Now would be a good time to get some tyres I thought, so I contacted Avon/Coopers for some rubber for the 20” front and 19” rear. Given good recommendations by Steve Smith of Avons I decided on the Speedmaster MKII (racing) on the front and a GP (racing) 350 for the rear. Although good reports are around for the Roadrider 100/90 19 (racing) for the rear, the GP looks more the part. Snow and cold arrived. And while I have a spacious main workshop I don’t like too much heat as condensation follows, so when it’s really freezing outside, .its not a warm place. And so the tools are cold, the pace is slow and there are always other jobs waiting that are more suited to the warmer workshop areas, (None of which aid the progress of the Flash). I used a standard ‘D’ cable suitably shortened for the rear brake cable, and it, together with its anchor fixings, are now in place. I have positioned where the side aluminium racing numberplates will attach and fitted the appropriate brackets to the seat tubes. I nailed the corners of the aluminium chain guard to a rounded wooden former, and bent the sheet over to form the channel (once bent, the corners with the nail holes were outside the final form). The guard was shaped to match the photos I have of Grey Flash machines that still retained them (most guards were it seems thrown away). I attached it with a small U bracket to the RFM tube (remember someone had removed the seat stay ears). At the front of the guard I affixed a bracket in the same position as a standard guard. I made a note that the RFM will need an additional tapped hole in the bearing web to take the front chain guard bracket. It is missing on my RFM as only the twin guard hole is tapped on the opposite side. I positioned the 2” exhaust pipe I got from Big Sid and got the top of the pipe near the exhaust nut brazed up and with the lead-time for chroming in mind, I have swiftly sent it away. One interesting point was that it had an internal baffle up the 2” pipe. Now some may wince at this practice, but I have always thought that 2” is perhaps to large a diameter for short circuit racing, (I know for instance that Roy Robertson only uses 1-3/4 pipes). So as it is removable I am happy to try the performance with this in place. In fact bearing in mind the 105Db level enforced at BHRC meetings, even with this baffle the possible final noise level of the bike gives me cause for concern. I do have an idea up my sleeve of a compatible solution and I will elaborate on that nearer the test sessions with my trusty dB meter. I did the final sorting of the gearchange linkage; Ben sent me a close up of the gear change linkage on the Surtees Grey Flash. Whilst it’s a poor guide for original, I expect its spot on for effectiveness, and together with Jaquelines ‘original Vincent’ photos, I could see where it should all be. Of course, as I half expected, I had to revisit the top pivot bolt of the Albion Gearbox to clear the gear lever. This was achieved by making the ‘special’ spacer a tad shorter, moving the bolt head inwards and reducing its width (what a piece of Stevenage “get over it” engineering that bolt and spacer is). My Flash fork blades have arrived with the snow and went to be stripped and prepared for painting, I note that they are an appreciable amount lighter than standard (a lot more than I imagined). I would like to have done a loose assembly of the front end before painting. But time is getting on and I still need to sort the mudguard stays and hardware, finalise the front wheel and made up a front wheel spindle. However I can do those jobs using the Racing Comet (while its getting its own pre season check), as a template. So I made the decision to strip the bike down without waiting for a front-end trial assembly. Then while I have an engine alone again and while the parts are away being plated and painted, I can finalise the settings and attach the magneto and other ancillaries.
The Blog Oldracers posts - Grey Flash Diary Feb 2013