Author Topic: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's  (Read 999 times)

Offline Ralf89

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Hello,
I am looking for a front wheel and a girder fork for a lightweight motorcycle from 1925. It is an austrian motorcycle brand, but almost all parts are british.
The front wheel should fit for 26x2 beaded edge tyre (or maybe 26x2,25), so the circumference of the beaded edge rim should be aprox. 172 cm (inner section) and the inner width of the rim aprox 3,5cm. Furthermore the front wheel should have a drum brake and 40 spokes.
The girder fork which I am also looking for, is maybe a brampton fork, but I am not sure.
Please take a look on the photo, I think the experts here can identifier my wanted parts.
If anybody have such a front wheel or grider fork, or only parts of it and would sell it, would make make very happy.
Many thanks in advance
kind regards
Ralf (and sorry for my bad english)

Offline cardan

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2020, 05:17:07 AM »
Hi Ralf,

That's a pretty little bike.

The forks are "Druid pattern" - that is they use the Druid patent with a side spring on either side and links top and bottom. By the mid 1920s most were built under license by people other than Drew. I've not seen forks with the same design as these on a British bike, so I wonder if these were built by DSH, or perhaps another European maker. You will find similar lightweight Druid forks, but not exactly the same shape or tube diameters.

Re the front wheel, there were a number of British manufacturers making small (maybe 4" - 10cm) drum brakes for lightweights. British Hub Co made the Motobrake (attached), but there would be similar things from Horton, Chater Lea, and others. I think you'll find most lightweight front wheels were 36 spoke - like the one in your photo!

I don't think the bike would be spoiled if you fitted slightly-non-standard forks and front hub if you can't find the exact items.

Good luck!

Leon

Offline R

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2020, 06:22:46 AM »
I don't think the bike would be spoiled if you fitted slightly-non-standard forks and front hub if you can't find the exact items.

I'd comment that I fitted a front wheel off I think a Honda XL175 to something similar.
It uses a (modern) 21" front trials type tyre of the drop centre type,
the axle required a little machining to make it fit, and a brake anchor.
A coat of black, and you can barely spot the difference.
Until the correct wheel comes along....

Offline Rex

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2020, 06:22:24 PM »
...Or there's always the ubiquitous Bantam front hub?

Offline Ralf89

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2020, 06:23:28 PM »
Good evening everyone!

Many many thanks for your answers! Thats a great forum!
The reason, why I am looking for a 40 spokes wheel is because the existing rear wheel also has 40 spokes.
But you are right, on the photo from my first post are only 36 spokes. Maybe my rear wheel is wrong or the DSH was produced in both variants.
And you are all absolutely right, better a front wheel wi“hich is not 100% correct, then no front wheel  ;D
Thank you for the hint with the hub manufacture, thats very useful!

Re the girder fork, I think you are right, maybe the frok was selfmade by DSH under licence from Druid.
Attached you can find a photo of such a DSH with the fork.

Many thanks to all!

Regards

Ralf

Offline cardan

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2020, 11:51:25 PM »
Hi Ralf,

I don't know why, but 36 front/40 rear is pretty normal on British cycles and motorcycles. A few of the lightweights - and BSA - used 32 spokes at the front, but 40 spokes at the front is pretty rare in the vintage years.

In their advertising, the British Hub Co. claimed to be the biggest manufacturer of hubs in the British Empire, and made a big deal of their exports, so their products were used in bikes around the world.

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2021, 07:28:32 AM »
Here's a very pretty wheel, with a 3 1/2" Webb brake and a 26 x 2 1/2" beaded edge rim.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274661030055

Leon

Offline Rex

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2021, 08:55:59 AM »
Two hundred quid? Must be Robyn B'Stard selling it.

Offline mini-me

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2021, 03:14:56 PM »
Actually I've dealt with that seller a few times, he's ok, pays good money for stuff and knows his vintage kit.


Offline cardan

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2021, 11:53:42 PM »
Yeah it's expensive, but much cheaper than making a new one!

I see a lot of people get stuck at the wheel stage when restoring vintage bikes. A complete wheel - if it has a good rim (true and not rusted), sound spokes, brake with backing plate and shoes, operating arm, torque arm, axle, axle nuts, bearings - that is ready to drop in, can make a huge difference. It's a long way from a bare hub and a rusty rim to a usable wheel!

I'd prefer to pay 50 quid, but if this was exactly the wheel you were looking for, 200 might be today's "retail" price?

Cheers

Leon

Offline john.k

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2021, 02:12:08 AM »
getting a complete wheel with the brake .more or less ready to go...except I bet it has cup and cone bearings (completely knackered).....is OK on todays prices .....I see locally ,50s Matchless and Ariel wheels for that kind of money.

Offline mini-me

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2021, 08:08:34 AM »
pragmatically, you have a nice  vintage bike worth say 4-5k which is complete except for a front wheel..................so 300£ is too expensive to make it complete?


Offline Rex

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2021, 08:46:53 AM »
Fair do's, and on reflection my comment on the price was ill-judged.
I hope I'm not turning into one of those blokes who post things like "four hundred quid for a B31 engine? I remember buying the whole bike for ten bob and a pint of Watneys..etc etc"... :o

Offline john.k

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2021, 12:40:51 PM »
If I really want to get upset over prices,I just need to go my brothers,and he recites current prices for old Harley stuff...like $1000 for a 40s headlight,$800 for the little light off the front mudguard,$1200 for a speedo ,and on it goes....All stuff I have given away in the 1970s....of course ,thats a while ago now.

Offline 33d6

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Re: Searching front wheel and fork for lightweight motorcycle from 1920's
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2021, 09:55:30 PM »
In my tender spotty faced yoof bikes with the lowest street cred were ex-army stuff. I started with an exWD M20 and my only consolation was that another apprentice had an ex-army WLA Harley. He was even lower down the street cred scale. They were absolutely the cheapest bikes an apprentice could buy.
Strange how things change.