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Issue 20

Spring 2012

BMCT News N E W S L E T T E R O F T H E B R I T I S H M O T O R C Y C L E C H A R I T A B L E T R U S T

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B M C T o n F a c e b o o k T e l f o r d O f f - R o a d & R a c i n g S h o w B r i s t o l C l a s s i c M o t o r c y c l e S h o w B o n h a m s S a l e R e p o r t E t h a n o l i n P e t r o l - P a r t 2 S a v e t h e T r i u m p h B o n n e v i l l e ! M u s e u m N e w s 1 9 2 3 D o u g l a s


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pring is just around the corner and bike-starved enthusiasts have been flocking to the early season classic and vintage motorcycle shows. Here‟s a taste of what was to be seen at Telford and Shepton Mallet.

A display of Triumph Trophy models as used by the GB team of John Giles, Ken Heanes and Roy Peplow in the 1958 ISDT at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

A replica of the Reynolds framed Manx Norton with which Geoff Duke won the 1958 Swedish 500cc Grand Prix.

Remember the Triumph Bandit and BSA Fury from 1971, the models that never made it into production? The stockpile of frames was sold off and many went on to form the basis of racers like this 928 cc Norton.

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The big Norton engine is a tight fit in a frame meant to house a 350, leaving only 0.10” of adjustment for the belt primary drive. See how the crankcase projects between the frame tubes. Engine removal requires the gearbox to first be stripped „in situ‟.

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Among the gems at Shepton Mallet we spotted this very rare 3 speed 1914 500cc Ariel (left) which was restored in 2010 after 50 years off the road and won the Feridax Concours Trophy at the 2011 Banbury Run. On the right is the winner of Best Pre-War Bike, a beautifully presented 1938 Triumph Tiger 80, similar to the one owned by the BMCT. This example was purchased at this same show some years ago as a complete wreck and rebuilt by the present owner. Front Cover: BMCT member Peter Towersey sent us this photograph of his father on his c.1929 sidevalve Matchless. Peter doesn‟t recall too many details about the bike, apart from the fact that it was very reluctant to start, particularly when hot!


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Bristol “Best in Show” winner John Phizacklea with his 1925 Ner-a-Car (above) while winners of “Best Club Stand” were the Wells Classic MC (right) with a typical domestic scene!

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he old Facebook group pages are being discontinued in fa v ou r o f in d i vi d ua l p ag es . Accordingly we have closed the old group and replaced it with a new BMCT Facebook Page incorporating our new logo. All of the latest news will be posted on this page, together with photos of the museums and events we‟ve attended, plus posts from our affiliated museums and the general public. Our website will still be the place to visit for in-depth

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information, while the Facebook Page will be an interactive space where you can make suggestions, comments, and post your own photos. One very important thing you can do for us is to “Like” our page when you first visit. Feel free to post comments and photographs as long as they are relevant, but please, no commercial adverts. If you‟re a club member or organizer with an event coming up that may be of interest to our members, then please do post infor-

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mation. Any feedback about the page, our website or the general work of the BMCT is very welcome, so let us have your thoughts and ideas. Share photos of your own bikes, past and present - uploading to Facebook is dead easy. We‟re looking forward to seeing your posts in the very near future at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ The-British-Motorcycle-CharitableTrust-BMCT

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In another extract from his excellent book „Save the Triumph Bonneville‟, BMCT member John Rosamond describes Meriden‟s battle with an old Triumph bugbear in the last days of the Co-op:

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t the heart of the five-year corporate plan being drawn up to secure financial restructuring was the vital, totally new Diana engine design project. One of the previous biggest criticisms levelled at the Co-op and Triumph was that its motorcycles were based on engine designs going back to Edward Turner‟s 1937 Speed Twin, and as such they failed to meet the needs and aspirations of present day motor cycle buyers or imminent tighter noise and emission legislation. It was with this stinging criticism in mind that Brian Jones (Triumph‟s Chief Engineer) had drawn up the design specification for the ultimate Triumph parallel twin. In the years since the Meriden Co-operative came into being in 1975, the Beneficiary owners had on several occasions been extremely indebted to the support of very special friends. One such special friend was Paul Morton, seconded by GEC in 1977 to try and come up with a quick solution for the Triumph engine‟s vibration problems, which were deterring UK Police forces from buying British. Paul Morton was GEC‟s highly respected vibration expert, and he and his team quickly got to grips with this and other engineering problems that the Co-op was experiencing at the time. Unfortunately the vibration solution, although totally effective, involved the production of many extra parts and new tooling, the costs of which were beyond the Co-op‟s resources. An alternative simpler link balancer design was later proved „in principle‟ in an experimental Bonneville engine. However, as with the previous contra rotating balancer shafts, a major engine redesign and retooling investment to accommodate it was required. Once again this prevented this solution going ahead. Years had passed since GEC withdrew after its brief but satisfactory involvement with Triumph. Out of the blue John Rosamond received a phone call from Paul Morton just at the time

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Brian Jones was starting with a clean sheet of paper to draw up the detailed specification of the next generation parallel twin engine, codenamed Diana. Paul recalled in the telephone conversation how inspirational he and his colleagues had found their involvement with the Co-op, particularly the membership‟s total commitment to do whatever it took to keep Triumph in business. Accordingly, in his own time, he had continued to think about the Triumph twin‟s vibration problem. As a result of these deliberations he had come up with a simple, unique balancer design that solved the parallel twin‟s vibration. In recognition of the Triumph membership‟s dedication, he intended to give the balancer design to the Co-op. Paul Morton‟s device was indeed a simple solution to the age-old vibration problem inherent in all parallel twin cylinder engines. When now specified at the heart of the new Diana Triumph engine, it would balance out all primary and most secondary vibration, making the new Triumph twin smoother than a four. Whilst John Rosamond advised Paul Morton that he appreciated his extremely generous offer, it would have been wrong not to point out to our very good friend the precarious financial position Triumph was in, a position that could at any moment result in the Co-op slipping into receivership or liquidation. In view of this the Chairman suggested that a simple legal agreement be drawn up to enable Paul Morton to secure the return of his balancer design in the event the Co-op went into receivership or liquidation. The deal was done. The membership would enjoy the right to use Paul‟s gift whilst the Co-op remained in business.

press had been building the general public‟s and motorcycle trade‟s expectations regarding Triumph‟s 1983 model range. What the press, trade and general public did not expect and would catch them completely by surprise was the first appearance of Triumph‟s Super Sports

Senior Draughtsman Doug Mogano with the Phoenix after the 1983 NEC Show

900cc Phoenix. The NEC Press day impact was exactly as intended, guaranteeing mass media coverage of Triumph‟s showcase presentation. There was no doubt that journalists were very positive regarding the 1983 model range, the intended financial reconstruction and the „futuristic‟ 900cc Phoenix about which there was the expected clamour for technical details. We knew the NEC Press Day would provide the necessary international coverage to establish if there were any further private sector financial investors interested. Sadly the 1983 NEC Motorcycle Show was to be a last hurrah for the Co-op. The proposed financial restructuring and move back to Coventry foundered, within months the receivers were in, and

The Diana project was later renamed „Phoenix‟ and a wood and clay model revealed at the NEC Motorcycle Show where Triumph unveiled its range for 1983. The Phoenix‟s engine was removed from the factory‟s dynamometer to be exhibited at the show. John Rosamond describes the reaction: Triumph‟s 1983 7-model range in the various new colour options could not have been displayed better. With factory help the specialist motorcycle

The Phoenix engine, a dohc 8v watercooled twin, featured four exhaust ports

„Save the Triumph Bonneville!‟ by John Rosamond is published by and available from Veloce Publishing - www.veloce.co.uk


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NEW MEMBERS We welcome the following members and supporters of our cause:

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n a recent visit to the Sammy Miller Museum, BMCT member Richard Johnson found two well known personalities also paying a call on Sam. Don and Derek Rickman were both highly successful international moto-cross riders who were in business in nearby New Milton for

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many years making their Metisse frame kits for off and on-road bikes like the Triumph Metisse café racer (above), like to the one Sammy has just restored. As well as their motorcycles and accessories the brothers were also known for their RWD Ford Escort based Rickman Ranger selfbuild utility vehicles, and the stunning Sierra based Metisse Sports Coupe. A new book about the Rickmans has recently been published, and we hope to have a copy to review for a future issue of BMCT News.

ember Richard Maby sent in this nicely produced poster for an interesting event near his home in Dorset . Gillingham In Gear takes place in the town centre, and allows classic and vintage enthusiasts the chance to

show off their motorcycles, cars, commercial vehicles and even steam engines. The organiser is Ron May, and he can be contacted on 01747 823747. Proceeds from the event go to the local Air Ambulance fund. Richard‟s 1971 Norton Commando S took the Peoples Choice award at the r ec en t B r i s t o l C l a s s i c Motorcycle Show at Shepton Mallet. Here‟s Richard (below) with his bike, looking somewhat underwhelmed at the acclaim!

Michael Thompson, Poole Kenneth Malson, Poole Alex Smith, Peterborough K Waldron, Bognor Regis Stephen Clark, Southampton Richard Johnston, Christchurch Roger Cox, Halesworth Steve Morgan, Uxbridge Elaine Meech, Southampton Maurice Gout, Spalding Geoffrey Frost, Christchurch Chris Kingshott, Southampton Michael Thackery, Walton-on-Thames David Taylor, Bracknell Nick Vella, London Scott Rich, Romsey Greg Warren, Farnborough Paul Harvey, New Milton Ian Turnbull, Fordingbridge Don Cooper, Lymington John Garlick, Slough Richard King, Southampton Ruth Roman, Lyndhurst Raymond Bailey, Daventry Malcolm Bailey, Newport Pagnell Alan Berryman, East Grinstead Philip Stock, Egham C Godwin, Lymington Laurie Smith, Rugby Paul Morris, Hook P J Lyons, Basingstoke M Mills, Hassocks Catherine Blachford, New Milton Marc Rand, New Milton Graham Foulger, Sandiacre Gerry Tilney, Sidcup Trevor Elliott, Guildford David Wiffen, Farnborough Aaron Lawford, New Milton Mark Postles, Theale Gary Driver, Wickford John Gott, Doncaster Robert Greenacre, Coulsdon


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he Black Country Living Museum have revamped the interior of the Bradburn & Wedge building which was funded by a grant from the BMCT. The new format allows much improved access to their wide range of motor cycle exhibits whilst making the interior of the hall lighter and more pleasant

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the first Saturday of every month between February and December you can see and hear historic vehicles from the Marston collection being taken for a spin around the museum‟s circuit.

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rooklands Museum are suffering at the hands of the noise police at the moment but are still managing to put on some exciting events at the historic venue. On Sunday May 20th they are having a Rudge and New Imperial Day with action on the Test Hill, and on Saturday June 30th the museum hosts Gold Star Day. This celebrates the 75th anniversary of Wal Handley‟s epic achievement in lapping Brooklands on his BSA at over 100mph to earn the coveted Gold Star, and with it a new

B o n h a m s onhams auction of Vintage and Classic Motorcycles at The Bristol Classic Motor cycle Show on 18th February was an outstanding success selling 96% by lot and 94% by value. The sale total was £316,231 – double the low estimate of £158,750. The topselling lot of the day was a 1932 Brough Superior Black Alpine 680 (below), which smashed its estimate of £28,000-35,000 to

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model name for the BSA company.

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ammy Miller is still as busy as ever restoring bikes for customers and his ever-expanding museum collection. Latest additi o ns in c lu d e t h e r ec ent ly completed Norton CS1 we featured in the last issue, and a very tasty Triumph Metisse Café Racer.

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h e L o n d o n Mo t o r c y c l e Museum are extending their opening hours this summer to take advantage of the increased number of visitors to the Capital for the Olympics and Paralympics. From 27 July to 10 September the museum will be open Friday to Monday.

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sell for £64,220. One of the highlights of the day was the Chichester Collection of over 50 'barn find' and low mileage machines, which attracted many bidders. All the collection sold with many motorcycles selling for two, three or four times their pre-sale estimate. The percentage of lots sold in excess of their pre-sale estimate was one of the highest ever seen in a Bonhams auction. Other highlights of the sale included a 1955 Vincent 998cc Series-D Rapide (£27,600), a 1938 Ariel 995cc Model 4G 'Square Four' & Sidecar (£12,075) and a 1947 Velocette 349cc KSS MkII (above right) (£9,775). A 1929 BSA 174cc Model A29 (right), described as “the Bantam of its day” fetched an astonishing £3,795, more than twelve times the low estimate!

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MARCH 18 Sunbeam MCC Pioneer Run, Tattenham Corner, Epsom Downs 25 Shropshire Classic & Vintage Motorcycle Show, Wistanstow , Craven Arms 31 Heritage Transport Show, Kent Showground, Detling APRIL 9 Red Marley Hill Climb, Great Witley, Worcester 28-29 International Classic MotorCycle Show, Stafford Showground 28 Bonhams Auction of Collectors Motorcycles, Stafford MAY 6 Bike Jumble at Sammy Miller Museum JUNE 16 Bonhams Auction of Collectors Motorcycles, Kidlington 16 Gillingham in Gear (see page 5 for details) 17 VMCC Banbury Run, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon 17 “110 Years of Triumph” Day at London Motorcycle Museum

STROUD CLASSIC SHOW The organisers of the Stroud Classic Car Show are inviting owners of classic and vintage cars and bikes to exhibit their vehicles at this year‟s event at Bisley Road, Stroud on Sunday 3rd June 2012. Entry is free, and trophies will be awarded. For further details contact Mick Jones on 01453 75399 or 07428 807420.


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s we expected our article on ethanol in petrol has sparked some reaction. Here are the views of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs on the issue: Corrosion Ethanol in petrol can degrade in storage if not adequately treated with a suitable corrosion inhibitor. If this should happen, stored fuel becomes acidic, and can attack materials such as zinc and zinc-based materials, brass, copper, and lead and tincoated steel. Traditional materials used in the fuel systems of historic vehicles are thus at risk of degradation if no action is taken. An effe c t i v e c o rr o s i o n i n h i b i t o r specifically formulated to overcome the tendency towards acidity in storage is very effective at protecting fuel system materials. These products are known in the fuel additives industry, and a selection is now subject to a test programme which should ultimately allow the Federation to issue endorsements for products providing a proven level of protection. Use of a suitable protective additive product at the time of refuelling will thus provide a low cost and effective solution to the problem of potential corrosion of historic vehicle fuel systems. Compatibility Ethanol in combination with petrol can attack a range of traditionally used non-metallic materials. Various types of rubber used for fuel pipes, seals and gaskets may prove to be incompatible with petrol containing ethanol, lead ing to leakage problems. The same is true for many resins used in fibre-glass fuel tanks on motor cycles and in some tank sealant materials. Fibreglass tanks are very vulnerable to damage if the medium holding the fibres in place, the resin, is attacked. Also, there have been cases of consequential damage resulting from the dissolving of tank sealant materials which are incompatible with ethanol, allowing

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unwanted viscous or gelatinous deposits in carburettors for example. Unfortunately the only real solution to the problem of incompatibility of elastomers, plastics and rubbers with petrol containing ethanol is to replace the offending items with compatible materials. A list of these has already been published by the Federation, but in summary, use of Neoprene and Buna-N for hoses and gaskets, and Viton for seals should produce a satisfactory result. A key message is to ensure that compatible replacement items are bought, by asking about this aspect before purchase. Tank sealant materials compatible with petrol containing ethanol are available, and it would be a wise precaution to use this type of product when treating a petrol tank. Combustion A number of concerns have been raised about potential combustion problems in using petrol containing ethanol. In fact ethanol is potentially a good fuel for use in spark-ignition engines, with a flame speed slightly greater than that of most hydrocarbons used in petrol. Ethanol was widely used in racing in the inter-war years, for example at Brooklands Track. However, ethanol does have effects which should be recognised; addition of ethanol increases the vapour pressure and volatility of petrol, which may exacerbate hot fuel handling issues (sometimes called „vapour-lock‟ problems), for example. Ethanol has a high latent heat which cools the air-fuel mixture in the inlet manifold, and while this improves charge density and can increase power output in a fully warm engine, the same property can degrade cold weather driveability (i.e. cold start and warm-up characteristics). Ethanol also contains oxygen and will make the air-fuel ratio leaner. This last aspect has been assessed and linked with increased exhaust valve temperatures, although the effect is fairly modest, typically in the region of 20ºC. However, the combined

Footnote: The FBHVC‟s fuel stability additive test programme has been designed to show that additives provide a high level of protection against potential corrosion of fuel systems, including tanks, pipework and fuel metering equipment on historic vehicles using petrol containing ethanol. The test method employs an accelerated aging process which simulates 12 months‟ storage of a petrol-ethanol mix, coupled with an industry-recognised corrosion

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effects of some mixture leaning, coupled with increased vapour pressure and fuel volatility could produce noticeably unsatisfactory operation, with more „vapour lock‟ incidents for example, in warmer weather. As a result, petrol containing ethanol may have received a worse reputation than is perhaps deserved in respect of combustion. A number of relatively simple measures can be put in place to assist satisfactory operation with petrol containing ethanol in historic vehicles. Compensation for leaner air-fuel ratio can be achieved with most carburettors by enrichment. Where hot fuel handling issues, also called „vapour lock‟ incidents, are experienced, it is a wise precaution to take steps to keep fuel cool. Fuel feed lines should be routed away from heat sources, electric pumps should be kept as cool as possible, and mechanical pumps should be mounted on a thermal break where possible. It may be necessary to mount carburettors on a thermal break as well. Where the inlet and exhaust manifolds are on the same side of the engine, heat shields for carburettors can be very effective at overcoming hot fuel handling issues, and need not be intrusive. For socalled „cross-flow‟ engines where the inlet and exhaust are on opposite sides of the combustion chamber, vapour lock incidents are much less common, but cold weather effects may be more of a problem with petrol containing ethanol. It may in fact be necessary to take steps to get more heat into the inlet manifold to overcome cold operation symptoms. Overall however, it is felt that the challenges of operating with petrol containing ethanol are not insurmountable, and with some sensible precautions, together with a number of material changes and some practical heat management under the bonnet, owners of historic vehicles can continue to use and enjoy their vehicles for many years to come.

testing method, carried out every two weeks to assess the effects of possible degradation of ethanol in storage. The combined test, carried out by an independent and well established testing agency, assesses levels of protection provided by proprietary fuel additives for use with petrol containing ethanol. The current status is that additive testing continues, and results will be announced as soon as they are known, which will now be during the early part of 2012.

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WE’RE ON THE WEB! WWW.BMCT.ORG

T H E B R I T I S H M O T O R C Y C L E C H A R I T A B L E

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he Trust was originally formed to facilitate the building of the National Motorcycle Museum at Bickenhill, near Solihull in the West Midlands, but since 1995 the BMCT has been an entirely separate organisation, a grant - making Charity dedicated to the promotion of British motorcycle engineering heritage through a network of affiliated transport museums throughout the country. Membership is open to all, and allows free entry to all the museums in the scheme. Our funding comes from membership fees, bequests, donations and income from investments.

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Registered Charity No. 509420 Company registered in England No. 01445196 Registerered Office: Holly Cottage Main Street Bishampton Pershore United Kingdom

Phone: 01386 462524 Mobile: 07754 880116 E-mail: info@bmct.org

Preserving the past...for the future Trustees: P J Wellings (Chairman), S Bagley, T P V Barnes, J F R Handley, M Jackson, J N Jeffery, J Kidson, I N Walden OBE

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he Douglas Engineering Company was formed in Kingswood, Bristol by brothers William and Edward in 1882 at first as a blacksmiths shop, but soon expanding to become an ironfounders. After the turn of the century and the advent of the motor vehicle they soon became involved in the development of engines. The Douglas motorcycle began in 1905 as a prototype engine by Joseph Barter which by 1907 had evolved to become the Fairy Motorcycle. This was followed by a long line of horizontally opposed twin cylinder machines of 2¾ hp right through to the late twenties. 1914 saw production in large quantities for the war effort and also the start of the 3½ hp models followed closely by the 4 hp machines. During the twenties many others followed such as the 350cc EW, 500cc and 600cc models and speedway machines. In the thirties a wide range of models were produced including the S6/T6, Endeavour (the first transverse twin) and finally the pre-war Aero models. After the Second World War during which Douglas manufactured the horizontally opposed stationary engine, they restarted motorcycle production with the 350cc MK I, this being followed by the MK 3 and MK 4 models both with sports variants.

The start of the fifties saw the MK5 variant with the Competition and Plus series models. The final model, the Dragonfly, (right) still a horizontally opposed twin, was announced in 1954. Motorcycle production at Douglas finally ended in 1957, although assembly of Vespa scooters at the factory continued until 1960.

BMCT News is edited and published quarterly by Andy Bufton at Matchless Management Services, Holly Cottage, Bishampton, Pershore WR10 2NH


BMCT News Spring 2012