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The Club For Classic Japanese Motorcycles

For Japanese Motorcycles 15 years plus









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Welcome to the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club

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..

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Tansha August 2020

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 shed.
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?  


Steve Cooper  


VJMC Editor 


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