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199B Bodge Or Standard?

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Non standard!

 

An attempt to strengthen the top tube which was remedied by the alloy head steady assembly in 1982 on models.

 

Big John

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John is correct as the alloy head steady was a good improvement for 2 reasons, it provided a triangulation to give more strength and avoided the weakness of the press steel steady that inevitable failed.

 

My guess is that the strengthening was down to top tube bending, which was not uncommon as sections and jumping off stuff became more common in the late 70's early 80's. I remeber my 198 bending after doing the Tadley traders trial i think it was......

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Yes the backbone can bend if the head steady is broken or bent as was pretty common in the late 70's. The miller frames were the bees knees so to speak in the early seventies as they had improved geometry [shorter, quicker steering, more ground clearance] were lighter as well as they were made from reynolds chrome moly tubing. Also the tubes were removed from under the engine, another emerging problem area. However the model 125 released in 1974 pretty much copied the miller dimensions and was also made from chrome moly. The only real difference was the tubes still remained under the engine. So by the mid seventies the miller frames became rarer and rarer as the factory frames narrowed the gap. I would imagine there would be not a lot of difference strength wise between the two.

Cheers Greg

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  Having had some experience with Miller frames circa 1973, repaired several as they broke the front down tube

@ the juncture of the straight line gusset @ top tube to down tube.

The FIX to future frames was to cut a radius,(I used a gallon can for a template) to remove the stress riser caused by

the original gusset.

The frames were replaced and the broken ones ended up in my shop and gusset cut and down tube repaired, one of

which is still in our possession.

The next problem was cracking motor mounts which the crude turn buckle head steady solved. Standard head steadies  not

until M159.

Funny thing about m125 ; only frame with straight line front gusset , m151 didn't. At least all that have been thru my hands

 

Have a nice day,  Larry

post-14329-0-48664000-1454700928_thumb.jpgpost-14329-0-66704400-1454701003_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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Yes I have seen a couple of 199A's crack in the same spot as well as an Italjet Piuma that had a sidecar on it at some stage

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Back in the day the miller frames were never that popular, and no one ive ever spoken to rated them. Crtainly by 198 and 340 times no one considered them viable.

 

Aything with a sidecar and 2 men in/on it would be under great strain?

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  Having had some experience with Miller frames circa 1973, repaired several as they broke the front down tube

@ the juncture of the straight line gusset @ top tube to down tube.

The FIX to future frames was to cut a radius,(I used a gallon can for a template) to remove the stress riser caused by

the original gusset.

The frames were replaced and the broken ones ended up in my shop and gusset cut and down tube repaired, one of

which is still in our possession.

The next problem was cracking motor mounts which the crude turn buckle head steady solved. Standard head steadies  not

until M159.

Funny thing about m125 ; only frame with straight line front gusset , m151 didn't. At least all that have been thru my hands

 

Have a nice day,  Larry

 

 

Is the turnbuckle part of a front head steady?

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John,

 

Yes , as the 325,s shook quite a bit & this was my comp bike at the time , it developed a crack in the front motor mount

that I welded up and then made brackets to attach to the center front head bolt & to the frame gusset, turnbuckle attached

and no more cracked motor mounts.

As to whether the frames were popular, they were certainly lighter than the early m92 frame and as Greg says "bees knees" in their

day, and its hard to beat chrome for maintaining the Bulls handsome look.

If you ever ride one you'll understand.

Here is a photo of a late m92 with the gusset as above. Did not check rake angle, but it clears the pipe & rides/feel very much

like my m199. 

 

Larry

post-14329-0-18935600-1454776937_thumb.jpg

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Back in the day I had a 199A, the frame of which completely broke just above the front engine mount. I didn't realise at the time (lack of maintenance) that the head steady had completely broken and had been  for some time, which allowed everything to flex more than it should have, resulting in a complete break! I replaced the standard broken frame with one of the last High boy frames with the cut off top loop. As I recall, the back end seemed to work better than the standard frame but may not have steered quite so well. In recent years I had a 199, again with a Highboy but with the full top loop. The rear end didn't seem to work as well as I remembered the first one did but it steered pretty well. Does anyone know if the geometry had changed or is my memory not reliable?

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John,

 

Yes , as the 325,s shook quite a bit and this was my comp bike at the time , it developed a crack in the front motor mount

that I welded up and then made brackets to attach to the center front head bolt and to the frame gusset, turnbuckle attached

and no more cracked motor mounts.

As to whether the frames were popular, they were certainly lighter than the early m92 frame and as Greg says "bees knees" in their

day, and its hard to beat chrome for maintaining the Bulls handsome look.

If you ever ride one you'll understand.

 

 

Oh I've ridden one - my 199 has a hiboy frame and I like it very much. Which made Nigel's comments all the more surprising. It's an ex state championship winner so must have been considered viable at the time by someone.

 

One thing I have noticed though - and I guess this is due to the lack of tubes under the engine - is that you really have to check the bolts in the engine mounts and skid plate regularly and keep them tight. Which makes sense seeing as they are tying everything together.

 

The other thing I noticed was that the engine vibration is more noticeable if the head steady is loose/cracked/missing. I like your additional front steady - anything that helps tie this area together has to be a good thing - and will try one myself.

Edited by oldjohnno
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John,

On the older m92 thru m151 there was not a stock provision for a head steady so the turn buckle was a means to

an end at the time & is still there.

As to riding the hi boy frames my experience is limited to mine & others of the same era, we felt whether true or

perceived that we had the hot setup of the day!

Keep her tight and enjoy.

 

Larry

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Back when I stared riding in 72 Sammy Miller was the Toni Bou of trials and he had a great range of products that were highly sort after out here in Australia. He sold mufflers, air boxes, fork braces, handlebars, hubs, lighter tanks and of course frames. I vaguely remember something about pistons as well. There were two miller framed bikes where I lived but I never rode them as I was only a mug back then and was not game to ask for a ride on them. This miller mystique for his products began to fade as he stopped riding bullys and the younger riders like Lampkin Rathmell and Vesty took over and the Bultaco bike itself improved with each model.

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