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15th May 2015

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2015 Hoghton Tower Sprint

Just to confuse you, we sent a man called Iain Houghton to Hoghton Tower. No relation. No hogs, either, but plenty of classic bikes sprinting...

I went to the Hoghton Tower Sprint held in May and organised by Marshals Northwest. This sprint meeting has been run at Hoghton Tower since 1977 and it uses the main drive for the 1/8th mile timed runs against the clock. The bikes taking part ranged from a 1933 Velocette KTS 350 to a 2014 KTM Superduke 1200. The smallest bike was a 1972 Franco Morini 50, with the aforementioned KTM 1200 being the biggest. While the practice session was being held in the morning I decided to have a look around the bike park to see what was lurking about.

2015 Hoghton Tower Sprint

The Royal Enfields were out in force with about eight or nine parked up. These ranged from Indian-made Bullets to a 1959 Connie and a very nice looking V-twin with sidecar attached. Across the way was another combination, this was a BSA A10 with a Dnepr sidecar fitted to a Canterbury chassis. According to the owner it started life fitted with an adult-twin Canterbury sidecar but this had rotted away over time. The current owner has used the outfit in solo and combi form since the 1960s.

2015 Hoghton Tower Sprint Suitable for Sprinting, on now...

Just after 1pm the racing got underway. It was great to see the rider of the 1933 Velocette KTS 350 giving it a good handful of throttle, the exposed valve springs were certainly working overtime when the bike set off.

2015 Hoghton Tower Sprint

You have no doubt heard of Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix. We had the motorbike equivalent: Blue Haze by DMW Hornet. It may have smoked a lot but it ran well. Next up was possibly the loudest bike of the day, nicknamed ‘The Bird Scarer. This was the Team Slip BSA 250. It was like being stood next to a field of army heavy guns. Ouch went my poor ears as it flew past up the drive.

2015 Hoghton Tower Sprint

A chap called Tony Bannister who was featured in RealClassic a few months ago was out on his Triumph Thunderbird. He and the bike seemed to be having a good day out, with the bike sounding great when it flew up the drive. Also giving a good account of itself was a 1961 AJS 7R ridden by Peter Kelly. The bike was well turned out and ran just as well.

2015 Hoghton Tower Sprint

Thankfully the weather stayed dry if a little cold all day, and even the sun came out to play at times. Once again another great day’s entertainment and all for the cost of £10. So much better than boring football. Thanks to all who took part and organised the event. It was a good way to escape all of the election hype!

2015 Hoghton Tower Sprint

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