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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 October 2014 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature

Our Excelsior article was certainly long overdue but, being the first British motor cycle manufacturer, this was a particularly important and historical company and it was felt that that any presentation really had to do it justice.  Since Excelsior’s research connections went back such a long way, it seemed like the justification we were looking for to start the story at the very beginning, back at the very dawn of the bicycle.

The background research started several years back when we tested Neil Bowen’s Goblin autocycle in Winter 2010.  It certainly wasn’t anything like a spring day when the Excelsior G2 photo-shoot took place on a bitterly cold morning in early March 2010, along Felixstowe seafront promenade.  Within 15 minutes of photographing, the fingers were too numb to feel the shutter button any more.  From crisp and clear air, the changing light became quite challenging as black storm clouds from the North Sea rolled in across the sky.  The signs were ominous, quickly finish the shoot, pack up and flee!

Shooting with daylight flash to brighten the bike picked it out well, and low angle shots could be made even lower angle than usual by shooting from the beach below the promenade.

We initially considered presenting the G2 article as a stand-alone feature, since what other comparative autocycle could ever be twinned off against it?  As it was, this stand-alone presentation just never happened, and everything went into mothballs until we figured out what to do with it … but it seemed as if we never did.

It was nearly two years later that Colin Clover lent us his Excelsior Consort, completing the road test and photo-shoot in early November 2011.  At this time the Consort notes were entered as a separate file to the G2, and initially we considered the prospect of pairing the 4F Consort off with a later 6F foot-change Consort, but no such vehicle ever turned up, so this file too ended up mouldering in the can.

There had been several general enquiries about when we might be doing an Excelsior feature, and the owners of these bikes must have just about given up on where their articles had got to.

The breakthrough really only came in early 2014 as we presented the ‘Mediterranean’ world series edition, preparing the German edition for April, then intending to follow with a ‘return to France’ for July issue, and finally the ‘back to Britain’ edition for September.  This seemed like the right and ideal time to be presenting an Excelsior feature, then the idea came to mix the two two-speeds against each other in a fantastic Excelsior Goblin autocycle versus Villiers Consort motor cycle showdown. The title came from an extrapoltion of 4×4, so instead ‘2×2’.  It all seemed like a great opportunity, so we went right along with the idea.

Anybody would probably have said that an autocycle was never going to stand a chance in run-off against a two-speed Villiers motor cycle, but the G2 matched the gear aspect, and this particular Excelsior engine was dramatically altered with exhaust and transfer porting matched and raised by 33%.  Unquestionably, this made a significant difference to the way its motor performed.  Anyone who’s looked inside these Excelsior motors should easily appreciate how badly ‘matched’ they were, the piston travels 3mm below the bottom of the exhaust ports on BDC, which does little for effective spent gas scavenging … but lowering these ports is very tricky since there’s no access from the outside of the cylinder.  The only way is cutting from the inside of the cylinder at 90°, and how hard is that?  Raising the transfers is dead easy however, by simply removing the port covers and cutting upward, though does require the deflectors re-profiling to suit.

1953 Excelsior catalogue

So which won?  Well it depends how you might care to interpret the results.  G2 Goblin 37 on flat and 48 downhill versus Consort 38/39 on flat and 45 downhill.  Does that maybe make it a draw?

Mere numbers don’t really matter since the two Excelsiors were great bikes and the overall result presented a fab article we were quite satisfied with.

By chance, Neil Bowen’s ‘Walton Works’ had another featured machine (Peugeot Vivacity) in our last edition, and has made several machine appearances over the years.  Likewise Colin Clover has also supplied us several very nice test machines, and we do look forward to bringing more from both these stables in the future.

‘2×2’ Excelsiors was sponsored by Bill Rogers of Cambridgeshire Section EACC.

Support feature

The title of ‘Badge Engineering’ for our second feature was a fairly obvious choice considering the two bikes were practically identical apart from the branding: Raleigh for the home market, but Phillips for export.

We originally came across the Phillips Traveller on our first visit to New Zealand over Christmas 2009–10 when the research team was over there on the World’s End expedition to chase down all the Phillips Gadabout ‘Springer’ models and, incidentally, came across the hitherto unknown Traveller among Kelven Martin’s collection at Pongakawa.

Since that first visit was running on a very tight schedule, we didn’t have time to delve any deeper into the Traveller at the time, but came back and did some preparatory studies for a return visit.  The other half of the IceniCAM team visited NZ in 2010, followed by the return of the first team over Christmas 2011–12.  This time we took a whole day with Kelven on 28th December 2011 to road test and photo-shoot as many interesting bikes as we could.

Though the primary reason for the trip was to cover the Honda People cyclemotor in People Power, we also managed to test Morini FM128 cyclemotors in After the Gold Rush, Mitsubishi TLE43 with Robin Subaru EH035 and Cyclaid cyclemotors in Rapiers at Napier, all in the July 2012 NZ special edition.  The Honda Motocompo in Folders (October 2012), was another of the NZ feature machines, leaving the Traveller to become the last of our ‘banked’ NZ articles.

Since the Traveller was derived from the RM8, the idea was to match it up with a Raleigh of the same colour scheme-but just try finding one when you want one!

It was 3rd November 2012 before we got to borrow the featured RM8 from Nigel Youngman at Ely, by which time we were just about embarking at the start of our ‘Moped World Series’, so the Traveller/RM8 feature was locked out in the cold for another two years.

In the end, the article came down to a comparative analysis of the two models and carefully working through all the specific dating features to finally confirm the Traveller was simply a badge engineered straight-off-the-assembly-line first series RM8 that was branded with Phillips decals for New Zealand export.

The article was also an excuse to get together and present a structured and chronological sequence of the British Cycle Corporation period of Tube Investments, which very much led Raleigh to the export Traveller.  Might we finally have drawn a line under the Traveller mystery?  Possibly not, since there may yet be subsequent Traveller batches to identify…

You’d think that might have closed the book on mystery Phillips models in NZ, but not so … we now seem to have another one, and the game is afoot again!

Even excluding the ridiculously costly New Zealand element, production costs for Badge Engineering were fairly high anyway, since this involved two runs to Ely to collect and return the RM8.  Les Gobbett of the Leicester Enthusiasts made a very generous sponsorship donation some time ago for a Raleigh feature, and publication of Badge Engineering now cleans that slate.

Second Support feature

The Rivildaw article rather returns us to the ‘oddball third feature’ days.  Riv’s first public appearance was at the Peninsularis Run on 7th July 2013 and, straight away, we had our eye on this eccentric oddity for an article.  A deal was done with owner, David Whatling from Horham, that we’d have his Adler Junior scooter in September 2013 for The Eagle has Landed article, then display this at the subsequent Copdock Show, whereupon he’d take the Adler home afterwards and we’d get the Rivildaw next.

Riv was actually still receiving further development at the time (mounting a different fuel tank), so pickup was delayed slightly, but we got it in for road test & photo-shoot in early October 2013 and managed to whisk it through just before the weather fell apart for one of the wettest winters on British record.

Riv was absolutely every bit as diabolical to ride as the feature presented, but that’s part of the fun of these things.

The ‘Monster Hunter’ text was worked together as a sort of warrior epic movie script, which somehow seemed to fall right into place.  The article came together as an entertaining piece of fun, but Rivildaw is probably the bike built from salvage that everyone actually dreams of creating.

The Rivildaw ended up costing around £30 in diesel fuel to collect and return the bike to Horham, and sponsorship is credited to yet another donation by Jeff Lacombe of The Leicester Enthusiasts.

What’s Next?

Our next magazine is set to be a ‘re-balancing’ edition.  This is a situation that’s arisen as a result of our two-year ‘Moped World Series’, which created an unbalanced build-up of assorted Japanese machine articles that we now need to ‘unload’ in one full broadside to restore the status quo.

So the next edition will feature no fewer than seven Japanese bikes, but don’t go thinking this might be more quantity than quality, because there’s at least one old and interesting bike in there … OK, it is just the one old bike from the 1960s.  The rest might be somewhat newer, mostly early 1980s, but the rest of these bikes are still all around 30 years old, and very typical of a number of machines being ridden on moped events today.

There are certainly some interesting and unusual oddities among them.

Next Main Feature: There’s nothing like a change in legislation to put a cat among the pigeons!

Changing definition of the moped created mayhem in the late 1970s as manufacturers thrashed aimlessly around with erratic engineering and odd styling experiments in random efforts to hit upon the next standard winning formula. There was a surprising amount of variety to new ‘Sloped’ design in the early 1980s, though time proved many of these to be little more than technical dead ends.

We are now left with a unique and interesting legacy of mechanical extinction, to be presented in ‘Evolution’.

Next Support Feature: The British motor cycle industry was suffering through particularly difficult times in the early 1960s-and things were just about to get a whole lot worse!  Honda established its own import and distribution in the UK at Power Road, Chiswick, London W4 from November 1962.  In October 1963, and following Honda’s lead, Suzuki established its GB import and distribution at 87 Beddington Lane, Croydon.  The Japanese were coming, and this was—the ‘Thin End of the Wedge’.

Next Second Support: Might military mopeds seem a little unlikely for the modern British forces?

Perhaps you may not notice them very often, but then, maybe you’re not supposed to-because they’d be camouflaged!

These machines may not quite be the real McCoy, but they’re certainly out there on the roads, fighting the battle for urban survival as daily commuter transport-this is the ‘Moped Army’.

This article has been hiding in the undergrowth since the last bike was shot in March 2012.  It nearly made an appearance in October 2012, but was beaten to the front line by Folders.  Again, our urban survivalist feature was in the running for the July 2013 edition, only to be pipped to the winning post by Iron Horse, ironically another nemesis in the shortlist back in March 2012.  Bunkered again, but now it finally looks as if the Moped Army is set to invade the next edition.

Get ready to fight for your country-this is war!

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, Suzuki A100, 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 magazine - Chat to fellow readers - Make a donation - Sponsor an article - Enter a free advert - Submit an article yourself - Write a letter to us - Propose a machine for feature - Offer your machine for test feature - ...

News

Model Engineer cover

Myford cyclemotor

September 2014

Hi folk,
The next issue of Model Engineer magazine (issue 4490 which is due in shops next week) contains a piece by John Stevenson about the work of the Jones brothers and the Myford Cyclemotor.  This info is also noted on the magazine’s cover to make life easier for old folk as myself!
Regards
Jim Switzer

AOTD

July 2014

tax disc abolition banner

The law is changing to get rid of the need to display a paper tax disc; the DVLA and police now rely on DVLA’s electronic vehicle register to check if a vehicle is taxed.  The change will be introduced on 1st October 2014 and applies to everyone who needs to tax their vehicle.  Motorists will still need to pay for their vehicle tax, but they will no longer get a paper tax disc for display on vehicles.  The requirement to apply for vehicle tax will not change for vehicles that are exempt from payment of vehicle tax (eg: Hstoric Vehicles).  The only change will be that the paper tax disc will no longer be issued and required to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen.  Motorists still get a reminder when the vehicle tax runs out; there will be no change to the issue of the Renewal Reminder (V11s and V85/1s).  Any person may check the tax status of any vehicle by using DVLA’s Vehicle Enquiry System.  The vehicle enquiry system can be accessed by visiting www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk. Anyone who notifies DVLA that they no longer need to tax the vehicle any longer such as it being sold, transferred, or declared off the road (SORN), will recieve a VED refund automatically.  There’s more information on the DVLA website at www.gov.uk/dvla/nomoretaxdisc

Dave Bickers, 1930-2014

Dave Bickers

July 2014

We’re sad to have to report the death of Dave Bickers on Sunday 6th July.  Dave was probably the best-known motor cyclist of his era thanks the televisation of the sport he excelled at: Moto Cross (or Scrambles as we used to call it in those days).  Dave also made a name for himself in show business circles, providing ‘action vehicles’ for any films including, for example, the Indiana Jones films.  In contrast to these ‘exalted circles’ Dave was often and local motor cycle events and was a regular rider on EACC

 

DVA NI

July 2014

Application for an Age Related Mark (V3) Scheme in Northern Ireland

The V3 scheme has, along with all the services and processes currently provided by DVA NI, been reviewed by DVLA as part of the NI/GB merger.  As a result, they intend to introduce the following changes:

The requirement for an historic NI import with a foreign logbook to be supported by the Association of Old Vehicle Clubs (AOVC) ends when DVA

From 21st July, NI imports with a foreign logbook will be processed in GB without the V3 form.  Vehicles manufactured in 1975 or before will be allocated an older style NI vehicle registration mark (VRM).

From 21st July NI imports with a dating certificate (vehicle manufactured in 1975 or before) will be allocated an older style NI vehicle registration mark.  All older style VRMs will be issued on a non-transferable basis.

Vehicles manufactured in and after 1976 will be allocated a current NI vehicle registration mark

Historic vehicles with no documentation will be allocated a QNI vehicle registration mark.  The V3 application form will be removed from general circulation as soon as possible.  DVA will continue to accept and where possible, process V3 applications up until 17 July.  After this date any application to register a historic vehicle, imported into NI supported by a foreign logbook should be sent to:
DVLA,
Swansea,
SA99 1BE
The V3 will not be required.

DVA NI

June 2014

The DVA in Northern Ireland is due to close in July, with its work being transferred to DVLA Swansea.  Until now the procedure for V765 applications in Northern Ireland has been somewhat different from in the rest of the UK.  Furthermore, Northern Ireland doesn’t issue any ‘age-related’ registrations.  So, will this change when DVLA takes over?  No one seems to know...

Historic Tax

April 2014

From 1st April, vehicles built before 1st January 1974 qualify for the zero-rated Historic Vehicle tax ... but ...

The Historic tax rate won’t be applied automatically to the newly qualified vehicles; you’ll have to apply for it.  You don’t have to wait until the current tax disc expires.  On the ‘changes’ section of the V5c put the tax class as ‘Historic Vehicle’, then sign & date it.  Fill in a V10 to apply for a new tax disc and take it all to a Motor Tax Post Office, along with the current MoT.  The Post Office will give you a new tax disc, retaining the V5c, which they’ll send on to DVLA.  The remaining duty on the unexpired old tax disc can be reclaimed using form V14.

Budget 2014

March 2014

As expected, a rolling 40-year Historic VED was part of this year’s budget.  Another item that was expected was the legislation needed to abolish tax discs.  Perhaps less welcome for classic vehocle owners is that there will be a financial incentive for increasing the methanol in fuel from April next year.  Here’s the small print from the Budget document:

2.151 Fuel duty incentives for methanol—
From April 2015, the government will apply a reduced rate of fuel duty to methanol.  The rate will be set at 9.32 pence per litre.  The size of the duty differential between the main rate and methanol will be maintained until March 2024.  The government will review the impact of this incentive alongside the duty incentives for road fuel gases at Budget 2018.  (Finance Bill 2015)

2.152 Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates and bands—
VED rates for cars, motorcycles and the main rates for vans will increase by RPI from 1 April 2014.  (Finance Bill 2014)

2.153 VED: classic vehicle exemption –
The government will introduce a rolling 40 year VED exemption for classic vehicles from 1 April 2014.  (Finance Bill 2014 and future Finance Bills) (39)

2.154 VED administrative simplification—
As announced at Autumn Statement 2013, the government will introduce legislation to reduce tax administration costs and burdens by making the following changes with effect from 1 October 2014:
— motorists will be able to pay their VED by direct debit annually, biannually or monthly, should they wish to do so. A 5% surcharge will apply to biannual and monthly payments (Finance Bill 2014) (c)
— a paper tax disc will no longer be issued and required to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen (Finance Bill 2014)


Older news stories are available in our News Archive