Another essential event crossed of the list, after attending Red Marley Hill Climb on Easter Monday. The format of the hill climb is to have 4 riders at a time compete on a hill that increases in steepness as it reaches the summit. A great spectator sort as sometimes the riders don't make it to the top resulting in some interesting dismounts.
The event normally has a pre '53 rigid class but this was abandoned this year to make way for the All Stars event, which took place over 20 heats seeing the fastest riders from previous events battle it out on the hill. This was all very well as it is great seeing good riders competing on the hill but the competition took a long time to complete, which in turn meant that the remaining competitors were left waiting around for the competition to end. This did mean that I got to finish sketches before the bikes went up the hill, but the general feeling among the other competitors was that they were waiting around for too long, lets hope this is addressed for next years event.
Whilst bikes were roaring up the hill I wandered round the pits seeking interesting machines to sketch...
"The Rotavator"1947 Ariel JAP
Well I'd heard of using industrial J.A.P. engines in motorcycles before but Steven Jordan has produced some really interesting machines. He had two bikes with him both with 600cc J.A.P. industrial engines, normally used in rotators, but I have heard they were used in large Atco Mowers too. Steve fits these engines into whatever frames he can and then builds the rest of the bike around it using whatever vintage parts he finds. I had a go on the standard 600cc and it was great fun.
Only completed at 2am on Easter Monday Steven bought this supercharged rotorvator along. He had it running but the supercharger was pulling fuel though too fast and needed adjustment so it didn't go up the hill.
All this has got me thinking that there is hope for my previously abandoned project to fit a 350cc Atco Mower J.A.P. engine into a bike... Well now I know it can be done I'm on the hunt for the rest of the bike!
'57 and '42 Harleys
After the revelation of the rotavator I was on the hunt for something equally interesting. The Pits were full of serious high quality scramblers then in the middle of them all I came across these two Harleys. No. 12 was a stripped down flathead which had been tweaked for the hill, as the owner, Milo had been up the hill a few times before. No. 33 is a real mongrel and I mean that in the most affectionate way. I heard it referred to as the Kempton Park special as most of it came form the infamous jumble.
1967 BSA B25 in an Ansel Speedway Frame
last sketch of the day was this speedway bike which had adopted a B25 engine for the hill. At the end of the day I realised that it was the anything goes method of building dirt bikes that really appeals to me. Each bike, even the high end ones, are tweaked by the rider to work for them making them personal working machines.
Ewan Cameron's 1956 J.A.P. SA. After meeting Ewan at Mallory last year where I sketched his Manx Superior, I was delighted to meet him again with this very functional bit of kit. As Ewan said:
"Well it's only got to carry a fat bloke up a hill"
1948 Holcombe J.A.P.
1966 Wasp Jawa
1958 J.A.P. B.S.A
A rather intriguing Douglas on the jumble
Well It's not far from Malvern so there had to be one Morgan!