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Messages - cardan

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Identify these bikes! / Re: Levis Which model and year?
« on: March 02, 2010, 09:40:36 PM »
I wouldn't write it off as a bitsa just yet. In the 1920s there were many small manufacturers in the UK, the US and on the continent who adopted the 'fore and aft' rocking fork. And I wouldn't even pretend to know what the motorcycle industry in India was up to in the 1920s! Do you think the bike has been there since new?
The frame has some elements of the 'built like a bridge' Francis Barnet, but is not fully bolted up like that marque.
Where to from here?
Is it a bita? Tell-tale signs are welded up components where you would expect to find lugs, and the odd unresolved stuff up. Have a close look around the back axle region and where the seat post mounts where the frame looks unusual: if these places are done with lugs with tubes brazed into them I think you can bet the bike has left a factory somewhere looking much as it does now.
Where does it come from? Carefully measure the threads on the frame, motor and gearbox. This may help as metric threads might point to europe, BSF/BSCY might point to UK, UNF to the US. (Not always useful as some manufacturers used very strange threads: try to find a metric thread on an early FN sometime - you'll be disappointed!)
Because the bike is in the 'cheap and cheerful' category, I suggest restoring it (or getting it running) as is. It would be fun to ride, and more information will come to light some time!

Identify these bikes! / Re: What Make is this
« on: March 01, 2010, 09:56:32 PM »
Great photo of an unusual bike. The vertical fins on both the cylinder and head must be close to unique for a V twin, and that coupled with the loop frame (the frame tube cradles the engine) and the tank shape must be a real give-away to someone - but not to me! The date of the bike is probably 1905-6, give or take a year or two.
As for the tank badge, I originally thought Ariel, but although vaguely similar it is not the same as the early Ariel badge I know. Perhaps if you scan just the area of the badge at the highest possible resolution (1200 or 2400 dpi) you might get more detaill.

Identify these bikes! / Re: Levis Which model and year?
« on: February 21, 2010, 10:25:51 PM »
An interesting machine, but quite unlike the usual Levis machines I am familiar with. If you get no response here, it might be because people are puzzled. Perhaps try the VMCC, as they are sure to have a Levis marque specialist. You might need to look beyond Levis...


Identify these bikes! / Re: Has anyone heard of a King Motorbike
« on: February 03, 2010, 09:48:26 PM »
A nice story, and if your grandfather left it to you it's a nice link with the past. Keep in mind that not every motorcycle on the planet has to be restored and ridden right now - there are other possibilities. Before you decide what to do with it, it would be worth deciding exactly what's there and what might be done with it. It may be possible, for example, just to reassemble what's there and keep it as a display item for a while. It might grow on you (in which case you might restore and ride one day - serious fun) or it might leave you cold in which case you could dispose of it. Best not to be hasty at the moment! When you get the cance, take photos and we can comment further.

Identify these bikes! / Re: Has anyone heard of a King Motorbike
« on: February 03, 2010, 06:33:26 AM »
Hi John,
"King" is an excellent name for a motorcycle - we had at least one maker of "King" motorcycles out here in Australia pre WW1. If you can post some photos of the bike, it should be possible to comment further. Is there a family story that goes with it?

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.



Identify these bikes! / Re: rear wheel springing
« on: January 10, 2010, 10:05:14 PM »
We should all visit the Rene Gillet Club website! Fantastic stuff!


Identify these bikes! / Re: rear wheel springing
« on: January 07, 2010, 09:57:34 PM »
What a design! I wonder if it was a Rene Gillet original or someone's home-built dream machine. Around WW1 there was a flurry of designs for rear springing, and suspending the rear to a frame behind the back wheel was tried by a few designers including Australians Saville Whiting and Bill Tanner , but until this thread I had though the idea died a natural death in the 1920s. Clearly not! Leon

British Bikes / Re: 1959 Triumph 5TA Clutch
« on: January 07, 2010, 09:40:16 PM »
"I think I will postpone further investigation until the weather improves."

Reading this from Adelaide (Australia) I can't resist chiming in regarding our weather at the moment. So far this week, max temps have been 31, 32 34, 36 (celsius, not farenheit!). Nice enough. Today is heading for 39, then the next three days are forecast 41, 41, 41. For old fashioned folk, 41C is about 106F. So, if it's any comfort, work in the shed out here is also postponed until the weather improves!

All the best for the New Year,


Identify these bikes! / Re: Help what bike is this and how old?
« on: December 17, 2009, 11:11:24 PM »
I'm in Australia, so can't help much with the rego, but L.A.B. posted a link on a recent post - might be worth following.


"...Engine is a Morgan 3 wheeler type Jap engine (The cylinder head cooling fins run across the head which is against the air flow for a bike engine)"

The "usual" JAP engine for motorcycle use had a cast iron timing cover which extends forwards to form the magneto platform, unlike this one that has a plain timing cover. This type of motor did appear in some bikes - usually those with the magneto behind the engine. All JAP engines built before about 1921 have the fins on the top of the cylinders running "sideways", even the motorbike engines. The engine number given in the listing (44970) dates the engine to about the middle of 1914, so keep in mind plain bearings throughout if you plan to go Brooklands racing on this one!


Identify these bikes! / Re: Help what bike is this and how old?
« on: December 17, 2009, 10:46:27 PM »
Hi Soal,

Your dad's grandmother is sitting on a BSA from the early-mid 1920s. I'm not an expert on the exact models, but I'd be surprised if it were earlier than say 1922 or later than about 1926. Of course the photo could have been taken later.

If I had to guess, I'd say the bike was a big V-twin, perhaps something like this one: . Just the thing for hauling a sidecar!


Autojumble / Re: Wanted. Vintage cable return springs!
« on: December 12, 2008, 09:32:08 PM »
These are called "volute" springs - I bought mine in the gardening section of the local hardware shop (in Australia) where they were sold as spares for secateurs!

Site Feedback / Searching in old bulletin board posts
« on: January 03, 2009, 10:36:34 AM »
It seems like the bulletin board "search" function (the little box with the magnifying glass) doesn't work with old posts - perhaps those before the bb software was upgraded during 2008?

I was looking for an old post (1 year old) with the word "connaught". The bb search wouldn't find it (but did find a recent post), but the Google search (from the "search" tab on the main red site menu, then select to search just the vintagebike site) found it fine.

Moral: for searching for info in old bulletin board posts, use the Google search rather than the bb search.


Site Feedback / Posting photos from Firefox browser
« on: July 26, 2008, 11:47:02 AM »
I have a lot of trouble posting a photo from Firefox - I can't say that it never works but it usually doesn't.

If I use Internet Explorer, it seems to work OK.

No problem for me, but others may wish to take note.


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