Prescott Bike Festival

Prescott Bike Festival takes place on Sunday April 6, featuring plenty of action on the Prescott hillclimb near Cheltenham as well as a host of family activities with proceeds going to the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes and Severn Freewheelers.

The fourth annual event will be larger than ever before, with even more bike manufacturers and clubs confirmed, plus a large display of historic, modern and race bikes on display in the paddock, demo areas, passenger rides, stunt show, trade stalls, live music, good food and a host of entertainment both on and off the track to keep the whole family amused.

Special guest appearances include: former three times British Superbike Champion and Bloodbike ambassador John Reynolds, MotoGP commentator Steve Parrish, racer Michael Rutter and motorcycle adventurer Nick Sanders.

How to haggle down the cost of a new motor

Haggling is not a natural thing for most of us, but many are getting the hang of it.  As we get used to trying to make our money go further, there’s signs that more of us are looking at price tags as simple suggestions rather than set in stone.

Negotiations are about anchors and adjustments.  If a car dealer puts a price sticker on the windscreen they are setting an anchor and it will normally be as high as possible.  Your job as the buyer is to adjust the price away from it.  When the salesperson accepts the lower price most think it’s a good deal, however according to experts that’s not so.  Unless you know the real value, you’re unlikely to adjust enough.

For used cars, there are free and easy to use valuation tools on the net such as the glass website.  For new cars, have a look at internet forums and these will reveal that car dealers have a rather jaundiced view of the prices in various magazines.

Looking at a price guide is good because it gives you the starting points of a negotiation.  You then need to look for the other clues for a car’s true price and whether a dealer will be ready to negotiate.

Before you visit a dealership you need to be armed with as much information as possible to back up your assertion that the model you’re interested in is overpriced.   If you’re looking at a new car, check if it’s about to be superseded by either an all-new or mid-life “facelift” model.   Some dealers won’t tell you, so check the manufacturer website.

For a used car, try to find out how long a trader’s had it. The longer they’ve had it, the more receptive they may be to a deal.  Consider its colour and equipment, too. Is it red, black or bright pink?  And is it the only car of its type you’ve ever seen not to have alloy wheels, electric windows and air-con? They are all items owners of other models will have paid extra for, so are negotiating points on the price.

Taking a thorough test drive followed by an even more thorough examination of both the car (preferably by a professional) and its paperwork will likely throw up some more bargaining chips. Damage and potential repairs have a cost that can come off the asking price.  Missing documents make the car’s history less certain, providing another bargaining point.

If the car’s road tax and MOT are about to need renewing, they are another negotiating tool. If the owner won’t come down on the price enough, suggest they put it through a MOT test, not only is it saving you the cost of the test, it’s saving you the price of potentially expensive repairs.

Mallory Park needs support

Mallory Park is calling upon its supporters to attend a meeting at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council on July 10th.

The council have advised the track to be limited to just 92 days per year, which would result in complete closure due to the lack of financial viability.

Mallory Park has shut down the motocross and drifting, and offered to change track days and times but the council has ignored these compromises.

An independent report on the effect Mallory Park has on the local economy has also been overlooked, it reported that the park brings in over £10 million and provides 145 jobs.

The council meeting is a public event and will take place at 1830 hours in the council chamber at

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Hinckley Hub, Rugby Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 0FR

Matchless Motorcycles

For a while, Matchless were the largest motorcycle maker and from the turn of the century, the Collier Brothers were involved in powered two wheelers.  Both Harry and Charlie Collier believed in competition, and before World War 1, the marque was well established.

The company’s premises were in Plumstead, South East London, and were well removed from the Midlands centre of the industry, but this seemed to have little effect on their prosperity.

In the 1920s, they also built cars.  At the start of the 1930s, the company had a range of singles much as any other manufacturer, plus a big V-twin for sidecar work.

For 1930, they also had the new Silver Arrow, which was kept under wraps until the last minute.  It was another attempt to provide the touring rider with the fully equipped sophisticated machine.

The problem was that enthusiasts would clamour for advanced developments and sophistication but would never purchase it.  Fortunately, Matchless continued with their line of straight forward machines which sold well and kept them solvent.

The Silver Arrow had been a focus of interest when it was first shown, but it was too small and placid to excite people.  Within 12 months, this changed when the company unveiled a machine with a four cylinder overhead camshaft engine at Olympia.  It was called the Silver Hawk.

The 1934 range was slimmed down a little, and among the casualties was the Silver Arrow, D, D/5, D/6, D6 and D7.  The mudguard beading was changed to a gold line in 1935 and a change to chrome plated wheel rims reflected the move away from the economies of the depression years.

In April 1935, an important new model was announced which was to set the style and format for the range from then on.  The new G3 was known as the Clubman.  It had a vertical cylinder and used the trusted 69 x 93 mm dimensions to obtain 348cc.  It had an OHV, a magneto tucked behind the engine and a dynamo beneath that, where it was chain driven from the crankshaft.

During the 1930s, Matchless supplied engines to Brough Superior, Calthorpe, Coventry Eagle, OEC and OK Supreme.