Wednesday 25 February 2015

Pluoline Classic Dirt Bike Show 2015

The second event of the weekend was a visit to the Classic Dirt Bike Show in Telford. I tried to cover the different aspects of off road sport and resisted the two special road bikes bought along by the Sammy Miller Museum.

Martin Lampkins' World Championship Winning Bultaco

(ink sketch)

This is the Bultaco that Martin Lampkin won the inaugural FIM Trials World Championship in 1975. Martin comes from a motorcycle racing family, his older brothers were BSA factory riders in the 60s. In 1973 Martin became a member of the Bultaco team and won the British and European championships. Martin's son Dougie continues this legacy and is 12 times world champion.

1981 Maico Mega 2

(ink sketch)

I always like the look of Maico bikes and so when looking for an 80 motocross bike to sketch I decided on this 250. The bike is currently being run by father and son team Graham and Jamie Biddulph, who race the bike in the National Twinshock Championship, where Jamie achieved 5th place in 2014. Graham maintains the bike and said he used to ride Maicos back in thew 80's when they were the machine to have.

1984 Godden Grasstrack

(ink sketch)

I always like the stripped down dynamic of Speedway and Grass Track bikes, as well as this the solid look of the GS500 engine made me stop and sketch this bike. 

The Other Stuff....

Graham Noyce, World 500cc Champion Honda
The Norton Kneeler

1969 Moto Villa, Four Cylinder 250cc,
with a square four layout.

1955 HJH, Dragon Rigid
Great Trials Bantam on the Progressive Classic Products stand
James Trials
1970s Honda Fraser TL Trials Special
1975 JAWA, Ice Racer
1955 FIS Polish JAP, Speedway

1954 OEC JAP, Speedway
1968 Triumph Wasp, Trident.
Being built for theTuareg Rally.
1969 AJS Stormer
1975 Hodaka Combat Wombat
1973 Hodaka Dirt Squirt
Kenny Roberts Boss Yamaha
Jumble BSAs

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Race Retro 2015

Race Retro was the first of two events I visited last weekend. As I only had one day I decided to just concentrate on two bikes, rather than try and cover the huge berth of machines that the show has to offer.

1973 Hagon, Triumph, Weslake Sprint Bike

(ink & watercolour)

I found myself once again drawn to the National Sprint Association stand. I had seen this Hagon bike at Shakespeare County Raceway a few years back and loved the 70's fairing on the front. The bike originally had a straight triumph engine installed, but that blew up in 2004. It was rebuilt with Weslake parts and a super charger installed. The supercharger was too big for the bike and was not taking around 20hp to run it at the top end. The owner then decided to build his own supercharger to suit the engine. He has also built his own 2 speed gearbox with a slider clutch, which engages using centrifugal force like a scooter. I'm increasingly interested in the sprint scene as it is a sport that encourages ingenuity and true engineering to achieve speed. The machines are all true one offs or specials which are continually evolving, and this Hagon is a true example of this.

Mike Hailwoods' 1953 MV Agusta

(ink & watercolour)

This was my first sketch of the day, the main reason for the choice was the amazing fairing, also being a MV Agusta and most of all it is a genuine Mike Hailwood bike.

The bike itself is a 125cc SOHC cam racing bike. It's an MV factory bike that was raced in the TT in 1953-55-56-57. Mike Hailwood then rode it in his first year of racing in the '58 season with the 'Dusbin Aluminium Fairing'. It was then raced in the TT in 1960 by D. Whelan. It currently resides in the Oswestry Road Racing Museum.

Anabels' Atom, Monowheel

I first saw this Monowheel at Newark earlier this year, but didn't get round to taking a close look. So this time I stopped and had a great chat to the builder and rider of this great machine Tom. This particular Monowheel has been built for sprinting and was displayed on the Straightliners stand. It had a go kart engine installed but Tom does run it with a larger engine. On the 16th and 17th of May 2015 Tom is attempting to take the World Monowheel Motorcycle Speed Record at Elvington Airfield, York. The current record is held by Kerry Mclean (USA) who achieved 57mph in 2001. By the sounds of it Tom could well do it, I look forward to seeing whether he does.

To see videos and read more about Anabel's Atom and the British Monowheel scene please go to the website:

BRISCA Heritage

Unfortunately I didn't get time to sketch one of these great stock cars, as i have been able to for the last 2 years. So here's some photos to keep you going till next year. If you want to see these machines in action I urge you to attend one of the BRISCA Heritage events this year.

 Doug Wardropper Car No. 5 replica
 John Toulson replica

Monday 9 February 2015

The 35th Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show

Well I'm starting to like the Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show more and more each year. The turnout of vintage and veteran machines, including interesting specials has been guaranteed for the last few years.

Hartley Ariel

(ink & water colour)

It was recommended to me by James Robinson of The Classic Motorcycle that I sketch this bike, and I'm so glad he did. This is a totally original Hartley tuned Ariel, right down to the tyres! Lawrence Hartley specialised in tuning Ariel singles in the 30's and well into the 50s. This particular Ariel was ridden by Peter Ferbrache in the early 50s with great success. According to an article on The Vintagent "Ferbrache especially loved to goad the 'ton-up boys' at the Ace Cafe with his ancient and filthy Hartley, winning many bets on point to point races". He also beat a lot of factory machines in road races at the time on this machine.

As well as meeting this machine I also met it's current owner Henry Body, a real living legend. Henry currently rides the worlds fastest Douglas at the age of 80 years old. I asked him about how he got into riding motorcycles and what his first bike was. He got into it through his father when they used to go to grass track racing where his brother used to compete. When at these meetings he and his other brothers would mess about on a knackered 2 stroke. The bike was so bad the accelerator cable was so rusted it eventually gave in. Henry and his brothers came up with a solution though. They stuck a cork in the top of the carb and stuck the needle on full throttle. They would then put a small amount of fuel in and ride the thing round the field at full throttle until the fuel ran out. Not a bad way to learn! For more information on Henry read Paul Townsend's article here: 

1928 Rudge Dirt Track Special

(ink & water colour)

After stopping at the Rudge stand for a chat I spotted this Rudge Dirt Track bike, I'm always partial to a vintage dirt track bike. This is quite unusual as it has extra bracing in the external triangular frame that runs the entire length of the bike, to protect the machine. It also has the period knee hook which  fixes the leg in position when sliding. These were soon banned as it was pretty easy to break your leg on it.

Congratulations to the Rudge Enthusiasts Club for winning Best Club Stand, well deserved!

Laverda Tripple

(ink sketch)
 Before the show I was commissioned to sketch this Laverda Tripple engine for an upcoming t shirt for the Laverda Owners Club. I wanted to draw the engine without the obstruction of the forks, which was pretty tricky. I love engines with multiple exhausts they are always fun to draw. Images of the shirts will be posted in due course.

1947 Excelsior Auto Byk Goblin

(ink sketch)

An intriguing cycle motor which caught my eye on my first trip round the show. It was something about the extra fairing to protect the engine. Apparently these were normally discarded, and the current owner had to remake these to get it back to factory specification.

More Photos....

 The Wadkin-Snaith 500cc Brooklands Sprint Special:
Work in progress all hand built including the engine!
 1980 Yamaha RD350LD Sprint Bike
1936 Tri/JAP Sprint Bike
1939 Excelsior Manxman
 Henry Body's Grass Track Outfit, 
previously Jack Difazio's 1958 Road Race outfit. The first to have hub steering.
 Interesting Velo Sprint Bike with reversed engine
1913 J.E.S. Auxiliary 
1952 Paris Rex
Berini Model M13 26cc
1934 New Imperial T.T.
 1953 Nimbus Sportsman
 Humber Veteran
 Interesting 1930 French machine on the jumble
 Ute and MX in perfect harmony