Classic Motorcycle News, December '09

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In the final round-up of classic motorcycling info for 2009 we bid farewell to a Surrey stalwart and welcome new faces; note a pair of new publications; announce winners galore, and reveal new spares for Triumph Bonnies, BSAs, Ariels, and more…

Stop Press: Boxing Day Beano

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If your festive fun is looking a little flimsy then pop along to the VMCC Oxford Section’s RON AMEY TRIAL from 2pm, for Pre-65 and Pre-84 Twin-shock machines at Rockley Copse, Besselsleigh, Oxford (signs from A420). Observers very welcome. Call Celia for more info 01865 372324

The Surrey Shuffle

The end of 2009 brings with it a fond farewell to one of the top chaps of classic motorcycling. After a hundred million years (or maybe it just feels that way) as proprietor of Surrey Cycles, Nevile Lewis is handing over the reins of the business to a new team. So Nevile will be playing with his own old clunkers in future, rather than searching out exactly the correct pilot jet to suit his customer’s Mk1 Concentric… instead those duties fall to Carol and Michael who’ll be settling in over the New Year.

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So you’ll see a new pair of faces in the wagon at all major shows and jumbles, and speak to new voices offering the same sterling online and mail order service for Amal carbs and spares. You’ll find them at and we wish them all the best with their new venture. Meanwhile, we hope Nevile enjoys having a little more free time on his hands!

Sparky New Booklet

The latest publication from Panther Publishing is a nifty little booklet by Stan Dibben, described as ‘simply the best guide there is on how to read spark plugs to diagnose engine faults, and to select the correct grade of plug for your engine.’ It explains the differences between modern plugs and those from the classic period, and shows how to select modern plugs for use in older engines.

This short booklet simply explains everything most classic owners need to know about spark plugs, the types available, the difference between hot and cold plugs, and the relationship to the ignition system such as coil or magneto. All the likely states of your spark plugs are illustrated, explained and remedies suggested and there is also a table of the common plug equivalents, showing hotter and colder plugs.

Author Stan Dibben spent 25 years in the spark plug industry when many of today’s classics were still in everyday use. He gave spark plug application advice across the whole range of engines – cars, motorcycles and motor sport – to garages and owners.

‘Spark Plugging The Classics’ is a 20-page A5 booklet in full colour with many illustrations and tables. ISBN 978-0-9556595-3-9, price £4 from 01494 534778 or see

RC Subscribers Win

As one of the many myriad benefits of subscribing to the printed RealClassic magazine, all RC Club members are entered into a monthly, lucky dip prize draw. We’ve shambled a little lately and forgotten to mention who the winners have been, although the winners themselves know all about it because they received a mysterious parcel in the post filled with gold bullion and fine-cut diamonds.

(OK, that was something of an exaggeration. An entire thing of an exaggeration in fact, but gold and diamonds sounded better than T-shirts, mugs, DVDs, books, calendars and odd bits of unsolicited motorcycling paraphernalia which we’ve been sent to test and didn’t quite get round to using, which would be a more truthful description but it ain’t so entertaining).

Anyway, in a rare fit of efficiency we actually made a note of this month’s lucky winners and so we’re slightly astonished to be able to announce that Members 6059 Iain A, 6403 Ken L, 381 Gary R, 3082 Norman F and 5877 Anthony T will all be receiving something unexpected in the post for Christmas. Let’s hope they survive the experience and renew their magazine subs for another year or three…

New Bonnie Bits

The online T140 Shop at www.triumphbonne now has complete front fork assemblies in stock, to suit 750 Triumph twins with single or twin discs.

Nice pair of legs, etc...

The set includes stanchions and yokes and retails for £975. They may not be listed yet on the site, so call Paul on 01743 860146 if you’d like more info.

Bonnies old and new on

BSA & Ariel Spares

Draganfly Motorcycles have added two new items to their huge range of components for pre-unit and later Beesas and all Ariels. So hop over to to order a new stop plate for the brake pedal on 1933-36 models with cast aluminium chaincases, commissioned exclusively for Draganfly, and on sale for £3.84 plus delivery and VAT (part number 5414-33).

Mmmmm, Deburred...

These smart red ‘peardrop’ BSA badges are also back in stock, after what seems like being off the shelf for half of forever. They cost £21.58 each plus delivery and VAT (part number 40-8014 right and 40-8015 left). Call 01986 894798 if you need extra info.

Mmmmm, Shiny...


Shameless Plug….

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  • Panther Publishing for classic biking books
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  • Motorworks’ eBay shop or the BikerOneStop eBay shop for all sorts of useful bits and bobs

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