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The most original Lightning on the planet?

Somer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I kind of doubt it. The factory sent out Birmabrite ones. I still have one.
 

Somer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Harry Belville use to have a row of NOS Lightning wheels. They were Borrani as I remember. I have also seen steel 20/21 inch wheels on Lightnings.
 

Little Honda

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Pre 69 BMWs has 24MM at biggest.
Not correct: 500cc flat twins had 2 carb variants: 24mm and 26mm. The 26mm variant of BING carb was fitted
to the later models with rear swinging arm suspension. 28mm were 600cc. The early variant (R51/3) had 2 hp
less, than the later one, which had 26hp.
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I was lucky enough to be in a line with Don Vesco* at Daytona in 1982 or so and he told me that he rode the Free Lightning in road races several times at Riverside Raceway near Los Angeles in the early '60's.

* Don, not as lucky!
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
As to BMW Bing carbs, there are NO 28 mm carbs, never were on classic fifties or sixties types, Earles or plunger rear end, non concentric floats. The touring types had 24mm max. and the sports types like R 50 S , R 68 and R 69 +S had 26 mm . The maximum Bing got out of the small cases was 27.5 mm. Otherwise you´d need a bigger case and bigger slides so there will be some good fit and no air leaking past the slide. There is a bigger type of 28, 30 and 32 mm Bings, non concentric, like in my photo below on a 460cc Horex, but this series was never sold on production bikes.
The /5 series had a new type of Bings, concentric with rubber membrane slide and 32mm on the 750 and simple Bowden operated slide on the 500 and 600 types, 26mm I think.

Vic
R 69 S with Kayser alu cylinders 734 cc:
P1040059.JPG

32mm big Bing on Horex 460cc:
Horex Regina 460, 1954.JPG
 

TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
It’s the same bike as in the very first post in this thread. The original owner was Len Hardy.
 

Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
And as previously mentioned, it had approximately 100 miles put on by the factory during testing and then just shy of another 100 miles during its life so far. Never been rebuilt, original tyres, unmolested in any way.

The 100 miles at the factory was on a "petrol alcohol blend". Run at an unused aerodrome 6200 rpm 3rd gear at 125 mph and ran out of bumpy runway. Produced approximately 70bhp.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Is it just me, Or is that a bit SAD, I am sure they were not built to just sit around.
30 bhp would be enough if it doesn't ever go.
He beat me by 1 mph !, I was timed at 124 mph in Third, = Long story !, On my Road Bike !.
 
Last edited:

Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Is it just me, Or is that a bit SAD, I am sure they were not built to just sit around.
30 bhp would be enough if it doesn't ever go.
I’m guessing if it was sitting in your living room, you could probably overcome your sadness.
In a way you are absolutely correct, but.... it is also nice to have an example of one exactly as is came out of the factory.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It wouldn't, It would have a number plate on it and be used.
Mine means more to me than that one, Mine was rebuilt from scrap from Africa, I thrashed the nuts off it, And now it's a road bike., Roll on the Spring, I am very wet and cold !.
For me money does not come into it, As I keep telling the Wife.
 

Little Honda

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
As to BMW Bing carbs, there are NO 28 mm carbs, never were on classic fifties or sixties types, Earles or plunger rear end, non concentric floats. The touring types had 24mm max. and the sports types like R 50 S , R 68 and R 69 +S had 26 mm . The maximum Bing got out of the small cases was 27.5 mm. Otherwise you´d need a bigger case and bigger slides so there will be some good fit and no air leaking past the slide. There is a bigger type of 28, 30 and 32 mm Bings, non concentric, like in my photo below on a 460cc Horex, but this series was never sold on production bikes.
The /5 series had a new type of Bings, concentric with rubber membrane slide and 32mm on the 750 and simple Bowden operated slide on the 500 and 600 types, 26mm I think.

Vic
R 69 S with Kayser alu cylinders 734 cc:
View attachment 32173

32mm big Bing on Horex 460cc:
View attachment 32174
Sorry, Vic, I mixed hp in my memory with mm. 24hp R51/3, 26hp R50/2, 28hp R 60/2. My memory
fm 40yrs ago trumped me up ( :D)
 

Flylow

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Is it just me, Or is that a bit SAD, I am sure they were not built to just sit around.
30 bhp would be enough if it doesn't ever go.
He beat me by 1 mph !, I was timed at 124 mph in Third, = Long story !, On my Road Bike !.
Bill, please do tell the story:
"He beat you by 1 mph" Who is 'he"?
Thanks -Kurt
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Cyborg post 112, I don't know who ,
My road Bike on standard gearing, I was doing a flying start 1/4 mile sprint,
We don't get the chance to do many in UK.
On one run I only did 124 mph at the end traps in 4 th.
Should have been over 130 at that time of my racing, I did not think clear, Shot back to the start line
And thrashed it though in 3 rd gear = Same speed 124 !, Lots of rev's !.
If I had thought about it I would have known I could not beat what I had already done,
But it was all a rush, I think they call it , "Red Mist " or panick.
As you can see from post 110, I am not built for speed.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
To put this in context I once did 140 mph on my twin, still 1,000 ccs, at the end of a half mile sprint at Long Marston. The bike was ridden to the meeting. I had geared for what I thought would be about a 125 mph terminal speed but the rev counter was showing 7,000 rpm at the end of one run. Working back that was 140 mph on the gearing being used. Note that chronometric devices have some lag and therefore it is possible that the true rpm was slightly higher than that. The bike had 10.5:1 compression ratio, one and three eighths Wal Phillips fuel injectors and was on five star fuel. The silencer was just a shell with a one and five eighths diameter tube through it, no baffles. After the sprint I put the panniers back on but did not change the silencer. With the girl friend on the back I opened the throttle to overtake a line of cars and was up to 90 mph almost at once. I imagine that the performance was something like some of the modern super bikes, non of which I have ever ridden. I did win my class in the sprint. :)
 
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Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My last modern superbike was a Ducati 1098 and 3rd gear redline is bordering on Armageddon. Just hanging on is all consuming and although it creates a colossal adrenaline dump, it reality (for a street bike) it is also bordering on the absurd.
 

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