Classic Bike August 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.

United Kingdom
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12 Numeri

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2 min
what if…?

We’re all well aware that in the annals of British motorcycle lore there are many potentially great bikes that never got past the prototype stage or were never fully developed due to mismanagement – in terms of finance or enterprise. But can you imagine Rex McCandless’ dismay when his avantgarde, pressed-steel-framed Dommie got this kind of response from Norton’s management? “Well, yes Mr McCandless, it’s a brilliant concept and it looks years ahead of current designs, not just in our range but against those of our competitors, too… but maybe it’s a touch too radical for our customers. And there’s the difficult issue of materials we’ve already ordered for our tried-and-tested current model to continue in production. We can’t simply throw them in the scrap bin…” Well, at least Sammy Miller’s Museum…

4 min
nw200 90th road & race

LANDMARK MODEL LETTERS THE WAY WE WERE EVENTS YOUR CLASSICS Ian Foster had planned to launch his selfpublished NW200 90th book in 2020 to celebrate 90 years of one of road racing’s greatest events, the North West 200. But the 2020 NW200 was cancelled due to coronavirus and as this year’s event has also fallen foul to the ongoing pandemic, Foster has published the book this year. And what a hefty tome it is – not only does the large- format A4-landscape hardback boast 404 pages dedicated to the history of the race, there’s also an extra 82 given over to the road bike scene surrounding the event. The package weighs in at a whopping 2.73kg! And it’s top quality, too, with hundreds of period pics (both mono and colour), every year’s race…

3 min

The BSA Bantam 175cc worth of real bike 23 The number of years the BSA Bantam was in production. The unit-construction piston-ported two-stroke-powered machine began life as the D1, a 125cc rigid-framed machine and progressed through various incarnations until the 1971 B175, which had a 175cc engine in the ‘pivoted fork’ (swingarm) chassis. Estimates of production figures vary wildly, but they range from at least 250,000 up to nearly half a million. Either way, the lightweight machine was one of the most successful British motorcycles of all time. 3 The number of different capacity versions of the Bantam. The initial D1 125cc machine (52mm bore x 58mm stroke, giving an actual 123cc) was superseded by the D3 150cc Bantam (57mm bore x 58mm stroke – 148cc) in 1954. Then in 1958, with…

3 min
on top of the world

Here are a couple of photos that were taken in the summer of 1978 on our tour of the Alps – my first time ever abroad, aged 21. The photo on the left, showing my 1958 Norton Dominator 99 and my friend Derek’s Ducati 860GT, was taken on the Colle di Nava in Liguria – that’s me in the white helmet, my girlfriend Pat in the blue, and John behind the Ducati. The one below is on the Col de Restefond in France, with me in the middle, Pat to the left and John to the right. We set off in leathers and jeans, full of youthful enthusiasm, and both bikes behaved faultlessly – although, riding two up, my Norton was breathless on some of those passes. It sowed the…

9 min
my little bit of brooklands

SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO I HAVE BEEN member of the Brooklands Museum Motorcycle Team for a few years and decided I needed a period (prewar) bike. My latest project, a 1931 BSA B31-2 special, is perhaps a little different to most restorations and definitely not one for the purists. Having had the opportunity to ride Perry Barwick’s Freddie Clarke replica Triumph T80 and one of Michael Digby’s 250 Triumphs, I was inspired to build my own Brooklands-style racer. I eventually found a 1931 250cc BSA B31-2 on eBay -and surprisingly my modest maximum offer came out as the winner. I did not have ‘official purchasing approval’ at the time and, although she has been an enthusiastic supporter of my motorcycling activities, I expected a ‘Not another bike – what do you…

6 min
bidding his time

The penultimate paragraph of John Wakefield’s letter in April’s issue of Classic Bike cut me to the quick. His complaint (inspired by the auctions article ‘Hot Prices in a Cold Climate’ in the February edition) was that classic prices are rising out of the reach of many and that these bikes will never turn a wheel. In Mark Bryan’s piece in that February article, he expressed surprise that an ‘admittedly gorgeous 1969 Triumph T100T Daytona’ made £10,350! It was I who made that bid (£9000 not including commission) and now own the bike I’ve been looking for, for 30 years. Yes, it’s top price for the model. My sin? Being prepared to pay a few hundred quid more than someone else was willing to pay. That’s auctions for you. There is a…