 (US), $53.95 (Canada) When a motorcycle road racing championship was proposed in 1948, there was never any doubt that the Isle of Man TT would be a part of it. From the start of the motorcycle world championships in 1949, the TT classes became the must-win races for both riders and factories. The historic Isle of Man TT was undoubtedly the toughest and most dangerous of Grand Prix motorcycle races and would be a fixture on the world title chase calendar until 1976. Ultimately, the mountain course would prove…

2 min.
the way we were in december

1920 In common with motorcycle makers, firms specialising in scooter production announced their next season’s line-ups. Priced at £35, the Abbotsford three-wheeled scooter, for riders nervous of two-wheeled machines, was powered by a 142.5cc ohv Norman engine, as was the straight tube triangulated framed Kenilworth offered with or without rider’s seat, priced from £52-10s. Villiers’ 269cc single cylinder two-stroke engines powered the two-speed Harold Boultebee designed Unibus, with pressed steel chassis and costing 95 guineas, and the Townsend Engineering Company, Birmingham-built Autoglider priced from 55 guineas, with an optional clutch another five guineas; while a Union-engined model was to be offered too. Little was known about the 150cc ohv Whippet scooter (£58-10s) while the Granville Bradshaw-designed 125cc overhead inlet over side exhaust valve ABC single speed Skootamota was better documented, its 1921…