Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Dances with Shrapnel » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:51 am

I know the Seeley Mk 2 frames and I am somewhat familiar with the Mk 3 & Mk 4 frames but cannot distinguish between the two; I am not sure which one has the crossing frame spars and which has the straight back frame spars.

The question I have for those knowledgeable about Seeleys is "what does a Seeley Mk 1 look like?" I vaguely remember seeing a picture of or read about a Mk 1 but then again I may be mistaken.

I have snooped around on line for pictures but clearly see misinformation and mis posts about the different frames.

It would be nice if someone knowledgeable could post and label picture examples of each of the Seeley frames on this thread. I am primarily interested in the British applications of his frames.

Let's keep this focused on the subject.

Thanks
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Holmeslice » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:12 pm

Dear DWS,

I have several MK2s, a MK3, and a couple of MK4 chassis in my shop. If you can wait until business hours Monday, I will gladly send detailed photos illustrating the differences.

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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Dances with Shrapnel » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:46 pm

Holmeslice wrote:Dear DWS,

I have several MK2s, a MK3, and a couple of MK4 chassis in my shop. If you can wait until business hours Monday, I will gladly send detailed photos illustrating the differences.

Yours,


Sir,

You are a gentleman and a scholar. I would be more than happy to wait.

Any pictures, thoughts or comments on a Seeley Mk 1?

Maybe someone with a Colin Seeley book would be willing to read up and expound on this Mk 1 and its place in history?
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby beng » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:58 pm

From Colin Seeley's own book, photos and facts. Mk1 and Mk2 Seeley bikes were only ever for AMC single cylinder power, except for the prototype Fath four. Mk1 was prototyped in 1966, and raced mostly in 1967. Mk2 was least used, prototyped in 1967 and raced in 1968. The Mk3 came out in 1969. Gus Kuhn racing bought a AJS7r and G50 powered pair of Mk3 Seeley bikes to race for the 1969 season. This was the frame with no front down tubes. During 1969 Seeley and Kuhn worked on a prototype with a Commando twin engine, which got onto the track late in 1969.

First two photos are of the Mk1 Seeley. Notice it has a sheet gusset for the swingarm and a bend in the tube going to the upper shock mounting point.

Image

Image

Seeley Mk2. Notice the boxed swingarm mounting and straight tube for rear subframe shock-mounting.

Image

And the last two photos of the Mk3 Seeley with the engine hanging out in space, bereft of front down tubes:

Image

Image

So I suppose if I was truly a scholar and a gentleman, maybe I would not try to pass a Mk2 Seeley Commando off as being a "1968" or having anything to do with actual history, or enter it in, and accept trophies from vintage racing classes meant for 1968 or earlier motorcycles..... Not that vintage racing anymore is vintage or historical at all anyway.......at least in the USA.

Are they allowed to hang 1969 Honda fours and Kawasaki triples etc. engines in Seeley Mk2 frames for vintage racing? I don't see why not if we are putting Norton engines in them that were never originally put in them either.

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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby SeeleyWeslake » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:49 pm

For most vintage racring around the world the date cutoff date for the bigger bore classes is 1972, hence a lot more bikes are eligible compared with your rather narrow view.
Vintage racing has always comprised of hot rodded and modified bikes, The VMCC in UK is proabably the oldest vintage racing group in existence and they have a silhoette rule,ie its' got to look the same on the outside but you can do anyhting on the inside.. This is a practiacl way of coping with the need to replace old ,no longer obtainable fatigued metal. Since the 60s people have been vintage racing Rudges, Sunbeams, CS1s etc that have no original parts inside them. It's not a new phenomena. It is sad that original race bikes sit in collections gathering dust but it is really not practial to race them in their original state .
On the other hand,parading them or regularity runs as in Europe would be a good way to get them seen.

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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Dances with Shrapnel » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:51 pm

Nice example photographs, especially of the Mk 1 which looks like a natural lead in to the Mk 2 which has the thin wall plates to support the swing arm but employs a full loop frame. Anything on the Mk 4's? By deduction the Mk 4 main frame tubes must the the ones that do not cross since the Mk 3's are shown with the cross overs.

So what is this bit about vintage racing, Seeley Mk 2's etc?

From Section 8.16 of the AHRMA Rule book states: Two-cylinder pushrod machines built up through 1968 and competing under Formula 750 specifications. See Section 10. 7. All the rules are available on line for anyone to peruse.


you state:
beng wrote:Mk2 was least used, prototyped in 1967 and raced in 1968.


The rules in AHRMA mesh perfectly and make sense and are practical and do evolve. As an example there is some latitude in the use of materials of construction (based on what was available at the time) and there are other practical matters such as modern tires and brakes (in some instances) for safety reasons.

So where is the problem? Are you suggesting that it is documented absolutely nobody used a Mk2 Seeley with a twin in 1967/68 for competition, absolutely nobody? You know they do allow us to use modern race gas; not the old formulations from 1968 with the Tetra Ethyl Lead. It is more or less moot as AHRMA allows these combinations period frames, engines, materials and fuels and they have knowledgeable trustees and comittee members; for example Brian Slark of Barber Museum. I have been a member of AHRMA for some time and I doubt they are trying to mis lead anyone on these matters.

PM me to discuss as I am trying to understand and do not want to clutter this thread.
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Dances with Shrapnel » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:20 pm

beng wrote:Seeley Mk2. Notice the boxed swingarm mounting and straight tube for rear subframe shock-mounting.

Image



This must be an early version of the Mk2.

Roger Titschmarsh is making them with a continuous loop whereas the one shown in this picture looks like at least two, possibly three tubes to make the wrap around the boxed swingarm mounting.
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Matt Spencer » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:16 pm

The front one is a 2 beer frame , whereas the one behind is 4 beer , with differant gussets , mounts shock angle . :D
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby beng » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:37 pm

In December 1965 Seeley ordered eight G50 engines and four AJS7r engines from AMC to build his Mk1 bikes around. This was before he bought out the AMC race department and took over making engines and parts for the AMC racers.

This gives you an idea of how many Mk1 Seeley's may have been built. Add to that the fact that Seeley was a full-time GP sidecar pilot on the World Championship circuit and that he bent up, hand filed and fitted and welded up all the Mk1 frames himself, and you can see how very busy a man he was.

The next year when he did buy out the AMC race department and had to move it and all it's parts stocks to a new location, along with continuing his sidecar racing and continuing to manufacture his own bikes he was even busier. Reynolds and Sprayson did not make all the Mk2 frames, but in his book Seeley does say that Sprayson made drawings for it and Reynolds produced one batch to help take the pressure off him. Besides a complete bike a racer who had a stock G50 or 7R could buy a kit to convert it to Seeley specs.

Derek Minter raced the prototype Mk1 Seeley racers in 1966 and did well enough that it got Seeley some business that year and got his manufacturing business off the ground.

So through 1968 the Seeley Mk1 and Mk2 was a very limited production racer for people who either wanted to upgrade their old AMC single, or wanted a new one that was maybe a little lighter and more competitive than a standard G50 or Manx.

The Mk3 came out in 1969, but it was still a single cylinder AMC engined bike, the only oddballs being a prototype 250cc single with a QUB prototype engine in it, and the single prototype Commando engined bike for Gus Kuhn that got on a track towards the end of the year. That is where Seeley's first book ends, at the end of 1969. The second volume which I do not have and do not really care to have, covers the later Seeley projects from 1970 and later.

So did someone take one of the rare Mk1 or Mk2 Seeley bikes, alter it and run it with a Norton engine before 1969? All you have to do to make any Wet Dream or Unicorn a reality is simply come up with the documentation for it. And "documentation" means a record from 1968 or earlier made of paper or film, not hot air and wishes....

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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Dances with Shrapnel » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:21 pm

It sounds like a good solid background history. I need to purchase the book.

I see where you are coming from regarding elegibility but it is a very narrow opinion of what should and should not be raced in my view and I venture to say in the view of the vast majority of active participants in vintage racing. After all, this is only your opinion and personaly although I find the historical minutia interesting from time to time, I live in the here and now and only reflect on the past to learn. I think "SeeleyWeslake" summarized the reality and practicality of todays vintage racing very nicely; better than I could.

You bring up an ironic point between your two statements belows:

beng wrote:So through 1968 the Seeley Mk1 and Mk2 was a very limited production racer for people who either wanted to upgrade their old AMC single, or wanted a new one that was maybe a little lighter and more competitive than a standard G50 or Manx.


and

beng wrote:So did someone take one of the rare Mk1 or Mk2 Seeley bikes, alter it and run it with a Norton engine before 1969? All you have to do to make any Wet Dream or Unicorn a reality is simply come up with the documentation for it. And "documentation" means a record from 1968 or earlier made of paper or film, not hot air and wishes....


You have made the case, at least for AHRMA eligibility, in that the motors and frames were available at the time, the motors are elegible based on several criteria and the frames are elegible. Proving that somebody married the two is moot and unnecessary. So this may burn you to no end for whatever reason but riders are all competing to the same set of rules and they are having the time of their lives doing it. Read the rule books to understand the structuring of classes and criteria used; you may disagree but you will have a better understanding of the rationale and basis for the rules and classes. And remember that we are making history as we go, so we are historically correct. :lol:

If we were to use only original equipment then we might as well hang up the leathers and put on the Fez hats and start the parade in the streets.

Now about those pictures of the Seeley Mk 4, and that should about round out this thread.
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Matt Spencer » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:58 am

WHERE were YOu at the Inagural C.M.R.R. meeting . ? there was the ' pukka components only ' Blah G.P. Blah . &R brigade
& the ' you could get a Manx Norton for 600 dollars 10 years ago ' Brigade . ( in 1981 )
Er , When was that ?
I got mine in 1968 for that .
Er , It Was pounds shillings and pence then .
:lol:
Such Larakinism was frowned on , but they were too busy with their petulant steads to interfere in the raceing . :lol:
The ' Post Classic ' for the Cowboys and Twins evolved . And latter the puritanism of the C.M.R.R. almost lead to its collapse .( Insufficent Genuine original works G.P. racers to go round , plus ' running costs ' . :lol: )
All the B.M.W. salesman & M3s and tents turned up one year .

Three people talked to them . Briefly . They seemed a bit lost . :lol:

Onward and Upward . Seely G-50s For All . ARTER Specification please .
Economy of scale will mean theyre cheap . Option road equipment Std .

:lol: :lol: :P
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Rohan » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:45 am

Why the obsession with 1968 ?

In most parts of the world, classic racing covers up to only 1963.
After that, its in Post Classic class.
Which is generally to 1972, although I don't know the history on that.
That would cover about any Norton 750cc twin in any Seeley frame ??

New Zealand has the strictest Classic Racing rules ?, what do they say ?

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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby Holmeslice » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:44 am

My bike, a 1968 Seeley MK2 Commando, is legal for BEARS and F750 in AHRMA, without question. I have 4 championships in the BEARS class - 3 on this bike and one on a Featherbed - in the last 4 years.
I'm heading to the UK several times this season to race in the CRMC on an oft-campaigned 1968 Seeley MK2 Commando, alongside several others.

This guy Benji spends too much time trying point out how fake others to illustrate how "real" he is (which is its own transparent affectation). I say he gets out from behind his tough-talking keyboard and comes on out. I'll really beat him on his own bike.
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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby beng » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:32 am

Dances with Shrapnel wrote: And remember that we are making history as we go, so we are historically correct. :lol:


That is it right there. As long as spectators and everyone knows that the "H" in AHRMA does not refer to any history except that from the 1980's on up we are golden.

Rohan wrote: » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:45 am Why the obsession with 1968 ? In most parts of the world, classic racing covers up to only 1963. After that, its in Post Classic class. Which is generally to 1972, although I don't know the history on that. That would cover about any Norton 750cc twin in any Seeley frame ??


I like the vintage racing scene from "down under" the best, they seem to care about preserving the history of the 1960's and earlier the most. As DWS states above, AHRMA makes it's own history. If someone who is popular builds a bike and wins a few trophies or a championship with it, then after the fact finds out the bike was incorrect for the class, they simply change the rules the next year to fit the rider and bike.

Holmeslice wrote: » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:44 am This guy Benji spends too much time trying point out how fake others to illustrate how "real" he is (which is its own transparent affectation). I say he gets out from behind his tough-talking keyboard and comes on out. I'll really beat him on his own bike.


Uh, when did this thread become about anyone's riding ability? Last I looked it was a thread on the history of Seeley motorcycles.

I am just a long time fan of the history of British motorcycles and their racing, since my father was a Matchless dealer/racer in the late 1950s and early 1960's for Matchless/Indian Corporation and then Berliner from New Jersey. I grew up around guys racing pre-unit British bikes.

Racing is as much a spectator sport and a tuner's sport as it is a riders sport, and if some of it is advertised as "historical" to the public, then the public has a right to comment on what they are offered. If that does not suit you then maybe Daddy can buy you and your friends a track to race on in private?

If someone finds it interesting to compare actual history and facts to what is advertised as historic racing today, and that makes you uncomfortable it is for you to sort out.

Throw together any sort of bike you want to. But don't mind it if some people care to remember history and facts as a hobby........

I know a 70+ year old BSA dealer with a Norton Manx and Goldstar and he has been racing since the 1950's. This is probably going to be the first year he does not road race in decades as he is on social security and if he can not make a part on his own he probably can not afford it, and he certainly can not afford the hundreds of miles trip and lodging to make any vintage races. And he can not afford new tires, helmets and leathers nearly as often as the money-bags teams.

I would much rather go see one race with old racers on old bikes running around the best their old age will let them, than watch a bunch of rich snot-nosed kids run spaceships with $3000 gearboxes around a track while they award each other trophies and championships and then pat each others backs for it.

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Re: Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

Postby swooshdave » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:16 am

beng wrote:Image


While you guys are debating what is old, check out that friggin' side stand! Awesome!

And doubles a wrench when you need to change the wheel. :mrgreen:
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