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Messages - cardan

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Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: April 13, 2018, 12:12:41 AM »

What a pity that thought didn't stand up to scrutiny - it would have been a classic story.

On the sleeve-valve-motors-in-Melbourne theme: If a Barr and Stroud and Minerva - with full length sleeves controlling the ports - was called a sleeve valve, what was the Peugeot effort - with  very short sleeve - called?

"Cuff valve"! The late Jack Nelson owned one, as a young man in Melbourne just after the war. Nice car.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: April 12, 2018, 01:32:36 AM »

Davies lived at 7 Zetland Road, Mont Albert. Maybe you can see if he's home? If not, check the crumbling shed at the bottom of the garden...

Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: April 12, 2018, 01:15:52 AM »

Hi 33d6,

Oh it's a cute thing! I do like a good cycle car.

JFerg and I recently discovered that quite a number of "Coventry B&S" motorcycles came in to Western Australia, complete with B&S engines, so in Australia we had both B&S bikes and loose engines.

I have method in my file names: yyyy-mm-dd-papername, so in this case 1928-08-20-herald-melbourne.jpg translates to the Herald, 20 August 1928. I don't usually use page numbers - I've found in the past that the Adelaide newspapers had several editions per day, and sometimes articles were moved.

Getting better photos is tough. In this case the Trove scan is pretty good, and a scan from the original newspaper wouldn't be too much better. At the State Library of South Australia, processing for Trove involved separating pages, and the papers were then properly packaged and put into "deep storage". I think I paid $60 to get a paper out last time I wanted a photo, but in that case the Trove scan was total rubbish. The staff at the library were amazed that I had been able to convince the powers that be to get the relevant paper out at all, and it was only because I convinced them that I was doing serious research, and the Trove scan was not fit for purpose.

Since the Herald is still around, I wonder if they still have an archive of photos that goes back to 1928? Now that would be interesting.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Does anyone know what bike this is?
« on: April 11, 2018, 01:03:57 AM »

Levis introduced their "new low-built diamond frame" in late 1927 (for the 1928 season) on the K2 model.

According to the VMCC Register of Machines, frame number 19xxx would fit in with Levis from 1928.

A bit of googling and you'll see Levis machines with their frame numbers in the same position as on the mystery bike.

Looks pretty Levis-like to me.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: April 11, 2018, 12:43:21 AM »
It might have two-times the number of regulation wheels, but have you got this one on your list JFerg? I suppose we could call it the Davies Cycle Car, and the article comes from the Melbourne Herald, in August 1928. I suppose the Barr and Stroud motor would have been one of the "loose" motors, rather than from a dismantled bike?

[Edit: Just realised there's only wheel at the back, so change "two-times" to "one-and-a-half-times"! Edit the edit: ah, there are 4 wheels if you look at the whole photo!!]




There is something seriously wrong with those ports! Manufacturing problem? The whole idea of the two-stroke engine is that the piston rings control the port opening and closing with some precision. That ain't going to happen here. A small engine re-conditioner - if there are still such places - will advise.

Re the magneto-side shaft and bush. A bush is fine to act as both bearing and seal, but it wouldn't usually have an oil spiral; at least make sure it doesn't run all the way through the bush. The shaft needs to be round, unworn (not smaller diameter than the outer end!) and straight, and the fit in the bush pretty neat - maybe only a thou or so.



The engine is all original, the bore is really good, piston is standard size and a nice fit, rings are new. When I stripped the engine the rings were solid in the piston due to carbon. There was a lot of carbon build up in the lower crank case which must be evidence of blow by.

Very hard to contribute on issues like this from a distance, but since it's getting desperate...

1. Re the bore, how do you define "really good"? Wear in a two-stroke bore is often not just at the top (as it is on a 4-stroke), but also just above and just below the ports. This is hard to measure, but on a little bike like this one even 0.005" wear in the wrong spot might correspond to "worn out". A worn out 2-stroke is hard to start - possibly why the bike was put into retirement? Certainly carbon in the crankcase sounds pretty grim. New rings won't help with wear near the ports because the bore here is no longer circular. The bore can be good at the top, and good at the bottom, but if it's worn out around the ports, the cylinder will need a rebore.

2. Replace the condenser.

Good luck.


British Bikes / Re: Massey & Massey Arran motorcycles
« on: March 04, 2018, 09:43:50 PM »

Fascinating! The front fork on the Triple H bikes in the advert is the "Maplestone". These were designed and built in Melbourne, Australia before WW1 by A. N. (Norm) Maplestone. After the war he took the design to the UK where it was at first built by Precision Gauges Ltd in Birmingham as the "Maplestone Cantilever Fork". The design was sold to Webb c1922 and was the basis of their very successful fork.

Does your bike have the Maplestone fork Keith? A little bit of history.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Please help with the make of this bike
« on: February 19, 2018, 10:19:30 PM »

It's Triumph, but an unusual model. The LS was a unit-construction (crankcase and gearbox in the same casting) 350cc side-valve built in the mid 1920s. It was the only Triumph model with the magneto/magdyno behind the cylinder, so there was room for the funny muffler in front of the crankcase.


British Bikes / Re: Norton 16H. Wrong gear lever?
« on: February 15, 2018, 10:23:58 PM »

I think you'll get used to it - just remember on old bikes there's no hurry to change gear. In 1929 and 1930, the SA box had a lever that could be configured for either hand or foot use, but was most often used as a foot change. No positive stop! I rode a 1929 CJ (350cc "cricket bat" OHC) with this setup and it was fine - just had to "feel" the lever into the next gear.

Here's your box in a 1933 ES2. As I noted up the top, it was only used on the sporty Nortons.



British Bikes / Re: Unknown British motorcycle found in ruins .
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:57:16 AM »

Still a bit rough, but a better place to start?



I refuse to believe that neither "Wee MacGregor" nor "McKenzie" were actually built in Scotland. Cheats. But for JFerg there's a link to Barr and Stroud through Coventry B & S.


British Bikes / Re: Norton 16H. Wrong gear lever?
« on: February 08, 2018, 03:07:54 AM »

Are we looking at a 4-speed box? Norton used such a thing 1933-34-ish for its sportier models before going to the dolls head, but I think the 16H went straight from hand change to dolls head in 1935. What year is the bike?

We could muck round here, but Simon and John over at are experts and would no doubt know what is going on here. If you give them the engine, gearbox and frame number they can likely tell you how it all left the factory.

Do report back!


British Bikes / Re: Massey & Massey Arran motorcycles
« on: February 01, 2018, 01:17:46 AM »
Massey Arran were at one time in residence in Alvechurch Road, West Heath, Birmingham.
I believe it was just after Triple H stopped production round about 1923/4. (of interest to me as I have a Triple H, but don't have a M-A).
One of the 'H's of Triple H, a Mr Hobbis stayed on to become Massey Arran's works manager.
Not sure when M-A folded, but evidently they had moved to Blackburn by then.
Info from the late Bob Currie VMCC Journal April 1970.

Hi Keith,

Such an interesting story! There's a similar version told in "The British Motorcycle Directory" by Bacon & Hallworth, but they refer to the Hobbis Bros. concern as "Triplette" - presumably a typo and it should say Triple H? According to this version of the story, E. J. Massey left M-A some time during 1922, and founded the Massey company in Birmingham in January 1923.

M-A continued on through the Triple H connection, but faded away in 1924.

The Massey name (through the Birmingham connection) is said to have been acquired by R. L Jepson in 1924, and bikes produced "until the end of the decade". I doubt this; or if they did produce Massey bikes in the late 1920s it must have been in very small numbers. I had a quick look: no mention of Massey motorcycles at the 1927 or 1928 Show (1928 or 1929 models), just a rather sad advert for wheel repairs. And some "new motor cycle frames". I bet they had plans for those that didn't quite work out.

What year do you think the Massey is TPP?



British Bikes / Re: Massey & Massey Arran motorcycles
« on: February 01, 2018, 12:42:29 AM »

The term "bacon slicer" was sometimes used to describe the 250/350 ohv flywheel. The 8 hp side valve flywheel has nothing "bacon slicer" about it - all "mill stone"!!

If you wanted to combine the finesse of the 350 and the extra power of the twin, you could go for the 5-7 hp overhead valve fast tourist - quite a bike in 1924.


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