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#491154 - 05/22/13 3:07 am Thruxtons for Beginners  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
Velo Fellows,

A long-time Gold Star fan, I'm slowly being drawn into the Velo vortex and am considering a Thruxton purchase. I have a bike in mind and am convinced (based on Hall Green dispatch records and original registration documents) that the bike left the factory as an engine/frame pair.

My detail Velo knowledge is limited, so I need to know what to be on the lookout for, in terms of common problems beginning to manifest themselves or obvious bodges or fakes. Engine and frame numbers do appear genuine (in terms of stamping style), there is a TLS brake ad GP carb (which should be 1 /38"? - was there a remote float, or were they rigidly mounted?)
Gearbox number ends in 'R' and first gear is apparently pretty tall, so chances are the close ratios are there.

What to watch out for?

Thanks in advance.

KW


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
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#491190 - 05/22/13 10:45 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Peter R Online content
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Netherlands
Thruxtons are one of my favorite bikes I never owned, so I am by no means an expert when it comes to these machines.
What I do know it that they are certainly different beasts than Goldies, with their tapered main bearings, and tapered big-end/flywheel fitting,etc.
These are what I call "engineer's bikes".
I wish you luck with the purchase of the Thruxton, and look forward to see a picture of the Velo. beerchug
Unfortunately, there is not much going on at the Velocette section on this forum, I hope this will change soon.!

Last edited by Peter R; 05/22/13 10:49 am.

Peter.
1974 Commando 850
1972 Trident T150T
1961 Goldie DBD34
1969 Benelli 250 sport special
#491421 - 05/23/13 10:19 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
Thanks Peter. i have agreed to buy a bike, but no money has changed hands just yet. Won't get my hands on it for several weeks though, as I'm in a different country for the moment.

More details and photos of the bike when I can, though it certainly sound good and ma only have had 3 or 4 woners from new..

KW


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#491777 - 05/26/13 9:03 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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Hi,

Good luck with the purchase.

I had a quick word with a Velo mate and he said the following.

For road use you may need to drop the compression, the GP carb will go out of tune rapidly, again for road use a Mk 11 AMAL may be a better bet, the front brakes should be set up carefully. They can grab and set you on your face. And again for road use the close ratio gears (high first) can be a bit much.

But if you come from a Goldstar world you may already know this anyway ;-).

#491893 - 05/27/13 2:22 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
johnm...thanks for that. All pretty-much as expected.

I see you're in NZ. Whereabouts? I'm an Auckland boy (though lived all over), but my Brit bikes are in the UK..

I don't know what compression plates, if any, are fitted, though there seems to be standard sizes.

The GP carb is no mystery, as I've fiddled with several sizes on Gold Stars over the years, though I agree the doesn't make bikes civilised, and almost ANY alternative (AMAL Mk I and II Concentrics, Mikuni, Dellorto, ect) makes the bikes more usable, at the cost of a fraction of power at the top. The GP AMAL flows the best, size for size, even today, but doesn't have an idle stop! (Though there are optionn to make a GP idle..)

The high first gear can be a challenge and I'm up for that, as the bike probably won't do more than 500 miles (800km) in a year and mostly out of town.

The advice aboput thw TLS front brake sounds good too..it can be a matter of lining material and setup, as you say. Happy to cope with that, as I've raced light bikes with 4LS drums, and I'm planning to send the brake to Dick Hunt in the UK to get setup with some Vintage Brake linings, turned to size...transformed the 8" BSA brake..

Actually, the GP, tall first gear and temperament of the motor will make it a nice comparison with my Clubmans DBD..

Last edited by Kerry W; 05/27/13 2:24 pm.

No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#491897 - 05/27/13 2:59 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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I see you're in NZ. Whereabouts? I'm an Auckland boy (though lived all over), but my Brit bikes are in the UK..

Well Im a Wellington boy - Living in Kazakhstan.

Im guessing you may be in the same (oil) industry!

My Velo experience is from observation of close friends for the past 40 years. I have never owned a Velo - but I have pushed a lot of them. Were you racing in the NZCMRR series? If so you will have seen Nick Thomson's Velos. Bill Biber used to ride them and now Andrew Drake and Chris Swallow.

#491991 - 05/28/13 2:57 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
Well well! I'm just down the road, in Dubai. Aviation industry.

Kazakhstan eh? I used to know Borat's sister..

Rode in the first 20 or so NZCMRR annual events, ebore work started keeping me overseas. Had many rides against Nick and his far-too-bloody-quick Velo and then Bill. Haven't competed there in years and when I do it's usually on 70's 2 stroke Yamahas these days.

Pushed a few velos too, though the only one I've riden was when I was about 18 years old - around the block on a tele/rigid Mac!


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#491995 - 05/28/13 4:54 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Nick and I were at Victoria together in the early 70s and I have known his family since then. He still has his far too quick Venom but is spending more of his time on OHC Velos these days. The ex Arthur Wheeler KTT and the Deiner 250 DOHC Eldee 2 from Adelaide. That is one incredible machine. Plus one of the guys has just bought the "Big Velo" the 500 cc Factory Racer back to NZ I think its about 1933 ?

Rob Thomson, his brother, had a Thruxton for a while but sold it to buy his first house :-) Years ago they raced it in the Castrol Six hour. It lasted about 4 hours before pushing the drive side taper roller through the crankcase. Nick is still moaning about it today because of course now he would never let it happen. But back then they were just young guys learning the ropes.

We will be at the Manx this year in August following Chris Swallow's adventures.

Here's a video of my bike and Nick's Venom racing at Teretonga Bert Munro a couple of years ago. Chris is on the Venom and Tony McQueen on my Dommie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyekqMox4tw

#492021 - 05/28/13 1:21 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
Now that's my sort of racing...rapid fire races and probably pitted on the grass..always seems a little more relaxed..

Dommie goes well, and ridden with no small amount of determination!

Dave Kenah, owner of the Manx Chris S rode last year was to have stoped here briefly on his way back to NZ, though his plans changed and he travelled a bit earlier and went straight through.

Wopuld be good to see the 'Big Velo' back in NZ - it was understandable that it left, though I was disappointed at the time. It did go to probably the best place in the world for it though. I think it was ridden by Stanley Woods in 1936. One of about 3 500's made, if I recall. I grew up with people who had been involved with the bike for a long time.

The Arthur Wheeler Velo - was that from Rod Coleman? Also, didn't realise Les D's bike was in NZ either. A mate built a MOV racer a few years ago (though never quite finished it - hence the lots of pushing..) and had a cam from Les he put in it. Would have made it the "fastest 250 in NZ"...if it had ever run!

KW


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#492051 - 05/28/13 5:08 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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A mate just bought the Big Velo back from Ivan Rhodes. They agreed it belonged in NZ given its history. At one time there were two down here. They will not race it but they aree keen to put it up the hil climb at the Bert Munro. And the Wheeler KTT came directly from Australia. Eldee 2 came to NZ about 18 months ago and is owned by a guy in the South Island.

I know a guy in Adelaide who used to go to meetings with Deiner and he had the bikes build history and tuning notes that Deiner's widow had passed on to him. Nick now has a copy of these. Nick went throught the Eldee and fixed up a fair bit of nasty damage and poor repairs and now the thing goes like the wind. Chris Swallow can beat just about every 250 bar Ginger Molloys Bultacos.

Tony McQueen did well on my Dommie against Chris. Very good considering it was a Clubmans bike on methanol and Nicks bike was modified class, six speed box, 4LS, faring etc. Tony has raced bikes for ever. Mostly Kawasakis. His own bike is an H2. When he was young he beat Aron Slight back in Ozzie production racing but he was always broke and a bit of a loose cannon! He still cleans up in his class at Wanganui and Paeroa provided the H2 actually runs!!! He got 2 second places in the NZ Senior Classic TT on the Dommie. Not bad since it was still in the Clubmans class. We used to race the Clubmans races for the weekend and then swap to methanol and put a 2LS brake on it and run in the TT.

Last edited by johnm; 05/28/13 5:13 pm.
#492271 - 05/30/13 6:01 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Middle East,
johnm,

Was talking to my brother in NZ this morning, and he confirms what you said about the Eldee 2...and Chris riding it makes it look faster as well. He was watching Chriss outsmart everyone at Taupo and give them a hurry-up.

Norton goes well, for a part-time meth breather/Clubmans bike. Started to build a F/bed 88 for Clubmans in about 89, but got sent to Tehran for 9 months and ended up in Aust for 2 1/2 years after that...sold the project to a mate who spent (too much ) money and time on it and never really had it run well. It looked the part and had lots of McIntosh bling on it. He sold it and it promptly broke the crank!

Last edited by Kerry W; 05/30/13 6:12 am.

No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#492295 - 05/30/13 1:55 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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Nick has seen the inside of a lot of Velos and he was very interested and impressed with the Eldee 2. I guess you know its background.

http://www.ma.org.au/index.php?id=593

It was a bit of a mess inside when it came to NZ but he made new guides, replaced valves, made new followers etc and then had to remake the cam due to a sheared key. Valve timing is Manx. Sorry dont know if 350 or 500 or what era. It is seriously quick and can catch most 350s up the hill at Hampton Downs. Deiner had it timed at 115 mph. There are a few Germanic Australian features to the modifications which had Nick grumbling a bit :-) but there is no doubt that the head is very special.

The flywheels crank etc were all made by Deiner and I think it has an very strong Carrillo rod. The frame is Norton International and is too heavy for the 250 but Deiner was getting on and didnt have time to make a copy of his own lighter frame as he used for Eldee 1. Its now got a six speed Nova cluster which took a hell of a lot of feetling to get right. Deiner had always wanted more gears and was restricted to 4 speeds when he owned it.

Almost the first thing I bought for my Dommie was a Nourish one piece crank with 1 3/4 big ends. When I started tuning it I measured 28 bhp on the Lower Hutt Motomart dyno. Last time in Clubmans trim rules it measured 51 bhp. Tony has lapped Puke on it in Clubmans class at 1 min 11.8 seconds and on methanol at 1 11.2. We have never broken into 1 min 10 sec but I have never seen another Clubmans bike break under 1 12 sec. In three seasons the only Clubmans bike that beat it was Sam Smith on the Lodge ES2. The year Sam won the NZ 600 Prod Championship. Plus at that time the Dommie had old tyres and the engine hadn't been openned in 18 months. They had three races, Tony won once, Sam won twice, once by a nose and once by 20 m. They were awarded the trophy for best dual of the Festival. We had only 3 DNFs in three seasons, one fall and two running out of gas would you beleive !!!!!! About 150 races with no mechanical breakdowns including Wanganui and the Burt Munro. Chris has also ridden it down at the Burt Munro.

But like everything pride comes before a fall. Chris asked if his Dad could ride it when he came over last year. And sure as eggs when a name rider gets near it the damn thing plays up. For the first time in years a carb issue. Im 8000 km away over here so a 9 times Manx winner got to spend his weekend pulling the carbs apart !!!! Kind of embarassing but he's a nice bloke!

John

#492605 - 06/01/13 4:28 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Middle East,
Sounds like the Eldee 2 is in good hands.

Nourish crank was a good investment...1:11.8 on pump gas is going well -the track weas abit slower 30 years ago, but that's around the same time I was doing on my (1976) TZ250 Yamaha..with..about 50hp. I won't ask what's in the rest of the engine, though did you re-angle the valves?


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#492680 - 06/02/13 4:35 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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Talked to Nick yesterday. He was working on new parts to improve but not change it. Always a bit of a dilema with what to do with important bikes. But people who knew Deiner say he would have wanted his bikes raced. They think he would be a pleased as anything to see it winning.

My bike is actually pretty standard.

Cases standard, all timing gears, followers, pushrods, valves, barrels, 30 mm Concentric carbs are standard. Pistons GPMs 10.2:1. Cam is PW3, SS head worked by Denby in Thames, Nourish crank and Thunder engineering rods.

But I spent a lot of time tuning it and developing exhausts and inlets on the dyno. Exhaust is very important.

One of the biggest restriction in Clubmans class is the brakes. Standard SLS brake. At Puke that not a big issue but really becomes problem if you start a braking duel.

Last edited by johnm; 06/02/13 4:47 am.
#492729 - 06/02/13 1:21 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
Braking was always an issue on my BSA years ago - the 8" single-sided thing was supposed to be good, but never worked as well as I thought it should. Could do better now..

I'm guessing your SLS brake is a stock full-width Norton item? If you haven't already done so, I'd get in touch with Vintage brake about linings - transformed the 8" on my DBD in the UK. Go here: http://www.vintagebrake.com/compounds.htm I used thr 2420V. They will send oversize linings and rivets to fit and grind yourself, if you don't want to send the wheel or backplate assy to the USA (it'd take about 3 months to get done).

I'm guessing you have a stiffener kit inside? Worth its weight, I hear. Another useful dodge would be to turn the lever at the wheel around to face forward, so that when the brake is applied the cam (assuming it's symmetrical) spindle rotates the opposite way to the rotation of the wheel - this (sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs) will force the leasding show to travel further towards the drum than the trailing shoe - the opposite is the stock setup - obviously not ideal.

Then there's making the pivot end of the shoe floating - easily done with elongating the pivot semicircle in the shoe by a couple of mm.

Last edited by Kerry W; 06/02/13 1:23 pm.

No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#492859 - 06/03/13 1:08 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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Yes to the Vintage brakes 2420V and yes to the stiffening kit.

I had not thought of the lever reversal and floating shoe was on the list.

-but now (if I ever get a chance to go back after spending years overseas) I have bought a Manx 1963 relica 4LS. I will probably step up to open class which will need a complete new motor. Plus the frame is pretty much history. It cracks several times a season. But this is a few years away yet. The bike is looking very beaten up now. I have not spent a lot of time on it for the past three years.

John

#492967 - 06/04/13 4:27 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
The lever reversal was a common dodge on the BSA's, even by the factory: my father did it on his Goldie in 1959, though in later years couldn't explain why it worked better. Only after he'd died did I find out why! (Everyone thinks the lack of weight on the wheel when you wheel a bike backwards down a ramp is the reason the brake seems to work better and lock the wheel, but it's really the wheel turning the opposite way to normal - and opposite to the normal action of the lever rotation - all that's happening is that the trailing shoe, which has more travel due to the geometry of the cam, is moving further towards the drum for a given lever deflection, and is now the leading shoe when the wheel rotates the other way..)

Yes, I guess the open class would allow you to use all the nice bits - the Manx 4-leader should be a good bit of kit. Sounds like you want a frame kit too..

I know the problem about being overseas..picked up an English wife in the process too, so am a bit screwed..


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#492976 - 06/04/13 6:33 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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New Zealand

I know the problem about being overseas..picked up an English wife in the process too, so am a bit screwed..
[/quote]

Strewth mate ! You better hope she doesnt check out this site or your gonna be dog tucker :-)

Clearly you BSA riders are brave men!

Im alright in that department. Got divorced 15 years ago from a lawyer so have learnt my lesson well !!! Aint going to be that stupid again!

I will need to replace the frame but I need to measure it up very carefully. I think but am not certain it is a replica frame. Slimline with a 1956 number ???

The rider loves the way it is set up. Its on 18 in wheels WM3 rims both ends. Shocks are 25 mm longer than standard and I spent a lot of time on the forks. I think the steering head geometry may be non standard but im not sure. He rides it with a modern style on his knees and carries an incredible amount of corner speed. He can ride around Chris Swallow and Chris ain't too shabby!!!!

#492980 - 06/04/13 6:51 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
Frame - yep, sounds like you need to do some serious measuring before steeping into another one! 25mm extra at the back will steepen it up noticeably. Does that affect the chain run over the s/arm? At the least, it'll make the back squat a little (better traction) under power and quicken up the steering a touch, so it might be working well in that regard, plus adding a little ground clearance. With a new frame it might be worth taking the extra ride height out of the back and putting the steering head at the same angle as it would have been with the extra 25mm, though why change a good thing?

Dog tucker now...we have a house in the UK being renovated/extended consuming cubic money and a 4 year old...


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#492987 - 06/04/13 9:33 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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No issues with the swinging arm. However to cover the circuits I have a range of sprockets for a lighter Triumph cotton reel hub rear wheel. And when I have the biggest sprocket on for say Wyndom (sp?) you can get clearance issues with the frame cross tube under the oil tank.

Four year old huh. You wait until he goes to uni. Im in my last six months of 15 years of kids at uni. But being the youngest he has arranged an exchange in Switzerland to finish off !! So thats about a years worth of NZ uni in 4 months !!. why do you think I work in Kazakhstan :-)

#493165 - 06/06/13 4:28 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Middle East,
Got 16 year-old in NZ...and the 4 year-old here...I can just see the pile of cash required...

Good news is that the Velo is paid-for and I should be able to get to the UK and take delivery on Saturday..will get some photos and put them up when I can..

Last edited by Kerry W; 06/06/13 4:29 am.

No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#493166 - 06/06/13 4:44 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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johnm Offline
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Very good. If you are ever back in NZ in Wellington send me a PM and I can put you in touch with Nick and the other Velo guys.

regards

John

#493187 - 06/06/13 1:23 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Thanks. Only time I'm planning to be in NZ this year is for the barry Sheene meeting at Hampton-Downs at Labour weekend. If those gys head north I'll hunt them out, but I won't have time to get to Wellington then unfortunately.

I'd be keen to talk to some knowledgeable Velo guys as all I know is what I don't know (which is a start)..


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#493799 - 06/12/13 4:18 am Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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Kerry W Offline
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Took delivery of my bike on Saturday. It seems very straight and original, having never been restored, from the look of it. It needs a bit of a clean, though there's little (if anything) that it needs.

Paid a little xtra and took the option of the MkII Concentric carb and new inlet, plus the spare tank and seat the previous owner had stock-piled for the bike.

Have had it running: it's mechanically quite quiet, pumps nice clean oil around and all the electricks work. Yet to ride it though. back in the UK for holiday for 3 weeks at the end of the month, so will swing a leg over it then..

Presumably original matchbox float fitted for the GP (can't see there'd be room for any other float chamber), though how they expected the common owner to tickle the float I don't know..

Couple of pic's:







Kerry

Last edited by Kerry W; 06/12/13 4:20 am.

No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
#493843 - 06/12/13 3:57 pm Re: Thruxtons for Beginners [Re: Kerry W]  
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AG Bill Offline
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Posts: 64
Arroyo Grande, California, USA
Beautiful bike!
What production year is your bike?
Do the Thruxton bikes have an engine number that is unique to this model like the VM for Venom bikes?
I am looking at a Venom basket for possible purchase.....
Bill K


63 BSA Goldstar Catalina Scrambler
70 BSA Victor Special
67 Lotus Elan Coupe
30 Ford Model A Sport Coupe
67 Turbo Offenhauser Indy Car Display Engine
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