ZINIO logo
Classic Bike Guide

Classic Bike Guide December 2020

Classic Bike Guide is a down to earth, practical - and sometimes irreverent - magazine that gets right to the heart of the classic bike world. With a mixture of features, tests, reviews and event reports it is the title that has become a must for the active rider and restorer. Classic Bike Guide magazine - with the biggest and best readers adverts - FREE! Enjoy the digital edition - and save over 50% on the print susbcription price.

Read More
United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min

HERE’S TO EVERYONE ENJOYING THE final flurry of nice riding days! Although I do love those surprise autumnal or winter days where the roads are dry and the sun, for a few hours, is our friend. That’s the glory of not having immaculate bikes – they are always available for an impromptu ‘blat’ out. Here at Hullville, we can tell it’s getting colder; not because the bike meets are getting quieter and darker; not because that jacket liner gets put in. We can tell because come late evening, the slugs move into the kitchen. I just cannot find where they come in, slimy little buggers. The kids think it’s hilarious. I don’t. They’ve been seeking warmth for years; just like my BSA not starting when it’s still warm. Dynamo and magneto are…

3 min

Kawasaki and Megura facts I like Oli Hulme’s work, it is interesting, very diverse and has the lowest-cliche rate of any current bike writer. The comparison of the two Japanese 750s is another example of good prose, starting from an unusual viewpoint and leading to a complete reappraisal of the long-held misconceptions. Unfortunately, Oli does state that “Kawasaki’s first four-stroke bike had been the W1 650 parallel twin, a licence-built copy of the BSA A10,” – most of which is incorrect. 1960 Megura motorcycles bought a licence from BSA to build the A7. This was financed by Kawasaki buying a part-share of Megura. The A7 copy was built for three years and called the Megura K. 1963: Megura were completely taken over by Kawasaki. 1965: Kawasaki redesigned the model K to improve the crankshaft bearings and…

10 min
bmw r18 a throwback to the 1936 bmw r5, bmw’s 1802cc r18 is a brand-new bike taking a look at the world of old bikes.

THE ENGINE STARTS WITH A charismatic rock, and if you have never ridden an opposed twin before, it may take you by surprise. Each blip of the throttle pushes the bike to the left. I celebrate this quirkiness. At tickover, around 900rpm, displayed on a digital clock, the bar ends dance around while the instruments vibrate slightly; adding to the appeal. It has character all right, something I was afraid BMW would weaken. It’s a stunning bike in the flesh; clearly inspired by BMW’s early boxer machines from the 1920s and 30s, like the R32 and R5. Elements are almost art deco, like the R7 prototype from 1934. It doesn’t scream at you like a sportsbike. It’s not covered in lavish chrome like a Harley; it doesn’t need neon lights and…

9 min
pip harris

PETER ‘PIP’ HARRIS WAS A NATIVE OF THE WEST Midlands, brought up in a motorcycle family and encouraged by his dad, who raced an AJS to second in the 1923 350cc Junior TT, to try his hand at grasstrack racing. Having ridden the old chap’s sidecar outfit quite a bit, it was natural that he’d stick to what he knew and in the late 1940s he picked up a Grindley combo, a little known make by Billy Grindley of Prees Heath in Shropshire. With good mate Charlie Billingham keeping the sidecar wheel down, they had enough success in local events to look for something a bit quicker for the 1949 season, and found it in a 596cc Norton outfit that London dealer Jack Surtees – father of multi world champion John – was…

1 min
dixon – denny – douglas

1923 – almost 100 years ago – is the year we see Fredrick William Dixon on the way to winning the inaugural Sidecar TT race for Douglas, on the RA. The bike was one of the first to be seen with a form of disc brake on the front wheel, hence the name RA – which stood for the Research Association that designed the brake system. The RA had an OHV, wet-sumped engine, 350cc or 500cc, inline boxer with the gearbox mounted above the rear cylinder; quite a machine. TW (Walter) Denny is in the chair, operating a lever to allow the outfit to ‘lean’. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is called trust. The pair atop the Douglas averaged a speed of 55.1mph, and helped Douglas to achieve a superb year,…

1 min

It’s so different from anything else on the market, BMW have to be congratulated on producing a model so visually close to the original R5. BMW has entered the interesting cruiser market with a huge boxer statement; on looks alone they are on to a winner. It’s a 2020 model dressed for the 1920s and 1930s. It’s elegant, a work of art, doesn’t appear to be a standard production bike, but a special hand-built by custom bike builders. The dramatic boxer engine holds the design together whilst delivering some ‘real-world’ performance and, for a big bike, it will go around corners scraping its pegs all day long. Yes, it’s heavy, yes it rocks from side to side and vibrates at high revs, but that is what I wanted… some soul. When you…