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  • British bike bonanza

    Not a Greeves but still a nice little project a 65ish sprite to keep me sane. Interesting sticker under all the muck though did anyone go to the British bike bonanza in 1995?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I had a Sprite back in my trials riding days, the biggest load of crap I have ever ridden. Made by Frank Hipkin and sold in kit form. Swinging arm bushes were small dia nylon running on the spindle, wore out in a couple of meetings.The exhaust was just as bad, very short with ineffective silencer that would have been more at home on a chain saw! (not the same as the one on your bike which looks an after market one). Why anyone would want to buy one now beggars belief
    Last edited by John Wakefield; 18/02/2021, 09:03 AM.

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    • #3
      My experience of Sprite was much the reverse, Gents. Unit Triumph powered scrambler owned for Pre 65 scrambling was the best handling bike I tried in my return to the sport, and I tried a few! Always regretted selling it ............. though I do know where it is, and it's in good hands.

      Perhaps better suited to scrambles than for trials riding, although Frank Hipkin was equally-proficient at both.

      JR
      Last edited by johnrunnacles; 18/02/2021, 10:22 AM.

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      • #4
        Yes I think the scrambler was a different animal, was it not based on a Maico or Huskvana I seem to recall Frank Hipkin got into copyright issues when he copied the engine! http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/Muse...les/Sprite.htm
        Last edited by John Wakefield; 18/02/2021, 10:40 AM.

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        • #5
          His problem was similar to that of Greeves, when supply of Villiers units dried up to force them (us?) into developing an in-house power unit or to seek an alternative make. Don't think Frank did any more than label the Maico and Husky engines he fitted, from 1968-on, as Sprite ............... but that, apparently, was enough! His successful frame construction pre-dated the later Maico and Husky motocross bikes from which those engines derived, I believe. My Triumph Sprite scrambler dated to 1965.
          Last edited by johnrunnacles; 18/02/2021, 11:27 AM.

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          • #6
            Won’t comment on the quality of Sprite motorcycles.

            Nonetheless, did go to a few Bonanza events. Along with the Southern Classic at Farleigh, the Bonanza was a great social weekend.

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            • #7
              I remember Dennis Jones riding a 125 Sprite Trials bike at a week-long ISDT training event at Bordon. He commented that it was handling better as the week went on. It also appeared that the seat was getting lower during the week....

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              • #8
                From what I've read you have hit the nail on the head John the biggest problem with the trials models was the swingarm it was far to short and also with them being a kit it all depended of who put it together. The bike bonanza was a big thing then unfortunately I've never heard of it before?

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                • #9
                  Prior to COVID, the Bonanza still took place at a new venue, albeit a shadow of its previous self. Very much the efforts of Adrian Moss.

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                  • #10
                    Should of looked before nice poster from 2019. I also found a photo of the kit advertising. Nice price
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      I had a kit form Sprite in 1965! it had a leading link arrangement type front suspension which was horrific!!!! it steered like a twisted steel gate, and at speed it would go all over the place and threw a mate of mine off and broke his wrist??? I had some Norton forks put on by the late Ginger Budd who passed away 2 months ago the Sidecar trials champion and that made it a bit better, i daresay today with MP forks on, or similar it would have been ok

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dick F View Post
                        I had a kit form Sprite in 1965! it had a leading link arrangement type front suspension which was horrific!!!! it steered like a twisted steel gate, and at speed it would go all over the place and threw a mate of mine off and broke his wrist??? I had some Norton forks put on by the late Ginger Budd who passed away 2 months ago the Sidecar trials champion and that made it a bit better, i daresay today with MP forks on, or similar it would have been ok
                        Mine had MP forks but build quality was poor. frankly it was outclassed with a standard 37A iron engine. I traded it in a Comerfords for a 4 speed Bultaco.

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