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RealClassicRealClassic

RealClassic

July 2019

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!)

País:
United Kingdom
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
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12 Números

EN ESTE NÚMERO

access_time3 min.
from the front

As you may already have noticed, we have something of a rare treat lurking within this issue. Rare? Well, yes. Bikes do not come much more of a rare sight on the roads than a Van Veen OCR 1000. In fact … I have never seen one on the road. This may be because I have lived a particularly sheltered life, surrounded by more mundane machinery, but it might just – only just – be a reflection of the tiny numbers which exist. We almost have a trend, as I remarked to Alan Cathcart when we were chatting about the Van Veen. How long ago was it that we featured a Münch Mammoth? Another seriously rare classic. A little later I was chatting with another friend (no jokes please; it is…

access_time16 min.
rotors return?

Around a quarter of a century ago rotary-engined motorcycles seemed set to be the next big thing. It certainly felt like it, after the Norton RC588 scored a Wankel-engined bike’s greatest victory by winning the 1992 Senior TT in the Isle of Man in the hands of the late Steve Hislop at a then record speed of 121.38mph, after a thrilling battle with future four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty’s Yamaha. Coupled with the Duckhams Norton team’s domination of the 1994 British Superbike championship, with riders Ian Simpson and Phil Borley finishing 1-2 in the points table, Norton might have expected to benefit from this win with a spike in demand for its F1 Sport race replica streetbike. But the indebted British company was sliding towards insolvency, and production was…

access_time17 min.
in coming!

DANGER UXB When we were young – apprenticeship age – transport work and for pleasure at weekends was essential. All my buddies seemed to be on two wheels. My introduction to two wheelers started in 1968 when I was old enough to get a licence and pass my test. I took the RAC/ACU training course on a local airfield, which was very comprehensive, even riding across a seesaw. After several days of training I was followed by an observer for an extended run of about 10 miles. This was all done on a Bantam 125 with three gears. But when it came to buy a two wheeler, my parents decided a motorcycle was too dangerous and said it should be a scooter. So a Lambretta GT200 was bought for the princely sum…

access_time17 min.
race -bred success

Tom Willison knows his Commandos. He’s owned two and raced four, including a featherbed 750 Commando that belonged to his old employer and ex-IoM racer Jack Gow. Tom’s latest Commando is seen here, but we’ll get back to it after you’ve been wowed by Tom’s impressive racing career. Not only did youthful Tom compete in the Scottish championships during the 1970s, he was talented enough to race alongside Mike Hailwood during the star’s famous Manx comeback. Back then, Tom had snapped up a dream job at Dundee’s premier motorcycle dealer Jack Gow and during his first week was offered the chance to race the firm’s Ducati Silverstone 200 race bike. Jack Gow was a real biker and encouraged young riders in his employ to get involved in racing. He once let…

access_time12 min.
a most perplexing mystery

Harley-Davidson introduced their ‘middleweight’ K series in 1952 to counter the growing popularity of lighter and faster British motorcycles. The sidevalve 750 (or flathead 45 in the local lingo) was based on the bottom end of the previous WL engines, with the same bore and stroke (70 x 97mm), a compression ratio of 6:1 and aluminium cylinder heads. The rest of the machine was a radical departure from its predecessor, moving from a foot to hand-operated clutch. The new unit-construction crankcase housed a four-speed, right-foot change gearbox and primary transmission. The all-new frame had swinging arm suspension and telescopic front forks, giving hydraulic damping at each end for the first time on a production Harley. The soft-tune motor was lighter and less leaky than its predecessor but produced 30bhp – not…

access_time2 min.
class c competition

In the 1920s and early 1930s the American factories spent small fortunes racing highly developed prototype machines. To reduce the cost of racing for ordinary riders and level the playing field, the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) introduced Class C racing in 1933, based on production motorcycles. As the Great Depression hit home and racing budgets were slashed, the factories moved into Class C racing. It became the premier US racing class and fuelled an intense rivalry between Indian and Harley-Davidson. Class C machines used production-based sidevalve engines with a maximum displacement of 750cc or ohv motors up to 500cc. That’s why the KRTT retained its 45” / 739cc motor while the roadgoing KH was increased to Harley’s new benchmark 54” / 883cc for 1954. The AMA amended their rules in the…

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