CB INSPIRED MY LEAP INTO THE BRIT BIKE WORLD
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!
‘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