Learning to ride the Army way (1944)

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by norton73, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. norton73

    norton73 drinkin'

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    #1
  2. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

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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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  3. aprilian

    aprilian Can I change this?

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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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  4. WU7X

    WU7X The Old Fart

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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 :D and sure wish I could have had that kind of training in my youth.
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  5. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    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?:deal

    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.:evil
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  6. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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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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  7. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    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:
    [​IMG]
    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:1drink
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  8. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    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.
    #8