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Life with an A65.

I am pleased now to report on the results of our 2006/07 priority, which was to finally find the time and finance to put a big twin back on the road for my personal use and, more importantly get some serious use out of it. Whilst the primary objective was fun, the more serious side was to re-acquaint myself with the process of living with a newly restored machine for the first few thousand miles, first hand, in order to be able to better serve and advise clients with their machines.

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The bike's origins
Fenman Classic Show

As with any of my own projects, I can't resist improving the brew to some extent and was delighted to acquire a long abandoned and very down at heel '67 A65 Thunderbolt. The motor was little more than a spares donor, but the rolling chassis was realy very sound and complete. Fortunately I already had a similarly sound '72 A65 Lighting motor available for just such a project. This then provided me with my dream combination of a pre oil in frame bike with a stronger and smoother oil in frame motor.

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My original plan was to build from it a replica Lightning Clubman, of which I have restored a good number. However when it came to it I was struck by certain similarities between it and the BSA Flagship, the Rocket Goldstar, and used that as a theme, with apologies to owners of real Goldies. I am grateful to my teenage son Rowan for his help with the project and for keeping the old man company on our many trips on it in 2008, culminating in our August bank holiday run to North Norfolk, taking in the 20th Fenman Classic Bike Show. The First Fenman Show was, by the way, our first day's trading at an autojumble. The A65 took the 500 mile weekend in its stride as you would expect.

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Included here are some pictures of our year with the A65.

First show of the year with the new beast, Classics on the Common in Harpenden   Ton-Up Day at Jack's Hill Cafe

An evening with the VMCC Bedfordshire section   On the road, August Bank Holiday - The Station car park Sheringham

Me, Cromer Pier, and a calm North Sea!   The A65 in the show at the 20th anniversary Fenman Classic Bike Show. The first ever autojumble we traded at was the 1st Fenman show

Still at the Fenman, my long suffering pillion rider for the year, son Rowan. Is this the face of the next generation? He would say not, for now   The last outing of the year to the "End of Season Bike Bash" and the start of a whole new chapter

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Text and graphics copyright (c) 2008 RJM Classic Motorcycles.