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1926 HRD 90 Restoration - Help!


Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hi All,

I'm brand new here!

I have joined your ranks in the hope of picking your brains! My grandfather is in the process of restoring a HRD 90 which he bought in 1946 as a day to day ride-about. It sat in a barn for many years from about 1950 and parts 'disapeared' over the years as generally happens.

It is now running again, the JAP 495cc engine has been rebuilt along with the wheels and other parts. We are in need of several items to complete the job and I am hoping that somebody out there might be able to help?

We need a top hung Burman 3 speed box and hand change lever/block, the bike was already converted to a Burman 3 speed foot change when my grandad bought the bike. The frame was cut to accomodate this box, but I would love to put it back to hand change.

We are also looking for an original tank, rear mudguard and seat - a long shot I know, but worth asking the question! i have found a guy in Hungary selling reproduction tanks, but we would really like to keep it original if at all possible.

If anybody can help or knows someone who knows somebody else, please get in touch!!

Thanks for reading and I'll look forward to speaking to you in the future, Cheers, Matt:)

Graham Smith

Forum Website Webmaster
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Administrator
Matt, I have forwarded your message on George Spence and Jacqueline Bickerstaff who I'm sure will be able to help you.

I'm guessing they may contact you directly via e-mail.



Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hi Graham,

That was a quicker response than I was expecting! Thank you for that, any help will be very happily received. out of interest, has my brother (Tim) been in contact with you about this bike in the past? I know he did some research about a year or two ago and I think he mentioned speaking to you guys at the VOC. My grandad tends to get 'bouts' of enthusiasm and it rubs off on you after a while, hence my efforts at the moment!

Thanks, Matt


VOC Vice President
VOC Member

I don't have any help to offer, but congratulations on the bike anyway - very desirable. Gearbox is not unique to HRD (Ariel used it briefly), but pretty rare, although there are similar top hung ones that you could fit (still fairly rare). Scouring autojumbles is your best bet. One or two tanks may exist (but note that they are not all the same) so if you can get a replica then I would advise you to do so.


Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Grandads HRD 029.jpgGrandads HRD 031.jpg

A couple of photo's showing the incorrect tank and home made seat on my grandads bike. Does anybody know what bike the tank might have come from?

Thanks, Matt

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Can't help with the tank, but any of a variety of contemporary seats will do. Modern replicas of Terry (a likely candidate) seats can be had from VMCC.
Someone will know this better than I, but a saddle tank on a 1926 bike is very much "leading edge" technology. That must have been almost the first year saddle tanks appeared. Four years earlier they were unknown. Somewhere I've read who first introduced them, maybe Sunbeam. Must go look...
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