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Classic Dirt Bike Magazine

Here are a few words from Tim Britton, the editor at Classic Dirt Bike Magazine who we were pleased to help out with some spares for a project currently being worked on:

Keeping some distance

Rather than a reference to the way Covid-19 is causing major changes in the way we as a population interact with each other the ‘distance’ in discussion here is to do with certain parts of an off-road motorcycle which need to be kept apart so they may perform properly. Imagine the mayhem if such parts as wheels and bearings were not properly in line or could flop around at their will? Such parts are often glibly called ‘spacer’ or ‘distance piece’ by those of us who write about the mechanics of motorcycles. Equally we may say the spacer or distance piece is ‘alloy’ yet within that word is a multitude of grades, compositions and types of ‘alloy.’ What we most likely mean by ‘alloy’ is an aluminium alloy of sufficient strength to retain its shape under compression when a bolt or shaft is tightened up yet add the lightness to a machine us off-road motorcycle users require.

In the course of compiling a magazine such as Classic Dirt Bike there are always projects and rebuild features on the go – currently there are three regular projects and one incidental piece of madness involving a sidecar – by the nature of a magazine with ‘classic’ in the title these projects are older and as they are off-road machines tend to have lived a hard life. It is simpler by far to line the wheels up in their axles and measure the size of the required spacer to clamp everything up.

Problem is while us editors may well know quite a bit about who rides this motorcycle, which event that motorcycle was used in and even who developed it for the factory, we’re less knowledgeable on things such as the composition of aluminium alloy used for spacers and distance pieces.

Luckily for us a tentative request for help brought a response from Spartal Aluminium Tubes in Gloucestershire where Sales Administrator Victoria Windridge told us their aluminium tubes had been supplied to those making wheel spacers and distance pieces for the motorcycle market and added would we like a couple of off-cuts for use with our projects? Oh yes please!

classic dirt bike spartal

Words and pics: Tim Britton Media Ltd.

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