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H: Hubs, Wheels and Tyres C. Borrani rims

SteveW

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have a 51 Rapide Tourer, exported to the states, w/ Borrani rims, 19/18". Does anyone know if these were stock or aftermarket? Other than size there is nothing about the rim make on the Work's check off sheets. Borranis were used on the Lightnings at the Works , but I do not see any other models listed w/ Borranis.
I suspect they may have been used to get around the Korean War ban on chrome. The hubs have metric bearings, which were used in that era.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I may be wrong but I dont recall any resonably sized British bikes (I have an original 52 Trophy with a painted tank because of the chrome shortages but chrome rims) that had to either paint their rims or add alloy because of rim chrome issues and Borrani rims were expensive (Gold dust now!) my guess on a tourer they were after market.
 

vin998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
The Vincent factory solution to lack of Chrome during the Korean war was to just fully paint the rims black.
As Vibrac says Borrani rims were always expensive and so only fitted to a few (but not all) Lightnings & Flashes.

I suspect any Borrani rims fitted today were done by a previous owner as these bikes are now 70 years old and anything could have happened to them in those years since leaving the factory.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
If this is aimed at me then I sold the wheel to a gentleman in the USA a few years ago and I have looked through the pictures I took at the time. This is the best that I can do. The pictures are of the whole wheel so not a good scale for stampings.
1609340307128.png
 

Keith Martin

Active Website User
VOC Member
These are 20 and 21 inch Borrani rims on a set of Lightning wheels. They have different logos. There are many different Borrani stamping.
 

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SteveW

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Only the rear is stamped the front rim (exactly like the rear, only 19")
Looks like they are after market, but a good upgrade.
Thanks.
 

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vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Akront made rims the same Looking like boranis.
Central wheels used to say Akront but now for some strange reason they describe the rims (crome and ally) with the appendage 'BSA' or 'Norton' or in the case of 'valenced alloy rim', 'Triumph' . There no mention of the actual makers of the rim, It may even be their own, they are big enough (I belive its CW who make the initial big order of 20" tyres from Avon), Although I am a long time user of CW I do tend nowadays to go to smaller wheelbuilders so I can see what they are supplying, and on occasion when its a straight change of rusty spokes or rim I have used my own Taveners jig made out of a kitchen worktop.
 

highbury731

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I want to get a spoke key to true up my Rapide wheels, but only find ones on offer which are two-sided - like an open-ended spanner. I want one which grips all four sides of the spoke nipple, like this bicycle one, the type I use:

or perhaps this vintage motorcycle one:

Paul
 

erik

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
On my bike the rear rim is blank beside a stamped in 40 . this could mean 40 spokes? On the front rim Borrani/WM 3 /19/ Record /RM01/4441
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My recent set of Ackront rims(for a Douglas project) no longer have a WM or even the MT stamped on them They have 1.6 X 21 and 2.15 X 19 that equates to a narrow WM1 and a std WM3 dont even ask me what that means on the MT scale I have enough job with all the 80/90 etc for tyres
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Didn´t Dunlop produce alu rims as well ? This type can be seen on some old pictures of racers and I would not think all were imported from Italy then.

Vic
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Does anyone know who made the un-stamped rims that were supplied on some
early Flashes and Lightnings?

Nobody knows where the unmarked rims for some of the Lightnings and Flashes came from. I asked John Bland, who ordered all the parts for Vincent, but he could not remember. He did remember sourcing them in Italy, but he could not remember the manufacturer.

According to John Bland, Dunlop would have had a trademark on the rims as they were working under strict trademark rules in the U.K. So would Boranni, being a licensee of Rudge for the Knock-off wheels, they generally complied with the U.K. trademark rules. There were no trademark rules in Italy and no trademarks were required for their home market or export markets.

These shallow shoulder rims were used by other race bikes of the period and they may be noted in the history of other marques, but to date, no manufacturer's name has emerged.

David
 

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