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January 14, 2012 / consort3


Nice to see 2 of my adolescent heroes, Norman Hyde and Dave Degens still plying their trade customising Triumphs. Saw Dave on the TV programme Cafe Racers. Dave won the Barcelona 24 hours race twice and has interesting ideas on all aspects of  bike development, engines, frames, brakes, electrics you name it Dave has modified it!

Good background on Dave:

Do you know the connection between motorcycles and the Marx brothers?

Zeppo was an engineer and his company designed the Marman twin moped.

Not so exotic but more effective was the Cyclemaster moped which put the engine in the rear wheel.Both engines being 2strokes. The spiritual home of the 2 stroke has moved from Wolverhampton (Villiers) to Zschopau (DKW & MZ) and then to Hamamatsu (Suzuki & Yamaha) There is a Motorcycle museum at Augustusburg  Schloss near Zschopau which I must visit sometime. As I must visit Joey’s Bar at Ballymoney to pay my respects. I was born a few days from Joey Dunlop and started my riding career on the same type of bike as Joey, a Tiger Cub. The BBC show the North West 200 these days and it makes F1 look like a game of tiddlywinks.

You have heard of the Swiss Army knife here is the Swiss Army Condor A580 motorbike complete with gun!

Here is the Italian army motorbike, a Sertum. Sertum made up the fab five Milanese motorbike makers, the others being Benelli Bianchi Gilera and Moto Guzzi
Here is the Itera Swedish Plastic bike an idea from the 1980’s that did not catch on
Y’all have heard of the Worlds fastest Indian here is the Worlds fastest Velocette:

A beautiful blend of British heritage, Indian craftmanship and American knowhow, the Enfield Musket V-twin

How retro do you want to go? Enfield V-twin in a Rofomoto Featherbed frame


Royal Enfield have introduced one of them new-fangled overhead cam engines

Looks like the “official” Royal Enfield twin will be a parallel twin design:

There is even a bike called the Consort! Excelsior Consort to be precise, with a 98cc Villiers engine


Ever since I rode a Honda Gold Wing with knackered front suspension, I thought there must be a better way of doing this. Now Honda have put the Hossack twin wishbone front suspension on the 2018 model Gold wing. BMW have a similar system called the Duolever.


Ducati have just launched the Stradale V4 Desmo engine in the Panigale. 210bhp at 13000rpm in a road going bike!


The Ernst Degner story

Glen Curtiss got 136mph out of a motorcycle in 1907

I was unaware that Steve McQueen used Metisse chassis for his desert race bikes, or that ment you can buy a replica of his bike. My brother had a Rickman Montesa, back in the day.

The sound of the 500 Gilera 4 cylinder

I was researching Barr and Stroud the Scottish instrument maker when I discovered that they made sleeve valve motorcycle engines in the early 1920s. Sleeve valves were later used on the mighty Bristol and Napier aero engines of WW2.

Quirky motorcycle with rotary engine in the front wheel and no clutch!

Ellwood hybrid 2/4 stroke motorcycle:

As a former Triumph motorcycle owner (Cub, 5TA and T90), I had heard of their service manager Alec StJohn Masters but the July ’20 issue of Bike magazine had this extraordinary story about him:

The famous Gaffers Gallop:

The boss of Triumph, Edward Turner was one of the 3 riders in the Gaffers Gallop but he had timetabled lunch at smart hotels enroute. After lunch he got his chauffeur to complete that days riding stint!

Ducati Cucciolo Cyclemotor was a class act. Pullrod valve lifters, but first the motorcycle that was developed from it with contemporary advertising.

Good site:

Making a copy of Mike Hailwoods Honda 6

I was sad to see that another of my adolescent heroes, Peter Williams has passed away. I was there at Brands Hatch in 1973 at the Easter Anglo American match races. I thought it was incredible that Cal Rayborn who didnt know the circuit, on a Harley was beating all the Brits. Unfortunately he dropped it at Paddock and Williams who had been following him, dropped it at Druids on the same lap.

This video captures the zeitgeist

I was not aware of the Yamaha GTS1000A a hub centre steering motorcycle available in 1993. Difazio had invented the concept in 1956!

It looks like the new 3 wheel Kawasaki is using hub centre steering

I was not aware ot the new Brough Superiors

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