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Classic Bike April 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
playing with matches

BACK IN 1971, Motorcycle News heralded the Match Races – and I was one of many thousands of fans totally engrossed by the prospect of the top Americans coming to the UK to take on our top guys. It was obvious it was going to be a one-sided contest – the Brits had home advantage and were some of the best short-circuit racers in the world. The Americans were only just embracing the hard stuff – they had no chance. But it didn’t seem to matter. MCN had been focusing on the colourful American scene for a while – and the picture they painted was of riders who were larger-than-life characters. Well, the Brits got a bit of a surprise. Dick Mann, the only rider on the US team with real experience…

5 min
burt munro challenge

Taking place down on the southern extremity of New Zealand, the Burt Munro Challenge is a five-day festival dedicated to local legend Burt Munro, aka ‘The God of Speed’, with the 2021 event celebrating its 15th year. It has become one of New Zealand’s major motorsport events and featured six thrilling racing events, including two road races – one on the challenging Invercargill street circuit and the other at Teretonga Park short circuit – plus drag races, speedway and the unique beach racing championship. Sadly, the traditional spectacular hillclimb was cancelled this year due to high winds. For the uninitiated, Burt Munro is one of the most celebrated motorcycle sporting heroes in New Zealand, thanks to his determination in chasing land speed records on a home-build Indian motorcycle, with his achievements immortalised…

2 min
the first anglo-american match races

FIFTY YEARS AGO, in the Easter of 1971, Motor Circuit Developments collaborated with the BSA Triumph Motorcycle Division to launch the first-ever Anglo American Match Races. Primarily a publicity stunt to promote the BSA and Triumph three cylinder superbikes, it featured ten of their works-backed riders – five from Great Britain and five from the USA – on the Rob North-framed BSA Rocket 3 and Triumph Trident machines built to the new Formula 750 rules. A rip-roaring success, the Anglo-American Match Races – later to become the Transatlantic Challenge – would become one of the major attractions in the racing calendar, with races held over an Easter weekend at Brands Hatch, Mallory Park and Oulton Park before moving to Donington Park in 1984 and then returning to Brands and Mallory for…

4 min
chris vincent 1935–2021

No one before or since could control a sidecar outfit like Chris Vincent. Crowned ‘The King of Drift’, Mike Hailwood knew him simply as Chrissie Vin and they moved in similar circles. In the ’60s sidecars weren’t the paddock Cinderellas they would ultimately become and huge crowds flocked to see the Continental stars come over for the big money International meetings. More often than not, Vincent would humble them on his far less sophisticated BSA. It could all have been very different, though, as it’s often forgotten that Vincent was also a hugely talented solo rider. On his Honda CR93 he regularly beat Bill Ivy during their season-long struggle for the 1964 British 125 title and he memorably defeated world champion Luigi Taveri at Mallory Park in 1965 on the same…

3 min
sympathy for the dishevelled

HERE ARE MY two vintage Hondas. I stumbled upon the CB72 while poring over eBay with a late-night whisky – I soon noticed from the number on the ‘bacon slicer’ front ’plate that it was the very bike on which I’d passed my test in Stoke on Trent back in 1968. A few months after that, I’d ridden it from the Potteries down to London with my pal on the pillion to see the Stones play their famous free Hyde Park gig in 1969. Over four decades later, there it was – being advertised by Freddy the Frog, an importer of American bikes, although in this instance the bike had been holed up in a leaking shed in Staffordshire for over 40 years. Needless to say, I ended up buying…

1 min
historical duke

I bought this 1964 Ducati 250cc Mach 1 in 2017. I was told it had been resting in a garage for years until the owner passed away, after which his son sold it to a dealer. It came with a book detailing its history up to 1996. Not registered, but raced from new, it won the Welsh 250 Championship (ridden by Roger Martin, it seems). It was raced all over England by Phillip Kenefick and held a lap record at Aberdare. The book also explains how to prepare to start for a race (the rev limit is 9500, but it’s safe to 10,000 if pushed, apparently). After stripping the bike down, I discovered very clean and useable engine internals. I replaced all the bearings, but the mechanical parts are very good.…