Thursday, November 23, 2017

Rigid AJS surrounded by sheds

A pair of slightly poor quality snaps of an early post war AJS, either a 16M (350cc) or an 18M (500cc) model.

I have no idea what or where the location is, it looks too grim even for a post war holiday camp, could it be army barracks or perhaps a wartime internment camp? In the second photo you can see the front number plate which is obviously not British though where it is from I am not sure.



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More Cleveland Two Strokes

The second tranche of Cleveland two stroke miscellania. As with the previous Cleveland post these are all cribbed from the four corners of the interweb. A number of the scans were posted up on the Motorcycles 1886 to 1930 Facebook page by a kindly soul - sorry I cannot find the post again to credit you. I've got a parts manual and an instruction book too which I will endeavour to scan and post in the not too distant future. In the meantime, enjoy these snippets...






















Saturday, November 18, 2017

The two hundred quid Kwacker - part doh!

I've finally gotten round to getting the Ninja project up on to the workbench. In great optimism I had told myself that a fresh battery, fresh fuel and a drop of easy start would waken the beast. I was indeed right but then it all went wrong....

Finally up on the bench and getting some attention.

In the spirit of a skinflint project a friend donated a useable battery that was pretty much of correct dimensions. I gave it a charge, removed the airfilter to get maximum injection of easy start and put a couple of litres of 98 octane in through the filler. 

Fresh battery and a top up charge.

All the right warning lights came on, the motor cranked over a lot, spluttered a lot and then she burst in to life. Happiness, she sounded sweet as a nut and revved up fine so it looked like I wouldn't have to rebuild the carbs, good news.

Out of the workshop and on to the track round the back of our house, a gentle ride up and down and then stop to check all is well - I hadn't checked the coolant yet so didn't want to overheat her. Onto the stand and hmmm... a suspicious steady drip of oil.

Lights on!

Off came the sidepanels and a steady stream of rather milky looking oil was leaking down from the cylinder head area. Head gasket gone, so that was why she was laid up in the first place....

Alas the milkiness of the oil signifies that coolant has mixed with the oil where the head gasket has failed. With any luck no serious damage caused but it does mean flushing the cooling system, flushing the oil and a new head gasket.

And a suspicious oil slick.

And this, sadly is where I admit defeat. With several other projects on the go the dream of a dirt cheap classic back on the road for minimal effort has faded. Whilst fitting a new head gasket might possibly only take me one evening of work there is a chance I could have to go in deeper than that and don't want to get too sidelined away from other ongoing jobs. So, if anyone fancies a dirt cheap eighties classic then get in touch!

I'd still maintain that all the people who say that the hobby of classic / vintage motorcycling is unaffordable are wrong. Sure, on a limited budget you're not going to step right in to the scene and pick up a ready to go thirties thoroughbred for a song but there are plenty of bikes out there for not much money that you can have a lot of fun with and are fairly decent cheap daily transport too. 

The oil is coming from the cylinder head.

Spider's web is gratis with the bike. The oil in the cases looks
slightly emulsified.

Pure eighties. Quite a nice looking bike in my eyes.

Great number plate too. People you overtake will look at it
and think 'wink', definitely.

If Michael Knight were to give up Kitt for two wheels this
is 100% the bike he would ride.





Thursday, November 16, 2017

Modern British Motorcycles

This little album of collectors cards was published in 1953 by ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). Obviously enough the aim of the album was to impart hints and tips for safe riding; it's a cute little publication though and gives a nice cross-section of the products of the British motorcycle industry at the time.

Click on each page to get a larger, better resolution image.