Wheel alignment

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Classic British bikes

I took the following photos at a classic bike ride-in a few years back.  The emphasis was on a ride-in rather than drive 'em in on a trailer and ride them the last few hundred metres; some of them coming over over pretty long distances.  All were beautifully restored but they certainly weren't show ponies and on the open road section of the ride-in, some were being pushed along at a fair old pace!  These photos are just a small selection but it's wonderful that so many older bikes not only exist, but are used quite regularly:

 1963 AJS CSR 650

 1956 Triumph Tiger 110 650

 1960's Royal Enfield Constellation 700 - not all that reliable but nice-looking!

 1960's Norton Atlas 750

 Late 1950's Velocette Venom 500 (capable of a genuine 100 mph)

The following two pictures are of me, my BMW K100RS and some friends whilst at the classic bike weekend.  The Beemer is hardly a classic but the scenery in Taranaki province is really nice!   The first photo has Mt Taranaki, a 2500 metre high dormant volcano as a backdrop.  The second photo is with the same friends, parked up on an old timber stagecoach road bridge a few km from the classic meeting.  It was noteworthy in that it had been closed to traffic for some years due to rotten timbers but we managed to squeeze the bikes through the bollards and carefully ride them onto the bridge!

If there was one great thing about 1960's British bikes and earlier, it was that the seat heights were perfect for vertically-challenged people - nothing over 800mm.  At 5'8", many modern bikes rule themselves out of my consideration on seat height alone!


  1. Geoff:

    re: seat height, think HIGH Heels. That'll fix the problem. I would think that Pink ones would fit the bill.

    Also re your comment over at Gary's about the Cobra, when you come over to Cowichan Bay next year, I will take you to the Caterham Lotus 7 facility where they hand build cars, by hand, one at a time


    I met David O Saville Peck a few years ago, he is also a renowned racer . I often stop by for a visit when I am in Chemainus, just a stone's throw north of Cowichan Bay.

    I see Jenny gave you the go-ahead to purchase one of these Tiddlers

    Wet Coast Scootin

  2. Thank you Bob. When I decide to go for gender reassignment, I'll do my best to remember that sage advice :-).

    There's a world of difference between a Cobra and a Caterham 7 in terms of their appeal. Both excellent cars but in terms of emotional appeal, one does it and the other one doesn't. Unless I was doing track days of course.

    A friend has the NZ equivalent of a Caterham 7, equipped with a reworked 13b Mazda rotary. I could get used to that!!!

  3. Hey Geoff, unbelievable scenery in that post, picture postcard stuff! I remember seeing fantastic scenery when I toured around there. I look forward to reading about your Grand Challenge ride later in the year, I have yet to do one of those but I'm going to have to do it.

  4. Thanks Andrew! This will be my fifth Grand Challenge and thought I'd be stopping at #4. You know what happens when you stop challenging yourself at something though!

    Part 2 of the GC saga to be posted this weekend.

  5. Geoff:

    thanks a bunch. That's how it starts. A few photos, then look at the local buy and sell. and now I want a collector bike to fiddle with

    ... or a used Street Triple, and now they introduce the new Tiger 800 triple.

    it just never ends

    Wet Coast Scootin

  6. I soooooooo want that Norton Atlas, mmmmmmmm


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