Firstly, an apology; we’ve not included the Morini OC Track Day in this issue, the simple explanation being we ran out of space after being presented with the opportunity to go and have a closer look at the historic Beart Manx Norton (featured on page 40). As you’ll read it had a massive personal appeal to me and the fact it is coming up for auction meant we had to ‘bump’ something out of the issue to include it, hence the disappearance of my Morini feature.

Morini has been a bit of a personal theme for me, too, as I’ve acquired one. I’ve spoken before about my desire to have something made in the year I was born (1978) so post Morini track day, and after the amount of fun I’d had riding Morinis, I decided to take the plunge. I’m now the owner of a 1978 Morini. It’s the youngest thing in my shed by 45 plus years, so to me is a ‘modern bike’ but it is still possessed of infinite charm and likeableness. It’s also given me an opportunity to buy lots of Moto Morini books… As someone to who symmetry and order appeals, I enjoy the fact it is 50 years newer than the other 350cc machine I’m currently re-smitten with, my Rex-Acme Blackburne.


Last month, I’d mentioned how the Rex-Acme handlebar had snapped, but a kindly friend donated a set of Velocette KTT bars to my cause, black painted and slightly narrower than the ones that were on the bike previously, but, actually they look the part and so are destined to stay in situ now.

The Rex was put to a few more hundred miles of use in July too, and I was even confident enough to let a friend (two actually) have a go on it. One had a decent (15 miles) ride on it and pronounced it was lovely, which is always nice to hear. It definitely is going well, so pleasing.

Now, the next thing is going to be a set of gears for it as it suffers from having a wide-ratio gearbox. It’s a three-speed Burman and has a horrible whine in second as it is, so it will need attention in the not too distant future. And if I could get a set of close ratio ones, well, that’d be even better…


But first, we’re off to Ireland (dad, my Australian-based cousin Pete and me) for the rally over there, for which I’m taking the Longstroke Sunbeam. A few days, riding vintage motorcycles in the Irish sun (fingers crossed!) in good company. What could be better?


James Robinson



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