Author Topic: New member  (Read 460 times)

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Offline Biggles1957

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  • Join Date: Dec 2020
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  • Location: Leicestershire, UK
New member
« on: 29 Dec 2020 at 19:01 »
Evening All!  I've just joined as I shall be getting a 1956 Dragonfly in January - really looking forwards to it.  Last bike I had was a BMW K75RT back in the 1990's.  Had one of those three wheeled Piaggio scooters a few years back - great fun that was!  Then I got badly bitten by a dog and  had four hours surgery on one hand and three on the other - still don't have full use of my last hand (index finger is stuck bent) but do have full strength back now and really fancy an old British bike.  I have a couple of prewar Morris cars (Oxford and Minor), a 1992 Bentley Turbo R and am rebuilding a '69 Riley Elf so I shall enjoy the bike!  It's in really good nick by the looks of it and runs very well.  Only thing that could do with a little attention are the wheels - the rims are painted green around their centres with cream coach lines each side.  Spokes are a bit scabby.  A wheel specialist in the next village to me says the galvanised mild steel spokes are structurally better, but of course stainless steel stays good for a lot longer.  Does anyone have advice/thoughts on this please? The other thing I'd appreciate advice on are the brakes - which I've read are somewhat lacking in the retardation department!  Can they be improved?  Looking forwards to asking lots of questions!  Thanks for your help in advance!  Regards, Bob

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: New member
« Reply #1 on: 29 Dec 2020 at 20:43 »
Welcome here.

BMW have been using stainless spokes for many a decade, and haven't detected any problems yet !
They do use them in straight pull configuration though, which is probably the secret.
Now grades of stainless can vary, considerably, so it may depend on who you trust to supply them.
They are very widely used these days - and few classics would meet really rough roads to test them out ...

Brake linings these days can come in "high-friction" varieties for some makes, so maybe these are available ?
Making sure the linings are thick enough so they can be arced to fit the drum is a good first step to getting good brakes.

Offline patrickwhitty

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New member
« Reply #2 on: 01 Jan 2021 at 10:46 »
The Dragonfly's brakes are not especially powerful and while you are unlikely to lock the wheels they do, eventually, work. I progress down some of the local hills with a good deal of caution but even on some really steep hills the bike will stop. It just takes rather a long time. In normal riding you know the stopping distance isn't wonderful and ride accordingly but there is not much in hand for an emergency situation. In the April 2014 edition of Classic Bike Guide there is an article on 'The Dragonfly that Douglas should have built' which describes how a Honda CB72 twin leading shoe backplate was modified to fit the Dragonfly. The author doesn't actually say whether the braking efficiency was improved, or by how much. If I had a spare front wheel it would be interesting to try this modification. Or, as EW-Ron suggests, look for high friction linings.

Offline oily bloke

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Re: New member
« Reply #3 on: 01 Jan 2021 at 16:05 »
I have stainless spokes in about 10 of my bikes including 2 historic drag bikes and a 1960's land speed record outfit, all of which get used 'properly'. No issues in over 20 years. Both straight pull and cranked spokes.