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Classic Bike March 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
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
a man of mx excellence

IT’S ALWAYS SAD to hear when a motorcycling legend passes – and never more so than the death of Joel Robert who, in his prime, was one of those tough motocross guys who seemed utterly invincible. It was August 1971 when I saw the Belgian hero for the first time in action at Dodington Park, near Old Sodbury, in the 250cc British Motocross Grand Prix. I was 16 years old and it was one of my first big solo trips out of the local area on my not-so-trusty BSA C15 SS80 (the chrome-sided tank and mudguards earned it a Sportsman tag!). I say ‘big trip’, the journey from my home near Devizes to Old Sodbury was just under 40 miles – but it seemed like a big deal back then, especially…

4 min
izzy whizzy...

SPORT WAY WE WERE OBITUARIES YOUR CLASSICS LETTERS For American teenagers in the late 1940s and ’50s the Whizzer was a route to motorcycling, much in the same way the Fizzie was to the teenagers of Britain in the 1970s. The first Whizzers appeared in 1939, originally as an engine kit that could be bolted to a Schwinn-style cruiser bicycle frame. The Model D Bicycle Motor, as it was known, cost $54.95 and was produced by a Los Angeles-based company called Breene Taylor Engineering Corporation, who also made aircraft parts. Only 1000 of the Model D kits, with a roller drive system, were produced in the first year, being superseded in 1940 by the Model E, with an alloy head and redesigned camshaft – but neither the Model D or E were…

5 min
daytona 200, march 1971

The field hurtles into Turn One at the start of the 1971 Daytona 200. It was the age of the superbike and motorcycling was riding a huge wave of interest Stateside at the time, with manufacturer support for the race at an all-time high. The American philosophy of ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ was never more prevalent and the works team entry for the race was huge. BSA and Triumph had five riders, each on triples. Harley-Davidson fielded six of their iron-barrel XRTT V-twins – plus four really top-class privateers. There was an emerging two-stroke presence, too (all still air-cooled bikes) with Kawasaki fielding eight works or semi-works riders on 500cc triples, Suzuki with four on the 500cc twin two-strokes and Yamaha with seven riders on 350cc twins. And while…

4 min
joel robert 1943-2021

One of motocross’s biggest characters – and one of its most successful riders – Joel Robert died on January 13 this year. He was 77 years old and had been suffering ill health for some time before he passed away at his home in Charleroi, Belgium. Those are the stark facts, but what’s more important about Robert is not the manner of his death, but the way he lived his life – flat-out, exactly the same way as he rode when he first announced himself on the world championship circuit in 1962. Robert’s first couple of seasons on the international stage might have been relatively uneventful in terms of wins, but they showcased his easy, fluid style on a bike, honed by a couple of years on a home-converted Zundapp road…

3 min
jan de vries 1944-2021

Jan de Vries, 50cc World Champion in 1971 and 1973 riding for Van Veen Kreidler, passed away in his Dutch hometown of Purmerend on January 14, 2021. With his passing the racing world not only lost a champion, but also a gifted two-stroke engine tuner who helped to shape 50cc racing in the 1970s. Jan started his career in grasstrack racing and was contracted by the Van Veen Kreidler racing team after a circuit test at the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort. At the time, the successful Dutch Kreidler importer Hendrik ‘Henk’ van Veen had taken over the Kreidler racing stable after the German factory decided to quit racing in 1966 as they simply did not have the funds to keep up with the complex 50cc multicylinder racers of Suzuki and Honda.…

9 min
the roots of my xt

I FIRST SAW this bike in 1984, when it was just two years old and I was (just) 17 – but never thought I’d end up restoring it so many years later, or that I’d be able to track down its 38-year story. For me, it’s not only been a journey of discovery, including the realisation that I either knew or had heard of all the owners, but also a very steep learning curve in how to restore an old bike – and how not to! But I’ve loved every minute of it. The bike was originally bought in 1982 by Dale Hawker from Minehead, Somerset. He saw the bike advertised in Motorcycle News by Team Ham-Yam Racing Ltd of Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, paid a deposit by Access over the phone…