Saturday, February 12, 2011

National Motorcycle Museum, West Midlands (Birmingham)

This morning I ran over to the National Motorcycle Museum.  Probably the most impressive collection of bikes, ever.

A "modern" Manx built from new components designed to race in vintage classes.

Brough Superior SS100.  Specifically the SS100 Sprint favored by T.E. Lawrence.
Lawrence died in 1935 from crash on his Brough Superior, not on a Vincent as portrayed in the film.  He's purported to have sacrificed himself to avoid hitting two boys on bicycles.  Winston Churchill was a pall-bearer.

 Sexy bar end levers with the cable run through the bars.  Very slick and uncluttered.

Morgan 3 wheeler, the second I've seen this trip.

Rather lackluster marque for the "Rolls Royce" of motorcycles.  William Brough started the company in 1911, building robust motorcycles from raw materials.  George, his son, broke away in 1921 to build hig-performance machines using components from several manufacturers. 

Brough used several different motors during its run.  The most popular on the SS100 is the J.A. Prestwich (JAP) from Tottenham.

Jewel-like gadgetry on the tank of an early Brough.

The water-cooled Austin (automobile) engined Brough 3 wheeler (look).

Graceful water level indicator on the radiator.

Howard R. Davies founded Vincent (hence the H.R.D. on the moniker).  Phillip Vincent (a college student) bought the failed firm from Davies and began building motorcycles using a frame of his own design and engines from JAP and Rudge.

The Black Shadow "Series C".  Black enameled engine cases help identify it as a Black Shadow and not a Rapide (Series A).

Another Black Shadow, this one a "D" with a "girdraulic" front end.

BSA Firebird Scrambler.  High pipes make every bike look cool.

Triumph Speed Twin(?)

I dig the paint on this Trophy.

Norton P11.  There were 3 of them in different trim. 

High "Scrambler" pipes, low cocktail shakers, your choice.

Adjustable "lolli-pops" help to tune the back pressure.  More back pressure = more low end torque, less back pressure = higher top end.

Rickman (Metisse) Triumph 500, an early competition motorcross/enduro/grass track/dirt track bike.  Most racers at the time raced several events with one bike.  Swapping the tires, adjusting the suspension and engine tuning for the next track.

BSA 650 Trackmaster.

Vintage Enduro anyone?

The Norton Manx.  Great grand pappy of every crotch rocket on the street (and track).

1973 BSA 750 Rocket 1949 Triumph Gran Prix.

Another custom built Manx for vintage class racing.

Here's how you get a heat shield on those wacky high pipes.  Perforated sheet mounted with button-head screws into nuts tacked onto the pipes.

1938 Vincent racing "Ginger" twin.

Excelsior anyone? 

They have a couple. 

Very rare 1966 DMW Typhoon.

Check out the underside of the tank.  Don't get your leathers too close.

1965 DMW Villers.

1 comment:

  1. It’s awesome how most of these bikes are built with new parts that come close to the original. Now, we get to see how vintage race bikes looked like in their “shiny” glory. Haha! Anyway, I enjoyed how you combined history and your fascination to explain the amazing facts about these babies.

    Clare Westby