This Blog has been transferred from our previous site and some of the images may be low resolution
The sun is shining and the birds are singing, but all the bikes are still in bits. Need to get a move on if I am going to get out before the roads get to busy. Only time for a short update this month as we are developing a new website and online shop more news on that during April.
I was thinking the other day that I seem to have always been into vintage stuff. Some of it was driven by a passion for days when things were a lot more uncomplicated, but some like hand down bicycles with sit up and beg handle bars and rod brakes was thrust upon me. This was the sixties for goodness sake. Luckily by the time I got my first moped I was more in vogue with my little Garelli Concorde with pillion for the ladies (not that I had passed my test!). I felt like the leader of the gang, but only just; I was surrounded by a mixture of rather dated mobylettes, a couple of Dandy’s and a Raleigh Wisp.
Garelli owners I thought were something special. How important I felt as I sat at home for weeks on end waiting for the factory in Italy to be making yet another piece especially for me. Returning to the shop on another occasion I was told that the new electrics were stuck on a train in Turin. I was so impressed; surely this was tracking, far advanced for its time!
Bored with sitting at the side of the road and unable to afford a New British Bike I was drawn like a Hamelin child to the Land of the Rising Sun and there I remained for several years. So this confessional is now over and I feel a lot better. The benefit of a diverse history of ownership means that I have not become locked in any particular era. I can now enjoy a Triumph Model H as much as an ex-80’s Street Tracker fresh out of the Shed.
If you have an old Moped rotting away at the back of your shed that you want to get going there are still a lot of parts out there. See more at Classic Moped Spares, and their blog Here.
The history of British Military Motorcycles is continuing to develop. Still a few gaps to fill and so it was off to more Museums and Libraries during February. I would like to extend my personal thanks to James Hewing and the team at the National Motorcycle Museum for letting me get up and personal with the Vickers Clyno Machine Gun Carrier.
We have just published the second part of Brooklands during WW1 which tells the story of military motorcycle testing and Service events. This is currently only available to readers of the Brooklands Trust Magazine, but a full version will be available more widely later in the year.
AJS Model 22
We managed to start our second model 22 in February. There is however a bit of a question mark over the lubrication so we will be giving that a bit more attention over the next few weeks.
Caterham ebike launched 2014. Where is it now?
As I spend a lot of time with my head buried in Papers and Magazines of the last century I discover that many things we consider ground breaking have often been done before. Only the other day I discovered an electrically driven motorcycle had been unveiled in Norway during 1918. Norway has remained one of the leading countries in the development and promotion of electric vehicles. Even during the 70s I found myself dodging tram lines and the battery powered mini buggies whilst riding through Oslo.
There is now a renewed interest in electric vehicles and it is interesting to consider the similarities with the development of the petrol engine 100 years ago. Batteries remain one of the stumbling blocks, but innovators are quickly finding ways around the problems. More Cars and Motorcycles are being developed, but we see fewer motorcycles in this country as the UK Government is unwilling to match the subsidies seen in other countries. Zero Motorcycles one of the world leaders in ebike production recently shut up shop in the UK and there don’t seem to be many others out there. Is this just another example of the stranglehold being placed on motorcyclists? We will be investigating ebikes further later in the year.
Fenland Classics TV
More short films from the web, plus News and action from Suzy and the Bike World Team.
Wheels & Waves
Bike World Series 9 Episode 1