Sunday, June 16, 2019

Swiss BMW R25

The chap from whom I sourced this cracking old image told me that his step father climbed the Matterhorn as a young man and that the stylishly attired gent on the motorcycle is presumed to be his guide. The bike is a BMW R25/2 which was made from 1951 to 1953.

BMW R25/2 with Matterhorn guide aboard.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

AJS R7 painting

Big thanks to James Kelly for loan of this picture to reproduce on the blog. A junk shop find, nothing is known of the painting bar the signature J. Way and a date 23/7/27.

It's no lost masterpiece but as an evocative period piece it is a peach. If I were to stick my neck out I would say that the location would be Ballaugh Bridge and the rider Jimmy Simpson. Simpson was third placed in the Junior TT in 1927.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Gillingham in Gear 2019

Gillingham in Dorset (with a hard g as in great as opposed to the Gillingham in Kent which is soft as in giraffe...) has a meadow in the centre of the town and once a year in June there is a petrol heads' gathering there something akin to a village fete.

Two and four wheelers are equally represented and the atmosphere is convivial and informal. Just ride / drive in, park up and stay as long as you like. There are a few club stands, the Royal Enfield Owners Club, Dorset VMCC, Gold Star Owners Club and Norton Owners Club were all out in force. Below a few pictures from the day.

A swarm of Gold Stars.

Rare bird, BSA Regal Gold Star SR500.

Moto eye candy, Ducati Elite.

Ducati alongside Honda CB road racer.

Has the Ducati Elite got the curviest, sexiest
petrol tank ever?

'Barn find' Suzuki T500.

Triumph 3/1 side valve from 1935.

REOC out in force.

Offside view of the Triumph 3/1.

Iconic is an over-used word, but the styling of
the Triumph Thunderbird definitely is so.

If I could have taken home one vehicle....
Beautiful late thirties Lagonda 4 and a half

Cute late thirties Morris 8.

Guzzi engined Triking.

Lovely Bedford van.

A rare sight. Reliant Ant three-wheeled truck.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Tiddlers at the Vine

First Wednesday of the month gentlefolk with more than a passing interest in old and low powered two wheelers meet at The Vine Inn near Wimborne. Balmy summer months are a good excuse for a powered amble along lesser used roads of the local area before the usual natter. Pictures and elaborations below...

First on scene, my BSA D1 Bantam.

Followed by two further wonderfully unrestored machines,
Lambretta LD150 and Raleigh RM4 Automatic. There was
also an immaculate Honda SS50 but I was remiss and
neglected to take a picture...

Closer on the LD150. On the run a good match for the Bantam.

The Raleigh was a flyer occasionally seeing 45mph. I've not
seen the swing engine in action before - it is pivoted from the
cylinder head and belt tension is maintained on the variomatic
gearing by means of the motor rocking backwards and forwards
as revs decrease or increase. More on Raleigh mopeds at the
Moped Archive:

As we approached Tarrant Rushton Airfield we were joined
by a WW2 Jeep.

On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day it was
appropriate to stop. Tarrant Rushton was
the take off point for many of the gliders that
took part in the operation.

Two large hangars are still standing at Tarrant Rushton.

There is a short length of runway left.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Sidecar Scrapbook book review

OK, first of all a disclosure: I've been friends with the author, Matt Little, for years. I just run this site for fun and am not looking in to passing on negativity in any way, if I don't like something very much I won't feature it. So, take it for granted that any review of a book or product I make is essentially an endorsement for something that's come my way (usually paid for, occasionally given - in this case given so thanks very much Matt!). Yes then, no qualms at all about recommending Matt's book...

The Sidecar Scrapbook's strapline is 'all about building, fixing and riding sidecar outfits' and as such it is a guide to attaching, setting up, riding and maintaining a sidecar rig. The format is softback A4 and is 64 pages long. Information within should be of use to both beginners and experienced sidecarists alike. I've set up three outfits myself, the first was terrible, the second a fair bit better eventually after much tweaking and the third was finally pretty good. Having this book on hand would certainly have made the job a lot easier from the start.

If you've got an interest in sidecars the Sidecar Scrapbook fits a niche not covered elsewhere and should be a welcome addition to your library. If you are a novice to the world of sidecaring consider this book essential reading.

Contact Matt directly by email if you would like a copy: The price is £9.95

Monday, May 20, 2019

Giants Run 2019 pt1

Yesterday was the Dorset Section VMCC's Giants Run, an event for girder forked machines. Sadly I was just back from work and slightly jet-lagged so didn't ride but at least did make it along to have a cuppa at the start and watch off the intrepid riders. The rain held off and an excellent turnout of more than 70 pre-war and vintage machines turned up. Two different routes are offered, a short and a long of around 70 miles.

The was the first Giants Run and it looks set to establish itself as one of the larger gatherings of pre-war bikes, certainly in the local area, if not the country. Here's to hoping I can get it together to be riding next year.

Have a look at the Dorset VMCC's site. If you like what you see below there'll certainly be more pictures up on the club's site soon.

Enjoy the pictures, no captions, it's all pretty self explanatory. A few more to come soon.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Early Post War Speedway

My knowledge about the world of speedway is quite minimal. It's a motorcycling discipline outside the mainstream and attracts its own dedicated band of enthusiasts, in many cases as uninterested in the wider world of motorcycling as many in that world are of speedway. At one time speedway was a hugely popular spectator sport and of course still has its adherents though the number of teams nationwide is a fraction of what they once were. Take a look at the National Speedway Museum's site to learn more.

These photos I came across recently. They are possibly all of one rider, George Watts who rode for Wolverhampton and Portsmouth in his career.

This great picture is annotated on the reverse as below but
I struggle to read the writing...
'George at R... Avenue  or is it House? 1947
Could it be Rye House? Rye House was a track in Hertfordshire.

George Watts