Has it is nearly one year since this site sprung onto the Net, I thought we had better leave last years news on the News page and start again.

Well you may well think that I have neglected this web site for the past month! Well I have!

I will explain. A friend that I grew up within the trials world here in the Midlands UK. Has just lost his fourteen year battle with cancer,(Chris Leighfield) he moved to OZ in 1972. This coincided with a forum thread that was running on Trials Central during this time about Sprite trials bikes, and whether they were in production before 1965.

 So I got involved to try and find out if that was the case, as Chris was one of the development riders for the make. So that is my excuse!!

But I have during this time started to build the new Otter frame that I said I would, (and it is different) take a look in the gallery for pictures. It is ironic that I have just found out today(18/3/11) that the Sprite frames of the sixties were built out of ERWtube (Electric Resistance Welded), and what have I used for the new "Otter" frame? Yes ERW.

OK I will catch up next week and place on what I said I would.

Question. How are you guys who are building "Otter" frames getting on?



I have just put the weeks pictures of the SQ Frame, into the Gallery. I have decided because the frame is turning out better than I thought, that I would now build it for the BSA engine that we are about to start the build on.



Mark Griffiths has just sent me a couple of photos of his "Otter", they are in the gallery.

He also sends his support for the site.

We are now in the position to start thinking about an annual meet for "Otter" owners, as well as the Classic Trials Show. Perhaps we could meet at a specific trial, or show for classic bikes?

 If you have got any ideas, please let me know.


Had another good day on the SQ frame pictures in the Gallery.


Few more shots of the SQ frame in the Gallery.

Mark Griffiths, has sent me more details about his bike. this is what he said.

We keep finding the "Foster" bikes don't we.

Hello Charlie.
The frame is an original complete with 'Otter Project' sticker on the headstock.
Engine is WD GB alloy barrel, trials gearing etc.
I bought the bike locally from a friend of a friend, was in a bad state, bent valve/broken guide; wrong length primary chain; dodgy fixings everywhere; leaking fuel tank etc etc.
I've rebuilt the top end, fitted new tank, new fork yokes, bearings and seals everywhere!
New sump guard, footrests, bars, alloy clutch, exhaust...too much to remember!
Runs well now, I've ridden it in the last couple of Bonanza trials with no trouble whatsoever. 
It's a lovely bike...now!

Thanks Mark, you can send more info if you wish.


OK Simple sub-frame pictures in.

31/3.2011. a couple more pictures in. 2/4/2011, and three more.



OK the SQ frame is now finished ! So on with the engine. pictures are in.


Three more photo's of the SQ Project are in the gallery. I will now start on the engine unit.


I have spent a couple of days building a rear brake assembly for the SQ frame! Yes I know that is a long time to spend on this item, but I have really enjoyed building it. Photos in.

Dave Yates, as asked me about gear ratio's for a C15 engine? I will publish what I have told him when I have time to elaborate.


I have put a couple of photos of my bruv's Royal Enfield Crusader into the gallery. Why? Well I was asked by Jim Mitchell,  for information on a hub for an Enfield on Trials Central, And being drawn into the discussion like I do, I told Jim I would turn a alloy hub up on our "BIG" lathe, so I have a big lump of alloy of the right grade, to start the progress, and will run a photo page on here for the project. I need a hub for the SQ bike so this is a good excuse. So watch this space for progress on the hub.

I must say also, that after riding the Enfield today, If I can build a C15 engine with the same power characteristics as this engine it will be a winner. what a buet.


Jim I have put the photos of the other side of the Enfield,into the gallery. it has taken me 1hour?

I will leave the computer alone now, no matter how slow it runs.



I hope this site is not becoming a Enfield site, but I have just been sent a picture of Steve Saunders, Scottish winning bike, so have put the photo into the Gallery, Compare the steering head angle with our Crusader. I have been asked  a question about how to make a Crusader feel less Heavy, well I think this is the answer steeper head angle and better forks probably 35mm's in Norton sliders.  Been busy sorting Ariel bits for the past ten days, but back on with the "Otter" projects next week.



OK, The last month has been very much a add on to the last report.

I have spent most of the time working on Ariel engines (four) at the same time.

Why? Well we are trying to gear up again, to set in motion the building of "Brand-New" short stroke  410cc and 499cc HT engines. and it is not without difficulties that this can be achieved, but we are getting there. The main problem is the cylinder head, this is a complicated casting has you know, and would be better die-cast, if we could warrant the expense of having a die made. Well it is just too expensive for a small number of items. So we have had to revert to sand. and these are only as good as the pattern and the people who cast them.

 Well enough of Ariel, and back to BSA unit engines, Nearly the same problem the parts are fast drying up. So I am again, after a long wait, going to continue with the construction of a alloy barrel pattern for the C15. I am also in a dilemma about the engine project, because after discussion with some of the old works riders, it was suggested that they liked the pre "G" type engine, as they always felt softer, Well has you know we have a "G" type bottom end, and I feel we should use it, so am contemplating, using other methods to soften our engine.


Other "Otter" things in the pipeline is that we are thinking about, running corporate type trials school days, using our six/seven "Otters" and a couple of Ariel's

If you find this proposition of interest to  you please let me know and I will press ahead with the idea.


I have updated the engine build site, and have for the past two weeks been buying parts from e-Bay for the engine. Luckily C and D Autos are only just up the road from my workshop, so I am going to pay them a visit this next week for a few bits (gaskets ETC) and check out what they keep in stock for the BSA C15.

I have for the past week been thinking about setting up a trials club with the AMCA, here in Britian. Perhaps we should name it "The BSA Otter Owner's Trials Club"?

I would like to organise a trial if this happens in September just after the Classic Manx Two Day Trial. If the owners of the venue I have in mind can persuade the council involved to let us run a Classic trial on this land, that usually has Land Rover events run on it.

 If you are interested in me organising this please let me know as soon as possible.


WOW what a month, I am still pinching myself to what I have achieved  during the month.

I will over the next few days update you with photo's etc. What I can say is, that I now have two more bikes to the collection, and very interesting they are, and I still can't believe that I now own them.

 I had an e-mail from Andy  about the SQ frame,and this is what I told him.

Hi Andy,
You were right with the inspiration, I just set out to build a cheaper frame, and wondered why no one had tried it before.
I thought about the idea in the sixties, looking at the red D.O.T frame in Eddie Dow's Showroom. And now finally have the chance to try it myself.
I have just about finished getting all of the parts for the engine, and are about to commence with the build-up. I have had a very interesting July, and are about to post a long and interesting update on the web site. So you can follow the story on there. Glad you found the web site and hope it is of interest to you.
Keep in touch.
Regard Charlie.
OK I have spent the last three weeks sourcing parts and building up John Draper's C15T  the last bike he worked on, and I have promised son Nick that I would  look after it for his dad, and that he could come and ride it any time he likes. Why the rush? Well when I had the chance to buy the bikes, when I was told about them by good friend Chris Stevens. I thought, that is something I can leave to my Grand Son George, and he is one year old on the 14th of August 2011. So I dropped everything I was doing to try and get the bike built up with period parts by that date. And has you can see I nearly managed it, (Pictures in the Gallery) there is a few jobs left, chain, oil pipes, etc, but we nearly got it done by the deadline.
Also in the meantime I have been sourcing the parts to complete the second bike, Nick Draper's "Hubbo" framed 280+ C15, and also the rest of the engine parts to complete the build of the SQ framed bike, Still need a clutch from Pete Kirby though. More info on the "Hubbo" bike later. I need time to get my breath. By the way George has a rocking horse for his birthday so that he can practise his motorbike skills on that before the BSA...
OK. I know I am running behind with the work rate in your eyes, but you would be wrong in thinking, that I have given up on the site? Far from it, I have, has I have just told Richard Clarke, been very busy over the past month. And if you guy's think that living the dream is a unheard of experience? Then I can tell you that I have actually nearly achieved that goal. Not only do all things that I have wished for in the past started to roll into place, but doors have started to open that could put the whole classic trials scene up on the front page where it belongs...
More of that later!!!
 Anyway "back to the future". I now have most of the engine parts to build the three BSA C15 engines that I need to complete the next three bikes.
After a trip to the IOM last week, I now find I am related to a star of the future in the Classic trials scene.
And after watching the young man ride a trials bike for the first time, and seeing his potential. I have decided to build him a bike to ride.
This will be  a Triumph Cub engined  Faber MK3  framed bike.
The frame is on its way, along with engine parts from UPB(uk)
I will now build this bike alongside the engine builds that I have promised, and this bike will now get the billet front brake that we are going to turn.
 All of this work will be photographed and filmed along the way.
 I have a load of copy that I will try to place onto the site in the next week or so.
So keep checking on the site, for information will be fast and furious over the next couple of months.
And keep sending in the Questions for I do like answering them.
Hi Guy's. thought I would update you briefly.
The frame has arrived for the "Manic" Cub, from Howard at Faber, and what a nice little frame it is. I was going to fit a oil tank to the bike to help it qualify for the Scottish trial, but the one I built for it before receiving the frame (Silly boy) does not fit. So I have changed the plan and fitted a large round filter canister behind the seat tube. this increases the oil capacity, that I wanted, and I now will be using the OIF as well. Howard assures me the frame is OK for Scotland anyway. Enough of this anyway, I will be setting up a new build page for the "Manic" Faber Framed Triumph Cub.
 I have desided to set up a "Readers page" as well as I have had so many of you contact me over the past few weeks. from all places on the globe.Thank's Guy's keep them coming.
It is nice to hear from some of the original contributors as well. Ian Ballard the guy who was one of the original posters has contacted me with an update on his bikes. I will be placing his comments onto his page when I get a little time, along with all of the collated pictures and information on other projects. Has I said to a guy yesterday I need two wet days to upgrade this site. Rain soon fingers crossed? 
Just put some more photos into the Gallery!!! Text later.
Ok I have spent a couple of hours updating the site a bit, I have so much more to add but I will get there.
OK today I have updated the "Top Cat Cub" page, with the mods I have carried out on this bike, all for the sake of future bikes.
I have had more reader reports and pictures, that I will post as soon as I can find the time.
 Work on the BSA engines has started and I should update you with report and pictures shortly.
Well Guy's, You know when you think Christmas, Yea that's ages away yet! and then it starts to creep up on you from behind? Well that's what it seems is happening to me.!
You see I was aiming to get the MAN-IC cub finished to take over to the IOM at Christmas, so that Stuart could get on with his career as a Classic trials rider.
The more I tried to get parts sorted the more problems I had.
And Paul does not help. (sorry Paul I know you have no time to spare).
So I stood back and picked a bike that I thought I could get sorted for the lad  to ride while the Cub is finished and tested properly.
"Tarka" was picked as it needed sorting properly before I was going to ride it. It was one of the bikes we tried to finish for the Classic Trials Show, and although it was ridden around it was never tried in anger.
Think I better set up another page for the bike now, to carry on the story. By the way I have decided to add another "T" to the name knowing where it is going to live for a while.
Well not a good week for building bike's but it always gets like this this time of year doesn't it. And I have found out that it is best not to rely on goods getting delivered when they say they will, you could blame the Christmas rush? or you could blame the company concerned. I tend to go towards the latter, as far as City-Link is concerned anyway. After waiting in for delivery for two days they lied to me saying there was no one in, when the note was still left in the door for them, and I was in. Anyway they refused to answer my e-mails and all you could speak to was a machine. So this meant another day wasted riding about to a depot some distance away to pick up the parcel.
But at least the pair of crankcases, were good? replacments for the Scott bike engine, has I had removed metal from the crankcase mouth on the originals to take a B25 barrel. I have now reverted to using a bored out steel barrel for the bike after taking a close look at the Nick Draper engine.
I have been asked by Richard when I am going to build the "Ultimate" engine has promised? I have told him that I now have all the parts, less the clutch to build the engine up. And I am frustrated that I can't get on with it? Problem ! I have only one pair of hands, and time seems shorter in these cold days before Christmas. But I will get there. (I hope).
I have got more of the Man-ic cub parts, and more for the SQ framed bike, but just need more time, plus days spent on this site to bring it up to date.
It also looks like there could be another "Classic Trials Show", next year? If you are interested let me know, on here, or on that site.
OK just got back from the Isle Of Man.
Stuart, now has "No1" BSA "Otter" to ride, until I finish the Cub?
Well I ran out of time trying to get "TTarka" finished, it only needed starting testing and setting up. but that could take a couple of weeks. So No 1 bike was substituted, and it now is down to Lee to test and ride "TT"  until the return of No1.
The good thing is that at least I now have another bike finished.
"Stu" is a star in the making ! We took the bike out for a tryout, after the Boxing Day trial in the IOM was cancelled.
He jumped on the bike and shot up an impossible climb only just failing at the top, wiping of the clutch lever.
Then spent the rest of the session riding the bike without a clutch lever, and tackling sections, and cleaning them with ease, to me and his fathers amazement. ( couple of pics in the gallery).
OK reading Trials Central Classic page when I got back I found this comment from Woody. It appears that at last the "Otter" is OK for the Scottish event?

Bill Emmerson has confirmed that the Faber Mk 3 “Otter” frame is eligible for the Scottish Pre 65 two day Classic Trial.

This is the statement.

The Otter frame was used by Scott Ellis on his works BSA to win the British Experts trial in 1965 and the present Faber copy of this frame is eligible as it is a reasonable "of a design" copy, however, modification in manufacture or private ownership may alter the design to be unacceptable. In simple terms the frame must be identifiable and look like an Otter.


So all you Guy's can now ride in Scotland? If you ever get an entry.


OK Last day of the year. Wow that flew bye.

Anyway an update on the frame building page about the tubes to use on your frame projects.

And good luck to all of you that are building them, and do let me know about then wont you.

Thats it then. NEW News Page tomorrow.


Move onto 2012 News page...