Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Another veteran Triumph

It's just that, another veteran Triumph. The survival rate of veteran Triumphs versus other machines of the period and the number of period photos of them that turn up seem to suggest that they were rather popular at the time.

This particular snap is a nice one with very dapper riders and what looks like a new machine (at a best guess 1911) which is nicely accessorised with a curly horn and headlight.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Royal Enfield 570cc combination

Here's a factory promotional photo of the Royal Enfield 570cc combination. I believe it dates from 1939. The pressed steel girder forks are quite a distinctive feature, there was a vogue for pressed steel forks through the thirties. Several manufacturers used them on their smaller-engined models but, as far as I know, Enfield were the only ones to use them on their heavyweights.

The 570cc side-valve model was usually known as the Model L, Yesterdays in the Netherlands offered a similar combination a while back and referred to it as a Model H (which I had thought was normally the 500cc sv?) but on the Enfield promotional photo here there is no model designation at all bar 570cc... confusing...

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Ambassador Moped 1961

Ambassador was perhaps the most interesting of the crop of lightweight motorcycle brands that sprung up post WWII. This was largely in part due to the proprietor, Kaye but also because the products were a cut above the average in quality and design.

Irish born and of Polish heritage (his name was Donsky before shortened and anglicised to Don), Kaye Don was the archetypal gentleman racer of the inter-war period. He had served in the Royal Flying Corp in WW1 and post war he raced motorcycles, cars and speedboats and was even involved in land speed record attempts.

To find out more about Kaye Don see:

The Kaye Don Wikipedia page

The Vintagent article on Kaye Don

The Ambassador moped was a brave attempt at a quality British moped to take on the likes of the NSU Quickly and other continental success stories. It was something of a swansong for Don as he retired the year after the Moped was introduced and (perhaps quite astutely) sold the business to DMW just before the real decline in the British Motor Cycle industry fully kicked in.

There is a great write up on the Ambassador Moped on Andrew Pattle's Moped Archive: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pattle/nacc/arc0372.htm



I've received this information from Ambassador guru Michael Easton:

There is quite a story behind Ambassador's Moped, but suffice to say that the Ambassador Machine Register currently (Jan 2023) records just seven surviving Ambassador Mopeds. Essentially just re-badged and repainted Solifer Type 47 mopeds from Finland, but with the perfectly good Solifer engine removed and fitted with the not-so-good Villiers 3K engine.

Thank you Michael.


Sunday, January 8, 2023

BSA A65 street tracker

Another post from Japan, this one a street spot from Sasebo. Just at the end of the main shopping arcade in the city I spied this sweet BSA A65 outside of a barbers shop.

Of course Japan is known for its mastery of the art of motorcycle customisation and this Beesa is a really right looking subtly modified bike.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Royal Enfield v twin at the Rahmi Koc Museum

A couple of pictures of the 1921 Royal Enfield 6hp (770cc) Model 180 v twin at the Rami Koc Museum in Istanbul.

If you are ever in Istanbul the museum is excellent and well worth visiting. It is housed in a former Byzantine shipyard, the theme is the history of industry and the collection is eclectic and wide ranging.