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