Author Topic: Sprite-UK/American Eagle-USA /Alron-AUST  (Read 190420 times)

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mx250

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2009, 11:18:31 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
True, but you are such a lovable, interesting and knowledgeable Anorak ;D. Please don't change Firko 8). Who would have thought that such a mundane enquiry about a Sprite would turn into such an interesting thread (with interesting pixies and all) ;) ;D.

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 11:41:36 AM »
Shucks Graeme :-[......I find this stuff interesting and it's relieving to know that others share the interest. I reckon it's the little things that often slip through to the keeper that make out hobby so cool. Take the Flink on Docs "Something I've never heard of " thread. I find those obscure little chapters in our sport just so intriguing. Just because a bike didn't win a shitload of titles or sell by the millions doesn't make any less interesting in my opinion. The Sprite saga is another of those yarns that I reckon deserve a bit of attention. I enjoy doing it and I'm glad you and others enjoy reading them......Thanks mate.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 12:11:33 PM by firko »

Offline JC

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 12:14:51 PM »
Mark,

If yr 'anorak' I must be too! Does that mean we need help?!

In the articles & pics I have, the 400 Alron is always pictured in the "fastback" frame like you posted above, but the Ossa-engined 250 appears in 2 diff frames. 1 appears to be the same as the 400 frame & the motor doesn't sit quite right in that frame. It appears too long & is 'cocked' upwards at the front to fit in the engine bay.

The other is a diff design again & the Ossa motor fits in comfortably. Engine bay must be longer. It has the swingarm pivot in front of the down tubes but is quite diff to the early Sprite frame you posted above.

If you look at Ray's article in VMX #7, top of p42, the pics of the 250 show the diff frames tho the pics are small so you have to look carefully. I have a copy of a 2 Wheels article (mar 75) which has larger pics & its much more obvious. I could scan & post them but I seem to have used up my photo quota here.

Some of the articles I have indicate that the first (10-20?) Alrons were straight Sprites re-badged & appear to have all been the 400. Ron Lyons apparently wasn't entirely happy w those rebadged Sprites. The later (25-30?) "real Alrons" do seem to have had an in-house-built frame made on jigs in Jandacott, Perth. I think all those "real Alrons" used the 250 Ossa motor; some were Pioneer/SDR while others were Stilleto. (Its often said in the press that they were Phantom engines but they hadn't yet been built in 72-73 & Ron Lyons himself said they used SDR & Stiletto engines.)


Edit: Some of the last paragraph was found to be untrue - see later posts


« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 08:39:28 AM by JC »

mx250

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 12:15:02 PM »
At the risk of turn the thread into a 'love in' ::), I couldn't agree more :). I reckon the ingenuity of the Flink and similar deserve preserve as much as any of the works bikes.  

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2009, 12:32:07 PM »
Quote
Some of the articles I have indicate that the first (10-20?) Alrons were straight Sprites re-badged & appear to have all been the 400. Ron Lyons apparently wasn't entirely happy w those rebadged Sprites. The later (25-30?) "real Alrons" do seem to have had an in-house-built frame made on jigs in Jandacott, Perth.
John you are in deed a fellow anorak and now you've really opened up the subject! I was aware that Alan and Ron Lyon were planning to jig up for their own frame but until now didn't think that they ever eventuated. Talking to Brian Clarkson, who was the NSW distributor and their only Aussie "works rider", he aluded that all of the Alrons were rebadged Sprites and didn't mention any Aussie built OSSA powered bikes. He did mention that the OSSA Phantom powered Alron was a good thing that handled better (in his words it was "less nervous") than a real Phantom and weighed about the same.

To quote Alice in Wonderland: the Sprite plot seems to get "curiouser and curiouser".
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 12:33:53 PM by firko »

Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2009, 05:25:02 PM »
Just another Hybrid

Ah ,but a nice classic one  8)
cheers
Best is in the West !!

mx250

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2009, 05:29:50 PM »
Just another Hybrid

Ah ,but a nice classic one  8)
cheers
And worth a cool $13grand two years ago.....


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

Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2009, 10:25:37 PM »
Thanks MX250- I knew I had taste in Classic Dirt Bikes and you know another thing when I pick that Sprite (page 1) up in a few weeks, I'll be the only person in the VMXWA with one  :D  ;D  :o  ;)
cheers Alison
Oh and I don't care if I'm at the back of the pack playing cat and mouse with the Cotton   ;)   ;D
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 10:30:15 PM by VMX247 »
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firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2009, 10:57:03 PM »
So you bought the Sprite Alison? It looked pretty nice and will be a nice bit of fun in pre 65/250. The Sprite thing is catching. Buy 'em up before they get discovered by the Yanks!

Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2009, 11:03:49 PM »
Yep-pick her up on the 12th-just got to get those sort after number plates rolled up and made somewhere-got a fellow vmxer in the know.  8)


Do you think its a trials front end as the mudguard is lower than the mx version  ??? or did the scramblers come out with a mudguard like that ?
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cheers
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 04:38:16 PM by VMX247 »
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Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2009, 09:53:39 PM »
Its like stumbling upon Alladins Villiers cave this lot  :o   ;D
Part 6 - The Sixties

Engines were still being developed in the sixties, the A series was the greatest beneficiary in this period.  The 32A was developed as a trials engine, the 33A became the 34A, still a scrambles unit and the 35A was supplied to Bond for use in their three wheelers.  The 36A was very similar to the 33A and 34A engines.  A wide range of 4 speed gearbox variations were available and, a new departure, Villiers offered the 33A, 34A and 36A with Amal carburettors.  An Amal 389/39 was fitted to them.  Villiers S25/5 carburettors were used on the 32A and 35A engines.  Compression ratios were 7.4:l on the 35A, 7.9:1 on the 32A and 12:1 on the 34A and 36A engines.

The final development of these engines was announced in 1965 when the 37A came on the scene.  This had many of the features of the 32A but used a lightweight crankshaft, gearbox shell and end cover and was fitted with a special wide ratio gear cluster.  As these A engines were similar they could be changed for events as required by the rider and they were well used in events in many parts of the world.  I will comment upon results later.

The 3L, already mentioned in Part 5 was introduced in 1960 and the 4T in 1963.  This was very similar to the 2T, giving 249cc capacity but was given a higher compression ratio of 8.75:1 as against the 8.2:1 of the earlier units.  Three variations were offered, the 4T for use in motor cycles and the 4T/SK and 4T/SKR for use in scooters and three wheelers.  The 4T had an 18 tooth final sprocket and the others a 17 tooth sprocket.  All used the Villiers S25 carburettor.  They were recorded as giving over 17 brake horse power at 6,000rpm.  The 4T used a Villiers flywheel magneto and the others had a Syba Dynastart fitted.

The engine I have left to be the last I detail is one that made some enthusiasts think that Villiers had taken on a new lease of life.  They named it Star Maker (later changed to Starmaker).  It was designed by Bernard Hooper and was originally intended to be for use in scrambles but was soon being used as a road racing engine.  Various firms and individuals were adding their own tuning and Villiers, as always, took note of this and soon there were three variations available, a road racer and a trials unit in addition to the scrambles engine.  The engine prefix indicates the variations offered on the engine and includes 757D for the standard scrambles engine, 490E for a road racing version, 834E a road racing engine with closer finning on the barrel and head, 871E a trials engine, 972E a standard road use engine fitted with 12 volt rectified lighting, 131F a trials engine with 6 volt direct lighting.  The Starmaker engine had a bore and stroke of 68mm×68mm giving a capacity of 247cc.  The compression ratio was varied, the road racer having 13:1, the scrambler 12:1 and the trials engine 8:1.  Different gear ratios were used on each, road racer 2.21:1, 1.45:1, 1.2:1 and 1:1, scrambler 2.52:1, 1.66:1, 1.255:1 and 1:1, trials 3.5:1; 2.08:1; 1.375:1; and 1:1, and different carburettors and inlets were used: racer Amal 3 GP2 with a 1.5 inch choke, scrambler Amal 389 monoblock with a 1.375 inch choke, trials Villiers type S25 with a 1 inch choke.
Best is in the West !!

Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2009, 09:58:40 PM »
Bill Ivy on a Cotton Starmaker rode at many events in all parts of Great Britain and often showed all other machines the way home.  And similar success was gained by other riders in all manner of events but the occasion when many motorcyclists were encouraged to believe that the time would not be too far distant when once again British machines and riders would be at the top of the world road racing tree once again was when in 1966 Villiers entered a machine which had a Starmaker engine in a Bultaco frame and was ridden by Peter Inchley in the 250cc Lightweight Class in the IOM TT.  It came in third, the best British result in this class for many years.  Unfortunately it was not to be, but that part of my story follows later.

The 60s saw the end of Villiers as an independent supplier of motor cycle engines.  It possibly started with the retirement of Prank Farrar from the post of Chairman of the Company in 1957.  He was succeeded by his son, Leslie and when he retired in 1965, Manganese Bronze, who had been buying shares and then owned 20% of them made an offer for the rest.  When this was accepted they combined Villiers with the Norton AMC company they owned and soon afterwards formed a new combine: Norton Villiers Triumph.  NVT, as it was known, announced that they would supply no more Villiers engines to other motor cycle builders but would be fitting them into their AJS bikes.  They produced some 250cc machines but it was left to Fluff Brown, who continued to build them after NVT closed down to do further work on the Starmaker and enlarged the engine producing models with 350 and 358cc engines to produce a scrambler which at first gave a good account of itself.
The results gained by machines powered by Villiers engines during the 60s were too numerous to list in detail.  In many trials there were well over 50% of entrants riding them.  In the results these figures were otten exceeded because so many of the top riders were on works machines from firms using them.
To just mention a few, and can I apologise to any reader who does not find his or her own achievements listed?  As an example, in February 1964 in 90 trials results listed there were 1,215 awards made.  Of these Villiers engined machines gained 707 - some 60%.
cheers............. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pattle/nacc/arc0596.htm
Best is in the West !!

firko

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2009, 10:47:08 PM »
Here's some info on the seldom seen Sprite 250. Thanks to Alan Jones.

Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2009, 11:06:19 PM »
][/url][/img]

cheers Firko here's a couple back at ya  ;D
Best is in the West !!

Offline VMX247

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Re: Sprite
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2009, 11:10:21 PM »
][/url][/img]
Best is in the West !!