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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 2017 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Midsummer Eve
ER Hughes, 1851–1914
Midsummer Eve - ER Hughes

Main feature: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

We visit the strange imaginarium world of a Midsummer Night’s Dream to find an evil mix between a Sprite and a Nymph.  Sprytes are almost always female in appearance, have wings and can fly, are naughty, mischievous, flirty, and can easily be provoked to bite—so why might you call an autocycle after one of these fairy spirits?

As it was, Excelsior seemed to develop a sudden inability to spell properly when it came to naming their Autocycles: Autobyk? Spryt?  What was that all about?  Unless they were really so far out to be adopting the Polish language translation for ‘cleverness and cunning’, where Spryt is actually spoken as ‘Sprit’—but everyone pronounces Excelsior’s word as Spryte (like Sprite), so something doesn’t seem to be working here?  Perhaps they only had space to cast five letters on the crankcase, but that still doesn’t explain where they got Autobyk from?

‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ on the Excelsior S1 autocycles worked out to be quite an interesting feature in several ways, because many folks people didn’t really appreciate that Excelsior actually produced two different S1 autocycles: the original SA-series frame prefix with the Spryt Mk 1 engine, and the second SB-series model with inclined Spryt Mk II motor.

The fairy-fantasy name that Excelsior chose for its single-speed engine actually proved to be a non-existent word, because there is Sprite, and Spryte, but no Spryt.  Then again the Autobyk name it chose for its pre-war autocycles was no better, but it might be forgiven for that one since several manufacturers were casting around with different names to call the new breed of 98cc pedal-assisted cycles in the early days, but it wasn’t until James called its J18 motorised bicycle an 'Autocycle’ in 1938, that the generic name stuck.

The Mk 1 Spryt engine was originally conceived as a replacement for the Villiers Junior De Luxe motor, and planned for use in a future Mk 3 Military Welbike model that was never built, so it logically became the engine of choice for the civilian Corgi after World War II.  A lot of motor cycling publications however, seemed to have missed (or lost) the fact that the same engine was also fitted into Excelsior’s first S1 autocycle even before the Corgi went on sale in Britain.

Only with the intensive study into the Mk 1 engine, did we begin to feel that, somewhere along the line, something seemed to have been missed?  Things only began to fall into place with appreciation of the significance of the different M & W engine number prefixes, and collating the chronology of events up to production of inclined Spryt Mk II motor.

In one of those 'Bletchley’ moments when the code is finally cracked, came the realisation that Excelsior must have built all the M-prefix motors, then handed over the Mk 1 later in 1948 for Brockhouse to continue the series with a W-prefix.

The Spryt Mk 1 engine however, wasn’t particularly suited for the autocycle application because of the decompress or cable fouling the front mudguard, the forward mounted carburettor being very vulnerable to spray and grit thrown up from the front wheel, and its Miller FWXB generator only had a miserable 9W lighting output.  It was no surprise that Excelsior subsequently evolved a more suitable inclined-cylinder Spryt Mk II motor, with rear facing carburetter, and fitted the Wipac 21W generator, which allowed them to fully release the licence on the Mk 1 motor to Brockhouse.

We have EACC member Richard Felton of Earls Colne to thank for access to his Mk 1 Spryt Autobyk, while the Mk II was actually bought-in through the workshops to complete the article.

Because the Excelsior engines and autocycles were so intrinsically connected with Corgi, all the research was collated together for both articles, but then had to be edited apart later to produce the two separate features—what a nightmare that was!

Progress was so difficult, that all the three articles for our 43rd edition were only completed in an intensive six-day block of writing up to the editorial deadline on the last day of August.

First Support feature: Another Old Dog

Our second feature followed on the theme that several manufacturers adopted of naming their machines after ‘canines’.  We covered the BSA Beagle and Dunkley Whippet in ‘Two Dogs’, then Moto Guzzi Dingo in ‘Old dog, new tricks’ (well it’s a sort of a dog), and occasional passing references to the AJW Greyhound (and Fox Cub maybe?), and didn’t Triumph call the early 150cc Tiger Cub a Terrier? So it was that our Corgi article came to be titled ‘Another old dog’.

The Corgi came into the workshops from John Homer of Coventry, for ‘some work’ to get it operable again, then we managed to seize the moment for a quick road test and photo shoot before the bike was collected by its owner.

Since our featured bike’s motor had a kick-start arrangement, it was firmly believed to be an early Mk 2 from 1948, however research and analysis of the engine numbers revealed the bike wasn’t quite what it seemed!

Brockhouse had offered a aftermarket kick-start conversion kit for owners wishing to ‘upgrade’ their Mk 1 Corgi, and by a strange chance, the W-prefix engine number showed that the kick-start set had actually been retro-fitted onto our supposed Mk II Corgi, which was in fact a Mk 1 push-start Corgi with a Brockhouse built engine.

Corgi

While the Mk2 Corgi sold quite well, the kick-start arrangement didn’t seem so effective at actually starting the machines, and it generally proved easier just to ‘paddle’ the bike off like the original Mk 1.

It seemed apt to twin the Corgi article with the Excelsior S1 autocycle feature for publication into the same magazine edition, since there were some obvious ‘crossovers’ with the engine.  This seemed a more practical idea in terms of research, but the studies started to throw up a number of anomalies?

It’s generally been presumed that Brockhouse built the Corgi and its license made Excelsior Spryt Mk I engine all along, but that probably wasn’t quite how it actually happened!

John Dolphin had mentioned the Brockhouse connection at the Corgi’s original announcement in March 1946, but the bike only became available for export sales from early 1947 as the Mk I series 1 machines built up to later in 1947, and the early Mk I series 2 models built from late 1947 and into early 1948.

The original Mk I type 1 Corgis notably used similar spoked wheels and the same style of curved fork as the Welbike, and we must wonder if these might have been built using some leftover components from the fourth contract for Mk 2 Welbikes placed with Excelsior in 1945, but soon cancelled, and all the completed machines together with those under construction were believed to have been scrapped…

It wasn’t until December 1947 that it was announced the Corgi would finally become available for sale in Britain, but it was into 1948 before any stocks were delivered to the shops.

In the meantime, Excelsior had announced their S1 autocycle back in May 1947, using the very same horizontal-cylinder Spryt Mk 1 engine employed in the Corgi, and actually began selling the S1 Autobyk in June of 1947—before the Corgi was even being sold in Britain!  The Spryt engine was stamped with the same M prefix and the same ongoing number serial sequence—so both manufacturers weren’t making the same engine!  Up to 1948, more S1 autocycles were being built than export Corgi frame serials were recorded, and the company that designed the engine was the company that was building it: Excelsior.

The engine number prefixes give away what really happened, with the common M prefix Mk 1 engine numbers in both the S1 Autocycle and the Corgi confirming that Excelsior must have actually been making the Mk 1 engine well into 1948, but again other publications somehow seemed to have failed to recognise this.

By the time we’d assembled all the respective chronological dates to structure the article, and laid all the research into place on Excelsior and Corgi, together with the respective engine numbers and their different prefixes, then everything began to build a very different scenario than was widely presumed.

Brockhouse must have bought out John Dolphin’s Corgi Motorcycle Company, and begun building the bike in early 1947, but didn’t start building the Spryt Mk 1 engine under license from Excelsior until the prefix changed from M to W later in 1948.

Some historically accepted aspects of the Brockhouse ‘relationship’ with the Rogers Group owned Indian Motorcycle Company (1945 – bankruptcy in 1953), didn’t seem quite right either, so the article attempted to ‘tidy’ that up a little.

During 1947, Ralph Rogers (company president) came to Britain to try and secure import rights for British motor cycles to the USA and, on his visit, met with John Brockhouse of Brockhouse Engineering.  Brockhouse agreed to invest in Indian in return for a secure export base for Brockhouse products—though the timing of this meeting in 1947 meant the Corgi was already being built and exported through other US channels (The Corgi Motorcycle Co Ltd Incorporated Providence, RI), before the Indian connection had been established.

The Brockhouse/Indian Brave 250cc motor cycle was subsequently built from 1950 out of the same facilities established to build the Corgi, but primarily made only for USA export under the Indian brand.  Somehow it seemed rather odd that the Indian Brave wasn’t sold in Britain until later in 1953, which was after Brockhouse had purchased rights to use of the Indian brand from its receivers … perhaps there had been a reserve clause in the Rogers contract giving them sole distribution rights.

The whole Corgi article finally turned out to be quite a bombshell, as our research produced something of a re-write on the Corgi’s history, and it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes before we start getting some feedback on this presentation…

Our efforts to find extra information for the articles we produce is all about intensive research and detailed study, though it was a surprise that nobody seemed to have quite figured out many of these aspects before, but a lot of motor cycling publications do seem to keep repeating one another’s mistakes.

Second Support feature: A Touch of Class

Our 43rd edition worked out with each article being connected to another, which can only be appreciated in the printed magazine format, as these links will become lost as the separate features become transferred into the ‘articles’ section of the website.

The Excelsior S1 Autobyks are obviously connected to the Corgi, but the ‘Touch of Class’ third feature also links Italjet back to the Corgi via Brockhouse, through a tenuous association to the Indian brand.  This ‘associated articles’ linking wasn’t actually planned when the subjects were chosen for edition 43, it was just a chance that showed up in the research, so we slipped it in.

The Italjet Class and Tiffany models were odd machines for their time, like some 1990’s throwback to a lost age of obsolete pedal mopeds.

The ‘Touch of Class’ article very much brought home how the all-conquering pedal moped eventually became just as obsolete as its autocycle and cyclemotor predecessors.

A change in the definition of UK mopeds in 1976 signalled demise for the combination of the pedal assisted motorised cycles in favour of 30mph restricted 50s with footrests so, by the time the Class and Tiffany moped models came to Britain in 1993, the whole concept had already been extinct for a generation!

The Class was an eye-catching and interesting looking retro-style machine, but we found it just as difficult to start as the Dutch reports stated, and it’s easy to imagine how that might have been an issue with the continental ladies who bought Tiffany versions.

While some markets might have demanded more restricted performance (eg: Dutch ‘Snorfiets’ category machines limited to 25–30km/h / 16–18mph), we felt the bike we tested was most likely built to comply continental 40km/h moped specification (25mph).

Due to their restricted performance, Snorfiets category machines probably wouldn’t have experienced the devastating vibrations that our example suffered at higher speeds, and maybe their original fuel tanks might have survived too?

Our test bike was lent to us by EACC member Luke Booth from Hastings, and while it proved very capable at climbing hills, the Italjet cycle frame and Piaggio engine seemed a fractious marriage that was eventually going to shake itself to pieces.

Research into the history of Italjet inevitably led back to its founder, Leopoldo Tartarini, who was a remarkable and imaginative motor cycling visionary and entrepreneur.  Tartarini designed and produced a lot of machines in his very full lifetime, with far too much involved detail for us to be able to bear tribute to his extensive achievements within the limited space available of our minor feature on the Class moped.

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: It’s been 16 years since we produced an article on the P50, and we even revisit the very same bike to see how it’s getting on—but this time it’s got a matching P45.  It’s going to be interesting updating another section of the Phillips story, and how will The Twins compare?

Next Support: The skies quickly darken, a cold wind suddenly gusts across the car park.  We can feel that a low-pressure weather front is coming, but this wasn’t in the forecast!  Another gust whips up loose plastic bags, which spiral into the air, then jangles and whistles through supermarket trolleys that are parked in a bay.  A spray of driven rain sends the last of the shoppers running for cover, but for us it could be too late!

We make for shelter, but the path ahead is crumbling … we know these signs from old … just one foot wrong could plunge us forever back into the autocycle time continuum.  Then our whole dimension collapses beneath our feet, and … we’re gone … falling … falling … to land in soft earth with a gentle thump!  Struggling to our feet, dazed and confused, we look upward to see the last sparkling shards of the shrinking portal in the sky closing above us … wherever we are, there is no going back that way!

Standing up and brushing ourselves off, we find we are in a field adjacent to a track, which takes us down towards a town at the bottom of a river valley.  We have a strange feeling that we’ve been here before, but this time it must be for something else, and a poster pinned to a telegraph pole invites us to ‘visit the museum and see’ … ‘The bike that never was’!

Next Second Support: As the relentless battle for urban survival continues, increasingly unlikely vehicles become requisitioned and pressed into service by the beleaguered forces for motor cycling justice, this is: Moped Army 2.

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.

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 Her-cu-motor, Honda CD50, Honda SS50, Honda Stream, James Comet 1F, 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

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.

Stolen Townmate

December 2016

A Cambridge vicar, the Rev Jonathan Knight, has recently had his blue Yamaha Townmate T80 stolen from outside his house in Bateman Street, Cambridge on Sunday 18th December.  The registration number is L491 SAP & frame number 35T 041274.  If anyone is offered the bike for sale they should contact Cambridgeshire police on 101 or Crime stoppers on 0800 555111.

New Web Site

August 2016

And this is it!  We’ve moved our website here at www.icenicam.org.uk and this new website contains everthing the old one had.  For the time being, both this and the old site are operating, to make the transition as smooth as possible.  We will, however, be gradually closing the old site as all our readers get used to our new address.

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