Author Topic: Excelsior 125...?  (Read 8835 times)

Offline Paulo Fonseca

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Excelsior 125...?
« on: May 19, 2014, 02:21:30 PM »
Hi,
I would like some help to identify the exact model and year of this bike (as far as possible)
From my research , I think that is an Excelsior 125cm3 from 1947
Chassis Number: AU/174  (model U???)
Villiers Engine: 580/1058
Cylinder: B3833
All the information you can give me about this bike is welcome.

Offline R

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Re: Excelsior 125...?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 11:22:20 PM »
It does appear to be the remains of an Excelsior 125cc Universal.
The maroon colour gives it away.
And the gearchange lever through the slot in the tank.

This is the 1948 model described - same same for a few years.
http://cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/excelsior/Excelsior_1948_Motor_Cycle_0715_p045.htm

That magneto cover appears to be off another bike though.?
Do you have more of it than shown ?

Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior 125...?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 02:38:23 AM »
Yep, the frame and engine number prefixes definitely identify it as an immediate postwar Excelsior. Both frame and engine numbers match perfectly. The handchange through the slot in the tank is a definite Excelsior arrangement of the day although you have to be careful how you set the gear lever as you don't want it banging against the ends of the slot.

Its not possible to say exactly what year it is as Excelsior made this identical model from 1946 to 1949. Well, identical as they could be as the world moved back to peacetime production. Some things never came back and some things were in short supply so there can be funny little differences between production runs. I would assume from the low frame number that it is early in the run.

The number cast on the cylinder is just that. A Villiers casting pattern number for Villiers internal factory use and has nothing to do with Excelsior.
The engine is the common Villiers 9D of which many examples remain in all makes of bike. Spares are no real drama. The 9D can be assembled in a variety of ways so it looks different. For example, the standard exhaust manifolds can be fitted to face forward or backward. The carburettor can be fitted on the left or right hand side of the cylinder. It looks different but it remains standard 9D with standard parts. Buy yourself a copy of the owners manual and spare parts list from the VMCC library, www.vmcc.net

The aluminium flywheel cover you show does not fit the 9D. It is for an entirely different range of Villiers engines.

Cheers,

Offline Paulo Fonseca

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Re: Excelsior 125...?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 10:33:34 AM »
Hi,
Thanks you for your help.
The magneto cover as a "The Villiers  / Castrol XL" logo, and I bellive it's from this engine, but I will check that.
Could this be a diferent engine? Or by the serial you don't have any doubt?
The frame number indicates this bike it's a model "U", correct? I've seen similar bikes on the net saying model "O".... I just want to be "sure"
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 11:13:52 AM by Paulo Fonseca »

Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior 125...?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 01:27:33 AM »
Hi Paul,
No one really knows exactly what Excelsior had in mind when they started their frame numbering system in 1946. All we can definitely say is that it was a completely fresh start from their pre war frame numbering system. All I know is that AU identifies a post war frame from between 1946-49. I don't know whether 'U' means Universal or not.
As for your other concerns, they are facts not opinions. Your engine number prefix 580/ identifies a 9D Villiers used by Excelsior in the 1946-49 period. The photos clearly show it to be a 9D engine.
Many people will tell you (including the various classic magazines) that a 9D engine number should start with either AA or AAA. They are wrong. That was the engine numbering system Villiers used when 9D production began during the 1930's and ran right through WWII when Villiers provided 9D engines for military use but when the War finished Villiers changed their numbering system so all Villiers 9D engines made between 1946 -49 have a 3 number prefix identifying which motorcycle maker they sold the engine to. You can tell a postwar 9D engine at a glance.

And finally, the  flywheel cover in your photo does not fit a 9D engine as you will see when you buy a spare parts manual. Villiers made engines by the million, that flywheel cover is fitted to a different series of Villiers engines.

I hope you get the wee beast assembled. Putting together a basket case is good for the soul as you will find yourself talking to God at length and very loudly before you're finished.

Cheers,


Offline Paulo Fonseca

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Re: Excelsior 125...?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2014, 11:15:26 AM »
Hi,
In this post http://www.classicmotorcycleforum.com/index.php?topic=2006.msg7679#msg7679 Rick_Parkington says:
"... Excelsior incorporated the model name which is O prefixed by a letter relating to year - eg HO/ 1234, JO/1234 etc. ..."

You don't have any doubt that 580 prefix it's from a Excelsior bike? I bellive you did say that, but my english it's not so good as I would like to be.
No doubt that this bike it's a Excelsior and not a James, or other...?

The flywheel could have been changed, I don't know... Tomorrow I will try to attach it to the engine and take some pictures.
I've found one similar on a Excelsior from 1946 with another 125 engine: http://motorbike-search-engine.co.uk/classic_bikes/excelsior-125.jpg

Thank you very much,
Paulo
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 11:33:04 AM by Paulo Fonseca »

Offline 33d6

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Re: Excelsior 125...?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 04:43:31 AM »
Hi again Paulo,
Firstly Rick Parkington roughly described the numbering system used by Excelsior from 1931 to 1940 only. It does not apply to any Excelsior made before then or after so it does not apply to your bike.
Secondly the bike in that photo is not a 1946 Excelsior. That particular Villiers engine was introduced in 1949. Nor did Excelsior fit that type of front fork in 1946. It is not a 1946 Excelsior.

As I keep saying, contact the VMCC library and buy a Villiers 9D operating manual and spare parts list from them. They also have a 1946 Excelsior leaflet that may find helpful. You can also ask them if they have any other information on your bike.

Finally, your bike is an Excelsior, it is not a James nor anything else and the engine number is correct for an Excelsior. Now it is time for you to buy the manual, buy the leaflet and get to work.
Cheers,