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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 January 2016 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: The Chicken or the Egg?

Raleigh RM7 advert

The concept and structure of our Raleigh Wisp article was formulated quite some time back, and was planned with the intention of creating a definitive and fully comprehensive production.

Since the Wisp technical specification was revised after its first season to address the over-revving and subsequent engine failure & vibration issues, we would be needing standard models in each configuration.

The Wisp was only sold in the two metallic colours of Fiesta Blue and Spanish Gold, so we would also ideally be wanting two bikes, both in original factory finishes for the photoshoot.

Being primed with a reflective aluminium base coat, then coloured with a translucent topcoat, makes the original metallic finishes of the Wisp particularly difficult to reproduce properly, and most seem to become repainted in either a standard block blue or some proprietary gold, which rarely look anything like the original finish.

Since presenting the correct colours was considered so important for the photoshoots, we decided that only good original paintwork would suffice, which instantly ruled out a lot of the available examples.

Our first and most promising opportunity came in summer 2012 when the workshops bought in a brace of bikes from Hemel Hempstead, as a ‘his & hers’: a 1964 80cc Suzuki K10 and a 1967 Fiesta Blue Raleigh Wisp in early 44-tooth configuration.

Of the two bikes, the Raleigh Wisp was actually processed first and, as an obviously low mileage machine, restored to fantastic original condition.  This represented a great example to get our article started, but the road test proved an horrendous experience, with screaming revs and shattering vibration due to the original undergeared 44-tooth low drive ratio.

You instantly appreciated how Wisps’ first customers must have felt—it was dreadful!

Having got the blue Wisp road test & photoshoot completed in August 2012, the bike was very quickly sold on.

The workshops then set about restoring the Suzuki K10, which was subsequently completed for RT&PS in April 2013, but didn’t appear in the Thin End of the Wedge article until in January 2015.

The Wisp project had meanwhile gone into mothballs awaiting the availability of a later specification Spanish Gold example with 36-tooth rear sprocket.  You’d think this should be a fairly easy demand to satisfy, since there are lots of Wisps around, but it seems funny how you can never find exactly what you want when you’re after something so specific.

It wasn’t until August 2014 when we were at the West Anglian section’s Shuttleworth Shuffle event based at Moggerhanger village hall, that we diverted to the outskirts of Milton Keynes after the event, to collect another 1969 Wisp that the workshops had done a deal to buy in.

This machine proved to be the correct original Spanish Gold colour and later 36-tooth specification we were looking for—but what a derelict!  25 years storage in the back of a lock-up garage had certainly taken its toll.

This was going to take an awful lot of fixing … there was a major worklist for this bike and the rotted petrol tank had to be replaced & repainted.

It was July 2015 before this Wisp rolled out of the workshops for RT&PS, and again, our second Wisp was shortly sold on after its purpose had been fulfilled.

Meanwhile, towards the last months of 2014, the workshops had also acquired a promising and obviously minimal-use RSW16 MkII bicycle that required some work and new tyres, but was clearly too good not to save—so now we had the opportunity to add a third element to our Wisp feature.

The RSW16 was fixed up for RT&PS in January 2015, then shortly sold on to the same buyer of our Kieft KS50 from the Racing Heritage feature in our last edition of October 2015.  When Norman Crawford bought the Kieft and RSW16, he also made a donation to sponsor the KS50 article, but we’d ‘misplaced’ his details at the crucial moment when the credits were being attached, so Norman ended up sponsoring his RSW16 instead.

All articles are initiated as individual text files on RT&PSs, so the Wisp file started from notes on the Fiesta Blue bike, then the Spanish Gold notes were added on later, and the file subsequently collated with related research notes from there.  Much of this text was developed and written up while Danny was in Malta during September 2015; in fact most of IceniCAM edition 36 was drafted over this week in the Mediterranean, so we were actually well ahead of the game for a change this time.

The RSW16 file was separately developed from its own individual file, so by the time we’d decided to present the RSW and Wisp features in the same article, they’d already evolved as separate entities.  Instead of engaging in a complete re-write to blend both text files together, it was decided to produce the article in two distinct chapters.  This unusual structure however, seemed to work out quite naturally for this particular feature, since Raleigh launched the bicycle so quickly in 1965, while the RM7 motorised version wasn’t completed until a whole two years later.

Not until all the various Raleigh project timings were collated, could it really be appreciated that the RSW16 bicycle and Wisp were actually initiated at the same time in 1963, while everyone had always presumed that the Wisp had evolved later as a development of the bicycle.

Several titles for the RSW/Wisp article were toyed with, but From Cycle to Moped & The Chicken or the Egg? seemed most appropriate for the time honoured question of which came first?

Raleigh marque specialist Les Gobbett has had a long-standing sponsorship credit lodged with us for another Raleigh article, and it’s certainly taken a while to work this Wisp feature to completion: 3½years in fact!  We felt it was particularly important being patient enough to get all the article details absolutely right in the end, to finally present such a worthwhile and definitive reference piece about the Wisp moped.

Support feature: Fifty Quid

Our support feature evolved from a whole load of random ‘odds & ends’ RT&PSs that were incidentally performed on a number of assorted machines that just happened to be going through the local workshops.  The majority of these bikes had already been covered in earlier features, so we didn’t really have any idea what we might do with them, but took the opportunity to take the notes just because the bikes were there.  You never know, some idea may appear…

We soon recognised a common thread: all these bikes had actually been really cheap, so the prospect of a ‘bikes-you-might-buy-for-£50’ feature was conceived, then the title was tweaked around, and gnawed down to its bare bones, to finally be simplified to just Fifty Quid.

Bikes came from our own workshops, and c/o Chris Day—Moped Doctor, between both of which there is a constant throughput of material.

Where models had been covered before in grander articles, the idea was to lightly skim through these, chiefly as support for ‘the main event’, which was the Piaggio Si, being the only machine we’d never actually featured before.

Starting with our 35-year old Suzuki FZ50, we’d previously covered one of these as a later CDI model in Evolution of January 2015, however our orange example in ‘Fifty Quid’ was represented by an earlier version with contact ignition.

5 segment picture

A blue Yamaha QT50 had previously been covered in Shop till you Drop of October 2013, and there seemed little different here apart from the white paintwork on this mere 26-year-old example, but the QT is always an unusual and interesting addition due to the novelty of its shaft drive, and spirited performance.  They sure do go well!

Next up came the Mobylette N40T, a cheap & cheerful, though popular model back in the 1970s, that we’d covered in the article Grey Porridge way back in October 2003, though you won’t find this in IceniCAM.  It was produced way back in the ‘bad old days’ for Buzzing magazine, when we were wasting our time trying to help the thankless NACC, which stumbled on from crisis to disaster, and now seems to be teetering on the brink of collapse.  You’ll find Grey Porridge in IceniCAM’s sister site of older material: The Moped Archive.

This latest orange & white N40T was still in totally original colour and condition, so probably more representative than the lightly customised example from the earlier feature.  Once sorted, this Moby proved a tough and relentless little workhorse, taking constant hard riding in its stride without even blinking.  A good value-for-money, 40-year oldtimer moped.

Our main event of Fifty Quid was undoubtedly the 1992 Piaggio Si, which we’ve never done before, so was presented in much more detail than its fellows.  At just 23 years old, the Si was the only two-seater moped in the feature, rode easily, handled well, stopped effectively, but proved tediously slow and thoroughly monotonous to ride.

Our last machine in ‘the famous five’ was the Moped Doctor’s very own ‘workshop hack’.  This 31-year old A3 was originally intended for inclusion in our original Tomos feature Full Circle of January 2014, but was ‘out of condition’ at the time, so here it gets a second shot at infamy.

The Suzuki FZ50, Yamaha QT50 and Mobylette N40T were all RT&PS’d in June 2015, the Piaggio Si in July 2015, and Tomos photoshot in September 2015 (though it had actually been road tested earlier in June, at the same time as the N40T).

Fifty Quid followed a slightly different variation to our more usual presentation format, as the machines in this article involved some restoration elements, which we preferably try to avoid in the general features.  We just feel that too much restoration detail can become rather dull, so we usually skip that angle, but some relevant specifics did seem applicable for these machines to impart some idea of the problems involved with the respective bikes.

There certainly seemed no shortage of these £50 machines available, since we’d actually had to trim some further bikes out of the feature to try and keep it down to a more manageable size.

Could this mean there might be some sort of Fifty Quid sequel brewing?

Producing five bikes in one article does present some logistical difficulties for editing the magazine, not necessarily in respect of the text files, but more in terms of the consideration that five bikes will require five sets of accompanying pictures.  The ‘photographic pie-chart’ managed to neatly consolidate some of this problem for the printed magazine, while still presenting a striking and unusual visual montage.

We have previously produced an even larger six bike article with Life in the Slow Lane, but that was presented in conjunction with two other single-bike second and third features, so eight bikes in total.  Our five-bike Fifty Quid for number 36 was accompanied by another three-bike main feature and a further single-bike third feature, so we think that articles in this January 2016 IceniCAM edition present a new record of nine bikes in one edition (that’s if you actually count the RSW16 as an officially recognised ‘kill’)—which brings us neatly on to number 9…

Second Support feature: Siege of the Cyclemotors

Our Peugeot Bima ‘Standard’ in the Siege of the Cyclemotors article was yet another machine 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 title was adopted as a take on Peugeot’s saturation marketing policy of getting these machines out in huge numbers under a whole raft of its ‘owned manufacturers’ as well as its home brand.  The sales battle was certainly hard fought in the French home market against the competition.  Peugeot’s plan was to present its cyclemotors under a wide selection of badges, maintaining a profile everywhere it could, in a military style campaign to try to overwhelm its competitors by sheer numbers and presence in the showroom.  The customer might have had a wide choice of all the different makers badges and colour schemes that the Bima models were available in—but when it came down to the nuts and bolts, they were all Peugeot!

Our ‘Standard’ model was a very nice unrestored example for the feature, which filled a technical gap in our Peugeot sequence, between the Vélomoteur and the moped.  The bike was super original, and an interesting ‘crossover’ machine from 1954 with the new ABG magset, but the old chain primary drive.

There’s sometimes a beauty in the simplicity of base-model machines, and our 61-year-old Bima carried the grace of elegance and aesthetic lines, unspoiled by the clutter of add-on, up-market extras.

The Bima chapter represented an important period in Peugeot’s post-war recovery, and considering that they made some ½ million examples of these various ‘sold-as-complete-machine’ cyclemotors for an incredible 15 years, underlines what a significant contribution these little bikes made.

Maybe people relate more to the VéloSoleX as the all-time French cyclemotoring icon, but the Peugeot Bima was really a far nicer bike to ride, and went so much better.

Our test bike hadn’t had much use for a long time, and required workshop attention to the usual suspects before being capable of giving a good account of itself.  Magset service, ignition timing, and carburetion all required overhaul to get it running correctly, while Paul’s Tank Cleaning Service sponsored the article by making a super job of getting all the rust and nasty stuff out of the tank, and returning its insides back to clean gleaming metal.

This was another bike completed for RT&PS in June 2015, a particularly busy month for the workshops, and for us.

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: An ancient name, returning back from the pioneering dawn of motor cycling, though strangely, one of our most difficult research projects to track, since so little ever seems to have been published about them!  It’s been particularly hard piecing together all the various fragments of related history scattered over an incredible 137 years.  This project research file was actually started in April 2006, way back before we’d even started IceniCAM!  You want a clue what the bike may be?  Who takes 46 years to build a moped?  ‘Return of the New King’.

Next Support: Soichiro Honda unquestionably came up with a top selling model when he first introduced the Honda C100 Cub in 1958.  So what happens when you have found a new winning formula?  That’s right, everybody copies it!  Well … sort of copies it.  Because of patents, there have to be variations on the theme…  Our next feature doesn’t contain any Honda Cubs, but it does involve a few ‘Copycats’.

Next Second Support: ‘The X-factor’.  Another contestant in the on-going competition to find the best (or worst?) sports moped.

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, 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

Norman Headlamp Nacelle Assembly

Norman Headlamp Nacelle

January 2016

The Norman moped headlamp nacelle has been a problem for some time; the old plastic mouldings have been very prone to suffering embrittlement of the plastic and damage.  Also, parts for the Miller lamp unit that was fitted to these assemblies have been particularly difficult to find.  A lot of owners have long been searching fruitlessly for parts for these headlamp/nacelle sets.

Now Mopedland has come up with a solution, by creating a completely new master mould to produce new fibreglass mouldings.  It would have been pointless to reproduce mouldings that needed the obsolete Miller headlamp unit so, to resolve this issue, the new Mopedland nacelle takes a cheap and readily available lamp unit assembly (which is supplied as part of the kit), from a Honda C50.  This takes a 6V×15/15W headlamp bulb.

The nacelle kits are on sale now for £85, comprising: a new fibreglass moulded nacelle housing, a new headlamp rim/lens/reflector assembly (Honda C50) complete with a 6V×15/15W MPF headlamp bulb and socket fittings and 2 new 5mm stainless steel screws to fit the headlamp + 2 anti-shake nylon washers.  The housing fits Norman Nippy Mk 2/type 2 (Villiers), Norman Nippy Mk 3 (MiVal), Norman Nippy Mk 4 (Villiers), Norman Lido Mk 1 (Villiers), and Norman Super Lido (Sachs).

Aplin’s of Bristol—Still open for business

January 2016

We’ve heard some rumours lately that Brian Aplin is shutting up shop—it turns out that these rumours are completely false.  Brian is still open for business and planning to stay that way.

Motoring services strategy

November 2015

The UK government has just started an open consultation: Motoring services strategy: a strategic direction 2016 to 2020 about what should happen within DVLA, DVSA and VCA over the term of this government.  Some possible changes are continuing the shift towards ‘digital’ sevices, restructuring the fees that these agencies charge, making MoTs apply to four-year-old vehicles, and bringing back the Road Fund (‘an outrage upon the sovereignty of Parliament and upon common sense’—Winston Churchill).

Full details are at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/motoring-services-strategy-a-strategic-direction-2016-to-2020

Black and white number plates

September 2015

Our report that any vehicle that qualifies for ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax may now carry black and white plates (below) caused some slight bafflement among enthusiasts.  Well, thanks again to the FBHVC, here’s how it happened: the law on number plates changed in 2001 and back then, the cut-off date for both black & white plates and ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax was 1973.  So, the new law linked the two, not allowing for the possibility that the tax cut-off would be changed back to a rolling date!

August 2015

It is reported in the latest issue of the 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 Vehicle’ 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