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Introduction

This is the home of the Iceni CAM Magazine - a free e-magazine about Cyclemotors, Autocycles, Mopeds ... and more.  It was launched on 15th April 2007 and the most recent four issues can be downloaded here.  (Copies of earlier back numbers are also available.)  For non-computerised folks, printed copies are available at £1.50 per edition; we can accommodate mail order too at £2.20 per single edition or £8.80 for a year’s subscription.

So what’s it about?

It’s an e-magazine all about cyclemotors, autocycles and mopeds that carries road test & feature articles, rally reports, free adverts and other assorted information.  Although we are an independent production, we have strong ties to the EACC and also to the New Zealand Cyclaid Register.

We are based in East Anglia, but are by no means limited to that area.  Much that appears in the magazine is of universal appeal.  We welcome contributions, whereever they are from, and are also happy to help to publicise any events for cyclemotors, autocycles and mopeds.

When’s it published?

We publish four times a year and the publication dates are synchronised with key events in the EACC calendar: the Radar Run, the Peninsularis Run, the Coprolite Run and the Mince Pie Run.  It’s purely an enthusiast production, and all produced on a tiny budget.  Nevertheless, we think you’ll be pretty impressed  The free downloadable version will be posted on this website on the same day as the printed version goes on sale.

All the issues of CAM Magazine that we’ve produced have been very well received.  Thank you all for your comments; they are much appreciated.  Several of you have also made donations, which has helped enormously in keeping Iceni CAM going.

What’s in it?

The July 2015 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Victoriana

Our featured Victoria Vicky IV moped came from Andrew Harris at Leighton Buzzard, having purchased the machine from Tiernan Classics for his daughter Victoria, but it needed recommissioning after a long lay-up.  The bike was consequently shipped down to us for sorting out in the workshops.  It was apparent that this was a moped that had received very little use, but there were some problems …

The rear tyre had obviously been punctured and the original Schraeder valve inner tube replaced with a Woods valve tube (not so easy to pump a moped tyre up hard enough with a bicycle pump).  Whoever exchanged the inner tube looked as if they’d then had difficulties re-assembling the wheel to the detachable brake drum—so to make this easier they’d removed all the cush-drive rubbers!  This meant the wheel loggered back and forth on the drive, which must have been terrible to ride, so the bike was abandoned when it had barely got 1,200 miles on the clock.  Finding a set of six cush-drive rubbers for a 57-year-old Vicky some 50 years after the model had ceased wasn’t a likely prospect, so the workshops just made some.  The fuel system was completely clogged solid from tank-in-frame to carburettor, an absolutely horrendous job for the workshops to resolve but, once cleared, the bike ran a treat.  Andrew was quite happy for IceniCAM to have the bike for a feature article, so all good for us.

The bike’s low mileage and fantastic original condition gave us an exceptional example for our article.

We don’t come across many Victoria mopeds in the UK because they didn’t seem to have been widely listed, and because of their high relative cost as upmarket German imports.  In 1958 the two-speed Vicky IV was listed at £78-15s-0d, and the new three-speed Vicky IV at £83-14s-0d, while basic Mobylette and NSU Quickly models were a lot cheaper.

Road test & photo shoot took place in late November 2014, following which the workshop van delivered the completed bike on to its owner.

We’d recently recovered an original registration for an Excelsior G2 autocycle under the V765 scheme for Dave Ball, Suffolk Section EACC, and he gratefully donated £10 towards any IceniCAM article sponsorship.  Since the Victoria Vicky IV moped had been processed through the workshops as a commercial job, production costs for the article were negligible.

Support feature: Little Brother

Our Mobylette AV88 was another moped that came from the Derek Scott collection, which was purchased in its entirety by the workshops as a commercial project, who returned the bikes to operational and registered status for selling on, but presenting an opportunity to IceniCAM with the pick of any vehicles wanted for road test as they became completed.  The AV88 was road tested & photo shot in July 2014, then subsequently sold on.

AV88s are basically AV89s fitted with a low power motor, but you can usually spot a proper AV88 by the 54-tooth rear sprocket, which lowers the drive ratio.  Any AV89s with the ‘wrong engine’ are never done properly, and invariably still run a 48-tooth rear sprocket with the wrong chain-case.  Sometimes you see hybrids with the low power 1.7bhp cylinder but fitted with the H14 Gurtner carb and 9:1 head, which can make them go a little better, but they’re still short of the AV89 mark.

Our AV88 was a particularly interesting and very early example, still with its original engine, and while still falling short of the full-blown AV89 2.7bhp specification, performed rather better than we might have expected.

Being registered in October 1961 meant our machine was less than a year old from introduction of the model in November 1960, and Motor Imports probably wouldn’t have begun selling many until the commencement of the next season around March or April 1961.  Our example was almost certainly produced to the original UK market specification and hadn’t been messed about, so made an ideal feature machine for the article.

Sponsored by EACC member Russell Newsome, Cleveland, with a modest donation to IceniCAM in appreciation for lots of assistance in restoration and registration of his Mobylette AV42, saying any Mobylette feature would do.

Second Support feature: A New Sunrise

Our Bridgestone BS41 cyclemotor article became slotted into the third ‘oddball’ feature slot, not because there is actually anything odd about the machine, but simply because it’s highly unlikely you’re ever going to physically see one as they were never officially exported and there are so few examples outside of Japan.

This machine came through our hands as Geoffrey Clark in New Zealand purchased the bike from a private collection in Dublin.  Since we were handling the trans-shipping, the deal was that if the workshops could get the engine running satisfactorily, then we could have the bike for feature.  The BS41 is such a rare cyclemotor, that this was pretty much a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—so you just don’t pass that by …

No lights, no speedo, only a single band brake, and our test ride had to be done on trade plates, since the Bridgestone was unregistered.  It was interesting to find and ride such a strange and low-revving Japanese bike with a flat power delivery, having characteristics almost like some peculiar old European machine.  It very much seemed half a world away trying to imagine these cyclemotors scything their way through the Tokyo suburbs in the 1950s, but the BS41 would bowl along the flat quite steadily once it got warmed up.  The bike could doggedly get its rider from A to B though, like many old cyclemotors, you probably wouldn’t want to be engaging with too much traffic or junction stops, as the de-clutching operation wasn’t so easily controlled.

The Bridgestone road test & photo shoot took place in early November 2014 after which the bike went into holding storage, then boxed up for shipping out to New Zealand in March 2015.

Shojiro Ishibashi seemed to have established his business upon the creation of Jika-Tabi footwear, which still remains popular today, then diversified the Bridgestone business into other areas, as many of these corporations do.  Since so few of these Bridgestone cyclemotors exist outside Japan, research was particularly difficult as very little reference material seems to be available, but it was interesting to note that the motor was actually subcontract manufactured for Bridgestone, by Fuji Precision Machinery Co. Ltd. at Tokyo.  Bridgestone subsequently went on to manufacture engines themselves for later motor cycles.

Japanese cyclemotors seemed to have had a popular run of about 10 years, continuing pretty much up to 1960 since the Japanese market never seemed to have adopted the moped in quite the same way as the European market eclipsed their cyclemotors by the mid-1950s.  The Japanese somehow seemed to have leapfrogged the moped revolution, and what finally killed off the Japanese cyclemotor was social popularity of the Honda C100 Cub from 1959.

Sponsored by Nick Place of Kinson Tyre Services, Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, we can’t recall any particular reason that Nick made this £10 article donation to IceniCAM, but since he’s keen on early Honda mopeds, we thought his sponsorship would make a suitable attachment to the Bridgestone feature.

Our Mopedland-7 story

The Tail seems to have been a very long time coming—exactly five years to be precise—since the last of the series was published way back in July 2010.

A number of people have been asking after a new Mopedland episode pretty much since the previous publication Year of the Cat, and several ideas were dabbled with over the intervening period, but none seemed to come together quite suitably.

The Mopedland stories are a very particular thing, which need to have an essential style and character to them.  You know when they’re right, but you can also know when a potential draft doesn’t seem to be working, so then it simply won’t happen if story looks to be falling short of the mark.  Any new episode needs an original theme, but still wants to fall in with the ‘feel’ of the series, and it wasn’t until 2014 that a suitable idea started to hatch—‘Everybody would like some magic pixies in the garage to fix their bikes for them overnight!’

The concept was so simple, but the challenge was how to work this theme into an original short story—then along came Dennis …

Dennis was a real local tabby pussycat with no tail, who used to wander round and see us at the workshops during the day, and sometimes curl up on Danny’s lap in the evening and into the early hours, to keep him writing and typing up articles on the computer.

Cats are mysterious spirits that have some strange ability to cross over the dimensions between our world and the fantasy of fiction, and Dennis seemed to become the magic thread that began to stitch the story together.

In a way, the furry feline connection of The Tail seemed to make a fitting follow-up to Year of the Cat.

The first half of The Tail was drafted together in early April 2015 as Danny travelled across South Africa, followed by some six weeks thinking time as to how to work the remainder of the story into place.  The second half was sketched together at the transit terminal while waiting for the Hook of Holland ferry Stena Britannica on 14th June 2015 on the return from Bromfietsbeurs Margriethal at Schiedam, with the last of the draft completed aboard the ship just before sailing.

A whole five years getting to Mopedland-7, a considerable amount of time thinking about how to thread the concept together, then probably only some 10–12 hours actually writing the draft.  That’s pretty much how most of the Mopedland stories seem to have been created, so it appears to fit in with the family.

Dennis

We told Dennis we’d make him famous some day, but sadly don’t see him anymore since his owners moved away at the end of May 2015, so his little furry spirit is probably wandering around other places now.

Dawn did the first proof read of The Tail draft, and raised a little smile at the end, so endorsement that the package had worked right up to the last sentence.

Keith Robinson at Hartlepool collected the sponsorship credit with a modest donation that was randomly allocated to our fictional short story.

There were some ‘leaks’ that a Mopedland-7 article was being developed in 2015, but the content of the story managed to remain secure up to release, so maintaining the surprise until actual publication.  The leaks however, were enough to prompt a few enquiries even before publication of The Tail, as to when there might be a Mopedland-8 to follow it up?

Well, there are no working ideas at present … maybe in another 5 years…

And finally…

…as if that wasn’t enough, we also have Ken Booth’s tale of taking a Francis–Barnett Powerbike to Loch Ness.

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: In 1490, Leonardo da Vinci conceptualised a step-less Constant Variable Transmission arrangement, but it wasn’t until 1879 that the American automobile pioneer Milton Reeves first applied the principle of this drive to a saw milling system, and then later adapted the design to his subsequent motor car transmissions.

London-based Zenith Motorcycles built a V-twin engined motor cycle with Gradua-Gear in 1910, which principle was dramatically developed and improved by the Rudge–Whitworth company’s ‘Multigear’ drive of 1912, and comprehensively winning the IOM Senior TT in 1913 with Cyril Pullin on a 500cc Rudge Multi.

Variable belt transmission systems bobbed in and out of various industrial uses over the following decades, until they started finding their way into ideal applications for Motobécane’s moped single-cone swing-engine variator method in the late 1950s, and Triumph’s Tina scooter twin-pulley CVT system in the early 1960s.

Maybe at the time, the Tina twin-pulley CVT looked like a future that Motobécane just had to buy into with an equivalent adapted from their established variator system.  These were early days for lightweight CVT systems, and Triumph’s difficulties with their Tina were already becoming a nightmare—so might the Motobécane relay-box CVT fare any better?  We’ve scratched together Moby’s three top runners for our next main feature in: ‘Relay Team’.

Next Support Feature: We feature quite a rare machine with a foreign sounding name, which was sold under a British branded badge from a sporting car background, that was also used to promote its sales … (though the bike actually happened to be a German import anyway).

An interesting story of ‘Racing Heritage’ lies behind this bike, and we’re pretty sure the detailed research behind this next presentation will instantly establish itself as the reference article for this obscure moped.

Next Second Support: Continuing the cyclemotor theme, we feature the first complete motorised cycle product of this well-established British brand—though once again, the machine’s actual origins herald from Germany … but that’s another story for next time—‘The Lion and the King’.

What else?

Well, there’s this Website ... we’ve put a lot of useful information here, and we’re alwas adding to it.  We have a directory of useful people to know.  Information on local events: route sheets, maps, etc, are here as downloadable documents and, after each run, we put photos of the event on this website.  There’s also a market place where you can buy and sell mopeds, autocycles, cyclemotors and other related items

We have a discussion forum on Yahoo—you can get to that from our Contacts page or the box at the top of this page.

Director’s Cut logo

As each edition of the magazine is published, we add to our collection of articles.  From Edition 3 of the magazine, we introduced another evolution.  Previously, features in the articles section had reflected what appeared in the magazine, but you may now discover a bit of extra content has crept into some items as they’ve transferred to the website—you might call it ‘The Directors Cut’.  The problem with printed magazines is editing everything to fit page sizes and space, and there can sometimes be bits you’d like to include, but they have to be left out to fit the available space.  The web articles don’t need to be constrained by the same limitations so, although the text will remain the same, the ‘Directors Cut’ graphic in the header indicates the item carries extra pictures and bits that didn’t make it to the magazine.

We also have an Information Service—if you want to know more about your moped, we can help.

What we do

Iceni CAM Magazine is committed to celebrating all that’s good about the Cyclemotor, Moped and Autocycle scene; researching toward the advancement of the pool of knowledge about cyclemotors, autocycles, old mopeds, and other oddities; and the publication of original material.  We are a declared non-profit making production, though we still need to fund everything somehow to keep the show on the road.

The magazine is free on line, and the nominal price of supplying hard copies to non-computerised folks is pitched only to cover printing and postage.  All advertising is free since we believe that the few people left out there providing parts & service for these obsolete machines do so as a hobby and an interest.  This involves far more effort than reward, and they should be appreciated for the assistance they provide.  Our Information Service is there to help anyone needing manuals to help with restoration of a machine.  We make a small charge for this but, again, we have set our prices so the just cover postage and material costs.

Overheads involve operation of the website, and particularly the generation of features.  Articles like Last Flight of the Eagle can cost as little as £20 to complete, while others have cost up to £150 to generate, eg: Top Cat on the Leopard Bobby.  With these overheads, you may be wondering how we get the money to keep it all going.  So do we!  But, somehow, it works, helped by a number of generous people who have sponsored articles or made donations to keep the show on the road.

How long does it take to research, produce, and get these feature articles to press?  Well, up to two years of preparatory research in some cases, where little is known about the machine or its makers, and where nothing has been published before.  Then, collating all the information and interviews, drafting and re-drafting the text, travel and photoshoots typically account for up to 40 to 50 hours to deliver the package to editing.

There are many examples where these articles have become the definitive reference material for previously unpublished machines like Mercury Mercette & Hermes, Leopard Bobby, Ostler Mini-Auto, Dunkley Whippet & Popular, Stella Minibike, Ambassador Moped, Elswick Hopper Lynx, and many others.

We’re committed to continuing to produce these articles, because we believe it needs to be done, and we’ve got a proven track record for achieving it.  Nobody else has done it in 50 odd years, so if we don’t do it—who will?

To whet your appetite for what’s ahead, here’s an updated list of machines with developing articles for future features: Ariel 3, Ariel Pixie, Batavus Go-Go, Busy Bee cyclemotor, Capriolo 75 Turismo Veloce, Coventry Eagle Trade Auto-Ette, Cyc-Auto (Wallington Butt), Cyc-Auto (Villiers), Derbi Antorcha, Dot ViVi, Dunkley S65, Dunkley Whippet Super Sports, Elswick-Hopper VAP MIRA test prototype, Gilera RS50, Heath mini-bike, Hercules Corvette, Hercules Her-cu-motor, Honda CD50, Honda SS50, Honda Stream, James Comet 1F, Kerry Capitano, Leopard B6, Motobécane >SP50, MV Agusta Liberty, Norman Nippy Mark 2, Norman Nippy Mark 3, NVT Ranger, Phillips P36X motorised cycle, Powell Joybike, Puch Magnum X, Rabeneick Binetta, Simson SR2E, Solifer Speed, Sun Autocycle, Sun Motorette, Tailwind cyclemotor, Vincent Firefly, Yamaha FS1E.

The working list changes all the time as articles are completed and published, and further new machines become added—so as you see, there’s certainly no shortage of material.

Readers have probably noticed a number of the articles collecting sponsorship credits, and we’re very grateful for the donations people have made toward IceniCAM, which certainly assures we’re going forward into another year.  We don’t need a lot of money since IceniCAM is a declared non-profit making organisation, and operates on a shoestring (and we’d like to keep it that way)—run by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.

It’s easy to sponsor an article by either picking a machine from the forward list, and we’ll attach your credit to it, or simply making a donation.  There is no fixed amount, it’s entirely up to you, and however large or small, we’re grateful for any contribution to keep the show on the road.

If a vehicle you’re interested in seeing an article about isn’t in the list, then let us know and we’ll see about trying to add it in the programme, but we do need access to examples—perhaps you have a machine you’d like to offer for a feature?

See the Contact Page for how to: Subscribe to the magazineChat to fellow readersMake a donationSponsor an articleEnter a free advertSubmit an article yourselfWrite a letter to usPropose a machine for featureOffer your machine for test feature ...

News

Black and white number plates

August 2015

It is reported in the latest issue of tha FBHVC newsletter that the rules on old-style number plates (ie: with white or silver characters on a black background) have been simplified.  Any vehicle that qualifies for ‘Historic Wehicle’ tax may now carry black and white plates.

Zündavus

July 2015

Jan Gardien keeps us updated with goings-on in the Netherlands and recently send us some photos of the T’oale Kreng Limburg Weekend.  Among the pictures was this:

Zündavus

You can see more of Jan’s Limburg Weekend pictures at www.mijnalbum.nl/Album=38SEOX6D

500km by Solex

July 2015

I met this French guy on the outskirts of Orléans.  It appears that he is doing a 500km round trip on his Solex, pulling a fully packed trailer.  He is also carrying a complete spare engine on his luggage rack.  I saw him leaving, pushing the whole unit up a steep hill (with the motor running)!

Long-distance VéloSoleX rider

Regards
Brian Hastings

New Restrictions on V765s

June 2015

DVLA introduced new restrictions on V765 applications at the end of May—they didn’t tell anyone they were going to do it but just started rejecting any V765 that used a tax disc as its documentary evidence.

The new rule is that any supporting documentation must have a specific link to the vehicle or, in other words, must show the frame number.  It is not yet clear whether an engine number will be acceptable if the log book does not record the frame number, as is often the case with cyclemotors.

In most cases, this means that old log books will be the only accepted documents.  Pre-1983 MoT certificates and tax discs don’t record frame numbers, so won’t be accepted.  That leaves old insurance certificates and local authority archive records.  In many, many cases these don’t show frame numbers either.

If that’s not bad enough, it also raises questions about the rôle of the FBHVCDVLA seems to have treated the Federation with contempt in this matter.  Not only did they not bother to consult the FBHVC about the change but they didn’t even tell the Federation that it had happened.

It’s gone image

It’s Gone!

June 2015

From today (8 June) DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.  Existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid and should be destroyed.  The photocard remains valid and should be kept safe.

Paper-only driving licences (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) remain valid and should not be destroyed.

No more counterpart … date confirmed for abolition

January 2015

As part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative to remove unnecessary paperwork, it’s now been confirmed by Ministers that from 8 June 2015, DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.  This means from that date, existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid.  DVLA is advising drivers to destroy their counterpart after this date.

The old paper-only driving licences (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) remain valid and should not be destroyed.

How will drivers check their driver record when the counterpart is gone?

In 2014 DVLA launched the View Driving Licence service which allows GB driving licence holders to view their driving record online.  The service is free and easy to use and available 24/7.  Drivers can check what type of vehicles they can drive and any endorsements (penalty points) they may have.

Driving licence holders can also check the details on their driving record by phone or post.

There’s more information at www.gov.uk/dvla/nomorecounterpart


Older news stories are available in our News Archive