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Misc: Everything Else 1949 Series C Rapide - How to start after 13 years

Francis

Website User
VOC Member
Hello,

Very briefly I inherited my father's 1949 Series C Rapide in 2007 when he died. Unfortunately I was too young to be able to ride it and now I am in a position to take some time to get it going and hopefully enjoy riding around South Wales.

The bike has been stored well in my mother's garage with a dehumidifier for the past 13 years and turns over on the kick start. Anyway I would be very grateful in what steps I should take in trying to get her started, and what approach I should take?

I am by no means an expert mechanic but an enthusiastic amateur and pretty happy to work things out / have a go at any job I can with the tools I have. I am a trainee eye surgeon so I have decent dexterity, although used to much more delicate things than steel and petrol...

Thanks in advance for your help.

Francis
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Assuming it was running well when your dad left it ,You need some information I suggest the books shown on https://www.vincentspares.co.uk/help/ Drain the oil out of tank and sump .take off the carb clean it out take out the taps clean then leave them in new petrol overnight I bet you will need new petrol pipes if not oil pipes, clean the points make sure the tappet clearence is not excessive check oil in gearbox and primary when you think you are back together and ready to start inject some oil into filter chamber and up the mainshaft from timing cover and down pushrod tubes and most importantly unless you have a well developed leg get or borrow a set of driven rollers run the engine in top gear till oil bubbles out of block inside oil tank. check spark add new plugs and try and start it . when and if it starts then you will see what needs doing and you can really start sorting it out and of course heck you have all the cycle parts yet!
 
Last edited:

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Some help, assistance from a local club member would be of great benefit.........There are too many things to list that are only going to overwhelm you if you have a minimal mechanical knowledge. Simply adding fuel and checking the oil before a start up from years of nil use could easily do more harm than good.
 

Graham Smith

VOC Hon. Editor
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
 

Francis

Website User
VOC Member
Thanks very much, yes a bit of help never goes amiss. When I was joining the club last night I couldn't find the Welsh Region - I am not sure if it comes under something else to try and track down the most local people?

I may have undersold my mechanical knowledge a bit - better that than assuming too much I think!

Probably time to knuckle down to some reading then - I suspect all these books are in the family home somewhere already - I've seen one or two before for sure.
 

Graham Smith

VOC Hon. Editor
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
Sadly, the South Wales Section was disbanded some years ago, so your local Section is probably the Mid Gloucester Section

 

Francis

Website User
VOC Member
Sadly, the South Wales Section was disbanded some years ago, so your local Section is probably the Mid Gloucester Section

First the mines then this... Thanks - Gloucester isn't too much of a stretch.
 

b'knighted

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Depending on the browser that you're using and the screen size of your device, below the Mercury Crest in the page header is an envelope icon, next to your user name. It should be showing that I have sent you a PM.

Screenshot 2021-05-04 at 15.24.36.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Phil Davies

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hello,

Very briefly I inherited my father's 1949 Series C Rapide in 2007 when he died. Unfortunately I was too young to be able to ride it and now I am in a position to take some time to get it going and hopefully enjoy riding around South Wales.

The bike has been stored well in my mother's garage with a dehumidifier for the past 13 years and turns over on the kick start. Anyway I would be very grateful in what steps I should take in trying to get her started, and what approach I should take?

I am by no means an expert mechanic but an enthusiastic amateur and pretty happy to work things out / have a go at any job I can with the tools I have. I am a trainee eye surgeon so I have decent dexterity, although used to much more delicate things than steel and petrol...

Thanks in advance for your help.

Francis
Definitely disconnect the timed breather pipe union (at the bottom of the front cylinder by the magneto) and squirt some engine oil in there, turn the engine over a couple of times slowly while doing so. the breather sleeve is prone to siezing on the shaft (oil has drained out).
Plugs out, turn the engine over (push the bike around in gear) until oil returns at the tank (its a long process), this saves a lot of heartache, before a live start.
 

Francis

Website User
VOC Member
Definitely disconnect the timed breather pipe union (at the bottom of the front cylinder by the magneto) and squirt some engine oil in there, turn the engine over a couple of times slowly while doing so. the breather sleeve is prone to siezing on the shaft (oil has drained out).
Plugs out, turn the engine over (push the bike around in gear) until oil returns at the tank (its a long process), this saves a lot of heartache, before a live start.
This sounds like it should avoid some heartache I would like to steer clear of - thanks
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I gave up pushing a bike around about a year after I gave up kicking repeatedly my solution was a made up set of rollers fitted with a 4.5HP electric motor its about on the domestic 13Amp limit but it does the job.
I believe you can spend money and buy one as well :)
 

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