Monday, April 23, 2012

The Esway prop stand

Shop card from the twenties for the Esway prop stand.
Here's a wonderful invention and from some 90 years past. It was as if they predicted that in decades hence old duffers would be still riding bikes of the era with hard to lift rear stands and no side stands. To be fair though I'm in my late thirties and some fifteen stone and still find my Triumph N slightly risky for my back to get it onto its' rear stand.

I first got wind of the Esway prop stand (I suspect it is intended to pronounced as 'Easy Way' - in our times we might write EZ Way but they perhaps had more finesse in the twenties!) when I picked up a job lot of vintage bike ephemera and found an advertising card amongst it. Then I found a stand minus fittings at an autojumble, put it on the shelf and didn't give it much thought for a while. Then last summer a chap in the local VMCC had an Esway fitted to his flat tank Sunbeam. I would have been jealous of how easy he could park his bike up and walk off if I didn't already have one myself.

Esway prop stand fitted to 1927 Triumph Model N.
More recently I acquired another stand and this time with fittings. Soon on it went to my 1927 Triumph Model N. It fitted straight on with no modification. It does stick out a little but not a problem as lean angle is not too critical on an old side valve Triumph.

Close up of Esway prop stand telescope ratchet mechanism.
More important is that it works a treat.The stand telescopes out to the required length and a ratchet holds it against its' spring. The beauty of the design is that you can put out the stand to the required length for the parking spot. To retract the stand you just flip a spring loaded lever with your boot and it telescopes back up (quite violently in fact and I'll have to see if I can adjust this).

The stand is typical of accessories that folks fitted back in the day and modern day restorers discard in the name of 'originality' and catalogue specs. I believe it was made from the mid twenties up until the war. It is an absolute boon to vintage motorcycling. I saw at Founder's Day last year that someone is making repro ones but I cannot recall who it is and there is no web presence. I'm going to see if I can find them at the Banbury run and perhaps rave about what a fine product they are making and then not buy one as I have an original.....

The Model N again minus tank and mag but standing up..

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