From Accrington To The Somme – Remembering Private Harry Bloor of The Accrington Pals.

In July I left Belfast for The Somme in France. I was retracing the steps took by Harry Bloor. Harry served in the Accrington Pals in World War One and took part in The Battle of The Somme.  Harry survived the war and in 1935 he rode his motorbike to The Somme and the Front Line at Serre where he visited the graves of his fallen comrades.

My trip was published by SLUK Scooter Labs UK and links to the four parts can be found below.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Taylor Tuning Leak Down Test Kit

Some people say it’s a new fad and we got on fine before but in reality we didn’t or we were lucky

Leak-down test hysteria, another internet hype

Two quotes from Social Media. One is sensible.

Contrary to what some people may think, a leak down test can be one of the most important jobs to carry out on a Lambretta. It will expose any leaks around the cylinder or cylinder head, mag housing, inlet manifold, exhaust port and both mag side seal and drive side seal. Any leak from these areas can make correct jetting and set up almost impossible and may lead to serious damage to your engine.

I was introduced to the leak down test by Darrell Taylor of Taylor Tuning through a couple of social media outlets. Up to this time I wasn’t aware such test existed, let alone anything for a Lambretta.

I’ve battled jetting on many occasions and one particular time that stands out was when I was trying to jet my 250LC. Rich low down, lean on high revs. Whatever I tried, I just couldn’t get the jetting right. The fault was only discovered by Alan Terry of Diablo Moto, on my way to Mersea Island Scooter Rally in 2012. There was a crack at one of the barrel studs on the casing, causing an air leak. This ended the journey.

A leak down test on the engine build would have spotted this.

So, fast forward to 2016 and I purchased one of Taylor Tunings leak down test kits as well as a blood pressure gauge.

Darrell Taylors Kit comprises of various bungs for various sizes of inlet manifolds and round and oval blanking plates & rubbers for the exhaust outlet. You can also buy an upgraded version that includes a pump, but as I already had the blood pressure gauge, I didn’t need it.



I’m currently building a TS1 230 engine and it was time to do the leak down test. Using Threebond on the gaskets, the first test was done with the pressure pumped up to approximately 300 mmhg or 6PSI. The gauge was dropping very slowly at 1PSI over two minutes. I could have let this pass as acceptable, but I couldn’t find the source of the leak so didn’t want to leave it. A brief conversation with Colin Jenkins and he suggested Drive side and mag side oil seals. He was right. A squirt of soapy water revealed the Drive side oil seal was the culprit leaking.


Replacing a drive side oil seal isn’t the easiest repair on a roadside, so I took the top end apart and put in another seal. The air pressure held held this time.


One good point Darrell recommends with any engine failure, always get a Leak Down Test done before stripping the engine.  This will save time and money and may point you to the source or cause the failure!

Benefits of a Leak Down Test:

This test will help find the potential problem rather than trying to find the problem of a leak without knowing it’s source, which in turn could lead to a wrong diagnosis, causing further engine trouble.

The leak down test gives you confidence with your engine build.

It should also be used to find the cause of an engine component failure, again with a better chance of finding the real cause rather than a guess.

So why wouldn’t you? Nearly all good quality engine components are not cheap, so it pays to protect the engine.

 Taylor Tuning Facebook Page

AF Mammoth Head and Taylor Tuned TS1

This week I was pleased to get my TS1225 barrel and crank back from Darrell Taylor @ Taylor Tuning. Darrell has done a light tour tune.

Before porting the barrel Darrell degreased and sonic cleaned the cylinder and it looks like new.

Along with upgrading the 60mm crank Rod for Yamaha 11omm version, he has drilled and pegged the barrel for fitment of a Mammoth Head from AF Rayspeed.

This is for engine #3 TS1 230

The Mammoth Head from AF Rayspeed is designed to help reduce the Lambretta running temperatures. This is achieved by the increase in size of the head.
AF Rayspeed say that the Mammoth head will increase the cooling capacity and have an increased resistance to quick temperature fluctuation.

The head has a M4.5 threaded placement for a SIP/KOSO CHT sensor.

As stated earlier, there are two dowel positions drilled for better head to barrel alignment.

The Mammoth Head is available for other capacity sized Lambretta engines 66mm for standard 200cc and also RB20. 70mm for  225cc and 72mm for 250cc.

Along with the Mammoth Head there are fitting instructions.

I will update with information once the engine is up and running.