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2nd October 2006
Buying Online Made Easy - Two Stolen Old Bikes - Cheap Classics at Honoroak - Ear-Ear! - Screen Genie - Pipe Down! - Oooh, Shut That Door!...
Buying Online Made Easy
Searching for a new old bike is normally great fun, but using the Net to find possible purchases can be frustrating - especially if all you find are out-of-date listings or pages which were last updated in 2005. Some classic bike dealers have almost embraced the internet age… but not quite, and so their sites don't really offer much more than an idea of the kind of bikes they might stock, with a telephone number for you to ring.
Andy Tiernan's website is exactly the opposite. At www.andybuysbikes.com he has gone for web service in a big way. Like most dealer websites, Andy's site lists his location, contact info, a bit of history and details about shows and events which he'll be attending. The main event is the stock list, which usually runs to 80-odd British bikes from the veteran era through to the 1970s. As you might expect, there are photos of each bike plus a brief description and the price. So far, so normal.
But for each bike you also get a selection of other goodies - a scan of the logbook and of other relevant paperwork, like recent receipts or dating certificates. There's usually plenty of big, clear photos with close-up shots of the engine plus a written report from Andy's mechanic which details the condition of the bike, paint, seat, tyres, etc, and how it performed on its test ride. 'Action a bit stiff' is a typical comment about how the front forks might be working, for instance.
Best of all, though, Andy has started to include short movies for some motorcycles, which show you the bike being fired up - so you get to watch someone kicking it into life and can then listen to the old clunker revving away (and occasionally even idling. Woohoo!). This is a massive improvement over murky thumbnail photos and single line descriptions, and gives the viewer enough confidence to get in touch and place a deposit. And, yes, Andy even answers his email. Well, he answered our email…
So we'd like to congratulate Andy on putting together a really useful site - one which should help him sell plenty of bikes! If you want to go and inspect a particular motorcycle in person then he's based out east at Framlingham, and it's best to make an appointment before turning up (he's normally open six days a week but like us frequently travels to events). If you live further afield but one of Andy's bikes grabs your fancy then that shouldn't be a problem - he can arrange transport throughout the UK and worldwide.
So what's it to be, then? 1925 Rudge? 1958 New Hudson? 1920 Anzani V-twin?
Two Stolen Old Bikes
Police are appealing for information to trace a vintage combination and trailer which were stolen from a pub car park near Shepton Mallet. The 1923 550cc Triumph Model H and sidecar were taken from the Highwayman Inn car park on the A37, on Monday 4th September. The Yeovil Road Policing Unit suggest that the outfit should catch the eye; 'This is a quite unique motorcycle and sidecar combination. It will be well known to motorcycle enthusiasts across the country. The combination has been in the owner's family since 1962, so it is obviously of great sentimental value.' The general Police number is 0845 456 7000, while the owners can be reached on 07816 086411 or 07800 564076.
Another machine to keep a lookout for is a 1956 Velo Viper (it was first registered in 1957), which was stolen in Ostend a couple of weeks ago, while the owner was attending an vintage motorcycle rally. The Viper's engine number is VR1104 and frame number is RS8022. Although it was swiped on the Continent there is a UK crime number; if you have any information which might reunite owner and bike then please call 01303 289180 and quote CAD 18-0828.
And if that hasn't startled you into checking that your bike is safely locked up where you expect it to be, then you're made of stern stuff indeed!
Cheap Classic Bikes At Honoroak
Doug at Honoroak Motorcycles (now based near Skegness although they started life in south London), always has a good selection of classic motorcycles in stock. You'll find a few top of the range machines, like a very original and un-mucked-about 1963 Rocket Gold Star, up for grabs - but Doug also makes sure to source plenty of bread-and-butter bikes for folk who don't happen to have nearly nine grand in the piggy bank.
As summer draws to a close, so it's traditional to clear the decks somewhat with an end of season sale - which means you could treat yourself to some new wheels at even lower prices. Doug has reduced prices on half a dozen or more machines, including a 1955 AJS Model 16 (save a ton and pay only £1600), a 1971 Thunderbolt A65 (reduced from £2650 to £2500), and an Ariel NH350 (down £150 to £1600).
The bargain of the bunch has to be the 1964 BSA A65. 'It's a project bike' says Doug, 'and pretty untidy, but it's all there and will make someone a good practical classic.'
The price? Just £1300. That has to be the cheapest unit 650 Beesa we've seen in a long while…
For photos of the bikes on sale at Honoroak see www.honoroakmotorcycles.co.uk, or to make Doug an offer call 01754 762927.
It might seem strange to ship bits for your old Britbike over to Blighty from the USA, but our chums at British Bike Connection in the States just keep making ace parts for old Nortons and Triumphs. Happily our GBP convert into an awful lot of USD these days, so you don't have to feel too guilty about spending a hundred dollars (and you can always have goods shipped surface, if you're concerned about aeroplanes destroying the planet…)
BBC offer a large supply of custom, used, new, secondhand and NOS parts - mostly to fit Norton Commando and late model BSA, but there are Atlas, pre-Commando, Smiths, Lucas and other British parts lurking in their stockroom plus frames, wheels, tanks, side panels, tool boxes, oil tanks, transmissions, engine cases, cylinder heads and so on.
BBC also manufacture parts where they can't find quite the right bit, or where those spares which are available just aren't good enough to do the job for a regular rider. So they've made mushroom-head tappet adjusters, valve guides, alloy fork nuts, leak-proof petrol taps, and a really smart anti-sump valve for Nortons which comes with a clever sight-glass.
The latest new part fits Norton and Triumph machines, and means you can get rid of some untidy clutter or rusty old chrome from the front end. BBC have made sets of billet alloy headlight 'ears' - the ones which anchor your headlamp to the forks - so you can go for that cool, café racer look. The ears clamp to the fork tubes with stainless steel cap screws, and mean you'll never have to look at rusty chrome next to your shiny headlight again.
The headlight ears cost $95 per pair; see www.britishbikeconnection.com for ordering info and the rest of the BBC range.
The Screen Genie
This month's prize for inappropriate timing goes to Royal Enfield, who has just introduced a sporty fly-screen for their Bullet range. Er, guys… the flies have flown for this year; wouldn't a full-fairing have been more in keeping with the season? Ah well; they tell us it will 'provide the rider with enhanced protection from the elements without detracting from the machine's classic lines', so perhaps some screen is better than none!
The screen is manufactured in the UK from 3mm clear acrylic, bolts directly onto the handlebars and costs £56.98 from RE dealers, or see www.royal-enfield.com
And if you're thinking of going to the International MotorCycle Show at the NEC in November, then you might like to stop by the Royal Enfield stand, and take a look at the newest model to join their line-up of Electra 500s…
You know how the devil is in the detail? Well Paul Goff reckons he's spotted a detail which some folk overlook when they reach the end of a long rebuild project.
'Many restorations are ruined to the trained eye by short-cuts and using what's lying around instead of the proper part,' says Paul. 'Oil and petrol hose is a good example with countless bikes finished off with clear braided PVC air hose. It just doesn't look right and can fail with petrol or hot oil.'
Many dealers don't stock the proper stuff, so Paul Goff can now provide reinforced black petrol/oil hose to suit 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" applications. It costs around £3 to £4 per metre plus delivery, and Paul reckons that 1/4" for petrol and 5/16" covers the vast majority of oil lines. The hose is suitable for unleaded petrol and hot oil, and is safe up to 175 PSI so Paul says 'it's ideal for classic bike use'.
Stainless steel hose clips and ferrules to suit are also available, all from www.norbsa02.freeuk.com or phone 01494 868218
Brrr. Shut That Door!
RC reader Steve has got in touch to let us know all about his whizzo new wotnot, cunningly called the Draughtmate. 'I am sure that a few of your readers will benefit from a warm garage this winter' says Steve, and 'the Draughtmate seals out all the draughts from the garage door and lets you work in a draught-free environment.'
The Draughtmate comes in just about any colour or size from www.draughtmate.com or 07904 561717.
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