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Retro Ringo

Help needed building three Greeves Trials Bikes

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Hello

I am a new member who has just obtained a garage full of Greeves parts from my father (who has decided, he's never going to get the bikes built!) He collected over many years and always bought stuff that hadn't been hacked about. There are the makings of at leasts three bikes (two Scottish trials and one Hawkstone Scrambler with banana forks). When I say makings, I mean 2 complete Villiers engines, plenty of parts to make a third, tanks, frame parts etc... Missing parts are things like exhausts, rims, mudguards and control gear... all stuff that should be available new.

The problem I have is that I have never been as mechanically adept as my old man and was hoping to find someone to help turn them into bikes for me...

My initial thoughts were to try and find someone reasonably close (I am near Leeds) who I could liaise with and help where I could with the builds... obviously the finer points would need discussion but I was thinking of offering up one of the finished bikes as payment for the work on the other two... Obviously, there is still additional costs involved but my aim would be to get to a point where the whole deal is fair for both parties - given a nicely restored early 1960's Greeves is now well north of £3k, this opportunity may be of interest to someone!

So if you are interested, relatively local and have the knowledge and contacts to get this done... please drop me a line!

I will look to post up some pictures later...

Richard

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You could try contacting the Yorksbire Classic club, www.yorkshireclassictrials.co.uk, look through their classifieds, post an ad yourself asking for help or ask around at one of the many trials they run. They'll have loads of members with first hand experience of Greeves and other Villiers engines bikes.

Edited by cleanorbust
  • Like 1

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Think carefully before you agree to anything, what are your expectations of the finished bikes, do you want them to original spec or something to ride, are the parts you have correct for each model? Beware of someone throwing together the pieces you have just to get one to sell at an autojumble.

The thing is no matter how many parts you have even if those parts are in good condition to get each bike built to a good standard you will have to buy certain things as the build progresses. Hopefully you will ride when they are finished so why not build one bike to start with, decide which model group all the bits to that bike then take the engine to Villiers Services to be assembled, Paul Jackson on York's Classic website for wheels if the rims need attention then seek help locally as well as here on TC to help you get it running. Forget pristine go for a reliable build then with the experience restore a second. Greeves bikes are well worth restoring but it would still be possible to spend their value on restoration.

Edited by trialsrfun
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A lot of sense there trialsrfun. You are quite right and have covered most of my concerns. If I go down this route, it would need to be an enthusiast who appreciates the marque.

As for building one and riding it, I already have my dads old bike (it's quite interesting - with a couple of works mods). I don't need four!

My other option is to sell the bits individually but I thought it would be nice to make them back into bikes though.

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4 hours ago, Retro Ringo said:

A lot of sense there trialsrfun. You are quite right and have covered most of my concerns. If I go down this route, it would need to be an enthusiast who appreciates the marque.

As for building one and riding it, I already have my dads old bike (it's quite interesting - with a couple of works mods). I don't need four!

My other option is to sell the bits individually but I thought it would be nice to make them back into bikes though.

It would be helpful if you can post photos of the bikes/parts to see what is there.

If you message me the frame numbers I should be able to find the model and year of each one.

Edited by trialsrfun

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As well as all of the very sensible advice suggested I would like to add that you need to get to know the person(s) that you will be dealing with. Start with finding out what they have done in the past, view examples of their work and visit them at their home, not place of work as this is easily fudged. I build/restore/overhaul call it what you will Trials bikes and have been a bike dealer, that’s not all of my history but you get the picture. This is my hobby and I do it to sell the bikes on, not to make vast profits but to recover the initial buying cost and cost of parts and materials used, then the next owner can enjoy. Maybe you should reappraise all the parts you have and potentially sell these to other Greeves owners, the Villiers engines should be 9E (197cc) 32A (250) 34A (250) 37A (250) and their last trials engine, I doubt you will have a 37A but until you look. Are the tanks metal or glass fibre? Just because as you say you aren’t mechanical adept doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a decent build of a bike or two, take your time and budget for some costs. Good luck🙂👍

 

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Thank you both, i'm off tomorrow so will message the frame numbers and take a few photos...

TBH Section Swept that was exactly the way I was going to approach it. I will try to post pictures and lets see where that takes us!

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As promised - some pics... I've pulled together the one that is most obvious in terms of bits. The engine isn't the correct one for this frame... the right one is on my work bench, fully overhauled and ready to go...

The final pic is the banana forks off the scrambler... I could see the engine pictured in that!

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 19.50.27.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 19.50.38.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 19.50.58.png

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At the risk of putting my head in a noose, that ignition cover doesn’t look very much like any I’ve seen on comp. Villiers engines. Looks as though it’s Bond car related, hence the extra lugs on the casing/cover. 

The front fork (blue painted)judging by the silentbloc bushes are most likely of the mid 50’s early 60’s era.

The square barrel maybe a Parkinson and this type was also used on DOT’S, Butler, Cotton etc advertised in the bike papers quite extensively. You need to establish if it’s a Trials or Scrambles barrel, I could wrong but I’m sure a more knowledgable member will be along to put things straight.🙂👍

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You are right, the engine has the dynastart ignition cover. My old man thought it might be nice in his dotage to have an electric start bike!

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Is it just the cover, which can easily be changed, or does it have a dynastart crank ? If so it will need changing as not viable to modify them. Used to be able to pick them up for next to nowt because the crank and crankcases nobody wants them. Barrel and head got to be worth £300 all day.

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