Road Tests


BSA Rocket Three classic British triple motorcycle
BSA's Rocket Three wasn't appreciated in the all-important American market, with its boxy, jarring look, and it was a poor seller. A pity because the bike had many hidden talents under its skin. Tim Britton reacquaints himself with a stunning example in snow-flurried Norfolk...
Benelli 650 Tornado
Benelli’s 650 twin was a radical take on the British parallel twin design. But the Italian BSA beater arrived as the British industry went into decline, and it soon began to look dated against Japanese exotica. Rod Gibson tells the story...
Matchless 250 G2CSR
Jim Reynolds learns that a relaxed attitude to all motorcycles can result in pleasurable experiences. Oh, he got wet as well...
BSA Spitfire Scrambler
Whether the Americans truly desired the specification of machinery that we sent them, or whether it was merely the interpretation of the factory stylists in their smoky offices of the 50s remains arguable. However, one thing is for sure, these days in particular, that era of Trans Atlantic styling is eye-catchingly different...
Panther-Norton special
When Featherbed based specials are mentioned, several variations of power unit come to mind but hardly ever would P&M’s slogging old sloper feature in the list. Jim Reynolds meets one such man for whom such ‘prejudices’ do not exist and finds that even the most bizarre concoction can produce remarkable results...
1937 BSA G14 classic motorcycle test
The BSA G14 was, by the 1930s, a far-from-advanced piece of kit. But the qualities it possessed were still popular – and indeed still are today. This G14 has been restored by well-known Hertfordshire restorer Robin James and is a super example...
Triumph Trident T160
Triumph’s three cylinder Trident provided the signature sound for racers in the early Seventies and led to the best of the bunch, the T160, made for just a year from 1975. John Nutting explains...
Velocette 350 MAC and 250 MOV
The keys to a successful marriage may be hanging in the garage, judging by the longevity of this Velocette-inspired union between two kindred spirits. Mike Lewis looks at a Velocette 250 MOV (WD) and the more traditional looking 350 MAC...
Triumph TT Bonneville (T120R)
If Tonka made motorcycles, then one can’t help thinking they’d make something like this chunky and purposeful TT Special. James Robinson reports...
1958 Ariel Huntmaster and Garrard Grand Prix child/adult sidecar
The old adage of what looks right is right applies here. Despite this Ariel Huntmaster being the end of the line for Selly Oak, its handsome lines are complemented by an attractive third wheel. Even a reluctant sidecarist is bowled over by this Birmingham-London plot...
BSA B40, classic British single cylinder motorcycle
As we followed Derek Mann’s neat Beesa B40 down a twisting Yorkshire lane, my wife summed him up: “You can tell he’s spent most of his life on two wheels, he looks part of the bike.” No flash, just smooth progress. A proper motorcyclist...
Triumph Speed Twin 1952  classic British motorcycle
Writing about a 1952 Triumph Speed Twin, arguably the most handsome and sleek member of a line that began in 1937 and set a fashion, it’s difficult not to repeat what has gone before too many times. Over to Jim Reynolds...
BSA Super Rocket
BSA’s well loved pre-unit twins culminated with the Rocket Gold Star, pretty much a hot Super Rocket twin engine in the Gold Star cycle parts. Overshadowed by its Triumph Bonneville counterpart, the Super Rocket was arguably as good a machine. Jim Reynolds takes a ride out on one, which is probably as good as it gets...
Norton Dominator Model 88, classic British motorcycle
In 1953, a Featherbed-framed Norton Dominator would have been an unusual sight on the UK roads, being hampered by a very high price tag. But that aside, the early Norton Dominator gives off an unmistakeable aura of competence and quality...
Bimota SB2 Italian performance motorcycle
Bimota’s SB2 was both the Italian factory’s and Massimo Tamburini’s first production road bike design and offered the motorcycle-buying public a glimpse of the innovation they could expect from future projects. John Nutting tested it on the Isle of Man in 1978...
Tri-umph engine and Nor-ton frame equals Triton
When standard just won’t do, in comes the special builder with the Triumph-engined, Norton-framed 'Triton'. It’s not an easy route and it is quite possible to create a dog of a bike, but not in this case as Phil Mather finds out...
1931 AJS Model S3 classic motorcycle
The AJS S3 was a bright and bold new design from AJ Stevens of Woverhampton. Unfortunately, its release couldn’t have come at a worse moment...
Matchless G3 Mercury and Norton ES2
By the mid-1960s the once-great independent Matchless and Norton motorcycle concerns had been amalgamated and product ranges rationalised, and the two firms – once great rivals – were now producing identical-bar-the-badge machines...
1929 Neander V-twin
Visually striking and rarer than hen's teeth, the Neander certainly stands out, with its designer clearly a man who knew his own mind...
Harris Matchless G80
It’s a conundrum many marque enthusiasts have found themselves in and one, which causes a rumpus around equally as many owners’ club committees – when does your marque cease to become your marque, or is it always your marque irrespective? James Robinson sampled one such conundrum...