General => Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion => Topic started by: KiwiJohn on 26 May 2005 at 09:33

Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: KiwiJohn on 26 May 2005 at 09:33
At last, my 80 Plus is looking as if I may actually be able to ride it further than the end of our suburban driveway!

Although I have tried to make the restoration as original as possible I have taken a couple of liberties, one has been to convert to 12V electrics and another has been to fit a tail light that just might be visible to a following motorist.  I will be fitting a brake light too just as soon as I can find a suitable switch and somewhere to mount it.  Otherwise I have tried to make it look as it would in 1951.

Indicators would be a significant safety enhancement but with Lucas 'Trafficators' being the only sort of indicator system available in 1951 I feel compelled to spoil my efforts of originality somewhat by fitting modern(ish) indicator lights.  (I dont think 'trafficators' even worked when they were first fitted and I cant imagine them being any better now!)

So, here is the silly idea.  How about fitting the indicators to my jacket?  What I have in mind is indicator lights fitted to elastic armbands and wired (via a plug and socket) to a switch on the handlebars.

I suppose they could be fitted permanently to my helmet but the Micky Mouse effect may be just too much to bear!
Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Ian on 26 May 2005 at 22:28
What happened to hand signals ?
Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Doug on 27 May 2005 at 00:42

I don't know about down there, but up here the only hand signals motorists recognize in these parts will likely get you shot!   :)

I use hand signals when driving the old bikes or my vintage truck.  It is clear most folks have no clue what I am signaling when driving the truck or using the free hand to signal on the bike.  I have better luck just pointing straight out either side that I want to turn with the bike, though that is not the legal definition of the proper hand signals.  An no one understands the hand signal for braking.  

Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Ian on 27 May 2005 at 01:04
Doug, I guess the big difference is that we don't have guns here !! :twisted:

In Australia most people do not fit indicators to bikes if they were not originally there - particularly on the older ones. I guess if you were going to use day to day then would be useful. Most bikes with electrical systems have put a brake light in somewhere (usually double filament globe in the tail light assembly)
Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: KiwiJohn on 27 May 2005 at 03:07
Ian,  if I could find suitable inidicator lamps that looked like they might have been fitted in 1951 I would use them.  Fortunately the brake and tail lamp I found was once a spare for my RMB  (1952 ?) Riley so that is acceptable!

Although I have no allusions that they would protect me fully against "Mommy-in-a-Pajero" I still think it would be nice to find something suitable for the indicators as I consider my neck ,old though it may be, still worth the effort.
Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Daren W Australia on 27 May 2005 at 07:32
Hi have you tried the ones they use on Hot rods that use hi intensity LED or similar ones used by Harley customisers they have made them to only be seen when lit and not impact on the clean lines of a bike (like the early 70's Honda's) they also draw very small current Regards Daren
Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Doug on 30 May 2005 at 02:38

Quote from: "Darren"
...hi intensity LED or similar ones used by Harley customisers ...only be seen when lit...

You could apply them to the rocker box covers (they stick out the farthest.)  Just think of the effect in use, glowing rocker box covers!  That ought to cause a few pile-ups!   :P

Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Doug on 01 Jun 2005 at 04:01

Here is how I mounted a stoplight switch on my Mark.  The mounting plate is just a sheet of 1/16" thick aluminum crushed between the serrations of the footrest peg.  On this is mounted a micro switch.


I had doubts that the sheet would be stiff enough to secure the switch, yet soft enough to get formed by the serrations (my frame is early enough to have the brass lugs.)  Also there was some question as to if the footrest would constantly be coming loose with this, lets face it, not quite 'pure' lash-up trapped between the two.  But it has been in place for over ten years now.  This is the second switch, the first one was much smaller and even matched my paint color!  The weather got to this and all I had about was this switch.  It too is not specifically water proof, but then I am a fair weather rider, so as I said, it has been working for a decade.

The tail lamp is a M110 repro, fitted with a dual filament socket.  The few feeble photons that can escape from the rear aperture of this can only be by instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope.  The brake light is a little better, and has the brilliance of a normal running light.  Still running six volt system.  

Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: KiwiJohn on 01 Jun 2005 at 04:22

I went to see the road certification people today and they tell me not to put on indicators for the initial certification unless I can get ones to meet 2005 certification standard.  Once it is legal for the road I can fit non certified indicators.  Logical?  At least it was good advice.

Regarding brake lights, the one I used is an ancient  'D' shaped chrome lamp that was fitted to my 1952  Riley car,  one at each end of the registration plate.  Twin filament globe give licence plate illumination, brake and tail lights.  It looks the part and of course is about 20 times bigger than that little walnut sized thing it had originally.

That switch is a nice neat installation an I wish I had thought of it!  For my brake switch I fitted a small plate under the greaser type bolt that screws into the rear suspension bush,  i.e. just a inch or so above the brake pedal, then fitted a light pull rod (old bicycle spoke) to a hole drilled in the pedal.  It works well and should be reasonably durable being originally designed for mounting under a car.  Maybe I can take some pictures.

Meanwhile, I am back to cursing the carbs as one is just too rich even after I stopped the leaking around the jet block nut.  It is so rich that I can screw the idle air screw right in or right out and make no discernable difference to the idle speed.  The Hitchcocks site indicates worn main jet or needle which annoys me somewhat!  I had both carbs resleeved some time ago (with a company that now no longer trades) and I am thinking that maybe worn slides were leaking air and compensating for worn jets, maybe even some previous owner faced with the worn slides opened out the jet a smidgen to corrent for over-lean problems.  Ah the fun of old machinery.  The leaking float valves (which were not near as bad as I suspected) have been cured by gentle polishing.
Title: rich fuel mixture
Post by: trevorp on 01 Jun 2005 at 12:16
i doubt it could be the main jet or needle if it is only rich on idle the hard part to work out is is it to rich or too lean as sometimes but not often an unburnt fuel charge caused by to rich or not enough fuel still burns black
and causes rough running
i would check float level first
make sure the pilot system is not blocked as sometimes u can get around this by lifting the slide and drawing from around needle when the pilot sytem is blocked but it fluctuates the low pressure area anound needle and they never idle as well as through the pilot system
you have probably cleaned them a million times but sometimes one piece of rubber from fuel line is very hard to shift

if the needle and needle valve are worn in can suck fuel up around it there were some on ebay the other day not sure if they are still on
Trevor pickett melbourne
Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Doug on 01 Jun 2005 at 15:56

Moderator Note:

Please try to keep the different subjects separated into topics based on your original Subject Title.  Also, try to uses as descriptive a title as you can (you can edit your own post titles if need be.)  

This makes it a lot easier to go back and locate a discussion you recall from several weeks back.  Here we have an example of two threads getting intertwined, carburetion and electrical.  And fuel and electricity never mix!  

If you are replying to a user's multiple posts, do not lump all the responses into one reply, rather stick to the topic and reply in the relevant post.  Ditto for the original author; if you have further developments seek out the old original post and tack on an amendment; it will move the post to the top of the list, just as if it were a new post.  You have to decide if the new developments are a continuation of the old, or if they warrant a brand new post.

As the numbers of posts increase, this little bit of organization will make using the forum as an archival resource of knowledge much more easier to use.  Think for the long term!  It is also a lot easier than trying to split up the threads and re-arrange them after the fact.  Your help in this is much appreciated.


Forum Moderator
Title: Is this a really silly idea?
Post by: Dirt Track on 05 Jun 2005 at 06:54
Kiwi John
Why not have a look at the bar end indicators used on the older BMW's....they are quite period looking and are available.
Dirt Track