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Messages - cardan

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British Bikes / Re: Massey & Massey Arran motorcycles
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:58:18 PM »

Oh let's give Lenny (Leonard L Brooks) a bit of a plug - he deserves it!

Note that he was working for J. N. Taylor in Adelaide, South Australia, in the early 1920s, and it was Taylor who built bikes under the "Victor" brand - usually with JAP engines, but also some Blackburne singles, and at least one 8 h.p. twin.


British Bikes / Re: Massey & Massey Arran motorcycles
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:47:49 PM »

I love projects!

I acquired this one many years ago from a (late) friend. He was asking around if anyone wanted a Blackburne twin, and although it sounded interesting I had enough stuff on my plate. Later I tripped over part of the frame in his shed. "What's this Chris?" "That's part of the Blackburne frame" "But it looks Australian-made?"

Now I've got a bit of an Australian-made thing going on...

We dug out the rest of it, and sure enough the Adelaide-made Victor Blackburne identity unfolded. So far as I can see there was only one 8 hp twin made, c1921, and it went to a guy called Lenny Brooks who was an active member of the MCC of South Australia. He rode it in club events, won a fuel economy trial, even raced it on Sellick's Beach.

The reason my friend had the bike is that he was disposing of the estate of an eccentric Adelaide collector/hoarder. He dismantled everything he had, and the story was that his wife used to wrap random bits in newspaper and throw them in the bin. One of the heads had gone missing, and while all the single and twin heads are similar, I can report that there are many subtly different versions!

Anyway, I now have a matching head, and most of the stuff needed to restore the bike, even a nice period 60 degree magneto. The motor was seized, but I've managed to free it up and get it apart. With luck I'll be able to re-use the cast iron pistons. The twin has a built-up crank with roller big ends. It's a nicely-made thing, and the flywheel is almost unbelievably huge.



British Bikes / Re: Unknown British motorcycle found in ruins .
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:25:19 PM »

Eric Londesbrough in the UK is the man:

The remains of the bike have quite a powerful story, and it's a pretty little bike. As mini-me says, there would be easier restoration projects, but if you do decide to tackle this one, good luck! Parts will be hard to find, but that's part of the fun. I see there are some parts advertised on Eric's website that may be of use.



British Bikes / Re: Massey & Massey Arran motorcycles
« on: January 31, 2018, 11:36:01 AM »

And that photo was taken in the 1950s before a few more parts went missing!!

British Bikes / Re: Massey & Massey Arran motorcycles
« on: January 30, 2018, 09:50:47 PM »
Hi John,

Can you order me a new 8hp Blackburne v-twin for my c1921 Victor Blackburne? That would solve a few problems!

My bike was built - assembled if you prefer - in Adelaide, using the Blackburne twin, Burman heavyweight gearbox, frame lugs from R. J. Walker & Son in the UK, Druid fork, and so on. In many ways it's typical of Australian-made motorcycles of the early 1920s, but so far as I'm aware it's the only survivor with a Blackburne motor. The name Victor Blackburne was on the rusty tank, but the makers - J. N. Taylor in Adelaide - used JAP engines for most of their machines of the period.

I'm not sure that the side valve Blackburnes changed too much through the 1920s. Most of the development went into the ohv engines?



British Bikes / Re: Unknown British motorcycle found in ruins .
« on: January 30, 2018, 09:31:35 PM »

Hi Mateusz,

You win two prizes: one for excellent English, and another for "the most unusual British motorcycle to come from a Warsaw cellar".

You are exactly correct with the date, and the country of origin. The make is New Hudson, and it's one for the lightweights - something like the Model 91E 250cc from 1930. There were quite a few similar NH models at the time.

What a pity it's so badly rusted, but it makes a nice relic even if it can't be restored.

Best wishes from Australia,


British Bikes / Re: 1929 Excelsior (UK)
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:11:18 PM »

Well done Paul! It's come a long way from the photos at the top of the thread.


The Classic Biker Bar / Re: 1939 ISDT
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:40:24 AM »

Wow, what a flurry of excitement! It's such an interesting topic, and by a bizarre twist I've spent the last week or two researching Rudges in the late 1930s ISDTs. The speedtracktales website is brilliant. I love the detail, particularly the "final reports" that provide information that would be extremely difficult or impossible to glean ten years ago.

A word of caution about "ISDT survivors". I'm sure there are some genuine survivors, but there are also fakes. There's a particularly nice "1937 ISDT Rudge" (VSL869) out there, owned by a member of the REC executive, which is no such thing. Despite the owner regularly calling it "my ISDT", a photo of it on the REC web page labelled "1937 ISDT Ulster", and Rudge expert Bryan Reynolds describing it in his book "Rudge-Whitworth - The Complete Story" (where there are no fewer than three photos of it!) as "one of the 1937 factory ISDT machines", there is not a single part of it that went around in the ISDT!!! But it's very nice to look at, and that's what seems to matter these days. Such is the parlous state of motorcycling history...

Stew - good luck with your research. Some of the Rudge ISDT riders rode their own machines, and were entered under their own names. However even on the occasions where there was a team of bikes entered by Rudge Whitworth Ltd at least some of the riders had ownership of their machines after the event. I guess it depended on the "arrangements" between the riders and the factory. Note that riders could be entered under a number of banners: one rider could be part of an Official British team (say the British A Team in the International Silver Vase), AND a member of a Club team, AND a member of a manufacturer's team. As you can see from the Final Reports, there were awards in different areas.

Was it usually Leslie Ridgway, or Les?



If I scan an original photograph, I have the copyright of that scan...

No - certainly not here in Australia at least, and I'd be amazed if other laws were not similar. Making a copy of an old photo does not renew the copyright.

If the original photo is still in copyright, there are only certain limited circumstances under which you can scan it legally.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Old monstrosity form a scrap yard needs ID
« on: January 13, 2018, 11:07:29 PM »

It's a very interesting beastie, but nothing (I think) to do with FN. The M12 motorcycle was made with a driven-wheel sidecar 1937-1940, and the Model 12 T3 Tricar was developed along-side, and built in reasonably large numbers. In the FN Tricar, the front wheel is at the centre of the triangle, and the rear differential was offset to the right, and the chassis detail is quite different. I have a book about FN with an extensive chapter on its military machines, and there is nothing to resemble the "monstrosity".

The "monstrosity" is neither "driven sidecar", nor "conventional tricar" - the front wheel is neither in line with one of the back wheels, nor equally-spaced  between the rear wheels. This should be an id feature, as should the braced telescopic fork.

It's such a weird thing it's hard to even guess the date, but I suppose somewhere between 1938 and 1960?




Re the photo: mini-me has nailed the ID of the bikes. The AJS outfit - with its boxy saddle tank and rim front brake - is a 1920 model , while the Triumph and Douglas are likely "war product".


I wonder how commercial photo archives can claim ownership of photographs which must be out of copyright (under normal circumstances).

Let's say you find a very old photo at a junk shop and buy it for a pound. You now own it. It is out of copyright, so you can do what you like with it. Sell it to someone else, scan it and make copies and sell them, or do what the big photo libraries do: enter into a contract to allow the use of the photo in a book, magazine, website... in exchange for money. In this case you are not buying a the photo, just the right to use it as agreed in the contract.

The slightly bizarre thing - and check it before you believe me - is that if someone has paid a squillion dollars for the rights to very old photos, and published them in a lovely coffee-table book, you can scan the photos from the book (because they are free of copyright) and do with them what you will. What you can't do is copy the author's captions, layout, fonts, ... because these are new and the copyright belongs to the author or publisher.

It's an interesting area, but provided you try to do the right thing - attribute the source of the photo - I doubt you can get into too much trouble.



Here copyright continues for 75 years after the death of the originator of the work, book,art whatever.

As it does in Australia for most things (70 years here), but not photographs.


... I can't establish the copyright situation so can't use it.  :-[

Here in Australia there is no copyright on photos taken prior to the mid 1950s, whether the photographer is known or unknown, living or dead. This is quite different to other works, such as written word or artwork. Worth checking what the situation is in the UK, but I'd guess it would be similar.

Note that there may be other restrictions on use, such as when you use or buy from a source that licenses use of an image that is not already in the public domain. For example you might be given access to an image "for private use only". But if that image has been published - say in a book or indeed on the internet - you can copy and use it, subject to copyright.



British Bikes / Re: Amal T15TT32
« on: January 10, 2018, 09:33:16 PM »

That looks nice!

I can date the BTH magneto (to the month) if you let me know the details on the brass plate.



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