Thursday, July 27, 2017

Santander here we come

1927 Triumph Model N.
I've just had my entry confirmed for the Piston Rally in Santander end September. Planning to take over the 1927 Triumph Model N along with something else a bit more recent and speedy. I've fallen in to the trap of last minute preparation many times before and will no doubt do so again but this time I'm trying to get ready in advance so fettling on the Triumph has begun.

There's nothing like a few good mountain roads to expose weaknesses in a bike so hopefully I can get the old girl fully up to scratch before heading off to Spain. I started off on the cosmetic issues - a coat of blacking on the exhaust and silencer plus adjusting the oddly angled saddle that had been welded in place. It's tack welded again to stop it moving but this time at a sensible angle. Mechanically the advance and retard mechanism was a bit sticky so that's been lubricated and the spark was very weak despite a recently re-wound mag. The mag problem was traced back to a dodgy HT lead, not often those fail... In addition the carb lacked a gauze on the bell mouth so a new one has been soldered in, doesn't sound like it was a big issue but the extra air flow without a gauze was making the bike run a bit lean and made it prone to overheating.

I've still got concerns about the brakes so might take them apart for checking - the rear is quite a big brake and just doesn't seem to offer the performance its size suggests. The front is an expanding band and is never going to be more than average but probably needs checking too. Nothing worse than no brakes on mountain passes...

Spain here we come. Ideal bike for pass storming in the Picos
Mountains, or maybe not.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Honda SS50 1975

Just so much 70s awesome-ness going on with this Honda brochure. Obviously aiming for coolness by association by placing the bike in front of a load of gig posters but the housewife and child between bike and posters can't have been a big pull to the sixteener market that the SS50 was aimed squarely at. A strange year for music too, lots of old names from old bands, prog rock and folk revival, just a short time before punk came on to the scene and cut through the dross....

Honda SS50 brochure front side.

Honda SS50 brochure rear side.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Proper cycling attire

Many thanks to James Kelly for lending this old photo to be scanned and posted. Not a lot I can say about it apart from the cycle appears to date from the late 1890s and the chap astride it is possessed of some high level sartorial elegance. There are just not enough cyclists wearing bowler hats these days.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

VMCC Wessex Vintage and Veteran Shillingstone Station Run

Spot on Summer's weather on Sunday for an amble around the Dorset countryside on vintage machinery. I gave my Triumph N an outing, it's slowly becoming a dependable favourite and gave a good showing of itself being the only bike to do the run two up (Ian's Morgan just doesn't count and has ten times as many horses...)

Start and finish was at the Shillingstone Station project with the run heading up into North Dorset. A fine and goodly selection of bikes turned up including three veterans.

Ian's recently acquired and very, very lovely Morgan Aero
two speeder. The motor fitted is a new Cameron Engineering
job offering out something like sixty horses. The original side
valve lump is kept paired with the Moggy. 

Morgan Aero cockpit.

And another view.

Finally the full trike.

Late twenties AJS twin. 

Pre-war BSA model designations are a
minefield. I think this is a B30-4 from 1929?

'29 Norton Model 18.

Sunbeam Model 9.

Gabby's highly covetable Coventry Eagle.

Ivy and Coventry Eagle in the Talbot's car park.

Close up on the veteran Ivy twin.

Veteran Triumph stands sentinel.

Close up on veteran Douglas business end.

Back to Gabby's Coventry Eagle.

On the way home I passed by a small steam
enthusiasts gathering. This Model T pick up
was with them.

Apparently a local enthusiast had a big 65th birthday party
and a few guys with tractors and engines turned up to help

Thursday, July 13, 2017

VMCC Dorset car and bike night 2017

The second Wednesday in July and the annual invite for classic and vintage car owners to turn up and show their machinery at the club night is out. Fine weather this year and a new venue at the Henstridge Golf Club saw a good turnout on both the bike and car front with some really special stuff both two and four wheeled.

Riley RM

Old school Ford V8 hot rod. An original State
side rod from the fifties currently fitted with a
5.7 litre Corvette lump.

Awesome front anchors on the Ford.

Austin 7 chummy.

BSA Rocket Gold Star.

VW Kubelwagen in North African spec.

Kubelwagen interior.

And the immaculate engine bay.

MZ 301. I've got a soft spot for these after hiring one in Turkey
on holiday once. Would like to re-acquaint myself some day.

Honda XL600. Now a classic in its own right.

Triumph Trophy 650.

Yamaha Super Tenere 750.

Lovely AC Ace Bristol from 1957. This car
was sent out to Hong Kong from new where
it competed in the Macau Grand Prix in '57 and
'58 gaining second place both times.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sammy Miller's Museum pt3

Slowly following on from the pt2 of the Sammy's Museum postings here are a few more snaps of various delectable machines from the collection.

In the foreground an 1898 Quadrant bicycle that
was motorised in 1900. An interesting bicycle
with shaft drive instead of chain to which a
French Brutus engine of 1.5hp was added.

1926 Dunelt 250cc two stroke. A Model K
with Dunelt's patented supercharged two stroke

Gorgeous 1948 Zenith. Fitted with a 750cc JAP motor back
in the day these were hideously outdated as they were
essentially pre-war bikes. Nowadays however hugely

Close up on the Zenith's JAP power plant.

W E Brough flat twin. Made by George Brough's
(of Brough Superior fame) father.

Sweet Itom 50cc racer with massively raucous
short megaphone exhaust.

1930 Chater-Lea.

The Chater-Lea's motor has an overhead face

Absolutely awesome 1914 Packer board track racer. 1000cc,
three valves per cylinder and overhead cam desmodromic
(yes desmodromic just like Ducati!) valve operation.

Close up on the Packer's valve gear.

All alloy (frame included!) 1951 BSA A7 special made by Ernie
Earles of Earles forks fame and ridden in the TT practice 1952
but not, I believe, in the actual race.

If looks alone could win races the Earles A7
would be a world champ.

Gorgeous hand hammered finish on a racing DKW's
petrol tank. 1953 3 cylinder two stroke,

Four radial valves, double overhead cams and twin carbs
on this 1934 Excelsior 250cc 'Mechanical Marvel'.

Possibly my favourite bike in the racing hall, a 1927 ex works
TT Triumph.

Stunning petrol tank on the TT Triumph.

A fantastic piece of memorobilia, Eric Fernihough's streamlined
helmet that he used in record breaking attempts through the '30s.