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Classic Bike

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.

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United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
my acme ace up my sleeve

Solving the problems of the classic world THE TROUBLE WITH auctions is that to get what you want, you have to pay more than anyone else. That’s fine if you’ve set your heart on it, but it’s not for me. I’m not rich and I couldn’t justify simply paying the top price – unless I had an edge, spotting something others have missed. Having said that, I bought this 1923 Rex Acme from H and H’s 2020 Christmas sale. It’s a 350cc side-valve with the wrong forks, wheels, mudguards, handlebars, levers, carb, saddle, exhaust, and a tank beautifully painted the wrong colour and is a National Motorcycle Museum bike that survived the 2003 fire. It’s nice that the first keeper in the 1956 log book bought it in 1925 and kept it (taxed)…

2 min
one man’s meat…

#1 Firstly, an admission – I don’t buy CB every month, but always one motorcycling magazine, be it modern bikes or classic bikes. My selection is usually determined by the front cover or particular bike manufacturer. The February issue of CB literally jumped off WH Smith’s shelf to me because of the A65-engined Golden Flash. As a BSA fan and owner of two swinging arm A7s, I instantly recognised the engine/frame mixture. Despite owning the pre-unit BSAs, I have always had a hankering for a unit twin, the ‘lump’ just looking so tidy. My friend has a Royal Star and we have enjoyed many a ride out together, but always when we park up the bikes it’s the A7 that gets all the old boys talking, with the poor old Royal…

1 min

1974 The production ‘green frame’ 750SS, with round case engine, is launched. It’s based closely on the 1972 Imola-winning race bikes. Only around 400 of what is essentially a road-legal racer are produced. 1975 The first production 900SS models appear. Just 246 are built for this year. They feature 40mm carbs, a right-foot gearchange and Ducati’s own electronic ignition system. A 750SS (essentially the same as the 900, with a square-case engine) is also produced. Colours: blue and silver. 1976 A steel tank and left-foot gearchange (using a crossover shaft) is fitted. Lafranconi silencers and smaller 32mm Dell’Orto carbs specified for some markets – though usually the Conti silencers and 40mm carbs were supplied with the bike. Frames now stamped with ‘DM860’ prefix, the 750 model having been dropped at the end of 1975. Aprilia…

1 min
so nera but so far

Ben Pierce is planning to use his 1926 Neracar on the next Cannonball Run across the United States. He’s pretty confident about the 350cc Blackburne engine, but asks if I know a source for reproduction valve springs. Personally, I’d say anything will do that fits, so long as it’s not too strong, which would lead to stress on the cam and followers. Strong valve springs are needed for high-revving engines because they have to deal with greater load – any component has far greater weight behind it at speed – and sharper timing to fill the cylinders, putting the valves closer to the rising piston. Both demand accuracy, which is where mechanical operation (desmodromics), four-valve heads, multi cylinders (smaller valves mean less less inertia) or simply stronger springs come into it. But an…

1 min
revive chewed up screws

STEP-BY-STEP 1 This screw is badly chewed up. By the time I’ve filed all these burrs off, it would be so misshapen there’s no point trying to replate it. Time for the dustbin? 2 Not yet. Metal is surprisingly elastic and providing there are no chunks missing, with careful hammering it’s possible to squeeze the metal back where it came from. 3 Looking much better already. If possible, it’s worth trying to close up the screwdriver slot a little, pushing the material over with careful hammer blows. 4 Then you can use a thin file to tidy the slot and sharpen up the edges. A wobbly or flared slot looks terrible and will encourage the driver to slip again. 5 If I say so meself, you wouldn’t think it was the same screw – but…

2 min
‘interaction with customers has been made easier by using social media sites’

I’ve been around classic bikes ever since I can remember. My dad, Paul Wexham ran Cotswold Classics for about 18 years when I was growing up. I know I might not be everyone’s idea of a typical classic bike dealer, as I’m only 28. But, having been around classic bikes for a long time, I think I’ve worked out what it takes to do OK in this trade. I started by buying a ratty BSA Bantam D1, tidying it up and selling it on. I made a small profit, bought another bike and sold that on. Then I bought another bike and got offered a part exchange against that. By the end of my first year of buying and selling classic bikes, I had 10 bikes – and a fledgling business.…