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Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society caters for veteran cars, vintage cars & classic cars, as well as commercials and motorcycles.

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The Run photos are by Chas Moody. Please click on any thumbnail picture below to see the full size picture. To return to the thumbnails please click Explorer "Back" arrow. 

 Our Membership Secretary Chas Moody is a very keen vintage biker who regularly partakes in the Motorcycle 'Brighton Run'. This picture is of him on his 1914 Triumph TT Roadster,  leaving Bridges in Pease Pottage on the 2018 Pioneer Run.

THE PIONEER RUN - 2020 By Chas Moody.

The 81st Pioneer Run for veteran motorcycles, due to take place on Sunday 22nd March was cancelled seven days before the event by its organisers, the Sunbeam Motorcycle Club, as part of the world wide suspension of events and meetings of all kinds in the attempt to control the spread of the highly contagious Coronavirus. Our SVVS meetings were put on hold at the same time. The cancellation was very disappointing for entrants and spectators alike, but a responsible decision and quite understandable in the circumstances.

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high definition picture
The Triumph was fully prepared for the Run, even having the entry number attached and just needed fuel in the tank to bring it to life. It's a 500cc 1914 TT Roadster, the road going version of the TT Racer with no pedals or gears, just a single speed direct belt drive. It doesn't have the luxury of a kick start and originally wouldn't have had a clutch, but for modern traffic use has been fitted with a replica 'Mabon' engine-shaft clutch which was an after-market accessory of the period.

The day of the Run, now cancelled, dawned bright and sunny with a clear blue sky streaked with high wispy cloud. Daffodils were in full bloom and the chilly breeze was a reminder that it was the first Sunday of Spring, a day not to be wasted. I decided to have a mini Pioneer Run - with an entry of just one machine!

The bike push-started unexpectedly quickly and had me reaching for the clutch and front brake to prevent it taking off on its own, so eager was it to get going! Keeping away from the proposed Pioneer Run route (Although I did wonder if any entrants would go to Epsom and ride to the new finishing point at Shoreham Airport anyway), I went where the road took me - or was it the bike? I was surprised to see some lanes still flooded due to the heavy winter rains.


Round the local lanes to the south of Oxted between Edenbridge and Lingfield including Staffhust Wood, Itchingwood Common and Crowhurst, passing some of the local pubs, now eerily silent and empty after government restrictions imposed the previous Friday and stopping at places of interest to take pictures. ... And what better time is there to take photos than in early Springtime!

Two days later came the instruction to stay indoors and cut out all non-essential journeys, making me value that last run out (for goodness knows how long), even more and look forward to the time when we can safely see our friends and pursue the activities we so much enjoy.  Chas Moody,  March 2020

As we have space, -  and time ,  -  we are taking the opportunity to advise in little more detail about the Pioneer Run which, like the other 'Brighton Runs' (The Veteran Car Run and The Commercial Vehicle Run) is a world renowned event, this one for pre-1915 veteran motorcycles.

The "Pioneer Run" is organised by the Sunbeam Motorcycle Club. The Club was founded in 1924 and caters for veteran, vintage and post vintage (pre 1940) motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world. Although it started as a one-make club, it soon welcomed all makes and is now one of the oldest motorcycling clubs in Great Britain. Sunbeam Motorcycle Club
organised the first Pioneer Run to Brighton in 1930. It has subsequently become one of the main events in the Veteran Motorcycle Movement and draws one of the largest gathering of pre 1915 solos, sidecars and tricycles in the World. The Pioneer Run has been repeated every year since 1930, except during the war, the fuel crisis in 1974, foot & mouth 2001 and bad weather of 2013. Initially the starting point was Croydon Airport but recently the traditional route has been from Tattenham Corner near the Epsom Downs 'Derby' horse racecourse to Madeira Drive on the Brighton seafront. This year was to herald a fundamental shift of the route via a tea-stop at Leonardslee Gardens to the eventual finish, not at Madeira Drive, but in Shoreham at the new Brighton City Airport. Of course, as with many other things, the Coronavirus put paid to the event, which  has had to be cancelled. 

As with veteran cars on the Veteran Car Run, all motorcycles on the Pioneer Run must be genuine veterans. There is a register of eligible pre 1915 motorcycles, started in 1930, and there is a Dating Committee which vets any new applicants and issues a Pioneer Certificate. There are three main classes of machines on the Run; Class A for motorcycles built before 1905,  Class B for motorcycles between 1905 and 1909, and Class C for motorcycles between 1910 and 1914. Apart from the Pioneer run the Club organises a number of other important events relating to post vintage (pre 1940) motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world as well as competition trials riders from both classic and modern classes.

We at the Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society have a number of keen motorcycle enthusiasts covering all ages of machinery and have a number of members who attend the Pioneer Run. We have pages relating to the some of the previous Runs on this website. There are also a number of pages in our Galleries dealing with museums exhibiting motorcycles.

2018 Pioneer Run

2017 Pioneer Run

2013 Pioneer Run

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