Wednesday, 18 August 2010

"Mistress Quickly" Sprint Special

Motorcycles have taken such an important place in my life.
Originally  forbidden to have a motorbike, although my older brothers had enjoyed them in their teenage years.
Having had a taster of "Fizzies and Fantics, Gileras and Garellis" scrounged from college friends, I bought and began a bit of a clandestine relationship with a Maico 440! Steep learning curve too!
Over the following years motocross became my life.

As age and a recurring right leg injury imposed into this relationship, I tried my hand at all sorts of competition including sidecarcross, enduro, long distance trials and grasstrack with a 500 Antig Weslake.
The Weslake finally broke a con rod with catastrophic results to the engine.
All of this time my girlfriend had accompanied and supported me without missing a single meeting.
This was the perfect time to get married and leave the racing for a while.
Years later I began to think about returning to some form of motorcycle sport. Having always been intrigued by speed records and design, it was time to look at a new project.
Lots of  pondering over Christmas 1986 gave me a chance to do some drawings and chat to friend and sidecar racer /builder (and to me certainly, " a legend"), Trevor Ireson.
We spoke about problems and solutions, Trevor quietly guiding me.
It was my aim to self build as many parts of the bike as possible and to try to capture something of the historic sprinters and racers of the early years.

The steel tube was ordered and nickel bronze rod obtained.. The bike continued to grow over the next few months. Some of the traditional styling has been compromised by modern regulations. Also a mistake by me gave a little too much steering rake.
I used a second replacement Weslake 500 engine and the gearbox from my grasstrack bike. The intention was that a supercharger would be made from drawings I had produced earlier, but for now the engine would remain normally aspirated.
The rear wheel/ tyre is probably too wide, but considering the supercharging at a later date and the difficulty of obtaining the old, narrow rear sprint tyres, I decided to stay with this combination at this stage.
The front end came from an old Honda CB 200 frame, found in a ditch near a friends house, miles from anywhere. A new rim, spokes and tyre and lots of polishing sorted this out.
First tests show that I was too optimistic in trying to use the two gears of the Antig gearbox. A third gear was grafted into position.

The times have been in the region of 12/13sec 1/4mile and about 110/115 top end speed but still requires lots of refinement to make things more seamless..
The fantastic arrival of our children and becoming self employed, has postponed my adventures and I am guilty of saying "next year" as each season goes by!..... Maybe next year!

The name "Mistress Quickly" is from a Shakespeare "lady" inn owner and friend of "Doll Tearsheet".
This bike became something of a mistress, as I arrived in at 3 in the mornings and concentrated on nothing else!
The painting was an excuse to emulate the wartime art of the American bombers and fighters, along with the simple and raw unpainted aluminium and steel finish.


  1. Go Eric Go !!! very beautiful your Steel Drag "Mistress Quickly"

  2. Rocket68, thank you for your compliments.... Keep up your excellent blog