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Issue 29

Winter

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

In This Issue: News From Museums Classic Motorbike Show Motorcycle Live Kop Hill Climb Stafford Show Members’ Page Events Guide


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hey’ve been very busy down at the Sammy Miller Museum over the winter. Visitors are now greeted by this impressive new entrance, designed to enhance your experience and give valuable extra space to accommodate Sammy’s ever growing collection. New to the museum this year are a DOT three-wheeler and a 1925 Brough Superior. For the winter months the museum opens at weekends only.

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pening hours of the Haynes International Motor Museum have changed. From 2nd March to 31st October the museum will be open from 9.30 am until 5.30 pm, and in the winter they’ll be closing an hour earlier. A new leaflet from them (left) gives you a good idea of the new layout following the massive revamp of the museum that’s taken place over the last couple of years. The Motorcycle Mezzanine is the area in white to the right on the diagram, numbered 1. Machines of particular interest there are the BMCT’s Brough Superior and New Hudson sidecar outfits.

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he National Motorcycle Museum celebrated its 30th Anniversary with an open weekend on 1st-2nd of November. The milestone event saw thousands of visitors join the museum in marking its heritage and successes since first opening its doors in October 1984. Attendees were treated to a range of free attractions and family-friendly activities; featuring free Museum entry, indoor trade displays, autojumble, wheelie machine and even the chance to “try a bike” in a controlled off road area. Museum Director James Hewing said “We are very proud to be celebrating our 30th anniversary. Museum Live was a fantastic way for us to say thank you to the public for their support over the years and we are pleased to have been able to celebrate our achievements with everyone. We’re looking forward to the next 30 years!”

Front cover photo. A Mk1 Brough Superior owned by a BMCT member.


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ere are some pictures to give those who couldn’t get there the flavour of November’s Classic Motorbike Show at the National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham. The motorcycle hall is just a small part of the huge Classic Motor Show, which this year was bigger than ever, covering ten halls. Clockwise from top right: 1) John Kidson with an old friend, John (Mooneyes) Cooper, admiring the Cotton Telstar on the BMCT stand. 2) Our Triumph Bandit attracted a lot of attention, as usual. 3) The Midlands Section represented the Vintage Motor Cycle Club this year, and put on a very good display of machines of various eras from all over the world. This 1954 Norton International has been beautifully restored by one of their members after buying it off eBay as a basket case three years ago. 4) Our Baughan two-wheel-drive sidecar outfit with 500cc of Blackburne power. 5) A BSA Bantam -based “Shoestring Racer”, built many years ago by George Todd and still in use today. 6) The odd bike cropped up among the classic cars for sale hall. This well presented Ariel Square Four was one example. 7) Another star of the VMCC stand was this Panther. 8) There were one or two Scotts dotted about the hall, and this was the nicest of them. 9) Our Lea-Francis v-twin was having a holiday from its usual home, at Coventry Transport Museum. 10) BMCT member Richard Duffin is always turning up rare motorcycles with interesting histories. This 1928 350cc Blackburne-engined Rex Acme counts among its previous owners Lt. Col. John “Mad Jack” Churchill and actor Ewan McGregor. 11) In 1937 Walter Handley won a Brooklands Gold Star on a specially prepared 500cc BSA. Unsurprisingly, the following year BSA introduced the Gold Star in its model line-up, and this is one of the first examples. 12) Our new display unit was used for the first time, and drew much favourable comment from show visitors.

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THANKS TO OUR TRUSTEE NICK FOR THIS ACCOUNT OF RIDING THE VMCC’s BLANCHARD BROUGH AT KOP HILL 20/21 SEPTEMBER 2014 What a privilege! To be entrusted with the VMCC 'Blanchard Brough' to showcase at the popular two-day Kop Hill hill climb car/bike charity event just outside Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire in September. For those who don't know the origin of the bike, it was gifted to the Vintage Motor Cycle Club in the will of long-standing member David Blanchard. Well, not quite in the condition I picked it up from affable VMCC President Tim Penn – it was acquired as a basket case of assorted parts. It was then subject to a complete, but sympathetic, rebuild by ace Brough Superior craftsman Dave Clark who gave a detailed account of the rebuild in the Club Journal. It's a 1922 SS80 model – one of the earliest SS80s known to exist – fitted with that wonderful vee-twin JAP 980cc KTC sidevalve engine attributed to JAP/ Ariel/Triumph/BSA designer Val Page, a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hand-change gearbox and unusual leaf-sprung Montgomery front forks. Completing the ensemble are a drum front brake that would look better on a pedal cycle (5” Webb) and a dummy belt rim rear brake operated by an awkwardlyplaced heel pedal. 80 mph engine, 20 mph brakes was my initial impression – so I had better be careful riding it . On getting the bike home, thanks to transport provided by Chiltern Section member Chris Hurworth, we spent some time checking it over, lubricating various joints and generally acquainting ourselves with it. Being fortunate enough to own a later Brough Superior fitted with the same engine, a little attention was given to it as it appeared that the tappet clearances had not been checked for some time. Then we got to the beaded edge tyres. For those like me who have never

The VMCC’s SS80 with Dave Clark’s 1922 Brough Model W ridden on beaded edge tyres but have heard all of those tales (from old wives or otherwise) of their propensity to fly off the rims if they are not pumped up to stratospheric pressures I viewed them with some concern I got out the bathroom scales to weigh the bike + me combination and ended up with pressures of 30 psi front and 35 psi rear. Higher than Radco's recommendations but much much lower than the 45-65 psi brigade. I also unwound the screwed rings on the valves until they touched the valve caps so that I could see if the tyres were creeping on the rims and checked these each time I ran the bike – they didn't move. To my way of thinking the greater concern is what happens when a tyre does deflate when all accounts suggest that it certainly will then come off the rim. Surely fitting security bolts would be a good idea? When collected, the level in the oil tank (which is a compartment in the right hand side of the 'petrol' tank) was very low and on starting the bike it was obvious why – most of the oil was in the crankcase! Thick oil smoke poured from the exhausts and dripped from the front exhaust port, although surprisingly the spark plugs did not oil up. As it showed no signs of clearing I stopped the engine and removed the crankcase drain plug when approximately 2 pints came out. Restarting after priming the engine with the foot-operated auxiliary oil pump and the

exhaust was clear. I learned the lesson from consideration of the 'total loss' oiling system which I understand works as follows. Two Best and Lloyd adjustable metering devices are fitted that drip oil into the engine and are fitted with sight glasses so the rider can (somewhat optimistically) try to observe the motion of oil dripping through them and 'count the drops'. One is mounted on the tank top and is connected via a spring-loaded plunger pump to a foot pedal that gives a boost into the engine when the rider thinks it needs some tribological help or to get some oil into the engine after draining the crankcase. The other is the normal running feed from a tank-side oiler where engine vacuum from the rear of the front cylinder pulls oil through a one-way valve. Unfortunately oil also seeps through when the engine is not running. So the lesson is to close the needle valve of the tankside oiler each time the engine is stopped – remembering to turn it on again on starting! With these preliminaries out of the way, a trial ride was in order. Yes, my assumption regarding braking performance was correct. You need to be very circumspect and not place any reliance on other road users giving good notice of their intentions.


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But what a superb engine – easy-starting, pulling lustily from low revs, totally fussfree and linked to a progressive clutch and nice gearchange. The Montgomery forks give a reasonable ride, the riding position and saddle are comfortable and I found the lever throttle easy to use. I'm going to enjoy riding this bike! I had set the oiler to the setting recommended by Tim Penn and this gave the recommended slight puff of oil smoke in the exhaust

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all bought-in. Is it a heretical question to ask who was the true 'superior' engineer? Individual runs 'up the hill' started before 10 am and I was one of the first bikes up, following older cars and bikes. The hill is a normal public road, closed to other users for the event, and participants are encouraged to put on a 'good show' leaving the line but discouraged from letting their enthusiasm run away with them near the top. Runs are not timed. Getting off the line

The car park and paddock area at Kop Hill, with the course to the right. when blipping the throttle. Back home, a wash-down of bike and once-over of nuts and bolts and then ready for the weekend. Saturday dawned …. horrible! I rode to the Kop Hill paddock, only a few miles from home, in the rain and signed on leaving my finest giant bird seed plastic bag over the leather saddle to prevent it becoming sodden. The organisers arrange the bikes in the paddock in date order so that Dave Clark, who had entered his beautiful 1922 W E Brough Model W, was adjacent to me and was conveniently at hand if I needed any advice on the bike. For those who don't know the work of George Brough's father, William Brough, Dave's bike repays careful study. It is an ultra-low fore-andaft flat-twin sports bike, with the engine made in W E Brough's own factory, in contrast to George Brough's Brough Superiors where production engines were

smartly, two quick gearchanges and the bike pulled like a train up the hill in top, although I was a little cautious as the

Nick gets away in fine style surface was wet and there was visible oil dropped by the early runners. Stopping for the T-junction at the top of the hill held no terrors as I had long-before shut off the lever throttle - but which way to turn to get back to the paddock? Turning right was a longer scenic route avoiding a steep, twisting drop which I didn't fancy in the wet. So I turned right and made my way gently back to the paddock. By now spectators

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were building up and the Blanchard SS80 and Dave's Model W together attracted a lot of attention – even more so when I regaled them with the fact that the bike was not mine but had been generously loaned to me by the VMCC! Given the large number of entrants (over 300 cars and 100 bikes) only one more run was possible during the day but, as it was dry by now, on my second run I turned left at the top of the hill and dropped down back to Princes Risborough, prudently descending most of the way in bottom gear. Even though running on the hill was limited, being in the paddock did at least give ample opportunity to talk to the enthusiastic spectators and the many VMCC members who attend the event. Apart from various later Brough Superior SS80s and Tony Eaton's rorty SS100 participating, there was also the rare sight of no less than 4 Brough Superior cars making an appearance over the weekend. A check over of the bike on Saturday night revealed no problems and Sunday was a pleasanter day with the sun even making an appearance and drawing in much larger crowds. Again two runs up the hill were all that could be fitted in but on the last run the bike was going so well it caught up the preceding bike and I was gently slowed by the marshals on the hill! Dave and I had many interesting conversations with spectators, explaining the history of the bikes and what all the strange knobs and levers did. Then a short ride home and final check over preparatory to returning the bike to Allen House. My grateful thanks to the VMCC for the loan of the bike and particularly Ian Botham, Chris Illman, Tim Penn, Chris Hurworth and any 'persons unknown' for making it happen. I hope I did both the bike and the Club justice in taking it to such a popular event. I certainly learned a lot about the joys and responsibilities of being entrusted with such a wonderful historic motorcycle. Nick’s article first appeared in the November 2014 issue of the VMCC Members’ Journal


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he Autumn Stafford Classic Bike Show is mostly

Phil Haslam to contest the F750 series, and converted to road

dominated by bikes from the Japanese and European

trim in 2014.

marques, but there’s still some tasty British iron to be found if you look hard enough. Villiers Services (top left) had a stand that was somewhat bare, but the quality of their machines left nothing to be desired. The Ford Thames 15cwt van in particular was extraordinarily well restored. Out in the Autojumble this fully restored 1953 BSA A7 twin (top right) was one that caught the eye. Yours for £5,000, sir.

We’ve seen a few of Graham Nock’s bikes take the honours at various shows over the years, and for this one he brought along his lovely 1961 Norman B4 Sports (centre) featuring a 324cc Villiers power plant. The bike was originally prepared at the factory for production racing and features alloy rims, high compression heads, and twin front brakes. Slimline and wideline featherbeds for sale (above right) in the

The bike we’d like to have taken home was this superb 1970

Autojumble at £900 apiece. A few yards away they were selling

Weslake Metisse, (above left) originally built as a race bike for

new ones for not much more….

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ate November saw the motorcycle industry stage its showpiece event of the year Motorcycle Live at the NEC. We were pleased to be asked once again by Coventry Transport Museum to assist them in staging the Classic Zone area within the show, and this year the main theme was Motorcycles from the War Years 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Private owners and other museums generously loaned us their machines, including the Black Country Living Museum, who stepped in with their belt driven 1918 Sunbeam, one of a batch supplied to the French Army during WW1.


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M e m b e r s ’ Here’s Ray Leggett with his 1958 BSA Bantam D5 on the Bantam Owners’ Club stand at the Classic Motorbike Show. Ray is a complete Bantam nut and even has his own private museum at home dedicated to these tough little workhorses.

From Mike Ricketts. Any BMCT Members travelling north or south through Western France on the A10, either on business or pleasure, would be well rewarded to factor in a visit to the Monet-Goyon Collection at Melle. Leaving the Motorway (Peage) at Junction 32, close to Niort, you turn Eastwards some 20 miles to this pretty little town. Monet-Goyon was a French Motorcycle manufacturer. The Engineer Joseph Monet had built hand pedalled three wheelers for use by amputees returning from the Great War. In 1917, Monet and Financier Adrien Goyon,

P a g e GREETINGS FROM JOHN ROSAMOND, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE MERIDEN TRIUMPH WORKERS’ CO-OPERATIVE Can I wish all BMCT members a happy and healthy 2015. The picture is of my "Reminiscences of the Triumph Meriden Factory" talk at the National Motorcycle Museum. What a fabulous venue Hall 1 provides for the Midland Section of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. Any BMCT members who belong to a club that has not yet received my popular talk can email me at chris.rosamond1@googlemail.com.

formed Monet-Goyon and set up premises in Macon. In 1929 they absorbed another French Marque, KoehlerEscoffier and continued to produce bikes under both badges until the factory closed in 1959. Although a French manufacturer, there is considerable British interest in their output. They used a range of Villiers engines in their bikes and obtained a licence to manufacture a range of Villiers at their Macon factory. In addition, they used gearboxes by

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Burman, Albion and Sturmey Archer.Dating from 1926, the Monet-Goyon above is the Type MC. Powered by a Swiss M.A.G (Motosacoche Acacias Geneve) 350cc single cylinder engine, it is chain driven final drive via a hand change, three speed Burman gearbox. The bike also featured drum brakes front and rear. The Monet-Goyon Model S6V above dates from 1950. It is powered by a 125cc Villiers incorporating a three speed gearbox, built under licence at the MG factory and is fitted with rear suspension. The Monet-Goyon collection

can be found at: Espace Sainte Catherine Place de la Poste 79500 MELLE


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 Registered in England No. 01445196 Registered Charity No. 509420

Registerered Office: Holly Cottage Main Street Bishampton Pershore United Kingdom WR10 2NH

www.bmct.org

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

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

New Members Welcome to the following new members and supporters of our cause: David Kewley, Offenham Ian Spicer, Christchurch Jonathan Dailey, Northwich Ellis Pitt, Upton-upon-Severn Steve Todd, Newport Stephen Lee, South Molton Lorna Howard, Poole Geoffrey Freeborn, High Wycombe Robert Wiles, Orpington Les Barham, Crewkerne Anthony Stanes, Sanderstead Gearoid Conneely, Wisley Philip Scaife, Didcot Martin Seymour, Caversham Anita Bradshaw, Southampton Tony Lockwood, Teaticket, USA Alan White, New Milton Martin Maslin, Swindon Roy Hazelden, Uckfield Peter Davies, Castle Cary Alan Jennings, Billericay Ralph Godwin, Dorking Alan Kingsnorth, Totton

Colin Leonard, Andover Alan Birch, Worthing Adrian Jurd, Waterlooville Bruce Carey, Worcester John Kelley, Waterlooville Daniel Warwick, Poole Trevor Newell, Christchurch David Jordan, Ampthill Jeni Wicks, Crewkerne Roy Lambert, Worcester William Tustin, Faringdon Carol Bentley, Eastleigh Mike Curtis, Cheddar Richard Hopgood, Abingdon Simon Bradshaw, Southampton Paul Pollard, Westgate-on-Sea Janet White, New Milton Debra Maslin, Swindon Richard Forgan, Aylesbury Peter Reeve, Dibden Purlieu John Foskett, Christchurch Janice Worner, Haslemere Anthony Pearce. Hove

Preserving the past...for the future

Dates For Your Diary 2015 February 7th-8th - Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show Despite the title, the show is held 23 miles away at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. There’s a classic bike auction by Charterhouse on the Sunday. February 20th - 22nd - Race Retro Historic Motorsport Show This is mainly a show for car enthusiasts, but motorcycles aren’t ignored, as there’s a section devoted to competition bikes. It’s on for three days at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, near Kenilworth. February 21st - 22nd - Putoline Classic Dirt Bike Show Alan Wright’s popular winter show for dirt bike and road racing enthusiasts at Telford International Centre has been taken over by Mortons and rebranded. Expect to see the usual good mix of off-road competition machinery, special guests, and an Autojumble in the car park. Parking’s a nightmare so get there early! March 7th - VMCC Somerset Section Autojumble At the same venue as the Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show, but a month later, so hopefully warm enough to go on the bike! April 18th-19th - 50th VMCC Coventry to Brighton Run After a couple of years off the calendar, this popular event is back and in the capable organisational hands of the VMCC Midlands Section. As before, the BMCT will be at the Coventry Transport Museum start ridiculously early laying on coffee and bacon butties for the hardy contestants. The rider of the oldest machine traditionally carries a letter of greeting from the Mayor of Coventry to his opposite number in Brighton. Published by Matchless Management Services, Holly Cottage, Main Street, Bishampton, Pershore WR10 2NH

BMCT News - Issue 29 - January 2015  

In This Issue: News From Museums, Classic Motorbike Show, Motorcycle Live, Kop Hill Climb,Stafford Show, Members’ Page, Events Guide

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