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Old 02-06-2012, 06:28 PM   #1
norton73 OP
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Learning to ride the Army way (1944)

DEAR SERGEANT OR THE STORY OF ROUGH RIDING MOTORCYCLING COURSE

Pretty neat old footage. It is silent, so don't worry about turning up the speakers. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, at least scroll through to the last 4 minutes to watch some off road action on rigid rearends and girder forks.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:10 PM   #2
Precis
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Brilliant footage - what a find! Thanks!

My late father was a British Army Despatch rider - and ended up in the Army Scrambles team in North Africa.
I only have one picture of him riding one of my modern bikes in the 1970s - sure wish I'd invited him along on more of our rides & rallies - I suspect he had a LOT of fireside stories that never got told!

And my late father-in-law was a Captain in the tank regiment when they liberated Italy in WW2 - he was given a Harley as personal transport, as it could go against the flow of traffic. He hated that bike - it was much too heavy & cumbersome, so he "liberated" a tiny Moto Guzzi and used that to zip up and down the passes.
Years later, his daughter and I each had a Guzzi Le Mans; she gave him a ride - and at 160 km/h and well into his seventies, he yelled, "Can't this thing go any faster?"
Of course it could - and did!
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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Great find! That's not too far from where I was born and I have a picture of my uncle astride one of those Army bikes in India. Ta!
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Very, very nice! Thanks so much for putting this up.

I was thinking that about now everyone in that video is either pretty old or pushing us daisies. I'm getting close to the former and sure wish I could have had that kind of training in my youth.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:19 PM   #5
Rango
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A great find

Video is so cool at so many levels.
No sound? Why can I hear the clanking and grinding and smell the oil and the leather? Hah, tell me that!

In more than one way it encapsulates the heart of adv-riding: a regular bike with room for some bags and rough rides galore to ride. By the end it's clear to see how all these young fellows are bitten by the mc-virus.
So... Couldn't we turn this in a adv-mascotte? Perhaps adopt the black cat appearing in the beginning?

I am interested in some more info on the motorcycles in the video. Mostly if not all Matchless, G3 I guess; and likely pre-war (no telescopic forks)? Anyone with some details? Imagine, these are 350cc, used all weather/all terrain: that's hard core dirting.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:08 AM   #6
The Bigfella
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That's brilliant. Dad was a Provost / Despatch Rider in the Middle East, Greece (wounded) and Crete (captured). I've just picked up an ex Royal Indian Air Force 16H Norton....

I could imagine the old man riding on a course like that... but he knew how to ride prior to the war.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:04 PM   #7
Rango
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we want more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
That's brilliant. Dad was a Provost / Despatch Rider in the Middle East, Greece (wounded) and Crete (captured). I've just picked up an ex Royal Indian Air Force 16H Norton....

I could imagine the old man riding on a course like that... but he knew how to ride prior to the war.
Congratulations on your acquisition. Care to elaborate more on that? Perhaps a picture?
As an appetizer here's one seen at a recent oldtimers' fair:
After the war former occupied countries bought many to rebuild their defensives: Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Greece.
They were used until deep in the 50s and in rural areas even longer. As a result one can be confident to find them on fairs and shows there.

Good luck with yours
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:26 PM   #8
mark1305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norton73 View Post
DEAR SERGEANT OR THE STORY OF ROUGH RIDING MOTORCYCLING COURSE

Pretty neat old footage. It is silent, so don't worry about turning up the speakers. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, at least scroll through to the last 4 minutes to watch some off road action on rigid rearends and girder forks.
Very cool stuff. You can see the progression of skills. Kind of a forerunner of the MSF Basic Rider Course for the time period and the conditions.
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