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Topics - AWJDThumper

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The Star and Garter / Historic Class Change - DVLA Website
« on: 06 June, 2018, 08:25:52 »
I decided to have a go at taxing a 1971 B25, which has not been on the road since I restored it many years ago, using the DVLA website. To my amazement, the website recognised that it should be in the Historic Class and it is now fully tax and MOT exempt after simply putting a tick in the right box. Couldn't have been simpler. I might do the same for all the other BSA bikes I have in my collection. However, not sure this will result in a new V5C being issued with the change of class but will see what happens.

The Star and Garter / Vale Onslow Fire
« on: 31 January, 2018, 17:42:46 »
It was a very sad sight today on Stratford Road in Birmingham to see Vale Onslows being demolished after a devastating fire tore through the building on Sunday. For those who may never have heard of Vale Onslows, it was one of the premier motorcycle dealers in Birmingham post-war and continued to trade until relatively recently. I always took great pleasure in visiting there, partly because it was like stepping back in time as the spares department had changed very little since my youth, and partly because you never quite knew what rare part you might find hidden away on one of their shelves.

Last year the original shop closed (the building was in the process of falling down) but, hopefully, all the old stock was transferred to the new premises a few miles away. They never quite embraced the internet but for those of us who can remember buying classic British bike spares over the counter, Vale Onslows was one of the few remaining places where you could still do this. Hopefully, they will continue to provide this service from their new premises.

The Star and Garter / DVLA Woes
« on: 13 December, 2017, 17:47:18 »
My B40WD was first registered in 1982 but, for some reason, only the serial number was recorded on the V5C for the engine and frame numbers - both numbers match but are missing the model designation, namely, B40GB signifying that it was originally issued to the army.

I tried to persuade the DVLA to add B40GB on the front of each number but they insisted on being shown proof that this was how the bike left the factory. In the end I decided to try and do this via a Dating Certificate from the BSAOC.

I sent the letter and Dating Certificate to the DVLA by recorded delivery and noted that it was recorded as having been delivered on 2 Nov. Today, having waited 6 weeks, I phoned the DVLA up to find out what was holding up my amended V5C. They told me the letter and Dating Certificate had not arrived!

Counter to what might have been expected, it was actually the Royal Mail sorting office in Swansea who signed for the letter, presumably on behalf of the DVLA. It then got lost between the sorting office and the DVLA. There's a small chance that they might find the letter from the tracking information but I have decided to start the whole process again with another Dating Certificate from the BSAOC.

The moral of the story is: don't send documents by recorded delivery to the DVLA - it will not confirm that they have got the documents and, by adding an extra step in the delivery process, might actually increase the risk of it getting lost in the post. My approach in future will be to send any documents by 1st class post and then phone them up a few days later to confirm they got it.

Lightweights / BSA Dandy Aluminium Cylinder
« on: 02 February, 2017, 12:08:50 »
When launched at the 1955 Earls Court show, the BSA Dandy was advertised as using a chrome plated aluminium cylinder. Aluminium was needed to better dissipate the heat from the rear facing cylinder since cast iron has a much lower thermal conductivity. However, by the time it went into production in 1957, the accepted view was that the aluminium cylinder had been replaced by a cast iron one since BSA had failed to fully develop the aluminium chrome plating process by that time. Unfortunately, this change then led to cooling problems with the engine.

Intriguingly, I have Dandy engine DSE 365 which is fitted with a chrome plated aluminium cylinder. I'm not sure where the engine originally came from but it's engine number relates to a BSA Dandy produced in 1957 which seems to be at variance with the normally understood development history of the bike. It seems to suggest that the Dandy originally went into production with the chrome plated aluminium cylinder but was quickly changed to a cast iron one, presumably, due to premature wear of the chrome.

It would be good to hear from anyone with an early Dandy who might be able to shed further light on this issue or who has an engine with an aluminium cylinder?

Lightweights / BSA Beagle Rocker Feed
« on: 02 February, 2017, 07:47:54 »
Although the BSA Beagle 75cc engine looked like a small Triumph Tiger Cub engine, it was notorious in not being provided with a separate oil supply to the rocker boxes. This ultimately led to premature engine failures and the Beagle then being dropped from the BSA line up after just over a year of production.

One solution to the Beagle rocker box problem is to lubricate them by hand before each run out which is obviously less than ideal. I would be interested to know if anyone has implemented a better engineered solution to this problem which then makes the BSA Beagle a more practical bike to own.

Which BSA do you ride? / My Lightweights
« on: 30 January, 2017, 09:14:25 »
I might as well start with my 2 x lightweight BSA's which were fully restored last year.

Singles / B40 WD gear ratio
« on: 30 January, 2017, 08:51:47 »
I've assumed I have to re-start the previous topic from the old forum to continue with the discussion?

I had a quick look at one of my B40WD's and, surprisingly, it is fitted with a 19T gearbox sprocket rather than the standard 17T. I am still restoring this bike and have not yet had a chance to ride it but assume the previous owner was happy with the much higher gear ratio. My other B40WD has standard gearing which is much too low for my liking and I will almost certainly change to an 18T gearbox sprocket to improve things slightly.

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