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Comet Handlebar Control levers PR14, PR15, PR16

craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have rusty, chrome, ball end control levers (brake, clutch, lifter) that look like 1960's era replacement items.
The front brake has .875" pivot to cable
The clutch has 1.094" pivot to cable
The lifter is right side with 1.094" pivot to cable

As i view another Comet, with no ball ends (pointed end levers), the pivot to cable is 1.094" on all 3 levers.

When i go to look for new, non adjusting, stock OEM type , steel. chrome levers, are there issues that i should be aware of? Besides wanting a solid PR15 lifter lever.
I am to assume all 2010 control levers are 3/8 cable barrel ends?
Is there a best supplier for these Vincent levers?
Amal turned into Doherty?
Do I want Amal clip straps? Anyone repros these Amal clip straps?

These control lever pivot dimensions do not appear to be discussed at any suppliers website, including Vincent suppliers!
PR14 - Vincent clutch lever
PR15 - Vincent lifter lever - solid lever
PR16 - Vincent brake lever

Is the lever ratio a situation of early technology versus later technology? Early being the 1.094'" and later wanting a more power going to .875"?
Does a Vincent series C really require the extra travel associated with 1.094" ?

Thanks for any help
Craig

link to picture - http://www.trialsbits.co.uk/images/...d.jpg?osCsid=6d1f850f891aa0182fc3cd62b1971c1c
 
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timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I'm not a Comet expert but on twins which have had a multi-plate clutch fitted this distance has bee an issue for some time. It seems that the larger this distance the better, as it gives more lift on the clutch and hence more clearance between the clutch plates when lifted. Good luck.
 

chankly bore

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
You are better off with the larger centre distance on the Comet clutch,as it needs all the help it can get to overcome stiction and untrue steel plates.I believe the 1 1/8'' centres were original.I have gotten away with 7/8" centres,but everything needs to be flat and true and you need to spend some time adjusting your spring tension.For this job you need to make or buy a special little tool wot straddles the 1/4" BSF threads that the spring caps screw on to.
 

Howard

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VOC Member
I'm not a Comet expert but on twins which have had a multi-plate clutch fitted this distance has bee an issue for some time. It seems that the larger this distance the better, as it gives more lift on the clutch and hence more clearance between the clutch plates when lifted. Good luck.

I've found on a twin with a multi-plate, that the levers in the gearbox often limit the travel, so a longer lever travel can't always be used.

H
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi Howard, I am not sure that I understand what you mean by 'levers in the gearbox'. If this is the long arm in the kick starter cover (G91) into which the cable nipple fits then you should be able to find a position by first slackening the cable adjuster, then screwing in the adjuster in the lower part of the kick starter cover (ET27/1AS), in which the cable abutment is not the limit of the movement. This should give you the maximum amount of movement on the lever which is then controlled by the distance between the centers on the handle bar lever.
 

Howard

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi Howard, I am not sure that I understand what you mean by 'levers in the gearbox'. If this is the long arm in the kick starter cover (G91) into which the cable nipple fits then you should be able to find a position by first slackening the cable adjuster, then screwing in the adjuster in the lower part of the kick starter cover (ET27/1AS), in which the cable abutment is not the limit of the movement. This should give you the maximum amount of movement on the lever which is then controlled by the distance between the centers on the handle bar lever.

Hi

Yes that's where I mean. The lever in the kickstart cover can only move from up against the kickstart cover to hard against the tapered sleeve that the cable outer fits into (sorry I don't know part numbers), nomatter how much travel the handlebar lever provides. If there's more travel at the handlebar end it puts strain on the nipple at the other end every time you pull the lever to max travel.
I think my memory's right on that, it's a few years ago, before I changed to my present clutch.

H
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
On a Comet you need the larger pivot/cable dimension as others have mentioned. If you use the 1.094" lever on the brake you get more travel but less leverage so the 0.875" is correct for that..John
 

craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
John, Howard, Chankly and all, thank for input on the Vincent control levers, i find myself more confused after this voc session on levers than before. I have a few questions on PR14, PR15, PR16
1) did C series Vincent come with Amal brake, lift and clutch levers?
2) if so, what were the Amal part numbers of the items during the era of Vincent manufacture ?
3) did Amal levers morph into Doherty lever? if so when?
4) is the correct terminology for these two different pull ratio levers - 7/8" and 1 1/8" rather than my .875 and 1.094
5) Is there a 1950 Amal catalog for lever components? anyone?
thanks
Craig
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dear Craig, welcome to the world of the VOC (Very Old Children) and of the terminally confused. Now you know what it is like for the rest of us. I do not know the answer to all of your questions but will do the best that I can until nurse comes to tidy me up. I have no idea which company made the handlebar levers which were used by Vincents but what you need to know is that the clutch and front brake levers were folded steel plate items and the valve lifter was a cast bronze or brass item. There will be people in the Club who will not only have more detail on this but can probably tell you the name of the chap who made them, the colour of his hair and their adventures with his mother. I do not think that Doherty were ever involved and in the time interval between 1947 and 1955 I think that there was only one supplier. The figures which seem to have confused you, 7/8" and 1 1/8", are what you already have, 7/8" = 0.875" and 1 1/8" = 1.125". Those are the distances between the pivot point and the center of the nipples. Use the levers with the larger value for the clutch lever to give you the largest amount of movement on the bottom end of the cable. In my opinion it does not matter which you use for the brake but it is certainly true that the shorter distance will give you more leverage. It will depend upon whether you have the brakes set up properly or not as to whether more movement or more leverage will be best for your bike. It is highly likely that either the VOC Spares Co or Kemps can supply levers which are near or exact matches to the original but Vehicle Wiring Products (with whom I have no connection) also supply some levers which are similar to the originals but have adjusters built in (a good thing if you do not want originality) and with ball ends. I do not know the distance between centers for these levers. Nurse is now here with the two large gentlemen who hold me down so must close now.
 
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TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
To throw more into the mix, I have an original Shadow built in Nov '52 that came with Bowden levers, all three. The valve lifter is 7/8" from center of pivot to center of nipple, while the clutch lever is 1 1/8".

The offset from pivot to cable is more important for leverage, like for your front brake. For distance your clutch rod will travel, isn't it equally important how many degrees your clutch lever can swing before it hits your handlebar? I can't speak for Amal levers, as I only have Bowden and Doherty, but the post that the Bowden lever rests against is at a much wider angle relative to your grip, compared to the Doherty post. So my Bowden lever can swing a wider arc than the Doherty lever. To get the most lift at the clutch, wouldn't you want both a wide arc, plus a longer radius (the pivot dimension)?

How does an Amal post compare to a Bowden, when measuring the degrees the post is canted, relative to the handlebar?
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
My fifties MCA Catalogue illustrates and specifies a variety of Amal and Doherty levers with either 7/8 inch or 1 and 1/16 inches between centres. Must check my spares to see if I can find any with 1 and 1/8inch spacing which may be a more recent innovation?

Vic
 

craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Amal 18/795, 18/796, etc.

My fifties MCA Catalogue illustrates and specifies a variety of Amal and Doherty levers with either 7/8 inch or 1 and 1/16 inches between centres. Must check my spares to see if I can find any with 1 and 1/8inch spacing which may be a more recent innovation? Vic

Thank you Vic, this is exactly what i was looking for. I cannot upload the full file so here is a crop of the Amal standard hand control. Looks like 7/8 and 1 1/16 are the two different center to centers. My measurements were just approximations. I like the Amal part numbers!
thanks
Craig
 

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  • Amal 18-795 Controlsmall.jpg
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craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
M025 control drawing

I realize a drawing may not be accurate, but i look carefully at what exactly is pictured for series C Vincent and this is what i see.
1) PR16 Amal front brake lever, pressed steel, chrome plated, 7/8 center.
2) PR15 Bowden lift lever, solid cast, chrome plated, 7/8 center
3) PR14 Amal clutch lever. pressed steel, chrome plated 1 1/16" center

I would like details on Bowden levers.
Anyone help?
Craig
 

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Howard

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I realize a drawing may not be accurate, but i look carefully at what exactly is pictured for series C Vincent and this is what i see.
1) PR16 Amal front brake lever, pressed steel, chrome plated, 7/8 center.
2) PR15 Bowden lift lever, solid cast, chrome plated, 7/8 center
3) PR14 Amal clutch lever. pressed steel, chrome plated 1 1/16" center

I would like details on Bowden levers.
Anyone help?
Craig

I don't know if this is any help, but Armours (Bournemouth) have a catalogue of levers, cables, silencers etc etc on-line, that looks as though it was first printed in the 50s.

H
 

craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Armours (Bournemouth) have a catalogue of levers, cables, silencers etc etc on-line, that looks as though it was first printed in the 50s.H

Thanks Howard, i found i had to type in an adress for the catalog, their link doesn't work from the page i was on.
http://homepage.mac.com/armours/.Public/MasterCatalogue.pdf
yes , this gets me an understanding of the later part numbers that i assume are Doherty.
anybody have an actual Doherty catalog?
Craig
 

craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bowden lever example

I was able to borrow a Rapide handlebar set for Bowden study. This appears to be a restored handlebar set with perfect plating, so the Bowden looks stunningly perfect!
Is this style Bowden what some of you lucky guys have? Or do you have a "flag style" pivot?
 

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craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
To throw more into the mix, I have an original Shadow built in Nov '52 that came with Bowden levers, all three. The valve lifter is 7/8" from center of pivot to center of nipple, while the clutch lever is 1 1/8".

Hi Steve, Can you please post pictures of your Bowden levers on your Shadow?
thank you
Craig
 

TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
A niece moved in with us recently, and the Shadow is currently buried deep in the garage. You can view very good quality reproduction Bowden levers on Michael Breeding's Vincent part site. Note that his Bowden levers do not have what I consider to be a proper Bowden pivot post. Attached are pictures of a Bowden pivot like the ones for the brake and clutch lever as supplied on the Shadow my father bought new. The levers on the Shadow are identical to the photo in your post a couple of posts up this thread.
 

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craig

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bowden lever information wanted

Steve, My research shows the "fork"pivot Bowden lifter lever is the later model Bowden. The single tab or flag tab pivot lever is an earlier version Bowden lifter lever. I cant put a year to it at this time, and i am sure these updates happened when the supplier simply sent the new style levers. The Bowden fabrication of a cast brass or bronze lever seems like pre war design. Where is the Bowden catalog and technical documentation?

I was able borrow another Bowden lifter lever for research. This one seems original with the correct machine screws and nut/washer
Craig
 

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Hugo Myatt

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Craig,
Your 'Thumbnail' of the lifter lever is identical with the one on my 1952 Rapide which I bought in about 1964. Curiously it has a Bowden double choke lever as well. These choke levers are without ball ends and have a splayed flat appearance. Whether these are later fitments or not I wouldn't know. Perhaps the works used Bowden choke levers when there was a shortage of the Amal pattern.
 

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