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Topics - cardan

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1
British Bikes / The Bruce/Wassall 110 mph Matchless/Rudge
« on: September 04, 2017, 04:42:28 AM »
On 5 March 1930 a team lead by Alan Bruce set records on the Melbourne-Geelong Road, which was temporarily closed to traffic. Electronically-timed two-way-average speeds for the flying quarter mile were 109.75 mph solo (Jimmy Wassall aboard) and 95.75 mph sidecar (Alan Bruce riding, and "Titch" in the chair) For the sidecar record there was no time to change gear ratios, so the runs were done in 3rd gear.

I know quite a lot about the Rudge engine/gearbox, which came from a racing Rudge imported by Tommy Rogers in Melbourne. I've only just learned from the writings of Alan Bruce in the 1980s that the cycle parts were those of Jimmy Wassall's 1928 Matchless 350 Sports Solo, which Alan had built for him the previous year to ride at the Motordrome, a concrete saucer track in Melbourne.

Anyway, I can see the Matchless frame (somewhat modified with a big curve in the front down tube, and well strutted), Rudge forks, and Rudge motor and gearbox.

Can anyone identify the clutch and petrol tank? The tank has twin filler caps, and might be a cut-down Rudge item. It doesn't look very Matchless.

The bottom end of the motor survives. Has anyone seen the frame? (No pressure, 33d6!)

Cheers

Leon

2
Identify these bikes! / Is this a 1936 Triumph Tiger 70
« on: October 03, 2016, 02:28:21 PM »

Hi All,

I'm trying to identify the "hidden" bike in this photo.

For a number of reasons I think it might be a 1936 Triumph Tiger 70, but I can't find a photo of a very early Tiger 70 to compare with. The story goes that the Tigers were introduced in April 1936, and I suppose these first models were "1936 Models". The 1937 Models were announced later in the year, but I think they had the fork damper on the lower fork spindle.

But what would I know? The features that might help identify the bike are the smaller headlamp, absence of lower headlamp brackets, damper on the top of the fork, and a shapely chrome-plated tank with a transfer which is not the usual 1936 pattern. Does anyone have an illustration of a Tiger 70 when announced in April 1936?

Thanks in advance,

Leon

3
British Bikes / When were sliding HexagON taps introduced?
« on: August 12, 2016, 06:34:44 AM »

I've been sorting out my petrol taps. Most of my old bikes use lever taps, so I don't know much about the sliding type with cork seals. In what era were the HexagON type (i.e. push the hexagonal end to turn fuel on) introduced? Very clever idea. Some are labelled CMC and others are both CMC and Enots. Who were CMC?

Thanks

Leon

4
British Bikes / Lycett Aero saddle elastics?
« on: October 15, 2015, 10:25:04 AM »

Hi,

I'm trying to rebuild a 1932 Lycett Aero saddle in an authentic way, but I can't find the elastics or the clips that hold them on to the saddle frame. I recall these were available some years ago, but I can't find them now. I see many sets of springs, but I want to use elastics. Any ideas?

Thanks

Leon

5
British Bikes / 1902 New Hudson
« on: July 20, 2015, 09:12:08 AM »
I've had the pleasure recently of recommissioning a 1902 New Hudson that has not run for many, many years. Perhaps not for 110 years.

Although the bike has had a coat of paint some time - say 1950s - the painter was careful to paint around the New Hudson transfers on the tank. The atmospheric-inlet-valve Minerva motor has New Hudson cast in the crankcase, so I'd guess at least a dozen were built. The motor is like new inside, and still has its original valves and spark plug as shown in 1902 Minerva literature. The fuel tank is also Minerva, and features the Minerva version of the surface carburettor and the original Nilmelior high tension coil, made from wood and ebonite. The fuel used is Shellite, required for its high volatility compared with petrol.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OgpzB2hQzg

Great fun.

Leon

6

I've been researching Rudge racers in Australia in the 1930s. Over the past year or so I've been digging a 1932 racing Rudge from a pile of Rudge parts. So far it has been identified from its engine and frame numbers as a Works bike, one of four 500cc machine built for the 1932 I.O.M. Senior T.T.  It was shipped to Melbourne in October 1932, and raced in events such at the Australian G.P. and Australian T.T. (at Phillip Island and Bathurst, but not on the circuits used now).

As well as this bike, there were 6 or 7 other "Works" or "Special" Rudges here. I'm now desperate to find photos of Rudges racing in Australia in the 1930s, particularly photos where the bike can be clearly seen. Riders were people like George Hannaford, Don Bain, "Reg East" (Norm Osborne), Les Sherrin, ...

The photos are needed to help sort out who rode what when!

Here's a photo of "Reg East" on his 1931 Works Rudge on which he won the 1932 Australian GP and the 1933 Australian TT, both held at Phillip Island. In 1933 it was muddy! ALso a photo of the 1932 Works Rudge.

Thanks in advance,

Leon



7
British Bikes / Identify a centre stand
« on: November 04, 2014, 04:56:16 AM »
I found this lying about - any idea what it is from? Both pivot points are threaded, and on one side the lug below the cross member is machined for a round peg (to extend past exhausts or whatever) held in place with a bicycle-like cotter pin.

The two side castings/forgings are labelled F5346 and F5347 on the inside.

Thanks in advance,

Leon

8
British Bikes / Sorting out a Norton Inter project
« on: June 16, 2013, 12:59:32 PM »

OK, I'm puzzled.

I'm helping a friend to sort out his shed, and one of the items is this Norton "Inter" project. The engine number is 64131 (which seems to give 1936 from my list - sounds OK), but the frame number 43739 has me baffled. I thought that Norton numbers in the 1930s were in the same range for engine and frame, but a plunger frame would have to be either late 1930s (1938/39) Inter, or perhaps postwar Inter/ES2.

Now in my list the years/first numbers go:
1937    69800
1938    81500
1939    87920

1945      1001
1946   A 2131
1947   B 7756
1948   C 13792
1949   D 20701

Can someone tell me what the frame is?

Thanks

Leon

9
British Bikes / British-inspired Australian-built motorcycles 1901 - 1904
« on: December 14, 2012, 03:38:38 AM »

I have an 89-year-old friend (here in Australia) whose uncle built at least nine motorcycles and a car before he was killed riding one of the bikes at the end of 1904. Those were the days!

If anyone's interested, I've written an article about the nine bikes built by Charles Mayman in the latest issue of my on-line magazine Serpolette's Tricycle. The design for the bikes was inspired by, but not copied from, the "English Mechanic" magazine, which in the day supplied drawings so that amateurs could make just about anything from scratch. It had designs for bikes, trikes and cars powered by steam and i.c. motors. 

Anyway, something for holiday reading.  http://earlymotor.com/serpolettes-tricycle/pdf/serpolettes-tricycle-06.pdf

Cheers

Leon

10

Yes I know I'm part of a very small group of people who think of 1920s bikes as "a bit modern". For loonies like us there is not much on offer in the current crop of glossy "classic" magazines.

Not much point in sulking; better to produce your own! Because Serpolette's Tricycle is free, and only a click or two away, it can't hurt to have a look at the first issue: just go to http://earlymotor.com and follow the links from there. If you like what you see, add your name to the mailing list for future monthly issues. Beware, you might catch the early motor bug.

Cheers

Leon

11
Identify these bikes! / Unidentified Villiers lightweight
« on: May 26, 2011, 07:31:19 AM »

I've been asked to identify the bike in the photos. I suppose it's one of those things that is later than it looks - in particular it sports a Bantam-like D-shaped speedo that looks pretty original in the way that it mounts, but is coupled to an external drive on the front hub.

The engine unit has number 351/1287, but the frame number is hard to read: it seems to start with a B, but scraping would be required to get it accurately.

The bike is in Adelaide, South Australia, where it was last registered (curiously as INV CHAIR - Invalid Chair?) in 1960. It is probably available if anyone is interested.

Cheers

Leon

12
Identify these bikes! / c1929 Excelsior Villiers racer
« on: April 16, 2011, 12:21:53 PM »
I am currently "recomissioning" an Excelsior fitted with a racing Villliers motor. Unfortunately it is not mine!

The provenance of the Brooklands Villiers motor in the bike is pretty good: it was brought out to Australia in 1929, and was used to set records at races on Sellicks Beach (south of Adelaide) on January 1, 1930. The flying mile was knocked off in 57 seconds - about 63 mph, which is not bad for a 172cc motor. The cylinder had Brooklands cast across the lower rear flange. The engine number is S 43002.

But what of the cycle parts? It is said that the motor, after racing in various events in various frames in the early 1930s, was reunited with its original frame parts and Albion close ratio box, and restored some 20-30 years ago. Does this seem plausible? The front fork is Druid with side springs. The frame has a couple of numbers: on the right side of the seat lug it has 372 in rather small numerals, and on the left side of the head lug down towards the front down tube it has 3  L300 stamped in larger letters. The Albion box is stamped ER 278 on the bottom right corner of the timing side end cover.

I doubt that the bike has been ridden any distance since restoration - there are some issues!

Comments welcome.

Leon

13
Site Feedback / Post counter problem
« on: January 28, 2011, 10:24:50 PM »
There is a small glitch with the counter that records the number of posts from each user, and what "class" (newbie, expert or whatever) they are in. I think it stopped counting when the forum was moved over to the Simple Machines engine. By the way, the Simple Machines forum seems to run well from the "user" end - is it easy to administer?
Leon

14
A friend found this photo amongst his father's papers (together with some happy snaps from c1930 TT races). The original print is only about 2" x 1 1/2", and somewhat bent and faded. Through the marvels of Photoshop, the bike seems to be an early Humber - around 1910-11, as the later ones had the magneto behind the engine. Or it could be one of those funny marques that look just like Humber - Centaur comes to mind. Given the electric? head light, perhaps the photo is a little later.
To try to put the photo in context, can anyone add anything about the bike, the location, or the origin/date of the registration F4654?
Thanks. Leon

15
Site Feedback / Posts and PMs limited to 2000 characters?
« on: January 28, 2010, 11:40:23 PM »
Hi Nigel,

I just typed a short essay on valve timing in response to a request for help, but I get a message that it can't be posted because it is longer than 2000 characters. I thought I'd PM the poster, but same message. Can you increase this limit a bit - 2000 characters is not really long.

Thanks

Leon

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