Sunday, 25 September 2016

Norfolk Motorcycle Museum

A bright sunny day, a day off, a wife looking for a few hours to pamper herself and a dog with a poorly foot leads to a day in the garage or maybe, since the SQ4 had not had any exercise for a while, a little trip out.

In a big shed attached to old railway buildings at North Walsham lives an interesting collection of over 120 motorcycles from the 1920's to the 1960's, put together by George Harmer, and looked after by George, his son Steve and a few enthusiastic volunteers. The museum opened in 1993.

It's more like a cross between a traditional bike shop and a museum, than a regular museum. I went to  the National Railway Museum at York a few years ago, which is full of shiny railway locomotives and other exhibits in a spotlessly clean environment. Now, maybe I'm spoilt by living tens of yards from one of the best standard gauge heritage railways in the country, with all the grime, smoke & smells that that entails but it's taught me that I don't like museums filled with cold, dead, trains, cars or motorcycles.

So for me, this place is great. If you are old enough to remember Happy Hamrax, Joe Francis Motors or any of yesterday's bike shops - oily floorboards, dusty old bikes, shelves sagging with boxes of obscure bits - then you will love it.

Here's a few of the pictures I took while I was there - just things that grabbed my attention.

One of my favourites - Sunbeam S8

Velocette Valiant

Two Ariels - Arrow & Leader

Royal Enfield Robin diesel

Here's an overview of the museum, to give you an idea of the scale:

Another general view:

One of Val Page's finest - a 'Black' Ariel:

A Henderson Four:

A gem of British engineering - a Rudge Radial

Close up of the cylinder head showing the pushrod operated radial valves:

The museum has exhibits in varying states of restoration:

Slightly unusual, the Puch 'split single':

Here's the most interesting corner of the museum - the workshop!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Ariel W/NG at 1940's weekend

A couple of nice military bikes at the 1940's weekend in Sheringham last year.

Here's the Ariel W/NG from the Norfolk Motorcycle Museum:

And a visiting Royal Enfield WD/CO

A G3L pictured this year:

At the Norfolk Motorcycle Museum, I was lucky enough to be able to take some close up pictures of their W/NG:
0.303" period accessory
This bike is based on a frame that would have shipped from Selly Oak in the summer of 1944. Original aluminium cable strap:

Rubber cable sheath; no steering damper on this late machine.

Late 1941 engine.

Usual Ariel decompressor arrangement, and with rocker cover spring clips.

My favourite subject - curly copper fuel line.

Steel primary cover:

And again

Horn bracket, similar to mine:

And again:

Late footrests:

These are Ariel's tapered handlebars:

Original brake rod:

Another favourite subject - speedometer brackets:


The brake lever is straight:

Mine is cranked:

Here's Steve Carter's:

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Fuel Cap

Back in an earlier post I commented that the fuel tank cap was not a proper Ariel one:

Fortunately I had an old one lying around which I had dismantled by drilling out the siezed centre screw. The female thread in the cam plate was just about usable:

All I needed was a new seal, cut from a sheet of neoprene and a new centre screw which I bought from Drags

I made a new 'stiff nut' using a 5/16" BSW nut, a hacksaw and a hammer:

All together and in place. Looks the part, though the centre screw is too domed:

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

W/NG Footrests

The parts book for my 1942 W/NG tells me my footrests should have rubbers.

The part number for the metal bit is 5383-29 but the illustration is not the same as the ribbed footrest Drags sell under this part number, which looks just like the illustration in the 1943 parts book:

I think my footrests should be plain and more round in section than the flat ribbed 'military' one, something like 5393-46 perhaps; thought these are curved unlike either version of 5383-29.

Whatever they should be like, this is not it. The offside footrest has a serrated boss, and fouls the gearbox cover nuts:

The nearside one also has serrations, but is not curved at all - which it needs to be, to get it in the proper position for the brake pedal - at the moment, the pedal is way too close to the footrest.

So I bought two 5383-46 footrests from Drags, and very nice they are too, because if they fitted the singles in 1946 I'm sure they should look the part on my W/NG, and they are made for rubbers.

This is what they look like:

You can see it is a much better fit around the gearbox.

Ignore the socket in the next picture, that is on temporary spacing duty. Someone has cut the taper of the offside (5375-29) footrest mount. Does anyone know how long a 5375-29 footrest mount is supposed to be? My footrest is too far out as shown here.

So in this one you can see that the curved footrest is in a better position for both the brake pedal and the clutch dome:

These are the genuine Ariel 5393-46 footrests on my SQ4, for comparison. This is a 1951 bike, and has a rather different arrangement on the gearchange side to the singles:

On the drive side, see the proximity of the footrest support hole in the primary case to the edge of the clutch dome, and remember that the SQ4 brake lever is different:

The footrests on two different 1949 NH, for comparison. Perhaps not surprisingly these are very similar to the arrangement on my W/NG:

Luckily for me, I have around 8 original footrest rubbers in the pile of parts that make up my Huntmaster kit. Two of these can go on the W/NG. which is early enough to have had footrest rubbers when it came out of the factory. They have also had a dose of black paint: