New (ish) Member

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pappleton
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New (ish) Member

Postby pappleton » Wed May 20, 2015 10:51 am

After a year or so lurking on the forum, I thought I had better introduce myself. After a thirty year hiatus - just checked the last MOT 1979 on my VH plunger, the bug bit again. Having always lusted(?) after a VHA, thanks to John, I traveled to Denmark, Jorgen had one in pieces, a deal was struck. So last year being the best summer in the UK for many a year, the VH was dragged out of its resting place at the back of the shed. The oil had turned to black jelly, so I changed the tank, having another on the shelf, Timing cover and sump plate off, pump, oilways and sludge trap cleaned. Also did the cam lube mod. Petrol tank cleaned, PTFE tape wrapped around the corks - even tho I'd soaked them, there was no way they were going to expand - hardly surprising! Carb off and jets cleaned, had to resort to a bit of copper wire, 30 year old fuel deposits are rock hard. Does the mag spark? Well bless my soul, it did! Now, how did I start it again? Tight or slack cable to advance? Quick squint at points, ah. Decompresser and ease it over compression. Second kick and it thumped into life. Up and down the road a few times, trying to regain muscle memory, not happening, oh well.
As I had got back in early summer, I decided to do some restoring/refurbishing. The forks had always been a bit of a problem, keeping me and the bike nicely lubed with 20 weight. After reading the forum, a few e mails to Pete Colings, and a rather large order to Drags, problem sorted.
What colour to paint it? The inside of the tin engine plates were looking pretty sparkly, so I got some 2k custom mixed (Abacus in Parkstone, Dorset). Not trusting my own eyes, I had the Bloke in the shop, and a couple of customers involved in an impromptu poll. Very helpful people. The 2k is pretty easy to spray, hi build, never even had to cut it back. Please read the safety instructions tho, organic filtered face mask is a must!! Showed my father the results (had a '51 rigid VH) and he thinks its a pretty good match.
I changed the exhaust pipe and silencer, the old goldie swept back had ruined more than one pair of shoes. Those nice guys at Armours found that a BSA B series pipe with a couple of inches welded on would allow me to mount the silencer in the original position. All stainles, no more chrome if I can help it.
Has it been worth it? Well I thought to save a bit by not going out for a few beers. Didn't have time for that, and besides, not a lot of cash left anyhow. Interest wise it was a great delight. Funny how everyone wants to know what is that old motorcycle? Riding back in the 70's no one wanted old Brit bikes, in fact I paid £12 for the VH, and remember paying £15 for a new H/C std Hempolite piston and thinking that was expensive!
I must come clean and tell you that the VH is actually an NH, but I bought it that way. The VHA is pretty well past its rebuild date, so the plan is to use most of the 500 innards in that. So I will be looking for 350 crank assembly, barrel, piston and head, or complete motor ('53) to do the transplant.
I have been living in Thailand for the last 10yrs, and spent the last twelve months securing a settlement visa for my wife, convincing UKVI that she is a nurse and hasn't been dancing around a chrome pole in Pattaya.
As I mentioned, I had a great summer. I had an absolute blast riding around Dorset. Traffic is moving faster these days tho, and I feel that I could really do with at least a tls up front. I have encountered a real sense of friendship between the members on this forum, I hope you have room for one more.
Regards, Paul
Attachments
010920141447.jpg
VHA project
070920141448.jpg
Road ready(almost)
Paul Appleton '53 VH plunger, '53 VHA rigid - in many boxes, '58 H.D. pan/shovel rigid

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Steven.Carter
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Re: New (ish) Member

Postby Steven.Carter » Wed May 20, 2015 12:22 pm

Dead right there's room for one more. Welcome Paul. I'm not too far from you, maybe come up to Hampshire one day to our Ariel Club meet near Winchester.
I really enjoyed your write up. Cheers. Steve

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pappleton
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Re: New (ish) Member

Postby pappleton » Wed May 20, 2015 1:21 pm

Thanks Steve. I've some paperwork left to get the wifes early retirement sorted, so we're talking mid June. I met Denis Herne, he did my inspection and Andy Hemmings? (black Ariels). Bought some stuff back from Denmark for him and Guy H (King Dick Vee twin), embarrassed to say I still have a wheel to deliver to him, but he is out of the UK as much as me, so I hope is not sticking to many pins in that voodoo doll!
I am friendly with a chap, John Cardew, long time AOMCC member, who can recite part numbers off the top of his head, just the man to have on your team on pub quiz night! So you can be assured that I (we) will take you up on your offer.
Well it's half past beer o'clock here in Lala land,
Bye for now, Paul
Paul Appleton '53 VH plunger, '53 VHA rigid - in many boxes, '58 H.D. pan/shovel rigid

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Keith.owen
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Re: New (ish) Member

Postby Keith.owen » Wed May 20, 2015 3:21 pm

Paul,
Funny World.

If you know Parkstone - I used to live in Shillito Road (crosses Library Road) in 1978 and used to thrash around Bournemouth / Poole (I grew up in the area) across to Charminster on my Ariel. Used to get a lot of stuff from Ken Graham. Where are you actually based now?

Keith
Keith Owen
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1950 Rigid Ariel VH
1951 Rigid Ariel NH (under construction)
1973 Norton 850 Commando Interstate

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pappleton
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Re: New (ish) Member

Postby pappleton » Wed May 20, 2015 6:30 pm

Hi Keith, yes I do know a Ken, lives off Kinson road, worked with him for a few years. Used to have a load of square fours. Unfortunately his wife is very ill and he is not getting out much.
I have been living in Thailand but returning to UK to take care of my elderly parents. We would have been back last year were it not for UKVI. I will be living in Northbourne. I moved to Bournemouth in '89 after 10yrs in USA, Long Island, N.Y.
I still have an old H.D tractor, but to tell the truth, its getting a bit heavy for me now,
Regards, Paul
Paul Appleton '53 VH plunger, '53 VHA rigid - in many boxes, '58 H.D. pan/shovel rigid

GuyH
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Re: New (ish) Member

Postby GuyH » Wed May 20, 2015 8:47 pm

Hi Paul, No worries on the wheel - I'm still stuck out in the boonies of Georgia with the occasional foray into Ukraine and won't be back in dear old Blighty until probably next year with a lot of luck. I'm just grateful for you bringing it back and storing it for me for so long!

You've got a great bike there - seeing it makes me miss my Ariels. I did think of bringing one out but the cost is prohibitive. I wonder what the Georgians would make of it! We have a lot of bikes going through here traveling the Silk Road and mixed in with the usual BMWs there are some weird and wonderful machines so maybe the old Ariel OH would blend in....
1939 600 OHV 4F, 1956 MKII Square Four, a Healey, 1939 OH 250, 1939 OG 250 plus an OG250 project and a bit, 1920 Ariel V twin project and a variety of lesser makes

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pappleton
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Re: New (ish) Member

Postby pappleton » Thu May 21, 2015 2:51 am

Hello Guy, Good to hear from you. I too thought about bringing a bike out here. It actually gets too hot to ride tho, 45C its like standing in front of a blast furnace even in shorts and tee shirt. Its 8.30am here just now, already 32C and +80% humidity.The other problem is Thai customs... They decide on value of bike and duty is 100%! Unfortunately there is no such animal as a temporary import. I did meet a Norwegian guy with a gold wing. He had landed his bike in KL and got 6mth entry at the Thai /Malay border. He was gong to ride it back to Norway, but ran into problems with PDR Laos and China, had to have a guide, min of 3 people in tour, eventually rode back to KL and shipped bike back.
Old British bikes are fetching a fortune here, better than ebay/auction prices. The best value for my money is a Yamaha SR400, reminds me of a 350 Goldie. Now Myanmar is opening up, there are still a fair few ex WD bikes over there. I am friendly with a Thai who is very into classics. Being Thai he doesn't have the problems us farangs (foreigners) have with imports, a brown envelope simply changes hands at the border!
Just now I can't wait to get back to UK, never ever thought I would say that, let alone write it! I will be visiting the temples of Kemp and Bungay, making suitable donations. Who would have thought its easier to find parts now than back in the '70's when the bike was last on the road?
Paul Appleton '53 VH plunger, '53 VHA rigid - in many boxes, '58 H.D. pan/shovel rigid


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