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Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club

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Just a few pictures of the day which was OKish for a first time. Thankfully support from BSA Owners Club and the Bantam Boys swelled the ranks to an acceptable level.

Tea/coffee for 50p and cake for the same price  and bacon rolls as well, who could ask for anything more!

Peter's Christmas (and Sue's) 2017

Having suffered a nicely warm Xmas in the Caribbean I thought you may ( or may not ) be interested in adding my Harley riding experience to the Members Travels section on the club website.

From our cruise ship, we booked the Harley Riding Tour of Bonaire, one of the ABC islands. We were met quayside by our guide who fulfilled all expectations of what a Harley rider looked and dressed like.
There were six of us from the ship + wives / partners and having been quizzed about our riding experience were led to a parking area where our machines were ready for collection. A couple of the riders had not thrown a leg over motorcycle for about 15 years, much to the consternation of our guide.

It was a bit of a free for all as to which machine to use but, as I was one of the first there, I chose the lightest, a bright yellow1400 Sportster. After instruction and warnings not to use the front brake we slowly set off in convoy with a stop after 20 minutes to see how we were getting on and to admire the coastal Caribbean views. It had only taken a few seconds to realise that the rear brake wouldn't retard the progress of a moped so the front brake had to be used without any problems despite the severely potholed roads. 

We set off again to visit a lake where hopefully there would be flocks of pink flamingos for us to see. I counted about ten in the distance but what amused us most was that one of the pillion riders would not believe that the birds were pink because of their diet. She was convinced we were all pulling her leg.....and she was a teacher !

Next was a refreshment stop and then a high speed (snigger) ride across the island to see the salt works and slaves huts and then back to base.

So my impressions of the1400 Sportster.  Obviously for a 1400cc bike, it had more than adequate power for the island roads. The feet forward chopper style riding position was easy to get used to but the seat didn't stay comfortable for too long. The pillion seat was just a pad and was subject to much criticism. Steering was good and the bike went exactly where it was pointed which was surprising in view of the crude suspension. The engine emitted a fair bit of clatter and the gearbox was clearly of the crash type although I was pleased to find it had 5 ratios to choose from.  Paint and chrome finish looked to be durable.

Overall it was an interesting first time Harley riding experience  While I appreciate that we all have many and varied ideas of the ideal motorcycle, I won't be trading in my Honda VFR any time soon.



Royal Alexandra Military Hospital

The right honourable Crowley has been attending the Royal Alexandra Military 
Hospital for some bend me stretch me treatment and was told about their open day to raise money for the hospital and their need for one or two military motorcycles for a small display. Mr C asked around and the result was that Alan Topping 1944 3HW Triumph , John Taylor 1945 Ariel WG, John Grew 1943 Matchless G3L and himself 1954 TRW Triumph turned up and a very interesting afternoon we had.

 The most moving moment was when we got talking to `Bill` who was brought along in his wheel chair by one of the nurses. He was a bit slow in opening up but when Alan asked him what he had got up to in the war he became a bit emotional when telling us that he started off by landing at Le Havre and shortly after was sent to Africa and then on the Singapore . At this point he burst out crying as he told us that he had then spent three and half years with the Japanese as a prisoner . We all felt rather guilty afterwards
for bring back what must have been some horrible memories .

The rest of the afternoon was spent in a lighter vein.

John Grew                  

Cadillac Country in full swing.                                   The Pagham table continues to grow.                      The hardest working member...........again.


Mid session and the quizzers tuck into some quality food thanks to Steve slaving way in the car park and after a gruelling quiz well presented by Geoff Baker he presented the worthy winners with 'gold' medals whilst Bernie presented the shield. Ticko's Tigers didn't quite romp to victory as there were three teams scoring equally requiring not one but two dead heat deciders.


The lull before the storm as the Bar area is cleared and prepared for the seventy folk who have bought tickets for this event. This necessitated shifting all of the Bar furniture out, removing the table tennis equipment and tables and chairs from the stage and then putting the Bar furniture onto the stage so the table tennis contestants could play. This was the very best we could  do to try and satisfy  Club members for this oversubscribed event. It doesn't look too bad until you put the people in!

In spite of the crowd, which must have impacted in a negative way on the bar takings, there were skills a plenty on show. John Wood patiently waited for his team, last to bowl, and the after a double 'skittle off' , his team aptly name 'Wood's Winners' came out on top. The Chairman presented the shield to the winning team which included two familiar faces as well as John and his wife.

Perhaps the best skill on show could have been how a certain individual negotiated his way through the throng to the Bar.........on several occasions and I am sure Bernie's good lady wife will appreciate the picture of her with her tongue poked out circulating on the World Wide Web.