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'Why Greeves?'

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  • #31
    Originally posted by riflegreen View Post
    I lived only 7 miles from the factory , everyone knew Greeves .

    Firts meeting I went to was in John Runnacles neck of the woods , Shrublands , 1960/61 I think , may have been a Trophe des Nations .

    Next was the old course at Woodham Ferrers , then the Hadleigh scrambles on the Salvation Army land .

    Several friends of mine worked at Greeves , one of them was Dave Bicker's mechanic for 1964 and he managed to get me a job at the factory and it all went from there .

    I bought my first Greeves in 1970.I had started a new job and my transport was an A10 outfit that I had rebuilt.While talking about bikes one of the salesmen said that his father in law had bikes.This led to him having one for sale.It turned out to be a 1956 model 20T although I thought it was a scrambler.The seller was a big trials rider.It cost 10 and he gave me a choice of engines.A rebuilt 1H or the original engine needing repair.Being stupid I took the 1H.I didnt know what a Greeves was and nobody else did either.I made some engine plates from 1/4" mild steel and hacked them about to fit the 1H.Eventually I applied to get it registered.The DVLA insisted the Customs got involved.It was MOT,d but I couldnt get it registered.Eventually they rang me and the wife answered the phone.They wanted to put a value on it so that they could charge me VAT.They asked the wife what it was like.She described it as a pile of scrap so they didnt charge me and registered it ok.This process took many months.I still didnt know what it was and it was years later that "riflegreen" put in an advert offering to identify Greeves.He finally identified it for me.I then spent decades trying to return it to original.I took it to the Battlesbrige 2003 meeting and its briefly on the GRA video.Its still in the garage. The sickness then took over with many Greeves being aquired for rebuild.A slight return to sanety saw me selling off some as I realised that I would never have the time to rebuild them all.At least I saved them from the scrapman.They were a 1959 TAT,1960 25DB,1960 24SCS,1959 SA,1972 Griffon,1962MDS,1959TA,etc.I hope that they have all been rebuilt by their new owners.I,ve still got plenty left to keep me busy.Greeves are very unique as we all know.They punched well above their weight.


    • #32
      Hi cray, if you are sad & need to see someone, you had better make a block booking, as there are about 200 of us that need to come with you!!... dave.


      • #33
        Originally posted by dave higgins View Post
        Hi cray, if you are sad & need to see someone, you had better make a block booking, as there are about 200 of us that need to come with you!!... dave.
        Maybe that 'someone' could be booked for next years AGM



        • #34
          Originally posted by Brian Thompson View Post
          If you are reading this, I'd say there's a pretty good chance that you have an interest in Greeves! So, I thought it would be interesting to ask fellow forum members the question 'Why Greeves'?

          For some of us it is a passion for the marque and all it encompasses, for others it may be little more than a passing or casual interest, whilst for others it is perhaps the steed they choose in order to enjoy their motorcycling in a wider context, be it club runs, racing, or the simple pleasures of fiddling with old bikes. Others may enjoy restoring their machines to show winning standard and the challenges it can sometimes present, or maybe for you the enjoyment comes from the research and study of the rich and colourful history of the marque. But whatever your 'bag', the thing that we all have in common is GREEVES!

          But what is it about these bikes that captures our imagination and promotes such enthusiasm among their devotees? I wonder what it is that first brought you to the marque? What was the attraction? What triggered your interest?

          For some it will be a simple answer, for others perhaps more complex or perhaps even quite hard to pin down...Whatever your reason(s), my hope is that you might share them here with your fellow enthusiasts, as I think the answers you give could make for a really interesting, inclusive and enjoyable thread, and one that everyone feels they can join in with, both experienced member and newcomer alike.

          From looking at the forum membership list it is clear that we have people on here from all walks of life, and yet it is Greeves that brings us all together in a common interest. I'm not suggesting for one minute an 'in depth analysis' here, just a lighthearted and fun thread that we can all enjoy taking part in.

          Rather than get the ball rolling myself this time, I will hand this one over to the forum first and join in later on as the thread (hopefully!) develops.

          So.....anyone care to get the ball rolling....?

          Norman Hume.

          For Me it was watching Dave Bickers in the very early 1960's and then a friend of mine, Keith Weavers, who was a few years older than me, he had a 360cc Greeves. I used to hear him coming along the road where I lived whilst I was waiting for the bus. I could hear him for about 2 miles before he sped past me in spirals of blue smoke. That was it, I was hooked...

          I had a 250cc Greeves road bike when I was 16, kept it for a while until a mate siezed it up for me, sadly it never ran right after that so I got rid of it. After that I had a few Triumphs but I have always liked Greeves.

          The reason I want another Greeves now is nostalgia I suppose, I don't mind if I have a trials bike, scrambler or road bike as long as it has the leading link forks of the early 60's.
          Last edited by normanh176; 05/03/2015, 03:32 PM. Reason: Forgot to put my name on my posting.


          • #35
            Just read Normans thread on his association with Greeves and thought I would give you mine.

            Having been born into a motorcycle friendly family, my father was Ron Howes,speedway rider who rode for Wimbledon and West Ham before the war and Rayliegh after the war, it seemed logical that I would end up riding a motorcycle.
            I started riding when I was 16 with a 150cc James Cadet which was followed by a BSA C15, it was this bike that lead me to Greeves. I was visiting the dealer I had bought the C15 from when I spotted a Greeves Scottish amoungts the bikes for sale, thus my association with Greeves and 632NNO began.
            I spent many years riding in trials and enjoying riding the bike. Then, horror of horror's, I fell victim to need for more cc's and sold the Greeves on. This lasted about a year and I became fed up moving all the associated weight around. So, around the dealers oncemore untill I spied another blue bike sitting in a showroom alongside an Honda Dream. There was no option, the Greeves Essex Twin 56BHJ was purchased. A lot of fun was had with this bike in it's various guises, even OBG had a ride on it when I was working in the service dept'. Eventually it had to go to fund 4 wheel transport, but all was not lost. I found a tidy TES and stripped and rebuilt it with the help of Riflegreen,a good friend from the past, with the intentsion of riding it trials, unfortunately this never happened,cash was needed so it had to go.
            In the 70's another Greeves came along, one complete and one in bits with the idear of carrying out a renovation,Chris,(Riflegreen) sold on a lot of the unwanted parts for me. Again the bike had to be sold. Moving house required more cash and less space to be found for the bike. Which finally leeds me on to the present day.After attending Chris's funeral the passion was re-ignighted ,so my present project is now taking place, the 1971 Pathfinder.
            Hope you're all still awake and not been bored to tears, and have enjoyed the story.
            Last edited by MikeV; 06/03/2015, 09:00 AM.


            • #36
              I suppose that I must be a bit of a fraud. I used to go to scrambles then volunteered as a marshal and after turning 50 I thought that I would like to have a go. Talking to Andy White in the pits at a meeting he suggested that I buy a 250 BSA and give it a try. At a Mortimer meeting there was a Greeves 250 Challenger for sale so I agreed to buy it. I went to collect it from somewhere in Surrey and had a ride round a field and agreed that was it. I had the option of Ceriani or bananas. Never having seen such od things I settled for tradition.
              On the way from the field back to pay for the bike we came across a car on its roof with an elderly lady still strapped in and not awake. We rolled the car back onto its wheels and looked after her until help arrived.
              I still have the 250 now joined by a 360 challenger, a 25DC and an Anglian.
              However it is not so much the bikes as the Greeves people I have met, starting with Saturday evenings in the pits, the bbqs the beers and the chat especially at Battlesbridge.
              I have so many vivid and happy memories they have helped me to keep looking forward during the last year to getting on with living and getting back on my Greeves.
              Thank you to all my friends who ride a Greeves


              • #37
                Hello Brian, why Greeves ?

                The best Christmas present in the world for a bike mad 11year old that had a 50cc Honda C110.
                Picture is my first proper scrambler, a 250cc Griffon.
                My bother had to start it and pick it up when I fell off but I was well and truly hooked.
                Attached Files


                • #38
                  oops wrong picture
                  Attached Files


                  • #39
                    Why Greeves, wtf not!!

                    OK, so I was an armchair enthusiast, loved watching Dave Bickers in his prime on Grandstand, Lampkin so wonderful at trials riding too!! Loved but could not afford a Greeves, my bikes prior to the recent purchase of a 1966 24TGS Anglian. A "Flyimg Flea" (a memorable walk the bike back (broken chain) on a Sunday no shops open then btw, From Finchley to Plaistow East London, a 1950's Bullet, upon which I suffered a compound communited fracture right tib and fib, next a Fanny Barnet Falcon 197, wife didn't like the cold so a Panther 100 with sidecar... from those I graduated to the infernal motor car, numerous cars later mostly Volvo 240's (still have 2). Lived in Canada now for 12 years always looked for Greeves on EBay saw "Mickey" for sale in Michigan some 3,000 kilometres away in the now Trumpland, fell in love and bought her, in the process of a rebuild, she did run, but was tired, so hopefully I can eventually rekindle my youth and do some trials work next season, hopeless to try to ride here in the winter at -30.. wish me luck, I will keep you updated on progress, awaiting funds at the moment (I am a pensioner) for parts from Villiers Service, but be assured "Mickey" will ride again !!!


                    • #40
                      My first bike at the age of 12 back in 1972, came to me via my late brother who came home and asked if I wanted to by a Greeves for 20. I had to pay him back 1 a week from my paper round! I went to my brother's workshop to see my bike and was met with a sheepish grin and broken rear mudguard, the mudguard loop broken away from the subframe. He had just been having a ride round the yard and wheelied it to far... That was my first view of FAP87C ,the bike a 24TFS, with an old Honda tank bungee srapped on and open primary drive. The chaincases were extinct.. Great fun on that bike riding it on a farm for 18 months until the local Thievery decided to nick it. I was gutted. In 1979 I had a phone call at work from a police station in London. They searched a dealer's premises after finding him in possesion of a stolen bike, and my bike was among his stock. He just bought it for 200 but lost out there and I was reunited with my TFS. I did a quick restoration on it and got it road legal. Used to go to a local piece of wasteland nearby every weekend having masses of fun with other like minded riders on all sorts of bikes. This went on for a couple of years until the ignition gave up and a front metalastic bush died. Pulled it all to bits intending to get it sorted one day. Scroll on 33 years later, out came the boxes and put it together again. Easier now than back in the early 80s getting parts with the internet and ebay. Its not pristine but gets used regularly, my latest trial was the Jack Thompson trial at Canada Heights yesterday. I am going to try and find the history of the bike prior to me getting it in 1972. I do know it was sold new by JW Groombidge motorcycles at Cross In Hand back in 1965.


                      • #41
                        greeves they are infectious,my story starts in 1971 when my mate and i decided to go to the isle of man for the international six days trial,i purchased a greeves in bits 669 phn we left york at about lunchtime to get to liverpool for the midnight sailing no m62 in those days,we both had a tremendous week nothing went wrong goes to say if you put them to-gether properly they are very reliable,upon our return the greeves was sold and a montessa was purchased the in thing at the time,then marriage came along,montessa went,some years later another greeves came my way again in bits its now 95%built and every time i go into the garage its saying please finish me so we can go out riding,i say only too happy to help you are infectious.