1939 HOREX SB35
The motorcycle is a 1939 Horex SB35 brought to South Africa by a German priest who was stationed at a mission in the Transkei. The roads were very bad there, so the bike was later found in a barn. The next piece of info I have is that the bike belonged to a man in Queenstown whose brother sold the bike out of the garage for money without his brother knowing.
This man has contacted me in the past to try and buy the bike back to make up for his mistake to his brother! Anyway, the bike was sold then and although I am not sure if it then came to my grandfather or if it was again re-sold to him, but our family acquired the bike in the late 1970s early 1980s. The earliest photo I have of the bike is dated 1982, so the story has some missing dates.
It was used in 1982 for a vintage motorcycle rally, where the rider ran the bike without oil, and it seized. It stood in the 'museum' until 1994 when I asked my grandfather if I could try and get the bike running again. We worked on it for the next week before the piston came free, and I then took it home. I cleaned her up and got her started. When I rode her back to the museum, my grandfather gave me the bike because as he put it ‘You have given it more attention than anyone has in years’.
I did a bad restoration in 1994 (I was only 17) and I used her for the Buffalo Rally each year it was in Port Elizabeth. But in 2002 I moved to America and the bike again stood, only getting started once every 2 years or so until I moved back in 2010.
When I decided to work on the bike, it was cosmetically very bad. All the chrome was in a bad shape and when I stripped the motor, I saw a crack in the casing which supports the cam shaft. So I decided to do the restoration again, this time properly.
I work in an engineering company and have access to cnc mills and lathes, and the technical know how to get the job done correctly. The motor had some worn bushes and required some gaskets, but otherwise, no issues. It was a lot of help to have the SB35 spares manual (thank you Klaus Forster), as when I put the bike back together, everything now fitted better and worked better!
I am especially happy about your website as the information on setting up the cam timing, the valve clearances etc. all helped me get the motor to better than ever condition. It now starts on one kick, where before it would backfire and needed to be push started!
Also the wiring has been completely re-done by me, and everything is working correctly. I even found the correct dimensions for the battery, and was able to mount the right battery and remake the battery box as well.
You will notice that the bike does have an external coil mounted to the frame. The original has long since been removed from the Noris dynamo as has the regulator, which is now a Bosch 7v model which is mounted under the seat. I assume someone did the upgrade as the original parts stopped working. I will source a new coil and regulator and return it to original.
Km is 18311 km which my engine builder believes is accurate as he says the gearbox was like new inside. Who knows. I am just happy the bike is running again!
12 January 2013
The Kickstart Club
Port Elizabeth, South Africa