Sunday, August 29, 2021

1962 Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon C230

I really struggled to identify this Japanese scoot and in the end can only find one likeness via a Japanese vintage vehicle dealer. It seems to be a C230 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Model C230 with a 210cc engine. The brand name Mitsubishi used for their scooter division was Silver Pigeon.

Smartly turned out gent in front of a MHI scooter.

And an identical Silver Pigeon C230 spotted at
Takeey's Auto Shop in Hamamatsu, Japan. Have a
browse through their site, there's some interesting
machinery on sale.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Himalayan on the Trans European Trail pt 3

Himalayan on the Trans European Trail pt 1

Himalayan on the Trans European Trail pt 2

The third and final day of our Trans European Trail mini-adventure. Day two was tough work in places so it was no surprise that day three started slowly but as we got in to the swing of things we were rewarded with some stunning trails, the first of the day being right across the top of the Brecon Beacons.

This is where we woke up, on top of a mountain
just by the Talybont Reservoir. Beautiful spot but
blighted by midges. No time for a relaxing pack down
here. Just throw the tent and kit in to the panniers and
hot foot it away to escape the biting blighters.

Down by the reservoir we stopped at this point for
a morning brew. Perfect, no midges. Scenic beyond
belief, we were tinged with regret that we did not
pitch up here the night before.

Talybont on Usk. A sweet little village
and for the intrepid it has the bonus of
having a community provided shower
block in the village car park. Very welcome
after two days of riding on the hottest days
of the year.

This stunning trail that started close to
Trescastle took us over the Beacons.

The next stretch of trail started close
to Llandovery and delivered easy
going riding through stunning scenery.

This stretch though was marked by a
lot of gates, we seemed to regularly
pass through the backyards of various

And this was the last stretch of trail
before having to make our separate
ways back home. One of those 'how
did that happen' moments..

So that's it, three days of TETing. At times significantly harder than we had expected it to be. Wales really delivered the goods and I hope to return soon. Equally impressive were the Himalayans, they took everything we threw at them in good spirits and performed better than we had a right to expect them too. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

A rather civilised camping holiday

It's still summer so it seems like a good time to publish this charming pic of folks enjoying their holiday. I would date the era as immediately pre-WW1. The bike is a lovely Humber with wicker sidecar and at best guess is from 1914.

Veteran Humber combination on holiday.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Himalayan on the Trans European Trail pt 2

 A good nights sleep on our Forest of Dean hillside and an early start to make the push in to Wales. For some reason I woke with a cracking headache, I'll put it down to de-hydration from the heat of the previous day rather than the beers we enjoyed whilst soaking in the view from our camping spot. The headache was cured with an excellent brunch at Coleford and then shortly after the going got serious.

The TET joins the Offas Dyke Path and the going gets tough fairly quickly. We met a group of mountain bikers at the bottom of the path from where it climbs up to the top of the Wye Valley, they assured us that we would find the going difficult if not impassable on the Himalayans. Undeterred we gamely rode on only to have them overtake us five minutes later when we stopped to search for the spring from my sidestand which had come detached and allowed the stand to drag along the trail.

The track up Offa's Dike Path to the
top of the Wye Valley.

We found the spring but as it turned out the tang that holds the spring had caught on a rock and snapped off (it was indeed tough going). As we were zip tying up the stand one of the mountain bikers came back down to report a fallen tree a couple of hundred feet up the path. A shame as we were over the worst of the rough going but the tree was indeed impassable (we rode up and checked all the same). We had to turn tail and ride back down - not easy in itself on a steep, narrow rocky track with a bike loaded up with luggage. The tree rather looked like it had been down for quite a long time and it seemed as if it was left down to deter intrepid motorcyclists...

And back down Offa's Dike Path after
losing my side stand spring and finding
our path blocked by a tree.

A quick stop at Tintern Abbey for rest and shade.

We rode back down to the River Wye and re-joined the TET further down the valley on another very stony path. This took us up to the top of the Valley from where we rode down narrow, winding asphalted lanes back to the river and crossed at Brockweir Bridge. Progress was now very slow going as the TET followed small lanes and we constantly needed to stop to confirm our whereabouts on the TET app - as in the previous instalment do sort out a phone mount for the app, it will save a lot of stopping and starting.

A generally easy path apart from this
hefty obstacle.

Once in Wales we followed a mixture of asphalt and green lanes, mostly steady going with a few short more challenging sections thrown in for good measure. Several of the lanes were quite hard to find and marked as private. In general we weren't sure which of the lanes were genuinely private and which had signs put up by landowners trying to discourage rights of access over their land. We settled on asking people if they were around - in some cases we got positive responses but in others polite denials. If no-one was around we trusted the maps and rode past the notices.

Really not sure how I managed to do this. It wasn't
very easy to extricate from.

As with the previous day the heat took it out of us. Progress remained slow though due to the very regular route-finding stops plus an increasing number of gates (very annoying when you don't have a functional side stand). I guess it would not occur to most modern bike riders but personally as a piece of advice I would say that life on the TET would be extremely arduous without the benefit of an electric start.

Close by Newchurch we came across a beast of a descent, very steep and very rocky. It was almost a turn back moment but we walked it through to check that we could exit the other side and went for it. With a Himalayan the only way for this hill was down, there was no question of being able to turn around and ride back up. If stuck at the bottom the only option would have been to carry up.

We rose to the challenge and waddled and manhandled our laden bikes down the slope and made it to the bottom without major mishap. 

And the beast of a track that ended
our day.

Photos never give good perspective of
incline but take it from me this was
very steep.

Matt has a fair deal more capacity than myself for off-roading but after this descent even he decided that it was indeed enough for the day and from there we hit the asphalt for a while and cut off from the TET once more. We decided to cut off the dog leg of the TET that goes down to Port Talbot and headed North with the Talybont Reservoir our target as a likely decent spot to camp.

Crickhowell proved to be a good spot to fill up with water for the camp, get in a couple of beers and grab a takeaway.

We rode up to the dam of the reservoir in search of a scenic spot, it was ok but it appeared that riding further onwards would yield better results. We had a recommendation from a couple in a van to camp at a bridge further up the road but it seemed a bit cheeky for wild camping and there was nowhere to leave the bikes bar the road. Thus we carried on in search of a spot, we rode over the mountain and back down the other side where there was a car park with lush grass and picnic benches set within woodland. It was deserted and ideal. We unpacked and settled down for an end of day beer before making camp. Within a few minutes of cracking the beers open we were attacked by midges. This caused us to flee and we had the idea that surely the mountain top would be free of biting insects. 

Our camp on top of Abercynafon at the head end of
the Talybont Reervoir.

We eventually found a decent enough spot at the top of Abercynafon, cracked open another beer and started to put up tents. How wrong we were, the little blighters were here too. By now we had rather too much committed to drinking beer to be able to carry on on the bikes so had no choice but to make camp. This was achieved in several stages (more than a couple of minutes in one place would result in an intolerable number of midges). Once the tents were up there was little real choice but to retire in to them early and escape.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Popham Megameet 2021

It's been a few years for me since I was last at Popham Megameet but I had good memories of it as a decent sized enthusiast focussed local one day show where a lot of the bikes are ridden in. Come the day rain was forecast and it almost looked like it wasn't worth setting off from home but having been starved of events for the last eighteen months or so off we went. In the end it only rained for the first fifteen minutes or so from the gate opening but sadly for the organisers it was enough to put a lot of folk off and attendance through the gates was low. A shame as the club stands were all there, the autojumble was pretty much there too and only the ride in exhibitors were low in number. So, there you go, a good day out in the open air, some interesting bikes and autojumble bargains to be had. If I can I'll be back next year. Below a few snaps of bikes that caught my eye...

Royal Enfield J2 in good unrestored
condition on the REOC stand.
Seven or eight WW2 Germans combos were gathered
together, both BMWs and Zundapps.
Loved this cheeky retro tax disc humour.

Unusual fairing and front mudguard on
this Beemer airhead caught my eye. On
closer inspection it's a Krauser fairing.

The seat unit on the BMW carried this 'San Jose
BMW Sport Pac' logo.

Beast! Supercharged Kawasaki Z900 powered Rickman.

Nearside view of the Rickman Z900 power
unit. I'm not familiar with Z900s but it
seemed like some serious mods had been
done to the oiling system.

And the offside view, no missing the supercharger.

This Silk was ridden in and sounded great.

I've got a thing for two stroke twins and for me a
Silk is pretty much the ultimate.

Another two stroke twin. Moto Rumi
Bol d'Or scooter. 125cc, twin carbs,
vertical draft, you wouldn't want the rain to
pour down those trumpets!

The Moto Rumi Club were out in force
with both motorcycles and scooters.

Bol d'Or in its distinctive bronze paint and a Tipo
Sport in the background.

Also on the Moto Rumi club stand was this very
wonderous homebuilt four cylinder Rumi creation.

Very nicely and authentically restored
WD16H Norton on the Norton Owners
Club stand.

Also with the NOC crowd this road registered Manx.

Cute Chinese Money Bike based Metisse was on the
Rickman stand.

Replica of a 1962 Bultaco Metisse was also on the
Rickman stand.

Great turn out of on and off roaders
from the Greeves Riders Association.

Also a good turnout of S7 and S8 Sunbeams from
the Sunbeam Owners Fellowship. This S8 fitted
with repro Rodark panniers made by Craven
looked really nice.

The Rodarks suit the lines of the Sunbeam
really well.

Another top unrestored bike was this BSA Golden
Flash on the BSA Owners Club stand.

Finally on the Vintage Japanese Owners
Club stand this Yamaha AG100 caught
my eye and made me feel slightly nostalgic
about my recently sold AG200. Immaculately
restored it was apparently a pre-production
machine and was offered for sale at £3500.

Friday, August 6, 2021

London sightseeing

Just back from a few days break sightseeing up in London and one of the prime sights was this Cheney Triumph spotted in Soho. It looks very much like the bike is a daily rider, or at least a very regular rider. The bike is still riding full on motocross tyres, it'd be nice to think that it still sees some dirt every so often. Whoever the owner is, well done sir or madam for keeping old iron in regular use.