Because of the way it’s been positioned up until now, so basically the other way round to how we normally have machines positioned on there, there was an ongoing effort to get the front end bits finished before swapping it round. And, as ever, a couple of little issues have held us up.
But to go back a little, first. As previously reported, on reassembly we started to find out that perhaps the machine as acquired had been off the road for so long owing to a familiar reason – a crash. With the benefit of hindsight, it would appear it’s had a front ender.
Doing a bit of research, it seems that what happens if a Velo is piled into, say, the back of a car, the fork legs splay, taking the top yoke with them. This would all seem to have been what occurred with this one. Somebody has clearly had a go at straightening the fork tubes (though they weren’t straight) and the top yoke has much more banana than cucumber in its inspiration. I’d alluded to it last month and knew really what the solution was going to be – a new top yoke.
Mark Newsome from Tanks Classics Ltd had been in touch and I’d told him of my woes. Mark kindly said he’d have a look through what he had, as he was sure he had a second-hand top yoke that would more than adequately take care of my problem.
He was as good as his word, and turned one up. What’s more – so he explained – it was a Clubman pattern one too, which is possessed of extra strengthening webs. He agreed to post it out straight away; in fact, it arrived the day I went to see Colin Jansen about his pair of Beesa twins.
As mentioned previously, I knew I was going to have to acquire a new rear hub, too, as the one I had was badly worn and not really for purpose. More discussion with Mark led to him also sorting me one out, suitable for a Viper – it’s something I’ve learned, that the 500cc Venom and 350cc Viper have a different number of teeth (Venom 46, Viper 55) on the rear sprocket, as well as using a slightly smaller final drive chain (½in as opposed to â…Â).
Mark sent the rear hub and top yoke in the same package. I returned home from my trip and there sat a bundle, which I opened to find only the hub in it. I went and found dad outside in his shed. “Seems like I’ve only been sent the hub,” I moaned.
“Oh no, the yoke was there as well, it’s just I’ve already fitted it,” replied father. Good job I’d gone outside before emailing to ask where my yoke was.
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