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23 Responses to The Glory Days of British Motorbikes – BBC Timeshift Series 13

  • I looked up the Isle on man TT
    1938 Vincent then Norton were the top then Norton's and Vincent.
    1939 BMW BMW then Norton's and Vincent.s

    Although rapidly preparing for war as the bikers said the lie was Peace in Our Time that gave Britain more time before that war. Many well informed people see it differently and that PM made a mistake (the PM himself also said it was a political gaff) Still it bought time.

  • I'm a Harley man but I'd love a Vincent

  • DaveCo777 says:

    I'm glad that Triumph has been going back to the older design elements. You can't beat the look of the early 60's triumphs. I've never understood the appeal of the Japanese rice rocket sports bikes, they look ridiculous. I'm saving up to get one of the the new Triumph Bonneville T120's. That's the closest (looks-wise) they've gotten to the 1959 model. I'd love to buy a vintage bike, but you can't beat the modern technology of the newer Triumphs.

  • Ron Norris says:

    Second bike I owned was a 1965 MATCHLESS 650 cc. Was an ugly bike and I hated LUCAS electrics on any English bike I have owned.

  • Wullie Brown says:

    Great video. I owned a Triton in the 70's. It was a Triumph 650cc pre-unit engine in a Norton Featherbed frame. Sounded great but was really a heap of unreliable junk. If you tried to do the ton, your eyes about fell out with vibrations, your arms felt numb with the same. Then worst of all, the dynamo burnt out it's brushes which caused the charging to stop. Good fun though.

  • 43:19 / 59:14
    The Glory Days of British Motorbikes – BBC Timeshift Series 13

  • Eric George says:

    I was  biker, and I am so glad I use 4 wheels these days!

  • luciferstaxi says:

    Father Bill Shergold and his 59 Club, were very well-known outside of London. Anybody who rode a bike back then- knew that if they were stuck overnight in London, we could rent a pew for a couple of bob, (but we had to be out before morning services started. And they sometimes had rock concerts in the basement.) Decent people!
    In '65 or '66, the Borough Council in West Kingsdown, (over near Brands Hatch) decided to pull a 'Father Bill' on the yobs who hung out at the Johnson's Transport Caff.
    This was the Johnson's Motorcycle Club. Harry Johnson had only one rule:
    "You never show up here, under the influence of drugs or alcohol- and if you ever bring any of that here, you are gone and you don't ever come back! Is that clear?"
    Anything else was okay……..
    So one nite, we was hanging out- and the front door crashes open, (like John Wayne entering the saloon) and like- this guy is dressed in leathers/boots/helmet- and he shouts out:
    "Anybody wanna go for a 'burn up'? Then we see that he is wearing a dog collar!?!
    So- we all files outside. Wandering along the row of bikes, the vicar stopped at a Triumph Bonneville- and he said:
    "Oooo- this bike has twin carburetors- I wish my bike had twin carburetors!"
    One of the lads replied:
    "But Vicar- you are riding a 650 SS Norton. Your bike already has twin carbs on it."
    Haw! (But make no mistake- Harry Johnson CARED about us. Just as Father Bill cared about his flock………
    Personally- am still doing it, (approaching 73 years old). I just bought a brand new motorbike- because 'The Flying Nun' told me to!
    Good documentary- tells it like it was! (And who ever thought that this scene would ever come back!)

  • HeroSlam says:

    Getting a Triumph Scrambler this fall, and man is the wait hard.

  • Kelly Cox says:

    I'm really enjoying this, thank you! But a minor quibble, one man said that Lawrence rode his "10 hp ton-up bike". The Brough Superior had far more than 10 hp, anywhere from 45 hp up to 74 hp.

  • Skysurfer says:

    But they were all shit. Only good for commuting, as any distance was always problematic. Even after a full rebuild, doing it right as they should have been done from the factory, didn't get you much further. Then along came the Japs. Now you could go great distances, reliably. And cleanly. You think leathers & the "dirty biker" appearance was a choice?

  • Will Sterben says:

    I swore I would never ride a jap bike but I do now.

  • this is interesting! come watch a WhatsApp 2 video on my channel!

  • I'm a Yank who lives in New England. The Weather and roads in Maine are alot like England… I bought a 2014 Royal Enfield Classic 500…There is something about that thump and tearing around on those old back roads…. I would LOVE to take my bike to England some day!

  • nejsig says:

    Raiders of bakes……Good !

  • The British bike industry completely ignored the threat from Japan. Even to a young kid like me at the 1966 TT when Honda wheeled out the 250 6 cylinder and the 500 4 with Mike Hailwood on board, saw the writing on the wall. I was riding a Norton Atlas at the time which was probably the worst Norton ever built.

  • RAIDER says:

    The video resolution though only 360 appear much clearer than other higher 480 videos

  • my great uncle Freddie Dixon wore a helmet on bikes and car racing

  • crash helmets should of been compulsory in the 1930s

  • Nothing gives the feeling of freedom like riding a motorcycle.  Freedom from work, freedom from the wife, freedom from …., well you get the picture.  If you want a little more freedom, twist the throttle a little more, or a lot more.Excellent video.

  • Did Wales and Scotland make bikes? Well then it's The Glory Days of English Motorbikes!

  • British motorcycle engineering was second to none but management were complacent,  they failed to invest in new models/ technology, and they looked down on the first Japanese bikes to enter the UK market; they certainly were not laughing when sales of imports flew past home produced bikes and factories began to close. Engineers like Edward Turner, Val Page, were in the fore front of development but not fully supported by senior managers or share holders. The "British Disease" was prevalent throughout the second half of the 20th century and infested the car industry, which some would say suffered a similar fate.

  • Reviving the good old era with the re release of thehe Royal Enfield continental gt cafe racer

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