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bully1

Titanium Sprit

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Hi all,

I am, or at least I was when I last checked Ian Bullock

It's my first time on this forum. I was steered here by the lads of the BMCA with whom I ride with on a regular basis, all about how well conversed my new addition to the garage has become.

Well bug#er me, I've become bloody famous without knowing it.

I am a mechanical engineer and sheet metal worker by trade and I run my own business from here in the Black Country. As some of our works involve unusual metals such as Titanium I simply got to thinking what if?

After doing some research a couple or three years ago into the likes of T45 etc which seemed to be so popular a choice for replica frames, I began researching as to why manufactures had never used Titanium before within frame building (or that what I was led to believe at the time) I was pleasantly surprised to find out that indeed it had been tried back in the sixties by the likes of BSA, but very unsuccessfully.

That posed the question "why" It is a third of the weight of most mild steels and it is much, much stronger. You may all be aware that it goes into F1 cars as roll cages etc; we for instance use it for hot air balloon gas bottles. Well if it’s good enough for the F1 boys why not a trials, scrambler or even road/closed circuit race bike, it didn't make sense to me.

A bit more digging around answered my question. The likes of Geoff Smith experienced no flex within the material and the welding and purging techniques at the time were left wanting as the material around the welds would fracture or crack (seldom would it be the weld itself) so they simply shelved the idea and that was the end of that.

Now then let’s go back to those F1 boys again, they use it as the life line when crashing at massive speeds and they don't experience the same problem and as stated this is simply down to the purging and welding techniques of today. With that not being an issue, I thought long and hard about the flexibility of the material and discovered that when trying to achieve the frames within the sixties they used the same gauge of material as within the mild steel frames, i.e. 14 gauge mild steel would be replaced by 14 gauge Titanium, obviously still allot lighter but the same gauge nevertheless, which gave no flex at all. I immediately came away from the idea of a scrambler or a race bike as we would have had to go into all types of stress testing etc, which by the way is perfectly well available as a mate who runs a local company to me, takes care of all that for the aircraft and space industry.

Way much further than I wanted to take this spare time project I eventually chose the trial bike.

The record put straight once and for all is. The items upon the bike that have been fabricated from titanium and in different grades for strength and flex are: Complete Frame, Sump Guard, Air box, Petrol Tank, All Spindles, Exhaust Pipe, Expansion Chamber,Silensor, Seat Pan, Brake Arms, Rear Brake Pedal, Front Mudguard Stay and Various sets & nuts.

The engine is a standard Villiers 32A put together by Steve Goblins of Villiers Services (thanks for your help bloke) The Greaves barrel and Head was purchased from Simon Bateman as was the strengthened clutch basket. The head had no squish band in it for some unknown reason Simon had them machined and cast that way? Only he will be able to tell you why. So I completely welded up the head in aluminium and gave it to a great mate of mine, Alan Nicklin who really is an outstanding engineer and Villiers stalwart to re-machine the head and do the barrels port timing, oh and he put in a lower third gear as well. Along with this Alan's welcome frame angles and clutch lighter he really has been a tremendous help with a think tank type of relationship going on throughout the project. The electronic ignition is that of Electrotec design and may I say for the Villiers engine it far and above blows the PVL out of the water in engineering and design. Front forks are true ceriani throughout and with some help of Gerry Minshall another great engineer with the progressive springs being made to suit my weight they work just great. Rear shocks are Olin's, expensive yes, do they work? Oh yes. Yokes are your standard Alan wittons along with the hubs and brake plates. Rims are akront and they were laced up for me by John Huges (spot on John) the rear tyre is IRC and the front is a Michelin. Country to belief (and I really don’t know were some of the tales come from the inner tubes are defiantly in the tyres as I put them in there). With the usual Renthal bars, front brake, clutch and slow action throttle a Mark 25mm mark one and a half Amal concentric and aluminium inlet pipe I’m nearly at the end. Spray Job was by Louis the spray and Decals by Wall Fox, seat covering by Debbie the Saddle I really do believe that is the bike in a nut shell from its maker. Am I proud of my achievement? YES. Do I give a sh#te if people don't agree with it? Naaaaaaaaa The fun was in the making and now riding it. Oh and I am a very average rider on a very good day so you won't be seeing the bike on to many winners rostrums.

Bully

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Yes BSA had Titanium frames The technology at the time they could not be repaired at a meeting and had to be done at the factory BSA were about to start there financial troubles so this may not have helped further development

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Hi Bully

Please please please please can you post some pics of the bike as it sounds awesome!!

Best wishes

Will-in-the-mud

Agreed cant make it to the 2 day so a piccy or three would be nice.

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Picture pictures pictures..please.......... what apleasure to know there ar guys out there as obsesive as me te he

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Thanks for the the replies blokes, I will feed a few photos into the thread tomorrow as I have them all on my works computer, not my one at home.

Bully

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what sort of gauge are you using for the likes of swingarm as im contemplating making a titanium swing arm for my cub

Dan

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Hi Guy's.

Hi Bully.

Brilliant Story, I have just been waiting for it to come out ,knew it would one day ? If I kept on asking. Might add that I had worked out , along with a mate from down country that the bike probably was built and lived in Licolnshire, so got that wrong!

A man with my own heart, just likes to push the barriers if possible, And we know it is not Pre 65, but has you say, who gives a stuff, now a day's. It is just a superb engineering project. Brilliant again. Thanks mate for the time to explain.

Regards Charlie.

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I remember reading about Ossa having titanium frames for some of the factory bikes.

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There were rockets to the moon pre 1965.

Regarding cost, this project doesnt sound like a posh bloke p****** lots of ill gotton cash up the wall.

Nothing to be envious of here just someone working hard at his hobby.

I have utter respect.

looking forward to seeing it.

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