Your bikes of the 1970s and 1980s.

He was my admin Sgt in B. Although I thought he was from Barbados. He and his Mrs were just lovely people. On the diversity front I had 6 non white folks in B, including SNCOs and NCOs.

Kelly Vakalala was Tp SSgt A when I was there. He was a Fijian chief and sadly passed away a year or two back. He will, even now, be in his version of valhalla necking bacardi and coke (he liked it 50/50, one bottle of bacardi to one can of coke) and grabbing skinny white American soldiers by the arm, grinning wildly and saying "mmmmmm.....fresh meat!!!!"
Ee! Fijians and motorbikes. '71 ish, weekends I was playing rugby for Burnham, about 75 miles from Tidworth, transport, 500T Norton, rigid trialler. Sitivini Bonaqusa says I'll have some of that. Right. Rolls up his kit, sticks it on the rear mudguard, sits on it, and away we go. One foot on the back brake rod, dunno where he put his right boot. Young and flexible! Those were the days. And stupid.
Same bloke, sitting next to me on a 3Div tour flight to BAOR, in front of us is Robin Rowe, sometime sky pilot Col and British/Irish Lion. Bit of chat going round, Robin says something sarky to Sitivini, who comes back with, "My dad used to eat people like you"
All dead.
 

Chef

LE
Ee! Fijians and motorbikes. '71 ish, weekends I was playing rugby for Burnham, about 75 miles from Tidworth, transport, 500T Norton, rigid trialler. Sitivini Bonaqusa says I'll have some of that. Right. Rolls up his kit, sticks it on the rear mudguard, sits on it, and away we go. One foot on the back brake rod, dunno where he put his right boot. Young and flexible! Those were the days. And stupid.
Same bloke, sitting next to me on a 3Div tour flight to BAOR, in front of us is Robin Rowe, sometime sky pilot Col and British/Irish Lion. Bit of chat going round, Robin says something sarky to Sitivini, who comes back with, "My dad used to eat people like you"
All dead.
I wouldn't like to trust a modern bike's mudguard as a seat.
 
I wouldn't like to trust a modern bike's mudguard as a seat.
Norton, see. Built to be abused, and come back for more.
 
And shake your fillings out.
Escaped that, never had a filling. But I put it in the box with the Panther that regularly threw people over the handlebars when kick starting.
 
I used to have a Velocette Mac. I swear in top the bangs only occurred every other lamp post.
Vincent Black Shadow walt
 
I used to have a Velocette Mac. I swear in top the bangs only occurred every other lamp post.
rsz_11th_012.jpg

Best tickover I ever had, Boom...........................Boom.........................Boom...Made one of those old Thwaits one lung dumper trucks sound manic.
 

Truxx

LE
View attachment 634711
Best tickover I ever had, Boom...........................Boom.........................Boom...Made one of those old Thwaits one lung dumper trucks sound manic.
I had a prewar Empire Star or summing.

One lung, hard tail, girder front but seriously quick.

I sold it to a bloke who arrived on an R80 GS beemer we went out into the New Forest and he just could not keep up.

I really wish I still had it
 
I used to have a Velocette Mac. I swear in top the bangs only occurred every other lamp post.
Did up an MOV Velo for the old man years ago. Lovely little bike, mind, the clutch took a bit of working out, sort of hinged business, but once done it was dead easy to adjust.
 
I had a prewar Empire Star or summing.

One lung, hard tail, girder front but seriously quick.

I sold it to a bloke who arrived on an R80 GS beemer we went out into the New Forest and he just could not keep up.

I really wish I still had it
Wasn't the Empire Star the one that morphed into the Gold Star? Mate used to trial an Empire.
 
Far better built today .
Shame that wasn't true or they may have survived , now on third or fourth resurrection , the latest being Indian owned.
You really don’t like classic bikes do you?
But in reality you can’t really compare a British bike built in the 60s early 70s, with a bike built in say, the last twenty years. The only things they have in common is two wheels and the production line.
In the 60s the motor industry was still suffering from WW2, all the materials were of a lower standard. Production machinery was old and tired, and there was a distinct lack of investment, which was mainly due to piss poor Management.
In the 50/60s, British bikes virtually ruled the world and the management had their heads stuck up their collective ARRSEs! Even when the Japanese turned up in the mid 60s with their fast twins, they thought “flash in the pan” and refused to take any notice.
The reason Norton Triumph and BSA died, wasn’t because they were shit bikes. It was the human side of management that killed our industry, no imagination, no wish to spend money on investment, shit poor wages so workers didn’t give a shit and the unions making everyone go out on strike. In the last couple of years of NVT, the Triumph factory at Meridan, was struck by around 9 strikes called by the Unions stopping production for around six months.
The last failure of Norton under the management of Stuart Garner, again bad management! And as I write this he’s going to court over his stewardship of the company.
One last thing, bikes were also built strong simple and heavy in those day’s. Bikes were used every day, go to work, go away at the weekend. Once married you’d stick a sidecar on it, cars were out of the average man’s pocket. Today their just a hobby unless your a teenager and mum and dad are skint.
 
You really don’t like classic bikes do you?
But in reality you can’t really compare a British bike built in the 60s early 70s, with a bike built in say, the last twenty years. The only things they have in common is two wheels and the production line.
In the 60s the motor industry was still suffering from WW2, all the materials were of a lower standard. Production machinery was old and tired, and there was a distinct lack of investment, which was mainly due to piss poor Management.
In the 50/60s, British bikes virtually ruled the world and the management had their heads stuck up their collective ARRSEs! Even when the Japanese turned up in the mid 60s with their fast twins, they thought “flash in the pan” and refused to take any notice.
The reason Norton Triumph and BSA died, wasn’t because they were shit bikes. It was the human side of management that killed our industry, no imagination, no wish to spend money on investment, shit poor wages so workers didn’t give a shit and the unions making everyone go out on strike. In the last couple of years of NVT, the Triumph factory at Meridan, was struck by around 9 strikes called by the Unions stopping production for around six months.
The last failure of Norton under the management of Stuart Garner, again bad management! And as I write this he’s going to court over his stewardship of the company.
One last thing, bikes were also built strong simple and heavy in those day’s. Bikes were used every day, go to work, go away at the weekend. Once married you’d stick a sidecar on it, cars were out of the average man’s pocket. Today their just a hobby unless your a teenager and mum and dad are skint.
I do like classic Brit bikes up until around 1940 , there after they didnt advance much and really weren't very well built at all , maybe with the exception of Vincent who sadly keeled over in the mid 50`s, the Italians gave them all the clues as to what consumers wanted . Honda`s CB750 and the Kwak Z900 nailed the coffin shut , the T140E , Commando etc were total crap by comparison in every way other than looks.
People wanted a bike they could ride 7 days a week without a weekly overhaul and the Japanese gave them that , a mixture of shop floor politics/ work to rule and management arrogance fcuked the whole industry .

If only John Bloor had been involved in the 60/70`s it would be a different story today.

Heres a few of my favourites ....
1643299403611.png

1643299473449.png

1643299556446.png
 
I do like classic Brit bikes up until around 1940 , there after they didnt advance much and really weren't very well built at all , maybe with the exception of Vincent who sadly keeled over in the mid 50`s, the Italians gave them all the clues as to what consumers wanted . Honda`s CB750 and the Kwak Z900 nailed the coffin shut , the T140E , Commando etc were total crap by comparison in every way other than looks.
People wanted a bike they could ride 7 days a week without a weekly overhaul and the Japanese gave them that , a mixture of shop floor politics/ work to rule and management arrogance fcuked the whole industry .

If only John Bloor had been involved in the 60/70`s it would be a different story today.

Heres a few of my favourites ....
View attachment 634741
View attachment 634742
View attachment 634743
As I said it wasn’t the bikes, it was the Management.

ps… You’ve got expensive tastes!
 
I think I may have mentioned it before but my Dad gave his HRD series B Rapide away to a friend who needed a bike. This was back in 57.

One of his biggest regrets.
 
My beloved Ariel Arrows were ahead of their time with leading link forks, cassette gearbox, engine a part of the frame geometry but utterly cursed with a front brake that would find it hard to stop a Raleigh Chopper. Dream to work on when I blew the engines apart ( 13/1 compression heads and a Phillips fuel injector tend to do that). I solved the brake problem by getting a local wheel builder to graft a breaker Honda 2ls brake drum into the Arrow's rim with tiny spokes, but could never solve the engine problems:grin:.
 

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