Author Topic: Can anyone identify this bike?  (Read 3896 times)

Offline Wavy Gravy

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Can anyone identify this bike?
« on: August 30, 2019, 11:46:35 AM »
Sorry these photos are so blurred, but I'm hoping that some one can identify this bike. I did check the registation (AYV 348) with DVLA but it doesnt show up. If its the bike I a hoping it is, I have an interesting story about it.

As this is my first post, I'm not sure if I have attached the photos correctly. If they cant be seen, can someone talk me through the correct way?

TIA

Offline TGR90B

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 04:48:36 PM »
I wouldn't know what the bike is, but it was registered in London between May '34 and Aug. '35.
Getting grumpy, but not as grumpy as mini-me.

Offline Wavy Gravy

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 05:18:00 PM »
Thats part of the mystery. The bike was owned by the photographer, and I know that he did have an Aunt that lived in Croydon around that time. I'm not sure that was considered London back then. Or was it?

The two photos were taken just outside St. Helens, in what is now known as Merseyside around 1950 or 1951.

Would something registered during that period be a 1934 or 1935 model?

Offline mini-me

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 09:10:19 PM »
My bet is its a Levis 350, I had one and they are a damn fine bike.
as for date it could be 1933 model, year of reg is not necessarily year of make,especially in the 1930s slump.

just because they lived in Croyden does not mean it had to be reg in Croyden, if Croyden was considered part of London it would have come under the old LCC anyway.

Offline R

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2019, 12:03:42 AM »
This is out on the 'net as a twin port Levis 350, circa 1934 - they wouldn't have changed much ?
Looks like a fairly good match ? although the distinctive chrome pushrod tunnel is shrouded in darkness..



P.S. One area where they may have changed is the headlamp - the original pic does appear to be an earlier year of headlamp.
(switch in the back of it), so an earlier year bike ?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 12:06:40 AM by R »

Offline Wavy Gravy

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2019, 07:35:50 AM »
I know quite a lot about the photos, but nothing that is really relevant to identifying the bike. Bear in mind that I know very little about bikes from the pre war era in my next comments.

There are four things that do strike me as being unusual about it though.

First, the handlebar levers. They appear to be of the later type that is common even today. My original guess as to the bikes age was based on these, so I would have dated it as being closer to WW2 than the registration date.

Second, the headlamp appears to be chrome. From other photos, it seems that this is unusual, most being black. As suggested, it could have been changed at some time.

Third, I cannot ever recall a rigid framed bike as not having a rear mudguard strut that comes roughly 45 degrees away from the hub. No doubt there are some, and if there are, I'm certain someone on here will know. Perhaps that will help to identify it.

Fourth. the exhausts seem a little short. When I have trying to identify the bike, similar systems are always longer.

Years ago, I was told that the bike was a 328cc OEC Twin Port. I've since discounted that one. Then, I was told that it was a 1938 Sunbeam Model 9. That does not seem to be correct either, especially if the registration is from 1934 or 5.

One thing that may be relevant. In June, 1951, the owner of the bike wanted to take the little lad in one of the photos (his nephew) to Chester Zoo. That would suggest to me that it was a 5 or 600cc engine. Mainly because to take a child of that age with him would suggest it had a sidecar. I couldnt really see anything smaller being used as an outfit.

Offline cardan

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2019, 08:06:14 AM »

The second photo seems to show that the bike has a full cradle, twin-downtube frame. This rules out lots of common things, and suggests something a little unusual: maybe Stevens, AJW, perhaps OEC (known for their unusual frames!) or even something continental.

Add to the weird frame the weird cylinder head, with the casting extending out the front with the exhaust ports angled down. Mmm... nothing comes to mind immediately. Some searching required.

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2019, 08:13:42 AM »
Too easy? OEC looks very likely. The OEC here is the 1934 250, and has the cradle frame and funny head required. I suspect that you can see the OEC rear springing in the first photo?

Leon

Offline Wavy Gravy

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2019, 09:58:47 AM »
I do agree, the 250cc OEC does look very likely. I had actually discounted them previously due to the frame. Other than some competition models, I'd never noticed one with a duplex frame. As I wrote previously though, my knowledge of pre-war bikes is limited to say the least!

There are two reasons that I am trying to identify this bike correctly. First, in 1951 it was ridden from just outside St. Helens, Lancashire up to Forres in Morayshire, Scotland and back with my Dad as passenger. Second, a few weeks later, the bike was crashed, possibly due to a steering fault. As a result of injuries from the accident, the owner passed away in hospital about two weeks later.

Edit: Was there a larger version that looked identical that would have been capable of pulling a sidecar?

Offline mini-me

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2019, 11:17:32 AM »
Like you say, you don't know much about pre war  bikes, which show inthat you are putting too much emphasis on vague items like the levers, and the chrome lamp.
people change their bikes from the minute they buy them.
pre war nothing was fixed in stone and a buyer could specify what he liked, after all, some bikes had inverted levers after the war even, viz sunbeam S7.

I a pretty certain, having owned a couple that is a Levis 350, quite capable of carrying two adults. However Levis made 500 and 600cc bikes.

This is a Levis 350, I can read the name on the tank, the long stroke of the 350 is evident in its skinny cylinder, it carries its dynamo in front a la Velocette which is right for mid 30s. I don't think its  a twin tube frame shown there. Nor can I see the distinctive OEC rear suspension, plus your one has only one pushtod tube. Levis own engine not a bought in JAP.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 11:21:51 AM by mini-me »

Offline Wavy Gravy

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2019, 11:44:59 AM »
The duplex frame can just be seen on the photo that shows two adults on it.

I do agree, people do change their bikes from the second the get them. The ones I own prove that! As long as I have been riding, swapping levers, headlamps etc. has always been popular. I would doubt that someone would remove the rear mudguard stay though. Unless there was a reason behind it, such as fitting a passenger seat.

Please guys, dont for one minute think that I am trying to start some kind of argument. To get to the bottom of this has become quite important to me for some very personal reasons.


Offline mini-me

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2019, 02:30:51 PM »
you are right, twin frame tubes on the second bike, so therefore two bikes need ID-ing.??

I am still with Levis onthe first pic.

yes after a 2nd look its two bikes, second bike has  small tool boxes ,not on the first, possibly a tank panel can be made out?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 02:33:30 PM by mini-me »

Offline vintage_keith

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2019, 11:34:34 PM »
I've got both a 350 and 500 Levis, and neither of these bikes in the photos is a Levis.
Levis used a single front frame tube as already mentioned, but it connects to engine plates at the TOP of the crankcase.
In the top photo the front frame tube can be seen continueing to a much lower level.
The exhaust ports do project on a Levis, but not like in the top photo, also the pipes leave the head fairly horizontally, before curving down, and the bend projects in front of the frame tube when viewed side on. None of these features in the top photo.
The petrol tank is the wrong shape, and the blurry maker's transfer is too far forwards.
Hope this helps  ;)

Offline cardan

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2019, 03:17:48 AM »
The engines used in the OECs in 1934 were branded OEC, but I assume they were made by Blackburne. Some catalogues suggest there was a 350, which may have had the same layout as the 250, but the 500 ohv did not have the same distinctive exhaust port and exhaust angle. Pity there aren't some better photos.

Cheers

Leon

Offline Wavy Gravy

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Re: Can anyone identify this bike?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2019, 11:51:02 AM »
I did find one more photo yesterday. I'll scan it and post as soon as I can. Its not much clearer than the others, however. I'm currently looking for others that may be better. Stay tuned... :)