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Messages - cardan

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Identify these bikes! / Re: Strange Bike II - What is it?!?
« on: November 26, 2007, 10:33:05 AM »
I'm not sure of what the bike is, but I've seen the front forks before: they are identical in layout to those used by Puch around 1912. I'll stick my neck out and say that the forks are either made by Puch, or made by the company that supplied Puch.

The problem is that the bike is obviously much later than that - perhaps early to mid 1920s.

Was there a Puch that looked like this? Or perhaps another Austrian manufacturer?

Best regards


Identify these bikes! / Re: Help needed - I think it's unusual!
« on: November 13, 2007, 12:58:47 PM »
Hello Pat and Rich,

I agree - a most unusual machine, and almost certainly an NSU.

Note that it's a slightly different model than the one shown on While that one has the 2-speed gear and clutch in the back hub (perhaps a ROC hub?), the one here has the NSU 2-speed gear and clutch on the engine pulley. The gear is operated by the vertical rod passing through the "N" on the tank to the little tram handle on the tank top. Wind it one way for low gear, then the other for neutral and then top.

Regardless of the exact specs of the machine, it's a most atmospheric photo! Thanks for posting it.


Identify these bikes! / Re: help required
« on: October 12, 2007, 11:55:56 AM »
Hi Beakster,

It's an Indian "Standard" of 1922-24.  1922 was the first year of the bigger mudguards with flat stays, and 1924 was the final year of production.

Prior to 1922, the model was called the "Powerplus", but in  1922 the Chief took over as the Indian big-twin flag ship.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Is this a Lewis
« on: October 04, 2007, 08:49:17 AM »
Thanks for the positive comments - I'm please you enjoyed looking at the website. I designed it for a leisurely browse.

Just to finish off with this photo. I checked the registration records and 11816 was issued to H.K. Scott of Currency Creek (a rather isolated spot about 80 km south east of Adelaide) in June 1918. By then the bike was about 7 years old. Plenty of time to do those sporty mods!


Identify these bikes! / Re: Is this a Lewis
« on: September 21, 2007, 10:23:31 PM »
Yes it certainly is, but a much-modified one.

It looks like it started out as a 3 1/2 HP (500cc) water-cooled model of the type current between late 1910 and 1912. The registration number was issued much later, so at a guess the photo might have been taken after the war.

Modifications are the valve enclosure, footboards instead of the usual pedals, extended air intake on the carburettor and the dropped handlebars. Magic!

The engine is a Precision (made by F.E. Baker Ltd. in Birmingham) and the frame is made from Chater Lea fittings.  On this model the radiator occupies the front section between the tank rails, and is separate from the fuel and oil tank behind it.

Lewis built probably 2000 machines in Adelaide, South Australia between 1899 and the mid 1920s. For more information check out The Lewis Project website:

If anyone has Lewis photos or information, I'd love to hear from them.



Identify these bikes! / Re: Unknown 1930's single....
« on: September 02, 2007, 06:29:24 PM »
I think if Murray gets a bright light and a magnifying glass he might read "New Hudson" on the tank.
New Hudson went in heavily for the enclosed look in the early 1930s (lots of pressed metal enclosing the lower half of the motor and gearbox) so I suspect this example is from the late 1920s. Probably a side valve 500 from about 1929?
It's a handsome bike - a pity about the antiquated carbide lighting set!



European and Other Bikes / Re: Felix Millet 1892
« on: February 27, 2009, 12:47:23 AM »
Hi Tim,

Thanks for asking what is the most interesting question I have yet to see posted on the internet!

Of course my initial answer is "no idea", but there are ways... Despite the 1888 patent date suggested on the link you provided, the only Millet patent I can find in a quick search is Swiss patent CH9899 of 21 January 1895, granted to Felix-Theodore Millet for "Une bicyclette a roue automobile". The patent is very detailed, with 18 pages of text (in French) and 14 detailed drawings. Great stuff!

The motor is in fact fairly conventional - at least in the sense that it has poppet valves for the inlet and exhaust. The exhaust valves are driven by a fixed cam in the usual way. The exhaust pipes run down the spokes to a collector around the rear hub, thence forward to the carburettor amidships. Here the hot gases spiral around the carburettor to preheat the inlet gases and better vaporise the petrol, before exiting via the exhaust pipes labelled g and g' on your posted drawing.

The patent is a must read if you want more info. It is available online at the European Patent Office: on the advanced search page just type 1895 in as the date and millet as the inventor and click "search". Let me know if you have a problem getting it and I will send you a copy.

Now my question for you: if you're not a vintage biker, why the interest in Millet's marvellous device?



British Bikes / Re: Unknown bike
« on: November 08, 2009, 01:02:18 AM »
Hi all,
What a fascinating hobby we have - almost an infinite amount of hardware to contemplate - consider the range manuacturers around the world at different times, then add in the backyard fiddler who modifies this and that to suit needs or preference. Personally I like looking at old bits, photos or whatever, and it's particularly satisfying when we learn something from the exercise.
I wonder should we revisit some of the thoughts in this thread?
Our original poster Peet_K asks what he's got, posting a clear photo and telling us it has "New Hudson" on the seat. Peter C replies "It's a Triumph C-Series frame (Models CN, CO, CSD, CTT) from 1929-32." This sounds pretty defintive - Peter tells us the frame IS Triumph, no ifs or buts. He doesn't say "highly modified", "slightly unusual" or anything like that.
Our original poster, probably having been to Peter C's web page where the C model is described , notes that it doesn't look too much like any Triumph that he has seen, and posts some more pictures (interseting punch set used for the frame number!). ColinB seems unhappy that the triumph specialist could be doubted (and asks Peet_K what he thinks it is - he doesn't know, that's why he posted!), and m3bobby states uncategorically that "its definatly Triumph" but explains the major modifications where the frame has been cut and shut.
Peter C. finishes off with "it's now a Nothing frame, and worth the same amount", which seems quite a shift from the previous day when it was a Triumph C-Series from 1929-32.
I wonder where this leaves Peet_K? Has he learned anything? Have other forum mebers learned anything?
Unfortunately I don't know a lot about early 1930s bikes, but  I do know that the frame is quite unlike the Triumph C-series frame as shown on Peter C's webpage, but perhaps Peter C or m3bobby can tell us more. As to being worth nothing, quite the contrary! Good bits here, if only we can identify them.

British Bikes / Re: 1912 Rover
« on: April 26, 2009, 11:05:11 PM »
Hi Daimon,
If it has been sitting in the dry, and it was running before it was left there, there should be no problem in starting it. I'm happy to give instructions, but first we need to know what the drive arrangement is. Because it has a side-car, it will likely (but not necessarily) have a clutch and gears of some kind. Later Rovers can have a gearbox (chain from engine to gearbox, belt to the back wheel), but in 1912 it would more likely have a clutch and gearbox either (a) in the drive pulley on the engine shaft or (b) inside the back hub. If (a), it probably has a little tram handle control, or (b) will have a foot pedal clutch and a lever to select the gears (if there are any). If it's something else, you might have to post a picture. Let us know.

British Bikes / Re: Albion Gearbox .........Unusual project!
« on: February 25, 2009, 09:07:13 PM »
Hi Rod,
To give you some idea, an 8 h.p. (say 1000cc sidevalve twin) motor in an early motorcycle would be geared at around 4:1 (4 turns of the engine for one of the back wheel) in top gear with wheels of rolling diameter 26".
Your proposed 14/42/14/42 gearing would give an overall ratio of 9:1 in top gear (1:1 in the gearbox), so it would be very low geared. But then you have to carry around 3 wheels, and the B&S might turn higher revs than an old twin. Some experimenting will be required!

British Bikes / Re: amac carburetor
« on: February 15, 2009, 12:06:38 AM »
These days old carburettors are often built from slightly mixed collections of parts, so we have to do the best with what we have!

My AMAC book gives model T. 15MDY and T. 15MDX as 1928 touring models with bottom and top feed float bowls, respectively, so maybe the "4" you quote is a mis-read of X or Y? Equivalent 1926 and 1927 models are PJY and PJX. "15" refers to 1 1/8" throttle valve - sounds about right for a sv 500.

Anyway, the plan should be to get the fuel level just below the top of the jet. From your description it sounds like this can be done - even if you need to modify the notch on the float needle or the clip on the float. An easy check for about the right fuel level is that the carb shouldn't drip if the bike is upright, but begins to drip if the bike is leaned over away from the fuel bowl. Test this with the throttle open (no needle bocking the main jet) but the engine not running!!!

Hope this helps. I can copy the parts list, but I doubt it would be of much use.


British Bikes / Re: magdyno bsa sloper
« on: February 04, 2009, 12:09:52 AM »
Sorry - can't help with the fine detail. You might find an expert who can, but with three magdynos in front of you you might have more info to hand than can be found easily (or reliably) in books. Set aside an evening on the kitchen table!

British Bikes / Re: magdyno bsa sloper
« on: February 03, 2009, 04:04:11 AM »
Hi Graeme,
not sure what kind of info you are looking for but Sloper magdynos must have changed a bit over the 1927-1935 span of the model. Vintage ones (and perhaps a year or two into the 1930s) used the one-piece alloy-bodied three-brush Lucas magneto. These early ones lacked the clutch between the drive gear on the magneto shaft and the dynamo armature, so they tended to shake themselves to bits. When you see them these days, the bodies are often damaged where the generator armature has tried to escape through the end of the case! Like most Lucas products, the magdynos are stamped with the date code: 930=September 1930 etc.

British Bikes / Re: Mystery Bike
« on: December 09, 2008, 09:00:45 PM »
Hi Andy,
Yes indeed it is a Douglas - a 2 3/4 h.p. (350cc) from around 1915. I say "around" because in wartime the specification probably got messed around a bit - if not in production then through repairs where there was a degree of "mix-and-match". Post 1914 features are the rear stand pivot on a lug below the rear axle (on the earlier bikes the pivot was on the chain stay in front to the axle) and the one-piece timing cover (earlier motors have a two-piece affair, with the upper cover stepped inboard a little). The front forks are the early pattern with the kink in the front bracing tubes. Around 1915-16 there were new forks with straight front tube, but the early type were apparently still used on some machines. The CAV magneto is unusual. Great photo!

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