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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 £2.40 for single edition or £9.60 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 Norfolk Broads 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 January 2020 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Evolution and beyond

IceniCAM Edition 52, and we can tell you the exact date that the main feature started was 8 September 2019, because Chris (Moped Doctor) Day bought the Super Cub at the Coprolite Run & Mopedjumble that very day.  Chris had come to the run on his Ex-WD BSA B40, and didn’t have the means to get the Super Cub back home so, after the event, it came back to Mopedland until we could deliver it back to him later.  Chris however, keen to play with his new toy, dropped the B40 back home, then returned by car.  Since we’d just about finished clearing up after the event, we decided to get it going and try it out there and then.  It wasn’t complicated: check the tyre pressures, tip in some fuel, turn it on and kick it over—yes, it lives! 

We’d not seen one of these Chongqing Guangyu Chinese Super Cubs before, but Chris had, since he works in the motor cycle trade and knew about them being sold by Urban Rider of London…

Since the bike was there, we thought, why not take the opportunity for a quick road test and photo-shoot, so called James for a sat-nav pace—and we just did it there and then!  It was approaching dusk by the time we were finishing taking the notes and, although we had little idea how we would actually present it in a feature, there was a vague plan coming together.

At the Coprolite Run, we’d also spoken to Patrick Harper from Harwich, who’d turned up riding his Honda MD90 Japanese Mail Delivery bike, which was rather an interesting oddity, and had attracted quite a bit of interest, so we’d already taken his details for a future road test and photo-shoot.

The truth was that the next edition of IceniCAM was due out at the Norfolk Broads Run on 22 September and we were already running late on the editorial deadline for edition 51, with absolutely no idea what we were going to run as a main feature for edition 52.  The uncompleted articles for 51 absolutely had to be in by the following week, and we needed to put the ‘Next’ leaders in for edition 52, so recalling that Martin Naggs at Long Stratton in Norfolk had a US Postal Service Honda CT90, we gave him a call to see if we could maybe have that for a Super Cubs feature too.  Martin agreed, so we put in the Super Cubs leader as ‘Evolution and back again’, and hoped that somehow, we might be able to throw something together … well, how hard could it be?  What could possibly go wrong?  But the forces of darkness were conspiring…

22 September, Norfolk Broads Run and Mopedjumble, Edition 51 of IceniCAM out the same day—Martin rides his CT90 at the run, and cooks the engine!

Honda MD90
With a rushed photo-shoot, you can forget to check the background.

Two weeks later at Copdock Show on 6 October, the MD90 is displayed on the joint EACC/IceniCAM stand, along with the CT90 with its engine still fried.  No matter, there’s time to fix it.

We go to Harwich on 1 November to road test and photo-shoot the MD90, and all goes well.

So we speak to Martin again to schedule the CT90 during November, but he’s due for an operation, and the CT isn’t fixed!  Further to this, Mopedland is scheduled to begin moving premises at the end of November or early December, so now we’re up to our eyeballs in complications!

In the middle of this mess, Mopedland arranges to buy in an NSU Quickly for a future article, which needs collecting from the wilds of Norfolk, so we plan to try and do the CT road test and photo-shoot on the same day.  Following his operation (and all went well), Martin manages to fix the CT, which we finally get to test on 4 December.

So now, with only three weeks to finish the article in time for the Christmas Day editorial deadline, we haven’t even started yet and all we’ve got are road test notes … while we’re also in the middle of moving house, the office, and the entire Mopedland parts stock!  Bingo!  The perfect storm…

Sometimes a bit of luck is just what you need—the main computer transferred to the new office, and was all back up and running the very next day without a single glitch, so it was straight into writing, and within a week our main feature article had seemed to come from nowhere.

The higher outputs of the 90cc Super Cub motors lent themselves better to some special applications, particularly in the off-road Cub Trail series and where more power was required to cope with the extra weight in the postal delivery roles, resulting in the evolution of some unique and interesting variations.

Honda’s 90cc Super cub evolved into the 110cc Super Cub, then continued beyond Honda as they licensed the design to Chongqing Guangyu, for further distribution through the Super Motor Company, and back again into the EU.

One text file down, but still two to go…

Our Super Cub feature was sponsored by Rodney Smith of Yorkshire EACC.

First Support feature: Back in a Flash

Our second feature ‘Back in a Flash’ tells the story of the VéloSoleX Micron, cum Flash, cum Flash 71, cum 6000.  By contrast to the other features for edition 52, we were well ahead of the game with this article, since our bike had already completed road test and photo-shoot by July 2019.

This 6000 model came from Mick Baker in Norfolk, being left with us at the EACC CARD run on 28 July 2019, and returned to its owner at the Norfolk Broads Run on 22 September—all very leisurely.  It was however, the last of our three presentations to be completed for this magazine.  As with the main feature, events just seemed to overwhelm any plans we had, so the text file was only finished on Christmas Eve, following a desperate all-day session to get it completed at the twelfth hour.

VéloSoleX seemed to produce their machines in a particularly ‘converse’ manner, which was normal for them, but downright peculiar to everyone else—and the Flash was probably even more weird than anyone could ever have imagined!

Apart from inheriting the usual odd Solex characteristics of having a pump to raise the fuel from the tank that was lower than the weir carburetter, which has no float, and simply overflows excess fuel back into the tank, the Solex engine also normally runs on full throttle all the time, though only at 22mph.  Factor in the strange looking pressed-steel frame with the motor hidden away inside, and belt-driven fan-cooling, the shaft drive, and cable operated disc rear brake, and you really could be wondering if this was designed by Martians, for Martians, and what it’s even doing on Earth anyway?

VéloSoleX had several redesigns of their original Micron concept, and though our ‘Télescopique’ was the ultimate top-of-the-range development, none of them really seemed to commercially work out, so maybe they should have called it the White Elephant?

Nonetheless, when riding it, you do become imbued with an inexplicable confidence that it would just keep running all day long.

It was a fascinating machine to present an article about, and we’d honestly been trying to get hold of a decent working one to feature for a very long time.  The Flash is just such an odd machine of character that it really had to be done…

Sponsorship for ‘Back in a Flash’ was credited to John Hook, EACC & Leicester Enthusiasts.

Second Support feature: Skeletor

Our famous third ‘oddball’ feature slot came following in the footsteps of Dalek & Dazzle, and Skeletor is our latest offering in the urbo-scooter series, this time with our subject being rebuilt from a wrecked BTM Baotian QT49 Sprint scooter.  None of the original plastic panels was retained on this occasion, and the cycle frame was stripped right down to its bare bones, hence the adopted name of cartoon hero He-Man’s nemesis.

It’s rare to see modern scooters stripped down to such an extent, and without any plastics to distinguish the machine as a scooter anymore, many people now seem unable to even recognise what it ever was!  That’s probably not surprising, because few see scooters without their clothes.

The Baotian frame was actually quite tidy, and lent itself neatly to its new skeletal form, but presented other complications in the amount of wiring and associated black boxes, exposed cables, and general clutter that would ordinarily be disguised behind the plastic panels.  Modern bikes sure have developed a lot of clutter…

The appealing feature of the Baotion was its 50cc overhead camshaft four-stroke engine, producing a different sound from its two-stroke cousins—once the exhaust system had been changed to allow you to hear it.

Since its introduction, the GY6 ohc motor has been fitted into all sorts of scooters, even those made by the big brands: Peugeot, Piaggio, etc.  Pick any modern four-stroke 50cc scooter and it’s most likely that beneath whatever badge it wears lurks a Chinese GY6 engine, which is super cheap, meets emission regulations, and goes adequately enough to comply with regulation performance limited specifications of 45km/h or 30mph.

These four-stroke engined scooters, however, do contrive to be monotonously dull machines to ride, and all seem so soullessly similar with their bland plastic panels.  Even their bright and fancy paintwork still fails to distinguish them—since they all have bright and fancy paintwork, and nobody even notices them!

Skeletor however, with its minimalist ‘rebel’ appearance and simple black & aluminium presentation, seems to attract quite a lot of curiosity, if only from many bikers trying to work out what on Earth it is (or was)!

The ‘alternative’ exhaust system has managed to make it sound a little more interesting, while not producing any excessive noise, and its performance does maybe seem to have been increased slightly on standard, by the up-jetting required in correcting the carburetion to suit the through-flow air filter, but otherwise the motor remains standard, and still just 50cc.

We did cover a very similar Hanglong branded GY6 four-stroke scooter back in January 2018 in ‘Return of the Moped Army’, which had very similar body plastics, and presents a very close representation of what Skeletor looked like before its conversion.

Baotian BT49QT Sprint Baotian BT49QT–12C1 ‘Skeletor’

The BTM’s conversion differed from fellow urbo-scoots Dalek & Dazzle, as they both retained practical storage capacities in the form of helmet bins beneath the saddles, spare tyre box, and rear carriers.  Skeletor lost its helmet bin in the modifications, so has no carrying capacity whatsoever, and is purely for personal transport.

Modern scooters can prove very expensive to fix when they’ve been thrown down the road a few times and suffered a selection of busted body panels, so can become quite cheaply and readily available for ‘projects’.  With a bit of imagination they can be very economically rebuilt from reclamation parts and materials, and developed into all sorts of forms according to your imagination.  Most of the modern machines that urbo-scoots can be based upon have a reasonable and practical performance, so they can go fairly well, and you generally don’t need to be too concerned about keeping them nice because they’re basically built from cheap old junk.

Producing one of these recycled machines can usually be fairly cheap, but may well require a great many hours work and, though no actual log was kept of the Skeletor project, the time required to complete this machine was certainly way beyond both the preceding machines.

Though Skeletor had been in use since August 2019, the bike was still undergoing ‘development’, and its official road test and photo-shoot didn’t take place until 28th November 2019, just three weeks before our editorial deadline.

Skeletor has been adapted to operate as a camera bike, filming its first EACC video footage at the Mince Pie Run on 5 January 2020.

Thanks to Lindsay Neill, EACC Wolverhampton for sponsoring the article.  Lindsay knew the Skeletor project was underway right at the start of 2019, and decided he wanted to sponsor this particular article before work had hardly even begun!

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: We sample another rare and unusual piece of Italian exotica, but which probably wouldn’t be particularly suitable for practical road use, so ‘follow this swallow’ in: ‘Track Day 4’.

Next Support: An MZV Cambridge.  What?  You’ve never heard of it?  So maybe another clue?  OK … It’s NOT made by MZ, it’s NOT a V-twin, and has absolutely no connection with Cambridge!

Next Second Support: With the threat of global warming from the burning of fossil fuels, the internal combustion engine may not figure as highly as the primary propulsion for transport in the years to come.  So might this be our first ‘Look into a New Future’.

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

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, Hercules Her-cu-motor, Honda Model A, Honda CD50, Honda SS50, James Comet 1F, Moto Rondine, MV Agusta Liberty, MZV Cambridge, Norman Nippy Mark 2, Norman Nippy Mark 3, NVT Ranger, Powell Joybike, Rabeneick Binetta, Simson SR2E, Solifer Speed, Sun Autocycle, Sun Motorette, Sur-Ron, Vincent Firefly, Yamaha FS1-E.

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

Mailing list

February 2020

Sorry—our plan to set up mailing list in time for the January issue of Iceni CAM Magazine didn’t go very well … or at all.  We’ll be trying again with the April issue and will be sticking with the idea that anyone who was signed-up to the old forum and had opted to receive ‘Individual e-mails’ or a ‘Daily digest’ will automatically be put on the list, while forum members who’d opted out from e-mails still won’t.

Forum

November 2019

We’ve shut our forum down.  Yahoo Groups, where the forum was hosted, has been changed and, since the notifications of a new magazine were almost the only traffic on the forum, this seemed a good time to close it down.

If you’ve been relying on the forum notifications to tell you when a new magazine is published, fear not; we’ll be setting up a mailing list in time for the January issue of Iceni CAM Magazine.  Anyone who was signed-up to the forum and had opted to receive ‘Individual e-mails’ or a ‘Daily digest’ will automatically be put on the list, while forum members who’d opted out from getting the e-mails still won’t get any—that should keep us on the right side of GDPR

Autocycle auction

July 2019

There will be several autocycles up for sale at the National Motor Cycle Museum on July 30th:

Hi there,

I’m not sure of this is of interest but…

These are some of my late father’s auto-cycles which are being auctioned on July 30th at the National Motorcycle museum.

Rudge autocycle New Hudson autocycle Bown autocycle

There is a suggestion from the auctioneer that they will be bought for their number plates which will then be removed.  I’m hoping if I tell some guys like you about it then maybe someone will buy them who wants to ride them and love them as my dad did 50 years ago!

Dad restored some of them but that was 50-odd years ago.  For the last 40 years they have been dry-stored, engines drained, up on blocks and generally put comfortably to bed.

https://online.handh.co.uk/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/112/?page=2

Lots 90 - 97 may be of interest.


Older news stories are available in our News Archive