Jump to content

italianstallion

Drayton Bantam Buying Advice

Recommended Posts

Well said Stewart and welcome. Most riders are a real friendly bunch and we all love the atmosphere. Jim will look after you I can guarantee that. Genuine enthusiast and he deserves all our support. If I can be of any help just ask.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Ok so it seems I opened a can of worms here which genuinely wasn’t my intention!

 

The reason I asked the original question was purely down to a desire to increase my options based on the choice of trials on offer to me in my centre (modern trials alone not quite being enough to satisfy my appetite at present) – I’m not really a new comer as such and actually already ride a Beta Evo 250 being a member of Stroud Valley MC.

 

My original plan was to have a go at the popular Twinshock series sponsored by Kia after spectating at various rounds (the latest of which attracted 170 riders). Naturally, the last few weeks I have been looking at Honda TLRs, RSs, Yam Majestys, Bultacos etc. However, after a discussion with my dad it became apparent to me that buying a British bike opened far more doors than going down the 80s Twinshock route (the BMCA being one). “Proper” bikes I think was the term he used.

 

Looking at the offerings and having seen a Drayton or two at the Zona1 Kia round in 2015, I decided to pursue this option. I am 35 years old and starting to see the older style of bike as more appealing, appreciating real engineering and character, something that the modern bikes lack – for me the Drayton has all of this yet is still competitive (perhaps not so much in my hands) and looked unlikely to let me down (quality wise).

 

Anyway, I have now purchased a Drayton Bantam with a D14 engine. To cut a long story short, I subsequently found out that Jim Pickering lives only two streets away from my parents after driving the length of the country to buy this bike! I’m pleased to say that the bike is a thing of beauty and I can honestly say that I am over the moon with it. This bike (for me) is still very much in keeping with the Pre-65 period which Jim deserves a lot of credit for. To add to this, Jim has since helped me get my carburation right (Amal, rather than the Mikuni that was fitted), mechanically improved my clutch, and explained various aspects of the bike to help me get started – all at short-notice. Top bloke all round.

 

Regarding the debate that I seem to have unwittingly created, with time ticking, I personally believe that some of what we are seeing relates to new generations of people coming through and those wanting to ride bikes that they have grown up with (not in all cases granted). Twinshocks (to me) ARE older bikes from ‘back in the day’ and thus buying a Drayton was a good compromise with one eye on the Twinshock series (local to me). This shift for me is only going to gather pace (of course flagship nationals such as the Scottish may remain in the current guise) especially with time ebbing away at the number of pure 100% Pre-65 bikes out there. Talk of people of cheating for riding such bikes in Pre-65 classes seems a bit harsh, in many cases people just want to be able to ride as many trials as possible and enjoy themselves regardless of class; I really don’t see the advantage being quite as big as some are making out - a good rider on a rigid will beat me hands down every time. I’d like to think that the older guys out there see the fact that an average rider like me at my age going out and buying this rather than a new Vertigo/TRS/EVO as being a positive thing for this side of the sport. Also (as has been pointed out) where clubs struggle for entries in some of these classes (I’m talking about the average club trial) it’s hard to turn people away and inevitably impossible to cater for everyone - I went to a trial last year where 9 people turned up. Riding older bikes at club level should all be about fun and enjoyment and at the same time be an opportunity to display your pride and joy. I can understand that you may need more comprehensive rules at National level where there is something of note at stake – in these trials it’s essential that the rules are crystal clear.

 

Just my 2-cents (for what its worth). Thanks for all the replies!

 

Stewart

Spot on Stewart, Enjoy riding that Bantam and being part of the Drayton owners club!!  great bikes built out of nice parts and marketed by a decent bunch of chaps, who all support each other and are busy enough not to need to pedal their products by any other means than word of mouth and reputation built on good old fashioned support, banter and quality.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Hi Stewart,

 

Yes, as the others say, well done, I hope sincerely that you enjoy your bike too.  It is obviously highly modified and expensive, but you know that already.  It is still to be enjoyed all the same and no-one should begrudge anyone else for what they want to do.

 

And yes, there was no intention to take this thread in another way, the rather fatal 'are there any pre65 parts on it?' rather opened up a new thread inside a thread.  But that should in no way deter you and I am pleased that it hasn't.

 

Your point about rules is well made.  There does need to be 'crystal clear' rules as you say.  The problem is, as you might now guess, there aren't, and that has cost the original pre65 bikes and riders from competing and that is a shame.

 

All the best, TTSpud

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Pleased you got your bike, pre 65 gets another rider and who knows one old bike seems to lead to another so a future buy could be a traditional four stroke.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

It's not a rediculous title, or at least it wasn't when it was first coined and for quite a few years after. It's simple, you buy/already own a bike made before 1965, convert it into a trials bike using parts that were around during that era and then ride it. Obviously no one is going to expect that consumable or general parts need be made 50 years ago but the major components should be. When people started using bikes made from modern frames, yokes made from a machined lump of alloy and fork internals from an MZ they ruined what was a good idea.

Everyone is to blame, the riders that use the fiddle parts, the organisers for not checking the eligibility of the bikes and the other competitors for not protesting on the day. I count myself in that last one, the last trial I rode in stated in the final instructions that replica parts had to not only look like the originals but also be made of the same material. Virtually all the other bikes in my class looked to have billet alloy yokes and I really should have pointed that out to the organisers but I don't ride that often and so couldn't be bothered. If I were taking it seriously and riding more competitively I might think about having a whinge though. I definitely wouldn't start butchering my bike to try and compete with the others.

Edited by japes1275
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Hi OTF,

 

I am not offended if that is your first point, that does not mean that you are not constantly getting personal, you are.  Anoraks, whingers, on medication, jaundiced.. and so on, things like this, you know full well that these are not jokes and what their purpose is.  Funny how you only angle these things at me and a few select others who you disagree with, if it is humour, why not share your brand of humour with everyone?, isnt everyone allowed a good joke, who else is jaundiced, anorak, whinger and on medication, or is it just me and a few select others?  You know what you are doing so just cut it out.  But yes, you did offend another contributor who has not posted since and has removed his informative posts which is a shame, and so yes, because you offended him, regardless of whether you meant it or not, you do owe him an apology.  I am sure you can do that.

 

On the pushing modern bikes, no, that was part tongue in cheek with a dose of reality thrown in.  It is just a factual thing that britshocks, competitive ones as talked about here, are very expensive by comparison to a relatively modern bike and that it is far easier to find a modern event than a pre65 one, I provided proof for that, those are facts that need considering when deciding how to bring life back into pre65 that we all agree is lacking.  These days I only have time to ride the pre65 occasionally, I have not ridden modern for years, so I do not really think I am a good ring-leader for modern bikes and if you read all of my old posts, which you have, you would know that.

 

With the rules thing, it does not matter whose rules are used, but there does need to be rules which cater for both original and britshocks before the gap is now so large and widening all the time.  If you want to write some, be my guest.  Charlie has written some.  Yorkshire has a set.  Peaks probably has a set.  But if they do not cater for both originals and britshocks fairly, as Deryks did at one time, then they are no good, as Stewart points out, they have to be unambiguous or 'crystal clear'.  That is obvious but you disagree talking about ranting (another of your little 'jokes') instead of actually talking about it.

 

A good thing that guys are making money out of developing britshocks is not in doubt, and if they are overworked then great.  I doubt anything I say here will change that bearing in mind the few comments I have made.  But that does not again detract from the issues that face pre65/britshock in terms of lack of riders and so on.  You might not want to discuss it, fine.  In the real world, there are issues and the solutions would both help the sport and that would help the guys making the parts, in fact properly governing the sport and opening it up fairly to both types of bike, would open up opportunities for them as well as for the britshocks, but again, that point has been made before.  If they are overworked, then they will have to work a bit harder!

 

As for Ben, his bike is well pictured on here, and the comments from contributors were universally acknowledging that it didnt have much any more to do with an Ariel HT5, it is highly modified.   I am sure he knows that already.  If it is the issue of cheating you refer to, then yes, effectively it is cheating, as has already been admitted by those brave enough even in this thread.  It is cheating.  It would be nice if it could be not cheating as in let britshocks ride with some rules allowing other bikes to have a fair ride too.  As you know, he has been a bit unlucky in coming second twice, at the Talmag and the SSDT, on the narrowest of margins.  You will also know that at the Talmag he was beaten by an original HT5 with all the bits in the right places, and as we know, that really is a feat.

 

All the best, TTSpud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 

TT Spud, I wasn't going to post in this thread,but two trials conversations with mates this week have prompted me to change my mind.The first was from a mate who has recently bought a works rep Enfield from an elderly mate who has ridden it for the last 30 years. His decision to sell was made because he is no longer strong enough to ride it. The money will be spent on a lightweight,probably a Bantam.

Just 2 hours ago at this evenings Golden Valley trial I was talking about the Somerton Classic 2 day British bike trial to a committee member of GVC. On asking him if he was going to ride his rigid Ajay, his answer was that he didn't know if he could manage 2 days on it,so he would bring a lightweight Cotton along too.

So you see the pattern here,the bikes are still there,its just the people who they mean something to are thinning out fast,even if they are still alive and interested - they just don't have the stamina to cope. So they buy a Bantam or James to keep riding,the lighter the better - who can blame them.

You also keep talking about money,unless you have little to start with it shouldn't be a problem,ANY of the bikes we are talking about are either holding their value or slowly increasing.Which when explaining a purchase to your wife has to help, in that you are not throwing money away. Another point is that to build a pre unit bike from scratch I think would cost a similar amount if you went for an original build or a "Modern" style. Some original parts are now incredibly expensive,an air filter for an HT5 - if you can find one,how much ? For a modern type build, £3 off E bay for a perfectly adequate pit bike foam filter like I have on my AJS. Modern BTH electronic mag £580, Lucas racing mag,probably £450-500 by the time you have found one and had it rebuilt. A big end bearing, £180  for either. I had to pay £120 for a modern JP piston for my AJS, because I simply could not find an original one - for any price.

I guess an original HT5 petrol tank is more money than a brand new Holtworks tank. The problem is that ALL of this stuff,either new or original is not 50p any more, the C15 I bought for £15 when I was 12 would now probably make £1000 in similar condition.

When Deryk started his Pre65 trials he had a winning combination  -  in its day,now everything has changed,mostly the people,the bikes are still there,few have been thrown away,if any. I know alot of people in the trials world in the South West,only 1 rider aged less than 50 is a regular rigid rider on an over 300cc bike.There are a few,(Not many) of us in our 50's and alot of twinshock and lightweight British riders. Most people love to see old bangers being ridden,but few have either the skills/kit to maintain them or the will to ride them. I wish it were different,I really do,and for the 5 years I ran Bath Classic MCC's trials I did everything I could to welcome ANY rider on ANY British bike.

So, in conclusion all I am doing is to ask  you to reconsider/rethink  the situation of non modern trials in the UK in 2016. And to remind you that all of the clubs I ride in around the South West  manage to set out trials where you get entries between 60 and 100 all the time.At these trials you generally find 3 routes where anything from a 1929 rigid girder 250 Ariel will be seen,(Paul Balmain)up to some riders in their late 70's,or well over 80 in George Greenlands case - all enjoying themselves. So it can be,and is done.It may not be perfect,but there are many,many riders out there enjoying themselves  - which is what we are supposed to do.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Hi Jon,  thanks for taking the trouble to post.  I agree with your post, we just disagree about the need for rules to distinguish between the bikes.  My bike will too be (and has been) all but lost to the sport, but then I did all I could to prevent that.  If the sport does not want riders of these bikes, because it makes them uncompetitive, then if mine is an unwelcome view, then so be it.  I enjoy competing, a sport that doesnt have that is far less appealing to me.  It is a shame, the bike has ridden events, still in the same trim as it was back then, by works riders, from the early 60s right through to this year by many generations and since the 80s by my family.  So I have a view of the sport through all of it, the points made are from a point of experience.  The bike is a beauty, it always gets lots of attention which it seems many of the more modified bikes don't get.  People know the bike and its history, which is great.  I have a brilliant video of it from this year's Talmag, ridden through a section (in fact my second section on any bike of any kind ridden in about 4 years, so I was a bit doubtful of what would happen) that only a handful of riders got through at all, many looping outrageously to get a good angle, I didn't loop dont like that, turned tight, catered for the throttle delay, moved early on the bike to account for the lurch and heft of the machine, and gave it full beans, the beautifully built engine (by the late Morris Hocky) sounding like an orchestra at high note, the beast reared over rock and mud and root, attacking everything in its path, at this point I was less rider and more bronco rider, but I was up, bounced and bruised, I made it and cleaned it to a huge cheer from the people watching which was great testimony to the bike, with lots of laughter from me!  Brilliant.  But, as Japes, I will never butcher this bike just to make it competitive for a short period of time.  It should be passed down to others but now there is so little competitive sport left for them as previous generations had.  You guys may think that is just a jaundiced view, but I do not.  I have ridden the Talmag maybe six times or so, and won my course twice on that 130kg+ bike, I am happy with that.  As I say, others with more time and experience than I have beaten all of the modified bikes on the hardest of courses on the same type of original bike as this year, but that really is a very very large rarity and not open to mere mortals.   It is competition that adds enjoyment to me, not just winning.  If you just enjoy winning, bring in the mods.  This thread was not about discussing this stuff in any case and so it is great that Stewart has a competitive bike to ride, I am sure he will enjoy himself on it wherever he is.  Let's just leave this old chestnut on the grass where it won't grow and waste any more of our time, all the best, TTSpud.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 

Hi OTF, yes, thanks.  No, the bike isn't competitive in the sense that it is in no way equal to the bikes it rides against, it gives away 40kg in weight against some as a starting point, throw in ground clearance and....  anyway, it did get an outing this year and I did enjoy riding it, that'll keep it going and many, many others enjoyed seeing and hearing it.  All the best, TTSpud.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Won twice. Sounds competitive to me. Keep riding it. It's what they were meant for. Each to their own. Ride what gives you the most pleasure. Be boring if everyone liked the same thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 

... and all of this is why I have been concentrating on classic scrambles, you just don't get all this nonsense.

 

Turn up, ride, fall off, ride. Just enter the class and get on with it, simples

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...