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Here's a Norton for y'all.

Hi again ok my first bike in 1963 was a B.S.A bantam 125 did 55mph downhill with a following wind! then a enfiel bullet, triumph 21 , tiger 100, B.S.A shooting star, B.S.A goldie, Tiger cub, Tiger

Ashley, you mentioned Mick Marriott in a post above; just wondered if it might be the same guy I knew in the early 80's, long hair, played guitar in local bands, lived in Hyson Green flats? Mick used to be pally with a guy called Eric, long blond hair more a rock type than a biker; think he was a guitarist as well.

Ring any bells with you?

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reminds me of a bike show in Vic centre (might have been '76).

T'were a Sackakacki show,,,,,, but the biggest crowd was around a single Moto Guzzi (I seem to think it was a straight 6,,,, but more probably a 'V'6).

I don't think i'll be mentioning my Itom here,,,, as it wuz only 49cc !

Educated guess, Bazzer, would more likely have been a Benelli Six; Agrati, the UK importer for Benelli and Garelli, had their premises on St. Mark's Street off Huntingdon Street. Puch also had their British HQ not far down the road, in what is now Machine Mart.

BTW did you deal with Andy Bone for your Itom? Old Des used to have one hidden away down the back of the shop years ago.

My list of bikes;

1976 - Puch VS50D STV90H, wrote it off going round a bend in Claypole en route to Fulbeck.

1976/7 - Garelli Rekord GJU21L spent more time broken down than being ridden!

1977 - Honda C110, pushrod 50cc bike, paid a tenner for it and it lasted ages!

1978 - Honda CB125T, WAL203S my first (and only) new bike.

1979 - Honda CB250G5 , good reliable plodder

It gets a bit vague then as I was in the Army and used to swap bikes every few weeks with lads who were being posted. Highlights were a Triumph 5TA, MV Agusta 350 twin (wish I'd kept it!) Kawasaki KH750 triple (thirstier than my Morris Oxford) and a Honda 400 Four.

Through the early and mid- 80's I went off into old Land-Rovers; I usually had a bike around but they were mostly cheap commuters or old wrecks, none were particularly memorable. I'd always wanted a Harley since I was about eleven, though, and in early 1989 bought my first, a 1975 Ironhead Sportster. Unfortunately in the December of that year, someone else took a fancy to it while I was up in Bradford and it disappeared. :angry2:

The insurance payout from the Harley wasn't enough to buy another, so in 1990 I embarked on Round 2 of "the list", here goes, not quite certain of the order ;

1985 BMW R65 - cracking all-rounder.

1966 Honda CB72 - this was my "show" bike, great fun.

1978 Honda CB400T - much nicer than the later Super Dream IMO.

1975 Honda CD175 - best commuter bike ever made and I had one in the stable up till 1999.

1977 Yamaha XS750 - monster.

1978 Suzuki GS400 - all rev and rattle.

That got me to 1994 when I bought another Harley, this time a 1966 Sportster. This time the bug had bitten deep, and I've had Harleys ever since. Currently run a 2005 XL1200R Sportster, a 1942 WLA (ex-US Army side-valve) and a 1972 XLCH Sportster; the latter is my real passion. I've tried the big Electra-Glides, had a couple in fact I've just done a deal to sell one, but they're not really my bag.

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Hi Scriv, Different Mick Marriott, but also know the one you mean, played bass with him a couple of times, around late 1980,s when he was doing the one man band thing, also worked at Agrati Sales for a bit, I reckon about 1971/72? when they were importing the 2 stroke kwackers, did a couple of S1's up for IOM Production TT used to ride home on one to run it in, think Alex George raced it? AND had a WLA 45! bought in bits, it was spare bike to one a guy restored in arnold ? though never got it on the road, rebushed the girders, resprayed frame tank back guard etc but Fred Warr's were talking silly prices, £28 for push rod tubes for example ! (on about £14 a week wages then) never got it running as 3 brush dyno kaput as well, you'll probably think it sacralidge but semi chop, sawed off old handlebars, bolted 8"x about 1" stainless set screws though yolk with triumph bolt through hb clamps screwed in to top after heads machined off, stainless chain welded around running boards etc sold it a guy in loughborough for £50, (if you know him tell him he still owes me a fiver!)

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The only "old iron" I dealt with in Loughborough was at GCR; volunteer there for a few years. :happy:

No sacrilege mate, it was the days of "Easy Rider" wasn't it, everyone wanted to be Dennis Hopper or Peter Fonda. Plenty of 45's around now still suffering from that sort of "re-modelling", though why anyone would pay the inflated prices on flea-bay for a bike that won't pass 70 mph is beyond me.

Incidentally I know Fred Warr personally; not in the best of health these days but his mind's still sharp, his sons run the shop now. Fred didn't care much for the chopper brigade, my guess is he told you that price to put you off!

Gagg's weren't much different though; I remember standing in the shop one day when the old man was still alive, bloke came in for a pair of pistons for a Levis I think. When he queried the price, old man Gagg put the parts back on the shelf and told him to clear off!

If you ever see the Mick Marriott I knew, tell him Kev with the Land-Rover says hello would you?

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Educated guess, Bazzer, would more likely have been a Benelli Six; Agrati, the UK importer for Benelli and Garelli, had their premises on St. Mark's Street off Huntingdon Street. Puch also had their British HQ not far down the road, in what is now Machine Mart.

BTW did you deal with Andy Bone for your Itom? Old Des used to have one hidden away down the back of the shop years ago.

Cheers for that. I'm 99.99% sure it was a Moto,,,,, but,,,,,,,,,

Andy Bone,,,, nah,,,,, I did pop in his shop once or twice. Mine was via a 3-way swap.

It was a full race version that held some record at Snetterton.

I've had a couple of posts on here over the months,,,,,, strangly enough, a shop owner down here usd to race my actual machine,,,,, I just walked in a shop & there were dozens of pictures on the walls - but can I find him now ?

Am still after a picture of it (or a similar machine) Any ideas Scriv ?


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Yes had 2 Sunbeams, the S7 (fat 16" wheels tyres wide front forks big headlamp) and the S8, (more sporty) neither were army bikes but the S7 was a dull green as standard inc wheel rims etc so probably that you are thinking about? they had many good features but design of engine was crap, rear cylinder used to overheat, not helped by small oil capacity, think part BSA at sometime but later a firm Stewart Engineering in London took over think they still rebuild, modify such

Any way after my joke (though did know a 16yo who had a brand new 750cc Matchless (Norton Atlas ) on the road time for the truth

1st bike ever an old plunger 125 bantem

125 Francis Barnet Trails bike

98cc 2 speed Mercury (never seen another one)

250cc AJS (pre war engine) in 350 bike

BSA 250 C11G (anyone know what the G signified?)

Sprung Hub small fin T100 Triumph Twin, lovely bike till it went through fence made of railway sleepers!

Triumph Tiger Cub

bit of blank spot here, about this time I started buying and selling bikes but using such till they sold mostly, had road rocket (never on road) AJS 500 twin, 350 and 500 singles 350 Panther with pump up dowty front forks, and 325 road Greeves no idea of order

Triumph 1959 Bonneville (crap bought on a friday £120 £20 down and 2/6 a week for 40 years or some similar deal, took to mablethorpe 2 days later, primary chain snapped wrecked cases, finally got bits, back on road, went through another fence! (new forks), back on road tried to get to matlock twice, mag packed up first time 2nd started smoking bad at ambergate, turned round, nearly got home then this f****** great bang and thing locked up, stripped it oil scavenge pipe had split, not circulating oil, swopped for combo, great fun, matlock no probs and never did pay for the bonnie as moved house just after!

BSA A7 plunger combo

Norton 500T trail bike but in road trim

ZB34 Gold Star " " " " "

BSA Super Rocket x 2

Honda CB72 with brealey smith tank seat fairing and 4 exhausts

Honda CB250

Velo MSS 500 crap shook like hell sold next day

Norton 350 model 50 dead standard, wideline f/bed etc

Sunbeam S7 and S8

BSA 650 combo

Honda 175

Honda CB750

Hond CB500 x 2

Triumph T/bird chopper

Triumph dead standard small bearing sprung hub thunderbird (exported to usa, racer freddie mercyl bought it) bought at gaggs £10 sold for £40, thought I'd won the pools!

Norton 99 600cc

Suzuki GT250 x 2

Yam 250 4 stroke twin

Triumph sprung hub speed twin (later fitted a T110 motor)


175 Bantem

500cc Moto Guzzi

Yam Virago 535

Yam SR250

Non runners

Itom 50cc

Brough SS80

Yam SR500 did it up but skint so never finished

Triumph Tiger 110 ditto

Harley WLA 750

Ariel Leader

Ariel Arrow

Triumph 21 350cc

if I remember others I'll let you know! (going for a pint! depressed!)

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back to alec and the aces. one of the tales he,d tell was one day he was a bit behind the pack & missed the turn, in his words he slamed on the anchors & the bike stood on its nose, unfortunately his mate on the back had a shed load of sandwiches stuffed down the front of his jacket \and the mess his mate finished up in used to make us roar with laughter. old bikers tale or true, i dont know! it was the way he told em, big lad with a big heart.


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Early sixties we used to live at Calverton, my dad and his mate used to sell motorbikes.They had a garage/store at the bottom of the estate with about a dozen bikes which were advertised in the paper. I remember the Sunbeam with the big balloon tyres, he also had an Indian Chief 1250cc. The girl in the local Post Office refused to believe the engine size even with the documents and charged him less road tax thinking it was a 250.

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The girl in the local Post Office refused to believe the engine size even with the documents and charged him less road tax thinking it was a 250.

Similar with my Itom 'Racing' bike. Fully comp insurance was 9/6,,,,,,,, the insurance saw '49'cc & assumed it was a moped !

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whilst I think about it, the sunbeams were 500cc not 650, I joked re having an Indian, just remembered I did! but only a 250cc and made under licence by "Brokhouse engineering"? or something like that, mate owned it, forget where we'd been but he shot off with no lights on and hit car at kamikarzi island, driver of car said he never saw him! (yes it was dark) either he too had been on the bottle or not insured but there and then gave mate £60 to cover damage,wasn't worth 50) I collected bike and took it home and mate said keep it, rode it for a bit but frame bent so sold on, it was his first crash, nothing serious, bumps and grazes but shook him up and he never had another bike

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There was an Indian Brave not sure what cc though. I went to see the Wall of death on the goose fair once and they were using Indian motorcycles.

They still do. There are two Walls of Death in the UK, one of which was owned and operated until fairly recently by a chap from Skeggy called Graham Cripsey; long-time snooker fans may remember the name and yes it is the same bloke.

The other one's run by Ken Fox, here's a pic of my missus (Indian fanatic) on one of his Scouts at Carmarthen a couple of years ago;


There are at least two Chiefs up and running around Notts to my knowledge.

Ashley, you're right about the Brave; 250 side-valve single, one of many failed attempts to get the Indian name up and running again. Still one or two about but hard-core Indian devotees regard them as a bit of a fake, similar to the Aermacchi/Cagiva 2-strokes marketed under the Harley-Davidson banner in the 70's. Oddly enough the latter are now quite collectable.

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re fakes replica'a etc, was it you you mentioned the Benelli 250? (1980's) that was sold under a different badge, might have been moto guzzi? identical bike just different name/paintwork. And did anyone else ever notice that early Yamaha 4 strokes had stripes on the tank in different angle to 2 strokes, can't recall which was which but one set vertical, one set horizontal, think it was so on assembly our little yellow friends (quote from a film) knew which engine to put in! :laugh:

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Harley-Davidson sold both 2-stroke and 4-stroke Aermacchi's in the USA - badged as Harley's. Probably the most popular were the 250cc and 350cc 4-stroke models that were sold up to the early '70's.


There is a British Bike repair shop near here that I visit on occasion who has a small "unusual" bike collection - he was pretty impressed when I walked into his shop and said "that's an Aermachhi". I guess there are not many who know what it really is!

Over the years H-D sold a lot of smaller bikes re-badged as Harley-Davidson, but I think it was AMF that leaned on the Aermachhi connection pretty hard since they seemed unable to build a reliable motorcycle!

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AMF also made or at least marketed satchwell TLX room thermostats! we used to joke re musical instrument makers also aircraft and helicopter builders making motorcycles yet they helped wipe out a british industry, though alot of it was suicide? even the commando and 3cyl triumphs etc were updated 1940's/50's designs and as for things like the norton jubilee, royal oilfield, bsa dandy, ariel trike, what looney bin did they get those designers from

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But they lost their shirts with H-D and American Motors! About the best thing they made were pin-setters for bowling alleys! H-D was re-purchased by Davidson, who reformed the business into a profitable organisation. American Motors was sold to Jeep, and then to Chrysler - and no longer exists!

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