The July issue of The Classic MotorCycle magazine offers a lavishly illustrated celebration of legendary machines, riders and races , and news, reviews and rare period images from the golden age of motorcycling.

Drawing on an archive stretching back to 1903, The Classic MotorCycle provides an unparalleled insight into more than a century of motorcycle design, development, riding, racing and much more.

This month’s issue includes:

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MATCHLESS G3LS | This blue-finished Matchless might not be completely original, but it certainly looks the part.

BSAC15 SS80 | The appeal of Small Heath’s early unit 250cc model comes through loud and clear in this expertly revitalised 1963 SS80 sports version.

TRIUMPH LW JUNIOR | Although there were around 11,600 lightweight Triumph two-strokes made in a production run of a dozen years, survivors are now rarities.

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MEN WHO MATTERED – BERT KERSHAW | “The electrical trade wasn’t really to his liking, so young Kershaw sought employment in the motorcycle industry.”

Editor’s welcome

Invariably, the letters pages are just about the final thing to be done before we finally put each issue ‘to bed’ and say goodbye and good night to it.

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That means when I come to this column – the penultimate task with the next month page traditionally the last – it’s often the letters that are freshest in my mind. As I’ve noted recently in the column, we are privileged and fortunate to receive plenty of correspondence (for which I thank you, so please keep it up) and it’s such a wonderfully diverse mix too.

One thing which struck me was that cost was mentioned more than once, which is actually quite unusual, with correspondent Paul Zmitrowicz noting how much classics are now costing, while Dennis Frost has written in to point out: “£1000 will still buy you an LE.”

So there’s one saying classics are expensive, with another pointing out that you can become the owner of what is definitely a machine to stand out from the crowd on, for about the price of a half-decent bicycle, a 13in Macbook or a return flight to Australia.

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People’s perceptions of what is expensive and what isn’t is always a question of perspective – and that perspective can be altered by any number of factors, with the current, emerging one being ‘provenance’ or to put it more precisely… a celebrity link.

Or more precisely (it seems at the moment) a link to Steve McQueen; witness the amazing price paid for the ex-Bud Ekins TR6 Triumph Trophy. But like so many things, the question of ‘what’s it worth?’ is always actually a question of what someone will pay, be it Triumph Trophy, Velocette LE, a flight or a computer.

Otherwise, it’s been a fairly busy month, what with Stafford (read all about it on page 12) having been and gone too, providing once again the usual eclectic mix of both machines and people.

This time, I managed to not buy anything – well, not for myself anyway, a friend had asked me to take a look at and possibly buy (we/he did) a motorcycle in the auction, so I did come home with something in the van – while I’ve also managed to make the best of the fine weather, having a few nice runs out, including a good day out on dad’s Mk.II KSS Velo, which I hadn’t ridden for quite a while.

Lovely and polite mannered, it brought to mind Tim Britton’s concluding words on Peter Occleston’s example he tested, in which Tim concluded: “All in all a thoroughly pleasant machine to ride,” which sums up a KSS perfectly.

James Robinson, Editor

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