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1956 BSA B31 Special - Part XV
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After a summer riding his replica Gold Star Scrambler, Phill Rashleigh had a few jobs to take care of in the winter. Like repositioning the battery...

The Beeza was off the road while a new oil tank was made (see previous installment) and I had the chance to play with and ride an nice little DR650 care of Dave. I have to admit that I did like the electric foot and the lightness of the controls, however the lack of character and it only being as fast as the Beeza did make me appreciate what I had built. However I also happened across a Africa Twin for a few hours and that has made me think a little harder about Jap big trailies. Still, that again is another story, if not a better power-to-weight ratio equation...

Tidy. As ever.. Phil's 1956 BSA B31 Special

Back with the Beeza, next job was the battery tray. This was made from stainless steel and allowed the battery to fit over the tank. The fuse box and Hawker rectifier fixed onto this and all were hidden under the saddle with some room to spare (about 3mm). The rectifier I have is the first of the new electronic ones, it replaces the original electronic unit. It is somewhat smaller than the original unit I had from Sean Hawker (which failed) and is about as small as Sean can make it. The new rectifier has proved faultless over the last 1000 miles of use, running at 12V with halogen lamps up front and an LED rear unit.

Electrics fit neatly under seat. Phil's 1956 BSA B31 Special

On fitting the saddle I had to lower the rear mudguard from its original position to lower the rear of the saddle for comfort purposes. New stays were made in alloy, replacing the steel item I had made up during the original build.

I have to say I copied the Dick Mann Goldie for these items (something I am not ashamed to say as I think he has built a very nice bike -- if not the best-looking Pre-65 Goldie ever), and Iím happy with the way they look.

They will just need drilling at some point to make them a little lighter. Well it will counteract some of the weight of stay I have for the rear of the saddle thatís stainless steel, wonít it?

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Note fuse box near left shock mount. Phil's 1956 BSA B31 Special

I have to say the second year was mainly confined to riding the bike. The funds werenít available to do the work I wanted. The modifications I had done over the previous winter had really tidied up the bike and the new seat angle proved much better. The 216 ride was a damp affair and my first one; initially I hesitant at taking the bike on what would be its longest single ride. I enjoyed the lanes as the routes suited the way the bike was set up.

Sheís a good deal lighter than a B31 and has all the extra oomph of a tuned Goldie Catalina spec motor, and nice wide bars to aid the manoeuvrability with nice, soft, knobbly tyres giving good grip on the very back, back roads. I called Roy the next day to let him know what we had been up to. As usual he wasnít that impressed that the bike had done the mileage with ease; he has great confidence in his motors it seems....

Year two rolled into year three with the bike being ridden all year through all weathers. It provided faultless transport when needed. I did miss the DR at times, usually at a 06:00 when I was going to work and I really couldnít be bothered to start the Goldie motor! But she starts first or second kick, so I must be getting the knack. Year three would see the modifications start over again, this time it would be the footrests that would get some attention...


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