Big Fish In A Small Pond...

Title explanation Later...

19/09/2020...

This B40 Foster Otter is now for SALE.

 email me char7748@tiscali.co.uk for details...

 

 

 

Stretton Honor riding "Pipline" 1988 Scottish trial 

Foster BSA B40...

04/05/2020...

Big fish in a small pond…

 

One thing this “Lockdown” has done is increase the amount of new people to the website, and people are finding out hidden projects that have been stored away and forgotten about for years…

This Foster Otter BSA B40 is a good example.

It has been sat at the end of a garage under a sheet for the past thirty-five years when the owner discovered a new hobby.

Although he still had a gorgeous rigid Matchless trials bike in his possession up until 2017…

His son in law decided to retrieve the bike from its slumbers and set too and rebuild it…

So we found another missing Foster Otter, and now have the pleasure of following the rebuild of the re awakened machine…

The Foster Otter by the way belongs to one time stalwart of the Pre65 scene in the seventies and eighties, Stretton Honor..

I pinged Deryk a message and he immediately recognized the name and said, “Yes Stretton used to ride in my trials I can remember”.

Like I said son in law Andy Foster is going to rebuild the bike.

He sent me a message saying he had this oil in the frame bike and he did not know what it was. I said send me some photos this could be interesting. An hour later I got the photos..

Yes…….. I said to my self we have found another Foster Otter.

Andy was shocked to know the name of the bike was the same as his surname “Spooky” he said…

He had said that the frame came from Julian Wigg. And I know that Julian had some of the Otter frames from Ally Clift… so that would make sense…

The engine is another that probably came through Johnson Cables in Banbury… seems most of the GB engines did…

So we will follow the rebuild of this Otter until it hopefully yawns and wakes up from it’s slumber…

 

 

The Foster Otter just pulled from under it's blanket..

Note it is very much a brother bike to mine EG Still in original Harry Foster build.

The front forks look interesting, BSA sliders but look at the top yoke.

BETOR or Mazochcci I think... Photos later to prove it...

 

 

One of those now very sort after BSA B40 GB engines...

You can just see the outside clamp on the BSA top fork yoke...

 

 

Andy tells me he has now got the frame painted so we are on a roll...

Harry would be proud that another of his frames is now being brought back into use...

 

 

Stretton Honor wheelie-ing the BSA before the Foster Frame was used?

 

 

And already a European Pre 65 competitor...

 

 

And Now riding the Foster Framed Otter....

Bikes in the blood, because Andy tells me he is a long retired "Expert"Scrambles  Rider...

 

 

So we will carry on with the story later on the rebuild... and I will explain the Title to the page...

 

05/07/2020...

 

Firstly an explination to the pages title.

Well since being very good at trials riding, Stretton Honor has done a lot better in the sport he took up in latter years..

 He is one of the very top catfish carp anglers in the country (UK) and more so the World.

 

 

 

Stretton Honor the man that reels in big fish...

 

 

Stretton also owned a Big trials machine.. How clean is that...

 

So back to where Andy has got with the rebuild.

 

Well he has nearly rebuilt the Foster Otter, and is just waiting for the forks to come back from Philpotts the rechromers.

 

The long story on these forks is, that  they were very difficult in taking them apart.

The old "Fiddle-Fork" syndrome.

Andy kept sending me photos for clues.

 And I had to try and help him with an explanation.

 BSA "A" type fork sliders but the seal shrouds had been tack welded on to the sliders so there was no way of unscrewing them.

 And there seemed like there was no screws to hold in damper rods.

 "There must be" I said. " Is there a hole drilled in the bottoms where the spindle screws in."? More photos and Andy had found that one leg had a spacer pressed into the spindle hole to reduce it for a slide through spindle.

Anyway eventually the damper retaining Allen screws were removed and the stanchions  pulled out. But what were they?

 I had thought that looking at the top caps at first glance that they were Marzocchi.

But Then Andy said there were spacers to make up the gap in the top yoke, the BSA C15 ones that had been modified with a pinch clamp on the outside of the fork. (And This Bike had done Scotland)...

So the stanchions were 32mm and not 35 has I thought.

I stripped down my pair of Betor Ossa forks to take a look at the dampers in them for comparison. And I am sure the stanchions started life in an early Bultaco trials or trail bike.

Although I have only seen the forks in photographs. I thing that a pair of early Bultaco fork sliders were turned down and then shrunk into the BSA sliders and the welded on shrouds cover the top part of the Bultaco leg. and looking at the seal holders with mastic to fill the gap around the tops of the alloy legs this theory seems about right....

It seems like this Fiddling forks has now come to an end, and every one is prepared to pay £1,500 for a NEW pair of REH forks that is the norm now to ride in a Scottish trial...

 But Stretton and Andy have a part of trials history, and the tale of the forks will run on into future generations, along with the Foster Otter Machine...

 

 Photos Later and there are a lot...

 

 

Andy is leaving on the battle scared fuel tank as this is part of the history of the machine...

 I agree, shows the bike has done work in the past...

 

 

Looking tidy and shows how many hours you have to put in a machine restoration....

 

 

"Fiddle Forks" that were a pain. The man that made them knew how they went together, but when someone else, years later comes to restore a machine it is a different matter...

 

 

Dampers out at last....

Do you know what they are?

I am sticking with Betor Bultaco...

 

 

And the seal holder at the top of the alloy fork slider with mastic around the edge sealing to the BSA Shrouds...

 

Hopefully Philpotts will make a good job of the restoring the forks...

 

07/08/2020...

 

Well Philpotts got the job done on the forks, and Andy has got them back into the bike...

 He has even started the engine, and tightened one of the oil-line clips to stop the inevitable oil leak as most of us get when rebuilding a bike up...

 

So the bike is rebuilt and even the battle scared fuel tank with all of the bikes history,has had a polish with the Solvo!

So job done, and Andy says that he has enjoyed the exercise in the forced "Lock-Down" and he more than most of us has had to be extra careful with having a transplanted organ... So after hopefully what he hopes will be his final op at the QE hospital, we may see him as a full time restorer of "Classic Trials Bikes"?

 

 

So an Original Foster BSA B40 Otter restored back to life...

 

 

I so much like the battle scared Lyta Loaf tank that holds the full history of the machine...

 

 

The Phillpots recoditioned forks look like a good job...

 

 

It could only be a Foster Otter from this view...

Good Job mate I bet Stretton is pleased...

~~~~~~~

More Later as Always 

 

STAY SAFE...