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Classic Dirt Bike cover

Welcome to Classic Dirt Bike magazine, where we celebrate the best in older off-road motorcycles and showcase those who ride them… both now and back in the day.

In the brand new Issue 53 of Classic Dirt Bike magazine, expect all of this…

Classic Dirt Bike cover

Tedesco’s Red Rocket

The American riders visiting Farleigh Vets need bikes to ride. Stevie Denton’s CR250 has been used by lots of them – this year Ivan Tedesco was behind the ‘bars.

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Mighty Matchless

In the days of big bikes and the men who raced them, ‘Matchless’ and ‘Curtis’ were pretty much synonymous terms.

Brewing a Stormer

AJS fell victim to the collapse of the British industry but managed to produce some great bikes – and the name carried on too.

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Do you live by, or abhor, lists?

Like it or not, lists are a part of life. They can take many forms, as indeed do their contents. Some lists will be aimed at domestic life and remind us to pick up bread, milk, quails’ eggs, aspic jelly or whatever your dietary needs or likes dictate.

Other lists may be aimed at organising your daily routine – this magazine for instance has its own list, though it’s termed a ‘flat plan’, showing what goes in each issue and on which page.

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There are three projects on the go in this magazine, and I’m personally involved in two of them. One has never been a complete motorcycle, the other was but has loads missing and alongside these I’ve got my own selection of motorcycles which, being old, need attention.

Writing this column the night before heading to the Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at Stafford Showground at the end of October, my attention turns to the list of things I’m hoping to find in either the autojumble or on trade stands, for the aforementioned projects.

Lists for Stafford have long been part of my life, both professional after I started working on magazines, and, as a typical enthusiast. I used to make the trip to Stafford twice a year, usually with my uncle, and these occasions were pleasant as during the drive down he would inspect my typed out list of things I was looking for – one year this list ran to several pages of A4 and I think I hauled a few washers and maybe a bolt or two back north.

It is fair to say the recording of these lists has altered since I started compiling them, often a list would be scribbled on whatever was available where the work was happening. Initially, my autojumble lists would be handwritten on a scrap of paper but eventually they became typed out.

As a joiner, I’d send cutting lists from sites with the requirements on a convenient bit of wood or an old screw box – never on the back of a fag packet though because I’ve never smoked.

There are other ways of creating lists and I have seen a request for 50 bricks scratched into the face of a brick… maybe an extreme example but it worked.

I did work with a lad who could simply remember what he wanted, accurately too, his claim being anyone could remember anything. Maybe he was right and if a certain task is repeated on a regular basis there is little need to create a list, as you know what’s needed.

An example is when I changed the crank seals on my Bulto – it’s a task I’ve done a lot so what was needed was familiar to me and I didn’t need to write down ‘seals, ‘O’ rings to the seal holders and two new gaskets’. At the other end of the phone though the lad taking my order did write it down and when the parts arrived there was a list…

The rise and almost universal acceptance of electronic devices such as iPads and smartphones have dragged list-making up a notch and here lists can even contain photographs.

No longer is it necessary to attempt to describe the part you’re looking for as an image of it can be shown.

Of course, such ease depends on the operator being able to work the blasted device in the first place. Ah, the old days when one could sympathise with the poor stallholder trying to decipher “…it’s the bit that goes behind the other bit that was changed in 1953 but only on the South Atlantic model… which I’ve got but I need the other bit on the other side…” and similar such conversations.

Now all stall holders need to be IT experts… or maybe that’s why there are now a lot more younger people at classic shows… they’re there not to view the machines on offer but to operate the electronic devices with lists on them.

I too will be looking for an IT expert – a Yamaha IT expert – or at least a stallholder with IT bits on, as I created a list the other day…


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