Rudge Sports Special

Rudge Whitworth promised ‘grace, speed and silence’ in the shape of their svelte 500cc sporting single, the aptly named Sports Special. This was one of the final motorcycles made by the high-class concern in the years leading up to the outbreak of war. It may not be the fastest bike Rudge ever built, nor the most technically innovative, but it’s…

Frank’s Famous Last Words #44

Do you enjoy riding your classic bike at night? Frank Westworth used to… I’m uncertain when it was that psychology was invented. Or was it discovered? Maybe someone was rummaging in an old tobacco tin looking for a straight if slightly secondhand split-pin when they discovered psychology? Who can tell? I’m not even entirely sure whether psychology is a good…

Norton Navigator

Classic bike riders often ignore Norton lightweight twins, put off by the bad reputation of the 250 Jubilee. But its bigger brother is an altogether better proposition with a pukka Roadholder front end, decent brakes and an energetic 350 engine… Throughout his long career at the core of the original Britbike industry, designer Bert Hopwood rarely made a monstrous mistake.…

Norton Model 18

The price of pre-war British bikes frequently puts them beyond most budgets, but the first bikes built after WW2 offer an affordable alternative. This 500 single was manufactured by Norton in 1946 and it retains many vintage virtues, as its owner explains… ‘It just oozes character,’ grins owner Brian. ‘I’ve owned other girder-fork machines over the years but never a…

Triumph Bonneville T140

Considering your first classic British bike? The Triumph T140 Bonneville (actually a range of 750 twins built between the mid-1970s and early 1980s) is still the obvious choice. There’s always a good selection of 750s up for sale at any time, so you have plenty to pick and choose between. Spares supply is superb. There are several specialists dedicated to…