Taking a grinder to Britain's motorcycling heritage.
This "Blog" represents the thoughts and actions of the author. It is created for academic interest and entertainment only. It is neither intended or implied that any person reading any article contained within, imitates or recreates any work described.



Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Things move in a mysterious way

Took the A7 crank down to Basset Down earlier today to get any potential vibes and wobbles exorcised. Really nice bloke down there, sorry but I didn't get his name, but that doesn't matter for now it won't have changed by the time I go to pick it up. He says it will be done for next week! I mentioned a guy on DB who was quoted 2 weeks (by A.N.Other Balancing Co.)and it took ten, sound familiar? The fellah looked genuinely mortified, saying that he does not accept the work in if he can't turn it around quickly, (hmmm? there may be a balancing joke there somewhere) so he's saying next week it'll be ready for collection. Oh happy day.
The eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted a new banner heading the left hand links column, The Historic Engine Co. to be precise. That's a company down in Dorset specialising in rebuilding all sorts of exotic motors, not just bikes but vintage car and aero engines as well. It's run by a guy called Eric and we've batted a couple of mails back and forth over the last 10 days or so, anyway I'm just getting in the car (actually got to borrow the missuses motor for the day)and there's a big GS Beemer standing there, giving it a cursory glance I noticed Historic Engine Co. stickers on the panniers. Eric has mentioned in posts on his blog that he commutes on a big GS, so I went back in and yep it was Eric, pretty darn freaky huh? Nice bloke, but he didn't have time to shoot the shit as he was dealing with the owner of a motor he is rebuilding, do yourselves a favour and check his site via the link, he's deep into some lovely engineering down there in Dorset.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

It's still out there

I was saying in a recent post that all replacement engine covers were to hand other than a pair of rocker boxes. Well, as you can see, that ain't the case any more. Managed to score these the other day, I pretty sure that they are New Old Stock, there are no witness marks on the machined faces or burnt oil stains on the inside of either. The three fitted studs on each show no sign of previous use or abuse and all the other threads are better than good. Can't be many virgins over 60 years old left out there, but I do believe I've picked a pair up here

Monday, 23 August 2010

Pure Pornocycle Lustfulness

Posted some pictures of the main components a few months back, this is the current Sit Rep. If this does not give you a hard on then check you've still got a pulse

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Well somebody's got to win it!

If you reckon you can find room in your shed for this, then tickets are available here.

Friday, 20 August 2010

The TON is still quick...................

Kyle from Lowbrow has recorded 105.762 at the second mile marker at the flats at Bonneville, the top end tailed off slightly after that, but that has been put down to running a tad rich in the conditions. It would be great for him to get a genuine Ton Ten when everything drops in later today - the last day of the Speed Trials - make all the work and grief worthwhile.
It goes to show that a genuine One Hundred Miles Per Hour, on old shit, is still an achievement and something to make us old 'uns grin.
Big respect for Kyle and everyone else out there, standing up and being counted!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

All a balancing act.

Spoke to these people today with regards to getting the ol' A7 crank balanced. The fact that it's a low compression, long stroke, single carbed touring motor that is over sixty years old may make it seem an extravagance, however there are a couple of reasons behind it.
A few of my pals have had their T120/140 Bonnie cranks done in the last couple of years and the transformation is noticeable to say the very least, certainly don't try to shake themselves to bits any more.
Secondly, I don't really want to see the crank again once the cases are buttoned up, so it is a once only deal.
A balanced crank must be a happy crank, and that can only be good for the longevity of the motor, the cycle parts and me I guess.
So it looks like a trip to Swindon in the very near future, look up Stockers we're coming your way.

Monday, 16 August 2010


Johnny laid down some black paint on the fork parts yesterday. Using a synthetic enamel over a zinc galvanising base paint, the finish is superb, like black glass.
That's what the reference above is all about, if it finish cures and maintains the gloss, happiness will abound at BIW central.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A New Kid On The Blog

Tlnselcat from the DB forum has just started a new blog covering the build of the 741 Indian Scout he scored off of Steve up in The Black Isle. His is the one to the left of Two Face in the picture above. TC came onto DB with very little biking experience and is currently rebuilding an XS650 basket that he got off of the bay. Although his experience is limited, it is more than made up for by his enthusiasm and inventiveness. He has created some really trick looking parts for the XS and the 741 should bring more of the same.
This really is a bike and blog that will develop, do yourselves a favour and get over there.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Seat Springs

That ain't a seat spring..........

.........this is a seat spring!!!!! ;-)

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Dragged the spare set of cases out from under the bench earlier on. They are in better condition than I remember, with all the outer cases, barring the rocker boxes, in tact. They are numbered ZA7 which makes them 1949, as opposed to the existing motor, shown below, which is numbered YA7, a year earlier at '48.

Back in the day when bling wasn't even a word to anybody other than Chinese Crosby fans, chrome was still king. The outer cases were originally chromed some thirty years ago, and all credit to the platers it is mostly still good. How things twist and turn with the passage of time, the cases will definitely not be chrome this time 'round. Strangely enough I don't really want to strip the old chrome off, no reason why really, only that it's lasted so well and it would be a shame to see it go.
The outer cases on the spare set are in very good and solid condition so it makes sense to polish these up instead. Which is fine for all but the timing cover, the photo below shows the spare cases with the famous piled arms logo on the side. In the top picture the earlier cover doesn't have this, and there in lays the rub. Because the engine is so early the rocker boxes are separate as on a Triumph, not a complete cover as seen on the majority of Beezer twins. This tends to confuse some people as it doesn't fit their preconceptions, although the timing cover shape is definitely of a BSA style. Using the earlier unbadged cover helps to support the mystery, so which way to go?

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Here we go again

Quote from Draganfly web site ;

Pre-unit A Group When rebuilding the bottom end of an BSA twin or other engine with a plain timing side bearing we strongly recommend that the bushes are fitted to the crankcases and then 'line bored'. This will ensure that they are in perfect alignment with the drive side main bearings, resulting in a perfect bottom end that will last many thousands of miles. Most automotive machine shops should be able to do this for you. Our timing side bushes are manufactured in the UK to a high standard and are made slightly undersize for finish machining once fitted.

The Timing Side bush has long been considered the Achille's Heel of the BSA twin range. There is a conversion that was pioneered by Devimead in Tamworth, and now SRM in Wales. This conversion is well known and consists of machining the cases to accept a roller bearing, and altering the crank to accept an end feed to the big ends. This conversion is good for all twins, except the early long stroke motors, you know just like the one fitted in the A7.
The condition and running fit of this bush to the crank journal is critical as the oil feed to the big ends is transferred through this interface. Too much play and the oil pisses out around the end of the crank rather than taking the more difficult route of forcing it's way past the big end shells.
Because of this and the lack of precision boring equipment in Johnny's garage, the bottom end will be taken to Draganfly for a complete overhaul of the bottom end. Speaking to them today revealed a turnaround time of 8 weeks!.....sounds familiar.
There's a spare set of crankcases under the bench, so they will be pressed into service for a while to finish off jobs that require the engine to be in situ.
It would be nice to think that in the eight or so week interim many of the rolling chassis jobs will be completed,........... but don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


If a things worth doin' do it big I guess!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Shiny bits

With the Commando front end off of the A7 at the moment, in bits, and parts scattered to the four winds, some of the new goodies were offered up for a look.

This is the kickstart pedal seen a week or so ago, beautifully made by Steve from Stockers, it fitted on there a treat. I'll have to get a new spring and ball in there to do it justice. Thanks again Stevie, it's quality mate.

Here's the Caulfield seat and the bullet tail light, looking fine and dandy. The light will not be staying all blinged out though, probably black for a change.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

GKM 16

Got back from Ireland last night, after a good but generally wet week, to find GK 16 has arrived. Don't really know how Guy manages to come up with the quality content on such a regular basis, just know I'm damn glad he does. So if you wanna catch up with the koolest kustoms on the planet get yourselves over to GK and score a copy.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

What a crackin' weekend Grommit

I'm writing this from an hotel room in Limerick, Eire, I was going to take a break from the keyboard this week but after the weekend it just couldn't be done.
I've been do a few do's over the years, some a lot better than others, but I can honestly say that none have been better than The HotRod Hayride down near Guildford in Surrey. The place just has the coolest vibe, nice bikes, cars and excellent people all on the best site I think I have ever visited. Someone reckoned there are nine pubs on the grounds, not beer tents but proper pubs, and having visited three or four in a relatively small area I can quite believe it.
Next year........you betcha.