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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody have pics of Jim Lee's race bikes from the 1970s? There is an awesome pic of Mick Grant taking a slide at the 1971 IOM on Jim Lee's Commando and I want to see if I can find some more pics of that bike.

Any history on Jim Lee you can fill in would be great too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yeah the tony foale-esque deep angle spine frame is what piqued my interest. I wanted to see if it was just the 2 strokes Lee did this with or if all his bikes were this crazy.
 

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you guys have short memories, i painted both Jim lees restored bikes remember ?
the ossa..




the Yamaha


i even had the original sickers on the fairing and tank reproduced..


early pics of both bikes..










 

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Discussion Starter #7
also what is the paint you are using for "Jim Lee Green"? Is it a candy over fine metallic? or a metallic color with a lot of clear? Or maybe a pearl?
 

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the green was a british car colour, i cant remember the name or code but i can find out, i added a touch of pearl to it, a guy i know that teaches at Sheffield university in UK restored both these bikes, he has a passion for the Jim Lee bikes, i will contact him and ask him to send all pics and history and il pass it all to you..
 

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the green was a british car colour, i cant remember the name or code but i can find out, i added a touch of pearl to it, a guy i know that teaches at Sheffield university in UK restored both these bikes, he has a passion for the Jim Lee bikes, i will contact him and ask him to send all pics and history and il pass it all to you..
I used to race a Jim Lee Commando, there were 2 of them in the early 70's. Mick Grant rode one and I rode the other with success. I will look for some photos to post.

Mostly on Northern circuits in the UK. This is a photo of a Commando powered Featherbed Racer (minus fairing) my son purchased a few months ago from a friend of mine that had been in a shed for nearly 40 years. Notice the Jim Lee oil tank! Been stripped down, frame stove enameled, crank cleaned out and new big end shells put in to be safe! Commando Race Bike 1.jpg

The photo of the Green Lee Yamaha takes me back, that looks like Quarter Bridge in the IOM. I helped Mick change a plug just before the start of the race, did it just in time as one had fouled up during warm up. As this was happening, Agostini's MV Augusta mechanics were warming up Ago's 350 3 cylinder about 6 feet away. The noise was so loud that my hearing was seriously affected that night but returned the next day., No I wasn't wasn't wearing ear muffs!

Fred Broadbent now living in North Carolina.
 

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Welcome Fred. Is hat really a Commando engine in the featherbed or is it an Atlas? I thought the Commando cylinders were angled too far forward to fit in a featherbead. I notice that the cylinders on this one are more vertical like an Atlas.

More pics, please.
 

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Good story on Jim Lee within the last year in Classic Racer magazine. Lots of photos in there
 

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Yes I have some photos. Will have to dig deep. The guy mentioned in a previous post who has a passion for Jim Lee bikes is called Shaun Waters. He and his son are involved in them. There was an article in Classic Racer mag about a year ago on JL bikes.

Regards ... Fred
 

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The motor is a 1971 Commando with a Manx Burman transmission. At the time the bike was put together it was okay to have the motor vertical. I know lots of guys who did this and it seemed to work okay. My Jim Lee Commando had the motor canted forward for sure. Will have to dig out some photos.

Cheers Fred Broadbent. Englishman living in Western NC
 

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Thanks for the info. I didn't know you could mount a Commando engine vertical. Very interesting!!! Of course what I do know about Comandos could fit in a very small shoe box with lots of room left over for a herd of elephants.
 

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Jim Lee Commando

This is the Jim Lee Commando I raced from 1970 until 1972. MP forks, Manx Norton brakes on 18" rims. Quaife 5 speed box which was not reliable. I did win some races on it and held the lap record at one of the Elvington Race Tracks. Cheers.. Fred Broadbent Jim Lee Commando.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #19
what was not reliable about the Quaife 5 speed? I have one in my Dunstall 810 MK II but I haven't run it yet. Just want to be aware of the problem before it becomes one.

that is some frame! I take it the motor was no longer isolastically mounted given that the frame has a swingarm pivot.
 

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The motor was partially rubber mounted by way of silentbloc bushes but not at the cylinder head or swing arm. The problem with the transmission was that the main bearing on the drive side layshaft was weak. I believe that this bearing was smaller than the AMC trans. used. This was to give more casting between this and the mainshaft bearing,. maybe to prevent cracking in this area? . This bearing broke up and did lots of damage.
As we all know a superblend bearing was invented at a later date so all later trans should be okay. This was a 1970 trans so improvements have, no doubt been made. After the trans. came back from Quaife a drive dog on first gear broke up first time out and did a lot of damage. The dog had been over hardened as a metallurgist friend discovered. With this info Quaife replaced all the damage free of charge. The next owner also had trans. issues. I am sure that modern Quaife trans are much better.

Cheers ..Fred Broadbent
 
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