Waiting in the Wings…

Posted: October 18, 2016 in Just Me
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A little while ago a couple of friends in the US uncovered a barn full of BSA’s in Arkansas, one of which, this 63 A10 Super Rocket, was offered to me, just 10,000 miles, fairly rust free, and full of faded glory. At this time it is located down in Georgia (along with my Guzzi), waiting on me getting it shipped over here to the UK. The motor is not seized, Compression is good, the chrome is in fantastic condition apart from the rims, and the inside of the tank is still fresh, such a cool looking bike.


1963 BSA Super Rocket

Extra chrome, round tank badges, and bars, are all West coast standard equipment, and as you can see from the brochure below, no ball end levers. East coast bikes had a tear drop tank badge. one of the last A10 Super Rockets. It really is a cool bike, and even better up close and personal


BSA Sales


Waiting in the Wings

Looking for Eldorado…

Posted: October 17, 2016 in Just Me
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Now here’s a funny thing, I own two 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado’s, the first one I bought is over in the US, and came out of Alabama. The second is here in the UK with me, and I bought it from just up the road in Oxford. So it is surprising, well to me anyway,  that the VIN numbers are just 31 units apart.

I would like to have both bikes here in the UK, so I need to get over to the US again soon, and get the Guzzi on the boat and shipped over here, I was kinda hoping it would be on its way by now, but that hasn’t happened, so I have to get busy with the whole plan.


Alabama Guzzi


Nice Patina


Cool side bags


Twin leading shoe brake

Guzzi_002 copy

Guzzi Eldorado and Bates Fairing just 31 units apart

And another unexpected bike joins the group.

The lightning seems to have taken up residence on the bench right now, the whole front end is out, the head is away at SRM having a full on valve job, I was hoping the head may have been completed this weekend but not so. As can happen sometimes, I managed to break a piston ring fitting the barrel, and the broken piece of course dropped into the crank cases, and could not be seen. But some fishing around with a telescopic magnet found it in the bottom of the cases. So after again fitting a spare ring to the piston, and some help from Paul, I managed to get the refinished barrels in place, bolted down.


A65L new +20 pistons all fitted.

Next it was time to fit my new SRM magnetic sump kit, after removing the old studs I offered up the new gauze filter, only to find that it did not fit! it seems that SRM sent me out a kit for a B50 or other single, as the hole in the gauze was too small (8.5mm instead of 11.5mm) to go over the scavenger pipe. Luckily my old filter gauze was in very good condition, so I decided to use that rather than wait for a replacement from SRM.

Then it was just a case of bolting it all up to the underside of the motor.


SRM magnetic sump


It won’t stay shiny for long.

Vincent Comet…

I had a call from a mate in the US, telling me to go look over a Vincent Comet with a view to buying it, well a long story short, I did, and so I ended up with a Comet. I never thought I would ever own a Vincent, so getting this has come as a real surprise to me.


Vincent Comet


The Vincent


Vincent 500cc single

Doherty Competition Levers

Posted: October 9, 2016 in Just Me
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I called round to see my old friend Terry the Vincent today, just for a cup of tea and a chat, always a good way to lose an hour, and whilst there Terry gifted me an original genuine pair of of Doherty alloy levers, you see lots of new and a few original Amal versions being sold as Doherty, but the Amal’s are thicker and straighter in the lever, where the much rarer genuine Doherty version have a slimmer profile, and are flatter where your fingers rest.
These are in great condition with the original Doherty stamped clamps, and cap head screws, although one lever end has a little road rash.


Doherty Levers


Doherty embossed clamps


Doherty Competition


Slim profile

And here is a web shot of the Amal style “Doherty” levers for comparison


Replica Amal style levers

Pulling it all apart, putting it all together.

I have now for the moment taken the motor as far apart as I intend to go for the time being. I have drained and flushed through the crank cases, and was pleased to find no metal in the drained oil after letting it stand in the tray for a week, and filtering it off over a strong magnet.

The cylinder head has gone off to SRM in Wales for full refurbishment, which includes lead free seats, new guides, valves, springs etc. This work wasn’t cheap by any means, but it should last me out, and make for a good top end. I am looking forward to getting the head back so I can button up the top end.

Last weekend I cleaned off all the old base gasket material, and fitted the new pistons, I also honed out and painted the barrels ready to be fitted. I would have fitted the barrels but the supplied base gasket in the kit I bought was for the 1/4″ stud version cases and not the 3/8″ as required on the later cases, so again I find myself waiting.


New +20 pistons

Next I turned my attention to the front end and dropped out both fork legs, water had got in through the torn gaiters, and was evident in both legs, water came out of the right hand side, but the left hand stanchion is at the moment seized solid. So I have left it soaking in some penetrating oil for the week, I shall see how it does this weekend.

The Lightning Project… part seven.

Posted: October 1, 2016 in Just Me
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It has been a wet day here in the UK, heavy rain on and off all day, so not too much done with the A65, but I did manage to hone out the bores on the barrels, and run the carbs through the ultrasonic tank. maybe if it is dry tomorrow I can get a bit more done.


Cleaned Amal 930’s

The Lightning Project… part six.

Posted: September 30, 2016 in Just Me
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I just ordered and received this new SRM magnetic sump plate assembly for the BSA Lightning. The quality is outstanding as I hope you can see from the pictures.

I also sent my head off to SRM to have new valves, guides etc. It is right about now that I hope the bottom end is all ok! everything seems fine but I won’t know for sure until I fire the bike up. A scary thought.


SRM sump kit.