60th Annual

Banbury Run 2008


Banbury 2007



Number 378 1924 Monet and Goyon (Monica)  11:00 awaiting starters orders


The Banbury Run has been in existence for 60 years and is run by the Vintage Motorcycle Club.  This event is open to motorcycles manufactured prior to 1931.   The run is split into three groups. Group A, Veteran, that is motorcycles manufactured prior to 1915. Group B Early Vintage between 1916 and 1924, this is the group I entered and finally Group C 1925 to 1930. There are 3 road courses ranging in length and difficulty with classes B and C taking in the infamous Sunrising Hill. Group B and C were 50 and 60 mile courses.

Diamond Jubilee 60th Year

This was my second Banbury run.  Last year was an amazing experience. My first attempt at Sunrising Hill and a failure at that. This year I was determined to make the hill without any input from spectators although last years push was more than welcome.  The problem last years was two fold, Too much grease in the gearbox which lubricated the rear drive belt and a drive belt that was also a little past its best.  This year I planned to purchase a new drive belt but as per last year the man at VMCC who deals with belts is was away, as he is every year at the TT. I did manage to obtain and fit a new belt this year but did not have time to put any miles on it to run it in.

Anyway, my plan was to stop before the hill, check and clean the belt and to take the hill at full throttle changing down as I needed to and taking the center line, literally, following the white line as my theory was that this would be the easiest route.  What I wasn't planning on was gale force winds that made even going down hill an effort.  A charge for the hill was not on the cards as I struggled up the first incline.  I got to the main hill on the white line already in second. An impatient driver was only a few feet behind trying to squeeze on the inside. I ignored him and concentrated on the task in hand. Second gear, throttle wide open and a reasonable turn of speed. Round the right hander not to much of a problem, things start to slow, still on the white line.  The car now trying to get past me on the right, things get really slow.  I close the air lever half way, quickly select first gear and open the air lever quickly. This I think was my mistake. I am still traveling forwards but only just. The air fills with black smoke, the bike come to a near stop.  No pushers in site so I start to paddle. The air lever is still wide open and the the front pulley spinning wildly with no chance of the bike regaining traction.  I paddle as fast as I can and then start to close the air lever to reduce the revs. This works but by now the belt is so hot there is no chance of regaining traction.  As the hill levels out I am still struggling for grip on the belt. The car now manages to get past me. I look behind and road seems full of smoke from my brand new, now run in belt.   When the hill flattened out I selected second and then gingerly third with very few revs and managed to get traction. It took around a mile before the belt cooled off.

Did I make it? I thought I had failed but talking to a number of veterans of Banbury I think this could be considered as a successful climb?  Lets see if 2009 is any better!


Monica parked up next to a 1924 Triumph Model P 500 on the left and a 1914 Douglas Model U on the right.

1914 Scott Standard, 1927 Sunbeam Model 8, 1924 Sunbeam Longstroke an a 1914 Mogan Grand Prix three wheeler.



1912 Wilkinson TMC 990cc

Voted best sidecar 2004,1999,1997 rebuilt in 1960's/70,s by Norman Cullen. Owners late Father.



1912 Triumph 3 500cc with sidecar and a 1927 Sunbeam Model 9

 Number 112 Sunbeam



Number 113 The Brown 1910

Number 103 One of a number of fine Indians.

1915 Model B 680cc



Number 5 1927 Matchless model T 500cc

Number 3, 1913 Indian Single Owned by riders late Father, in the family now for 50 years, Number 7, 1924 BSA Model S 500cc, Number 8,1912 Triumph TT 500cc, Number 9, 1914 Triumph 550cc, Number 10, 1926 BSARound tank 250cc



Number15, 1927 Sunbeam Model 6 493cc

Number 17, 1913 Zenith 90 996cc




Number 24 1913 Morgan 2 speed 532cc






Number 3, 1903 Humber Olmpian Tandem

Number 32, 1915 Royal Enfield 770cc



Number 34, 1904 Bradbury Peerless

1915 Henderson E Four Cylinder 1065cc



Number 35, 1915 Triumph Model H 550cc



Number 36, 1928 Brough Superior 680cc

I think this is a Bradbury?



A mint 1922 Triumph Model H 550cc




Number 75, 1908 Roadster 

Number 81, 1926 AJS Model G6 350cc


Number 12, 1912 Triumph Tourer

Number 56, 1914 Clyno 750cc


Number 85,  1914 Bradbury 

 1914 Triumph Model C 4HP


New Imperial