Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Bargain Vincent books

 There's a couple of Vincent books being sold at discount prices at the moment. Both are excellent books and stone cold bargains.

First up is Philippe Guyony's 'Vincent Motorcycles. The Untold Story since 1946' published by Veloce. Originally selling at £100 this is now being offered at various stores for around the £30 mark. It's a magnificent 400 page tome, well researched, written and sumptuously illustrated. Given that it is the untold story the main focus is on developments outside of the factory and mainly after the Stevenage doors were closed. Egli Vincents naturally feature heavily, but there is also a lot of good information on the various attempts at marque revival, racing machines and the characters involved with the brand. I could be churlish and say that the untold story is of water scooters, cyclemotors, lawnmowers and imported NSUs but I guess that is another untold story altogether and one that very few want to read about! Really though, a fantastic book: if you like old bike books and have anything more than a passing interest in Vincents then snap this up quick time whilst it is available at a bargain price.

Next and equally interesting is 'Vincent Motorcycles Since 1955. The Continuing Story' by David Wright and published by the Vincent Owners' Club. Though similar in title to Philippe's book the content is quite different and concentrates on ownership and developments of the Vincent since the factory closed. Some really nice tales of Vincent owners and enthusiasts and their high mileage and modified bikes are told. The 336 pages of Vincent goodness are now available on ebay through the Club for a mere £16. I'm not sure of the original retail of David Wright's book but at the price it is being offered at it would be rude not to buy at least one copy, it's a must for Vincent owners, potential owners and dreamers alike. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Pouncy Pal 1935

A real rarity, the brochure for the 1935 Pouncy Pal.

Some local interest for me here as Jack Pouncy produced his motorcycles from his workshop at Owermoigne near Dorchester, a few miles from my home. The Pouncy was the only motorcycle to have been produced in the county of Dorset. If there is a survivor out there and the owner wants to part with it, I would love to hear from you!

The Pal model is rather unusual in having a frame with OEC sliding pillar rear suspension. OEC was a fellow south coast producer along the coast in Portsmouth. I have heard that the complete frame was made by OEC for Pouncy.

Along with the brochure are reproduced typed sheets of options and specifications. Interesting to see on the final page of the brochure that there was a Pouncy Motorcycle Club. With a purported full production run of Pouncy motorcycles the membership was limited, though perhaps they also accepted less discerning members? 

There's a small potted history of Pouncy motorcycles in Old Bike Mart online.

See also the 1931 Pouncy brochure here on RDM.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Red Rube The Dirt Track Rider

No idea at all what is going on in this photo but it is well composed and fun. Love the steam train in the background.

From the cycle and 'Rube's' attire it looks like the picture was taken in the thirties. The bicycle is only mildly sporting. I wonder who 'Red Rube' was and how did she get her name?

Monday, September 14, 2020

Richard Edmonds Auctions 12 September

There was a strong entry of machines in the last Richard Edmonds motorcycle auction. Some 70 in total. In these times of Corona Virus viewing was held over the three days prior and bidding both live and online. I personally viewed on the Thursday before by appointment and it was a very civilised and gentle experience having pretty much the full auction just to myself to look around. I did not follow bidding on the day but most of the bikes found new homes. Personally I thought many of the prices a bit low: there could be many reasons for this.. There has been a surfeit of auctions of late, folks are nervous about spending money with the looming recession hanging over us and the auction was held just as the Government announced the return of more stringent measures to try to hold back the second wave of the virus. Either way on the day it was seemingly a buyers market and undoubtedly there were a good number of happy new owners come close of play. If I had had the ready cash there were several machines I would have been delighted to have come home with. A small sample of lots on offer below. For more details see the Richard Edmonds website.

I was rather in love with this 1928 Harley Peashooter. A bike
very seldom seen in the UK. The condition was beautiful and
the hammer price at £12000 was a steal. Quite gutted I didn't
have the readies to buy it.

Peashooter power plant.

The restoration work on the Peashooter appeared
to be of excellent quality.

And the flip side of the Peashooter.

Ex Wehrmacht Zundapp KS600 combo. Running around on an
ex-Nazi steed wouldn't be my cup of tea but these are sort after
bikes and very high quality machines. This one looked tidy and
all correct but would certainly need a good bit of fettling to return
to the road. Give me one in civilian trim and I would be very happy.
A bid of £8000 bought the bike. Another bargain.

1927 Scott Super Squirrel. Did other folks know
something about this lot that I did not? It seemed
to be a lovely correct Scott two speeder and I
personally couldn't really fault it. £5000 was a
bargain price, if I had been there on the day I think
this bike might have gotten me in trouble when I
returned home.....

The svelte lines of a Vintage Scott.

1937 BSA Empire Star 250cc obviously needed a bit of work
but what a lovely genuine original bike. It would be a crime to
restore it. £3400 was the hammer price.

Something a bit different. You don't see many Norton featherbed
framed off roaders. Unfortunately it didn't attract a buyer.

Honda CB160ss from 1967 in the foreground made £2600 and
reflects the growing interest in Japanese classics. In the
background rather an interesting Armstrong MT500 military
machine. This bike was created by Wasp as a combination for
the Ministry of Defence to evaluate. It made £4900.

I was very taken with this 1930 Scott Sprint Special. A very
genuine and correct bike, one of the sportiest models made by
Scott and as nippy a vintage bike as you will find for less than
a six figure sum. It needed fettling but £9100 was very reasonable. 

Power plant of an NSU 251 OSL. A very rare
bike in the UK and in lovely condition. £4300
seemed a good price.

Another lovely original bike that one can only
pray will stay in its original paint. A 1935
New Imperial Model 40 350cc. One of the very
well thought of range of unit construction New
Imps of the thirties. A snip at £3200.

1957 Moto Guzzi ohc 175cc Lodola. Someone
took home a sweet bike for £1500.

This Norton fetched a good price - £3400 for a WD 16H model
in need of plenty of work and parts.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fifties day out

Just some snaps from an old family album the stories behind which are lost in the mists of time. Shiny featherbed Norton and AJS plus quality riding kit suggest a good level of affluency.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Normal service resumed - VMCC Borders Run

Back to schedule on the local VMCC runs, still limited to 30 riders but we're getting there. Just need to keep fingers crossed that it continues so.

Got a bit wet on the way home and lost the route during the run but that's not the point. Had a great day of riding on my Norton Dommi with other like minded folks. The below just a few of my own snapshots, many more to be found on the Dorset VMCC site.

Sweet Ariel KH500.

Honda UJM 4 with the Rickman treatment.

A beast of a Norvin.

Ariel NH350 dans son jus as the French say.

Early post war BSA M33 is the perfect practical
girder forked bike if you want pre-war style with
post-war daily useability.

Friday, September 4, 2020

ZB32 finishing touches

Finally putting some miles on to the 1951 ZB32 Gold Star. The bike has thrown up a few woes but it is mostly good now, just a couple of minor oil leaks to sort out plus to get the electrics working properly.

The bike came to me as a part completed project that had sat unfinished for a good number of years. The original plan had been to break it to help complete a ZB34 which was lacking a genuine frame. In the end it seemed too good to take apart and ended up getting completed. An outcome I'm really happy with now. Parting out an old bike never really feels right and as I got stuck in to this one it seemed like it would have been a real pity even though it's not a matching numbers bike (the frame is '51 and the engine '49).

Though the ZB32 was basically sound, as is the way with projects, it needed more doing to it than I had first expected. The good news has been that the engine and gearbox are good. It's a willing performer and hasn't needed any more than filling up with oil. The magneto was very weak when I got the bike, it is now rebuilt and is a genuine first kick starter.

The forks proved to be a bit of a headache to get right. As the bike came to me they were binding terribly. On dismantling I found wear on the stanchions, so they were replaced along with the bushes. Movement was still lacking so next step was some new springs. That has improved things greatly but they are still slightly sticky, now it just seems to be a question of wearing in the new bushes.

After standing so long new tyres were required. Also, a new one on me, though the dual seat looked great the foam had completely broken down inside. I fancied the single saddle look so rather than replace the twin seat an american Le Pera single saddle was sourced. I fabbed up a bracket, measured up the length of springs required and the jobs a good 'un. I like the stateside look to it and it is mighty comfortable.

So now, just some final tweaking to go and all that remains is to get some miles under my belt. I'll get to know the bike a bit and thoroughly test it out and then it is going to have to find a new owner - I can't really justify keeping both the ZB32 and ZB34. Plus perhaps the cash will help buy something else interesting....

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Manet M90

The M90 was Manet's first offering and was available from 1947 to 1951. Manet were a Czechoslovakian firm and continued until 1967 when they were taken over by Jawa. It looks like this brochure was produced in Czechoslovakia as a promotion to encourage export. As far as I know they never officially came in to the UK.

Jawa M90 brochure page 1.

Jawa M90 brochure page 2.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Plunger framed Golden Flash

Early fifties BSA plunger framed Golden Flash, as fine a fast touring mount as there was back in the day. There's good reason BSAs of the fifties were so popular and remain so today. Nicely designed bikes using sensible engineering: reliable, decent performing all rounders. A well maintained fifties Beesa will give day in day out reliable service and can still be used as a daily rider today (Gold Stars exempted of course!)

Stopping for a break with an early fifties
BSA Golden Flash.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Veteran Triumph

This charming snap is of a veteran Triumph. Couldn't tell you the exact year but most likely 1913 or 1914 as you can just see the actuating rod going from the petrol tank to the three speed hub. Note how the lady sits side saddle as was the convention of the day.

Veteran Triumph with side saddle pillion.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Gilding the Baines lily

I had been slowly accumulating nice original parts to make my Baines International TT more period correct and have finally gotten around to fitting them all and tarting it up a bit. I had thought I was completely finished but I've now acquired a Bayliss Wiley hollow bottom bracket axle for a double chainset so it is shortly to get a 'suicide shifter' at the front. Can't wait!

Just for interest the authenticity of the cycle was brought in to question of late after it was posted up on a facebook group. It led to some interesting discussion, I learnt more about Baines in the process and thankfully there was a good outcome in that it is now fully confirmed as correct. There remains a quirk though which is an anomaly amongst other Baines in that the wheelbase is unusually long. In the Baines catalogue it states that you could order whatever wheelbase you liked for an International TT though the standard was 39.5 inches. It seems rather perverse for a customer to choose a design noted for its short wheelbase and then request it to be longer taking it back up to the same as most other cycles on the market. An explanation could be that the ultra short wheelbase fashion was very much waning by the early fifties and someone could have perhaps just been taken by the style of the Baines but wanted conventional geometry.

The Baines International TT as bought.

And as it is now.

B & T (Bantel) Manx brake levers. These levers
match the Manx 'delta' type brakes and are unusual
in that the nipple is on the brake and the clamp on the
lever. They are beautifully made but the clamp has a
very small headed screw and is difficult to tighten up
enough to avoid cable pull through. Also the angle of
the blades does not match drop bars so well and would
perhaps be better suited to flats but as far as I know these
were the one pattern of levers that B & T made and should
be suitable for both flats and drops.

Another detail and the B & T Manx levers.

And the B & T Manx brakes. In function they are
quite average. No doubt in reality a downgrade
from the GB Sport calipers that were previously fitted.

And the B & T Manx front brake.

New old stock Atom four speed block. GB wing
nuts and Benelux Type 2 mech. The Benelux mech
replaced a later Campagnolo Gran Sport and is
undoubtedly a huge downgrade. The Benelux
mech has charm but is a pig to set up and quite
feeble in function.

Milremo large flange hubs front and rear.

The Baines was fitted with these lovely Chater Lea crank arms
and pedals as it came to me but with a 40 tooth 'granny gear'.
I've not got anything against gentle gearing but aesthetically the
Chater Lea chainwheels of 40 tooth and smaller come without
the lovely CL logo on them so I moved up to a 46 tooth which
looks rather nicer. I also added the Catos adjustable alloy toe clips.

The Benelux gear lever is slightly late for the bike but the later
ones come with this lovely logo in relief on the damper knob.
For a strange reason that I have not fathomed a lot of the Benelux
levers have the logo imprinted 'upside down' on the fixing band so
when you are in the saddle it looks wrong. I searched for some
considerable time to find one that was the 'right way up'.

Final touch was on the headset. It is a Brampton headset and the
locknut that came with it was one of those awful hook spanner
type ones. I replaced it with this rather more refined one.