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.



Monday, 30 May 2011

Johnny saves the day

Spent a lot of time the other day filing and fitting these plates to match the crankcase contours. Got the job nigh on finished with only a clearance hole needed in the timing side plate for the dynamo strap retaining bolt. Then it went tits up!!!! Clamped the new plate to the old original and drilled through, put it back on and the hole didn't line up, opened up the hole by 1 mm and still not enough. Slotted the hole with a file until it was OK but this left the surrounding metal dangerously thin.
Johnny came up with the killer solution, remove the bad section of plate and stitch in a piece from another plate. The hole was spotted by piloting through the case with everything bolted up and then drilled with it removed again, the way it should have been done in the first place. Worked a treat, the join is seamless and for all intents and purposes invisible when it's been painted, which is the next job to knock off of the list.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Justified..............I like to think so!

If there was ever a question about going the extra hundred odd quid for a Type 276 carb, then here's the answer! Looking just right fitted, absolutely period correct and filling in gaps where we didn't realise that there were gaps to be filled. Worth it ? Every penny!

Arty detail shot.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Feedin' the fire

Bit the bullet and went for the factory fresh AMAL 276 option. Ordered it set up for a 1949 A7, should get it running something like right.

Monday, 23 May 2011

I don't need it at all, but...............................

Finding this very hard to pass by, 1957 350 AJS model 16. Two owners from new, as honest and genuine as ya like. Never been restored, or fully apart by the look of it, starts first kick, showing 37,000 miles on offer for two grand.

Tempting, oh so tempting.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

More Dirty Stuff Through The Post

Got the cool 2011 Salt Assault tee from Wes over at Four Aces yesterday. Great service, Cali to England in about 9 days, can't moan about that!
There must have been a bit of a mishap somewhere in those eight thousand odd miles though. It turned up over-wrapped in the bag below, I thought it was a Customs thing at first, 'til I saw the black conveyor grease on the tee itself. I know that tees generally live life in a downward spiral that sees 'em ending up as shed rags one day, but hey! it's not unreasonable to expect it to be clean to start off with, is it?

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Oh Hell Yeah Baby

pic stolen from Nomads Cycles who stole 'em off Mark @ JoyRidesArtCo.

Now that's short and to the point, crackin' work from Nomad's Cycles, love those shorty megas on there.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Dirty Magazines in Plain Brown Wrappers

Issue 4 was on the mat when I got back from The Salt Mine earlier today, ripped it open to scan through the content. Up to scratch as normal, great cover art by Vince Ray, an article on Outlaw Racers by Eric over at the Historic Engine Co. and all sorts of other good shittage. So I sat down to read it properly, and seduce my ancient footwear!!!! in the editorial Scarlett and Simo are calling it quits on the publishing front! Putting it down to the hike in printing costs and their refusal to compromise and produce something down to a price, the lights are being turned out for the last time.
If you've missed any copies or indeed have not had the privilege and sheer delight of reading any of them, then get yer ass over here.

Scarlett and Simo we Thank You

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Meanwhile........In The Bat Cave

Roland (If you've yet to see his recently completed B31, check it out here) sent over this plate, LASER cut by his friend Gueno, thanks guys it's spot on. Cut to match the sump gasket of a B series single, getting gaskets will be easy. Got some M6 threaded inserts made and pressed them into the plate after counter boring one side, these have to be welded into place yet.

Once welded the plate will be set into the bottom of the oil tank. Waiting for a cap and neck from The Bung King to be slung in at the same time.

Wouldn't it be nice ................

Pic ripped from www.trialscentral.com

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Getting down to some muddy fun..........

Finally got the front guard on, one of them little jobs that get put off 'cause they won't take long. Well done's done now, Johhny worked a brace come bracket out of flat steel and welded it to the inside of the muddy, this in turn was attached to a coupla brackets down to the legs. May act as a bit of a fork brace, may not, must help.

Split opinions here in Blighty over 'em, ignoring the argument that by the strict letter of the law they ain't a requirement, it's generally accepted that they are. I've got plenty of things to be doing without having to explain to the federales why it's a fashion statement and why it's my inalienable right to not bother with one. On top of that, call me a pussy if ya like, but the ol' precipitation is not an uncommon event down this neck of the woods.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Thanks Shaun

Been having problems tracking down a set of front engine plates, bought a second hand pair from Draganfly the other week, one was really battered and fitted the other was pretty reasonable and didn't. I reckon the dodgy one is from a later plunger twin, once again they look very similar but the subtle differences will screw ya every time. Spoke to me ol' mate Barnsley Shaun, who's recently scored a project long stroker off of Pete Stansfield about copying the pair he got with the deal. Spookily enough it turns out that he's in the same boat, timing side fits fine, drive side is a non-starter, close but no cigar. What Shaun was able to do though was draw around the good one and give it to his laser cutting man and get a couple of pairs knocked out.
When I've had cutting done it's always been "supply a CAD .dxf or .dwg file" didn't know that could simply send a drawing to some places.

Offering them up on the spare cases they fit the crankcase holes perfectly. On the bike there is a little discrepancy, but that is probably due to the rest of the engine mounts being in place, hopefully it's a matter of slackening the rest off and letting everything relax and the holes may come back the 1/16" needed, rather than get the round file out.

Shaun you're a star mate, thanks!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

On Her Own Two Feet

Had to do some jiggery pokery yesterday and swap work ramps. Gave us the opportunity of getting the Ol' Gal outside in the sunshine. First time it's been off the ramp in a loooooong time, and not looking too shabby at all. Well I don't think so anyway.

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that it's sprouted a prop stand, certainly makes life easier. Good to have it on there when the guy makes the pipes any how.

Friday, 13 May 2011

AMAL's take on ETHANOL

Came across this on the


Recent debates and publicity concerns surrounding the introduction and use of "Green Fuels" has raised the question of the effects of these alcohol based fuels on the materials used in our components.

The use of ethyl alcohol mixed with petrol up to concentration of 10% (E10) has been common practise in the USA since the fuel crisis of the 1970's. This blend is now regularly available in Australia and in limited supply throughout Europe. Higher levels of mixes of 22% to 85% (E22 to E85) are used in Brazil and the latest trend has been for vehicle manufacturers to develop Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV's).

These FFV's and South American vehicles have all been specifically designed to accommodate the use of these high concentrations of ethanol.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The addition of ethanol to petrol has an effect on both the performance of an engine and also its interaction with the different materials it comes into contact with.

• Change in Octane Number

The addition of ethanol, up to a certain level, improves the octane number giving better anti-knock properties that can be helpful to older and higher performance engines that were designed for high octane fuels.

• Change in Volatility

A fuel's ability to vaporise has an effect on performance and on emissions. The addition of ethanol has the effect of lowering the temperature at which the fuel vaporises thereby improving combustion and cold starting but can increase the possibility of a vapour lock.

• Increase in Oxygen Content

In addition to hydrogen and carbon ethanol also contains oxygen. The replacement of hydrocarbons with oxygen has the effect of weakening the air-to-fuel ratio. This lowers emissions, lowers mpg and raises NOx in vehicles without a three way catalyst.

• Effect of Water Solubility

The addition of ethanol causes fuel to become hygroscopic (absorbs water). This has several different effects. It becomes acidic and conductive causing both a chemical reaction with certain materials and galvanic reaction causing corrosion. As water is heavier than petrol then a layering effect can occur with stored fuel having a higher water content settling to the bottom where fuel pick-ups are located.

• Lubricating Effect

When mixing with 2 stroke fuels it has been noted this can cause phase separation in breaking down the oil and petrol content causing a loss of lubrication. Under other conditions it can act as a solvent washing oils from metal surfaces thereby increasing engine wear.

• Permeability

Ethanol readily permeates through elastomers and plastics resulting in a deterioration of these materials.

Component Design Compatibility

For fuel blends containing less than 5% ethanol the concentration is low enough not to cause any significant effect. For 5% to 10% blend then some changes are recommended, (albeit that the USA has been subjected to this concentration for sometime without any known problems). For above 10% the effects of ethanol are known to cause problems and the necessary modification that would be required would extend beyond those of just our product content in a vehicle.


E0 to E10 blended fuels have been in use in the USA since the late 1970's and have had no significant effect on the performance or durability of our product. Using blends above E10 are not recommended as effects of these have yet to be fully investigated.

The company is already effecting changes of materials in sensitive components. Needles will be produced in nickel silver whilst orifices will be made from manganese bronze. Diaphragms and O rings to be upgraded to Viton or other suitable material. Rubber petrol pipe to be internally lined or upgraded. This ongoing process should be completed by 2012.

I ain't seen this for sale in Dear Ol' Blighty yet, but I suppose it will soon be available.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

There may still be some hope..............

After the best part of 30 years living under the thumb of Hip Hop and (c)rap, this tune is currently in the English charts. Just hope it's a sign of things to come.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Uber Stoked

Got the SM installed in the back, and what a difference it makes! Really pulls the look of the back end in and fills any gaps that were there, far better than the mock up early Road Runner that was in there and a different league to the later piece of shit it replaced.

There were a few concerns that the extra rolling radius could cause a problem with the muddy mounting bolts. As it goes the anchor on the brake plate won't let the wheel forward enough for that to become an issue.

Happy?..................what do ya reckon!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Does it get any better than this.........................

.............if it does, I ain't seen it!

This jaw dropping piece of art is featured in this month's Back Street Heroes mag, I'd seen snippets of the bike in various places since it appeared at Alexandra Palace a couple of months ago. This was the first time that I had seen a complete set of pictures in High Res showing the detail.
Built by Larry Houghton of Lamb Engineering down there in the West Country, it doesn't so much raise the bar as make the bar redundant.

Powered by a '49 ZB32 with a ZB34 top end grafted on, Larry says the inspiration comes partly from the old Yam FS1E of the mid '70s. There is certainly a feel to it that supports that, whether it's the colour, the flat line beneath the tank and seat or the curve of the down tube that somehow mimics the back bone of the old Fizzies I ain't sure.

If you've not seen this bike before take a little time out to open up the pictures and absorb the the sublime quality of the craftsmanship and detail. If there's been a better bike built in the UK, I can't think of it at the moment, of course all suggestions will be gratefully received at the e-mail addy above.

The fact that a similar '49 ZB32 motor is the next in line to go up on the BIW bench is purely coincidental and holds no sway over the previous comments.

A huge thank you to BLUE of BSH for taking and sending these great pictures.............respect

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Tasty Little Trumpet

Markus sent these pictures over, he's just about wrapped up this 500 Trumpet build, fresh and ready for the Summer. Originally put together by Mr.Benny "Boneshaker" Thomas, Markus has reworked it and refined it to his own taste and a damn fine job he's made of it. With a motor put together by Steve and Johnny of Stockers fame, reliability will not be a problem so it'll be "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" grinnin' all the way.

Nice one Markus!

Pix by Jake Toms

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Here In Lies The Rub.......................

The drawing above is taken from the original BSA Service Sheet and shows that the chain will, in fact, must always be tight to any 5" tyre slotted in there. With a total width of only 7 inches (178 mm)between the axle plates, and a tyre width of a 5.00 x 16 SM MkII being quoted on the Avon site as 131 mm, the maths is pretty simple (178 - 131)/2 = 23.5 mm per side. I've just measured across the pin on a 5/8" chain and that's a gnat's under 19 mm! Leaves 4.5mm to share between both sides of the chain.
It was never a problem before, none of those pretty back kisses XXXXXX on the side wall any ways up. Even though it had a plunger back end on it then, the chain line has always been the same.Maybe the fellah who lace it back then built it over, an old wheel builder's trick o' the trade mayhap. Who knows now, back then I stuck a tyre on it as quick as I could afford to and slapped it in there. Must have been central enough, got an MOT (safety certificate)........................... in'79!

Snug is good from this day forward...................