Valvoline VR1 – The Oil We Run

Like most things in life, when it comes down to oil we all have a brand we prefer or  that are accustomed too.

Oil can be a touchy subject but today I wanted to cover the type of oil we run in our bikes as we receive a lot of questions on this topic.

To keep this post short and to the point we have used many brands and types of oil but we have found one major brand of oil that, in our opinion, gets the job done right.

Valvoline VR1 is the oil  that we use today in our own vintage British bikes or to be more precise, it’s called Valvoine VR1 racing oil which is a perfect compliment for racing and stock engines that feature flat tappet camshafts, push rods without catalytic converters.

Zinc and phosphor are anti wear additives formulated in Valvoine VR1 to prevent premature wear within the engine which is exactly what these vintage British motorcycles need.


Brand Type Additives Price
Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil (conventional) Zinc (1300 PPM) $6.99 – $32.00

Valvoline VR1 oil can be typically found at local auto parts store in the U.S.A. such as O’ReillyAutoZone and Pep Boys with a multi-grade rating of 20/50W.  Some auto parts store do not carry Valvoline VR1 oil and whilst in local Pepboys, they stated that they where going to stop carrying that line of oil.

For a more detailed and in-depth information about Valvoline VR1 oil please check out this link here.

Give it a try

The next time your vintage British bike needs to be serviced, check out Valvoline VR1 racing oil and give it a try.  It’s affordable and with its high zinc additive your engine will always be protected.

I hope you all enjoyed this quick post of the type of oil we use in our vintage Triumph, BSA and Norton motorcycles here at our shop.

For more information please feel free to shoot us an email or drop us a line.

Thanks reading – ride safe! classic and vintage old British motorcycles and spare parts, accessories for sale



Mikyle Ede
Classic British Spares.

Best All Round Camshaft Set-Up For Triumph 650’s

Oct. 11th 2017.

Your Triumph 650 twin needs a ‘rebuild’ and your in the market for a new set of camshafts to replace your old cams but your not 100% sure of exactly what you need.

Camshafts, especially for vintage Triumph’s, can be confusing as there are so many variations and brands to choose from.

We’ve seen many posts on Britbike forum asking other members “what is the best all around camshaft for a Triumph 650 twin?”  The short answer depends on your application and what you expect to get out the engine.

Recently I rebuilt my 1968 Triumph TR6R and I needed to replace both inlet and exhaust camshafts.  I also was in the same boat as many of the forum members trying to find good replacement camshafts to replace the stock units.

My engine was 100% stock and original.  The inlet camshaft was the E3134 variety while my exhaust was the 70-5047 variety.  This set up was stock from the factory which provided power and reliability for on and off-road use.

Since my exhaust camshaft was not being reproduced under the 70-5047 part number I had to search elsewhere until I ran across a cam called the E9979 or 70-9979 “half race camshaft”.  This 70-9979 camshaft was a stock profile cam exactly like my original exhaust 70-5047 camshaft that was no longer available.

As I’d be using my Triumph TR6R for standard road, I figured I better replace the cams with the stock set-up.  For those unaware, the E3134 camshaft profile is known as Triumph’s most popular and “famous” grind that was designed.

I wanted to keep my Triumph TR6R as original as possible so went ahead and installed the E3134 and E9989 camshafts imported from England by L.F. Harris.

Harris make exclent vintage Triumph parts – I have had nothing but excellent results using L.F. Harris camshafts, the power and mid-range is exactly what I was looking for.

Below is a comprehensive chart that will cover everything that you need to know about the best all round camshaft set-up for Triumph 650 twins. You will also find the lifters that should be used in conjunction with the E3134 and E9979 cams.


Triumph 650 Camshafts E3134

 All L.F. camshafts are affordable and manufactured from forged blanks (hardened) in Taiwan but ground and machined in England from a reputable camshaft grinder


 Brand COO Part number Application
L.F. Harris Taiwan E3134 (70-3134) Inlet
L.F. Harris Taiwan E9989 (70-9989) Exhaust


*Exhaust camshaft can accept a tach drive and also features a locating dowel for the advance unit.


 Part number Application Lift Base Circle Open / Close Journal Diameter
E3134 (70-3134) Inlet .310″ .819″ 34° BTDC – 58° ABDC @.020 .809″ & .872″
E9989 (70-9989) Exhaust .310″ .819″ 34° BBDC – 58° ATDC @.020 .809″ & .872″



 Part number Application
E3059R (70-3059R) Inlet
E8801 (70-8801) Exhaust


Triumph Timing Gears

As far as timing goes, I went ahead and used a dial indicator and took measurements off the lifters using the figures @.020″ (or as close as I could get it).

I am almost certain you can run these camshafts using the stock timing marks and be fine. I went away from using the stock timing marks and made my own just to be safe and accurate.

You can use this camshaft set-up on all Triumph 650 twins from 1963-1972 with great results. I would imagine that you could also use this same set-up on Triumph 750 twins.

Give this set-up a shot…

If you are in the market for cams I would recommend that you give this set-up a shot.  For road use and even for other applications where you want your Triumph to have power but also be reliable (and tameable) then this may be what you want.

I have compiled a complete list below in which you can use to obtain the same set-up that we discussed in this post. Click on the parts in the list to be taken directly to the listing.

 Parts list


If you have any questions please feel free to send us an email or drop us a line at any time. You can also leave comments and questions using the comment box below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading and ride safe! classic and vintage old British motorcycles and spare parts, accessories for sale

Mikyle Ede
Classic British Spares.

The Future Of Electronic Ignitions.

Sept. 30th 2017.

There are currently four major companies on the market today that are all producing electronic ignition’s for most traditional vintage British motorcycles.

The days of timing and adjusting points are a distant memory for some and seem like the dark ages to the less ‘mature’ riders among us.

Today I’d like to share my prediction of the future and what it holds for electronic ignitions.


My definition of an electronic ignition is a computer operated device that controls the ignition system.

This device controls the ignition by running ‘retarded’ or’ advanced’ automatically based on pulses.

An electronic ignition will only run on a certain voltage.  If the voltage drops below the programmed threshold the electronic ignition will no longer function properly.

For a more detailed definition let’s see what Wikipedia has to say

“An ignition in which electrical pulses are generated electronically, usually by transistors controlled by sensing devices, without the use of mechanically actuated breaker points – also called breakerless ignition.”

What Is The Future For Electronic Ignitions?

I remember back in the early ’90s when I was looking to replace my stock Lucas points ignition on my BSA Lightning.  There was only one major company that was manufacturing electronic ignitions and that was Boyer Bransden the leading manufacturer producing electronic ignition’s.

Today, there are many new companies that are quickly trailing Boyer and perhaps proceeding them.

With all the companies that are producing electronic ignition’s from Vape, Boyer Bransden, Tri-Spark and Pazon, I have to ask myself this question: “What is the future of electronic ignitions?”

My View.

Hands down I think the future for electronic ignitions is looking very promising but needs rejuvenation and here is my thoughts on what’s needed in the near future:

  • Variety
  • More features
  • Accessibility
  • Reliability

Now some of you might be already thinking what more features do we possibly need for an electronic ignition?

More features can be a double edge sword. I am not asking the electronic ignition manufactures to reinvent the wheel, I’m just suggesting they simply make tuning, installation and adjustment easier.  I believe those features will be a great addition and a godsend to us all.

As more people join the ranks of vintage British motorcycle enthusiasts the features I’ve mentioned above will make life a lot easier for those who are not as mechanically inclined as others and with all the current manufacturers producing electronic ignitions, I believe the competition will allow brands to produce something better than what we currently have or accustomed to.

Hats Off to Tri-Spark and Vape.

This year I feel that Tri-Spark and Vape have really brought a new philosophy to the table that has not been seen before.

Tri-Spark have introduced  a new compact design making it the most advanced, easiest, and simplistic form of electronic ignition on the market today, albeit the most expensive.

Vape has brought quality in the form of design and simplicity making it great for new and experienced enthusiast alike.

To be clear I am not picking or choosing which EI you should install as they are all pretty darn good.


So whats your vision? Where do you think electronic ignitions will be in the future?  Is my vision is just as valid as yours?  Let us know what you think by commenting in the section below and please  feel free to share this post with your fellow vintage British motorcycle enthusiasts on Facebook or on Pintrest.

I would appreciate any feedback on this discussion.

Thanks and ride safe.





Mikyle Ede
Classic British Spares.