1956 Greeves Racer

This is my 1956 Greeves. Originally a road machine I modified in 1988 for my son-in law Michael to use for racing in Vintage Motorcycle Club events in the 250cc class . This picture shows him at Mansfield Corner at Cadwell Park.

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 Various engines were tried from the Villiers range, from 34A to 9E Kart with various combinations of carburettor and fuel and an electronic ignition system. The fiercest was an ex Kart  9E running on Methanol through a 1 3/8" Amal GP borrowed from a Velocette Thruxton - about 8 MPG around Cadwell !

The engine shown here is a 9E from a Kart, and fitted with a very special multi-stage exhaust system that took most of one winter to make, all those cones to develop and weld up and with all internal joints ground smooth. It also incorporates a very effective silencer that is packed with fibre glass and was last tested at 97dBA. At a race meeting before this system was made it was measured at 117dBA, which is loud, and we were advised by the ACU Noise Steward that we would not be allowed to race in the future with that exhaust system.

The cylinder head came from an invalid carriage engine. I had the combustion chamber built up with alloy weld and then machined it to give a central spark plug position and a top-hat section squish band.

The wheels were rebuilt onto 18" alloy rims. The front brake was modified to give a fully floating back plate and the back plate anchor was altered to a parallelogram torque arm type. This gave an anti dive action to the front end.

Not the fastest of its class, but a good training machine. We raced with a slight handicap in the lightweight class, as my jockey is 6' 5" and 14 1/2 stones in his leathers ! 

Detail pictures of the machine

Time passes, we raced for 5 years. Michael now has a family and a business to see to ( www.stationroadsteam.com ) and Vintage Racing has become keener and more expensive. I don't have the heart to sell it as I have put so many hours into it, so it is carefully stored away. Perhaps one day we will need it again.



I have seen several Greeves specials fitted with Triumph 500cc engines ( Grumph ? ). That could be the future for the project, and would make a nice little summer time sportster. We have the bike, we have the logbook ( V5 ), we have the machinery. Any offers on a unit Triumph engine ?

UPDATE April 2007  Preparing to move house, so I have sold this machine to an enthusiast in Banbury who intends to use it as a summer time roadster. Happy riding to you Dave.