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Letters to the Editor - August 2002

42 Farm Hill Avenue, Strood,
Tel: 01634 715968 (19:00-21:00 only, please)

Dear Paul


Having just taken over from Ken Mettam as the ME for these unusual little machines, I am asking members to contact me with information.

I am seeking to establish how many of these machines still exist and in what state of (dis)repair.

I would also like to know of ANY spares that anyone has out there - even if you would not wish to make these available to other members.  With modern technology, I am advised that small batches of new parts can be made without prohibitive cost and I already have a few contacts.  Even if you only have a few broken parts - literally ANYTHING - please contact me with information.  Obvious candidates are clutch parts and the famous plastic pawls (though Ken still has a few pawls left, I believe).  If anyone has experience of re-manufacturing the pawls in different materials, PLEASE, PLEASE do contact me with your experiences.

Richard Workman

Dear Paul,

Re Tony Lloyd's item in Buzzing (April 2002)], R.O.Clark, Wall Autowheel Rider, you may like to know that R.O.Clark Ltd, Motor Cycle and Bicycle Specialist (according to the phone book!) is still in business at 93 Ber St., Norwich.  Presumably there is some connection with the gentleman in question.  There is only one entry in the local directory under Tremlow, a most unusual name.

Best wishes, sincerely,
Peter Wilson

Dear Paul,

More on R.O.Clark (Buzzing, Vol.21 No.2 p.20).  R.O.Clark still exists as a motor cycle dealership in Ber St, Norwich.  I called in there and showed them the article.  A very helpful Mr Harris, who had worked for them since 1959, told me that R.O.Clark sold the business in 1957 to a Mr Austin, but the original name has been kept.

Best regards,
Paul Stevenson

[Paul enclosed a photograph of Mr Clark with the Levis on which he won the lightweight class of the Junior TT in 1920, which was the earliest picture that Mr Austin had of his predecessor prior to the Buzzing picture.  Paul also enclosed a recent picture of the Ber St. premises - Paul]

Dear Paul,

As someone who likes to keep buzzing, I use my VAP4 cyclemotor as much as possible.  From time to time things break or wear out, but I manage to keep going with the help and kindness of members of the NACC, in particular, Ian, who always seems to have the right bits.

My latest problem is ignition coil failure.  I appreciate that the correct answer is a new coil or rewind, and in the past I have got round the problem by fitting an external coil and battery.

Some years ago, I saw a system where the new external coil was powered by the rotating magnet in the flywheel.  Can anyone tell me how this is done?  Maybe the flywheel has to have a lighting coil to provide the LT?  If I have to settle for the battery system, what type of coil is best to give the minimal drain on the battery and how far can I expect to go on one charge?

On a different track, I must say Colin King's piece in the February issue has hit the nail right on the head.  Shall we soon be running events with no cyclemotors or autocycles taking part, only newish mopeds such as Puchs and Mobylettes?  The VMCC is now (maybe intentionally) running events with no Vintage bikes taking part.  So much for their 25 year rule!

I look forward to every issue of Buzzing and think that joining the NACC was one of the best things I have ever done.

John Richardson

[If anyone can help John regarding his ignition problems, please write to Buzzing - Paul]

Dear Paul,

Who knows where we can get bearing cups, cones, etc, to suit our autocycles and mopeds?  I am sure lots of members would find the answer most useful.  Thank you.

Keith Walker

[Again, if anyone can help, please write to Buzzing - Paul]

Dear Paul,


As suggested in the April issue of Buzzing, I'm now the appointed marque specialist for the Moto Guzzi and Yamaha mopeds.

My own FS1E has just sailed through her MoT, although the engine is going to need a rebuild.  The main bearings are grumbling; this is probably why she was laid up ten years ago.

Many thanks for the phone calls about your Motoleggera and Cardellino bikes out there, I didn't think there would be so many in the club.  My own Motoleggera is just waiting for a decent paint job but finances are holding me back.  The engine, rebuilt wheels and re-chromed bits are all stashed away in the garage.  I only hope I can find them all again when the time comes.  I'm not the tidiest of people, as anyone who has seen our house, garage and garden will know all too well!

Alistair Currie.

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