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Timing Cover

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Timing Cover and pre war seat

Having just missed the Ad deadline, I thought I would ask here if anyone has a timing cover to spare --- No it does not need to be an HRD one with raised oil galleries -- just a standard old Vincent one would do just fine.

Last edited:

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Timing Cover and Seats!!

I am still searching for the elusive timing cover, but also have another question

Does anyone know if the rubber Bungee type cords with the crimped on ends used on the pre war saddles are available, or must one revert to the modern steel spring??? Anyone have a pattern of how they went together?? It appears that there are 7 bungee pieces that double up. Starting from the rear, they flat hook into the seat frame, go forward and loop around a C type clip and then go back to another flat hook at the rear. 14 wide (1/4"??) slots in the rear frame and 7 holes in the front. There appears to be 3 or 4 different lengths of bungee and at least 3 different lengths of C clip. I have 6 1/2 very tired bungees and 3 different sized C hooks.

I do have a modern repro seat complete but, if possible would rather restore the original.



Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
seat type ?????????

Hi Robert,

I cant help you with either part however I am intrigued by the rubber bungee as I have never seen this type of seat. Were A's not fitted with Drilastic seats which use a rubber cover over two spring steel rods running for / aft?

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I understand that indeed A's were fitted with a Dunlop rubber seat - indeed I have such an animal however - it apppers to be somewhat smaller than what is required. If the front pivot is connected the rear springs have to sit at a rather akward angle to engage the rear mount holes. With the bikes (A twin and TTR) came this rubber seat, plus two other seats. The other two are a rather older looking saddle which has said bungee cords and a leather cover. There is also a new leather cover and a complete new (repro) seat but using springs to support the cover. It appears to be a geneic one used on many pre war machines. Both of these fit the frame much better. The interesting part is that if I look at several somewhat peiod pictures, it indeed appears to have a leather seat cover.
First page 23 of Vincent-HRD by Peter Carrick ("Worlds Motor Cyles" Series) appears to me to show such a seat, and as the machine has a black out headlamp, I assume taking some time during WW2. I am not sure when blackout rules were in effect but it was owned (not the original owner) at one time by a Major Johnston, so perhaps hiis wartime transport. As there are many non stadard bits on it by now, I can only guess that the original seat was replaced very early on, or perhaps even ordered that way although the factory buid sheet does show Dunlop.

As an aside it then appears to have passed to George Rampling (test house supervisor at Srevenage) who emigrated to Canada in 1948. I have talked with his step son who always wondered what happened to his dad's bikes. If I recall correctly George passed away in the late 50's. On one of my post war twins the RFM came from the B Rapide that he also brought with him in 1948. The rest of the bike was turned into a very effictive drag racer in the hands of George McCreight (sp) and is still owned by the little (no so any more) boy who lived a few doors away and always hung around Gearge's garage to watch him work on the bike. George left it to him in his will!

I also have pictures from 1955, and although now 16 years old and in Canada it still shows the leather covered seat.

As noted below the Carrick picture - non standard brakes and seat. I have reproduced the brakes. (Originals destroyed when driven rather hard into the side on an Edsel in 1958!) and now contemplate what seat to use!!

So anyone got a large Dunlop rubber seat??

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member

Robert: I have a 1921 Sunbeam. It doesn't have a Sunbeam seat. The bike is completely original and unrestored. Savvy owners specified (I'm making this up because i can't remember the name) "Acme seats, the mark of the experienced motor cyclist". Maybe it was Excel. If it wasn't raining and dark, and the yard full of dragons, I'd go and look.
The point however is that before the war (WW II), manufacturers stuck on SOME accessories that were cheap as chips, because they knew the owners would throw them away and substitute whatever was fashionable to avoid being laughed at by their friends. Terrible thing, peer pressure: look at all those poor sods turning the clock back and substituting cadmium plated mild steel nuts for the stainless nuts PEI would have used if cost had not been an issue.
Dunlop rubber saddles, in my experience (which is not comprehensive), were generally factory fitted only to trials bikes. All others had metal pans, leather covered. I'm not entirely sure that Dunlop rubber saddles weren't in fact a cheap alternative to "real" saddles.


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