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2nd December 2009

Christmas Gifts for Classic Motorcyclists
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Not sure what to give your chums this Christmas? Don't know what to ask for instead of socks? Rummage through this selection of classic bike related calendars, books and such, and see if inspiration strikes...

Tea Time?

These brand new mugs are available exclusively from Draganfly Motorcycles, the Ariel and BSA specialist. They feature the prancing Ariel pony design, taken from an original 1929 advert, in white printed on a black ceramic mug, with the iconic 'Minimum Oil Level' tank transfer changed to read 'Minimum Tea Level' on the reverse. You cold probably use them for coffee for your own personal use but be careful serving it to guests in case you infringe the Trades Description Act…

Any tea is too much tea for me...

Also available is a snazzy navy blue ceramic mug with the well recognised Draganfly logo in yellow on one side and again 'Minimum Tea Level' on the reverse. Both are available now at £5.99 inc VAT plus delivery from 01986 894798 or see www.draganfly.co.uk

Andy's Dates

The first of our calendars comes courtesy of Andy Tiernan and features as usual a set of superb illustrations courtesy of Nick Ward. These include drawings of Andy with his BSA M20 special, the one fitted with an air-cooled Austin 7 engine which was rumoured to have been built by Paul Richardson the Vincent works manager, plus a 1932 Indian Four, an Ice-cream Tricycle (for serving, not made of. Obviously), a 1938 DKW SB500 and Andy's BSA Taxi Combo. All proceeds from the sale of these calendars will go directly to the East Anglian Air Ambulance Fund.

Nick Ward. Nice...

To order, send a cheque for £5 made payable to the East Anglian Air Ambulance plus UK postage stamps to the value of 76p to cover UK postage to: Andy Tiernan, the Old Railway Station, Framlingham IP13 9EE. Limited prints of the individual illustrations will be available -- contact Andy direct for info via www.andybuysbikes.com or 01728 724321.

Vintage Selection

RealClassic magazine subscribers should already have received their complimentary copy of the VMCC's 'Vintage Selection' mail order catalogue. It's now grown to 48 pages and is packed with gift ideas including books, DVDs, VMCC regalia plus a range of specialist spares for veteran machines to help keep the oldest motorcycles on the road. If you haven't already seen a catalogue then you can browse the range at www.vmccshop.com

For all your vintage requirements...

Riding High

You don't have to be crazy to work here...This 90-minute DVD from the makers of the award-winning documentary 'Riding Solo' features a group of five friends attempting to tackle a near-impossible trip of a lifetime across the Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh, riding Royal Enfields in varying states of coherence.

Shot without a back-up vehicle or film crew, in parts of India hardly seen, filmed or explored, the documentary captures the interactions and experiences of the riders who are trying to chart a route, which according to everyone, does not exist.

It's not as gripping as the original film but still contains many 'wow' moments, including when they risk all to cross a fragile rope bridge. A good evening's entertainment and a suitable gift for any friend who keeps yammering on about going on one of these rides 'some day'…

'One Crazy Ride' DVD costs £16.99 from www.classic-motorcycles.co.uk or call 01624 814231

Boys Will Be…

Something for everyone...The AJS and Matchless Owners Club calendar boldly beats a new path for 2010 with an 'emphasis on youth and glamour' to create 'a retro look, back to those halcyon days of the Sixties. It was a time when our bikes ruled the road, when the future was rosy.'

So there's an all-new glossy A3 format featuring fourteen photos, with pretty people posing alongside bikes of the marque for each month. This calendar also has copious space for notes and appointments to be written in, so should keep track of your social whirl. In keeping with the 1960s theme, the girls get to wear very little while the chap who appears in some of the shots is leather-clad and fur-lined.

He does a good job of smouldering, even from behind a snoot fairing, while the girls look like they've been snapped mid-scamper. There's probably a set of jolly hockey sticks just out of frame…

The AMC Club calendar costs £7.95 including UK delivery from www.jampot.com or save the postage and buy one from the club's HQ at Kettering. Worldwide delivery is available: Europe for £8.95 and the Rest-Of-The-World for just £9.95.

Panther Improved!

Doff...........   Doff.........    Doff...Surely one couldn't hope to improve a Panther motorcycle…? No, indeed, it's the book of the marque which has just become better. 'The Panther Story' revised paperback edition features sharper, larger photos and illustrations, additional text including the recollections of former P&M employees, plus some corrections and revisions.

It provides the authoritative guide on Panther motorcycles and includes the complete history of the company together with full details of every model produced.Comprehensively illustrated, indexed and complete with tables of specifications, this is a comprehensive guide to Panther motorcycles and the history of Phelon & Moore Ltd.

'The Panther Story' by Barry M Jones costs £30 from Panther Publishing Ltd, 01494 534778 or see www.panther-publishing.com

Vintage Dates

The 2010 VMCC Calendar features 36 pictures of club members machines. All the bikes featured are winners from the yearly competition where VMCC members are invited to submit their photographs. Each month has a full A4-sized photograph plus two smaller photographs on the calendar page itself, so three dozen superb machines are featured from veterans through to bikes of the 1970s.

All 12 photos on the front cover? Whatever happened to suspense?...

This calendar is available from the VMCC at only £4.99 including UK P&P from www.vmccshop.com

Top Triumphs

It wouldn't be Christmas without The Great Escape...The Ace Classics Triumph calendar is a cracker. It recreates several of the famous scenes from The Great Escape, starting with a cheeky cover shot in the style of Steve McQueen.

This high-gloss A3 calendar includes some other memorable recreations from the film plus a selection of gloriously restored Triumphs in photogenic locations. There's even one on a deserted Westminster Bridge (although we think digital technology might have helped there…)

The Ace Classics calendar costs £10 from 0208 698 4273 or see www.ace classics.co.uk

A Beautiful Book

When a treasure trove of vintage motorcycle drawings, press cuttings, notebooks and more were discovered, a classic bike enthusiast resolved that they should be shared with the world.

The cream of the crop are presented in 'Precise in every part', which offers an overview from the personal archive of technical artist Francis Simpson. Simpson provided drawings for 'The Motor Cycle', the Douglas company, Vincent-HRD, Matchless and more.

Editing the collection must have taken many months of hard work and the result is a captivating insight into the motorcycle industry of the inter-war years. Any single drawing could fascinate an old bike fan for hours, and there are dozens to look at.

Compiler Alan Freke was keen to make this marvellous material available to as many readers as possible, so he contrived to produce a hardback of considerable quality for around half the price you'd expect to pay. That's so we can all 'appreciate the simplicity of line, that so beautifully brought cold metal to life.'

'Precise In Every Part costs £12 delivered to the UK;
email frenchaymuseum@hotmail.com

Spannering & Speedos

'Classic' bikes on

Revised First Edition. So that'll be the second edition, then...Graham Blighe's very popular book on 'Improving Classic Motorcycles' has been re-jigged slightly in a revised edition, providing a selection of modifications, tips and tricks collected during the author's decades with British bikes.

It's now also joined by a companion volume 'Magnetic Speedometer Repair' which offers an extensive guide to the repair and calibration of Smiths magnetic speedos and tachos.

Both books available from www.lulu.com/ improvingclassicmotorcycles or send cheques to Graham Blighe for £14 for 'Magnetic Speedometer Repair' or £15 for 'Improving Classic Motorcycles', or £28 if both are ordered at the same time, to PO Box 381, Southampton, SO32 2YF

And Finally…

Give (or ask) for a subscription to the monthly RealClassic magazine this Christmas. Just fill out the online payment form and for less than 30 quid some 12 issues will wing their way to the happy recipient. If you would like us to send the first issue timed to arrive for Christmas, and with a card to say that it's a gift, then just drop an email to TP at RealClassic.net and let us know who we should be sending magazines to. Last orders for Christmas 2009 is December 16th - but if you can order earlier then that'd be very helpful!

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Shameless Plug....
Buying via any of these links helps to support RealClassic.co.uk:

  • Panther Publishing for classic biking books
  • Classic-Motor cycles.co.uk for a huge range of t-shirts, posters and prints
  • Motorworks' eBay shop or the BikerOneStop eBay shop for all sorts of useful bits and bobs


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