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Messages - cardan

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Identify these bikes! / Re: An MC in the 20's in New Zealand
« on: July 10, 2009, 01:27:33 PM »
Hi Duncan,
I think you'll find that your photo shows a bike from the Triumph range around 1927.  I'm not sure of the model, but no doubt a Triumph expert will advise.

Identify these bikes! / Re: need a bit of help?
« on: August 13, 2008, 12:10:12 AM »
Pleased to be able to help. I'm sure Nigel would love a photo of your grandad's Voletta for his gallery if you can find one - it's an interesting machine.

Identify these bikes! / Re: need a bit of help?
« on: August 12, 2008, 03:45:22 PM »
On page 11 of The Classic Motorcycle magazine for June 1985 (now there's an obscure reference) Jeff Clew writes about a surviving Voletta. It was an LE Velocette engine in a tubular frame, at the time owned by John Chilcott of Devon. Not much was known about it when the article was written but it may have been a small-scale-production affair. Is more known about it now?

Identify these bikes! / Re: What bike could this be?
« on: May 16, 2009, 12:11:44 AM »
Nice photos, but not much to see of the bike. However the front fork shape, central spring, filler cap style, and strip headlight mounts (not to mention the block "A.." on the tank), I'd go for Ariel about 1930. The left exhaust pipe would have a mate on the other side, so it would be one of the ohv twin port models, likely a 500. Perhaps something like the Model G:


Identify these bikes! / Re: Bike I.D. if possible
« on: July 03, 2009, 12:37:12 PM »
There's probably enough there to identify the bike as a c1928 BSA. Things like the clutch lever with the large cable nipple, front fork with centre spring, and the front guard are all BSA features from the 1920s. Picking the model will be a little more difficult. The large front brake and the cross braces between the two fork blade about half way between the axle and the lower fork links were usually features of a "De Luxe" model. Also there might have been some differences between the home and "Colonial" models - Australian photo? The motor  will be either one of the larger vertical side valve singles (500 - 557 cc) or perhaps a V twin. The slopers at this date had saddle tanks. Have a look on a BSA site for the different models.



Identify these bikes! / Re: My grandad's  second bike ?
« on: June 18, 2009, 12:09:37 AM »
Hi Ken,

From the earlier photo, it seems the family were fond of Levis motorcycles. I'm pretty sure this is another, even though I don't recognise the tank transfer as Levis. (Perhaps you can look at it with a bright light and magnifying glass.) I'd guess early rather than late 1930s. Again at this date Levis were a well-rated brand of two strokes, and even a well-off family could choose a machine like this if it met their needs. Levis had a range of four strokes by this date, but the flagship of the two strokes was the "Six Port", which was quite a potent machine. Not much to be seen of the engine here other than the outside flywheel - over to you Levis experts!


Identify these bikes! / Re: My grandad's bike?
« on: June 18, 2009, 12:02:17 AM »
Hi Ken,

The bike looks to be a Levis "Pop" (short for Popular) which was a 211 cc two-stroke direct-belt-drive model built over a surprising wide date range. The EIC magneto on this one suggests it was built well into the war years (say 1916) or post war (1919 - pehaps 1922). A Levis expert will be able to help with details. Certainly in the "cheap and cheerful" category, but bikes like this were probably used by a wide cross-section of the community - you could certainly be very middle class and still choose an economical, lightwieght bike for transport.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Engine & Gearbox  ??
« on: March 02, 2009, 11:58:00 AM »
Thanks for the offer Rich - any info appreciated. Here is my "project" as it stands at the moment:

Identify these bikes! / Re: Engine & Gearbox  ??
« on: March 01, 2009, 10:31:36 PM »
Annice at the VMCC library kindly looked at the Norton records for me. They start at engine number 4200 in November 1922 - so it looks like Bob's engine 2580 comes sometime earlier - probably 1921. I can't add anything about the BA prefix.

My engine 4812 left the factory in February 1923, fitted to a "Model 2" frame number 7214. A model 2 is a somewhat "colonial" version of the home market model 16H, which is fitting if it was sent to Australia.

Dating my frame 3007 is still a problem. Annice tells me engine 4200 left the factory in frame 42975, but that would be a strange number for that date. I'll have to do more research. Perhaps if someone is visiting the VMCC library they can study the first book of records and fill us in on early Norton Numbers!



Identify these bikes! / Re: Engine & Gearbox  ??
« on: February 18, 2009, 11:59:29 PM »
Thanks for that - I have emailed Annice and will let you know how I go.

Regarding numbering, I'm not sure that Norton did actually begin again after the war. Certainly the 20xxx used for 1920 engine numbers disappeared, but I don't know the first number of the new series! It may have been close to a match for the frame number. The motor I found for my bike is 4812, which I suspect is around 1922, and the motor in this thread is 2580. From the scant survivors, it seems likely that Norton frames were numbered sequentially from "the beginning" - that 3007 is an early 1920s frame number is a reminder that Norton were a very small manufacturer in the early days. Bob Holliday suggest fewer than 100 machines were built in 12 months in the early days of WW1. I'd love to hear the story of early Norton numbers from someone who really knows!!

Identify these bikes! / Re: Engine & Gearbox  ??
« on: February 14, 2009, 11:36:27 PM »
I have some Sturmey Archer data collected by the Raleigh Club some years back that gives CS50000 as the highest number for 1921 and CS70000 as the highest number for 1922, which puts your gearbox somewhere in the early part of 1922 - but they don't claim accuracy to better than about half a year. There may be more exact lists somewhere, for both the Norton engine and the Sturmey gearbox, but it is certainly possible they both came from the same bike. Close enough anyway. Now just find a frame. And forks. And wheels. And... it's getting tricky these days, but not yet impossible.

I will have to check with the VMCC re their Norton lists. I asked years ago (were the lists held by a library then?) and was told frame number 3007 was before the lists started. Any suggestions welcome.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Engine & Gearbox  ??
« on: February 14, 2009, 09:34:02 AM »
I'm not sure I can give full answers, but let me have a go anyway.
Norton engine numbers went a bit funny during the years 1915-1920 when they used the year as the first two digits of the engine number: so 15xxx is a 1915 engine, 20xxx is 1920 etc. Norton seem to have given this scheme up c1921 and gone back to "ordinary" numbers. 2580 is probably a c1921 number - the detail of the motor looks about right for this date. My best guess at the date of my 79x100 no. 42xx is c1922. That said I am unfamiliar withe the BA prefix. Can anyone accurately date Norton motors from the very early 1920s? How about frame numbers - my model 17C is frame number 3007. Any ideas?
The B&B carb looks good for Norton.
The Sturmey Archer CS gearbox can be dated from its serial number, which is stamped around the outside of the curved section and will start with CS. It could have started life on the Model 1 (Big Four) Norton.
The gearbox will be Douglas, but is slightly unusual as it is the kick-start version. The people over at are friendly and knowledgeable about such things.


Identify these bikes! / Re: unknown engine
« on: February 04, 2009, 09:31:23 PM »
It certainly could be, but wouldn't fully-enclosed overhead valves be a bit on the elaborate - and expensive - side for a mower? I plead almost total ignorance of mower technology!

Identify these bikes! / Re: unknown engine
« on: February 04, 2009, 12:47:46 AM »
Nicely made, isn't it? This alone probably suggests motorcycle rather than industrial application. I suppose it sits in the frame (longitudinally, like a little shaft drive 250 BMW) on the "wings" on the crankcase, but who knows how it is held in!

The enclosed push rods and valve gear (I assume there's a top cover missing) suggest 1930s, as does oil-in-sump and coil ignition (I think I see a set of ponts on the front of the crankcase).

So we're looking for an in-line-engined, overhead valve, probably shaft drive motorcycle from the 1930s. It would have to be continental! Can we have another clue? What country is the motor in at present?

A vaguely similar (but probably earlier) motor was discussed in an earlier thread . The people involved in KG/Cito and Stock must have moved on to somewhere, and with "in line" ideas might have been involved with a motor like this. Franz Gnadig, for example, apparently went on to build his own 350 cc ohv machines, and was involved with Kuhne and Diamant.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Any ideas?
« on: January 03, 2009, 10:23:40 AM »
There are even more photos in the original thread - almost exactly one year ago!

Nigel have you considered re-naming the threads with the make/model of bike once a it has been identified? It would make it easier to go back and extract information from old posts.


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