Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Abbins and their globe of death

The Abbins were a French Globe of Death act. Seemingly they were long term sponsored by Monet et Goyon for their bikes and had various sponsors for parts: in the case of this postcard by Brampton chains. Maurice Abbin toured his Globe extensively and certainly came over to the UK. Postcards were distributed as publicity for the act and for the sponsors.

The Abbins Globe of Death postcard.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Bullet - 100 at 70

This year is hailed as the 70th anniversary of the Bullet. Though there were Royal Enfield models and even bicycles given the name pre-war, the Bullet as we know it today was introduced in 1949.

70 years back the Bullet was bang up to date with swinging arm frame, alloy head, cast alloy chain case and integral oil filter and tank. A way better spec than almost all other bikes on the market at the time.

To commemorate the anniversary the REOC are holding their annual International Rally as a special Bullet-focused event: the aim is to get 100 Bullets turning up. Given the number around that's not too ambitious a goal. In a shrewd move the International Rally is being held in conjunction with the VMCC's fabulous Founders Day event so rally goers get a two in one of attractions.

Bullet owners support this event!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Langa Langa races October 8 1951

Some more pictures from the 'Happy Valley' album. Langa Langa racetrack was at Gilgil near Nakuru in the Rift Valley in Kenya and was originally a WWII lorry driver training ground. The first race at Langa Langa was held in March 1951 and it was closed in 1953 following a fatal accident and the Mau Mau uprising.

A new track opened in 1956 and was called the Nakuru Park Motor Racing Circuit though was still referred to as the Langa Langa circuit (langalanga is Maasai for round and round). Racing continued until 1988 when it was sold to property developers.

All of the captions for the images I have copied from the album.

C Hollyoak takes the bend at Picadilly Circus on a 650cc

An array of well motor cycles in the pits.

H Z Ulyate winning his race for the 2nd meeting in
succession mounted on 998cc Vincent HRD.

On a 498cc Norton Manx N Ziska rides well to finish first
& break the lap record. 

C Davis riding his Triumph GP 498cc over 351cc race
for m/cs.

N Ziska at practice.

P J Dale on 498cc Norton Inter came second to N Ziska.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Bikes I have owned part VII. Teagle cyclemotor

The mighty Teagle. Cornwall's finest.

For a while I got quite into cyclemotors. I had a lot of fun attending cyclemotor runs with friends, really as much fun as I have ever had on more powerful machines.

The Teagle was a real hoot to ride. At a full 50cc it was one of the most powerful cyclemotors but still with a friction roller on the rear wheel. Really it was slightly too quick for a fifties roadster bicycle. Mind, trundling along the flat at a constant 25 to 30mph on a sit up and beg cycle is really a lot of fun.

A full 50cc of revvy willingness.

Teagle were, and still are, an agricultural machinery company who saw the opportunity to diversify and cash in on the early post-war cycle attachment boom. They were already producing the 50cc motor for use in their hedge trimmers and chainsaws and it really did not take a lot of modification to put it on a bicycle.

The Teagle unit is very well made, rev happy and slightly hard work to start with its lack of clutch or decompressor. It also carries the distinction of being possibly the only 'motorcycle' to be made in the county of Cornwall. A rarity now but if you want a cyclemotor and find a Teagle for sale snap it up, you can't do much better. Though rare, parts are in relative easy supply due to vast numbers of this motor produced in other formats. 

The castings give away the original purpose of the
Teagle motor. The cover is designed for a pull
cord start.

This example ran really nicely and seemed to
have been barely used.

Alloy barrel. Very sporty!

Nice simple controls. Brakes and an on / off throttle.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Royal Enfield Model G

A good solid motorcycle, the Royal Enfield Model G. This one a '51 or '52 model I believe. The earlier machines were noted for having a somewhat ugly and bulbous, though eminently sensible, unsprung front mudguard.

This photo is marked on reverse, 'March 18 1956', by this time the humble Model G would have been slightly old hat with its rigid rear.

From the vendor of the photo I got the information that the location is Leamington Hastings in Warwickshire and that the couple are his parents, Miss Doreen Rawbone and Mr David Hillier.

Royal Enfield Model G
Royal Enfield Model G

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Quadrant Motor Cycles 1924

It's been a little while since any brochures were added to the RDM library so to make up here is a very tasty one. The Quadrant range for 1924.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure front cover.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 1.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 2.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 3.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 4.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 5.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 6.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 7.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 8.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 9.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 10.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 11.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 12.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 13.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 14.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 15.

1924 Quadrant Motor Cycles brochure page 16.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Book review - The Tricycle Book 1895 - 1902 Part One

Frankly this is as much of a recommendation as a review. I just recently got my sticky paws on a copy of Michael Edwards' The Tricycle Book and as it says on the tin the book covers early motor tricycles from 1895 to 1902. This volume covers French machines only, there is a part two on the way on the subject of British made tricycles and I am genuinely very much looking forward to it.

The Tricycle Book definitely falls into the 'boutique book' category and at GBP 80 plus postage represents a considerable outlay. However once you have seen it you have to concede that it is good value, the format is large and the publication luxurious. There are 364 pages and the book is very well illustrated mainly with photographs from the period. That Mr Edwards has managed to find quite so many early images is admirable, the majority of which are completely fresh to my eyes (and I do spend possibly more time than is healthy nerding away at early vehicles...)

Without doubt an authoritative work on the subject The Tricycle Book should be of interest to anyone with more than a passing interest in early vehicles. The righteous thing to do as ever is to buy direct from the author: