Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

Carburettor Lore

As I said in an earlier post - the throttle stop screw threads in the carb body would be knackered. And lo, it came to pass. Feckin great.

I have carb spares (as most old bike riders do), including a spare 276 carb body. So I dug it out, checked the threads (yeah, surprised aren't you) and got the poking wire and ultrasonic cleaner off the shelf.

Replacement 276 carb body being cleaned:-

I stripped the old 276 carb so all the settings are right in the new one. My 276 carb in bits:-

Replacing the brass carb block in the body I managed to split the bottom threads.....

Plan B - oversized screw into throttle stop on original carb body - recut the threads by forcing the screw in a bit at a time. Job done.

Bodged but working - welcome to the real world of old bikes.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Day 2 - Velocette

So today I did manage to get out of my pit and swim. And yes it was hard work.

Today is Velocette Day - time to give the old girl a looking at as she still won't start easily and last time I was out on her she was running a bit rough.

My 1954 Velocette MAC:-

The bit of wood under the centre stand is because the wheels still touch the ground when its on the centre stand due to a hamfisted recovery man and his ratchet straps.

As usual I kicked and kicked and nowt happened. Checked the spark - nice and blue. So I tickled the carb just a little bit and she burst into life (which is much better than bursting into flames). But there was a lot of popping and banging and spitting back through the carb.

MOT checks seemed to be OK. All lights work and theres nowt wrong with the chassis and wheels.

Of course, what normally happens happened - pulled the nipple of the valve lifter cable.


Time to check out the carb - must be running weak if its spitting.

The AMAL 276 carburettor - those of you familar with old junk will note that there is something missing:-

Yup - the throttle stop screw has fallen out. No wonder it was running a bit lean. Ho hum.

And as always, it'll be the threads in the carb which are knackered not the throttle stop screw - but I won't know that til I buy a new one.

More fun tomorrow.

Monday, 19 December 2011

1913 Ariel TT

First day of my holidays and I failed to get up to go swimming. But I didn't fail to do some spannering.

My TT Ariel has always leaked oil onto the drive belt, which is a really bad thing if you want forward motion. Huw had investigated and found a breather hole in similar crankcases to mine, so I thought I'd take a look and give the old girl a quick check-up before getting an MOT.

This is the timing chest with the cams removed - the big brass plug below the crank pinion is the breather.

There is a hole directly below it, which on my bike was plugged with a cheeseheaded screw. This is it without the screw blocking the hole:-

Now, I can't really tell if its breathing through this hole with the timing cover open. I poked a wire up the hole and there wasn't anything blocking it. Refitting the timing gear and sealing the case and I can hear the engine beathing from the hole - wonder if it'll make any difference. Only time will tell.

Timing cover and cams:-

I also replaced the Brammer belt with the T-link belt I used before.

My garage is too full:-

One you drink, one removes gaskets - you choose.

A 1913 gearbox:-

Saturday, 22 October 2011


Had some time in the garage today. Rearranged the bikes so I can get to the 1928 Ariel and make some progress.

Swapped out the kickstart-less Burman Q box with the one I rebuilt (with a kick start):-

This is the old one (no kickstart). Got to take the clutch off this for the other box.:-

The 1928 Ariel ohv engine is back on the bench and I'm going to try to get it finished this time:-

A couple of pics for Beales - some of the fleet:-

The old 1954 Velo I had off Den. Must of had it 15 years now. Done a fair few miles on this old un:-

And the 38 Ariel Red Hunter 500 I got off Welch. I've been using this for a fair long while too. Complete with temporary Stealth tank (BBQ paint works a treat):-

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Project `Fast As A Shark'

My return to swimming continues unabated - loads of lengths at the Link Centre today with no coffin dodgers to Managed to do some proper front crawl breathing as well.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Long Overdue Update...

Since I got a FB account its far too easy to do that and forget Blogger - but here goes.

Been busy since June. Very busy.

Bought a new old bike:-

Went to Kemble Airshow:-

Went skatin in Hamburg:-

Bought a surfboard (so far unused):-

Did Deaner Day:-

Went to the Tour of Dean and Annual Rally:-

Went on holiday to Croyde:-

Went to Holland twice in one week:-

And finally a business trip to Greenville, South Carolina:-

Also saw the Dickies in Bristol, skated MSN, Glastonbury and Dorchester. And Cretesham of course. And other random stuff. Hardly done any Bristol skoots:-(

Don't feel like I've skated much this year. Not used the DoomRamp since June but winter is round the corner. Not been MTBing since last New Year but I have been swimming for the first time since I was 15.

More later...

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Lets Be Friends

Time I made friends with the DoomRamp:-

Dropping in from the low roof side was interesting the first time but seems OK. Theres a roof beam a bit close to the platform but I didn't hit it so it must be OK.

I started dropping in and running off, then riding a bit up the transition and running off, then wheels over the coping and hitting the wall with the nose then jumping off and finally a kinda halfhearted turn, then jumping off. So progress of a sort. Felt good though and thats what its supposed to be about.

Adventures in Gearboxes

Made more progress putting the 28 Ariel gearbox together.

Got the front casing fitted as its now repaired. All the gears change now I've assembled it correctly. All studs are present and correct.

Gearbox with the end casing fitted showing the kickstart mechanism and gearchange lever (its a 3 speed handchange Burman Q-box)

I filled the gearbox up with a mixture of moly grease and 50wt oil. You can see one of the gears on the mainshaft and the change mechanism all covered is grease.

Just waiting for some of the painted bits to dry and it should be finished. Next is the engine.

Monday, 30 May 2011

1928 Ariel Gearbox

After riding Welchys 1926 Ariel in Ireland I'm keen to start making progress with my 1928. I've only had it since 1996 so really theres a few more years before it needs to be ready...

So, I made a huge project plan with all the jobs listed. And theres quite a lot to do.

First off - gearbox - the kickstart casing needs repairing and the whole thing needs assembling and sealing up. Its actually a 1929 Burman box (with speedo drive) but I have a sports ratio gear set that will not fit the 28 box so it'll do.

So, there is a broken bit on the kickstart casing - now bodged with a strip of ally and some Araldite - its in a place that can't be seen so should be OK. Note use of not one but two sets of Moleys.
This is the gearbox with the endcover off. Physically quite small.

These pics also make me realise I need to tidy up.


More `world of tanks' type events - Overlord was last Saturday down near Portsmouth. Not a bad show, but it could have been warmer. Good old British summer:-(

Matchless G3L and BSA M20 ready for dispatch duties.

The local SchutzStaffel was out in force. LAH re-enactors were well equipped and looked like they won the mock battle (for a change) beating the Americans.

Not quite sure where the humble Trabant featured during D-Day but I thought Gaffer would like this. Ring-a-ding-ding-ding...
The LAH SS encampment also had a PAK. And a fahrrad fahrer complete with two panzerfaust.

Not too sure about the UXB tho - surely smoking would be least of your worries...

How F@?kin Much?

Most expensive bottle of coke in the world?

Euros 3.50 for 0.5l!!! Big hand for Movenpick, Gate 77, Dusseldorf Airport.

Robbing bastards.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Slievenamon 2011

Me, Huw and Welchy went to Kilkenny last weekend for the Slievenamon rally. Welchy kindly lent me his 1926 Ariel for the weekend. The rally is for pre-31 bikes so there was some nice stuff there.

Some pics:-

My steed for the weekend - 1926 Ariel Model B - 557cc sidevalve single

Couple of old uns - veteran Humber and a Revere.

Early 20's AJS Big Port 350cc

Mid 20's Royal Enfield v-twin

Early Scott 2-stroke

Welch prepares to prepare - 1913 Triumph 500

Early 20s Indian Powerplus with sidecar. This bike has shocking brakes despite being very powerful. Failure of said brakes resulted in Paddy Guerin putting it in several ditches on the Saturday and taking a trip over the handlebars. Mrs Guerin, in the sidecar, wasn't amused.

Another shot showing the complex lever arrangement on the tank.

Flat tank Norton sidevalve - Big 4 or 16H - not sure which.

1920's Rudge Multi

Outside the `coffee' stop in Inistioge on Saturday. We visited this village several times during the weekend. The last time, on Sunday morning, we arrived about 11am. The pub was closed. The owner popped his head out and said `will you be wanting a beer lads? We're not open til 12 but if you come round the back door you'll be alright. Just incase any Garda are about...' And he was right. The pub was quite busy.

All in all a cracking weekend.