Is a new page for those Classic Trials Bike projects that have been left abandoned, for years just gathering dust.

Find it back out, I know that I have more than most.


 The old phrase "you started so you finish" springs to mind.

You get it back out and you will be amazed at what you have already done? And this may spur you on to finish the project this time.

You know you always wanted to ride the bike, and I can guarantee the first start-up will put a broad grin on to your face.

 I will start with this abandoned "Triumph Cub Project".


Dan Williams asked for information on frame mods to a standard frame so the photos of what I did to my frame was the best way to go.




This is as far as I got with the project initualy, it then sat in a dirty corner of the workshop for years.



This shows the modifications to the bottom rail frame removal, and the replacement with the 5mm alloy bash-plate. the up-stands (there is another to be welded in on the right-hand side) help to put the rigidity back into this lower section of the frame.

The bottom part of the frame was hacked off originally so that I could get the frame onto my jig to set a steering head angle for a New frame I was making.



This is the oil tank I made  on the same lines as the "One Trick Cub" from the USA.

I liked that tank and just thought I would make one like it, one day when I was playing with the Tig welder we had on hire for a job. 



This is the tank replacement reinforcing  now formed from the flat laser cut sheet in the first picture.

 I had to make tooling for my fly-press to achieve this.

Same style as the "One Trick Cub" again and that is what inspired me to do the same, only the laser cutter would only do a batch of six to ten so I have a few spares.


The swinging arm is a BSA Bantam D-B175 unit and probably needs No modification.

I was asked how to steepen the steering head angle well you could get out the gas bottles.

But to be honest you would be wasting your time!

 By fitting longer rear shocks , or bringing down the rear shock mounts does that job for you.

 And without the hassle, of setting the frame up on a jig to check the uprightness of the steering head if you start to heat things up.


(Sorry  about the Ghosts on the door behind?) (gun needed washing out and I do like drawing things).


                                         Dan thought that the oil pipe boss may foul on this---->

When the engine is moved over.


 I need to now build the new subframe, as I must have used the one built on something else.

The engine spacers are to move the motor over to the left. the front bracket was widened accordingly.

I will try and find time this next week to fabricate the sub frame.

Hope this helps so far Dan?

OK Dan, I have looked at the down tube frame mod ,and think that the oil supply pipe would probably clear, then I checked the Faber frame , and decided to perform this mod below to the frame.

 Just  to save action later ,if it did  not clear.

And it has tided up the chopped tube too.



I am sure now that this should be OK. thanks Dan for spotting that.



I have now bronze welded in the reinforcement.

 It is not that pretty around the head-stock casting ,but you need a load of heat to get this section hot enough.

 I now have to decide which head stock bearings to use.

I am hoping I can find a set of taper bearings that will fit the bill.

I have an old pair of Metal Profile forks that will do for the build and they have been laying about for years.

Or I have  a has-new pair of Ceriani 32 mm forks that would do fine,

and even a pair of Yamaha, now they could be better.






I have now measured the MP forks and they are just too long at 33" and the gap between the yokes is 8", so you can see that if you have stuff laid about and have a choice, do your home work before jumping in at the deep end.

Yes I could fit the MP forks, but three inches of the stanchions would have to be stuck out of the top yoke and in way of the handlebars.


I could use the Honda 90 Cub wheel in the front, this also has been gathering dust since I removed it from a Cheney BSA many moons ago, this was the bike that Eric used has an hack to get about on so I was told.

But I also have another Yamaha TY front wheel that is spare and would also fit the Ceriani or DT Yamaha forks better.

There is a Cub rear hub knocking about or perhaps I will use a Jialing again.


One of my Glass-Fibre tanks will do the job nicely, and look the part on this frame, that is what Ray  Small designed it for, a Triumph Cub.

There is a pair of  Falcon shocks that I can strip and rebuild, that are the right size, I just need to make, or find a Triumph Cub sub frame.


So all I want now is an engine. and a few more cycle parts.


More Later it is only half way up the workshop and not to the back again yet,I just need that elusive motor to bring the bike back out to the front.



Working on another Cub at the moment so this may bring interst back in,


Good Old Back Of The Shed.

Ariel 375.52..

Back of the Shed Ariel Project.



Waiting for BSA engine parts "small",and had a enquiry about an Ariel frame, and this was just the spark I needed to have another go at the Ariel's in the camp.

So have decided to have another go at the 350 bike we started way back in 2008 I believe.

It all started with a ex 74.63 bore  sprint engine that was acquired with a broken cam-follower, and fitted with a BSA B40 piston.

I started by stripping the engine,  modifying it, and started to rebuild it along with a Burman gearbox.

 Then onto the market came a Bartram frame that was going to be replaced by a oil carrying version. by the "Dawson boys" Dave and father Pete.

So the ex Andy Pitt frame and engine plates arrived and I sorted the footrests, with new, similar to what Dave and Pete had come up with on their new build.

I modified a Ariel swinging arm to suit and checked the rest of the frame over before it went off to Redditch for a new coat of burgundy powder.



Photo courtesy Dave Dawson.


Here is the ex Andy Pitt Ariel before it got stripped out for the new frame and parts.


So the parts for the engine were unearthed from under old sweatshirts that now had quite a considerable built up of dust on them, from being stood so long.

I had been moving the piston about in my stores at home for ages, and this is also where the soap-powder boxes contain the Ariel camshafts and the good followers that I have. So these were sorted out and earmarked for the build.

A cut down milk-bottle at the workshop contained a couple of sets of valve springs and caps along with six sets of collets.

But it turned out that the springs and caps were for the five hundred engine that was stripped out to use to make new foundry patterns of the cylinder head.


Sadly the pattern maker died before making the cylinder head pattern but he did a brilliant job on the crankcase patterns, and we now have some of the new ones cast, just need machining.

 But a search at home produced the two missing valve springs and the rest of the components.

I then decided to order the missing collets for the five hundred, so I could also rebuild that cylinder head and refit to the Ariel bike used by Wright'y at the  Classic Trials Show, in 2010, the last time the bike was used.

Two collets have come from Draganfly, but two are on backorder. nothing is easy is it.

So I decided to stick with the steel barrel we have bored out to 74,63 mm, as if I mess thinking about getting a alloy one the build will stall before it starts.

So into the blast cabinet for a clean along with the 350 cylinder-head,

and even the four head bolts, of the HT3.

I quickly found most of the components I had readied way back in 2009.

 modified rocker boxes, chain-case I had made, two seats one alloy one glass-fibre, gearbox and timing chest also modified with a bigger Triumph oil pump.

I am still trying to remember what clutch I was going to use. I have a Jawa speedway unit but this was earmarked for the also long-time Noriel build.

There is a couple of Yamaha clutches floating about, and I am not sure, but think I may have been going to modify one of these. There is a lot of belt drive units floating about now-a-days too.

The sand blasted 74.63 mm barrel.


And NH 350 cylinder head.



Cooking up a plot. Just building a banger ...



The frame and plates ETC discarded by the Dawsons for their rebuild.

(photo Courtesy of them too).



Just pulled from a dusty corner, but the sun is shining on the project.



And these were polished at the time.



What clutch do I use?



I have also found a clutch of magnetos a "Wader" as been selected for another Ariel out of the factory build, so I have the choice of a standard Lucas or a PAL and coil, think I will go with that for this build, and it has a wonderful big spark.

So a start, more later.



The Ariel frame is still on my workshop bench, and has been crying "Get Me Done" every time I look at it... the bearings for the engine I was short of have been in the box they came in on the same bench since the autumn.

But the unexpected Mini-Otter Three, and then Four came along, and this put B.O.T.S projects back again.

Then with Mini-Otter "Four" built up over the Christmas period, and waiting for number three frame, and the Otter-Cheaper frame, to come back from the powder coaters my mind drifted first onto the Honda TLR project, which is sort-of Back Of The Shed too.

 So that has taken up most of January 2019.......




"Lockdown" (still for me)...

The Ariel 380 cc project...

Its back out and moved up the ladder.

We have decided to work on the big bikes before we loose most of the parts.

So the Ariel "380 "(375.52cc) is one of the Ariel's earmarked and there is a couple of AJS too..

The sensible thing for me was to bring all the engine parts for the bike home and assemble the engine here. First off was to fit the new engine main bearings and I could do that using my kitchen oven..The valves in the cylinder head have been ground in and the springs would have been fitted could I find the new collets.

 I have spent nearly a day now looking at parts we still have not got  like a set of piston rings for the BSA 68-785 A65 piston...

 I could buy a pair of new pistons complete but at 9-1 compression, what do I do with one piston if the plot does not work?

Got a gasket set complete with the copper head gasket at least (yes NH NG 350 and HT3 have head gaskets, unlike the 500HT5 etc).

On this bike I was going to keep the  engine cush drive but can I find a HT3 17 tooth engine sprocket, NO...

Leaving the engine for a while I am still undecided what clutch to use on the Burman box.. brother has a couple of chain drive NEB clutches but I think they are earmarked for another couple of builds...

Looks like I can get a rolling chassis though has I can use a BSA crinkle back hub for the back wheel we have, and a Ariel Leader front until the new Rickman type hub is laced up... Forks Rich say I can use  the Norton Roadholder forks he has...

 The good thing is that I nearly have enough parts for another 350 engine,maybe I should buy an alloy barrel and build another HT3 replica? along side?


A lot happens in a couple of weeks, and now we are moving big time into the Ariel builds, we seem to have Ariel parts everywhere.

The paragraph above has been changed, as it should read. a pair of Ariel Leader Alloy hubs and flanged rims are going to be used on this bike now that they are not needed on the bike they arrived with. More on that later.

Also a pair of Triumph BSA four stud forks are going to be used as they were on the net waiting to be purchased the guy would not except my offer but excepted brothers.

 The Norton forks are destined to another build. 

The "Back-to-Factory" build after checking, is in-fact a HT5 and not a HT3.

So if I want a HT3 in 350 format I have to build another, and the good thing is I have most of the parts. So instead of building one 350 engine I am building two.

One with a standard +30Piston, just sorting the alloy barrel for that. and that could take a week or two.The BOTS engine keeps its iron barrel for now..

And I now have the piston rings for the BSA A65 piston thanks to the chaps at Feked...

So I am currently working on the engines at home and the rolling chassis at the workshop.



Preparing the parts for the two 350 engines has been interesting. with the modifications done over the years.

 this is the ex sprint engine from BOTS build.

You can see that the modification to the breathing and oiling system is interesting.

The oil supply to the timing part of the chest has been cut off and now runs dry the only outlet is the breather arrowed. Should I leave it like this or carry out the modification I am doing on the other chest.



As you can see from this shot the holes are all open on this chest...

I can explain better what I am going to do on the next photo.

The oil drain level hole at the bottom is the important part...




Right this is how you convert the the engine to  run the camshaft in more oil but keep the timing side more or less dry of oil but still letting the engine breath.


For this modification you will need a length of 1/4" copper pipe about four inches long. The idea is to connect the drain from the timing part of the chest to the drain in the crank cases, when blocking off  this hole with the copper pipe you will need to drill the hole higher up at the "red dot" position to run the camshaft in more oil.

It seems to fix the copper pipe into the crankcase you need a soldered and machined stop on the pipe timing side, and then to peen over the protruding pipe on the inside of the crankcase, but keeping the hole well and truly open. I will show photos of this when I have done the mod...

But this is the hole the Allen key is in...and this copper pipe must then slide smoothly into the hole marked on the timing cover...

 The other two red marks on the crankcase is to show that this engine and in fact the other I am building has the uprated dowel fixing for the chests from about 1955...




This is the modified Morgo Triumph oil pump I am using on the BOTS bike.

You just open and blend in the holes marked.




Not been sat still has you can see.



The two 350 engine heads...

 BOTS is the head on the right. valves in and all.

 You can see the courier who brought the second head some years back dropped the box with the head in and broke two fins.

The guy I bought it from said I could have my money back, but I am glad I said NO and kept the head, have you tried buying one lately?


Cylinder head conversion...



This is a oil-seal conversion I tooled up for a long time ago.. And have just found the and the tools to make them. This does away with the rubber seals that tend to perish quickly so I am told, and loose the the ability to hold back the oil, so if performed properly this conversion with the O ring and alloy stack insert makes a better job... We will see if it works...



So has I said above I still did not know what clutch to use on this build, and it does not warrant one of the NEB belt drive conversions.  If it did, it would have one...

 We have other bike for those...

 And this is "BOTS" we are talking.

I have managed to find a second hand 17 tooth HT3 engine sprocket for the cush drive, and it is arriving today... BUT although it was bought for this build we still need an engine sprocket for the Back-To-Factory Ariel HT5 build.

Then yesterday 25/06/2020. Jim Susans mailed me, he could see I needed help.


Hello Charlie.


Memory a bit fuzzy but I think I used Greeves gearbox sprockets 14 15 16 teeth for Ariel engine sprockets spline just fits.

Might help you out.


~Oo> Charlie. What Clutch did you use Jim...


Hello  Charlie


I used Norton-AMC clutches  with rubber inserts, so I could cut off the Ariel shock absorber.

Put on the Greeves sprocket, line up the chain, measure distance behind sprocket to main bearing make a spacer, cut shaft off leaving about 1/2 inch ( I used angle grinder !!!) You can drill and tap the centre of shaft it is quite soft, make a top hat and bolt it up tight. You can cut down the bulge on the chain case to make things slimmer then...


Regards Jim.

So it looks like I am going the  Jim Susans route .

I have found that Villiers Service do a 15 tooth 37a gearbox sprocket 1/2"x 5/16" (428) chain... And it is a simple task to make up a mandrill to find the centre of the shaft to drill the new fixing bolt hole.

The bad news is, I turned down the chance to buy an AMC clutch last week for the AJS build, Why... because brother had bought a NEB clutch for that...

 Now the AMC is gone...


More later on this build now it needs to get finished...







BSA Bantam Project...



But I stumbled across a Photo of a Mist Green BSA Bantam. and it said Yamaha frame, I got interested,and thought I have that Mini-Majesty Godden built frame, that is "no more use or ornament", and stands me the cost of that and the glass-fibre tank-seat unit that I bought at the same time.

 So for the past three afternoons I have attacked the said frame with a four-inch angle grinder. Not a pretty sight,but I was on a mission to get my spare set of Bantam crankcases into that frame.

 First Day I was reluctant to cut anything off except the unnecessary brackets that were added to fit the Honda Clone engine in, and this 250cc motor would just not fit, and I wasted 6 months trying to achieve that.

Day two, and after studying the photos I had brought home, I could see the two small diameter front down tubes were going to have to go, and had to be replaced with a single down tube, because of the exhaust pipe outlet on the Bantam engine.

So I cut a length of inch and a quarter  round tube to about the right length, after checking on the IOM BSA Bantam, and tacked on the front Bantam engine mounting.

I then tacked in a back small cross tube to replace the two I had chopped out the day before. Then cut a suitable length of 30mm square tube to bolt the Bantam back mountings on ,this was then tacked into place. 

(If you look at the photo above you can see that the timing side timing cover is full length But the primary side one has been chopped off. And there is no photo of that side.

It was my first thought to do this exercise, but after inspecting the situation it was going to complicate matters to much, has it would mean major reconstruction of the Bantam kick-start etc., so I would suffer with the long chain run like all Bantams, and just squeeze in the full length of the engine.

Poor design I thought making that side longer than the drive side.)



You can see what I mean about the engine casings in this first shot.......



But then Day Two, and I have had to move the engine forward, a shame but the only way it was going to work.......

I have to now rework the headstock area to my satisfaction. and fit under-run rails.



Looks better with the wheel in, and there is enough wheel clearance on the front down tube, this is what I was most worried about...

You Can hear the Ariel in the back ground saying "Hey Mate I was here first".......



Well I have given the frame a unique  finish to the front down tube and it may set a trend as it has strengthened that weak area of a frame up considerably.

I am naming it the Grapevine look..

We will see how well it steers Later..


The Grapevine frame tube..


I have also found most of the parts for the Bantam 175 engine out. So building this up may even inspire me to finish the Proper Bantam project...



New Name for the project and it no doubt will be...



More Later has Always.......