The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Bikes, Pictures, Stories & more => Chat, Offtopic, Meetings & Everything Else => Topic started by: Greybeard on 04.01. 2018 16:22

Title: Chater Lea
Post by: Greybeard on 04.01. 2018 16:22
Shamelessly stolen from Facebook. Couldn't resist showing this beauty to you.

Chater Lea 350 OHC Super Sport "Face Cam"
 Chater Lea was a respected firm based in London, which supplied accessories to manufacturers of bicycle and motorcycle frames, but also manufactured complete motorcycles.
 With an OHV model, in 1924 Chater Lea became the first 350 cc bike that exceeded 100 miles per hour at Brooklands.
 From 1926 until the early thirties, they marketed a Super Sport model powered by an unusual "Face cam" engine. Originally the OHV Blackburne engine was designed by Arthur Goodman and later developed by Dougal Marchant, a Brooklands broker who was hired by Chater Lea as a development engineer who turned it into an OHC with a Face Cam cam system. In this, a vertical shaft driven by bevel gears from the crankshaft rotated a pair of contoured horizontal plates in the form of cams, one on top of the other. The upper plate / cam operated the inlet valve through a rocker arm and the lower one operated on the rocker arm of the exhaust valve. An endless screw pump on the bottom of the vertical shaft carried the oil through the center of the hollow shaft to lubricate the cams, while an independent pump lubricated the crankshaft bearings and the rod roller bearing. Note the grooved connections of the shaft, presumably to allow thermal expansion.
Title: Re: Chater Lea
Post by: Greybeard on 04.01. 2018 16:44
When you start to look at old bikes and cars you soon realise that designers and engineers have been pushing their knowledge and experience to the limit since the very beginning.
Title: Re: Chater Lea
Post by: chaterlea25 on 04.01. 2018 21:40
Hi GB and All,
Some of you may know or guess that I have more than a passing interest in Chater Lea's because of my user name here and other forums  *????*
For the last 13 or so years I have been searching and making /restoring parts for a 1925 Blackburne engined Super Sport  *ex* to say restoring the likes of a BSA is sooo easy in comparison
CL were never a major motorcycle producer, production per year being in the hundreds rather than thousands
Their major business was high end steel components, including cycle and cyclecar components,
Their cycle parts are highly sought after even now
The factory survived as an engineering business until 1987,

The Marchant bikes seem to differ radically in different photo's
From what I have been able to find out and deduce the record breaker(s) were mostly of his own development.
Only about 600 face cam bikes were built, the first 150 or so were total loss lubricated
Then a redesign to the engine type in the NMM model

In the latter part of motorcycle production the bikes made were mostly 550sv models to fulfill a contract with the AA
The later facecam models share quite a lot with the AA bikes
The frames of these are much beefier than the spindly mid twenties bikes

Pics attached of a model like I own (still in bits *sad2*) and one of Marchant on one of his,

Title: Re: Chater Lea
Post by: Topdad on 05.01. 2018 11:34
Excellent John and GB.