Sunday 11 March 2012

Thoughts on wheels

It was decided right at the start to make the Invincible Jap reliable, with out compromising the originality.

The Invincible currently has an original pair of Beaded Edge wheels, with original brgs, and dust covers.  These are all in serviceable condition, and were restored some 10 / 15 years ago, and are pretty cherry.

It seems a pity to pull these apart and fit later tyres and brgs, when they are so nice.
This is restorer's curse, as it would have been easier to just re-rim these, and fit tyres, but then the originality is lost forever.
For this reason it was decided to build a complete new pair of wheels for this machine, and store the other wheels.

The first thought was what tyres should we run!
Then onto the rims, and then the Hubs.
We decided on 19" Well-Based tyres suitable for the sidecar, and decent brakes.
We spoke to a few pals, and ex racing guru's who recommended fitting a cush drive in the rear. This sounded logical, and then a pal made a statement "My Brough runs these wheels and the brakes actually work"

So the wheels will be made in true 1920's style, and upgraded to suit the application, based from a 1928 Brough Superior. (Thanks Terry)
The front will be a 7" Webb, laced up to a WM 3 English rim, with a floating brake plate, while the rear will be a 8" Enfield Cush drive also laced to a 19" WM 3 rim.

This will at least allow for decent brakes, and some robustness in the cush drive.

What we didn't allow for is that these wheels are in short supply, and our forks are Henderson style, so there is little room between the rockers to fit anything substantial.

Now the work begins.

More later.


  1. Hmm. sounds like too much work. What is the fear of the originals? Wern't some guys last time on all original bikes???????????? Spriit!! Thanks for the blog, Paul Los Angeles

  2. Paul

    THere is nothing wrong with the original wheels, however there are little brakes by design.
    Last cannonball guys had put later wheels in the rides and fitted modern tyres.
    Infact one even had a disc front brake fitted.

    The extra loads placed on a outfit would certainly tell on the wheels, and these are being redone to hopefully eliminate any problems.

    It is a fair amount of work, but hopefully worth while.

  3. Chris, I realize that 1920 brakes and such are quite different. I went driving on my newly restored Hupmobile once and easily locked the rears and skidded along on albeit wet pavement just after rain. Still I wonder what care and a perfectly set up braking system would mean in terms of driving a vintage bike. Noone ever mentions compression and Jake Brake braking either so I sometimes see all this as off the mark of recreating a time gone by. Any way congrats on your great adventure and, got any 1913 Exceolsior bits? Thanks, Paul Venne Long Beach, California