What I've noticed since I have returned

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Re: What I have noticed since I have returned

Postby alanjennings » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:18 am

See you in Belgium then, Vincent- if we are allowed in!!
Alan [Morini] Jennings

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby MalcW » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:20 am

I think the single biggest problem can be summed up in one word - Cost. If you are a younger individual with family & financial commitments, getting into classic bikes isn't cheap. Buying a classic bike of any marque and engine size is a serious financial outlay these days. And that assumes that you are already into more modern bikes and have a bike licence and riding gear before you start, otherwise that's more expense. Others of a more, er, mature age may have more disposable income to recapture their biking youth. Anyway, that's what Equity Release was invented for! Younger people may well have never had a biking youth in the first place, and in years to come are more likely to buy a car they relate to from their early days.

To get younger people interested in our bikes, we need to get them out there where they can be seen (the bikes that is, not the younger people), i.e. out on the road, and at shows. Not just classic shows, where you are preaching to the converted, but other shows where there is a wider mix of vehicles, and therefore target audience. And if we do get talking to someone, stress the fun and rewards of owning and running one, and not bore them to death with the full life history of the model, and how this particular year was especially interesting because it was when they changed the sprag dabbit from nickel to chrome plating, etc. etc.

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby Martin.S » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:57 am

bore them to death with the full life history of the model, and how this particular year was especially interesting because it was when they changed the sprag dabbit from nickel to chrome plating, etc. etc.


I don't remember talking to you about my bike Malc - what do you look like?

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby MalcW » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:05 am

Hi Martin

A glazed expression, pale, cold sweat, looking like I wanted to run, but too polite to.

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby SPRIDDLER » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:12 am

MalcW wrote:Others of a more, er, mature age may have more disposable income to recapture their biking youth.

So true. When I returned to biking at around 45 after 20 years of time and money scarcity bringing up the family, updating a tatty first house and pursuing a career (3 day week, 3 million unemployed, postal and miners' strikes, mortgage interest rate at 14% etc. etc.) one of my son's teased me: "Aha Dad, trying to relive your youth, eh?" I had to point out that in my youth I couldn't afford any of the bikes that I really wanted and had to make do with fifteen quid ride-to-work hacks until now when for the first time I'd had a bit of cash in my pocket to which someone else didn't lay first claim.
I poke badgers with spoons.

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby jack clegg » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:26 am

I don't think you can combat the cultural change in M/C ownership which started its massive decline in the late 1980's. Such interest is usually seated in youth; and youths do not start out on bikes anymore. Together with many other limiting factors: cost, danger, awful weather 7 months of the year, jam packed roads (which ought to work in M/Cs favour), we are witnessing the unstoppable end of an era. No amount of advertising/recruitment can replace the grass roots required for ownership of these old bikes.
My crystal ball says that in 20 years time this club's membership will have dwindled to the point where it will have to amalgamate to survive. The AMC Empire took in Norton, James & Fanny Barnett, so it may come to pass that their paths will cross once again. The NOC is probably the strongest of all the old MCCs, but have such a sturdy link with AMC, no-one can deny their common heritage (I own a 1964 Norton N15CS) so a natural progression may be inevitable. All together under the AMC banner once again? The NOC might like direct access to their 1960s AMC records, who knows?
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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby bob121 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:07 pm

One thing I have noticed is how very few people even notice the old bike riding along side, past or through. Next to no interest. It's noticeable because of the ones that do look. Even on the motorway the other day.

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby LynP » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:24 pm

Sorry Bob, while I agreed with much of what has been said about the future waiting for our bikes, as far as not being noticed in my experience they get a lot of attention. On a recent ride I stopped to talk to someone I know and parked near a very new oriental super bike; (I must say it was impressive) during the short time I was there two people said they would rather have my AJS 350 than the H'da near it, one driver stopped his car leaned over his wife in his passenger seat to say how much he liked the AJS and drove on. When I next saw the person I stopped to speak to he told me that someone had seen my AJS and asked him if I wanted to sell it. So attention yes but I must say the one giving it were all older. So what of the future? I agree that the vast majority of the younger generations will not be interested in our old British bikes/classics and I predict that the classic bike bubble will burst, apart from maybe a few exceptions not all British so maybe some will therefore be more affordable. Some oriental bikes are now classics and so there are now younger generations going in that direction; (witness the amount of oriental parts at autojumbles now). Finally, my son wants and will have my AJS when I can ride no more so there should be at least one younger AJS rider, I just hope there are enough others like him. So forget investments, enjoy them while you can.

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby cfaber » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:54 pm

I can say that most people here, at least in the circles I run around in don't know much about British bikes at all, A few will know Norton and BSA but that's about it. Here in the states they're rare, very rare and when people see them they generally respond positively to them. For me, it took years to track down the AJS I'm building now, and of all the bike shows I've been to, I've yet to see a complete model 18/g80. What I see a lot of is the toaster bikes from BMW and a few old ducks here and there.

Regarding the classic bike bubble.. I see it completely the other way around here. Classic bikes are under valued in relation to the rate of gain in the classic car market, and recent auctions here have shown that the classic bike values are climbing quickly. IIRC mecum (auction house here) just sold a 57 18CS for almost $16,000 USD :shock: with AJS and matchless examples regularly selling for $4K to $6K USD.

In many cases there are a lot more examples of very expensive classic cars than there are of some of these more rare bikes, wait until the rest of the states discovers what a joy they are and watch the prices sky rocket.

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Re: What I've noticed since I have returned

Postby spookefoote1956 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:09 pm

People always notice me on my bike but that's because I'm gorgeous :D
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण
Hail Joe Lucas ............ Prince of Darkness!
All my bikes are original........ to me!

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