Classic Bike News: September 09

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The Vincent Spares Co has found a new home, we’ve got details of an auction in America, the AJS and Matchless Club are giving all their money away and Gordon May’s attempt to ride a 1952 BSA Bantam to Egyptis not going well…

New US Auction At Vintage Festival

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The fifth annual Barber Vintage Festival which takes place on October 9th, 10th and 11th 2009 will host its inaugural auction of classic and vintage motorcycles this autumn. Well established auction house Bator International are organising the sale, which will take place in a new dedicated location, next to the traditional swap-meet zone.

The auction itself is scheduled for the Saturday, in conjunction with the festival activities of racing and the fabulous air show. Bator expect 150 or more of ‘the finest motorcycles’ to be offered, many of which will be sold at without reserve prices to the highest bidder. Potential bidders will be able to view all the machines on the previous day, Friday 9th, from 9am to 5pm.

Organiser Glenn Bator says: ‘this year’s event will bring some of the finest motorcycles available for sale under one tent as well as many motorcycles being exclusively imported from England, Italy and Japan! Additionally, you will see a full array of very rare bikes like Ariel, Velocette, DOT, Indian, and many other brands from around the world.’

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Entries for the sale are welcome, and Glenn explains why this event will work especially well for those wishing to sell their old motorcycles. ‘There is no better place to realise the best dollar for your bike, as there will be hundreds of interested buyers and classic cycle enthusiasts looking for their next acquisition.’

You can enter your bike for the sale via or call Bator International on 001 (805) 646 9566. Watch this space for a preview of the sale nearer the date…

Matchless Charity

The Newbury section of the AJS and Matchless OC were delighted to hand over a cheque for £2500 this summer, which was raised at the 2009 Westward Ho! Reliability Run. This brings the total of money raised for local charities by the branch over the past eleven years to £38,692.

This year the funds were given to The Swings and Smiles charity, to install facilities for handicapped children. In celebration of the Club’s efforts, the Landlord of the Rising Sun laid on a buffet supper and refused to take payment for the fine fayre provided. What a nice man!

A gurt big cheque, yesterday...

The provisional date for the 2010 Westward Ho! Rally has been set as the 26th to 28th of March, which is the weekend Easter. See

Some Vincent owners, yesterday...

Matchless motorcycles on

Vincent Spares New HQ

After 33 years of trading from their premises in Lymm in Cheshire, the VOC Spares Co Ltd has settled in to its new home in Kettering.

In a sensible move designed to keep costs down, the VOC Spares Co now shares space with the AJS and Matchless OC’s spares scheme. Although the two operations are in close proximity, they’re still being run as completely separate entities. The Vin team stock over 1500 components – many of them upgraded and improved over the originals — to keep Vincents and HRDs on the road, and offer a 10% discount to VOC members.

You can visit the VOC Spares Co at Unit 3a Robinson Way, Telford Way Industrial Estate, Kettering NN16 8PT, or see

Gordon’s Gone!

After his successful ride from the UK to South India on a 1953 Royal Enfield in 2008, we had hoped to bring you regular updates on the progress of writer, traveller and classic bike enthusiast Gordon May as he rode his humble 1952 BSA Bantam D1 to Egypt.

A man on a Bantam but not in Egypt, yesterday...

Sadly, as those who had been following his journey at will know, Gordon only got as far as Portogruaro in Italy. The crank seals and bearings failed on his bike, and he suspected that the wear in the bearings may also have caused damage ot the conrod, piston and bore.

Writing in his blog, Gordon comments, “It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I sit outside and rack my brains for alternatives. There are none. Were I on a round-the-world journey or have unlimited time to reach Egypt, I would certainly trust Roberto to do a superb job with the engine. However, I don’t have an extra 3 weeks available to tack onto the ride, and I’m already 1 week behind schedule. The news spells the end of the journey… this time.”

Overland to Egypt – Attempt No.2 is already being planned, starting in March 2010…

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