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Messages - 33d6

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Autojumble / Re: 350 cc side valve JAP engine parts needed
« on: February 20, 2019, 10:58:12 AM »
It's usually helpful if you say what parts you are after. After all, we can see your photo is of the engine actually running.

Identify these bikes! / Re: Can any one identify these gearboxes?
« on: February 11, 2019, 04:59:12 AM »
The top one is a 4 speed Albion, used by Villiers amongst others as R says but the lever for a hand change at the rear shows is wasn't used in a motorcycle. Possibly some small microcar such as a Bond or some other light industrial jigger.
R is right again with the third one. A Burman CP it is.
The other two look oh so familiar but no joy I'm afraid. I'm sure some of the usual suspects will easily name them.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Can anyone ID this 1920's 30's bike ?
« on: February 10, 2019, 11:37:49 PM »
Definitely a 1929 Model 1 "Checquerboard" Excelsior. Excelsior only used that chequerboard style of side panel on the tank for the 1929 range. No other year.  I've had one occupying pride of place in my garage for years. Offered to me after a sudden death how could I refuse it? It's turned out to a little ripper and much, much better than I ever expected.
Excelsior won the 1929 Lightweight TT and it shows in the Model 1. It's a well designed little bike with none of the odd hiccups you find in many lightweights of the period.
It was also offered with an optional 172cc Villiers 'Sport' engine plus an optional three speed gearbox. Over the years I've almost accumulated enough bits to erect a second 'top of the range' Model 1 with both engine and gearbox options but have still to find a rear wheel. I want to avoid making one from scratch if I can.
Is there any chance of getting a copy of that photo Jonny? I already have a couple of period Model 1 photos and that one would be a nice addition.

British Bikes / Re: Fuel tank liner.
« on: January 28, 2019, 04:21:43 AM »
Fuel tanks aren't destroyed by ethanol. They rust out far more quickly is all. Ethanol is hygroscopic, water loves it. Water accumulates at the bottom of the tank to rust it out far more quickly than it used to in pre ethanol days. Of course the fact that newer tanks are made of a lighter gauge material than older tanks and therefore rust through more quickly anyway doesn't help either.  The major problem with bikes is too many people don't actually use their bikes but let them sit for long periods and then moan when they don't run properly on the odd occasion they're dragged out. Frequent use with fresh petrol continually flowing through the system is much better than letting the bike sit.

I can't see why you would line a diesel fuel tank. No ethanol content in diesel is there but you can have the standard problem of water condensate in the fuel if the thing is left idle for weeks at a time. That is why you often find on heavy equipment a decent cup sized indentation with a drain tap on the bottom of the tank so you can drain out the condensate before it gives any bother. It's just a standard maintenance thing which most owners either don't bother with or don't understand the reasons for. It's a self inflicted problem.

Just try riding your bikes before faffing about with tank liners. It's an uncommon way of preventing trouble but it seems to work.



British Bikes / Re: Is a Sunbeam S8 capable of cruising at 57mph?
« on: January 28, 2019, 12:46:59 AM »
The S7 & S8 always suffered a severe lack of street cred.A distant relative of mine bought one new from the first batch imported into my home state of Victoria. 1947-48 or thereabouts. He is long gone but the bike remains with his immediate family. They're convinced they have an exotic collectors piece worth a fortune and the main squabble is about who gets the money. My, is this bike ugly. The very first of them had a 'clean' handlebar and rather odd forks with no hydraulic damping. Not an elegant sight. Nevertheless he did a lot of touring on it and it never let him down. He loved it.

During my apprenticeship I also worked with an old boy who rode one down down from Darwin to Victoria in the mid -50s and had the newspaper clipping collected along the way to prove it. That is some 3500 miles. It did it quite easily. But given the state of the roads back then he definitely didn't cruise at 57 mph.

 After half a century of development and tweaking by Stewart Engineering the beasts should be ultra reliable by now but they're still ugly and still have no street cred even though owners seem to love them and keep them forever.

Just one of those things I suppose.

British Bikes / Re: T 100 490cc 1968
« on: January 27, 2019, 10:37:32 PM »
Why donít you believe your manual?

British Bikes / Re: Battery drain
« on: January 22, 2019, 11:30:40 PM »
Those selenium plate rectifiers die of old age even when not used. If yours is still working properly it would be the only one on the planet.  It's time for a new solid state jobbie. Modern electronics allow us to upgrade old systems and make much better use of  the lower capacity available from original charging layouts. Your scooter will be much better for it.

British Bikes / Re: Help idenify this old bike.
« on: January 20, 2019, 11:44:08 PM »
At least I can say it's running an Albion clutch and as no one ever fitted an Albion clutch by choice I would presume the beast has an Albion gearbox. It really is a typical bitza of the period isn't it. Rigid frame, hand painted racing number, no vinyl stick on's then and are those front forks Velo? I can't recognise the engine but prewar engines were very cheap in the 50's and were a popular choice. At that time a mate had something similar powered by a prewar 350cc Triumph Tiger 80 engine. Choosing a 350 was deliberate as it qualified for entry to more races at any one meeting. He got rides in the 350, 500 and Open classes all for one entry fee.

British Bikes / Re: ariel arrow/leader-mikuni vm26 jets/settings
« on: December 20, 2018, 12:23:59 PM »
Personally I follow the old saying that most carburettor problems are ignition, and to me poor hot starting sings of ignition problems.


British Bikes / Locked question about Villiers engine
« on: December 11, 2018, 06:39:56 AM »
I'm not quite sure why Paulb52 would ask a question on identifying an engine and then lock it so no one can reply but with my level of computer skills I know I could easily do the same and not know it so I can't sneer at anyone else.
Anyway I can tell Paul why no one can identify his Villiers engine and that's because it isn't Villiers. It is a Triumph Model X, a 174cc unit construction two-stroke with a 2-speed gear box built in. Made between 1930-32.
Triumph reduced the bore in 1932 to reduce engine capacity to 149cc for even cheaper road tax. They then called it the Model Z but it only lasted that year.
Times were tough, very tough, and factories were doing whatever they could to survive. These models are part of what Triumph did. They are worthy of preservation even if just to show how factories fought to stay afloat.
No reason why it shouldn't run quite well but the 2-speed box is the great limitation.

British Bikes / Re: Excelsior UK 1929 (?) 350cc OHV
« on: December 03, 2018, 04:24:26 AM »
I can well understand your fear. But then again I think with the paperwork you have plus if you get a copy of the 1929 Excelsior catalogue showing your machine you should be okay. I would even consider a browse through the VMCC Register cards held at head office. The Register was last printed in the 1990's so does not contain info on further bikes registered since then. You may find extra info that's not yet seen the light of day.
Finally, you may have more luck with the marque specialist than I did. I sent the traditional self addressed envelope as required but being in Australia had to substitute an International Reply Coupon for the required postage stamp. It wouldn't be the first time someone in the UK has fallen in a heap at the thought of exchanging the coupon for a stamp. The IRC concept may have originated in the UK but it's frustrating how few of their Post Offices seem to know what they are. Luckily the internet has got around all that except for the odd occasion when only a letter will do.

Last, last thing. There are no 350 ohv JAP engined machines in the 1934 catalogue so a copy of that might also help.


British Bikes / Re: Excelsior UK 1929 (?) 350cc OHV
« on: December 02, 2018, 03:52:42 AM »
Hi Paul,
So pleased you found a frame number. I've looked through the VMCC Register to no avail. The only machines I can find with a D prefix are all 1934 as one would expect as that was the year code for 1934 plus one 1926 350 JAP powered machine with a D prefix frame number but nothing with DG. As I've written in the past, Excelsior are effortless to identify from 1931 onwards but not so in the vintage years and the VMCC Register is about the only lead we have.

DG is not a 1934 number as the Excelsior code ran  year letter/ model number / frame number so for 1934 my Model 1 would be D1 ****.

May I ask whereabouts on the frame you found the number? The two numbered Model 1 frames in my possession have the number stamped on the upper left side of the front down tube. Each have an L prefix. These are fitted with 1929 forks whereas the other unnumbered two have the pressed steel forks introduced in 1930. It would be useful to know where you finally found the frame number.

Excelsior frame numbers of the 1920's continue to be a mystery and so far the VMCC marque specialist remains silent on the matter. He didn't reply to my letter anyway.


British Bikes / Re: Excelsior 350cc OHV twin port 1929/30
« on: October 17, 2018, 05:35:07 AM »
With some half dozen identical Model 1 Excelsior frames from the period sitting about the place I've slowly come to the conclusion that in 1930 Excelsior dithered about how they would number them.  I've two 1929 frames with one numbering system, two with no numbers at all and two prefixed A, the system introduced in 1931. Chats with other Excelsior owners is slowly convincing me that in 1930 they either stamped a few with some sort of orphan number or no number at all. Mainly no number at all. It's no big deal. It's only a problem either when it comes to getting the things on the road as depending on where you live some authorities downright insist on a frame number or convincing people it is truly a 1930 machine and thus eligible to enter in proper vintage events. Best of luck with that one.

As far as the saddle goes Excelsior of the period used a natty more or less right angle forging for the saddle nose attachment that fitted in to the saddle tube and could be raised or lowered to suit the riders preference. These are occasionally missing or replaced with some strange bodges leading to odd saddle configurations. Even if the original bit is there it can sometimes be amazingly difficult to raise or lower and also lead to some strange configurations. Fresh paint can make it even more awkward. Again, best of luck with that.

Finally, too old to ride an Excelsior? Never old friend, never. The late vintage Excelsior is a lovely machine. I never believed all that nonsense about racing improving the breed but in Excelsior's case having won the 1929 Lightweight TT with essentially the same bike as yours I have to agree. They are an agile sweet little machine and a pleasure to ride. Being of an age that my riding is limited and the manager is pushing hard for me to stop altogether I can say that my Excelsior is staying even if everything else goes. The post war Excelsior did nothing to enhance the Excelsior name. The pre-war Excelsior is another beast entirely.


British Bikes / Re: bsa lightning
« on: September 28, 2018, 03:01:58 AM »
I just hope we finally get to hear the end of the story. With so many of these queries they trail away to nothing. We're left guessing.

A happy ending always goes down well.

British Bikes / Re: bsa lightning
« on: September 27, 2018, 01:25:36 AM »
Not so Ian, heat failure occurs in all variety of spark ignition systems regardless of how the spark is generated. In fact the last time I experienced it was on a Triumph TR7 fitted with an aftermarket electronic system displaying exactly the symptoms Marty 31 complains of.

Electronic ignition is an improvement but it is subject to the same woes as all the previous systems-just not as often.

Whatever the case, I'm sure Marty 31 will learn a lot sorting it out.

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