Sunday, December 4, 2016

Southern Classic Off Road & Racing Show

I hadn't made the trek up to Kempton Park for a couple of years so with a free Saturday it seemed like a good idea to drive up and have a mooch around. Normally I've gotten up at the crack of dawn and got in there early. This time it seemed like a plan to be a bit more civilised and aim to leave eight-ish to get in ten-ish. Mistake. I got snarled up in London bound traffic, then the main car park was full and I had to go to the overflow which was a further 15 minute queue down the road and then even arriving late there was still a massive half hour queue to get in. Grumble. Lesson learnt....

Anyway, once in it was the same good old Kempton. Perhaps a bit more general market stall tat on offer than the last time I was there but still a good and big autojumble. The Off Road Show adds a nice extra dimension to it all too. Must make an effort to visit more often. Here's a few snaps of bikes from the jumble and show.

This Norton 500T was very envy inducing. It was parked up
in the jumble but without a price tag.

This Series 1 Enfield Interceptor had been in a fire.
Some pretty serious damage but it sold to someone
who said they were going to resurrect it.

A serious project this Interceptor. But at least it had its
registration document.

1967 Matchless G80CS. £7000 was the asking

Unrestored Excelsior Autocycle, the desirable two speed model.

Some serious work had gone in to this old
school Triumph chop. Look carefully and
there's a supercharger snuggled away behind
the oil tank.

Soft tail is a fairly unconventional choice for
such a chop but certainly makes it more

Got to admit, though not my regular cup of tea,
I kinda liked it.

Unconventional art work on the tank and all the better for it.

Pretty much a textbook modified Royal Enfield Bullet one day
trials. Post '56 frame, raised engine plates, REH hubs, early
narrow magdyno motor and early external clutch arm gearbox.

Mk VIII KTT Velocette and Triumph 3HW / T100 hybrid in
the background.

Francis Barnett trials with rare Ajax head.

Hardtailed Royal Enfield Bullet trials.

Cotton Conquest production racer.

Can Am Qualifier. Just about the same bike as
the military model.

Rather rare Greeves 25TA trials twin.

Always had a soft spot for 50cc racers despite
being way too big for them. Here's an Itom.

Guzzi Condor and Dondolino.

Busy engine unit on the Dondolino

1956 MV Augusta Squalo (Shark) CSS.

DOHC Ducati 125 Grand Prix single.

Gorgeous Rex Acme Blackburne.

1952 Works ISDT Ariel. Competed in the 1952 ISDT in
Austria and the 1953 one in Czechoslovakia and won
Gold medals in each. Also deservedly won Best in Show
at Kempton.

Stone catcher on the Ariel.

There's always a nice selection of bikes in the car park ridden
to Kempton. Bravo for riding out on a Velo KSS in the middle
of winter.

Friday, December 2, 2016

1923 Cleveland two stroke

This little two stroke Cleveland has been lurking around my garage for a few years now. She was dragged out today for a quick photo shoot following a Cleveland related correspondence with a fellow enthusiast based in Spain.

As far as I know my machine is a 1923 model (engine number 33198 if anyone out there knows for sure). I bought it at the Netley Marsh autojumble I think seven years ago for no other reason that it is quirky, I had the money in my pocket and the price was right. The Cleveland had apparently spent most of its life in France and had come from a small French museum before I bought it. The bike is pretty much complete barring footboards and it is fitted with the wrong handlebars. If anyone out there can help with these parts I'd much appreciate it. In fact if you could lend a footboard I would have a few cast up to cover anyone else who might want one.

Two stroke Clevelands are wonderfully eccentric devices, part rip off of the two stroke Triumph and also mechanically with a few similarities to a Neracar. No coincidence as Carl Neracher had a spell at Cleveland before coming up with the Neracar. The engine is in line with the frame and drives the gearbox via a worm gear. The unit gearbox is a two speeder, gears are selected by a rocking pedal and the clutch is operated by the long lever to the left of the tank. The magneto sits rather strangely behind the gearbox, the drive chain is immensely long and the gear box sprocket is very large and the rear wheel one quite small.

The Cleveland is next in line for attention once I finally finish my Model 19 Norton. I'm looking forward to taking it out and about on runs - I haven't seen one on the road in the UK before. It's all a slow process though as the bikes I keep on the road seem to demand constant attention too...

Thursday, December 1, 2016

BSA Gold Star 1960

Brochure from the tail end of Gold Star production. Though the Goldie is best remembered in Clubman's trim the cover page of the brochure is pushing off road success.

1960 BSA Gold Star brochure front cover.

1960 BSA Gold Star brochure page 1.

1960 BSA Gold Star brochure page 2.

1960 BSA Gold Star brochure rear cover.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Jack Hearne Cycle for sale

The minor clear out continues. Having now parted with a couple of motorcycles and one cycle frame with only one small twenties scooter incoming to take their place I am rediscovering the joys of being able to move around my workshop unrestricted once more.

Latest in the cull is my late sixties / early seventies Jack Hearne. I bought it originally as frame only out of nostalgia as I used to work for Jack a few years back. Jack Hearne is a name that has popped up in this blog a few times, for more related posts follow this link. Jack was a prolific frame builder through the sixties and seventies in Southern England; he was noted for a very fine finish on his frames, the frames themselves are of high quality but no nonsense generally being without signature fancy lug work or unorthodox design. The frame on this cycle is 19.5", given that I am over six foot tall I've decided that having had fun building the cycle up it is perhaps time for it to move on....

Condition is fair and rideable. There are a few chips on the paintwork but at least it is original, the handlebars and stem have a few scratches, the chainset has a few dots of rust but really it is fairly tidy though definitely not a show bike. It hasn't been used much since being built up, I had a lot of trouble with the chain jumping off, I've just recently fitted a fresh chainset, bottom bracket axle and chain. Turns out that most of the problem was with a cheap ebay chain, I fitted something of better quality and now it runs smoothly and skip free. Lesson learnt.

Spec as follows:
  • GB handlebars and stem
  • Nervar fluted cottered crankset
  • Wolber Model 58 rims (27 x 1 1/4) with new Schwalbe tyres
  • Campag hubs (slightly more recent vintage than the frame)
  • Mafac 'Racer' brake set
  • Campag Nuovo Record rear mech and six speed block
  • Recent leather saddle, Selle Italia perhaps? Looks nice, not particularly comfortable (for me at least!)
  • Frame material unknown, Jack normally built with 531 so this is a fair guess. Quite nice fancy Nervex lugs. Frame number 5165
Price: £375

I am happy to post it, round about £20 for most of the UK. Massively expensive everywhere else.
Having said I am having a clear out I am always happy to entertain proposals of swaps and part exchanges. My tastes are eclectic. Try me.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Royal Enfield 225cc Sports Model 200

1925 Royal Enfield 225cc Sports Model 200.

The reverse of this photo is labelled as 'taken 1929', looking at the spec of the bike it seems to be a 1925 model. The Sports Model 200 225cc two stroke was distinguished from its more common sibling the Model 201 by having footrests instead of foot boards, sports handlebars and a rather nice two in to one exhaust from the twin port motor. There was also a Model 201a which was the open frame model. The 201a is commonly known as the ladies model but was sold by Royal Enfield as, 'Designed and built for the lady or gentleman who prefers not to wear special clothing when motorcycling.'

Friday, November 25, 2016

Hardy Trial 2016

Several weeks before a long distance trial entering seems like a marvelous idea. A day before when I realise that I am woefully ill prepared and time is running out I begin to question my own stupidity. And then on the day when Storm Angus was battering the South of the country I really felt like just turning the alarm off and staying in bed.

The Hardy Trial was doubly challenging for co-entrant Matt who had his CCM pinched from his car's bike rack from right outside his house by three scrotes in a transit van just as he was about to depart from the Midlands with family to spend the weekend of the trial chez nous in Dorset. Matt is gamer than I as, gutted though he was, he simply did a bike swap and loaded up his trusty RE Crusader and brought it down to ride.

As it turned out only our 6am ride to the start was damp and the rain held off for the rest of the day from our 8am flag off onwards. This was doubly remarkable as the following day saw some serious flooding in the area. Sure, the going was very waterlogged but at least we weren't getting wet as we rode.

Bike disaster also befell co-rider Toby as his Honda XL 250 wasn't playing ball on the morning of the trial. That left Dan on his rigid G3L Matchless, myself on Dan's generously lent Bullet (still haven't bought a trials bike since I sold my Bullet, duh!) and Matt on his wholly unsuitable (though veteran of several LDTs) Crusader all riding together.

We made it around the course without major mishap. Many sections were footed as you might expect ploughing around on a heavy antiquated behemoth trying to cut it with Beta Alps and Gas Gas Panteras but we had fun and didn't break any bones so overall a top result.

The Hardy goes through some stunning scenery, the distances between sections are not too great and it makes for a properly enjoyable day out if this is your kind of thing. Totally recommended.

Dan eyeing up a tricky section on his Matchless.

Fellow competitors on suitable bikes....

The Matchless is going well here.

And not so well here. Dan did alright in the end though and
got top in class, albeit a class of four. I fell off in the same place
about two minutes later.

Not something you see often. Greeves Sports
Twin rolling chassis with BSA A7 motor.

Shiny classic Suzuki out having some fun.

The BSA Greeves again. Beeves? Greeser?

Yours truly, looking in control but in reality just on the verge
of binning it.

Royal Enfield Crusader way away from its natural habitat.