The brand new October 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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VINTAGE VELO ON TRACK | For a first ride on a rigid frame, girder-forked machine, what better place to do it than at Mallory Park, during The Festival of 1000 Bikes.
TRIUMPH DAYTONA | This hot 500cc Triumph from 1972 is proof in the metal and on the road that racing improves the breed.
VINCENT-HRD | This fascinating, charming and ultra-rare motorcycle comes from the early days of Vincent-HRD manufacture.
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The many various facets of motorcycling fascinate me, and always have. It’s very easy to become absolutely dedicated to one marque, to one genre, to one branch of sport or even all of the above, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
I’ve friends who won’t hear a word against Velocette, say, but their interest is in the marque in general, so everything from 1920s to 1960s. Then there are others who are just into flat-tankers – marque is less important, it’s that era; same with others and veterans.
Some will restore Triumph unit twin after Triumph unit twin, or ride nothing but a Gold Star, while I’ve been talking recently to a chap who has four Featherbed cammy Nortons (two Manx, one Inter/Manx hybrid and an Inter). I admire this single-minded dedication but I’ve never been able to subscribe to the same theory.
Though saying that, I had realised that I’d almost accidentally ‘assembled’ an exclusively 1927-31 stable of vaguely sporting machines, at one point. As a consequence, I’ve actively been trying to diversify the stable, as I want things that are different, not all, basically, versions of the same.
That there are different branches of motorcycling is always interesting to me as well. One can take a humble two-wheeler and find like-minded souls who want to race with you (on either hard track or mud, or desert, or shale, or ice) or ride slowly over and around obstacles with you (trials). Otherwise, one can head off to see the sights (touring) or simply use it as an excuse for social gatherings (so bike nights).
Then there’s the whole world of clubs and club nights in particular, where people gather (and not always gather by motorcycle) simply to discuss motorcycles; and then there’s shows, where, again, riding is not part of the experience, but it’s a social occasion, and also an opportunity to appreciate the skill and craft of others. For of course, the engineering challenge of restoration and maintenance is another important facet to our hobby.
Me? As I said at the start, I like all of it and find it fascinating. Though saying that, there’s little that can better a bright, early morning start and some happy miles on a vintage Sunbeam. Biased? Well, a little bit, but I’m continually trying to broaden my horizons and realise/appreciate there’s more to motorcycling than just one particular interest. And embracing that will do us all good.