Rick hits a classic pitfall – what do you do when you can’t come up with a solution to a problem?
Bothersome BSA brakes, gasket queries and the big MOT debate
I knew this would happen; the rear brake modification I made recently on Perry Barwick’s 1925 BSA flat-tank project turned out to be a complete waste of time. Spacing the mechanism inboard to line up with the brake rim simply caused it to rub on the edge of the wheel rim. Comparing the dimensions with my complete original bike revealed that the modern 21in rims we have fitted are a smaller diameter than the original beaded edge, so where the mechanism originally fitted inside the rim circumference, now it’s alongside.
So what now? Why not abandon the original brake and fit a drum, as I did on the previous BSA for Ian Wilson? BSA fitted drums from 1927. Ah yes, but Ian’s bike had a wider 1926 rear frame, the only drum that might fit it would be lightweight with a moped-size chain and these BSAS use 5/8 x ¼in (520) and guess what, I can’t get sprocket blanks in this size. I admit, I’ve ground to a halt. I guess this is one of the classic pitfalls: inability to focus beyond the current problem. There are plenty of other jobs I could be getting on with in the meantime; a solution for the brake problem will come along eventually, but if I down tools now in a petulant sulk, those other jobs could become the next downer – especially if there are any other tricky problems hidden among them.
I was discussing this revelation over a beer with my mate Gary Williamson, who’s a chap that gets a lot done. He put very it succinctly. “You have to concentrate on what you can do, not what you can’t.” Now why didn’t I think of that?
‘I HIT THE INABILITY TO FOCUS BEYOND THE CURRENT PROBLEM’
Last year’s Barn Find winner, now in a workshop rather than a barn
Footrests: check. Mudguard stays: check. Perry’s bike’s getting there… just don’t mention the rear brake
WHO IS RICK? Rick Parkington has been riding and fixing classic bikes for decades. He lives and fettles in a fully tooled up shed in his back garden.