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
here. All 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 October 2023 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.
Two Puch Maxis, but completely
different machines, one Austrian Puch and the other Spanish Avello,
hence the title saying ‘As alike as Chalk and Cheese’. Provided by
John Squirrel (who previously supplied all the Jawas for our
preceding edition), our Austrian E50 Maxi SW, registered in May 1985,
was interesting in its own right, due to being one of the last pedal
Maxis, especially when you consider the first Mo-kick Maxis appeared
in August 1977. Puch was obviously well prepared for the UK law
change on 1st August 1977 redefining a 50cc moped with
kickstart, footrests, and limited to 30mph, as they had their Mo-kick
ready to go on Day One. Remarkable that pedal Maxis were still
being sold in the UK eight years after the specification change.
The Austrian Maxi also demonstrated a number of developments since
the model was introduced in February 1969, ending its time with extra
features including indicators, a brake light, 1½ length foam saddle,
larger rear carrier, and larger diameter exhaust pipe though still
into the same original pattern of silencer, which stayed the
The Puch Maxi was produced in considerable volume: 1.8 million of
them, and sold worldwide, though the Avello Maxis are much less
frequently encountered outside of Spain, which indicates the majority
of production came from Austria. Probably the greatest surprise
might be that the Austrian Maxi was produced for 18 years
(1969–87), while the Spanish Maxi was actually produced for
longer! From 1973, right into the Suzuki era, and through to
1987 = 24 years!
As two-speed models, the Avello Z50 and ZA50 Maxis were quite
different from the single-speed Auto E50; in some respects the Z50
offered a positive hill-climbing advantage with two gears and a
manual clutch, though the ZA50 two-speed auto was often reported to
have a fragile clutch.
Beyond the photo-shoot, it was disappointing that our Z50 proved
unserviceable on the day due to a badly binding back-pedal brake, but
sometimes that’s how things work out, so we just have to work round
the issue. Fortunately it didn’t compromise completion of the
article because we’d already had experience of this model, so could
still fill in the road test aspects from previous experience.
The road test and photo-shoot were on 22nd August 2023,
so this was a latest production feature.
Sponsored by David Parker from Newark, Nottinghamshire.
First Support feature: OR is it?
Coming from 16-year old Will Day, and
built long before he was even born, his OR50 was registered back in
1981, which qualifies the bike for Historic Vehicle status (over 40
years old) and free tax. Even more remarkably it has actually
survived all this time as a 16-er sports moped—which has to be about
the hardest life any road going bike could suffer! Think about the
prospect of a new 16-year old rider every year for 40 years…
The OR50 came about as an evolution of the earlier Mame-Tan
factory custom, though neither seemed to achieve much popularity,
however Suzuki maybe hoodwinked Yamaha into thinking they might be
missing an opportunity. Yamaha brought out their FS1-SE Custom
in April ’81 in response, only to discover there wasn’t any real
interest in chopper style mopeds at this time, so it was rather a
sales disaster. The FS1-SE hung like a millstone around
Yamaha’s neck until finally being de-listed in October ’83, when
they’d finally managed to clear the last lingering dregs of the small
numbers they built.
Today it’s considered a rare classic, but still doesn’t mean that
there are many people who want to own or ride one.
Suzuki’s mini-choppers are equally rare, and just last weekend
when the OR50 attended the Coprolite Run, another rider
commented that they’d never seen one before, so when it came down to
the count, the Suzuki was probably the same sales failure as the
Probably the biggest surprise was that Suzuki fitted the 5.5bhp
reed-valve motor, while its UK market X-1 cousin was rated at a
miserable and restricted 30mph & 2.92bhp with a piston-ported
cylinder. You’d almost think that the OR50 just carried over
the European market spec model, but it featured a 15mm Mikuni carb
instead of the VM16S apparently fitted as Euro spec, so it’s puzzling
why the model wasn’t made UK market compliant, but we don’t suppose
its riders were complaining about the better performance.
Research into the OR50 proved extremely difficult, because there’s
very little information on it available, which is often a typical
sign that the model was neither successful nor popular, and over
forty years after the bike has been discontinued, that’s not got any
The only item in our own IceniCAM Information Service was a ‘not
very good’ August 1980 road test, so that gives some idea what we’re
up against in trying to produce articles on bikes like this.
The road test and photo-shoot were on 15th August 2023,
so this was also a latest production feature.
Sponsorship credit: Thanks to Rob Foster, Mansfield Woodhouse,
Nottinghamshire for his donation.
An ominous title for our presentation
on a major player in the French motor cycle & moped markets for
nearly sixty years, this presented a broad view of the crucial (and
terminal) timeline for the old Motobécane Company, which was created
on 27th March 1923, filed for bankruptcy in 1981, and
subsequently re-structured into a new company called MBK.
On sale at the 2019 Copdock Show
Our M80E was a rare and unusual small capacity Enduro motor cycle
that was planned to appear with what turned out to be the most
unfortunate timing, not just because the Motobécane company was
swirling down the plughole, but also that the factoring contract with
Derbi was signed before a European licence classification change that
could compromise sales of the motor cycle.
The article may seem more like a motor cycling geopolitical
analysis than many of our usual features, but chronologically
assembling the relative elements toward the end of days for
Motobécane gave an interesting view of the sequence of events.
Research was difficult, with very little information or
specifications available on the M80E, and even less on the Derbi RD75
that it was based upon. Fortunately we managed to track down
the original French feuille de
Mines, which helped a lot.
While it’s presumed that the Derbi was the same 77.8cc as the
Motobécane, why did Derbi call its version RD75? And why did Spanish
sources variously quote it as 74cc and 73cc? We wonder about
such anomilies, but remain unable to find answers…
The M80E came from Chris Day, having been purchased from Copdock Show Jumble in 2019 (pre-Covid),
and received enough attention to get it running for initial
assessment to ascertain it was quick and fiery, with a 6-speed
gearbox. Then it was mothballed until we decided to sort it out
again for this IceniCAM feature.
Carb clean, tank flush, clean leaked grease out of the front hub
from the brake shoes, replace a front wheel bearing, and it’s ready
again to road test.
The road test and photo-shoot were done on 26th July
2023, so all three of our articles for IceniCAM edition-58 were
latest production features.
The bike returned to Copdock Show on 3rd September
2023, but this time as a display machine on the EACC club stand.
Sponsorship credit thanks to donation from John Tudgay.
The next magazine is scheduled for publication at the beginning of
Next Main Feature: Something will turn up, but
you wouldn’t be any the wiser even if we told you what it is.
Suffice to say that it’s a cyclemotor, but nothing like you could
possibly imagine. It’s ‘Beyond Imagination’
Next Support: A funny story about a Belgian
manufacturer, though they did make quite a good quality moped.
Next Second Support: The letterbox clatters, post
has arrived, followed by the sound of a small two-stroke engine
burbling away down the drive. Looks as if the postman has
traded in his bicycle for a company moped!
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
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
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
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, Bertocchi ciclomotore trasporto, 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, 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 article–Enter a free advert–Submit an article yourself–Write a letter to us–Propose a machine for feature–Offer your machine for test feature …