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Real Classic Magazine - Buy a Single Issue - Numbers 50 to 99
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Issues 100 onwards of RealClassic magazine can be found here.
Issues 1 to 49 of RealClassic magazine can be found here.


Issue 99: Angular... Issue Ninety Nine: July 2012

  • Ariel VH500: This particular Ariel single is a well-travelled steed. It went all the way to South Africa and back, but sadly failed to live up to expectations. Its new owner attempts to give it a new lease of life

  • BSA A7: The very first BSA vertical twin 500 which arrived in 1949 was longer-stroke than the later models. We ride a really rare one: one owner from new and never restored

  • Moto Guzzi Le Mans: By 1983, America had pretty much fallen out of love with these Italian V-twins. But some folk kept the faith, and we test a very special edition of a MkIII Le Mans

  • Sunbeam Special: In the final part of this series, our Sunbeam 2CV sprouts a sidecar and takes to the road. Odgie tells us what it's like to ride, at last!

  • Suzuki Katana 1100: It wowed the world in terms of styling, but is the cool Kat much more than a UJM in a smart suit? We perused with a view to purchasing

  • Triumph Tiger Cub: The lightweight T20s are increasingly popular as trials mounts. We investigate how to convert one for pre-65 action, and which mods really make a difference in the mud

  • Vintage Special: What happens when you mix a Sunbeam engine, a Norton gearbox and a Norton frame to build a tribute to a New Hudson? You build a bike which would look just right at Brooklands, that's what

    Plus: Graham rides his Speed Twin in the general direction of Sweden; PUB talks about radial engines; Dave Minton remembers filming for TV three decades ago, and Frank Westworth has a misfire to cure. Or not. And then there's letters, news, bikes for sale, events to go to, and all the usual gubbins you would expect in a damn fine motorcycling magazine…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 99.

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    Issue 98: Sweet Sixteen... Issue Ninety Eight: June 2012

  • AJS Model 16: The year 1959 was a great one for many British bike builders; it was their top selling year in many cases. In 1959 lots of riders considered the 350cc single to be a good workaday machine; fast enough yet economical, too. Frank Westworth has been riding an AJS (again)

  • Ariel Model A: The Black Ariels designed by Val Page have a considerable cult following. This 1929 sidevalve single is regularly ridden, and we spotted it at the South of England Show

  • BMW R65: Paul Thomas has travelled over 125,000 miles in 26 years on his air-cooled boxer twin. In all that time he's picked up a tip or two which you might find useful

  • BMW-Krauser MKM 1000: Dave Minton wonders if he's spent too much time in the well-worn seat of his Laverda 3CL, thus leading to his estrangement from his Beemer?

  • Indian Chiefs: What could be better than an iconic American motorcycle? Two of them, of course. Timothy Pickering compares a pair of pre-war and post-war Indian

  • Motosacoche: All really old motorcycles have a tale to tell. Jonathan Hoare dug into the history and background of a seriously rare machine; a veteran 1913 Motosacoche

  • Scott Clubman Special: Just before WW2, Scott produced a 600cc two-stroke capable of exceeding 90mph. This 1938 prototype picked up an RC award recently

  • Sunbeam Project: In part three of this series, Odgie reveals how the 2CV Sunbeam comes together

    Plus: Graham Ham sets off on his trusty Speed Twin through the rain towards Sweden; we hear the confession of a shockaholic; PUB is up to her armpits in gearboxes; readers reveal their experiences with waterproofs and 1980s motorcycles, and Frank Westworth attempts successful spannering in The Shed. Oh, and all the usual news, small ads, events lists and so forth, plus obscure weird bits to keep you on your toes a trifle.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 98.

    Or you can pre-order the very latest issue, hot off the press.

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    Issue 97: Hatless... Issue Ninety Seven: May 2012

  • Ariel Huntmaster: There is an alternative to the traditional Triumph twin, and it's not necessarily an A10. Frank Westworth considers the differences between the Selly Oak and Small Heath 'stablemates'

  • BSA Rocket 3: The export version of the 1971 A75R is a stunner; and this particular machine is a multiple award-winner. The owner talks us through its restoration, including the moment when a conrod snapped…

  • Laverda Jota: The Laverda Jota: the Italian triple which earned its spurs in Blighty. Paul Miles continues his evolving Italian love affair, and ropes in a pal for a ride

  • Matchless G85 CS: Legend, or lemon? From its appearance and its specification, the final four-stroke Matchless scrambler should have been a shoo-in winner. But, as Rowena Hoseason discovers, time hasn't been so kind to the G85CS

  • Norman Conquests: Graham Ham rides over the hill to meet the Norman Club and develops a sneaking regard for the B4

  • Norton Rotary: Last month, Frank Westworth told us at great length about the wonders of rotary-engined Nortons. This month one of them sprung an oil leak and another melted its electrics. Situation normal: someone call for the big yellow recovery truck

  • Royal Enfield Bullet Build: In the fourth and final part of this fettling series, an Indian-built Bullet emerges after its owner finally conquers the conundrum of the clutch. He's gone for a quiet lie-down now. Nothing about this bike was easy…

  • Sunbeam Special: Take a crashed Sunbeam frame, straighten it, then fit it with an engine. But which engine? The owner opted for a Citroën motor; he and Odgie tell the tale…

    Plus: Readers discuss what 'waterproof' really means; we meet Bill Snelling whose whole life has revolved around motorcycling; there's two classic bikes to be won; we test a polishing kit of mops, buffers and bits; PUB goes to the Pioneer Run and gets to grips with a Big Port gearbox, and Dave Minton recalls the most remarkable motorcycles of his roadtesting career.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 97.

    Or you can pre-order the very latest issue, hot off the press.

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    Issue 96: Rotorvating... Issue Ninety Six: April 2012

  • BSA BANTAM D14/4: Many of us try to re-live our first riding experiences, but sometimes things really don't go as planned…

  • Moto Guzzi V50: A 1979 MkII V50 proves to be nimble on local roads and fast enough to keep up with the big boys

  • Norton Interstate 2: Norton did not build this bike in 1979, more's the pity. Frank Westworth explains why and how he converted an ex-Police rotary Interpol into the roadster which could have taken the market by storm

  • Royal Enfield Bullet Rebuild: After last month's carb saga, Gary decides to fit a Monobloc to his Bullet. Bad decision, Gary…

  • Sunbeam Special Project, Part One: What do you do if you discover a Sunbeam S7 chassis, but have no engine to put in it. Enter the 2CV motor and the start of a new series

  • Triumph TR5 Trophy: There once was a bike cobbled together from a wartime generator and the Speed Twin, and it stole the show at the 1948 ISDT. Rowena Hoseason rides the roadgoing version

  • Zenster Update: Last year, Odgie shared the story of his JAP-engined vintafake, the Zenster. So how has it fared in use? He takes it on the Girder Fork Run and reports on its progress

    Plus: Frank Westworth considers what to do with his Ariel NH350; everyone sets us straight about B40 distributors; Jawa's starter is explained; Graham Ham concludes his search for Yorkshire Puddings; new AMC crankshafts are being built; PUB gets deeply technical about Cross engines and Dave Minton reveals his favourite top three motorcycles (from a personal point of view).

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 96.

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    Issue 95: Starry Skies... Issue Ninety Five: March 2012

  • AJS Model 31 Restoration: The 650 twin is a sniff away from being finished, so Frank Westworth tots up what this eight year restoration has cost

  • BSA W32: A sidevalve 1932 500cc single isn't the most obvious candidate for preservation, but the owner explains how this girder-forked hand-change example is a very satisfying machine to own and to ride

  • James Comet: In an earlier age of austerity, the 98cc Villiers-engined James Comet was Britain's most economical motorcycle. Rowena Hoseason meets this marvellously miserly mile muncher

  • Norton Commando Sprinter: Do you fancy a Norton built for straight lines? Commandos were always fast off the mark; Odgie finds one built for that sole purpose…

  • Royal Enfield Bullet Rebuild: Take one inexpensive Indian Enfield 500 single, apply expertise and experience, and turn it into a dream machine. Well, sort of. In the second episode of this short series, attention turns to the Mk1 concentric carb

  • Royal Enfield Constellation: It's big, it's red and it's very fast. Jonathan Hoare met Jim Ord-Hume and his 1962 RE twin; a fast combination

  • Triumph Buccaneer: The Buccaneer is a bespoke 750 Bonneville. Does this mean that it's a better Bonneville? Frank Westworth hits the road again

  • Yamaha Y-R5: Rather less well known than an RD, this super-smoker five-speed two-stroker dates from 1971 and is suitably attired in fetching, erm, orange

    Plus: Jacqueline Bickerstaff investigates Cross motorcycles; Dave Minton unearths old bike magazines; Graham Ham and the gang ride in search of Yorkshire pudding, and readers reveal more about Norton Nomads, bright lights and BSA Cyclones.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 95.

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    Issue 94: Trident Triple... Issue Ninety Four: February 2012

  • Adler M250: RC reader Robin Ellis explains about his love affair with Adler motorcycles, and in particular a 1953 M250 which comes complete with a deliciously deco Steib LS200 sidecar

  • AJS Model 31 Restoration: After nearly eight years in The Shed, and nearly half a century since it last turned a wheel, Frank Westworth's 650 twin is almost ready to ride. Almost…

  • Ivory Calthorpe Rebuild: Alan Freke tackled a considerable challenge with the rebuild of a very rare 1935 Ivory Calthorpe Minor 250. Finally, it's back in one piece and on the road. But the first year together didn't go entirely well…

  • Matchless G3L: The darling of the Second World War, this 1941 350 single is still clothed in it military uniform. Frank Westworth took it for a spin and investigates its history

  • Moto Guzzi Falcone: Stunning in fire-engine red, this 1964 500cc single is exactly the one you're thinking of with the bacon-slicer flywheel prominently on display. Paul Miles rides and rates it

  • Norton Dominator: A 1960s Norton tells tall tales of its time with a spotty young oik

  • Royal Enfield Bullet Rebuild: Take one inexpensive Indian Enfield 500 single, apply expertise and experience, and turn it into a dream machine. Well, sort of. The first part of a short fettling saga

  • Triumph T150 Trident: This bike was built just before the BSA-Triumph group descended into industrial oblivion in 1973; before production was moved to Small Heath. It's a five-speed triple with front disc brake, the little known 'model in the middle' which predates the electric start T160. Rowena Hoseason rode it…

  • Triumph Trials Club: A very tidy off-road classic, this one; a much-modded Tiger Cub which has been modernised for competition but retains all of its classic charm

    Plus: A rider reports on the Sunbeam S7, insider info from the old AMC factory, technical tips on life, Graham Ham goes in search of a Cornish pasty, we launch the OK Diner Challenge, and Jacqueline Bickerstaff and Dave Minton review their past couple of months. Distinct absence of chocolate at RCHQ, too; it must be a New Year diet…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 94.

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    *we've been using the 'winter drawers on' joke in motorcycling magazines since about 1986 and we don't see any reason to give it a rest just yet…


    Issue 93: Dirty Delight... Issue Ninety Three: January 2012

  • AJS Model 31 Restoration: Still not quite ready; the work on the AJS Model 31 continues. It only cost £100 to buy the original wreckage. Probably spent 20 times that much on restoring it to date, and it's far from finished

  • AJS Engine Rebuild: The third and final part of rebuilding a 650 twin engine; looks easy when someone else does it…

  • An Ariel Abroad: In 1928, Manxman J Graham Oates amazed the motorcycling world by accomplishing the first Trans-Canadian 'rubber-tyred' trip aboard an Ariel twin-port single with sidecar. The second and final instalment of this tale

  • BSA Devimead 750 Lightning: When BSA's A65 twins were current, they were popular with a lot of race riders, who tweaked them and modified them. Prime among the tweakers were Devimead; whose 750 conversions were many, many things, including fast.

  • BMW R65LS: A boxer with style. Stu Thomson undertakes a straightforward rebuild to get another old airhead Boxer back in action

  • Ducati 750SS: The Ducati 750SS roundcase is considered the holy grail of the Ducatisti. Paul Miles offers conclusive proof that Italian motorcycles are innately superior to the lesser offerings of other countries. Really?

  • Ivory Calthorpe Rebuild: Alan Freke tackles a considerable challenge as he rebuilds a very rare 1935 Ivory Calthorpe Minor 250. The moment has arrived to start the engine for the first time

  • Tri-Greeves Trial Bike: Take an engine from one marque of motorcycle. Build it into the frame of another. This has always been the way of the off-roader, and it still is. Odgie reports on a Tri-Greeves

    Plus: Uprating to a 12-Volt alternator; Graham Ham initiates a quest for the perfect pasty; PUB goes to the international Vincent Rally and Dave Minton needs your help to solve a mystery about TT riders' autographs...

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 93.

    Can't wait? You can now subscribe to the digital version of RealClassic, too...

    *we've been using the 'winter drawers on' joke in motorcycling magazines since about 1986 and we don't see any reason to give it a rest just yet…


    Issue 92: Prairie Norton... Issue Ninety Two: December 2011

  • AJS Model 31 Restoration: While a real engineer gets on with the motor, Frank Westworth suffers from an AMC admiration crisis upon discovering Mysterious Design involving washers. Any day now, this is going to be a finished motorcycle and someone's going to have to actually start it…

  • AJS Engine Rebuild: Richard Negus gazed upon the rusty wreckage of Frank's £100 Ajay engine and declared that 'if one man has built it, then another man can always rebuild it'. Blimey! Part 2, in which camshafts are gazed at and pushrods perfected

  • Ariel Leader Single Sprinter: It's not an obvious choice, but it is possible to build a sprint bike from an Ariel Leader. Odgie explains

  • An Ariel Abroad: In 1928, Manxman J Graham Oates amazed the motorcycling world by accomplishing the first Trans-Canadian 'rubber-tyred' trip aboard an Ariel twin-port single with sidecar. An inveterate adventurer, he then did it all over again!

  • BSA M33: Rowena Hoseason meets a big BSA single which originally needed to be part of an outfit to fulfil its intended purpose, but now just does fine on its own

  • Humbernut'S Workshop: It looks so easy! Humbernut transformed a chunk of alloy into an instrument console for a Matchless

  • Ivory Calthorpe Rebuild: Alan Freke tackles a considerable challenge as he rebuilds a very rare 1935 Ivory Calthorpe Minor 250. Part Five; exploring the engine and its oiling systems

  • Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans: It's big, it's brash, it's red and it's Italian. Its cylinders stick out at the sides. It must be a Le Mans, then. Paul Miles finds delight in large pots…

  • Norton Nomads: Norton's desert sleds are famously their 750cc hybrid twins of the mid-1960s, but those were not the first. You might find an original Nomad in a museum but very few of these 500 and 600cc twins exist in the UK today. Anthony Curzon's passion for unusual Nortons found him re-making a pair of repatriated Nomads. And we nabbed the very first rides on them!

    Plus: Graham Ham recalls his Compass Challenge rides while PUB goes to a Vincent Rally in America, and Dave Minton remembers big Enfields and the last Velos, and recommends a good book.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 92.

    Can't wait? You can now subscribe to the digital version of RealClassic, too...

    *we've been using the 'winter drawers on' joke in motorcycling magazines since about 1986 and we don't see any reason to give it a rest just yet…


    Issue 91: Cafe Racers... Issue Ninety one: November 2011

  • AJS MODEL 31: While An Expert tackles the powerplant, Frank Westworth gets to grips with his Ajay's primary drive, oil pipes, etc

  • AJS Engine Rebuild: Richard Negus gazed upon the rusty wreckage of Frank's Ajay engine and declared that 'if one man has built it, then another man can always rebuild it'. Blimey!

  • BSA Rocket Gold Star Vs Royal Enfield Clubman: It's a café racer clash: Paul Miles is a fan of unusual comparisons, plainly, and for subtle reasons set an iconic British twin against a rather more recent RE 500 single

  • BMW R100 Resurrection: After months of restoration, Duncan Cooper's airhead boxer is finally ready to roll. How well did it withstand the rigours of international travel? Was it worth the effort?

  • Harley-Davidson XR750: Odgie discovered this unique US racer at a large UK show. One of the flat-track breed, it was actually built before the first production XR turned a wheel

  • Ivory Calthorpe Rebuild: Alan Freke tackles a considerable challenge as he rebuilds a very rare 1935 Ivory Calthorpe Minor 250. Part Four: prepping and painting the petrol tank and tinware

  • Norton Model 50: The long list of famous Norton sporting singles fails to include the mid-1950s 350cc Model 50. Frank Westworth went in search of performance

  • Two Triumphs: Real life experiences with a TR6 and a T90, bought in the 1980s and still going strong

  • Velocette Sportsman: You've probably never heard of Velocette's Sportsman single and the odds are stacked against you ever seeing one in action on England's green and pleasant lanes. Rowena Hoseason investigates one of the final factory Velocettes to leave Hall Green

    Plus: Graham Ham and his well-travelled Triumph go adventuring in Belgium; PUB plays with microcars; Dave Minton considers concours; readers write about two-stroke tweaks, Albion gearboxes, and the pros and cons of restoration, and we declare a winner in the Compass Challenge.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 91.

    Can't wait? You can now subscribe to the digital version of RealClassic, too...

    *we've been using the 'winter drawers on' joke in motorcycling magazines since about 1986 and we don't see any reason to give it a rest just yet…


    Issue 90: Workers Playtime... Issue Ninety: October 2011

  • AJS Model 31: Frank Westworth's ongoing rebuild continues as the fettled 650 engine goes back into the frame, and various bits get tightened up and carefully positioned… then taken off again, turned through 90-degrees, tightened up, etc.

  • Ariel VB600: The Search For Singular Perfection. Graham Ham and his well-travelled Triumph twin usually ride far and wide in search of adventure. But Graham fancied something singular, something sidevalve, and this is what happened when he found exactly that classic…

  • BMW R100 Resurrection: A rolling, riding and occasionally wrecking restoration in which Duncan Cooper gets to grips with an airhead boxer. In part six, he takes to the high road to see if it will actually survive a really long ride

  • BSA A10 Upgrade: Paul Miles offers an upgrade for the mechanically inept; fitting a primary belt drive to a BSA A10. If he can manage it…

  • Ivory Calthorpe Rebuild: Alan Freke tackles a considerable challenge as he rebuilds a very rare 1935 Ivory Calthorpe Minor 250. Part Three: the trouble with tinware

  • Norton Model 18: Rowena Hoseason has always wanted a big British single. But starting them previously proved problematic. Finally, she succeeds with a 1948 tele/rigid OHV 500. Shame about the missing gear…

  • Puch SVS 175: A single cylinder, but with two barrels, pistons, carbs and exhausts. It must be a Puch. Ashley Cutler uncovered a rare delight.

  • Royal Enfield Super Meteor: One man's carefully-crafted special is another man's horror story. Frank Westworth has been out breaking a far-from-standard Royal Enfield twin.

  • Triumph Speed Triple: The Hinckley café racer of the mid-1990s is considered by some to be an outstanding icon of recent times. 'Ah, but is it really a classic?' Paul Miles tackles a Triumph triple and the tribulations of rhetoric.

    Plus: Martin Peacock consider what happens as winter draws on*; Aspin in the New Forest and Douglas goes grasstracking; the way of a motorcyclist, being drive chains and their faithlessness, electrics and their deceits and Dave Minton's hapless nature in the face of breakdowns; anti-ethanol tank sealants; fitting electric start to a T140 (or not); books about Enfields and engineering drawings; and 961 Commandos spotted on the street shock!

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 90.

    Can't wait? You can now subscribe to the digital version of RealClassic, too...

    *we've been using the 'winter drawers on' joke in motorcycling magazines since about 1986 and we don't see any reason to give it a rest just yet…


    Issue 89: Matchless and Rickman... Issue Eighty Nine: September 2011

  • BMW R100 Resurrection: A rolling, riding and occasionally wrecking restoration in which Duncan Cooper gets to grips with an airhead boxer. In part five, there's a worrying noise from the tappet dept…

  • Ivory Calthorpe Rebuild: Alan Freke tackles a considerable challenge as he rebuilds a very rare 1935 Ivory Calthorpe Minor 250. Part Two: investigating Ivory…

  • Matchless G11: Matchless twins offered their original buyers style, comfort and performance. Frank Westworth rides a 600cc Super Clubman, wondering whether they offer the same delights today…

  • Norton Dominators: The Norton Model 7, 77, 88 and 99. If ever there was an iconic British twin, this Norton is it. But there are lots of Dominators; which to choose? Rowena Hoseason helps out…

  • Panther 120 Special: Operation Bobcat. Panthers are of course cats. Cats ruffle feathers. Shaun Veness is unafraid of feather ruffling with his much-modded Panther

  • Royal Enfield-Rickman Interceptor: Take a traditional British parallel twin engine in its most developed state, add a mighty road-race bicycle, and you've got something special. Also orange. Paul Miles considers a big beast…

  • Zundapp KS601 Outfit: The fastest German sidecar machine of the 1950s, the 'Green Elephant' win all sorts of ISDT and other championships. This one has a Swallow Jet 80 sidecar attached

    Plus: Graham Ham rides across America in search of chilli-dogs; readers remember Bond Mini-Cars and suggest more two-strokes; new RC tees are available; details of MCC trials; PUB goes to the Festival of 1000 Bikes; Frank Westworth tells tales from the saddle, and Dave Minton wraps up this issue at the Norfolk Motorcycle Museum.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 89.

    Can't wait? You can now subscribe to the digital version of RealClassic, too...


    Issue 88: Ariel Hunter... Issue Eighty Eight: August 2011

  • Ariel Red Hunter: Motorcycling is an infectious occupation. Stuart Urquhart inherited his enthusiasm from his father. And that led to this rather fine Ariel…

  • Ariel 350 Rebuild: FW struggles to remove his Ariel engine from its frame (be grateful it's not a 500, said a Nice Man), and discovers that while the engine is excellent, the chassis is not…

  • BMW R100 Rebuild: In part four of this ongoing restoration, Duncan tackles wheels, seals, clutch capers and a test ride

  • BSA Lightning 650: As you've just noticed, we've uncovered an unusual Italian 650 parallel twin. Rowena Hoseason investigates the Britbike equivalent in the shape of BSA's twin-carb A65

  • Ivory Calthorpe Restoration: Alan Freke takes on a considerable challenge as he rebuilds a very rare 1935 Ivory Calthorpe Minor 250. Part One: uncovering a vintage treasure trove…

  • Jawa 350: Every bike buying choice is packed with alternatives. David Mace wanted something modern but with a classic soul, and chose this quirky two-stroke

  • Motobi Tornado: Italian motorcycles are innately superior to the lesser offerings of other countries. Paul Miles intends to offer further proof in this, part Due of his hymns of praise to his favourite machines

  • Royal Enfield Trials Iron: Royal Enfield singles can be turned into competitive off-road bikes. Steve Blench tells the tale of his, which goes at least as well as it looks…

  • Triumph 3T: Gently does it… No rorty monster this; Frank Westworth discovered that there's more to Triumph twins than simply going fast

    Plus: Graham Ham takes his quest for Chilli-Dogs to a new continent; Norvil introduce an electric starter for 750 Commandos, Bickerstaff considers Banbury, Bollée, and Butler; and Dave Minton remembers an encounter with a Bond (no, not Cmdr JB of Her Maj's Secret Service. Not this time!)

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 88.

    Can't wait? You can now subscribe to the digital version of RealClassic, too...


    Issue 87: Square Routes... Issue Eighty Seven: July 2011

  • AJS Model 18C: All life's a trial! Dave Blanchard answered an ad for an AJS trials bike in bits. The rest is his story…

  • Ariel Square Four Outfit: Ariel's remarkable four-cylinder machine casts a long shadow over motorcycling history. Rowena Hoseason joins the dots…

  • BMW R100 Resurrection: There is a steadily increasing number of riders who really rate the air-head BMW boxer twins. Why? Duncan Cooper explains more in Part Three: a terrifying tale of mechanical disaster

  • BSA A10 Special: Prepare to be shocked if you are off a delicate disposition. Some folk are sticklers for originality in its purest form; others have their very own ideas of how a motorcycle should look. Odgie could well be one of the latter…

  • Kawasaki Z1B: The shock of motorcycles with four cylinders, overhead cams and electric starters had worn off by the mid-1970s. Many riders felt that the Kawasaki 900 Z1 was the ultimate, that it would be king forever. Paul Miles felt a need to see for himself, a little later…

  • 1921 Levis 211cc Two-Stroke: Discovering and researching the history of an elderly motorcycle can be an intriguing affair. John Lay has a Levis. He needed to know about it. So he looked and he learned

  • Norton Commando Running Repairs: Matthew Vale spent a long time raising his Commando from the dead. After a decent interval, he has started to make its life even better. Part Three: endless mysteriousness involving gearboxes and other strange things

  • Royal Enfield 250: Norman Stevens has enjoyed an enduring love affair with Royal Enfield's 250 singles. Steve Hodgson tells a tale. It's a Continental undertaking…

  • 1939 Triumph Speed Twin: The first of (too?) many. It spawned a million twins. It set the trend for the rest of the classic British bike Industry. Why was it so revolutionary? Frank Westworth rides a Triumph twin…

    Plus: Graham Ham and his well-travelled Triumph, sometimes known as Daisy, ride far and wide in search of adventure; readers reveal all about adapting AMC crankshafts and infuriating ethanol angst; Bickerstaff commemorates a hero of the single-speed era; Minton recalls riding to the 1978 Austrian Grand Prix and Frank Westworth gets philosophical in the Shed.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 87.

    Can't wait? You can now subscribe to the digital version of RealClassic, too...


    Issue 86: Love on the Lav... Issue Eighty Six: June 2011

  • 1920 Ariel Singles: Ariels are excellent motorcycles. There are those who claim that the Black Ariels are the best of the best. Roy Plowman rides one. Frank Westworth sat him down and asked him about it. They met at a pub. The sun shone…

  • BMW R100 Resurrection: There is a steadily increasing number of riders who really rate the air-head BMW boxer twins. Why? Duncan Cooper explains this. Part Two: MoT-time, and The Intermittent Fault…

  • Laverda SF2: 'Italian motorcycles are innately superior to the lesser offerings of other countries.' This is the stated view of Paul Miles, and when we asked him to justify it, this is what he wrote about his 750 twin

  • Matchless G2CSR: It has long been fashionable to be dismissive of AMC lightweight 250 singles. But they can be rewarding and absorbing, as Simon Holyfield reports…

  • Norton Commando Revisited: Matthew Vale spent a long time raising his Commando, Swampy, from the dead. After a decent interval, he has started to make its life even better. Part Two: More of The Famous Development Programme…

  • Panther Model 100: David Dickie once owned his dream Panther. And then he sold it. And then it took 30 years to find the correct big cat to replace it…

  • Royal Enfield Fury: The Royal Enfield Bullet undergoes its most radical makeover yet to create the new Fury flat-tracker. Rowena Hoseason covers some cross-country miles on one

  • Triumph 3TA: BSA supplied their WD B40 single for the British Army to use through the 1960s. Triumph supplied their own military machine to the Dutch Army. Christopher Kirby makes sense of it all…

    Plus: Graham Ham discovers BSAs and outfits; Dave Minton remembers riding a Rocket Three on an autobahn and letting rip on a BMW R75; Frank Westworth wields Thor (king of hammers) in The Shed, and PUB meets a new Morgan, along with letters, news, events and all that sort of interesting stuff.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 86.


    Issue 85: Cafe USA ... Issue Eighty Five: May 2011

  • AJS Model 16 Rebuild: The final episode of this three-part rebuild sees the 350 singe back on the road and running well. Well, running well until the moment when it stopped!

  • BMW R100 Rebuild: The first part in a new series: buying an old Boxer and discovering what might be wrong with it

  • 1959 BSA B31: This uprated Beesa single turned out to be the perfect working Britbike for a day in the lashing rain. None of the glitz of a Gold Star, but plenty of practical aplomb

  • Harley-Davidson XLCR: Many people say they'd never ever buy a Harley, not even a classic café racer like the XLCR. This owner explains how his sporty black beast won him over. It's a roadster and not a cruiser, he argues: think Ducati or even (horrors) Vincent V-twin…

  • Norton Commando: After rebuilding his Hi-Rider last year, Matt Vale's been fettling the twin as it has settled down. So which bits needed attention over winter, then?

  • Norton WD 16H: Norton's wartime warrior was the stalwart 16H, a simple sidevalve single. This bike was rebuilt from a rusty wreck to a righteous runner in 18 months

  • Triumph Bandit 500: Before the old BSA-Triumph company disappeared down the tubes, they built production prototypes of twin-cam Fury and Bandit 350 and 500 models. One RC reader has recreated a 500 Bandit, and he explains the how and the why in here

    Plus: Odgie gets muddy at the Fellside Auto Trial; Graham Ham goes over the hill on a haggis hunt; PUB rebuilds a dynamo; Minton takes on a tank at 80mph, and Frank Westworth juggles rebuilding his AJS twin, a rotary Norton and an Ariel single all at once (recipe for disaster, surely?)

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 85.


    Issue 84: The New Norton Issue... Issue Eighty Four: April 2011

  • AJS Model 16 Rebuild: In part two of this series, MartinP gets to grips with a 350cc Brit single project

  • BSA Sidevalve Singles: Stalwart sloggers like the M20 and M21 can clock up thousands of miles and even travel to the other side of the planet. Solo or attached to an outfit, sir?

  • 1985 Moto Guzzi Le Mans: The 1000cc Guzzi V-twin is a serious motorcycle. Owner Nolan Woodbury makes no claims for its perfection, but reckons it suits his riding just fine…

  • 2010 Norton 961 Commando: You'll have read an awful lot of hearsay and chitter-chatter about the new version of the iconic Commando which is being built at Donington. But no other publication is running a new 961 as a staff bike. So here's what we've discovered in our first six months with the machine

  • Triumph'S Bikini Bikes: Forget the bikes with the huge great big bathtubs; we select three of the best wearing rather less to better effect. So here's an entertaining trio: a 650 Thunderbird, a 350 3TA (or Twenty-one, if you prefer) and a Tiger Cub

  • Triumph Triples: Which would you prefer to own, a kick-start T150 or an electric start T160? Four gears or five? At least one owner couldn't quite make up his mind!

    Plus: Graham Ham goes hunting haggis; we recall the life and times of Ixion; Frank Westworth spanners in The Shed, and Dave Minton and Jacqueline Bickerstaff use some remarkably long words...

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 84.


    Issue 83: The Maroon Issue... Issue Eighty Three: March 2011

  • AJS Model 16 Rebuild: In a fit of bidding, Martin Peacock found that he'd bought an AJS 350 single. Now he just needs to make it work. The first part of a new series…

  • Ariel VH500:This cobby Red Hunter has been upgraded and improved by its engineer owner to survive and thrive on modern roads. It keeps up with the Joneses (and overtakes most Triumphs too!)

  • BSA Bantams: Lightweight strokers to suit all tastes here; a 1963 D1 and a 1970 B175, sometimes seen in off-road competition

  • BSA B31: One of those piles of scrap you see for sale on eBay was transformed with grit and determination into a handsome, roadgoing 1959 single. This is the tale of its resurrection and shakedown

  • BSA A65 Rebuild: It's finished! The BSA Lightning 650 rides again in this final installment of the series

  • Royal Enfield Constellation Airflow: We ride not just any old Enfield twin, but a fully-faired 700 Connie, complete with its drive chain enclosure and funny top yoke wotnot, too

  • Velocette Venom: This owner has subjected his Velo single to really long term test; over 100,000 miles or more. It'll do 100mph or 100mpg, but not both at the same time

  • Vintage Bikes: Not all classic motorcycles which were built before WW2 need cost a fortune. We find a baker's dozen of vintage bikes, offered for sale recently for less than £5000

    Plus: Graham Ham takes a special girl for a special ride; PUB debates rpm versus cc; Dave Minton reads some good books and Frank Westworth gets very cranky in The Shed…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 83.


    Issue 82: Two Top Twins... Issue Eighty Two: February 2011

  • AJS Model 31: The 650 twins rebuild continues, as Frank W fits the speedo and many spokes, and discovers a variety of cables which slot into levers in all manner of unexpected ways. (Notice how we managed not to mention 'nipples'). (Until then).

  • BSA A65 Rebuild, Part 5: The 650 unit construction engine goes back together, and Matt turns his attentions to the speedo drive (a little late, as it happens)

  • Honda V1000FF: Back in 1986, Honda built V4s which were… Fast and Furious? Fat and Fluffy? Frightful and Fearsome? An owner explains why his VF1000 so remarkably yellow and what the FFuss is all about

  • Norton Commando 750S: Superficially, Norton's Roadster and Fastback 750 Commandos only differ in their styling. So why would someone want to own one of each? Rowena Hoseason investigates what changed between 1968 and 1971, and introduces an owner who delights in these distinctions

  • Royal Enfield Model S: This 1936 250 came out of a shed, looking very sorry for itself. Considerable effort transformed it back into a roadgoing hand-change girder-forked flyer. And very smart it looks these days, too

  • Test Rider'S Digest: We asked Frank Westworth to pick his favourite classic bike from the previous year, and he almost gave us a straight answer. He just took a detour via a Triumph Tiger, BSA Rocket 3, Sunbeam S8, Panther 350, Norton Dominator, MZ ISDT replica, and a TR6 on his way to delivering the reply

  • TriBSA: Some riders considered them to be a poor-man's Triton, but others preferred the BSA frame to the featherbed. John Walton tried hard to live with a TriBSA…

  • Velocette Valiant Special: Not many people would think of turning a Velocette LE into a trail bike, with the aid of a Valiant chassis. But RC readers are famed for their ingenuity!

  • Zenster Ridden: It lives! After a year in the workshop, Odgie's amazing minimalist sidevalve single takes to the road. Gawp in awe at its blueness…

    Plus: Graham Ham returns to tell us what he's been doing with his Triumph Speed Twin; PUB fettles drum brakes; Dave Minton risks life, limb and sanity in the snow on his Laverda triple, and RC readers write about health and safety, Avgas, and myths on the subject of Sunbeams…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 82.


    Issue 81: The Twin to Have... Issue Eighty One: January 2011

  • AJS Model 31: Frank Westworth continues his rebuild of this 650 twin. The front end comes together, which is no yoke and involves a lot of forking around…

  • BSA Bantam D14/4: Ivan Counsell reckons that the Bantam will go down in history, possibly because of its practical nature, or maybe it's practically indestructible! This stripped-back special is his own interpretation of the ultimate Bantam

  • BSA A65 Rebuild: Matthew Vale explores the insides of his unit construction 650 engine, in part four of this rebuild series. Sump plates and grubby gauze abound

  • Douglas 350 Mk3 Sports: There are those who reckon that Douglas' 1948 attempt at a horizontally-opposed twin was the firm's best post-war model. Rowena Hoseason met such a man and his Mk3 machine

  • Kawasaki H2C: It's purple, there's always a surrounding haze when it's running, so you can guess the title of this Kawasaki H2C tale. Its performance is also a little psychedelic - perhaps!

  • OK Supreme Special: Once upon a time, motorcycles modified for competition use were a common sight. Less so nowadays. Odgie has acquired a fine off-roader in the grand tradition; mostly an OK Supreme. Mostly…

  • Speedway Starter: Paul Grace introduces the subject of vintage speedway

  • 1973 Triumph TR6R Tiger: Steve Wilson rides a single-carb 650 Triumph which has been upgraded with various components from US-spec and T140 machines

  • Watsonian GP Manx / Triumph Outfit: When it comes to winter riding, a motorcycle and sidecar can be just the biscuit. Norman Hyde encouraged Frank Westworth to spin around and around and make a fool of himself…

  • Zenster Project: Odgie's tidying up loose ends in part eight of this series, which involves creating an internal throttle mechanism, sorting out stands, and polishing (a lot of polishing) the petrol tank. It's nearly ready to ride!

    Plus: Jacqueline Bickerstaff remembers the men of Small Heath; we meet the show-winners who won prizes with a Benelli Sei, a Triumph T100C, a Royal Enfield Interceptor and a Garelli Tiger Cross; Dave Minton remembers motoring through France; readers write about maintaining old bikes and insurance scares, plus details of the TT Mountain Challenge, super new saddles, and the Enfield Fury 500.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 81.


    Issue 80: Tale of Two Bonnies... Issue Eighty: December 2010

  • AJS Model 31 Rebuild: Frank Westworth goes in search of a 650 crank and comes up short, while Jacqueline B lends a hand with dynamo diagnosis

  • Ariel Red Hunter: We asked a proper motorcycle engineer which British bike he would choose to keep if he could have only one. The answer? This 1951 VH500 single, with tele forks and Anstey link suspension

  • BSA Empire Star: In 1937, BSA built their girder-forked 500 single with a rigid rear end. Rowena Hoseason rides a much-modded example which sports far more sophisticated rear suspension

  • BSA A65 Lightning Rebuild: It's a frame up! Matt Vale's restoration tackles the chassis

  • MZ ISDT Replica: Forget what you know about MZs as cheap commuter bikes; their off-road irons were gold medal winners. Frank Westworth investigates a 1975 example of this tough two-stroke

  • Norton Classic: Some people need considerable convincing about the merits of Norton's rotary motorcycles. Paul Miles took the plunge and bought the traditionally-styled, aircooled 588cc machine of 1988

  • Royal Enfield Crusader: A reader's P&J, this 250 has been converted to four-speed Continental spec

  • Sunbeam Special: Sunbeam's S8 is an unusual machine in its own right, but here we examine a very clever special version, fitted with a 600cc four-cylinder Reliant engine. The Reliabeam lives!

  • Triumph Bonneville T140 / Hinckley Twin: Can the modern copy live up to the iconic original Bonneville? Owner Todd Ethridge compares his 2003 Triumph Bonneville with his 1973 T140 750. You might be surprised when you see which one he sold…

  • Zenster Project, Part Seven: The end starts to loom into sight, so Odgie gets to grips with the steering on his special

    Plus: Yet more discussion about ethanol in petrol, Steve Wilson goes down the road to an AMC club event, PUB has dreams of a Ducat 750SS and Dave Minton reveals what happened at this autumn's record attempt at Bonneville

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 80.


    Issue 79: Made to Ride TR6SS... Issue Seventy Nine: November 2010

  • AJS Model 31 Rebuild: Do you know how the clutch on an old Britbike works? Frank Westworth is doing his best to retain as many original parts of his project as possible, so needs to assess the condition of his clutch…

  • 1976 BMW 60/6: Engineer Martyn Roberts considers different approaches to creating a twin-cylinder middleweight. The BMW is high on his list alongside a 1980's Triumph TR65 and the 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic

  • BSA A65 Lightning Rebuild: Works on Matt's project bike gets wheely interesting and he discovers BSA's little yoke for his 650's model year

  • 1982 Honda XL500R: Steve MacGregor had a budget of a grand with which to buy and prep an old bike to take him on his travels around Europe. He opted for a four-stroke single trail bike

  • Classic Dirt Bikes: Odgie gets grubby off-road with pre-65 and twin-shock trials

  • Royal Enfield V-Twin 700: For the first time, Aniket Vardhan tells the full, 15 year story of creating his impressive Musket V-twin motorcycle from two Enfield 350 engines

  • Rudge Motorcycles: The first Rudge bikes were built 100 years ago, so Rowena Hoseason looks back to the Rudge Four of the 1920s and 1930s to help celebrate this centenary

  • 1962 Triumph TR6SS: This 650 Triumph took part in speed, navigation and off-road trials into the 1970s and has recently been restored. Frank Westworth took it for a spin

  • Zenster Project, Part Six: How to make a petrol tank from scratch: Odgie bends metal…

    Plus: The debates about ethanol in petrol and the best Dominator continue; Steve Wilson goes down the road to the White Horse Bike Show; RC subscribers save a fiver on a new reg/rec unit; Dave Minton is a Cool Dude (official), and PUB continues her exploration of Cross engines…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 79.


    Issue 78: Norton's Finest... Issue Seventy Eight: October 2010

  • AJS Model 31 Rebuild: Frank's been prepping his fresh frame, considering whether to buy new bolts and bits or refurbish the original ones, and getting to grips with his gearbox

  • BSA A65 Lightning Rebuild: For his latest project, author Matt Vale takes on the restoration of a 1965 A65L. The first episode involves inspecting exactly what he'd just paid £750 for back in 2003…

  • Ducati 750 GT: A long time before icons like the 888 and 916, Superlight and Super Sport, Desmo and Darmah models saw the light of day, Fabio Taglioni put his first 750 L-twin into production. Here's the history of the model, with long-term owner experiences too

  • BSA Woodsman: Hang on, isn't the Woodsman a current Enfield model? Yes it is, but back in 1969/70, BSA-Triumph built this version of the B25 250, creating a high-pipe, wide bars, knobbly tyred rough rider. Steve Wilson discovered it

  • Indian Brave: Not, as you might think, some might American V-twin but instead a British 250cc sidevalve single made by Brockhouse

  • Matchless G80: This bike has been featured before, in previous ownership some six years ago. How's the new owner getting on with this 1947 rigid/tele 500 single?

  • Norton Dominator 99: Frank Westworth rides and reviews a 1958 featherbed 600 and wonders if it's actually the best of Norton's Dommi breed, while the owner explains why he chose it, how it's been upgraded for modern riding, and what happened on his first ride…

  • Norton Mechanical Maestro: Odgie goes Stateside to investigate the workshop of a spannerman supreme, Herb Becker and his amazing selection of tuned Commando-based racers

  • Zenster Project, Part Five: Odgie again - this time considering how to transfer drive from his special's engine to the wheel, and then how he might want to make it all stop once forward motion has been achieved

    Plus: Humbernut goes into the workshop to explain how you set about producing a short run of special parts; PUB begins an investigation into Cross motorcycles; new Amal carb parts and stainless steel spokes go on sale, and readers write about trials with a Victor Enduro, living long term with a Velo MSS, riding pioneer motorcycles in Germany, and more…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 78.


    Issue 77: Gelande-Strasse... Issue Seventy Seven: September 2010

  • AJS Model 31 Rebuild: Chassis parts are powder-coated and then various threads cleaned and re-claimed, and we take a closer look at an engine which was stored in a bucket for a couple of decades…

  • Ariel 500 Twin: Frank Westworth rides a rigid Ariel twin, one with tele fork front end, in extremely original trim

  • BMW GS Twins: Did you know that BMW's ground-breaking GS twins first appeared thirty years ago? And that half a million of the things have been built? Neither did we. Roland Brown has ridden most of them, from R80G/S to R1200GS…

  • BSA A65L Lightning: Matthew Vale is going to share with us his rebuild of a BSA in a new workshop series which starts next month. But before he begins, here's an introduction to his bike and to his relationship with it…

  • Harley-Davidson MT350E: Looking for adventure, RC's resident Viking, Rowena Hoseason, rode an ex-army 350 Rotax single from Cornwall to the Shetland Isles

  • Sunbeam Model 9: Sunbeam singles are always fascinating machines, and Robert Agombar has lived with Black Bess, his Model 9, for quite a while. He shares their shared history…

  • Triumph 500 Daytona: Steve Wilson goes to Woodstock NY, investigating Bob Dylan's 1966 bike crash there, which happened on a unit 500 Triumph; one of Meriden's most versatile creations

  • Zenster Project: In Part Four of this series, Odgie continues to create something where there was nothing, starting with a previously stationary JAP engine. Tyred out? Not a bit of it!

    Plus: We meet three bikes which have won RC concours awards recently: a Norton Commando Hi-Rider, an original Redditch Royal Enfield Bullet and a BSA Rocket Gold Star; we take up the Norton Challenge; discover everlasting LED lights; get a bit technical with an Amal carb float; investigate four-valve Vincents, cammy C15s and a Desmo Norton; go riding with Dave Minton, and more…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 77...


    Issue 76: Norton Back from Beyond... Issue Seventy Six: August 2010

  • AJS Model 31: Frank Westworth was sold the wreck of a 1959 650 twin for the princely sum of £100. As he dives into its rebuild, he realises that he might have overpaid…

  • Ariels Off-Road: Extremely keen chaps revisit the events of the 1935 Sidcup Sixty Trial on a selection of suitably ancient off-roaders. Then they had to go back and do it all over again, because the photos were so bad the first time around!

  • BSA A10 Project: It's finished! Humbernut reaches the end of his engine rebuild and the A10 is back in one piece

  • Moto Guzzi Eldorado: Steve Wilson rides a recently restored V-twin tourer from 1972. And the sun shone on him, lucky dog…

  • Norvil Commando Mk3: Originally, this was an electric start Norton Commando 850, but after the Norvil Motorcycle Co lavished months of attention upon it, the isolastic twin has been reborn. So what's it like to ride, then?

  • Royal Enfield Outfit: Dave Minton wasn't sure whether a current 500 single has enough puff to haul around a Watsonian sidecar all day, so he went and tried one

  • Triumph Thunderbird: No, not one of Edward Turner's masterpieces, but instead a road test of the current machine carrying that name. Rod Ker rode Hinckley's huge great big twin

  • Velocette KSS 350: Searching for the secret of the cammy Velo, Rowena Hoseason discovers all about the model's history, and rides a Mk2 with girder forks

  • Zenster Project: In part three of this series, Odgie tackles wheel building for his one-off JAP-engined special

    Plus: The price of dynamo regulators drops; Norman Hyde gets pumped up, the VJMC are happy chappies, the AJS and Matchless club celebrate a centenary, there's heaps of reader ads to browse, and finally PUB went on the Banbury Run and thence to Belgium!

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 76...


    Issue 75: Bonnie Flier... Issue Seventy Five: July 2010

  • AJS Model 18: A new owner gets to grips with an Ajay 500, and discovers that the brakes could do with a little improvement…

  • Ariel Arrow: Ariel's Golden Arrow of 1962 was a truly unusual super-sports 250. An owner buys one and fettles it for modern riding

  • BSA A10 Project: The engine rebuild nears it end, with Humbernut working on the primary drive

  • Ner-A-Car: Colin Sparrow examines a feet-forward two-wheeler dating from 1926, equipped with a 350cc Blackburne engine, and in delicious, 'barn find' condition

  • Panther Model 75: Better known for their heavyweight slopers, Panther also built middleweight 350cc singles like this one which takes Frank Westworth on a trip down memory lane

  • Project Zenster: Part two: Odgie fabricates a frame cradle to fit his JAP single engine into its new chassis

  • Triumph T120 Bonneville: Steve Wilson gets to grips with an icon: the 1968 Bonneville twin

  • Triumph 3TA: A couple of years back, Rod Ker rebuilt this 350cc Triumph twin. So how has it stood up to the test of time since then?

  • Yamaha XS650: The XS was supposed to be better than a Brit twin in almost every respect. RC readers reveal what it's like to live with one in the real world

    Plus: RC riders tackle the Norton Challenge, we make some summer reading recommendations, PUB goes to Titch Allen's memorial, Dave Minton rides 900 miles by Laverda to buy cheese, and Frank Westworth's Interpol 2 gets readied for a rebuild…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 75...


    Issue 74: Cold-Warrior... Issue Seventy Four: June 2010

  • BSA Sidevalve Single: Old Small Heath soldiers never die. 58 years on, after a service life in the Low Countries, this rigid/tele WD M20 is still game for one more patrol. Steve Wilson is the plucky volunteer…

  • BSA Victor Scrambler: 'Taking the long way round … to what I wanted.' Graham Lampkin spent some time doing it, but he eventually built the bike he wanted; starting with a WD BSA B40

  • BSA C11: BSA's 250cc single is a machine often overlooked by Classic Man. Colin Sparrow wonders why?

  • BSA A10 Rebuild: Humbernut tackles a BSA A10 engine and gearbox stripdown and rebuild. Part Six: Sorting the cylinder head, and fitting the pistons, grinding the valves, etc

  • Ducati Singles: There are faster Ducati singles. There are flashier Ducati singles. But do you really need a desmo head to get the authentic Italian experience? Rowena Hoseason investigates…

  • 1935 Motobécane R4C: Once upon a time, the roads of France were filled with excellent French two-wheelers. Although some of the names they bore on their tanks would be familiar to riders of 1970s mopeds, these were serious motorcycles

  • Project Zenster: Odgie is back. In the opening episode of this most excellent series, he creates something where there was nothing, something involving a previously stationary JAP engine

  • Triumph Tiger 100: For many, Triumph's Tiger 100 lost a lot when it transformed into the unit construction Tiger 100A. Roy Plowman has a 1958 pre-unit Tiger, one of the last, and he let Frank Westworth ride it

    Plus: The Norton Challenge, electrical theory, Frank's tribulations in The Shed, Dave Minton's ride in the Fens, a roadside repair of a frayed cable, classic poetry, insights on Laverdas from the old importer, and more…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 74...


    Issue 73: Morini- Whoo-Hoo!... Issue Seventy Three: May 2010

  • AJS Model 18S: How to transform a 1952 500 plunger single from a laid-up bike in oily-rag condition into a road-going runner, ready to ride

  • Ariel Red Hunter: This 1953 NH 350 has used just three spark plugs in the last 25 years, and shows every month of its long life in its gloriously grubby exterior condition. Steve Wilson rode it

  • BSA A10 Project: Humbernut's exploration of the engine continues with the gradual build up of the bottom end

  • Morini 3½: Roland Brown road tests a 350 disc-brake Sport and a drum-brake Strada, with added info from real life riders on their own machines

  • Norton Commando Rebuild: It's finished! Matt gets to ride his 750 Hi-Rider and proudly goes home with a valid MoT

  • Sunbeam S8: For a while, BSA built a very different type of parallel twin. Frank Westworth rediscovers his affection for the shaft-drive Sunbeam

  • Triumph T110: The very first Triumph twin to be equipped with swinging-arm suspension does not come with a great reputation. An owner reveals what the 1954 650 is actually like to live with

  • Triumph T100C: Matt Vale takes his Triumph 500 twin for a ride, and suffers minor mechanical mishaps along the way

  • Velocette Venom: An owner explains how to start his 1959 Velo single and details its little foibles plus what he's done to fix them

    Plus: Buying a new Jawa two-stroke, more on 1960's BMWs, Festival of 1000 Bikes info, the Norton Challenge initial entrants, VJMC events, taking a Hurricane to Kenya, PUB's thoughts on pioneer motorcycling, Minton's tribute to Titch Allen, and Frank Westworth leaks into the Shed…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 73...


    Issue 72: Rob North... Issue Seventy Two: April 2010

  • Ariel Singles: If you can't tell your VB from your RH, and don't know if you'd prefer an HS, HT or VHA, the Rowena Hoseason offers guidance to the different models of single-cylinder Ariel, plus pricing info

  • BMW R50: When it was new, the first BMW to feature swinging arm suspension was horribly expensive to buy in the UK. These days it's just about affordable compared to the price of British classic bikes

  • BSA A10 Rebuild: Deep into the engine, Humbernut discovers plenty of shrapnel in the sump strainer, investigates the sludge trap, and despairs at the state of the big end bearings

  • BSA Rob North Triple: BSA-Triumph triples found their way into competition in all kinds of guises. Tony Page explains his fascination with his flat-tracker which started life as an out-and-out track bandit…

  • Laverda SFC1000: The Jota normally gets all the attention, but an owner explains why his sleekly faired SFC was a huge improvement over its RGS predecessor

  • Norton Commando Rebuild: In the ninth part of this series, Matt gets to fiddle with electrics, paint sidepanels and such. It almost looks like a proper bike…

  • Royal Enfield Woodsman: Frank Westworth thoroughly enjoyed riding the Electra-engined version of the Woodsman. Will he like the fuel-injected motor just as much?

  • Triumph TR5T: Steve Wilson examines the Triumph Adventurer and compares it to its smaller sibling, a BSA B25T

    Plus: Pioneer machines ridden in Germany, fixing an Enfield Electra gearbox, riding a Chinese machine, fitting LED lights to older bikes, Minton remembers a Morini in Mexico, and Frank Westworth dons his AMC anorak to examine an AJS twin engine

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 72...


    Issue 71: Commando a Comin'... Issue Seventy One: March 2010

  • Aprilia Moto 6.5: This is what happens to a practical motorcycle when a designer like Philippe Starck runs amok. Emm considers all the angles

  • BSA B31 Special: Odgie returns with a stripped-down, back to basics streetrod special. If you prefer your classics to retain the original specification then look away now…

  • BSA A75 Rocket 3: Last month we looked at one version of a BSA-Triumph triple styled for the USA. This time Frank Westworth gets to grips with the US-spec Rocket 3 in all its grey-framed glory

  • BSA A10 Rebuild: In the third part of this ongoing series, Humbernut reaches the gearbox so starts assembling layshafts, bearings and various cogs…

  • Land'S End Trial: This MCC event has been challenging participants for more than a century. Last year, Rowena Hoseason joined Celia Walton on a trials outfit. All did not go entirely to plan…

  • 1963 Matchless G12: Steve Wilson rides this 650 twin and discovers that its reputation for vibration was unfounded while it revved freely and loved life on the back-lanes

  • Norton Commando 750: Tony Page has clocked up over 250,000 miles in 37 years on his Commando, and shares some of the secrets of successful ownership

  • Norton Commando Rebuild: Matt Vale gets to grips with his Hi-Rider's cylinder head; valves, seats, rockers and the lot

  • Vauxhall Four: Back in the 1920s, Vauxhall built a very few prototype four-cylinder motorcycles. And it turns out that a couple of RC readers have ridden one

  • Velocette GTP: The story of a restoration from barn-find to rare beauty; Andy Stait rebuilds a 250 twin-sport from the 1930s

    Plus: An essay on coil electrics, Dave Minton considers oil supplies, Frank Westworth preps an AMC single for sale, a whole heap of news and why you should never hesitate to buy the classic bike of your dreams

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 71...


    Issue 70: Hurricane a Blowin'... Issue Seventy: February 2010

  • Ariel Huntmaster: Based around the same 647cc parallel twin cylinder engine as BSA's A10, the house of the horse managed to produce a bike which is subtly different to the Small Heath creation, as Frank Westworth explains

  • BSA A10 Rebuild: In this second instalment, Humbernut gets to grips with the top end

  • Francis-Barnett Cruiser: When heavyweight Brit twins became too clumsy to handle, one Britbike enthusiast turned to a lightweight two-stroke 250cc twin

  • Greeves ISDT Machine: In 1958, Greeves made a concerted effort to secure ISDT success and built six works machines for the purpose. Colin Sparrow explains how one of them was recently rediscovered and resurrected

  • Norton Commando Rebuild: The series reaches part seven, and Matt tackles the gearbox

  • Triumph X-75 Hurricane: Triumph's 750 triple courted controversy from the day of its creation. Rowena Hoseason reviews the evolution of an icon and wonders if it can possibly be worth the prices people having paying in recent years…

  • 1970 Triumph T120 Bonneville: Matt Vale takes his oil-in-frame 650 for a shakedown ride, and goes a bit further than he expected to…

    Plus: classic trials including the Land's End Trial in the 1950s, classic scrambling on AMC machines, fitting a tacho to a Royal Enfield Bullet from the 1960s, PUB considers sidevalves, rotary valves and much odder engines, Dave Minton recalls an arctic adventure, and Frank Westworth suffers something of a breakdown…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 70...


    Issue 69: Shooting Stars Never Stop, even when they reach the top... Issue Sixty Nine: January 2010

  • Ambassador Supreme: Powered by the Villiers 2T engine, this sturdy stroker proved to be reliable and curiously enticing…

  • BSA A7SS: Steve Wilson reckons that the 1956-57 500cc BSA twin was one of Small Heath's best bikes. He explains why…

  • BSA A10 Rebuild: Humbernut returns to the workshop with a plan to strip and rebuild a 650 BSA twin engine. First he investigates what he's got on his hands…

  • Honda CB750: The definitive superbike of the Seventies celebrated its 40th anniversary at the end of the last decade, and this is its story

  • 1954 Moto Guzzi Airone Sport: The Falcone often gets all the attention here in the UK, but this 250 single was hugely popular in its homeland. This example was a winner at the NEC Classic Motor Show

  • 1954 Nimbus Model C: Just to be different, here's an unusual, overhead-cam, four-cylinder 750. Built in Denmark, nicknamed 'The Bumblebee' and ridden here by Frank Westworth

  • Norton Commando Rebuild: Spannerman Matt originally reckoned this rebuild series would run to about six episodes. This is episode six, and he's just reached the bottom end…

  • Sunbeam S8: This machine won our RealClassic award at the South of England Show last autumn, and now we learn a little more about all the work which went into it

  • Triumph TR65 Thunderbird: This oil in frame T-Bird has been in Rod Ker's clutches since the early 1990s. He's rebuilt it once already and now it needs another overhaul. But before the stripping starts, Rod recalls their time together

  • Veteran Motorcycles: In the second of a two part mini-series, Claire Leavey takes a 1914 Invicta for a spin. And survives. Barely…

    Plus: Early Triumph sidevalve twins, investigating the Doppler effect, grease guns and how to use them, a celebration of AJS of Wolverhampton, Dave Minton recommends an air=head, and Frank Westworth explores plastic bags and vacuum pumps (crikey!)

    SORRY! We've run out of this issue of RealClassic magazine.

    Click here to see if RealClassic 69 is in stock...


    Issue 68: Bonneville Issue Sixty Eight: December2009

  • Ariel Leader: It's finished! Really! Honestly. The end. Our project Leader takes to the roads and we declare it done. For now…

  • Laverda 750 Twin: The SFC can be hard to come by and not entirely easy to live with, so here's the sensible option: a rip-roaring replica in orange

  • Panther On Tour: You can rely upon a classic motorcycle as charismatic and quirky as a Panther sloper to develop electrical gremlins at a height of 1500 metres in the Alps, and then for the big end to start knocking half way into Hungary

  • Norton Commando: This rebuild was going to be a six-part series, but this is part five and there still seems to be a big gap in the middle of the rolling chassis where one might hope an engine would lurk. Nice wheels, mind

  • Norton Model 19: Two bikes with one name: Norton's big single enjoyed two incarnations. It takes quiet a bit of enthusiasm to keep the 1930s version in roadgoing trim, so we consider the 1950s version too

  • Triumph Bonneville I: To celebrate this most famous motorcycle's half century, Roland Brown reviews 50 years with a friend

  • Triumph Bonneville II: During the final years of the original factory's life, the men of Meriden pretty much only built Bonnevilles of one stripe or another. Steve Wilson considers the inside story of the workers' co-operative

  • Triumph Bonneville III: The name remains the same, but the Hinckley twin is a very different motorcycle to its illustrious forebears. Roland rides the current 865cc example

  • Veteran Motorcycles: In the first of a two part mini-series, Claire Leavey meets a 1909 Triumph TT flat-tanker and wonders what's so attractive about an overgrown bicycle with an engine…

    Plus: The Norton Challenge reaches its finale, PUB considers Vincent trials bikes, Dave Minton's all-time top motorcycle, Frank Westworth encounters carbon locking, readers write about frames, concours standards, mirrors, Moto Guzzis, centrestands, Enfields and more…

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    Issue 67: Tiny MV 350 Issue Sixty Seven: November 2009

  • AJS & Matchless Lightweights: The single cylinder G2, G5 and Model 8 and 14 AMC models tend to be overlooked in the rush to buy G3s. But if you'd like to spend £1500 or so on a roadworthy machine then it's worth giving these little 'uns a look

  • Ariel Leader: It really is finished. Rod takes the project two-stroke for a spin and then tries to improve its hot starting

  • Honda XBR500: It wasn't meant to be an entire top end rebuild, but one thing led to another when this 1980's single cylinder slogger found a new home with a sympathetic owner

  • MV Agusta 350 GT: Can a sporty 350cc parallel twin from 1972 really be described as a Gran Turismo? Roland Brown rides one and reveals its inner nature…

  • Nimbus Bumblebee: It's the strangest thing: an OHC inline four cylinder 750, built in 1956, with three-speeds and shaft drive. Looks purposeful, in a scaffold-pole kind of way…

  • Norton 650SS: If you were looking for an alternative to a Bonneville then Norton's 1964 featherbed SS has to be high on the list. Frank Westworth rides one and rates its performance for classic riders today

  • Norton Commando Rebuild: Work progresses to the forks, crank dismantling, big end inspection and wheel rebuilding

  • Royal Enfield Electra: Many returning riders opt for Enfield's modern Bullets. Mike Wesson bought an Electra XS and he explains why, and how it's performed since purchase

  • Triumph T110: There's a world of difference between the 650 twins of 1957 and 1958. Steve Wilson examines one of each and considers the improvements made. Was the later bike really a great leap forward? Was it actually better than the T120 which followed it?

    Plus: Frank Westworth compares frame designs in the Shed, Dave Minton enthuses about a traditional family bike business, PUB talks super-chargers, and readers chat about military motorcycles, the Levis Cup Trial, thread dimensions, the Vauxhall Four, budget bikes and more…

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    Issue 66: Red TSX Issue Sixty Six: October 2009

  • 1929 AJS 350: This M4 came from the revolutionary range of AJS machines which first used a curvaceous saddle-tank and boasted many other improvements over its predecessors. We liked this one so much that we gave it a prize

  • Ariel Leader Rebuild: Still. Not. Finished. It's all in one piece but Rod reckons it's still not running right. [sigh]

  • 1929 BSA Light 500: This bike saw service during WW2 on Home Guard duties, and then languished for many years. The 493cc two-port OHV single has now been restored to prize-winning condition

  • 1948 BSA M33: An owner explains what living with a girder-forked side-valve single is like, and goes on to compare the BSA to a handy 1946 Moto Guzzi Super Alce (similarly, a 500cc single) which he happened to have laying around. Like you do…

  • 1933 Excelsior Empire 150: This story investigates the history of this little twin-port stroker during the bike's restoration. It first provided transport for a worker at Milford Haven, which inspired the current owner to return it to full working order

  • Hesketh Vampire: The 1000cc V-Twin sprouted full touring paraphernalia to create the Vampire; this owner spent six years finding and then fettling one until it was good enough to use regularly. Frank Westworth experienced an iconic English twin…

  • Matchless G80 ES: The Devon-built electric start Matchless 500 singles have their fans, and John Walton is one of them. He explains why, and reveals the mods he's made to his machine to make it altogether more practical and comfortable for regular use

  • Norton Commando Rebuild: The series continues, and Matt Vale gets to grips with dismantling the drive side

  • 1916 Sun VTS: This barn-find vintage bike came out of storage after 30 odd years and was lightly fettled back to working order. It's not been restored, but the single-cylinder, hand-change, two-speed clutchless Sun has risen once again!

  • 1959 Triumph Speed Twin: Another RC award-winner, this 5TA went from being in a 'very sorry state' to a concours champ. The owner explains what work he did and the problems he encountered along the way

  • 1982 Triumph TSX 750: Steve Wilson meets one of the last models made at Meriden, the four-valve factory custom. Includes model spec, development, owner feedback and riding impressions

    Plus: More RC readers accept the Norton Challenge; Police Nortons return to the fray; MZs receive a round of applause; the VJMC make sensible suggestions for first Japanese classics; PUB considers radial valves; Dave Minton remembers boozing with the Bosch, and Frank Westworth opens a can of worms (loosely disguised as a Sunbeam)

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    Issue 65: Black Beeza Issue Sixty Five: September 2009

  • Ariel 500: In the final episode of Steve Wilson's epic African adventure, his Ariel single suffers some punctures but… gets there in the end

  • Ariel Leader Rebuild: Part 10: Rod's back in action with a project bike that now runs. But the gearing's all wrong and the running isn't exactly right, either…

  • 1925 BSA L25: Flat-tank heaven: this 2¾hp certainly looks as if it's 84 years old and is in 'wonderfully grubby' running condition. Back in the 1920s, this model conquered Mount Snowdon! Colin Sparrow tries his hand on a less terrifying test track

  • 1971 BSA A65 Lightning: Maligned at the time, the 'too tall' 650 twin finds favour with Frank Westworth these days. He examines its strengths and weaknesses, takes one for a spin and considers the truth behind the bad reputation

  • Moto Guzzi Le Mans MkV: Steve Bellamy adores the 1000cc Le Mans, which explains why he keeps buying them. Not so obvious why he keeps selling them, then, but he attempts to explains the mystique of the model

  • 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild: The bike is now dismantled into Big Bits, but that means Matt has to struggle with all those components which just don't want to come apart. Where's the huge hammer gone?

  • 1939 OEC 500: So unusual it's probably unique, this single-cylinder machine matches an AJS engine with Druid forks and OEC's own ahead-of-its-time swinging arm rear end. The owner tells its tale

  • 1964 Triumph TRW 500: It saw many years in military service, and this sidevalve twin in a rigid chassis now offers a characterful (if mellow) ride. Rowena Hoseason looks at the history of the model and takes one for a ride

    Plus: We feature show-winners including a DMW P200 De Luxe, a BSA Shooting Star, 1926 Triumph Model P and a Royal Enfield Bullet Special; check up on the Norton Challenge; Paul Goff explains the secrets of 12-Volt conversions; PUB goes vintage on the Continent and Frank Westworth's wheels won't line up. Again.

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    Issue 64: Prowler Issue Sixty Four: August 2009

  • Ariel 500: Out in Africa, Steve Wilson meets all manner of other old bike riders as his travels take him through South Africa, Botswana and Zambia, clocking up the miles aboard his idiosyncratic Ariel

  • BSA Unit Singles: The last shout of BSA's single cylinder 250s and 500s came in unit construction form, including the Starfire and B44; the oil-in-frame B50s and T25s. Author Matthew Vale explains the range and their development and suggests some useful upgrades

  • 1966 Lambretta SX200: In a slight deviation from our normal subject matter, Colin Sparrow takes a look at the scooter scene and one 1966 example in particular

  • 1965 Moto Morini Tresette Sprint: Morini are more famous for their twins, but Roland Brown romped off on this 175c single. Next stop, Moto Giro?

  • MZ ETZ 250 Rebuild: Can you strip and rebuild an old bike for under £100? You certainly can if it's an MZ, and here's the proof…

  • 1971 Norton Commando Rebuild, Part One: Matthew Vale starts work on a 750 Commando which has just come back to Blighty from the States, complete with ape hangers…

  • 1939 Sunbeam B24 350: Built by AMC at Plumstead, this girder-forked 'high cam' single was in production for mere months. Frank Westworth is intrigued by its engineering and wonders why it fell from favour so fast

  • 1971 Triumph T100C: Original and unrestored, this high-pipe 500 twin is a firm favourite among owners who swear it's a better bike than those commonplace 650s…

    Plus: We see how Norton brochures have changed over the decades, go electric racing at the TT, meet lots of RC riders taking up the Norton Challenge, consider whether a Vincent Shadow could indeed out-pace a Jag XK120, while Frank Westworth struggles to get his Matchless G12 ready for this summer's Jampot Rally

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    Issue 63: Super 750s Issue Sixty Three: July 2009

  • Ariel 500: Somewhere in Africa, Steve Wilson's adventures with his Ariel get off to a shaky start. But while the bike is being fixed he gets to meet some interesting people…

  • Ariel Leader Rebuild: Finally! The Leader goes for its MoT and nabs an Norton on the way

  • Benelli 750 Sei: To kick off our 750s from the 1970s, Frank Westworth took a spin on a bike with heaps of cylinders and very many shiny exhaust pipes

  • Honda CB750: A theme of Superbikes of the 70s wouldn't be complete without one of these, a very early 1970 model

  • Matchless G80: An owner adopts an unrestored 1947 500cc single and sets about returning it to standard trim, fixing what doesn't work, and finding out which bits work as well as they're ever going to

  • Norton Commando Fastback: A Super 750 of the 1970s - except this one wasn't. We'd all like to think that owning an old British bike is both enjoyable reasonably easy, but the owner's experiences with this one prove that 'shiny' does not necessarily mean 'sorted'

  • Speedway Bullet Build: Dave Ramsden's project bike, an Enfield-powered dirt tracker, is finally finished

  • Triumph T160 Trident: The only one of our clutch of 750s to come with multiple-choice petrol tanks to suit either your leathers (red or yellow) or intended mileage (local or, erm, not much further). An owner explains

    Plus: Humbernut makes parts for a Mondial; beefy big batteries for electric start classics; VOC and AMC Club news; a new book from Sammy Miller, great entertainment at Bill Little's Open Day; PUB examines some miniature motors; DLM recalls great quotes and Frank Westworth shuffles his spanners

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    Issue 62: Velocette Issue Sixty Two: June 2009

  • Ariel 500: Steve Wilson has undertaken an African adventure and this is his last chance to prep his transport, a purpose-built Ariel single. If only he'd purposefully built it last year, all these last-minute problems would have been fettled months ago (…perhaps…)

  • BSA Gold Stars: Frank Westworth gets to grips with the real thing; a pair of clubman's spec Goldies in the shape of a 1956 DBD 34 500 and its smaller sibling, a 350cc DB32. Includes owner feedback plus price guide and riding impressions

  • 1971 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport: A new version of Moto Guzzi's modern V-twin has just been launched, but before we go and play with it we thought we'd best remind ourselves of what it's based upon. So here's a roadtest of the original in all its bright green glory

  • 2009 Moto Guzzi Café Classic: And here's the up to date version. After 38 years of development it has less power 4cc less than the original, much the same power, a single disc instead of a 2ls drum and it weighs a whopping 50lb less. But the saddle is three inches higher…

  • Panther Project Part 2: Roger Slater found a Model 120 Panther in the USA, and set about returning it to running order. In this final installment he finishes the job

  • Royal Enfield Project Part 2: The project Enfield Bullet engine doesn't quite fit into the intended sand-racer frame so out come the hacksaw and welding kit. Don't try this at home (unless you're very good at it)

  • 1946 Velocette MSS: Reliable and robust, this touring 500cc single has given several lifetime's of service to various owners without being 'restored', just carefully maintained

    Plus: Our Ariel Leader project finally gets a new screen and pukka cables; PUB continues a discussion of opposed-piston engines; Dave Minton explains (again) why Laverda triples are smooth; RC readers take up the Norton Challenge; Jeff Smith recalls kick-starting BSA B50s, and Frank Westworth discovers the joy of the universal clutch cable

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    Issue 61: Norton Twin Issue Sixty One: May 2009

  • Ariel 500 Single: A rigid-framed Red Hunter was an impulse purchase, and needed a lot more work than originally expected. Including a plus-60 rebore, a new little end, rebuilt primary drive and - well, you get the picture…

  • BSA A10 Spitfire Scambler: The 1957 SS was an out and out off-road competition maestro which, argues Steve Wilson, could be called their most accomplished A10. He rode a genuine one and we found a (much cheaper!) replica, too

  • Japanese Classics: Which more recent machines hold true Eastern Promise? An expert on the breed upsets just about everyone by choosing his top five Japanese Classics

  • Norton Model 7: Frank Westworth recently tested Bert Hopwood's other 500cc parallel twin, the BSA A7 Star. This time he tries Norton's variation on the theme, a 1950 iron-engined plunger model equipped with Roadholder front end

  • Panther Project Part 1: It's unusual for a Model 120 Panther sloper to surface in the USA, so Roger Slater seized the opportunity to snag one when he found it. Needed a little work, mind

  • Royal Enfield Project Part 1: The start of a new series, which takes an Enfield Bullet engine and builds it into a dirt-track speedway frame. Why? Why not?

  • 1972 Triumph TR6: Rod Ker finds one of the very first oil-in-frame single-carb 650 Trumpets with just a little over 100 miles on its clock. Original, yes; but is it one of the best?

    Plus: Improving Bonnie brakes on Hinckley models; RC readers on the Norton Challenge; the Ariel Leader rebuild progresses to checking the charging circuit, transmission and brakes (oops; there goes the flower bed. Not much in the way of brakes yet then); PUB considers riding a veteran, Dave Minton remembers venerable Beemers, and Frank Westworth replaces HT leads and silencers and other mysteriously worn out items in The Shed…

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    Issue 60: Scotty Issue Sixty: April 2009

  • Ariel Leader: Rod Ker is still working on his rebuild, but grabbed the chance to ride a finished Leader so he knows what his should run like. He also discovered a unique, Honda-powered four-stroke twin version of the Leader

  • Harris-Triumph Bonneville T140: As we say farewell to Les Harris it seems only fair he should be remembered for one of his creations: the post-Meriden 750 Bonneville

  • MV Agusta 750: The final part of the rebuild, and time to take the 750/4 for a spin

  • Norton Factory Prototype: During the late 1970s, Norton started their experiment with rotary engined machines and built 25 prototypes. One of them still survives and its owner tells its tale

  • NSU-Greeves Special: Brian Stonebridge built his NSU-engined Greeves off-roader with a view to wining competitions in the late 1950s. The machine which tackled the 1959 Coup D'Europe has recently been rediscovered and reassembled

  • Scott Strokers: A Yorkshire-built 1948 Scott Flying Squirrel goes head to head with a Derbyshire-bred 1973 Silk-Scott Special. Both are watercooled, three-port two-strokes but that's about all they have in common…

  • Triumph Green-Laner: A much-modded 1954 pre-unit Triumph twin isn't the usual choice for a green lane run, but somehow it all seems to work for Odgie…

    Plus: Steve Wilson bids adieu to his BSA A65; RC readers tackle the Norton Challenge; Dave Minton considers Moto Guzzis and Frank Westworth fettles a Matchless G12CSR.

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    Issue 59: Star Star Issue Fifty Nine: March 2009

  • 1935 Ariel Red Hunter: This sturdy single has seen plenty of competitive action over the years, both as a solo and tugging a chair. Celia Walton reviews their exploits together in road racing, grass track, trials and long-distance events

  • Ariel Leader Rebuild: Spraying cellulose paint in temperatures of minus-2 might be considered a little unwise, but work on the project bike simply must go on!

  • BSA A65 Off-Road Special: This really cobby creation started life as a 1968/69 roadgoing 650 twin. It's evolved into a high-pipe, wide bar, single-saddle Special, and there's scope for even more modification…

  • Harley-Davidson Café Racer: If you want a big V-Twin motor in a café racer chassis, but can't quite stretch to a Vin twin, the Hogbitz will build one for you based around the 1200cc Sportster engine

  • MV Agusta 750 Rebuild: in the second part of three, the bad news just keeps getting worse. It turns out that the swinging arm is attached to the frame by goodwill and optimism and not a lot else!

  • Norton Commando: Steve Wilson rode 750 and 850 Norton twins for quite a while, and recollects the high points and low moments of his times with a couple of Roadsters in the 1980s

  • Norton Lightweight Twins: The Jubilee, Navigator and Electra lightweights have had a mixed reputation for many years, but prices of the 350 and 400 twins are shooting up. Does that make the 250 a good buy?

  • Royal Enfield Constellation: In 1959, Enfield's 700cc twin was considered one of the country's top roadburners. Since then, its reputation has suffered somewhat. Colin Sparrow investigates why and reveals what Connie is like to live with

  • Velocette Viper Clubman: This 1964 Viper Clubman Veeline has been with its owner since 1972. It's been through several incarnations in that time and these days travels longer distances in touring trim

    Plus: Odgie tries DIY nickel plating, Dave Minton cogitates over Laverda triples and the nature of vibration, and Frank Westworth discovers that the Norton hub on his Matchless G12 is laced together is a truly bizarre fashion.

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    Issue 58: Warren Villiers Issue Fifty Eight: February 2009

  • AJS MODEL 12: Lightweights are often overlooked, but this 1929 250cc single-cylinder sidevalve has lasted nearly an entire lifetime

  • Ariel Leader: We have been rebuilding this bike for some considerable time. Rod takes on electrics this month. In the snow. A small fire might actually help matters…

  • BSA B31: There has to be a purpose to every rebuild, and while putting his 1947 single back together this owner dreamed of chasing a train. A steam train. One which departed 60 years ago. Makes perfect sense, no?

  • BSA A50 & A65: Author Matt Vale steers us through the development history, perils, pitfalls and possibilities of BSA's unit twins, 500cc and 650cc

  • MV Agusta America: If you ever wondered just how bad things could get… imagine you've bought the bike of your dreams and it turns out to be the worst combination of a can of worms and a very deep money pit. Four cylinders quadruples the cost!

  • Norton International: If you can't afford to buy a complete cammy Norton then you can build one yourself. It took 20-odd years, but this example evolved into a 1938-spec SOHC parade machine

  • Norton Model 18: On the other hand, you might get just as much pleasure from owning and fettling a pushrod single like this 1948 Roadholder/rigid 500

  • 1969 Triumph TR6 Trophy: High pipes, high bars, single carb. Easy starting, swift steering, half-sensible stopping. Frank Westworth rode a beautiful blue example of Turner's sporting 650 twin

  • 1920s Warren Villiers 250: Odgie discover an extremely strange and wonderful thing; a 350cc two-stroke, wet-sump inline twin, complete with rigid rear end and girder forks. Hand change, of course…

    Plus: Steve Wilson recalls long distance touring tales, PUB meets various Bonds, the NOC go for gold, Norvil offer freebies to RC readers, and Frank Westworth discovers a variety of strange things about his new Matchless G12CSR

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    Issue 57: Cammy Racer Issue Fifty Seven: January 2009

  • Ariel Leader Our restoration continues with a head gasket made from wallpaper, spaghetti junction in the wiring dept and (don't faint) the first sign of life from the engine

  • BSA B50T By the 1970s Edward Turner's little Terrier engine had grown and grown to 499cc and found a new home in the oil-in-frame chassis. Frank Westworth takes the big single down some muddy lanes

  • DMW Typhoon Racer Colin Sparrow's quest to discover unusual classic bikes continues with a corker: a 500cc Grand Prix factory prototype racer. It's a stunner…

  • Laverda RGS 1000 By 1983 the Laverda Jota motor had been developed into a 120-degree smoothie, which seemed perfectly at home in a semi-touring chassis as the RGS (Real Gran Sport, since you asked); capable of cruising at a comfortable 100mph or more…

  • Norton Model 40 International Is Norton's cammy racer for the road really as remarkable as it's cracked up to be? Rowena Hoseason rides a satisfyingly scruffy one

  • Velocette Indian 500 Only an American would think to combine a street-scrambler chassis designed by Leo Tartarini in Bologna with a 500cc thumping Velocette single cylinder engine. Only a very few still exist, and our man tracked one down in the north of England…

    Plus: PLUS taking on the Beamish Trophy Trial, a preview of 2009 shows and jumbles, meeting a man with RAC and AA outfits, the Norton Lowboy, Hitchcock's TrailBlaster, understanding voltage regulators, PUB looks back at Berkeleys and Frank Westworth takes an epic winter ride on a funny-coloured Matchless G12CSR.

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    Issue 56: Brace of Vincents Issue Fifty Six: December 2008

  • AJS Model 14: A 250 lightweight should really be blue, but we’ll overlook that because this 1966 CSR really is very smart. And quick too.

  • Ariel Leader: Our rebuild gets going. Again. Again. Rod takes apart the engine, breaks a few rings and saves a piston

  • BSA Rocket Gold Star: There’s many a myth written about what happens when you put an A10 engine into a Gold Star chassis. We attempt to unravel some of them

  • Matchless G15 & Norton P11: When Norton and Matchless were both owned by AMC they built differing versions of Atlas-engined 750 street-scramblers. Frank Westworth has ridden both types and knows which is the nicer…

  • 1939 Rudge Special: This 500 single has been with its owner for the past 50 years, and collected an RC award last year.

  • Triumph Bonneville: The concluding episode of the series on tuning Hinckley Bonnies finishes with a review of how the range stacks up and a ride on the finished, fettled Thruxton

  • Vincent Specials: You can figure out for yourself whether modern recreations really deserve a ‘classic’ tag, after reading all about these Egli and NorVin specials, both equipped with 998cc v-twin engines, plus feedback from a man who bought one…

    Plus: Odgie tells a tale of traumatic touring, brave souls take their first ride on really old bikes (lever throttle, anyone?), Enfield abound in the Himalyas, Humbernut wraps up his steering damper, Dave Minton considers the art of the motorcycle engine, and Frank Westworth’s A65 gets fettled for action.

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    Issue 55: Black BSA Star Twin Issue Fifty Five: November 2008

  • Ariels For Off-Road Adventures: Steve Wilson is getting his Ariel Red Hunter ready to travel around Africa, so he meets up with some high-mileage Ariel riders to seek out their advice

  • Ariel Leader Rebuild: It’s been on and off for years, this rebuild. Rod Ker now takes up the spanners and attempts to get the RC Leader back into one piece

  • BSA Star Twin: One of Bert Hopwood’s best engines, says Frank Westworth, after enjoying a day with a 1951 BSA pre-unit 500 twin A7

  • Greeves Invacar: One of the weirder machines to come out of the Thundersley concern; a 197cc Villiers-powered three-wheeler

  • Harley-Davidson V4 Nova: Never heard of it? That’s because it barely made it off the drawing board. Here’s the story of the Harley which never was, plus a stroll around the Milwaukee Museum

  • Royal Enfield EFI UCE: Finally, the UK version of the unit construction, fuel-injection Bullet breaks cover. And we had the first ride on it, many months ago!

  • Triumph 2/1: This 1934 Triumph 250cc twin-port single was built in 1934, and has been with one owner since 1959

  • Triumph Bonneville Tuning: This episode looks at improving the bars, tanks, seats and bodywork on modern Hinckley Bonnies

  • Vincent Comet: The start of one of those arguments which will run and run: Andy Bone reckons Vincent’s 500 single is the ultimate classic. Discuss…

    Plus: Humbernut gets to grips with a steering damper, details of free training for returning riders, a better brake for T140 Bonnies, PUB goes to the Brough Rally, Dave Minton is tyred out and Frank Westworth tackles some (what should have been) straightforward routine maintenance tasks in The Shed...

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    Issue 54: Red Hesketh Issue Fifty Four: October 2008

  • Hesketh V1000 Viewed as an heroic failure during their production run, the Hesketh V-twins have gathered a cult following since then. Frank Westworth rides one to find out if it really is as high, wide, slow and top-heavy as folklore suggests

  • Moto Guzzi California Evo Steve Wilson takes a trip to the south of France aboard his 1999 Cali Evo equipped with (oh, the excitement), an Airhawk accessory. You’ll have to read it to find out what-the-heck an Airhawk actually is

  • Royal Enfield Bullet Imagine what you’d do if you found your dad’s old motorbike on eBay. Clive Evans bought and restored the 1957 350 Bullet which, 40 years before, had belonged to his dad

  • Suzuki Katana GSX1000 Just to be odd, we didn’t opt to test the 1100 big Kat but instead went for the altogether less familiar 1000cc version. David Towers suggests it might need to go on a bit of a diet

  • 1953 Triumph Thunderbird A pre-unit 650 Triumph twin, complete with sprung hub, revulator, and a neat SU carb. And it’s blue, too

  • Triumph Triple Prototype At the end of the 1950s, Bert Hopwood and Doug Hele first considered building a three-cylinder superbike. So why did it take an entire decade to get it into production? Rowena Hoseason investigates the origins and reconstruction of P1

  • Triumph Bonneville TuningThis episode looks at improving the suspension and wheels on modern Hinckley Bonnies

    Plus: Emm investigates the state of the classic motorcycle market; Skye Classic Motorcycles settle in the west country, Humbernut makes a steering damper, PUB talks about dynamo electrics on 12-Volt systems, Dave Minton’s (air) head has a wobble, and Frank Westworth chases sparks around The Shed.

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    Issue 53: Black Panther Issue Fifty Three: September 2008

  • Ariel Leader Rebuild A zillion years ago, we started restoring an Ariel Leader. Halfway through, the happy spannerman lost access to his garage. This is what’s happened since then…

  • BSA A50 Most folk opt for the A65, but Rod Ker considers instead the pros and cons of BSA’s 500cc unit twin

  • BSA A65 If you prefer a bigger capacity Beezer under your belt, then Steve Wilson reviews his experiences with a variety of A65s, including an oil-in-frame Lightning and a 1962 Star

  • Francis-Barnetts Abroad You don’t need a stonking great Beemer 1200 to go two-wheeled touring. Back in the day, Real Men rode massive mileages two-up on a Francis-Barnett Falcon

  • Norton Singles Real life riders reveal all about their long term experiences with Norton’s Model 16, 18 and 19, Big 4, ES2 and even a Model 50 or two

  • Panther 650 If you’re in search of a perfect Panther, then you might choose to fit a 650cc engine from a 120 Model into the rigid-rear end 100 Model chassis. Frank Westworth rode just such a beast

  • Triumph Unit 650 Twins If you prefer your trad Brit twin to be of the Trumpet type, author Matt Vale provides an exhaustive and in-depth guide to the 1963 to 1970 unit construction 650s

  • Triumph Hinckley Bonneville Our continuing series looks at tuning Triumph’s modern twin engine, including jetting theory, new exhausts, airbox alterations and more

    Plus: Anarchy goggles at Halcyon; Odgie goes girder forking; Humbernut tackles silver brazing; PUB goes racing with a Dartela; Minton’s muses on motorcycle maintenance and Frank Westworth rides out to the Jampot rally

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 53...


    Issue 52: Mighty Lion Issue Fifty Two: August 2008

  • 1935 SUNBEAM LION 500: Sunbeam’s days of glory were in the 1920s, but their most famous long-stroke model out-lasted not only that decade but the original company itself. We rode one of the last Lions built by Sunbeam themselves
  • 1983 Triumph TSX 750: RC reader Gerry Currie wanted to overcome old age by fitting his much-modded TSX with an electric starter. How did he do it then?
  • 1969 Moto Guzzi V7 Special: Pay attention, because this is where things get a wee bit confusing. This is a road test of an old bike, the progenitor of much loved Guzzi’s sports V-twins (even though it has a fairing and panniers)
  • 2008 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic: And this is a thoroughly modern motorcycle (despite being called a ‘classic’); the direct descendent of the original V7 above. And it looks quite a bit better without the panniers and fairing…
  • Scott Motorcycles: The Scott marque celebrates its centenary this year, so we’ve devoted a whopping nine pages to the yowling two-strokes from Yorkshire. So there’s info on the most popular models (Flying and Super Squirrels included), what it’s like to own one, why their engineering is interesting, where the company came from, and what the bikes cost to buy.
  • Triumph Hinckley Bonneville: Engineer Peter Jenks starts upgrading the modern Hinckley Bonneville, and first considers the differences between a 1969 and a 2001 Triumph twin engine
  • Ural 750 Outfit: Steve Wilson gets to grip with the current flat-twin sidecar outfit from F2 Motorcycles. Yesterday’s motorcycle, built today

    Plus: Riding Odgie’s Project Speedster, vintage Japanese view, Humbernut makes a steering stem for girder forks, PUB goes to the Banbury Run and considers three-brush dynamos, Dave Minton sends a letter from America aboard his BMW, and Frank Westworth returns to the saddle (after a decade or so spent in the Shed!)

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 52...


    Issue 51: Italian Stallions Issue Fifty One: June 2008

  • Ariel Fieldmaster The Ariel KH500 isn’t one of the best known British parallel twins, so Frank Westworth investigates where it came from and rides a tidy example
  • Clubman Racing When old bikes were new, almost anyone could slap on a number and go racing. A treasure trove of racing memorabilia reveals the career of George Ellison who campaigned a Velocette KTT
  • Ducati 900SS Our three awesome Italians go head-to-head when Roland Brown rides all of them on the day and eventually decides which one he’d like to take home with him
  • Laverda Jota Our second Italian superbike is a 981cc 1980 Jota which proved to be something of a handful over narrow roads
  • Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans A 1977-model Le Mans will still break the ton, although Roland discovers that time has taken its toll on the braking
  • Rudge Four/Four Odgie takes on a challenge, and preps a 1926 single which spent much of its life in Murray’s Museum for the Banbury Run
  • Triumph Tiger Cub 30 years after it was parked under a tarp and left to rot, Alan Goff finally got around to rebuilding his T20. The restoration didn’t come cheap…
  • Triumph Bonneville T140V Originally the Bonneville was the fastest thing on two wheels, but by the end of its production run it had become something more like a Morris Minor for motorcyclists. Rod Ker rides an oil-in-frame 750
  • Triumph Hinckley Bonneville Engineer Peter Jenks introduces us to the modern Hinckley Bonneville, in the start of a series which will cover all manner of upgrades for current Triumph twins

    Plus: Steve Wilson fettles his BSA A10; Project Speedster nears completion; Humbernut demonstrates lathe and drilling techniques; PUB remembers John Griffith; Dave Minton considers his Krauser BMW, and Frank Westworth admits to a strange obsession with Norton-AMC hybrids…

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 51...


    Issue 50: Fifty! FIFTY! Issue Fifty: May 2008

  • BSA A50 Royal Star We asked Karl Bentley to write this story when he began the rebuild of his Beesa 500, always intending it to be in RC50. But it all got a bit touch-and-go towards the end: would it be done? Would it be a runner? Would Karl like what he’d built? Here are the answers…
  • 1952 Douglas Mk V We tried to find a Douglas Mark 50, but they didn’t make one, so Rowena Hoseason took to the road on a 350cc Mark V instead
  • 50 Miles Per Hour Another 50-themed story; following a route on a pair of Triumph triples, to travel 50 miles in an hour. Yes, we could get more contrived than this, but only by trying very hard!
  • Another 50 Mile Per Hour We originally asked Rod to do a similar ride on a Norton Model 50. But the bike he wanted to use was sold before he got out there and did it, so instead he dusted off his Yamaha XS750. (Well, there’s a ‘50’ in there somewhere). And he did ride 50 miles along the A50, so it turned out nice again
  • Gilera 50 RS Trial Back in the day, everyone want a sports moped. Didn’t they? Well, Frank Westworth didn’t actually want one, but we still made him ride the Gilera ’cos it’s not every day you get to celebrate your fiftieth issue. Oh no.
  • 1931 Matchless 500 Back in pre-war days, road tax bands were calculated by mass, hence Matchless built their tax-beating Light 500. And Dave D has just finished restoring one to its former glory
  • Norton Commando Fastback 750 Andy Bone bought his Fastback and then applied his engineering skills to improve its reliability and performance. Here are his recommended (and no so useful) mods and upgrades
  • Speedster Project Odgie’s vintafake now needs things like electrics and a starter and such, and he doesn’t filch all of them from a Hoover Junior vacuum cleaner
  • New Triumph Bonneville T100 Steve Wilson needed to update the chapter of his Triumph book to include the most recent Hinckley model Bonnie, so we went along for a spin

    Plus: Humbernut build a fork stem for a girder forked vintage machine; Steve Wilson looks back on the old days of the BSAOC’s Star magazine; PUB goes to Stafford and the VMCC’s Relay Rally; Dave Minton talks about gearing; and Frank Westworth gets his Norton ready for the road and flirts with Fertan.

    Click here to buy a copy of RealClassic 50...


    Issues 1 to 49 of RealClassic magazine can be found here...


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