Friday, October 30, 2015

VMCC Godshill Autumn Run

Great clear Autumn weather last Sunday for perhaps the last clement run of the season. The start was the Fighting Cocks in Godshill in the New Forest for an amble through the National Park's narrow and scenic roads. A turnout of something like thirty bikes; myself I brought among my BMW R100RS, as unsuitable bike as could be for the terrain. I finished the day with sore wrists and back. The plan had been to take the Enfield J2 but a petrol tank leak put paid to that plan.

The Fighting Cocks is also a popular
gathering point for the free-roaming
Donkeys of the Forest. An appealing
expression brings easy pickings from
the plates of the pub's clientele.

This is the Vincent Owners' Club's HRD Meteor
available as a loan bike to members. It is parked
afront a Lotus Anglia that was coincidentally
sharing the car park.

Detail on the Lotus Anglia.

Immaculate Kawasaki Z1.

Few bikes have so many instantly recognisable design cues as
the Z1.

This fine Triton had just returned from the
Colombres Rally in Spain.

Vincent HRD Rapide.

My Norton Dominator loaned out for the day finds a new friend.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Levis Six Port

This Levis Six Port riding gent has all the kit, 'Ecky Thump' hat, double breasted leather riding coat, plus fours, long argyle socks and a pair of brogues. Very dapper.

Late vintage (1929?) Levis Six Port two
stroke 250cc. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Gilera 175 Sport fettling

Some minor improvements to the usability of the Gilera of late. With the charging finally sorted out it seemed like a good idea to get a working rear light. Out went the flimsy CEV unit and in came a Wipac replica, it's a similar shape, cheap and works. I had to make up a simple bent ally bracket to fit it with the remit of not making any more holes in the frame or mudguard than are already there. The bracket is no work of art but it is discreet and works.

The original Brev Orlandi fuel taps were getting very tired and coming to the point where 'tap' was somewhat of a kind description. 'Slight Restrictors of Flow' would have been more appropriate. Being more used to old British iron and slightly unfamiliar with Italian engineering I took out a thread gauge to see what size taps I would need. The thread was 12mm, a quick check with Mr Google informed me that there is very limited choice in this size. A deeper search yielded the fact that 12mm is a size of tap also favoured for Spanish trials bikes. A trip to the bay of E found a pair of taps for a good price that are fuel tight, surprisingly well made and go through each position with a satisfying click.

In theory now ready for hundreds of trouble free miles.....

A good looking bike from any angle.

New rear light bracket.

12mm tap from a Spanish trials bike.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

VMCC Stonehenge Autumn Nifty Run

The third Nifty Run that I've turned up to but previous times other commitments have meant that I could just be a spectator for the start and then have to nip back home. This time was to be different, I had the time, I had the bike. I prepped the Gilera 175 Sport and it was running sweetly. The ride over was a slog on a long straight road with a small bike but it was running like a Swiss watch. Then just before arriving I decided to take a quick stop for the call of nature, on starting again the Gilera was misfiring and refused to clear up. Pulling in at the start of the run I noticed a fairly severe fuel leak from the tank. That sealed my fate, once again I was a spectator and had to head off home straight after everyone else had set off.

The decision to ride home or call out assistance was a tricky one but in the end I cleaned out the carb and that made the bike run sweet again. The fuel leak though I trusted to the gods that I wouldn't be incinerated on the bike and decided to ride it. In the end all worked out well, the leak was at the top of the tank so the more I rode the less the leak and rider and bike arrived home unburnt.

Nice Greeves 20DC. I had one of these for a while. Really sweet
bike though the engine was decidedly underwhelming. I can
see why so many folks fit Triumph motors. The running gear felt
like it could take a lot more. I rate it as one of the best handling
bikes I have owned.

Ariel Arrow. One family owned until very recently. The bike is
in cracking unrestored condition and was recently featured
in The Classic MotorCycle magazine.

Here's a machine you don't see often, a British
Sun Wasp Villiers powered scooter attached to
a Watsonian Bambini sidecar. 

Detail on the Sun Wasp.

The Sun did the run with rider and passenger in the Bambini.

Villiers power in James cycle parts. They may be
derided in some quarters but the 'E' series Villiers
engines are really excellent motors. Forget power
figures these engines are one of the nicest products
of the British Motorcycle industry,

T'other side of the Villiers.

Leaky Gilera on the way home. Fingers crossed we don't end
up in a huge fireball. That petrol tank is big and full!

Monday, October 19, 2015

1925 Henderson DeLuxe Model brochure

Would love to try a Henderson out for size sometime. In my mind one of the finest vintage motorcycles, dare I say it superior to pretty much anything on offer from the UK at the time. Here's the sales leaflet for the 1925 DeLuxe....

The brochure has a few fold out pages so if the numbering seems a little odd that is why.

1925 Henderson brochure
front cover.

1925 Henderson brochure front inner cover.

1925 Henderson brochure page 1.

1925 Henderson brochure page 2.

1925 Henderson brochure page 3.

1925 Henderson brochure page 4.

1925 Henderson brochure page 5.

1925 Henderson brochure page 6.

1925 Henderson brochure page 7.

1925 Henderson brochure page 8.

1925 Henderson brochure page 9.

1925 Henderson brochure page 10.

1925 Henderson brochure page 11.

1925 Henderson brochure rear inner cover.

1925 Henderson brochure
rear cover.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

AJW Villiers

Unusual to see pictures of an AJW. One of the very few motorcycle manufacturers to hail from the shire of Devon, AJW was formed in 1926 by a chap called Arthur John Wheaton. Production was always limited and it continued up until 1939. Postwar the company changed hands and moved to Bournemouth where production of motorcycles became yet more limited. There was another change of location when the company moved to Wimborne and became Dorset's second motorcycle company after Pouncy.

Early thirties AJW with Villiers engine. The motor looks
to be the Brooklands one with the heavily finned alloy head.

T'other side of the AJW Villiers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

VMCC Winter Run Sherborne

A few snaps from last Sunday's Dorset Section VMCC 'Winter Run' from Sherborne. Great run, the name seems a bit pessimistic to me though, mid-October, Winter? Either way the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day for a trundle around the Dorset / Somerset borders with a break at the Haynes Museum.

BSA v-twins have featured heavily on the blog
of late. This one is especially tasty, a 750cc
ohv Y13 model.

Close up on the BSA Y13 engine.

And the other side of the Y13.

1931 Norton looking well used as it should
be, sounded right too.

Really taken by this sporting handlebar fairing
on a Royal Enfield Bullet 350.

Has anyone got a fairing like this going spare for my Norton?

Laverda 750SF.

I've never seen a Honda CT90 on the road
before. This one attracted a lot of attention.

There's a lot to like about a CT90. Would love to give one a
go myself sometime. The greatest motorcycle engine ever
made housed in off road running gear. Light, reliable and
reasonably sprightly.

Here's what makes the CT90 extra special. The low ratio

A proper cult bike. There are several websites devoted to
the CT90. Here are a couple:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

1955 Velocette Venom

The last time the Venom was used was just over three years ago. Shame to have something like this in the shed and not get out and about on it. When it was put away there was a problem with a leaky tank that had already been treated with a non-ethanol resistant sealant. I'd been searching for a replacement tank for a while without any luck before deciding to buy one from India. The tank duly arrived a week or so ago and since then I've fitted it (more of which in a post to come) and given the bike a good service.

We've been having some glorious autumnal weather down here in the South of England so every opportunity to get out on a bike is not to be missed. I took the Velo for a long test run which reminded me what a wonderful bike it is and made me feel slightly guilty for neglecting it for so long. The bike is slightly rattlier than I remembered but that may just be the result of spending the last two or three years riding a BMW and Norton twin. In truth it isn't too bad for an alloy engined pushrod single. The performance is every bit as good as I recalled, it took me a while to get back in sync with the starting procedure though. This one likes to be fully flooded each time it starts or it will flat refuse.

Now, time to reacquaint myself and get some miles in. Could do with a pair of decent tyres.....