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Messages - JFerg

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Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: May 23, 2021, 02:14:43 AM »
The two Maplestone V twins were definitely exported, with the payment having been received on 15th October 1924.  Given Maplestone's profile, we'd expect that had he done anything with them, or even canvassed a plan, it would have been reported in the Melbourne press.

The engines would have arrived in Melbourne early in 1925.  Mapletone's workshop at that stage was the ground floor of a three-storey building in LaTrobe street, the whole lot destroyed by fire in July.  There was a plater's shop above, and the report is that the whole of the machinery and stock was destroyed.  You'd assume those engines went with it, yet one turns up in Surrey Hills....

There's an explanation for the sales of B&S in WA.  Motorities, in Wolverhampton, offered the "DeLuxe" range, which was built from whatever they could gather up from liquidation sales of true manufacturers.  The father of AE Bradford, the principal,  had been to Perth at some stage, saw a market opportunity, and Motorities sought to exploit it.  Certainly they introduced the B&S engine to the WA Railways, and I suspect that the machines registered just as "B&S" were from Motorities.  Perhaps there was some issue with "DeLuxe" as a brand in this market.

Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: May 04, 2021, 08:39:03 AM »
I have that Harry Beanham photo of the 350 GCS, too.  It's the only photo I have of a B&S engined bike in Oz, other than Ever Onward, of course.  And New Onward.

Two 350cc B&S came to Melbourne.  One went to Mairs, ironmongers who became the McEwan hardware empire, the other went with two 500's and a V twin 1,000cc to consignee unknown, but Stillwells must be a good chance.  Norm Maplestone bought two V twins, but there's no record of him building a bike out of them.  If he had done, it would have been reported.  A B&S V twin cycle car emerged in Surrey Hills (Melb) in 1928, then vanished, but that would have to be one of Maplestone's engines.  Norm McCubbin reportedly had a V twin B&S as a mantel-piece ornament, which one I don't know.  His wife finally protested, and it went to Moorabbin tip in 1965.  Despite extensive excavations by Warren, it's probably still there.

In Sydney, P&R Williams bought a 350 and a V twin 1,000cc, but there are no reports that I have found of a B&S Waratah....  A second Sydney shipment was a 500 and a V twin 1,000cc.  The 500 found it's way to Wilcannia, and thence Ever Onward.  No record of the twin.

A load of 350's went to Perth.  All the loose engines went to the WARailways.  Stotts in Fremantle moved a number of 350 B&S engined Coventry Bicycles machines, but they were imported as complete machines.  Registration records suggest at least a dozen were on the roads over there.  They were registered as "B&S", or "Coventry B&S".

All jigsaw pieces gratefully accepted......


Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: May 03, 2021, 10:27:26 PM »
More jigsaw pieces, thanks Leon.

Can you point me to that article, I need a copy of that in my file.


Identify these bikes! / Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« on: May 03, 2021, 01:06:38 PM »
I can get very close, Leon, but not quite claim the cigar.

One engine, #290, was sent to Adelaide.  It was ordered on 12 May, 1922, and despatched on the 19th, to Roy Hill & Co, in Adelaide.

Subsequent research showed that Roy Hill & Co became Roy Hill and Sons, and were suppliers to the Adelaide motor trade.  They had a link to Empire Cycles through Charles Ramsay, who apparently was a manager of both firms.  No demonstrable link to Elliots, although the dates match very nicely.  Despatch Anniesland in May, arrive Adelaide August or September.

Would be fairly sure it was a one-off.

However.....  Warren maintained that Allparts had a V twin B&S as a window display circa 1937.  A then 13 year old engine thought worthy of a window display.  Hard to imagine it then being scrapped; is it under an Adelaide bench somewhere?

British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 06, 2021, 11:15:21 PM »
An even redder herring.

Two other engines, a 500 and a V twin, were despatched to Sydney in April 1923, but just to a shipping mark "S294", which is tantalising.  That 500 is in Ever Onward, but how and why it travelled from Sydney to Wilcannia still in the packaging remains a mystery.

British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 06, 2021, 11:02:58 PM »

What did they do with them? Not build two B&S Waratahs, because at this time (1923-4) it was Williams Bros (the elder generation of the family) and not P&R Williams (the younger generation) who were importing and selling Waratahs.

My finger fault on the date.  The order was placed on 13 Nov, 1923 for delivery "on account of Messrs P&R Williams Ltd, Sydney", and was despatched on the 17th.  Both engines complete with AMAC carbs and ML magneto.

At least we know what didn't happen to them.....

British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 06, 2021, 10:52:59 PM »
That is brilliant, Leon, fantastic.  Thank you.  A red herring no more!

British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 06, 2021, 06:34:02 AM »
Here's a P&R Williams red herring for you, Leon.

In late 1923 they bought two Barr & Stroud engines, a 350 and 1,000cc V twin.  Not been able to find a trace of either since, but conventional logic would be that they were each built into a machine of some description.  Both engines were on the same order.


British Bikes / Re: Omega motorcycle
« on: January 06, 2021, 02:41:30 AM »
Thanks, Murdo.

Omega bought at least 38 engines from Barr & Stroud, all 350's.  Not aware of any survivors.


British Bikes / Re: ML Magneto.
« on: November 06, 2020, 10:13:29 PM »
That's it exactly, Leon, thanks.
Obviously my "self contained spring" isn't doing what it should.  Given the short travel, light load and proximity of the cable anchor, it should push back if I increase my cable gauge a whisker.  I don't really want to pull it off and apart if I can avoid it.

many thanks,

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! / Re: Identify this tank please
« on: October 07, 2020, 10:04:11 PM »
a couple more pictures.

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".

British Bikes / Re: AMAL 289 questions
« on: August 04, 2020, 11:20:11 PM »
Don't know what happened there....

1.  Holes are for the intake of air at idle, but that's not going to be an issue in this case.
2.  Fuel level in a vertically mounted carb is, in the perfect world, just below the jet in the choke such that when the throttle is opened, fuel will seep into the choke by surface tension.  When the engine is not running, of course.  In practice, a smidge below this is perfect and does not dribble.  With the chokes and jets horizontal, the same principle will apply.  The highest level where it won't dribble out unassisted.  Note that this is the fuel level, not the float level, which is a very different thing.
With the standard type 29/289, there's a drilling through the arm of the float bowl.  This is blanked with a little screw opposite the drilling on the mounting flange of the float bowl.  Replace that with a little adapter screw and a pit of clear plastic tubing tied to the side of the carb and you can see the fuel level precisely.

British Bikes / Re: AMAL 289 questions
« on: August 04, 2020, 11:09:12 PM »
Back at the original question;


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