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bigduke6

G3L Rear seat ID

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Posted (edited)

The last bits to go in the temp shed were some tinware off my WD G3L that were hanging up, these are the few bits that weren't boxed up, I noticed the rear seat and was trying to compare it to some pics Jan had sent me regarding the rear seat I mentioned in my previous post on my M20 which I didn't think was correct.

This one pictured is definitely not original to the G3L as the mudguard has had some holes welded/brazed up in the past were the original was secured. I cant bring the pics up he sent me for some reason, can anyone ID this seat ? 

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Edited by bigduke6

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They swapped and changed about! The short saddle that you have was fitted to at least Norton 16H, Royal Enfield WD/CO and G3L's at different times....With or without the front hump. I have one as in the G3L parts list drawing that has just been re-covered by http://www.rk-leighton.co.uk/ which I'd be happy to swap with yours if it suits you better. Ron

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Ron, 

Appreciate the offer, are you in need of a seat with the ribbed guard section underneath? It just reminded me of some pics Jan had sent of the ones he produces for the M20.

Still need to see what's on the M20 to be honest. 

Edited by bigduke6

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Perhaps Jan will post pictures. The M20 used the long version with the ribbed guard, with and without the front hump and later the short version. But they also fitted the loaf of bread bum pad at some time.

This is the long version with front hump. Ron

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In Your last photo Ron, it shows the pillion saddle often fitted to the Ariel W/NG and displaying one of those absolutely first-class covers that you had made. Mine looks a treat on the Ariel, and I must say that the chap who made these covers did a brilliant job......shame he can't supply standard saddle covers as his workmanship is excellent........

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Posted (edited)

You were calling me Ron...? 😄 Here I am, with some information on the pillion seats:

It was only from about 1942 onwards that motorcycles were fitted with pannier frames and pillion seats. Before that they only had a small carrier at the back. The earlier bikes were often retrofitted with pannier frames & pillion seat during a major rebuild. Conversion sets were available...

In 1942 the first pillion seats were of the "bum pad" variety, being a metal base with rubber foam and rexine cover. But due to the sudden rubber shortage manufacturers had to look for an alternative. Enter the steel frame pillion seats... These were made by three different companies, each having his own design. These three basic designs were slightly modified during the war, so we can say that there were six variants. 

The long ACUMEN pillion seat:

This is the only make of pillion seat that was used on the BSA M20. It was also used on some Matchless G3/L and on some Royal Enfield WD/CO models. It is based on a 1 mm thick mudguard section, with two coil springs at the back. Quite a distinctive shape. On the BSA it was attached to the mudguard at the front, and to the rear carrier at the back, so not making contact with the length of the mudguard.

 

 

 

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I have also found several examples of a slightly different version of this long ACUMEN pillion seat. There were always two holes for the spring brackets in the top frame. The "normal" version (as described above) uses the rear holes, whereas this slightly different version uses the front holes. The two rectangular cut-outs in the mudguard section are also 3/4" deeper, and the two reinforcing struts are a bit shorter. All these modifications make that the springs are mounted 3/4" further forward. 

After some research I have discovered that this alternative version of the long Acumen pillion seat was only used by Ariel. Apparently in order to move the pillion seat enough backwards to avoid contact with the tail bone, the springs came in contact with the Ariel carrier. Solution: put the springs a bit further forward... 

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Edited by rewdco

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Posted (edited)

The short ACUMEN pillion seat:

The very last M20 contracts (1945) used a shorter version of the ACUMEN pillion seat. Apparently because although the long version was cushioned at the front, some despatch riders had complained about painful hits with the coccyx... For as far as I could find out, only used on BSA M20, and basically the same design (same mudguard section, two coil springs at the back, but a shorter frame).

 

 

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Edited by rewdco

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Posted (edited)

The MANSFIELD pillion seats:

Quite a complex variety of models, which I will try to explain. MANSFIELD pillion seats were used by Triumph, Matchless, Royal Enfield, Ariel. The MANSFIELD doesn't use a mudguard section as a basis, but two rails (the "legs"). I have seen at least three varieties: with "X legs" and with "O legs", and also with two sheet steel strips. Not sure which motorcycle model used which legs or strips though... The triangulated front frame structure is easy to recognise in period pictures, but appears to have been used with the O-legs and sheet steel strips only. There was a version which was padded at the front, and there was an unpadded version. The unpadded version appears to have been made in two lengths.

The long unpadded MANSFIELD pillion seat with "O-legs":

Unlike the long ACUMEN, the MANSFIELD was not always cushioned at the front to avoid painful contact with the tail bone...  I guess the early versions were not padded at the front. 

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The short unpadded MANSFIELD pillion seat with "O-legs":

Presumably to avoid painful contact with the tailbone, MANSFIELD also made an unpadded short version of this pillion seat. The length of the legs is identical, but the legs are peaking out further at the front of the short version (see comparison pictures below).

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The long padded MANSFIELD pillion seat with "O-legs":

A further development was the long version with padding at the front. Made with two kinds of "legs": thick flat strip or thin sheet steel strip.

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The long unpadded MANSFIELD pillion seat with "X-legs":

Used by Matchless (and may be others?). Looks very similar to the versions above, with the exception that the bottom rails have an X shape, and there is no triangular reinforcement at the front. Also the back end of the seat frame has a different construction. This version had no padding at the front.

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Edited by rewdco

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Posted (edited)

The front spring LYCETT pillion seat :

Used by Triumph, Enfield, Matchless, Norton. The seat is based on a sturdy 1.6mm mudguard section, and although they were made by Lycett, they all had coil tension springs instead of rubber springs at the top (no doubt again because of the rubber shortage). And because they had two coil springs at the front, there was no "padded cushion" at the front of the seat. Easy to recognise in period photographs: this is the only model with front springs...

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Edited by rewdco

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Posted (edited)

The rear spring LYCETT pillion seat :

Used by  Matchless and Norton. The seat is based on a flimsier 1 mm mudguard section, which looks "cheaper" compared with the previous 1,6 mm version. War economy version...??? But why the springs were moved to the rear is anybody's guess. A complex hinge system at the front is the result...

 

Hope this explains a bit Ron... 😊

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Edited by rewdco

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Thanks Jan. You explained my comment "They swapped and changed around" in much greater detail......I'll try and remember some of it for the future. 

Yes Steve. I've tried several times to get that guy to make more covers for me. But sadly he keeps having mental breakdowns and not worth the risk of sending a rare saddle.......Even if he does answer the phone or email!!

 

Ron

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Thanks Jan, Thats a very handy article that needs to be archived somewhere, I always thought the one I have (The Lycett rear spring) was to allow for the ribbed mudguards etc, but makes sense to keep the rib for extra strength.

 

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Posted (edited)

Have added additional information on the Acumen and Mansfield pillion seats. Original text has been edited...

Jan

Edited by rewdco
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Posted (edited)

Would also like to add some pictures of original covers. Starting with the ACUMEN long version:

 

 

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Edited by rewdco

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Posted (edited)

Mansfield without padding at front (long and short versions):

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Edited by rewdco
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Posted (edited)

Lycett with front springs:

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Lycett with rear springs:

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Edited by rewdco
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Posted (edited)

And a Lycett exception to the rule: there was only one Norton contract with Lycett pillion seats and canvas covers, every other pillion seat should have a Rexine cover... 

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Edited by rewdco
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So as I see it now. In answer to Dukes query. He has the rear spring type Lycette which were definitely used on G3L's.👍

It's also the type that I have on my 16H👍

But my G3L has a short Acumen saddle with original cover, which has been on the bike all the while I've known it in well over 30 years ........So it will stay put🤞

Ron

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Posted (edited)

Still better than this contraption Ron! A Lycett with front springs combined with a Lycett with rear springs makes a... Lycett with NO springs! 😂

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No, serious, looks like a Lycett front springer with the springs (and the D shaped bracket at the rear) removed...

Jan

Edited by rewdco

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I pity any PPP (Potential Pillion Passenger)

 

Ron

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, rewdco said:

Would also like to add some pictures of original covers. Starting with the ACUMEN long version:

 

 

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From Grace's Guide:

Acumen Co of Aston, Birmingham.

Company at the Rose Works, 133 Park road from at least 1932, and originally were described as motor accessories, pressworkers & metal spinners, but by and during WW2 described themselves as manufacturers of cycle & motorcycle accessories & leatherworkers. 

The leatherworking had been dropped by 1946, by 1965 they had added scooter accessories, and by the time of the last Kellys in 1973 were just manufacturing cycle accessories.

Leatherworkers...? I was already thinking that the scuffed edges of this cover revealed some leather instead of Rexine... I wonder if that's a leather cover on the Acumen pillion seats...?

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Edited by rewdco

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It is now confirmed that only the part with the pressed in "ACUMEN" logo was leather, the rest of the cover was Rexine...

I've added some new information in the "long Acumen" post. There was a slightly different version which was only used by Ariel. See further above...

Jan

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Jan I've just read your 28th Aug edited post with pictures and it seems I must have the BSA version on my W/NG. I can see that the Ariel version is moved back and up, but can't see how the springs of the BSA version would interfere with the carrier?.Never done learning!!  Ron

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