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Messages - cardan

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31
Identify these bikes! / Re: Bike ID Please
« on: October 06, 2017, 10:53:32 PM »
...possibly this ones Sister?
https://motoclassics.nl/en/motorcycle/coventry-eagle-g54-the-flying-500

Yes something like that. Sloping motors were a 1931 thing for many makers (in this case Sturmey Archer). The attached advert from Graces Guide https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Coventry-Eagle_Cycle_and_Motor_Co in June 1930 shows the side-valve version of "our" bike.

Leon

32
Identify these bikes! / Re: Bike ID Please
« on: October 06, 2017, 12:27:01 PM »

The last time I suggested a bike was a Coventry Eagle I was quite wrong. This time, however, I'm quite sure as I can read "Eagle" on the tank and see the winged CE logo underneath.

1930-ish, and a 350 or 500 OHV. Very sporty, but I can't quite nail down the exact model.

Cheers

Leon

33

Hi Ben,

Two interesting lightweights from the 1930s. The top bike is Panther, and the lower is New Imperial. I suppose both are 250s or there-abouts. No doubt thumbing through photos on the interweb will deliver an exact indentification. The New Imperials from this period were interesting in that the engine/gearbox was unit construction.

Cheers

Leon

34
Identify these bikes! / Re: Rusted, hanging on the wall in a Melbourne cafe
« on: September 09, 2017, 10:56:24 AM »
Well done! I'm pleased we didn't see you on the news.

Looking closer at the motor - oil box without a detachable cover - it's of the type used c 1920. These mostly had a 20/ prefix to the engine number. The EXU is a common suffix, and denotes three features of the motor. From 1921 the engine number would have a letter prefix like KT/N. So I'd say the motor is 1920-ish.

Good coffee?

Leon

35
European and Other Bikes / Re: Terrot MT 1, 100cc 2 stroke: non-starter!
« on: September 07, 2017, 12:41:33 AM »
I mentioned earlier that those old plain bush 2 stroke engines need a strong oil/ petrol mix
SAE 40 at maybe 12 to 1,
As said its the oil that makes the "sealing" work

I've read this lots of times, but I think it should say "worn out plain bush engines might actually run if you put heaps of thick oil in the fuel".

In my experience if the mainshafts are round and true, and the bushes are line reamed to give a close running fit, the motor will run fine on the usual (for modern oils) 25 or 30:1.

The key place to look for wear in an old two stroke is in the mainshafts/main bushes, and in the cylinder just above the ports (not just near the top as in a four stroke). A 2-stroke with too much wear at these places will not run properly. Sort it out, and you'll be amazed.

Cheers

Leon

36
British Bikes / Re: The Bruce/Wassall 110 mph Matchless/Rudge
« on: September 05, 2017, 02:05:57 PM »
Didn't that oddball  OHC Matchless with the exhaust out the side have a Brough shape tank with two fillers?

Google the 1928 catalogue - Matchless built everything that year, from a veteran-looking Model H sidecar outfit to quite sexy beasts with the Brough-like tankyou mention.

33D6: Yes I see now how it all bolts up. Let me see if I can find a parts list, or maybe you can dig out a frame illustration for me.

This little bit of research is part of a huge thing I'm doing on racing Rudges. I have a 1932 Works Rudge, complete, and I certainly don't want another! However I have the head for the Wassall/Bruce Matchless/Rudge (it's 1928-29 Works only, with longer rocker-plate mounting studs to attach the struts seen in the photos), but the bottom end of the motor is with an enthusiast in Melbourne. It's a late-season 1929 Works motor, and quite different from the Ulster that was the hottest thing available to the public. Because it has no frame, I think building a replica would be a good use of the parts - so don't lose those frame bits!

Re the tank, it has a rather distinctive shape - horizontal for the front bit, then sloping down. Unlike those posted above that slope most of their length? Could it be from something like a 1928 250 R/S? This has the oil tank upstairs, as seen on the Wassal bike.

Cheers

Leon

37
British Bikes / Re: The Bruce/Wassall 110 mph Matchless/Rudge
« on: September 05, 2017, 01:18:21 AM »

Ah... I had noticed that the 350 was devoid of sidecar lugs, but I hadn't appreciated that the 500 frame was so different.

Alan Bruce tells the story of the origin of the Wassall 350 Matchless racer: the bike was unpacked from the original crate, but built up by Bruce as a racer, with all the unusued parts going back to the dealer in exchange for "an allowance". Apparently it was never as fast as the 350 AJS Wassall had ridden previously, although he had a loyal following and the crowds still came to watch him race at the Motordrome.

Here's an illustration of the 500 V2 frame. I'm particularly interested in the strip-steel drilled flats that carried the adjustable foot rests. Were these (or something like them) used on the 350? The reason I ask is that a pair of these strips came from the same shed as the Rudge racing engine. I wonder if it could be from the Pringle Rudge/Matchless?

Still looking for ideas on the origin of the tank.

Cheers

Leon

38
British Bikes / Re: The Bruce/Wassall 110 mph Matchless/Rudge
« on: September 04, 2017, 02:04:29 PM »

Here's the 1928 497cc Matchless that Alan Bruce built to go racing himself, but handed over to Eric Thiele for the solo race at Phillip Island in 1928. Thiele is the rider in the photo.

After the solo race, Bruce fitted a touring sidecar and rode into 4th place in the 200 miles sidecar race, the first 500 home. If the handling was evil solo, I wonder how the outfit steered?

Wassall's Matchless as a 350. In the late 1920s, the Motordrome was too dangerous for the bigger bikes and capacity for the few meetings held on the banked saucer was limited to 350cc. Most of the meetings at the Motordrome were Speedway, held on a flat dirt track at the centre of the saucer.

Cheers

Leon

39
British Bikes / Re: The Bruce/Wassall 110 mph Matchless/Rudge
« on: September 04, 2017, 01:56:36 PM »

That's interesting. You don't have a Matchless frame with a curved front down tube and struts?

Here's a better image of the tank the caps are quite distinctive, but don't look Rudge at all.

Cheers

Leon

40
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

41
Identify these bikes! / Re: Rusted, hanging on the wall in a Melbourne cafe
« on: September 04, 2017, 04:21:12 AM »

Shall we expect a live feed from The Blue Dog on Wednesday morning???

Have fun.

Leon

42
Identify these bikes! / Re: Rusted, hanging on the wall in a Melbourne cafe
« on: September 02, 2017, 12:47:35 AM »

Oh it's a lovely little bike! Everything a vintage bike should be, provided you're not tall.

The steering damper is an easy fit to the flat tank bikes, because the anchor just clamps around the top frame tube. More difficult with the saddle tank bikes, where the tank has to have a mounting point built it.

I found another photo of the 1923 545, and the gearbox was certainly Sturmey Archer CS as on the cafe bike. I think we could be pretty certain that it is/was an early 545, with a JAP twin engine fitted, and the Coventry Eagle red/black paint job to replace the powder blue (?) CL tank scheme.

As much as we'd like to know the frame number, I'm not sure we want to encourage 33d6 to climb his ladder and do a partial disassembly at ceiling height!! I can just imagine the report on the evening news when it all goes wrong.

Cheers

Leon

43
Identify these bikes! / Re: Rusted, hanging on the wall in a Melbourne cafe
« on: September 01, 2017, 06:25:32 AM »

Fun, isn't it?

Leon

44
Identify these bikes! / Re: Rusted, hanging on the wall in a Melbourne cafe
« on: September 01, 2017, 01:49:38 AM »

I think you're getting very close John. The front diamond also has quite a few CL features, like the rear-exiting seat post, and the seat stays that attach a little way down the seat tube. As a teenager in the 1970s I devoured the Vintage Road Test Journals, and remember the sporting Blackburne-engined 1923 CL in Volume 2 very well. The book is still on the bookshelf, and the clear photos are useful here. The detail around the seat lug looks very much like the cafe bike, as does steering damper. No sidecar lugs on the frame, though. But 1923 was the first year of the 545cc side valve, using Chater Lea's own engine. That had sidecar lugs, and they're identical to the cafe bike. No dampers shown on the front forks in the Motor Cycle photo, but production bikes may have differed. A Sturmey Archer gear box was fitted, just like the cafe bike.

I wonder if we're looking at a 1923-4 545cc Chater Lea, with a JAP twin shoe-horned in at some stage, many years ago by the look of it.

Love the CL frames John, but hope you've got more parts lurking in the shed!

Cheers

Leon

45

Hi John,

I'm not sure if CE used CL forks and hubs - I had a quick look and in the 1920s they used (at least) forks of various styles from Brampton, Montgomery, Druid and Webb, but no sign of CL. Boy, did they make some different model bikes!

Is the cafe bike a bitsa? I don't know. I've made myself giddy looking at the photo and I can't really decide. Am I right in thinking the CL forks are late 1920s? If the bike is Coventry Eagle, it's likely 1922-1923 or so, maybe a 680 JAP twin, with CS Sturmey gearbox, and fitted with a later CL fork? The way the motor is sitting you may be right and there's something fishy going on. We'd have to either get it down, or climb a ladder to get a closer look. While we were there, we could nick the front fork for you.

A good talking point for a cafe.

Cheers

Leon

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