Barnstormers is about riding, working on, and reading about old motorcycles. Lately we have been concentrating more on the reading and publishing of old manuals and sales catalogues and so have decided that a change needs to happen. Knobsta suggested a section on polishing but I wouldn’t dare venture into Mrs McShiny’s department (and Knobsta doesn’t polish anyway – he just smears) so we both thought that playing with tools seemed the go. We may ride old motorcycles, and we can also be trusted with spanners to pull them apart however reassembly might be another issue so we have devised a plan that involves building (or rebuilding) something old. Initially we were going to use the remains of a 1930 350 Calthorpe however the bike was missing some major major components and was just going to take forever to progress. Next was a 1925 Model OB OHV Douglas
. . . → Read More: Project Royal Enfield.
As a younger person I didn’t really put much stock in the correct type of spark plug for my motorcycles. Correct thread size was of course important but this projected tip, non projected tip, appropriate heat range nonsense was not worthy of my time and any decision on what to use was based purely on cost – the cheaper the better, and free was excellent. Naturally I had a few disasters and as a slow learner the only thing I understood was that if I put a 3/4” reach plug in place of the 1/2” reach plug into my 70cc BSA Dandy 2 stroke that it would make the combustion space smaller thus upping the compression, make the ‘bang’ better and I would of course go faster. Or so the world would have had me believe. But in reality the bike was hard to start, didn’t run very well and the excess thread protruding into the cylinder carboned up and made plug removal difficult. Upon reflection I think that the root cause of my spark plug ignorance goes back even further to the youngster days of a very young McSnipper and the guiding light of Grampy McSnotty, a man who I had the utmost respect for and who was instrumental in the early days of my mechanical training.
Grampy McS was a man who had survived bankruptcy of the 1920s and the depression of the 1930s so everything to him had a value and a use, whether it be brand . . . → Read More: The Spark Plug Conundrum.
By 1928 motorcycles were chain drive and drum brakes, a major step in motorcycle development. However earlier motorcycles with belt drives and rim brakes were in use for a much longer period, in fact they are still in use today on a lot of rallies. The down side of their continued use is that these rims are wearing out and spare parts are becoming harder to find. This is of course limiting the use of these earlier machines should the appropriate rim not be found. Well the Vintage Motor Cycle Club in the UK have just announced the availability of new belt and brake rims to customers requirements. Initially only the 7/8” wide x 28 degree vee will be available but others may be introduced if the demand is there.
. . . → Read More: Vintage Motorcycle Belt and Brake Rims.
Stepping up from single speed and 2 speed drives to 3 speed gearboxes with clutches was a major achievement for the British motorcycle industry in the 1920s. A few manufacturers had achieved this in the late 1910s with their own designs but the majority of machines in the 20s were fitted with Sturmey Archer, Burman, or Albion gearboxes. We have already listed information on some of the Sturmey gearboxes so now it is Albions turn.
. . . → Read More: Albion Gearboxes Part 1.
Wow, after all this time we finally got around to putting up some content about a Hoggly Doggly (I can call them this as I am the proud owner of one of these fine machines)
Barnstormers proudly give you , gentle readers, the 1935 Harley Davidson Riders Handbook for 45 Twins.
The PDF may look a bit weird towards the end as Ive kept the original page scale for pages 39 and 40 (download it and this will make sense)
The file size is a huge 6Mb. Unfortunately as the manuals we use get bigger so do the resulting files. Here at Barnstormers central we try our best to balance file size with readability. We think we have a good formula for this and hence when files start getting bloated we try to at least warn you.
As usual with other manuals it is in PDF format so make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader
And Yes McSnotty Ive just gone back in and fixed all the bloody typo’s
AMAC Carburetters 1923~1928
Any information on vintage carburetters is hard to come by and with the popularity of our earlier posting of the Brown and Barlow carburetter handbook we thought that we would add to the technical library by addition of the spare parts list for AMAL, AMAC and Binks carburetters from 1923 to 1930. Naturally this file would be quite large and as viewers would more than likely want to be type specific I have split this into the 3 different manufacturers, the first being for AMAC carbs . This will enable easier and quicker downloading of files, especially for those not on broadband.
As previously mentioned in other articles it is getting quite hard to obtain manuals and information on early motorcycles, especially those over 70 years old. So when one of our readers passed on a site for us to inspect naturally I had to follow it through (thanks Wing Nut). There are 2 sites which appear to be tied together through the same business address but both are definitely worth having a look at.
Antique Motorcycle Books – Not a big supplier however have some good quality reprints of early manuals (mainly American) and advertise American Racer by Stephen Wright. I haven’t seen this book before however its brief mentions various chapters recording overseas events including items by New Zealands Geoff Hockley from Christchurch. Could be a good Christmas present for someone (hint anyone!!)
Antique Motorcycle Works – Have some real early American motorcycles for sale, both restored and unrestored. Their parts for sale range from rubber handgrips and footrest rubbers through to Harley Davidson Peashooter barrels and complete top ends. Look to be real nice stuff. Site is recommended by owners to be best viewed on broadband (I might just have to upgrade to it soon as I seem to be missing out on stuff. And it will get the Knobster off my back).
Taking a leaf out of Lubeboys book I thought I’d add this to the site as a useful reference manual.
Its an instruction book for M-L Malita types FB and FC
Its a 1931 Sturmey Archer Manual, He’s put it up as its got some Royal Enfield information in it but it has so much more which is why I’ve popped up a link to it
Where does he get this stuff… Rumour has it he may have found this while braving the wilds of our (New Zealands) South Island.
Click the image to take you to LubeBoys page for this manual
McSnotty’s wonderful B & B article seems to have spurred LubeBoy into action.
He’s found a 1924 B&B manual at the bottom of McSnotty Jr’s stack of Ford Cortina mags and popped it up on his site. (How it got mixed up in there I’ll never know)
Take a look here for the good oil
Nice one LubeBoy, get some more content up there….