Author Topic: Sprite-UK/American Eagle-USA /Alron-AUST  (Read 186805 times)

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Offline VMX247

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Sprite-UK/American Eagle-USA /Alron-AUST
« on: June 19, 2009, 04:38:17 PM »
Does anyone know the frame and engine specifications on these bikes.  ???
There doesn't seem to much on them. What we did find out was :

 :) Sprite ran from 1964-1974 (UK).
 :) Sprite also made a frame to house a unit construction Triumph motor.
 :) Some Sprites came with the Villiers Starmaker motor as well same as Cotton.
 :) You can also put an American Eagle clone Sprite Husky motor in them.  ;D
 :) any photos or other info would be most appreciated  8)

oh and we have this article written by Firko
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/5990474_72Tfa#374216768_P4BN8

cheers S&A WA
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 05:43:00 PM by VMX247 »
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Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 04:49:48 PM »
Thanks Paul have been watching that one too--not too many around.
Plenty of old ripper Villier lawn mowers though  ;D
cheers
found this one  :-*


][/url][/img]
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 11:25:24 PM by VMX247 »
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Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 05:25:33 PM »
Another question  ::)  ;D
Is the below chrome number plate apron original or after market and can I get one from the UK or anywhere.? ?
thanks


][/url][/img]
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Offline Bamford#69

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 05:35:12 PM »
Hi
They also came with a "round case" Husky lookalike motor in little and large ,

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009, 06:55:00 PM »
The Sprite "Husky" engine only came in 405cc.

Offline JC

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 10:18:27 AM »
Which from memory was actually 399cc but called a 405.

I believe they came w 250 Husky-type motor for a while too, until they 'saw the light' & put the 238 Kaw motor in the American Eagle. That's the model I'd like.

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2009, 11:49:37 AM »
Quote
Is the below chrome number plate apron original or after market and can I get one from the UK or anywhere.? ?
thanks
Alison those alloy side panels are actually cast alloy and are the 'Holy Grail' for Sprite fans. They were standard on some models but are popular with special builders. A good proportion of American Eagles/Sprites that come up for sale are missing these panels. They're practically unobtainable and when they do come up you'd better prepare for a bidding war ;D.
Quote
You can also put an American Eagle motor in them.
There's no such thing as an "American Eagle" engine Alison. They're actually Sprite Husky clones with American Eagle cast into the clutch and ignition covers.

John..I thought the Husky style 250 engine was the genuine article. In all of my research I haven't seen any reference to a Hipkin built 250 Sprite "Husky" engine.
The Sprite frame has housed a number of engines over the years including 250 OSSA Pioneer and Phantom (Alron), Villiers Starmaker, Husqvarna, Maico, Kawasaki 238 and more. In 500 guise they used Sprite 405, Maico 360, Husqvarna 360, Triumph 500 Villiers Starmaker and I'm sure more . The frame also housed 125 Sachs, Zundapp, Maico and Minarelli engines throughout its life cycle. Sprites are/were the best kept secret in VMX. Eligible for pre 65, they're a budget intro into the Cheney/Metisse aftermarket frame market (see Budget Bikes thread). VMX editor Ken Smith is restoring a Kawasaki 250 powered American Eagle, Alan Jones is building both 405 American Eagle and Alron and I'm collecting parts to eventually build an oval Maico powered Sprite pre 65er. Brad Lackey even owns one. Forget what the 'naysayers' will tell you...the Sprite/American Eagle/BVM/Alron are good things (with the exception of the 405 Sprite engine which has some transmission shortcomings).
Below is a rare Zundapp 125 powered Sprite. Pretty little thing ain't she?
                                   
Below: The 1966 press announcement of the new Starmaker 250 and Maico open class Sprites.
                                       
                                   
Below: 'Bad' Brad Lackey with his '68 405 American Eagle.
                             
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 12:05:42 PM by firko »

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 07:01:32 PM »
My apologies to my esteemed coleagues Jikov and JC, it appears that you were right and I was wrong!  Sprite guru Jim McWhirter and Jonsey have both pointed out that the 250 Husky based Sprite engine is listed but the big question mark is that nobody seems to have seen one or even seen a picture of one. According to official Sprite paperwork Frank Hipkin did indeed announce a 250 Husky based engine but perhaps the planned release was stalled after the 405 tanked. Does anybody have a picture of one?

Offline Snowy 76

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 07:16:55 PM »
John Boag was telling me he had a 250 Sprite engine?
Couple of CR`s

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2009, 07:20:45 PM »
I was assuming Boagys was a Villiers Mark but I was unaware of the Husky Sprite 250 so Boagy may indeed have one.

Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2009, 11:21:02 PM »
Fax & Tel: (0)1246 855 557. Bultaco UK. Bultaco & trials specialists. 213 Pooley Green Road ... 07803 128000. www.faberframes.com.

or this one from VMX Mag

Faber Frames Ltd
Tara, St. Breward,
Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4NX, England
Tel +44 (0) 1208 850 677
Mobile 07803 128000

Oh yer GMC would probably make one too  ;)   ;D

Apparently according to http://www.eurospares.com/graphics website you can still get the Sprite Kits.I haven't looked yet ..This website also has some amazing info/pics on it-eg-XL350 Cheney & Hagons to name a few.

Amazing when you start hunting, what you can find    :-\   :o 
Thanks all for the above info.  8)

][/url][/img]





« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 11:25:16 PM by VMX247 »
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Offline JC

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2009, 08:52:09 AM »
Mark,

I thoroughly agree that these Sprite-framed bikes are grossly underestimated (w the exception of the 405 engine as you rightly point out). I've long been interested in them cos of the Kaw 238 connection & my love of the lime-green machines. Brad Lackey raced one of them (w 238 engine) & I have a pic of him on one somewhere. It may have been that bike/connection that raised Kawasaki's early interest in him.

A friend of mine bought a 125 rolling chassis American Eagle to put a 238 rotary valve F21M engine into. (Same frame) The F21M is only 4sp (& very rare), & except for my preference for lime-green, I reckon they'd be better w a 5sp DT1/RT1 engine. Just about be the ducks guts for pre-70, & relatively cheap.

I think I have an ad that shows a pic of the 250 Husky-type engined bike in an old Dirt Bike. I'll have to check.

Boagy is up here in FNQ at present & is dropping in here on his way back to the Nats, so I'll ask him about his Sprite, but I also suspect its a Villers engined one.

Interestingly, the Alron came w 2 diff frames, one w the swingarm pivot in front of the frame tubes & one behind. Can you fill us in on that Mark?

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2009, 10:55:22 AM »
John, I wasn't aware that Alron used the early frame. Every Alron I've seen has the later "fastback" frame. Do you have a photo of an Alron using the early frame? I'd love to add it to the file.

There are two distinct Sprite frames that are distinguished by the placement of the swingarm pivot being either fore or aft of the frame tube and by the twin or single top frame rail design.
Below: The early Sprite/American Eagle frame that was introduced in 1964.

Below: The later post 197? frame , called the 'fastback' frame that came with the Alron, BVM, late American Eagle and late Sprite.



The Alron restored by Dean Rowe that sold at CD4 for 13k. Note 'Fastback' frame.


firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009, 10:57:16 AM »
After reading the above it's dawned on me just how "Anorak" I've become. I think I should start to get out a bit more.  ::) ;D