Monday, July 13, 2020

Big bloke little Bantam

Chap is dwarfing his little D1 plunger Bantam. Not to worry they're plucky little bikes and more than capable of hauling him along. A little hard to tell from the photo but it looks like it is the earlier model with what is popularly known as the 'pineapple' barrel and Lucas electrics. Look closely and there seems to be a battery hiding in there making it a De-Luxe model. The dual seat was an optional extra.

Proud owner of BSA Bantam D1 plunger model.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Dot Vivi 1957

Several of the small British manufacturers tried to cash in on the 1950's scooter and moped boom by importing European models and rebranding them under their own flag. Dot was one of these with their Dot Vivi range.

Vivi mopeds were made in Italy by Officine Viberti (a manufacturer of coach bodies and trailers) in collaboration with the German company Victoria (Victoria engines were used). Viberti Victoria - Vivi.

The Vivi machines were quite competent lightweights having conventional Italian cycle parts and a tried and tested German motor. Dot imported them from 1957 to 1962.

The Dot Vivi showed good sporting potential and 50cc racing was taking off in the late fifties so Dot intitiated their own small scale racing programme - there's a nice article about it on the Classic 50 Racing Club website.

Striking cover design from Dot for
for their Dot-Vivi range.
Here's the base model Dot-Vivi Moped.

The Dot-Vivi Racer is really a racer
in name only. Nice sporty looks but
same front end and motor as the Moped.

And finally the Dot-Vivi Scooterette.
This model is the same as the Moped
with the addition of legshields and an
extra valance on the rear mudguard.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Lincoln Imp makeover

As per previous posts lockdown was a good opportunity to get on with a few easy win bicycle projects, the bonus being that there was also lots of opportunity to get out and enjoy the finished article.

The first time I built up this Elswick Hopper Lincoln Imp it was what would be called in the motorcycle world a restomod. Modern aero rims mated to Sturmey Archer Steelite hub brakes and three speed along with a modern retro saddle and bars. Here it is below

For a while I had been in the mood to make it a bit more period correct and a moment of enlightenment came tidying up the workshop when I realised that I had all the parts needed just lying around. Overall the results are quite pleasing. I wanted to keep it single speed but only had a five speed wheel so ran it on the centre cog. I think I might add a derailleur soon to make it slightly more authentic. Results are as follows...

Brake levers are Universal. They are a great shape of levers, very under-rated but this gives the bonus of keeping them nice and cheap.

The Lincoln Imp is an off the peg cycle but it's all 531 and a good ride. Plus it's got the best logo.

The calipers are GB sprite.

Both rims and hubs are Milremo. Can't say they have had the best of storage as the spokes have some corosion but the rims look like they are new or at least barely used.

And the GB Sprite rear. I like GB brakes but quite honestly the Sprite is a fairly average product.

And finally cork end plugs just the way they should be.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Panther Redwing

Young chap is trying a Panther Redwing for size. Future dreams of speed. Hard to say but from the size of the barrel I would hazard a guess this is the 350cc Model Redwing 80 and dating from the early thirties.

Panther Redwing 80 350cc.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Craven W Rack

Craven W Rack fitted to 1961 Norton Dominator.
In anticipation of hopefully being able to take the Norton across the channel later this season I picked up a second hand Craven W Rack from eBay and then got in touch with the helpful chaps at Draganfly Motorcycles to get a fitting kit for my '61 Dominator. Draganfly have been the owners of the Craven Equipment brand since 2007.

The redux Craven kit is very similar to the original Ken Craven products but with slight changes and improvements to incorporate modern production techniques. The W Rack has an additional flat slotted mounting rail along the underside that initially I was not a fan of on the basis of visual appearance but in terms of practicality and fitting it is a boon.

New Craven racks and mountings come with the bonus that they can be ordered in stainless steel. They are nicely made but as with most modern stainless products some of the edges on the flat plate parts are quite severe and benefit from getting a light file or emery paper out before fitting.

I chose to get the mounting kit that gives the option of panniers: these ones have a bracket going down to the pillion footrest mount for extra stability and to take the weight of loaded panniers. The mounting kit listed for Slimline Featherbeds is aimed at the Atlas model, I had to cut a couple of inches off the long mount down to the pillion rests. I rather expect minor adaptations in fitting parts like these to old bikes and in many ways was happy to have the ability to tailor the mounts to my bike as I wanted the pannier mount and the rear mount to the mudguard stay to be matched in anngle to give a slightly more graceful look.

Now that I'm fully set up all that remains is to find an event that is happening, book a ferry and hit the road...

I tried to get the angle on these two brackets matching.

And the full view.

Carrying a pair of old swagman panniers. I'm going to look
out for a set of original Craven Dolomites in cream.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Seventies snack van

Somewhere in England at the very twilight of British motorcycles.....

A pair of patriotic (or perhaps impecunious) purchasers who shunned Japanese reliability and technology with a Norton single and an old pre-unit Triumph. In the background a '72 plated Suzuki stroker twin

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Cycle touring thirties style

Just to prove there are very few new ideas out there here is a 1930s Midland frame bag fitted to my 1937 Royal Enfield Bullet twin tube. To add to the ensemble is a pair of Chossy panniers from a similar age.

The Enfield is only part way through its restoration but is coming together nicely. I offered up the frame bag and panniers just to see how they looked, I think they compliment the Bullet nicely and will become a feature once restoration is finished. Though the Bullet was marketed as a sports machine it is undoubtedly slightly too sturdy to appeal to the out and out racer and was more of the type of general clubmans machines of the period that were a once size fits all cycle: something you could ride to work on in the week, go out on club rides on at the weekend and even take away for a camping holiday.

Royal Enfield Bullet twin tube bicycle.

Midland bicycle frame bag.

'The Chossy' panniers.