Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Avon Cling Tyres 1963

Avon's brochure from 1963 for their 'cling' rubber tyres. Even today 'cling' still appears in some of the Avon promo material.

For fun there's also a couple of youtube clips below:

The first is a promo for motorcycle cling tyres, unfortunately it looks like it has been filmed on a phone looking at a cathrode ray tv through a fish tank but is still worth a quick watch.

The second is celebrating 100 years of Avon Tyres published by Ride Magazine, not much informative content but it features a guy wearing a suit hooning around on a Vincent Rapide.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Lundy Flyers Golden Mile

Waiting for an escort down the beach.
The jeep is a tender vehicle, all the tenders
were WW2 machinery. Very cool.

Been meaning to post this for a while as the event was back in early September but, hey, this isn't a hot of the press news site so it hardly matters.

I'm not a fan of the phrase 'bucket list' but taking part in a beach sprint has been on mine for a good while now. I knew from my work schedule that I would be at home for the Lundy Flyers event and it being in Devon it was relatively local.

As it turned out in the end I was kind of wrong on both these counts as come that weekend I could only manage to attend on the Saturday and it was a three hour drive from home, but totally worth it.

Saunton Sands 'village' in the distance, it's a long
beach and access is all the way in the distance.
Given the number of 'civilians' on the beach riding
to and fro needed an official escort.

The event is at Saunton Sands in North Devon and is organised by the Lundy Flyers, a local Hot Rod club. The entry is eclectic and the atmosphere wonderfully casual. Basically, enter, turn up and ride / drive. The racing is head to head and not timed so escapes too much regulation

I entered my ZB32 Gold Star, yes, I had some concerns about thrashing it on the sand but ultimately it's only a few runs and if you make sure to wash carefully immediately after there's no long term damage.

Over the day I got in about six runs down the 1/8th mile strip. The sand was reasonably solid but none the less as the speed gets up it's fairly hairy, just keep the power on and the weight back and cross your fingers. At least the ZB32 carries its weight nice and low. As above it's all fairly casual so it's definitely the taking part rather than the winning. On the day you chose a partner for the runs, just picking someone with a bike that looked like a fair match, it worked well, we (the Goldie and I) won as many runs as we lost and in the end most of it came down to gear changes and which line on the sand was taken.

So, in the end, yep, a brilliant day out and a fanstastic event. Totally recommended either as entrant or spectator. There's a really good friendly vibe there and some great machinery to watch being thrashed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Two up Lamby

Not enough scooters feature on this blog in my mind, perhaps too many in the eyes of others... To rectify here's a nice snap of a happy couple on their Lambretta. A model LD 150 if I'm not mistaken. In the background a typical family car of the forties and fifties, a Vauxhall 10 perhaps? Lovely old coach house too!

A jolly matching couple on a
Lambretta LD 150.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Turbo Suzi

Something a bit different for this blog. A spot on a recent holiday in France at the lovely seaside town of Pornic was this Suzuki XN85. A child of the eighties vogue for turbo charged bikes the XN85 is a noticably rare bike with only 1153 examples being made. The XN85 monicker comes from the fact that it produces, yes, 85bhp - a very respectable figure for a 650 particularly in the eighties though it needs to be said that those horses were crankshaft ones rather than rear wheel.

The XN85 has the reputation of being one of the more managable turbo bikes of the era. The reasons being the fine handling and the fact that the turbo boost was mildly strangled. The XN85 is credited with being the first production bike with a 16 inch front wheel - this is plainly nonsense (Harley WL to name just one), perhaps what is meant is that it was the first bike of the eighties fashion for tiny front wheeled sports bikes. A trend that was thankfully fairly short lived.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Arbuthnot Trial memories

Many thanks to Jon Hodges for sending in these pictures of vintage / classic trialing from days of yore. Jon saw the write up of this year's Arbuthnot and kindly took the time to share several images and memories.

This picture is from the first of the revived Arbuthnot
Trials in 1982. Jon is riding his '27 Scott Super Squirrel
which is still in regular use. That year the Arbuthnot
Trophy for the Colonial Class (standard road bikes)
just eluded Jon but he was victorious the following year.

In subsequent years the sidecar class was
added to the Arbuthnot and Jon put together
this Matchless / Watsonian outfit for the event.
This is the outfit but the photo was taken at
Fingle Bridge on a MCC event.

And when a pillion class was introduced Jon had
a crack at that too, also with the '27 Super Squirrel.
This image is from the Ralph Venables report in
Motorcycle News.

Thanks again for the photos Jon. They epitomise the enjoyment to be had with vintage and classic bikes.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Alpine touring with a BSA Golden Flash

There's not been a photo from back in the day on the blog for a little while so here's a couple of shots of a well loaded alpine touring BSA A10 Golden Flash.

The alpine view pic is marked to the reverse '1954 Austria'.

Even though the photo is in black and white it is clear to see that this BSA is not Golden in colour. The Golden coloured edition gave the model its name but even if the bike was finished in traditional black it was still known as a Golden Flash.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Arbuthnot Trial 2022

The Arbuthnot has been on my events 'bucket list' for a good long while. I can remember spectating it as a young whippersnapper with my father when there was a section next to 'Zig Zag Hill' just up the road from home.

The Arbuthnot has always been a proper old school trial with emphasis on traditional non-tricked out and modernised trials bikes with a good turn out of rigid framed machines. There is a 'colonial' class for road biased bikes. I seem to remember that way back when the trial was only open to rigid framed bikes. Times have moved on however and now all pre-65 British machines are welcomed.

First run after WW1 as a reliability trial the original Arbuthnot carried on through to the late twenties. The event is named after local 1900s TT hero Admiral Sir Robert Arbuthnot and was revived by the Salisbury Motorcycle and Light Car Club in the eighties and runs a route of some 70 to 80 miles along the green lanes, droves and farmland south of Salisbury.

My entry came courtesy of my friend Matt who kindly volunteered to hitch his sidecar on to his Ariel HT5 which he had entered as a solo when he found out that I was free for the day.

We had a fantastic day of riding. The event truly lived up to expectations. It's fair to say that it was tough going with the sidecar. The Dorset green lanes tend to be heavily rutted  and easy going on a solo but when your third wheel is on a track that doesn't correspond to any of the ruts things can get uncomfortable. 

We did manage though to clear a few of the sections and only had one spectacular 'off' where we rolled it into a clump of bracken. A soft landing at least.

There were four outfits entered. Purely by dint of being the only finishers we went home with the class winners award. Only just mind as our progress was so lethargic that we barely made the last three sections in time, the marshals had just started to take down the flags not expecting anyone else to come through so late...

A thoroughly recommended event with a great sense of camaraderie and one that I will certainly return to. Might just go for a solo entry next time though.

Following a few photos and clips from the day. No captions, it's all pretty self explanatory.