OLD FOGUE’S POTTED BIKING HISTORY –  BC [Before Cyclecars] to present day.

Acknowledgements to person or persons unknown for pics not including me lifted from the Interweb thingy.



TKA 346 was a sad Tiger 110, with a burned-out clutch, weird paint job, trials tyres and a squiffy frame [ex sidecar lugger?]. But a snip at 25 quid.

Jeremy Gibbins










Jeeez just who is this big O impostor – not me surely?, shades AND hair ….

Prodding the motor into life [music!] I ease my way through the gate, turn up the cul-de-sac and snap open the throttle, just like on the BSA. As I slid to the back of the seat and gripped the ‘bars at full stretch we roared joyfully up the road like a drag bike – now, that’s INTERESTING! – the start of a long love affair!

Our motley gang of erstwhile rockers had 2 Nortons [Model 50 and 600], a BSA 650, Tiger Cub Sports and a DMW. Well, someone had to have one, One Sunday morning Neil decided to fettle his with an ignition tweek – obviously if you advance the ignition it’ll go faster! I arrived just as he kick started it into life. It sneezed, fired and he bunged it into first and dropped the clutch. The expression on his face as he shot backwards down the road lives with me still.

This was the swingin’ 60’s and ‘tho none of us was loaded we just about had enough to get by with spares, repairs,oil, and petrol [5 star of course] at 4s – 10p a gallon [ 24p – happy days!] Sunday burn-ups, terrorising N. Wales Sunday drivers, Oulton Park to see our heroes – Agostini, Read and Bill Ivy [with the Monard – Geoff Monty’s short stroke Triumph], sand racing at Wallasey, Moto-cross at Cheshire farms and thrashes out for a pint or two at The Noggin at Burtonwood, the local bikers’ Mecca. College work? Hmmm, on the back burner  …



1964 and it’s a sunny Sunday afternoon – what better than a thrash up the Cat & Fiddle after a night on the tiles? We all headed off  in line astern to Macclesfield. Pulling up out of the town and swinging onto the pass I slip down a cog to follow my mates up this great climb and head towards that first tightening right-hander feeling almost snoozy in the warm sunshine …

SMACK! Head butting Derbyshire walls isn’t recommended. The bike’s a bit dented but rideable, my specs are smashed and I can’t see out of my left eye… someone passes me a hanky. My passenger’s a bit bruised but we’re both standing. “Better get that eye looked at” someone says, “climb on and we’ll find an A&E – Dave can ride your bike.”

A couple of hours later I’m a woozy pillion clinging on as we hasten back to Warrington. Sporting 12 stitches round my left eye, a chipped front tooth and a healthy black eye – Mother was not impressed. Memorable trip for all the wrong reasons! The optician cheerfully explained that I should have had plastic lenses. What! – he  knew I was a biker – my response is unprintable. I still have the scars and I rather hope he does too …











Quickly or Sickly? Bit like this one really .….

 The daily train to college meant getting to Warrington Central so when a free homeless NSU ‘Sickly’ moped fell into my lap [duff ignition, soon fixed] I took it. Arrggghhh – another one of those things with pedals – will I never learn? – two gears, 50ccs of raw German 2 stroke power and a bit of pressed tin trying to hold the wheels together – but it was handy when the Triumph was off the road – i.e. quite often …

Huh! – this could go faster – well the problem’s obvious innit? – the compression’s a miserable 5.5:1 – pathetic! – no wonder it doesn’t go. So head off, furious activity with coarse files and emery and we’ve soon shifted a good millimetre or so; must be 10:1 by now – ports eased, piston scraped, carb fettled, tyres at 60 psi and chain oiled – we’re pushing 40mph -great! But why were little ends only lasting 100 miles?  Ah, too late – these wily Germans measure two stroke cr’s from exhaust port closure – I bet it would have run on diesel!











Street cred? :-{

That family friend reported another colleague had ‘one of those funny Police bikes’ lying unwanted in his back yard. A weird creation BUT it had 8 horses and 3 gears, all for 2 quid! Ok, bit low on street cred with its hand starter and gear change, and smoking like a two stroke, but by recycling the 110’s old oil and at 90 mpg I could just afford this as a second bike! Saying nowt to my horrified mates I quietly admired the smooth boxer twin and my girlfriend was much happier on a real pillion seat …


To be concluded …