Friday 30 October 2015


Handy tip if you're traveling and you need to charge your phone etc. You can use 'shaver only' outlets if you have a US/Australian style two-prong adapter.

I charged my I-phone on the train on the way back from London recently without any difficulties.



1937 illustration by Thomas Somerfield for 'The Raid of the Terribore'...from the days young people found adventure in reading.

(Via: thevintagent


Thursday 29 October 2015

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Good Samaritan

In London at the weekend and I saw what looked like an interesting ‘bobber’ style bike on the other side of the road. 

On closer inspection it was a bit of a mess. The paint on the tank had all run, the pipes were bashed and scraped, indicators and bar-ends badly smashed or scraped, and the foot controls bent at an awkward angle. The yellow bike behind it was as bad, with a couple of chunks taken out of its bodywork.

However, there was a note left on the bobber to let the owner know that a van had ploughed into and knocked both bikes before speeding away. The bikes had then been stood up by the kind Samaritan who had been quick witted enough to get the registration number of the van.

Realistically, I’m not sure what if anything the owners can do at this point, but I found it heartening to know that there are still people willing to stop and help a stranger out.

Saturday 10 October 2015

Protect & Serve

Below are some of the Police motorcycles in the National Motorcycle Museum


(via: Facebook)

Smooth as ...

About ten years ago I was Regalia Officer for the MZ Riders Club in the UK. What that meant in real terms was that I sourced and sold the club’s t-shirts, badges etc. Every now and again I would also buy batches of hard to come by spares as, before the widespread use of eBay and the internet to buy spares online, certain items were nearly unobtainable, or were ridiculously priced if you could find them.
MZs Ugly Duckling, the ES250/2 Trophy
I once managed to get a batch of about twenty pairs of rubber chain-gaiters for the MZ ES250/2 Trophy and Trophy Sport from a company in Germany through a friend who worked over there. These were unobtainable in the UK at the time and, although they were quite expensive, they were correct size and meant that owners of these bikes could fit the proper sized item rather than having to cut down other ones to fit.

After selling about half of them I was told by a friend that he thought that Silk used the same size gaiters. I contacted the Scott Owners Club to see if any of their members who owned a Silk might be interested, and was unsurprised when they didn’t bother to respond. MZs are rather looked down upon by the classic bike brigade and I was sort of used to this sort of attitude from the days when I ran a club stand at the Scottish Motorcycle Show.

Silk 500S at Stafford Motorcycle Show
However, they must have mentioned it to someone, because a few weeks later I got an email from a Silk owner interested in a set. He had been looking for some to finish off his fully restored bike for ages and was keen on getting hold of them if they would fit. He didn’t even blink at the price.

Silk 700S and 500S at Stafford Motorcycle Show
As I wasn’t 100% certain that they would fit, and in the interests of fairness, I offered to take them back if they were the wrong size and refund him the purchase price. He accepted and I parceled up a pair and sent them off.

Silk 700S with the rear chain enclosure and rubber gaiters clearly visible
A few days later I got an excited email from the bloke who said that not only did they fit, but that the serial numbers stamped on the new ones actually matched those on the scabby old pair he had removed. He was more than happy and sent me a couple of pictures of his bike so that I could see how they looked. A very happy, satisfied customer.

He, in turn, must have told others of his good fortune as shortly afterwards I received an order from the Scott club for as many pairs as I had left!

If you look at pictures of Silks online you will note that many of them seem to be missing the rear chain enclosure and/or the rubber chain gaiters. So, it seems that these are still a difficult item to lay your hands on. 

Thursday 8 October 2015

Scooting Around

This photograph entitled Glasgow Police Riding School was taken on 30th November 1956, at a time when the motor scooter was fast becoming one of the most popular forms of transport. Private ownership of cars at the time was at an extremely low level, and the scooter, along with inexpensive motorcycles such as BSA Bantams, provided a welcome alternative to the pedal cycle and public transport. 

Scooters were tried out by many police forces, usually to be rejected quite rapidly in favour of full-blown motorbikes or continued reliance on the good old pedal cycle, but it’s evident that Glasgow Police were more enthusiastic than some when it came to the scooter. The machines being ridden in this photo are all 125cc Vespas, with at least three of them displaying L-plates; presumably these learner-drivers were not allowed out on patrol before passing their motorcycle test.

(Via: pmcc-club)