Triumph fashion show 2018 india

Triumph fashion show 2018 india



Guy Martin will be attending

18th August 2018 is the date


This annual run what-ya-brung extravaganza is back for its seventh outing, and we're doing what we can to help promote it. But we have to say that having examined the organiser's website, it doesn't look particularly exciting this year—and a lot less exciting than the poster immediately above makes it appear.


The only celeb currently listed (as of 23rd June 2018) is Guy Martin, and because he's so hugely over-exposed in the biking media and on TV, etc, it's hard to get too excited one way or t'other. Not that we're celebrity groupies, you understand. But the presence of one or two interesting, vocal and colourful personalities (as opposed to the same old same old diehards) invariably adds a little extra excitement to a biking festival.


That said, this event has in the past drawn out some pretty weird and wonderful (and dangerous) characters, so a certain amount of thrills and spills are probably more or less guaranteed.


The gates open at 10am at the Arena Essex speedway oval, and you're invited along to strut your peculiar stuff and shift your atoms as fast as you possibly can (assuming entry hasn't closed). The organisers are hoping to keep this spectacle spectacular, so you're strongly encouraged to wear fancy dress and whatnot—but make sure you're also wearing appropriate safety gear. If you're showing too much skin, you won't get in.


Here's how the organisers describe the event:


"Irreverent racing is at the heart of DirtQuake. The action takes place on high-adrenaline, loose-surface oval circuits without the hassle, rules and costs usually associated with motorsport. DirtQuake is inclusive – giving riders, enthusiasts and even pro racers a unique chance to take on all comers."


We're also told that the event will once again be televised, so if the cameras love ya, this could be your fifteen minutes of fame. Actually, we should mention that the organiser is North One Television which also produces The Gadget Show and (oh wot a total surprise!) all of Guy Martin's TV progs.


Check the website for spectator ticket details.


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H-D marks 115th anniversary with 10 replica bicycles. ,200 each

Scotland follows London and will ban pavement parking (with exceptions)

UK police warn inflatable fake speed camera inventor with 7 year jail threat

10th Brackley Festival of Motorcycling reminder. Sunday 12th August 2018

DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme relaunched. Instructors wanted

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The date is 23rd - 25th August 2018

The place is Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, CA 93940


So far, only four motorcycle lots are on the roll call, but we expect that to increase hugely over the next few weeks. The top items are the above 1915 61-cubic inch (1,000cc) Harley-Davidson Model 11K boardtrack racer (Lot R420), and the (further below) 1956 Mondial F2 (Lot 236).


The H-D doesn't have a lot to say for itself, except that it's evidently in great condition (externally, anyway), has numerous (unspecified) high-performance parts fitted, has an ultra rare (but also unspecified) fork assembly, is said to be very correct right down to the "NOS Schrader tube valve stems", and received a winner's award at the 2017 Greenwich Concourse d' Elegance (Most Outstanding Motorcycle).


The Model 11K is an F-head, air-cooled, 45-degree V-twin that knocks out around 12bhp (depending on whose numbers you believe). It weighs roughly 260lb (118kg) and is good for around 100mph—which, naturally, was a fabulous speed back in 1915, and is pretty impressive even today.


Harley-Davidson was a little slow in arriving at the US racing start line. Indian and Excelsior were early entrants, but when Milwaukee finally came hunting trophies, it quickly put up some fierce and compelling competition and changed the shape and sound of the American motorcycle racing scene.


This Model 11k was from the start intended as a pure racer, and it sold for 0. At Monterey, this motorcycle will be offered on a "Bill of Sale" meaning that it's not road legal.




Meanwhile, the (immediately above) DOHC Mondial F2 is giving even less away. But we can tell you that it's from a private collection, is fitted with a factory 175cc racing engine, is a four-speeder, and is "extremely rare".


Mondials were hugely successful on the Italian circuits during the 1950s. Fabio Taglioni (following in the footsteps of Alfredo Drusiani) is the man largely responsible for the development of these bikes.


No estimate for either the H-D or the Mondial has been posted. The other two lots currently listed are, respectively, Lot T26, a 1937 74-cubic inch (1,200cc) Indian Chief, and Lot T157, a 1959 650cc BSA Super Rocket.


More on this sale as and when.


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1972 650cc Triumph TR6 TT replica. This motorcycle was an insurance write-off (Category C, 2003). But you can never totally write off a Triumph. £5,000 - £6,000 is the estimate. Sounds like strong money, but that finned primary chaincase is already making us feel gooey...


Plenty of lots on offer for the average biker

We think there could be some great bargains here


We've been checking out the forthcoming H&H sale to be held at the National Motorcycle Museum (NMM), and there's some stuff coming up that will suit a wide range of motorcycle riders—as opposed to motorcycle collectors.


The auction will happen on 26th July 2018, which is roughly one month from the posting of this news item. So far, 189 lots are on offer, the majority of them being pretty ordinary bikes of the kind you might find in the average garage. And that's the kind of stuff we like. Everyman (or everywoman) motorcycles.

We've screen-grabbed a few of them for your interest and edification. Lot numbers haven't yet been assigned, and H&H has (not for the first time) been a little mean with the descriptions. Here they are anyway:



1939 Francis Barnett Cruiser

When it comes to Villiers powered two-strokes, you don't get a lot more stylish and stately than this 1939 250cc Francis Barnett Cruiser. Launched in 1933, the concept included the fitment of extensive body panels to keep the gentleman (or gentlelady) rider as clean as possible, and also perhaps to hide as much of the mechanics to help make motorcycle ownership more palatable. That's a cast aluminium exhaust expansion box at the front, incidentally. This example is part restored and needs a fresh spanner or two. All major parts are present. No estimate is (yet) posted. We like it plenty. How about you?


1974 T150 Triumph Trident

1974 Triumph T150. £5,000 will start the bidding. H&H is anticipating around £10,000 - £12,000 for this Category C insurance loss in 1998 and 1999. The bike, we hear, was rebuilt with the help of Colin Wall of the National Motorcycle Museum. The carbs are new. It's in running order, but there's no mention of a current V5C. Ten years ago, few people wanted these "breadbin" and "ray gun" Triumphs. But typically, they're starting to look pretty good, and they make great classic tourers.


1971 Honda CD175 K3

1971 Honda CD175 K3. The estimate is £1,500 - £2,500. Long term ownership. Matching numbers. Needs re-commissioning. There are half a dozen or more similar classic Hondas in the listing, and they look better with every season. Might be worth a punt if you've got a few bob spare and need a fresh shot of nostalgia.


1953 MV Agusta Pullman

1953 MV Agusta Pullman. If you like attention, forget the E-Type and take this down the pub. The engine of this Mk1 is just 125cc, but when you've got pose, who needs power? Launched in 1953, this scooter-motorcycle hybrid was a success. MV Agusta flogged thousands, largely because the bike had presence, simplicity and quality engineering; a shrewd combination. The estimate is £4,500 - £5,000. Check below for a red (1953) example that was sold by Coys of Kensington in August 2016 [Note that we had earlier wrongly suggested that this bike was about to come up for sale on 30th June 2018. Apologies—Ed. The estimate was €7,500 - €9,500, but it looks like the MV didn't sell. However, an MV Agusta Super Pullman at the same sale sold for €8,249].

MV Agusta Pullman


Cotton Trials motorcycle

1963 Cotton Trials. No estimate and no reserve. If you have to wonder what's nice about this 197cc Villiers two stroke, it probably isn't for you. The bike was found in a stable, and it needs some fresh oats. But it's ideal for Pre-65 Trials and looks to be all there. Cool little mo'sickle, and there's another Cotton Trials in the sale if you lose out on this one.


1929 Levis 6 Port

1929 247cc Levis 6-Port Super-Cooled. Levis was already producing a 4-Port Model Z and decided to up the ante with this new sporting contender. Said to be good for 60mph, Levis claimed this three speeder punched above its weight and "compared favourably" with larger capacity two strokes. Levis was founded in 1911 and ended production in 1940. The firm isn't so widely known today. But in its time, it was a very serious player and competed successfully at various levels including the TT. The price of the 6-Port was around £37 plus whatever extras you favoured (speedometer, horn, lighting equipment, etc). This example (part of a deceased's estate and said to be completely restored) is expected sell for between £5,000 and £6,000. £2,500 will get the bidding started.

Levis Motorcycles were produced in Stechford, Birmingham by Butterfields Ltd. This was a highly innovative firm that fixed its colours firmly to the two-stroke mast and rightly deserved the self-appointed slogan, "The Master Two Stroke". However, there were also four-strokes in the range, including a 247cc sidevalve, a 346cc OHV single-port, a 346cc OHV twin port and a 498cc single. See: Levis Motorcycle set for comeback?


1953 Series C Vincent Comet

1951 Vincent Comet Series C. There's no estimate listed for this 499cc single, and there's no start price either. The engine, we hear, looks correct, but the bike has been re-framed. Does that matter to you? If not, this could be a first viable step on the Vincent ladder. V5 plus green logbook. Will require re-commissioning.


Overall, we think there might be some great bargains to be had, not least for newer riders hoping to get on the classic bike ladder. Or is that treadmill? Prices are fairly flat—if not depressed—at the moment. The sale starts at 1pm. Consequently, with 189 lots on the list, there are likely to be some fast hammer falls. Get the idea?


The venue for the sale is: National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull, West Midlands B92 0EJ. There will be viewing on the same day, from 9am. The buyers premium is 15% (including VAT @ 20%). Admission to the sale is free, but for five pounds you can buy a pocket guide.

Also check out: 1971 Norton Hi-Rider at this sale


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MP for Christchurch, Dorset says "knickers!"

The lynch mob is gathering for ex-transport minister


Poor old Christopher Chope, Conservative MP for Christchurch, Dorset. An ex-transport minister, we many years ago interviewed Chope at his Marsham Street, London office and found him to be perfectly affable and civilised, but clearly a time-serving minister with as much interest in transport (least of all motorcycles) as we have in football.


Which is none.


However, to most of the politically-minded females of the UK, and a fair proportion of men, Chope's name is pure mud, and it gets muddier by the day. He's currently featuring on either page one, two or three of the major newspapers, and the TV and radio news networks have also been spreading the nasty gossip.


In case you've been in the garage too long, here's the underlying story. A woman named Gina Martin was at a concert in Hyde Park in 2017 and discovered that two men had taken a photograph up her skirt. She snatched the camera and reported the incident to the cops, but they decided that they had no powers to deal with it. She was wearing underwear, after all, so the offence of "outraging public decency" couldn't be used. The picture simply wasn't "graphic" enough.


As a result, Gina Martin launched a campaign to have a new law introduced, and Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse and Tory justice minister Lucy Frazer obliged. It was Hobhouse who got a new private member's bill rolling (as opposed to a government sponsored bill), and that was called The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill.


The first reading was on 6th March 2018. This is a purely introductory moment to let MPs know that the bill is on the agenda. The second reading was on 15th June 2018. Note that these private member's bills (or backbench bills) usually have very little time to be discussed. Most of the house usually isn't present, some of the MPs are probably asleep, one or two might have died on the benches, and there are other grievances and heartfelt issues competing for airplay and attention.


On this occasion it was expected that the bill would go through "on the nod". In other words, to hell with a debate, just wave it through to the next stage. But to stop a bill, it requires a single MP to shout "object", and this is what happened. Christopher Chope MP took a political pistol from his pocket and killed the bill dead, and most of the rest of the UK is now looking to string him up.


From this angle, we're not sure which girl is Gina Martin (we need to check our upskirt phone—not funny, Ed), but we think it's the girl on the right. Or the left. Either way, this is the shot posted on the Care2Petitions website. Yes, "upskirting" is an issue that needs to be addressed (pun intended), but not at the expense of hasty legislation. Note the cunningly censored background faces in the pic.

▲ ... and this is modest Gina as pictured posing in The Telegraph. And clearly you can look, but don't go too low (so no squatting, pervs. This is a family magazine).


Why the hell would anyone want to stop a bill that stops the "pervs" from invading a woman's privacy? That's the current battle cry. But we can think of a couple of reasons, one of which is simply that it's rarely, if ever, wise to wave new bills through "on the nod". Chope might have serious psychological issues going on upstairs, and/or he might also be a "perv" and protecting his mates, and/or he might simply have a perverse sense of humour, and/or he might have other reasons.


But he certainly claims that his objection is that he thinks the bill should have a full and proper debate and not be waved through a busy and potentially dangerous legislative junction. In Scotland, it's already against the law to take upskirt snapshots without permission. See the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 for details. And largely because the Scots have enacted such a law, there's a long queue of people down south who want parity (and this begs the question of why Scotland should have got the law ahead of the rest of the UK given that we're all in the union, but let's not go there right now).


The point is, The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill will now have to be re-introduced as a second reading, and that can be murdered again by another "object!", not necessarily from Chope. In the meantime, the forces of Hobhouse Good can go to work against the forces of Chopeian Evil and try and convince him to repent and recant. And to help matters along, the majority of (if not all) the UK newspapers are soundly on-message.


It's vilification day.


The social medianauts are hard at it damning this bloke to hell and back. He's received hate mail, has had his lead jerked by (some) friends and colleagues, had been the butt (no pun intended) or numerous jokes and cartoons, and he's had knickers strung across his constituency door. Currently, he's probably not going out of his house even with a hat and dark glasses, but he's clinging stubbornly to his views.


One member of the usual lynch mob has written online:


"This is your country's democracy at work, people! Hundreds of MPs fight tooth and nail to get your vote overturned. One minor MP wakes up from lying asleep on an empty House of Commons and shouts "I object to a sexual offence being outlawed!" and it happens.


Another wailed:


"This man is a disgrace - how can anyone not support a bill that preserves the dignity of the women of the UK. He should resign immediately."




There was a time when women happily stood on air vents and told the waiting photographers to watch the birdie. Now we're reduced to smartphones and strategically placed selfie sticks. It's a sad world...



But imagine the situation if a backbench MP introduced a bill to curb noisy motorcycle exhausts, or introduced a bill mandating leg-protectors for motorcyclists, both of which (on the face of it, from some perspectives) sound reasonable enough. Noise can be a nuisance, after all. And saving people's legs is a worthy cause.


In this instance, how many bikers would want that bill to go through "on the nod"? And how many would want someone like Chope to yell "object!" and help force a proper debate—that, okay, may or may not ever happen. Private member's bills, after all, very rarely make it through to law.


As we understand it, Chope isn't necessarily against an upskirting law. He's simply using his parliamentary privilege to block a hasty piece of knee-jerk backbench thinking. For instance, what if you (more innocently) photograph a woman lying down and are treated to a slightly wider angle? Should that result in an arrest? What if you're a photojournalist covering a drunk women story and get an eyeful of whatever? What if the bill also looks down bras ("downblousing") as well as upskirts? And how much upskirt is upskirt? Would the law include a Scotman's kilt? Would this new law include loose-fitting shorts? Would a downblousing law include CCTV operators? And why not extend the law to making it illegal to photograph someone's fatness? Or skinnyness? Or face? Or whatever? Where does it start? And where does it end?


In short, how do you frame any or all of this to prevent an abuse of whatever new powers the coppers get? It ain't as simple as the lynch mob believes. Actually, the lynch mob isn't even thinking that far ahead. It just wants a head in a noose, and in this case it's Chope's—and then they can go after all the "pervs".


Some would yell, "Get real, girls. If you don't want a camera up your kilt, don't wear a kilt." But the girls, like public figures in general, clearly want full control of their publicity, meaning that the pervs will just have to learn to point and squirt only at what's immediately on display, and only from whatever vantage point is demanded by the lady in the frame.


The moral? We need to think long and hard before any new law is introduced. There are always unwanted and unintended consequences, and those left field maverick voices from Christchurch and elsewhere are sometimes exactly what we need to keep some perspective on a complicated issue.



Update:  Chope has since been quoted by the Bournemouth Echo as saying that upskirting is "vulgar, humiliating and unacceptable." He's further said that he didn't even know what upskirting was until the bill tried to muscle through the second reading without due scrutiny.


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Ram Jam City was recorded in 2000 and featured mostly demo tracks from the early years. Not Danny Kirwan's best stuff, but an interesting collection for the more hardcore fan.


Fleetwood Mac's troubled other guitarist died on 10th June

Peter Green era band member was 68


If you're a Fleetwood Mac fan, and if you're of a certain age, the chances are you're an early Fleetwood Mac fan. We're talking about the classic line up of Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer and of course Danny Kirwan who has died aged 68.


Fleetwood Mac was formed in 1967 by Green who enlisted Fleetwood and McVie and then Spencer. But the underlying tale of exactly how the band came about varies slightly depending on who you listen to. However, few are denying that Kirwan came along two years later (1969) and helped transform a great four piece combo into an even better five.


Kirwan's instrument was lead guitar (Gibson Les Paul) which initially threatened to cause some musical imbalance in the band by diluting the hard, bluesy, raw sound favoured by the founding four. But in the event, Kirwan's sensitive touch, original compositions and thoughtful arrangements honed an already cutting edge. And if you're a particular fan of Jigsaw Puzzle Blues (which was the flip side of Albatross—and a re-arrangement of an old 1930s clarinet ditty) you'll understand exactly what we mean.


While we're talking about Albatross, those soulful and searing guitar harmonies are as much Kirwan as Green, and that's also Kirwan playing the solo on Oh Well (Part 1).


The twin guitar sound of Green and Kirwan (which in some ways anticipated Irish rockers Thin Lizzy) helped carry the band through the next couple of years, but the not unusual frictions were soon developing between members.


Peter Green left the group in 1970, and John McVie's wife Christine signed up and played keyboards.


But the game was already up as far as the classic bluesy Fleetwood Mac era was concerned. The group would soon be dominated by the more poppy influences of Stevie Nicks and Lyndsey Buckingham.


Danny Kirwan left the band in 1972. Actually, he was sacked, largely because of the aforementioned friction which left him almost completed isolated on a personal level and which allegedly resulted in regular and highly inconvenient outbursts of temper. We don't really want to go any further into the gossip, suffice to say that it was time for Kirwan and Mac to go their separate ways.


Kirwan briefly forged a low-key solo career. His style was ... well, a little confused at times, his music being generally populated by short bursts of interesting ideas and suggestions that didn't always develop into compelling tunes. He both played guitar and sang, but his voice simply didn't have that edge or emotional command necessary to elevate him into the first league. Which isn't to say that his solo stuff is bad, but it's a long way from the wonderful of-the-moment racket that made the late 1960s Fleetwood Mac so great.


His album Second Chapter was released in 1975. Midnight in San Juan was released in 1976. And his final album, Hello There Big Boy was pressed in 1979.


After that, a sad decline followed that saw Danny Kirwan battling mental health issues and concomitant social problems. He left the music scene entirely, and beyond that point not a lot is known about him or his life. He did marry in 1971, but it was short-lived. And he fathered one son.


In 1998 Kirwan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with regard to his Fleetwood Mac era), and there was some talk about a reunion, which never happened.


If you want a song to sum up the sound, mood and style of Danny Kirwan's contribution to Fleetwood Mac, try his bluesy/psychedelic song Dragonfly released in 1971. It was the band's first single following the departure of Peter Green, and it was a commercial failure. Nevertheless, we think it's an underrated 2 minutes and 54 seconds that's a suitable monument for a great guitar player, a gifted songwriter, and a very troubled personality.


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Reg Allen Motorcycles



Long time classic Triumph dealer has called it a (long) day

The future of the London Motorcycle Museum is in question


In the late 1970s a bunch of us used to ride out to Reg Allen Motorcycles in Hanwell, West London to check the merchandise, to talk Triumph, and maybe to even buy something. Can't remember that we ever spent much, and as such we probably weren't very popular. Proprietor Bill Crosby kept his peepers on us throughout, no doubt half expecting us to try and nick something. But we never did, and it's doubtful that it even occurred to us.


We simply weren't those kind of guys.


Well those days are long gone, and Reg Allen's time as a viable business is rapidly coming to an end. The news has just come in that the shop will be closing permanently, and naturally it marks the end of an era for a lot of people, not least Bill Crosby and family.


Reg Allen Motorcycles in the 1950s - Triumph dealer


Reg Allen Motorcycles was established before WW2. In 1958, Reg Allen wanted out, and Bill Crosby wanted in. So he bought the name and business, and two years later he purchased the shop premises too.  For many years Crosby bought and sold a range of British bikes, and in 1977 he became an official Triumph dealership and Triumph spares stockist. Quickly he built a fairly good reputation and developed a strong customer base.


He wasn't the only Triumph spares shop in that part of the world. Roebuck Motorcycles in Pinner was another very useful place to go. And there was also Harwoods at Richmond. But Reg Allen's had a huge stock and carried plenty of custom goodies and suchlike. His establishment, with a corner position close to a main road, was a minor mecca.


When the Meriden Workers Co-operative (Triumph Engineering Co Ltd) finally closed in 1983 (having seized control from Norton Villiers Triumph in 1977), Bill Crosby travelled to Meriden and bought vans loads of parts and also managed to grab some interesting prototypes that he displayed in his premises.


At the time, he expressed a lot of doubt that John Bloor would ever rebuild Triumph and start volume production. But Bloor did, and unfortunately for Bill Crosby he was subsequently sidelined as a dealer. As a result, he kept trading in Meriden Triumph spares, and soldiered on handling motorcycle rebuilds and general repairs.


In 1985 he took on a Norton Rotary dealership, which wasn't a success. In 2000 he took on Royal Enfield, and in 2006 he became an AJS dealer (Chinese built AJSs).



Bill Crosby at the London Motorcycle Museum astride a Triumph T120. The museum also houses what's claimed to be the last Meriden Bonneville, a 1929 OHC Triumph prototype, various Triumph TRW prototypes, the P1 Triumph Trident prototype, various prototype OHC Triumph Triples, and a Slippery Sam Triumph Trident replica. Visit before it's too late. Or is it already too late?


While this was ongoing, Bill Crosby was also investing a lot of time, money and energy into the London Motorcycle Museum that he founded in 1997 (officially opening in 1999). Based in Greenford, Middlesex, the museum has become something of a second home for many motorcyclists in West London, and further afield. For many years, Ealing Council offered a 100% rates subsidy, but this was recently withdrawn. Moreover, we're told that the council back-dated a demand for rates payment.


There have been other problems and intrigues regarding Ealing Council which Bill Crosby, supported by his wife and sons, has been relentlessly tackling. In late 2016, Crosby publicly sought support for the museum in terms of financial gifts/donations.


However, business trading pressures have continued, notably from rival dealers with "flashy showrooms". Meanwhile, classic bike riders are, as Crosby points out, simply not laying down many miles anymore, so the service and repair side of Reg Allen has in recent times not been very profitable—and it has to be said that Bill Crosby is now in his 80s and doesn't have the energy that has carried him so far and for so long.




We don't yet have details of exactly when the doors will close. But as we understand it, Reg Allen will continue to sell stock online for as long as it reasonably can.


So check out what's on offer. But keep in mind that Bill Crosby won't be giving away anything. He's still hoping to keep the museum viable, and he'll welcome any donation you care to make. (link disabled, so cut and paste)

See also: Sump Reg Allen Motorcycles feature

See also: Sump London Motorcycle Museum story, Jan 2016


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Fonzie's Triumph to sell (yet again) 23.6.18. See Sump Sept 2015 for more

£350,000 competition launched for "decisive" police roadside breathalyser

IOM Steam Packet reports 6% drop in 2018 TT visitor bikes (13,236)

Suzuki is offering £500 discount on GSX-R125 & GSX-S125. Ends 30/6/18

Land Rover shifts all Discovery production to Slovakia. UK jobs to go

Banbury Run reminder for this weekend (17/6/18). See Sump events page

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Hungary is the venue

A four day ride will take place, but booking is closed


The 2018 World Motorcycle Rally is scheduled for 21st - 24th June 2018, and this year the venue is Hungary. Organised by FIVA (Federation Internationale Vehicules Ancien), the four day ride will be centred between the cities of  Budapest, Eger, and Cegléd.


Under FIVA rules, there are seven categories of bikes—this year dating from 1904 to 1980—and because Hungary is the venue, it's expected that a fair number of Hungarian designed and manufactured machines will be in attendance (Pannonia, Csepel, and Danúvia).


All riders are required to have FIVA ID cards or proof of their motorcycle's age/eligibility. The� landscape is mostly flat, but there is some high country further down the road. So take note. The organisers recommend bikes of at least 150cc, and provision will be made to transport luggage between the designated hotels and spas. Each day will see rides of 150km to 200kms, or thereabouts.



The arrivals reception will happen at the Aqua World Resort in Budapest on 21st June 2018. And take note that if the organisers don't like the look of you or your bike (poor condition, lack of insurance and/or inappropriate riding gear) they reserve the right to beat you up or something and refuse you access (but there's nothing to stop you riding along in maverick fashion—not that we'd ever encourage such behaviour, you understand).


However, the official application for entry expired in March 2018, so the event is pretty much signed and sealed. Or is it?


The "participant's fee" is €480 for a single room, and €380 (each) for a double room. The price includes various perks, drinks, connections, etc. It's late in the day, but if this sounds like something you might want to get involved in, we suggest you contact the organiser poste haste and see if there's some space/latitude.


For more on this event, check the link below—but note that we've disabled it. Why? Because we suspect the link will quickly date, and we don't want a dead one on our hands if we can avoid it.


So cut and paste. (Disabled link: see text)


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Left to right, Dennis Waterman, Glynn Edwards, and George Cole in Minder. This comedy-drama was one of the best-loved and most enduring British TV productions ever. It's not timeless, but as a history lesson on London life in the 70s and 80s, you can't get much better.


Co-star of the Minder TV series has died

He was aged 87


Most people will remember him as Dave Harris, the long suffering barman in the hit British TV series Minder. But more dedicated British movie fans will see his shadow all the way back to films such as The Hi-Jackers (1963), Zulu (1964), Smokescreen (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), and Get Carter (1971).


In fact, Glynn Edwards who has died aged 87 appeared in 24 movies and 17 TV productions. That's hardly a record, but many of these shows were very memorable and include Z-Cars, The Human Jungle, Steptoe and Son, The Avengers and The Professionals. And because most of us have seen the re-runs so many times, Edwards' face and demeanour is etched upon our collective consciousness.


So okay, it's doubtful that the majority of TV viewers and movie goers could put a name to that face. He was generally simply that bloke who was in that show the other day, etc. But onscreen, his nature and style was usually (but not always, see further below) genial and patient, and he never tried to upstage or eclipse the other professionals with whom he worked.



Crooked Glynn Edwards astride a Royal Enfield in the Hi-Jackers (1963). This is a great little British B-movie with Anthony Booth (Tony Blair's late father-in-law) starring as a ripped-off truck driver looking for answers. For balance, Edwards later played a motorcycle policeman in Bless This House, the 1970s TV sit-com starring Sid James and Diana Coupland.



Born in Penang, Malaya, his father worked on a rubber plantation. Following his mother's death when Edwards very young, he returned to England and was raised by his grandparents in Southsea, Hampshire (his father died soon after). As an amateur actor, he took various small roles and gigs in minor productions, then spent some time in Trinidad, Jamaica working (among other things) as a sugar farmer.


Presently he returned to the UK and eventually joined the legendary Joan Littlewood Theatre Workshop where he honed his talents and steadily found work onstage in productions such as The Quare Fellow, The Hostage, and Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be.



Some reckon that Get Carter (1971) was the greatest ever British gangster movie—if so, The Long Good Friday (1980) comes dangerously close. Here, Glynn Edwards (as Albert) is about to get sliced by Jack Carter (Michael Caine). Great acting, but nasty stuff.




We liked Edwards for the aforementioned genial character parts he usually took. But he was versatile, and more than a few times he played sinister types who happily murdered our expectations and surprised us with the depth of their nastiness.


He married three times (the first being to the late actress Yootha Joyce), and more or less retired after the Minder TV show—which ran from 1979 to 1994 and gave us 114 episodes across 10 series (plus a later re-made short series for Shane Richie).


Glynn Edwards appeared in slightly less than 100 of those episodes, usually seen serving drinks from behind the bar at the Winchester Club and forlornly trying to get Arthur Daley (George Cole) to settle his tab. Edwards was aged 65 when the series ended.


Most of Glynn Edwards' later years were spent living in Spain with his third wife. But more recently he returned to the UK and lived quietly enjoying walks and trips around the country, much of it in and around Edinburgh, Scotland.


He's always popping up somewhere on TV, so we can't say that we'll really have a chance to miss him. And for an actor, that's a pretty decent legacy.


Never completely gone. And never quite forgotten.


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Yep, nice chap that Glynn Edwards. As Mr Pelham, he was the only one to give Reginald Perrin [The Fall and Rise of Reggie Perrin - Ed] the time of day when he was down on his luck. You will remember that Reggie did a stint on Pelham's pig farm prior to opening his Grot Shop empire. Superb mag. All power to the Sump. —Roj, Sheffield

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▲ 1931 Ford Model A Race Car. Lot 283. This vehicle has seen some track action. But reading between the lines, it might not be as original as you'd like. That said, it's a cool looking toy, and Bonhams has posted an (unlikely) estimate of just £2,200 - £3,500.


"World's largest Ford museum collection" to sell

Everything must go at no reserve


It's essentially a sale of early Fords, but there are a fair number of motorcycles in the mix, so stay tuned for the next few paragraphs. We're counting over 200 cars and around 50 bikes, all of which are being offered with no reserve.



If you're out of the loop, the Den Hartogh Museum in Hillegom, near Amsterdam has for 21 years been building and maintaining a vast collection of early Fords such as the Model A, Model B and Model C. Dozens of types of vehicles are represented from delivery vans, to ice cream vans, to fire engines, to runabouts, tourers, pick-ups, speedsters and similar. The museum has long been a mecca for aficionados who will mourn the break up of this fantastic group.


Piet den Hartogh founded the museum. He bought his first Ford in 1956. The legend is that he was inspired by the Fords that were used by his father who began a transport business with horse drawn carriages and barges.



▲ Circa-1943 Harley-Davidson WLA. Lot 1. This 750cc flathead requires re-commissioning and, like the 1931 Ford Model A above, requires close inspection by prospective buyers. NL registration docs. Current status unknown. £7,900 - £11,000 (or thereabouts) according to Bonhams.



▲ 1928 BMW R52. Lot 4. "An older restoration which has deteriorated since, the frame and engine numbers of this machine appear to be within the range for the year." Make of that what you will...



▲ No documents or keys, and the engine turns over. The estimate is £9,700 - £14,000 which suggests that Bonhams just doesn't know how to price this bike. The more you look at the lots, you wonder just how choosy this museum has been regarding exhibits in terms of originality. Keep that in mind.



▲ Lot 13, 1936 600cc OHC Ariel Square Four. This 4F/6 model is, we think, the prettiest of the Squariels. Ariel's Jack Sangster was so impressed that he hired Turner more or less on the spot. That was in 1928. This bike needs more than fettling, we suspect. But it looks all there. Bonhams' estimate? £12,000 - £16,000. No docs.



In the 1990s, Piet's wife encouraged her husband to develop a museum, and that continued for the next 21 years or so. However, Piet died in 2011, and with his departure died some of the momentum. Three years later the family, with daughter Greske in the driving seat, thinned the collection and sold around 50 vehicles. But now the time has come to close the museum permanently and disperse the rest of the vehicles.


Said to be the largest Ford museum in the world (certainly of its type), the range and quality is hugely impressive. We've been sat here at Sump picking our favourites and slavering over the estimates which look low enough to be somewhere between dangerously shrewd and thoroughly dishonest.



▲ 1931 Ford Model AA. Lot 120. This one ton dumper truck is estimated at £11,000 - £13,000. But we suspect that if anyone buys it at that money, it will quickly appear on eBay at two or three times that price.



The sale will happen on 23rd June 2018, and if you feel like a good cry, we suggest you skedaddle over to Amsterdam and watch this fantastic collection get hammered. That said, on the positive side it will also mean that ultimately a lot more people actually get to see (and perhaps hear) these machines do what they're supposed to do.


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£29 for a set of seven

Imperial or metric


Rounded nuts and bolts can drive you crazy. But these Grip-Tite sockets came to our rescue the other day and quickly removed a bunch of fasteners that were hard to get at and seemingly impossible to shift.


For details, check the following link which will take you to our Classic Bike Workshop section or hit the link at the bottom of this news item. If you've got any useful feedback on these doo-dahs, pass it along.


We don't know the firm that supplied these tools, incidentally, and we always tell it as we find it. Put simply, these Grip-Tites are simply gripping.




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The US has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imports

The EU has responded tit-for-rat-a-tat-tat-tat


The diplomacy has failed. The big economic guns are being locked and loaded. The generals have been summoned. And the long-feared trade war between the United States of America and Europe, Canada, Mexico, Brazil et al has started.


As a direct consequence of the newly announced US steel and aluminium import tariffs, numerous top American commercial brands have been targeted for special retaliatory treatment. Meaning EU import tariffs. These brands include Jack Daniels and Jim Beam whiskey, Levis-Strauss jeans, Nike sportswear, and Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles. They're part of a list that currently runs to 10 pages.


The underlying story is simple enough. For many years, the 164 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been relatively happily trading goods and services, all bound by common rules and practices with a sophisticated dispute resolution structure in place. This imperfect organisation has, it's generally agreed, been a positive mechanism and has done more good than harm.

The man of steel (and aluminium) in action. He's got one eye on the US rustbelt, and arguably both eyes closed when it comes to the intricacies of world trade and the implications of tariffs. Modern global politics reads increasingly like a comic book. Thrills await with every turn of the page...



However, US President Donald Trump came into presidential office on a campaign ticket that included rectifying what he views as unfair practices regarding the dumping of steel and other metals into the American market, and he's finally had to put up or shut up—and Trump (love him or loathe him) is anything but a quiet man.


Consequently, on 31st May 2018 a momentous deadline passed. Specifically, the EU—plus various other countries—were given an ultimatum by Trump demanding that they capitulate and accept US import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium.


Earlier this year (2018), the EU stated unequivocally that it refused to accept unconditional surrender. It's "blackmail" said French President Emmanuel Macron. British Prime Minister Theresa May merely called the tariff's "unjustified". So Trump told the Eurocrats and the British government to go stand in a corner and discuss it for a while longer, and then surrender. That didn't happen, and so the shooting has started.


In recent years, American steel has been hit hard, largely as a result of Chinese steel producers (subsidised by the Chinese government) that have been dumping steel onto world markets. To combat this, in 2016 Barack Obama slapped tariffs on the Chinese. These tariffs, however, have had very limited effect, largely because China is way down the list of nations that sell steel to the Yanks, and because China is cash rich and fairly resilient at present. So Trump has taken the fight elsewhere and is now squabbling with his friends rather than his enemies.


The EU claims that the USA is acting illegally. The terms of WTO membership are pretty clear. If you agree to zero tariffs on given products or produce or services, you're naturally expected to stick by your promises. And the USA agreed to zero rating on the various metals in dispute. Additionally, the WTO rules forbid a nation from discriminating against specific member states—which is exactly what Trump has done. He's (carefully?) selected a few targets, and he's let 'em have it.


Boom, boom, boom.


However, the "get out clause"—or, in this instance, the Trump card—is that a member state can pretty much do what it likes and abandon WTO restrictions when and where matters of national security are involved. And that can be anything.


Or nothing.


So EU reprisal tariffs are about to be slapped on the aforementioned Yankee brands (in particular), and on a range of metals, foodstuffs and so on. And meanwhile, the diplomats are trying to thrash out a compromise and/or a face-saving surrender. As a direct result of Trump's actions, the Dow Jones index reacted sharply losing 500 points within hours, albeit stabilising slightly at the end of the day's play. The EU calculates around €2.8bn worth of trade is at stake here, so the Eurocrats are desperately trying to bulwark their financial shores.



Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles are the brands that will probably mostly interest Sumpsters, and for the immediate future there shouldn't be any price rises. The current season's stock has already been purchased and is on the European mainland. But come the autumn when the new deliveries arrive, it seems highly probable that a price hike is going to hit dealers and consumers alike.


Harley-Davidson sales have been struggling lately, whereas Indian (owned by Polaris Industries) is doing much better—but by no means can it afford to be complacent. It could all be bad news for UK dealers. But then again, the fear of rising prices could also conceivably stimulate sales as buyers rush to get ahead of the tariffs. Fact is, in the fog of war, there probably aren't many folk who really know what the hell is going to happen, never mind how to deal with it. War has its own dynamic.


And note that a looming trade war is, of course, not just about motorcycles. The impact could hit car manufacturing in the UK which is struggling to recover its composure following a recent collapse in sales, and it could/will hit aviation, general engineering and British steel making as world suppliers look to offload their product onto cheaper markets outside of the USA. In this global economy, the complex connectivity of the various industries is likely to throw up all kinds of unforeseen consequences.


It was just a couple of months ago that Donald Trump was showing his support for Harley-Davidson (although, note, we Photoshopped the H-D logo onto his cap). But now, he's hardly likely to be in Milwaukee's good books. See Sump Classic Bike News January 2018




So who's right? Well that depends on where you stand. If you live and work in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Alabama, Michigan or Illinois, Trump is right. He's looking after his national interests which is what he's supposed to do—assuming that a trade war is the best way to advance that cause.


But if you live on this side of the pond, you're more likely to agree with the EC and Whitehall, both of which have condemned Trump's maverick move.


Here at Sump, we're just watching to see what happens—and as with the Great War, it could "all be over by Christmas". Only, the impact of globalisation clearly still has a lot of energy and erratic momentum, and we suspect that here in the West, things will steadily ratchet down (which technically speaking isn't actually possible) to a succession of new lows.


And then there's the question of how the new tariffs might hit Triumph—which, along with other European producers of 500cc-plus motorcycles, has long been threatened with extra heavy import hikes following the EU's refusal to accept US hormone adulterated beef.


It's war, ladies and gentlemen. And like all wars, it could get very bitter and very messy.


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Hi Sump. Great mag. Daily read. Love the graphics. I wasn't a Trump supporter, and I certainly didn't vote for Hillary either. But something needs to be done about the mess that globalisation has got us into. Free trade is vital for good international relations and general commerce. But free things usually come at a price. Our spineless politicians have for years let the US economy slide. Now Trump is trying to crack the whip and force an overdue debate. It could be messy, as you say in your piece. But it's messy now. Keep up the good work. —Greg Sanders, Ohio

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May 2018


Quality news is currently in very short supply. Everyone's struggling to fill their pages. Here's a brief round-up of the non-stories and trivial reports currently circulating the motorcycling press. No snoozing, please...

TT fans stop traffic to help ducklings cross Quarry Bend - Visordown

5 steps to getting your lid #ride5000miles ready - MCN

Volvo delivers demo car to your door - British Dealer News

Top 10 most common MOT-exempt bikes - Visordown

Suzuki reveals 2018 Merch (Suzuki Toaster) - Bennetts Bike Social

Guy puts dirt bike engine in Barbie Mustang, Becomes legend - RideApart

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Well done Sumpheads. I too have been watching how news is slowly degenerating and dumbing down, and not just the motorcycle rags which I don't buy anymore. Today's TV news, the newspapers and the radio news all sounds like it was written by idiots for idiots. Coupla days ago I listened to BBC newsreader Ben Brown wittering on for ten minutes about The Two Ronnies "Fork Handles" comedy sketch simply because the script was up for sale (for the second time). My missus reads The Daily Mail which every day announces a new cure for arthritis, cancer and pretty much everything else. I despair. We are a society in crisis. —JackTheLad, in my garage

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Practice races held up by wandering Yorkshireman

Stranger in town faces marshals and a posse


You have to appreciate the irony of the Isle of Man court which has just jailed James William Ford, a 67 year old TT visitor from Bingley, West Yorkshire.


Ford, we hear, was spotted walking along the tarmac at the village of Crosby just minutes before the start of an IOM race practice session. As ever, the roads were closed to the general public, and race marshals leapt into the corral and told Ford to bugger off.


When that didn't work, the marshals arranged for the Yorkshireman to speak on the radio to the clerk of the course, Gary Thompson, who also suggested that Ford might take his problems elsewhere or the sheriffs would be called.


"Well they'd better be big lads," Ford is alleged to have said. "Because I ain't moving." That's not a direct quote, but you get the gist. So the cops came mob handed and nicked Ford.


Under local laws, this low down cowboy was charged with obstructing the race and failing to comply with a race marshal's instruction, and he was convicted and given a month's spell in the pokey plus an exclusion order banning him from the island for 5 years. Extreme? You tell us.



Police Sergeant Andrew Reed (pictured immediately above) was later quoted as saying that Ford's actions were "dangerous and irresponsible"—presumably as opposed to being perfectly safe and totally responsible when hurling yourself around public roads at anything up to 200mph.


Hence the irony.


Don't misunderstand us. If people want to top themselves competing in the TT, good luck to 'em. But nicking this Yorkshire puddinghead and giving him 26 days porridge for being a menace sounds a little unfair when two spectators were killed in 2007; 11 spectators were injured in 2013; a group of spectators were narrowly missed by a sidecar outfit in 2017; and when around 250 riders have been killed overall since the fun began. 


These are just the casualties that we can remember. There are probably others that can be attributed indirectly, if not directly, to the TT.


Total annual expenditure at the TT is somewhere around £30 million (IOM government figures), which underlines the morbid truth that there are dangers that you can afford, and dangers that you can't. Or won't.


Let's keep things in perspective here, huh?


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Hi Sump, another bloke on the IOM has just been nicked for driving the wrong way over the mountain in a one way system. They called him "dangerous and irresponsible" too, but it looks like his mistake is more "honest" and he doesn't have the attitude of the other bloke. So he'll probably only get a fine. The moral: When all else fails, apologise. Works for me. —Sunshine Boy, Penrith

Serves him right, obviously a complete bonehead who cannot comprehend common sense, putting himself and other people in danger. Once he would have been flogged and sent to Australia, but they have enough criminals at the moment, mostly in government. —J.Connolly, NZ

It's one thing for the riders to risk their own necks, but it's another thing if a brain dead spectator wants to further endanger lives. I agree with the court. —Dave Kelly

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Factory chopped Commando expecting £7,500 - £8,000

UK registered from new, and in running order


So okay, there's rare and wonderful. And there's rare and not so wonderful. And naturally this 1971 Norton Hi-Rider is both, and neither, depending on your outlook. But if you were around when these motorcycles were new from the crate, and if you're not a hard line Norton purist, you might well now be casting a reasonably favourable eye behind your rose tinted spectacles.


The idea of a factory Norton chopper was pure kitsch, of course. And taken out of context it's hard to see this bike in any other way. But 1971 was an exciting and eventful year for many of us in the UK. It wasn't just the wonderfully overblown trappings of the glam rock era, or the industrial turmoil that saw the lights going on and off at the most inconvenient times, or the IRA murderers routinely hitting the headlines, or the first airing of the (then essential) Old Grey Whistle Test, or the "confusion" of newly opened spaghetti junction in Birmingham (which wasn't very confusing at all).


The underlying excitement was also due in part to the on-going chopper craze which began a few years before the movie Easy Rider (1969) hit the screens, but drew fresh impetus after Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper set those famous Harley-Davidson Panhead wheels rolling.


Those 14-inch ape hangers did nothing for the handling. Nevertheless, they certainly kept the rider on the right cultural highway. The (largely unsatisfactory) front drum brake gave way to disc in 1973. And those peashooter silencers, then as now, made exactly the right sound.



Norton's Hi-Rider was a direct, shameless and very cheesy attempt at cashing in on that craze, and it came about following Dennis Poore's latest trip to the USA, or so the legend goes. Dennis Poore, as you might recall, was the much maligned head honcho at Manganese Bronze Holdings (MBH) which bought Norton in 1966. The British bike industry was in crisis, and everyone still standing was drinking at the last chance saloon.


Poore, we hear, had personally seen the chopper cult take a grip on the young American riders of the day, and US sales of Nortons were crucial for the revamped company's survival. No one at Norton Villiers was very impressed with this motorised Raleigh chopper bicycle concept. Everyone who was anyone knew exactly what Norton's heritage was all about, and that was building racing—or at least sporting—motorcycles. Everyone also knew what the oft-derided beach-beatnik/bar hopper Harley-Davidson Sportster was all about, and the Sportster market was partly what Poore had in his sights.


Ex-racing driver Dennis Poore had the unenviable task of salvaging an unsalvageable British motorcycle industry, and he was going to be nobody's friend. But when Norton was shedding pounds, the Hi-Rider brought in a few extra pennies. This 1975 shot shows poor Poore in typical defensive form.



The first Hi-Riders were 750cc. They were hastily conceived and designed, and the Norton marketing people who allegedly dreamed up the moniker did what they could to give it legs. Or wheels. The headlight was smaller than standard at 5.5-inches. Ape hanger handlebars were de rigueur. The saddle was based upon the aforementioned Raleigh Chopper. And that included a notional cissy bar for that sleeping bag or bedroll if ever you fancied a night in the back garden.


From the start, the British press was unimpressed. They were shocked even, and Poore got it in the neck in a dozen ways. But surprisingly, the Yanks took a different view. They were a little—or a lot more—laid back and weren't hamstrung by that legendary British reserve and inflexibility. Instead, they saw the Limey Hi-Rider largely as a fun motorcycle; a local boulevard cruiser with a decent turn of speed as and when required. Consequently, Poore flogged a fair number of examples (albeit with significant market variance). Unsurprisingly, the bike did better the further west you travelled.


Amal 30mm carbs were standard issue, but it looks like Mikunis have (wisely?) been retro-fitted. There's no word on the mileage, but we're guessing it won't be very high.



In 1973 the 750cc engine was upgraded to 850cc. Mercifully, the Hi-Rider was never cursed with Norton's ill-fated (and ill-fêted) Combat engine—which didn't mean that the bike was without its problems. In developing the Commando, Norton had made numerous fundamental mistakes, largely due to the firm's slash-and-burn cost-cutting orthodoxy. But the bikes were generally never ridden that hard anyway, and some weren't ridden at all—perhaps partly due to delayed embarrassment, and perhaps partly because a few likely lads anticipated a future investment nest egg and squirreled their Hi-Riders in warm sheds and dry garages and cosy living rooms.


We've ridden a couple of these high boys and they crank along pretty good. They are, after all, essentially Norton Commandos, so the engines shake around a little at traffic lights, and then smooth out between 2,500 and 3,500rpm. The power output is quoted as anything up to 60bhp for the 850cc model, and if you believe in visiting aliens, you can chuck that figure in the same box. Realistically, we reckon it's more like 45bhp for the 750, and maybe a few more for the 850. Performance-wise, you could still probably hit the magic ton. But with those 'bars, it's more a question of the ton hitting you.


The saddle design naturally makes no practical difference to the rider-masochist (and a pillion is pretty much out of the question). But those 'bars (as mentioned, and as is the way with ape hangers) take some getting used to. The peanut fuel tank won't carry you far, but two imperial gallons was (by some folk) considered sufficient given the 50 - 55mpg economy.


Beyond that there's really nothing else to say about the Hi-Rider experience. But if you want to enjoy the full Dennis Poore factory chopper escapade in the way it was envisioned, it's time to rake out those platform shoes, Paisley flared trousers and Ban-the-Bomb medallion. Seventies chops, after all, were as much about the hippy culture as the biker culture, which simply enhanced the wonderful absurdity of the least practical motorcycle form ever conceived and constructed.


This Hi-Rider is to be sold by H&H Auctions on 26th July 2018 at the National Motorcycle Museum Sale. The estimate is £7,500 - £8,000, and the starting bid is £3,750.


Peace and love, man.


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Clint Walker enjoyed motorcycles on and off the set. This publicity shot dates to 1959 and the film Yellowstone Kelly. That's US actress Andra Martin (b.1935) up front, and that ought to be John Wayne behind. But Wayne was otherwise committed, so Walker got the girl.



Star of Cheyenne TV series has died aged 90

The Hollywood movie star appeared in 41 films


His full name was Norman Eugene Walker, but his first billing was as Jett Norman in the US movie Jungle Gents (1954), one of many films in the Bowery Boys comedy series. However, Walker didn't even get a credit for that brief end-of-movie appearance.


The name "Clint" came along the following year when Norman Eugene Walker appeared as Cheyenne Bodie in the US TV series Cheyenne which ran until 1963. That's how most people will remember actor Clint Walker who has died aged 90.


Born in Hartford, Illinois, Walker worked on a riverboat and in a factory before joining the United States Merchant Marine. That was in the closing stages of WW2. Following that, he enjoyed a series of indiscriminate jobs from sheet metal worker to night club bouncer—this last position no doubt being suited to his huge six foot six inch frame and Charles Atlas physique.


After drifting to Los Angeles, California he came to the attention to the legendary Cecil B DeMille and took a role in The Ten Commandments (1956) also starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner.


Left to right, Trini Lopez, Frank Sinatra, Clint Walker and Brad Dexter. This first ever Japanese-American co-production enjoyed mixed critical response for its anti-war overtones and phoney acting (notably by Sinatra). But it's a reasonably enjoyable piece of hokum if you're the lots-of-ketchup-on-my-burger type. NOBODY EVER WINS is the final line. Fade and cut.



Walker later appeared in None But The Brave (1965), a war movie underlining the futility of armed conflict starring (and directed by) Frank Sinatra. Walker played the role of Marine Aircraft Wing Captain Dennis Bourke who takes command of a squad of island-stranded marines and becomes embroiled in an on-off battle of wits and bullets with an equally stranded squad of Japanese soldiers. Cue existential debates, political negotiations, strategic military dilemmas and ingrained tribal loyalties.


Two years later Walker returned as Samson Posey in The Dirty Dozen (1967), Robert Aldrich's fanciful and OTT WW2 yarn starring Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown, Robert Webber, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine and numerous other now well-established names (including singer/actor Trini Lopez).



But by far, Clint Walker was a western actor, and that was exactly where he preferred to be. Notable/memorable films and moments include Night of the Grizzly (1966), Sam Whiskey (1969), The Great Bank Robbery (1969), More Dead Than Alive (1969), Yuma (1971), Pancho Villa (1972), The White Buffalo (1977) and Maverick (1994) in which Walker took a cameo role.


His acting style was generally cool and unemotional. His screen presence was ... well, substantial. His lines were usually delivered in a clear and authoritative (but never particularly memorable) manner. And it always seemed that movie and TV directors and producers were never able to find exactly the right role that gave Walker the kind of commanding and iconic parts enjoyed by, say, John Wayne.


After his early success with Cheyenne, it seemed that Walker was more famous simply for being Clint Walker than for the other parts he played. But he continued accepting roles here and there, his career (such as it was) gently spiralling down to a low ebb. His final role, for instance, was not as the Clint Walker that we remember, but simply as the voice of Nick Nitro in the live-action/special effects comedy Small Soldiers (1998).



The brightly coloured poster belies the fact that Fort Dobbs (1958) was a modest B&W western that failed to hit the big time at the box office. The morality was a little dubious. The plot was convoluted. Walker was still honing his acting skills. But the storyline hit most of the right spots and gave us Indian attacks, gun-running, chases galore, more bullets than Royal Enfield and Virginia Mayo providing a satisfactory love interest.



A staunch Republican, Clint Walker married three times and fathered one daughter. In 1971 following a skiing accident he was pronounced dead, but made a quick and full recovery, and he eventually settled in California where he spent the final years of his life.


He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and earned one or two minor awards. But for all his height, weight, bulk—and despite his powerful voice (which was capable of some pretty tuneful warbling)—he never achieved the more rarefied altitude of his Hollywood contemporaries. And today, there's at least one generation, and possibly two, that would be unable to put a face to his name, or vice versa.


Clint Walker "The Big Guy" and wife Susan in 2008.



But we like Clint Walker's workaday and generally reserved style and remember him as a good-enough actor, which is usually good enough for us. We looked to see how widely his death had been reported, but we couldn't find mention of it on any news channel. No doubt, however, in the US his status is rated a little higher and will have earned him a few thoughtful and respectful words on the network news.


We hope so.


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Mike Hailwood's 350cc Ducati Desmo

Hailwood's 1960 350cc Ducati Desmo racer.




Three racebred Desmo dukes on display

Temporary exhibition will last until September 2018


The Ducati Museum in Borg Panigale, Bologna, Italy is hosting its first temporary exhibition. This one is entitled: THE DESMO TWINS OF YOUNG HAILWOOD, aka Mike the Bike (1940-1981).


Three racing Ducatis built between 1958 and 1960 are at the core of the display, specifically Hailwood's 125cc, 250cc and 350cc Desmos created by the late Fabio Taglioni (1920-2001) and kept in fine fettle by ace Ducati mechanic and engineer Oscar Folesani. The bikes were all crafted at the request of Mike's father, Stan Hailwood.


Left to right, Stan Hailwood, "Mike the Bike" Hailwood, and Ducati mechanic Oscar Folesani


Hailwood campaigning his 250cc Desmo at Silverstone, 1960


The show is open right now and will stay open until 15th September 2018. If you're planning a trip to Italy any time over the next few months, and if you're a Ducati/Hailwood fan, you might want to swing by this museum.


At Sump, we've never been initiated into the Ducati fold, and so we haven't yet made the Bologna pilgrimage. But from what we're hearing, it's a pretty cool way to spend half a day of your life.


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Police pursuit drivers/riders get Home Office reassurance

On street bike thieves can expect a tougher response. Maybe


The UK Home Office has moved to quash the "myth" that police drivers and riders are unable to pursue the new wave of British "moped criminals" whilst said ne'er-do-wells are on the move minus their crash helmets.


The response comes in the wake of vociferous and angry protests from the "motorcycle community" following the recent violent bike theft phenomenon which has seen numerous victims clubbed, slashed, stabbed and doused with acid.


London is the epicentre of these attacks. But the problem, which is an unwelcome feature in many cities, goes beyond bike theft and includes mobile phone snatching, laptop robberies, camera theft and simple muggings.


British police forces, we understand, operate according to broad Home Office guidelines, but they enjoy a great degree of latitude regarding exactly how to implement such advice. Put simply, chief constables can pretty much tell their officers to do whatever needs to be done providing that such action can be legally justified. And officers, for their part, are clearly anxious to forcefully tackle this problem, but not without implicit and explicit guarantees aimed at protecting their interests, both professionally and personally, should push come to an overly hard shove.


We haven't actually seen any clear and definite new proposals from the government. It looks more like the Home Office is simply paying lip service to police officers and chief constables—whilst throwing bones to the media—but without sticking Whitehall's neck out any further than it already is. In other words, nothing has actually changed, except perhaps the general agreement that it's time to get a lot tougher.


It's a tricky balance between enforcing the law and stopping these thieves in their tracks, but without overly risking the safety and security of the bystanding public. At Sump still believe the ultimate solution lies more in preventing bike theft simply by making it unattractive, impractical, unprofitable if not impossible. But that requires a lot more input from the motorcycle trade which still looks a long way from providing a technical solution.


When you're next looking to buy a new bike, make sure to ask about heavyweight and imaginative security features. Bikers can mostly fix this problem with their wallets. It just requires a concerted effort on the showroom floor.


See also: Amber Rudd to restrict acid sales, Sump October 2017


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"Revolutionary" Scottoiler xSystem. Motion activated. £199. 5 flow rates

1947 BSA C11/1953 Francis-Barnett Falcon. Dover Transport Museum raffle

Terminator 2 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy to auction. June 5/6/7/8 2018

Continental Tyres 2019 Harley tour competition. 9 nights, 1,500km, + bike

Bosch unveils one-time-use, anti-slide, side-thrust assist technology

Curtiss Motorcycles unveils electric Zeus at Quail Lodge [Check here too]

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122 years of history in the trashcan

Entrants to be split into two groups


Yes, it's bloody sacrilege. But it's gonna happen, and we suspect it will claim a few casualties (heart attacks, strokes, suicides, etc). The story is that the established London-Brighton Run route from Hyde Park Corner to Wellington Arch, Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace, down The Mall, round Parliament Square and over Westminster Bridge and due south to Madeira Drive, Brighton is under assault.


Seems that someone has pulled the pin on this grenade and has decided that traffic congestion is a problem (as if it ever wasn't), and so the usual suspects are going to be split into two groups with the secondary cars (Group B if you prefer) headed instead past Westminster Abbey and over Lambeth Bridge where they'll converge with the A-Team (or whatever they'll be called) somewhere near Croydon.


If you're not indoctrinated into the London-Brighton lore, it probably won't make much difference to you. But if you've got any passion for British motoring tradition, you'll probably be crying round about now.


The Westminster Bridge route is, of course, the one depicted in the movie Genevieve, notably in the final scene where the starring 1904 Darracq (supposedly with a mind of its own), limps over the bridge to the notional finishing line as agreed by rival entrants Alan McKim (played by John Gregson) and Ambrose Claverhouse (played by Kenneth Moore).



This is the first time in its 122 year history that the run (not a race, remember) has switched its route. And it begs the question of how the organisers will decide who gets to be in the classic Westminster Bridge photoshoot, and who gets the Lambeth rat run.


Additionally, it's reckoned that the new route will open the event up to more spectators and generally enhance the tradition—which sound exactly like the old Dunkirk spirit of spinning a bitter defeat into a glorious victory.


Regardless, this year's event will be held on Sunday 4th November. And once again, Bonhams will be organising an auction on the preceding Friday.


As ever, only cars built before 1905 are eligible to enter—and we wouldn't be at all surprised if one or two of the participants decide to boycott the 2018 event in protest (especially if they've been relegated to what might be referred to as a bridge too far).


Yes, times change as they must. But here in Blighty, some things are changed at your peril.


See: Sump Classic Bike News August 2017


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Open Day at Market Harborough, Northamptonshire

The UK's "largest single marque club" invites you to a party


It's sixty years since the BSA Owner's Club (BSAOC) formalised its existence as a one-stop-shop for all things related to BSA motorcycles. Since then, the club has grown hugely and currently claims to be the largest single marque motorcycle club in the UK. The BSAOC is also custodian of the official factory records dating back to 1907. This includes despatch records, factory parts books, handbooks, catalogues and service sheets.



If you want to share in the celebrations (such as they are), the club will be commemorating its diamond jubilee at Market Harborough Rugby Club on Sunday 27th May 2018. The postcode is: LE16 9HF. And you don't have to own or ride a BSA to get in through the gate. Just turn up. Celebrate. Ride home safely.

We don't have any details regarding the entertainment, etc. but we're assuming that the club has got something significant in mind—or will it all simply reduce to a bunch of blokes and birds standing around on the grass kicking tyres, arguing over rivets and wondering where the party is?


To find out, contact: Phil Bull . But we have to say that a big club like this ought to be able to promote itself and its six decades on the frontline with something a little better than the dismal details we found on the website.


Tut tut.


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Established Italian auctioneers move into motorcycles and cars

Thirteen biking lots are on offer


Italian auction house Aste Bolaffi—noted for its professional interest in everything from fine art to furniture to jewellery to exotic wines & spirits—is about to holds its first classic car and motorcycle sale.


If all goes to plan, the event will happen on 23rd May 2018 at La Pista Di Arese in Milan, Italy. This newly restored 1,428 metre track was once the home of Alfa Romeo. More recently, the site has found new significance as a test centre for all kinds of driving disciplines and skills.



Aste Bolaffi will be holding the auction inside the now iconic main building designed by architect Michele De Lucchi. And to make this inaugural event extra special, attendees are invited to watch one or two of the automotive lots take to the track for a little innocent parading and showboating (no details here).


There are 13 motorcycle lots and 60 car lots currently listed in the catalogue. Most of the bikes are racing machines, the most optimistic of which is an undated Norton Manx (main image this story) carrying an estimate of €36.000 - €40.000.



Overall, it's a fairly modest collection of two-wheeled hardware and isn't likely to ring alarm bells anywhere else in the auction world. But bigger things have grown from less, and no doubt the larger and more established players (Bonhams, Mecum, H&H, etc) are likely to watch this one with passing interest and ensure that their respective positions are secure. We'll be watching this one too, but we don't anticipate any great shock or surprises.

Aste Bolaffi was established in the early 1990s, but the firm claims roots dating back 130 years. Note that 15% commission will be added to the hammer price.



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Delivery man's death prompts significant corporate changes

Plus a few words on the gig economy


The next time you have motorcycle parts (or anything else) delivered to your home, office, workshop or wherever, you might want to spare a thought for Don Lane. Lane, 53, was a self-employed DPD driver from the Bournemouth, Dorset area who recently made national news regarding a cancelled hospital appointment—and who subsequently collapsed in December 2017, and died in early January 2018.


Actually, he'd missed a few appointments.


Silly boy, you might think. Should have put his health first, etc. Only, Lane's (typical) contract with DPD (Dynamic Parcel Delivery) meant that any driver who failed to show up for work, or who couldn't provide a replacement driver, was liable to be fined £150 per day. Lane had already been hit with such a penalty and didn't much fancy another, so he took a chance; a chance that cost him his life.


DPD is one of numerous UK firms operating in the gig economy. Rival companies include Deliveroo, Hermes and Yodel—and the list is growing with plenty of hopefuls (including taxi firm, Uber) looking to break into this lucrative sector.


Typically, self-employed drivers working for the big name UK delivery outfits are officially operating on minimum wage, but in practice earn considerably less. Currently, the UK minimum wage for adults aged over 25 is around £7.83. These drivers buy/lease and operate their own vehicles, pay their own vehicle and public liability insurance, pay their own fuel costs, handle their own maintenance expenses, and deal with their own taxation burdens. They are also generally expected to make a minimum of one hundred-plus drops per day in their target areas, and are frequently worked to near total exhaustion.


If these drivers fail to make a drop—perhaps because of poor addressing or because the recipient isn't available to take delivery—the driver usually has to return at his or her expense. And occasionally that involves multiple returns. As such, the average earnings per drop can reach as little as 50 pence. Once in a while, the driver is actually subsidising the delivery.


Since Lane's death, DPD has said that it will guarantee a minimum wage of £8.75 per hour for its drivers, and will scrap the £150 per day no-show penalty. It will also, we understand, now offer drivers the options of working as a self-employed franchisee, or operate as a self-employed driver, or work directly on the company payroll—no doubt at a lower rate. The difference in contracts, take note, has very different legal implications.


However, whichever way you look at it, the business models of the big delivery firms rely upon pushing drivers to the absolute limit whilst creaming off their corporate cut.



For many of us, the only way to get parts for our bikes is via delivery services. But are we simply fuelling the employment problem and helping the uber-rich get uber-richer? And is there an alternative—such as via a new kind of regular motorcycle market place, or by local bike shops doubling up as parts delivery points? Or maybe you've got a better idea?



Dwain McDonald, CEO of DPD, has been quoted as saying: "[We are working on a] complete reappraisal of every aspect of our driver package. That will also give drivers the opportunity to have worker status, which means they will get a steady wage, sick pay, 28 days’ holiday and a pension. Our aim is simple – to make DPD the carrier of choice for delivery drivers and for our drivers to be the best rewarded in the industry."


DPD also claims that the "average annual salary" (under these terms and conditions) will be £28,800. Furthermore, worker-status drivers will not have to pay their own vehicle costs, etc.


Note the weasel-worded "average annual salary" which suggests that some, or many, drivers will still be earning way below that amount.


Currently, the UK government reckons that over one million people are now working regularly in the gig economy. A spate of recent legal challenges hasn't entirely clarified the legal position or provided the kind of employment assurances needed to make this sector a healthy place to earn a crust. However, many UK workers feel that they've little viable option but to hit the highway the DPD way.


Meanwhile, here at Sump we're unable to yet make any meaningful contribution to the widening gig debate. It's just another depressing and demoralising facet of the ongoing globalisation paradigm fuelled largely by the rampant www and exploited by the more uber-ambitious among us.


Ultimately, Don Lane has to take the full responsibility for his life's decision. But it's easy to see how everyday financial pressures lead to these kind of tragedies. You can see his mistake. But you can't really call him a fool.


Beyond that, aside from making sure you're at home when the delivery men and women call (which isn't always realistic), and aside from tipping the drivers an extra quid or so (thereby helping the corporations maintain their dodgy policies, practices and profits), what can we do? We'd be interested to hear some views on this.


DPD is owned by the French La Poste group. It currently counts 38,000 employees, and in 2017 posted a revenue of €6.8 billion.




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NZ Speedway champion Ivan Mauger (1939 - 2018) has died aged 78

Supervised L drivers will soon be allowed on UK motorways (4/6/2018)

The Norton Commando 961 is to be offered for sale in India (£24,000)

AMA Bonneville Speed Trials, Utah returns 25th - 30th August 2018

The Met Police (London) launches a "Be Safe" anti-bike theft campaign

The Banbury Run will mark its 70th anniversary, Sunday 17th June 2018

Mahindra launches 397cc Jawa Special. Euro 4 compliant. UK? Maybe

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Motorcycle travel kit firm invites trekkers to a Welsh party

Free to all, but first come first served


We're told that 2000 worldwide visitors found their way to the Touratech Travel Event 2017. And if they can find their way all the way to Wales from who knows where, who can tell where they might end up?


That's the thinking of the organisers, anyway; to meet riders with an interest in serious travelling, to exchange stories and anecdotes, to explore details of the relevant kit required, to ride a few demo bikes, to attend a few workshops and generally psyche themselves up for that global tour they've always promised themselves.


BMW, Ducati, Honda, KTM, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha will, we hear, be in attendance, and they'll be hauling their show trucks and marketing equipment, so expect a little soft and hard sell.


If all that sound like something worth starting your motor for, you can tackle the first leg of your great personal journey by riding down to Rheola Grounds in Neath, South Wales and joining the activities.


It's a free event, note. It will start on Friday 11th May 2018 and will finish on Sunday 13th May 2018. Here's the full address: Glynneath Road, Resolven, Neath, South Wales, SA11 4DT. Check the Touratech website for times.


Keep in mind that there are limited places, so register your interest sooner rather than later. The word is: NO WRISTBAND, NO RIDE OUT.


Sounds like an adventure in its own right.




We were going to grab a few screen images from the Touratech site to help illustrate this story and make it more appealing and attractive to visitors. But we couldn't find any shots worth grabbing (bikers crossing raging rivers or traversing rope bridges or being shot at by bandits, etc). Then we noticed that the event exhibitor list still hasn't been completed with just a week to go), and most of the rest of the site doesn't look too clever. No big deal. Not in cosmic universal terms. But we figure Touratech, which manufactures some great kit, ought to be able to do a little better than this. Next year guys, huh?


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Alan Clews CCM founder



Story snapshot:

The founder of CCM has died aged 79

Ex-scrambler turned businessman leaves a lasting legacy


Alan Clews, scrambles rider, businessman and founder of CCM (Clews Competition Motorcycles), has died aged 79. A self-made man, his riding career began in the 1960s in which he was both a very credible performer in the dirt and a familiar face on the international scene. During that era, Clews was working in a chain of newsagents owned by his wife's family. But motorcycle competition was where his real passions lay. However, laying his hands on the right racing equipment was tricky.


In the 1960s, the BSA Competitions Department was fielding some pretty convincing B50 works specials. These factory hot-rods were hard to obtain and expensive to boot. Refusal to sell one to the hoi polloi was the company rule rather than the exception. But in 1971, when the Competitions Department closed, Clews shrewdly purchased a huge inventory of B50 engines and sundry BSA components. Soon he was building bikes in his garage to his very exacting specifications, and in doing so created a new tool with which to crack a very hard nut.


His first bike was a highly successful B50-based creation with a good power-to-weight ratio, point-and-squirt handling, top-line tuning—and something of a handful in the wrong hands. Nevertheless, as word spread, and as the plaudits rolled in, other riders wanted some of the same. And so CCM was founded.



In the 1970s, the age of the four-stroke motocrosser was all but at an end—at least as far as the established British bikes were concerned. Japanese, Spanish and Swedish motorcycles ruled. But for a few more seasons, CCM four strokes pitched into the breach time and time again and, with the right man in the saddle, on the right circuit, and with a favourable lucky wind, the Beezas often came out either on top, or very near it.


However, if Clews wanted to stay in the game—as a businessman if not merely as a rider—it was clearly time to up the ante, power unit-wise. The answer came courtesy of Austrian manufacturer Rotax which agreed to supply him engines thereby helping keep CCM in the top league, which in turn did nothing to hurt the Rotax brand.


In 1984, Armstrong bought the company, but Alan Clews remained at the centre of operations. Military MT500 bikes, also powered by Rotax engines, were soon being built by Armstrong-CCM. Harley-Davidson subsequently acquired the rights to this model in 1987. The full story of these bikes is, of course, a little more complicated. Regardless, the shifting fortunes and acquisitions helped keep the CCM flag flying in a reasonably profitable, but never certain, breeze.



In 1998 the Robson family bought the CCM name and chattels. During this period, the company manufactured a Suzuki DR-Z400 powered off-roader. It was a good machine. Nevertheless, by 2004 the business was no longer viable and the firm went bust. It was then that Alan Clews re-purchased the company and assets and gradually breathed new life into CCM with a wide range of bikes and options based upon a BMW GP450 engine. There soon followed the R35 Supermoto and the FT35 flat tracker.


Since then, CCM has widened its appeal with a range of factory customs and specials based on its 600cc Spitfire concept, and the company has gone from strength to strength. That said, many feel that CCM has shifted too far from its origins and has devalued its heritage, not least by incorporating numerous Far Eastern engines and sundry foreign components into its product. And that's unfair because it's quite simply a global world with global realities, and there are few, if any, manufacturers who create a complete motorcycle in-house. Moreover, CCM has always been a pick'n'mix motorcycle company, and there's a long tradition of that kind of commercial expediency going back to the beginnings of biking.



What we're focusing here is simply Alan Clews' energy, innovation, imagination, dedication and staying power that's kept CCM vibrant and competitive for nearly five decades. And that's something we can all doff our lids at, n'est-ce pas?


Over the years, CCM riders include Jimmy Aird, Vic Allan, Vic Eastwood, and John Banks. The company has in recent times been managed by Clews' son, Austin (pictured above with Alan).


Funeral details have not been released, so if you're a CCM fan or a friend of Alan Clews, you might want to keep an eye on the company website. The man deserves a good send off.


Also see: CCM Bobber - Sump February 2018


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326 dealers will lose their franchise

Some of them will be invited back into the fold


Vauxhall Motors has given walking papers to every dealer in its 326-strong (or, apparently, 326-weak) UK car sales network. As of now, they've all got two years notice, which doesn't sound like fair warning when you consider the investment that goes into establishing a Vauxhall car showroom. But no doubt the contracts have been signed in blood with the terms and conditions as tight as a duck's ... well, mouth. So there's probably not much that the current dealer principles can do about it—except perhaps look towards the burgeoning Chinese and Korean brands which are always hungry for a larger slice of the cake.


We're not talking simply about the investment cost of the bricks and mortar, or the shop fittings and stock. There are other heavy expenditures involved including delivery vehicles, tools and equipment, staff training, insurance, local planning costs, advertising programmes and dozens of other expenses that are usually seen and understood only by the bosses and the company accountants.



At the end of the two year notice period, some of those dealers will be invited back into the fold—subject, no doubt, to new terms and conditions. Actually, Vauxhall's current owners reckon that most existing dealers will still be on books 24 months down the line. Moreover, the forecast is that few if any of the current 12,000 or so jobs will be lost—and if you believe that, you could be overdue for your next reality check up.


The suggestion is that many of the employees will simply shift to other car franchises (not necessarily Vauxhall). Except that the general employment trend in the motor industry is headed down.



Vauxhall Motors was founded in 1857 by Alexander Wilson. The company, located at 90–92 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, London manufactured pumps and engines. Andrew Betts Brown came along in 1863 and bought the firm. He renamed it Vauxhall Iron Works. The first complete car was built in 1903. Two years on, the company relocated to Luton, Bedfordshire—which is still the spiritual home of Vauxhall.


US firm General Motors (GM) bought the company in 1925. In 1929, GM partly acquired a stake in German firm Opel, and two years later GM fully owned that company. For decades, Vauxhall and Opel have since been pretty much synonymous, albeit tweaked for their respective markets. In 2017, the French conglomerate Groupe PSA bought both brands. And PSA, note, also owns Peugeot, Citroen and the lesser known DS brand.



So why have all the dealers been effectively sacked? Well, as you might expect there are various reasons. These include poor performance across the range (with some dealers well below par), a radically changing marketplace, over exposure in certain areas, inadequate exposure in other areas, pressure from new brands, over production, etc, etc.


In 2017, Vauxhall sold 195,000 cars in the UK. That's 22 percent down on the previous year and compares to an average 5.7 percent drop in overall UK car sales. A similar re-franchising exercise will be happening across the channel in mainland Europe with regard to the Opel brand.



Are we going to climb on our soapbox and whinge about this kind of irresponsible advertising that condones, if not encourages, excessive driving behaviour at the wheel? Not this time. We're simply going to tell you that the Astra is one of the firm's greatest successes. Over four million have been built and sold since it was introduced in 1979.




Currently, Vauxhall (PSA) has just confirmed plans to built its next generation vans at the Luton, Bedfordshire plant. But the future of the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire which produces the Astra model, is looking a lot less positive. In recent times, 650 jobs have already gone in the wake of two job cut programmes. More losses are anticipated.


This kind of re-franchising isn't a new phenomenon, incidentally. It happens from time to time, and every time it happens it's painful for most of the dealers involved.


In terms of the size of its dealership network, Vauxhall is in number two position trailing behind Ford. But after the dealer purge (which is the right word for it), Vauxhall is expected to be in third position. It's not clear which dealership network will take its place.


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Story snapshot:

Curtiss is staying put and still going electric

But the old Confederacy is, it seems, back on the march


If you're a regular Sumpster, you might remember the (immediately) above graphic from Sump, August 2017. But we make absolutely no apologies for re-using it today. That's because (a) we like the look of the Confederate Flag, (b) it's appropriate to the following story, and (c) it saves us having to work-up another image.


What's happened is that last year we reported that the Confederate name and brand was, in the light of rising political hysteria, considered by the company as too toxic to continue, so owner Matt Chambers cast his net around for something less divisive. Hence the re-brand to Curtiss in honour of Glen Curtiss, aviator, aviation pioneer and pioneer biker.


You can read all about that story via the link you've just passed. Meanwhile, some of you will perhaps be pleased to hear that the Confederate name, rights and intellectual property has recently been bought by Ernest Lee LLC, a firm of lawyers and venture capitalists that was founded in London and Pennsylvania, but now operates across 20 or more countries.


We checked and couldn't find too much about these largely invisible guys and gals, and we spotted no obvious motorcycle connections. But the contact details took us to Florida, USA, and it appears that most of the company activities are US focussed (largely on contemporary tax issues which, some might suggest, is another hot potato and becoming as toxic as the politics of race and gender).


Meanwhile, you can decide for yourself if it's a co-incidence that Confederate General Robert E Lee and the company name (Ernest Lee) has any political, personal or other associations.


Either way, the current promise that Confederate Motorcycles will sooner or later be back in the market place sounds suspiciously like the old "The South will rise again" battle cry. But if you'll give Ernest Lee the benefit of the doubt, we'll join hands with you.



The new company will be called Confederate Motorcycles LLC. In a recent interview, an Ernest Lee spokesperson was quoted as saying, "[We] believe the Confederate name is no more synonymous with racism than is ‘Rebel’ or the Confederate Flag itself. We acknowledge that there are some that disagree with our viewpoint, but [we] felt that allowing individuals to discuss their differences of opinion is paramount to the democracy in which we all live."


It's not the first time politics has impacted on automotive engineering and marketing. Swallow Sidecars, which became Jaguar, allegedly felt the need to dispense with the SS100 moniker for fear of being associated with the Schutzstaffel aka SS, the militarized wing of the German Nazi party.


And poor old Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche spent years trying to live down the fact that he'd once been an honorary officer in the aforementioned SS claiming that the dubious accolade was at the personal insistence of SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, "There was no way I could refuse," Porsche had said more than once during his life (1875 - 1951). Either way, that must have been a seriously big albatross flapping around his private horizons.


We don't yet know what kind of bikes the new Confederacy will produce. Curtiss (aka the old Confederacy) is still going electric (we hear). But we're figuring that it's probably not yet over for the petrolheads wedded to bikes such as the Hellcat, the Wraith and the Fighter—that's assuming that actually building motorcycles is part of the wider game plan. Ernest Lee is, after all, a coterie of tax lawyers with all that that implies.


Finally, if Ernest Lee really wants to rub some salt in the open Confederacy wound, the company might try suggesting new bike model names such as the Confederate Lynchburg, the Confederate Bull Run, and the Confederate Ball's Bluff, all of these being greater or lesser military successes by the Southern "rebels". On the other hand, we're all friends now, ain't we just?


Stay tuned, Sumpsters.


See: Sump Classic Bike News August 2017


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March 2018




Quarter of a million quid SS100 tops the sale

Overall, another pretty good outing for Bonhams


This 1931 Brough Superior SS100 (image immediately above) was the top selling lot at Bonhams' Stafford Sale on 22nd April 2018. We're advised that this 998cc OHV V-twin was one of two bikes supplied to Edinburgh police. And did they buy it as a fast roadster intended to catch motorised road agents and sundry ne-er-do-wells? Hardly. A "Large Police Touring Sidecar" was part of the package, thereby suggesting that the Scots cops had other, more prosaic uses for the two new rigs.


Regardless, the Brough was delivered to Lochrins Garage and duly pressed into service. However, for the next few decades, nothing further is known about this bike. But 50 years ago the bike was, we understand, sold into private hands. Two pairs of hands, actually. Two friends had planned to modify the bike for use as a sprinter racer. In the event, that didn't happen. One of the friends died part-way through the restoration/re-engineering. So the bike was pretty much neglected.


Some time later (the chronology is confused here), the surviving friend fully acquired the Brough and decided to put it back into original trim, albeit minus the chair. Between 2001 and 2003 marque specialist Dave Clark sorted all that out, and he kept a record of work undertaken.


And then the bike was neglected again, during which period the Lucas magdyno was lost. Therefore, a new item will have to be sourced. Also of note, the gearbox and fuel tank are not original to the machine.




It's sometimes hard to see why people call these bikes great successes. After all, many of them are used very briefly and then left in a barn or a garage and all but forgotten. But despite the lack of originality, and despite the fact that the bike has no special history or celebrity, it sold for a whopping £264,700, which includes buyers premium. A current V5C registration certificate and a history file are included.


Beyond that, here are the 10 top selling lots at the sale.


1931 Brough Superior SS100: £264,700
1970 Clymer Münch Mammoth: £154,940
1974 Ducati 750SS: £106,780
1973 MV Agusta 750S America: £96,700
1957 F.B Mondial 250cc Grand Prix racer: £92,220
1950 Vincent Touring Rapide: £68,700
1940 Indian 78CI Four: £68,700
1930 Coventry-Eagle Model F150 Flying 8 Police: £68,700
1926 Coventry-Eagle Flying 8: £65,340
1955 Vincent Black Knight & Steib 501 sidecar: £63,100



1957 Sunbeam S8. This 489cc, air-cooled in-line twin caught our eye for obvious reasons. It's Lot 265 and was rebuilt around 2013/2014. Since then it hasn't had much use. The engine number, we're advised, doesn't match the digits on the V5C, but that didn't stop it selling for £6,900.


1978 CX500E. This 500cc, water-cooled, 80-degree V-twin was a great motorcycle in its day, and it's still a very useful piece of kit for commuting, touring or despatching [Is there such a thing as despatching anymore? - Ed]—but was never exactly a sporting ride. Still, it's a modern classic. But it hasn't yet come on cam, so to speak. We think these could be headed for respectable money some day. But this very clean example (Lot 249) sold for just £2,875. The speedo shows 21,285 miles.



1977 GL1000 Gold Wing. Another classic Honda that still doesn't command big money. But it will. We think. Some day. 1,000cc. Flat-four engine. Water cooled. Belt-driven overhead camshafts. Shaft drive. Triple disc brakes. Surprisingly nimble for a big lump of lard. Lot 248. £6,325.



1938 Tiger 100. It's not a great image, but the price might make you gasp. This 498cc Triumph twin (Lot 303) sold for an amazing £34,500. Why? We don't know, except to say that it's been in the same family since 1942, for whatever that's worth to you. This is the highest price we've ever seen on a Tiger or Speed Twin (from which the Tiger 100 was developed), and we're having trouble believing it.



We're still studying the auction and will add to this story over the next day or so with a look at some of the other lots together with a general overview. But a quick peek suggests that Bonhams must be reasonably satisfied with the results, but one or two prices are also lower than we expected. Meanwhile, one or two prices have amazed us, such as the Tiger 100 immediately above.


Certainly the money tap is still flowing, but perhaps not quite at the high pressures seen a few seasons back.


See here for more: Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale 2018


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The National Motorcycle Museum Summer 2018 prize draw opens

Second prize is a James ML


The National Motorcycle Museum is raffling a 1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor Series II. This handsome 750cc parallel twin is said to be a "nut & bolt restoration" undertaken by the museum's workshop.


Second prize is a 1948 125cc James ML which is billed simply as a "nice example of this useable post-war lightweight."


Third prize is a "Luxury Hotel Break & Dinner for 2". This includes a VIP museum tour, plus one night's stay & dinner at the new Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in the Manor Hotel, Meriden



The draw will take place on Sunday 27th October 2018 at the National Motorcycle Museum Live event. If you want to try your luck, the tickets are £2 each, but are offered only in multiples of five—which makes it ten quid overall.


One more thing: UK gambling rules mean that only UK residents (except those in Northern Ireland) are eligible to enter.


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Why does this bike have a Norton front fork assembly and wheel? —Bill [Royal Enfield was bought by NVT in 1968. We checked with Hitchcocks Motorcycles. Alan Hitchcock confirmed that all the RE MKII Interceptors were built and sold with a Norton Long Roadholder forks]

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60th International Motor Scooter stamps



Special collection of hairdryer stamps issued

Isle of Man Post Office marks six decades of fun


Hairdryers? We're being our usual irreverent, misbegotten selves, of course. Because truth to tell, we like scooters plenty for their classic style, their practicality, their brightness, their longevity, their classlessness, and (not least) the fact that there's always been a thriving social scene around these bikes within which people have lived their entire lives. Moreover, scooters are, broadly speaking, dependable and simple mobility and have kept generations on the move—often for thousand mile jaunts, or more.


The Manx International Motor Scooter Rally is one of the cornerstones of the scene. A bi-annual event, it first got its wheels rolling back in 1956. Now, sixty-odd years down the road, the Isle of Man Post Office has issued a set of eight stamps featuring "standout [sic] moments from the history of the gathering."


Those moments include:


The iconic Vespa display team pictured at Noble’s Park in Douglas in 1958


Neville Frost, who smashed the six minute barrier for the Druidale circuit


The 1957 Ramsey Sprint rally supported by TT legend Geoff Duke


Clearly, the event hasn't been run every year. It's missed one or two gatherings. Nevertheless, for plenty of guys and girls this near rite-of-passage is nothing less than oxygen for the soul, and long may it continue.


Steve Jackson, author of Scooter Mania! (recollections of the Isle of Man International Scooter Rally) wrote the stamp issue text which accompanies the collection.

He's been quoted as saying, "The Isle of Man Scooter Rally has a long, proud history which dates back to the 1950s, so it was a real honour to be asked by the Isle of Man Post Office to work on a stamp issue to commemorate this spectacular event. As someone with an avid interest in the sport, it has been fascinating to research and re-create some of the stories from what is a remarkable and multi-faceted festival."



Additionally, the Manx government is expected to mark the 60th anniversary with a ballroom event at the Villa Marina later this year.


If you want to get your hands on a set of these stamps, the issue date for the Isle of Man International Scooter Rally Set and Sheet Set is 10th May 2018. The collection, we hear, includes "mint and CTO set of stamps" whatever that means (and we're not even sure if the grammar is correct).


Whilst we don't share the widespread general fascination for philately, we can nevertheless see the appeal, and we've no doubt that plenty of scooterists will be purchasing a few of these sticky little doo-dahs and squirreling them away for posterity, or framing them on the living room wall, or even finding a suitable spot on the side of their Vespas, Lambrettas or whatever.


And we should mention that there's a lot more to this stamp issue than we're reporting. That's because we're not au fait with the personalities, the politics, or the general machinations and subtleties of the scooter world. However, if you're a small wheeler, you'll no doubt be able to fill in a few blanks and ask the right questions of the right people.


Keep 'em rolling, we say. Scooters are cool.


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Honda Monkey Bike - 2018



Killed off last year, soon back in stock

The new Monkey is 125cc and thoroughly modern


Who would argue that the Honda "Monkey Bike" is a true classic? Not us. The original 49cc Z-series machines began life in 1964, a development of the Z100 of 1963. Three years later these Zeds arrived on the shores of Europe. Supposedly, these SOHC four-strokers were designed as rides for kids at a Japanese theme park. But like all the best toys, adults soon wanted a piece of the action.


So okay, it's not the first time we've seen half pint motorcycles. The 1942 98cc Welbike is one of the more famous examples. The 1946 98cc Corgi is another. And both before and after those dates, manufacturers have flirted with powered two wheelers that you can pretty much tuck beneath your arm. But Honda, as with many Honda products, got the raw ingredients pretty much spot on, hence the enduring popularity of these iconic machines. Year by year, refinements were added.



Well the latest incarnation—officially dubbed the "Honda Monkey"—has shifted a long way since the originals. In the early days, for instance, suspension wasn't an option. But a swinging arm and a telescopic front fork presently followed, and now that fork has been fashionably inverted.


Early bikes had so-so drum brakes, but disc brakes and ABS is now standard. Meanwhile, the 49cc air-cooled engines have grown to 125cc, also air-cooled. And other refinements are on offer such as fuel injection and a "proper" clutch (as opposed to a centrifugal clutch on early bikes).


The new Monkey has also been fitted with an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that recognises when you're about to tip backwards, and promptly cuts the power. That's the idea, anyway. And if that isn't enough, the lighting is LED, and an LCD dash is standard.





1974 Z-50A K5 Honda Mini Trail. Basic, but rugged. Candy Blue or Candy Orange. 49cc. SOHC. Hard to see how modern riders with their larger stature and bulk will be comfortable on the new pretender. But comfort was never what these bikes were all about.


The engine is Euro 4 compliant, incidentally. The power is rated at 9.25hp. The mpg is likely to be between 150 and 200. And the wheels are now 12-inch which should offer a much better ride than the old 8-inchers on, say, the Mini Trail above. In short (or very short), it all adds up to a pretty desirable little bundle of fun that's a little larger than its predecessor (which was cancelled in 2017) but should have wider appeal.


Honda hasn't released pricing or delivery information. But the bikes, we understand, are on the way and will be available in Honda dealerships in due course.



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I want one of these new monkey bikes, to carry in the back of my motorhome, handy for going shopping and suchlike. —Tom Quin

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Insurer's FOI request into dodgy British highways and byways

Dispose of your chewing gum thoughtfully, please


British insurance firm Carole Nash has published a list of the UK's most dangerous roads. It seems that the company was looking for a headline and sent the government a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request demanding that the Whitehall number crunchers spill the beans. The returned info is now being spread around the net in the usual places.


Over 2,000 M-Ways, A-roads and B-roads were analysed. The scope of the investigation covered the years 2007 to 2016. And the number one most dangerous road is—well, what bloody difference does it make? The data is already out of date, and the stats won't help you stay any safer.


It's just chewing gum enlightenment that you can muck around with for half an hour, and then spit out in the appropriate place or stick on a lamp post. The point being that being told that this road or that road is dangerous isn't likely to significantly affect your riding habits, except perhaps to make you more nervous/anxious/cautious than you might otherwise be.


We made this point back in December 2017 when questioning a similar MCN story, and the issue warrants another reality check. So, for the reasons outlined both here and in that December story, we ain't going to bother detailing the road-by-road results of that FOI request which are really only of use to insurers, road engineers and government accountants. But if it bothers/interests you, start Googling.


Meanwhile, for anyone on two wheels (or four or more for that matter), our advice once again is to treat all roads as the most dangerous, and to consider the next sixty seconds of your life to be the most important. All the rest is just crystal balls.


Rebecca Donohue, Head of Marketing at Carole Nash has, however, been quoted as saying: "Safety is naturally paramount to every road user, so we hope this data and the road safety hub on our website will help provide our customers with as much information as possible to keep them safe.

"It is very positive, though, to note that the number of accidents is steadily decreasing year-on-year, which is testament to road users and those who enforce the safety precautions on our highways."


That's the spirit, Becky. Keep smacking those bubbles...


UPDATE: Also check this recent Carole Nash story


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An Austin Anthology



Great value insight into the early world of Longbridge

Quirky easy reading


Here's an interesting and slightly oddball motoring book from Veloce Publishing. What makes it different from other tomes detailing the birth, development and enjoyment of Herbert Austin's wonderful and stylish range of cars from the golden age of motoring, is the fact that this publication is replete with sidelong and offbeat anecdotes as opposed to more didactic and pedagogic prose.


We've been dipping in and out of it over the past few weeks, and on each occasion our effort has been suitably rewarded with tales from the literary equivalent of the cutting room floor.



For instance, the book opens with a chapter on 'Mr Harry' - the other Mr Austin, then takes us for an aerial spin on the Austin Whippet biplane before regaling us with tales of 'Pobble'—a one-time Brooklands racer that became a WW2 ambulance (the current fate of which is unknown), before introducing us to George Clarke, the 'Silly Ass' theatre entertainer who put an Austin Seven centre stage in his comedy act.



If you're not by then quirked-out enough, there's a tale of murder in the village, details of the Austin Unity Song, a 1926 tour of Australia in an Austin 12/4, and an insight in to a 40hp Austin Motorhome. It's all fascinating stuff that takes us through a new dimension into the world of Longbridge which was to Austin what Meriden was to Triumph.


Written by James "Jim" Stringer, the book isn't perfect. One or two of the anecdotes fail to give exactly the right payoff for our attention and interest, meaning that just a little more meat on the bone would help. Then again, these are—as we said—scraps from the cutting room floor, so Stringer doesn't get to be too choosy. But neither is this thin gruel. If you've got a classic motoring appetite, there's more on the table than you can eat in a single sitting.


It's not a large book, mind. Its dimensions are 148mm x 210mm which makes it A5, And there are no more than 100 or so pages between the hardback covers. But the pages are condensed and the type is smaller than usual. So polish your reading glasses and switch on the table lamp.


Veloce tells us that there are 109 pictures (all B&W), and we also hear that the book was first published in February this year (2018). Best of all, the asking price is just £14.99 which, we think, is extremely good value for this invaluable insight not only into the world of Austin cars, but also into the wider world of the early days of motoring.


If you're an Austin fan, this book is quite possibly an essential addition to your library. But for pretty much anyone with an interest in classic motoring, An Austin Anthology is quite simply a great little read. Recommended.


The book number is ISBN:978-1-787111-91-2. You can buy direct from Veloce, and you should.


See also: Immortal Austin Seven


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Nimbus Model C 750cc inline four - 1955



The next auction takes place on 21st April 2018

This Danish Nimbus inline four is up for sale


The estimate for the above 1955 750cc Model C Nimbus is £7,000 - £10,000, and we have no idea if that's realistic in the current market. That's because it's some time since we looked at these wonderful Danish bikes, and they don't come onto the market all that often. But Bonhams will have put some effort into establishing a realistic price expectation.


This example (Lot 233) will be going under the hammer at the Bonhams Stafford Sale on Sunday 21st April 2018. Using parts supplied by Rombach & Nielsen and Aarhus Nimbus in Denmark, the inline four engine was restored in 2009. The wheels, we hear, were rebuilt by Hagon c/w stainless steel spokes. The paintwork was handled by Cycle Sprays of Cranleigh, and Ooey Custom Paint of Camberley. The colour is Withered Green which is said to be period-correct.




The bike was first registered in the UK in 1987. Back then it was in "oily rag" condition—and as you can see, it's since come up in the world (or down depending on your point of view). But we'd be happy to acquire one of these quirky/left-field motorcycles in almost any condition.


Features include an alloy cylinder head on a cast iron engine block, a single overhead camshaft, shaft drive, telescopic forks, a three-speed foot change gearbox, and of course that trademark pressed steel frame.


Nimbus motorcycles first appeared in 1919. The parent company was Fisker & Nielsen which manufactured vacuum cleaners. Inline fours were the only type of bikes produced by this firm, and they were advanced machines, many of which were acquired by the Danish military (and if you're into WW2 motorcycles, you might also come across images of German troops riding captured examples having pressed them into service).



There's something almost steampunk about these bikes, and we think they're almost begging for a starring role on the silver screen (if they're not already up there someplace). If you're interested, there's a small parcel of literature accompanying this Nimbus, and a V5C is present.


Beyond that, Bonhams is typically fielding a pretty comprehensive selection of classic bikes. The headline machines include a 1970 Clymer Münch 1,177cc TTS 'Mammoth' (estimated at £75,000 - £100,000) and a 1973 MV Agusta 750S (estimated at £70,000 - £90,000).


See Steve McQueen Nimbus Model C, Sump June 2017


UPDATE: The Nimbus sold for £20,700


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20th May 2018. New MOT rules. Modified classic owners take note

"400+" Hull riders in anti crime rally. Police Operation Yellowfin. 15/4/18

Motorcycles Matter ride-out. Tea hut. Loughton IG10 4HR. 21/4/18. 8.30am

Interesting insight into L F Harris classic parts. British Dealer News

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Bradford Dillman (far left) as Major Barnes in the Bridge at Remagen (1969). That's E G Marshall on the far right. We don't recognise the actor in the middle. During filming in Czechoslovakia, it seems that the Soviets invaded (Operation Danube) forcing the cast to skeedaddle poste haste.


The long established Hollywood actor has died aged 87

He starred in almost 50 films


His was one of those faces that you see on the screen and recognise, but struggle to put a name to it; a regular kind of face without any noteworthy features coupled with a well modulated voice that sounded like a lot of people. We're talking about time-served Hollywood actor Bradford Dillman who has died aged 87.


A quiet and modest man, Dillman was never a rampaging A-lister. He wasn't a popular Hollywood hob-nobber. He didn't do drugs or alcohol to excess and spend months or years in rehab. He wasn't given to sudden outbursts on the political platform. He was, rather, the kind of actor who generally stayed out of the celebrity spotlight, a man who usually appeared in supporting roles, but was occasionally the first face on the billboard and the top billing on the screen.


At the drop of a timely cue, Dillman could be mean, moody, melancholy, creepy, innocent or just plain happy. His career spanned four decades in which he appeared or starred in close on 50 movies, notably Compulsion (1959), The Bridge at Remagen (1969),  Suppose They Gave A War And Nobody Came? (1970), The Mephisto Waltz (1971), Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971), The Enforcer (1976), The Legend of Walks Far Woman (1982), and Sudden Impact (1983).


Co-stars included Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, Clint Eastwood, George Segal, Robert Vaughan, Ben Gazarra, Raquel Welch, Roddy McDowall, Ricardo Montalbán, Tony Curtis and scores of other notables.


His real name was ... well, Bradford Dillman. He's been quoted as saying: "Bradford Dillman sounded like a phony theatrical name, so I kept it." He was born in San Francisco, California. As a young man he studied on the US East Coast and became interested in acting. In 1948 he enlisted in the US Navy Reserve. Two years later he narrowly missed being sent to fight in Korea and was instead ordered to join the Marine Corp where he became a communications instructor. He was discharged in 1953 as a first lieutenant.




Dean Stockwell (left) and Bradford Dillman in Compulsion (1959). Not a great image, but a great movie; a tale of two murderers looking to commit the perfect crime.



Bradford Dillman's professional career began in theatre in 1956 on New York's Broadway. He soon caught the eye of 20th Century Fox and presently appeared in a few pot boilers, one or two of which failed to launch into anything other than a low orbit. Nevertheless, he had a certain all-American look and style that could be moulded into pretty much any shape and sound required by the directors and producers, and he became increasingly popular/typecast as the kind of sly and creepy character that, sooner or later, the movie hero was likely to punch in the mouth.


By the 1960s and 70s Dillman was popping up almost everywhere, notably on TV shows that included Ironside, Shane, Columbo, The Wild Wild West, The Eleventh Hour, Wagon Train, The Greatest Show on Earth, Breaking Point, Mission Impossible, Alias Smith & Jones, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Barnaby Jones. He also appeared in a two-part The Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode which was re-shot as The Helicopter Spies (1968).





The high spot in the career of Bradford Dillman was Compulsion. The low points arguably included Swarm (1978) and Piranha (1978). Overall, he was just a dependable, solid, workaday American actor who looked good on camera, delivered lines that perfectly matched the part he was playing, supported the leading actors with casual aplomb, and slipped effortlessly, and almost anonymously, into the next role he was given.


We all knew him, but we never really knew him. Mostly we all liked him. But what was his name? He was just that bloke who was in ... you know ... that other film. His last role was in Murder, She Wrote (1995) where he appeared in eight episodes.


In later years, with acting behind him, Bradford Dillman spent much of his time raising money for medical charities. He married twice, fathered five children and survived his second wife who died in 2003.

Here at Sump, we liked him plenty.


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£5,000 reward offered

The motorcycles were stolen from Cheshire


We're gonna keep this story quick and simple because (a) we're still being plagued with very poor internet service from British Telecom and could collapse again at any moment, and (b) we know that you'll want to get out there on your bikes and join the hunt.


And that hunt revolves around a 1950 Vincent Comet and a 1952 BSA Bantam that were stolen from a property at Threapwood, near Malpas, which is in Cheshire.



The owner is Steve Davies who attaches special affection for these machines, both of which were the property of his late dad who restored them and kept them in fine fettle. So naturally, Steve wants them back.


There's a £5,000 reward offered, and you can claim this via Crimestoppers. As ever, if you can also deliver on a plate the heads of the thieves, that would be a reasonably satisfactory conclusion to another sorry tale.


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New limited edition T120...

... and a new limited edition T100


As part of its ongoing Spirit of '59 campaign, Triumph Motorcycles has launched two new special edition Bonnevilles, both commemorating the near legendary '59 Bonnie.


The first bike is the immediately above T120 liveried in the "original" blue/orange colour scheme (which was actually Tangerine/Pearl Grey). The asking price is £10,500.


The second is the T100 featured immediately below which is billed as a "modern interpretation" (read: flight of fancy) of the "original" colour scheme. And for this motorcycle, Hinckley will relieve you of £9,000. It's hard to see how this livery is going to impress anyone, but maybe it looks better up close (or from a very long way away).


So just how limited will these bikes be? Well Triumph reckon that just 59 of each model will be produced. And why release them now? Because it's 59 years since 1959. So how cool is that?


□ Very cool

□ Not very cool

□ No comment





Meanwhile, three more bikes are being hyped by the factory, all of which feature artwork by D-Face, "... a pioneering artist and Triumph rider who has a style that straddles Street Art, Pop Art and Punk – and his work regularly sells for thousands at the likes of Sotheby’s Christies and Bonhams."


Never 'eard of him, but that could be mutual. Either way, this "newbrow artist" has knocked up a trio of colour schemes which include "The Bobcat", "The Spirit of '59, and "Raceface".



The DFace "Bobcat" ...



... and the DFace "Spirit of 59" ...



... and the DFace "Raceface"


None of these liveries has exactly set our eyeballs ablaze (although the "Raceface" model is perhaps the best of the bunch), but maybe you feel differently. All the DFace bikes are up from grabs as competition prizes. To get a chance at winning one, just take a test ride on a Triumph Bonneville, take a snapshot of yourself astride said machine, and then post the image to #Spiritof59.


Exactly how it works beyond that isn't clear, but no doubt your dealer has the answer. And remember; whatever the livery, these are pretty cool and sorted motorcycles—meaning that any excuse to ride one is excuse enough.


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I wouldn’t let anyone park one of those outside my house....Tacky, gimmicky and not at all easy on the eye....Triumph have produced yet another ‘limited edition’ that is limited to the paintjob...They really should try harder and perhaps alter the bikes specification a little....The Village Squire

I like it. Looks so much better than most bikes being made today. Sure it is flogging a heritage. That's ok. My T140 gets regular "Oh, a real one" comments. Those that know, know.—Blackie

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British Telecom failed us

Do not adjust your sets


Dry your eyes, we haven't gone anywhere. But for the past three days we've been unable to post any news or new features, or deal efficiently with email enquiries—and on planet internet, that's a long time. British Telecom are the culprits. They've had some kind of major crash in our neighbourhood, and it's taken them days to resolve the problem.


Actually, even as we write this message we're not sure it's entirely resolved. So if, over the next 24 - 48 hours you don't see any new news being posted, you'll have a pretty good idea why.


Meanwhile, apologies for everyone who has ordered one of our products. We have been doing what we can to access emails from another location. But it's caused a small backlog that we're dealing with now.


That's it. Should be back to normal, whatever that is, over the next few days. But don't count on it...


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Tesla Model X


Story snapshot:

Self-driving Model X ploughs into Arizona woman

First pedestrian fatality by the dozy-driver tech


California firm Tesla, Inc has issued a statement revealing that the Tesla Model X which crashed on 23rd March 2018 on California Highway 101, killing its driver, was travelling on autopilot when the incident occurred.


The crash comes just a few weeks after a self-driving Volvo XC-90 SUV, being evaluated by ride-hailing service Uber, hit a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The victim was Elaine Herzberg who was pushing her bicycle across the road when the Volvo struck. The driver of that vehicle, 44-year old Rafaela Vasquez, was apparently only vaguely paying attention to the oncoming road and travelling on autonomous mode. Elaine Herzberg, who has the dubious distinction of being the first pedestrian (as distinct from first driver) to be killed by an autonomous vehicle, died later in hospital.


As for the later 23rd March Tesla crash, it seems that Wei Huang, a 38-year old software engineer had at some point during that fatal drive received "several" visual warnings, and one audible hands-on warning. But more pertinently, prior to the collision his hands were not detected on the wheel for a full six seconds (but note that it's not clear if that's immediately prior to the crash, or at some point during the drive).


He also had roughly 150 metres of unobstructed view, but nevertheless somehow managed to plough into the concrete lane divider that, at some point prior to the crash, had been damaged. And soon after, the vehicle caught fire (apparently with no one in the car at the time).


In short, Wei Huang, it's claimed, or implied, took no action to avoid the smash—but as the bloke isn't around to defend himself, we'll say no more about it than that.



Welcome to the SleepMobile. Volvo's XC-90 SUV has been under evaluation by global taxi-firm Uber. The tech isn't quite there, and there are ethical, social and legal issues to be resolved. But it can only be a matter of time before road rage is supplanted by computer rage.



Following a grovelling corporate apology and the usual statement of regret, Tesla said that each year there are around 1.25 million automotive deaths. Self-driving vehicles, say the firm, will eventually reduce that number by around 900,000—although evidently not until vehicles are designed with a rapid face-slapping dashboard mounted gizmo to ensure that the driver is actually paying attention throughout the journey.


And that once again makes us wonder if the self-driving orthodoxy is back to front. In other words, currently the technology allows the car to handle the driving until an emergency occurs. At that point, the operator/driver is supposed to instantly take over.


However, people sat behind the steering wheel doing nothing but watch the road will inevitably fall asleep, or read the newspaper, or scoff a sandwich, or do some knitting, or engage in any of a thousand things while the computers and servo motors take care of the mundane motoring business.


As such, you can hardly expect the human operator to return to full consciousness/alertness when a warning light winks on and a buzzer sounds advising them that they have 3 to 5 seconds to deal with whatever emergency is coming right at 'em (i.e. a truck, avalanche, sink hole, or a woman pushing a bicycle across the street).


You only have to look at car passengers or train passengers to recognise how non-engaged travellers behave in a moving vehicle.



In UK law, the question of human responsibility/culpability is central. But where does that begin and end with autonomous vehicles? The driver-operator? The software supplier? The vehicle dealer? The maintenance engineers? Or the legislators? To address these concerns, the government has just launched a three year review of the law—and you can be sure that already there are legal firms exploring potential new profit streams.



Therefore, perhaps it would be better to leave the driver with the full responsibility for driving the car, and arrange for the ultra-high speed emergency-reaction tech to take over when the you-know-what hits the fan. In this instance, the high-tech stuff failed miserably. But it's inevitably going to get better and better. And because the tech is self-learning, it will eventually become as reliable as a desk calculator. Or even better.


Until then, Tesla and Uber and all the other self-driving pioneers are going to have to crash and burn for a while longer before a radical re-think of the operator involvement takes place.


Just remember that it isn't just the oncoming driver who might not see you. It's also about fifty million quid's of rocket science that, at least occasionally, still can't tell the difference between the open road and a woman with a bicycle.


All the same, self-driving systems are likely to be game changers for bikers once the bugs are ironed out and the potential for car/bike collisions is designed-out of the vehicles.


Bring on this new tech, we say. But hurry.


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New legislation to combat the fraudsters

Minor windfall for drivers. No details about biker premiums


In the first three months of 2018, car insurance premiums in the UK have fallen by an average of 12 percent, or £70 per person. That brings the price of the average motor insurance policy down to just over £500.


So what's changed?


Well, the British government has recently been developing new legislation aimed at clamping down on fraudulent/spurious compensation claims such as alleged whiplash and similar injuries following minor motoring incidents—and note that we say "incidents" and not "accidents".


In March 2018, the Civil Liability Bill was introduced to Parliament, but the proposed legislation has been in the pipeline for over a year, and the insurance industry (which broadly welcomes the changes) has been anticipating the reforms and reacting to them.


The UK government has said that the aim of the bill is:


‘[to] tackle the rampant compensation culture and reduce the number and cost of whiplash claims by banning offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence and introducing a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with a duration of up to two years ... ensure there is a fair, transparent and proportionate system of compensation in place for damages paid to genuinely injured personal injury claimants ... [and tackle] the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims to put money back in the pockets of motorists through reduced insurance costs’.


There's still a lot of ink to be dried and a lot of detail to be thrashed out. But the corrective intent is there, so it appears to be just a question of lining up all the ducks.


What it means in the future is that drivers/passengers/pedestrians hoping to cash-in on minor fender-bender shunts and associated "whiplash injuries" are likely to find a few more hurdles between themselves and a payout. Moreover, the ultimate rewards—if any are forthcoming—will be heavily capped.


Why this overblown compensation culture has been allowed to continue for so long is a mystery. Except perhaps that as with most legislation in the UK, we have to wait for the pot to boil over before anyone even thinks of turning down the gas.


As you might expect, not everyone is supportive of the new legislation, least of all many personal injury lawyers whom, some might say, are looking at leaner times ahead. And of course, various civil liberties groups are watching the proposals with the usual concern and suspicion.


Currently, every motor insurance policy in the UK is hiked by around £35 - £40 in order to fund insurance abuses. That's the claim anyway (no pun intended). Meanwhile, ordinary market forces are already responding to the forthcoming changes, and the insurance premium rates are falling.


The research was carried out by which reckons it analysed a whopping 1.7million insurance quotes. Motorcycles, however (and unsurprisingly), didn't get a mention on the press release.


So are motorcycle premiums set to fall too? We don't know. But we're reasoning/guessing/hoping that biker insurance costs are part of the package somewhere.


Meanwhile, if you further crunch the data you'll probably also be unsurprised to hear that the insurance premium costs fell further for women than for men (at around 14 percent and 9 percent, respectively). Naturally, there are regional variances, and young drivers are still seeing their insurance costs rise, albeit by just a couple of percent.


We'll be watching closely to see if this is a blip on the radar or a long term trend. But when it comes to our rising insurance costs, we're happy to take whatever good news we can get, however short-lived it might be.



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Hi Sump People one and all. Great magazine. Keep it coming. I have to say that I haven't seen my insurance premiums go anywhere but up. That includes my bikes, my car and my business van. Come to think of it, my home insurance went up too when I renewed it in January. The thing is, the insurance companies are so slick at clawing in income every way they can that they might give you back with one hand, but take it away with the other. Trying adjusting your policy for the slightest thing. Last time I added another bike, it cost me £60. Before that I phoned to explain that I'd sold a bike and that cost £45. I'd mention the name of my company, but I don't want to give them the publicity. Insurance firms are a necessary evil, and evil they certainly are. —JW

Good to read insurance costs are coming down. I'll be sure to mention that when my inflated renewal quote appears soon. Every year I hear another excuse as to why. "It's a new government tax" or "it's a new MIB premium" or "we've added new services" (that I don't want and can't opt out of) or "you've changed to a newer bike" or "your bikes are getting older" or "you're getting older (Duh!)" or "you haven't had any claims (Whaaat?)"— presumably since I haven't claimed, the logic is that I will do. I thought that was the whole idea of insurance. Perhaps since insurers know where the dangerous roads are (don't start me on potholes), and with all the data available overlaid on ANPR (good luck finding anything from my social media), they will be able to see where and how I ride and adjust my premiums appropriately. Actually perhaps that's not a great suggestion, or they've already considered that. Keep the cynical faith Sump.
—Niall Sommerville

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Evotech Performance parts for Suzuki GSX-R125 and GSX-S125



Story snapshot:

Looking for a Tail Tidy, Exhaust Hanger, or Radiator Guard?

This Lincolnshire-based firm will take your order now...


Evotech Performance (EP) has sent us details of a new range of accessories for the Suzuki GSX-R125 & GSX-S125. We know the firm slightly, and when we visited the factory we were very impressed with the company's products, expertise, efficiency and pricing. So we're happy to recommend that you take a very close look at these parts if you own one of the above named bikes.


However, we got a little confused with the press release that we received, so we're going to cut this story short. Suffice to say that the new parts include the following:


EP Tail Tidy
EP Radiator Guard
EP Crash Protectors – GSX-S125 & GSX-S125 GP only
EP Exhaust Hanger
EP Paddock Stand Bobbins


We don't have any details of pricing. So check the EP website, etc, and order direct. And keep in mind that Evotech produces batches of parts as opposed to operating continuous production. In other words, the firm will manufacture a limited number of wotsits or whatevers, and unless it's sure of equally healthy sales for a second batch, it will pull the plug. So when these goodies are gone, they're gone.




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Co creator of Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue has died

He was 74


Remember Hill Street Blues? How could you forget? When the internationally famous and seminal primetime US TV cop show series burst onto our screens in 1981, it was one of the cornerstones of the biking week. Most of us watched the majority of the 146 episodes at least once, and some of us are still watching the re-runs never tiring of the antics, frustrations, fears and excesses of Renko, Belker, Hill, Coffey, LaRue, Washington, Bates et al.


The co-creator of Hill Street Blues (along with Michael Kozoll) was the irrepressible Steven Bochco. A writer and a producer, Bochco was also one of the driving forces behind US primetime TV shows such as L.A. Law; Doogie Howser, MD; Murder One; and NYPD Blue.


But long before that, he was a story editor on Ironside, Columbo, McMillan & Wife, Griff, and The Invisible Man. However, Hill Street Blues will probably be the show for which he's best remembered—on this side of the pond, anyway.


What made Hill Street Blues special—aside from tight scripting, fly-on-the-wall camera work, convoluted character interplays, a thick dose of humour counter-pointed by the all important moments of high pathos—were the story arcs. Story arcs are multiple storylines bridging numerous episodes, some of which are concluded sooner than others, and some that are never fulfilled. Think Coronation Street in the UK, or EastEnders.


Before Hill Street Blues, this kind of multi-layered teleplay was unusual in the US (but not unknown). However, Bochco re-mixed these concepts and directing practices into a formula that nailed it perfectly and made his show so compelling.



Hill Street Blues cast. Yes, the picture is missing actor Michael Conrad (as Phil Esterhaus) who died during the fourth season leaving behind the much-repeated fan line "Let's be careful out there!" plus a lot of memorable wit, wisdom and verbal eloquence. The show's location was intended to represent almost any big American city such as Pittsburgh, Boston, St Louis, New York or Chicago. But it was mostly filmed in LA.



So okay, today the production looks dated. It burned brightly, and consequently it burned out relatively quickly. Not so long ago, we watched an episode or two and saw the strings everywhere. The dialogue was largely predictable. The characters felt obvious. And the plotlines felt thin. Nevertheless, it was a great show (both in its day and in retrospect), and Bochco later nailed it again with L.A. Law and NYPD Blue—both of which are also ageing at an accelerated rate (note that L.A. Law was co-created with Terry Louise Fisher, whilst NYPD Blue was co-created with David Milch)



NYPD Blue (261 episodes) ran from 1995 to 2003. Left to right: Nicholas Turturro (as James Martinez), Dennis Franz (as Andy Sipowicz), Jimmy Smits (Bobby Simone) and Kim Delaney (Dianne Russell). If you're not quickly lawyered-up, NYC's finest will git ya. The memorable theme music, as with Hill Street Blues, was provided courtesy of Mike Post. Dennis Franz, incidentally, appeared in both shows.



Steven Bochco was born in New York. His mother was a painter. His father was a violinist. Bochco studied theatre and playwriting, and in 1966 he graduated with a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Art). He moved to LA and joined Universal Studios where he worked on films and TV shows, eventually switching to NBC where he co-created Hill Street Blues.


In later years, Bochco flirted with internet productions, and he was frequently at odds with network and studio bosses whom, he felt, were ageing just as he was ageing, thereby losing that all-important connection with their target audiences. It would be fair to say that he thought he was losing relevance. Nevertheless, he was still working more or less up to the end where failing health finally took its toll.


Steven Bochco won numerous awards for Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Writing, a couple of Edgar Awards, a Directors Guild of America Award, and various Peabody Awards. In 1996 he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.


Bochco was married three times, once to Barbara Bosson who, in Hill Street Blues, played Fay Furillo, the estranged wife of police captain Frank Furillo (played by Daniel J Travanti). Steven Bochco also fathered two children, one of whom is the producer and director Jesse Bochco.


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Hill Street Blues was a great show in its time as long as you didn't take it too seriously, but it's mostly dated now like you say in your piece. However, The Sweeney was great then, and it's great now, if not greater. Just wanted to get that said while the thought was in my head. —BSA Bob

Dear Sump, Fans might like to know that the Hill Street Blues theme was released as a single with ex-Steely Dan man and fusion jazz maestro Larry Carlton showing his guitar skills. You can pick up a copy on eBay for a couple of pounds. —Peter Matthews, Shropshire

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Electric Alley 2018



Story snapshot:

A range of electric bikes to try on this new demo day

Make sure you book your ride


This, we think, will be the second outing for the Electric Alley Roadshow. The first was at the Copdock Bike Show in Suffolk last October (2017). This event will be happening at Orwell Motorcycles, also in Suffolk.


Over the next few months, the show will be travelling all over the East Anglia region. The idea is to bring you the latest intel on the state of electric biking whilst giving you the opportunity to get astride an up-to-the-minute battery-powered machine and become better acquainted with the new tech.


A range of electric motorcycles are being fielded including models from Zero and Super Soco. All licence types, we hear, will be catered for. Also expect food and drink. And note that you'll need to book.


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Data Protection Bill under scrutiny

Labour Party forces a debate


Currently, there are 22 million records stored in the UK Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) database. Each day, 30 million number plate "reads" are made by around 8,300 cameras. And each year the total racks up to 30 billion or so.


The numbers, take note, are vague because the coppers are vague with the facts. If you want to get a peek at the figures and the details of storage, usage, etc, you'll need to make a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request which the police can, and will, address or ignore at their unchecked discretion.


Understandably, that's caused a lot of concern among civil liberty groups, not to mention upsetting the odd MP, journalist, concerned citizen and suchlike. Officially, the police have agreed to store ANPR data for a maximum of two years. But the rozzers want to increase this to seven years—and some reports suggest that already the two year limit has been breached numerous times.


The ANPR data is a useful tool in the fight against crime and terrorism. We understand that. The number plate meta-data can be overlaid with data mined from a variety of sources thereby building a very detailed picture of an individual's habits, behaviour and whereabouts. That's great new for tracking down the next Bin Laden. But it's not such good news when Joe Bloggs becomes illuminated by the police spotlight for more minor transgressions and/or becomes the target of a little official persecution.


And it happens.



So finally it looks as if a stand-up debate has been forced, the idea being to set mandatory codes of conduct and practice for the police and other bodies who are able to harvest the ANPR data—and that includes an increasing number of (dodgy?) private contractors from parking enforcers to insurance firms and beyond.


The new requirements, if and when they come to pass, will become amendments to the forthcoming Data Protection Bill, and that's an important bill with regard to the UK's exit from the European Union. Why? Because after "Brexit" the EU will not transfer data to another country unless and until that country has "adequate" data protection rules in place. And the UK needs access to a variety of EU data, and vice versa.


The ANPR issue is a relatively small piece of a bigger puzzle. Nevertheless, the question of number plate data storage and dissemination needs to be addressed—not merely to satisfy the requirements of the Eurocrats, but to quell domestic protests at unregulated ANPR data.


Of course, the bottom is really this: Regardless of the protections put in place, do we really trust any government, body, group, department, authority or organisation with access to our comprehensive personal data?


In this age of free information, it's worth reminding ourselves constantly that there's always a cost involved, and when there's a cost, it's the ordinary citizen who, one way or t'other, pays the bill.


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Dear Sump. Readers might be interested to hear of the man who was fined by a supermarket for parking longer than the permitted couple of hours. He visited the supermarket once in the morning and again that evening. But the cameras mis-read his number plate after leaving the first time and marked him as parked all day. He had to fight the £85 fine in court. Now is it fair that ordinary folk should foot the bill for failed technology? —Karen Holmes, Dartford

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Henry Cole at Kickback



Story snapshot:

Cole's TV company will be bringing a film crew

The date is 7th - 8th April 2018


TV presenter, producer, director and globetrotting British biker Henry Cole will be attending the next Kickback Show on 7th - 8th April 2018. The idea is to film the custom bike award ceremony at the 2018 National Championship, and then televise the event on the The Motorbike Show, a new series of which is about to begin.


Kickback Show Norton custom


Kickback Show Norton Dominator custom


Kickback Show Gas Gas


The Kickback Show will happen at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. And if you haven't yet visited Kickback�—and if you're into chops, cafe racers, brats, bobbers and streetfighters—you're advised to get along there and check for yourself the current state of the custom bike builder's art.


And if by chance you manage to get yourself on TV standing alongside Henry whilst wearing a Sump T-shirt, we'll send you a tennis racquet or something.


Kickback is organised by Lorne Cheetham who's evidently got the right instincts and attitude for this type of event. He's looking to make this show one of the cornerstones of the British motorcycle scene.


Good luck to him, we say. Events such as these are difficult to keep on the boil, but Lorne's certainly got the drive and ambition. Support it if you can, please.


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