Classic Bike (UK) - - Contents -

The usual wan­der down Mem­ory Lane


A This is my younger brother Rick and his friend Steve Bing­ham on their 200cc Tri­umph Tiger Cubs. Rick bought his bike as soon as he was 16 years old and very soon passed his test and got rid of the L-plates. The other picture shows Rick (aka Dikk) wear­ing his dis­tinc­tive leather jacket. He joined the RAF a year later and his mo­tor­bike proved a wel­come cheap and ef­fi­cient form of trans­port to get home from camp some week­ends and when on leave.


I was very sur­prised to see Neil Hick­man’s clas­sic jumper along with his Har­ris­framed Laverda Jota in Novem­ber’s ‘Way We Were’. The dates in the ar­ti­cle were a lit­tle con­fused, but I can con­firm that Neil and the Jota were on the Isle of Man in 1980, as I was also there along with a few other friends from the Bournemouth area. I have in­cluded a photo of Neil – wear­ing that jumper again – hold­ing a rock above the head of our friend, Martin. The blood­ied hand­ker­chief was as a re­sult of Martin be­ing hit on the head while we threw rocks off a bridge into a river (don’t we all do that?). The Moto Guzzi is my Le Mans, which I bought two years ear­lier. I re­call chas­ing Neil on mad Sun­day and get­ting the Le Mans weav­ing so badly I bought a set of Mar­zoc­chi Strada rear shock ab­sorbers in an at­tempt to con­trol the back end. PHIL SKIN­NER

These two pic­tures were taken in 1975 of a spe­cial I started build­ing in about 1968. Hav­ing al­ready had many sin­gle and twin-cylin­der Bri­tish bikes, the ob­ject of my de­sire turned to four cylin­ders. The only op­tion at that time was an Ariel Square Four and, as I was al­ready a Nor­ton Dom­i­na­tor fan, the choice seemed ob­vi­ous – build a spe­cial with the 1000cc Ariel en­gine in a Nor­ton Featherbed frame. It was not as straight­for­ward as build­ing a Tri­ton, and took me a long time to com­plete us­ing a 1960 Nor­ton Dom­i­na­tor 99 and a 1949 MKI two-pipe Ariel Square Four en­gine. But to look right the bike just had to have four pipes – I achieved that by us­ing Paul Dun­stall one-into-two si­lencers. But what to call it? Ar­ton? Noriel? I even­tu­ally set­tled on Norsquare Four. On the road it had good torque up to about 60mph, but above that my Suzuki T500 was more pow­er­ful. PETER STEELE, NEW­PORT, ISLE OF WIGHT

Dyer, on his James 98cc, taken about 1950/51 at Por­tishead, North Som­er­set. I re­mem­ber this bike be­ing buried in our gar­den cesspit in the late ’60s when it could no longer be re­paired. The other photo is of his par­ents, James and Mar­garet Dyer, on a Nor­ton com­bi­na­tion – I think the picture would have been taken in Lon­don around the late 1940s. Any in­for­ma­tion on ei­ther of the bikes would be great. STEVE DYER

The James is a 1950 model reg­is­tered in Bris­tol in June 1951, you can just see the elab­o­rate trans­fer on the tank – for that year only it had a Dan Dare-type picture of a comet speed­ing through the fir­ma­ment. The Nor­ton looks like a 16H model, reg­is­tered in Can­ter­bury in 1936. The side­car says ‘Wey­mouth’ on the front which isn’t a model I know; per­haps a sou­venir of a hol­i­day! Cheers, Rick

Le Mans meets Isle of Man, 1980 How to get blood out of a stone

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