What make and model is a good British Single? (2009)

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Jan 28, 2010
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I have a few thumpers. I've always liked them. I think you're going to enjoy your new B50. I have one in a B44 frame
 
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Sep 18, 2009
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I bought a bike that I probably should not have. When I unloaded it from the truck, I could hear the chain rubbing against the chain guard and the swing arm cross member. I put the bike in the shed and got down on my knees to take a look. The new chain was so long that is was going under the swing arm support and darn near dragging on the floor. I ended up taking out 8 links before I got the recommended free play in the chain. The bike came with a complete new wire harness that was plugged in at random. You would think the MId America Auction house would have some standards when it comes to selling "Restored Bikes". I guess not. None of the electrics work. Turns out the ignition/ electrical box under the frame was missing a ground wire. Easy stuff to sort out and fix. Bike was sold as a matching numbers bike but so far I am having trouble locating a frame serial number.

All in all I probably overpaid about 1,000 for the bike. It is fairly original on the hard to find sheet metal parts. The suspension is good. I think somebody bought an orginal low milage bike and did a clean up on it. It was last registered in California in about 1973. I am hoping that they did not screw around with the lower end. I plan to be able to fire it up in a few days. I plan to use it as a dirt bike. I am back to looking for a good 500cc single road bike.

The bike came out of the Palos Verdes area of Southern California. Just goes to show that you can get ripped off by people in the better neighborhoods.
 
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Hello

I have a DBD34 Gold Star in Norton Featherbed frame and it is the most fun around the lanes where I live in Hampshire UK.
A Catalina would be wonderful.
As a past BSA B50MX owner I would say the starting put me off as it was even harder than the Goldie.
I trialled a Cummerfords Cub (Triumph )for years and exept for really steep hill trial sections( I am 255lbs) found it a joy to live with, with the right gearing would make a nice back lane scratcher.
Or have you thought of the 350 / 500 AMC singles? I trialled an AJS mod18s in trialls trim,awsome.

Be it a Cub or Goldie if you love it and it puts a smile on your face its the right bike.


NORBSA DBD34
TRIBSA 6T
MK3 COMMANDO
BSA RGS REPLICA
CCM 350T
MATCHLESS G12
HONDA TL125
BROCKHOUSE CORGI
ITALJET PACK 2
HONDA CBR1100RR
Hey gents, I am putting together a slimline norton with a bsa b33A engine and trans any suggestions on where to buy engine plates? And a belt drive primary?
 

robs ss

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It's not to hard to make your own.
I made different ones from 3mm craftwood sheet until I was happy with the layout.

Next step was to trace the pattern onto A3 paper taking care with the bolt centres. Then draw the bolt holes with a pair of campuses at least 1mm undersize.

Next go to a drafting company and ask them to scan into AutoCad format.

Then buy some plate - I used 8mm aluminium alloy, not sure of the spec - 50XX.
Take the plate with your AutoCad file to a workshop with a water jet cutter and have them cut the pieces.

The finished edges should be really good, just needing sanding with emery cloth/paper.

The undersized holes should then be hand-reamed to give a close fit on your bolts.

Cheers
Rob
27 Oct '10 2.JPG
27 Oct '10 4.JPG
9 Jan '11 7.JPG
 

robs ss

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8mm alloy? Should have used Dural alloy, it's what Triton etc owners use.
Dural, short for Duralumin, covers at least eight different aluminium alloys of the 20XX family.
The 50XX family, also known as marine grade, can be just as strong/hard as duralumin but are better at resisting corrosion - hence my selection.

... and Duralumin also comes in 8mm plate
 

robs ss

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Just found the receipt for the plate - it was 5083 - high strength and corrosion resistant
 
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Norton ES2, Norton M50, AJS /Matchless 350/500. Velocete 350/500, Ariel 350/500, BSA B31/33, Plenty of choice just have to find one. The AMC singles have good spares back up in the UK.
 
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Hey gents, I am putting together a slimline norton with a bsa b33A engine and trans any suggestions on where to buy engine plates? And a belt drive primary?
re: a belt drive primary, as appears to be in Rob's pics, the Bob Newby belt and clutch is on both of my britbikes and I couldn't be happier with it. It's taking some fettling on my G15CS to get mounted, but that's a strange application and I knew it would be that way when I got it. Bob's been great with support and the clutch and belt themselves are flawless.

(Re-Edited as I just saw the original posting was in 2009!)
 
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Jan 18, 2020
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On the British 4-stroke singles I have had. My personal opinions.
BSA Gold Star Clubman. A Heavy beast, almost impossible to kickstart. Not funny on high speed bends. Quickly replaced with a
-70 BSA 441 Victor Special. Bought new. Melted down in a barn fire 13 years later. Light and agile. A joy to ride on twisty gravel roads. Highway cruising speed only 70 mph. A bit boring compared to a previous Dommie.
On those I have now.
-44 Norton WD16H. Built for going from Normandy to the Rhine on French roads filled with bomb craters. Surprisingly comfortable on gravel roads with lots of potholes. On asphalt scarier at 45 mph than a modern sports bike at 145. Horrendous brakes.
-59 Norton Manx 40M. Good handling, for it's time decent brakes, though fading after some laps. Almost empty under 4500 rpm. High first makes it difficult to ride slow in the pits. But when on the track, pure joy.
-58 Norton ES2 in a featherbed frame. Cafe racer style. Chassis ok. Underpowered and vibrating very much.
-52 Vincent Comet. My favourite touring bike. Feels exactly as the twins to ride. Except for power and cruising speed. A first kick starter. Sadly I'm not heavy enough to start a twin.
-59 Velocette Venom Clubman. Better on gravel roads than a featherbed and good handling on hard roads. Easy starting when done exactly right. Over all a good bike. It likes twisty roads.
-67 BSA WD B40 Mk1. Bought cheap. 132 kg dry. Fun to ride. Handling and brakes ok. I regard it a bit underpowered. I think BSA did a good job making it.
-70 BSA Victor Special. 27 years since loss of the first one. Now lucky to have one again. Equally fun to ride as the first one.
 

oldbeezer

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I haven't read every post in this thread so these may have been mentioned. BSA B31 or B33. Very similar to the Goldstars but not Goldstars so less expensive. Good looks, not nearly as stressed. Big difference is they have iron barrels rather than alloy. The B31 is a 350 and the B33 is a 500.
 

Fast Eddie

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I’ve never ridden a B33 but I imagine they’re nice bikes.

B31 is a different ballgame, no need to fret over chassis design, tyres, or brakes. They are so slow none of that matters a jot !
 
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Mike40M fails to correctly describe a 500 Velo, they tend to "weave" when pushed hard through a bend and the oil leaks on mine would put it in the Royal Oilfield class, no question.
 

Scout63

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I just purchased a Matchless 500 which I can’t wait to ride and compare to my Yamaha SR500. Still waiting for the magneto to be rebuilt. Maybe I’ll write a magazine type comparison. The Yamaha just does it so well but is not quite so cool to the casual onlooker.



 
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MZ 250 ? 50s tecnology , 80s build . military depedability . And Andling .


Wots that front end I see .
Also suitable for towing cars, trucks, etc .
 
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Some of these hooters'll pull 70 mph , with a bit of a tail wind or slope .

Puch . The Tigress 250s Fly up Steep Hills , really Fast. And get Airborne at the Top .If you step of the back at the bottom while the guy on the front is at it full tit .

 
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