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New Year's Eve 2003


Old Bore's Almanac

After consuming several pints of Gunk and consulting the Mystic Oily Rag, this is what Old Bore foresees for the world of classic motorcycling in 2004...

January

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

  • The first classic motorcyclist caught speeding on the toll section of the M6 is released with a caution because the arresting officer is so impressed at his maintaining an average speed of 88mph on a 1948 sprung-hub Speed Twin.

  • In Cornwall, FW is mobbed wherever he goes (including the bathroom) by hordes of people demanding to know about his 'hobby' and the fourth part of his trilogy.

  • Meanwhile in New Zealand, Peter Jackson modestly acknowledges the crowds who acclaim his 'real classic', but is unable to recall characters called Norton and Vincent…

    February

  • An American entrepreneur, Jack W Bush, announces that he is manufacturing brand new Bantams at $20,000 dollars each. Models without Wipac electrics cost more.

  • A certain Old Bike magazine produces an article which is informative, well-written, accurate and entertaining. The nation is stunned.

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

    March

  • Closer investigation reveals that the article in the old bike magazine originally appeared in CBG in 1997. The nation breathes a sigh of relief.

  • Norton announce the arrival of the Nemesis. 'No, really, it's here, honestly,' says a spokesperson (A Campbell). Armed only with expense claims and blond female 'assistants', the intrepid journalists make their way to the headquarters of New Norton Completely Unrelated To All The Others Except The Directors Are The Same Ltd. The spokesman tells them that just before they arrived the only prototype, which was definitely genuine, had been stolen. The spokesman is in hospital for a fortnight. The journalists need to spend a week in a hotel to write up the story.

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

    At last! A British World Beater!

    April

  • A nation rejoices as the first paper copy of RealClassic magazine hits the stands. Crowds throng the streets, a public holiday is declared, Cornwall is granted independence, Osama bin Laden comes out from his hiding place in the White House, world peace is proclaimed, RealMart takes a well-deserved holiday, there's something decent on the telly and Leeds United win a game.

  • The new, 1200cc version of the Hesketh is launched. It really is quite good, actually. The nation faints.

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

    May

  • Triumph announce two new models. The Tigger revives the much-admired sprung-hub suspension, the performance of which gives the bike its entirely appropriate name. There is also the long-awaited New Bonneville. It is now 1200lb dry weight and has an estimated top speed of 37mph (downhill, engine not running). A nation rejoices (the nation being Japan).

  • There is concern over the psychological welfare of a well-known BSA specialist when he is seen apparently having a good time at an autojumble. Medical investigation proves fruitless.

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

    June

  • No newspapers are printed. In fact, nothing is printed except a billion copies of RealClassic magazine to satisfy a Mad World's demands. From the profits, FW buys an Ariel Three for his daily transport. A nation is worried.

  • The Mars Express probe proves that not only was there once intelligent life on Mars, but that these intelligent beings also owned TE Lawrence's Brough Superior for a while.

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

    July

  • The prices of Ariel Three motorcycles go sky high. Shrewd marketeers believe that someone is artificially stimulating demand.

  • Four simultaneous explosions destroy the Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki factories. It seems that they were all working on atomic-powered bikes. A spokesman for BSA (in fact, its only employee) says: 'This is a great opportunity for the British bike industry. We can promise that within five years we will have drawn up draft plans for a provisional meeting to discuss the possibility of a template for initial talks about a theoretical prototype…'

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

    At last! Another British World Beater!

    August

  • Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki announce their factories have been completely rebuilt and re-equipped, and they each have 594 new models in full production.

  • The spokesman for BSA takes up his new job as Minister for Transport.

  • The Conservative Party, in a bid to woo middle-England, promises to reinstate the rolling 25-year-old qualification for free road fund licence if elected. The nation gives it serious consideration.

  • Roy Richards says he is confident the National Motorcycle Museum will be open by September.

    September

  • A cache of perfectly preserved Vincent motorcycles is discovered in Argentina, nearly doubling the number previously known to exist. No one is surprised.

  • The National Motorcycle Museum opens in a blaze (whoops!) of publicity. Both visitors are mystified by the piles of mangled burnt-out bikes. A nation is outraged. 'We never said the bikes would be restored' says a spokesman.

  • A pattern Lucas rear light glass fits. Perfectly. First time. As a result, the world wobbles on its axis a little.

    October

  • In a national poll of 'the best classic bike of all time' no one votes for any incarnation of Triumph Bonneville. Alien influence is suspected.

  • More visitors come to the National Motorcycle Museum. It is featured in the Guardian, American Cake Decorating magazine and Woman's Weekly. Unrecognisable bits of burnt motorbikes are The Big New Thing in the art world.

  • Angry readers write to RealClassic demanding to know why they can still recognise the featured bikes in the photos. 'Where are the wrecks we love?' they demand.

    November

  • An AA patrol called to a roadside breakdown actually manages to get an old bike going again. The owner is too shocked to ride home.

  • The National Motorcycle Museum is renamed the Tate Modern in Birmingham, as it becomes obvious that burnt-out remains of bikes attract infinitely more people and money than nice shiny ones.

  • Roy Richards wins The Turner Prize.

  • RealClassic now includes features on pyromania, as well as a history of Rex.

    December

  • The Tate Modern In Birmingham is a world-wide success. Surrounding roads are jammed as millions of people are desperate to see the latest trendy sculptures. The world is scoured for more old bikes suitable for burning. The TMB guarantees it has no fire insurance.

  • A plume of smoke is seen on the north Cornish coast, accompanied by the sound of weeping…

    At last! Another British World Beater! [That's enough British World Beaters. RealMart]

    Any more predictions?


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