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Vintage club offers classic rides

The Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC) has opened the doors of its extensive garage, offering free loans of a whole range of classic and vintage bikes, from a 1923 Matchless 350 to a 1989 Yamaha FJ1200. The scheme is only open to VMCC members, but anyone can join the club – 12 months individual membership currently costs £42. You don’t even have to currently own a bike to join, though members taking up the loan scheme will need a motorcycle licence.

“We want as many people as possible to experience what it’s like to ride an older motorcycle,” said the VMCC’s Chair, Mario Costa-Sa, “and this is the way to do it. There are some restrictions on some of the older bikes, and members are responsible for the machines in their care, but they will be covered by the VMCC’s own insurance.”

He added that the ‘VMCC Garage’ now includes over 30 bikes. As well as a whole selection of 1920s ‘flat tank’ machines (complete with hand gear change and period brakes), the range includes a 1963 BSA A50 and a good line up of Japanese classics, such as a 1980 Honda CB250RS and the FJ1200.

1963 BSA A50 FJ200

Reflecting the increasing interest in classic mopeds, there’s a range of tiddlers too, including a Jawa Mustang, a Mobylette and Yamaha Passola, plus 125cc learner bikes from Honda, Suzuki and CZ for those with a CBT, and two A2-licence machines.

Jawa Mustang Mobylette Yamaha Passola

The VMCC would like to expand its garage further. “We’d love to be able to offer a Honda CB750,” said Mario Costa-Sa “so watch this space.”

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, welcomed this move to widen the appeal of vintage and classic bikes: “Very tempting. Well done VMCC. As someone who owns, and has owned, some of the bikes mentioned, it’s a great idea, a taste of the experience without getting bogged down in the details of buying and running one. I can recommend both the FJ and the 250 RS, the first for its awesome midrange and the RS for sheer entertainment value. The RS was the ‘racer’s choice’ road bike for some surprising people in the ’80 & ‘90s, and yes, I am thinking about the 4-stroke single. For an organisation that many still associate only with vintage and veteran bikes, mostly British, this is an excellent way to remind us all that there’s a whole lot more to historic bikes. As a former owner of a 350 Mk3 Ducati [not a Desmo], I wonder if they’ve got one of those, or are they all on racetracks? Mind you, I was a lithe 20-year-old, so I’m not sure I could fit on one these days, too many tyres.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

All images courtesy of VMCC


  1. CBT – Compulsory Basic Training course
  2. A2 licence limits you to a bike up to 35kw – if you are 19 and over