Sunday, 27 November 2016
Friday, 11 November 2016
1962 DMW 'Deemster'
Now here's a rarity - the DMW Deemster. Launched in 1962, the Deemster was an attempt by British firm DMW to break into the Ariel Leader/Velocette Vogue 'enclosed small tourer' market.
A strange motorcycle/scooter hybrid, it was powered by a Villiers 250cc two stroke twin engine, and had 12 inch wheels and leading link forks. A sales failure, it was bought by a number of Police forces.
Friday, 4 November 2016
Royal Enfield twin prototype
No details yet other than it's believed to be around 750cc and will be launched in India in 2017 and Europe (and possibly other countries) in 2018.
The prototype uses a modified frame and running gear from one of RE's existing singles, and the cylinder head looks similar to the OHC Himalayan single they showed some time ago - possibly that engine 'doubled up'?
Also in the news, another Indian firm, car/truck/tractor manufacturer Mahindra has purchased the rights to the BSA and Jawa brands. They released they following staement: (stolen from here.)
New BSAs could be built in Britain within the next two years, according to Rajesh Jejurikar, President and Chief Executive of Mahindra's Farm Equipment and Two Wheeler division.
Following last week's news that the Indian giant has bought the rights to the BSA name from British company BSA-Regal, Jejurikar told BikeSocial that plans are underway to design, develop and manufacture the first new models to bear the BSA name since 1999 in the UK, with the first models optimistically slated for a 2019 release.
BSA, which stands for ‘Birmingham Small Arms’ has been bought by Classic Legends, a subsidiary of Mahindra, and bosses at the Indian company have identified that they are looking to identify ‘BSA stylists’ and that they want to design, engineer and hopefully build the bike in the Midlands.
Jejurikar stated that they were keen that the new bikes be "produced in the UK, close to the place of origin" although he could not rule out that the production line would be at the Mahindra-owned Peugeot Scooters factory in France, stating that the project was still in a very early stage and that no major decisions had been made.
Likewise, no decision has been made on what kind of bikes the new BSA concern will be manufacturing, however Jejurikar added that the plan was to remain true to the traditional BSAs, with suggestions that a 500-750cc single will most likely be the new company’s first model.
While the massive Mahindra organisation provides the money behind the project, the Indian giant is keen that BSA remains its own brand, however the parent company does have an impressive roster of companies that can help get BSA back into production if need be, not least the aforementioned production and distribution facilities of Peugeot, the Mahindra Moto3 race team development centre in Italy and the Pininfarina design house famous for styling some of the world’s most iconic supercars.
The investment from Mahindra promises to be a major shot in the arm for the British motorcycle industry, potentially in the same way that another Indian giant, Tata Motors, has transformed the Jaguar Land Rover group.
Jejurikar added: “India is unique and the only other nation capable of truly understanding the classic British motorcycle. Through the British Raj we had a lot of British bikes sold in our country and many learned to ride on classic British bikes. We are keen for the bikes to be produced in Britain, that is our endeavour, and we want the new BSA to represent the honest engineering for which British bikes are so renowned.”
Ironically, despite the Indian investment, it is unlikely that any new BSAs will be sold in the parent company’s homeland. Mahindra state categorically that the BSA models are being designed for the ‘developed world’ with a key focus on North America and Europe. There is also an ongoing legal battle regarding the use of the BSA name in India that may preclude the new Mahindra owned company from being sold under the trademark in the country anyway, although Classic Legends has also purchased a licence to the historic Czech brand JAWA, which will be applied to a range of products for the Indian market.
Interesting days ahead?
Friday, 28 October 2016
Thursday, 27 October 2016
This is an extra bit leading on from a post on my brother's blog. I can't add a picture in the replies to his post, so I've posted it here.
Firstly, read his post here.
This is what happened next:
When we got to the campsite I laid my bike on its side and took the clutch cover off It was clear what the problem was - the primary gear was missing about a third of its teeth! They must have broken off when I dropped the clutch and there was no way the bike was going any further under its own steam. I used to have a photo of myself standing over the dismantled bike - if I find it I'll post it later.
Lacking recovery insurance (a big mistake!) I had to leave the bike at the campsite and Stuart gave me a lift home. To make room for me he had to leave his 'luggage sack' behind. The following weekend I headed down in a hire van to collect my bike and Stuart's luggage. I was nearly at the campsite when the clutch in the van failed! This meant that it had to be recovered on an even bigger low loader, and I returned for the bike the following day in a replacement van. The bike was repaired with a spare gear from my 'huge pile of spares' and continued to be used for many more years.
The bike rally was organised by the Cossack Owners Club (for Soviet built bikes that were marketed under the Cossack name), and they gave me this wonderful 'Special Award'.
Sunday, 23 October 2016
As regular readers will know, I went to the Coupes Moto Légende back in 2012. It was probably the best, and certainly the biggest, motorbike event I’ve ever been to.
For those that don’t know, it’s a huge classic bike event held every year at the Dijon-Prenoir circuit, just outside Dijon in France. There are lots of trade and club stands, old bikes being taken out on the track, stands selling all sorts of spares and accessories, as well as former racers taking bikes out for demonstration laps. They usually get about 30, 000 visitors so there’s plenty to see.
I’ve been meaning to return and as next year’s is the 25th event, they might put on something special. There’s nothing on their website yet, but I saw this reply on their Facebook page:
(Note: it automatically translates 'coupes' as 'cuts'.)
I’m intending going for 2 to 3 weeks taking in the Coupes and anything else that takes my fancy. There’s going to be an MZ rally at Ballacolla in Ireland round about that time. I’ve been previously and have been meaning to return for years, ironically on the first non-MZ I’ve had on the road in 28 years!
A previous Ballacolla Rally - you don't often get that many Skorpions together!
I had planned that if the MZ rally is the weekend before the Coupes, I could get the ferry from Rosslare (Ireland) to Cherbourg (France), ride around France for a week, go to the Coupes, then make my way home. However, I discovered an interesting car racing event in Pau (France) that is usually held the weekend before the Coupes.
Poster for this year's event
Cars are raced on a circuit laid out on the streets through the centre of Pau. I rather fancy the Historic Grand Prix, as there are classes for 60s and 70s sports cars, Minis, etc.
As you can see from this video, lots of interesting cars.
So the plan has been hatched – if everything works out and the events are on consecutive weekends, I will go to the MZ rally in Ireland, get the ferry to France, ride about for a week then go to Pau, followed by another week of riding about then going to the Coupes. After that it’ll be an easy ride to Zeebrugge (Belgium) for the ferry home.
1. Ballacolla, 2. Rosslare, 3. Cherbourg, 4. Pau, 5. Dijon, 6. Zeebrugge, 7. Hull.
OK, the events might not work out as planned, some could clash and I’ll end up only going to two, the Pound could collapse more against the Euro and I’ll have to ‘trim’ the trip a bit, But you’ve got to start planning somewhere! If anyone else is going to any of these events, come up and say 'hello'!
Useful stuff:Coupes website here.
Coupes Facebook page here.
Grand Prix de Pau website here.
Grand Prix de Pau Facebook page here.
My visit in 2012 here.
Friday, 21 October 2016
Not really my sort of thing.......
...but so well done!
2017 Triumph T120 Bobber
Triumph have just announced the Bobber which uses the 1200cc 'High Torque' engine from their T120. Very neatly done with an adjustable single saddle, a fake 'hard tail' style rear end, and lots of stylish details.
Love how the fuel injectors look like Amal Monobloc carbs with 'pancake' air filters! There's also a 'battery box' on the other side complete with steel retaining strap.
Triumph have announced hundreds of official accessories and no doubt all the aftermarket suppliers will be producing them as well.
Not sure about the bars on the one on the right!
What amazes me is that despite its stripped down look, it still has ABS, traction control, 'ride by wire' throttle, etc - where do they fit all the bits?
Delivery should start in the UK in March 2017 and I found a dealer listing them with a guide price of £10,500 = 11,800 Euros = US$12,800.
Here's a video with a couple of Triumph promos and an impression of the bike: