BX Musings

Anything about BXs
Tinkley
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Tinkley »

It would not surprise me if they did 'trial' a new model. Each country is slighly different for its road surfaces, hills, etc etc. Benji Straw who did have a DS at one time (maybe still has it) told me that Citroen used to fit the 'next generation' Systeme Hydaulique to an existing model. Especially on Paris taxi driver cars ie a GS or CX would have been running BX suspension. Simply to get the real world testing. OF course this was at no cost to the taxi drivers and if it failed Citroen fixed it. I'm sure other manufacturers use similar devices to try and get stuff proven over time.

KevR
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Re: BX Musings

Post by KevR »

Tinkley wrote: BTW your one must be slightly later as it has the alloy wheels. Mine was new in April '77, I was the first and only owner.
I think you're right - can't remember offhand if it was an S reg or T but either way likely to be 1978. It was a crossover model I think - alloy wheels but still had the plain main bearing rather than later roller (I think I've got that the right way round)
1990 BX TZD Estate ('the grey one', 1991 BX TZD Estate ('the white one'), 1982 2CV6 Charleston (in bits), 1972 AZU Serie B (2CV van), 1974 HY72 Camper, 1990 Land Rover 110 diesel LWB, 1957 Mobylette AV76, 1992 Ducati 400SS, 1966 VW Beetle, 1990 Mazda MX-5, 1996 Peugeot 106D, 1974 JCB 2D MkII, 1997 BMW R1100RS, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1978 Honda CX500A, 1965 Motobecane Cady, 1988 Honda Bros/Africa Twin, 1963 Massey Ferguson 825, and a lot of bicycles!

Tinkley
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Tinkley »

I had rollers in mine which was registered in April 77. I am almost certain the plain bearing on the right hand crankside was only introduced with the electric start models which are later than your lovely Strada.
I had a new crank sleeve fitted at one time and it just wouldn't reassemble. Went over to Benji's and measured it - too big by 0.007mm. lapped it down by hand with a little fine wet and dry until just inside spec - no problem on reassembly.

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Re: BX Musings

Post by KevR »

It was definitely plain bearing on the right - that was the one thing that had failed and needed replacing. Still got the offending part somewhere!
Definitely not electric start either - that was the other reason it was sold, as my girlfriend at the time (now wife) couldn't start it and it was supposed to be her bike!

Just found more pics (trannies though so can't post them) - definitely S reg.
1990 BX TZD Estate ('the grey one', 1991 BX TZD Estate ('the white one'), 1982 2CV6 Charleston (in bits), 1972 AZU Serie B (2CV van), 1974 HY72 Camper, 1990 Land Rover 110 diesel LWB, 1957 Mobylette AV76, 1992 Ducati 400SS, 1966 VW Beetle, 1990 Mazda MX-5, 1996 Peugeot 106D, 1974 JCB 2D MkII, 1997 BMW R1100RS, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1978 Honda CX500A, 1965 Motobecane Cady, 1988 Honda Bros/Africa Twin, 1963 Massey Ferguson 825, and a lot of bicycles!

Tinkley
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Tinkley »

Maybe your plain bearing one was indeed a transition version just prior to the electric start. So somewhere between April and September they went to that hybrid version. Bad luck about that bearing going, as these days most engines use that system with v high pressure oil pumps. My engine did 62k before requiring a rebuild, the pistons started to make a slight slapping noise and a bit of one of the mains roller cages came out in the engine oil though it did not collapse. 0.05mm wear in barrel which is not a lot. About 8k after rebuild I replaced the clutch plates as it started to slip. Had more trouble with the transducers than almost anything else. Suzuki ones were even worse at one time.

Yup the starting technique was a bit tricky to the uninitiated. Very quick swing to get enough electrical power into the ignition was the best way. Personally I never had much trouble with it, but I did see quite a few who struggled. To be fair most did master it pretty quickly. With the lowish seat height quite a few girls bought them - remember Louise and her pink/grey Lady Penelope? Fairly light too, my NordWest was even lighter but very high seat for my 32" inside leg.

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Thread Bear
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Thread Bear »

I have a chum who rose to become a suspension expert within British Leyland. In the shake out he ended up with BMW. They gave him pre-production cars with a fuel card and his job was to wind miles on the cars while monitoring performance. He had some coupe thing once with a precurser to the fly by wire 6 speed gearbox. Called me up near Oxford.
'Fancy a trip to Medlers' - famous massive scrap yard north of Norwich.
Well yes, why not, and it was a truely amazing sight with a wall made out of half crushed classic cars encircling 1000's of pre war cars as well as compounds of later stuff. I believe much has been cleared for weight now.

Anyway, what a brilliant job. Paid to drive high performance machines. He would do runs through Snowdonia, up to Scotland, all sorts.

So, yes, companies do put pre productions parts and cars onto the roads.

Round here I can recall the Abingdon MG plant production going round the local test circuit before they were sent for delivery. Not the only old plant to do that either. But the job I really fancied as a kid was the driver of truck/bus chassis when they used to drive the legal powered chassis without bodywork to the bodybuilders, like Harrington or Duplo. Dressed like biker sat on the end of a few girders with a socking great engine somewhere. Fantastic, or was it?
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Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

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KevR
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Re: BX Musings

Post by KevR »

I was at Millbrook proving ground a couple of months back (trying to get a new BMW 1200 to break into a terminal wobble at 70mph...) and the staff there use all sorts of things as runabouts on site. Cars and vans that manufacturers have left there for extended testing and then just left there full stop. Quite a few there I didn't recognise at all.
1990 BX TZD Estate ('the grey one', 1991 BX TZD Estate ('the white one'), 1982 2CV6 Charleston (in bits), 1972 AZU Serie B (2CV van), 1974 HY72 Camper, 1990 Land Rover 110 diesel LWB, 1957 Mobylette AV76, 1992 Ducati 400SS, 1966 VW Beetle, 1990 Mazda MX-5, 1996 Peugeot 106D, 1974 JCB 2D MkII, 1997 BMW R1100RS, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1978 Honda CX500A, 1965 Motobecane Cady, 1988 Honda Bros/Africa Twin, 1963 Massey Ferguson 825, and a lot of bicycles!

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citsncycles
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Re: BX Musings

Post by citsncycles »

We occasionally see Land Rover prototypes round here, painted in funny colour schemes to try to diguise the outline.
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Des Smith
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Des Smith »

KevR wrote:trying to get a new BMW 1200 to break into a terminal wobble at 70mph...
Why would you want to do that ffs? Tired of life?
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
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KevR
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Re: BX Musings

Post by KevR »

All part of the job....
At the original press launch, a couple of journos suffered bad tankslappers on the new 1200, so we wanted to find out if we could replicate that under controlled conditions, see if it was something inherent in the bike or just a particular combination of road surface/riding style etc. Millbrook's got a mile straight, and the return road has a variety of deliberately bad surfaces - mostly varying degrees of washboard (it's also got an entertaining loop of deliberately appalling Belgian Pavé). Eventually managed to get it to wobble by sticking the cruise control on and riding over all the worst stuff with no hands on the bars and waiting for them (bars, not hands) to start flapping! If you know it's about to do it, there's plenty of time to control it - most wobbles are related to a very specific speed, so often a dab of back brake is all that's needed to take you out of that zone. The worst thing you can do is what most people do instinctively - hold on like grim death. That just makes things worse.
1990 BX TZD Estate ('the grey one', 1991 BX TZD Estate ('the white one'), 1982 2CV6 Charleston (in bits), 1972 AZU Serie B (2CV van), 1974 HY72 Camper, 1990 Land Rover 110 diesel LWB, 1957 Mobylette AV76, 1992 Ducati 400SS, 1966 VW Beetle, 1990 Mazda MX-5, 1996 Peugeot 106D, 1974 JCB 2D MkII, 1997 BMW R1100RS, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1978 Honda CX500A, 1965 Motobecane Cady, 1988 Honda Bros/Africa Twin, 1963 Massey Ferguson 825, and a lot of bicycles!

Tinkley
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Tinkley »

Got tank slappers on the Morini with a specific set of tyres. Entirely down to the tyres. After it did it the 4th time I gave up and changed them. I'd done 80k on her so I think I knew her 'ways'. Guess what?, it never did it again. The 'Pilots' on the NordWest were godawful, a policeman described them as dangerous!
What a relief to get on some Pirellis, footrest decked within 3 miles!.

Remember the Ford SUV and Bridgestone tyre issue in the US a few years back - same thing. For some weird reason that noone has ever worked out the vehicle and those tyres did not work. My dad said he had it with C******** tyres and BMW cars in the late 60's. I well remember a BMW brake servo failing at 90 on the A3 and shooting through a red light......

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Des Smith
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Des Smith »

Okay Kev, that's a very cool response 8) and if you do it for a living then I guess you get accustomed to deliberately putting yourself at risk. Much as I like riding bikes, I've got very risk-averse as I've got older and I don't think being a test-pilot would be up there with my top ten career choices these days.
KevR wrote:At the original press launch, a couple of journos suffered bad tankslappers on the new 1200, so we wanted to find out if we could replicate that under controlled conditions, see if it was something inherent in the bike or just a particular combination of road surface/riding style etc.
Ah, journos! It was probably something inherent in the bloodstream. Alcohol, drugs, testosterone... and possibly trying to find something to write about to inflate the ego. I can see the copy now - "The BM has a nasty habit of initiating a tankslapper at really modest speeds on anything other than the smoothest of road surfaces... struggled manfully... change of underwear... etc" with conditional curses on the company and a get-out-of-jail-free clause about possibly being down to the tyres. Cynical? Moi?
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KevR
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Re: BX Musings

Post by KevR »

Des Smith wrote: Cynical? Moi?

Just a bit.... :D

In this case, the chap from Bike Magazine just about stayed on, but the tanslapper was so violent that it literally ripped the lockstops off the frame...
1990 BX TZD Estate ('the grey one', 1991 BX TZD Estate ('the white one'), 1982 2CV6 Charleston (in bits), 1972 AZU Serie B (2CV van), 1974 HY72 Camper, 1990 Land Rover 110 diesel LWB, 1957 Mobylette AV76, 1992 Ducati 400SS, 1966 VW Beetle, 1990 Mazda MX-5, 1996 Peugeot 106D, 1974 JCB 2D MkII, 1997 BMW R1100RS, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1978 Honda CX500A, 1965 Motobecane Cady, 1988 Honda Bros/Africa Twin, 1963 Massey Ferguson 825, and a lot of bicycles!

Tinkley
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Tinkley »

Confess my tankslappers weren't as bad as that, but at 70-75 it was enough to push the brake pistons well back and required pumping hard to get it to stop. the worst was crossing the Thames from Slough to Windsor with a m/c policeman 'watching'. Just amazed he did not see it. Just had time to get it stopped.
Dry roads perfect conditions, fair road surface.... wakes you up sharpish.

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Des Smith
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Re: BX Musings

Post by Des Smith »

KevR wrote:In this case, the chap from Bike Magazine just about stayed on, but the tankslapper was so violent that it literally ripped the lockstops off the frame...
That strikes me as reasonable grounds to complain! Funnily enough, Bike Magazine was my principal reading material back in the 70s and 80s and their journos were notorious for bragging about personal excesses but equally capable of scribbling informative and entertaining roadtests. I see the fortunes of their founder, Mark Williams has waxed and wained and included a stint of time at Her Majesty's Pleasure for Class A drug-smuggling. Not totally surprising given his frank and frequent revelations over the years about his lifestyle choices in his various columns.

Anyway, back on thread, I had no idea car manufacturers were quite so sneaky about pre-production testbed vehicles, but it makes sense.
BX14TE St Tropez 1990 - now sold
Xsara Forte 1.4i 2000
Kawasaki GPz550A4 1987