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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 2018 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Vision of the Future (The Nightmare Begins)

Our epic tricycle production began way back in July 2012, starting with EACC Suffolk Section Guy Bolton’s blue Honda Stream and, following the road test and photo-shoot, the partly developed notes were duly mothballed, awaiting the opportunity of securing our second planned Stream.

Ariel Three

Maybe producing features on other bikes eclipsed whatever original plan we might have had to progress this article, but it’s all too long ago now to remember why it never got completed sooner.  Maybe we just forgot where we parked it…

Jump forward to the last Iceni CAM Magazine, number 46 on 8th July 2018, which still had its articles only just being completed up to a couple of days after the editorial deadline.  With things already running late, there also had to be some sort of last minute decision about what features we might be doing for the following edition, so we could put the ‘Next’ clue-leaders at the ends of the articles.

Having presented two complete editions with a sequence of roller-drive cyclemotors in preparation for the CARD (cyclemotor and roller drive) Run on 29th July, it was obviously going to be time for something different … but what?

You may call it divine inspiration, blind panic, or utter madness, but suddenly remembering the blue Stream road test, knowing that we’d now got another Stream and an Ariel-3 available on call, and gambling that we could blag one of the Sinclair C5s from Ipswich Transport Museum—it seemed like a good idea to have a go at a tricycle-triple!

Upon publication of issue 46, there was a slowly dawning realisation however, that edition 47 was actually just two months away on 9th September, so we only had a mere six weeks to complete everything for the next editorial deadline!  What on Earth were we thinking?

Two choices: hide in a dark corner and hope it all goes away, or get right on the job…

Our Ariel-3 was collected the very next day for road test and photo-shoot on 9th July 2018.

We’d originally billed the Ariel-3 feature as something of a horror story, which in many ways, it literally was!

It was reckoned to have lost BSA around £2 million, on a final production figure of just some 7,000 machines.  On that basis each Ariel-3 ended up costing them nearly three times what they were selling them for on the high street!

While the Ariel-3 was an epic fiasco, it is surely one of the most iconic vehicles ever produced and the fantastic story behind the machine is as much a part of its legend.  It’s a bike that you may think we should have done sooner, but our particular featured machine had been laid-up for several years in favour of other vehicles, and only recently returned to road use, so this was now the time to seize the moment.

Then there’s the other daunting aspect of riding one for the road test.  They do have a bit of a reputation for unpredictable handling and they’re certainly unnerving machines to follow as they bounce over bumpy roads and slew around corners, so you find yourself wondering how people manage to keep them on the road at all—and sometimes they don’t…

You can easily be lulled into a false sense of security riding an Ariel-3 on smooth tarmac, where you quickly develop confidence, swooping around in low speed turns.  Yes, the tilting body thing probably does feel more natural than a conventional tricycle.  Powered tricycles can always be peculiar things to ride if you’re not used to them, and the Zorplan Shopper experience was quite enough of that to last us for several years.

The Ariel-3 may seem a little more predictable, but once you’ve gone through a bumpy bend at speed, you really do find yourself being grateful that the bike couldn’t go any faster than it did.

George Wallis looms large over his invention, but BSA’s interpretation of the Ariel-3 certainly didn’t work out as he would have intended it.  George’s other more commercial prototypes with a wider rear track, CVT and differential drive were what he originally envisaged as the best application of the concept and, as it worked out, BSA’s novelty personal transport tilting-trike proved an utter disaster—but it sure made a great article!

George Wallis had his ‘Vision of the Future’ but, for BSA, the nightmare began when they chose to adopt their ill-fated development of the concept.

EACC member Paul Daniels of Walton supplied our featured Ariel-3, which has reportedly been ridden to moped rallies in France three times in its past, though has subsequently settled to more local usage, occasional Suffolk Section rallies, and shows.

Our lead feature was sponsored by a donation from Victor da Silver of Bermuda Classic Bike Club and, yes, that is Bermuda as in the British Overseas Territories Atlantic islands, where it seems the classic motor cycle and moped scene is an extremely popular and enthusiastic interest.

First Support feature: Revenge of the Tricycle

So now we come back to where our tricycle-triple began, with the Honda Stream, and ‘Revenge of the Tricycle’.

George Wallis’s tilting tricycle concept had just been a total catastrophe for BSA and, while it couldn’t be wholly blamed for the final insolvency of the business, it was certainly one of several nails that fixed the lid on the coffin.

Then what happens?  Mr Honda comes along and decides he can make something of the same idea!

This time, however, Honda is so confident that he doesn’t just license the design like BSA did, but buys Wallis’s company, complete with all its patents, for even more money!

Wallis seemingly knew the best moment to sell up and move on to other things…

Some may simply quote that famous phrase ‘The lessons of history’, but no, here we go again…

1981 and Honda produces another personal transport version of the Wallis tilting tricycle design, called the NV50 Stream, then confidently follows it up with three other versions NM50 Joy, NN50 Just, and TG50 Road Fox.

A decade on from the BSA Ariel-3 fiasco, Wallis got to test ride a Stream in 1982 and made several criticisms of Honda’s machine, while we got to test our second silver Stream on 10th July 2018: just the following day from having tested our Ariel-3.  Comparisons between the two machines were always going to be inevitable and it was so obvious that we should produce these articles in the same magazine edition.

Our surprise was that how much better the silver dream Stream went in comparison to the first blue example we tested, maybe proving that not all Streams were quite so equal in performance as you might imagine.

All four of Honda’s personal transport tilting-tricycles proved commercially unsuccessful and were discontinued in 1984 after being listed for less than three years, which was little different from the Ariel-3.

Honda undoubtedly built and sold more Streams than BSA made Ariel-3s, but Honda’s Stream probably cost a lot more to develop and produce, so still looked like a relative failure.  Honda however, struck more lucky with the Gyro, Up and Canopy commercial versions, which continued in popular production for much longer, and many examples could still be seen in regular use about Japanese cities when we were over in Japan in 2017.

Paul Daniels of Walton again supplied our second featured silver Honda Stream, and sponsorship was credited to another donation from Barry Coleman, County Antrim, Northern Ireland EACC.

Second Support feature: Electric Dreams

The main subject of our third feature was surely just as iconic as the Ariel-3.  ‘Electric Dreams’ was much more than simply being about the Sinclair C5, because Ipswich Transport Museum first lent us their enigmatic Pandora P3 electric bicycle, which the workshops had serviced to operational standard for road test and photoshoot by 5th August 2018.

With the TGA Mk2 Electrobike also in our sights, the Electric Dreams article was quickly evolving into a larger presentation about some of the earliest electric powered cycles produced to be compliant with the new classification introduced by UK legislation in August of 1983.

Since Pandora’s rims and hubs were date coded June/July 1984, it’s likely the bike preceded the infamous C5, so we arranged it chronologically ahead of Sinclair’s creation, but Pandora has seemingly been cruelly forgotten by history, while the tragic C5 has ironically become immortalised.

Some aspects of Pandora made sense, like basing it around the popular 20-inch wheel shopper cycle frame, which lowered its centre of gravity in consideration of its obvious weight penalty.  Electrification of a bicycle around the mid 1980s came with the limitations of the equipment of its time, which was inevitably the size, weight, and capability of the electrical components of the day.

Pandora’s drive arrangement, which powered round the pedals whenever the e-motor was fired, was obviously not an ideal engineering approach, and the off–on solenoid throttle seemed a primitive all-or-nothing drive method which blatantly lacked the simple refinement of a speed control.  Using Pandora for shopping seemed almost useless for that purpose, since both panniers were already full with heavyweight electrical equipment, so it seemed to have practically defeated its own object before it even got used—there was very little obvious capability to carry anything.

Like many early electric bikes, our Pandora appeared to have received very little use, and was probably abandoned when its batteries expired.

indicator lights

Returning Pandora to the ITM, we swapped her for the C5, which was processed over the following week for road tests and photo-shoots from 11th to 15th August.  The Sinclair C5 is absolutely as much an icon of the ’80s as the Ariel-3 was of the ’70s and, just like the Ariel-3, the equally disastrous C5 story is as fascinating as it was tragic.

The C5 was a commercial catastrophe that effectively collapsed much of the Sinclair businesses group by domino effect over the following year.  The Sinclair e-trike may still not be perceived as a practical transport solution, but today the C5 is a total attention magnet wherever it goes.  It seems to generate some fascinating mystique of gimmick and novelty … everyone looks, everyone recognises it, and everyone wants a go in one.

While the C5 is now consigned to history, history seems to be turning full circle again, as Clive Sinclair’s nephew, Grant Sinclair, is in the process of launching a new Iris e-trike in the fourth quarter of 2018!

Unlike the open-air C5, Iris has a hinged aviation acrylic canopy to protect the rider from the elements.  A removable 48V lithium-ion battery pack powering a 250W motor promises a range up to 50km on a one-hour charge, and drives the vehicle up to its restricted e-maximum of 15.5mph, above which the Iris is reportedly capable of being further pedalled by the rider up to speeds in excess of 30mph using the eight-speed cycle gearing.  Total vehicle weight including battery and charger is 55kg, and Iris is further equipped with a 50 litre lockable boot.  At 128cm (50 inches), the body height is also taller than that of the C5, providing better visibility to both rider and other road users.  A combination of vents and charcoal filters deliver a fresh supply of air to the cabin, which also features a smartphone docking station that can link to a rear camera, give GPS support, and music playback, while speed, distance, battery charge and power mode levels are displayed on a backlit LCD screen.  Priced from £4,249, pre-orders can now be reserved, with first deliveries scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Perhaps we may even get to test an Iris sometime… ?

indicator lights

Our TGA Mk2 Electrobike dated around 1985 and was a contemporary of the Pandora and Sinclair C5.

This almost seemed as if it could have been the best electric bike of its time, since David Stone’s mechanical design appeared so much better than Pandora.  TGA’s 24V × 200W frame-mounted EMD motor driving through a three-gear hub, in a 20-inch wheel shopper frame to lower the centre of gravity certainly looked like the best formula.  Fitted with the Shimano alloy double-chainwheel and Selecta alloy pedal crank set, with an inbuilt freewheel to the crank centre was a choice piece of equipment which allowed the e-motor to drive without rotating the pedals, while the e-motor could also be speed-controlled by means of a potentiometer throttle twistgrip.

The bicycle however was still operationally trapped within the heavy standard equipment weight of lead-acid batteries, and suffered from the same typical storage capacity problems if you wanted to use this electric shopper bike for shopping.  The TGA e-tricycles would certainly have made more capable ‘shopper’ machines as they would have been less compromised by their equipment weight, and still retained a practical storage capacity.

The workshops only managed to sort the TGA out to complete the road test and photo-shoot on 23rd August 2018, so deadline time was getting tight.

The TGA came from Carl Harper en route to its new owner, again Paul Daniels, who’s planning a full reconstruction of the bike to fully operational and regular use.  Perhaps it might start a new cult in classic e-bike usage….

indicator lights

Shaolin Electric Shuttle Pod—What can you say?  Just see the pictures…  It obviously wasn’t within the mid-’80s time frame of our classic e-bikes, but seemed so peculiar that we just had to squeeze it in.  The batteries were coded 2001, so we took that as a rough dating.  The ‘Pod’ also came from Carl Harper en route to Chris Day, but didn’t seem of much practical use due to its miserable 5mph performance—and to be honest, it might have seemed OK for youngsters to play about on, but you could hardly imagine many ‘chaps’ actually riding one for transport, now could you?  The prospect might seem ridiculous…

When the pedal shaft fell apart, this led to Chris discovering how to ‘tune it up’ to double the speed, simply by adjusting a potentiometer—but we still didn’t feel that 10mph was exactly a capable performance for practical e-bike use.  Though the Pod was portable enough to lift fairly easily into the boot of a small hatchback, and certainly seemed to function well enough, we really can’t imagine quite what use it was originally intended for? Was this seriously meant as transport?

Shaolin was initially processed on 17th August, then again on 24th August following its ‘tune-up’, so with the editorial deadline maybe technically delayed by the bank holiday weekend, the last completed article just about squeezed in by evening Tuesday 28th, after some five solid days of writing.

Sponsorship for Electric Dreams came from Sid at Felixstowe Autos, car and motor cycle repairs & MoT station, who also sells and services electric bikes & cycles.

And the obvious conclusion of our tricycle-triple is—that powered tricycles seem to be a risky business!

indicator lights

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: While the golden years of the clip-on engine were already fading fast towards the mid-1950s, that didn’t mean that the cyclemotor was by any means finished.  Jump forward another 30 years, and some people were still buying cyclemotors—but weren’t necessarily always getting quite what they bargained for!  With an offer that might seem ‘Too Good to be True’, then guess what…?

Next Support: A popular and successful moped design made in one country, may be licensed out, then built and sold in another country, but how might these same sports mopeds actually compare?  Will the clone work out as well as—‘The Real Thing’?

Next Second Support: This famous Italian four-stroke clip-on engine was installed into many different manufacturers’ frames over the years.  While many were fitted to no more than humble bicycles, some better frames were purpose-built to be more up to the job of withstanding this particular motor’s frame breaking reputation.  Sometimes though, something truly extraordinary comes along, specialist made by one of the acknowledged masters of post-war Italian racing cycle frame building, and so rare that this manufacturer has never been recorded as having built any motorised frames!  Could this be: ‘The Holy Grail’?

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 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.  However, we are trying to make this free too!  We are setting up an on-line library where you can download manuals at no charge.

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 Pixie, Batavus Go-Go, Capriolo 75 Turismo Veloce, 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 Her-cu-motor, Honda Model A, Honda CD50, Honda SS50, James Comet 1F, Motobécane SP50, MV Agusta Liberty, Norman Nippy Mark 2, Norman Nippy Mark 3, NVT Ranger, Powell Joybike, Rabeneick Binetta, Simson SR2E, Solifer Speed, Sun Autocycle, Sun Motorette, 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

Stolen bikes

March 2018

Two of John Hook’s mopeds have been stolen; these are both ‘specials’ and easily identifiable.  The first is a 1961 Mobylette Special based on an AV32 frame, YSK 288, finished in red, and powered by a Sachs 47cc, 3-speed, fan-cooled engine.

Mobylette–Sachs Special Mobylette–Sachs Special

The second is a 1964 Special based on a Runabout frame, CAU 624B, finished in dark green, and powered by a Sachs 2-speed engine.

Raleigh–Sachs Special

Both bikes are fitted with suspension forks and derailleur gears.  If you see or hear anything of these bikes, please contact John Hook on .

Bernard Soler-Thèbes

December 2017

We’ve just heard that Bernard Soler-Thèbes, the great sports Moped enthusiast, died at the beginning of December.  ‘BST’ as he was popularly known, was the author of several books on sports mopeds and also wrote many, many articles for thr French motor cycling press, not only on his specialist subject of sports mopeds, but also regular reports of runs and jumbles in the South of France. He had, in fact, been reporting on a motor cycle event only the weekend before his death.  Back in the mid-1990s, BST contributed several articles to the NACC’s magazine, Buzzing; at that time, he was the secretary of the club he founded: the Club Français du Cyclo Sport.

Allan Stewart

All the same

December 2017

I recently filmed a music video for my new song ‘All The Same’, inspired by mod music.  The video was professionally made with a film crew of four and features 23 mopeds.  I thought this may be of interest for an article for your magazine.  It was a combination of the Woodley Scooter Boys and Reading Comedy Mods out in action and the video acts as an excellent tour around Reading as an added bonus!
Here is the song and I have also attached some photos from the day.

Merry Christmas!
With very best wishes,
Allan Stewart

Mopedathon for Kidney Cancer UK

August 2017

Kidney Cancer UK is involved with a group of seven Superbikers from London who are taking on a personal challenge this August in memory of one of their fellow bikers who died from kidney cancer in 2016.  They are swapping their Superbikes for 50cc mopeds that they have renovated for the adventure, which will see them ride the coast roads from Lands End into London, taking roughly six days.  One of the members of the group, Silvio, lost his brother to kidney cancer last year so they are riding in his memory to raise funds and awareness of the disease.

The Mopedathon ‘Just Giving’ page is at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mopedexpresswayarmy17

Moped owners wanted in Ipswich

July 2017

There is a 40th anniversary reunion for the class of ’77 from Copleston School, Ipswich and the organisers would like people to bring along a few 1970s’ period Puch Maxis and other sports mopeds to the event—the kind of ‘sixteener’ bikes they’d have been riding back in 1977.  The event is from 8pm on Saturday 15th July at the Conservative Club in Newton Road, Ipswich and will be raising money for St Elizabeth’s Hospice.  Please contact Mark Fosdike: if you can provide a bike for the evening.

Original Mobymatic badge
The original Mobylette badge,
which was plastic moulded, back
painted, and was held on by a
special M3×0.6mm pitch screw.

Mobymatic badges

January 2017

Mopedland has now generated NEW badges for For Mobylettes AV76, AV77, AV78, AV88, AV89, etc.

The original badge and special screw have not been available for some time.

It would not have been viable to remake badges by the original method, so they have been re-created by more practical modern means.  The new badges are made of two components: a bright nickel-plated metal diecast badge mount and a domed badge with self-adhesive backing so it can be stuck to the bright face of the badge mount.  The textured back of the badge mount can then be glued (with impact adhesive, Araldite/resin, or mastic) to the badge mounting point on the fuel tank; it engages in the correct position by the location pin on the back of the badge mount, which centres into the former screw hole.  The price will be £18 a pair (2 badge mounts @ £5 each + 2 domed badges @ £4 each).  The new tooling has produced prototype samples and the production badges are expected to be available for sale very soon.

Original Mobymatic badge
Left to right: the textured back of the badge mount with location pin,
the bright front face of the badge mount, the domed badge as supplied
on peelable backing, and the domed badge stuck onto the badge mount.


Older news stories are available in our News Archive