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rusty ken

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About rusty ken

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    Matchless G3LS

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    Northern Ireland

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  1. Hi Folks, I've recently picked up one of the later Wassell frames (the oil in frame one with the twin front down tubes), and am considering pairing it with a Villiers 9e/32a engine that has been sitting on my bench. My hope would be to use it in some twin shock events, but before I get too carried away with the idea, I wanted to ask if anyone here has any experience of using these frames for trials, either with the original Sachs/Puch engine or converted to something different? While these don't appear to have been a particularly common bike in the early 70's, what is the general opinion on reviving it for twin shock trials? Or is there a good reason why these weren't overly popular in the period? My searches on the web suggest the US version (Penton Mudlark) is an ok trail bike but I've not found a lot of info out there and I'm a bit unsure of it's suitability for trials. I'd appreciate your thoughts, particularly from anyone who has used them back in the day or more recently in twin shock events? I'd also welcome your thoughts on any mods that would make it more suitable for current events. I'm not looking to build a world beater, but neither do I want to set out on a fool's errand. I like the idea of having an all British twin shock that would be reasonably right for the period; something a little different to the Spanish and Japanese bikes that seem to make up the majority of the current twin shock entry. I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks.
  2. Hi folks, Does anyone know if there a source for new crankshafts for Villiers 9e or 32a engines? I'm looking to convert an 11e engine, which has the extra bearing on the right hand side and the longer crankshaft. The plan is to remove the additional bearing (and casing) and to fit the narrower crank. I had seen full circle crankshafts for sale on-line, but they now appear to be out of stock. I'm happy to consider fitting a hammer head crank, but the trend (and the maths) would suggest moving to the full circle version if it were available. Alternatively, is there a modern 2-stroke crank that can be modified to fit the Villiers cases? Before anyone screams about using modern internals in a pre '65 bike, this will be ridden in local novice and sportsman events where everyone else will be riding mono shocks.
  3. I'd be confident to build a more suitable trials Matchless at less than the asking price on this. There are lots of parts on this that could be used for a trials version. You are right about the frame, but at that mo ey it would be too expensive to swap out. There are a number of sources for replica or "modern geometry" frames which could actually be used on the current pre 65 sections. I expect you would also need to swap out or modify the forks and suspect you would need to look at the gear ratios... Really depends on weather you want someting that you can use in pre 65 events, and how competitive you want to be, or are you looking for a trials styled road bike? It also depends on your timeframe and how much work you want to fund or do yourself.
  4. I don't know my trials history particularly well, but understood that Greeves was one of the preffered trials bikes to be riding in the late 60's ( or was that just the publicity) Pre 65 trials seems to have gone rhrough a series of fads over the last few years moving from pre units to Cubs, Bantums, James, and Triumph twins. Is there a reason why Greeves appears to have largely dropped out of fashion and not been "modernised" like some of the other makes? There seem to be a few still being riden in the big events, but not being developed to the same extent as the bantums etc? Does this mean they could be the next big thing, or was most of the development already delivered by the factory in the '60s?
  5. For the last ten years the Banbridge & District Motorcycle Club have run one of the few classic trials in Northern Ireland; this year they stepped up a gear and organised a two day event. The venues for Saturday and Sunday were only about 10 minutes apart, with camping available beside Turley's Bar and the Flax restaurant. Mervyn set out a great course with hard and easy routes, catering for both Pre 65s and twin shocks. The easy route was negotiable by novices but still included enough to challenge the concentration and skills of the more experienced riders. Each day was set out as 4 laps of 10 sections, all off road so no road traffic requirements. The majority of the entry was made up by twin shock's, but given the sections there was no excuse for not having a larger entry of Pre 65 and pre-unit bikes for this event. Typical Northern Ireland weather included everything from thunder showers (Sat morning) to glorious sunshine, with several pints of refreshment in Turley's needed to replenish the riders at the end of the day. If anyone is thinking of taking a trip over to Ireland I'd highly recommend you keep an eye open for next years event. Have a look at the youtube video (https://youtu.be/rGbyj3exzbk) to get a feel for this year's event
  6. Hewson, thanks for the photos. They're brilliant, a great help and just what I needed. Thanks.
  7. Following up from my earlier with a little lunchtime research, it appears the barrel I have is an "Ajax Pearson" conversion. Has anyone any experience of these, and are they any good? Standing by to have my hopes dashed, but am again astounded by the parts that my late father had squirreled away in the shed.
  8. Hi Folks, thanks very much for the replies. Teamferret; I think I have a 250 alloy barrel and head (which has horizontal fins like a continuation of the barrel?) tucked away in another corner of the shed. I'd been told these were an aftermarket product, but had expected it to fit this engine, and even if it did that there would be a more current barrel available with much improved porting. Would it be worth using this or is there a better (modern) alternative? I'd need a piston, but that can be included the longer shopping list! I don't think the engine I have is the electric start version, as the timing side cover just seems to have the ignition system inside. Is there a source for the gearbox end cover, kick start shaft, etc? or do I need to keep watching ebay? Section Swept & Hewson; Thanks for the info on the timing side shroud and the photo, my casings don't look that clean at the moment. Your comments do make sense. Is the normal approach to machine the shroud back level with the casting for the main bearing, it's hard to get perspective from the photo? Thinking of performance, to make these engines work do I need to swap to full circle flywheels? (I haven't stripped the engine but am assuming it has bob weights?) Thanks again for the info.
  9. I've unearthed a Villiers 11e engine from the back of the shed. I've been told it's likely to have come from an invilid car, but wanted to ask if these are any good as the basis for a trials bike? And if so, what are the best frame options?
  10. Thanks for the suggestion, good idea. I've scanned back through the photos and the tank badges and reg numbers haven't reversed, so it must be something else, but no decent idea on what?
  11. Most of the photos and parts manuals for my G3LS Matchless show the front wheel fitted so the brake drum is on the near/left hand side. But on a number of photos, including the works Matchless and AJS, the wheel has been reversed so the brake drum is on the right. I'm hoping someone out there can enlighen me on why the different approach?
  12. I had the brake shoes for the front wheel of my Matchless relined by Villiers Services, using trials linings made up to fit the diameter of the drum. Happy with the result.
  13. Laird; thanks for your offer of advice on people to talk to and events to ride, but I am fairly up to speed with the events organised in Ireland, and I do my best to follow the GB calendar and events through the wonders of the web and social media. Hopefully I'll get to an event over there in the not to distant future, which is what prompted my original question. I do appreciate the rule of thumb of 25:1 will be a good starting point to set 1st gear (thanks Collyolly and Jon V8), and I appreciate your openness and willingness to provide information (which can also be applied wider than just to my original question). I also appreciate the info on your speed between subs, maybe my gearing isn't as far out as I thought! I'd understood that Mick's gear modifications were now pretty much 'best practice' for anyone starting out with a B53 Burman with a road cluster (they are excellent, thanks trickymicky), so hadn't expected to need to go back to first principles to finalise the gearing. To answer Laird's earlier comment, in posting on Trials Central I thought that I was "asking someone using a similar machine these days for advice", but as an interim step I'm intending to fit a larger gearbox sprocket and see how it works. When I posted my original question I had no intention of restarting the discussion on how current sections set for Pre '65 trials have changed from set-out back in the day, or how much development and modification has gone into today's Pre 65 bikes. So apologies to everyone for prompting the reopening this can of worms. Without getting into the rights and wrongs of Pre '65, I'm pragmatic enough to accept that If I want to ride my Matchless in events then I have to make the best of the events that I can get to, and the sections that have been set. There are very few pre 65 bikes being used in my area, but my local club does cater well for novices and a number of twin-shocks usually appear. It invariably gives me a challenging and enjoyable day on the bike and, while I'm happy to admit that this isn't ideal for a pre '65 bike, unless we get more appropriate events organised, it's better than parking my Matchless in the shed.
  14. I'm looking for some advice on what is suitable gearing for a 350cc Matchless G3L (I expect a 350 Ariel would be very similar). I've been using the bike in my local trials, none of which involve a particularly long lap or any road work, and she is currently quite low geared. With aspirations of entering a NBBC round, or a two day event in GB or Ireland, I am looking for some guidance on what is the normal set-up for a pre-unit 350 being used in todays events? The bike is fitted with a GB Burman box, with Mick Ash gears and a standard clutch. The current gearing uses a 16t engine sprocket and 14t gearbox sprocket fitted. The rear drum allows the rear sprocket to be changed, and there is a 50t sprocket fitted. This means the 350 is pretty low geared, which is good in the tight sections set in my local events, but crossing fields between sections she is happily pulling top gear, and any road work would be painfull. I've looked at the recommended trials gearing in the original handbooks, but am concerned this might be too high for the type of section that is being used in many events today. As a relative novice I'm cautious of reverting to this only to find I'm having to continually slip the clutch to control the speed in tight sections, but I obviously need to up at least the gearbox sprocket to make her more bearable between sections. All advice welcome.
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