The Classic MotorCycle

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John Powell has an air of calm about him, even imperturbability. The 76-year-old Isle of Wight man, tall and limber, also smiles readily and is always willing to lend a hand.

You would not think that just a couple of years ago, a freak accident forced him into total immobility for many months, and that after a year he was warned that during a forthcoming operation to glue his hip ball joint back on, the necessary movement of his braced neck carried the risk of total paralysis. Calm must have been useful at that point.

Had it been a motorcycle accident? “In a sense,” grinned John. “I had a bad knee from a day spent trying to kick-start a Royal Enfield Meteor twin!” So instead of walking downstairs, next morning John slid down the bannisters. Which collapsed, dropping him nearly 20 feet onto the floor below and breaking his neck.

Eventually, with remarkable resilience, John recovered, and was able to pursue his love of classic motorcycles. As well as this 250 Clipper which he favours for general duties, he owns a similarly original D1 Bantam. He was offered it by an elderly local man, whose grandfather and then father had ridden it, before it had been garaged in 1972. The old chap had no offspring himself to pass it on to. John boiled the carb,

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