Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Touring in France

This month's Classic Bike looks at tourers - we ride to the end of the owner's street on a Gold Wing, Laverda RGS, and a BMW to tell you what classic tourer you should buy from one of our wonderful advertisers.

And then we ride to the Coupes Moto Legends in France! Just think, a 1,000 mile ride over a long weekend. And which bike did we ride? Well, not one of our own Bantams obviously: think what all those miles would do to the resale value! Just like you would (if you could) we borrowed someone elses bike, one that we could rely on - after all, we need to be back at work by Tuesday lunchtime. So gasp at our derring-do as we raced across France aboard a Triumph Bonneville. Must have been NOS though, because it was only registered in April. Odd that...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Loose nuts

The problem with riding classic bikes (apart from getting wet, crashing and going slowly) is that bits fall off. We asked our resident expert Rick Parkingbay to help us out, although he had wanted to write about setting tappets. Does this look like smallholders monthly? we asked, and my how he laughed. Strange sense of humour, these northerners. Goes with the pigeons and ferrets (um, might have got ferrets and tappets confused back there)In the end Rick did offer this.


Cliche of a flat cap, loose nuts (sorry, the creative's not really into bikes...it's the hair product vs helmet thing)

Spanner and a mug of tea (that's the Ed's cappucinno, but we usually Photoshop all the gritty realism in later - much kinder on the Macbook Pro). And then the tough bit...

Apply the spanner to the nut. To tighten rotate clockwise, or to release turn anticlockwise. If this seems complicated write "lefty-loosey/righty tighty" on each spanner in permanent marker. There! All done!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Getting the picture - key to a great magazine

Getting cover shots like these is never easy, but is essential to convince readers we're real bikers with real talent (unlike those overpaid MotoGP whiners; call the British GP tough just because it rained a bit? Man up chaps, at least you've got a brand new bike and a full face helmet! Anyway to snap a shot like this you'll first need to find a bike and a suitable location...

Next you need a photographer, and he'll need a computer and something to eat: we try to combine these to save time better spent in Starbucks with a nice Cappucino or skinny Latte

And of course you need a rider, ideally in a red leather jacket...but he must be able to gurn convincingly because (unlike those racing wimps or overpaid tarts at Bike) we can't hide behind dark visors and body armour

(My god, how I wish we still worked at Bike: all those freebies, the girls, the...oh, well...) 

How to...start your bike

Starting a classic bike can be tricky: at CB we get round this by riding other people's bikes, but that's not always an option. Just remember there's really only three types of bikes - a BSA Bantam, a Morini 350 and a Norton Commando. Our wives can start the first two, but the Commando...well, let's just say we lucked-out because CB regular Alun S Hippy has just pitched us another Commando story: take it away Alan
Firstly check to see if your Commando has an electric start. If it has there'll be an "ELECTRIC START" sticker on the bike, and a button marked "START" somewhere on the handlebars. If not speak to one of our lovely advertisers who'll buy your bike...
 You should get loads of money - classic values have soared as collectors have piled into the market and boosted our circulation no end! Even better they know bugger-all about bikes so we can run articles like this that take no time to rattle off. Anyway, with all this money buy a cheaper, later Commando with an ELECTRIC START and treat the wife to some Hob Knobs and tea with the change, or whatever it is you people live on
Now this is the tricky part, because no motorcycle battery is ever going to make a Commando's electric strart do anything other than find TDC (don't worry if you don't know what this is - just do what we do and ask Rick Parkingbay): you'll need jump leads and the van you use to drive your bikes to events.
With the jump leads connected push the "START" button and hey-presto: your bike will start!