Monday, October 30, 2023

Flat tank special

This one has me confused. At first I hoped it was an early Japanese machine but the closer I look the more it seems to be a homemade special that just happens to have some Japanese script on the tank.

My overall synopsis of it is that the bike is something of a death trap. A powerful JAP ohv 'dog eared' sports motor with Triumph twin barrel carb, wobbly Triumph 'rocking' front forks, no front brake, belt drive and just a drive rim brake on the rear. It's rather hard to put a date on the bike, the overall spec suggests around 1920 but the engine comes from somewhat later (mid to late twenties).

The gearbox is a Sturmey Archer and the overall appearance very sporting. Having had a look at early Japanese bikes the number plate could just be Japanese but equally it could be British - if it is indeed British it comes from Bradford. The logo on the tank is a mystery but the most likely explanation is that the bike was put together as a special by someone who had a knowledge of Kanji script, perhaps an impecunious student who built their own sporting mount? Putting the tank logo through google translate comes up with 'about three' - maybe it refers to the number of different bike brands in this particular mongrel?

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Bob Foster Run 2023

Many years have passed since I last went over to a Bob Foster Run despite it being on my doorstep. The Bob Foster is organised by the Dorset Section of the Velocette Owners Club and has been running for donkeys years. I used to spectate it as a child, that's how old it is.

Obviously Velocettes are the favoured mounts of the day but anything goes. My Velocette went to pastures new a little while back but as I was only able to spectate having not been organised enough to get my entry in sufficiently in advance I chugged into the car park on the Enfield Himalayan.

Lots of Velos.

Still black and gold so fits in nicely...

This Ariel Arrow / Honda CD185 Benly hybrid created
a lot of interest. It was nicely done and looked right.

Horiel Barrow? Aronda Arrly?

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Mystery Moussard engined machine - can anyone identify?

The new owner of this charming machine, Geert, has contacted to see if I could identify his new purchase. The short answer is no! So, over to you knowledgeable folks out there. Can anyone furnish any details as to marque, year or model?

Moussard engines were manufactured in the mid twenties and also went under the 'Madoz' and 'Moussard-Madoz' brand names.

This particular machine was once in the Oltimer Motoren Museum in Oudenburg which was situated in the late lamented Bikers Loft bar and hostel, Groenedijk, Belgium and funnily enough I took a picture of the bike and it featured on this blog way back in 2014.

The frame design is fairly distinctive with its curved downtube as is the toolbox. It's quite a basic machine being a single speeder but the lighting set is a lovely luxury feature. It must have been just the job for puttering along canalside tracks. Moussard engines were fitted to a number of marques from France, Belgium and Holland. Overall the machine looks fairly close to a 'Dé-Dé' but there are a number of key differences.

If you have any ideas as to identity please comment below or mail.

Advert for the Moussard 175 unit. Image found on
Sheldon's EMU.

And the bike when it was in the Oldtimer Motoren Museum.