Modernised British classics

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Purists - look away now. This month's Classic Bike has a feature on a modernised BSA A65, done by the same team of brothers that modernised a Triumph Trident (featured in a previous issue of Classic Bike) and a Bonneville. The frames were made by a firm called Metal Mallarkey, who are also in the process of doing a Norton Commando.

The vids are watchable:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jaa6ToWQFfM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCyFQXCWumw

I like the approach in general, except for the wide tyres, and the execution looks top-notch.

Metal Mallarkey: http://www.malarkeyengineering.co.uk/

Commando chassis in progress, rigidly mounted engine and swinging arm, so it will be interesting to see what is done with the engine: http://www.malarkeyengineering.co.uk/#! ... mando/cfri
 
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I think what the guys have done is very good however a bit misguided. If I had that sort of capability, I'd either make a Norton International or a Seeley Condor. I wouldn't waste my time recreating cooking models, you can still buy those as originals. The two I've mentioned along with the BSA Gold Star are much closer to the real deal. The other bike which is very under-rated is the mid-sixties alloy AJS/Matchless, also the Clubman's Velocette. In fact a DOHC KTT engined Velocette recreation could be quite exciting as a road bike, even though it never existed as such.
 

Fast Eddie

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acotrel said:
I think what the guys have done is very good however a bit misguided. If I had that sort of capability, I'd either make a Norton International or a Seeley Condor. I wouldn't waste my time recreating cooking models, you can still buy those as originals. The two I've mentioned along with the BSA Gold Star are much closer to the real deal. The other bike which is very under-rated is the mid-sixties alloy AJS/Matchless, also the Clubman's Velocette. In fact a DOHC KTT engined Velocette recreation could be quite exciting as a road bike, even though it never existed as such.
They do not 'make' bikes to sell... They do custom work on customer bikes... If a customer brings in an Inter or a Condor they'll gladly work on it!

For my own tastes, these guys put too much effort into re-engineering stuff that either doesn't need it, or has already been successfully re-engineered elsewhere. But, actually, they are a 'custom house' not a racing outfit. So I'm probably missing the whole point of their existence!
 
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Eddie is right, Metal Mallarkey undertakes specialist work to customers' specifications. The three brothers featured in this month's issue of Classic Bike are the creators of the custom BSA and Triumph triple and twin. In fairness, the videos don't do justice to the sheer amount of effort in bringing these projects to fruition. It would be worth reading the articles to see how much was involved.

They look like a lot of fun to ride.
 

Time Warp

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daveh said:
They look like a lot of fun to ride.
Part and parcel of bikes that actually handle and have decent suspension and brakes.
The Darmah though is something else,1570 mm wheelbase is longer than stock,100 mm trail I think not. :lol:
 
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Re: Darmah

One off stepped yokes were made to allow for the short forks. The trail was made by the offset in the yokes.
 

Time Warp

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Malcolm1 said:
Re: Darmah

One off stepped yokes were made to allow for the short forks. The trail was made by the offset in the yokes.
Nice of you to drop in,perhaps you could tell us about the Commando.
 
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I think it is very difficult to know what steering geometry should be used on a road bike. If a race bike self-steers (over steers) slightly and the weight distribution and power characteristics suit, it inspires confidence. On a road bike, it might feel too quick and possibly light and vague under some conditions. I believe the earliest commandos were set up with race steering, and some riders got chucked up the road after riding over 'cat's eyes'. Apparently an experienced rider would simply have taken the mishandling in their stride, however it used to grab the kids. It is not something to get wrong, and minor alterations can make very subtle but potentially dangerous effects. The main thing is that you always need to be conscious of what your bike does in corners when you relax and let it go it's own way. You will find it has a natural tendency to either run wide, tighten its line or stay neutral. If it does too much of the first two you have a problem.
 
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acotrel said:
I think it is very difficult to know what steering geometry should be used on a road bike.
Why so difficult? There is a large database to draw from. The design and execution is another matter. Pick up this month's issue of Classic Bike for a more in depth explanation of what was done with the BSA. The tester found it steered quickly but was also stable. If the Malcolm who posted above is the frame maker, maybe he will explain. And he might also choose to tell us more about the Commando :)
 
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A lot of superb work on those three bikes which are owned by the Brothers , all credit to their skills 8)
 
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