12 Nov 2011

British bikes in Lomagne

Looking through some photographs I realise how mant of them are just sitting there not being put to any use. Here is an example.

At the end of last summer, when I was having trouble staring my Norton Commando (a problem since sorted by refraining from flooding the carbs before kicking and also using less choke and no throttle), I contacted a member of the Norton owners club who lives nearby where I spend my summer, near Lectoure. He kindly said he would ride over and take a look at the problem, helped by a few mates who also ride old British machines. Here is a record of their visit, for which I am very grateful.

The leader of the pack, so to speak

and his bike, a Fastback that matches his T-shirt (or is it the other way round?)

Four of the five machines that showed up that day at my place : left to right a Norton 88 (I think), a Royal Enfield of recent (and hence Indian) origin, a BSA 250 single, and the red Commando in the background.  

Further to the right of the previous shot there was also this Velocette

One could say it was a Velo-cette for travel

The chief mechanic of the group seemed to be Triton man here below, a former policeman who, by the sound of things, has quite a collection of bikes, including a Laverda he was working on at the moment. The afternoon was fine, as you can see, and the local beer (Oc'Ale) very good.

The lady of the group was rightly worried about whether her BSA would start. Indeed her boyfrend had to kick it about 20 times before the thing fired up.

Thanks to all concerned for coming over and helping out. I hope to ride some with you next summer, or before then.


  1. British bikes in Lomagnia, a clash ?

    “The ragged army, fixin' carburettors to speed on the straight line
    British bikes rock the province
    I'm hearing music from another time
    British bikes in Lomagnia
    I'm flying in on a Bonneville tonight ...”

    PS: wouldn’t mind some kicking myself.....

  2. What music would you suggest to accompany your lyrics Luc?

  3. Aww, definitely Joe Strummer’s. Don’t see no (“any” in correct English) reason to alter it :

    “British bikes
    Yo te quiero infinito
    Yo te quiero, oh mi corazon
    British bikes
    Yo te quiero infinito
    Yo te quiero, oh mi corazon ...”

    As for my kicking help to the lady on your picture, I would opt for “Relax, don’t do it”.

  4. Luc has no match, anywhere in the world, and in most languages. Try swahili?

  5. You flatter me, Master. But indeed, I’m a non-smoker but for the occasional grass. And even then, most of the time one of my kids hands over an already lighted joint – “lit” if you prefer. As of Swahili, you have a point: the Belgian – whose hated Etienne Davignon had Patrice Lumumba killed on his Charismatic Majesty’s Request (i.e. the late Baldovinus Primus, Rex Belgarum), sounds very Jaggerian, this one – prefer lingala, Mobutu’s and Kabila’s tongue. Likambo te !