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Venhill Cables

Monkeypants

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
In an effort to lighten the pull of a very heavy clutch, I fitted one of these to the Norton Commando awhile back. The Venhill Featherlight cables have a stainless steel cable running in a teflon lined outer. Just by changing to the Venhill, clutch pull went from a measured 24 pounds down to 16 pounds.
Changing the stack height got the pull down even lower to the one finger range, but that is a Norton story.
The Venhill worked so well on the Norton that I decided to replace all the cables on the Oz Rapide with Venhill Featherlights. These were custom made to drawings I sent them. The cables arrived today and they are beautifully done.
The front brake cable was the main item of concern as the old one hada visible wear mark below the balance beam. This was the result of a stripped thread in the balance beam allowing the adjuster to sit cocked on the beam.
Since the beam thread was stripped on one side, I decided to have the cables made using standard 8 mm adjusters. I drilled out the other side a tiny amount to allow the adjuster to slide in. Locknuts on te djusters below and above the beam hold the adjusters solidly in place.


I asked that the brake cables be made up in their standard clutch/brake weight, however the builder went up a couple of sizes. The result is a very skookum affair, perhaps similar in weight to the special heavy duty VOC Spares item? The Venhill has the added advantage of the teflon liner, which is super slippery and never requires lubrication.
They also made up throttle cables with special steel bends which thread directly into the carb caps. Very nice stuff!
I wonder if Ian Savage might consider having Venhill make up some Vincent cables? Most will want the standard 5/16" x 26 tpi adjusters on the front brake cable, so those would likely have to be sourced and supplied to Venhill. Other than that, they have everything needed, even found the special 1/4" cylindtcal nipples with finger pull that go at bottom of the brake cables.
 

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greg brillus

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
What kind of pricing are you looking at for these.....and what was the waiting time..? Greg.
 

Monkeypants

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The two front brake cables were 70gbp combined. The same two at the Spares Co. are just over 100 gbp, but not in Featherlight of course.
The clutch cable was 25gbp , however for a stock item like a Commando clutch cable, cost is just 12 gbp. Considering these were custom made, the cost was not excessive.
Wait time was one week, plus shipping time.
My thinking is that the Spares Co could have Venhills make up ten or twenty each of all Vincent cables, then pricing to them per cable ought to be similar to the Commando clutch cable. With markup added, the cost would still be reasonable and we would have a source for top quality cables that function better than ordinary cables. They should last longer as well.
Jim: the kitchen is actually the laundry room, just aconvenient flat spot to lay the cables on:D
Glen
 
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Monkeypants

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Tried out the front brake with the new Venhill cable installed yesterday. The brakes on this bike have always been very good, however the Venhill has improved the front brake noticably. I rode the Commando with it's new 6 pot 320 mm disc first, expecting the Vincent brake to feel pretty useless afterward. The Vincent brake with the new cable is almost on par with that big disc, maybe not at 120 mph but for regular road use at least.
 

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redbloke1956

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Tried out the front brake with the new Venhill cable installed yesterday. The brakes on this bike have always been very good, however the Venhill has improved the front brake noticably. I rode the Commando with it's new 6 pot 320 mm disc first, expecting the Vincent brake to feel pretty useless afterward. The Vincent brake with the new cable is almost on par with that big disc, maybe not at 120 mph but for regular road use at least.

Hi Glenliman, can you (or anyone else) explain the advantage/s of 6 pots over 2 or 4 please.

Regards
Kevin
 

Monkeypants

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The brake shoe is about four or five times the size of the old two pot lockheed that was on there, so it, is quite long. I assume that the greater number of pistons are needed to push evenly on the shoe along it's considerable length. The old two pot setup got very hot and faded to nothing if the bike was ridden hard. This six piston brake does not.
It is likely that any of the aftermarket four pot brakes would also have solved the overheating problem, however this brake is the only one I have seen that is made to fit perfectly on the bike without any alteration. It came with a new custom fork slider, rather than a just a bracket and spacers as the others have. It also came with a new correctly sizedMaster cylinder that bolts directly to the Norton switchgear.

The dual drum Vincent setup with finned drums, ferodo linings and lightning backing plates is a much better brake than the old Norton Lockheed 2pot.
Lots of go in those old Commandos but not all that much stop!

Glen
 
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Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I found with the commando discs, It was the pad hardness or softness which did the stopping, I loved the first type they used, Very soft !!, Very powerfull, They said some people could wear them out in 250 miles !!, Not me, So they stopped selling them, The harder pads were never as good, I went over to the Norvil disc, Not very good, Till I found some Soft pads, Cheers Bill.
 

Monkeypants

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
After losing the Commando front brake to heat fade and nearly running into the back of Robert Watson's Vincent on the Duffy lake road switchbacks a few years ago, I changed to Ferodo pads from Vintage brake. This made the brake lighter to apply, but didn't help at all with the heat problem. The pads on the original setup are just too tiny to be able to cope with repeated hard braking.
The Vincent is just the opposite, the brakes never seem to fade under hard use, if anything heat makes them work even better. The Vincent lining must be at least ten times the surface area of those tiny little lockheed norton pads, it's a wonder they worked at all!
 
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