Run for the sun!

There’s now another excellent reason to head west this summer – as if the Cornish pasties, rip-snorting roads and beautiful beaches weren’t already enough to tempt you…

North Cornwall Motorcycles has just relocated to swish new premises on the outskirts of Bude, situated slap-bang in surfer heaven on the Atlantic coast. It’s the perfect place to stop by for a brew – especially as the Kick Start café alongside the showroom serves a brilliant breakfast (and if some of the photos look a little wobbly, blame the distracting smell of bacon and the sounds of sizzling!)


NCM has been trading for the last quarter century, and if you ever visited the old showroom in Stratton then you’ll know that things got somewhat cramped as the business grew in recent years. The new showroom fills unit 1-4 on the Kings Hill industrial estate, and the bikes on display now have room to be viewed over spacious two floors, alongside clothing and accessories.


Unlike some big bike shops which only accommodate modern motorcycles, NCM encompasses just about everything. At any time you’ll find around a hundred classic and second-hand machines in stock and these range from vintage veterans to standard British classics; plenty of cult Japanese superbikes from the 1970s, trick flat-trackers and carefully crafted café racers as well as current sportbikes and touring motorcycles. The team even builds some specials in their own workshops, so it’s always worth poking your head around the door to see what’s on the bench. Speaking of the workshop, the service department provides everything from routine maintenance to a complete restoration, carb cleaning, electrical and mechanical overhauls and MoTs on machines of all ages and origins.

NCM is an award-winning Royal Enfield dealer and always has a range of new and used Bullets available – in fact, a chap was taking a test ride on one while we were being distracted by the idea of an all-day breakfast… You’ll also find MASH retro machines in stock, including the new Trackstar café racer. Browse around the old Britbikes and you’ll be surprised to find more variety than just the usual Triumph twins. We zeroed in on not one but two beefy Matchless twins, a Sunbeam S8 looking glorious in golden livery, a pre-unit Triton so tidy you could eat that a full English breakfast from it, and a really rather trick Triumph 750 bobber which you may be able to see hereabouts. There were even a couple of Kawasaki W650s for those people who want the traditional parallel-twin experience at the press of a button.


During the summer, the showroom and workshops are open seven days a week, although the café is closed on Mondays. For the rest of the week the Kick Start café offers a full breakfast menu plus vegetarian options, burgers, jacket potatoes and a range of hot and cold drinks. Finding NCM can be a tiny bit tricky as it’s no longer on a main road: you peel off the A39 Atlantic Highway and head into Bude, then dogleg back to the industrial estate. Best to check the map before setting off. Visitors are very welcome to just stop by for a coffee and a natter, and now there’s plenty of space to swing a leg over the saddle and try the bikes for size. The town itself offers everything you’d expect from one of Britain’s best beach resorts so plan on making a full day of it – after you’d been to NCM then head for the sea and the historic wharf where there’s normally plenty of bikes parked up and a warm welcome for people travelling on two wheels. You can even rent a surf board if you’re feeling brave!


North Cornwall Motorcycles, Units 1-4 Kings Hill Industrial Estate, Bude, EX23 8QN. 01288 355162

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Saturday 9am to 2.30pm. Sunday 10am to 3pm




Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.