Frera 500

Richard Jones made a New Year’s resolution to take more photos of rarer bikes. Right on cue he tripped over something truly unusual on his arrival at January’s Vintage Stony event. Look quickly and you might imagine that this single-cylinder vintage motorcycle is something like a British-built Sunbeam – but in fact it comes from Continental Europe… The first bike…

Dot Motorcycles

Famous after WW2 for their lightweight trials and scrambles machines, Dot Motorcycles adopted their ‘Devoid of Trouble’ marketing slogan back in the early 1920s, around five years before the 1928 350 pictured here was built. Exactly where the company’s name came from appears to have been lost down the back of the sofa of time. Brand name aside, Dot’s story…

Sand & Motorcycles

There’s a long-standing relationship between old motorcycles, historic steam trains and sand quarrying, centred around Leighton Buzzard. It’s celebrated each year by this Sand and Motorcycles show, organised by the Leighton Buzzard narrow gauge railway and the ‘Beds Clangers’ section of the Royal British Legion Riders… More than 750 motorcycles, some 90 scooters, and three-wheelers of all shapes and sizes…

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…

Ariel Red Hunter

The Ariel singles which came to be known as Red Hunters can be traced back to Val Page’s creations of 1926. Originally they were kitted out in black, and those Black Ariels have cultivated a cult following all of their own. The equine connection wasn’t established until Edward Turner flexed his influence in the 1930s. From 1931, the top of…

BSA Silver Star

  Even people who don’t like classic motorcycles have heard of the BSA Gold Star. It’s a clear-cut classic bike icon. Its pre-war roadgoing counterpart is rather less well known, however. We featured the 500cc ohv Silver Star in the March magazine, and found some rather wonderful original images in the archive. There’s not a lot of space to see…