Peter Williams Engineer
Bike SA|February 2021
Williams and the magnesium alloy wheeled ‘Arter’ Matchless. Note the front and rear disc brakes that Williams also helped develop for motorcycles. Despite the front one being tiny by today’s standards, it was still an improvement over drum brakes.

Elsewhere in this issue, you will have read Alan Cathcart’s tribute to the late Peter Williams, motorcycle racer and engineer. It would be accurate to say that, for most people, he was better known as a racer but to ignore his engineering talents would be to do him a disservice. For Williams quite literally reinvented the wheel!

Rummaging through a box of old magazines, I came across a copy of UK magazine Classic Bike from 2006 in which Williams wrote a short article on wheel building technology and techniques.

In the first part, he goes into some technical detail about spoked rims.

“If you look carefully, you may notice that some wheels have 40 spokes, some 36 and others 32. On each side of the lacing there are pairs of spokes. One of each pair converts the clockwise torque (turning force during acceleration) from the hub into tension to pull the rim clockwise. The other converts the anticlockwise torque (during braking) from the hub to pull the rim anticlockwise.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BIKE SAView All

KTM 890 DUKE

You can’t say that KTM isn’t prolific but, when motorcycles are as good as they generally always are from the Austrian manufacturer, who are we to complain?

2 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

ZONTES 310V

A while back, we covered the Zontes ZT310-X1 as part of the small bike feature. There was no way we could not help but be impressed by nearly every aspect of the bike, be it equipment, performance, frugality, price, comfort, looks or quality. It was clearly a bike that was punching way above its weight.

3 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

27/08/1939 – 20/12/2020 PETER WILLIAMS Obituary

Britain’s Peter Williams, often acclaimed as the finest GP racer/engineer of modern times, passed away quietly on December 20 in his sleep, after a long illness. He was 81 years old.

4 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

Peter Williams Engineer

Williams and the magnesium alloy wheeled ‘Arter’ Matchless. Note the front and rear disc brakes that Williams also helped develop for motorcycles. Despite the front one being tiny by today’s standards, it was still an improvement over drum brakes.

2 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

Great Bikes? Yamaha V-Max

Some bikes earn reputations, be it for speed, looks, wayward handling, whatever. Some bikes are spoken about in hushed tones, generally tones of awe or fear. Some bikes achieve greatness, some have it thrust upon them! Some we forget.

2 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

The Franskraal Tour

Much selling and buying of motorbikes happened in the Yell household over Christmas. It was with great sadness that I finally decided to sell Sir Galahad (my 30-year old Honda Africa Twin XRV750) and buy a half share in a bike more suitable for Annette to ride as well. We’d been talking to her ex editor’s husband, De Wet, about the possibility of buying his tricked-out 2008 Suzuki DR650 for some time, and struck the deal as soon as Sir Galahad was sold.

10 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

MV Agusta's Timur Sardarov Russian Relaunch

Exclusive interview with MV Agusta’s russian owner, its president/ceo timur sardarov, who purchased 100% of MV Agusta equity in december 2019

9 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

Think Bike Giving Back To Biking

[I’m always ready to acknowledge those among us who give of their time freely to help others. I’ve been aware of the ThinkBike initiative for many years but never really understood how it worked. So, when Quinton van Eeden reached out to me and asked if I would like an article explaining ThinkBike, the work they do and the volunteers who do it, it was the perfect opportunity to learn more about this body of men and women who do so much to make motorcycling safer for all of us. Ed]

6 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

The Custom Builders - Part 3: Reconstructed

I first became aware of Theunis from Reconstructed custom workshop a few years ago, when he arrived at a Triumph Day in Modderfontein with his radical Rocket 3 custom. It drew a lot of attention and comment, which was exactly what Theunis was aiming for from his first build.

7 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021

Magni MV Italia Yesterday Once More

There’s certainly no company more entitled to produce a retro model using current MV Agusta hardware than Moto Magni, whose founder the late Arturo Magni was the architect of the historic Italian marque’s remarkable haul of 75 road racing World Championships in 26 years.

5 mins read
Bike SA
February 2021