Saturday, April 27, 2019

ACE four lady rider

This is just a wonderful old image on so many counts. I love American four motorcycles from the twenties and for it's era the image challenges stereotypes. It's full of positivity and Miss Gallic is the embodiment of the term 'pluck'.

The picture is from a London press agency archive and the annotation on the back is as follows:

'A one-legged winner'

'Miss Gallic who was the proud winner of the 27 mile motor cycle race held in Denmark, although she has only one leg, her activity beat all other competitors.'

Staged photo of Miss Gallic working on her ACE four.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Loaded up A10

I think this snap was taken back in the late seventies/ early eighties. A time when old classic British bikes were just old bikes. Perhaps you had to be a bit of an enthusiast to keep running a BSA A10 in preference to riding a Japanese machine but then again there were a lot of old Brit bikes around and they were cheap workhorses.

You couldn't have chosen much better than a BSA Golden Flash though: fair performance from 650cc, a quiet running all iron engine, all enclosed chain and solid engineering for good reliability. This one is packed for a camping trip a la kitchen sink cliché. 

Well used and already obsolete BSA A10 goes camping
in the woods.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

BMW airhead Power Flow silencers

A recent eBay 'scoop' was this set of Power Flow silencers. I've never seen another set and they are rather nicely made in stainless and the shape is similar to the classic Hoske cans. 

They fitted on to my RS very easily and starting up to see what sort of noise they would make was an eagerly awaited moment. Alas, in the end, a disappointing one. Only a very slightly different tone to standard. Still, at least the performance might be slightly different, right? Wrong, out on the road the bike seemed a bit stodgy and then totally bogged down when opened up above 4000rpm. Not quite the result I was hoping for.

The seller had said that he had tack welded in decibel killers to quieten the Power Flows down slightly. Seems like he had a gone a bit too far, there was neither Power nor Flow. Turns out he was a pretty good welder because when I got home I had a quick go at removing these spot welds. Not easy.

In the end I wanted to use the bike the next day so took the Power Flows off and back on went the Keihins and normal service was restored.

The Power Flows will go back but I need to buy a die grinder tool first to attack those spot welds. In the next instalment of the Power Flow saga I have the feeling I shall be reporting on significantly more noise but no better power than standard. Let us see. More to follow....

The Power Flows certainly do look nice and are a cute period
accessory touch to the bike.

Rear profile is good and they do look like they should be
rip snarlin'. Note however the calamitous db killers....

Most bikes look better from one side. What is spectacular
about a BMW airhead is that they look equally great from
both sides.

Power Flow logo pressed in to the silencers. Has anyone
encountered these before? I've not seen another pair.

A considerable weight saving over the original style.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Wild eighties Brit trikes

And now for something completely different. A couple of snaps of trikes that look like they were taken in the late seventies. As with many customs, not my cup of tea but you've got to admire the creativity and ingenuity. Look how drab seventies Britain looks in photos! The first photo is of course taken at a custom show but the second demonstrates that cars of the era were mostly available either in shades of poo yellow or poo brown...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

OK Junior Motorcycles 1921

A somewhat ignominious name for a brand of motorcycle, OK were one of the pioneers in the bicycle and motorcycle industry. The company was founded in 1899 by Ernie Humphries as a cycle parts manufacturer. Charles Dawes became a partner in the company in 1906 and the range of the company slowly expanded to include motorcycle parts.

By 1911 Humphries and Dawes were producing complete motorcycles under the OK brand name, the range expanded up until the Great War. In 1914 an OK Junior model was introduced as a lightweight and economical machine. From 1919 it was decided to concentrate only on the Junior model, by mid 1920 2000 Juniors were leaving the factory each month. The brand name changed from OK Motor Cycles to OK Junior Motor Cycles reflecting the single base model range.

Sales of the Junior waned with the general slump in motorcycle sales following the early post war peak. In 1926 Humphies and Dawes decided to part their ways and split the company. Dawes concentrated on the bicycle market (yes, that Dawes) and Humphries set up the OK Supreme motorcycle brand.

The below brochure for OK Junior Motor Cycles dates from 1921 and although is slightly ratty in condition merits reproduction for its rarity.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Excelsior Scout

Here's something unusual, a Villiers-engined Excelsior. The model is a Scout and is from around 1934. Not too sure where the photo was taken but the number plate of the bike definitely isn't British, it says 'Vic' on it, maybe this is Victoria, Australia?

The caption on the reverse of the picture is, "This is Jack taken on a mates Motor Bike" sic.

Young Jack is sitting astride an Excelsior Scout from around
1934. The bike is fitted with a 250cc Villiers motor.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Pioneer Run 2019 pt3

The final batch of photos from this year's Pioneer Run. All taken in the glorious sunshine at the finish down on Madeira Drive. An absolutely wonderful day of riding. Many thanks to the organisers and here's to next year!

The orange is unmistakably Merkel.

New Hudson in a sea of Triumphs.

Gorgeous blue Indian.

Immaculate 1910 Premier 3.5hp.

Unfathomable front springing on the Premier.

American Excelsior with sheepy passenger.

Original sheep accessory on this Excelsior too. Must have
been a factory option....

Lovely sporting Peugeot twin.

1904 Progress 3hp over from Germany.

Cracking little 1912 Levis.

This 1911 Magnet-Debon was over from
Germany. For a good part of the run it ran
neck and neck with the Sun. On the flat the
Sun had the edge but the Magnet would
overtake again on an incline.

1910 Brown 490cc. I have to admit that I couldn't quite work
out how the Bowden gearbox operates. I believe the rocking
pedal controls gears and the ratchet lever on the handlebar
does the clutch.

Full view of the 1910 Brown. Note the enormous
(clutch?) lever on the handlebars.

1898 Romaine tricycle.

The Romaine's motor. It looks like a beast but
is only 2hp. A lot more fins on the barrel and
head than most other contemporaries.

Power plant of the 1909 Phanomobile tricycle.

1904 Rover forecar detail. Note the heal-operated bell.

Another detail of the 1904 Rover.

1914 Matchless combination to the fore.

Morgan has had a slight oil leak...


Well patinated 1914 Rover.

Beautiful 1908 Moto-Reve.

Unusual horizontal overhead valves operated
by rocking beams on the Precision-engined
Calthorpe Junior.

1902 Quadrant Autocyclette.

Controls on the 1902 Quadrant.

Lovely 1914 Villiers-engined Gerrard.

A lot of interesting details on the 1912 Wanderer
that had come over from Germany for the Run.

1913 Ariel was possibly my favourite machine of the event.
The Ariel is a real flyer but looks rather uncomfortable. We
played hare and tortoise for much of the Run.