Author Topic: Watney m/c  (Read 6208 times)

Offline mattsccm

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Watney m/c
« on: May 18, 2016, 07:53:20 PM »
Hello. New to elderly motorcycles so I thought I would start here.
I have acquired a Watney.

http://www.sungreen.co.uk/lydney_forest_of_dean/watts_first_garage.html

Built just down the road. Its the bike in the pic, obtained from a close friend whose father had it for decades before he died. I have all that you can see except the rear rim and the front number plate has been cleaned off . grrrr. It is in big lumps plus some extras eg tank, lighting etc.
Where do I start?
 Can't find a frame number and the number on the engine, it's a Blackburne, that I have found looks wrong. DB329. Number on the Burman box is E17 5 or 8 9 . Both turn over and feel fine. 
I am hoping that some film of it running turns up with the reg number visible and identifiable people etc. Just may help getting it registered. I am assuming that a log book is long lost.
Expect this to be long winded unless someone points me to a better place !
Cheers, Matt

Offline cardan

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2016, 11:15:38 AM »

Hi Matt,

If you've got all the parts in the photo, you have a very interesting, and very restorable, motorcycle.

This type of machine is pretty typical of the era. The mostly likely scenario is that Watts would have bought in most of the parts - motor, gearbox, forks, saddle, frame lugs, wheel parts, etc. - and assembled the bike themselves. Probably a bit less likely is that they bought the complete machine from a manufacturer with their Watney brand painted on the tank. Either way, it's pretty sure that few were made.

I have two suggestions: join the Vintage MCC, and find someone local who is familiar with restoring vintage bikes and who is prepared to help you out. The VMCC has a Blackburne Marque Specialist who can provide info about the motor. The Brampton Bi-flex fork, the medium weight Burman gearbox, Brooks saddle, probably British Hub Company hubs etc. are all pretty standard, so the restoration mostly depends on the level of wear and decay.

Don't be in a hurry to pull everything to bits, don't sandblast everything, and avoid powder coating and chrome plating.

Do your research first: found out whatever you can about Watney motorcycles, and also about the bits it is made from.

Plan your restoration: even if you're not going to do it all yourself get a copy of "The Vintage Motorcyclist's Workshop" by Radco.

Above all, enjoy!

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 11:18:26 AM »

Offline mattsccm

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2016, 12:31:10 PM »
Thanks
It was an assembly by Watts job. My father is a mate of the current boss there who is searching old records.  Only blasting done is to mudguards and front wheel which show signs of black paint on spokes but I don't know if that was original. One tank was blasted and patched but I have the original with the logo very visible if oil stained.
To be honest, if I had a rear rim ( haven't found a source yet) and tyre I could make it into a roller in a day or two. Suspect that it might make sense to check engine has clear oilways etc and I am darn sure that the mag needs work.
The plan is to create a runner before any paint is done and that will be minimal as its only the guards that need it.
Any idea where a frame number might be if at all? Its not where I would expect to find one on either motorcycles or cycles.

Offline cardan

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 01:30:28 PM »

It may not have a frame number. I guess you've looked in the usual paces: on the saddle lug, on the steering head lug, on one of the engine mount lugs, on the gearbox lug. Almost never on a frame tube.

Leon

Offline murdo

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2016, 02:08:40 AM »
Very interesting, will be watching this one progress.
The sales booklet is a good find too with specifications.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 02:12:58 AM by murdo »

Offline mattsccm

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 12:29:07 PM »
May well have found the original sales leaflet for the copy online.   I know where the original of the pic shown on line is but its not accessible at the moment.
The lady who sold it to me, a close friend thinks that there is old film of it running. Watts' "boss" says that he knows of no other.
How would I get it registered? I guess some sales info from Watts ' would help but I expect that it might be tricky persuading the DVLA to accept just this.

Offline cardan

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 12:13:10 AM »

Matt,

Take lots of photos before you do anything more. Join the VMCC - they will help with the rego process. I assume you will try to keep the original number?

Leon

Offline mattsccm

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2016, 06:42:19 PM »
That would be nice. I have small hope that the rear number plate is buried in garage. 

Offline chris mac

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2016, 07:20:04 PM »
The Blackburne engine looks to be early 20s with three stud detachable head. As everyone says join the VMCC, the specialist is Martin Shelley.  They can also help with the rims and tyres
If you are going for the original plate, I would recommend doing that before you take anything apart
Great project, good luck, keep us posted
Best,  Chris Mac

Offline mattsccm

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2016, 08:56:07 PM »
The thing came to me in large lumps so stuck with that.  Watch this space.

Offline mattsccm

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2016, 06:51:00 PM »
Basic question
What threads etc will I find?

Offline cardan

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2016, 12:15:07 AM »

Mostly cycle thread (BSCyc). The smaller ones are 26 threads per inch, but in 7/16, 1/2 and 9/16 you may find 20 tpi, which is also a cycle thread.

I can't recommend too highly "The Vintage Motorcyclists Workshop" by Radco. It has recently been republished and is not expensive, but it is loaded with useful information. For threads, if you have a vernier caliper, a thread pitch gauge, and a copy of Radco, you should be able to identify every thread.

Most of the hexagons will be British Standard. Tools are labelled "BSF" or "BSW" in the size that corresponds to the thread diameter. The tools are all the same, but in the early days BSW nuts were larger than BSF nuts (so an old 1/4 BSW nut has the same hex as a 5/16BSF nut), but these days most 1/4" nuts (i.e. to suit 1/4" threads) are the same size. That said, "AF" (across flats) labelled tools will not fit: a 7/16" AF tool will fit a hex that is 7/16 across the flats of the hex (as found on american nuts), but a 1/4 BScyc (26tpi), 1/4 BSF (also 26tpi, but only in this diameter) or a modern 1/4BSW (20tpi) nut needs a BS tool (confusingly labelled either  3/16 BSW or 1/4 BSF, or sometimes just 1/4BS).

Fun!

Cheers

Leon

Offline mattsccm

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2016, 07:24:58 PM »
Well it is in only a few lumps now. What we cant find is a rim. 26 x 2 1/4 beaded.
Any ideas?

Offline cardan

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Re: Watney m/c
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2016, 06:20:12 AM »
I have two suggestions: join the Vintage MCC...

http://www.vmccshop.net/c/597/tyre-rims

Other suppliers too.

Leon