Classic Bike January 2021

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.

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12 Numeri

in questo numero

1 min
marvellous madness

The concept of board track racing blows your mind. The crazy speeds that were attained some 100 years ago are enough to stop you in your tracks, but it’s the sheer madness of using all that timber to create massive motodromes and grandstands to host the ----events that really beggars belief. Especially as there were countless dirt track ovals around at the time, where the racers could ply their trade. Still, motorcycle history is all the richer for boardtrack racing and we can only marvel of what those pioneers achieved back then on such basic machines. What’s more impressive, though, is seeing amazing pictures like the opener on page 64 of Paul Anderson - it looks like it might have been shot today, such is the clarity of the image. The…

7 min
swiss ’crossers on a roll

EVENTS BOOK REVIEW LETTERS WAY WE WERE YOUR CLASSICS Switzerland banned motorsport on permanent circuits in the wake of the Le Mans car racing tragedy of 1955, but the country has a rich history of motocross, having hosted a World Championship Grand Prix as long ago as 1957. The Swiss have strict legislation governing trail riding or enduros, but there’s a healthy motocross scene, with local village organisations putting on at least two motocross events each per year on private farms. There are very few permanent tracks in the country. Instead, most tracks are laid out on natural terrain; probably not the greatest for modern bikes, which are designed for the technical jumps and rhythm sections of man-made courses, but perfect for classics! Swiss motocross meetings are a mix of modern and classic machines,…

6 min
a real high flier

Fifty years ago, in January 1971, Colin Seeley created something of a sensation in the Motor Cycle News Speed Centre at the 10-day Olympia CMCA Industries Association trade show, when he unveiled his brand new Seeley Condor road bike. Not only was the show-stopping Matchless G50-powered café racer an incredibly beautiful looking and powerful machine, but its projected price tag of over £1000 also made it the most expensive road-going production machine in the UK at that time. Seeley was an AMC dealer, and in 1966 purchased all the tooling and spares from AMC’s racing AJS, Matchless and Norton brands. He sold the Manx Norton spares business on to John Tickle, but began producing ready-to-race 500cc Matchless G50 and AJS 350cc single-cylinder machines using his own lightweight rolling chassis. By doing this,…

5 min
classics get dramatic on the adriatic

The Museo Nazionale del Motociclo, when it welcomed its first visitors in 1993, was the first Italian motorcycle museum open to the public. It’s the result of three friends – Giuseppe Savoretti, Germano Corvatta and Augusto Zaghini – looking for a way to combine their ever-growing personal collections. Savoretti explains: “Our garages were full of interesting bikes, real motorcycle history. It was a pity to keep them locked up, and as there was no public motorcycle museum in Italy we decided to bring them together under one roof.” Today, the collection houses about 250 motorcycles from 55 brands that trace the history of the two-wheeled industry. Exhibits include bikes from Aermacchi, Benelli, BSA, Ducati, Frera, Harley-Davidson, Henderson, Innocenti, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Norton, Piaggio, Rudge and Triumph, and include an exotic 1955 ‘Bartali…

3 min
bouncing back

With the fluid situation surrounding the ongoing Covid crisis, it’s important to view any advertised event dates as provisional. Always check with the organisers before travelling and be prepared for extra delays and precautions at any event that does go ahead in the new year. Elk gallops on January 17: South of England Classic Motorcycle Event, South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex The Elk Promotions crew seem to have the happy knack of dodging the most extreme periods of Covid restrictions. Their last show of 2020 was at Ardingly in October and they’ve just released their (provisional) 2021 dates. Their first event of the new year should – all being well – be at Ardingly, too. Five indoor halls of bikes and jumble are promised, plus the usual outdoor plots and the…

4 min
from outback to race track

‘AT 21, I GRADUATED FROM HONDA TWINS TO MY BMW R90/6, WHICH HAS BEEN A CONSTANT IN MY LIFE EVER SINCE’ LAST CHRISTMAS, MY daughter and I sat down and scanned my collection of old photos to put together a digital book for our family. It was a great project – and a worthwhile activity whilst caught in Covid lockdown. So here’s how my life in bikes has panned out... By 1978, I was 21 years old and had graduated from a couple of Honda twins to my pride and joy – a BMW R90/6 which has remained a constant in my life ever since, and is still going strong with 350,000km (217,000 miles) under its wheels. It had been picked up at the factory in Munich in 1975 and ridden around…