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Messages - cardan

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British Bikes / Re: Australian-made motorcycles in the 1950s - help please
« on: November 18, 2023, 10:40:44 AM »
Ah yes - I actually came across a real Malvern Star at a "Show and Shine" here in SA a couple of weeks ago, and I had a close look. The first time I have actually examined one close up!

Although it was badged as "1945" it had an 8M frame prefix (on the seat lug), so 1948. The engine number was 586/9150 - the prefix as noted by 33d6 for the postwar Malvern Star models. I had a chat with the owner and the bike was purchased many years ago (say 25) in Queensland, so not sure where it was originally sold. Does it appear on your Victorian list 33d6?

It was very cute, and I enjoyed looking at the detail. Particularly the "low temperature welded" frame. It had been restored from a very original machine.



British Bikes / Re: 1910s/1920s Silver paint?
« on: October 18, 2023, 11:47:29 PM »
Here's a Rudge tank - previously quite rusty on the surface - after a week in a molasses solution.


British Bikes / Re: 1910s/1920s Silver paint?
« on: October 18, 2023, 10:41:38 AM »
Yes I don't think there's much chance of a line of restored Triple Hs displaying their silver tanks! Important to have a silver that looks 1920s rather than 2020s though... I like Ian's Norton colour and finish.


British Bikes / Re: 1910s/1920s Silver paint?
« on: October 16, 2023, 12:23:09 PM »
Hi Keith,

Oh it's gorgeous! If it were mine I wouldn't paint it at all... just do the mechanicals, deep clean, and give it a wipe-over with lanolin or similar as it goes back together. The next person can paint it if they want to.

But silvers: ever seen a line-up of restored veteran Triumphs? All silver, but not quite the same silver.

The problem is the way old silver paints change as they age, so trying to guess the original colour is fraught. Anyway there is lots of chat about appropriate colours for the many bikes that used silver as the main tank colour, e.g. Douglas The last time I had a silver tank painted (a locally-made "Bullock") I did use a silver with a little bit of fine "metal flake" in it. I was very happy as it looks good but doesn't sparkle too much in the sun! Triumph (and probably others) referred to their silver as "aluminium" - maybe it had some aluminium in it?

When I do paint, it's to stop metal going rusty, so I just use an etch primer topped by "epoxy enamel", both from rattle cans. A bit embarrassing, but I'm more interested in originality, well-functioning mechanicals, and history. And I'm rubbish at painting!



British Bikes / Re: vincent rapide on ebay
« on: September 18, 2023, 12:10:57 PM »
That price estimate is a bit low ?
Exactly 2x too low - sold for a cracking $A76,000. Super nice.


American Bikes / Re: Crocker Speedway
« on: August 30, 2023, 11:55:36 PM »
Good point - maybe that's the reason. With a massive amount of power from the speedway engine the price is the chains yanking the countershaft in opposite directions at each end.


American Bikes / Re: Crocker Speedway
« on: August 30, 2023, 05:09:59 AM »
1931 and 1932 have 1930 specs.

Rudge? The 1931 DT Rudge used a very different engine from the 1930 DT. It was based on the 1930 TT engine, so it had different crankcase, timing gears, cylinder, and head (with bolt-on plates rather than cast-in pillars to support the valve gear). Also for 1931 there was an option of the standard 1930-type frame, or a new longer wheelbase version. Despite the fab new engine, even Rudge greats were bolting JAP engines into their Rudges after the first few races of the 1931 UK season - the origin of Victor Martin's "Martin JAP". I see that Martin's early brochures noted that the frames were made "Under Licence with Rudge Whitworth Ltd" - interesting that Martin and Wallis/Comerford ended up under the same umbrella.

I wonder why the Crocker DT machine ended up with a cross-over gearbox. Seems like such a bad idea on paper.


American Bikes / Re: Crocker Speedway
« on: August 29, 2023, 04:01:25 AM »
Yes indeed - one mention in 1933 with no illustration and no specs. Worth pointing out that your "1933 DT" post has an illustration from the 1931 catalogue.

What year is your Floyd Clymer/Comerford JAP article? I see Comerford were originally called Comerford-Wallis so presumably the early Comerford bikes were made by Wallis, or from the Wallis design, and later Martin?


American Bikes / Re: Crocker Speedway
« on: August 28, 2023, 05:09:44 AM »
Rudge DT was listed in 1933 catalog but it is unknown if any were built. That would make them 1932.

No, it wasn't. Your image is from the 1931 Rudge catalogue, which would have been produced in (say) September 1930.

Interestingly the actual bike had some big differences from the drawing: the fat front wheel never made it onto the track (regulations were changed to limit the width of the front tyre), and the gearbox shell (with no gears inside) had been replaced with a countershaft for the 1930 models.

The DT Rudge was listed in the 1932 catalogue (say Sept 1931), with exactly the same illustration as the 1931 catalogue. I bet none - zero - were built or sold. Nor was it in the 1933 catalogue, despite an incredibly potent 6-stud (if I remember correctly) engine having been designed and built to return Rudge to the top of DT racing - the JAP was too good. Rudge withdrew from racing entirely after the end of the 1932 season.

Victor Martin was the distributor, direct from JAP. He later took over Comerford. His Martin frame was a copy of Rudge. The Comerford had  a forged head
Mmm... I don't think so.

To my knowledge, JAP didn't make bikes, nor did Comerford? I think you'll find that Martin made the bikes, and Comerford sold them?


American Bikes / Re: Crocker Speedway
« on: August 27, 2023, 07:17:39 AM »
The "dirt track" bike was a very formulaic thing: the Webb DT fork in a frame of very well prescribed geometry with a single-speed countershaft, either with or without a clutch, depending on racing regulations at the time. All this stuff was designed by Australian Alan Bruce in 1928. His racing bike was taken to England in 1929 by Melbourne Rudge Agent Tommy Rogers and presented to the Rudge factory, who used Bruce's fork, geometry and countershaft for the all-conquering 1930 DT Rudge. The fork was put into production by Webb and sold on all speedway bikes up until the 1960s, and the countershaft and geometry could be copied by anyone, so a 1931 DT JAP was just a JAP engine in someone's DT frame. Martin were big manufacturers, and if I recall correctly these were sold by Commerford's - thus the reference to Floyd Clymer importing Commerford-JAP speedway bikes. The Crocker speedway bikes either used these frames, or copies of them, so while not "Rudge" they were more-or-less 1930 Rudge pattern, as were all speedway bikes. But I don't think short-track speedway was ever really big in the US, at least not as big as it was in the UK and Australia.

I'm not sure what to make of some of the Crockers that come on the market these days...


American Bikes / Re: Crocker Speedway
« on: August 25, 2023, 12:17:27 PM »
Interesting article.

"There never was a Rudge-Crocker..." but Crocker had clearly studied the Rudge engine: the Crocker single is by no means a copy of the Rudge, but it has the same general layout, features and look.

The rise of the JAP engine for speedway/dirt track was meteoric. Through the 1930 season in England the Rudge won more-or-less everything of importance, but after the first few meets of 1931 even the top Rudge riders were fitting JAP engines to their machines. Even the very special Works Rudge engines couldn't compete. My guess would be that even the hand-built single cylinder Crockers had trouble keeping up with the "standard" DT JAP engine.


British Bikes / Re: Simplex in South Australia?
« on: August 24, 2023, 01:46:52 AM »
Thanks for the 12C info - I need an annotated Villiers wall chart!

Although the Sports Motor Cycle Depot was in action for about 27 months (late 1923 to early 1926), I reckon there was probably only one shipment of "Sports" motorcycles, around August 1924. They could have been someone's 1923 leftovers. Is the engine recognisably VIIC? The cycle parts were pure Sun.


British Bikes / Re: Simplex in South Australia?
« on: August 23, 2023, 05:16:56 AM »
Thanks for the update. The rego records have produced some amazing info: a few years ago we didn't know that Simplex motorcycles existed, now we know dates, the different models, the number of each and whether the engine was changed! Wow.

Pity we don't have a single photo or illustration of a Simplex, but we do know that all had Villiers engines, and most or all had Burman gearbox. "Twin port" was often stated - do we think that the 148cc engines used would have been twin port, or the cheaper single port? Tempting to think they were "Excelsior-esque", perhaps mirroring the Waratahs sent to P&R Williams in NSW.

We also know that the 125, 148, 196 and 250 models were all available "elec." (presumably lights powered from the Villiers flywheel), while there were also "De Luxe" versions of the 148 and 250. My guess would be these had real lights powered by a separate generator and a lead-acid battery?

Just so you know, I snip info that were share here and paste it into a file (in this case "simplex.txt") that goes into the simplex folder - one of 600+ folders in the australian bikes folder. In a typical folder there might also be 5-10-20 articles snipped from the newspapers, as well as any photos, catalogues, etc. This now amounts to a truly prodigious amount of info!!



British Bikes / Re: Fantasy dating: a "1914" Excelsior Villiers for sale
« on: August 22, 2023, 01:14:57 PM »
Just had a nice email from the auction house - they have amended the listing.


British Bikes / Re: There's an article..
« on: August 22, 2023, 01:11:14 PM »
Oh no... should have put it on Facebook.

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