CAMmag logo

 Go to FBHVC website


What’s new?

Gutless Wonders A VMCC Anglian Section event

Norfolk Motorcycle Museum A look around with Mark Gibb

Diss–Aldeburgh… …with the C90 Club

Sweffling Bygones Oped Day Mark Gibb took the photos


Introduction

Iceni CAM Magazine

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 at the beginning of January, April, July, and October.  Iceni CAM is purely an enthusiast production, and all produced on a tiny budget.  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 2024 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: The Flagship

Production of ‘The Flagship’ represented the end of an era for us, in that this was the last bike from the Derek Scott collection that the Mopedland workshops bought-in as a job lot of 16 bikes in 2014.  This source has usefully provided IceniCAM with eight bikes for features over the years.  The Batavus Mk4S became the last of these machines, not because it required the most work (that was the Post Office RM8, since there were so many missing parts that it barely existed), but because the prospect of resolving the problems with the Batavus were more complex.

With the amount of money that had already been thrown at the restoration of its main parts, the bike was obviously going to look tidy when assembled, but the remaining work to achieve this was no mean feat, since it started as little more than a few barely assembled parts.

We’d never ridden one of these Batavus models before, and think they must have been fairly uncommon machines, possibly due to their relatively high cost compared to other sports mopeds, though the Mk4S was solidly built, and well appointed by comparison to other makes.

A similar machine that seemed more popular at the time was an Austrian competitor of the Batavus, the KTM Comet Sport and particularly the Comet Cross models, which had the same four-speed Sachs engine with a UK market 18mm Bing carb, and performed and handled very well.  The Sachs was also a quite resilient motor and seemed more resistant to premature mechanical ‘excitement’ than Italian sports moped counterparts.

The Mk4S was produced from 1974, and already discontinued by 1978; just three years then consigned to motor cycling history.

First Support feature: F is for Foot-change

This was another nearly forgotten article from the mothballed archives and, when pulling up the photo shoot file and notes, we found they were dated 22nd November 2017 and had no idea why it got ‘parked’ and remained undeveloped.

We’d known this as a local bike since the mid-1970s, when Dave Wooby and Kevin Smith jointly bought it from Kirton Antiques and sold it on to Dave Berry who thoroughly restored it.  Next it went to Nick Carver, who barely used it at all, then to Dick Fryer who rode it on the first Essex Run in October 2002 (where it went really well) before stashing it away in general storage.  In 2017, Dick brought the Consort to Mopedland workshops to return it to running order and get an MoT to enable the sale of the registration number, so we took the opportunity to road test and photoshoot, and the bike was subsequently sold on once the number transfer was completed.  Having been restored by ‘Beret’, it was expected to be mechanically right on the button, and absolutely went as well and as good as it looked.

We previously covered an early Villiers 4F powered F4 trigger-change Consort in October 2014’s IceniCAM ‘2×2’ article and, despite having known the bike for some 40 years, we didn’t really know quite what model of Consort our featured bike was until checking its specs against the listed details.  F4F, but how many distinct Consort models are there?  It takes a lot of figuring out, especially when you consider there were early rigid F4 frames stamped with F4S prefix, but without having the plunger rear suspension!  Even more confusion could arise since stock pictures of the earlier F4 Consort with the tubular girder front fork were also used in the period press to illustrate the later F4F, presumably because they didn’t have any pics of the F4F, or maybe they just didn’t care?

Those were the days: ‘it’ll be fine’…

Second Support feature: Freebies

The idea with ‘Freebies’ is that you get the bike(s) for free, but they might cost more to fix up than they’re going to be worth…

Both the bikes in this feature came from John Squirrell, and both were machines that were already long dead when he got them, then stored in a damp shed for some ten years before Mopedland workshops were ‘lucky’ enough to get the opportunity to fix them—but at least we got the bikes for our article.

We had (sort of) covered both machines in previous articles, the red KTM Hobby in Fifty Quid-2 in September 2016, and an electric-start SA50ME Passola in the New Generation article of January 2017, but our latest kick-start SA50M was actually a different model.

Theoretically the higher compression ratio SA50M kick-start version (6.4:1), should have performed better than the lower compression ratio electric-start version (6:1), though the ‘M’ was obviously higher mileage and maybe its best days were behind it.

As it worked out, the electric-start surprisingly outperformed the higher compression kick-start, which we could only put down to motor condition, since both bikes seemed to run well enough, just that the lower mileage electric-start engine felt stronger.

From a decrepit wreck with a seized engine, the Passola SA50MM recovered well: to a decrepit wreck with a running engine; though everything worked, so it was put into use and, with a little further running maintenance, it was still in use a year later.

The KTM Hobby has a unique motor in the Sachs 502/1A, which has a planetary gear set for the primary drive reduction, but this is all internal mechanical trickery, and the greater majority of riders in the 1970s who purchased these machines would have had no idea of the wonders inside their engine.

The Hobby was just a humble and basic priced moped.  The main expectations of its customers were cost and reliability; while it happened that the bike was cheap, unfortunately it didn’t prove so reliable.  The Achilles heel proved to be failure of the decompressor/clutch-lock cable, which instantly rendered the motor unable to be started, and replacement of the broken cable required the entire bottom-end of the motor stripping out to engage a replacement cable.

Surviving Hobby examples are now few and far between, so when we get a chance at another one, yes, we’re going to take it.  This green example worked out very different from our first red example in 2016.  Green’s motor ran much cleaner with no four-stroking and achieved 3mph faster on flat, while red had spluttered out at 26.

The general performance and running difference might be put down to better carburation, though both bikes were fitted with the same carb model.  Maybe red was running rich?  Possibly different float levels?

It seemed unlikely the new versus old silencers were a factor, but who knows?

Extra feature: Honda C50: Shoestring Endurance Racer

We go to Moped Mayhem with Chris Skripek.

What’s Next?

The next magazine is scheduled for publication at the beginning of July 2024.

Next Main Feature: For decades we’ve been haunted by a single archive picture of a Raleigh moped model that was never made, but what if unexpected evidence came to light that could turn this theory on its head?

We’ve been researching and working on this project for literally years now, which considering the significance of its subject matter, is probably going to work out a significantly sized article, and may compromise the usual support features.

This is … ‘The Ghost’, and it uncovers a long lost mystery that has lain undiscovered for over 60 years…

Next First Support: If everything goes according to plan (when does that ever happen?), then it might be a Norton design, with a Villiers engine, in a Triumph frame … but for us, it won’t be an easy ride.

Next Second Support: Our main feature ‘The Ghost’ may well compromise the prospects of a third feature in our next edition, but if we do find space to squeeze something in, then we might be going on ‘Safari’ with some notes from the Denny tapes.

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, Beretta–Mosquito, Capriolo 75 Turismo Veloce, Cyc-Auto (Wallington Butt), Cyc-Auto (Villiers), Dot ViVi, Dunkley S65, Dunkley Whippet Super Sports, Elswick–Hopper VAP MIRA test prototype, Gilera RS50, Hercules Her-cu-motor, Honda Gyro Canopy, 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, Raleigh Ireland ‘Super’, 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: Sponsor an articleEnter a free advertSubmit an article yourselfWrite a letter to usPropose a machine for featureOffer your machine for test feature

News

Archive Photos

January 2023

At the Mince Pie Run, Gareath Evans presented us with a quantity of his late father’s photographs.  By coincidence, Mark Gibb has also been going through some of his old pictures.  Consequently we have been able to post pages of pictures of several part events—many of these pictures have not been published before.  Along with David Evans’s and Mark Gibb’s photos, we have added a few of our own.  The events covered so far are:

Sars Poteries, June 1997

10th East Anglian Run, May 1991

NACC 10th Anniversary Rally, June 1991

Rando Cyclos at Sars Poteries, May 2003

NACC Coast to Coast Ride, June 2004

11th East Anglian Run, May 1992

12th East Anglian Run, May 1993

1st Breckland Forest Run, July 1991

Sandringham Run, September 1995

2nd Norfolk East Coast Run, September 1990

Nedging Fête

July 2022

Dear Andrew,
Please can you thank everyone that came to our Vintage Fête at Nedging Hall on 26th June 2022.  We made an amazing amount, £6041.72, and we have got some more to come.  Once again thank you for helping us to raise so much.

Yours sincerely,
P Gooderham

Lanzarote

January 2022

Derbi moped in Lanzarote Derbi moped in Lanzarote
Moped in Lanzarote

Just spotted these mopeds in Lanzarote.  50 euros for the pair if anyone’s interested!
From Dunc and Margaret


Older news stories are available in our News Archive