Author Topic: Brit bikes in the 60's  (Read 1641 times)

Offline Goldy

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Brit bikes in the 60's
« on: 14.10. 2010 13:32 »
In another topic Pete Gray suggested a thread based on riding Brit Bikes in the 60,s, so I will start it off.  I bought my A7 in about 1967 (see picture) and it was second hand ( I was an apprentice on £5 per week). I think it was a 1960 model and it came from Copes of Wolverhampton. (wish I still had it ).  It is interesting that today everyone seems to want machines that are fully original, but in the 60,s the first thing that we did was to try and make them different. Drop or clip on bars, swept back pipes, goldie silencers, some even going to fibre glass tanks and racing seats.  It was all helped by Companies such as Eddie Dow who supplied all this type of parts. A spoon full of Castrol  "R" was added to the petrol to get the smell.        Everything revolved around the coffee bar or Kaff and of course Mods and Rockers, ( Rockers on bikes for those that don't know).  The press liked to highlight the punch ups between the two that usually happened at seaside resorts on Bank Holidays, but in most towns not much happened. Life revolved around bikes, and girls in that order. Evenings were spent at the coffee bar, bikes lined up outside, coffee and a chat and then off for a ride to another coffee bar or just a good run on open roads. It was a chance to swap bikes and try a mates machine. I used to like the feel of my A7 on acceleration, but when I tried a 'tuned up' Bonneville I suddenly found out what a wheelie was. Sunday morning was for cleaning and servicing and Sunday afternoon was for a ride. In the Midlands Wolverhampton to Bridgnorth was a good run (there would be hundreds of bikes) and if I remember correctly this road was one of the last to have a speed limit installed.  Back to Monday and start all over again.
56 A10 Golden Flash - Restore, ride, relive.                                          
56 C12 BSA project ongoing

Offline sinbad

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I am having to think about this , much easy-er to recall how things have changed.What springs to mind is it was a lot quieter on the roads so you had the road to yourself.Motorcycling was not accepted as it is now never the less It was great fun. The music and the feeling of the 60s was terrific,and I see its still around so it must be good.All in all I am not going to say it was any better or worse than it is now,their is much, much more things to get interested in now and easy to obtain knowledge ie Forums.
Cheers.
Rod
1960 A10                             1998 Honda Cb 500
1953 sunbeam s7                   1988 Mz 250
1953 Nsu Consul 500 single        Jzr cx 500 Trike

Online muskrat

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #2 on: 14.10. 2010 20:40 »
Seems we have two topics running on this. Maybe the boss (e) can combine them. (edit: done)
 You lucky bugga's, I always felt I was born 10 years late. I remember as a kid watching a neighbour fettle his bike every Sat for a ride on Sun. The sound and smell is still vivid in my mind. Also the rockers that gathered at Sutherland chew & spew on Thurs nights, I wished I was with them. Sadly 10 years later they were gone, replaced with 1% patches at the pub.
 I got my 1st bike in '69, so I did ride in the 60's. it was home made with a victor 125cc lawn mower motor and wheelbarrow wheels.
 Now the local kids run out to see me ride past.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, .
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7

Offline cus

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #3 on: 14.10. 2010 21:40 »
Hey Muskrat, That has sparked a flashback for me!
My brother, in the late 60's, put together an ugly creation, also
powered by a 125cc Victor (B/S) engine. Once running, the thing went
like the clappers, but had no brakes & poor steering, which added to the fun.
I remember spending half the weekend push starting the fat bugger for maybe
one ride, if I was lucky.
He then brought home a '67 Bonnie chopper in the early 70's, which he put
together peice by peice, which is what got me interested in bikes,

regards, Cus  
56 G/Flash project

Offline sinbad

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #4 on: 14.10. 2010 22:28 »
Ha ha chew&spew great stuff, our local chew&spew was The Mayfield & Dirty dicks, used to ride out (about 15 mile) have breakfast ,return,and on to work.My first bike was a 250 Indian brave S/V loved it till some guy blew me off on a tiger cub going uphill
Cheers
Rod
1960 A10                             1998 Honda Cb 500
1953 sunbeam s7                   1988 Mz 250
1953 Nsu Consul 500 single        Jzr cx 500 Trike

Offline Pete Gray

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #5 on: 15.10. 2010 08:49 »
Stuck at work at the moment so not much time for adding 60's memories. But here's a couple of photos circa 68 of me (in the grey jumper) and 3 mates hanging out at what became the headquarters of our rather tongue in cheek motorcycle gang "The Immaculate Contraption" Our pals Father seemed quite happy to let us use his garage for working on what was a most eclectic collection of bikes.
He was an eminent Dooctor and rather changed his mind when the Police took a passing interest in what we might be up to.

In the outside photo I'm sitting on the Sunbeam S8 which I rode for a year or so, cost me £12 and sold for the same amount ! There were 2 Triumph 350's, an AJS 500, BSA C15, BSA SS80 and a Honda 50 + various parts of others.
Note the ape hanger bars (inspired of course by Easy Rider) We thought they were the doggys do da's, but they didn't do a deal for the handling, especially on the Sunbeam ! We had to make up our own extra length cables which regularly broke in service, exciting stuff with no front brake !
The S8 was beautifully chopped by the guy I passed it on to, a fabulous piece of sacrilege as you can see from the faded photos !

We used to go out "scooter bothering" thinking we were rough tough rockers, which as the photos tell, we certainly weren't. This got us into a few scrapes when the tuned scooters often turned out to be as fast as our mounts with those nasty Mods rather keen to get their own back.

Pete

1961 Swinging arm A7
2000 BMW R1100R

Offline Pete Gray

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #6 on: 15.10. 2010 08:50 »
Here's the full view outside our HQ

Pete

1961 Swinging arm A7
2000 BMW R1100R

Offline a10gf

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #7 on: 15.10. 2010 09:48 »
 *smile* gotta love the Sunbeam chop !

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Offline Goldy

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #8 on: 15.10. 2010 12:59 »
Pete (in the grey jumper) I bet you have not got that much hair now?
56 A10 Golden Flash - Restore, ride, relive.                                          
56 C12 BSA project ongoing

Offline Pete Gray

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #9 on: 15.10. 2010 13:42 »
Sad but very true : -

Pete

1961 Swinging arm A7
2000 BMW R1100R

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Re: Brit bikes in the 60's
« Reply #10 on: 15.10. 2010 23:03 »
Like Muskrat I came in at the end of the sixties as well. Learnt to ride on a 600c sv Ariel and then got my first bike, a 125cc James. Horrible thing and to this day I hate anything with Villiers written on it.

Muskrat your bike had wheelbarrow wheels, mine didnt but it was more like a wheelbarrow in that I had to push the bloody thing everywhere !

I grew up in a very small country town of about 200 people but two blokes had ex police A65's. I was friends with one of them and used to regularly get rides on the back. The first time ever I was on a bike doing 100mph was on the back of his A65, sitting on the mudguard, no pillion pegs and hanging on for dear life, I was 14. Being a ex cop bike it had a single seat and no pillion provisions.

Had a few Bantams and then in 71' as I was getting close to turning 16 I bought a A10 in pieces. Bought a workshop manual and page by page put it together. That was my first road bike.