Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cock a Snoot weather vane

I needed a project to improve my metal working skills. A weather vane seemed like a good idea, there're quite a few different skills involved in making one. I haven't seen a cock a snoot on a weather vane before but as it turns out it looks really right. The whole thing is made in stainless (perk of working on a ship!) from offcuts salvaged from the scrap bin. 

Cock a Snoot weather vane close up.

Cock a Snoot weather vane.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Autumn Nifty Run

The VMCC Stonehenge Autumn Nifty Run is an amble on a theme that has been gathering pace the last couple of years. Get out and about on slow bikes that don't normally see the light of day. Works as a concept for me. I like small bikes, I hate runs where I have to follow other folks around going faster than I want to. My fault of course, I could go at my own pace it's just that I don't like to follow route cards so find someone to tag along with and then get aggravated when I want to potter on a Sunday morning and they are in a race. Not that there is anything wrong with going fast, it is of course great, it's just that what I want to do on a Sunday morning is plod around in a slow daze enjoying the countryside. So all hail the grey porridge runs of the nation. Pre '73 and less than 250cc is the mantra. Plenty of Villiers Brit commuters mingled with some continental exotica.

Nicely used Moto Guzzi 235cc Lodola.

An unrestored and original James Cadet is where it's at...

Another unrestored gem. A post-war New Hudson autocycle.

Unusual and nicely restored Puch Split single. Split singles
were a concept popular in Germany and Austria in particular.
It sounded great and apparently they are fine machines but
the engineering is as much as for a proper twin. The Puch
even has two carbs. Apparently more efficient than a single
and nicer running at small throttle opoenings. A technical
explanation is on wikipedia. I believe this machine is a 175cc
SVS model.

Fine local machine club badge from the Lyndhurst and District
Motor Cycle and Light Car Club on a Francis Barnett Falcon.

Well used and patinated MZ 250cc Trophy.

Starting a pre-war New Hudson autocycle. Note the fitting
for a Watsonian bicycle sidecar.

In another run on the same day in the same place but
I couldn't resist a pic. A wonderful unrestored 1917 Harley
 that saw service in the First World War and ridden in by
local man Paul.

That Harley again in close up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pre-war race meeting photos

Some pictures scanned from a family album (not mine!) of a trip to a late pre-war race meet. Absolutely no idea of the location. 

Lovely picture of a race-kitted Triumph Tiger 100.

Obviously a Norton, can't make out the model.

The combo is a Norton and a, presumably spectating, HRD
Meteor in the background.

Cracking ohc race BMW. The chap by the bike is from the
family album rather than the rider. 
Postscript - have received a mail from Ian Clarke. Apparently the above picture I identified as an ohc BMW is in fact a 1937 R5. Here are Ian's comments, 'Just looked at your BMW blog. Interesting piece on the RS. The photo of the pre-war 'ohc' twin is actually, I think you'll find, a 1937 R5. It's '37 because it has the air filter in the gearbox and R5 because it's a rigid frame and, as far as I can see from the photo, a pushrod motor.'
Thanks Ian for the information.

Marcelle Villiers alloy barrel conversion

The Marcelle conversion was one of several power up alloy barrels offered for Villiers engines through the fifties and sixties. More succesful than most the Marcelle became a factory option on DOT motorcycles.

Marcelle alloy barrel brochure page 1.

Marcelle alloy barrel brochure page 2.

Marcelle alloy barrel brochure page 3.

Marcelle alloy barrel brochure page 4.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cotton Motorcycles 1961 brochure

Here's the brochure for Cotton motorcycles from 1961. A nice range of Villiers machines for most purposes. It's a large format brochure so has scanned less well than some of the others due to the creases down the middle of it but it is still quite readable.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 1.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 2.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 3.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 4.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 5.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 6.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 7.

Cotton motorcycles brochure 1961 page 8.

Noel Pope painting

Noel Pope made his name in the motorcycle world as a speed merchant and record racer of note. His motorcycling biography, 'Full Chat' is one of the classic motorcycling books. As the man who held the ultimate speed records for both solo (124.51mph, 1939) and sidecar (106.6mph, 1937) at the Brooklands speed bowl on a supercharged Brough Superior it comes as a surprise that he was the son of an artist. He was a keen amateur artist and sculptor himself. Post War he spent some time in Switzerland and the below oil painting is signatured 'Noel B. Pope 1952'.

Noel Pope oil on canvas landscape 1952.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Seeley Racing Bikes 1968 brochure

Brochure for Seeley AJS 7R / Matchless G50 based racing machines from 1968.

1968 Seeley racing machines brochure page 1.

1968 Seeley racing machines brochure page 2.

1968 Seeley racing machines brochure page 3.

1968 Seeley racing machines brochure page 4.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Matchless G3L scrambler

Nice period pic of a Matchless G3L tackling the mud in an early post war scramble. No details on this photo at all. I would guess that it is an ex-wd bike.

Ex WD Marchless G3L in the bog at an early post-war scramble.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winter Rallies 2012 2013 season

Summer has drawn to a close and a young man's thoughts turn to winter rallies. The perverse thrill of loading the bike up at the wrong end of the year and heading off to the low, cold, frosty sunset.

The joy of a winter rally is in the camaraderie generated by the wanton wrongheadedness of aiming your moto into the ice and snow for a night under frosty canvas. The winter rally is the leftfield underground of the motorcycle rally scene. As such folks organising winter rallies often take joy in their obscurity, locations are not publicised until shortly beforehand, numbers are strictly limited and published information is hard to come by.

To help the way of the hardy winter ralliest here is a short list of gatherings this coming cold season. A couple I have first hand knowledge of, the majority I don't, but all sound promising. In not all cases do I have dates or links, for some rallies such information is pending at time of writing, for others it will never be widely announced. As above, part of the joy is in the preparation. Do not take the below as gospel, check dates and locations with organisers and do not fully trust me!

Altes Elefantentreffen. 15 Feb to 17 Feb 2013, Nurburgring Germany. Confusingly the'Old Elefant rally' is in fact the upstart new Elefant Rally and held at the Nurburgring.

Elefantentreffen / Elefant Rally. Late January, dates at time of writing tbc. Loh/Thurmansbang-Solla near Passau, Germany. The original Elefant Rally.

Dragon Rally. 9 & 10 February 2013, Wales. The British Elefant and a grand tradition.  

Force Ten Rally. 4 to 6 January, Cheshire, UK. Mayflower MCC.

Rallymans Rally: Early January, near Halifax, Yorkshire. Dean Valley MCC,no further details at time of writing.

Hot Rod Rally. Can’t find any info for 2013 yet, usually late February in Holland. Organised by the Dutch BSA Owners Club and well worth attending. Have a look at the BSAOC UK events list for details.

Krystall Rally. February 2013, date tbc at time of writing. Spidsbergseter Gudbrandsdal Hotel, Norway. Just because it is in a hotel don't think that this is an easy option. Temperatures this time of year can drop to minus 20 degrees.

Primus Rally. 22 to 24 February, Velmunden near Bjøneroa
 Bjoneroa,  Norway. This is the hardcore of all winter rallies and not to be attended lightly...

Pinguinos Rally. 10 to 13 January 2013, Valladolid, Spain. The largest of European winter rallies, an easier option than the northerly rallies but still liable to be cold!  

Finally, if you are planning to attend any of the above this is a good guide to winter motorcycle riding: http://www.mc-addict.com/aguidetowinterriding.htm.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sherborne Historic Vehicle Rally

The Sherborne Historic Vehicle Rally on the Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend is a local institution. Its unique selling point is the location - the Courts Quadrangle of the Sherborne School; with these esteemed surroundings it attracts a fine turnout of elderly vehicles. Of late motorcycle entries have been inexplicably down but there is still a good number of two wheelers on display. The four wheeled contingent is of high quality and there are normally a few shown the light of day that are rarely seen out on the open road. The format is a run followed by display in the quadrangle. Here're a few photos from this year's event....

3 Litre Bentley with Douglas riding in in the background.

BSA plunger Gold Flash A10 finds its perfect camouflage

Engine bay of rare Belgian FN car from 1913. The same FN as
produced exquisite four cylinder motor cycles.

This home-built special is based around a 1968
Triumph Spitfire and designed to re-create the spirit
of 1930s monoposto racers.

Here's a front view. Beautifully executed, and all done by the
owner, apparently polishing the bodywork alone took several

Well-used BSA Hotchkiss engined three wheeler with an
extensive long distance trials history from the early thirties
through to the mid-sixties.

Same BSA three wheeler from rear three quarters view.

For me this was one of the stars of the show on account of
condition and quality and sympathy of the renovation work
carried out. A 1902 Royal Triumph Model 7 Ladies Model.

1902 Royal Triumph Model 7 Ladies Model.
The leather chainguard with cellulose window was replicated
from the original which had deteriorated beyond use.

1902 Royal Triumph Model 7 Ladies Model.
The leather band brake was an optional extra.

1902 Royal Triumph Model 7 Ladies Model.

1902 Royal Triumph Model 7 Ladies Model.
Lovely detail tooling on the Wrights Olympic Saddle.

1902 Royal Triumph Model 7 Ladies Model.