When the weather is bad you may think there is not much to do but as I think of things the “to do” list just keeps getting longer. Having bought Elspeth Beards book “The Lone Rider” at the Wey Valley Advanced Motorcycle Club meeting in November it took me ages to get around to reading it. Once started it kept me reading until I had finished it. Reason for no other posts in January. If only I could read and write at the same time! The book had tales of daring, persistence, illness and disasters along with camaraderie and affection. One tough and determined lady. It is a shame that her adventure has been left so long to be told. I can’t wait for the film.
The Greenford Police LE is moving along I used a pair of my heads to get the engine assembled as the original ones were cracked through frost damage the oil filter was painted along with the timing cover and mated the gearbox back to the engine and checked for a spark that arrived after cleaning and resetting the points and the exhaust system fitted, I need to get hold of a proper clamp instead of a jubilee clip that it came with. I had cleaned up the rusty and pitted exhaust pipes and gave them a coat of heat resistant paint so they looked a bit better and after fitting the exhaust system assembly one Saturday morning I fitted my only set of foot boards and borrowed the kick start off my LE and the battery. I had to fit the footboards because they are also the kickstart stop without them the kick start mechanism would disconnect itself. Hot wired and with a squeezy bottle of petrol all the ingredients were there for it to run. To my surprise after about half a dozen goes It showed signs of life and a few more ungainly kicks it revved away until the fuel ran out. I was only putting a carb full at a time as my set up was s leaking. Success, I can now move on to other things.
Leg shields were handy and needed a bit of repair where the holes had become too large over the years for bolts and washers to secure. My solution was to araldite aluminium plates to the back of the leg shields then use filler on the front side to get a smooth finish before re-drilling the holes. Doesn’t sound much but that was a couple of days effort. Rubbed down I sprayed some primer on the shields. Not easy when you have to spray outside. Having a can of warm paint helps enormously. The horn received a clean up and a coat of paint too. I may need to wait for a month or two before more progress with the final coat.
Life is not all confined to my garage or study I do get out at times and a visit to the New Forest was planned and being in the New Forest Sammy Millers’ and Beaulie were so close. I went to Sammy Millers’ Museum on a very wet Saturday. Met the man himself and spent all day there. I took over 370 photos and wherever I go I see something of interest. Sammy’s racing machines are well known and as he keeps searching for new things of interest he put together a complete bike for the 50cc four cylinder engine that had been hung up on my last visit. Having spent some time finding out what surface cam engine there was in the Museum, Sammy had one already and a cutaway of the mechanism. Now I know how the surface cams operate the valves. The Sturmey Archer engine was used in the Dunelt model T30. However Dunelt were not the only people to use a surface cam engine and, also in 1930, Chater Lea had a 350cc version.
I do like some of the Italian machinery like the Moto Guzzi vee twin racer and the bacon slicer singles. The V8 is unbelievable. I had a great day and complimented by the ham, egg and chips for lunch washed down with a good mug of tea. I met some very interesting people too with lunch being spent with a member of the BSA owners club and later on a VMCC member who has recently bought a Dart motorcycle from 1922 and looking for some guidance in restoration. As Dart were made in Coventry it may be that a visit to the Coventry Transport would be useful for him. A busy day for us on the Monday with a charming lady who loved the smell of petrol, oil and old motorcycles in the little barn. A gem I would say.