Author Topic: Armstrong  (Read 14081 times)

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Offline llewdaert

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Armstrong
« on: January 07, 2011, 12:07:57 PM »
Where do Armstong trials bikes fit into the chronological/ historical scheme of twinshocks?
Are they CCM with another name? or Can am with another name?
Are they collectable? I got a nice one in my shed and I have only seen one other in Australia.
Cheers

Offline Canam370

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 03:33:55 PM »
The Armstrong and Canam are the same beast. Not CCM. As far as I am aware they were only produced as an '84 model. I don't think the year matters for Twinshock unless you plan on riding classic ( I stand to be corrected though!).
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Captain Bilko

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 04:06:14 PM »




Lyall O'Brien bought some into the country. I had a guy from SA (lost his details) ring me one day inquiring about Lyall's stuff and aparently he rode one for some time and mentioned the word 'superb'  ;)

Offline number8

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 06:44:26 PM »
Fantastic name for a Motorcycle,

#8 ;D

montynut

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 07:11:17 PM »
Armstrong had the 320 & 250 piston port engined bikes and also the rotary disk valve 240 which I think was around 1984 while the 320/250 was late '84 and '85. They also continued on with mono shock versions of the 320/250. The Bombardier rotary disk engines and piston port engines appeared in several trials bikes most notably the SWM which took a world title.

Post Classic Trials has a cut off 31 Dec 1986 with no disk brakes allowed and twin shocks and air cooled only. It was orginally cut off at 31 Dec '84 but was extended a several years ago mostly to allow in the TLR200/250 Honda bikes but also allowed in the Montesa Cota 242 and 330 series. It appears that the Armstrongs could also be included.

Where is Feetupfun he probably knows exact details  ;D
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 07:22:59 PM by montynut »

Offline llewdaert

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 11:56:18 AM »
My Armstrong is the Rotax powered version, I have not seen any Hiro powered in Australia. I thought Armstrong purchased CCM, and seeing these are a BritisH manufacture, there was a potential CCM connection??
Is there any other knowledge?
Thanks to those who replied, I have not ridden mine through I have started it and continue to do so. I do like the sound of the word superb, though it does not describe my trials riding abilities. I am concerned I would damage this machine and ruin its exceptional condition. Mine looks like the one in this promo, but with a rotax
Cheers









Lyall O'Brien bought some into the country. I had a guy from SA (lost his details) ring me one day inquiring about Lyall's stuff and aparently he rode one for some time and mentioned the word 'superb'  ;)

Offline tony27

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 12:16:02 PM »
Have a look at www.trialscentral.co.uk, should be quite a bit of info in the twinshock part of the forum.
You do need to be a registered user to do a keyword search though, quite a few of us are members there as well

TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 02:49:25 PM »
The Armstrong and Canam are the same beast. Not CCM. As far as I am aware they were only produced as an '84 model. I don't think the year matters for Twinshock unless you plan on riding classic ( I stand to be corrected though!).

Yes they are the same beast. I suspect you may be confusing the 4T CCM with the 2T CCM.

Long story: Cotton married EMC (Eatough Motor Components. Joe Erlich had sued Mike Eatough for copyright infringment) to form Cotton EMX. They won a British MX championship with Pete Mathia onboard. Cotton EMX were then merged with CCM under the Armstrong banner. That is Armstrong shock absorbers. Where EMC bikes had used Sachs motors, Cotton EMX's and Armstrongs used Rotax's.

Prior to the merging of Cotton EMC and CCM Nick Jefferies had developed the Hiro powered trials bike for CCM in the early 80's. This was a separate machine to the BSA powered 4T trials bike that Nick had developed in the '70's. This machine was originally produced as a CCM but, after the merger, was produced as an Armstrong. It's this model pictured above. The CCM differed slightly from the Armstrong.

At this time Can-Am were tiring of the motorcycle market but Jeff Smith convinced them to sell Armstrongs in the US/Canada market as Can-Ams.

The supply of Hiro motors dried up and SWM had gone tits up so the Rotax motor became available for trials bikes (SWM had the exclusive rights to Rotax motors in trials) and Armstrong adopted Rotax motors in their trials bikes as well as their MX bikes. Production of the CCM/Armstrong trials bike stretched from about '82 to about '87.

Armstrong then won a contract to supply the UK MOD with dispatch bikes and this contract took up all their production capacity. Armstrong ceased to make off-road bikes.

Rotax powered twinshock Armstrong



The last Armstrong trials bike (Rotax motor..and Aluminium chassis!! Years ahead of its time)





« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 08:42:52 PM by TooFastTim »

TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2011, 03:06:10 PM »
P.S. if you think an Alu framed trials bike in '86/'87 was advanced, take a look at this:



It's a carbon fibre chassis made at around the same time. For more info about the road racers go here: http://armstrongfactoryracing.com/

« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 03:08:31 PM by TooFastTim »

TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 03:10:25 PM »
Here's a pic of the original EMC mx bike:



And here's a vid of the Cotton EMX factory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQbZiiGGTi4. The original Cotton factory was in Gloucester and I visited it many times.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 03:13:37 PM by TooFastTim »

Offline llewdaert

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 09:30:57 PM »
Thanks for this reply Tim, I suspected a CCM connection.
The Armstrong trials bikes dont seem to rate in the same class [esteem or popularity] as the BSA powered machines. Perhaps they did not achieve success in competition, or did not have the British motor? Maybe they failed to inspire, or perhaps were blown away by the conquering TY monoshock??
They certainly look like they were having a go at developing 'state of the art' as the aluminium frame monoshock photo hints...
Thanks again
llewdaert





The Armstrong and Canam are the same beast. Not CCM. As far as I am aware they were only produced as an '84 model. I don't think the year matters for Twinshock unless you plan on riding classic ( I stand to be corrected though!).

Yes they are the same beast. I suspect you may be confusing the 4T CCM with the 2T CCM.

Long story: Cotton married EMC (Eatough Motor Components. Joe Erlich had sued Mike Eatough for copyright infringment) to form Cotton EMX. They won a British MX championship with Pete Mathia onboard. Cotton EMX were then merged with CCM under the Armstrong banner. That is Armstrong shock absorbers. Where EMC bikes had used Sachs motors, Cotton EMX's and Armstrongs used Rotax's.

Prior to the merging of Cotton EMC and CCM Nick Jefferies had developed the Hiro powered trials bike for CCM in the early 80's. This was a separate machine to the BSA powered 4T trials bike that Nick had developed in the '70's. This machine was originally produced as a CCM but, after the merger, was produced as an Armstrong. It's this model pictured above. The CCM differed slightly from the Armstrong.

At this time Can-Am were tiring of the motorcycle market but Jeff Smith convinced them to sell Armstrongs in the US/Canada market as Can-Ams.

The supply of Hiro motors dried up and SWM had gone tits up so the Rotax motor became available for trials bikes (SWM had the exclusive rights to Rotax motors in trials) and Armstrong adopted Rotax motors in their trials bikes as well as their MX bikes. Production of the CCM/Armstrong trials bike stretched from about '82 to about '87.

Armstrong then won a contract to supply the UK MOD with dispatch bikes and this contract took up all their production capacity. Armstrong ceased to make off-road bikes.

Rotax powered twinshock Armstrong



The last Armstrong trials bike (Rotax motor..and Aluminium chassis!! Years ahead of its time)







TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2011, 10:05:45 AM »
The Armstrong trials bikes dont seem to rate in the same class [esteem or popularity] as the BSA powered machines. Perhaps they did not achieve success in competition, or did not have the British motor? Maybe they failed to inspire, or perhaps were blown away by the conquering TY monoshock??
They certainly look like they were having a go at developing 'state of the art' as the aluminium frame monoshock photo hints...

Not at all Llew. The BSA powered machines were a novelty. Very rare (and hence never popular) and now hugely expensive. Only around 100 were made. Nor were they very good.

The Hiro powered bikes were the opposite, very popular and very successful. Steve Saunders won a UK championship on one and John Lampkin had considerable success in the world championship on one.

The TY certainly contributed to the Armstrongs downfall but the major cause was the military order.

From a collectors point of view the Hiro powered bikes are, like Italjets and for the same reason, to be avoided. Spares are non-existant.

I managed to find a piccy of the first Armstrong trials bike. The CCM was identical apart from the graphics. Big change to to the Armstrong pictured earlier (with Steve Saunders riding) was the frame was red and the silencer.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 12:52:49 PM by TooFastTim »

TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2011, 10:23:55 AM »
Flyer for the Rotax monoshock:


Offline Lozza

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2011, 07:53:34 PM »
Hey Tim the Rotax/Armstrong connection runs deep, Rotax supplied 256(tandem twin 250) for Armstrong to use as early as 1979. I know the fellow who has one of the 8 surviving (12 original) Carbon Fibre framed Armstrong 250's(No 8 just like the bike pictured), due to be restored this year.Was brought out fro Nial McKenzie to ride in a Swann Series about 87 or 88. If anyone wants Rotax parts I have a good contact for them.
IIRC Can Am came about with Rotax absorbing (or was it the other way round?) Bombardier,  it still exists today as BRP
Jesus only loves two strokes

TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 08:16:41 PM »
Yeah Lozza, I glossed over the Barton/Rotax/roadracing aspect of the whole saga because these being an off-road forum it wasn't that relevant. But it's actually hugely important. The website I posted goes into the story more deeply.

<for those that don't know the story and are interested read on> The fourth member of the CCM/Cotton/EMC group that was added to the mix was a small engine manufacturer from deepest Wales called Barton (somewhere I have a story about them, they used to operate out of a converted church). Barton produced a rocket of a motor that, like the Suzuki RG's of the time, was a square 4, disc valve 2 stroke. It never did much (no money) but it did star in a movie. That movie was "Silver dream racer" and it starred David Essex. BTW it's a crap movie.

Bartons design skills were put to use in designing an inline twin for the 250 and 350 classes in the GPs. But it was the chassis that really gave people a wake up call. It was carbon fibre. This was 20 YEARS before Ducatis carbon fibre chassis. It used a shock that worked backwards (see above pic). From this I reckon that C-F is weak in compression (can anyone confirm?).

Had Armstrong not left the bike market it would have been them and not Aprilia that ruled the 250GPs for 20 years.

Much like British Aircraft Company in that market, Armstrong should have been a dominant player in the motorcycle market. Sadly it was not to be. They came sooo close with many great products but never quite managed to carry it off.

As an aside Armstrong were involved in the aerospace market as well as shock absorbers. Ever heard of Armstrong Siddeley? Yup folks the clue is in the ARM of Armstrong. They’re one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world.

Offline Lozza

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 08:21:40 PM »
 :o Silver Dream Racer a crap movie :o     


 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(



.....Nick Freeman ....... :'( :'( :'(

...........I'm devastated............ :'( :'( :'( :'(

 ;D
Jesus only loves two strokes

Offline David Lahey

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2011, 08:39:22 PM »
Armstrong had the 320 & 250 piston port engined bikes and also the rotary disk valve 240 which I think was around 1984 while the 320/250 was late '84 and '85. They also continued on with mono shock versions of the 320/250. The Bombardier rotary disk engines and piston port engines appeared in several trials bikes most notably the SWM which took a world title.

Post Classic Trials has a cut off 31 Dec 1986 with no disk brakes allowed and twin shocks and air cooled only. It was orginally cut off at 31 Dec '84 but was extended a several years ago mostly to allow in the TLR200/250 Honda bikes but also allowed in the Montesa Cota 242 and 330 series. It appears that the Armstrongs could also be included.

Where is Feetupfun he probably knows exact details  ;D

montynut as far as I know you are spot on with all that stuff about eligibility for post classic MA trials events. I also thought that the SWM Jumbo might have been slightly dodgy for eligibility until the cut-off went to 1986
David

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Offline Canam370

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2011, 10:14:31 PM »
Didn't the 320TL Jumbo series begin in '78?
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TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2011, 09:03:59 AM »
The Jumbo production started in '83. I see no reason why it should be contentious, it was air cooled, twin shocked and drum braked.

CanAm370. The jumbo was a different production line to the TL line. The TL started production in '78.

'78 TL320:



'82 TL320 (noter rear subframe):



'83 Jumbo (again note the rear subframe):






« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 09:05:31 AM by TooFastTim »

Offline Canam370

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2011, 02:30:43 PM »


Thanks Tim. Here's a pic of my 320TL, 1979 model. Its due at the beginning of Feb. I'll be using when I can between Vinduro's. My son has a TLM50 so we'll get out into it as often as we can. Been awhile since I've competed in Trials....have to go Clubman for awhile......just to show the boy the ropes of course ::) ;D

The Jumbo has no lower frame cradle, subframe loop and the footpeg plates are flat plate too to reduce the frames width.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 02:33:04 PM by Canam370 »
WANTED. Canams;all models,complete or parts.SWM stuff too!

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TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2011, 10:08:54 AM »
CanAm, here's a pic of a later TL with disc valve engine and Jumbo frame:


Offline llewdaert

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2011, 06:44:45 PM »
Is yor SWM the Marzocchi front end model??





Thanks Tim. Here's a pic of my 320TL, 1979 model. Its due at the beginning of Feb. I'll be using when I can between Vinduro's. My son has a TLM50 so we'll get out into it as often as we can. Been awhile since I've competed in Trials....have to go Clubman for awhile......just to show the boy the ropes of course ::) ;D

The Jumbo has no lower frame cradle, subframe loop and the footpeg plates are flat plate too to reduce the frames width.

TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2011, 08:11:51 PM »
Yeah, that model has the 'zokes. The Betors only appeared on the blue, "pernod", models later. I much prefered the Betors. I had a few experiences where the 'zokes tucked in under me. Not a catastrophe but enough to cost me marks.

Offline Canam370

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2011, 08:20:36 PM »
S'far as I know the forks are Marzocchi. According to Martin at SWM-Moto the trick mod to the later models is to fit the earlier straight lower clamp.
 I'll be happy if the thing doesn't plough the front end like a lot of the early trialers did.
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Offline llewdaert

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2011, 04:51:43 PM »
I have one of these-a 'Guanaco' I believe. The Marzocchi front end is the same as the white italjet and Fantic 240 pro's[I think]. I have seen several of the Italjet top yokes break[done two myself] So I am interested in any info on alternative triple clamps especially if they handle better.
I dont recall mine [SWM]ploughing round corners or tucking- I competed for a year on it prior to going Fantic 240 pro
Cheers



S'far as I know the forks are Marzocchi. According to Martin at SWM-Moto the trick mod to the later models is to fit the earlier straight lower clamp.
 I'll be happy if the thing doesn't plough the front end like a lot of the early trialers did.

TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2011, 05:00:46 PM »
I dont recall mine [SWM]ploughing round corners or tucking- I competed for a year on it prior to going Fantic 240 pro

I remember the section (amazing how we can remember sections that we rode 30 years ago). 'bout a 4' drop-off with a tight left immediately the front wheel hit the bottom, so forks were under full compression at the time.

Now, of course, we'd get the front wheel to the bottom and flick the back end around.

Offline Canam370

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2011, 10:51:05 PM »
I dont recall mine [SWM]ploughing round corners or tucking- I competed for a year on it prior to going Fantic 240 pro

I remember the section (amazing how we can remember sections that we rode 30 years ago). 'bout a 4' drop-off with a tight left immediately the front wheel hit the bottom, so forks were under full compression at the time.

Now, of course, we'd get the front wheel to the bottom and flick the back end around.


I remember doing the same on a 247 Fantic - but the thing was at full lock when it hit the bottom......took 2 Clydesdales and a portapower to get the bike out of my arse :P
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TooFastTim

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2011, 06:36:13 PM »
Just off the press from: http://www.armstrong-trials.co.uk/index.html. Includes production numbers.

Offline David Lahey

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2011, 09:23:42 PM »
Thanks Tim. I've just sent them a photo of a Queensland based Rotax Armstrong
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Offline VMX247

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2014, 11:25:40 PM »
Not at all Llew. The BSA powered machines were a novelty. Very rare (and hence never popular) and now hugely expensive. Only around 100 were made. Nor were they very good.
The Hiro powered bikes were the opposite, very popular and very successful. Steve Saunders won a UK championship on one and John Lampkin had considerable success in the world championship on one.
From a collectors point of view the Hiro powered bikes are, like Italjets and for the same reason, to be avoided. Spares are non-existant.

Rewind to 1979 - 31/1/1979......85 Two Stroke Hiro where starting their life on the assembly lines.  8)
How many still exist in their original state  :P  ? 
Happy Birthday Hiro  8)
Best is in the West !!

Offline Michael Moore

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Re: Armstrong
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2014, 05:06:39 AM »
I don't think it was mentioned that Alan Clews bought the company back from Armstrong in September 1987 and CCM went back into production.  Mike Eatough supplied Clews with frames starting from the time when the ex-works BSA frames were used up. Eatough later ended up working at Harley Davidson here in the USA. IIRC all the BSA tooling was destroyed in a big fire (possibly arson) that gutted the CCM factory.  If you can find a copy "Rolling Thunder" by Bill Lawless tells the Clews/CCM story.

cheers,
Michael