BRIGHT SPARKS

Real Classic - - Letters -

What a sur­prise it was for me to see in RC157 May 2017 an ‘old’ Al­ton prod­uct as a topic for an af­ter­noon re­pair in the shed. Maybe I should feel proud for Al­ton to be clas­sic nowa­days? I un­der­stand per­fectly that Dave Blan­chard wished to save his old Al­ton (and of course to save money at the same time). Great job, Dave! This Al­ton gen­er­a­tor was prob­a­bly not so easy to fix. I am not sure that I would achieve such a ‘proper’.

I just wanted to take this op­por­tu­nity tell a lit­tle bit on the Al­ton story. It has at least six ma­jor steps:

Pro­to­types from 1992 to 1996 1st gen­er­a­tion 1996 to 1999 (some kind of pre-se­ries units) 2nd gen­er­a­tion 1999 to 2004 (Dave’s unit is one of those) 3rd gen­er­a­tion 2004 to 2006 (neodymium mag­nets re­placed fer­rite mag­nets, triphased) 4th gen­er­a­tion 2006 to 2008 (back to sin­gle phased) 5th gen­er­a­tion 2009 to nowa­days (fully re­designed, di­rect drive)

In the mean­time we added the e-starter kits for Ve­lo­cettes to our range of prod­ucts and the e-starter kits for the Mk2 Nor­ton Com­mando in 2012. Fo­cus­ing on gen­er­a­tors of the fifth gen­er­a­tion only, the Al­ton staff (that’s Antoine, Nicolas, the two Rémi and I) has produced an aver­age of more of 300 Al­ton gen­er­a­tor sets per year. So that means there’s some­thing like 3000 units dis­patched world­wide via the net­work of deal­ers. I am hon­oured that some among them are trade part­ners who’ve been with us since the begin­ning of the ven­ture.

That be­ing said, what is our pol­icy about the ‘old’ Al­ton gen­er­a­tors? We try to help and not to leave peo­ple with­out a so­lu­tion. I al­ways keep my ears open for re­marks and ac­tual rider’s ex­pe­ri­ences. Dave’s re­fur­bish­ment is quite an achieve­ment in this re­spect. I am con­vinced that feed­back is an as­set for a com­pany like Al­ton and for the progress of its prod­ucts.

An­other good way to progress is to hear sug­ges­tions of rid­ers. In 2014, Lawrence Howes, RC reader and ex­pe­ri­enced rider, sug­gested we might adapt an Al­ton for his Match­less twin crankcases. Lawrence was kind enough to send us a pair of crankcases. Some months later, this con­tri­bu­tion lead to our ACG09-PR01, 10th model of Al­ton gen­er­a­tors, de­signed to suit AMC twins (see RC129).

Nice peo­ple. Oh, we get by with a lit­tle help from our friends. A bi­en­tôt. Paul Ha­mon (co-founder and man­ager), Al­ton

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