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Classic Bike November 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
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
feeling special

This month’s Classic Bike is a special issue – well, an issue of specials actually, putting more bikes from the classic era back on the road. It all started when David Marvier sent us a package of stunning images from a feature he and Bertrand Bussillet (editor of the French magazine Café Racer) created with two Trackmaster-replica BSA A65s built by Brit bike specialists Atelier Chatokhine in France. Although the frames for both bikes might be American-inspired, they were fabricated by British firm Co-Built – purveyors of amazing engineering, including some top class flat-track racing machinery. Frank then took parts from his personal BSA-related stash, and plenty of new components, to build fresh big-bore motors, thus creating two fabulous motorcycles. Staying on the ‘street-tracker special’ theme, Tony Taysom at Lamb Engineering salvaged…

5 min
fab four

CELEBRATION WAY WE WERE SPECIAL YOUR CLASSICS LETTERS Honda’s CB750 four was loudly celebrated on its 50th birthday last year. But, while the Honda might be able to claim that it brought four-cylinder motorcycling to the masses, it was more than 40 years behind Ariel’s Square Four, which enjoys its 90th anniversary this year. It was Edward Turner, whose name would later become synonymous with Triumph, who designed the original Square Four. In the late 1920s, having run Chepstow Motors in Peckham Road, south London for some time, Turner was on the lookout for opportunities within the motorcycle industry. He had already built a machine featuring his own design of 350cc overhead-cam engine when he drew up an ohc 500cc four-cylinder engine in 1928. Offering the design to BSA, he was rejected…

1 min
evolution of a classic

1930 Square Four goes on display at the Earls Court Show 1931 Production versions of the 498cc 4F model appear 1932 4F6 model launched. An extra 5mm on the bore brings capacity up to 601cc 1933 New single downtube, double-cradle type frame fitted 1934 The smaller 4F (only available to special order anyway) is dropped from the Ariel range 1936 Engine is completely redesigned as a 995cc ohv unit (the 4G model) for the 1937 season. 1937 End of production for the 600cc ohc model 1939 A new 600cc ohv model is launched. Ariel’s Anstey Link plunger rear suspension becomes an option 1945 Production of the 995cc model restarts 1946 Anstey Link rear suspension now standard. Telescopic forks replace girders 1947 Smith’s Chronometric speedometer fitted 1949 4G MkI model with alloy barrels and cylinder head, and coil ignition 1950 Instruments moved from tank-top panel. Speedometer mounted on top yoke 1953 The four-pipe 4G MkII appears with gear-type…

5 min
putting on the style

‘AS SOON AS I LOOKED AT IT, I THOUGHT IT WAS TOO GOOD TO WASTE – WE HAD A FIDDLE AROUND AND GOT IT TO FIRE UP’ BELIEVE IT OR not, the original idea for this Yamaha special was to turn it into a prop to dress up a leisure facility! “The bloke who commissioned this bike owns a nine-hole indoor golf course business and came to us with this idea of turning this RD250 into some kind of Evel Knievel thing,” explains Tony Taysom, who looks after the fabrication and bike building at Lamb Engineering near Salisbury, Wiltshire. Lamb Engineering is a specialist company owned by Larry Houghton, whose hobby happens to be building outrageously brilliant custom show bikes. Larry is a gifted engineer who can make virtually anything from a lump…

2 min
the best-ever norton t-shirt?

THE NORTON OWNERS Club is asking owners and enthusiasts to send in pictures of their favourite Norton T-shirt design, in a bid to determine the ‘best ever’ Norton T-shirt in the 60-plus years of the club’s existence. They reckon that since its formation in 1959, literally hundreds of T-shirts have been commissioned by the club, its UK and overseas branches, and by individual members. Some have been produced to mark events such as rallies, some to celebrate sporting success or to celebrate specific anniversaries, and others… well, just for the hell of it! And they see this as a light-hearted way to trace the club’s history through the medium of the T-shirt. Peter Scatchard, UK Branches Liaison Officer of the Norton Owners Club Ltd, and one of the club’s Directors said: “Our…

2 min
better than nothing

With various local increases in the Covid 19 restrictions, the classic events scene has taken a battering. With the cancellation at the last minute of the October Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at Stafford and numerous smaller events having pulled the plug, too, it seems only a handful of autojumbles and a few socially-distanced and entry-restricted classic trials and meets at the Ace have survived as we head into winter. As always, check with the organisers before travelling to any event. ON… November 1 Midland Classic Motor Cycle Club trial at Stathams Quarry, near Matlock Derbyshire If our feature on buying a twinshock trials bike in the last issue has tempted you into taking the plunge, here’s an ideal event to get you started. It’s one of the few events still scheduled to go…