CB IN­SPIRED MY LEAP INTO THE BRIT BIKE WORLD

Classic Bike (UK) - - YOUR CLASSICS -

I’ve not long com­pleted my lat­est project, in­spired by a Tri­umph scram­bler fea­tured in CB in sum­mer 2016 (I think). I bought this Matchless G12 via ebay, on a naive ‘shouldn’t take too much to sort this out’ whim. It was in a bit of a state – it was my first Bri­tish bike restora­tion and I have to say, hav­ing mainly played with Ja­panese and Euro­pean bikes from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s pre­vi­ously, I can see ex­actly why the Bri­tish bike in­dus­try failed.

How many thread forms can one bike have – and how many year-spe­cific and in­ter-year changes/nu­ances can one model un­dergo? It’s all part of the charm, though, and I’m hooked. I’m al­ready scop­ing my next Brit bike restora­tion – my late grand­fa­ther’s Fran­cis-bar­nett Kestrel which, be­ing a cler­gy­man, he used to travel be­tween the churches in his Suffolk Parish dur­ing the ’50s and ’60s. In ad­di­tion to be­ing my grand­fa­ther’s bike, my own late fa­ther learned to ride on this ma­chine, as did I, so it has a very spe­cial place in my heart – I’m look­ing for­ward to giv­ing it the TLC it de­serves. Hop­ing to squeeze it in this win­ter be­tween work, rais­ing two tod­dlers and a baby due in No­vem­ber, so my un­cle can ride it next sum­mer. A few late nights beckon!

I loved read­ing Mike’s short piece about his TDR and him fill­ing the coun­try roads of ru­ral Le­ices­ter­shire with the sweet smell of Cas­trol Power1. I’ve been do­ing the very same thing – prob­a­bly down some of the very same roads – on my TZR. It’s shown in the shot above, parked in the mid­dle of one of my favourite roads (the B1176 south of Gran­tham) dur­ing one of the Eng­land games in the World Cup. I was gut­ted when we lost, as ev­ery time the games were on I pretty much had the roads to my­self – it was al­most like my own TT!

Next time you ride past Gran­tham, give me a shout. The ket­tle will be on and I’ll give you a tour of my hum­ble 10ft x 14ft wooden the­atre of dreams!

BY­RON VIN­CENT

‘MY FIRST BRI­TISH BIKE RESTORA­TION. I’M HOOKED AND SCOP­ING THE NEXT...’

LEFT: By­ron’s Matchless G12, a fine first Brit ef­fort ABOVE: His TZR, on de­serted roads dur­ing World Cup

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