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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 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 and the publication dates are synchronised with key events in the EACC calendar: the Radar Run, the Peninsularis Run, the Norfolk Broads 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 July 2020 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Going to the Go-Go

Our Batavus main feature surely breaks the record for the article that spent the longest time in the tubes before publication.  It all started in May 2010, when we went down to Oxford to see Mike Bagshall and came back with the wreck of the purple Batavus Go-Go and a pile of other parts, some of which were GoGo spares—and some of which weren’t…

In a moment of reminiscing about the happy times he had with his old Go-Go, Chris Day decided he wanted to rebuild the bike for another trip down memory lane.  By the following spring the trip down memory lane was still no more than a distant memory, so a deal was done to take the Batavus back, and put it through the Mopedland workshops instead. A V5 for the original registration was successfully recovered and, during reconstruction it was decided to modify the engine to see how the M-48 might perform with increased porting and a higher compression ratio, because they historically tended to suffer from bouts of four-stroking towards upper-end revs.

The bike was completed for road test and photo-shoot towards the end of March 2011, and it seemed to perform with some improvement.

The bike was soon sold on from the workshops, and the plan was to wait until we might be able to access another standard Batavus Go-Go or some other model for comparison to complete the article.  Opportunities were missed with another orange Go-Go and a silver Pronto, both of which were sold on by their owners before we got chance to cover them.  Everything then seemed to go quiet on the Batavus front, so the road test notes and photo-shoot pictures festered in the can for so long that it became the classic forgotten article.

Go-Go and Starglo

Finally in November 2019, the workshops bought in another 1982 X-reg Batavus, which we first thought was a later model Go-Go that might have received some changes from the earlier model.  Chris turned up once again to have a look at the ‘new’ Go-Go and, after a little study and some debate, it was decided that there were enough significant differences to suggest it was actually another Batavus model that we weren’t familiar with.

A cruise through De Grote Bromfiets Encyclopedie quickly identified the model as a Starglo, which had technically replaced the original Go-Go—a new one on us; at the time we’d never even seen or heard of a Starglo before…

Our Starglo was historically a local bike that had been supplied by Eddie Cordle of Ipswich, and was bought from his workshop stock when it was cleared in 2019.  With its last tax disc having expired in July 1990, the bike seemed to have been used up to that time, then laid up for 30 years, with a huge amount of play in the rear wheel suggesting that it was going to be more than just a simple matter of adjusting the bearings!

When articles were being completed for the previous Iceni CAM, edition 53, there weren’t many potential prospects left in reserve, so in (another) moment of desperation to get it out for the deadline, there was some clutching at straws to get in the leaders for issue 54.  So Madass, CY80, and Batavus were all thrown into the last minute mix.  Fine, that’s sorted for three months, we’ll find time to deal with them later…

The lock-down situation, however, created an unexpected demand on Mopedland as many people decided they wanted parts to fix their bikes while they were stuck at home, and a tripling of V.765 and dating certificate requests as everyone also found the time to deal with the registration aspects they’d been meaning to do get round to for ages.  So we found ourselves with massive and on-going work overloads in other areas and, as we rolled into June, it was getting apparent that edition 54 was going to be late.

In the end, the drastic resort of closing down Mopedland became the only option to enable time to progress the articles that hadn’t even been started yet!

First priority was fixing up the Starglo, and the rear wheel problem proved to be completely shattered ball bearings on the drive side, with a bearing cup in two pieces, and a broken cone.  Fortunately all those parts were in stock and, within a week the bike was back together, all cleaned up, and looking a whole lot better.  To get Starglo going again for the first time in 30 years, the leaking fuel tap was quickly resolved by a strip-down and replacing the seal, but the first starting attempt thwarted by the crumbling plastic decompresser lever.  A bit of hurried plastic welding sorted that out, then the motor started, ran, and sounded fine!  Sometimes motors condensate inside during long lay-ups, then the main bearings corrode, then rumble badly when they’re restarted, but our Starglo fortunately seemed to have been stored in good conditions, and hadn’t suffered this fate.

With the Honda CY80 and MadAss both in running order and moved to site with the Starglo, all three bikes were photo-shot and road tested on the same day, 11th July 2020, which was already two weeks after the original editorial deadline, and the original publication date was scheduled for Peninisularis (tomorrow) 12th July, and writing any of the articles hadn’t even started yet!

Another difficulty was finding the old Go-Go photo-shoot after so long, but scanning through a load of SD-cards found not only the original pictures, but also some snaps of the purple wreck when we picked it up in Oxford over ten years previously.  The road test and some old research notes turned up in an old file, so writing started on the main article first, since Iceni CAM Magazine is assembled by working from the front to the back, advertising first, then the articles in order.  This enabled Andrew to start editing together the front part of the magazine, while the later articles were still being drafted for our publication now re-scheduled to ‘by the end of July’.

It was a tight squeeze, but we just about made it.

So, ‘Going to the Go-Go’ waited ten years to be completed in just the last month, and was sponsored by Dave Smith, of Eccleston, Lancashire, with the message ‘Thanks for Iceni CAM Information Service download’.

First Support feature: The Monkey King

Our feature on the Honda CY80 was, tragically, something that couldn’t be shared with its owner, since Paul left us in February, but he always loved monkey bikes, and liked this ever so special monkey-bike very much.

The limited performance CY50 was never sold in the UK, so an unusual machine over here, but the CY80 was even rarer, and went appreciably better due to its larger capacity.

Research into the CY models generally throws up most on the 50, because that was made for longer and in greater numbers, but unearthing any references on the 80 was like digging for gold.

The article was, therefore, structured on the origins of the motor from the CB50K1, to the CB50JX-1, through evolution into the restricted performance and miserable European specification CB50J (particularly Ben’s hideous light green one), then evolution into the XR75 schoolboy scrambler, followed by the XR80.

This all leads to how the CY80 engine came about, and was subsequently fitted into the CY50 chassis.

While the result was a much better bike with more power and performance than the CY50, the 80 was destined never to achieve the same sort of popularity as its 70cc Dax predecessor.

Only sold in the Japanese home and European markets, circumstances stacked against the bike when it failed to meet the requirements of a European market ‘light motor cycle’ according to the legal regulation of driving licence class 1b from April 1st 1980, so required a full open class-1 license, but most fully qualified riders wanted to ride larger capacity motor cycles rather than an 80cc ATV monkey-bike, so its appeal became very limited.  The introduction of StVZO regulations requiring the use of daytime running lights didn’t help either, as the 6V electrical generator output was never designed to keep up with continuous use lighting, and the indicators failed to function as the battery drained.

The result was that the CY80’s sales prospects were stuffed before it had much chance to appeal to anyone, so a stroke of the accountants red pen found the model smitten from history before it had chance to even make any history.

‘The Monkey King’ was sponsored by Paul Long, EACC West Anglian Section.

Second Support feature: Slowly going Mad

The magazine’s third ‘oddball’ feature slot turned up yet another oddball machine in the Sachs MadAss, which might seem an unusually modern bike, but by the time we got to covering it in ‘Slowly going Mad’, was actually 16 years old, and we’ve covered a number of far younger machines than that!

When Sachs presented its first own-branded motor cycle in 1932, it’s most likely the frame was made for Sachs by another manufacturer, because Sachs wasn’t really structured to produce cycle chassis.

Looking at key times allows a better grasp of how situations developed later.

Sachs advert, 1960

In 1958, with the German motor cycle market in decline, the DKW, Victoria, and Express companies merged to form the Zweirad Union, but continued to use their own brands and, though they were using some Sachs motors in some of their models, they were also using other makes of proprietary engines like Jlo, while Victoria and Express were even making their own engines.

Sachs would also have been feeling the effects of the German motor cycle market depression, so sales of their motors would have been reducing; they would have to be competing with other proprietary and own engine manufacturers as well.

Even the country’s largest motor cycle manufacturer, the German Hercules company, was also feeling the pinch, and Sachs bought Hercules in the late 1950s, which would have been an effective means of making sure their engines were being fitted into their frames, instead of Hercules also installing Jlo motors.

Rabeneick was another large manufacturer of mopeds and lightweight motor cycles purchased by Sachs in 1963, and the plant simply put straight over to vehicle clutch production.

In 1966 Sachs took over the Zweirad Union and immediately stopped production of models using other engines in favour of their own proprietary motors.

In the late 1970s, batches of Sachs-branded Optima-1, Optima 4-S, Optima 5-S, G3 and Supra-4 mopeds were sold into European countries and the USA, all with Sachs engines, though their cycle chassis were all built by the German Hercules Werke, Nürnberg.

Further Sachs-branded motor cycle models started appearing in 1998, as the ZX125 four-stroke, single cylinder 125cc, and the 800cc V-twin models, which were all propelled by Suzuki engines, though it’s unclear where their cycle chassis were produced.  Chinese manufactured Madass models appeared in 2004, and were followed by a steady series of other Guangzhou-produced scooters and motor cycles, while the V-twins were dropped in 2005.

A selection of Sachs-branded 50cc and 125cc scooters, and 125cc, 230cc, 250cc motor cycles continue to be produced at Guangzhou, along with further Madass 160 and a Kikass 125cc Road Mini-trail.

It’s now hard to tell if there is even any influence at all on the motor cycle and scooter designs that are now sold under Sachs branding, or if they’re just off-the-peg Chinese products that are merely now stickered as required?

Many of the well know international motor cycle names play much the same games, selling Chinese-manufactured bikes under European and American branding.  Peugeot’s Kisbee GY6 powered Boatian scooters are just one classic example.  The main Japanese manufacturers have all marketed Chinese-produced models, Honda and Lifan, Yamaha and HiSun, Suzuki and Hyosung, while BMW also sells Chinese-made models.  Ducati already has a number of models made in Thailand, and is further tying up with a Chinese manufacturer to provide an electric range.  Harley Davidson is collaborating with Qianjiang for a 338cc parallel twin which is already sold under the Benelli brand that QJ owns, and did you know that more Triumph motor cycles are now made in Thailand than are made in the UK?

The brands on today’s bikes often bear little relationship to the original company that founded the name.

The modern Sachs Motorcycles interestingly claims to have been established by Karl Marschutz in 1886, but that was the Hercules Cycle Company at Nürnberg, and it didn’t even build its first motor cycle till 1904.  Sachs only bought out Hercules some 72 years after its foundation, and production of Hercules motor cycles in Nürnberg finished in 1996, but maybe brand ownership gives licence to claim whatever version of history you want?

Our Sachs MadAss was made in China, assembled in Malaysia, then marketed by a faceless multi-national group under a brand name that has no tangible link to its history—and we certainly don’t see how that could make it a German product…

What’s Next?

The next magazine was scheduled for publication at the Norfolk Broads Run, but that run’s been cancelled (because the village hall starting point won’t be open).  Some time in October is our best estimate for the next issue.

Next Main Feature: Quickly moving on to our next feature, this German manufacturer … Oh, you’ve guessed it already!

Next Support: We test a ‘Band of Three’ Italian cyclemotors.  Not the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly … more like the Good, the Exotic, and the Beautiful.

Next Second Support: ‘The Flying Banana’ … What?  You’d like another clue?  OK, it’s a yellow sports moped.
Ahh, that one!
See, it’s all coming back now … ?

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, Bianchi Aquilmotor, Capriolo 75 Turismo Veloce, 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, Gloria–Alpino, Hercules Her-cu-motor, Honda Gyro Canopy, Honda Model A, Honda CD50, Honda SS50, Itom Tourist, James Comet 1F, 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, 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

DVLC, Swansea

DVLA services update

October 2020

Coronavirus

Swansea is currently subject to local lockdown measures.  DVLA staff have been working in Swansea throughout the entire pandemic and continue to do so, but due to social distancing requirements, there are fewer staff than usual on site at any one time.  This means if you post applications, which must be processed securely on site by a member of staff, they will take longer than if you apply on-line.

Things you can do on-line include: Apply for a driving licence—Renew a driving licence—Replace a driving licence—Tell us you’ve sold a vehicle—Change your address—Tax a vehicle—Keep or assign a private (personalised) registration online—Apply for a duplicate V5C log book. Paper applications are likely to take between 6–8 weeks to process, but there may be additional delays in processing more complicated transactions.  DVLA is dealing with all paper applications as quickly as possible and in the order in which they are received.

You can get more information and check DVLA’s services updates at: www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update.

Delay

July 2020

It’s looking as if our next issue—scheduled for 5 July—may be a little late.  Somewhat perversly, the COVID-19 restrictions have meant that both of us (Mark and Andrew) are far busier that we’ve ever been before.  We assume that in the lockdown many of you have decided to work on some of the projects that have been waiting for you to have the time to do them.  The result is that Mark at Mopedland and Andrew at the EACC have record amounts of work to do.  Also, the cancellation of the Peninsularis Run means that the original deadline is not quite as pressing as it once was—and there’nothing like the removal of a deadline to make a job take longer!  Nevertheless, we still expect to have the next magazine ready some time in July.

DVLA restrictions

July 2020

Coronavirus

Some DVLA staff are back at work, so the restriction on sending post has been lifted.  The need for ‘social distancing’ means there are fewer staff, so be prepared for things to take a litlle longer than normal.  You can check on DVLA’s restrictions at: www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update.

Most county record offices, however, are still closed—although many have arrangements for responding to e-mail enquiries.

DVLA restrictions

April 2020

Coronavirus

During the COVID-19 restrictions, DVLA is effectively ‘on-line only’, which is fine for normal tax renewals, etc.  However, it does mean that V765s and age-related registrations have come to a halt because these have to be done using old-fashioned paperwork.  As far as the various motor cycle clubs are concerned, most seem to be doing dating certificates as normal; it's just that DVLA doesn’t want you to send the applications in until ‘the coast is clear’.  You can check on DVLA’s restrictions at: www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update.  With V765s, some clubs are refusing to accept them altogether, others will reluctantly take them but won’t be sending them on to DVLA until it’s OK.

Another factor affecting V765 applications is the closure of all the county record offices, which means that, for the time being, there will be no access to registration archives to get evidence for a V765 application.

MoTs extended

April 2020

Coronavirus

As part of the government’s measures against Coronavirus, MoTs due from 30 March 2020 will be extended.  A car, van or motor cycle’s MoT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020—but, as with MoT exempt vehicles, you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.  The MoT expiry date will be automatically extended by 6 months if it’s eligible; this will be done just before it’s due to expire.  Your vehicle’s record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MoT.  There’s more information on the gov.uk website.

Mailing list

February 2020

Sorry—our plan to set up mailing list in time for the January issue of Iceni CAM Magazine didn’t go very well … or at all.  We’ll be trying again with the April issue and will be sticking with the idea that anyone who was signed-up to the old forum and had opted to receive ‘Individual e-mails’ or a ‘Daily digest’ will automatically be put on the list, while forum members who’d opted out from e-mails still won’t.


Older news stories are available in our News Archive