Sunday, July 25, 2021

Dorset VMCC Giants Run 2021

A fantastic day of vintage motorcycling today with big thanks to the Dorset Section of the VMCC. Coming at the end of a heatwave rain was threatened but the weather for the ride remained fine. A great turn out of girder forked machines from across the country came along and a gentle ride in the company of gentle folk around the scenic lanes of North Dorset ensued with the obligatory stop to say hello to that chalk fellow with the large todger, after whom the run is named.

Below nothing more than a series of snaps of some of the wonderful machinery present...

Sunbeams were out in force.

This Panther won my prize for sweetest
sounding bike of the day. 


Nice to see an unrestored Brough. This one a
SS80 from (I believe) 1939.

Another Sunbeam.

Brace of Douglases (Dougli?)

Hard to believe that a side valve bike could be as
loud as this racey Sunbeam was.

Another lovely Panther, this one with the rare twin
headlights fitted.

And the equally rare instrument binnacle fitted
to the Panther.

And winner of my 'bike I would most
like to take home'  prize was this ohc

Full view of the ohc Humber. A very proper vintage
sporting motorcycle.

Sweet late vintage Royal Enfield.

Immaculate James v-twin is a local

This fella keeps the James safe from harm!

The chap who owns this Matchless had entered his
vintage Sunbeam but it was not ready in time. Instead
he turned up on this Matchless G50CSR 'Golden
Eagle' rep. Pretty much a correct rep in every respect
and fitted with a genuine G50 motor.

Rod Hann's lovely v-twin Sunbeam.

I was quite taken by this super rare
Royal Enfield Model J. It's a 1938
model and is very correct. Look at
the pressed steel forks, a vogue of the
time but only Royal Enfield fitted them
to larger capacity machines.

The Royal Enfield J is fitted with the correct and very
rare Amal tidy levers and rubber mounted handlebars.

I didn't manage to speak to the owner
but the Enfield J appeared to have spent
some time in France judging by a couple of
parts fitted. I've never seen pillion rests like
these before. They appear to be quickly adjustable
and are marked 'R Merat'.

Final view of the Enfield J showing the rare levers
and twist grip some more.

A pair of appropriate spectators.

Option instrument binnacle on a 1931 BSA Sloper.

The '31 Sloper also sports the correct Amal air filter.

Gorgeous Rex Acme with Blackburne

Vincents can legitimately enter a girder fork run.

Lovely Dart JAP from 1918. Quite a
nippy machine I tagged along behind it
for a while on my '27 Triumph and we had
to push a little to keep up.

This Ariel was a lockdown left over parts project
but doesn't show it one bit.

Girders, girders, girders.

Rare to see one Rex Acme let alone two in the same
place. This side valve model is slightly later than
the Blackburne-engined ohv one but equally charming.

Cammy Velo.

Last but very definitely not least. A rare
sight on our shores, side valve Sarolea
from Belgium.

Monday, July 12, 2021

1932 Sunbeam Road Racer Model B

As any enthusiast for vintage bicycles, motorcycles and cars will tell you, a Wolverhampton made Sunbeam is an extremely finely made machine. The design, manufacture and quality of finish is second to none.

Sunbeam bicycles were top end machines in price and quality and the top sporting model was known as the 'R.R.' aka Road Racer. It featured in the catalogue from early days up until 1934. The second model of the RR was introduced in 1928 when the design became a true lightweight in the more modern sense rather than the previous path racer styled machine.

The RR was well thought of enough to have been used in the 1928 Olympics held in the Netherlands by British team member Jack Middleton.

The example in these photos is thought to date from 1932 and is in wonderful original condition. 

Drive side view of the Sunbeam Road Racer.

A wide range of handlebars were available as options.
A pair of Lauterwasser style may well be more
attractive but these ones are original to the cycle.

The rear wheel is double fixed and the frame angles
quite relaxed.

Sunbeam's quality of finish with their
'Japanning' process is of legend. Testament
to this is the survival rate of Sunbeams
in their original finish.

Thoughtful touches abound. Oiler on the
head bearing and rubber cable protector
on the lamp bracket.

The Road Racer features a number of
braze-ons that are a little unusual. Here
is the lamp bracket on the fork.

Original type woods valve with metal cap.

Original reflector on braze-on bracket.

Sunbeam's chainset. Even the cotter pin is of a finish
a cut above.

Paint has survived very well. Transfers
slightly less so.

And the head transfer.

This is a feature specific to the Road Racer.
Many manufacturers used Resilion 
cantilever brakes but only Sunbeam fitted
them with specific braze-ons rather than
ugly clips.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Kyffin Sapphire 1966

 A real obscurity here. The brochure for the Kyffin Sapphire range of Villiers powered off-road machines.

Roger Kyffin had a shop up in Cheshire and was a prominent scrambles rider. He made several specials based around DOT frames with Triumph or BSA engines and then from 1963 to 1966 produced the 250 Moto-Cross and the Red Rose Trials with Villiers 250 engines. All of his machines were known as Sapphires.

Kyffin Sapphire 250 Moto-Cross
Kyffin Sapphire 250 Moto-Cross.

Kyffin Sapphire Red Rose Trials
Kyffin Sapphire Red Rose Trials.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Yamaha TR1 cafe racer

A bit of a break from the usual on this blog (but that's a good thing occasionally, no?) Yamaha TR1 based cafe / bobber spotted in Fulham, London. Looks like a blast to ride but seeing a bike with no mudguards brings out the latent old fart in me. I ran an Enfield bobber for a short while with no front mudguard, you think you are the number one in cool until it rains or you ride through some horse shite....

Many thanks to David Kenny for supplying the pics.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Triumph SD combination

It rather looks like someone here has a shiny new toy. This Triumph Model SD is very imposing and very immaculate. The Triumph is fully accessorised with speedo, mirror and early electric lighting set (I would date the bike as 1923 or 24). A pity that the sidecar is slightly cut off in the picture, it seems to be both unusual and quite vast.

Triumph Model SD combination.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Thetic elliptical chainwheel

Thetic chainwheel (yes I know it's not
oriented correctly!)
Here's one of those old fart, there's nothing new under the sun, it's all been done before posts...

The Thetic chainwheel is from the late thirties, Belgian made and is an eliptical chainwheel designed to flatten out dead spots in the pedalling stroke. I picked this one up a while back on fleabay. I've mated it to a Stronglight chainset and it'll find a home some time in the future on an appropriate cycle.

Vaguely popularised by Shimano with their 'Biopace' rings in the eighties and early nineties and now once again undergoing a resurgence. Elliptical chainrings have been around since the 1890s and they are an idea that gets trundled out with regularity to shift a few more units every two or three decades...

Do they work? Well, I used to ride with Biopace back in the day, like many others. Now I don't. Do I notice a difference not using them? No. The best I can find in favour of elliptical chainwheels is that they might work and they certainly won't hinder you.

Thetic chainwheel ad from the late thirties.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

German Henderson combo

A picture from Germany from the late twenties or early thirties of a magnificent combo. It's a Henderson KJ from 1928 or '29. A powerful and sophisticated machine offering 100mph performance. The rider looks justifiably pleased with life, the wife and children in the sidecar significantly less so!
The machine in the background I cannot recognise, its lines are quite German of the period, does anyone have an idea what it is?

Henderson KJ sidecar combination
Henderson KJ sidecar combination.