The fun starts here...
We've gone into the movie business—in a very minor way.
Not content to amuse ourselves with creating the numerous free classic bike pages seen here on Sump, we decided to try our hand at other media.
Unsurprisingly, our first efforts are a little amateur. That's partly because we are amateur, and partly because the UK Film Council and the various National Lottery committees all turned down our request for a £100,000 grant with which we were hoping to buy a couple of Panaflex cameras, a lighting rig, some sound recording equipment, and a canteen wagon.
So we had to make do with the equipment we had at hand—which was a couple of ancient digital cameras that had been kicking around in a box in the garage along with some other basic junk.
Additionally, the video editing software we had was primitive in the extreme, and took some figuring out. And pretty much everything we knew about the movies was the view as seen from behind a box of popcorn.
But hey, we managed to knock up a few rushes (that's, er, movie speak, you understand), and we bought a roll of Sellotape to stitch it all together. And now the footage is on the web for all the world to see.
It looked good when we originally test screened it (that's, er, more movie speak). But now that a couple of weeks have elapsed, we can see all the cracks and have spotted a dozen ways it could have been done better. Re-editing is an option. In fact, we already re-edited one of the videos. But then we decided to leave well alone. You live and learn, etc. You move on.
Anyway, now we've got the movie making bug in a big way, and we're learning new tricks all the time—and we've got plenty of ideas in the bag that will come out sooner or later. Meanwhile, if you want to take a look at our videos, here are the links:
Triumph Trident T150
So okay, lately we've been hanging around a lot in the neighbourhood of classic bike dealer Phil Clarke's oversized shed and eyeing up the merchandise and compiling wish lists. Phil's fairly local to us, so it's natural enough that we might want to graze on his pasture. Recently, he told us that he had just rebuilt his 1975 750cc T150 Triumph Trident and he invited us to take it for a spin and show it who's the boss.
So being long-time Trident worshippers, we did exactly that. And naturally, we just happened to have a couple of video cameras on us. So we shot a few frames and edited the footage and generally cobbled together another Sump video. You can check it out via the link below. And if you like the bike, you can make Phil an offer.
The Trident isn't actually for sale. But he's a bike dealer. He's persuadable. It's August 2013, by the way. So if you're reading this at any time in the significantly distant future, the bike's probably gone and we're all long dead. But the chances are that even in the 91st century, or whatever, Tridents are still undervalued. So try one and buy one. They're both a treat and a torment.
We had a few Sunbeam S7 images gathering dust on the desktop and we wanted to see if we could turn them into another YouTube video. Why? Why the hell not? It's what you do, ain't it? You fool around, you try something and—hey!—another baby is born. Well here's our Sunbeam S7 baby. Check it out if you've got a few minutes to donate. It ain't as bad as some out there.
Triumph Model H "Trusty"
At Sump, we love flat tankers, which was why we couldn't resist a joyride on this one around the Kentish backroads. The bike belongs to classic bike dealer Phil Clarke. The Trusty was built in 1915 and saw action in WW1 France as a despatch rider's mount. We shot at it some more, but with a camera instead of a gun, and the finished assault is three minutes long, plus change. It's a beautiful bike that runs as well as it did when new. We'll soon be putting up a feature on this site. So watch for it. But for now, here are a few frames...
BSA D7 Bantam
For this one, we once again teamed up with long-established classic bike dealer Phil Clarke. The bike is his, the video is ours. The results are yours to enjoy. We've got a more in-depth feature on the BSA Bantam elsewhere on this site. The four minute YouTube video, with music by Pat Metheny, is just an appetizer. If you've never considered owning a Bantam, this might help persuade you.
Matchless Silver Hawk
Pat Gill's beautiful OHC, V4, four-speed, hand-change, rear-sprung Matchless was filmed with a budget camera and edited with budget software - but we think we got away with it. This pre-war motorcycle failed to sell in significant numbers. But as an example of 1930s British industrial exuberance, it's hard to equal, let alone beat. The pioneering Collier Brothers really pushed the envelope and took a huge commercial risk with this fabulous bike. You can read about Pat's Matchless Silver Arrow elsewhere on this site.
Triumph T140 Bonneville
A brief look at the 750cc oil-in-frame Bonnie with an uplifting piece of music from Malcolm Arnold. This video is aimed at viewers with no previous knowledge of the T140 Triumph and want to see what all the fuss is about. Take a look when you've got three minutes and twenty-two seconds to spare.
We were goofing around at Southend on Sea, Essex and had the helmet camera running, as ever. It was one of those memorable days that you just don't want to let go of. So we didn't. This video is the first part of our homebound trip to the Smoke. That's all. Nothing to get excited about. And a jazz fusion soundtrack will keep you entertained if the pictures don't do it for you.
This video is a kind of war story—as told from the saddle of a BSA WDM20. It might interest someone out there. The music is a little haunting. You might enjoy that too. Take a look.
Try to remember
This one's a little different. It's not necessarily about classic
bikes, and not necessarily about bikes at all. It's about life and death and eternity. If nothing else, it will make you think.
Meanwhile, we were chuffed to be present at the October unveiling of a Blue Plaque commemorative award made to Mr Edward Turner, the man who put Triumph Motorcycles firmly on the international map—and didn't do Ariel any harm, either. Overall, that was a pretty good day, and a day that was long overdue. You can read all about it by or clicking here: Edward Turner Blue Plaque, or by clicking on the blue
Meanwhile, we created another little eBook on the BSA B50. It was a long time coming, but it might interest B50 fans. You can find it by going to the BSA B50 page link on the right and scrolling down the page. It's there somewhere. Or you can go directly to the eBook by clicking here: BSA B50 eBook. Your computer ought to flag a warning about this, note. That's because it's an .exe file, which means that it's an executable program. But it's safe to download. Either trust us, or don't trust us. If your computer doesn't flag a warning, you need to check your system and/or get some virus protection software.
Our little A5 softcover guide to the T140 has been selling well. In fact, we ran out of copies (twice) and had to rush out a second edition (with one or two minor revisions). North America seems to be a strong market for this publication, but we're posting them off to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa—and a surprisingly large number to Germany, Sweden, France and Spain.
You'll find a link to this book at the top of this page. Feedback has been terrific, and quite a few people have come back for second helpings (gifts, probably). Anyway, get yours while they're available.
BSA Golden Flash eBook
The printed book isn't dead. Not by a long way. But eBooks are in the ascendancy, and rightly so. There's a lot to be said for them in terms of convenience, cost effectiveness, and distribution. Also, you can correct them on the fly when readers point out the errors of your ways. With all this in mind, and other considerations, we threw together this little homage to the BSA A10 Golden Flash. But stop! Don't put your hand in your pocket and tease out that wallet until you've checked it out properly. Click on the book cover and whisk yourself off to our Golden Flash eBook page and make sure it's what you want. We think you might be pleasantly surprised.
Classic bike trade talk
We see that the economy is still a bloody mess and is still hitting the classic bike trade hard. Sure, dealers are reporting being busier than ever. But that isn't the same as making money.
All the signs are that next year is going to get even tougher, and there will be more losses.
But let's not talk it all the way down, because one way or the other, most of us are going to come through it. However, if you're looking for new parts for your classic bike, how about doing what you can to support your local bike shop?
Sure, if you're on a tight budget, you're naturally going to go to the cheapest source. But cheapest is rarely the best, and budget parts can cost you a lot of money in the long term. Just try and spare a few coppers for the non virtual trade that's an essential part of the classic bike community.
That's it. I'm off. I can feel another movie coming on. So until next year, it's lights, camera and action...