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15th October 2007

TP's Newsround
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The Ajay Club goes back to its roots while a gang of disadvantaged kids get to grips with a 1920s Triumph; there's new spares for Ariels and a chance to win tickets to the International Motor Cycle Show - and more...

From RUTS to Riches

When was the last time a bunch of kids took your bike away? When was the last time they brought it back after subjecting it to a concours rebuild? That's exactly what happened when the National Museum of Scotland gave a 1920's Triumph to RUTS, a motorcycle-based youth project. The National Museum of Scotland passed the belt-drive bike to RUTS and in less than a year, and with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, ten young people turned that rusty relic into a superb silk purse.

Before and After. My bike usually manage to go the other way... 1920's Triumph, rebuilt by the RUTS project

The project has given young people who had no future in formal education a chance to take responsibility and learn important life skills. Because the project also put the 1920's machine in the context of its time they have learned more about lives and times when the bike left the showroom just after the Great War. Some of the participants now plan to move on to more formal mechanics courses in local college.

More information about the project and RUTS' work with young people is available from 0131 663 5736.

AJS & Matchless Club Go Back To Their Roots

A superb turn-out of AJS and Matchless Club members and interested onlookers attended the club's special event in September, which was held near the site of the old AMC factory in Plumstead, South-East London. The event was staged at the historic Royal Arsenal, which is currently being sympathetically redeveloped, and included historic displays, demonstrations of racing bikes, an autojumble and a ride-out to unveil a plaque at the site of the old factory.

Around 150 bikes took part in the ride out to see the plaque being unveiled by the Deputy Leader of Greenwich Council, while Greenwich Heritage Centre put on an extensive exhibition about the old factory including displays, sectioned engines and film shows. Staff who had worked at the AMC factory were in attendance, while a team of famous racers let loose on a display of some iconic machinery to the crowd's delight.

Woman in background completely unimpressed by Colin Seeley roaring around.

Colin Seeley roared around on a G50 while Sammy Miller blasted up a make-shift strip on the super-charged 1939 V-four, and the air was full of the sounds of Porcupine and 7R racers. Seeley revealed that he'd been reaching speeds of 90mph on the strip - and it really wasn't very long…

The day was considered to be a huge success by the club, Greenwich Heritage and the Firepower Museum which hosted the event, and there are suggestions that it should become a regular feature on the annual calendar. See

Win Tickets to the International Motorcycle Show Will Pandora Pitstop be there, we wonder?

We've teamed up with the 2007 International Motorcycle and Scooter Show to offer four lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the UK's biggest two-wheeled show, taking place from 23rd November to 2nd December at the Birmingham NEC.

This year sees the return of Italian giant Ducati, as well as the new addition of Benelli, ensuring that the Show really is the only place in the U.K to see all the latest bikes from the biggest names under one roof. The Show also promises to be the most interactive yet, with visitors able to try out many of the best bikes on off-road, road and race circuits. Even children as young as five can have a go at the unique 'My First Honda Licence' feature.

As well as the hundreds of trade-stands showcasing all the best biking gear and accessories, there'll be the plenty to keep the Real Classic show goer entertained. The Classic Racers Zone will feature bikes as diverse as Graham Walker's (no relation, surely) 1931 TT winning Rudge and Mick Grant's 1975 TT winning Kawasaki 500 triple, while the Classic and Club Zone will mix displays by a variety of owners' clubs and the National Motorcycle museum with a chance to empty your wallets in the direction of the specialist trade stands.

To be in with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Show, simply answer the following question:

Q: Where is this year's International Motorcycle and Scooter Show taking place?

  • A: Birmingham NEC
  • B: Birkenhead ABC
  • C: Berkhampstead QED

    Sorry! All the tickets have now been won.

    For further information on the International Motorcycle and Scooter Show and to purchase tickets please visit or call 0870 739 2007

    Ariel Footrests Now Available

    Draganfly Motorcycles, who offer a huge range of BSA and Ariel spares, now have footrests for swinging arm Ariels in stock. These items are for the 1954-55 models (but will also fit the later 1956-58 machines if you're desperate!) and cost £37.71 apiece. Both sides are available; Part Numbers 5383-54 and 5384-54.

    Some footrests, yesterday.

    Draganfly offer a unique guarantee to their mail-order customers and say; 'if you don't like a part we send you, for any reason, return it for credit or refund. All we ask is that you let us know if the item is faulty so we don't sell it to someone else!'

    So you can order with confidence from 01986 894798 or see


    Paul Goff has recently added these replica AMC dampers to his range. They're a very close copy of the originals, and these top quality 12.2 inch-versions feature the aluminium clevis mounting peculiar to the AMC range. Available with shrouds, as were the original shocks, they are priced at £135.95 per pair including UK delivery. Paul offers a year's guarantee with all the shock absorbers he sells.

    Also available in pairs, for all non-monoshock AMC machines.

    Order from or 01494 868218

    Douglas Centenary Celebration

    Throughout 2007 the Douglas Club been celebrating the centenary of the marque, and the Club has now produced a booklet to celebrate 100 years of Douglas Motorcycling. In A5 glossy paperback format it has 50 pages and over 150 photos and images of Douglas machines built between 1907 and 1957.

    Static and action shots abound, many of historical importance. There is an introduction by Douglas Club President William (Bill) Douglas great grandson of founder William Douglas. There is also an illustrated article on Douglas Dirt Track Racing and a piece by Jeff Clew, well know motorcycle journalist and author of the definitive Douglas history.

    The booklet is priced at £4 including UK delivery. Send cheques to The London Douglas MCC Ltd at 4 St Marks Cottages, St Marks Road, Binfield, RG42 4AU

    And if you'd like to read more on the marque, there will be a special feature in the December 07 issue of RealClassic magazine, featuring the end to end ride on Douglas motorcycles which Club members accomplished in September this year.

    Douglas (kind of) stuff on

    Farewell To...

    The world of motorcycling bids goodbye to Peter Howdle 'one of the most charismatic journalists ever to cover motorcycle sport' who has died aged 83. One of the founders of Motor Cycle News, Peter was 'a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm, whose beaming friendliness was available to every competitor from the famous to the no-hoper clubman.' One of his talents was being in the right place at the right time, enabling him to capture the picture of Gordon Jackson's historic solitary 'dab' while winning the Scottish Six Days Trial. The sights, sounds and words at Peter's funeral will have a lasting effect on all who attended at a packed Rothwell Parish Church, Northamptonshire.

    Bud Ekins, one of the foremost stuntmen of his generation, also died recently aged 77. Best known as the actor who jumped the fence in 'The Great Escape', he also doubled for Steve McQueen in 'Bullitt', appeared in 'Electra Glide in Blue' plus 'The Blues Brothers' among many other films, and co-ordinated the stunts for the motorcycle cop show 'ChiPS'. Ekins was a superb rider who was one of the first Americans to compete in the World Championship Motocross Grand Prix circuit in Europe during the 1950s, and he won a raft of gold and silver medals in the ISDT events of the 1960s, often riding a 650 Triumph. Upon retiring, Ekins ran a small bike shop in Hollywood which specialised in vintage and classic motorcycles.

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    Electra Glides in Blue (and some other Harleys) in memory of Bud Ekins


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