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Messages - 33d6

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British Bikes / Re: Excelsior 350cc OHV twin port 1929/30
« on: October 17, 2018, 05:35:07 AM »
With some half dozen identical Model 1 Excelsior frames from the period sitting about the place I've slowly come to the conclusion that in 1930 Excelsior dithered about how they would number them.  I've two 1929 frames with one numbering system, two with no numbers at all and two prefixed A, the system introduced in 1931. Chats with other Excelsior owners is slowly convincing me that in 1930 they either stamped a few with some sort of orphan number or no number at all. Mainly no number at all. It's no big deal. It's only a problem either when it comes to getting the things on the road as depending on where you live some authorities downright insist on a frame number or convincing people it is truly a 1930 machine and thus eligible to enter in proper vintage events. Best of luck with that one.

As far as the saddle goes Excelsior of the period used a natty more or less right angle forging for the saddle nose attachment that fitted in to the saddle tube and could be raised or lowered to suit the riders preference. These are occasionally missing or replaced with some strange bodges leading to odd saddle configurations. Even if the original bit is there it can sometimes be amazingly difficult to raise or lower and also lead to some strange configurations. Fresh paint can make it even more awkward. Again, best of luck with that.

Finally, too old to ride an Excelsior? Never old friend, never. The late vintage Excelsior is a lovely machine. I never believed all that nonsense about racing improving the breed but in Excelsior's case having won the 1929 Lightweight TT with essentially the same bike as yours I have to agree. They are an agile sweet little machine and a pleasure to ride. Being of an age that my riding is limited and the manager is pushing hard for me to stop altogether I can say that my Excelsior is staying even if everything else goes. The post war Excelsior did nothing to enhance the Excelsior name. The pre-war Excelsior is another beast entirely.


British Bikes / Re: bsa lightning
« on: September 28, 2018, 03:01:58 AM »
I just hope we finally get to hear the end of the story. With so many of these queries they trail away to nothing. We're left guessing.

A happy ending always goes down well.

British Bikes / Re: bsa lightning
« on: September 27, 2018, 01:25:36 AM »
Not so Ian, heat failure occurs in all variety of spark ignition systems regardless of how the spark is generated. In fact the last time I experienced it was on a Triumph TR7 fitted with an aftermarket electronic system displaying exactly the symptoms Marty 31 complains of.

Electronic ignition is an improvement but it is subject to the same woes as all the previous systems-just not as often.

Whatever the case, I'm sure Marty 31 will learn a lot sorting it out.

British Bikes / Re: bsa lightning
« on: September 26, 2018, 08:10:13 AM »
You describe the classic symptoms of a dying ignition system, that is, starts well when cold but a pig when hot. This is something that is nigh impossible to pick up beforehand and only starts to show after a good run when the engine is well and truly hot. Your professional rebuilder would have had little chance of picking it up given the limited miles they are able to put on a bike before it is returned to it's owner.

By all means do everything that has been suggested above. They will all help ease the burden on the ignition a little and are sensible suggestions anyway but they won't effect a permanent cure. The approaching cooler weather will also help as the engine will take longer to get really hot. The real test will come on the first hot day of next summer and you do your first long ride of the season.

If you can find an ancient old time mechanic ask him how often are carburettor problems cured by sorting out the ignition. He will have entertaining stories to tell you.

Best of luck with the beastie.

British Bikes / Re: 2 & 3 speed 250cc gear boxes
« on: September 21, 2018, 09:42:15 AM »
Well, the top picture has the two speed gate change fitted to it. I have both 2 and 3 speed vintage bikes myself ( not BSA) so am fairly familiar with how they look.
These ordinary working man bikes donít exactly set the world on fire but they are such happy little beasts they are very satisfying to own.

British Bikes / Re: 2 & 3 speed 250cc gear boxes
« on: September 21, 2018, 05:39:50 AM »
You donít say what make of bike. I presume you mean BSA.

The Classic Biker Bar / Re: Needle in a Haystack?
« on: September 11, 2018, 03:31:18 AM »
Looked in the on line phone book which also has snail mail addresses. Lots of C Hutton but no C D Hutton. I'd suggest you do the same. Then pick out one Hutton from each State and send a letter. Repeat as necessary. Eventually you will strike a relative who will up date you.
 A simple one page three paragraph letter with your email address will do it.

This thread is going no where. As in all these cases can we just have the engine and frame numbers? That would resolve the matter very quickly.

The gearbox number would also be useful.


British Bikes / Re: 1931 James/villiers
« on: August 15, 2018, 01:32:15 AM »
Thanks for coming back and showing us the finished article on the road. For all the queries that are answered here we get very little in the way of feedback. It's good to see a bike come together and being ridden.

Now it's running so well can we now have a photo of it taken at Lands End or John'O'Groats? It's more than capable of getting you there and back.

British Bikes / Re: Villiers engine
« on: August 10, 2018, 12:46:29 AM »
Yes, as R says, a 123cc 9D Villiers for an Excelsior of the immediate postwar period 1946-48. You'll note the Excelsior has a hand gear change linkage that goes up through the tank and works in a slot in the middle of the tank. There's no particular advantage in this. It's merely a marketing gimmick so your 9D powered utility bike looks slightly different from what your neighbours are riding either side of you.
There was a 98cc version of this engine made pre war but they are easily distinguishable by their engine numbers starting either BB or BBA or BBS in the case of the Polish version made under licence from Villiers.
As you can gather I'm rather partial to these simple little workhorses. Sad isn't it but they make a pleasant change from the usual boring Triumph stuff.

British Bikes / Re: ES2 progress
« on: August 09, 2018, 02:09:04 PM »
Wow Ian! That would be the biggest silencer Iíve seen for many a year.

British Bikes / Re: Villiers Engine
« on: August 03, 2018, 11:55:57 AM »
The ďDĒ suffix denotes a revision of the crankcase seals arrangement on early 6E engines. Itís got nothing to do with gearboxes. It definitely has a 3 speed box as that was standard on all 6E. For that matter, once you have seen the 3 and 4 speed boxes side by side you will never confuse them again. It is very obvious.

British Bikes / Re: Villiers Engine
« on: August 03, 2018, 02:51:04 AM »
I'm sure you've already been told it is a bog standard 6E Villiers unit. This is a 3 speed 197cc beastie and was the largest motorcycle power unit they made at the time. Made from 1949-1953.

Yes, the first three digits, 996. do identify who the engine was made for but much of the records have been lost and 996 is among the lost.  The late Roy Bacon compiled the major list that most of us Villiers nuts refer to and I've amused myself adding to it over the years but 996 does not appear in either his or my listings.

From the point of view of operation and maintenance the number is irrelevant. There are minor difference between the first and last 6E as Villiers tweaked the design over the years but essentially all 6E's are the same regardless of what they were fitted to.

Spares are reasonably plentiful and luckily they are not an attractive engine to the pre-65 trial crowd so they aren't mauled about. They find the 3 speed gearbox a handicap. Personally I'd put it back in the Tiger Cub frame and use it as a neat little stylish road bike. The Tiger Cub was always a pretty little bike but with an engine not quite up to the job. The 6E is a very good unit but often ended up in some rather dull bikes. If done properly it'd be a very happy marriage and you can always truthfully tell the nutters that it is as you found it.

Let us know what you do.   

British Bikes / Re: 1952 Norton ES2 spark plug
« on: July 19, 2018, 02:08:17 AM »
In vintage times it was common practice to hide the spark plug in a deep hole away from the combustion chamber. As with every thing else back then spark plug technology was on its infancy and oil fouling was a problem. Plugs were positioned to avoid oil fouling and down a deep hole was a simple (and cheap) solution. Your ES2 engine was designed in the 1920's so is a relic from those days. Ride vintage bikes and you will often find spark plugs positioned thus and all working quite well. You can fit a long reach plug if you wish. Modern spark plugs are much improved over those from the 1920's It will make no discernible difference.

You've also received good advice about the timing. Personally I go along with Chaterlea25 I prefer his approach but that's just me.

Can we see a photo of the finished beast? I think the ES2 was at its peak in that plunger sprung frame era.  Lovely bike for just loping along at a steady 50-55mph. Like being on a steam train.

British Bikes / Re: A10 gear box problems
« on: June 26, 2018, 05:36:06 AM »
Excessive mainshaft end float allows the whole body of the clutch to move outwards when pulling in the clutch lever. This means the plates don't quite clear and everything drags a little. Neutral is then difficult to find.There may be just a  touch too much end play when everything warms up and expands after a run.


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