Classic Bike November 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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1 min
special delivery

THIS MONTH’S ISSUE has a bit of a ‘specials’ feel to it. At first take, this month’s cover bike could be mistaken for a BSA-powered ‘Norbsa’ but builder Garry Laurence was looking for something very different and opted for a W-Series motor which was produced by Kawasaki from 1965 to create a stunning café race which could be termed a ‘Norasaki’... The Japanese engine architecture came from Meguro, who Kawasaki commissioned originally to create a BSA A7 replica twin, then developed their own W-Series, through the W1, W2 and W3 models, until 1974. Garry’s latest superb build compliments his earlier ‘Spirit of the Sixties’ specials which we’ve featured before in CB – but this one is definitely a very unusual and unique hybrid, the like of which we’ve certainly not seen before. On…

3 min
high-flying sidecar gets a facelift

First seen in 1946, Watsonian’s lightweight Prescott sidecar has been given a new body shell for its 75th birthday. Initially made using a batch of surplus RAF Mosquito reserve fuel tanks, and then known as the Meteor, subsequent versions were produced in glassfibre, using a mould taken from one of the original spun plywood body shells Watsonian was launched in 1912, when founder TF Watson patented a design for a folding sidecar that could be wheeled along the alleyways between terraced houses. When war broke out in 1914, his company was kept busy making sidecar outfits that were used as ambulances. Then, once peace resumed, the company went back to making sidecars for leisure, sport and tradesmen. During the World War II, sidecar production ceased, partly due to lack of materials and…

7 min
e10 petrol the truth behind the myths

Ethanol: C2H5OH When the standard pump fuel in the UK became E10 (ie, 10% ethanol) at the beginning of September, there was much depressing talk about the fuel’s destructive effects on old motorcycles. Carbs would rot, fuel lines would perish, and engines would run roughly, the doom-mongers said. But, although there is truth in all those fears, there are straightforward ways around the problems according to several trade experts we spoke to, and Dr Paul Ireland, who has conducted extensive research on E10’s effects on old engines at Manchester University. What is the biggest issue caused by E10? “If you get water in E10 fuel, the ethanol can be a disaster,” says Dr Ireland. “The water-ethanol mix becomes exceedingly corrosive, and will dissolve steel, brass and aluminium. The problem is that on a…

4 min
celebrating a cycle of fun

The National Autocycle and Cyclemotor Club grew from an acorn of an idea dreamed up by three keen cyclemotorists – Stan Greenway, John Lycett and Robert Pearce – who founded the Magic Wheelers in 1970. ‘The Magic Wheel That Wings Your Heel’ was an advertising slogan for the Cyclemaster, an engine built into a complete replacement rear wheel for a bicycle. Stan organised the first VMCC cyclemotor-only run in Warwickshire in 1978 with the VMCC Cyclemotor Section’s inaugural meeting being held in 1979. The Cyclemotor Section of the VMCC sprang into being in 1981 and in the same year the East Anglian Cyclemotor Club was formed, changing its name to the National Autocycle and Cyclemotor Club in 1986. A separate club, using the old EACC title, was formed in 2006. Therefore,…

4 min
on south african sundays

WOW! YOUR RECENT issue dedicated to On any Sunday and its stars really kickstarted the memories for me. I had been a full-blooded rocker in the UK, but having moved to South Africa in 1970, the sunshine and open spaces seemed to echo the Stateside bike scene. All it needed was the influence of On Any Sunday to send so many of us in a different direction, bikewise. The slow-motion flat-track shots, in particular, were soul stirring. To see the bikes sliding through the turns, fighting for grip, front wheel pointing out, rear wheel at a different, crazy angle and the rider’s face the only part lined up with the direction of travel was a revelation. Flat track seemed to be speedway on steroids and the bikes were the same bikes…

6 min
me and my mate’s gt

IN MY YOUTH, I owned a Honda CD175, while my mate Dom had a much more modern Suzuki GT185 – we did some serious mileage on those bikes. Dom managed to hole a piston that you could put a cigarette through and we worked on the rebuild together. They were great times. Then Auntie Doris offered Dom her Mini and the little Suzuki was put into the brick built shed at the bottom of the garden at his family home. And there it stayed for 36 years – until March 2019, when Dom had to sell the family home after his father passed away. He said I could have the Suzuki for free – and even put £500 towards the renovation on the condition that I never sold it and he…