Plugs & Leads: classic bike news

In this week’s news round-up we’ve found some smashing old trials bikes going under the hammer; spotted perfect panniers for Royal Enfield owners; report on Japanese classics in the New Forest, and can tell you where it’s all happening on Sunday 13 September (a clue: it’s in Kent!)

Old Bikes at Auction
Entries are lining up nicely for the next Spicers auction on 7 November 2020, and they include this handsome Triumph TR5. It was bought new by Gladys Bouttell in 1951 and then ridden regularly for the next 50 years in local trials and cross-country events – she often accompanied her husband who participated in the Welsh and Scottish trials of the 1960s and 70s.

Continuing the trials theme, the Spicers sale also showcases a collection of 1980s trials bikes, seen here as they were discovered. They’re currently being recommissioned and returned to running order – but not restored, so they’ll retain their originality. One of these machines was ridden in the 1983 Scottish Six Days Trial by RC Smith, who took a second class award. If you know any more about Rob Smith then Andy at Spicers would love to hear from you.

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The full catalogue will be released nearer the date of the sale, and we’ll try to do a full preview before the event. You can bid live online or by phone, or by arrangement with the auction house. If you’d like to sell your own classic then contact [email protected] – Spicers charge just 5% commission on sales.

Bespoke Baggage
The clever chaps at Craven Equipment have developed these new Meteor panniers to suit modern-but-traditional motorcycles, like the Royal Enfield Interceptor. These panniers have been designed to sit high enough to avoid fouling the silencer, but narrow enough to avoid spoiling the lines of the bike. Yet they’re deep enough to fit a full-face crash helmet and give you plenty of carrying capacity.

Hand-crafted in Craven’s own workshops, the Meteor panniers can be made in custom colours to order, or ‘black is the new black’ is available off the shelf. All come with a 10 year guarantee from Craven Equipment.

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Big Bikejumble Next Weekend!
Sunday 13 September will be lucky for some – those people who enjoy a day out at the Romney Marsh Classic Bikejumble in Kent. Although many shows have been cancelled as they can’t meet current H&S standards, the Elk events of outdoor markets are ideally suited to the new format. Everything takes place outdoors at Hamstreet near Ashford, TN26 2JD, with plenty of space to stay socially distanced and ample anti-bac cleanser to hand.

Among the trade stalls you can expect to find Kent Vapour Blasting – one of the few companies in the UK who are happy to blast complete engines. Ian Kease will bring stocks of fuel line, filters and heat-shrink tubing so you can overhaul your bike’s fuel system this autumn. J&R will offer classic oils formulated for old-fashioned four-strokes; Greystone Enterprises provide spares for Triumph Tiger Cubs; RB Bikes cater for Suzi Kettles; the Chain Man can cut primary or drive chains to length while you wait, and Hi Star leathers will be both selling and buying classic leather jackets and jeans.

Most traders are happy for you to pre-order and collect at the event, saving postage. There will also be a free-to-sell BikeMart: just pay the admission rate and place your bike in the ‘for sale’ zone. Parking is free and the entry fee has been held at last year’s rate of £5 with an OAP discount to £4 (please bring the correct money or pay by card). As usual, do check the details before you set off.

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Museum Meet
Hundreds of classic riders grabbed the opportunity for a spin on the last weekend of summer, to visit the Miller Museum in Hampshire for an outdoor gathering to celebrate Japanese classics. Motorcycles came and went throughout the morning, with older machines on display in the museum’s courtyard. Sammy Miller was available to chat to visitors, and awarded a prize to the classic motorcycle which caught his eye.

Visitors were welcome to take socially-distanced tours of the museum workshop, and refresh themselves at the tea room. The west London branch of the Honda Owners’ Club made an early start to ride down to the New Forest and join the fun. ‘Sammy was in fine form,’ they report, ‘and made everyone feel really welcome.’

The museum hosts a ride-in every Tuesday morning, and there’s a special ‘café racer rendezvous’ scheduled for Sunday 20 September. Classic café racers will be able to park in a special zone and visitors are welcome to attend on other bikes (or even in a car!) to view the display. As usual, please check the details before you set off as all events are subject to change at short notice these days.

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As details and dates can change so rapidly these days, we tend to post most info about rides, jumbles and diary dates on our Facebook page. If you ‘like’ and ‘follow’ the page, and hit the ‘see this first’ option then you’ll get the details in your FB timeline…


Miller Museum photos by Jackie Lawton
Other images Craven Equipment / Elk Promotions / Spicers Auctioneers

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