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Letters to the Editor - October 2002

Hi Paul,

I'm writing to you in the hope that through the pages of "Buzzing" magazine someone may be able to help me.  Earlier this year I rescued a 1970 Raleigh Runabout RM6 from the scrap bin at our local council dump; it was intact but had been off the road since 1978 and still had its original registration number and tax disc, so after a bit of bartering it was bought and pushed home, much to the surprise of my girlfriend who thought that I had gone to the tip to dump rubbish not bring it home!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had never restored a moped before, but plenty of classic cars; I still have a 1957 Austin A35 Countryman van, but never a moped.  So I set to work, stripped everything, got it sandblasted, chromed, and joined our wonderful club.  I then spent an awful lot of time and money on paint, cables, transfers, wheel rebuilding etc.  By the middle of June this year she was finished.  I took her to the MoT station and she passed first time; I was over the moon and very proud and so was my family.

This is where things go bad, I took her to work one day and on my journey home the heavens opened and it must have dropped three months' rain on myself and the bike.  I was soaked and the bike was filthy, so the next day I set about cleaning her up and making her look as good as she was before the downpour.  After I cleaned her I started her up, she fired into life and then revved up but I could not see why, and after about a minute I shut her off.  I left a rag in the cable that connects to the carb and it was jammed open, when I restarted the bike the engine sounded terrible and was knocking badly.

I was heartbroken, what had I done?  After a call to Aplins in Bristol they told me that they may be able to rebuild the engine, so after a 4 hour journey to Bristol, Aplins confirmed that I had knocked the bottom end out of the engine but he hadn't got any spare parts to fix it, so from then on I phoned just about everyone I could, but to no avail.  No one had an engine that sounded as sweet as the one originally on the bike.  I did manage to find another one via a club member but this still sounds very noisy.  It's not knocking but just sounds noisy.  I may be a bit of a perfectionist, but I have spent a lot of time on the bike and I wanted it just right.  The point of this letter is that I desperately need either a brand new engine or someone to rebuild my existing one and find out what the noise is, or buy one that has been reconditioned.  I will pay the right price for the right engine, so can someone help me and put a smile back on my face and return my homelife to normality for my girlfriend's sake? If someone can help please get in touch as soon as possible on the phone number given.  Thank You.

Yours Desperately,
Tony Froude

[Tony's number is 01992 421593 - Paul]

Dear Paul,

A couple of months ago whilst preparing the LPA fleet for battle I realised there was an item which would enhance my standing amongst the horde at the Odiham Run.

Anhänger-Mofa-Kupplungen are not the members of a punk rock trio nor the name of a trifurcated Eastern European city but a 'must have' for the dedicated mopedist, though it does translate as "Moped keyfob clutch" which may go someway to explain why there are so few sightings in this country.  How could I get one to fit onto my Mobylette for the Odiham run?  My dictionary hinted that the words may be German, which suggested to me that Germany would be a good place to search.  So, with the words of my old Geography Master ringing in my ears ("Cole!  You're a pratt!") I booked a ticket to Zürich.  Obviously to make things easier in this quest I would normally use a three-speed BSA for transport and a small palm tree for barter with the locals for one of their precious Anhänger-Mofa-Kupplungen.  (Shift to third person in an effort to distance oneself from the ridiculous.)  At god awful o'clock in the morning the queue of besuited Eurobusiness persons at the Sleazy Jet check-in at Gatwick were joined by a middle-aged man wearing a Cossack Owners Club tee-shirt and crumpled jeans.  He was pushing an old (woman's) three-speed BSA bicycle complete with handlebar mounted wicker basket containing a WW2 gas-mask bag and small palm tree (Phoenix sp.)  There followed a series of incidents over the next 36 hours.  The highlight being the Krinau Section NACC meeting with the charmingly bucolic locals ... cheese ... beer .... heroic yodelling ... rabbit... Ulli Vogl... Panda ...  Much later, no longer accompanying a BSA or small palm tree, but with a genuine Swiss Anhänger-Mofa-Kupplungen and some slices of Aprillia (smoked Mangolitza) a dedicated mopedist meandered off the flight from Zürich and, pausing only to be questioned by a customs person, into the Gatwick night.

Why?  You may ask.  Well, a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous; it's easy to get a decent second-hand bike for less than a fiver, it cost me nothing extra to take a bike on an aeroplane, Switzerland is not in the EU, Easyjet flights Gatwick-Zürich or Zürich-Gatwick start at £15-90p and the NACC member in Krinau is a very hospitable expert on Mangolitza.  I suppose sitting on the sofa, eating pizza whilst watching Eastenders would have been an alternative way to pass the time but I cannot do that as I'm a paid up member of the NACC.

M C Cole

PS: I did not drown the HMW in the Odiham Tunnel Lane ford but I know who did!

Dear Paul,

Many thanks to those Clark Scamp enthusiasts who replied to my recent letter in Buzzing.

I still seem to be missing some members who once had Scamps - if you have not contacted me, PLEASE do so, as I am anxious to have a complete record of what is left.

I also have another request.  Would anyone who has any information at all on the Dansi MDL 156 generator [as fitted to the Scamp, but doubtless to other machines], please give me a ring?  I am particularly interested in obtaining an extractor/puller for the flywheel, or dimensions for making one.

Richard Workman,
Clark Scamp Marque Enthusiast

Hello Paul,

Not usually known for involvement with cyclemotors, I'm currently doing some reconstructional engineering to revive a GYS Motamite.  This actually presented an opportunity to examine an example of one of these carborundum friction drive rollers that so many people seem to think are unobtainable for so many makes of old cyclemotors.  From an engineer's point of view, it looks just like a coarse grade of grinding wheel of a comparable size to those typically fitted to die grinders.  Whenever one comes to making enquiries to industrial grinding wheel suppliers, the only questions are: Internal Diameter / Outside Diameter / length / grade of grit & how many would you like sir?  I don't see much reason why carborundum rollers should be thought to be such a problem component.

Mark Daniels.

First published, October 2002

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