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Topics - JFerg

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British Bikes / ML Magneto.
« on: November 06, 2020, 05:18:03 AM »
My current project is approaching completion.  I've made the cables, but have a problem with the advance/retard for the reconditioned round ML magneto.  There is no internal spring to return the points cam to the full retard position.  I'd planned to use an external volute spring over the cable, but the lever arm is rounded such that the spring flips over the end at full advance and jams there.  There's nowhere on the arm to attach a spring, and only smooth crankcase beneath it, so nowhere to anchor a spring there either.  What's the standard ML arrangement?

Identify these bikes! / Identify this tank please
« on: October 06, 2020, 11:16:04 PM »
This is close to the last item from a deceased estate I am clearing.  It's a lovely tank, but what's it from?  Nicely made, with the bottom edges rounded to roll under, it looks European; but the threads are all Imperial, so I guess it's British.  It has (or had) a hand auxiliary pump.  That makes it a very early saddle tank, 1925 or 1926.  Best suggestion I've had is OEC, and it could be; but all I can find on OEC is either later or so focussed on duplex steering that the tank gets neither mention nor photo.  Mountings are 9" x 5 1/14".

American Bikes / 1914 two speed American X
« on: July 30, 2020, 02:58:56 AM »
Just dragged out of a garage after 40 plus years in hiding.  Needs tyres and a wipe over with the oily rag before it's ready to use.  Shannon's Auctions, Melbourne, on-line auction starting 11 November.  When will you see another one?

European and Other Bikes / Cito KG
« on: July 30, 2020, 02:53:30 AM »
Here is your chance.  As far as I can tell, there are only three other examples of the 500cc OHV, shaft drive Cito KG in existence.  This one came out of a garage in Melbourne, Australia, last week.  Very complete, although missing Bosch electric lights, and needing tyres.  Original paint and too good to restore, but why would you?  Date is unclear, but early twenties.  Now at Shannon's Auction, Melbourne, for on-line auction starting 11 November.

British Bikes / Warren's Shed
« on: July 30, 2020, 01:54:36 AM »
1922 Stanger in original paint, unrestored.  V twin two stroke.  Complete.  Last ridden 1975ish.  Not seized, the engine is free.  Only one other known, in Sammy Miller's museum.  New tyres, a wipe with the oily rag and a quick once over will have it running again.  Now at Shannon's Auctions in Melbourne, for on-line auction starting 11 November.

British Bikes / Best & Lloyd mechanical pumps
« on: June 24, 2019, 08:39:35 AM »
I will probably regret raising this, but here goes......

A standard B&L Mk II pump will deliver at maximum 500ml per hour driven at 1000rpm, according to messrs Best and Lloyd.

Whilst this is no big deal with most poppet valve engines of the period, which simply belch the surplus out, it is an issue for the Barr & Stroud engine.  One of the best documented and most widely repeated tales is that of Philip Brown and his 1,000cc B&S V twin engined Brough outfit, who seized the engine one day in Dorset whilst trying to cut back the oil to reduce the smoking.  What happens in the oil-tight B&S engine is that the excess oil builds up in the sump until the flywheels can get it, at which point commences a smoke screen of battleship proportions.  I've had this happen with Ever Onward, which is 500cc B&S powered.  The fix is to stop and drain the sump, which solves the problem, but isn't convenient, ever.  With the B&L set perilously close to off, it still over-oiled terribly.  It now runs a Pilgrim.  I don't have delivery rate data for a Pilgrim, but at around 4 drops per minute, it's fine.

Later Best & Lloyd pumps were designed to deliver only 200ml per hour, driven at 1,000rpm, 40% of the earlier pumps, and a tacit acknowledgement that 500cc per hour is too much.

My current project is 500cc B&S powered, and I have a lovely B&L Mk II pump, with tell-tale that I'd like to use, but I need to reduce the pumping rate to around 40%.

Has anybody gone down this path before?  What did they do?


Identify these bikes! / Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: January 10, 2018, 09:15:13 PM »
Who can help identify this machine?  Not much is known; it's a Czech registration, a photo taken in Czech.  Electric lighting and the overall style suggest late twenties or early thirties, but the 500cc Barr and Stroud sleeve valve engine is from 1924.  There is a name on the tank, just not enough that I can read.

British Bikes / Norton (??) brake cable.
« on: March 01, 2017, 05:51:09 AM »
Can anyone identify this cable, which came with stuff believed to be late Norton, Commando era.  It's new, unused.  Distinguishing feature is the rubber boot mid cable, which conceals a spring.  No switch, just a spring, but a stiff spring, like a valve spring.  Half inch ID, 2 1/8" long, and won't compress at all under finger pressure.  There's also a natty little rubber concertina cover for the presumed pedal end.  Having the adjuster mid-cable is unusual, too

Wanted Bikes / Barr & Stroud
« on: June 13, 2016, 03:55:06 AM »
Wanted, anything related to Barr and Stroud single sleeve valve engines, or anyone who has one.
I have a couple of 500cc engines, but I have also been through the archives and have as complete a sales record of these engines as it is possible to get.  I can probably date any engines out there, and probably supply a copy of the original sales order in exchange for an engine number.


British Bikes / Brooklands cans
« on: December 07, 2011, 06:30:01 AM »
Is there anyone who makes small sized "Brooklands cans"??

I have a twin port 350cc dog-ear JAP racer as my next project.  I need to get a pair of cans for it so that I can have an exhaust made in order that I can fit the footrests etc.  The only proprietary cans I can find all seem to come from the one place and are huge, at 24" long.  That's doubtless fine on a thundering 1,000cc twin, but far too big for me.

Brooklands rules required the "official receiver" (can) to have a volume six times the swept piston displacement, which for a twin port is then spread across two cans.  I need cans that are only a smidge over 1 litre, a third the size of what is available.  With 4" fishtails, I'm expecting an overall length under 18", versus 24" of the available types.



British Bikes / Beaded Edge Tyres
« on: July 25, 2011, 05:13:37 AM »
My bike as 26 x 3 beaded edge tyres fitted.

There's a very good chance that they've been on it since it was built in 1968; 43 years ago.  Certainly they are well cracked along the walls; myriad fine cracks parallel with the rim.   Although I have not ridden it in the wet, these tyres have never given me any cause to doubt, and never a fright.

However... I have had experience of  a car with 25 year old tyres that was fine-ish in the dry and undriveable in the wet due zero traction.

Should I replace these tyres?  What is the collected experience with BE tyres?


Identify these bikes! / Old French registrations.
« on: February 23, 2011, 04:54:10 AM »
A friend of mine has a family photo, believed taken in France, possibly Alsace, of family members on a 1916/17 model 16C Harley with electric lights.  The registration number is 7567-P.  Can anyone glean any more info from that number?


Identify these bikes! / What is this tank from?
« on: February 21, 2011, 10:13:10 PM »
I've had this for years, on the basis that it is the same pressing as used by New Imperial in the late twenties and therefore useful.  I presume that makes it as Birmingham product.  There is a separate oil tank with exit only, which means it was for a total loss lubrication system.  The gear quadrant "mounts" look like blanks, ie; appear never to have been tapped or have had studs on them, so however the gear change was arranged, it wasn't via a gate on the tank.  It looks like original paint, and the logo of the star and banner is quite distinctive.  There is no trace of lettering at all.  What's it from?


British Bikes / Ever Onward
« on: February 10, 2011, 08:11:03 PM »
Further to Cardan's comment on another thread, a brief explanation of "Ever Onward".

Barr and Stroud made precision optical equipment in Glasgow, binoculars, rangefinders etc, and this business dried up in November 1918.  They cast around for something else to do, and took a license from Argyll Motors, a Glaswegian company building Glaswegian Peter Burt's single sleeve design into multi cylinder car engines.  B&S wanted to break into the proprietary motorcycle engine business of JAP, Sturmey Archer, Blackburne et al.  Their success was decidedly limited.

Ever Onward's engine was despatched complete with carb and magneto.  The original intention is unknown, and was certainly never realised, because the engine was still basically new when Warren obtained it in 1967.

Believing that the engine deserved to be more than a static exhibit, he built a vehicle for it.  It is a Norton frame with Douglas 'guards, but there are contributions from Cov. Eagle, Enfield, Levis, BSA, and sundry others unknown.  It is all early twenties and quite true in that respect.  Ever Onward is the result, emerging in 1968.  The "name" is a statement of fact, not a brand or slogan; it is "Ever Onward", not "the Ever Onward"

Purists are entitled to tut and disparage it as the bitzer that it certainly is.  Whether it is more or less of a bitzer than was produced by any and many of the small "makers" (or subsequent restorers) could be argued at length and does not matter.  To me, what matters is that one of the most technically interesting engines of the Vintage era is being seen and heard by a wide audience because the thing gets used as the various original makers intended.  Unusually for a flat tanker, it has decent brakes, so can and does get ridden in suburban traffic.

Sleeve valve technology has not had a lot of development when compared with poppet valves, but can by no means be dismissed as the work of crackpots.  Harry Ricardo was a great enthusiast, and to this day the most powerful spark ignition engines ever built, the Bristol Centaurus and Napier Lion aero engines, were single sleeve Burt engines.  Also, to this day we're still having trouble with poppet valves, despite the many millions of engineer-hours that have been applied to them over the last century.


British Bikes / Flat tank BSA oiling
« on: February 05, 2011, 11:08:29 PM »
I have a hand pump and sight feed reputedly ex-BSA on my bike.

It is a total loss system, with a Best and Lloyd pump feeding to the sight glass.

Problem is that the bike is over-oiling quite badly, spraying liquid oil all over the back wheel, and dripping from the pipe.  The oil pump is set at "OFF" already, so can't be cracked back any further, and it's a known phenomenon that B&L pumps pump way too much.

There is a needle valve in the line to the sight glass, as part of the hand pump casting, but it seems not to do anything at all, no matter how tightly it is wound in.  The tapered needle itself is truncated, and does not come to any sort of point.

Question is, what should that needle look like?  Should it taper to a point?


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