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Introduction

This is the home of the Iceni CAM Magazine—a free e-magazine about Cyclemotors, Autocycles, Mopeds … and more.  It was launched on 15th April 2007 and the most recent four issues can be downloaded here.  (Copies of earlier back numbers are also available.)  For non-computerised folks, printed copies are available at £1.50 per edition; we can accommodate mail order too at £2.20 per single edition or £8.80 for a year’s subscription.

So what’s it about?

It’s an e-magazine all about cyclemotors, autocycles and mopeds that carries road test & feature articles, rally reports, free adverts and other assorted information.  Although we are an independent production, we have strong ties to the EACC and also to the New Zealand Cyclaid Register.

We are based in East Anglia, but are by no means limited to that area.  Much that appears in the magazine is of universal appeal.  We welcome contributions, whereever they are from, and are also happy to help to publicise any events for cyclemotors, autocycles and mopeds.

When’s it published?

We publish four times a year and the publication dates are synchronised with key events in the EACC calendar: the Radar Run, the Peninsularis Run, the Coprolite Run and the Mince Pie Run.  It’s purely an enthusiast production, and all produced on a tiny budget.  Nevertheless, we think you’ll be pretty impressed  The free downloadable version will be posted on this website on the same day as the printed version goes on sale.

All the issues of CAM Magazine that we’ve produced have been very well received.  Thank you all for your comments; they are much appreciated.  Several of you have also made donations, which has helped enormously in keeping Iceni CAM going.

What’s in it?

The April 2019 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Little Allsorts

Our third mini-bikes main feature came about as a natural successor to Round in Circles on the SIM50 in October 2009, which was followed by The Afterlife on cut-down Raleigh Wisps in July 2010.

After a gap of nearly nine years, this third chapter of the ‘Garden’ series was initially intended to include just the NVT Ranger and Puch Magnum production mini-bikes, but the addition of the Heath and another cut-down Wisp brought the feature complement up to four machines: the same number as its preceding articles.

The NVT Ranger was donated to IceniCAM for the future feature by SIM50 owner Paul Hunt, but was a completely a derelict wreck, and was still waiting to get fixed up by the time ‘Little Allsorts’ was being put together, so its place was taken for this feature by the very nice and original Mark 3 SIM50 from ‘Ben’ Burman, actually here in the village!  We got the SIM up and running in December 2018, just in time for it to be passed down the family at Christmas, and also ready to conveniently join our forthcoming article.

The Heath Minibike sub-feature came about as a result of The Afterlife article on our four cut-down Wisps, one of which included ‘Samter’, built by Robin Cowling of Suffolk Wheels.  Neville Heath spotted Samter in our article, and knew Robin from the past, when they used to live just a few doors apart in the same road.

Following publication of The Afterlife we bumped into Neville at the last Blakenham Jumble event of 2010, where he commented ‘I saw your article with Robin’s little Wisp, so when are you going to come round and do another article about my little bike?’  We road-tested and photo shot Neville’s Heath Minibike in July 2011, though it sometimes takes a while to work things into an article … maybe nearly eight years might be a little longer than expected.

The cut-down Wisp came about in 2013 as the workshops built up the machine to clear a leftover selection of odd parts, and based it upon this Wisp frame, which had already been very crudely cut-down in a much earlier and apparently unsuccessful attempt to produce a mini-bike.  This half-hearted project had seemingly been abandoned, and long left to the fate of corrosion … as can sometimes be the case when the reality of actually doing the job proves bigger than the idea.

With the workshops fitting a Suzuki M15 Sportsman fuel tank, the developing theme followed the retro style of a ’60s sports motor cycle. The motor was tweaked to deliver better performance while the drive ratio was geared down to restrain the top speed, giving the little bike a pretty capable performance within just 25mph.  The Wisp was sold on to Mike Daborn for his son, shortly after the road-test.

Our Puch Magnum X came from Tony Austin in Northamptonshire for RT&PS back in October 2012, This was a fairly good and original example; this is quite rare for children’s mini-bikes, which are invariably converted into beaten up wrecks as a result of the treatment they receive.  This bike was even in its original paintwork and trim, so ideal for our feature, and it conveyed a good appreciation of this 40-year-old model.  We had previously covered another Magnum X in the Return of the Moped Army feature of January 2018, but that wasn’t an original condition machine, so not so representative.

That Puch produced the Magnum X showed that leading manufacturers were now taking a serious commercial interest in children’s garden bikes and, while the Puch was probably one of the best performing such machines of its time, it certainly came with a hefty price tag!  £277 was a lot of money for the ultimate toy back in the late 1970s.

Little Allsorts was a selection box of production and improvised garden mini-bikes, just something a little different … and it’s already looking as if there’s going to be another garden mini-bikes feature again sometime in the future.

Mobylette AU32

First Support feature: Mistaken Identity

Our straight-tube frame Motoconfort came along when Paul Hamlin turned up from Surrey in June 2017 with a trailer full of assorted Mobylettes for the workshops to sort out, and we thought: ‘That one with the straight frame tubes is a little unusual.  You don’t see many of those … we’d better grab it for a road-test and photo shoot before it goes back, then maybe figure out what it actually is later.’

As if happened, Paul H also wanted a dating certificate to register the machine, so it was soon identified as an AU32U ‘Utility’ model, and immediate successor to the original AV3.

The story behind the development of the ‘economy’ straight-tube frame with no rear stays was a unique chapter from the early days of Mobylette frame evolution, but with a premature ending due to reportedly suffering some tendency of the frame to bend at the headstock.  It apparently wasn’t strong enough, and probably easy to imagine why, with the old bumpy roads of the early 1950s and the frame tube junctions all at the bottom yoke.

While the straight-tube frame design proved a failure that was never to be repeated, it did establish that the rear stays to the saddle stem weren’t necessary and all subsequent Motobécane frame designs omitted the rear stays, so the ‘Utility’ did make a significant contribution to the company’s frame development.

The illustrations of the respective frame silhouettes seemed a good means to demonstrate and explain the differences and development, and the article was specifically evolved to appreciate the significance of this particular dead-end chassis.

The article was kindly sponsored by a small donation from John Hook, EACC and Leicester Enthusiasts.

Second Support feature: Dazzle

Our Piaggio 2T Zip scooter article was another follow-on workshop project from the original Malaguti Yesterday/Dalek ‘Mutation’ article of January 2017.

‘Dazzle’ & Dalek’

The Zip came to the workshops in smashed up condition as the result of a crash and, though still in good running order, the prohibitive cost of replacing all the broken plastic panels made its repair unviable.

The scooter took a similar course of improvised reconstruction in a similar manner to Dalek, to return the bike to practical use as a workshop hack, but Zip’s body modifications followed a somewhat different course.

The favoured medium was aluminium chequer plate and, by the time most of the fabricated fittings were in place and the approaching mechanical completion, the bike was beginning to look like something out of Rollerball.

One real issue was that Zip’s original finish was screaming pink, which wasn’t exactly a colour listed on our spectrum.  There was going to have to be a repaint, and there was an inclination to do a ‘military makeover’; army green might have been an easy option but wouldn’t go with all the bright silver chequer-plate and, if the alloy was all painted camouflage or black to tone it down, the bike might appear too drab.

The final decision was to go with dazzle pattern anti-camouflage with its artwork scheme based on the pattern of HMS Argus, the first British aircraft carrier, in a paint finish job in white-black–blue strips at the back, and a drift of silver mist at the front to ‘blend’ into the alloy-work.

Visitors to the workshop were variously shocked, puzzled, horrified, and bemused by the Zebra effect paintwork, but everything settled down after a while, and the Zip has subsequently became more commonly known as ‘Dazzle’.

Marine artist Norman Wilkinson’s dazzle camouflage story worked into the article text as another avenue of general interest, and we feel that the dazzle camouflage does seem to have worked, as having the Zip on the road since July 2017, it’s never been torpedoed…

HMS Argus
HMS Argus in dazzle camoflage

Our Dazzle ‘urbo-scoot’ is an improvised machine rebuilt from a former plastic panelled Piaggio 2T Zip scooter, and the intention was to generally try and use a minimum of the original body fittings to make it more practical and functional for our purposes.  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.  With a bit of imagination they can be very economically rebuilt from reclamation parts and materials into all sorts of forms; we’ve seen Choppers, Racers, Militarised, Mad Max, and customised … whatever you like really.  Most seem more concerned about function rather than looks, though some people may be attracted to the expense of fancy paintwork and chrome … there are no rules.

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—like Dalek and Dazzle.

Dazzle proved practical and reliable right from the off, and also serves as a camera bike at club events; the workshops already have another urbo-scoot as work in progress, which is looking to be far more radical than the first two machines…

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: Atala Cesare Rizzato?  What’s that?  A pizza?  We take a real groovy classic Italian road-going sports moped for a thrash around the circuit in ‘Back to the Track’.

Next Support: We bring you something Bold, Daring, Audacious, Rash, Risqué, a Lionhearted Daredevil—how exciting does this sound?  Well, those are translations of Audace, but it’s really an Italian bicycle fitted with a cyclemotor.  We wouldn’t be holding much hope of being able to find much (if anything) about this cycle brand, because its right ‘Out of Obscurity’. But it’still likely to be of interest anyway…

Next Second Support: We traditionally end our articles with cryptic clues, teasers and leaders for people to try and guess what may be coming next.  It’s a game we’ve played for many years, but this time we can’t really do that, because we really have no idea what these bikes are!  All sorts of bikes turn up for EACC dating and registration services, and most of the time, identification isn’t really a problem … but maybe 1 in 500 might be just too challenging to identify.  That 0.2% mystery statistic is always lurking in the background, and waiting to take us ‘Into the Unknown’.

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, Audace, 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, 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 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

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