Monday, 16 September 2019

Fashionable gear for 40's Weekend

First published October 2018

Some of you will know that we have a fabulous 1940's weekend here in Sheringham. The event was initially organised by the North Norfolk Railway and is still a mainstay event of their calendar, but in recent years '40's weekend has extended into the rest of the town.

Some 20,000 people visited Sheringham for this year's event, many of them turned out in 1940's costume. These YouTube videos give a good flavour of the event:

And there is a display of vintage military and civilian vehicles at the main locations: Holt NNR Station, Weybourne NNR Station, Sheringham NNR station and in Sheringham itself.

There's always a few bikes to look at:

2015 Event - Ariel W/NG from the Norfolk Motorcycle Museum at North Walsham

2015 Event - Royal Enfield WD/CO

2016 Event - Matchless G3L

And here's another G3L, a visitor from London at the 2018 event:

There's a vehicle parade on the Saturday, and this year I was riding my 1942 W/NG. Not being at all well prepared, I had no period attire to wear and I wore my Barbour lookalike - originally designed in 1936 - but that was about it. The modern flip front helmet didn't help.

The bike looks OK, the rider is trying....
So for next year I have a new hat to wear. It's a period Slazenger helmet, from the 1950's in reality:

It must be a good one, look at those famous names:

It's actually my size...

I'm not going to win any fashion competitions though.

Does my nose look big in this?
I've got these brown leather gauntlets made by Lawson's of London, known by the previous owner to date to 1960 or earlier:

They are in great condition, sheepskin inside and very comfortable. Just the sort of thing I used to wear when I started riding in the '70's.

And here it is in use in 2019, with a dapper chap from the VMCC Anglian Section on a Guzzi 500S - from 1936:

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Another newcomer

Here's the CX500 again, that I showed you a while ago. This week, it's circumstances changed somewhat: The bike's story is that it was bought by my son, who has a keen interest in older bikes but also has a full time job, wife, a four year old, two year old and one more imminently arriving - he struggled to find the time to sort it out & went and bought a brand new RE Interceptor which he loves - the CX has come to join my small stable of Ariels.

It's a 1978 'Z' model, first registered in April 1979 - so it is quite an early one and if any of them become collectable, it will be the early ones. Its got the barrel shaped front brake master cylinder; black tabs where the Comstar wheel spokes join the wheel rims; black plastic one piece radiator shroud; no flyscreen and a rear drum brake. The steering lock is on the left side of the headstock and the engine breather pipes from cylinder heads to T-pipe junction thence to airbox: all adds up to a genuine 1978 bike.

It's done 31,000 miles and has had the camchain tensioner modification. I rode it 27 miles across Norfolk to collect it and it goes well...

It's got a few faults:
  • the tacho doesn't work - probably the cable, notoriously difficult to get to
  • the tyres are Dunlop Arrowmax, 100/90-19 on the front and 110/90-18 on the rear, both manufactured in 1998. They are hard - you can feel it white lining and twitching in corners. I'll be replacing those shortly
  • the sidestand was stiff - now that I have lubricated it it is wobbly. Worn, and the spring is weak
  • the gear lever is bent and I cannot easily get my foot under it
  • the fork gaiters are loose (it should have the short wipers, typical of the late 1970's) and the forks need their seals replacing; they probably need oil too
  • the offside rear damper is leaking
  • the helmet lock is missing
  • the toolkit is missing
  • it probably needs an oil & filter change and the coolant replacing
  • it needs a good clean and a repaint in several areas; various bits need replating
It arrived with a top box and a horrid rack - my son replaced the rack with the correct grab rail and repainted the tailpiece. It also had this peculiar seat - the PO was a quite a short bloke and had this low seat made for him. Son Thomas replaced it with an eBay seat and recovered it.

He also cleaned the carburetters, replaced the battery and cleaned up the stator connections, chasing a misfire. Since it runs fine for me, I guess he found it.

This is a 1978 Honda brochure. After much deliberation, questions to the VJMC and to the CX Forum, I have realised that I also need some stripes and to paint the nose cowling Helios red...

Monday, 2 September 2019

QR50 Footrests

You might recall a previous post where I discovered a wadge of polyester filler  covering some accident damage to the footrest mounts of our Honda QR50 Mini-Moto:

This is in the lower frame rails, which are a removable structure designed to protect the engine and provide a mounting for the footrests - it should look like this:

So, arming myself with the TIG welder and a bit of 16 mm OD x 2 mm WT ERW steel tube, I've added some short stubs:

The black paint is some high zinc content weldable primer. The next step, when I have the footrest return springs is to make the folding footrest mounts and the footrests themselves. Right now, I have these pattern rubber footrests which are quite similar to the ones used on the QR50 - these are meant for a CG125:

Looking better; small, but perfectly formed: