WhoIs� Michael Martin

The in­ter­est­ing part of pro­duc­ing mag­a­zines is that you never know what ad­ven­tures the ar­ti­cles of sto­ries may lead to. In the case of the Mick­mar story in the last is­sue we had quite a few phone calls ask­ing the ques­tion, who is Michael Martin? My fa­ther

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS -

MICHAEL MARTIN — EN­GI­NEER: On leav­ing school he joined BSA as an ap­pren­tice in 1953 and be­came ‘Chair­man’ of the Ap­pren­tices in the fi­nal year of his five-year ap­pren­tice­ship. A cou­ple of years af­ter his ap­pren­tice­ship he went on to be a BSA Higher Man­age­ment Trainee. Michael al­ways speaks very highly of the train­ing that he had while a young­ster at BSA. For a cou­ple of years, he was a Nu­clear Project En­gi­neer at Joseph Lu­cas, and then re­turned as Se­nior De­signer at BSA Group Re­search. They then moved to BSA Red­ditch, which was the Head Quar­ters of the Gen­eral En­gi­neer­ing Di­vi­sion, where he be­came Group Chief De­vel­op­ment En­gi­neer. The Red­ditch fac­tory was switched into the BSA Motor Cy­cle Di­vi­sion, and Michael was in charge of Motor Cy­cle Two-Stroke De­vel­op­ment. Then all Re­search and De­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­ity was switched to Um­ber­slade Hall, where he be­came the Sin­gle Cylin­der Project Man­ager.

MICHAEL MARTIN — AD­MIN­IS­TRA­TOR: Michael fol­lowed in his fa­ther Tom’s foot­steps as Sec­re­tary of the Birm­ing­ham ‘30’ MC. The Birm­ing­ham ‘30’ was formed at the end of the war from the 30th Bn Royal War­wick­shire Reg­i­ment, Home Guard. The Home Guard ran a grass track at their HQ. It was next door to Edg­bas­ton, and the grass track area is now a car park for the cricket sta­dium. He was As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of the Midland Cen­tre ACU and was also a mem­ber of the Com­pe­ti­tions Com­mit­tee of the ACU.

MICHAEL MARTIN — RIDER: Yes, the pas­sion to com­pete was al­ways there and he was a com­pe­tent rider in cross coun­try events. Fol­low­ing his brother Brian Martin, he be­came the BSA Com­pe­ti­tion Man­ager in 1959, as side­car pas­sen­ger with Bill Howard in the BSA out­fit. Then he went solo and en­joyed many suc­cesses in tri­als at club level. His mo­ment of glory was to win the then pres­ti­gious Soli­hull Half Crown Trial. At cen­tre level, he en­joyed the oc­ca­sional win while scram­bling. He got through to many semi-fi­nals on the old Red Mar­ley Freak Hill Climb. He com­ments rue­fully that he was knocked out at the semi-fi­nal stage by some very big names — Brother Brian Martin and Alf Hagon to name a few. He rode in four ISDTs once as a side­car pas­sen­ger with Bill Howard — the last time BSA ever en­tered chairs in the works team.

The Clutch Story

To cap­ture the true ‘Bri­tish Bull­dog’ spirit of the Mick­mar project, we take a look at the Clutch Project. It’s only when you read this that you start to un­der­stand just how a project works.

MICHAEL MARTIN: The story of the clutch that was used on the Mick­mar en­gine is an en­cap­su­la­tion of the to­tal Mick­mar story and, in­deed, a commentary on the col­laps­ing UK mo­tor­cy­cle in­dus­try in the sev­en­ties. As far as those of us in­volved with the Mick­mar project in Selly Oak were con­cerned, there was no real tech­ni­cal dif­fi­culty in de­sign­ing a clutch for our en­gine. Clutches are straight­for­ward enough, and you can knock the parts out quickly and for a few cop­pers per buck­et­ful. What you did need though was some rel­a­tively heavy press tool­ing; this equalled heavy money — some­thing we was not well blessed with!

Ini­tially, while in dis­cus­sions with Greeves, it ap­peared likely that they could sup­ply us with a suit­able clutch. When Greeves lost in­ter­est in Mick­mar that clutch sup­ply line dried up. How­ever, an­other door seemed to open with the Birm­ing­ham firm Aerco Jig and Tool

Bob Cur­rie used this su­perb open en­gine draw­ing in an ar­ti­cle on the Mick­mar project for Motor Cy­cle.

This open gear­box draw­ing also by Bob Cur­rie is once again from an ar­ti­cle on the Mick­mar project for Motor Cy­cle.

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