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On The Road Again

At last, after 27 years gathering cobwebs, my 1944 WM20 is in the road again. I bought it in 1985 and for several years it was my occasional hack and rally bike. Until one day in 1993 the mag packed up and left me with a sweaty push home. It was shed-bound whilst other things in life took over, always meaning to get around to it but never quite. With lockdown giving me a bit of spare time I resolved to get the old boy going again with D-Day as my deadline for the ceremonial first fire-up. Which is what happened; first fire up and potter yesterday, 6th June, followed by a 10-miler this morning prior to re-torquing the head bolts, then a 50-miler this afternoon.
Thank you to Henk for running this wonderful forum, an absolute gold mine of experience. And thank you to the various contributors whose knowledge I've consulted, from tyre pressures to oil type to head bolt torque to ignition timing and countless more. Especially to Dave Plumb who fixed up the mag. Cheers Dave, all A-OK.
I was immensly chuffed that just yesterday of all days I found the original contract plate riveted to the rear mudguard, with a contract number correct for the frame/engine number. Why I'd never spotted it during the last 35 years I don't know. Just a couple of finishing touches left to do; a new glass for the ammeter, and sorting out the voltage regulator. I have a pair of original panniers waiting to go on. If anyone has an original pair of Y-straps looking for a new home please let me know.
If I knew how to post a photo I would do so.
John

email (option): John.childs1@btopenworld.com

Re: On The Road Again

Well done. Which contract is it , Any chance of a photo of the plate ?

Re: On The Road Again

['Any chance of a photo of the plate ?...']

And the bike....Ian:relaxed:

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: On The Road Again

Hello Rik,
It is Contract 23/S2603 which is correct for frame & engine WM20 100452 (ref British Forces Motorcycles by Orchard & Madden). The plate is riveted onto the detachable part of the rear mudguard, behind the civilian number plate. It's 3" wide by 7/8th" tall. On the left the words CHASSIS CONTRACT NO are embossed from behind, with the contract number stamped below. On the right the words CATALOGUE REF NO embossed from behind with the numeral 35 stamped below. I have a photo but can't work out how to post it to the forum.
Regards, John

email (option): John.childs1@btopenworld.com

Re: On The Road Again

It's a steel plate then ?

Most of us use IMGBB ...Select "Full HTML" and then copy and paste.

https://imgbb.com/upload

Re: On The Road Again

Thanks. Hopefully this will work. Bike and contract plate, which is steel. I know the tank number is wrong, it should be C5211152, but I'm not going to sacrifice 35 years of patination on the tank just to repaint the number!
IMG-7536
IMG-7538
IMG-7545

email (option): John.childs1@btopenworld.com

Re: On The Road Again

Cheers John. It's the style that I'd expect...Like this late Norton plate. It's always useful to compare plates and fonts.

S5161-Contract-Plate

Your bike looks to be in quite untouched National Service 'demob' condition. Not many of those left in the UK now.

Re: On The Road Again

Yep, same style exactly.
It was demobbed in 1957, after which it had two civilian owners before I bought it in '85. The seller had only had it for a year and done nothing with it, so I guess it was the first civi owner who applied the wartime style of C number. It had 14,000 miles in the clock when I bought it, which I suspect was genuine. Still on standard bore with just the tiniest snitch of wear and solid valve seats. Perfect condition to the head/barrel mating faces. I've always thought that it did very few miles with the army and hence not put through a rebuild scheme. There is sprayed matt dark green on some hidden surfaces, typical late war colour. The gloss bronze green is quite well done, not at all a 'stand it against a wall' job. I quite like it, maybe not a WW2 colour but all part of its life story.

email (option): John.childs1@btopenworld.com

Re: On The Road Again

id pick that over a restored one any day, you can see the history.....luv it

email (option): taybrig@shaw.ca

Re: On The Road Again

Lovely looking bike John with great patina, I would leave it just as she is
Steve

email (option): Johnsonsteve386@gmail.com

Re: On The Road Again

That is exactly the plan Steve!
J

email (option): John.childs1@btopenworld.com

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