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80 Year Old Motorcycle Returns to Jordans to Celebrate Birthday


A motorcycle bought in Hull in 1937 has returned to the city to celebrate eight decades on the road.

Owner, Bryan Moore, rode the Norton 550 ES from his home in Coalville, Leicestershire to Jordans on Witham, Hull, earlier this month to celebrate the machine’s 80th birthday.

Although now a well-known car dealership on Witham, Jordans was established in 1900s as a bicycle retailer and repair company on High Street in the city.

By the 1920s the business – which is owned by family company J.R & Sons Ltd – had begun selling motorcycles and sold the Norton to a Mr C Rogers in May 1937.

The bike then had several other owners before being bought by Mr Moore as a 17-year-old, who stripped it and gave it a complete overhaul.

“When I bought it, it was 35 years old and a rusty, non-runner,” Mr Moore said.

“I paid £39 for it and stripped it down to the last nut and bolt, renovated it and built it back up. It is a 500cc overhead value engine with a four-speed gearbox and it is rigid suspension. That means it doesn’t have any rear suspension so whereas on a smooth road it is quite nice to ride, if you hit a pothole it can if you a bit of a jolt.”

Mr Moore, 62, has now owned the bike for 45 years and says he still loves to ride it regularly. Although he doesn’t use it for commuting, he often takes part in weekend rides with a vintage motorcycle club around his home.

It was over winter that he realised the Norton would be turning 80 years old this year and decided to do something to mark the anniversary.

Mr Moore said: “I did some Googling and was surprised to find Jordans was still going, albeit as a modern car dealership. So, I decided to get in touch with them to see about riding the Norton back and having some kind of celebration.

“Andy, the chap who answered, couldn’t have been more accommodating, so we planned the journey for May to coincide with the bike’s birthday. We had a fantastic weekend; we had good weather for the ride up to Hull and when we got there had a family meal out and a celebration at Jordans with the staff, who made us feel extremely welcome. It was a really lovely weekend.”

Andrew Wood, sales manager at Jordans, helped organise the event.

He said: “It was fantastic to hear from Bryan and to meet him and his family when they came up. What an amazing motorbike. It is in such good condition that you can’t believe it is 80 years old. It’s a real credit to its owner and a fantastic piece of automotive history.

“We had a fantastic time when they visited us and were really pleased to be able to host them. It is amazing to think that 80 years ago, the bike was purchased from the very business I work at today. It was a privilege to see it.”

Added: 11 May 2017

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