Author Topic: questions for owners of 1940's wartime WD/CO bikes  (Read 391 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Stogierob

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Karma: 0
on: December 28, 2018, 12:30:24 pm
hi all

i haven't been able to find pictures to answer these questions, so here they are....

1 - did wartime bikes have key ignitions?  if so, where were they located?
2 - did they have side kickstands, or just the rear wheel stand?
3 - did the toolboxes have keyed locks on them?

Thanks!
Rob
1977 RE Bullet 350 that is slowly being converted to resemble a WWII era bike...


Bilgemaster

  • Just some guy
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
  • Karma: 0
  • 2005 Bullet 500ES in "Mean Green" Military Trim
Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 06:29:49 pm
It sounds to me like you might really enjoy the book, Orchard, C. J.; Madden S.J. British Forces Motorcycles 1925 - 45.  Sutton Publishing Ltd. (2006 rev. ed.) [ISBN 978-0-7509-1445-1]. My hunch is you'll want to buy a physical copy for later ready reference for your project. But, at least for now, you can catch a freebie cover-to-cover scan of it online care of Scribd at https://www.scribd.com/doc/38290548/Sutton-Publishing-British-Forces-Motorcycles-1925-45.

Now, if you refer to page 20 of that book, you'll find a list of British wartime regulations pertaining to military motorcycles. I would draw your attention to War Circular B.125 "Provisioning for immobilising" (dated 21.7.41). It is said to apply to all makes and models of vehicles. One imagines this Circular might be what you may be seeking for specific guidance about keying and other security. I was unable to find it online through casual Google searches, but the British National Archives or Imperial War Museums should be able to provide you with a copy of it or at least refer you to where one may be obtained. I only scanned briefly through that book, so it is well nigh possible that more info on vehicle keying and security may also be described therein, merely awaiting a closer reading of it to discover.

I was able to find various wiring diagrams of wartime motorcycles online, but I believe you may find the "WD Wiring" webpage of the Dutch-based BSA W.D. M20 website  of particular interest, especially where it reads:

"The wires in this picture are  [sic] found at a bike breaker still attached to the late war main switch as located below the saddle."

I am led to understand that especially  as the War wore on, more and more standardization of motorcycles and their equipment was required of all wartime contract bikes, so this BSA practice of an under-saddle switch was perhaps also followed by other manufacturers.

By coincidence, as its ignition switch my old "Desert Sled" '67 Norton N15CS also has a simple keyless battery breaker switch under its sprung saddle left by its previous owner just like this beast:


When in doubt, you might try reaching out to the authors of that book, Chris Orchard and Steve Madden, through their publisher:

Sutton Publishing Ltd.
(An imprint of The History Press)
Phoenix Mill
Stroud
Gloucestershire GL5 2BU
United Kingdom
Web: https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/about-us/
Email: web@thehistorypress.co.uk

You might also do well to rummage through the couple-few hundred "Royal Enfield" postings over at the Historic Military Vehicle Forum.  Lotta good stuff there, like this example.

Hope this helps! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with for that old 350.


« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 09:17:01 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,277
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 05:31:06 pm
Quote
1 - did wartime bikes have key ignitions?  if so, where were they located?

They were mostly magneto or magdyno (a magneto with the dynamo for the lighting fitted on top), which would not normally have had any sort of ignition key. An immobilsing switch as a later WD in-service requirement could be retro-fitted by REME workshops. The wiring diagram linked to in the article doesn't show it, just the standard Lucas dynamo charging/lighting system with no reference to the ignition, which is is totally separate.

I have not come across a WD immobiliser before, my late father's ex WD 16H Norton didn't have an immobiliser (though it could have been removed for the bike's disposal to the civilian market), the only electrical item under the saddle was the standard Lucas voltage control unit.

BUT looking elsewhere on that forum I found that there was indeed an extra under-saddle switch used on British army bikes, (in this case an Indian 741b, for those British riders issued with American motorcycles!). Turns out it was a changeover switch
"applied to most British vehicles as a means to change over the tail lamp(s) for blackout convoy work".

http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/38059-indian-741b/

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


Stogierob

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Karma: 0
Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 07:17:59 pm
following links and reading... I have seen a keyed battery cutoff switch listed on eBay.  I'd like to do away with the keys altogether, so I'll be looking for a switch like Bilgemaster posted.  If I need to secure the bike, i'll get an external lock for the rear & front wheels.

the casquette has been primed and will be painted tomorrow.  Then the front end will be reassembled and i'll be on to the gas tank and the back of the bike....  i estimate one month for all painting and reassembly.  wiring might take longer as I have almost no clue what I'm doing.  there'll be a lot of wire tracing once the gas tank is off.

Stogierob
1977 RE Bullet 350 that is slowly being converted to resemble a WWII era bike...


Bilgemaster

  • Just some guy
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
  • Karma: 0
  • 2005 Bullet 500ES in "Mean Green" Military Trim
Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 08:55:19 pm
following links and reading... I have seen a keyed battery cutoff switch listed on eBay.  I'd like to do away with the keys altogether, so I'll be looking for a switch like Bilgemaster posted.  If I need to secure the bike, i'll get an external lock for the rear & front wheels.

[Snip...]

Stogierob

This link might help you find a switch at a good price.

Just remember to mount it such that down is "on" so a hard bump in the road won't kill your engine!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 09:21:47 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


ERC

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,778
  • Karma: 0
Reply #5 on: January 01, 2019, 08:27:09 am
They used magdyno no key. Just rear wheel stand, the toolbox had a screw in latch.  ERC
2-57 Apaches, 2-57 Trailblazers, 60 Chief, 65 Interceptor, 2004 Bullet, 612 Bullet chopped.


Stogierob

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Karma: 0
Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 02:30:34 pm
Hey Bilgemaster!

I ordered one of those switches and it was almost 1/3 the size of the battery!  LOL  I'm going to bury a simple toggle switch under the seat somewhere - probably.

ERC - I still need some type of immobilizer switch to keep it safe during events.  That, and a nice heavy WWII period lock and some chain...

Thanks!
Rob
1977 RE Bullet 350 that is slowly being converted to resemble a WWII era bike...


Bilgemaster

  • Just some guy
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
  • Karma: 0
  • 2005 Bullet 500ES in "Mean Green" Military Trim
Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 04:22:49 pm
The switch underneath the saddle of my Norton measures about an inch and a half from tip to tip of its switch arm. So yeah, it's "robust".  But if I inadvertently steered you with that link to one that's larger, I apologize.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 06:18:42 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


Stogierob

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Karma: 0
Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 10:46:08 pm
absolutely no worries.  I actually selected a lower amperage switch than what you linked. I was startled at the sheer size of the switch!  I got quite the laugh out of it!

Thanks!
Rob
1977 RE Bullet 350 that is slowly being converted to resemble a WWII era bike...


Tarnand

  • Andrew
  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 199
  • Karma: 0
Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 02:05:00 am
hi all

i haven't been able to find pictures to answer these questions, so here they are....

1 - did wartime bikes have key ignitions?  if so, where were they located?
2 - did they have side kickstands, or just the rear wheel stand?
3 - did the toolboxes have keyed locks on them?

Thanks!
Rob

Hi Rob,
I rarely navigate to other than Iron Barrel parts of the forum so I did not see your question earlier.  It appears that they, at least some of them, HAD side kickstands.  You can see one on the attached picture of the WD/C. 

« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 02:08:57 am by Tarnand »
2005 KS Bullet 500cc
1994 FLSTC