Saturday, February 9, 2019

Getting ready for the Pioneer Run

1914 Sun. 10 miles is possibly the furthest journey this bike
has undertaken for some fifty years.

A lot of icy and snowy weather of late but it has warmed up the last few days and a few heavy downpours of rain have washed the salt away from the roads. Today it seemed like a good idea to take the 1914 Sun out for a quick shake down ride.

At the moment the device is a bit of a pig to start and won't do much without some easystart (ether spray) and a plug clean. Once warm though it only takes a short paddle off to get it going, which is just as well when there is no clutch.

The good news on the short ten mile run was that the bike was basically sound, no problems at all from the motor just a few things to tighten up - a saddle that moved when you hit a sharp bump, loose head bearings and a carb that blew off its flange when the bike backfired. Easy fixes and nothing to stress about.

Lever for the two speed crash gearbox is on the tank. The bike
runs on pre-mix two stroke oil but there is the option to give a
squirt of oil direct to the bore from the separate oil tank if under
heavy load. With modern two stroke oils this seems to be a
redundant feature.

When warmed up the little Sun purrs along nicely. It takes a while to get used to the clutchless crash gearbox but the ratios are ideal, at a guess cruising speed is somewhere around 25mph, the motor is nice and flexible and takes inclines in its stride. Brakes are predictably feeble but overall it is a very simple bike to ride. Once the air and mag levers are set up pretty much all you need to do is to operate the throttle. The skill comes in timing junctions so that you don't have to come to a stop and then re-start the engine.

So now, some fettling to be done, more test rides and then Epsom Downs here we come...

The Sun is Brighton bound.


  1. A sweet little bike,love it. Does not one of these figure in the beginning of that great little book, The Land Beyond The Ridge?

    1. I've just pulled The Land Beyond the Ridge off the shelf and re-visited and yes, indeed it does. A very slightly later machine but to all intents and purposes the same. Not sure I'm willing to see if this example will reach the heady speed of 40mph though!