Mile munching Francis-Barnett


Dave Shaw and the surprisingly clean Francis-Barnett had just completed 270 gruelling miles in the Exeter Trial

Earlier in the weekend, Dave had completed the long-distance Exeter Trial, starting from Bridgwater, Somerset at midnight Friday and completing the 270-mile course in Cornwall, having endured unseasonably cold conditions…

Dave’s bike is proof that you don’t need a fortune to go classic motorcycling. The 1953 Falcon 58 was purchased five years ago from club stalwart Des Heckle for less than £1,000. Since then, Dave and the bike have taken part in other Motorcycling Club events such as the Land’s End and Edinburgh trials as well as the Arbuthnot.

Article continues below…

Enjoy more Classic MotorCycle reading in the monthly magazine.
Click here to subscribe & save.

Preparation has been basic. The standard 8E clutch was uprated with the assembly from a 9E, the gearbox was modified by adopting a ‘three-speed and reverse’ micro-car unit to give four usefully spaced forward ratios. Feeding thick-wall rubber tube through the middle of the front fork springs provided a measure of damping. 

Dave was out of luck on the Exeter, when shedding a chain on section 10 saw his chances of a bronze award evaporate. Nevertheless, he remains delighted with his purchase.

Subscribe to The Classic MotorCycle Magazine Enjoy more The Classic MotorCycle reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Article Tags:

About the Author