John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

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Jan 21, 2008
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My latest project.
A John Caffrey Vendetta framed Seeley Mk4, 750 Commando.
I hope to have it ready for this season. However its has been in a loft for 17 years & I only got it Wednesday. It needs a lot of work as parts were going to be altered & new parts made & this didn't happen.
It also last ran unsilenced! Which I certainly wont be allowed to do now.
all the best Chris

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

Can’t stay out of the garage!

Just polished the petrol tank, which I believe was made by Pearson & the petrol tap sits just in front/on the cross tube. The Monza cap needs welding on so I have to decide whether to move the outlet at the same time or put a piece of quarter inch piece of rubber between the frame & the tap.
The wheels as Dick Hunt & there are no fastenings. For some reason the threads are BSF in two different sizes. I want allen head so will have to order. I need to check the engine bolts as the engine plates pick up both the bottom 1/4 mounts. The discs have rust blisters & I have wire wooled of the rust. I also found that the rim of the disc is stamped made in Italy.
Rear is about a 1/4 of an inch smaller than a standard Seeley? Shame as the rear disc mount is made for a standard Seeley disc.
The Chain cases both inner & outer are cracked broken & damaged i.e. holes bulges & the alternator bosses smashed by a chain & welded up. The outer cover has been cut with a half moon shape for the exhaust to tuck in to. So I have decided to sand them down & ask a friend to mill out the damaged area as if I have my way it will run a belt drive.
It’s all down to time.
I had decided to rob my sprint project of its engine till I remembered the head has been altered for TDM carbs & I can’t retrofit Amals.
You never know it might get me going to finish the sprint/battle of the twin’s bike as well.
All the best Chris

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

Spent the week cleaning & starting the dry build. Plenty of missing bits to list & parts to buy. But boy does it shine! I will have to wear a dark visor.
all the best Chris

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)
Work in progress

Just an update.
engine arrived this week. The head has 41mm valves re- angled. The pistons need to have the valve pockets re cut. Anyone have an old 41mm valve they can spare? I intend making a cutter of the old valve & putting the head back on without the head gasket, then using an electric drill cut the pocket.
Lots of alloy removed as 7s cam fitted.The barrels have been cut away at the tappet area as the followers have been reprofiled to 6 inch.
The crank & rods, pistons etc are of to Bassett Down for Phil to balance. We are going for 78 percent.
Just finished stripping & rebuilding the calipers & master cylinders. I dont have any Goodridge hose & parts left so will have to order some lines. I like the front caliper behind the leg which means my front line is no longer long enough. The rear is black rubber coated & has shed most of its skin.
Front forks. I will be starting out with 170cc of 10 grade to start these are Dick Hunt Seeley forks & have Dommie length dampers & stantions.
I started cutting the rear caliper bracket but got bored with that as I made one for the road bike last weekend!
The box is being built & I am going to have to be content with cleaning engine parts until the engineering bits come back.
just picked up a 100/90 second hand tyre for the front & will look for a 120 for the rear.
Hate the battery bracket which hangs against the oil tank but Rob tells me its period & I have to use it. My inclination has always been never to run an alternator on the cranks, so always have used a Boyer & total loss battery system. The only bike I run an alternator on is the Triple with Boyer black box & Boyer ignition, no battery. Just a much stronger crank & mounting on the timing side seems so much better than on the end of the crank outboard of the primary drive.
I have a micro digital with twin lead coils to fit.
I am going to mount a brack light switch on the rear master cylinder as the bike has a registration plate!!!!!
Biggest problem at the moment is finding Supertrapp end cans to adapt to the open meggas. (at least at the price I can afford)
The season starts in 4 weeks & I have just paid of last years effort.
Should make my mates at the Sussex Branch of the Norton Owners Club happy as is only the 2nd time the will have seen me at a meeting NOT racing a Triumph.
all the best Chris
Atlas into Commando

I have fitted the Atlas engine the frame to try & make the start of the season.
Still far to much to do.
Made a quick headsteady as its a single fixing on the Atlas.
I also have to make sure about the rocker feed as the Atlas is on the return not the pressure side?
Commando inner primary case sits on the larger boss of the Atlas engine. I wondered what was going on to begin with! I also have 9 1/4 whit holes in the crankcase so will adapt some screws to block of the oil flow as the Commando case uses different ones to the case the engine previously ran.
The gear box should be finished over the weekend so hopefully I can start on the primary side next week.
Alloy tank/Monza cap Araldite/Metal putty

Bikes coming along with the borrowed engine but need advice on securing the new Monza petrol cap To the alloy tank. The tank has a welded ring to sit the cap on but I have been told that the new Araldite & unleaded no longer work as well as they did.
I have been recommended Devcon metal putty.
I will post some photos later
Thanks Chris
Manx times two!

Off to sunny Wales in the early hours of Friday morning.
Finally after the snow, rain & Guests had all gone,I got to start the bike. Only I didnt!
Wired up the spare Boyer & coil. Still nowt. Plenty of compression. Decided that although my mate sprinted the engine last year & had not touched a thing, that I had better go through it.
Sussed it when I noticed the valves were not opening when I looked for top dead centre!
None of us had heard of this before but the nut had come of the cam shaft. Its a vernier. The chain was the correct number of links apart. The chain sat on the correct teeth, (punch marked sprocket) but somehow the pin had moved a hole tooth along the adjustment plate. This iether happened at the end of the sprint or when I had the bike on the roller with the plugs out to ciculate the oil. The chain had run on the cam threads but these were undamaged.
As to two Manxes? We ran it up on its open meggas!!!
It very nearly ticks over & burbles lovelly but give it a handfull & it blats like a couple of Manxes & these Manxes are far to close to you!
Talk about make your ears bleed.
Looking forward to meeting the noise man NOT!
all the best Chris
Caffrey at Anglesey

Finally running
Quality rechrome with regrind by a well respected company add pattern bushes = fork stiction. The drama continues two weeks till Lydden bedding in begins.
all the best Chris

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)
Very nice work. That is one purposeful-looking bike. I'm sure it "rides the ride", not just "looks the look", so to speak...
Hi Chris ! Its nice to see a Vendetta restored to such a high standard - I tried to enlarge your thumbnail pic to add to my "Frame History" but it seems to have been deleted. I know where most of my frames are are surprisingly, even found one at Spa - its owner thought it was a common (!) Seeley - he was delighted. If you could e-mail a photo or two it would be nice. Yours in Sort John Caffrey

Welcome John. It's always nice to have "insiders" on the forum.
vendettaframebuilder said:
Hi Chris ! Its nice to see a Vendetta restored to such a high standard - I tried to enlarge your thumbnail pic to add to my "Frame History" but it seems to have been deleted. I know where most of my frames are are surprisingly, even found one at Spa - its owner thought it was a common (!) Seeley - he was delighted. If you could e-mail a photo or two it would be nice. Yours in Sort John Caffrey

Here's another one of yours, John. Martin Adam's old Commonwealth Norton. This is how it looked originally in 1984.

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

This is it at either Daytona or Laguna Seca back in 1986 or thereabouts.

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

And without the fairing in '86

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

And one at Daytona with Dave Pither aboard in 1987

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

I bought it from Martin some years ago, cleaned it up, and eventually sold it to a friend of mine, Fred Eiker, in New Mexico. The last picture I have of it is from Fred's adventure with it at Bonneville in 2008.

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)


Couple of photos
Lydden hill with fairing. First real run.

John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

Then 1 year on again Lydden. No fairing. I cut 3 plus inches of the screen & still bashed myself silly. Never going to win so I thought I would let people see the bike.
John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

On the bench as a bare frame again.
Quaife is playing up. 750 Maney engine back in, welded cases, standard rods, lovely head.High level Maney exhaust being altered to fit. It will not go around the frame tube.
The exhaust was the main problem as it dragged on the ground & I ended up wondering when it would slide on the pipe.
Very neutral bike, if you move your weight around the bike you can alter the way it handles.
Lydden again, notice the pipes! :D
John Caffrey Vendetta (Seeley MK4) (2008)

all the best Chris
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