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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 2019 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Ideal Development

IceniCAM Edition 51, and Tim Adams is straight back again with another bike for another main feature!  There’s hardly any surprise with this machine getting the Number One Slot when you look at the quality and obscurity of the model—an Itom Ideal, and who even knew this machine ever existed?  We’d certainly never seen or even heard of one before Tim turned up with it in January 2019; another import from Italy needing a dating cert for registration.

What a fascinating machine!

Itom advert

Though some Itom models were imported and sold in the UK by Adimar of London SW9, the Ciclomotore ‘Ideal TC48’ never seemed to have been on their radar.  That might seem odd, because they brought in the first two versions of Itom’s very first front and rear mounted clip-on cyclemotors in 1951, then followed with Itom’s third model Tourist cyclemotor in 1953, which mounted underneath the cycle bottom bracket.  The Tourist clip-on kit was so successful that Adimar was still selling it in 1961, which must have made it about the last surviving kit listed from the golden age of cyclemotoring!

So why didn’t Adimar consider Itom’s latest creations at the end of 1953? Britain seemed to favour the clip-on kits rather than, like the French and Italians, quickly move on to complete production built frames fitted with cyclemotor engines like Itom’s Motoretta ‘Alba 48 TR’.  As for the Ideal—that would have seemed like the ultimate development of the Tourist cyclemotor engine but, looking at the quality of the Ideal, it must have come with a hefty price tag for a fifty!  Motor Imports in London started selling Mobylette mopeds in the very early 1950s, but they would have been a lot cheaper than the Itom.  Probably the cost of an Ideal would have put Adimar off the TC48, but the decisive factor may well have been its linked brakes operated by just one lever.  That might not have gone down so well with the UK highway regulations requiring two independent braking systems…

No, the Ideal was never going to fly in Britain, but when we tried researching the machine, it was like hunting a ghost—barely a trace!  It looked almost like a design exercise for the Milan Show in December 1953, which might not have sold any more than the first production batch before disappearing without leaving a ripple.

The Ideal was a particularly awkward machine to operate controls and signal at the same time and, in the days before motor cycle trafficators, there were just hand signals, which you quickly realise are practically impossible when you approach the first left and right junctions—so that’ll be no signals at all then!  That could be quite a concern for town riding in the traffic of today.  Then there’s the tiny ⅜"׳⁄₁₆" main drive chain; wow that’s just weird!

We only managed to find one Italian advertisement for the Ideal, with the Alba and Tourist 48cc clip-on cyclemotor; and the Milan Show snippet from The Motor Cycle edition from December 1953. That’s enough to date the Ideal to around 1953–54, but very little information to develop an article from.  To make things even more challenging, the photo shoot and road test with notes might have been produced in January but, due to our ongoing workload, wasn’t even looked at again until the end of August; We were very much left wondering why on earth we decided to commit to a presenting this feature—we now had to pull a rabbit from a hat within a couple of weeks!  It’s amazing how pressure can sometimes drive inspiration…

Sponsorship was credited to Richard Coe of Suffolk Section EACC for a donation of thanks to IceniCAM for selling his Cyclemaster from a free advert in the on-line Market … and our thanks go to Richard too!

First Support feature: Back yet again

Our second feature was not even photo-shot or road tested until the week following the editorial deadline!  That’s not even cutting it close, because the ship had already sailed…

This situation arose because as IceniCAM edition fifty was being stitched together at the last minute, and right up until Danny and Dawn were flying to Amsterdam on 18th June to start a European river cruise, there was nothing in the can for the forward programme.  So what do we put in as a leader in the July edition, for the following October edition?  Ah! Chris Day has got a Manet Korado on the road, we’ll do that, just put in ‘Our support feature drifts into the confusing situation of an Austrian Puch made in Slovakia—what on earth is going on?’  Fine, that’ll do, now we’re off on holiday and forget all about that for a while … more like until it’s already too late!  Argh, panic, Chris, we need your Manet and we need it right now.

Editorial deadline: Monday morning 9th of September, but date of photoshoot: 12th September—says it all really!  We had managed the road test the previous weekend, and there were a whole heap of research notes on Manet and the history of the Považská Bystrica factory (all translated from Slovakian), which took a lot of time figuring out, and the only way to resolve that is working through it all in a chronological process. With three hard days slog, the finished ‘Back Yet Again’ article had seemingly come from nowhere!

The history of the factory came from 19th century armaments manufacturing origins, like several of the Czechoslovakian motor cycle manufacturers, then led through a whole series of interesting developments, motor cycles as Manet, Jawa, and back to Manet again with the Korado. The resilient Puch E50 Maxi engine returned yet again in its fourth resurrection to power the Korado, which we thought was a really good machine, though helped a little by some of Chris’s simple modifications.  In original tune and rated at 25mph, it might have been a little disappointing.

The most unfortunate thing was the way the Manet Company ended even though they had such a good product, but maybe it’s not so easy to convert and adjust from Communist Eastern Bloc nationalised industry with, maybe, less concern about operating costs, to a Western capitalist system accounted to cover all overheads and deliver profits.  The product price has to go up, but then the customers go out and buy cheaper Asian-produced bikes instead.  Manufacturing always favours the cheaper supplier.

We were fairly happy with how the feature worked out for a record breaking three-day production, and it leaves a good stake in the ground for the Manet brand, which we’d never covered before.

Sponsorship credit went to Derek Langdon of Nottinghamshire EACC, which came in as a few pounds parts overpayment, and went to the IceniCAM fund.  Every little helps, thanks Derek.

Second Support feature: The Dutch Connection

The famous third feature threw up another real oddball in the Tomos S1.  Our Tomos NL presentation started on 16th December 2017 at Houten Expo in Holland, when we haggled for the bike from a trader at the end of the day, and brought it back to the UK for Tomos-loving Chris ‘Moped Doctor’ Day.  Chris promptly tidied it up, got it running, tweaked things up a little, then tucked it away in his collection for another time when he might register it for road use.

Eighteen months later, and needing another machine to feature as edition 50 was looming, we thought the S1 was about due for presentation, so put in the link at the end of 0.2% Mystery Statistic.  Well how hard could it be, researching a Tomos?  Little did we know…

We blagged the bike from Chris right after edition 50 at the Peninsularis Event on 14th July 2019, and had to flush out the gummy fuel and flooding carb since the bike had been mothballed for some 18 months.  Easily sorted, the bike was running again and we were off to a flying start for the next edition when we road tested the S1 on trade plates at the CARD Run on 28th July.  Photoshoot on 29th July, and a paced run the following weekend.  All fine so far, until we started trying to research it—but nothing!

We couldn’t find any reference to recorded production at Tomos NL, and nobody in the Netherlands ever seemed to have put out any material on the S1.  Because the Dutch never registered Snorfiets bikes back in the late ’70s, there wasn’t even any reliable dating!

Ben Teuben helped with some chronological reference notes, but we can’t think of many ‘modern’ period machines where so little information was available.  Weeks of fruitless research efforts produced nothing but confusion and completely wasted time, so rather than the article progressing, it just stalled, and only led to further delays in starting on the other features.

Since Chris was proposing to register the S1, we finally took dating certifcate pictures on 1st September before the bike went back for swapping with the incoming Manet Korado.

‘The Dutch Connection’ proved a really difficult article to complete, when you’d have thought it should have been easy!

Sponsorship was credited to Philip Wintersgill of EACC Bristol Group, which came in as another small overpayment for parts, and just goes to keep the show on the road, thanks Phil, and since IceniCAM runs on a shoestring, it doesn’t need much.

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: Introduced in 1958, the world’s most successful small motor cycle graduated through many guises over its time, so we bring you a couple of unusual postal variations that appeared along the way, up to where it ended up over fifty years later, then closing with where it is today.  You might be surprised by what could be revealed in: ‘Evolution and back again’!

Next Support: By 1969 a famous French cyclemotor is maybe beginning to look a bit dated, but a lightning makeover, and it’s ‘Back in a Flash’.

Next Second Support: Over to the fantasy world of Eternia, where the Masters of the Universe struggle in eternal battle as He-Man and his friends defend the realm and secrets of their castle from the evil Skeletor, or…

By the Power of Greyskull—‘Skeletor’ might be another bizarre urbanised scooter conversion?  After all, it is our famous third ‘Oddball’ feature, and anything could happen…

What else?

Well, there’s this Website … we’ve put a lot of useful information here, and we’re alwas adding to it.  We have a directory of useful people to know.  Information on local events and, after each run, we put photos of the event on this website.  There’s also a market place where you can buy and sell mopeds, autocycles, cyclemotors and other related items

We have a discussion forum on Yahoo—you can get to that from our Contacts page or the box at the top of this page.

Director’s Cut logo

As each edition of the magazine is published, we add to our collection of articles.  From Edition 3 of the magazine, we introduced another evolution.  Previously, features in the articles section had reflected what appeared in the magazine, but you may now discover a bit of extra content has crept into some items as they’ve transferred to the website—you might call it ‘The Directors Cut’.  The problem with printed magazines is editing everything to fit page sizes and space, and there can sometimes be bits you’d like to include, but they have to be left out to fit the available space.  The web articles don’t need to be constrained by the same limitations so, although the text will remain the same, the ‘Directors Cut’ graphic in the header indicates the item carries extra pictures and bits that didn’t make it to the magazine.

We also have an Information Service—if you want to know more about your moped, we can help.

What we do

Iceni CAM Magazine is committed to celebrating all that’s good about the Cyclemotor, Moped and Autocycle scene; researching toward the advancement of the pool of knowledge about cyclemotors, autocycles, old mopeds, and other oddities; and the publication of original material.  We are a declared non-profit making production, though we still need to fund everything somehow to keep the show on the road.

The magazine is free on line, and the nominal price of supplying hard copies to non-computerised folks is pitched only to cover printing and postage.  All advertising is free since we believe that the few people left out there providing parts & service for these obsolete machines do so as a hobby and an interest.  This involves far more effort than reward, and they should be appreciated for the assistance they provide.  Our Information Service is there to help anyone needing manuals to help with restoration of a machine.  We make a small charge for this but, again, we have set our prices so the just cover postage and material costs.  However, we are trying to make this free too!  We are setting up an on-line library where you can download manuals at no charge.

Overheads involve operation of the website, and particularly the generation of features.  Articles like Last Flight of the Eagle can cost as little as £20 to complete, while others have cost up to £150 to generate, eg: Top Cat on the Leopard Bobby.  With these overheads, you may be wondering how we get the money to keep it all going.  So do we!  But, somehow, it works, helped by a number of generous people who have sponsored articles or made donations to keep the show on the road.

How long does it take to research, produce, and get these feature articles to press?  Well, up to two years of preparatory research in some cases, where little is known about the machine or its makers, and where nothing has been published before.  Then, collating all the information and interviews, drafting and re-drafting the text, travel and photoshoots typically account for up to 40 to 50 hours to deliver the package to editing.

There are many examples where these articles have become the definitive reference material for previously unpublished machines like Mercury Mercette & Hermes, Leopard Bobby, Ostler Mini-Auto, Dunkley Whippet & Popular, Stella Minibike, Ambassador Moped, Elswick Hopper Lynx, and many others.

We’re committed to continuing to produce these articles, because we believe it needs to be done, and we’ve got a proven track record for achieving it.  Nobody else has done it in 50 odd years, so if we don’t do it—who will?

To whet your appetite for what’s ahead, here’s an updated list of machines with developing articles for future features: Ariel Pixie, Batavus Go-Go, Capriolo 75 Turismo Veloce, Chongqing Guangyu Super Motor, 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, Norman Nippy Mark 2, Norman Nippy Mark 3, NVT Ranger, Powell Joybike, Rabeneick Binetta, Simson SR2E, Solifer Speed, Sun Autocycle, Sun Motorette, VéloSoleX 6000, 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

Autocycle auction

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