More on LEs

Old Bike Australasia - - LET­TERS TO THE EDI­TOR -

Great ar­ti­cle on the LE (OBA 79) – brought back fond and not so fond mem­o­ries. My brother bought a 1949 LE sec­ond hand, but it was a 200cc. Whether the bar­rels had been re­placed we don’t know but it had the ball and roller in­ter­nals. The main prob­lem with these early mod­els was ic­ing up of the carb and in­let tract. As said in the ar­ti­cle the carb was fed by an air cham­ber in the ra­di­a­tor but this never worked so a cover was fit­ted over the bell­mouth which had the in­let just above the crank­case, but this never worked ei­ther. So in the end an out­let

on the ra­di­a­tor hose just above the cylin­der was taken across the in­let man­i­fold and back into the sys­tem, which worked in the UK chilly morn­ings. My brother com­muted and took me on hol­i­days cov­er­ing many miles with no prob­lems un­til while on hol­i­day with his new wife some id­iot pulled out in front – brother was OK but wife had a bro­ken arm. The bike was re­paired with new body­work and front end and handed to me as I needed cheap trans­port into Lon­don. The LE was painted bright red as the thing was so quiet. I ran this bike for a cou­ple of years but it had an an­noy­ing habit if you stopped af­ter a run it wouldn’t start un­til it had cooled down. Af­ter ditch­ing it for a 500 Ariel I found that as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dent the BTH dyno­mag on the front the Bake­lite hous­ing had cracked where the plug leads came out. This was de­tected when it was run­ning in the dark and you could see the spark track­ing to the crank­case. It was sold shortly af­ter­wards. I had no trou­ble with the hand change. It wasn’t fast but it han­dled won­der­fully. One day in snow with wife on the back I lost it on ice so let go of the bars to aban­don ship and it righted it­self and I car­ried on with my wife say­ing, “What was that?”. Thanks for the best mag out there. David Kidd Wood­bury, Devon UK

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