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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 April 2017 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Track Day ’60s

While IceniCAM has historically grown a reputation for unusual content, no question about it, the Track Day article was certainly something very unexpected that came out of far left field!

It all kicked off in August 2016 when Tim Adams of EACC Suffolk Section enquired after dating certificates for registering a series of his exotic Italian Sports ’50s, and offered us the bikes for feature if we might be interested?  Well sure we’re interested!  It’s not as if we’re ever going to get the chance to cover the likes of something as obscure as a ViVi SaS again … bets are this is probably the only one in Britain.

While the ViVi and Malanca managed to retain some semblance of originality about them despite their performance modifications, the Benelli Sprint was very clearly a complete out-and-out track racer conversion.

Within a matter of weeks we’d road tested and photo shot six different machines, and it was pretty obvious they weren’t all going to fit into a single article, so there had to be some sort of split.

The bikes weren’t tested in chronological order, but it soon became apparent the most logical way looked to be to part them down the middle into 1960s’ and 1970s’.

While all the bikes seemed to have received unknown degrees of engine tuning and bigger carburettors, most demonstrated modified exhausts, all had been fitted with clip-on handlebars, some with rear-sets, and changed brakes (though not always for the better), and while seemingly retaining their electrical sets, these were not always functional.  Machines variously wore changed saddles and presented degrees of visual originality, but the Benelli was undoubtedly the most radical of the bunch.

For a physically small 50cc motor cycle with clip-on handlebars fitted, the bike will generally need the footrests to be rear-set or the riding position will be too cramped, and the Malanca clearly demonstrated this problem.  The ViVi’s rear-sets gave rider discomfort for a different reason, and compromised effectiveness of the rear brake, and our feeling was that both bikes would be all the better for converting back to straight bars, standard footrests and brake control to return better riding positions.  With all their performance modifications they’d still go well and look great, but could then be comfortable and practical enough for a return to road use—lets face it, nobody is ever actually going to circuit race these things, so they’re currently little more than show toys. 

While the Malanca and ViVi retained enough original fittings for normal road running, the extensively modified Benelli seemed a step beyond the credibility of our trade plates, and really demanded a track-style test, which established the article format as a mostly on-flat comparison.

Due to clutch problems with the Malanca, it became necessary to take that bike on a downhill run to get a more representative impression of its capabilities. 

The Malanca seemed to have further problems when it came in, as the engine would barely turn over … had it seized?  Apparently not, because when we took out the spark plug to investigate, and pushed the kickstart treadle down—we were liberally sprayed with fuel from the cylinder!  It’d hydraulic locked from a crankcase full of fuel, because the petrol tap had been left in the ‘on’ position.  That’s the trouble with down-drafted carburettors at a nearly vertical angle—if they flood, then there’s only one way for the fuel to go, and that’s down into the engine.

It took a lot of kicking over and venting out the engine with the airline through the plug hole to clear the motor, and there sure was a lot of fuel that came out.  It was pouring out of the exhaust, spraying out of the cylinder and all over the engine, and all the workshop doors had to be opened to clear the fumes.

Unmarked fuel taps can be quite a problem on bikes like this, so it really is worth noting which direction is off.

The capabilities of all three machines were most impressive for 50cc motor cycles, and their on-flat performances were all beyond any other comparable bikes up to the end of the 1960s that we’ve ridden so far.  Great on go, but generally poor on comfort, and all quite impractical for road use.

‘Track Day’ sponsorship was credited to the Leicester Enthusiasts, thanks to a generous donation from Les Gobbett. 

Second Support feature: Road Rocket

Our Corsarino road test and photo shoot had been fermenting in the cellar since September 2014 when the bike went through the Mopedland workshops for overhaul and to get it working properly.  Once sorted, we managed to intercept the bike for IceniCAM road test and photo shoot, and though owner Jim Stuttard also decided to sponsor the ‘Road Rocket’ article on his latest acquisition, we just didn’t seem to find a suitable edition to slot the feature into among other articles.

Only when the ‘Track Day’ feature came along there finally appeared some common ground to run the article along with the other ’60s decade sportsters and, since the 1968 Corsarino has a pretty gutsy little four-stroke Morini engine, we got to wondering how it might square up to our two-stroke sports 50s of the same period?

Looking at specifications, the Corsarino rated a comparable 15mm carburettor size (Benelli 18mm, Malanca 19mm, ViVi SaS 19mm), while the Benelli and Malanca had just three-speed hand-changed gears, the ViVi and Morini both had four-speed foot-change, so on paper, this looked like a reasonably competitive match.

While the Corsarino sounded tough, and would certainly dominate most mopeds and autocycles in terms of performance, when it came down to taking on our track day two-strokes it really couldn’t make the cut, falling around 10mph short of their on-flat speed.  All the ’60s two-stroke motors developed more top-end power.

Maybe the Morini wouldn’t have won a race against the two-strokes, but it was a mostly a good all-round bike to ride (except for having a gearbox full of neutrals).

Despite the erratic gear & neutral selection (you can always press the pedal again until you do find a gear), we felt the four-speed foot-change was a big improvement against the earlier three-speed hand-change shift on the Corsarino Scrambler hybrid we tested back in July 2010, and the four-speed motor would certainly have been a far more practical option for that bike.

We were testing the Malanca around the time of the Copdock Show in 2016, and several of the Track Day Sports 50s were scheduled to be displayed on the EACC stand at that that event.  There was some hope that the twinned red & white colour schemes of the Nicky and Corsarino might be matched together for the show, but logistics failed, and the Morini didn’t arrive for display—maybe we can now give some idea how that might have looked through comparable pictures.

Nicky & Corsarino

Second Support feature: In the Beginning

Another unusual Mobylette from the collection of Paul Hamlin from Kent and East Sussex Section EACC, our Motobécane AV31 article came about as another opportunity test and photo shoot in October 2016 after the bike had been through the Mopedland workshops for a whole load of jobs to return it to functionality.

Splitting the crankcases to replace the main bearings revealed this early AV3 motor to be built without crank seals, so trying to run it on lean mix modern semi-synthetic oils wouldn’t be a recommended option.  It’s better to stick with the heavy 15:1 mineral oil mix or the motor can draw in air through the journals.  Though the motor was rebuilt with the outer sealed bearing shields still in place, these aren’t as effective at holding crankcase compression as proper crank seals.

We’re unsure at what point Motobécane started fitting crank seals into their motors, so anyone running these really early engines might be best advised to opt for caution with the lubrication until it can be confirmed.

Introduction of the AV31 in 1952 represented a dramatic turnaround in policy at Motobécane.

‘In the Beginning’, the original and very basic AV3 was first presented late in 1949, with its emphasis being based on simplicity and cheapness for the earlier years of post-war austerity, having rigid forks, cycle style calliper brakes, and direct drive transmission.

Just three years on and improving social affluence was creating a public demand for better appointed mopeds, and resulted in Motobécane making a complete U-turn on their thinking and producing this extraordinary model, luxuriously appointed for its time, with telescopic forks, hub brakes both ends, automatic clutch, and even an electric bell!

The AV31 is an ornate and fascinating model that wasn’t listed in Britain, which might make it doubly interesting if you ever get the chance to see one in the flesh.  Looks, however, aren’t everything, and the deflector-top AV3 only delivers a very gentle performance that is not so easily improved, so on any moped run today, it’s certainly going to get well left behind in the dead-slow cyclemotoring group.

Any course to try to improve power output wouldn’t be easy for this engine, since spent gas scavenging is fairly limited as it can only vent through restrictive holes in the cylinder sidewall, rather than exit via a clear exhaust port.  This arrangement is because the plain-butted D-slot piston rings are un-pegged, so freely rotate in the piston, which could risk the ends getting snagged in a conventional full port.

To resolve this would require pegs adding to the grooves, so they could be keyed to stop ring rotation, then fitting later type C-slot rings so the exhaust port might be opened out to improve spent gas scavenging.

How much difference this might make would be anyone’s guess … we don’t know anyone who’s done it yet.

The original and basic AV3 moped with AV3 engine continued until 1953, but a number of subsequent AV31, 32 & 33 Motobécane models fitted with the AV3 type motor are often mistaken for the original model. 

Sponsorship for ‘In the Beginning’ was credited to a modest donation from Jari Lehikonen, a Cyclemaster enthusiast at Espoo in Finland, which thanks to the internet, probably goes to illustrate the extent of IceniCAM’s global reach today, from the Arctic circle in the Northern hemisphere, to New Zealand on the far southern side of the planet.

We never expected to achieve anything remotely like that when we started the Webzine ten years ago as a local magazine for the Suffolk Section, after a stuffy old autocycle club decided their members no longer wanted feature articles—just shows how wrong they were!

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: The 1960s naturally lead into the 1970s, and Track Day 2 takes us into the next decade with another triple selection of exotic Italian circuit racers.  If you thought the Series 1 Benelli Sprint, Malanca Nicky Sport 8T, and ViVi SaS Special 50 were a little extravagant, then you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!  The classic style of the ’60s may seem tame and sedate when compared to their full-blown and outrageous counterparts of the ’70s—it’s like comparing a bi-plane to a Star Wars X-wing fighter!

Next Support: Way back in the pre-IceniCAM days of 2001, we briefly produced a small feature on this rather obscure Birmingham-built moped.  Sixteen years later, and there’s now (hopefully) a lot more research material to expand on the original presentation, and we can actually revisit the very same featured machine, which is still working and in use—as well as several more of its friends!  Will the bike prove tough enough to live up to its Muscle-bound title?

Next Second Support: On safari, specifically hunting for one of ‘The Big Five’.  We were hoping to bag a big cat, but Bobby only spotted a little pussy … well 3 actually!

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: route sheets, maps, etc, are here as downloadable documents 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.

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 3, Ariel Pixie, Batavus Go-Go, Busy Bee cyclemotor, Capriolo 75 Turismo Veloce, Coventry Eagle Trade Auto-Ette, 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, Heath mini-bike, Hercules Corvette, Hercules Her-cu-motor, Honda CD50, Honda SS50, Honda Stream, James Comet 1F, Leopard B6, Motobécane SP50, MV Agusta Liberty, Norman Nippy Mark 2, Norman Nippy Mark 3, NVT Ranger, Powell Joybike, Puch Magnum X, Rabeneick Binetta, Simson SR2E, Solifer Speed, Sun Autocycle, Sun Motorette, Tailwind cyclemotor, Vincent Firefly, Yamaha FS1E.

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

Original Mobymatic badge
The original Mobylette badge,
which was plastic moulded, back
painted, and was held on by a
special M3×0.6mm pitch screw.

Mobymatic badges

January 2017

Mopedland has now generated NEW badges for For Mobylettes AV76, AV77, AV78, AV88, AV89, etc.

The original badge and special screw have not been available for some time.

It would not have been viable to remake badges by the original method, so they have been re-created by more practical modern means.  The new badges are made of two components: a bright nickel-plated metal diecast badge mount and a domed badge with self-adhesive backing so it can be stuck to the bright face of the badge mount.  The textured back of the badge mount can then be glued (with impact adhesive, Araldite/resin, or mastic) to the badge mounting point on the fuel tank; it engages in the correct position by the location pin on the back of the badge mount, which centres into the former screw hole.  The price will be £18 a pair (2 badge mounts @ £5 each + 2 domed badges @ £4 each).  The new tooling has produced prototype samples and the production badges are expected to be available for sale very soon.

Original Mobymatic badge
Left to right: the textured back of the badge mount with location pin,
the bright front face of the badge mount, the domed badge as supplied
on peelable backing, and the domed badge stuck onto the badge mount.

Stolen Townmate

December 2016

A Cambridge vicar, the Rev Jonathan Knight, has recently had his blue Yamaha Townmate T80 stolen from outside his house in Bateman Street, Cambridge on Sunday 18th December.  The registration number is L491 SAP & frame number 35T 041274.  If anyone is offered the bike for sale they should contact Cambridgeshire police on 101 or Crime stoppers on 0800 555111.

New Web Site

August 2016

And this is it!  We’ve moved our website here at www.icenicam.org.uk and this new website contains everthing the old one had.  For the time being, both this and the old site are operating, to make the transition as smooth as possible.  We will, however, be gradually closing the old site as all our readers get used to our new address.

Norman Headlamp Nacelle Assembly

Norman Headlamp Nacelle

January 2016

The Norman moped headlamp nacelle has been a problem for some time; the old plastic mouldings have been very prone to suffering embrittlement of the plastic and damage.  Also, parts for the Miller lamp unit that was fitted to these assemblies have been particularly difficult to find.  A lot of owners have long been searching fruitlessly for parts for these headlamp/nacelle sets.

Now Mopedland has come up with a solution, by creating a completely new master mould to produce new fibreglass mouldings.  It would have been pointless to reproduce mouldings that needed the obsolete Miller headlamp unit so, to resolve this issue, the new Mopedland nacelle takes a cheap and readily available lamp unit assembly (which is supplied as part of the kit), from a Honda C50.  This takes a 6V×15/15W headlamp bulb.

The nacelle kits are on sale now for £85, comprising: a new fibreglass moulded nacelle housing, a new headlamp rim/lens/reflector assembly (Honda C50) complete with a 6V×15/15W MPF headlamp bulb and socket fittings and 2 new 5mm stainless steel screws to fit the headlamp + 2 anti-shake nylon washers.  The housing fits Norman Nippy Mk 2/type 2 (Villiers), Norman Nippy Mk 3 (MiVal), Norman Nippy Mk 4 (Villiers), Norman Lido Mk 1 (Villiers), and Norman Super Lido (Sachs).

Aplin’s of Bristol—Still open for business

January 2016

We’ve heard some rumours lately that Brian Aplin is shutting up shop—it turns out that these rumours are completely false.  Brian is still open for business and planning to stay that way.

Motoring services strategy

November 2015

The UK government has just started an open consultation: Motoring services strategy: a strategic direction 2016 to 2020 about what should happen within DVLA, DVSA and VCA over the term of this government.  Some possible changes are continuing the shift towards ‘digital’ sevices, restructuring the fees that these agencies charge, making MoTs apply to four-year-old vehicles, and bringing back the Road Fund (‘an outrage upon the sovereignty of Parliament and upon common sense’—Winston Churchill).

Full details are at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/motoring-services-strategy-a-strategic-direction-2016-to-2020

Black and white number plates

September 2015

Our report that any vehicle that qualifies for ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax may now carry black and white plates (below) caused some slight bafflement among enthusiasts.  Well, thanks again to the FBHVC, here’s how it happened: the law on number plates changed in 2001 and back then, the cut-off date for both black & white plates and ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax was 1973.  So, the new law linked the two, not allowing for the possibility that the tax cut-off would be changed back to a rolling date!

August 2015

It is reported in the latest issue of the FBHVC newsletter that the rules on old-style number plates (ie: with white or silver characters on a black background) have been simplified.  Any vehicle that qualifies for ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax may now carry black and white plates.

Zündavus

July 2015

Jan Gardien keeps us updated with goings-on in the Netherlands and recently send us some photos of the T’oale Kreng Limburg Weekend.  Among the pictures was this:

Zündavus

You can see more of Jan’s Limburg Weekend pictures at www.mijnalbum.nl/Album=38SEOX6D

500km by Solex

July 2015

I met this French guy on the outskirts of Orléans.  It appears that he is doing a 500km round trip on his Solex, pulling a fully packed trailer.  He is also carrying a complete spare engine on his luggage rack.  I saw him leaving, pushing the whole unit up a steep hill (with the motor running)!

Long-distance VéloSoleX rider

Regards
Brian Hastings

New Restrictions on V765s

June 2015

DVLA introduced new restrictions on V765 applications at the end of May—they didn’t tell anyone they were going to do it but just started rejecting any V765 that used a tax disc as its documentary evidence.

The new rule is that any supporting documentation must have a specific link to the vehicle or, in other words, must show the frame number.  It is not yet clear whether an engine number will be acceptable if the log book does not record the frame number, as is often the case with cyclemotors.

In most cases, this means that old log books will be the only accepted documents.  Pre-1983 MoT certificates and tax discs don’t record frame numbers, so won’t be accepted.  That leaves old insurance certificates and local authority archive records.  In many, many cases these don’t show frame numbers either.

If that’s not bad enough, it also raises questions about the rôle of the FBHVCDVLA seems to have treated the Federation with contempt in this matter.  Not only did they not bother to consult the FBHVC about the change but they didn’t even tell the Federation that it had happened.

It’s gone image

It’s Gone!

June 2015

From today (8 June) DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.  Existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid and should be destroyed.  The photocard remains valid and should be kept safe.

Paper-only driving licences (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) remain valid and should not be destroyed.

No more counterpart … date confirmed for abolition

January 2015

As part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative to remove unnecessary paperwork, it’s now been confirmed by Ministers that from 8 June 2015, DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.  This means from that date, existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid.  DVLA is advising drivers to destroy their counterpart after this date.

The old paper-only driving licences (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) remain valid and should not be destroyed.

How will drivers check their driver record when the counterpart is gone?

In 2014 DVLA launched the View Driving Licence service which allows GB driving licence holders to view their driving record online.  The service is free and easy to use and available 24/7.  Drivers can check what type of vehicles they can drive and any endorsements (penalty points) they may have.

Driving licence holders can also check the details on their driving record by phone or post.

There’s more information at www.gov.uk/dvla/nomorecounterpart


Older news stories are available in our News Archive