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Need a bigger shed...............

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  • Need a bigger shed...............

    Picked up a 1965 Butler trials, for restoration, had one before and soon regretted selling it, but the new owner puts it to good use. This one came with the full glass fibre bodywork, which is unusual, they don't usually survive. (Chris Butler made the glass fibre bodywork on Sammy Millers' GOV 132). Haven't finished the Yamaha YR5 yet, (close though) the house has taken precedence through the summer, but couldn't resist getting the Butler down to the chassis to check for nasties, but seems ok. Big end has had it, couple of cracked cases, not critical, all repairable. I'll make it usable for trials but will keep it close to original as it has the bodywork, they were good out of the box!

  • #2
    Looking good Jeff, will you be riding it at Priddy next year I will be riding the Burian if so a couple of rare bikes brought back to life.
    Keep well Simon


    • #3
      The Butler bikes were made in Haverhill Suffolk, frame made from square tubing, as were front forks. A friend of mine rode one back in the day with Parkinson barrel. no better than a good Greeves. Local rider Geoff Challis worked for Butler and rode one with some success in Eastern Centre events
      Last edited by John Wakefield; 17/11/2021, 10:19 PM.


      • #4
        Simon, I would hope to have the Butler at Priddy, failing that the Ajay, but I had open heart surgery back in July so still a bit detuned, things taking a bit longer! (The Yam might have to wait.......)
        Its not as rare as your Burian, (lovely bike, not jealous at all !) but they always gets people talking.

        Quite right John, the frame looks heavy but the 2 inch square section tubing is thin walled and the bare frame is lighter than a Greeves of similar vintage (which is what Chris Butler set out to do). The forks on both mine were built by Butler out of the same section tubing, as can be seen in my photos,with Girling coil over shocks. the latest one has the final version of these forks, with curved bottom arm, earlier ones were straight. There's a goodly amount of info about them on the excellent Otter Trials website. Both mine have a metal manufacturers plaque set into the tank. My first Butler, which I bought as a wreck and restored, had a square MDS barrel on it, (identified by Rob Thornton), made hill climbs a breeze! It's now owned by a much younger rider of far greater ability, who throws it up and over obstacles it was never designed to tackle! see pix as restored.

        My first one was hoot to ride, steered very well, I hope the current one will be as much fun, but has the iron barrel so probably not as lively. A bit different anyway


        • #5
          Jeff I have found this one on Flickr BCF24C which may be an ex works one as it has a BCF (West Suffolk registration) it has been fitted with a Starmaker engine. Was seen at Amberley Autumn Vintage Vehicle Show 2015
          Mike Scott (son of Claude) also rode a Butler 14ECE which is surprising as the family business Claude Scott of Fitzroy Street Cambridge were main Greeves dealers.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by John Wakefield; 17/11/2021, 11:02 PM.


          • #6
            Thanks for that, John, Butler made a scrambles version too, and at least one was fitted with a Triumph twin engine, (a Bumph, perhaps ) and ridden in the ISDT. The machine models were named after British WW2 fighter planes, Tempest, (both of mine), Spitfire and Fury. I was contacted by a chap who had owned one, having seen the bike mentioned in a trial result, sent me several photos of different Butlers, including one campaigned by John Lee, the Northamptonshire motorcycle dealer.
            My 'new' one, DCF 88C, was first registered to a Mr Bradley of Newmarket, in October 1965, then went to a Mr Hester of Weston Colville, Cambs (your neck of the woods?) and from there to Gloucestershire, where I got it from. I have the green cardboard logbook, but its not on the DVLA system as far as I can see. other than that I have no history.


            • #7
              Hi Jeff ,thats very interesting re the reg number of your Butler ,I managed to find out the reg of the Burian is DCF 72C very close to yours but I am unable to reclaim I have no paper work for bike tried DVLA they cannot help I even tried Suffolk archives and they don't have anything .
              I will keep trying as it would be good to get original reg .
              Another problem is the bike does not have a frame number .


              • #8
                Jeff. The 'Mr Bradley' will be Dave Bradley who used to be an official of the Newmarket Motor Cycle Club, I dont know Mr Hester but presume he may have been a Newmarket member also.

                DCF88C is on the DVLA so you just need to fill in V62 (Application for a V5c) form and the fee of 25

                DCF 88C

                ✗ Untaxed

                Tax due:
                1 January 1980 MOT

                No results returned

                Vehicle Details
                Vehicle make BUTLER
                Date of first registration October 1965
                Year of manufacture 1965
                Cylinder capacity 249 cc
                CO₂ emissions Not available
                Fuel type PETROL
                Euro status Not available
                Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Not available
                Export marker No
                Vehicle status Untaxed
                Vehicle colour BLACK
                Vehicle type approval Not available
                Wheelplan 2 WHEEL
                Revenue weight Not available
                Date of last V5C (logbook) issued 19 October 1987 ​​​​​​


                • #9
                  Again, thank you John, I've just gone on DVLA website again and there it is! When I tried before it just kept looping around the reg no. entry page so I assumed it wasn't there. I've applied for and got age related plates before but never tried reclaiming a known number. Yes David Bradley is the 1st name in the log book.

                  Simon, our two bikes must've been registered within days of each other! That's a bummer re keeping he original number, engine number no good as a point of reference? I would've thought it must have had a frame number when first registered, unless they used the engine number. who knows, it was 56 years ago


                  • #10
                    Jeff. When you fill the form in you will need to list taxation class a BICYCLE as it will still be on that classification. You can only change it to HISTORIC when you complete the restoration and want to tax it (free). This can be done at a Post Office using the V5c which the PO will send to DVLA for re issue as HISTORIC plus any other changes ie colour, engine number, etc that may be different.
                    Last edited by John Wakefield; 19/11/2021, 08:19 PM.


                    • #11
                      Hi Jeff ,no engine or frame number but I have photos of the bike showing reg number ,I will contact John Banks to see if he can help I also know the next two owners so maybe they my have something that may help .I have looked up the twostroke club but they can only help if you have old logbook or records when it was first registered.
                      without frame or engine number not alot I can do, can't even get age related number.
                      Last edited by trialrider17; 19/11/2021, 03:52 PM.


                      • #12
                        That's good info John, thanks once again. I would've put Historic on the form as that's what is required for age related applications. The engine number plaque is missing from the chain case, but I have a record of the original in the green log book, and believe VS can stamp up a new one.

                        Simon, hopefully Mr Banks can shed some light on how the Burian was registered in the first place. It wasn't unheard of, many years ago, for two or more factory machines to share a single registration number, swapped amongst them as required. Allegedly.......... but that obviously won't be the case here.
                        putting your own numbers on it would result in a Q plate, presumably? You'd need a dating letter to go for an age related plate, BTSC were a great help when I got mine done, but they were from known manufacturers. good luck with it, there must be a way!