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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 April 2016 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Return of the New King

ELRCo page

Research started for our Kerry article back in March 2006, and the initial text draft to start structuring the file was begun the following month.  No, that isn’t a typo that was meant to be 2016, our Kerry project really was started 10 years ago!  It seemed to be one of those ill-fated articles where everything went against it.

Originally the feature was intended to be developed for Buzzing, but that likelihood evaporated as the magazine’s controlling organisation decided, in a political moment, that it didn’t want to present feature articles any more.  The failing NACC’s appalling management decisions still seem continue a decade later, which is something of a surprise, as most people had predicted it would have imploded much sooner—still, not much further for it to fall now…

While prospects for our Kerry article became mothballed in the political turmoil of the moment, research works to develop various articles around this time still continued even though we had no publication outlet and managing to track down and interview Don Kerry at a retirement home in Clacton-on-Sea, added more material to the Kerry data file.

During the mid to late 2000s there seemed to be a succession of Capitano’s passing through the workshops: three early blue speeders, four later green & black KC7 two-speeders, the early light blue three-speed scooterette, and the later red & white three-gear KC3.  While we got the opportunity to road-test most of these bikes, many of them were in a ‘cosmetically challenged’ condition (which is typical of most unrestored Kerrys), so didn't make the greatest subjects for photo-shoots.

As most of these bikes came and went in time, the hope was that we might get access to some restored examples for better picture opportunities, but that never seemed to happen, so the Kerry article was just mothballed and practically forgotten.

While we’d moved on to producing other features, there was the Capitano package, floating around in limbo for all this time, until there came a rash decision just before the editorial deadline for presentation of the Raleigh Wisp feature of our last edition at Christmas 2015—come hell or high water, we’re going to produce the Kerry feature, and we’re going to do it now … in went the ‘Next’ trailer at the end of the Wisp text, and so we were committed.

Most of the research and much of the text had long been completed, there was an old draft file that just needed a bit of updating and completion, so how hard could it be to finish it off?  Ahhh, no pictures!

Kerry Capitano KC3

The early blue two-speeder was still in use as the workshop hack, and was our only remaining machine, so this was easily sorted by a quick photo-shoot in March 2016, before a background of daffodils to compliment the 37th editon’s publication release at the EACC West Anglian Section’s Daffodil Dash event … now what about the rest of the pictures?

Kerry Capitano KC7

Digging around in the old photograph archive turned up pictures of the two three-speed models, then a few IceniCAM Information Service library files, and we're in business!  There was even a number of trade pictures of Kerry’s Commercial Tri-ped, taken in the mid 1960s by former Raleigh Sales Manager David Denny after he’d moved on from Raleigh.  We'd interviewed David Denny way back in 2009 while generating the infamous Raleigh Rackabout article, and all these interview notes were still on file relating to his following spell with Kerry.  (Maybe we ought to work some more of those Denny notes into another article sometime).

David did say that some of the Tri-ped commercial variants were assessed by local authorities for service work in north-west England, but rejected as unsuitable.  Kerry apparently sold very few.

‘Return of the New King’ had become adopted as the article’s title back in 2006 when the text file was first drafted, and related to the way that Kerry came back to motor cycles following a gap of 46 years, returning in the early 1960s as a new King of the Mopeds, thanks to the super powerful 3.1bhp Minarelli engine in the Capitano.

Les Gobbett collected sponsorship credit for the second main feature in consecutive editions.  Since we’d used up his last donation on the Wisp feature in our January edition, he thought he’d send us another, and we think he’d be happy we attached it to another classic British (branded) moped feature like the Kerry.

There’s been very little material published before on the East London Rubber Co and Kerry Cycles, despite the significance of this business over the nearly 100 years it was trading.  A comprehensive reference article on Kerry has been long overdue, so we’re glad we finally got there in the end.

Support feature: Copycat

We began preparations for the ‘Copycat’ feature quite some time back, pretty much starting the project after completing the original Honda C100 Cub feature back in October 2013.  Having successfully presented the Honda Cub article, we just thought about the prospect of producing a Not-a-Honda-Cub article, which is pretty much how the feature originated.

The article would just come down to bagging some other makes of ‘not-Honda’ step-through scooterettes—which wouldn’t take long.

While it might have been nice to complete the set with a Bridgestone Homer, there aren’t too many of those around…

Our first opportunity came within just a few months in the form of the T-registration 1979 Suzuki FR80 of Mick Cousins in Ipswich, when he rode the bike at the EACC Suffolk Section Mince Pie Run in January 2014.  Saying he was shortly intending to sell the bike on, we quickly snaffled it after the event and commenced a text file with the photo-shoot and road test notes.

The Suzuki’s memorable characteristics: Pros—torquey motor with good acceleration, great hill climbing abilities.  Cons—horrible clunky gearchange and questionable handling.

Next up came the K-registration 1972 Yamaha V90 in May 2014, another local bike provided by Jim Davies from Ipswich.  This V90 had done a lot of work over its 40+ years of long and venerable service, and was unsurprisingly beginning to show its age, but still managed a very representative performance for its model.

Yamaha V90’s memorable characteristics: Pros—good acceleration and smooth running motor.  Cons—notchy and clonky gearchange, diabolical sloshy handling.  Novelty—gimmicky illuminated oil tank reservoir that still didn’t allow you to see the oil level!

Where the various Honda Cub 50cc, 70cc, and 90cc scooterette models over the years all had four-stroke engines, the Bridgestone, Suzuki and Yamaha copycat scooterettes all had two-stroke motors, so they were sort of the same, but in a different kind of way.

Our final scooterette of the Copycat trio became the B-prefix 1985 registered Yamaha T80 from Paul Efreme of Billericay.  The bike was photo-shot at the Reservoir Dogs Run in May 2014, then road tested later in the Summer.  The Townmate models became the ultimate alternative copycat, and an absolute must for this feature, because they were the only other Japanese made scooterettes with four-stroke motors.  The T80’s 80cc capacity slipped neatly between Honda’s 70cc and 90cc models, then the four-speed semi-automatic gearchange and shaft-drive transmission gave it a technical marketing advantage.

Pros—went well, rode well, handled well, clean reliability of shaft drive.  Cons—none!  The T80 was our greatest copycat.

Was it really better than the classic Honda Cub in the end?  You decide…

Second Support feature: The X-factor

Quite a few ‘younger riders’ have been nagging us for quite a while about producing more features on bikes from their youth in the 1980s.  Well, we do listen, and we have been presenting a number of these machines from time to time.  Why not, indeed, because many of these later 1970s’ mopeds, typically 1980s’ restricted Slo-peds, and Japanese step-through scooterettes seem to be what a lot of folks are riding on club runs these days. People use them because riders now in their 40s can relate to them from their youth, and a number of older riders in their 50s to 80s also ride these machines because they’re often cheap, comfortable and reliable.

While Iceni particularly loves producing reference features on obscure old Cyclemotors, Autocycles and Mopeds, the features we present at IceniCAM do need to contain a representative spread of machines across an ever-extending time frame, because many of the more active club riders of today may not particularly relate to antique autocycles and old 1950s’ cyclemotors, so we strive to strike a balance.

Cyclemotors often now seem to be in the preserve of interested collectors, and few appear to be ridden at club events today.  There still seem to be a number of autocycles and 1950s’/early ’60s’ mopeds making outings, but who’d have thought that they'd ever see the day when there were no Raleigh Runabouts at any club event?  That does sometimes happen now however, time moves on, and so does IceniCAM…

Hence we arrive at that most dreadful of productions—The X-factor.

No, not Mr Cowell’s TV talent contest (that’s a wonderful programme, isn’t it?), we mean our very own Suzuki X-1 feature!

Chris ‘Moped Doctor’ Day has been one of those younger generation voices calling for more relatable 1980s based features, so this was our incentive to grab the opportunity to road test and photo-shoot his red 1980 Suzuki X-1 sports moped on 10th July 2014, just before he passed it on its new owner the following week.

At this time we didn’t have much idea how we might use this bike in a feature, because the engine had been modified with a 65cc big-bore conversion and gearing change, so wasn’t at all representative of the standard machine.

Opportunities, however, do seem to have the strangest way of turning up.

Just a couple of months later we bumped into North Herts EACC section organiser David Osbourne at an event with his very nice and completely standard white 1982 Suzuki X-1, and a plan began to hatch…

David was most supportive regarding access to his bike at some suitable time, and we snatched the moment to seize our road test and photo-shoot during the halfway stop on the EACC West Anglian Section’s Shuttleworth Shuffle event in September 2015.

The performance of the standard restricted Suzuki X-1 is very capable of inducing terminal depression—it’s a miserable thing to ride, which is pretty much in line with practically every other standard restricted sports moped. They look as if they should go—but they don’t.

Our previous sports moped feature on Chris ‘Moped Doctor’ Day's earlier Kawasaki AR50 Jack the Lad article of October 2010 was equally critical of that machine’s pathetic restricted performance.  Chris had very shortly sold on the AR50 as the tedium of its miserable ride quickly became apparent, so might the new Suzuki hold any longer stay in his stable?

Japanese-market RG50

Following a bit of tinkering to get the red X-1 going, it was very quickly obvious that the motor had suffered some serious trauma, and internal investigations revealed a cylinder that had received the terminal intervention of some over-radical home-tuning to the exhaust port, which rendered the prospect of any rebore completely pointless.  Fortunately, another completely wrecked and dead X-1 track bike was very cheaply acquired to donate its cylinder barrel, however the 41mm bore was so completely worn out that a rebore was obviously very essential.

If you’re going to bore the cylinder anyway, and with an extensive selection of oversize piston sets available at similar prices, right up to 48mm (when the sidewall into the transfers would practically disappear), you may as well take the capacity higher to make the bike go better anyway—so it’s just pick any number you fancy!  After a bit of maths, a nominal 65cc capacity was chosen, and the 46.5mm size selected from the options.

A 15cc increase might seem negligible, but to a 50cc motor, that represents a 30% capacity increase, and two points up on the compression ratio since a larger volume is being squeezed into the same combustion space.

15cc may not be much, but it is a difference you are going to feel, and it’s going to represent enough of a difference to be able to raise the final drive ratio on a motor that wouldn’t pull its top gear before the conversion.

Further comparison of the big-bore effect showed in the road test, and while the oversized X-1 still wouldn’t be any match for an original and unrestricted Japanese-market version RG50, it certainly made enough difference to make this X-1 an appreciably better bike.

Considering the later development Japanese-market RG50 motor became uprated to 7.2bhp, there’s no question that the engine was capably engineered to take the larger capacity, so why not do it?

A modest donation came in from Keith Robinson at Hartlepool, so incidentally got tacked to our X-1 sports moped feature.  Keith seems to generally be an autocycle man, but we don’t think he’ll mind.

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: This has been selected as our No.1 feature for next edition for very good reason.  We’ve been hovering around this bird of prey for quite a while now, with most of the article long completed, but desperately hunting for that last crucial missing piece of the jigsaw to complete its history.  It’s been an ongoing research hell, but to no avail … until now!  The year is 1980, and the once great British motor cycle industry has completely collapsed.  There isn’t really anything much left.  Just a few ruinous fragments of the old names sliding into the abyss … then a glimmer in the darkness … just ‘One last Hope’.

Next Support: Following on from the Copycats, it just happens that we’ve got another cat for the next feature too!  If the marketing people name their new ‘roller-scooter’ after the sleekest and quickest animal on four legs, then the bike is bound to be seen in the same image, sexy and fast … or maybe the reality doesn’t quite work out like that?  Hold on, what actually is a roller-scooter?  Find out next time as we venture into central Europe, and ‘Into the Sixties’.

Next Second Support: What’s going on with the different AU and AV Mobylette letter prefixes?  They can seem to be the same models with the same numbers following the different prefixes, so, Messieurs Charles Benoit and Abel Bardin, what’s that all about?  We want to know … and, while we’re looking into that, we might as well test one of your mopeds, an AU75?  What’s that?  And why didn’t we get these in Britain?  What’s going on?  AV models seem to be what we got in the UK, but was AU in France really ‘The Gold Standard’?

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, 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