Saturday, 23 January 2010

1930's Hints And Tips

Recently while having nothing better to do, I was browsing through some books on the shelf. Ian has several motorcycle related volumes and a small publication that was almost hidden attracted my attention.

Published in the late 1930’s by Iliffe & Sons Ltd of London and issued by The MotorCycle magazine was the 13th edition of Hints and Tips for MotorCyclists. Inside there are 721 hint and tips of historical interest, a few of which Ian put to the test in his budding motorcycling youth. There is also a small advertisers section at the back. To prove that using well known faces is nothing new, we see Stanley Woods claiming that motorcycles run better on Mobiliol ‘D’.

Below, I have reproduced a few to serve as a reminder as to how things were for the motorcyclists of yesteryear.

Speedometer Lamp

21. A speedometer lamp is a useful accessory, especially if much night-riding is done in built-up areas. All new machines have their speedometers floodlit internally. In the case of an old mount, it is possible to obtain a clip-on or bolted-on speedometer lamp at a cost of two or three shillings.


Removing Dents from a Tank

75. When a tank or similar sheet-metal container has been damaged it is usually impossible to remove the dent by pressing it back from the inside, owing to the difficulty of inserting a suitable tool. If, however, the tank is of comparatively light sheet metal the dent can sometimes be pulled back by soldering a bolt head in it and pulling on the bolt.



134. When a steep and slippery hill has to be ascended, as in a trial, especially with a sidecar outfit, to lower the pressure in the rear tyre. If there is time before the next hill, pump it up again.


Rubber Ponchos

450. In the days of long-distance trials ponchos were the experienced competition rider’s choice. They are made of black rubber with a cloth backing and are slipped over the head. Two types of neck opening are obtainable: (1) flexible rubber, and (2) a gusseted affair with a hook and press-studs, or with a Zipp fastener. The latter is the more convenient so far as putting on and taking off the poncho is concerned, and lasts better, but the former, due to the soft rubber clinging to the neck, naturally makes a more watertight “joint”.
Protecting the Legs

461. Many riders attach the straps on waders to their trouser buttons. A better scheme, however, is either to fix them to a small strap encircling one’s waist, or to attach a tape to the straps and loop this tape over one’s shoulders. As a result the early loss of trouser buttons will be prevented if nothing else! Straps round the ankles, or even rubber bands cut from an old car-size inner tube, will facilitate walking around in the waders, but if the waders are made too tight round the ankles the circulation will, of course, be affected.

(Ted’s tip is to invest in a pair of Wadagard ™ Motor Cyclists’ Boots. See advertisement below).
Cloth Caps

467. Ordinary cloth caps, so long as they fit well and have a large, waterproof peak are good, but they seldom stay on quite so well at speed as does a good ski-cap.

(Ted’s tip is to use in conjunction with the Jefco ™ Face Screen. See advertisement below).

485. If funds will run to it, there is nothing to beat an angora-wool scarf for softness, warmth and general comfort. However, any good wool scarf will serve, but it should be long enough to encircle the neck twice and still reach the waist. Many riders arrange their scarves so that one end runs right down the front and passes between their legs; in this way it prevents wind and cold finding their way past the openings in the coat and trousers.


Finding Accommodation

536. If when on tour you do not happen to have a list of places at which suitable accommodation is obtainable, and no arrangements have been made beforehand, plan to end your day’s run not later than, say, six o’clock. Having arrived at the village or town at which you intend spending the night, seek out a local policeman or call in to see one of the innkeepers. These worthies as a rule can suggest houses where inexpensive, good accommodation is obtainable, assuming that is what you desire. If on the other hand you want an hotel the local policeman is generally the best man from whom to seek advice.


Coin Measurements

721. Although a set of rules should always find a place in the amateur mechanic’s equipment, it sometimes happens that measurements are required without the necessary items being available. In such instances it is worth knowing that the following coins represent certain definite measurements:

One penny : 1/10th of a foot in diameter.

A sixpence : ¾ in. diameter.

Half-crown : 1¼ in. diameter.

Five halfpennies or three pennies weigh one ounce.

Now where did I put those old coins?

Here are the advertisements that are useful in conjunction with tips 461 and 467 respectively.

Even today, a long distance motorcyclist may find one of these useful. I'll have to get one of these for Ian's next birthday.

If anyone would like to read some more of these just leave a comment and 2 numbers between 1 and 720, omitting the ones already previewed.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Banbury Run 2009

Sunday 21st of June 2009 saw Ian, Guzzisue and myself heading down the Fosse Way to Gaydon for the 61st Banbury Run. Car parking was closer to the venue this year, being in a field across the road from the Heritage Motor Centre.

As with any motorcycle event a walk round the motorcycle enclosure is always necessary. This always springs up a surprise or two. This year just happened to be this SS50 Honda moped, a model often overlooked by the more glamorous Fizzie.

Closer inspection reveals an interesting modification to the engine.

Inside the museum grounds there was one change from the previous year. The pit area was on the right hand side as opposed to the left. If this was more sheltered than last year’s it was not put to the test, as there was hardly any breeze.

Every event has three different classes.

Class A: Mainly veterans prior to 1915. These have a gentle ride of approximately 30 miles.
Class B: Early vintage machines 1915-1924. Their ride is in the 50-60 mile range.
Class C: Late vintage 1925-1930. These modern machines have a run of over 60 miles.

Both classes B and C have to negotiate Sunrising Hill, on the A422. This is a popular spectator viewpoint as riders and some of the machines limp their way to the summit, some being walked up by the rider.
Here is the route map for Class C.

Walking around the pit area I noticed that this entrant was well prepared for a final drive problem, a spare being carried.

Many entrants got into the spirit of the event by dressing in period dress. Here we see No 379, Andy Batchelor with his 1930 Raleigh MO 30

and No 365, Raymond Hudson aside his 1913, 499cc Premier 2 Speed.

Settling ourselves on the outside of the first bend, followed by relocating further up the road we proceeded to take some photos and video footage. Unfortunately many of my photos from this area were not of very good quality. More practise required. Here are just a few.

James Bridge-Butler was hoping third time lucky as he failed to finish the previous outings on his 1910 Triumph.

David Cooper on his powerful 1½hp, 1902 Quadrant,

and finally, a local connection for us as Alan Booth passed by on his friend’s 1930 Sunbeam Lion. The local connection is that the Nottinghamshire Police used this motorcycle during WWII.

Last year we cast our eyes over a Henderson. Not expecting to see another, we were surprised to see this for sale (?) in the autojumble arena.

Ian got talking to someone who mentioned that a friend of his managed to buy a smoke damaged Henderson, put it straight into an auction and doubled his money by doing nothing to it! A shrewd move indeed.

We had intended to give the 2010 Run a miss, however, having read on the Banbury Run web page that entry to the Banbury Run will also include free entry to the Heritage Museum we will try our best to attend on 20th June. See you there?

Footnote (for Affer)

As Affer spotted in the film clip there is a gentleman struggling to start his 1919, 600cc George Reed Scott. By more luck than judgement, one of the few photos I managed to take in the paddock area was this one.