category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles


September 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!)

United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
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£3(Incl. tax)
£25.99(Incl. tax)
12 Issues


access_time2 min.
from the front

Way back in the foggy mists of antiquity, soon after the classic bike was resurrected out of the ashes of the old industry, one of the first manifestations of this back-from-the-dead enthusiasm was the sudden rise of the autojumble. I remember it well. I was at the time clattering around aboard a 1959 Matchless G9 of dubious reliability but great charm, and whenever I needed spares, the only source was the owners’ club, which wasn’t always easy in those postal days. Enter the autojumble. Back then I was living near Chester and working near Wrexham, and as commuting on the Matchless became … unpredictable, I bought my first-ever new bike, an MZ TS125 for the commute. Similar performance to the old Matchless, but rather more reliable and considerably more frugal, too.…

access_time15 min.
a right rattler

I have always admired Triumph’s little 350 twins. They are a delight to ride and, much like their larger siblings, are endowed with a willing engine. In the early 1980s I had a lovely blue 1962 bathtub 3TA which my old man helped me to restore. It served me faithfully during camping weekends in and around the Trossachs and commuting to the Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art. The baby Trumpet and I barely made it through one summer before some lowlife snipped the padlock and pinched it. I was stunned and bereft, as you are in such a shocking situation, especially as the theft occurred in broad daylight. No-one, not even the parking attendant, witnessed this heinous crime. Like many victims of bike theft, I never again clapped eyes on…

access_time2 min.
lively lightweights

While BSA, Ariel, Velocette, AJS Matchless and others supplied only single-cylinder machines for the postwar 350 market, Norton and Triumph tried something different with their interpretations of middleweight (as they were back then!) twins. Sixty years later, those middleweight 350s have become lightweights, and their compact dimensions, ease of starting and peppy performance lend themselves very well to the role of the classic motorcycle. Triumph announced their first unit twin in 1957, as a follow-up to the 3T pre-unit 350 rigid and optional sprung hub models. Initially, the new twin was known as the Triumph ‘Twenty-one’, to celebrate twenty-one years since Jack Sangster had formed the Triumph Engineering Company when motorcycle and automobile divisions parted company in 1936. The 350 unit twin adopted its 3TA moniker the following year, the same…

access_time21 min.
incoming !

BRIGHT SPARKS Just read Members’ Enclosure with RC184 about spark plugs. I have been an NGK kinda guy for almost all my motorcycling days. However, recently I have fitted Brisk spark plugs (available from David Angel at F2) and these have improved the starting on both my CZs. It also improved fuel consumption, with my Custom managing 50 miles on 2.5 litres one day and 87 miles on 5 litres on another. The man with the Arrow might improve his Ariel by fitting Brisk spark plugs; I’m sure David at F2 would be able to advise and supply these alternatives. They are better fitted without resistor plug caps. As a two-stroke person myself, I would always try Brisk now instead of NGK. My loyalties have been swayed by the easier starting and…

access_time12 min.
skeleton in the cupboard

Lots of famous makes have skeletons in the cupboard, models they’d rather you didn’t know they ever made. Like the 50cc moped and 98cc scooters that MV Agusta produced back in the 1950s, or Moto Guzzi’s three-wheeled delivery truck – or indeed the smallest Norton ever sold, the overweight, unreliable Jubilee 250 twin, whose copious oil leaks stained many a British driveway. Or – but you get the picture. So how about the last-ever Ducati single-cylinder streetbike, of which 3846 examples were built from 1975 to 1979, which was also incidentally the first Ducati motorcycle to be built with a left-foot gearchange? It wasn’t just that it was the 125 Regolarità and its later Six Days variant represented the Bologna factory’s only serious attempt to target the off-road market, but…

access_time6 min.
riding the ring-ding ducati

Thanks to the owner, my friend Joaquin Folch, I was able to spend an hour or so riding this restored ex-ISDT 125 Regolarità very gently off-road around his country property outside Barcelona, and in something approaching anger on the roads outside. In doing so, I registered a personal milestone by riding a Ducati two-stroke for the first time ever in a ducatista lifetime – as well as discovering that everything I’d been told about the bike being hard to ride were absolutely true! After you’ve coaxed it into life via the right-foot kickstart, and been rewarded with a spray of blue smoke from the fat Lafranconi exhaust that was a trademark of the bike even when new, the problem is the power delivery, which is worthy of a two-stroke GP…