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Classic Bike May 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

2 min
an eventful time ahead

IT’S A MASSIVE relief to finally reach a point where we can publish a 2021 Events Guide. Yes, it’s later than usual. Yes, it’s a bit thinner than our normal bumper calendar because we’re starting from May and not March. And yes, there are provisos, caveats and disclaimers attached to the listings because event organisers are still in a state of uncertainty about how the year might pan out. But at least the road map to classic bike events has opened up for the remainder of the year and I guess like many of you, I’ve been scanning the listings and picking out the key events I’d like to get to now we can get out and about. It’s got to be good news for all the events organisers out there who…

7 min
murray walker 1923-2021

Murray Walker, who died on March 13 aged 97, lived a motorcyclist’s dream life. He was brought up rubbing shoulders with GP greats, raced in the heady days before many circuits had tarmac surfaces, won a gold medal at an International Six Day Trial, commentated at the TT for over a decade and became good friends with Mike Hailwood, Barry Sheene, Rex McCandless, Geoff Duke, Arthur Lampkin, John Surtees and dozens of other racing superstars. Murray’s enthusiasm, drive and generous-spirited character meant he surged through life accumulating extraordinary stories and making lifelong friends. When I interviewed him in 2019 for Classic Bike, we were meant to sit down for an hour over lunch. Four hours later, I was still spellbound by tales that flitted from watching John McGuinness achieve the first…

3 min
that’ll be the day

The 650cc Cyclone bought by rock’n’roll pioneer Buddy Holly in May 1958 must be the world’s most famous Ariel. And now it has a fitting home – on permanent display at the recentlyopened Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts, a $154 million complex dedicated to the music legend’s memory in his home city of Lubbock, Texas. The bike’s owner, local entrepreneur George McMahan, has donated it to the hall on long-term loan, having bought it with the express aim of returning it to Holly’s birthplace. McMahan’s determination is admirable, especially considering his historical association with the tragic rocker’s motorcycle. In the ’70s, the bike had been offered to McMahan, a Honda dealer at the time, for $1000 – but he could not raise the cash. Having become a successful property developer in…

1 min
cyclones seldom seen

Ariel’s FHS Cyclone was an export-only 104mph sport version of the FH Huntmaster tourer. Raising compression from 6.5: 1 to 8.5:1 and using hotter cams in the BSA A10-based engine raised power by 5bhp to 40bhp. It doesn’t carry Cyclone badges or decals – the tuned twin is identified by ‘HC8’ stamped near the engine number, chromed mudguards with a 21in type over the 19in front wheel, high handlebars, a small Lucas 529 tail-lamp and Ariel’s optional Glamour Red and Black paint scheme. Fewer than 200 are estimated to have been built.…

3 min
going into combat with a cub

TWO YEARS AGO I was looking for a project to fill my newly acquired spare time. As a 16-year-old Suzuki 50 owner, I had always been envious of the sound my friend’s Tiger Cub made, so that’s what I decided to look for. Andy Tiernan was offering a choice of two ex-French Army Cubs, so I hitched up the trailer and drove from Northumberland to his dealership in Suffolk. I chose the most sorry-looking one, a 1966 model – partly because it was cheaper, but also because I enjoy a challenge. It had been in a barn in Holland, untouched since 1979. Safely back in my workshop, it was down to business. These bikes were fitted with energy-transfer ignition, which makes them notoriously difficult to start, so I fitted a regular…

4 min
family history and a mystery

YOU FEATURED ONE of my bikes, a Kawasaki GPZ900R, in the Your Classics section of the November 2020 issue. Sadly, a month later my dad died and we had to clear his house as my mother had pre-deceased him. Going through their old photographs, I started to think about how I had got into bikes. Growing up in the north west helped, as all my mates got bikes when we were 16 in 1976 – we were the Fizzie generation and I’ve been into bikes since. But my parents’ old photographs made me realise I’d been around bikes from a young age. In the photo (below) I’m sitting on the back of my brother’s Ariel Arrow in the 1960s, with my sister Janine sitting in front and brother Dave with elder…