Various Seeley Frames (Mks)

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Compare the silhouettes of a modern twin spar to a Seeley Mk2. My opinion is the Seeley Mk2 is the prodigy of modern frame designs. At least it looks the part and is a superior platform.
 
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Dances with Shrapnel said:
My first Seeley (circa 2003) is a Keith Stephenson built Mk 2. It has a fair amount of track time on it with a 750 short stroke (72mm stroke) and has given no trouble whatsoever. The second Seeley Mk 2 was acquired used in 2005; it is a R. T. manufactured frame and had repair on a down tube near the engine mount. This was reportedly due to an experiment with a 500 Manx engine that did not go well. Herb Becker further enhanced the repair enabling the engine to be moved forward. This frame has the 59.6mm stroke Norton twin in it. The frame has given no trouble whatsoever. Both these bikes use solid mount head steadys.
Dances - that's good to know. Like you, I have a KSS Mark 2, probably made in the early 90s, but I acquired the bike in 2004, and it had a lot of race miles on it even then. By the way, Keith's son, Tim, races in Ireland and built himself a Seeley framed Suzuki SV650 road racer (looks the business, will try to find a pic, especially for Hobot!).

Dances with Shrapnel said:
Compare the silhouettes of a modern twin spar to a Seeley Mk2. My opinion is the Seeley Mk2 is the prodigy of modern frame designs. At least it looks the part and is a superior platform.
+1.
 
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daveh said:
Dances with Shrapnel said:
My first Seeley (circa 2003) is a Keith Stephenson built Mk 2. It has a fair amount of track time on it with a 750 short stroke (72mm stroke) and has given no trouble whatsoever. The second Seeley Mk 2 was acquired used in 2005; it is a R. T. manufactured frame and had repair on a down tube near the engine mount. This was reportedly due to an experiment with a 500 Manx engine that did not go well. Herb Becker further enhanced the repair enabling the engine to be moved forward. This frame has the 59.6mm stroke Norton twin in it. The frame has given no trouble whatsoever. Both these bikes use solid mount head steadys.
Dances - that's good to know. Like you, I have a KSS Mark 2, probably made in the early 90s, but I acquired the bike in 2004, and it had a lot of race miles on it even then. By the way, Keith's son, Tim, races in Ireland and built himself a Seeley framed Suzuki SV650 road racer (looks the business, will try to find a pic, especially for Hobot!).

Dances with Shrapnel said:
Compare the silhouettes of a modern twin spar to a Seeley Mk2. My opinion is the Seeley Mk2 is the prodigy of modern frame designs. At least it looks the part and is a superior platform.
+1.
Yes, I chat with Keith every once in a while. He sold his jigs and tooling several years ago (maybe to John Woods?). Last we spoke he stated he regrets the sale as he said the demand for frames was beginning to flourish and the fellow he sold to was doing little to nothing with it. I believe Keith made Steve Maney's two Seeley frames.

I seem to recall reading one or more Keith's or his sons vintage racers were stolen a few years ago; what a pity.
 
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Bernhard
'Here in the UK the ACU has ruled that the Peter Williams wheelbarrow Arter Matchless is the only bike that is allowed in classic bike racing to use cast wheels in this period.'

The British are a bit smarter than us. In our historic r acing, all you have to do is prove that something w as used on a bike in the relevent period. Then the argument is 'it could have happened'. The result is that these days it is rare to see a really shmick original classic racing bike. It is some thing which really irritates me, especially when I see fifties manx nortons with Sctitsu tachos, and Japanese levers. One guy even races a 60s H1 Kawasaki with full gokart electronics on the handle bars and thermocouples in the chambers - it would make you want to scream. I don't really care what is in the motor, but a lot of our stuff is vastly oversize - the rules permit it. I hate historic racing, however it is all we have apart from a little bit of BEARS racing, or you can try to find a ride in a moderns class.
 
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SteveA said:
Not all Seeleys are equal, meaning that a MkII will flex less than a MkIII, I think the reasons are obvious....

Builders favour MkIIs for racing today!
Yes, this was the caution Steve Maney gave me when I started my journey with the Seeley years ago. This was further reinforced when a friend from across the pond who races a Mk3 stated that it flexes and needs the front tube support to stiffen it up a bit.
 

SteveA

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daveh said:
While on the subject of frame weight, I am wary of lightweight replica tubular steel frames on classic bikes. My Seeley Mark 2 frame is a heavy old beast but I would prefer it to a lightweight item which appears to be more prone to cracking. Fine for well funded race teams which can strip and weld on a regular basis or replace frames without having to think twice, but less than ideal for an amateur racer on a budget.

I'd be interested to hear other peoples' views on this.

Dave
And actually that was exactly the basis for my original choice to build a Rickman in '75, since the Seeley frames available at the time were MkIII....more expensive to base a bike on since the kits were less complete and they were cracking regularly, I had to concede that a Seeley would have been a lighter bike and turned quicker....
 
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acotrel said:
Bernhard
'Here in the UK the ACU has ruled that the Peter Williams wheelbarrow Arter Matchless is the only bike that is allowed in classic bike racing to use cast wheels in this period.'

The British are a bit smarter than us. In our historic r acing, all you have to do is prove that something w as used on a bike in the relevent period. Then the argument is 'it could have happened'. The result is that these days it is rare to see a really shmick original classic racing bike. It is some thing which really irritates me, especially when I see fifties manx nortons with Sctitsu tachos, and Japanese levers. One guy even races a 60s H1 Kawasaki with full gokart electronics on the handle bars and thermocouples in the chambers - it would make you want to scream. I don't really care what is in the motor, but a lot of our stuff is vastly oversize - the rules permit it. I hate historic racing, however it is all we have apart from a little bit of BEARS racing, or you can try to find a ride in a moderns class.
Well, no not quite, there was one racer/ builder who would enter his period classic bike racer with his version of an homebuilt 8 leading shoe front drum brake. It was probably cheaper to manufacture and build than the Magnesium Fontana 250mm front brake.
 
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I think a Rickman frame would be just as good as a Seeley. It all depends on the head angle and the length of the bike and whether you can easily get the right fork yokes to get it handling right . I have only ever found two old bikes which handled. One was my Tribsa - used BSA A10 frame with unit Triumph fork yokes (26 degree rake and 18 inch wheels). The other is my Mk3 Seeley with TZ350 fork yokes (27 degree rake, and 18 inch wheels). The geometry is difficult and dangerous to play with, so most of us never do it. My Triton never handled after I fitted 18 inch wheels to it. A standard 1962 model manx with 19 inch wheels is a really good thing. They inspire confidence .
 

Chris

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Hi
Hav'nt read this thread for a while.
So, a couple of things to address.
One, Which is the best frame? Gary Thwaites riding Dave Watsons Mk3, has wopped everybodys arse with a MK3 frame, for many many years. with a strip of steel for a headsteady, & a clamp on ladder for a front down tube.
The Mk2, though seems to have become the frame of choice for Commando engines & with its full loop frame, what else would you use.
However, in period, well slightly after!!! the wepon of choice was a MK4 & the Lap times prove the point.
As to Steves statement about the Rickman frames being to stiff!
In the late 80s & early 90s I remember being told not to use my Rickman frame. The reason given was that they were too stiff.
The explanation of this, as told to me by Luke Notton, was that they gave very little warning before the "sticky Avon tyres" let go. ie the frames being too stiff. There were lots of rider tests printed at the time saying that the latest tyres were over stressing the frames & I think this has built up into "folk law"
I never found this but then again I am not one of the front runners.
Chris
 
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Theyve found Frames need comparable lateral flexability to a pre Unit Bonneville :p :) for Suspension Compliance , these days , in the Superbikes , Moto wotsits . Excessive Sideways ' LACK ' of Compliance locks it all up and throws things off . So hang on Tight . :lol:



bitoff topic & doubt if the Tri / BSA 350 frames Eligable . One or two went rather well with Devimead BSA A65 750s in em .
 
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1972 A65 740cc Devimead Spitfire Bandit

autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bsa/message/6740

link wont work on this old steam powered device . refersto it as a ' Classic Racer ' so , who knows .
 

lcrken

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Just ran across this picture of Steve Maney's first race adventure in the US. This is Steve and his Seeley replica in our pit area at Daytona in 1999. Steve is the one in the leathers, and I'm the one with the beer (what a surprise). A common friend helped finance Steve's trip, and my friends and I shared our pit area, tools, spares, etc. with him. A fun experience.



Steve came back and raced with us again in 2000. This is a shot of his bike at the Deland race, just prior to Daytona.



Ken
 
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Chris said:
As to Steves statement about the Rickman frames being to stiff!
In the late 80s & early 90s I remember being told not to use my Rickman frame. The reason given was that they were too stiff.
The explanation of this, as told to me by Luke Notton, was that they gave very little warning before the "sticky Avon tyres" let go. ie the frames being too stiff. There were lots of rider tests printed at the time saying that the latest tyres were over stressing the frames & I think this has built up into "folk law"
I never found this but then again I am not one of the front runners.
Chris
I've never ridden a Rickman-framed bike but I remember Alan Cathcart writing about certain Bimota frames being too stiff. Afterwards, I got the opportunity to ride several of them and I understood what he was getting at at. Like Rickman frames, perhaps, in that they felt 'wooden' and didn't give enough feedback to the rider. Seeley Mark 2 frames are good enough that they don't intrude on your riding and they allow you to get the best out of the bike.
 
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Matt Spencer said:
1972 A65 740cc Devimead Spitfire Bandit

autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bsa/message/6740

link wont work on this old steam powered device . refersto it as a ' Classic Racer ' so , who knows .
I remember that bike well....I'm sure DaveH will too. Peter Morrow's Devimead, originally owned by Johnny Greene.

Yes, it was very fast and handled well!
 
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Seeley920 said:
I remember that bike well....I'm sure DaveH will too. Peter Morrow's Devimead, originally owned by Johnny Greene.

Yes, it was very fast and handled well!
Hi John - yes, indeed I do! Peter lives round the corner from me so I will mention this to him when I next meet him.


Matt- someone in Australia bought it.

Has anyone seen it at race events, rallies, etc Down Under? This is the only photo I can find at the moment, with Peter riding it in the early 80s, but will see if I can get some better pics.




Dave
 

SteveA

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daveh said:
Chris said:
As to Steves statement about the Rickman frames being to stiff!
In the late 80s & early 90s I remember being told not to use my Rickman frame. The reason given was that they were too stiff.
The explanation of this, as told to me by Luke Notton, was that they gave very little warning before the "sticky Avon tyres" let go. ie the frames being too stiff. There were lots of rider tests printed at the time saying that the latest tyres were over stressing the frames & I think this has built up into "folk law"
I never found this but then again I am not one of the front runners.
Chris
I've never ridden a Rickman-framed bike but I remember Alan Cathcart writing about certain Bimota frames being too stiff. Afterwards, I got the opportunity to ride several of them and I understood what he was getting at at. Like Rickman frames, perhaps, in that they felt 'wooden' and didn't give enough feedback to the rider. Seeley Mark 2 frames are good enough that they don't intrude on your riding and they allow you to get the best out of the bike.
Interesting, but I think the comment that it is 'folk law' is probbaly the truth. Like Chris I am not a race winner but I ran top 6 at Cadwell in the '70s on a Rickman, and there were at least two race winners who used them, Roy Toyne and Stu Armitage both scored many race wins, Roy more than anyone else at Cadwell one year to claim 'King of Cadwell', so they were winning more races at a tight, twisty, challenging riders circuit than Seeley Commando racers at that particular time.....

Folk law also says that the original bikes in the late 60's did not give a rider feedback of when they tyres were going to let go....so Rickman fitted metalastic type rubber bushings in the swinging arm to generate the 'feedback' and thats the way they stayed until production of frames for Norton twins ended in '75 (mine was from the last 5)....anyhow...mine was not too stiff! in fact it flexed too much....discussions with Rickman highlighted the power my 850 was making and they said...ah well...you need the phosphor bronze bushes we put in the Kawasaki frame.....they were right it worked, stiffer, but I still don't understand 'too stiff'.....I do understand that the Rickman frame is heavier than the equivalent Seeley, and I fully accept that a Seeley will change line easier than a Rickman mid corner....my Rickman experience (albeit experience buried deep in memory cells) says you set it up on a line...and that is your line....better get it right!....maybe that is what some consider 'too stif'f' but I suspect it has more to do with geometry...

Looking forward to refreshing the memory cells this year....I will let you know....but tyres will have moved on again...
 
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Poor steering geometry or wheels out of alignment can make a bike feel stiff. The tyres feel stiff because they affect the way the bike steers, it is tied up with rake, trail, wheelbase , and rear shocker settings.
 
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Chris said:
One, Which is the best frame? Gary Thwaites riding Dave Watsons Mk3, has wopped everybodys arse with a MK3 frame, for many many years. with a strip of steel for a headsteady, & a clamp on ladder for a front down tube.
Hello Chris,

Below is one of several links showing Gary Thwaites riding Dave Watson's Mk2, at least it certainly looks like a Mk2 judging by the routing of the frame tubes down forward of the swingarm spindle, parralleling outside of the engine plates and consinueing up in front of the motor.

http://www.boyerbransden.com/bikes.html
and
Broken links removed

Does Dave Watson also have a Mk3 that Gary Thwaites rides and if so, what motor?
 
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Chris

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Hi Dances

I will upload a photograph tonight. All Daves bikes were MK3's.
Danny Barber built the MK2 frames for him. Not sure if it housed the 750 90 degree job or the big boy. I think he has used these the last 3 seasons at least. My photo of his Mk3 date from Lydden in 2002. They have been wining a long time! :D

Chris
 
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