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Mike Fennell

Lofty Avis was from the Southend area but may possibly not be the man you remember Arthur. For one thing, his eldest son Phillip was only 9 years old when the family emigrated to Canada in 1967. He may have been a member of the Southend Club since he often wrote about a group of motorcycling buddies from the 50’s.

I posted his instructions in response to your query about filling the wells with oil. My personal feeling is that it would probably cause plug oiling and produce a lot of smoke. It must be emphasised that the “starting mixture” ploy was only for an engine being started for the first time after a rebuild.

This re-inforces Brian’s comments of course about the undiagnosed state of the engine which caused the accumulation in the wells in the first place. The blue conrod on that side is another certain sign of over-heating and the bigend rollers will be the same – Lofty used to call this condition “The Hoffman Blues”. Oil starvation is the most likely cause of both the bigend problem and the aluminium flakes from the piston. The oil feed to that side of the engine needs full investigation and Brian is right to advise against trying to start the bike without finding and correcting the faults. Even the main bearings and glands would have to be checked and unfortunately a stripdown is the only proper course of action.

As to prevention in the future, you would find Lofty’s advice on close attention to the Pilgrim pump very valuable.