What goes around, comes around              April 2017

Yet to be identified

June 2012, walking round the autojumble at Banbury. I'm busy buying a suitable piece of 7/8" belting for the Triple H, when the missus wanders back with the question "what's that engine in the Ha Ha Ha? (her affectionate name for the Triple H). "John Morris" I respond. "Oh, there's another one over here". No, you've got to be mistaken was my thought, but I sidled over and she was right (as per usual, I'm being prompted).

This is it, haven't a clue what it started out as, but definitely from a different manufacturer. I think the back end of the frame is homemade, as it is dog rough, but the rest of it seems to fit/marry up.

Would you believe this is the same bike that I first saw over 25 years ago at Beaulieu, and the first John Morris engine that I saw in the flesh!!!! The engine photo on the Triple H page (with the end of my shoe) is this engine. It had eventually finished up with Richard Rosenthal, who had put some research into it (thanks Richard, it helped with the Triple H as well), but very little else.

So far, I've eliminated the Hobart version, the Rex-Acme is a possibility, as the forks look identical (quite a distinctive curve at the steering head), but need a 1922 and 23 catalogue picture to be sure. Haven't traced any pictures of 'MB' or Morris bikes yet.

Is it a Morris?                                                         April 2017

Are these Swan forks? (No, see below)

It's definitely not a Rex Acme. I'm currently favouring a Morris, but need to confirm the appearance of Swan girder forks of this period. The forks on this bike are quite distinctive, photo of the top links/spring mount to the right. Unusually the top links are placed inboard of the fork legs.

2020 Footnote: After putting photos of this bike on facebook, and more research after various comments, it transpires that this 'bike' is just a 'lash up'. The front forks are 1924/5 OK Junior, the main frame, petrol tank (and possibly the rear frame section) are 1921 New Imperial Light Tourist (which would originally have had a 293cc sv JAP engine), and the engine is a John Morris 2 stroke.

I will keep the engine as a spare for my Triple H, but all the other parts are available for sale or trade.