This amazing bike is an original and genuine TT machine from 1932, as ridden by Roland Stobbart from Aspatria, Cumbria. The bike is an Excelsior B14 Racer with a special long distance return sump engine. The original J.A.P engine has since received some modifications though. The brothers were both of speedway stock and utilised some speedway parts and technology to make the engine more competitive. The barrel is a home-made item cast from low expansion alloy, bored out and fitted with a steel liner. The 80mm piston is a speedway item as is the cylinder head
and all of the crankcase parts on the drive side. The parts on the timing side are all home-made items again, (please read the comments from Paul Ingham at the end of this post). The engine was set up to run on methanol (speedway style) via an Amal carb, and the drive to the rear wheel was delivered through an Albion gearbox. The engine delivered nearly 40bhp at 6000rpm
The bike has remained in the family ever since and when Roland died in 1981 it moved into Maurice's workshop. The bike continued to be used in anger and has been ridden in classic hillclimbs by Maurice's youngest son Stuart Stobbart. Maurice cared and nurtured this bike as if it were his own and continued to fettle it right up until his death in 2001 aged 87.
I called round to see Maurice one Sunday afternoon and was surprised to find him sat quietly in the living room. "What's up Mo, why aren't you in the garage today?". "I've had a wee fall lad, nowt to worry about". Apparently, he'd collapsed while carrying the engine across his workshop and like a mother with her baby he'd resisted dropping it in case it got damaged and held it on his chest until his wife got home from church. An amazing man and an amazing bike.
* The bike was once featured in Performance Bikes magazine but was incorrectly labelled as a 1930 Excelsior Manxman - (hence the caption on the photograph at the top of the post). Paul Ingham has since been in touch and corrected this error. The bike is from 1932 and is not a Manxman - the "Manxman" was not produced until 1934. Thanks Paul