hit counter
british anzani archive:
© British Anzani Archive
next next previous previous
time out to get married (once), change jobs (twice) and move (three times). Hopefully though it should be finished around the end of this year or spring the following year (2003). Now most of the truly difficult parts are done progress is a bit faster and the only challenging bit left is the exhaust system. What was the bike like when you got it? The bike was in a rough condition, not a single part could be put into service but I decided to have a go at restoring it. Handle bars, gas tank, rear mudguard, saddle, tool box, valves, pushrods, chain guards, magneto and piston were totally missing and the flywheels were found to be cracked and unserviceable and the crankcase badly broken. Only the Burman gearbox was reasonably sound and complete. Bikes in those days were sold pretty much bare bones, such necessities as lights, horn and speedometer were optional and could be supplied by a number of manufacturers so pretty well whatever I could come up with would be correct. I managed to locate a correct ML magneto and my friend Vic Hooton in Bicester gave me a similar OEC petrol tank on which I carried out the necessary modifications. I searched all over for a suitable rear mudguard and finally came to the revelation that a BSA Bantam unit was the right profile if widened to the correct width. On a machine of this rarity obtaining spare parts is virtually impossible. To the best of my knowledge mine is the only British Anzani engine of this model left in existence but fortunately one of the things I enjoy most about the hobby is working in my own home machine shop to recreate unobtainable parts. I did detailed CAD drawings of all the engine parts, I then proceeded to design the missing bits around them until I had a complete engine on paper. Before I got my own TIG welder my friend Dave Smith spent hours welding up the crankcase and by the time it was done most of the surfaces had to be re-machined. I had the flywheels cast and then them and the other 18 parts of the crankcase assembly were all machined. I designed and built a new piston using Yamaha piston rings in an unorthodox assembly of aluminium, TIG welded together, machined and anodised but I wont brag too much until it has run for a while without breaking! OEC offered polished aluminium chain guards as an option so as I had nothing to start with I decided to go this route. I welded together sections of aluminium tubing and sheet to achieve the desired shape. What about the detail work? Prior to 1930 chromium plating was not used on motorcycles so to use it in place of nickel would ruin the appearance of an otherwise good restoration. I purchased a Dynic nickel plating kit and have had excellent success with it. So far I only had to job out the plating of the handlebars as they are too big for my tank. I also set up my own anodising tank and performed the anodising on the piston. The paint on the frame is acrylic enamel and acrylic lacquer on the sheet
metal. I even remade the tank transfers! With your experience of these things have you any advice for someone finding another one of these? Well, the hobby of collecting vintage motorcycles can get horribly expensive and if anyone learns something from this story I hope it is that time and money are interchangeable. Worthwhile projects can be completed with the very minimum cash outlay if you take the time to reason out your problem and then develop solutions that are within your capabilities. A good book can help as well and I recommend 'The Vintage Motorcyclist's Workshop' by Radco. What's the next project going to be? Between this and other projects I have made almost every part that can go into a motorcycle so I am thinking that the next project will be to make a complete bike from scratch. I have other bikes that could use some work but right now my mind is on building a replica of a 1913 Pearson-Cox steam powered motorcycle. My friends think I'm crazy so there must be some merit in the idea! What will happen to the OEC when it's finished? I have a lot of friends that have been faithfully following the project for some time and they are all anxious to see me take it to it's first motorcycle show. As for what the future holds it remains to be seen. If it proves reasonably roadworthy I hope it will see a bit of road use as well as a few shows, perhaps someday I will even take it to Britain to partake in the Banbury run. Well Harry on that hopeful note let's leave it there for now. Can I thank you for your patience and co-operation and on behalf of all Anzani fans can I thank you for letting us in on your incredible story. Keep us up to date with progress and we'll look forward to seeing the bike on the road in the not too distant future. This article and pictures are ©Harry Doughty and British Anzani Archive. No reproduction is allowed without the permission of the authors. Please contact the webmaster for further details.