Re-assembly tips, not in Velocette manual
Small hands are essential. Make sure you centre punch marks on the gear lever position and the spline before removing it. When assembling hoses cables etc. to the motor, make sure all screws are facing in a direction leaving them accessible after installing the chassis. Before installing swing arm make sure clutch lever is on top of gearbox and standing vertical with clutch rods installed. Make sure all cables and hoses are re-routed exactly as removed. Make two tapered brass aligning tools to assist with lining up the centre stand, spring, pivot arm plates, multiple washers and running board mounts. Slowly remove these tools as you follow them in with the bolts when fitting the chassis. Note: The extra pair of hands are essential. Now assemble the rest of the bike. (Sounds easy when you say it fast.)
The first test run revealed clutch slipping under acceleration. Now fully conversant with the term “forward thinking” I pull it all apart again and install a refurbished Qualcast 3 plate clutch from a barrel lawn mower. Problem now solved, except on re-installation of the shaft drive I must have nicked the seal and it was now leaking. Fortunately this was able to be replaced without too much dis-assembly. Two years later, glycol leaks into the cylinders through the head gasket, also filling the carburettor. I put this down to the limited use of the bike and dis-similar metals enhancing the flow of eddy currents. Thank God this didn’t require removal of the chassis from the bike. Laser cut annealed aluminium head gaskets were sourced and the bike eventually sold at a considerable loss. I have restored several motorcycles since without the need of an assistant and enjoyed the process of both restoration and riding them. Rarely have I made money in the process. If you are up for and enjoy a challenge, then a 1951 LE is the perfect bike for you. The next challenge is when you need to use the front brake while changing gears and signalling a right hand turn. (Not fun to ride in traffic). These bikes get lots of attention when out and about or at rallies. Once up and running they are a pleasure to ride at any speed up to 80 km/h. However they need to be used as a daily ride if you don’t enjoy pulling them apart bi-annually. Peter Strawbridge Nuriootpa, SA
What’s left when you work on an LE clutch.