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Administrator 01-11-2008 05:45 PM

Hansen Dam Show and Ride
 

Original Article:
Hansen Dam Show and Ride

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mscuddy 01-12-2008 10:18 AM

Ah yes, the venerable A10
 
"The sport version Rocket Gold Stars are the rarest fraction of that outpouring and the last of the separate gearbox BSAs, only a few dozen built in 1962-3. Features included a double-cradle frame and spectacular silver and chrome color scheme. The RGS engine also benefited from bigger valves, sport camshafts, a light-alloy head and 9:1 compression as well as magneto ignition, two-into-one exhaust and dual speedo and tach instrumentation. (One of the three bikes has a gold colored mag which is the even rarer competition model.) The 419-lb Rocket Gold Stars were capable of 115 mph, definitely at the leading streetbike edge back in 1963."

And a timing side stintered bronze bushing for a crankshaft bearing that would snap the pinkie-sized crankshaft end off right at the flywheel, and bring the bike to a lurching mechanical halt. I sold my '62 and bought a Bultaco Bandito with the proceeds. Not a smart move.

The local BSA mechanic (John @ World Cycles) told me I had ruined the motor by belt-sanding the flywheels and installing Hepolite pistons, in some vane effort to get some revs out of the Beezer, but that was the hot set up back then, and what did I know?

pushrod 01-12-2008 05:38 PM

Cuddy, just got back from the DC IMS. Saw a couple rigs that looked like they had your name on them. The Can-Am (first time I've seen one) was really sporty-looking; and they had some Urals in various colors. They had one set up in what I'd call "Urban Camo" that just screamed for a minigun mount.

More on thread, they also had an exhibit of Vincents. DC area club. Great looking machines.

mscuddy 01-12-2008 06:38 PM

Pushrod my friend you just discovered the beauty of the English motorcycle. Nice to look at and ride to the local package goods store for a sixer of stubbies, but for much else they were worthless unreliable oil spewing machines that were worked on with wrenches in sizes like 12/64th & XX. Good riddance. My A10 blew up EVERY time I rode it for more than an hour at anything over half throttle. Made a Bultaco look like the paragon of reliability.

sfcdjevans 01-12-2008 06:48 PM

Perhaps that explains why there is a 19/32 combination wrench in the tools I got from my father.......

sachiwilson 01-12-2008 07:28 PM

Brit bikes use British Standard and Whitworth bolts and nuts. If you had to use such an odd size on the bike, you weren't using the right tools.

I had a '64 Bonneville and a 1969 Norton Mercury. I reworked them for durability (most of which was achieved by sleeving the Amals and rewiring the bikes). They were fine bikes when used to their abilities.

mscuddy 01-13-2008 10:54 AM

Sachi, you probably started off with a nice stock English bike to begin with, I ended up buying used flat trackers (as in the A10's case) and other Brit stuff that was on it's last legs when I got 'em, so that made a big difference I'm sure reliability wise.

The last straw with anything English was this nice looking '67 441 Victor I had a few years back. It would get exactly 20 miles from home and break down. I would work myself into a lather trying to start the damn thing again, but would end up hiding it in a big bush and calling a cab. Re-sleeved Amals are something you don't hear much about anymore, eh? Beats having a carb slide sucked down the intake...

sachiwilson 01-13-2008 11:10 AM

The Norton was pretty much stock, except repainted (I put it back to the original Atlantic Blue and Silver). The Triumph was a basket that I built from parts from everywhere.

As part of my restorations, I bought a ton of stock-size stainless fasteners from a place in England. I also bought nylock nuts, which really help on those old vibrators! When I rewired them, I went with 12 gauge wire and spade connectors, and deleted as many superfluous connectors as I could get away with. After I plugged it all up, I put shrinkwrap over the spade connectors so they were both protected and bound tight.

Needless to say those changes improved the bikes tremendously.

seruzawa 01-13-2008 11:13 AM

The old...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mscuddy (Post 176816)
Sachi, you probably started off with a nice stock English bike to begin with, I ended up buying used flat trackers (as in the A10's case) and other Brit stuff that was on it's last legs when I got 'em, so that made a big difference I'm sure reliability wise.

The last straw with anything English was this nice looking '67 441 Victor I had a few years back. It would get exactly 20 miles from home and break down. I would work myself into a lather trying to start the damn thing again, but would end up hiding it in a big bush and calling a cab. Re-sleeved Amals are something you don't hear much about anymore, eh? Beats having a carb slide sucked down the intake...

... Kawasaki W2SS was a 650 twin that was a copy of the A10. I bought one in Japan in 1970, brought it home and rode the crap out of it for 10 years until the valves got so bad that a backfire blew through the carbs and set it on fire. I never babied that bike in over 60K miles of hard use. The crank and tranny were still in excellent condition. So I know that BSA could have built a reliable bike, they just didn't bother.

I guess the Brit ego wouldn't allow them to use Mikuni carbs and Nippondenso electrics. Naturally actually beefing up the lower end was beyond consideration.

And it's too bad. They were pretty bikes built by companies run by some of the worst managers ever known.

sarnali2 01-13-2008 01:09 PM

My Brit bike experiance consists of a '62 Tiger Cub and the three Hinkley Triumphs I've had, needless to say the Hinkleys were bullutproof, unfortunatly not fart can street racer proof. After the Tiger Cub my dad stuck to Chay Zets and Bultaco for the dirt and BMW airheads for the street. He always drove Euro cars though from Mercedes to Saab to Volvo to VW to the Range Rover sitting on my driveway as we speak. He gave it to me last summer when it looked like his ticket was punched, he recovered and I still have the Rangie so it's all good.


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