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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 ten issues can be downloaded hereAll the articles from all the previous magazines are on this website.  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 April 2020 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Track Day 4

Our fourth Track Day main feature started when once again, Tim Adams turned up with the exotic Rondine 50cc racer for display on the EACC/IceniCAM stand at the 2019 Copdock Show.  We even constructed a special raised platform to display the bike at its best on show day, but Andrew’s initial research turned up little more than minor snippets on the make, so it was already seeming as if there wasn't going to be much information available on the brand…

We subsequently brought the bike back for generating a dating certificate for registration, and further secured the bike for road test and photo-shoot for an article.

Just what we like, something rare and unusual, and Rondine certainly ticked both those boxes.

No question, the bike looked the business, and had all the right bits, but was so clean and shiny everywhere that it looked as if it’d just been done for show and never used at all!  Would it even work?  So far, we hadn't even started it, and while Tim said he’d had it running (but hadn’t actually ridden it), there could still be a big difference in running a bike up on the stand, and it actually working properly around the circuit.

Fresh fuel and clean the plug just to be sure and, as it turned out, the Rondine started right away but wanted to be well warmed up before it would allow us to ease off the choke.  A few first and second gear blasts up and down the drive readily demonstrated that it was producing good power on throttle (and a LOT of very antisocial noise), so it was going to have to be a track session to get any idea what it was really capable of.

This brief trial was also enough to appreciate the crucifying discomfort of its riding position…

The track test was awesome for a 50.  Firstst and second gears were quick off the mark, but when the power still piled through on throttle in third, and the upper gear ratios were obviously tall, this was clearly going to be as fast as it looked … ahhh!  Where’s our pacer gone?

Taken by surprise at the way we blasted away, James got caught up in other traffic on the course…

We cruised around steadily in top for a lap, then ran a second lap on the redline at 8,000rpm for James to clock us off at 51mph.  It was very obvious that the tape-marked redline was intended for girls, so we wound it over the top for lap three and paced 57mph at 10,000rpm.  Rondine could probably have gone faster, with a lighter and slimmer jockey, imbued with the invincibility of fearless youth, but the sheer discomfort of the riding position was enough of a signal that it was probably getting time to hang up our spark plugs.

Back at the pits, Rondine still ran cleanly, and was seemingly unperturbed by its blast around the track.  It had certainly been fast so, curious to see how it had fared against our fastest 50 to date, we pulled out the old Testi Champion notes, and Rondine had taken the record by 1mph!

Now came the hard bit … how to build an article on very little available information about the manufacturer.  We had to come up with something new to form some volume of content and, fortunately, our Rondine wasn’t the only Rondine.  It was actually the fourth Rondine, so the article text was sneakily bolstered by short stories of the other three preceding Rondines.

Tecnomoto–Rondine head to head
Tecnomoto & Rondine on our April 2020 magazine masthead

At the eleventh hour, and just before our text file was headed towards main draft, Tim turned up once again with another sporty 50!  When we presented the previous Tecnomoto article in the second Track Day ’70s feature in July 2017, we weren’t really expecting to encounter another rare and exotic Tecnomoto Special-50 model—but when one Tecnomoto just might not seem enough, Tim had gone and picked up another one!

Primarily in for dating for registration, again we could have it for road test … so you do, don't you…

‘Silver’ was a slightly earlier model with an FM4M motor (instead of the TurboStar) and cast iron barrel, but a bigger 20mm carb.  Unfortunately there were ‘technical complications’, which were improved enough to run the silver Special-50 around the track, but not enough for the bike to give its best.  Thwarted by time running out, we based the main volume of text on trying to fix the running problems, and while it would have been great to have run it head-to-head against the Rondine, the Tecnomoto wasn’t quite up to it on the day.

The Rondine had seemed like the most uncomfortable 50 we think we’d ever ridden—until this Silver Tecnomoto turned up… no wonder they changed the seat on the TurboStar version!

A mystery sponsorship came in from Antony Sumner, with no more information than the donation message ‘Thanks for keeping it crazy!’  Thanks for the contribution Tony, and we hope that running two rare and exotic 50cc racers together on a track day is keeping it crazy enough for you.

First Support feature: University Challenge

The support feature is again scored by Tim Adams, who’d been shopping in Italy again, and brought back the MZV Cambridge SS, which again came to us for dating certificate for registration.

It didn't take much to get it going, just flush out the fuel system and clean the plug, a couple of kicks then she was away, and everything seemed to work.

The Rondine had proven extremely difficult to research due to lack of recorded information—surely MZV couldn't be as hard?  Oh yes it could!

Any references to MZV were practically non-existant, so we had to resort to cross references to the American Safari brand and build the early material on that.  Then because the lack of information continued, we worked in the story of the Tubone frame, then further explained the mystery of the college-related model names.

It all filled up the text, and worked out pretty informative, so we think we got away with it…

The Cambridge was a really cool custom for its age, and would still be a very desirable moped for any sixteener today, because the retro look is so fashionable, and the SS carried its appeal of style, despite being 45 years old!

The road test however didn't live up to the looks as the small carburettor and low gearing restricted the bike to moped limited performance, but that was the way European specifications were starting to go in the mid ’70s over social concern about accidents with teenagers on high-speed sports 50s.

In the end, the Tubone frame continued, but the ‘College’ related models became changed to more ‘marketable'’ names for the next generation … so Cambridge became Cobra.

MZV Cambridge

It’s funny, I can’t remember doing that university photo shoot at Kings College Cambridge … but didn’t it look good to complete the whole package of ‘University Challenge’?

Another mystery sponsorship came in from Nick Highfield, with the donation message ‘Just a thank-you for your information service’.  Thanks Nick, your support is appreciated.

Second Support feature: Looking into the Future

Our third ‘Oddball’ feature slot turned up another oddball machine for a ‘Look into the Future’.

Sid at Felixstowe Motorcycle & Auto Centre has been embracing the future of electric power for some time now, selling electric model aircraft, e-bikes, and using an electric car himself … and is now selling the Sur-ron, so we borrowed his demonstrator for a road test.

Sur-ron is basically a heavy-duty electric mountain bike, which by means of a kit, can be converted for registration and road use as an electric moped (E-ped).

Unlike the 15.5mph limited electric bicycles with the mindless legislative requirement to continue pointless no-load rotation pedalling to maintain forward progress, Sur-ron offers the advantage of moped/scooter like 30mph performance with foot-rests instead of pedals, but at the cost of requiring a licence, insurance and presumably an MoT test beyond three years of age, though free road tax (for now—wonder how long that will last?)

The writing is already on the wall for the future of the internal combustion engine, as governments across the world seem to be waking up late to the implications of pollution and global warming, and are drawing lines in the sand for dates beyond which IC engines will no longer be accepted for registration.

Will the lines in the sand be brushed over and moved forward a few times?  Probably, but change is coming.

While electric cars currently seem somewhat expensive, though they should theoretically become cheaper in mass production, questions remain as to whether they’ll ever be as affordable or practical as ICE vehicles to the general populace, or will they just become personal transport for those that can afford them, while everyone else has to make do with something less than a car?  Or suffer various forms of public transport?

Further questions regarding depreciation of electric vehicles, service dangers and complexity, economic cost/availability of replacement batteries when they expire, and environmental disposal of highly toxic battery materials are subjects that seem to be glossed over, so none of this is clear.

We'd like to know how all the people that have ICE vehicles now, who live in streets with no garages or off-road access, are going to charge their cars?  Will people in flats be running 50-metre cables down the sides of tower blocks?  Will there be rows of terraced houses with leads going out of front windows, across pavements and plugged into cars? Will a whole new legal industry become involved in claims for people who’ve tripped over charging cables?

Change is probably coming first for the ICE scooter/moped, which is already seeing a whole raft of electric alternatives on the way.  It could be much sooner that you may not even be able to even buy a petrol-powered 50 for highway use, so does a whole new bland world of same-ish and soulless electric E-peds beckon?

Sur-ron gets you from A to B, but once you get over the initial novelty, frankly it’s pretty dull and suffers a dramatic range reduction once clicked in to ‘Sport’ mode.

Many of the places selling the Sur-ron over-exaggerate its real performance, and highlight its ‘best range’ figures with new batteries and in conservatively ridden EP-mode, but tend to omit details of the Sport-mode power sapping effect … sounds just like our current car manufacturers’ performance figures doesn’t it?

At around £4,000, the Sur-ron E-ped may not be the future, but it could be pointing the way.

Test ride an E-ped and form your own conclusions…

Sponsorship for the Sur-ron feature was credited to Dave Bushell, EACC Crystal Palace as a ‘keep the change’ overpayment for parts. Well, it got diverted as a donation to IceniCAM instead.

What’s Next?

Our next edition is scheduled for publication on 5 July.

Next Main Feature: This company was established in 1904, then started producing bicycles fitted with Mosquito cyclemotors in 1950, and selling their first Bilonet moped to their home market in 1951.  It was 1973 before their first moped was sold in the UK.  Now it’s ‘Time to GoGo’.

Next Support: You’ve seen various monkey bikes, but you’ve probably never seen a monkey bike like this one, because it was a model never sold in the UK.  ‘It’s not for you’, said Mr Honda—but that doesn’t stop us accessing one…

Next Second Support: Sachs comes back in ‘A Blast from the Past’, but how many of the new generation riders even recognise the history of its name?  Perhaps Sachs is making a new name for itself in this striking new modern design?  But is it still the same German Fichtel & Sachs of days gone by? Actually, is it even still made in Germany?

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, 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

News

DVLA restrictions

April 2020

Coronavirus

During the COVID-19 restrictions, DVLA is effectively ‘on-line only’, which is fine for normal tax renewals, etc.  However, it does mean that V765s and age-related registrations have come to a halt because these have to be done using old-fashioned paperwork.  As far as the various motor cycle clubs are concerned, most seem to be doing dating certificates as normal; it's just that DVLA doesn’t want you to send the applications in until ‘the coast is clear’.  You can check on DVLA’s restrictions at: www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update.  With V765s, some clubs are refusing to accept them altogether, others will reluctantly take them but won’t be sending them on to DVLA until it’s OK.

Another factor affecting V765 applications is the closure of all the county record offices, which means that, for the time being, there will be no access to registration archives to get evidence for a V765 application.

MoTs extended

April 2020

Coronavirus

As part of the government’s measures against Coronavirus, MoTs due from 30 March 2020 will be extended.  A car, van or motor cycle’s MoT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020—but, as with MoT exempt vehicles, you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.  The MoT expiry date will be automatically extended by 6 months if it’s eligible; this will be done just before it’s due to expire.  Your vehicle’s record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MoT.  There’s more information on the gov.uk website.

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