… as it was ‘presented’ to me for sale
So, you can see, there are a few things missing to get it roadworthy in a sort-of original (at least ‘-looking’) condition. Let’s start with numbers: Engine is KSS 8468, which makes it beginning of 1938, the frame number is KDD 9266, which makes it actually one of the last ones in 1947. The Gearbox-numbers are 10-204 (beginning of post-war production, so late ‘45, early ’46?) and the 5-5741, which is 1939 sometime.
First to the engine: Numbers suggest 1938, but the head is definitely earlier, with the early, pre 1937 oil-feed to the cams, though the ‘lid’ of the bevel housing is the later one and the housing itself also (not drilled and tapped). Being a belt and-braces type, I’ll probably drill and tap the housing and go for both feeds to the cams…
The late frame explains the steering-head stop being smaller and the combination with the post-war lower steering yoke (which look like the MAC one), without the plate for the damper, which is a separate item on the late ones. Interesting is that the forks themselves are the earlier type of heavyweight Webbs with the damper on both sides…
Dampers clearly visible on both sides of the forks (making them definitely pre-war, around 1936?), as the later models had the damper only on the right-hand-side. Top links seem to be home-made, the bottom ones seem to be original! The steering-damper rod and knurled knob are just stuck in the hole, as the bottom parts are all missing, another thing to look for ! The top Yoke is fine and is complete. At the moment the 8” headlamp is missing, but I do have one complete, waiting to be converted to a halogen bulb-fitting, which will, in fact, be fitted with a High/Low HID bulb of 35W, emitting a 3800°K beam (the same colour as the original Miller or Lucas Pre-Focus bulbs), which I have specially made!
The tank, I already mentioned, is wrong (look at the picture above and you will spot that the rear mounts of the tank don’t sit down far enough on the frame – I should have seen that, too) and actually fits an MSS nicely under it, but not the bulkier head of the KSS…Having mentioned it to the buyer, he volunteered that he had another tank, would take a few pictures and send them. If it is the right one, I can have it and keep the one I have, too! Very friendly, I think. Here the MSS (top) and the KSS (below), which we agreed upon, and he duly did. Thanks for that!
Note that the KSS tank is missing the fitting for a petrol tap on the left and the ‘ears’ for the pump… has it been repaired or modified from MSS to KSS in the recent past? I wonder why the tap was left out?
Not sure of the vintage of this tank, as I can’t see the mountings for the earlier rubbers, I have to assume that this is a postwar tank…also the profile of the hole around the headstock is different (no ‘widow’s peak’ in the middle). the side-profile is also different to the MSS one for the Webb forks… Could this be a tank for Dowty forks?! If so, it is quite rare!
I’m sure that some tank-fetishist will tell me all I need to know!
Did you see the Oil-Tank in the picture at the top? Looks real racey, huh!? It would be great, but it’s made from steel plate and weighs about three kilos without oil in it! Shame! (I’ll just have to copy it in Ally, how terrible!). Not for this bike, I do actually have an original (standard) one, so that’s great! I do need all the fittings and plugs for it, but the tank is important and in good condition. It will get a fitting for a temperature gauge and then it’s also ready for the paint-shop!
Apropos the Oil-Tank, on the off-side of that, the Battery-Shelf and all the bits that go with it are missing! Calamity! Can anyone supply me with pictures or drawings of the original, so that I can make up a decent one? Even better, let me know where to get an original, as I don’t want pattern parts if I can avoid it.
Ah, that brings me to the Mudguards. I have (old) Aluminium ones front and back, with an odd assortment of stays, so they need replacing complete. I do wish for the complete set with rear valance and two-part rear, preferably the MAC/MSS type with the central rib (at least at the back), as this is more rigid and less likely to suffer from vibrationitis (I know, the KSS doesn’t vibrate, right?!) The Number-plate and Light will also have to be ‘found’.
The Toolbox is complete and in good condition, the lid needs straightening a bit, but then that, too, is ready for painting.
I also have the complete Chain-Guard, which is in good nick, just needs tweaking here and there to get a good slide-fit between front and back
Rear footrests are missing completely, as is the rear stand and all fittings and the side-stand, too. Seat is sort of there, a cheap replica missing springs and without a cover is here. I do have a complete Lycette in Germany, which I shall get my friend Ulf to send me!
Pillion Bumpad is missing, but I’m not sure that anyone wants to sit on the back of an unsprung rear…though Nancy only weighs about 45 Kgs, so she might not notice!! Maybe I can get her a sprung one off an LE or something…
The Chain-Case outer is in a sorry state…has been chromed and has mostly come off again… I’ll have to see what I can do with that, the inner is not bad, just needs ‘straightening’.
The cover for the Dynamo-Drive is there, the inner looks almost useless, but I will repair it, pictures will follow
The clutch is incomplete, the bits are all available..
Footrests I have found, just need the square to fit them on (will probably make those myself). The brake and gear-change-pedals are also missing in their entirety.
Brakes front and rear as well as the wheels, are complete and right for the post-war bikes. I would love to get a front brake-plate and the bits for a speedo-drive from there, but in the end, it shouldn’t be difficult from the back wheel, either.
I would love to fit a Chronometric Rev-Counter (the hole in the timing-cover is there) and Speedometer, will definitely be fitting an Oil-Temperature-Gauge and an Oil-Pressure-Gauge if I can find one that ‘reads right’). Here i Australia with ‘slightly higher’ ambient temperatures, it’s good to be able to keep an eye on ‘Ts and Ps’ over a long distance!
The rims are Borrannis, 19” front and back and date from 1978. The tyres are ‘70s racing Dunlop K76s, front and rear, which are historically fascinating but lethal to drive on today, as they are hard as rock! I do like the shouldered Aluminium rims for road bikes, but might just go for new ones as I would like a 21” front wheel. Whether the back is 19” or 18” makes no difference, a 20” WM3 shouldered Aluminium rim was never available, so I can forget that! 20” rims are only available in chrome and WM2, tyres are difficult at the best of times, so It’ll have to be 19” or 18’ rear, whether WM2 or WM3.
AND, I forgot to mention, the Silencer I have, appears to be an original!! It has the right number of holes in the side and the louvered baffles, so that’s a real bonus! The pattern ones seem to be far too restrictive…
Still remains to be seen what will be needed for the engine and gearbox, but the arrival of the ‘spare’ engine will answer many questions! The Gearboxes will be tackled in the next few days and then all will be revealed!
So, until then, I shall be back with all the gossip as it happens, and ‘Cheers!’ from sunny South Australia!
©peter gouws 2012