Welcome to the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle
Welcome to the VJMC, the UK’s premier club for
Japanese bikes fifteen years old and over. The club was founded in 1982 by a small group of
like minded enthusiasts..
AGM 2020 - Latest
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From Section run events to the major shows. All
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The rise of Japanese motorcycles.
See a selection of our members bikes. From
tiddlers to the superbikes from the last few decades.
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We are still living under the most extraordinary
conditions but hopefully you have had an opportunity since the June issue to get out there
on two (or three) wheels and clear away the cobwebs? Unfortunately, there are no events to
attend and few if any of our favourite haunts open for those ‘brew and a bun’ halfway breaks
so it’s mostly a can of pop or flask and some sarnies for most of us.
Amazingly the classic bike movement seems to have been especially buoyant during the Covid 19
pandemic even if we couldn’t get out riding at the start of it. We’re a strange demographic us
lot – many are long enough in the tooth to be ‘at risk’ and the older we get the more
underlying health issues we seem to accumulate. And yet it genuinely is an ill wind that blows
no one any good with legions of us having been self-isolating in the garage, the workshop or
With an ear to the ground it would seem that not only are we all getting around to that one
job we’ve been putting off for ages we’re also starting new projects. Even the most forlorn of
half-viable machines have been dragged out from the back of dusty garages or extracted from
pigeon poo encrusted tarpaulins at the bottom of the garden. There’s apparently been a massive
run on easing oil and gas canisters as we all resolve to start stripping down corrosion
infested lumps of metal, rubber and plastic that really don’t want to come apart.
The knock on effect of all this is an almost perpetual proliferation of ever extending list of
parts needed along with calls and emails to parts suppliers. One continental supplier of Suzuki
components reckons 2020 is potentially his busiest year ever! A UK online parts retailer is
similarly hectic with a reported 37% increase in orders. Elsewhere the industry seems to be
equally buoyant with plating shops reporting ever longer lead times, paint shops having to ask
customers to come back in six months(or longer!) and some specialist suppliers actually running
out of stock!
The upshot of this would logically suggest that a fair number of the classic community are
renovating, repairing, replacing and restoring like never before. If you have been ‘on the
tools’, please write in and share your experiences with everyone. It really doesn’t have to be
a mammoth saga like War & Peace; if you wanted a model on which to base your own
experiences check out Mike Taylor’s experiences with a 1966 Yamaha YM1 Big Bear. It’s a brave
enthusiast that takes on one of these quirky vertically split two stroke twins and an even more
courageous one that opts for one with a locked up motor and a transmission full of water.
However, the bike is back alive and kicking wearing its 54-year-old patina with pride. Know
that this is a USA only market bike and yet the spares needed were sourced exclusively from the
UK then see what really is achievable with some dedication to the cause.
Our very own dating officer, Richard Proudman, has also had his nose to the grindstone and you
can read about his project in this issue. And if back to back Yamaha Chappys isn’t enough of a
coincidence Chappy owner and dirt bike fan Simon Neil has bought another, yes another, trail
iron and this one is likely to be a keeper. Our Man in America has lusted after a DY175MX for
decades and he finally has the bike of his dreams. We all have ‘that one special bike’ that
would complete our own personal collection so what’s yours?
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glad you like being VJMC associates but you could be enjoying a lot more of the
VJMC, it's magazine, the events we run and so much more simply by