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.



Friday, 30 September 2011

A new blog worthy of note

Sometimes it gets pretty awkward trying to source old British stuff over here in England, although it is said that around 70% of Triumph's output went to the US  and you would have to think that BSA would have been up there as well. Anyway I digress, a pal of mine and fellow DB'er Roy lives in Montana, USA and for some reason better known to himself is lusting after a bit of JAP powered fun. That's J.A.P. not Jap by the way, and whilst not the easiest thing to find parts for it must give an immense feeling of achievement when something does turn up. To follow Roy's quest for his personal grail, check his blog out HERE.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Unapproachable Norton

A couple of months ago I posted some pictures of a lovely ES2, and said that,at the time, there was no more information on it.Well that can now be put right, the bike, along with several others was put together in the shed of Doctor George Cohen, or "Norton George" as he is better known in the hallowed tomes of Bracebridge Street folk lore.

This is so close to what I consider the nascent style of British Bobberness that it's difficult to draw a line, so, for all intents and purposes this is where it's at, as far as BIW is concerned anyways up.

There's been a delay in posting these pics because I've been waiting for the thumbs up from George to "blogjack" 'em. For more of these great looking bikes and to read his funny, insightful, informative web page go this way to Georges Shed

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Saturday, 24 September 2011

1950 ZB32 Gold Star

Got up to Toddys earlier in the week to collect the bones of the Goldie project. He'd been good enough to section the early Bantam tank and make and fit a seat base.
Got the bits reassembled when it got back here and loose fitted the early Motobecane girders.
I've mentioned on here about trying to nail what is a British style of custom and I hope that this will be going down that path. There is some beautiful work being done on Nortons by Dr George Cohen down in Somerset in the same style. Also know of several being put together around all 4 corners of Britain at the moment, and one in Montana! Just hope it's the start of something good.
Of course the A7 will be finished before work starts in earnest on this, but parts will be sourced and scored in the meantime.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

British Thunder From Down Under

Well the spring sunshine has kicked in for a while down in NZ and Ben managed to get a few shots of the Beezer. Lovely looking piece of kit there fellah, stripped to the bone with dirt on it's mind, "a bike for blokes" if I've ever seen one.

Great photos of a great bike, thanks Ben.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

'65 BSA A65 Thunderolt

Ben has just finished his sweet Thunderbolt over in New Zealand and has sent over a coupla tasters of the build,
A guy I know down Christchurch way had spent some years in the US and had imported container loads of bikes when he came back to NZ. I used to go to his place for parts for my other project and just wander around looking at all his machines, he had maybe 30 or 40, mostly unit triumphs, some beezas and triples. We’d talk bikes and Id listen to stories from his years of riding. I spied this dirty and dusty BSA sitting under the stairs. “Oh yeah, that one,” he said “We set that up for some guys who wanted to go flat track racing.” That’s as much of the history I got. An ex US west coast bike that may or may not have been racing. I offered some money for it and it was readily accepted, I guess my offer was too high! I eventually got it home and decided I would fix only the bits that needed fixing, just enough to get it going. But once I started on it, the urge to customize took over and before I new it was rebuilding the whole thing. I had made the mistake of trying to do both my triumph project and the BSA at the same time, so progress was slow, and my triumph is still only half done. Money was falling out of my wallet and into the BSA faster than what I had planned for, but the vision of the A65 was coming together.
I checked the numbers and found it was 1965 Thunderbolt frame, but the engine numbers proved too cryptic to figure out the motor history. It could be an A50 bottom end with a 650 barrel, or a 650 with A50 numbers added for the ownership title. The tank and fork yokes I believe are Firebird items, the oil tank and all the other various parts from different years and different bikes. I tracked down some alloy rims and had them laced up to the QD hub in the rear and Honda hub in the front. I went with an XL350 front end originally because I thought it would be cheaper and more practical, but once I had some adapters machined to fit the forks to the yokes I didn’t save a cent over the cost of rebuilding the original beeza legs. I shortened the springs to get the height right, shaved and polished the Honda legs and I had a nice looking front end that actually works really well. Kawasaki shocks were fitted easily to the rear.
All the paint was done by me in 2k urethane, and I spent a good many hours prepping and making the tank and wassell type rear guard to look straight and clean. I originally thought the rear guard had some sort of speckled paint finish but then realised it was just paint over rust! That thing was more pitted than the devils driveway. I cut a seat pan from alloy sheet and had a local upholsterer make the seat to my design. New foot rubbers went on, new exhaust, oil lines, tyres and all new nuts, bolts and fasteners that were missing or had been lost on the garage floor during the disassembly and drinking phase.
I fitted a pazon electronic ignition system and wired it to run battery-less, based on a wiring diagram for a points system with no battery. I didn’t know if it would work but it did! The black box and the regulator are squeezed in between the top of the oil tank and the underneath of the seat. A new Amal 928 with factory spec jetting was fitted. Clutch plates and rotor also replaced. A good few hours went into repairing and polishing the primary and timing side covers, they were in a real sh*# state. Final touches included using a Norton commando seat fastening nut for the steering damper knob.
Nothing was done to the engine internals and as it turned out, it runs fine. A little puff of smoke on startup says the rings need doing at some stage, but it runs clear once its warm so Im in no hurry to do that. Its road geared, too tall for real off road riding, but should suit beach racing. I hope to make it to the Burt Munro Challenge again this year, and race on Oreti beach for the first time. For now though, I have to be content with short blasts up and down the road!
If the weather holds out Ben hopes to get some bike shots in, in the very near future, well worth the wait I promise ya!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Fear and Loathing in Market Harborough

Just when people were beginning to wonder if young Billy had filled an old convertible with his lawyer and recreationals and then hit the highway to unrequited hedonism in sunny So Cal, issue 4 of junk dropped on the mat. Published now by Traplet it has released Herr Whiz to concentrate on putting the mag together, and what a result that's been. Far more readable content than the initial 3 issues and still cover to cover coverage of class bikes and events, nice one Billy, another bonus feature being that with a publishing deal under his belt JUNK will now be available in High Street shops. Still got a few copies of Issue 1 here if there any completists reading this, an e-mail will start the ball rolling if you want one.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Axle Plates

seeing as the old inbox has not been flooded with offers of stock Triumph frames, then it may or may not follow that there are none of these about either. But, being the glass half full kinda guy I am, I'll give it a go, so if anybody has a bent rear section, or the remnants of a rear end stretch that includes new plates, drop me a line please.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Baron Speaks

The great interweb magazine SUMP has published a great article with Dick Smith, The Baron himself, on the thoughts and influences that go into creating the clean, simple, spot on bikes that come out the Speed Shop. Check it out for yourselves HERE

Monday, 5 September 2011

1966 Triumph T100SS

Leight has put his sweet lookin', strong runnin', head turnin', mile munchin' Tiger Hundred SS up on The Bay of Fools. Featured in this month's BSH it looks as good in the flesh as it does on the pages, well better perhaps as you can hear it as well. So if you wanna become an Ace Face down your local, get on the bidding ladder here.

Nothin' of Note

Got out to a couple of local gigs over the weekend, arrived too late for the first one and the rain frightened most off at the other. Not much about worthy of mention but here's a few.

Dougal's Thruxton Replica.

1931 Raleigh Side Valve

Rare Norton Model 55 out of Smithy's stable.

The Devil's in the detail.....................

A rarely seen colonial V Twin.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Would YOU Cut It ?

Bill saw this at a jumble yesterday, £2,900 looks like a good price from what's shown here, all complete but the moral question here is, if it's a matching number bike would you still customise it?

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Bleedin' Hydraulics!!!!!

Hydraulic brakes are a bit like two stroke motors, easy in principle but a bastard to get right. So simple that there is no room for error, if it ain't cock on then it's cocked up! Got the new seals and piston in the master cylinder a few days ago, and that appears to be OK, tried bleeding the system and got pretty much nowhere. Caliper leaking past the new seals fitted in there! Drained the fluid and stripped the caliper to find that the seal had been clipped when the piston was fitted. That's the joy of the primitive Lockheed - Norton proto-caliper, can't see what's going on when it's together and so it's only when there's fluid in the system that the problems rear their ugly heads. Another set of seals went in the caliper and the whole bleedin' charade was repeated. This time it might be working, at least it will stop the wheel if it's spun by hand, quite how effective this will be out in the jungle that is modern traffic remains to be seen.
Happy with the way this has turned out though, saves the great loop of cable hanging down off the bar end.

Friday, 2 September 2011

All you need to know..................

.......... about 1951 Beezers,

Had a request for more of the '51 Data Book so the whole lot is now available on it's own page. See the bar at the top of the entries to access the info, or click here!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A pleasant surprise

Johnny is still playing the patience game with the Speed Twin and it's getting results. The gearbox is out and now the head is off as well, no broken bolts, stripped threads or drama, result!

This is the state of the bores in the picture are as they appeared after the head was lifted, nothing has been done to clean anything down since. There is no wear lip around the top and it is easy to fool yourself that there are still visible honing marks.

Turning the head over revealed this!, again no extra cleaning has been carried out. After over half a century of laying about the inlet valves are still shiny! The speedo reads 4774, that can't be right............can it?