NOT QUITE A RESTORATION MORE A RECREATION!
Richard Bennett. ( The Flying Vicar.).
Peter Baker's impressive rebuilding of a Category B written off Honda VFR750 the best of the VFRs and well worth the effort in preserving such a fine machine.
In a few years time I should have one that looks like this. At the moment it is in bits, covered in rust and dust. It is a 1925 2 1/2 Raleigh. Should keep me from hanging around street corners for a bit.
THE FLYING VICARS’ FINAL TOUCH
May previous efforts were published in the December issue of OBM when the possibility of a trailer for my Bantam combination was mentioned.
Not wishing to disappoint any readers and with a new season of local Shows and Rideouts looming large my thoughts turned to the amount of tea, coffee and biscuits consumed. at these events. Why not build your own ‘tea trailer’ with the capacity for carrying tea, coffee, kettle, cooker and think of the cost saving and queues avoided.
Back to the drawing board, a few rudimentary designs and using bicycle wheels and mudguards, my favoured box section with plywood and fittings together with a towing eye from a car and ‘hey presto’ a tea trailer. The internals arranged to accommodate the appropriate equipment and the arms from both the top of the shocks and the carrier to a towing block.
I hope to see you at some of the shows and I am sure you won’t miss me!
YET ANOTHER PROJECT
After the Triban, Ariel Leader and BSA Dandy Richard decided that for his latest project he fancied three wheels but didn’t wish to move away from his passion for small two strokes or stray from a realistic budget. The likelihood of finding a ready made machine to meet his requirements was slim to nothing so he set about building his own. His initial thoughts were that he could defer back to the days when if you broke down on the road you got in touch with a local dealer who sent out a bike and sidecar with basic spares. No insurance with recovery included back then and the AA and RAC caught on to the sidecar spares in good time.
For stage one the bike had to be a Bantam and the necessary purchase was made at the annual Netley Marsh Autojumble and the sidecar could now be made after several drawings of what might or might not work.
A straightforward wooden frame was carefully constructed ,divided internally to fit the ‘spares’ it was to carry whilst constrained with the overall width required for a stable outfit. On then to the chassis work and the fittings to the bike and perhaps the first complicated section the sidecar wheel suspension.
chassis needed to be as light as possible but with sufficient
strength to make the finished outfit safe and secure when it took to
first suspension system proved to be a little weak but soldiering on
the second system proved to be more than satisfactory and with the
sidecar wheel attached and the chassis painted the outfit was really
coming together. The sidecar fittings to the bike included an
attachment that could be adjusted to alter the ‘toe in’ required
was decided to place some heavyweight blocks in the nose of the chair
to aid stability and then the internal compartments were filled with
the ‘spares’, really just odds and ends from the garage with some
items super glued in to prevent light fingers helping themselves.
Plastic covers and the previous super glued accessories prevent the contents from bouncing around when on the move. Richard had never ridden an outfit before and his early efforts were made with his long time pal Phil riding behind both as shotgun and to provide feedback for how the sidecar worked. He has now reached a level of proficiency that enables forty mph cruising in comfort.
those who have been to the Goodwood Revival you may have
noticed a gentleman in leather , usually at the end of the tunnel,
wearing a dog collar and with The Flying Vicar on his
back................that would be Richard!
THE NOT QUITE FINISHED ARTICLE (As the trailer followed - see above.)
ARTHUR WILSON'S RESTORATION OF HIS
1951 350CC VELOCETTE MAC
In September 2011 I purchased from a VMCC member the parts of a Velocette MAC some of which are shown here. Shirley my wife couldn't believe what I had bought.
My first task was to dismantle the engine and see if the inside was as bad as the outside. The first thing I found was a seized piston, the rest was OK apart from the valve cam followers which were badly worn. I cleaned all the parts of the engine and after having the crankcase and other aluminium parts vapour blasted I then turned my attention to the frame and tin ware. These parts were sent for grit blasting and then for black powder coating. the cylinder was re-bored and relined and a new piston of standard size fitted. The cam followers of which there are obviously two were very worn and as I had some HSS tool steel I ground the rough shaped two pieces and had them silver soldered on to the followers as shown in the pictures, after which they were then ground to the correct profile.
The petrol tank was quite badly dented and required a repair with inside cleaned, lined with ethanol resistant sealant, sprayed and gold lined as shown, then fitted with a new petrol cap and knee pads. With no battery carrier I had to make a new one based on the picture in the spares book. Next job was the purchase of new wheel rims and spokes which I then built and added new tyres. Then a bargain loomed with purchase of some Velocette forks from another VMCC member. The forks were completely renovated, re-painted and all new seals fitted. Forks and wheels were fitted to the frame and the assembly lifted onto my work table for the new seat and front mudguard to be fitted. Not having proper knowledge of what an early MAC looks like from all angles I went to Sammy Millers Museum in New Milton where I knew an early MAC was on show, and was allowed to take a series of photos to help me assemble the bike correctly. The rest of the bike was assembled from the photos and the final result is shown below.
Unfortunately this subsequently proved not to be the final result as with failing health and increased frailty Arthur found the Velo too difficult to start. Not to be outdone he purchased an electric start conversion and with some amendments to the equipment provided he fitted it successfully. The next problem Arthur had to face was the fact that having been ‘out of the saddle’ for several months his confidence in riding had faded away.
Once again his strength of purpose overcame his confidence issue in true Arthur stye and he managed a short ride around the local roads before finally he succumbed to his illness.