Newest member saying hello.

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Newest member saying hello.

Post  Darren393 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:20 am

Good evening all!

I am new to this forum, and I would like to tell you exactly why I have joined!

This morning I received a text message from my aunt asking if I wanted Granddad's old motorbike. Now I remember this bike when I was aged around 7 (I'm 42 now!) being wedged in the understairs cupboard in Nanny's house. Sadly Granddad died shortly after this, and the bike stayed there for years. It was about 20 years ago that my uncle (Dad's brother) recovered the bike with the view to restoring it, so off it went to his house.
Sadly he too passed away the year before last and it remained in his shed unrestored and no doubt forgotten. Meeting my aunt at another neice's wedding last year got us talking about this bike. She was ashamed to tell me that she had only recently given it to a chap who had been doing some building work for her, as she thought no one would want it.
At this point I said how sad that was, as I explained that I had restored numerous cars from the 60's and 70's along with a few motorbikes from the 70's and 80's, and that not one had beaten me into submission, and all went on to new owners thereafter in pristine condition. My auntie was mortified to know that the bike was still fondly remembered and that she had now passed it on to a stranger. I thought no more of it until today's surprise text.
I spoke to my dad just now and he tells me it was a Norman Autocycle with a 100cc Villiers engine, with pedals to get it started, and that Granddad had bought this after returning home from WWII. He bought it brand new. I have just found a picture of a 1947 Autocycle on the club website, and I'm assuming it looks something like the picture that I have found. I only remember the front as that was all that could be seen when the cupboard door ever opened!
Dad seems to believe that his dad bought it in 1945/1946. I then spoke to my auntie and she tells me that she got the bike back after feeling bad about our conversation, and wishes me to have it. Naturally I have said yes! I am going to look at it some time this week, and will be hiring a van to collect a week later. She tells me that she has recently registered it in her name so that part is all correct.
Sadly her daughter (36) passed away suddenly last year, but she gave birth to a lovely boy not 3 months prior, and I have promised my auntie that I will restore the bike however long it takes, and use it, and when her grandson comes of age, I will pass it down to him.

Can anyone tell me what the Norman parts scene is like? Or will it be a case of finding engineers to make parts if I need them? As stated I have not seen this bike in over 35 years, so I do not know the actual condition of it, but my auntie seems to think that it is all there and complete.

No doubt I will be coming here for many pointers as I begin to restore it, and I look forward to hopefully meeting you at any events that happen in the future and share a beer or two.

Many thanks for reading this story, and hopefully I will be responsible for getting another Norman back on the road, in honour of my Granddad and uncle.

Cheerio for now

Darren393

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Join date : 2012-01-15
Age : 47
Location : North Hampshire

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Autocycle Parts

Post  JohnMac on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:49 pm

Hi Darren

Welcome to the Club and to the autocycling fraternity!

Hopefully you will not need too many parts. The 1940’s Normans were built to last and if your bike was dry stored it might be in surprisingly good shape. Even if not, it is probably not too difficult to get parts. It would appear that during the 1940’s quite a number of manufacturers used bought-in parts such as forks, handlebars, wheel rims, saddles, mudguards etc., so even if you cannot get the Norman part, the equivalent from another manufacturer may suit. It is unlikely that you will need to get anything back-engineered.

Some useful places if you need anything:

Villiers Services www.villiersservices.co.uk can supply all engine parts and also fully recondition your engine. However the “fixed price” reconditioning service does not include things like a new HT coil, condenser, sprocket etc that are normally fitted so the final price may be quite a bit more than the nominal cost. Villiers Service can also supply cone bearings, the SAE 140 oil , re-line brakes, do helicoil thread repairs etc.

Mark Daniels at Mopedland www.mopedland.ukfsn.org/ offers a great service for things like replacement chains, freewheels, tyres, tubes, wheel rims, horns, pedals, light bulbs, control levers and much else. He will also do engineering work such as cylinder re-bores and hones.

J.J Cables cableman7@hotmail.co.uk is the place to go for cables. He will supply everything you need to make-up your own cables or will make them up for you if you supply patterns.

Custom Fasterners Ltd www.custom-fasteners.co.uk can supply of nuts, bolts and much else, usually for next day delivery. Nearly all the bolts on the autocycle will be BSCY 26 tpi., and not easy to find anywhere else.

R.K. Leigthon www.rk-leighton.co.uk will re-cover the saddle and make it look as good as new.

Transfers can be obtained from the NACC http://www.thebuzzingclub.co.uk/ or the VMCC http://www.vmcc.net/transfers.htm

Cycle parts are more difficult to pick-up but you might find something at The Old Bicycle Shop www.theoldbicycle.co.uk or from Smiths Autocycles http://www.autocycles.co.uk/
Most bits come up on e-bay sooner or later.

The two main clubs for autocycles are the NACC address above and the East Anglian Autocycle Club. The two prime movers in this club (Mark Daniels – see Mopedland above and Andrew Pattle) publish a magazine on the web that has a lot of useful small adds. http://www.icenicam.ukfsn.org/

Good luck with your restoration. Maybe you can post a few pictures of the bike on the forum or the Facebook page as you progress. Let me know if there are any parts that you have difficulty in finding.

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Lots of advice, thanks

Post  Darren393 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Hi JohnMac.

Thanks very much for the pointers that you have supplied to me. Reading through all that they do, I imagine that this should cover every last nut and bolt! I too am hoping that due to the long years of dry storage under the stairs, then the condition should be quite good.
Having spoken again to my dad, he is adamant that the engine will crank as granddad would have coated the barrel with oil, and all of the bearings would have been packed with grease. I'm just hoping that my uncle hadn't left anything out in the rain. However, it seems that all can be got so if anything needs replacing then sobeit.
As I am also of the mind to take my time and do the restoration without cutting corners, whatever it costs will be worth it as it is a family piece.
Do you know how much this bike weighs? I am hoping to get it in the back of my Jaguar estate once the wheels are off, and seeing as I only have my aunt to help, I don't want her to get injured!!!

Once again, thanks for the tips and advice, I thought that it would be quite hard to accomplish, but now it seems not so.

Kind regards

Darren

Darren393

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Autocycle weight

Post  JohnMac on Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:34 am

Hi Darren

The autocycle probably weighs about 57kg but it is quite long, 1930mm or thereabouts. If you can remove the wheels, the mudguards and rear carrier the length is ~1300mm. It should also be fairly easy to take off the engine if the weight is a problem.

I hope you get it home safely.

All the best

JohnMac

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Re: Newest member saying hello.

Post  Darren393 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:14 pm

Thanks for the info. I spent all last evening going through all of those links you posted, and I joined the East Anglia club! I can't wait.

Darren393

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Re: Newest member saying hello.

Post  mr.rabbit on Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:50 am

Hello Daren,that sounds like a lovely project you have there.Could we see some before and after pictures please.Jonmac's information about parts suppliers is spot on ,I have used most of them and they are all enthusiasts and easy to talk to,a Villiers engine rebuild would not be a problem if you can find a book that covers that model engine,perhaps on fleabay,though you might need some specialised tools such as pullers etc.and a set of Whitworth spanners will be handy.Good luck with the rebuild,Paul

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Re: Newest member saying hello.

Post  Darren393 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:19 am

Hi Paul. I certainly will do lots of pictures throughout so I can keep the family updated. It is good to know that parts ate still out there. I have some whitworth spanners and sockets but may need to look for a more comprehensive set, any excuse to get more tools! Can never have enough tools eh!
Many thanks
Darren

Darren393

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Re: Newest member saying hello.

Post  Darren393 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:00 pm

I went and had a look at the bike, it seems all there, albeit somewhat tired and rusty in places. Unfortunately it is in the garden under tarp, so the engine case is rough looking. Front wheel is off and it is resting on the mud guard, which has twisted. Both wheels very rusty and front brake system is missing.
I'm collecting it this Weds hopefully, so long as I make can make a space in the garage! I will post some pics of it once its out in the open.
Darren

Darren393

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Some pics

Post  Darren393 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:05 pm










Darren393

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Re: Newest member saying hello.

Post  BASIL on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:31 am

Hi Darren, it all looks good to me I am sure you wont have too much trouble there, on another note I found the East Anglian club very helpfull when it came to re-registering my Norman Nippy. Regards Basil.

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Re: Newest member saying hello.

Post  Darren393 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:13 am

Hi Basil.

Well I've spent the afternoon in the garage and have broken down the bike to the bare frame. Now it's time to start shipping the bits out for blasting, powder coating etc and get buying some new bits!

Pics to follow of the clean up and rebuild!!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Regards

Darren

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Re: Newest member saying hello.

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