Sunday, August 21, 2011

EML BMW sidecar outfit

1975 BMW R90/6 EML combination.
Adding up the amount of time I spend browsing bikes and bits and pieces on ebay is a concept that scares me. I'm not sure why it is so compelling, seems like most old bike friends have similar addictions though. Something to do with the hunter gatherer instinct perhaps, though usually the partner is less impressed with the purchase of some old nail of a bike than cavewoman might have been with a fresh bison carcas. But of course it is, in so many ways, far more productive a waste of time than watching tv. The crunch comes in those weak moments when bidding on something unseen actually seems like a good idea, and worst still you win - Moto Guzzi Spada from Stoke on Trent I curse you, you have brought me nothing but woe and have haemoraged my hard earned cash!

Well, in the course of browsing a couple of days back I came across this BMW EML frame. Something I had never heard of before and decidedly specialist territory. So, fully anoraked up and with a serious desire for some solid bike nerding I decided to check out further....

EML BMW frame on ebay. Just add bike....
Turns out EML (Eigen MakeLij - meaning 'Home Made') is a Dutch sidecar company. The company is still going and turns out trike conversions and modern style sidecars and has been around since 1972 when it was founded by Hennie Winkelhuis.

The sidecars were of modern design, not too my taste but of a type definitely popular in mainland Europe. More intruigingly though EML considered that the standard BMW frame was not up to the rigours of high performance charioteering so went into production with a complete strengthened replacement BMW pattern frame. As far as I can work out differences from a standard BMW frame are in the welded on rear subframe, integral sidecar lugs and of course the earles type forks. You've got to assume that the general fabrication of the frame is of heavier duty than a standard BMW.

Here's a copy of a period roadtest from the American 'Road Rider' magazine dating ffrom 1984.

The frame offered would make an excellent and interesting project. Apparently it is all designed so that the standard BMW components would bolt straight on. Simple, find a donor mid-seventies to late-eighties R80, 90 or 100 and off you go... Probably not quite so easy but you get the picture. Hmmm... I'd like a sidecar combination. This would make an excellent one. Wooaah! Steady on the trigger finger!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bill Little's Open Day

Line of classics on the Little drive.

Bill Little's open day has become one of the finer institutions in the classic motorcycling summer season. The Little's open up their driveway, barn and field, offer burgers and hotdogs and folks ride in and stay as long as they like. To add to the excitement there's an autojumble, free for stallholders, with a good quantity of proper garage clear out rather than the usual professional traders. To top it all things kick off in the evening with live music in a barn and the local pub brings along a few kegs and sets up in the garage. It's all informal, no booking for anything and always a good day out.

Triumph Model H 1917.
An early start on the now faithful Norton 99ss setting of with Dan on the 625 Bullet we met Ian in Salisbury on his Kawasaki W650. It's nearly two hours away from Dorset along for the most part ideal twisty country roads through magnificent scenery. Riding part West Kennet Long Barrow, Silbury Hill and along the avenue of stones at Avebury is always a treat and a favourite ride.   

 The last couple of years the weather hasn't been so kind but this year, though ocassionally threatening, the rain gods were kind. With good weather and the murmur that this would be the last open day turn out was huge with an excellent selection of old machinery coming and going.  
BSA A65 with Swallow sidecar.

Well used Birmingham Scott.


Well used Harley WL.


Nimbus, at a guess from the early 50s.

Scott in nice original condition.

Douglas Mk V in front of the Little's living room.

Excellent period Tribsa.