4th December 2007
Christmas is coming, and you haven't got a clue? No problem. If you're looking for a Christmas gift which is in some way vaguely related to classic bikes, then here's the annual RC selection of stocking filler suggestions...
Cool Classic Tees
Due to popular demand (it says here), Red Lizard have added some dazzling new designs to their range of classic motorcycle T-shirts, just in time for the gift-giving season. Because they know of Editor Westworth's proclivities (crikey!), they plied us with the details of the AJS and Matchless designs.
The new shirts feature the distinctive marque logos, four detailed bike illustrations and an appropriate slogan (Quality, Performance & Reliability, or The Race Bred Motorcycle, depending on which flavour of AMC machine you prefer). The designs are double-printed in multi-colour plasticised inks onto a high quality, Red Lizard heavyweight 100% cotton, pre-shrunk T-shirt. They're usually £18.99 each, but order in time for Christmas and you'll pay just £12.99. And there's heaps of other marques and bikes available too, not just old AMC clunkers…
Available from www.classic-motorcycles.co.uk/realclassic
You may have read Graham Ham's online articles about his travels with Daisy, a 1948 Triumph Speed Twin, but the stories seen here and in the RC magazine are just a taster of the full-length tale. The book of Daisy's Diary costs £13.99 from Panther Publishing and you can read a full review of it here.
This gist of the saga is that Graham gives up the day job, buys an old bike and rides off into the sunset - a dream for most but reality for him as he takes on the Landmark Challenge. But first Graham has to build the bike, make peace with his family and then meet life head on.
'Often hilarious, always interesting, this is a book which brings home the joys of classic motorcycling as Daisy puts in some 5000 miles to win the Challenge - in spite of mechanical mayhem, fire, and just about everything else that can go wrong with an old bike. The author, armed with little more than a compass from a Christmas cracker, a dysfunctional map and a random selection of the wrong tools sets out to challenge life together with his young family. Great fun, just what classic motorcycling is all about and makes you itch to join him on the road!'
Available from Panther Publishing
Sock It To Me!
Yes, it wouldn't be Christmas without the compulsory set of socks. However, these Sealskinz waterproof socks could have been tailor-made for classic riders because they offer a damp-defying combination of waterproof protection plus wool-lined warmth and techno-fibre breathability. Fanatic Sports and Leisure offer several styles to suit all types of trotters - we'd go for the longer version with a Merino wool lining at £28.50, but there's shorter styles as well.
Available from www.fanaticsportandleisure.co.uk
Draganfly Motorcycles have set up a special gift section of their website, with all sorts of clever ideas cunningly catalogued by price range, so you can choose how much you want to spend on your friends (it helps if they're friends who like BSAs or Ariels, of course). We took quite a shine to this handsome BSA lapel badge - just £3.30 so suitable for anybody's budget.
As it happens, we offer quite a decent selection of RealClassic clobber, most of which fits snugly into a Christmas stocking.
See www.RealClassic.co.uk/BuyStuff.html for details of RC polo shirts, magazine binders, mugs, hats and more…
Something For 'Er Indoors
Does your Better Half like nothing more than to spend an evening cross-stitching away, needles and threads a blaze of action, producing glorious works of art from posh patterns? Then you should take a look at Stitchtastic, who offer over 300 motorcycle designs ranging from Bantams to M20s to Sunbeams to Commandos and just about everything in between.
Each chart has been expertly designed and comes with a full colour picture, a black and white chart, printed clearly on A4 sheets, a shopping list of all the threads/floss required plus complete instructions if you're not sure how to get started and advice by email if you get stuck on anything. So simple even a bloke could handle it, surely? Charts alone cost around £8, or you could have a full kit, ready to go for a Sunbeam S7 for under £25.
Available from www.stitchtastic.com
DVD Adventures in Tibet
Our favourite motorcycling film of the last couple of years is 'Riding Solo To The Top of The World', which features Indian Bullet rider Guarav Jani trekking, single-handed, on his faithful Enfield through the Himalayas. There's a full review here, and if you buy a copy now you'll get rather more of a bargain because the price has been reduced to £13.99.
Available from www.classic-motorcycles.co.uk/realclassic
If someone you know and like owns a Norton, but you don't know what-the-devil else they'd want for Christmas (apart from maybe AA membership…), then why not give them a gift voucher from Norvil? The Norvil Motorcycle Company stock thousands of spares for all sorts of Nortons, from lightweights to singles to Dominators to Commandos, and they'll issue a gift voucher for any amount from £10 upwards.
Available from www.norvilmotorcycle.co.uk or call 01543 278008
Prints & Paintings
Artist and RC Clubman Steve Tubb paints in oils and pastels, and one of his prints would make a splendid stocking filler for a friend who's keen on Joey Dunlop, Bill Ivy, Geoff Duke, Mike Hailwood or a B17 Flying Fortress. You can also buy the originals if you're feeling extra generous!
Available from www.tubbart.co.uk or call 07770 945643.
Actually, these are more like warm-and-dry pants rather than hot ones, but we couldn't resist the headline. Draggin Jeans have boosted their already impressive range of skid-resistant riding trousers with their new Draggin Oilskins, with unique water and weather resistant properties.
This classic-fit jean has a semi boot-cut to fit over your riding boots, plus the usual DJ's kevlar protection against sliding and skidding should you have an unfortunate introduction to the tarmac, yet the material is still soft to the touch and comfortable to wear. DJs are much more flexible than leather trousers, and now they're suitable for all-weather riding, too.
The Oilskins come in sizes from 28-inch waist to 44-inch, and cost £140. Available from www.dragginjeans.co.uk
Special Offer For RC Readers
Reg Eyre has written a book, 'Riding Old Motorcycles', which makes a great introduction for anyone getting to grips with their first old bike. Reg has kindly offered a special deal for RC readers in the UK -- you buy the book and he will pay for the P&P.
Send cheques for £10 to Reg Eyre, High Beech, Elkstone, Cheltenham, GL53 9PA
One For The Grandkids (and Grandad, too)
Real Life Toys are mini-motor vehicles suitable for the wee nippers, which you can build in your workshop (so you get to play with them first…). The Toylander is styled to look like a Land Rover, is battery powered, and comes with full instructions as a DIY kit.
The Toylander takes about 50 hours to build and is suitable for children aged from three, offering the features of a real car in miniature including forward, reverse, foot and hand brake, lights, horn; folding screen and opening tailgate. Real Life Toys also offer mini-veteran cars, Jeep replicas and even tractors and trailers.
More info from RC Clubman Richard Shepherd on 01767 319080 or see www.reallifetoys.com
No bike rider should be without a battery charger - and it's one of those things which is just the right price to suit smaller budgets. Plus it's a good idea to give your bike battery an occasional boost in winter, especially if it's not going to be used regularly.
Paul Goff stocks a battery charger specifically designed to suit the smaller batteries fitted to motorcycles (car chargers can cause damage through overcharging). Paul's chargers are suitable for 6V and 12V and feature a quick release plug and socket connection that can be fitted out of sight to enable easy connection without taking the
Cost £14 including delivery from www.norbsa02.freeuk.com
Golden Era Prints
If you're looking for an unusual gift for a motorcycling chum, then Red Lizard have a superb range of limited edition 'Golden Era' prints which should delight on Christmas Day. Each print is one of a limited run of 850, professionally presented on high quality fine art board and attractively mounted.
The bikes themselves are beautifully rendered; we chose to gaze upon an Ariel Square but the other options include BSAs A10 and Gold Star, Norton Manx, Enfield Bullet and Triumph Speed Twin and Tiger 100. The prints come securely packed and wrapped, ready for framing if you choose.
Normal price £19.99 but they're now available at £9.99 plus delivery from www.classic-motorcycles.co.uk/realclassic
The Gift That Lasts All Year Long
And finally (but inevitably…) you could ask for, or give a chum, a Christmas present which will last all the way to the end of 2008. That's an entire year of entertainment which comes in the svelte shape of a subscription to RealClassic magazine.
RealClassic is Britain's best value old bike magazine and features all manner of classic motorcycles, and you could treat a friend to 12 issues for just £25.
Alternatively, send this web address to someone who normally gives you gentleman's relish on Christmas Day: www.realclassic.co.uk/sub scribe/gift.html and suggest you'd rather read RealClassic instead!
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