Project 92

Here we can talk about the P92

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Project 92

Post by roadplough »

The Feb. '04 issue of Classic Bike featured P92
which as every one knows is a B50 isolastically mounted in a P30 BSA Fury frame.

Image

There are two things I'm interesred in finding out..
Firstly, people's preference, given a choice between a normal vertically oriented B50 engine and an inclined one?

Image
photo: John Noble

Secondly if any engine modifications may be required, to the lubrication system for instance, to effect the iclination?
The P92 B50 seems to slope at about the same angle as the tank stripe of a B50T, a circumstance which is having a dis-proportionate bearing on the design of an experimental frame I have in mind.

Any insights appreciated and any technical info lapped up.

cheers, Geoffrey.
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P92

Post by JB »

Personally I like the look of the inclined engine in the P92, maybe a bit too much of a forward angle, I think an angle similar to the angle of rear suspension units would look best, ala Norton Commando.

How an inclined engine in a B50 type frame would look is another matter no telling until someone does it!!

I think the engines oil pick up would have to be moved and the oil level mark on the gearbox dipstick needs to be raised as the dipstick is in front of the gear cluster and would in effect rotate downwards to a lower position but would also gain a bit more oil capacity.

If you want to know more about the bike in the magazine you could contact Sammy Millers M/cls as they built/own the bike which is probably on display in their museum. I could find out contact details for you.

JB
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Post by minetymenace »

I recall the engine was tilted forward to facilitate the installation of the gear change transfer shaft (putting the gear change on the other side, why bother?). A little tilt looks sexy, (as T150 vertical :wink: , T160 22deg :cry: , A75 15deg :lol: )

It also has the effect of moving the final drive sprocket further away from the swinging arm pivot. Love the frame, missed the opertunity of a Bandit frame in the early '80s with a similar idea in mind. Keep us posted on you progress :lol:
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Post by CDB50MX »

Alittle less than a year ago I purchased two boxes of B50 parts from a local vintage bike restorer . I was told that the parts came from the Southern California competition dept. of BSA . In these boxes was a complete NOS B50 motor , big bore liners , trans gears and drawings of a redesigned B50 engine labeled P92 , dated 1974 . A real prize was finding a letter from B.E.Jones , chief designer of Norton Triumph International Ltd., to Mr.R . Stange of Triumph Motorcycles Inc. in Duarte , California , dated June 11th 1975 . The letter talked about interest in the P92 engine and a list of changes to the exsisting B50 engine . I think the motor that I have is a P92 prototype , as it has many changes from a B50 engine . The primary , oil sump , clutch engagment , trans and trans bearings are all different . Crankcase breathing had been altered and most of the vent holes had been pluged . The motor also came with a three spring clutch and larger primary chain with sprockets to suit . From reading the change list in the letter , it looks like BSA started to relize their B50 motors , leaked , had poor ignition , a weak con rod , crank breathing and oil pump faults . Getting to look over the P92 drawings , you can see the new engine may look similar to a B50 , but they made quite a few alterations . If BSA could of hung on for a few more years , we may of had a better product .

Mike CDB50MX (stands for Competition Department B50MX)
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Photos

Post by b50root »

Hi Mike. Do you have any scans of that drawing / Letters?

Lots of people would love to see those things.

Any photo of the engine?

Rickard :thumb
Last edited by b50root on Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by CDB50MX »

I'll work on getting some of them out , as there is about a 4 inch stack of drawings . The engine is in the process of being built and does not look much different than a B50 , just internal changes . I saw a finished P92 motor in a C&J motocross frame that the So. Cal. comp. dept. had built and you could see the major exterior changes . This bike is in a museum in Las Vegas , Nevada USA , which will be open May 2005 , featuring over 250 restored race bikes . I may still have a photo of it and I'll try and post it also .

Mike
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Post by JonH »

Really CDB, Rickard would not be the only one interested...
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Post by minetymenace »

Wow, what a coup! Possibly one of the most interesting threads yet!!! All eyes are watching this space, or should be :shock:
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Post by b50root »

Well here are some pictures that I have got from John Summerfield in Norway.

He has also sent me some photos from the P92 at
Sammy Miller museum that I will try to publish tomorrow.

Image

Image

Rickard :thumb
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Post by roadplough »

That was a left-fielder Mike, an historically significant find by the sound of it,
which raises a bunch of questions but could answer some too.

Brian Jones was the P92 development engineer and presented the feasability report in Feb. 1974,
sixteen months before the date on that letter.
That alone is interesting.
Brian Critchton in the Classic Bike P92 article quotes what Brian Jones wrote on BSA headed paper:
"The study has now been completed on the basis of installing either a BSA B25 (250cc) or B50 (500cc)
into a new bicycle which is based on the obsolete P30 (BSA Fury/Triumph Bandit) design and uses as many
existing parts as possible thereby reducing capital outlay, design, development and delivery times."

As if that was the entire report. This find could prove a suspicion that it went on to say the B50
was not good enough without some (cost prohibitive) modifications.
Which would be why it was never produced when on the face of the report, it could have been.
This magazine article goes on to say that two machines were built at BSA's R&D centre at Kitt's Green
while a secret third OIF machine was made at Wolverhampton.
That's the one that was badly damaged by "the fire".
I can't make out from the write-up whether the Sammy Miller machine is a fourth example (it could be one of the Kitt's Green protos)
but he imported a B50mx engine for it from America (why from America?) and had to make some parts
in order to complete the job. The original cases have no engine number and are different.
The difference presumably being the bit where the starter-motor sits atop the g/box as can almost be seen in this photo:

Image

Since '76 I've seen only a few very brief paragraphs about the P92, one of them mentions Bill Fannon
who assisted Rob North with the 1970 Triple racers before working on Project 92 but that was probably
well before Brian Jones (possibly secretly) sent those boxes to Southern California.
I'd love to see that letter but it wouldn't be surprising if it opened a can of worms rather than a tin of bully-beef. :)

That CCM looks good. I wonder who else got sent "a couple of boxes"..
Last edited by roadplough on Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by roadplough »

Thanks for the offer JB, I have some general enquiry contact details but it might be good if
Sammy Miller or Bob Stanley somehow found this thread.

I quickly modified a machine from the photo pages and just as quickly decided I don't like the
tilt with the tank stripe as well.

Image

Not only the gear shaft but an isolastic mount is under the P92 gearbox
yet the Classic Bike write-up only says that Doug Hele wanted it to emulate the Rocket 3
and that an electric starter could not be fitted above the g/box unless the engine was tilted.
Perhaps they weren't under-estimating the brute of a starter needed but really
it's easier to design a frame around a sloper.

Can any one hazard a guess as to the effect of the altered sludge-trapping/draining in the rocker box?
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Photos from Sammy Miller

Post by b50root »

Here are some photos from Sammy Millers P92. Photo is from John in Norway.

Image

Image

Image
Image
Image
Image

Rickard :thumb
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Post by JonH »

I love the breather off the inside of the primary. An add on, but much neater than stock. The conversion to LH shift is rather awkward though. For a minimal changing of internal parts, it makes sense.
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More than 1 P97?

Post by Canberra »

Am I getting a feeling that CDB50MX has a different design than the Sammy Miller P97 and post dates that machine with better engine improvements?

I would be interested in what the drawings show for the revised breathing.

John
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Post by stupen »

I have been interested in Project 92 for many years now and have collected a little bit of information about it beginning with a one page “Two Wheels” articles entitled “Nortons Beautiful Bitza” published in 1975.
I had an interesting discussion with Dave Smith (Rupert Ratio) regarding an example of this bike he had the opportunity to purchase a year of two ago. From memory the owner was unsure as to whether he wanted to sell the bike and Dave was unsure as to whether he wanted to purchase it. In the end the bike was sold and I suspect that it is the bike featured in the article which started this thread. It appears that there were several examples of this bike made
In the Two Wheels article no mention is made of internal modifications but visually the motor was different in that it had the “staggered” finning on the barrel. The article, which claims to be an “exclusive” indicates that the reason that the project was shelved was the cost relative to comparable machines of the time. It would have cost some $60 more than a H*nda CB250 which apparently was the bench make for costing at the time.
Recently on e-bay a earlier magazine was sold which featured a story about this project, no one on the list purchased it by any chance did they ?
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Post by roadplough »

I missed that Two Wheels issue in '75 :(
What month was it Stuart ?
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Post by stupen »

Two Wheels September 1975, I can photocpy and send if if you wish.

Stuart
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Post by JonH »

How about also sending it to Rickard to post for the rest of us and those who might wander in? This is the definative B50 site and there's no place better place to share it.
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Post by roadplough »

Thanks Stuart I wouldn't say no but I reckon one will turn up on ebay.au sooner or later.
How about scanning it and making available for download instead?
If Rickard is running low on web space I'm happy to devote some to the P92 saga.
Must admit to being just as interesred in the politics and events as the concept.

With current technology, working drawings of revised B50, a (wealthy American) backer...
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Post by stupen »

I'll scan the page and see if I can work out how to up load it. I also have some poor photos of a rough looking example of the P92 which features a seat held down by a tie down strap and the registration number OCJ 392R. The front mud guard is similar to an early Rocket Three / firebird which makes me think that it is the bike restored by the National Motorcycle Museum and damaged in the fire.
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Post by minetymenace »

JohnH, I like the location of the breather as well...

New thread started see P92 Breather.....
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Downloading

Post by b50root »

You can´t download direct to the forum.

Mail me the files at bigfiles@bsaoc.org and I will publish it.

Rickard :thumb

Ps no space problem yet :lol:
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Scans

Post by b50root »

I have today recived a couple of scans about the P92 project from Mike CDB50MX and I will try to publish the here tomorrow.

I have also got some scans from John in Norway of a other B50 project called Dark Star.


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Christmas comes early for B50 fans!!

Post by JB »

Looking forward to these Rickard. 8)

If my memory works for once!......... the Dark Star was built by John Reed of Uncle Bunts Fame in collaboration with CCM?? :?

And some genuine P92 info, should be good. :D

JB
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Post by JonH »

So what's the carb shown in the first photo of the Sammy Miller P92? It's rounded like a 9 series concentric, but I don't recognize the fuel inlet. It's mounted like a MkII or Mik, but doesn't have a square float bowl.
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Post by JonH »

Ah, caught the fuel line coming in from the other side, seems typical Amal single carb set-up. Still can't place the rest of it. Turned off the mounting ears? For a five years obsolete carb?
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Post by Bill »

Every ones slowly picking over these pictures at the miller museum, even though CDMXB50 mentioned the clutch actuator being changed I’ve just noticed it. I guess there is a triumph 500 type actuator in there. Really just a parts bin raid using what was to hand at the time throughout the NVT group.

Bill.
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Post by Costa »

There probably isn't room for a flange-mounted Concentric, under the gas tank, especially with the engine canted forward like that. The curved induction hose has the dual benefits of moving the carb out of the way, to somewhere it fits properly, and adds useful length to the inlet tract.

For what it's worth, I also noticed that, instead of removing the flange altogether and welding on a spigot, they just bolted an adaptor to the head. Machining the flange off the carb, leaving a suitable spigot, was probably a fairly easy operation, by comparison!

Cheers,

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Post by Mark Cook »

Just a little tip for those of you who don't know, the Inlet spigot on the CCM head is machined from a standard B50 head casting. So no need to cut them off and weld a stub on. Unless you want to point it in another direction. Next time I'm doing one I'll post a piccy.
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Post by BobG »

Just noticed this forum and the discussion on the P92 project.

I went to see the the remains of the prototype that is now in Sammy Miller's meseum. Unfortunately, Sammy bought it whilst I was away on holiday. I should have put a deposit on it!

There have been other articles on the B50 engined prototypes over the years, in particular Classic Bike Guide #39 (July 94), which details the other isolastic prototype developed by Alan Sargent. It was briefly mentioned in the Classic Bike article too.

I understand that Alan took the isolastic B50 prototype built in the old AJS workshop by Robin Clews as part of his redundancy settlement from NVT. Since that time it was used, almost constantly, for personal transport. I purchased the bike in November 2003 from Alan. Ill health and increasing age meant that it was becoming very difficult for him to start it.

At present I am rebuilding the bike. Unfortunately, many of the parts are special items and I am having to make them. This has turned out to be a longer process than I originally imagined!

The bike was basically a stock B50SS that was being used by a Kitts Green employee. Alan recalls that they took it back and gave him a Truimph twin in return! He says that it may have been one of the B50 test bikes but that he really cannot remember.

Whilst the frame has been modified and a new swinging arm fabricated the engine is basically standard B50. I notice, however, that the left crankcase is stamped Triumph (possibly an early Avenger case). The main distinguishing feature of this bike is that the isolastic mounting tubes are part of the frame rather than the engine - opposite to the configuration used by the other P92 and the Norton Commando.

I have some photos from before the restoration and I am trying to document things as they progress. If anyone is interested I can post some.

Alan lives quite close to me and is still a major source of information on things from that era. He is taking an active part to ensure that I restore the B50 correctly!
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Post by roadplough »

Greetings BobG,
I, for one, am very interested in seeing photos and your progress.
You have the perfect adviser in Alan Sargent!
I think you've probably ended up with the choicest of the prototypes after all, or the one which is best qualified to be called a BSA/Triumph since your's is the "secret" OIF version is it not?

This is great news, thanks for posting.
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Electric start B50!!

Post by JB »

I've been browsing this thread again and I'm amazed at the lack of information regarding the very teasing photo of a B50 engined P92 that appears to be fitted with an electric starter!!!

There seems to be various bits of information about the experimental P92's, but apart from this one and only tantalising glimpse of a special timing case, for what appears to be an electric starter, thats it!!

Is there any information, other than this one "single"photo, about this final factory develpment of the B50?

JB
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Post by stupen »

Dave Smith asked me to pass on a question, does anyone have a later B50 with the tappet adjustment on the push rod end of the rocker ? This modification involved a larger inspection plate on the side of the rocker box held in place by three screws.
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Starter

Post by b50root »

Where is the Electric starter?
B50 engined P92 that appears to be fitted with an electric starter!!!
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Post by JB »

Hi Rickard

If you look at the photo in Roadplough's post (8th Dec 2004@ 8:10am) you can see the timing side cover is not a normal B50 cover.

It has an unusual bulge in the casting just in front of the kickstart lever. It is difficult to be certain but it also looks as if it has an electric starter motor above the gearbox!!

JB
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Pics

Post by b50root »

Hi JB. I have some other photos of the original P92 at home. I will look and see if I can publish them.


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Post by roadplough »

That pic above appears in the Classic Bike article as a small snapshot type photo layed-up askew on the page. Couldn't do much about the quality.
The caption reads: "Note CCM style finning in period pic"
No mention of who has this original photo, or any others possibly snapped on the same day....

stupen, first I've heard of that mod. I've always wondered why eccentric adjusters weren't used.

I noticed recently in the guestbook at least one entry from an ex-BSA employee,,,, B50 development engineer by any chance?
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eccentric adjusters

Post by b50root »

Maybe Stan can tell us what he have made in this road bike!!

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P92 Timing Cover

Post by beesa71 »

My P92 cover has the clutch actuation system ala Triumph (and A65 ?) with three balls and a ramp system doing away with the 'rack and pinion'. You'll notice the cable goes in from above rather than // to the top face of the cases.
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Pics

Post by b50root »

Do you have any photos. This would be a great mod for the hard B50 clutch.

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