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Peter Quick
Peter Quick
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Time for an update on some replica Roadster sidecovers I bought - for a 73 850 as it happens.
ex-India of course.
I've seen some which seemed to claim they weren't Indian made.
But they look to be identical ? More on that anon.

When they arrived, they seemed reasonable.
They were in grey primer, which can cover a multitude of sins !
And looked to fit up OK, but I didn't examine them closely for fit before painting a set.
A no no .
Once lightly painted they had a slight ripply look to them in the light, but a good heavy coat of paint and polish solved that.

Fit was another matter.
The oil tank cover had the 2 holes up top very slightly too far forward - so the cover slightly banged into the frame tube at the back. Filing the holes oval fixed that - probably a good bolts width - a not very elegant solution. !

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Parallax distorts this pic, but the white replica cover and a genuine blue cover compared.
Both sets of holes are precisely 5 inches apart - they don't look it.
It is difficult to spot the holes are slightly misplaced - difficult indeed.
It seems impossible to photograph them to show any variation ... ?

I've seen it mentioned elsewhere that they unbrazed/unwelded the holes and moved them back a notch.
Thats a lotta work.
And HAS to be done before painting.
I'll try that on a future set ?

The battery sidecover has its own problems.
The replica white one (at the arrow) arrived with its front tab curled downwards.
I can only speculate that the original they copied had this fault, since a number of ones for sale show this 'feature'.
Its not too difficult to straighten it out - but the metal is thicker than the original, so it takes some force.
The problem with fitment with this one is that the clearance for the frame tube at the back/top (shown boxed) is not replicated in the replica.
This results in poor fitment at the top/back when fitted up. It can be forced into position - just - but is not perfect.
I'm going to attempt to replicate the clearance notch on an unpainted one ...
Of course, they should come like that ...

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Note that this replica has a small tab added at the base - which the original didn't have.
Its too small to take a rubber bung/grommet, so ??

I'd comment that prices for what appear to be identical items vary - considerably - shop around.

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Seems like the battery side covers are almost impossible to find used but the oil tank covers are pretty easy to find. Maybe they fell off and were lost more often compared to the bolted on oil tank covers.

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Rohan Offline OP
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I'd suspect this is likely very true.
I've even seen a few scratched battery side covers for sale.
And I know of several owners who've spent wasted hours searching in the grass for them !

I found my battery cover hanging out in the breeze, the dzus clip had come undone or not been fastened correctly.
But it hadn't yet made a bid for freedom ....

Its disappointing though that the replica makers don't get them 100% correct.
95% is soooo close, but so far ...

Mostly and generally you don't seem to be able to buy just the battery side one anyplace either.

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The problem is where they come from. Third world countries. They know nothing of quality control. Just shove it out the door.

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Rohan Offline OP
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Mmmm, I'm not so sure I'd entirely agree with that.
Especially if they have a good sample to work from (and are not doing it from photos !)

I've also a couple of Enfield projects- and buying Indian made bits for them is quite economical,
and I'd say the quality is mostly as good as anything that came from England in the day.

BUT, I don't know what happens to their reject parts !
You hear some awful stories about rejected parts from the days of the UK bike reigning supreme.
Apparently some of them are still surfacing ....

And when you shop around, you can find Indian made Massey Ferguson and Suzuki and Lambretta
and all sorts of parts etc etc etc, at what seem to be bargain prices, and the owners clubs are reporting that these
are keeping the spares market afloat and those brands still on the road.

I've contacted my supplier about these sidecovers and what could be done to improve them, we will see what happens.
It could be that they have already turned out 38 squillions of them, so it may be too late !
There sure seem to be a lot of sellers of them, at wildly varying prices ...
I've paid less than $100 for them, on my doorstep.

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The Interstate oil tank cover from the same source has the holes in the same wrong position. Mine came in yellow box marked John Bull plus made in India. Other than the holes they look good.

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Rohan Offline OP
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Is that MadBull Tinku ?
I likewise got a set with that box - came via the UK .
Its a shame they don't have a Commando to try these parts for fit ??

[Linked Image from picclickimg.com]

Apparently these guys are supposed to be the largest parts makers in India.
I'm not sure what that covers though - maybe a large cottage industry as well ...

Likewise my sidecovers look good too - very similar even on close inspection.
Just missed by that much ...

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i used that type holes lined up but fit on battery cover was 'tight'


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Same box, also bought from Birmingham UK, so perverse routing.

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Rohan Offline OP
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I've bought items from Dealers in Oz with that carton.
Headlights, clutch plates in particular.

I think they've just got an agent in the UK that does a lot of business,
he sells lots of items in groups of x 5, must get a very good buy price.

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Rohan Offline OP
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If you buy the raw unfinished fibreglass sidecovers, at least you get the satisfaction of drilling them to suit.
(black bars mark the locations) Even if it is a fiddly business.
And the prices seem to be skyrocketing lately, for something that is unfinished after all.
Parallax accounts for the size differences ..

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

This steel replica is so far out on the holes (black dots) I'm just going to drill them.
And the pillar posts inside won't be centred under the bolts onto the oil tank ...

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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