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There were four machines on show at this year's Motor Cycle Show which were of possible interest to members of the NACC.
The first was the Italjet Tiffany autocycle on which there were a couple of notices in last month's Buzzing. I can't add very much except to say that for a bike presumably made in Italy the Tiffany is very Dutch. Even the sales leaflet says so. If anybody wants this leaflet (in English!) write to Italjet Moto (UK) Ltd, 14/22 Mill Lane, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 OUG. It would be nice if somebody in the club bought one because it would be interesting to compare the performance and handling of the only autocycle now on sale in Britain with that of the Villiers-powered models with which most of us are familiar.
Also being imported by Italjet is the Pack 3. This is a tiny folding moped very much in the tradition of the Corgi or my own beloved Slug (La Motobécane X1 à tu, cheri); a fact acknowledged in the Show guide, although the writer confuses the civilian Corgi with the military Welbike. The Pack 3 is very small. When folded it measures only 110×50×58cms. I can't say I find it very attractive (mais alors, j'aime la petite Blanche) but apparently the New York Museum of Modern Art thought its immediate predecessor, the Pack 2, worthy of including in their design collection. Pack 3 retails at £995 including VAT.
On a similar theme was MZ's 'Charlie', a prototype electric minibike more for use around large warehouses and industrial sites, one suspects, than for use on the road. For an electric machine it is very small and must be using a fairly sophisticated battery. Like the Pack 3 it folds down to 102×35.3×56cms. To my eyes it was considerably more attractive than the Pack 3, but one suspects that the Italjet is rather more practical.
Last, but certainly not least, was the Simson SD50CT 'Trucky'. This again represents the re-introduction of a traditional lightweight motor cycle type, the three-wheeled delivery vehicle. However, unlike the Dutch versions I wrote about in the last Buzzing, which pushed the truck body, Simson have designed a model in which the truck body is pulled by the moped. It's a very appealing trike, rather like a large motorised child's tricycle with a capacious boot. The driver accommodation is good with a decent seat and footboards. Its engine develops 3.3hp and will pull 120kgs of load as well as the driver at speeds of up to 25mph.
All these machines were being presented as part of an ecologically acceptable transport system but they were a tiny minority of the many bikes on show. Its a pity perhaps that the motor cycle industry generally is so race/performance/image based. BUT Yes, I did sit on a Harley Davidson and a Moto Guzzi California. I love the MZ Scorpion and have a sneaking regard for choppers of all sorts. I've a Honda XBR500 in the garage for which I've absolutely no justification and BSA A10 outfit which still burns (say it quietly) leaded fuel. I'm a vegetarian whose favourite possession, after his bikes, is a leather jacket - so I'd better shut up hadn't I?
First published - December 1993
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