Well, I can only say that a ‘helluva lot’ has been going on in the last few weeks, not least of which is the fact that I will be relocating – with the business – to the UK on the 19th October, so in 9 days.
The reasons are many, one of the stronger points being to move back closer to my children, all of whom are in Germany! While there is plenty going on here in South Australia regarding Veteran and Vintage bikes, and Velocettes in particular, there is a larger client-base in Europe and the UK in particular. I am not going to leave Australia completely and will maintain a presence here through various people and institutions, however it is important for me to establish connections with foundries and other services in the UK or Germany to set up production in Europe, thus facilitating postage and getting around long transit times and import duties for the ‘locals’. Australia is a LONG way away and as such is, admittedly, not so convenient. Once established in the UK (or wherever), I can then come back here and carry on where I left off, perhaps also taking the time to look at setting up some kind of operations in the USA or Canada, too in the mid-term future.
I don’t expect to get rich from all this, but I hope that at least my children will be able to have a little pocket-money coming in fairly regularly in the longer term.
The whole workshop has actually been at a standstill since nearly a year ago, due to the necessity to move away to the hills to look after ailing and aging parents (86 and 90) and so nothing much has actually happened at all, in fact. Apart from the ‘Star’, which I (and apparently all of my clients!) have been very pleased with, nothing new has been done for a very long time. I do have drawings and CAD/CAM prepared for a number of projects, one of which being an accurate and ‘proper’ kickstart/gearshift rubber (B60/2) with an open end for nearly all the models built between 1935 and 1948, and some after and before those dates.
One of the first steel castings to come ‘off the line’ will be a rear stand for the rigid models post Mk I KSS (so without the spring holding it up!), but complete with bracing, cross-tube and slotted ‘ears’ for the mudguard-clamping arrangement, closely followed by Heavyweight WEBB top and bottom ‘yokes’… (By special request!)
In the between-time, it may also have come to your attention that I have changed my plans regarding the ENGINE that I will be using on my ‘daily’ and touring bike. The engine, chosen for it’s simplicity (for ‘field repair’) over the undoubted smoothness and comfort over a KSS lump, is, of course, the iron MSS unit.
This is what it looked like when I picked it up, not unusual at all, but for CUSTOMS…
Had all to be cleaned up, as below…
The inlet cover below, has the usual crack, which will need to be ‘TIGged’
The cylinder-head BEFORE cleaning up…
Whoops, I believe that a new oil-pump is in order…
A little work needed here, too!
All nice and clean
Not a very popular unit it would seem, but very hard-working and reliable if built properly, I was lucky enough to get one of the last units built to fit in my one of the last frames built… so a 1947-’48 bottom-end with the engine number 8010. The last one built was, according to my publications, 8340 and since the frame is KDD 9266, probably late 1947, these are close enough to be compatible to my mind. The nice thing about this engine is that it has the taper-roller main-bearings and a few other things that make it a little more desirable for a long-distance runner.
I am already putting thoughts together regarding all the mods necessary to the oiling of cams and oil-return from the rocker cups and so the whole thing begins to take shape. I have a complete engine apart from a few nuts and bolts and acquired it all for a 1990s price, so am altogether a very happy chappy.
All in a rather sorry-looking state, everything had to be dismantled, the cases split etc. for cleaning,m or the UK customs and quarantine would have played havoc with me, so all has been done and is all packed away, ready for shipping from Melbourne on the 19th, too!
The pictures above are in no particular order, , some already cleaned up, some not (noticeably the cylinder-head!) just showing in general what makes up such an engine. There are stripped threads, ‘gasket’ surfaces that will definitely NOT seal etc, all things that happen over the years, but ALL of which can be addressed with a little judicious welding, lapping, filing etc to make an ‘oil-tight’ (hahaha!) engine that runs reliably over a longer period and longer distances.
The first LONG trip, after being ‘trialed’ at home for a while, is initially a run over to Germany to see the ‘kids’ and rom there to the other end of the Ukraine, possibly from there up to St Petersburg and back. We will see. The trip to Dnepropetrovsk or Artemivs’k is less than from here to Darwin, so not really a problem. Should be manageable in 5-6 days riding. I don’t do more than about 600km a day these days, depending on the condition of the roads, the mount of drunkards on them (particularly after 17:00 in the ex-UDSSR-States) and the weather.
All will be reported here, as I will take the trusted Apple MacBookPro with me, of course, on all trips, not to mention the 1952 Leica for the ‘wet-film’ shots!!
© peter gouws 2013