How To: 1913 Control Levers part 1
The Veloce project arrived without levers for the front brake and the exhaust lifter, and that was a bit of a problem. While several people are making new levers and selling them on the internet, eBay, and the VMCC classifieds, they are all the familiar reversed-type levers. These were common from the early days through about 1930. Cables exit from the ends of the handlebars, and the lever pivot on hollow perches that plug into the bar ends. A nice clean setup, with long levers that are easy to grab. But Veloce had used the less common open-type levers, as shown in all their period adverts. While many things changed in the ads from 1912-1914, they all show open levers.
Mr. Ingram with his 1913 Veloce from the 1914 catalog. Note the open type brake lever.
Here is a photo of a soldier on a circa 1915 Triumph with the familiar reversed levers at the end of the handlebars.
Searching for a matched set of open levers didn’t produce many leads, but I found a set of raw steel castings from an enthusiast in Latvia. They were cast in two pieces, a perch and a lever, with enough material in each casting so that it could be machined to become either a right hand lever & perch or a left hand version.
Some quick pics of the raw castings:
There was a lot of sand still stuck to the steel, so the first step was to wire brush them and clean off the flash with the rough wheel on the bench grinder. That sand isn’t good for the milling cutters.
The first milling operations were on the perches. A 1.00” hole was bored through where they mount onto the handlebars, then the two holes will drilled for the tap drill diameter for the clamping screws. After that the perches could be cut into two pieces, with the larger part getting threaded, and the small part receiving clearance holes for the #1 BA mounting screws.
Next was some work on the rotary table, to create a shoulder and surface for the lever to pivot on.
Still to come in Part 2: Removing the redundant right-side material for the left-hand perch and the left material on the right perch, machining the levers, adding holes and slots for the cable, making pivot bolts, and lots of milling, grinding, sanding and polishing…