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Archive Features


Dull with bright intervals, like the weather, was how the Motor Cycling reporter described the 125 race at the 1960 Ulster Grand Prix. But reading his race report it sounds anything but dull...
The first beach race to be held at Saltburn was in 1906, organised by the Yorkshire Automobile Club. More than 60,000 visitors came and the event continued to be popular until the First World War halted it. Racing restarted in 1920...
Les Smith prepares to tackle the Sani Pass, a bridle track between Basutoland and Natal in South Africa on his 350cc Velocette MAC, “…a machine of uncertain vintage” as described in The Motor Cycle...
Reproduced in full from the original article in the May 1983 edition of The Classic MotorCycle, this is the tale of a remarkable engineer and his twin-engined Norton...
BMW customised classics are all the rage. Go on the Net and you’ll find any amount of cafe racers, street trackers, Brat-style bobbers, and even scramblers but no, this is not another BMW custom classic project – with the photo given some retro monochrome treatment...
Fifty years ago, during the USA Grand Prix at Daytona, Mike Hailwood and MV Agusta rewrote the record book...
David Dixon pushes off the Stevens Velocette at the start of the 1964 Skerries 100, held 18 miles north of Dublin. It was part of a feature called Dicing on the Cheap...
The film Derby’ had a special – unique? – place in motorcycle sporting history, as it was still, in 1925, a true race, in contrivance of the ACU’s ban on speed events on the road...
Irish road racing legend Ernie Lyons has passed away, just short of his 100th birthday. Lyons will always be remembered for his win in the 1946 Manx Grand Prix, the first ‘big’ race held after the Second World War...
The ACU Spring One Day Trial of March 12, 1914, attracted a record entry of 178 and offered a challenging day’s riding in the Peak District, which The Motor Cycle described as “tests of flexibility, restarting and weatherproofness in the Peak District”...
A case of dissatisfaction with the products of the factories they were racing motorcycles for and the feeling they could do better was the catalyst for Don and Derek Rickman to make their own scrambler...
In early spring of 1955, Motor Cycling pulled off something of a coup; in the magazine’s own words: “Exclusively Penned for this Journal by the Brightest Star in the Motor Cycling Firmament… here is the Champion’s Own Story of Experiences Down Under”
World's fastest Triumph
In a projectile measuring 17ft from nose to tail you would imagine there would be plenty of room for the rider. But that's not so with Joe Dudek's red and white Triumph-powered streamliner. Vic Willoughby explains...
By 1933 The Motor Cycle reckoned small capacity two-wheelers were coming into their own…
In the February 14, 1963, issue of Motor Cycle the editorial team must have been gazing at a typically grey British winter’s day, contemplating sunny touring holidays. Well, they were probably looking to devise an advertising story in the depths of winter...
In the 1920s, with the enthusiastic support of Raleigh (a major manufacturer at the time) Marjorie Cottle became one of Britain’s best-known motorcyclists. Her ready smile brightened press photos, captured as she engaged in all sorts of motorcycle activities or displayed her considerable talent as a trials rider...
Raking around in the archive at Old Bike Mart is an illuminating exercise as the range of stuff that turns up is always amazing. Take this product from Osborn Engineering Company (OEC), for example...
From 1936, this picture shows members of the London Ladies Club lining up on their motorcycles before embarking on a club run. Though the photograph appeared in The Motor Cycle of April 9, 1936, with no further information, the lady on the left is the then Jessie Hole, founder member of the club and works rider for New Imperial...
Yes, it's here at last - Britain's biggest do-it-yourself road test! Sixty-seven Ariel Leader owners answered our call for considered opinions on the famous two-stroke twin. Most gave their mileages: added up, they came to 857,000! Allow for the dozen who missed out and the total must be somewhere around the million mark...
In the winter of 1924 The Motor Cycle carried a series of called ‘The Fireside Tours’ – essentially UK touring guides – ideas to warm the hearts of the readers during long cold, nights...

Reference Material

Encyclopaedia of Classic MotorCycles
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Now When Was it That?
This four-part book series was a compilation of articles originally appearing in Old Bike Mart. The books are not longer available for purchase, but can be found here on Classic Bikers Club!* (In order to access all the reference material, you need to be registered and an active subscriber to our magazines.)