Clubman Classics is a personal blog inspired by the fearless, amateur road racers who competed in the 1947 - 1956 Isle Of Man Clubman's TT races and their production based machines.

Sunday 31 October 2010

1929 Norton Flat-tank meets Cafe Racer

Brainchild of Photoshop tinkerer, Andrew Jones (Pamberjack) of Pipeburn and my latest wallpaper, this 1929 Norton 500 cafe-racer certainly caught my eye. Manx tailed twin sprung saddle is an interesting break from the norm. Nice work Andrew. Click here to suggest further design ideas.

Kedo SR500

Late seventies based Yamaha SR500 cup racer from German XT and SR500 part specialists Kedo is right on the money. The tuned thumper produces 50hp and features a featherlight alloy swingarm. Talking of money, they'll build you one for 9,900 Euros.

Source: Pipeburn

Aussie Leather- Apex Apparel

Spotted on Pipeburn last month, Aussie motorcycle leather specialists Apex Apparel offer stylish, protective motorcycle clothing, ideal for riders of classic iron. Pop over to their new website to view the whole range.

Saturday 30 October 2010

The Brooklands Can

It is widely known that the legendary fishtail shaped exhaust muffler or 'Brooklands can' was orginally designed in the mid 1920s to reduce the noise of bikes and cars racing at speed around the Brooklands banking as many people lived in close proximity to the track. As is often the case, function determined form and the shape of the silencer was born.

Source: Cast alloy example from Vintage Supplies

Lack of experience with silencing in pre war times meant they were not particularly effective, the slanted rectangle design consisted of a large open chamber with partitioned entry and exit pipes. However, the recognisable sound given off by a Brooklands can meant it was adopted by many racers and owners for cosmetic purposes and to obtain the fashionable Brooklands rattle. Nowadays the iconic appearance of the Brooklands can is a fitting addition to many road and race vintage motorcycles built around the time of the banked circuit's heyday.

Both cars and motorcycles used the fishtail Brooklands can, some with cheese holed fins to lessen the amount of power robbing back pressure.

Source: Real Classic

Source: 'Copperknob' from The National Motorcycle Museum

Just imagine the sound of a whole field of pre-war racing cars or motorcycles roaring around the old banking all blurting through their fishtail Brooklands cans...

Friday 29 October 2010

Vintage Flat Track

Hold on to your sideburns for vintage flat track crashes, plus some excellent slo-mo footage.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Brittown Video

Atmospheric video proving British bikes are still popular across the pond..

Monday 25 October 2010

Clubman Classics now on Facebook

Come and join us on Facebook for all the latest bikes, news, fashion, photography, editorial and art inspired by classic motorcycle road racing.

Clubman Classics now on Facebook!

Sunday 24 October 2010

H&H Auction Results- Brough Superior sells for £286,000

The Haynes International Motor Musuem in Sparkford, Somerset was the venue for the recent H&H auction consisting of 70 modern and classic motorcycles, many from the Willi Marewski collection and approximately 40 cars, including two classic motor cars owned by current F1 World Champion, Jenson Button.

The big news from the sale held on Friday 22nd October, was Lot 66, a well sorted 1929 Brough Superior SS100, which sold for an eye watering £286,000 including buyers premium, a magnificent figure for a motorcycle which may be a new record for a motorcycle sold in the UK. In July 2008, Monterey California, Mid America Auctions sold a 1915 Cyclone Board Tracker motorcycle for $520,000- still the current world record.

Other highlights of the sale included a stunning 1954 BMW RS54 production racer which sold for £143,000, a bike raced by Alois Huber, Ernst Hiller and Lothar John. Powered by a later, 1960s short stroke 500cc flat twin, this particular RS54 is said to be one of the fastest and most powerful RS models in existance.

For fans of two stroke race bikes, the sale included two early 1980s Suzuki RG500s both selling for around £18,000 apiece and a 1981 Yamaha TZ500 a machine that was originally supplied to former World Champion Walter Villa, selling for £37,400.

Sold for the price of £3,630, a 1970 Honda CR350 Replica featured, built with a factory 'race kit' package, the bike also came fitted with a tasty, racing Yamaha front brake. Good value for a high quality, period racer.

Many motorcycles did not sell however, including a very rare 1939 DKW SS 350 complete with supercharger and water cooling. According to legend, when raced at the Isle of Man, the ear splitting shriek given off by the DKWs could be heard on the English mainland. Maybe the ever increasing noise limits of many British tracks put a dampener on the sale of this particular lot..

Please enjoy the gallery below showing many more of the bikes included in the sale. For more information on the cars sold, please check my other blog Mr Motor Tweeter for more information.

1958 Mondial 250 Special- Not sold

1985 Laverda F500 - Not sold.

1949 Triumph Grand Prix Replica- Not sold

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Cadwell Park Classic Track Day

Cadwell park is often called the 'Mini Nurburgring' by it's fans, a fitting accolade for a track with almost every type of corner, gradient change and trackside scenery. Hosted by track day specialists MSV and advertised and sponsored by Mortons Media the Classic Track day at Cadwell in early October was an event I wasn't going to miss. The event was open to three classes, pre '65, pre '75, pre '85 and race bikes, I decided to enter the pre '65 class on Dad's road registered 1957 500 Norton International.

Assembled by Mike Pemberton of Pushrod Performance from a genuine '57 Inter frame and fitted with an Andy Savage built '58 Inter engine (one of the last Norton made), the bike is currently in clubmans specification with Manx seat, flat bars, BSA Goldie silencer, aluminium tank and a Commando TLS front brake plate.

Noise testing at 8am insured any on-site campers were wide awake and following a friendly briefing in the bar, the first group of riders were on track by 9.30, albeit going steady in the Lincolnshire morning mist. Conditions were damp on track most of the morning and it took until lunchtime for the track to become bone dry.

Prepped for track use the Inter wore freshly scrubbed-in Avon Road Riders, with the kick start removed and centre stand wired up. Concerned we might fail the noise test with the BSA Gold Star-style pipe fitted, we had prepared a baffle in the shape of an old stainless VW Beetle taper tip that fitted perfectly up the end of the pipe secured with a bolt drilled through. A road test the previous week proved this system was a far better setup than running a road-spec Norton Inter pipe, the latter totally choking the rev-hungry OHC single. Nevertheless we sailed through the noise test unbaffled, I think some of the cheerful scrutineers might have been a little deaf anyway..

My first on-track experience of Cadwell consisted of completing a lap on my longboard a few years ago, some of the hills providing the prefect surface to carve on. Sat astride a Norton Inter is more fun though- and probably safer, as riding a very fast skateboard topless in short trousers is almost guaranteed to end in tears.

Following my fourth session I was beginning to improve my lines, overtaking some of the less spirited riders and keeping up with a confidently ridden mid-sixties Triumph Bonneville. I was impressed with the predictability of the Avon tyres and even managed to touch a knee slider down on one occasion. Entering the 90 degree Park right hander from Park Straight, I found blipping the throttle on down shifts helped keep the bike settled under braking, the front brake providing impressive levels of feel and power.

In total I completed five sessions and approximately 20 laps of the circuit with Coppice and Mansfield becoming my two favourite corners although swinging right-left into Hall Bends after The Mountain made me grin quite a lot too!

The Inter behaved perfectly all day with only my heavy footing to blame for an accidental stall upon entering the track on one occasion. Both my mechanic and I enjoyed the day thoroughly and hope there will be many more classic-only track days next year. A big thanks goes to MSV and Mortons Media for organising the event.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Ron Wood BMW F800 Flat Track

Take a near stock Rotax twin from BMW's F800 and allow legendary flat track builder Ron Wood to work his magic and you have one hell of a good looking motorcycle.

Monday 18 October 2010

An Ordinary Man

Are we looking at the 'ton-up boy' of the 1900s? Neil and his Ordinary could quite easily be just that. The ingenious leather bottle holder is inpsired.

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