The story behind the Arbuthnot Trophy

The Arbuthnot Trial is an annual reliability trial for British vintage and classic motorcycles. David Wright explains how this event commemorates a naval officer who died during the battle of Jutland over 100 years ago. The present-day event incorporates ‘the ambience of the 1920s era’ with the emphasis on rigid machines, although later classics are acceptable. Competition off-roaders rub shoulders…

James Superswift Two-Stroke Twin

  ‘It’s the finest and dandiest 250 you’ve ever seen,’ said the launch publicity about the new Superswift in the autumn of 1961. ‘The James twin you have been waiting for!’ The new machines, priced at £181.18.8, offered ‘thrilling performance matched only by its superb styling and finish… Ride it here, ride it there, ride it anywhere – this is…

Win an AJS Model 18

If you’re looking for a typical British bike, then the single-cylinder four-strokes built by Associated Motor Cycles immediately after WW2 are the obvious choice. Small wonder then that the National Motorcycle Museum chose an AJS Model 18 as one of the prizes in their winter raffle. Honest, dependable and free of phoney pretensions, the Ajay 18 neatly balances price and…

Hesketh V1000 and Vampire – Part 1

It ain’t quite a British Bulldog, but the Hesketh motorcycle still demands respect. Despite near-fatal flaws and fiscal foolishness, it simply refused to lay down and die… ‘This bike is a giant. It’s going to become a classic’ – Superbike magazine, June 1980 They were so right – but not immediately. When the Hesketh V1000 first hit the road in…