Monday, January 20, 2020

Mystery v twin a mystery no more

A big thanks to Geert from the Netherlands for getting in touch about the mystery flat tanker picture published a week or so back.

It is a MAG engined Ariel, a model that I was completely unaware of, and Geert sent the below picture to confirm.

v twin Ariel combination with MAG ioe motor from 1923

1923 MAG engined Ariel v twin combination


Friday, January 17, 2020

Always keep one in reserve

A dry day has been a rare thing this winter down my neck of the woods. I needed to run an errand so it seemed like a good excuse to use a bike and of course I was running late. First choice for some exercise was the Velocette. Stuck carb float and petrol all over the floor. Next up Yamaha AG, low on oil. So out came the trusty Bantam and it did the job perfectly.

Somehow this experience justifies keeping multiple bikes in the garage. Don't even think of suggesting that just one reliable one would be a better bet....


The trusty D1 Bantam stops to take in the view.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Mystery flat tank v twin combo

Here's a challenge for the New Year. A rather tasty v twin flat tank combo from the early twenties, but what is it?

The engine looks like a MAG to me, but beyond that I'm not too sure. At first I thought Matchless but the forks don't match Matchless pattern.

The outfit is nicely accessorised with an electric lighting kit, legshields and handlebar muffs. The gentleman behind is dressed the part too.

If you can identify the bike please do comment or email. Tip - to see a higher quality larger copy of the image right click and open in a new tab.

Mystery v twin flat tank combination.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Exeter Trial 2020

After an involuntary break from long distance trials (due to work - boo!) I was scheduled to be at home for the 2020 Exeter.

The entry form duly went in and plans were made to prep the Yamaha to pop its trials cherry. As they say to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail and I really did set myself up for a no start. I thought I would have plenty of time to sort the bike out over Christmas but I had underestimated the time that would be taken up with familial duties. The Yamaha AG has some wiring peculiarities introduced by owners over the years, I thought that a couple of evenings would be enough to sort them out. Very much not so. I ended up getting the bike mot'd the day before the trial and the best I could do was to get the horn and stop light working so it scraped through a daylight mot.

Normally a daylight mot would spell disaster for a long distance trial but our merry band had entered the day trial with a start at the Crealy breakfast stop and missing out the night sections. Fortuitous as it turned out.

Somehow it felt a bit of a cop out turning up to start the trial whilst the majority of competitors had been on the road all night and were taking the opportunity of the enforced hour break at Crealy for a power nap. However the difference for me in doing the day trial is one day away from home versus three so it really does make it a lot more accessible for those with families and or a busy work life.

Yamaha AG200 at the top of the first section. Matt and Dan
with the Ariel outfit in the background.

The first section on the day trial was Tillerton Steep and I was surprised how easily the little Yamaha rode up it. Mind, up until now I have been used to competing on a road going Enfield Bullet.

And a full view of Matt's rigid Ariel outfit. It's definitely of
'the right stuff'.

All went well up until Simms. Weighed down by two portions of cake prepared by the wonderful ladies at Islington village Parish Hall I approached with too much confidence and too little speed. The re-start was easy, I cleared the slippery slabs but by then had lost line and rode it up the bank on the steep muddy section after the slabs and came a cropper.

Rich on Beta Alp coming out of the Tillerton
Steep mudbath.

Confidence knocked I then fluffed the next section, Tipley Hill, and footed. Back on form after that though and the last section , Slippery Sam, was a clean.

One section down and here's my boot. And that's with keeping
it on the pegs throughout.

We made it to the end point in Torquay roughly on time. Sadly though no time for victory celebrations as I needed to get back to the van at Crealy before sun set. 

All in a great day's sport. The AG bike proved its mettle and didn't let me down. A big thanks to all the Marshals, helpers and organisers and I just hope it isn't such a big gap as last time until I enter the next trial.

Toby and Honda XT250.


This chap entered a Zero electric bike. Not sure
how he did.

One of several Dellows entered.

Another Dellow. Love them!

A trio of red cars at Islington Parish Hall.

MG and cat.

The approach to Simms. Fairly benign looking from this angle.

One very muddy AG200 after the last section.



Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

Sturminster Newton New Year's Day Run is in its 25th year now and has become the local institution for nearby enthusiasts to greet in the New Year.

As ever there was a marvelous selection of old time machinery to view, from tractors to Lamborghinis.

Having stayed up later than intended and feeling slightly sorry for myself setting off from home at 9am I decided that the little Beesa Bantam would be a suitably gentle ride. The run was pleasant but the weather not kind, we moved through varying degrees of dampness from mist to mizzle and beyond.

Below a few snaps from the day. Happy New Year to all for 2020!

Allard parked up.

Aforementioned Allard again.

Armstrong Siddley.

Genuine barn find Sir.

Primed and ready to go.

Jaguar SS100.

Jag once more.

This Trident Hurricane roared past the Bantam and sounded
great.

Laverda RGS1000, quite a beast for the slippery county roads.

My Bantam in a Velo / Ariel sandwich.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Royal Enfield Sports Combination

Here's one of the vintage motorcycles I would most like to have in my 'stable'. It's a 9.76hp Royal Enfield Model 182 Sports from 1927. This particular machine is fitted with the matching Royal Enfield sports sidecar, though the 182 was equally useful as a solo machine.

A great looking bike with its stacked silencers and 'pie crust' scalloped petrol tank. Very functional too with 8 inch brakes, light weight and a decent performing motor.

1927 Royal Enfield v twin Model 182 Sports.