Classic Bike Guide
Be careful what you wish for
Yes, yes, it’s hot, I know. But think about the amount of time folk spend moaning about how cold/ wet/miserable it is for most of the year and smile! There’s nothing with great urgency we can do about it, so make sure the animals are alright, enjoy it, and embrace the time you usually waste cutting lawns with something more bike orientated. I still love the fact that there are half the amount of modern bikes at our local meets should there be an errant cloud in the sky, yet the classics always seem to be there. Sturdy stuff, despite our magnetos not liking the heat…
Those long summer evenings and Norfolk sunsets are making up for any slight discomfort here at CBG towers, where those Cromer and Wells-next-the-Sea fish and chips are having a – rounded – effect on my physique. And some lovely rides can be had too, though I’ve been riding the R100 and a BMW R18 – as I needed Sir Neville of Shedville to lend me his mag puller for the BSA B31. In the end, he came over and did it for me while I went to the vets. Once off, the bearings looked to be completely knackered – yet it always started when cold. It’s now away to be looked at, though all specialists I’ve spoken to are very busy, so I won’t hold my breath. Still, that’s half the reason the B31 isn’t all shiny – I don’t feel bad using it when the weather gets colder in the winter!
Unrestored bikes are wonderful, tell a story, and in my eyes encourage more riding. But at a meet last week, a preunit Bonneville was there, just lined up somewhere among the hundreds of bikes old and new, and it was outstanding. I mean brand new. No oil, no blemishes on the paint – a freshly rebuilt bike. It was truly great to see it out and would have loved to meet the owner to see what they’d done to make it such a gorgeous bike.
The Malle Mile is not a classic bike event but there are plenty old bikes there and it is an absolute hoot, albeit a slightly unorthodox hoot. Where else do you see Bantams chasing Tribsas, exspeedway Douglases chasing standard Trophys, traction engines and electric bikes? There’s generally something moving, racing, or about to. It’s how events should be. I wish those who arrange the traditional bike shows go along to see the likes of Goodwood, Malle and other dynamic events to see people enjoying watching bikes moving – not necessarily racing, but being ridden. And want to get more into old bikes? Then mix it up with the steam engines, the old cars and even agricultural or military vehicles. Sound, movement, spectacle – it’s so much more inviting than sitting on stands or sitting on something in a dank exhibition hall with no windows in winter. Just a thought.
Maria’s been getting the rust inside her Suzuki tank out by cutting a hole in the bottom to get all the crud and I have done the same with the BMW tank, as pin holes were discovered when petrol started leaking out! The Manta needs a steering
UJ, the BMW is coming on, and madam has booked a weekend away in the Peak District for a brief touring weekend – so now I have a time limit for the BM.
Still, we wouldn’t all do it if we didn’t all love it, would we!