Monday, July 25, 2011

VMCC Weymouth Week 2011

Pub at Cerne Abbas chocka with old bikes

Always the big local run of the summer the Weymouth Run was expanded several years back to an entire week of runs. Sunday's Weymouth run is still the key event and the one with the most riders - not everyone is retired and can attend for the whole week! Several made the trek from overseas though and there were small Dutch and German contingents.

The weather for the whole week was pretty much ideal and turnout for each of the runs was good with seemingly few breakdowns. Myself I managed one run and two coffee stops. Most of the machines entered were more recent, perhaps reflecting that a run or day for a week is a lot to expect from a vintage bike.

Highlights of the week were seeing Cerne Abbas full of bikes for the lunch stop on Sunday, excellent fish and chips in Swanage and getting in the miles on Dorset country roads in proper English summer weather.

Here's a selection of pics of bikes that caught my eye over the week...

Vintage JAP engined Ardie.

This Ardie came over from Germany. German built but heavily British influenced with its big JAP side-valve engine it is a really high quality machine. The attention to detail on the build really puts many British bikes of the era to shame with the fine quality even going down to levers, switches and even a very neat map and instrument light!

Sunbeam combination fitted with a JAP 750cc sv motor.

A really nicely made Sunbeam special. Fitted by the builder with a JAP 750cc side valve twin motor it passed the 'specials test' of looking like something that could have been factory produced. In fact it seems strange that Sunbeam dropped twins from their catalogue in the early vintage era. It would have been easy enough to offer one as their 600cc side valve single cycle parts were ideal to accept a twin.

James 500cc ohv v twin.

Late vintage ohv 500cc James v twin. Fitted with James' own engine it is a beautifully high quality machine; light, nimble and designed for solo riding as against the majority of the Brit v twin buses of the era. I followed it as it was ridden two-up on Sunday's run, it kept a good pace and sounded superb. A bit of smoke from one pot but we can forgive it that!

AWO Simson 250cc model 425 single.
East German Simson over from united Germany. Not to everyone's tast styling wise it none-the-less appealed to me. With obvious design cues from BMW singles it is however quite apart from them. In fact I would go as far as to say the lines are far better than an R25 of the same period...

This is the 425 Sport model. The sport denotes swinging arm rather than plunger suspension as on the touring model.

Moto Rumi Tipo Sport.

A beautifully turned out Moto Rumi Tipo Sport. A wonderfully eccentric yet functional design - I've always wanted one. Seems hard though to justify the high prices they fetch. Perhaps at six foot three I'm a bit too large a pilot as well as holding different spending priorities.

Excellent Matchless G80 single with bathtub sidecar!

This is what it is all about! A proper old bike in the condition they were back in day! Matchless G80, cowhorn handlebars, sidecar with plywood board to which is bolted an old tin bath. All that is missing is a pair of greasers wearing stormtrooper helmets and studded brando jackets....

BSA M21 with launch type sidecar.

Tidy late thirties BSA M21 fitted as it should be with a sidecar. In this case a launch type of the deisgn favoured through the late twenties and thirties.

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