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The Glory Days of British Motorbikes

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JasonB30/03/2014 16:39:27
19538 forum posts
2136 photos
1 articles

One for the old bikers out there to watch before coco time.

BBC4 7.00pm tonight


John Bromley30/03/2014 17:43:50
84 forum posts

Great heads up!

I'll watch that on the Iplayer tomorrow.


John Hinkley30/03/2014 18:26:44
1012 forum posts
344 photos


I don't think so! The link says it's currently not available on iplayer. Better set the recorder.



Michael Gilligan30/03/2014 22:13:53
17010 forum posts
756 photos
Posted by John Hinkley on 30/03/2014 18:26:44:


I don't think so! The link says it's currently not available on iplayer. Better set the recorder.





That's because you checked before the programme had been shown.

... It's available now.



P.S. if you happen to have Mac ... iPlayer Downloader is very useful.

... I presume there are similar applications available for other platforms.

ronan walsh31/03/2014 00:55:39
544 forum posts
32 photos

This programme is repeated fairly regularly on bbc, i have seen it a few times and found it good. It was good to listen to the tales from the old ton-up boys, but i find it irksome to listen to some of the other contributors in their 20's and 30's telling us about motorcycling in the 50's and 60's.

GarryC31/03/2014 08:43:36
740 forum posts
1043 photos

Damn missed that, sounds like it was all about a bit before my time though - my main biking days were in the 70's and 80's, great times, but also again the past few years... Things have changed a lot, most of the current biking generation I have met don't seem to want to ride further than the first burger van and only if there are no clouds in the sky, great shame, bikes seem to be little more than a fashion accessory to some these days, my wife is very impressed with all the colour coordination, it was all frilly leathers and jeans in my day..... I'd better stop there..

Big wave though to any old lads from the 70's and 80's...



Russell Eberhardt31/03/2014 11:13:14
2607 forum posts
85 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 30/03/2014 22:13:53:

P.S. if you happen to have Mac ... iPlayer Downloader is very useful.

... I presume there are similar applications available for other platforms.

Yes, it's available for Windows as well but not Android or Linux. I find I get better picture quality if I download befor watching.


GaryM01/04/2014 23:08:35
314 forum posts
44 photos

Bit late with this but it's on BBC4 at 11.50pm tonight (Tuesday), about 40 mins from now. I've seen it before.


YAK01/04/2014 23:36:39
58 forum posts
2 photos

I remember my Ariel 1000cc Square 4 which I fitted into a Norton Feather Bed frame, my god did that improve the handling. Fond memories, and no the rear cylinders did not over heat. Probably due to it's four exhausts.


Windy02/04/2014 00:07:23
803 forum posts
157 photos

I am watching it after my visit to the church for a pint.


Warwick Wilton02/04/2014 00:19:33
4 forum posts

Thanks but no thanks tryed to get on Iplayer but you British wont let us out side the UK get the BBC Iplayer.

you got me all exited, will have to wait untill one of or free to air play it here down under.

just remember this is global. thanks any way. I now no to look out for it. or it mite be rerun in a couple of weeks. I am

coming over from australia to visit.

Bill Pudney02/04/2014 01:57:27
483 forum posts
16 photos


Google "featherbed frame" and go to images. Compare that with a typical bicycle frame which most motorcycle frames were still based on in the late 40s

The original was developed by the McAndless brothers from Northern Ireland after WW2. The name was coined by I believe Harold Daniell the works Norton rider, when he pulled in from his first ride and said something like "'s like being on a featherbed".

The merits are several, because of it's design it was far stiffer than a traditional frame, and so the front wheel and rear wheel stood a better chance of staying in line. It was a genuine quantum leap in handling and steering especially compared to the plunger equipped frames that preceded it at Nortons. It was somewhat lighter than the hearth brazed, forged lug frames that were in general use.

Entire books could be written about how the featherbed changed motorcycling, but suffice it to say that the suberb handing and steering that it provided enabled Nortons to maintain their Grand Prix competitiveness into the 60s.



neville rigg 102/04/2014 02:15:32
24 forum posts

Featherbed frames, happy days, the last one I owned I put a ohc Velo in it, superb.


Gordon W02/04/2014 10:29:56
2011 forum posts

A friend of mine has a McAndless converted Norton plunger frame, ball bearing swinging arm and single down tube. Has a Norton Inter motor.This was the start of the featherbed ? I was not all that keen on a featherbed, preferred a bit of feedback, ie. Velo and Goldy. Neville you must have had fun lining up the chains.

MadMike02/04/2014 10:32:43
212 forum posts
4 photos

Featherbed frames? There are 2 bikes in my garage with Featherbed frames. One has a Wideline Featherbed and the other a Slimline. Wonderful to ride even today.

Bubble02/04/2014 10:50:57
75 forum posts
6 photos

Hi Gordon

My KSS had a McCandless-converted rear and BSA front forks and handled very well.

Not like a Featherbed but better than my Garden Gate ES2 presently in bits.

Did you see Ken Sprayson on the programme, he must be 100 by now!


Neil Wyatt02/04/2014 20:20:10
18404 forum posts
718 photos
78 articles

If Ken who sent some pictures of motorcycle frames from the '50s to MEW a couple of years ago is reading this thread, could he contact me and identify himself as I'd like to return the pictures and discuss his article. (I have written to his former address).


ian cable02/04/2014 20:34:26
40 forum posts

just sold my le mans v, 90000 miles of fun still got my c15 though ian c

neville rigg 103/04/2014 03:55:02
24 forum posts

Gordon, If I remember the chain line did not cause a great problem, turn the teeth off the Norton brake drum and sprocket and fasten the velo sprocket on the outer face, the differance in chain width came out O.K. up to 3/8 from 1/4, never broke a chain, maybe just lucky, can't remember if I had to put spacers on the frame/engine bolts. neville

Michael Gilligan03/04/2014 21:48:11
17010 forum posts
756 photos

Sweet Dreams ...



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