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Author Frank Del Monte’s Arizona British Bikes Joins the KickMagic Team!

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Relatives, In-Laws, Out-Laws, Clients Past, Current, and Future…”

Arizona British Bikes KickMagic Dealer & Installer
Frank Del Monte with his classic Norton…

With that appeal, Frank Del Monte opened the latest edition of his fan newsletter announcing that his Arizona British Bikes had officially become one the latest new dealer and installers of the KickMagic pneumatic starter-assist kits for vintage Triumph motorcycles. Franks is the founder of the International Norton Owners Association, a life member of the American Motorcyclist Association, and he is the author of Motorcycle Arizona!, a rider’s guide to his great state.

Motorcycle Arizona!, a rider's guide by Frank Del Monte
Motorcycle Arizona!, a rider’s guide by Frank Del Monte

Motorcycle Arizona! features more than 70 motorcycle trips, from the Grand Canyon to Bisbee, with crossovers into Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. You’ll find Arizona attractions, lodging, maps, tips on clothing, safety, weather, and more.

Frank’s recent newsletter went on to say, “If you are still a vintage biker and are still into vintage bikes, please read on. Especially if you have ‘tired right leg syndrome’ from kick-starting those beasties. On that subject, I recently broke my right foot in two places kicking on a client’s Norton …and spent six weeks in a walking boot!”

If his isn’t one of the best real-life examples,

…of why we developed the KickMagic System, we look forward to learning even better ones from our safe, satisfied customers, and from our team of dealer-installers across the USA and around the world. Frank also represents our collection of Alton Electric Starter systems for Norton and Velocette and Alton Generator Replacements for vintage British motorcycles.

“I’ve had one of these starters on my bike since 2013,” Frank adds, “and it has never missed a beat. Sorry Beezer guys, I’m still looking for a starter for you.”

Frank Del Monte’s Arizona British Bikes

…is located at 1429 E. Griswold Road in Phoenix, Arizona. You can call 602.647.2965 or email him at info@AzBritBikes.com.

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The Gary Nick-San Project

Nick was a Triumph guy, having cut his teeth down the street at Frank’s Motorcycle Shop back in the 60’s setting up new bikes, mostly Triumphs.

Gary Nixon-themed track bike project at Classic Bike Experience in VermontOne project that Nick Woodbury started and that we plan to finish, is a Gary Nixon-themed track bike. We have most of the bits, fairings, wheels, etc. and hope to have it done for at least one track day later in the year. The project is being led by Peter Booth, an accomplished USCRA rider as part of Team Skippy Racing. Their primary race bike is a highly modified T500 Suzuki, so we can’t wait to have Peter bombing around the track on a push-rod vertical twin. Given the Japanese legacy of Peter’s rides (Honda before the Suzuki), we decided to coin the project the Nick-San bike 🙂

We also have a current charity bike, a ’74 Norton that Guild member “Sag” is leading. Like the “ALS bike” before it, we will build it to a running, rolling chassis, then sell it to a new owner who can finish it to whatever spec they’d like. Part of the proceeds are then donated to a suitable charity and the rest is returned to the next charity bike fund.

If you would like to support either of these projects, feel free to stop by.

Footnote: Gary Nixon was an American professional motorcycle racer who most notably won the A.M.A. Grand National Championship in 1967 and 1968 as a member of the Triumph factory racing team. He was also the winner of the 1967 Daytona 200 motorcycle race on a 500cc Triumph Daytona. 

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If I Had all the Money Back that  I’d Spent on Cars and Bikes…

I am saddened to report that Nick Woodbury, a founder and co-owner of Classic Bike Experience (CBE), passed away on January 29, 2020.

Nick Woodbury and grand kids Classic Bike ExperienceI had known Nick Woodbury for close to 35 years, dating back to our days at then GE Aerospace (later Lockheed Martin and then General Dynamics). His career as an advanced manufacturing engineer spanned the careers of many, many young engineers who learned that 50% of design meant thinking about how you are going to make the damn thing. If you were willing to learn, he had all the patience in the world and those smart enough to realize that, learned a lot. He was forever curious on a wide range of subjects, not just technical. He loved to read and was a Renaissance man with dirty fingernails.

His great joy was our shop and especially the people (and bikes) it attracted. Nick’s voice was the one most people heard when they called the shop. Advice was free and plentiful, but stopped short of BS. If he didn’t know something or was offering an opinion and not fact, you knew it. No fake news with Nick. “You can’t fool physics,” was one of his recurring themes.

A few years back, we had the opportunity to blend all those “professional” aerospace years with our mutual love of vintage British motorcycles (especially Triumphs… Nick was a Triumph guy) and a desire to share that knowledge with emerging young engineers. The KickMagic Pneumatic Starter was developed in conjunction with a senior engineering project team at the University of Vermont. Nick really loved that experience.

Join us once the COVID quarantine lifts, for the 1st Annual “Wandering Woodburys Ride”

The Woodbury family and friends had a quiet gathering the weekend after his death, but asked if we would sponsor a “Nick Ride” on his birthday, April 26 (a Sunday this year). He always strove to have his first ride of the year on his birthday. Notably, Nick was also a hot-rodder and often repeated his favorite line, “If I had all the money back that  I’d spent on cars and bikes… I’d spend it on cars and bikes!”

At some TBD date, we plan to launch the first annual Wandering Woodburys Ride a spring breakout event including motorcycles, hot-rods, and friends–anyone on a motorized vehicle who wishes to join us in this commemorative event. We’ll gather at 2 PM, roll out at 3 PM, food, music, and general BS from 4 to 6 PM. Thanks to Guild Member Mike L’Esperance who coined the name at a recent Wrench Night …has a nice ring to it don’t cha think?

Banning the elephant in the room…

Nick died from complications due to lymphoma which was diagnosed in January, 2019. Living with cancer is like living with an elephant in the room. But at the shop, he asked the elephant to wait outside during the hours he was there. However, each day started with his cup of tea and 10 minutes on how he was feeling and any accommodations we would need to make. One thing he talked about was how to take advantage of anything positive that we could derive from his experience. 

Consider a donation to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in Nick’s honor

I had talked to Nick about his thoughts on fund-raising for various organizations (the shop had done the ALS bike as a charity effort last year) and he figured that, “…we might as well have something positive come out of this crap.” My own family is close to a young man who is a junior at our local high school. His uncle has been ill from blood-related diseases and Robbie decided to to something positive. 

“I got involved with LLS because my uncle, Joel, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia,” says Robbie. “When my mom told me about the Student of the Year campaign I felt like I had to participate in order to help other families going through this crisis just like mine. Last year, I raised around $5,000 in the Vermont Chapter, and this year I’m at around $2,800 in the Upstate New York Chapter.”

Click to support a good cause, a good kid and something we can do in Nick’s memory.

We will carry on at the shop and the Guild. Thanks to all who have come forward to lend a hand, offer condolences, or just keep the vibe going. While Nick is missed dearly, his fingerprints are all over the place, his special tools and fixtures continue to make working on these bikes a joy and his trove of written procedures and tech tips mix engineering and his dry Vermont wit – always fun to read.

Hope to see you around the shop sometime soon and especially on the last Sunday in April.

Jack & the CBE gang

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As the Light Slowly Fades…

It is January 29, 2020. CBE’s Nick Woodbury is surrounded by family as they stand vigil at the end of his life.

Cancer sucks, but it gives you time. In Nick’s case, his family has rallied with poise, grace and strength. In his “work life” (Nick never considered CBE as work) he has seen the goodwill, humor and yes, love from his colleagues, customers and business associates returned in spades. He is a man at peace with the world and that is the best end game anyone could ask for.

This post is published as a means for you to share your thoughts and remembrances with others (in the comments below). We are getting so many individual calls and emails, we felt it was time to find a common place for them all. Special thanks to Stephen Kastner, a Guild member and our webmaster, for putting it together on this site, which is fitting as it was Nick who always said we needed to find a starter solution for Triumphs. He had a blast being part of it all.

Nick always took his first motorcycle ride of the year on his birthday, April 26. His family likes the idea of a Nick Ride on that date, which this year is conveniently on a Sunday. Please take note, as I’m sure we’ll pull this together. Nick also had a long history as a hot-rodder and we’ll be sure to include that circle of friends as well. Nick was particularly fond of echoing the following line, “If I had all the money back I ever spent on cars and motorcycles… I’d spend it on cars and motorcycles.” Amen to that.

Post your comments below my friends.

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