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1957-8 Plover Royal Mail restoration!

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1957-8 Plover Royal Mail restoration!

Post  sampeek on Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:42 pm

Good afternoon,

After many years of wanting to get into classic motorbikes, I have finally taken the leap and bought a 1957-8 Plover Royal Mail edition! However, I bought it to restore and as such ame without documents. How do I go about verifying and registering the bike?

These are the details I have for it:

Frame Number: R-8879

Engine Number: 395B/34089

Registration Number: YOH627

Model: Plover (Royal Mail)

Colour: Red


Can anyone help with this?

Additionally, I have spent the last month getting the engine in mechanical working order. New gaskets, oil, rings, bearing and a lick of paint have all been done. However, the magneto is producing power, but not enough to make a spark at the spark plug. Does anyone know the approximate gap for the spark plug? At the moment I am going with about 1mm. If not, any suggestions to this problem? A friend has suggested new coils or cleaning the brushes.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Sam
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sampeek

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plug gap

Post  piston 197 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:24 pm

Plug gap should be .025"  approx. .8mm, there is a coil for the ignition which may be faulty, there are no brushes to clean ?
Your frame no confuses me ?
there was a Red FB plover produced circa 1959 for the general public, I was not aware of the Royal Mail ever using them ? they had a contract with BSA  to use the Bantam ?
the frame No of these Red plovers would be AR pre-fix where the A is the year ( 1959) and the R is the colour option .
The engine no of these bikes would have been 295B ( Villiers 30C) not 395B
As there were no Red Plovers in 1957, the date you give confuses me as well, backed up by your reg No beginning YOH, the first No YOH1 was issued in May 1959 and subsequent numbers followed
So it is becoming to look like your bike  
a has nothing to do with Royal mail
b, is not 1957
c frame No is incomplete
d engine No is different to what you state
When you have these things checked and sorted , I am the DVLA dating officer for the FB Marque
JH
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piston 197
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Re: 1957-8 Plover Royal Mail restoration!

Post  sampeek on Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:49 pm

Evening JH,

Thanks for that!

There is an A at the front of the frame number, but it had become so rusted and faded I was unsure that it was actually an A and not a scratch! I just assumed the R was the start, but it makes sense now! The guy who sold it to me only thought it was an edition made for the Royal Mail, however he didn't know much about Francis Barnetts.

As for the year, I was only guessing at that due to the model and engine type that I can see. I have been using the workshop manual for the 30C with an S19 Carb which looks likes it matches up.

I am relatively certain that the engine number I have given is correct, which may be an issue then if it is not the right type for the bike. However, I will check on Monday if this is for sure and let you know.

As for the magneto, I haven't taken it apart yet to investigate, I just assumed there must be some form of brushes in order to time the transfer of current for the spark?!?

Kind regards,

Sam
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PO bike

Post  kerabo on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:47 pm

Sam
Has it got the royal mail fleet number still on it. If it has give it to me. I worked in the PO garage for 24 years. I will ask if it's still on file still. You could also try the post office vehicle museum I was told its Coventry . A bantam I rebuilt is there somewhere.

Regards Ken
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Post office

Post  piston 197 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:49 pm

Ken see my post above, have you any knowledge of Royal mail using FB's , because I have not !, looks like it is just a 1959 Plover 78 ,in optional red colour
JH
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PO bike

Post  kerabo on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:55 pm

We never ran the delivery boy bikes in my time at Petborough but the Bantam was sent there  because they knew I had an interest. I only ever heard talk of Bantams and now they use anything cheap. It wouldn't surprise me if they had one to test . They tended to do that. But I will ask.
If its anything like the Bantams it will have low gearing and a very small carb to keep the speed low. Also a side stand. Colour used to be
I think Donkey Red. There is a group turn up at shows on PO bikes maybe they would know.

Regards Ken


Last edited by kerabo on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brushes to time the transfer of spark ????

Post  piston 197 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:56 pm

The timing is set by the point at which the points open relative to the piston position, have you checked this ? Ther are no brushes or need for them, important in you electric drill , but not needed in a Villiers flywheel magneto
There is an arrow on the periphery of the flywheel, this has to align with a notch that is on the edge of the aluminium back plate ( at approx. 2 0'clock) when the piston is at the top of stroke (TDC), this is important in that it provides the correct flux point for the strongest spark and the spark at the correct time for the engine to fire relative to piston position
JH
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post office bikes

Post  piston 197 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:59 pm

The PO were using BSA'a in the 1930's I had an Ex GPO 500cc BSA sloper ,1934, as far as I know they used BSA's exclusively until about 1970 when they were replaced with mopeds ( Puch Maxi)

EDIT
Ken just found an interesting article 3 FB's ( autocycles ) were suppied to the GPO in 1947 along with 3 x James and some Excelsiors, some 50 James 125cc were supplied in 1950, but from 1953 it was the bantam only, no mention of any FB's after 1947
JH
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PO bike

Post  kerabo on Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:07 pm


If you read this there is a phone number . I would think they could answer your question

Regards Ken



http://www.heritage.org.uk/
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Re: 1957-8 Plover Royal Mail restoration!

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