2013-03-15 11.17.54

Star for Miller 36E Rear Lamp

Well, it should have sort of sifted through by now…

… I’m not only restoring a Velocette blah,blah, blah, but I’m also setting myself up as a sort of modern-day Don Qixote, Jousting with windmills etc. in my efforts to redress the balance and make parts that FIT, DO THE JOB they were intended for and that SAFELY and WITHOUT THE NEED FOR FURTHER MODIFICATION.

A lot of text today, but it has to be said…

One particular windmill in this instance being the continued hyping of prices by speculative sellers and manufacturers of parts for Veteran/Vintage/Classic bikes and bike parts.

So I decided to make a few myself (an ever-increasing list of bits and pieces for all sorts of bikes).

The first offerings, despite ‘challenging’ circumstances, caused by a minor family disaster/upset, are now being produced and will be available in a week or so for ‘general consumption’. The particular part being offered by Miller and employed by Veloce between 1939 and 1955 for various models. It was also utilised by a number of other motorcycle manufacturers, including Rudge, for their tail-lights.

We have all seen the ‘STOP’ variety which has been available from one or the other supplier without a break since it’s inception (probably due to the assumption that the Vincent, the bike for which it was principally used, is owned by people who can always afford to buy such trinkets). The Star-type has unfortunately not been targeted by the repro-makers, presumably because it was considered ‘not worth it’.

That has now, thankfully, changed. My parts will be available as of the end of the month at what I consider to be a reasonable price, and for the highest quality that I could offer. 305 stainless steel, this can stay on the shelf for ever, and will last a lifetime fitted to a bike, despite proximity to exhaust gases, road dirt, moisture and salt…

And so, in the same vein, there will be many other parts, some generic, some ‘marque-specific’ and some really ‘niche’ bits that I will be making or have made (there are limitations to both my expertise and equipment). Everything I do is unavailable elsewhere at a reasonable cost, if at all, and will represent the very best of materials, research and fidelity to the original parts that you will be able to find, at a very reasonable cost.

I am starting with some Miller electrical products which, unlike Lucas, were not as widespread, but are now just as ‘needed’ by restorers and riders alike, to replace worn out or defunct original items, which, due to their vulnerability and rarity, command absolutely ridiculous prices for even unrestored items.

The Star above is one of these items.

Important for me is the recognition for all buyers, where the product comes from and who is responsible for any questions of warranty etc. that may arise. I am proud of what I have and am prepared to stand up for it and be ‘counted’, so to speak.

Important is also absolute clarity as to what my parts represent and where they fit in the scheme of things, and so, with every product, I include a pictorial representation of exactly where they belong and in which years these parts were generally fitted. I shall not illustrate them here, as I must put off the theft of my IP, which will be done anyway, for as long as is possible.

There have already been Website domains registered in India, for example, with the name ‘classicbikenut’, so I can only assume that the ‘word’, so to speak, is out, and that it is only a matter of time, before plagiarism becomes rife.

As such it is all the more important to me, and my clients, that all my articles are positively identifiable as coming from me. To this end, every single piece will be hand marked to avoid ‘confusion’ at a later date, when guarantee and other questions might raise their ‘ugly’ head. This adds cost to a product, but is a necessary safeguard against non-legitimate litigation etc. in the future, with the associated disastrous results. I am, of course fully insured, but that doesn’t mean that I will gladly pay for other manufacturer’s mistakes and cutting of qualitative corners…

Packaging is also an important area for me. This has a number of functions to perform, protection of the item, information and recognition of the use and application as well as notification of the origin being primary, marketing and responsible minimal use of resources is definitely not far behind. To this end, I strive to make my packaging as minimal, protective and space-saving as possible, with the maximum of information about the product, where it fits, where it comes from and who to contact for more information, should that be necessary. Important is also that all the materials used are readily disposed off with the minimum of fuss and damage to the environment.
Such is the price for ‘globalisation’!

©peter gouws 2013

Made on a mac