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How good is a good Burman box?

youngjohn

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
I've got a Honda clutch in my Comet and I still sometimes get a little 'crunch' when changing (nice and slowly), mainly from 3rd to 2nd and from 3rd to 4th.
I use Penrite Semi-Fluid grease in the box. How good should they be?
 

vincenttwin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I get a little crunch going into first if the revs are a little high ,other wise my pre war BAP Burman is very good ,and it has an Conways Honda clutch fitted.
Peter
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hello John, I think they are a good box, I raced my Black Flash ! for a bit, And on the road I think it's good, Try doing quicker changes, Cheers Bill.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
When racing its not the speed of the changes that will catch you out its the changing down for a hairpin and relying on engine braking and poof! a neutral!

How good is a good Burman box? carthorses and race tracks come to mind..
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I believe Burman built the Norton transmission also, but it was a staggering amount more. Too much for an already expensive single. So, Burman could build great transmissions, the Comet model was built to a price and unfortunately, it can show. I suspect they are fine for the street and a bit of crunching and a long lever throw is OK. On the track a false neutral will loose you a spot or a race every time.

David
 

b'knighted

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I suspect they are fine for the street and a bit of crunching and a long lever throw is OK. On the track a false neutral will loose you a spot or a race every time.

David

The Comet was built for road use. Vincent's supplied a different machine with a different gearbox for track use.
Riders of other makes that used Burman gearboxes don't seem to regard them as substandard.

My current 636cc Comet (probably less than 58bhp) runs the best Burman gearbox I have ever used and I think the slight improvement is probably down to the Conways clutch fitted. Thanks John!

I don't know how good or bad the Burman was when new but it is my firm belief that the abuse that Vincenteers heap upon them now is due, in the main, to worn clutches. All the Burman clutches I have come across have suffered notchy wear to the basket, hub and the tangs on the plates. I believe that some new replacement pattern clutches use the wide tangs, Lightning friction plate style. If the plates can slide freely on the hub and in the basket the clutch clears easily and grips adequately. With a properly functioning clutch the Burman box is fit for everyday use.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Of course a Newby belt drive and clutch will also improve things but its a bit like putting an alloy tank rearsets and clipons on a side valve BSA
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
If you are using semi fluid grease then the gearbox has to warm up a bit to obtain smooth changes. Anyone talking about long lever throw has obviously never ridden a Velocette or a foot change New Imperial! They both make our Burman 'boxes seem like slick Japanese units :)
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
New Imperial did they not use albion boxes or was that excelsior? ( the two pre war makes that I can never seperate in my mind)
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Excelsior certainly used Albion but I think mine is a bastardised Burman/Sturmey Archer. Always lusted after an OHC Excelsior but fear I am too late unless I sell something :-(
The New Imp was a leader in design with its unit construction and helical primary drive but it died when the founder did.
 
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