Lucas SS49 MDB /MDB 1 Magdyno

Lucas MDB Magdyno

I have been thinking about lighting kit for the ’28 Model 90 and came across this original Lucas document on the usual auction site. The title is : Running Instructions For The Lucas “MDB” Magdyno Lighting And Ignition Set for Motor-Cycles 1929 Equipment. So, I scanned it and posted it here in case anyone else is interested.

Lucas MDB 1 MDB1 Magdyno Running Instructions 1929

I think I need a Lucas SS49 headlight or headlamp to be correct for the year, there are some very nice replicas available from Vintage Replica if I fail to turn a genuine one up at sensible money.

Revill’s of Hathersage

I just had to post this lovely old photo that Richard Jones showed me at the autumn Stafford Show. Anyone here remember Revill’s of Main Road, Hathersage?


I wonder how much business was brought in by “wringing machine” repairs? Later wandering around the show I spotted this 1935 Sunbeam 350 twin-port was up for grabs amongst the auto-jumblers paradise.


It’s the same kind of ingenuity and inspiration that put men on the moon that gave rise to these next two creations.

DSC_0042 DSC_0083

And of course John Phizacklea made sure of a couple of stunning Sunbeams on the Wilts club stand. The recently finished Model 3 sits well alongside John’s own trials spec. Model 9.


One of the best machines at the show to my eye was this beautiful Rudge TT replica, tucked away in the corner of the VMCC stand. As far as I could tell it looks to be in a fantastic “as raced” condition complete with twin-floats, twin-fillers and cable operated damper. Just awesome.

DSC_0086 DSC_0088 DSC_0089

And finally, there were of course some two-smokes too….  One of my favourites was this beautifully prepared, late model RS250 Honda. Nice touches include the radial front brakes fitted to the custom-made fork bottoms. The equally gorgeous Joey Dunlop that features the single-sided swinger of the earlier model bikes can just be seen.


1930 Rudge Ulster or Special chainstays

Browsing the web one evening I came across an advert for, as it were, “replica” Rudge TT replica chainstays. Wondering whether these items could replace those on my own 1930 Ulster I duly contacted Wayne at Classic Components. The stays on my bike are actually from a later model and being necessarily fitted upside down have caused certain problems with chain adjustment and wheel alignment. I have been looking for a replacement set for quite some time with no success and was delighted when Wayne said he could produce some for me. The originals should look something like items 6007 and 6010 in this picture from the Rudge spares book…

Frame group 1930

Frame group 1930

With the help of Alistair from the Rudge club, a set of drawings for the correct stays was obtained and Wayne manufactured a set in record time. Fitting the new stays will be a job for the winter as it means re-engineering the rear wheel spacers and adjusters but the end result should mean a much improved rear-end on the bike. Have a look at the photo below to see the high quality of the work.

Ulster Chainstays

Ulster Chainstays

1930 Rudge Ulster to the back of the queue

After being picked up at auction a few years back, this pretty 1930 Rudge Ulster has probably been neglected for too long now in favour of other projects. A brief outing yesterday confirms that it does go as well as it looks being fast, light, comfortable and with excellent handling. It’s easy to see how these bikes could be purchased from the factory with a 100mph guarantee.

Over the winter, oil leaks have been fixed with a new timing cover and the slipping clutch relined by Saftek. But more work is needed.

The chainstays are from a later model which don’t really work well and the front brake drum is oval. Although a common problem the braking does make riding the bike a problem and will need to be addressed before the bike can be used regularly. The most practical fix is to shrink a strengthening “muff” onto the drum before rebuilding the wheel and skimming to suit. And, if anyone has a pair of the correct chainstays for sale, I would be extremely grateful if they would get in touch.

I had thought about selling the bike to someone with more time as, with the Sunbeam 90, this makes for two 1930 saddle tank sports bikes. But yesterday’s ride showed what a lovely bike this could be with some work. So, after a clean and polish for now it is under cover at the back of the garage until the time comes for its place in the sun once more.

Sunbeamland shop now open for business

A variety of items are for sale on the new Sunbeamland shop. I will be adding new items over coming months as I get around to photographing them should the shop prove effective. Other bits and pieces will go via the eBay route. The parts are a mixture of vintage Sunbeam spares and assorted vintage motorcycle spares for bikes from other manufacturers.

The first items up for grabs are not actually vintage spares but were, until the arrival of sparkly new ones, my spare pair of Honda RS250 NX5 cylinders.

Back on track with vintage parts we are also, selling on behalf of a good friend, a rather lovely Amal T10TT. Not sure what this would be from, maybe Norton or Velocette? Any information would be appreciated.

We are always interested in acquiring vintage spare parts, particularly for Sunbeam and Rudge motorcycles.

Stafford Spring Show

Along with many others, a fascinating day was spent at this year’s Stafford Show. A biting cold wind and hail storms on the Saturday made scouring the auto jumble a hard-core experience. Richard Jones had an interesting Royal Enfield project on sale that caught my eye.

The Bonham’s auction had collection of treasures for the well-heeled but one of the nicest had to be this Indian board racer.

But as my childhood hero, I would dearly have loved to bid on one of Barry Sheene’s helmets.

However, for me the most poignant moment was seeing Mike Farrell’s 1934 Rudge “Syndicate” bike that has been repatriated from a glass case in an Australian museum. I had been trying to “acquire” this very bike myself for many years and am of course hugely envious of this very special motorcycle. Mike’s efforts have been well rewarded as he has since discovered the bike has a fascinating history and was raced by the great Tyrell Smith himself.

No visit to Stafford would be complete without a visit to the Sunbeam club stand and it was another chance to see one of my favourite bikes, the Dodson 1928 TT winning Model 90. A real piece of motorcycling history that goes as well as it looks.