Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Velocette....Bertie Goodman...BJG...the managing director who rode & tested his product....part 3

I've done several posts on Bertie Goodman, known to many as BJG and who was the last managing director of Veloce Ltd., manufacturers of Velocette motorcycles from 1905 to 1971.
See.....  Bertie Goodman part 1
and...  Bertie Goodman part 2
Since then I've come across some more interesting photos of BJG in the photo library of the Vintage Motorcycle Club, Allen House, Wetmore Road, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1TR to whom I credit the photos I've used which were originally from both "MotorCycling" and "The MotorCycle", the magazines for motorcycling in the UK of the day.
The following photos were taken at the MIRA test facility ....
 Changing the gearing on the Venom Clubman with the well known Velocette registration number.... SOX631
 They always claimed BJG could really flatten himself to a great aerodynamic shape on a motorcycle...
 Bernal Osborne the Midlands editor for "MotorCycling" on the naked Velocette Valiant 200cc twin, with BJG on SOX631 centre and an unknown rider on a Velocette Valiant Veeline model.
 BJG, sans helmet on the Valiant Veeline....

 Road testing the Velocette viceroy scooter and the LE mk.3 with Bernal Osborne..

BJG with a Velocette mk.3 LE

 BJG in the Veloce carpark with a special ISDT Velocette likely in 1968
 In the IOM at a VMCC rally with Club president of the time, Eric Thompson, BJG prepares to go for "a canter" on Eric's mk.1 KTT.
BJG in the Ulster GP on a mk.8, engine number KTT911, 1948 he was 3rd place in the event.


BJG in the 1949 Ulster GP, #56, engine number KTT911 


Testing the new RS swinging arm frame in the IOM, note KTT engine
A strange photo, well the angle it was taken at....BJG during the unsuccesful 350 record attempt on the 100mph for 24hrs at Montlery, France in 1963.







Bertie with wife Maureen ( left} and likely George and Ethyl Denly (Goodman's) central at a ball.


                                         BJG...Bertie Goodman as many people knew him.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Screen printing motorcycle speedometer dial faces-Long retired from his motorcycle instrument business, now sold on, the Velobanjogent demonstrates printing a chronometric or SSM dial face

Its been some months since I did my last post early in December  2015 and the next major one I'm planning on the Velocette VMT is taking some time to assemble, so I decided to do an interim post on the preparation of a new speedometer/tachometer dial face for a motorcycle...similar for a car....using the screen printing process.
But first....I'm happy to answer questions on dials and their printing, BUT I sold on this business to others....Howard Instruments in Melbourne, Victoria.....so can't supply any dials.
Lets look at some motorcycle dial faces that are common to be replaced with reprinted dials......
Chronometric motorcycle speedometer dial...the Smiths logo type indicates it was used in the period 1947-1958.

Four prewar dial faces...in this case illustrated from pre WW2 Vincent motorcycles, but used on other pre WW2 British motorcycles. The Smiths logo is the "shield" logo which was discontinued around 1946. For a concours motorcycle that is made prewar, its Smiths speedometer and tachometer must have this "Shield" logo to be correct.
  Triumph Motorcycles use the Smiths "Revolator" dial face on their chronometric instruments from 1939 to about 1960 which had internal coloured bands for use as a tachometer as well as a speedometer. Illustrated are the 650cc type...note the 4th gear ring has a "70" = 7000rpm in the region of 116/118mph. The 500cc Triumph used another Revolator dial with the "70" around 109mph.


 Smiths introduced new, replacement instruments for British motorcycles for the 1964 season. 80mm diameter they were not of the chronometric principle of operation that had been the norm from around 1927 to the end of 1963, but used the "eddy current" magnetic principle. Smiths called the speedometer the SSM...Speedometer Shallow Magnetic and the tachometer the RSM, Revcounter Shallow Magnetic.
Both the chronometric and the SSM used different dial blanks....
You can remove paint from existing dial faces and re-paint them with a form of matt or satin black as the background.
Or if you are into quantity as I was, you can have blanks lazer cut from 0.7mm steel.
 So lets look at the screen printing of these dial faces.
I don't intend to go into the procedure for getting the images onto the screen for subsequent printing.
 Lazer cut dial blanks prepared for grey faced SSM speedometers.....
 An original, if a bit used, grey faced RSM dial from a Velocette Venom Thruxton.
 A view of the printing screen with the image I'm to print...
 The prepared dial blank and the "female" carrier used to locate the dial under the screen in the exact position to print the image.Note the small tabs on the dial face to locate the dial in the carrier.
 Use an existing dial with the same image on it ( in this case a dry but slightly damaged image...ok for our purposes) and locate it under the screen so when the screen is closed the image is exactly in line, then tape the carrier in place. When printing multiple numbers of dials the locating tabs on the lazer cut dial blanks locate into the opposite in the carrier and ensure the printed image will always be in the correct position on the dial blank.



To avoid mess all over the screen mesh it is best to cut a paper blanking cover and tape it completely around its cut edge. Then only ink will pass on to the exposed area of the dial image.
Ensure the screen mesh surface is set about 2-3mm above the dial blank to be printed on...this is called the "snap" and ensures the screen will move up off the dial as the squeegee blade delivers the ink on to the dial blank.
 Prepare ink onto the edge of the squeegee blade...I use white enamel screen printing ink which gives a deposit on the dial that your eye can detect in a 3 dimensional way, rather than the thin image from other forms of  screen printing ink. The screen mesh I use is 140 mesh and of course the  ink manufacturers claim enamel ink won't print through it..they say a max. of 90 mesh.
Funny that, I successfully printed tens of thousands of dials in the many years I was doing my printing...The fine mesh ensures fine text can be printed.


Pull a flood pass of ink across the screen image without actually having the squeegee blade touch the screen surface...this leaves a coating of about a mm of ink over the surface.


Then starting on one side of the dial image pull the squeegee blade on the mesh firmly and smoothly across the image, thus ensuring ink is forced through the image on the screen and onto the dial blank below.



Open the screen to removed the printed dial...I use a knife blade located into the odometer slot to pop the dial out of the carrier and down on to a dish for subsequent slow drying. Enamel ink takes several hours to dry the image. Despite this, speed is the essence or some residual ink left in the screen image will start to dry out...so either fit another dial blank into the carrier and repeat the process as many times as you  require dial quantities or immediately clean the screen image with mineral turpentine, the solvent for enamel ink. I usually place paper towel under the image and use a turpentine wet paper towel to scrub carefully across the image above until there is no evidence of ink in the screen image.
 Place the finished printed dials on their tray into a dust free area to dry for several hours.....
Then of course the dial can be fitted into a restored instrument to make the speedometer look brand new....
 A completed instrument I did, including print the special dial face for a customer at the time who rode a HD and liked Ned Kelly the famous Australian bush ranger in the 1800s...
Of interest...how did Smiths print their dial faces?
They used an engraved image on a polished steel block and a gelatine block...the image on the steel block had ink to lightly coat into the engraved image and the gelatine block was pressed onto the image thus picking up the image onto the gelatin and pressed onto the dial blank.
Pictured below is the process scanned from a Smiths house magazine I have...the photo around 1934....
 

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Velobanjogents back from the UK, then went to the week long 2015 Australian National Velocette OC Rally in Perth, Western Australia...so DQ how about a report?

Aghh DQ you've been a bit slack with your Velobanjogent webblog.....been back from the UK and the 2015 week long Australian National Velocette OC Rally for over a month and no excuses.......
Stafford.....well DQs not been before and newspaper reports don't do it justice for shear size...Stafford County showground is a big place..and interest motorcycle wise.... Run over two days I sure had sore feet on the Saturday night.....
I was with my good Velo mate from Germany, Gert Boll and then joined by two good Dutch Velocette friends, Carl Drees and Sjef van Hooft, who drove over from The Netherlands just for the event....
We had a great time together....
But before we get carried away...my best wishes to you and yours for a great Christmas and a good motorcycling New Year, especially if its a Velocette one..... 

DQ, Sjeft and Gert...with Carl behind the camera....Gert proudly wearing his Velocette sweater that I brought over for him...knitted by my 92 year old mum....well a few years back, guess she was 85 then...

 Following my arrival at Gatwick airport, met by Gert who had driven over from Germany to spend the time with me in our visits and Velocette research..... we spent several days at Dai Gibbersons...
 Dai with Gert and a set of Velocette girder forks in Dai's workshop.

As Dai had a committee meeting at the UK Velo OC at Huncote we went along....Ivan Rhodes came along on an interesting KSS mk.2 outfit with a fair bit of KTT "kit" on it.....we were to visit him and Graham later in the week.



 Arranged by Dai we went to see the experimanetal 1929 Bentley and Draper framed "Spring Heeled Jack" as mentioned in the last post...interestingly the current owner got it from his late grandfather who bought it from Velocette in the early 1950s, from Charles Udall actually and despite a few items re-enamelled it appeared to be in the condition it was made in 1929....fascinating....








 On the way to Ivan Rhodes in Derby we detoured to Foxton Locks, near Market Harborough, a favourite tourist spot of mine and introduced Gert to it- right up his alley as it turned out....there is a "flight" of 10 locks and the black & white pics were taken by me in 1974...told you they were a favourite spot...note the differences...


 Gert and I spent 9 hours in the VMCC library at Burton on Trent and he is pictured with another bound copy of a 1925 "The MotorCycle" and with Ivan Rhodes who called in later in the afternoon. We were researching the first OHC Velocette engine, the model K, announced at the Olympia Show in November 1924 with a total loss oiling system, then when the first production models were sold in July 1925 they had a dry sump lubrication system- we wondered why..all this we found details of in the bound copies of "The Motorcycle" and "MotorCycling" for 1924 and 1925 as well as a look at the original Velocette despatch books for this time at Ivans.
Then we had a morning at Pook Books in Rotherley, Leics...a "must" if you are tracking down "un-obtainium" in motoring/motorcycling books/literature....on the "Fellside Cottage"...
Lunch at Ivan's "local", the nearby "Royal Oak Hotel"...
The "Royal Oak" has been a Rhodes "local" obviously for some time...as pictured, hanging on the wall, a local football team,coached by Ivan's dad, pictured with other family members....
Out with a few bikes at "Fellside Cottage"...Graham and Ivan fettle a 1924 "Big Port" model AJS.....
Gert prepares to take off on the "big Port" AJS..."screw it on" urges Graham as he passes up the drive at Fellside Cottage....
Gert on the 1928 ex Alec Bennett factory IOM TT winning KTT and Graham on the "Big Port"...he's a tall guy...6'7" and makes the AJS look positively small....
Inside Ivan's workshop...Gert looks on as another good friend of Ians, Bob Higgs, attends to a friends KSS/RS framed special...

 Bob came along on his MSS Velocette special...a "nice bit of kit"!! A clever engineer, he was responsible for the special V twin 1000cc Velocette "Vulcan" outfit....

Then we were off to Stafford...for a major reason the Velobanjogent was in the UK....the finalisation of my late friend Gary Ross's sale of his life's work with Brough Superiors.....
 For this I can't thank the guys at Bonhams enough....they were so helpful and professional over the year and the build up to the auction....
Ben Walker, head of their motorcycle division with James Stensel and Andy Barrett  and what a great job their auctioneer did...Malcolm Barber.....thanks again guys....
 Lets go into the auction hall first.....
 Saturday saw some 100 lots auctioned from an Italian collector of many 1920's Indian and Harley motorcycles....
 




Then Sundays auction hall in part...

Carl and Gert discuss items over coffee as the auction time approaches...Sjef looks at the Velocettes..was he interested to bid?
The auction underway and items 200-213 come up.....
201 is the 1927 SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Brough Superior in parts....one of the three bikes of Gary's listed as "projects".
 DQ nervously makes notes.....
 Malcolm takes a bid....


Crikey lot 201, the 1927 SS100 Alpine Grand Sports Brough Superior in pieces as a project makes UK 230,000 pounds. over $500,000 Australian dollars upstaging the lot before the 1926 SS100 Alpine Grand Sports at 210,000 pounds...I'm "gob smacked"...the other items all sell at high prices...I hurry outside to telephone Australia for although it's 2am in the morning Elaine Ross is still up having watched the auction on the internet and I admit to choking up as we discussed the result and her now being able to buy a house in Sydney....
For me it was a great end to a wonderful saga, despite the sadness of Gary's death having to precipitate it....
So out into a few of the halls for a look, including the UK Velocette OC stand..... 

 UK VOC Club Chairman Roger Franklin with DQ, an honorary Overseas Vice President.
The two "KTT Services".....DQ from "down under" now no longer in business and Kevin Thurston "KTT Services" from the UK still in business and with a stand of very nice Velocette parts he manufactures....

 
  Kevin's stand and pictured above, that of his Dad, Ray's stand of used Velocette parts.....
Lets have a look around the main hall.
 


 
And a quick look outside....
 
 
Then we were off to see Colin East, James Robinson editor of "The Classic Motorcycle" at Mortons Media and Rob Drury, before DQ caught a plane in Manchester for Sydney.
A quick look in Colin's workshop.....


 The original Velocette frame jig set up for the RS swinging arm frame.....



Well that was quite a trip with DQ and Gert...hope you enjoyed it....
We are both still sorting through the data we got on Velocette history....
Some more insights in a later blog....