Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Pouncy Motor Cycle brochure 1931 - Dorset's motorcycle

The Pouncy was one of two motorcycle manufacturers based in Dorset. The Pouncy works were at Owermoigne, between Dorchester and Wareham. I believe this brochure dates from 1931 when there was just one model in the range, the 250cc Villiers powered 'Sports Cob'. Production continued until 1936 with several different models coming and going along the way, all Villiers powered. The last model, the 'Pal', was offered with OEC sliding pillar rear suspension as an option.

There was one other Dorset based Motorcycle manufacturer - AJW. The brand was originally based in Exeter and was purchased by Jack Ball of Bournemouth shortly after the war. AJW only stayed for a short while in Bournemouth before moving to Wimborne (still under the ownership of Jack Ball as far as I know). Production was very limited from these locations, there was a 125cc JAP two stroke engined machine, the Fox Cub, with cantilever rear suspension. The two stroke had a big brother with a 500cc ohv JAP engine that was only made as a prototype. AJW was also a producer of JAP engined speedway machines. The JAP two stroke road bike was short lived and in the late fifties AJW turned over to importing Italian 50cc bikes and rebranding them as their own.

I'm not sure if there are any Pouncy survivors out there but if you have one or a lead on one please get in touch. 

Pouncy Motor Cycle brochure page 1.

Pouncy Motor Cycle brochure page 2.

Pouncy Motor Cycle brochure page 3.

Pouncy Motor Cycle brochure page 4.

Pouncy Motor Cycle brochure page 5.

Pouncy Motor Cycle brochure page 6.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

BSA B31 period snap

A bit of a scruffy photo this one but the image is nice. Easy enough to identify as a BSA B31 rigid, perhaps 1949? Looks like it is a brand new purchase and all shiny with a canvas pannier set and possibly a personalised reg number. Sir is sporting a natty leather jacket and gloves at a time when most folks didn't have much in the way of specialist riding clothing.

BSA B31 rigid framed.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Classic / Vintage Motorcycle events in Europe 2014

For 2015 European listing click here.

'55 Bullet in Crete back in 2006.
Summer isn't too far away, there's a whole world of bike-related entertainment out there and few joys greater than loading the bike up and heading off for adventure. I always try to get over the channel with an old bike at least once a year but have never found any decent european events listing. So, in lieu of that, here's my own small list of events I know or ones that have promise. Of course there are thousands more out there but this is a start. There are links to most of them, a couple are car and bike and one is car only, they should all be worthy destinations for a vintage road trip. Check out the details for yourself before setting off to confirm dates, some will need entry well in advance and some you can just turn up. Most of all, may the sun shine and your wheels perform.

5-9 February: Retromobile, Paris, France.
- Huge and glamorous car and motorcycle show.

8-9 February: Moto Retro Wieze, Wieze, Belgium.
- Belgian autojumble and show.

28-30 March: Veterama, Hockenheim, Germany.
- Very big autojumble.

31 May to 1 June: Coupes Moto Legende, Dijon, France.
- All old bike enthusiasts should visit at least once.

1 June: Rando Cyclo, Sars Poteries, France.
- Event for those who favour fewer horsepower.

5-8 June: MC Piston Cantabria Tour, Cantabria, Spain.
- I guess it's in the name.

7-8 June: Autodrome Heritage Festival, Montlhery, France.
- Car and bike, no idea what it is like but any event at Montlhery is worth a visit.

12-15 June: Wheels and Waves, Biarritz, France.
- Now much hyped as uber-cool hence likely to be very popular..

21-22 June: Cafe Racer Festival, Montlhery, France.
- In the title and ditto the above re Montlhery.

22-28 June: Motogiro D'Italia, Misano, Italy
- Hooning around Italy on small bikes!

3-6 July: Circuit des Ardennes, Belgium.
- Looks promising.

4-6 July: Biker's Classics, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
- Racing for more recent classics.

6-12 July: Milano-Taranto, Italy
- Like the Moto G but lower key and possibly more hardcore.

13 July: Stella Alpina Rally,
- Ride up a mountain with fellow enthusiasts.

18-20 July: Classic Bikes Chimay, Chimay, Belgium
- Belgian vintage street racing.

August: Round Kurland Rally, Latvia
- Latvia isn't so far if you take a couple of different ferries. Not yet sure of dates.

1-3 August: Windmill Rally, Huskvarna, Sweden.
- International roaming vintage road trial.

16 August: Oldtimerdag Ruinerwold, Ruinerwold, Netherlands.
- Old vehicles take over Dutch town.

22-24 August: Belgian Classic TT, Ardennes, Belgium.
- Belgian road racing.

27-31 August: Irish National Rally, Munster, Ireland.
- Perenially popular jaunt through Irish countryside.

5-7 September: Glemseck 101, Glemseck, nr Stuttgart, Germany.
- See comment on Wheels and Waves!

12-14 September: Trophee Gerard Jumeaux, Circuit Carole, North of Paris, France.
- Classic racing French style.

13-14 September: Bol D'Or Classic, Magny Cours, France.
- Good if classic endurance racing is your bag.

19-21 September: Circuit des Ramparts d'Angouleme, Angouleme, France.
- Glamorous vintage cars racing around medieval town.

28 September to 5 October: MC Piston Rally Meeting, Santander, Spain.
- Big and varied old bike gathering. Easy to reach by ferry.

10-12 October: Veterama, Mannheim, Germany.
- Huge autojumble.

21-23 November: Salon Moto Legende, Paris, France.
- French show.

BSA Bantam clown bike

Up on ebay at the moment this wonderful creation. There's no provenance at all but quite honestly who would modify a bike in this way but a clown! It's just possible that it was put together for a laugh at bike rallies but whatever the case it's a nice curiosity. Buy it and you can be fairly sure that no-one else will have one and few will ever have the experience of riding something like this, though of course few would actually want that experience either....

It would be criminal to put it back to standard Bantam trim. Apparently it originally had a sidecar. Buy it and be the envy of friends. Visit the listing to have a look and chuck in a bid!

BSA Bantam clown bike on ebay.

The wonky wheels are a fine example of wheelbuilding craftsmanship.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pre-war Triumph Speed Twin

A pre-war Triumph Speed Twin. Looks like the picture was taken post war. Though fitted with girder forks it would still have been a capable machine and able to hold its own right through the fifties, in fact most of the 500 twins gained weight not horsepower as time went on so it may even have surprised some riders. This one has been fitted with an aftermarket dual seat, big panniers and somewhere along the way has lost its headlight.

Pre-war Triumph Speed Twin.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Excelsior Roadmaster family snap

It's not often that you see people larking around in these old photos. I guess back in the day photos were relatively expensive per shot and you didn't want to flippantly waste film. Thankfully this bunch didn't care so much about such things and this family snap centred around a slightly tortured Excelsior Roadmaster is the result.

Excelsior Roadmaster featured in family photo.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Modernise Your Scott brochure

Here's an acknowledgement from Scott that they didn't update their motorcycles very frequently! An unusual brochure from around 1949 promoting parts to make your thirties machine look like a brand new one. And all you really had to do was to change the front forks. You could go the whole hog and change the front brake too but in reality the pre-war Royal Enfield stopper was probably as good as Scott's postwar version and certainly considerably lighter. You do see a few pre-war Scotts around that have been modernised and this brochure explains their prevalence. Mind, nowadays, many folks with a modernised Scott will be trawling the autojumbles looking for those correct pre-war girders...

Modernise your Scott brochure page 1.
Modernise your Scott brochure page 2.

Modernise your Scott brochure page 3.

Modernise your Scott brochure page 4.

Monday, January 20, 2014

bye bye tax disc

From 1st October 2014 the tax disc will be no more. Few will lament its loss but there is also little call for mass celebration as of course this does not mean the end of road tax! It will now simply be a paper free system with the policing relying on number plate recognition cameras - assume there will be more of them and more tracking of your comings and goings!

There hasn't yet been any word as to what folks with historic vehicles will have to do. Will we have to declare our intention to use on the road but not pay and sorn if we are not planning to use? Even more ridiculous for pre-1960 vehicles which no longer need an MOT.

Some folks are predicting a huge rise in interest in period reproduction tax discs. I would guess that most folks with old vehicles won't really care for this and will be happy to see their horrible tinny disc holders consigned to the scrap bin. Same as with front number plates, they haven't been a legal requirement for years and few old bike enthusiasts are keen to fit them to their restorations.

What would be nice would be if this was a step towards canning road fund duty and sorn altogether and putting the tax onto fuel so that folks pay for exactly how much they use the roads.....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

1935 BSA on service

This smartly attired and somewhat stern gent is riding a big sidevalve Beesa. Using the excellent 'Leon's BSA 1930 to 1940' website and trawling through the scanned brochures I think it is it a W6 from 1935. It doesn't look like the bike is a military issue machine but is probably his own mount. I'm not sure how it worked but often officers seemed to have machines outside of the ordinary squaddie machines. Maybe they were given an allowance or maybe they were just more often from a monied class.This bike does have a blackout mask so the picture is wartime, could be that the bike was requisitioned. Whatever the case this BSA is a smart machine with sensible legshields - once a common accessory now junked by catalogue restoration bores!

1935 BSA W6 and military gent.

Friday, January 17, 2014

BSA Sloper S32-8 1932

Great period photo of a stylish couple on a BSA Sloper. Not so often you see folks smiling in these old pictures! If I were to stick my neck out I would say the Sloper is a 1932 S32-8 model, though as always I stand to be corrected.

Stylish couple on a BSA Sloper 1932.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Festival of 1000 Bikes off for 2014

This really is sods law. Work schedules mean I've missed it for the last five years and this year I am actually free that weekend and the announcement has come through that it is not going ahead. Something to do with the uncertainty over the future of Mallory Park. Grumble grumble.

Must find a suitable alternative track event. A list of choice events for the season coming up soon....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1925 Rudge 500 4 valve 4 speed

A big thank you to Gary for volunteering a ride on his 1925 Rudge Four Valve Four Speed. The bike is in fine working order and in very original condition including the correct Senspray carb and ML Maglita combined lighting and ignition set. The Maglita carries a somewhat negative reputation. Though the Rudge was a willing starter Gary reports that if used in conjunction with lights spark quality diminishes hugely so currently the lights are wired through a battery only with no charging and the Maglita is left to concentrate on keeping the engine alive.

Controls on the Rudge are conventional for a vintage mount with throttle and air levers on the right and ignition timing on the left. As is the vintage style the rear brake pedal is on the right rather than left. Originally the front and rear brakes were coupled, an idea pioneered by Rudge and taken up shortly after by BSA amongst others. More recently the system was championed by Moto Guzzi. All reports I've heard of coupled brakes are that they work well however almost every machine I've seen with them as original equipment has had the coupling detached. Perhaps folks just like to keep that extra level of control..

1925 500cc Rudge Four Valve Four Speed.

On the subject of brakes the Rudge has an unusual system. They are essentially 'dummy rim' brakes but in this case the braking surface is an extension of the rim. The rims are quite unique and would be a pig to replace on a restoration project missing them. Gary reports that the brakes are nigh on useless but I found them to be pretty good compared to most bikes I've ridden of the same era or earlier. They're certainly better than most dummy rim jobs. There's plenty of engine braking available too, use both brakes together along with engine braking and you come to a stop soon enough. Like all similar systems though they're liable to be feeble in the wet.

Rudge Sports engine detail.

The Rudge starts willingly enough and soon settles down to a nice slow beat. It is clear from the sound that this isn't the flying machine that later Ulsters are but a sophisticated gentleman's sporting tourer of the day. Despite the four valve four speed technology the bike didn't match the competition success of the earlier Multis and later Ulsters. On the road the bike has plenty of power, the large flywheels are very evident and a few vibes are passed on through the footboards. It is easy enough to settle down to a comfortable 40 to 45 mph cruising speed. At these sorts of speeds it feels like plenty is in reserve but in this case I'm riding someone else's bike and what's the point anyway? The Rudge mixes the sophistication of its four speed box and four valves with the vintage charm of footboards and open valves and pushrods. Overall a beautiful bike and one of the finest of its day. Very few of these flat tank Rudges are out and about on the road so a great privilege to have a go on one and thanks again Gary.

1925 Rudge Sports, Maglita ignition and unusual front rim visible.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Royal Enfield v-twin with sidecar

Another period snap. This time a chap with his Royal Enfield v-twin combination. Looks to be early twenties but I couldn't tell you any more than that.

Early twenties Royal Enfield v-twin combo.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

1930s OK Supreme period snap

Not so sure of the model but the make is certainly OK Supreme and from around 1932. If anyone out there can identify it in more detail, get in touch.

Early thirties OK Supreme period photo.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Exeter Trial 2014

A new departure this year. In an attempt to lift my Exeter curse my entry went in for Class O and fingers were crossed for third time lucky. This is the fourth year I've had an entry in: first was the year it was snowed off, second was on a recalcitrant Greeves Scottish that I threw the towel in with half way around and last year was the closest I have ever been to physical and mental breakdown with a motorcycle as the Bullet first gave strange electrical gremlins and then an unrepairable puncture reared its ugly head at three in the morning...

Class O is on a slightly different route to the regular classes and the sections are less demanding and designed for less specialised machinery. The remit is something like you should be able to use a regular road vehicle without great risk of damage. I entered with Dan on his regular Bullet and Matt on his Royal Enfield Crusader. Together we were a team, 'The Three Bulleteers' - granted one of the bikes isn't a Bullet but it is fairly close.

Personally one of the big advantages of Class O is the lack of the 'touring assembly' before the trial proper. This meant that instead of riding up to Cirencester mid afternoon for an evening start I was flagged off from the Haynes Museum in Sparkford just gone one in the morning. As Haynes is less than an hour away from home this meant committing half a day less to the endeavour and many less miles. Also nice is that leaving from Sparkford you get quickly in to the actual sections.

Mechanics are always more fun in the dark!
Dan's Bullet was a recalcitrant starter at Haynes, though ran down fine from Bristol. Such is the nature of elderly machinery.. A quick carb strip had it sorted and we left about forty minutes late.

Of course shortly after leaving the rains came down. And did they indeed come down. Cats and dogs, buckets, stairods and any other idiomatic description you can think of can all be applied. The severe weather warning was indeed correct. It didn't take long for feet and hands to become damp and then downright wet. Though wearing fully layered waterproofs after several hours of onslaught the dampness did eventually permeate right down to bare skin.

The Class O sections were all pitched at a decent level, most of them were a challenge, a couple were a doddle but we all got up. They seemed to be just about right, Matt and Dan on the standard road bikes made the top of all hills and footed on several. I felt slightly phoney on my heavily modified Bullet as I made all of them without too much effort feet up apart from one where I suffered sudden fuel starvation, came to a halt and had to kick and start off again. At least the modifications to the Bullet paid off. For the benefit of fellow Bullet nerds the gearing was about spot on with a wide ratio box, a thirteen tooth gearbox sprocket and standard rear sprocket. I hardly had to slip the clutch at all and cruising on the road was comfortable up to about 45mph.

The below clip is the ascent of Class O Fingle Woods.

All in, rain apart, this year's Exeter was a big success. We all finished. We stuck together for the whole trial and we all got up all the hills. Previous years and other trials the schedule has slipped back to three or four hours behind time. This time we finished just an hour late. Annoyingly we just missed Class O Simms. It had been shut by the Clerk of the Course just a minute or so before we arrived. In the main class if you start early and drop time you're not going to encounter shut sections as there are so many competitors behind you but as we found out Class O is a relatively small class and if you drop back, beware..

Arriving to the Trecarn Hotel in daylight we actually had time to get some shuteye before the AGM dinner and make the most of it. The ride home the following day was once again very damp. Just ten miles before home the swinging arm bush failed and the tial of the bike became very fexible. I limped it home grateful that it didn't go earlier. Finally my Exeter curse lifted!

TVR parked up at Islington village hall.

MZ at the Trecarn Hotel finish. One of several entered.

My Bullet at the top of French's.

MG PA at Islington.

Heavily modded MG J2 with MGB engine and supercharger
at Islington.

Matt and Dan at the top of French's.

Detail on a lovely HRG at Islington.

Another of that HRG. Being used as it was made to be.

Ford Model A at Islington.

Dan's Bullet at the end.

A good day's sport for a dog near to the top of French's. It
lay in wait behind a gate and dived out like a banshee at each
passer by!

Very purposefully modded late fifties 350 Bullet at the end.

A brace of Bantams at the Trecarn Hotel.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Preparing the Bullet for the Exeter Trial

Bracing myself for the Exeter Trial starting tonight. Severe gale warnings and floods expected.... After two consecutive years of moral-sapping no finishes I've decided to enter the mildly easier Class O. The first no finish was on a 250 Greeves which was in too high a tune to make it up the hills without baulking, then came the Bullet. Pretty good for the job but last year a dispiriting front puncture, at two in the morning on a country road on a bike with no centre stand, that refused to be repaired had me heading home on the back of a truck..

I've made a few changes to the bike in the light of experience. Last minute, granted, but hopefully they will mean a few more hills crested with my slightly limited abilities.

First to come in for attention were the footpegs. I've moved them to a better trials position and they are now welded on to the frame. A bit too far back and high up perhaps but they are comfortable enough and this is the only position they can be mounted without too much fuss. The brake pedal had to be modified, not the prettiest job but functional. The pedal is now slightly shorted so a bigger stamp is required for the same braking force.

There was way too much weight over the front end so the Interceptor style headlight brackets and shrouds have gone. They looked nice but weighed a ton. Now replaced with rubber boots and 'Tickle' style headlight brackets. Usefully the new brackets allow the headlight to be mounted higher up, it used to occassionally come in to contact with the front muduard. The headlight itself is still the same old 7 inch Lucas (also heavy!) Slightly better tyres have been fitted as have, importantly, heavy duty tubes. Crossing fingers for no punctures this year.

That's it. Wish me luck. Report of the trial to come shortly...... 

All ready for the Exeter Trial!

Trials pegs welded on.

New set up for the headlight.

I can accept that the brake pedal is not a thing of beauty!