Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2018 pt2

Nowt more than further pics from the GDSF over the weekend....

Lovely Beardmore Precision from the motorcycle tent. A 1922
machine it left the factory with a 350cc motor but at some point
in its life a 600 was squeezed in.

The Beardmore's unusual rocking leaf spring front fork.

And the Precision engine. Note the half
compression lever on the timing case and the
oiling adjuster between the valves. Bowden
carb fitted is slightly later but suitably quirky.

Stanley steam car.

Under the bonnet of a late Stanley.

Power plant of a White steam car.

And the White from a distance.

Ultimate rig for a steam enthusiast?

Horse drawn steam fire engine.

Across the site.

The site is a cacophony of fairground organs.

At the scrapyard display.

More projects from the scrapyard.

... and more.

Lovely Raleigh mascot on the below Raleigh x-frame.

1901 Raleigh Cross Frame. Note the unusual
Bowden cable operated stirrup brakes. The
brakes are actuated by twist grip operation.
Also rather unusual is the two speed rear hub
and chain adjustment by turning the eccentrically
mounted bottom bracket.
Royal Enfield Vickers ambulance combination from the WW1
display riding around the playground.

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2018 pt1

The fiftieth anniversary of the Great Dorset Steam fair and it's a big one. 500 steam engines all gathered in one place is quite a sight. It runs through to Monday, make it along this year if you can, otherwise keep a date in your diary for 2019...

As well as steam engines there are all variety of elderly mechanical devices and country crafts on display. Here are a few images from the motorcycle tent and random snaps taken from a wander around the site.

This 1924 Zenith fitted with 350cc 'dog-eared' JAP motor is
one of my favourites in the motorcycle tent.

Binks 'Mousetrap' carb fitted to the 350 Zenith.

And the drive side of the '24 Zenith. The machine was brought
to the event by the Brooklands Museum.

Also from the Brooklands Museum this stunning ohv flat
twin Bradshaw engined Zenith Gradua. For the uninitiated
below I attempt to explain how the Gradua infinitely variable
gear system works with words and pictures.....

The gear ratio is adjusted from this 'coffee grinder'
handle on the petrol tank which turns a horizontal
shaft through a bevel gear.

The horizontal shaft is then connected by chain to
shafts inside the chain stay tube. 

As the shafts in the chain stays turn the rear axle moves
forwards and backwards on a scroll to ensure that the
drive belt tension is kept.

Obviously as the axle moves the wheelbase changes. This does
not seem to have much of an adverse effect on handling.

On the drive side of the bike there is a crank on
chain stay. When the axle moves forwards or back
this causes one rod to be one to be pushed and one
to be pulled.... 

.... which in turn works a scroll which either pushes the engine
drive pulley together or apart. The inside of the pulley is cone
shaped hence pushing it together causes the belt to drive through
a greater radius and raises the gearing. Pulling the drive belt apart
has the opposite effect.
Clear? Perhaps... a very clever system that on the face of it seems
rather complicated but in the days of belt drive and before gearboxes
were perfected it gave real world results. Zenith Graduas were competing
against single speed machines in competition and were dominant.
Such was the success of the Zenith that they were banned from
competition for having an unfair advantage. Zenith used this in their
marketing with the 'barred' logo.

1923 OEC Blackburne 550cc.

Super shiny and immaculate 1923 New Hudson
Popular Tourist model.

1914 BSA.

Foden steam lorries.

Sentinel steam lorry detail.

Sentinel steam lorry.

This Scammel is an absolute beast. Six wheel drive and massive.
It was apparently used as a tender vehicle for a Hungarian oil
field. Despite appearances it is running.

In the 'playground'.

Working hard pulling a trailer loaded with chains up the
hill in the playground.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Veteran era event

Here's a challenge - identify the machines in this photo. Personally I've drawn a blank. It looks rather like the picture was taken during a sporting event in the late veteran era. The photo mounting is rather nice so I included it in the scan...

Mystery veterans... Can you identify? The prize being the smug
knowledge that you are an uber anorak of veteran motorcycling!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Veteran Triumph Combo at the seaside

The great British seaside holiday! Not too sure where this is but someone will surely recognise that pier? The bike is fairly easy to recognise as a Triumph from those front forks, I would say it is probably a 1911 model though this picture was likely taken a while later as the bike is looking rather well worn. Unusual points to note on the bike are the gear lever on the petrol tank - probably a later proprietary fitment to a bike that started life as a single speeder, the heavily valanced from mudguard and the unusual doll mascot on the front mudguard.

I wonder if the old Triumph carried all four of them to the sea on holiday?

Veteran Triumph combination by the sea.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pith helmets and bikes

A rather unusual gathering of motorcyclists.... No doubt taken somewhere in the British Empire and at a guess India. Written on the reverse is 'Inside Factory 1933'. Rather cryptic and I have no idea what or where the Factory was.

Helpfully the years and models of bikes are also noted down, from left to right: 1928 Triumph, 1931 Francis Barnett, 1928 AJS, 1920 Baby Triumph and 1923 Douglas.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Canadian Cycle and Motor Company bicycle

Another few holiday snaps. This beauty was spotted locked up to a church railing in Quebec City. At first I thought it was abandoned but given that it is so desirable and is held in place by a very hefty u lock I came to the conclusion that the bike shop on the opposite side of the road had placed it there as a honey trap for bicycle nerds such as myself.

I wasn't too sure what it was but thanks to the hive knowledge of the excellent Vintage Bicycles UK facebook group a kind fellow identified it as a CCM (Canadian, Cycle and Motor Company) Flyte.

Evidently it is something quite special, those forks!! Given half a chance I would have taken it home as a souvenir.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Pure Americana

A bit quiet on new posts the last week or so, that's because we're in New England on a family road trip. Absolutely loving Maine, it's pretty much all I picture America to be, or rather all I want America to be. Away from the coast it offers a pure and rugged slice of Americana that matches my Hollywood and literary imprints. Dirt roads through the vast forests, general stores, logging trucks, huge wide rivers, Dutch barns, clapboard houses, trailer homes with old pick-ups parked in front and inhabited by folks of all persuasions with a common need for freedom and escape.

This view could only get more American if Uncle Sam himself
were to stride by.... Solon Hotel, Solon, Maine. Fabulous!