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Classic Bike

Classic Bike June 2020

Classic Bike helps and inspires enthusiasts to get more from their passion for classic motorcycles. The magazine shares their fascination with motorcycling’s heroic past while also helping them buy, fix and improve the bikes in their shed. Our main areas of content are: - Inspirational and entertaining reads that celebrate the glory of motorcycling, from riding stories that put the reader in the seat of history’s greatest bikes to incredible racing tales - Restoration stories and instructional features that inspire and help people get their tools out and sort out their old bike - In-depth technical features from the most expert and authoritative writers in motorcycling If you share our passion about classic motorcycles from the last century, you'll enjoy reading Classic Bike.

United Kingdom
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12 Numeri

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3 minuti
orange glow and purple haze

Back in the monochrome days of my biking youth, there was a bunch of us in the village with old British iron – teenagers inspired to explore beyond local boundaries by riding motorcycles. It was a (relatively) cheap and easy way into personal transport, felt a bit rebellious, and was way too much fun. We’d ride all year, but there always seemed to be an annual winter trip to London – though not on bikes. We’d fill a minibus, go en masse to one of the annual bike shows, check out the new stuff but, more important, buy loads of tat we needed to bring our bikes back to fine fettle. We also used to hit the smoke by minibus when Coles needed Velo parts. Coles had a Venom and despite being…

3 minuti
norton finds stability

After decades of uncertainty and turmoil, Norton has some stability at last. The company, which collapsed into administration in January, has been bought by India’s third largest motorcycle manufacturer, TVS, for £16m. Although it always rankles when British brands are swallowed by overseas giants, this particular purchase looks like an excellent deal for Norton staff and customers – TVS say they will keep design and production in the UK, no jobs will be lost, and they have allocated cash to make sure people who paid deposits get their bikes or a refund. “There have been some concerns about those who have paid deposits,” said TVS boss Sudarshan Venu. “Our intention is to get bikes to them as soon as possible. We will announce a plan once we have all the customer details.” TVS…

1 minuti
keeping the classics alive

Norton now has a new owner, but these three outfits have been keeping the Norton name alive on the classic front for years. Norvil Based in Burntwood, Staffordshire, Norvil is the UK’s one-stop Norton shop. Founded by Les Emery and wife Sue in 1980, Norvil hold more than 7000 parts in stock and around 10,000 separate part numbers are listed on their trade inventory. There’s not much they can’t supply for Norton twins – and many singles. They also take on restos and even brand new Commando builds – but there’s a queue... Andover Norton This company was set up by Dennis Poore following the collapse of NVT in 1977, in order to maintain the supply of genuine parts for Norton machines. Andover Norton produce a staggering range of parts made using the…

2 minuti

SINCE 1869 During the 122 years of Norton there have been many great bikes and amazing racing achievements. But the brand has also had a rough ride, too, particularly in recent times when claims of financial impropriety have sullied its good name. Hopefully, all that is in the past with TVS at the helm. 1898 James Lansdowne (‘Pa’) Norton (born 1869) establishes Norton Manufacturing Co in Birmingham, supplying fittings to the two-wheel trade. 1902 The first machine bearing the Norton name is a motorised bicycle which uses a 1.5hp Clement engine. 1907 Having previously relied on using proprietary French and Swiss engines, Norton designs the ‘Big Four’ a 4hp, 633cc side-valve single – the first bike with his own engine. 1913 Main creditors RT Sheeley and Co save Norton, by forming Norton Motors Ltd. Bob Sheeley and James Norton…

3 minuti
who owns what?

AMERICA Harley-Davidson Originally from: Milwaukee Famous for: V-twins, Easy Rider, dirt-track Now owned by: Harley-Davidson Building what? The usual array of V-twins and an electric bike Indian Originally from: Springfield Famous for: Scout, Chief, Four Now owned by: Polaris Building what? The usual array of V-twins and a dirt-track slayer GREAT BRITAIN AJS Originally from: Wolverhampton Famous for: 7R, Porcupine, G15, Stormer motocrossers Now owned by: AJS (Fluff and Nick Brown) Building what? Reputable Chinese-made 125s and scooters Ariel Originally from: Birmingham Famous for: Square Four, single-cylinder trials bikes, two-stroke Leader Now owned by: Ariel Motors (Simon Sanders) Building what? Fast cars, Honda V4-powered bikes Brough Superior Originally from: Nottingham Famous for: SS80, SS100, Lawrence of Arabia Now owned by: Brough Superior (Mark Upham) Building what? New SS100, Aston Martin track bike CCM Originally from: Bolton Famous for: single-cylinder motocrossers Now owned by:…

7 minuti
harley’s xr750 at fifty

THIS YEAR MARKS a half-century since the debut of the Harley-Davidson XR750, one of the most successful racing motorcycles in history and certainly what the Americans like to call ‘the winningest motorcycle’ in American professional motorcycle racing. The XR750 was officially debuted in 1970, prompted by a change in American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) racing rules. Until then, only machines with 500cc ohv engines were allowed to race against 750cc side-valve powered bikes (ie the Harley-Davidson KR750 flatheads), but the new rules allowed the inclusion of 750cc four-stroke bikes irrespective of valve type. Works Harley racer Mert Lawwill had won the AMA Grand National Championship in 1969 riding a KR750 on the half-mile and mile ovals and a KRTT (the tarmac version of the KR) in road races, but with the side-valve Harley…