Monday 27 April 2009

British Bikes

1929 Brough Superior

The theme this week is Wayne's Wild and Wonderful World of Wheels.  This post, and the entire week for that matter, may have limited appeal. 

I wandered over to the new Deeley Motorcylce exhibition on Boundary Road last week. The current exhibit is End of Empire with about 75 bikes from the decades of British dominance in motorcycling. Eventually the British motorcycle industry was all but wiped out by the Japanese motorcycles. 

I've owned 4 large displacement British bikes (3 Norton's, 1 BSA) over the years and 3 or 4 Japanese bikes of various sizes. 

The Brough Superior, above, is renowned in British motorcycle history. T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) owned several and met his maker shortly after crashing one. 

Fair Warning. Since I always seem to be scrounging for photos lately there are bound to be more motorcycle posts in future. 

Triumph, early to mid 60s

My '67 Norton Atlas 750 c.c. (taken almost exactly 40 years ago). 
I couldn't take a decent photo back then either.


Anonymous said...

You got to be a fan of the television series and the Tuttle Family on "Choppers."

I enjoyed looking at the bikes you have photographed and the saddlebags on the top one is neat.

The Hamlet of Gordon

Halcyon said...


Back in Germany my husband has an old BMW bike and an Aprilia special edition. I like to ride - driving would be too scary for me!

Anonymous said...

That top one is just elegant. Did they use the right bike in the movie?

Virginia said...

I like those silver thingies in the top one that look like vacuum cleaner attachments. That raspberry colored one looks kinda girlie to me.

Ken Mac said...


Anonymous said...

My dad still has his Norton from the 1960s. He restored it a few years ago, and even though I am a total philistine when it comes to motorbikes, even I can see it is beautiful.

Babzy.B said...

Very nice old bikes !

Laurie Allee said...

Ooooh... I love these.

Kim said...

OMG!!! This is the ONLY reason I'm glad my husband is already dead! He was drooling over vintage BMW's and Enfield's and all kinds of other classic gorgeous bikes like this that I've forgotten the names of. They would have given me a heart attack if he'd actually purchased. . .and he was seriously heading in that direction (for economy's sake, he would say, but I knew I'd not only have constant worry about him skidding in a rain slick to a horrible road rash or worse, but that some beautiful machine would have some of his affection, and I didn't want to share! His bicycle love was quite enough to contend with (and afford!) :-) I still don't regret saying no to the motorcycle, but I do wish he'd just taken a couple classic beauties out for a test ride or two on a sunny day. I know I watched every episode of "Then Came Bronson" as a kid. . . These are amazing.