Among the interesting missives was an email from Mark DeBank suggesting a few features aimed at more affordable classics. Coincidentally, this almost fits in with what we have in this magazine; for alongside the super expensive SS100 Brough and Egli Vincent, we’ve some space given over to BSA Bantams, Triumph Terrier and the 250cc Royal Enfield. These machines represent an affordable entry into the hobby – and provide great fun, as a first-hand experience reminded me Sunday before last.
With my cousin Pete over visiting from Australia, we (him, dad and my brother Simon) had decided to all go out for a local (to dad) section club run; about 90-odd miles plus a 30 mile round trip to the start and finish. Pete and the others ‘divvied’ up the Velocettes and Sunbeam between them; and me, last up, was left with dad’s D10 Bantam Sports, which hadn’t been run since Boxing Day.
Still, with the battery hooked up and the tank brimmed with pre-mix, the little stroker burst into life willingly and I set off (before them) for the start. On main roads getting to the meeting point, it was a bit of a slog – particularly as it was a windy day – but once on the run, what fun. The little Beesa is so dinky and nippy, it’s more than quick enough to keep up with most other classics on the British back roads and I had a great day out. We stopped for a lunch break on the quay at Blakeney in Norfolk and the assembled machines (maybe 25 or 30) created plenty of interest – one lady even producing a photo of her late husband on his Star Twin in the early 1950s and telling us stories of the epic touring trips they used to do – while one gent looked at ‘my’ Bantam somewhat incredulously, his eyes wide with surprise, and said: “How do you keep up with all them on that?” Actually, it’s not as hard as you’d think, sir, as a Bantam like this one will sit happily at 45-50mph, with a bit in hand, and on the country roads that’s more than quick enough. And it just goes to underline the point – made by Mark – that while the Broughs and Vincents are all well and good, it’s still possible to have good, wholesome, classic motorcycling fun on a budget. Perhaps we should stress that more.
Where legends come to life
James Robinson, Editor
James Robinson has been the editor of The Classic MotorCycle since 2002. Aged 34, he has possessed a motorcycle licence for 16 years and during that time has owned and ridden all manner of motorcycles, spanning over 100 years from oldest to newest.
Presently the custodian of a varied shed full of motorcycles, his overriding enthusiasm is for pre-World War Two sporting machines, with a couple of cammy Velos, a Rex-Acme and a Model 9 Sunbeam among those competing for attention.