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Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club

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Some time ago, I decided to build a side car and trailer, to attach to my D14/4 Bantam, this was very successful, however, being satisfied with my accomplishments, it was time to think of my next project, or two!!
I have always had a hankering to build a Trike, yes well, I had a dream, I saw myself on an Autocycle.
Here I go, l found an old bike frame, cut a few bits off, made a long down tube, centre rod, for steering, lower support tube for strength. I then proceeded to make a front frame, square in shape, this was to fit in a large basket, for carrying goods etc. On this I fitted 2 wheels, yes 2 and 1 at the back, you got, it a TRIKE !! Now power unit, but which one? I managed to acquire a Russian engine, are you ready for this? Krasnoi Oktjabr Kroxa 45cc, I did warn you, however, it was duly fitted and running very soon afterwards. I then set about fitting ancillary  parts, ie, lights, mud guards,basket, etc, l used m/cycle handle bars, grips, brake lever, twist grip. I then had to devise a way of cabeling the front brakes, l used bicycle calipers, one on each side, l used a single cable from the lever to a bracket, from which l fitted a roller, on this l had one cable over the roller, going to each calliper. Road test, great. Now D.V.L.A. Yes well ongoing, but I will succeed, l will run on roads in Sussex, be warned. Next, how to get it to shows etc, l need a trailer, you guessed it, build one, so I did, I made a frame, I used ally Chanel for the runners, stainless steel ramps, number plate & light, and wheels from a baby buggy, the sort you tow behind a bicycle. Now, I here you saying, what has this got to do with a Bantam? Well now, the Trike, on trailer is towed, yes you got it, BEHIND my Bantam D 14/4. I don’t know what else I can invent, but I dare say I will think of something, watch this space. See photos.

          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.



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!




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.

The chassis needed to be as light as possible but with sufficient strength to make the finished outfit safe and secure when it took to the roads.

The 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 on completion

It 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.

For 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's Velocette

Engine as 




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.


This motorcycle started with a Bantam D1 frame, that came from a hayloft, It was given to me, as a biker, to do something with !!!.   
Over the next 4 Months,I started to build something a bit special, ( I have always wanted to build my own bike, from bits ) 
I started by trying to source bits and pieces,from Jumbles, Friends, Traders etc. I decided I wanted my bike,my style,my way,my colour. 
The Bike consists of the following parts :- BSA Bantam,  D1 frame, front forks, both hubs,brake shoes,Bantam D5 Fuel tank,Bantam D7 speedo, Bantam D13 engine bottom end.Bantam D14/4 engine, Top end. ( The engine and gearbox have all new internals )
All other parts, were sourced or made by me.i.e oversized rear rims, new carb, D3 trials exhaust, Honda foot pegs,Triumph rubbers,Trals seat and rear tyre,Handmade chain guard, speedo bracket,side stand,mudgaurd stays, stone gaurd, ect. and many more, as you will be able to see for yourself.
The bike is made up of \batam and other bits,It is yellow and black, and is also designed as a TrialsBike:- Now for the name?
A trials Bantam:-  hence--TRIBAN                                                
Painted yellow and black:--hence--WASP

THE FLYING VICARS, 175cc  of road, bright and colourful, machine for fun,fun,fun