Saturday, June 24, 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Sometimes a project is 99% finished and then somehow just gets left for a while. I got that far with my Alan a couple of years ago and then stopped for a while and just hung it up on the wall as an ornament. Truth is the reason that it stalled was that I wanted to finish off the full Campagnolo spec but was a bit bowled away by the price of a decent set of aero pedals.
After a good while of sitting looking at it all forlorn and pedal-less I resumed the search with adjusted expectations of how much I would have to pay. After a while adrift on the bay of e a pair floated my way, they're not perfect but they're not half bad either. Seemed like a good opportunity for the Alan to see some metal polish and daylight. So here it is in all its completed glory, shiny and be-pedalled.
|There's a lot to get stuck in to with the Autosol on an Alan!|
|Love this cycle. The only cycle I have that is a nostalgia trip|
for me. All the stuff I couldn't afford as a teenager!
|Campag delta brakes. Magnificent folly.|
|Excessive complication for no gain but beautiful|
to look at.
|No cycle of the era is complete without a Rolls saddle.|
|Campag pedals on Campag crank.|
|No indexed shifting here.|
|Cinelli XA internal wedge stem and delta brake.|
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Excelsior's line up was always an interesting one from pre-war days right up until the end. Someone in the company obviously had a penchant for the unusual as they weren't scared to throw a few surprises in to the line up alongside the bread and butter. Pre-war, for such a small company, the range was impressive: from depression era cheapies through to the uber glamorous Manxman models.
1958 was in the twilight for the Excelsior company but they were still managing to produce their own motor in the form of the Talisman twin. The same motor they managed to sell to Berkeley for use in their microcars. There was a three cylinder 500cc two stroke Excelsior that was made for the four wheeler sporting Berkeleys, what a massive pity that it was never offered in their motorcycle range. There have been several special builders over the years who have put together their idea of what Excelsior should have done so it was certainly possible and seems like an opportunity lost. Imagine, a two stroke air cooled triple offered twenty years before the Kawasaki H1.
|The 328cc Talisman Twin Special. The|
'Special' in the title being the addition of
a slightly ungainly 'bathtub' rear enclosure
to suit the fashion of the day.
|The regular 328 and 250cc Talisman Twins. Quite rare bikes|
now and well thought of. Those in the know rate them more
highly than Villiers twins.
|And last but not least the Skutabyke.|
Really just a plunger framed Consort model
from a couple of years previously fitted with
an engine fairing and legshields.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
My R80 combo was suffering from continuing rough running despite a carb rebuild. It felt as if it was running partly on the choke and with the tank off and a look at the woeful state of the choke cables it probably was. The bike only needs choke for initial start up on a cold day so I did consider dispensing with a choke altogether but thought better of it. The choke cable routing is pretty torturous and the cables are pricey. Luckily I remembered browsing through the Motorworks website and seeing their choke conversion a few weeks earlier. The conversion is only a bit more expensive than a new set of cables and simplifies set up and cabling. Of course there is the disadvantage that you have to bend down to the carbs to operate the choke but I found that a small price to pay.
|Motorworks Bing carb choke conversion.|
The kit is nicely made in stainless and comes with a neat aluminium blanking cover for the choke lever on the clutch cluster. Fitting is straightforward though a little bit fiddly getting the pinch bolts in place and at first it seems like the operating angle for the plunger is all wrong. In practice the new levers work fine and setting them up is a doddle. Smooth running was restored to the bike. Now, if I could only sort out the ferocious thirst of the dreaded Bings!
|And the choke conversion fitted. Whilst at it I replaced the nasty|
crosshead carb top bolts with niceer looking and more
convenient stainless allen bolts.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Easy enough to recognise the bikes, a brace of Douglas. They are presumably from the First World War era, the bikes, riders and uniforms all look authentic enough so the studio pose is rather incongruous. I believe the uniforms are British. Wouldn't it be wonderful to know the full story..
|A pair of Douglas and Despatch Riders pose|
in a studio.