26th May 2010
Spares parts for Ariels, BSAs, Triumphs and more, plus news of the AJS Centenary and a great event to visit in Kent coming up...
Ajay Centenary Celebration Welcomes All
The AJS and Matchless OC is holding a two-day celebration of the AJS marque's centenary on July 3rd and 4th 2010, and a slight reshuffle on the organisation front has made the road run from Wolverhampton to Woolwich easier to join and open to all.
AJS machines will lead the run, but all classic motorcyclists are most welcome to join in. The ride starts on Saturday 3rd from Kingswinford near Wolverhampton and travels to Guildford, Surrey. Then on Sunday 4th it'll set off from Newlands Corner on the A25 to meet up with the rest of the Centenary Celebration near the old AMC factory site in south-east London. The ride will be escorted by Club riders all the way, and old bike riders are welcome to join and leave wherever you wish. There's no cost to riders to participate in the run, so you can have some fun for free.
See www.ajs-matchless.com/centennial for further info.
Thunderbirds Are Go
RC reader Ian M spent many years working in the modern motorcycle industry for franchised dealers, but kept a hold of his life-long interest in British bikes from the classic era. He started out as a mechanic in a small classic bike restoration business in the 1980s and, even while working with modern Japanese motorcycles, maintained a connection by repairing, riding and developing old Brits.
After trying some of the auction site dealers to buy parts for his own machines it became clear to Ian that some of them were in it for a fast buck and didn't have any real technical knowledge or much dedication to customer service. Ian felt that there was a place for a web-shop which could provide a fast international mail-order service but also be able to back it up with proper technical knowledge and real customer service.
So he started Thunderbird Spares in 2007, and Ian's web-shop now stocks an extensive range of components. He specialises in replica and new-old-stock post-war Triumph and BSA parts up to 1985; everything from air filters, bearings, badges, control cables, sprockets and so on, through to wheel components, inner tubes and rim tapes. The Thunderbird Spares range expands all the time so if you don't see the part you need then it's worth making an enquiry, as Ian may be able to source the spare you require quite quickly.
Thunderbird Spares also offer a discount to TOMCC members (you'll need to quote you membership details). Visit www.thunderbirdspares.com to browse the shelves. If you get stuck then pop an mail through to Ian and he'll do the online equivalent of shuffling out of the stock-room in his brown warehouse coat, no doubt offering to put the kettle on…
Bag a Bargain in the Kent Countryside!
If the recent turnout at the Ashford Classic Show is anything to go by, then there should be an interesting array of old bikes and assorted bits to rummage amongst at the Rye (Hamstreet) Classic Bikejumble on Sunday 18th July 2010. You'll usually find heaps of motorcycle spares and accessories, genuine old stock, secondhand parts and new repro components in the Bikejumble itself at Hamstreet, which maintains a tight focus on two-wheeled interests (so you won't have to pick your way through heaps of car parts to locate a bit for your Beezer).
The Hamstreet jumble also includes a free bikemart, where you can display your bike for sale. It costs nothing more than the usual admission price: just enter the event and park up in the display area. We spotted a tidy Honda 400/4 up for grabs for £1150 at Ashford, and an intriguing Russian outfit, advertised for £1500. Who knows what will be on sale next weekend?
You're also welcome to drive along with a bootful of bits to clear out your garage. Regular jumblers and established traders have their own stalls, but private individuals who want to move on their unwanted parts can pay just £10 for a garage clear-out stall.
The Hamstreet Bikejumble starts at 10am on Sunday 18th July at Marsh Road, Hamstreet, KENT TN26 2JD (on the A2070, six miles south of the M20 J10). Admission costs £4 for adults and £3 for OAPs, with kids under 16 free. See www.elk-promotions.co.uk for more details or ring 01797 344277
Smart Visit To London Museum
Former Triumph works rider Paul Smart recently took time out from his busy schedule to visit the London Motorcycle Museum, much to the delight of founder Bill Crosby. Although intrigued by all the exhibits, it was the newly renovated barn which is now home to the large collection of Triumph's that really had the former race ace excited, especially on seeing one of Percy Tait's ex-works machines.
Smart actually started riding for Triumph in the Formula 750 class in 1969 after factory tester Tait had decided he did not like the machine, which was then offered to Smart. He promptly finished third on his first outing at the Hutchinson 100 Trophy meeting at his local track Brands Hatch, before following it up with a win at Crystal Palace on the same bike.
This was the start of what he describes as a 'magic' three years when he won everything in sight. He also nearly won Daytona in 1970, but a holed piston prevented him from doing so just fourteen laps from the end when he was leading.
Bill Crosby, whose own personal collection started the museum, was only too pleased to discuss many of the prototypes he saved from Meriden and was intrigued to find that were others he knew nothing about! The died-in-the-wool Triumph dealer also discussed many of the racing machines he was involved with and invited Paul Smart back when the next phase of the museum is opened to house even more classic machines.
You can drop by to see the Museum collection at Oldfield Lane South in Greenford during any weekend in the summer, when it opens from 10am to 4pm. Or make a date for Thunderbird Day, a special Triumph celebration, on July 4th. Call 020 8575 6644 or see www.london-motorcycle-museum.org
Ariel Spares & Beezer Bits
Draganfly Motorcycles have added all sorts of new items to their extensive stock of Ariel and BSA spares, many of them exclusively commissioned by Drags in response to customer requests. The first is a rear brake arm for all Ariel models of 1934 to 1936 vintage (ref 4402-34), cost £4.85. For cammy Square Fours made between 1933 and 1936, they now also have limited stock of the front engine plate (ref 2300-33) at £9 each, plus VAT and delivery.
If you own a plunger-era BSA, then the new suspension assembly tool should be an essential addition to your toolkit. These have been available before but at a prohibitive price. If you are likely to be stripping and rebuilding your plunger set-up then this tool will make the job far easier to accomplish and should prevent bits bouncing uncontrollably around your workshop… It costs £28.25, part number 61-3222.
Call 01986 894798 or see www.draganfly.co.uk
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