Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

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Dances with Shrapnel said:
My honest hunch is you may well be correct in your assertion about 1968. You have made these assertions so it is fair to say the burden of proof is squarely on your shoulders. Go for it and back it up.?
Your hunch about the Mk2 Seeley is good enough for me and agrees with mine, Thank you.

All I have is Seeley's words in his own book, but if I happen across more authoritative documentation in the future on his products I will PM it to you.

Here is a Mk4 Seeley for you to examine, at least it is claimed to be:

 
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Nice looking and as I recall them. Some sort of plating.

What was the general consensus when comaparing Mk 3 to a Mk 4 with regards to durability, weight and performance. One would assume a gradual improvement of concept as one moves through the Marks but not necessarily the case as it could be to simplify manufacture (Mk 2 has more bends than a Mk 3 or Mk 4). The Mk3/Mk4 frames could be a vision for future plans to accomodate a wider variety of motors which would have been a sharp market strategy considering the era.

Were Mk4s always fitted with bolt in down tubes and were the Mk3s ever fitted with bolt in down tubes?
 

Holmeslice

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DWS,

As promised, some shots of a couple of Seeleys.

MK3:


MK3 Headstock Close Up:


Top shot giving good view of tubes:


And a side view:


Downtubes for MK3 to help support/add stiffness for Norton Twin motor:



Seeley MK4, top view:


MK4 Side View


Another MK4, ready to race. A Gus Kuhn Seeley 750:




Give me a ring if you want to talk, or plan a trip to hang out and shoot the breeze about all things Seeley.

HTH
 
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Thanks to all for the postings and please do not hold back, keep them coming but remember to label which mark they are.

Nice details on the up close pictures. I always struggled with the look of the Mk3 where the tubes crossed over; for me it just comes across as a point of flimsyness. Yes, I know the engine/trans/plates are a stressed member on this.

Over the years I developed this impression that the Colin Seeley design (head stock to swing arm structure and everything else is minimal look) is perhaps a watershed point in the design evolution of motorcycle frames. Stand a Seeley Mk2 next to most any modern race/sport bike and you will see the twin spars concept; now aluminum box on modern bikes. Everything else is almost extraneous.

While at MOSPORT a few years back I was speaking with Randy Illg of Framecrafters (or maybe Herb Becker) and he mentioned some controversy over credit for the earlier designs. There was a fellow with his own frame (looked identical or very similar to a Seeley) that they are referring to at the time. Would this be the same person mentioned in the first few posts of this thread where there was a parting of the ways between Colin Seeley and this other fellow?
 
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Ah, but the upper LH corner of the first picture is.

What's the thingy sticking out of the primary by the engine? Is it a sprag clutch or cushion drive?
 
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To paraphrase a famous cafe racer builder and well known Norton racer in NYC "Look, not one, but 2 Roger Titchmarsh frames in the same garage."
Unfortunately my garage doesn't run to mood lighting so the pic isn't very good. Both frames are Roger T Mks 2. Front is sn 277 from about 2009, rear is sn 170 from about 1999. Since they are both Mk2s and DWS now has 2 of his own I guess it doesn't really advance the Seeley knowledge any. The rear frame is now semi retired and if you look close at the upper rear engine mount cross member you can see the various repairs that have been performed over the years. The frames are built vey nicely but Roger T is now building them slightly differently which meant I had a lot of screwing around to make the parts from the original frame interchange with the new one. Nothing major and the basics are the same but I counted about 20 items, brackets, spacers, I had to change.
 
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1970 Plan View . ! :shock: Any SEELY is acceptable . As long as its GREEN & has ORANGE Exhausts . :? :shock:



Mick Grant , I.o.M. . The others a P R Commando .
 
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" History Is Bunk " . Henry Ford . :wink: :mrgreen:

beng said:
Dances with Shrapnel said:
beng said:
Uh, when did this thread become about anyone's riding ability? Last I looked it was a thread on the history of Seeley motorcycles.
So this begs the question why are the following comments appropriate
I apologize for not being......you. But if It is appropriate in a thread about Seeley motorcycle history to defend their history then:

If someone builds a motorcycle that is supposedly a replica of a "1968 Seeley Commando" and proceeds to parade it around the world as such, when in fact no such thing ever existed until they built it, then someone should have as much a right to point out history as others do to abuse it.

For something to be a replica, vintage or historical, doesn't it have to be a copy of something that existed, it would have to have a precedent right?

And it was just an innocent coincidence that calling the bike/unicorn a "1968" model just happened to let it compete in a class for 1968 motorcycles........

History is important, all history. I do not think it is unnatural for history buffs to not like people who perform a disservice to it and to express that dislike, nothing shameful there.

I admire and respect history and those people and objects that are part of it, I have no admiration or respect for those who abuse or use it to manufacture the farcical, pretty simple motivations for my actions, and no I am not jealous of the farce or those who rally behind and support it.


YOU HAVE LET DOWN OUR COUNTRY AND OUR RED ARMY.
YOU HAVE NOT MANUFACTURED IL-2S UNTIL NOW.
THE IL-2 AIRCRAFT ARE NECESSARY FOR OUR RED ARMY NOW, LIKE AIR, LIKE BREAD.
SHENKMAN PRODUCES ONE IL-2 A DAY AND TRETIAKOV BUILDS ONE OR TWO MIG-3S DAILY.
IT IS A MOCKERY OF OUR COUNTRY AND THE RED ARMY.
I ASK YOU NOT TO TRY THE GOVERNMENT'S PATIENCE, AND DEMAND THAT YOU
MANUFACTURE MORE ILS. I WARN YOU FOR THE LAST TIME.
STALIN.

We'd better get this chap to have a word with Stuart Garner . :p :wink:
 

SteveA

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beng said:
Here is a Mk4 Seeley for you to examine, at least it is claimed to be:

No it isn't and definately, no it isn't...

This is the frame of a bike I have had the pleasure of riding when fitted with a 750 twin, yes, but the frame was built by John Caffrey, so it is a Vendetta...read the thread you got this from in detail.....the design is indeed similar to a Seeley Mk4...but...

History, that is the guy who actually built it will tell you that the frame was built with the permission of Colin Seeley after Seeley had ceased production...

And the owner is particularly proud of what it is and has confirmation from Mr Caffrey, who also manufactured several other frames that were built into successful bikes in the 1970s.
 

SteveA

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Dances with Shrapnel said:
Nice looking and as I recall them. Some sort of plating.

What was the general consensus when comaparing Mk 3 to a Mk 4 with regards to durability, weight and performance. One would assume a gradual improvement of concept as one moves through the Marks but not necessarily the case as it could be to simplify manufacture (Mk 2 has more bends than a Mk 3 or Mk 4). The Mk3/Mk4 frames could be a vision for future plans to accomodate a wider variety of motors which would have been a sharp market strategy considering the era.

Were Mk4s always fitted with bolt in down tubes and were the Mk3s ever fitted with bolt in down tubes?
In late '75 I bought a Rickman Chassis, having evaluated the more sucessful at that time Seeley Mk4, which was more expensive and came less complete.....

The issue was that this was a one shot for me, based on a windfall (of sorts), so I wanted durability as well as handling....everybody I spoke to with a Seeley Commando at that time had cracked the frame at some point!, and from my memory they were all in frames with no bottom tubes....

As for the plating, this is the only nickel plated one I have seen, Seeley originals were painted....

But I only started racing in '75 so don't make assumptions I am saying something I am not.... :roll:
 
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Matt Spencer said:
1970 Plan View . ! :shock: Any SEELY is acceptable . As long as its GREEN & has ORANGE Exhausts . :? :shock:



Mick Grant , I.o.M. . The others a P R Commando .

It's not a Seeley, but a Jim Lee frame
 
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Holmeslice said:
DWS,

As promised, some shots of a couple of Seeleys.

Another MK4, ready to race. A Gus Kuhn Seeley 750:


That isn't a genuine Kuhn one, I know the original owner who built it new!



HTH
 
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What is the name of the original owner who built this Seeley?
Is he still around and can he be reached to corroborate your assertion?
I am sure the current owner of the bike would want to know this if it was represented to him as a Guss Kuhn build.
 
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Yes the original owner is still around and I can introduce Kenny to him when he comes over to the UK. When it was sold about 5 years ago, it was not represented as a Gus Kuhn bike in the ad. I have known this bike for almost 30 years, and raced against it many times.,
 

Holmeslice

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Seeley920 said:
Yes the original owner is still around and I can introduce Kenny to him when he comes over to the UK. When it was sold about 5 years ago, it was not represented as a Gus Kuhn bike in the ad. I have known this bike for almost 30 years, and raced against it many times.,
Not my bike, so am not completely up to date on it, but this link tells a bit about the Seeley MK4 in question's history. Not a team bike, but appears the frame was sold by Kuhn in May '72, at least according to Gus Kuhn themselves:

http://www.guskuhn.net/GKMLtd/Feedback/Levitt.htm

I will be at Cadwell in May. See you then?
 
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Hi Kenny,

Yes, I should be at Cadwell, and hope to see you there!

DWS, the bike wasn't exceptionally quick (it normally had a 3s cam etc, but at the time all races were push start so compression wasn't particularly high) but a good rider.....he now races a Rob North triple though, so gone over to the dark side :eek:
 
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Matt Spencer said:
The front one is a 2 beer frame , whereas the one behind is 4 beer , with differant gussets , mounts 7 shock angle . :D
The bike in the photo is the prototype Mk2, later on they did make them with a continuous tube bent around the swingarm gusset, and there are photos of those in Seeley's book.

I suspect that Seeley, using as he says a plumber's pipe bending apparatus did not have the capability to make a lot of bends. It was during Mk2 production that he got a first-rate Italian tube bending machine and a mill to miter tube ends. So later Mk2 frames and the ones made by Reynolds were probably much nicer than the earlier ones and the prototype for sure.

At the 1968 Earl's Court show, the big show were makers rolled out and showcased their goods, Seeley boasts all bikes at the show were produced entirely at their shop, and they have the later design Mk2 with better bends. His Earl's Court display has the usual braces of AMC powered bikes and also the fabulous Fath Four powered bike, and a wallboard covered with AMC and Manx single racing parts.

There were no blueprints for the Seeley Mk1 frame. For the Mk2 frame Ken Sprayson made drawings after some of them were there to measure so that Reynolds could make a batch and help out Seeley who had a lot of things going on that year, racing sidecars in the World Championship, buying out the AMC and Norton Manx singles stock, making bikes, running a dealership and getting the AMC and Manx spares business going again. Holy Cow.....

Since Sprayson and Reynolds had drawings and a lot more experience making frames, the Mk2 that they put out could have been the most consistent as far as build quality and consistency. Seeley did not sit still though and in a very short time his frames evolved to new Mks each year the first three years.

His book is not written for collectors, historians or anyone in particular, it is just a story told in a first-person way and there is no order to it or any way to look anything up. The only information in the index is the names of people. People seem to have been the most important thing in Seeley's life and most of the book is on their history, what they did in relation to the sport and racing. There is much written about friendships and the deaths in racing of people around him.

There is not any serial numbers or production numbers for any of his products. Any information on the bikes etc. has to be gleaned by careful reading of the text and storyline and photos. But it is a fabulous story, the kind where you can not put it down once you start reading.

One interesting detail I noticed was that there were no disk brakes on any of the bikes in the book which covers his story through 1969. They mostly all used his in-house Robinson-built brake.

The book is really the story of the racing and racers in the U.K. and Europe during the 1950's and early 1960's more than anything else, and it does as good a job of doing this from a personal perspective that I have ever seen.
 
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