ZINIO logo

Classic Bike December 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.

Read More
United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
velo set-up

32 SEEING THE pictures of Anthony Godin’s Velocette Thruxton and reading the Geoff Dodkin feature brought memories of my mate Coles’ Velo flooding back. Coles was one of our village gang. I’ve got it in my head that he rode a Crusader Sports before passing his test, but I’m can’t be 100% sure. It’s his Velo that I recall quite vividly. He worked on a pig farm – and, like the rest of our gang, was a scruffy long-hair. I think he washed more than most of us, due to his job! Coles though was absolutely meticulous when it came to his Velo. I don’t recall it as a stock Venom, because it seemed that he spent hours, days, weeks, months turning it into a really cool-looking café racer which looked almost exactly like…

6 min
bsas in the blood

‘IN THE SEARCH FOR MORE POWER, SIMON GRAFTED AN A65 TWIN INTO A WASP FRAME’ In the mid-1960s, the BSA works team dominated international motocross (or scrambling, as it was still known back then). Jeff Smith won the 500cc World Motocross title in 1964 and 1965 riding a very trick, unit-construction single, initially based on the B40, which then became the B44 Victor in 1965. Dave Nichol won Grand Prix races with his B44 in 1916 and ’68. At home, too, the entire BSA team was successful, with titles in the British Motocross Championship and the winter televised series. So it’s no wonder that the BSA singles are popular in classic Pre-65 motocross – and the Little family featured here have fully embraced the B40 with a collection of bikes based on…

4 min
a big unit

BSA MADE APPROXIMATELY 109,000 unit-construction heavyweight twins between 1961 and 1973. The 500cc A50 and 654cc A65 models from Birmingham were prime examples of British iron dominating those capacity classes in markets worldwide through the 1960s. A choice for many dedicated motorcyclists and significant dollar- earners, the grunty twins also enjoyed sporting success: two Production class victories at the prestigious Hutchinson 100 stand out; Mike Hailwood’s 1965 heroics at a wet Silverstone on an A65LC Lightning Clubman and John Cooper’s win with an A652S Spitfire MkII at Brands Hatch in the following year. The A65 engine dominated the national sidecar scene for several seasons and scooped a 1-2-3 victory in the inaugural 750cc Sidecar TT of 1968. A book dealing exclusively with the big BSAs had been overdue until the publication of…

2 min
hardy perennials

December 5: Southern Classic Off Road Show, Kempton Park Racecourse At the end of October, the organisers were still confident this event would be going ahead as planned. Bear in mind, though, that the last two autojumbles at the venue have been cancelled at short notice, so (as with all events) check before travelling. If the show does go on (no ‘must’ at the present time), the usual array of tasty off-road competition and racing machinery should be on show alongside the regular, excellent, Kempton autojumble. Fingers crossed... kemptonparkautojumble.co.uk December 5: Rufforth Autojumble, Rufforth Park, Rufforth, Yorkshire The show goes on at the regular Rufforth venue. Autojumbles are a bit thin on the ground at the moment, so try to make the most of this one. rufforthautojumble.com December 6: Newark Autojumble, Newark Showground, Newark, Nottinghamshire The Midlands’…

4 min
lockdown antidote

THIS 1986 YAMAHA XT350 project came about from the desire to ease the boredom of lockdown 2020. My father, Richard, and myself set about finding the perfect bike, with something ’80s and Japanese in mind. Having trawled various online auction sites and adverts, we stumbled across this gem via an Instagram ad. The bike was a barn find – it had been hidden away at the back of a shed in deepest Oxfordshire for 20-odd years. My dad had previously owned an XT during his youth and, although I’m an engineer more used to working on film sets, with time on my hands I was well up for a challenge. The bike was rough, but had a very low mileage and hadn’t been neglected. And, most importantly, it was complete. Once…

2 min
the way we were

Three generations on two wheels These photos show Claude Rayner (#1) aged 16 on a Williamson in Barton, Cambridgeshire (circa 1922), and still riding at 65 years old, on a Norton ES2 (#2). Pictured to the right is his son Tom (#3), tinkering with a Velocette Thruxton in 1974, and showing off a just-finished café racer (#4). Finally, grandson Adam and grandaughter Lauren are pictured with Tom on a Honda CG125 field bike in the early 1990s (#5). Tom Rayner MY RACY UNCLE Here are some old photographs of my uncle, Les Wells. He drove a motorcycle combination and raced in the late 1940s, ’50s and early ’60s until he was tragically killed on April 21, 1962, aged just 32. Ironically, the accident wasn’t whilst he was racing – he worked as a plasterer…