Jump to content


Photo

The Ryan Crescent and others


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 k4racer

k4racer
  • Member

  • 34 posts
  • Joined: May 11

Posted 01 August 2014 - 19:38

I am  always interested in posts about these bikes and I thought I knew all there was to know about them but its seems that I don't and also it seems there were more of them than I thought and more builders of them than Willie who I knew well.  I know several of the riders, Pete Everns, Dave Saltwell, Julian Soper and Nick Rowntree. Also John Vines with the double engine outfit.  I know Dave Potter and Geoff Bastard also rode although I didn't know them personally. I never rode one myself although myself and Peter did collect the parts to rebuild one some years ago but the project was abandoned and all I have left is a frame. I am not sure how many 500 engines are still around, I think the less effective 600 motors are more plentifull. I would be interested in anything forum members could come up with information or photo wise. I understand Ted Edwards who I don't think I know was also a rider. perhaps through the forum we can find out how many bikes there were, who built them and how many are still around (complete or in bits) Thanks in advance

regards  Martin



Advertisement

#2 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 02 August 2014 - 06:43

Willy Ryans Seeley Crescent is now in the hands of Nick Rowntree. Both Geoff Barstard and Dave Potter raced this bike as well as (I think) Julian Soper on occasions.

 

Pete Everns machine was also a Seeley.

 

I rode the bike Geoff built and raced before he moved on to Willys' bike. I won two Newmarket 500cc championships in 1977 and 1978 as well as riding it in the MGP those years. At the end of 78 I sold it to rebuild my 250 TZ I had badly damaged at the bomb hole at Snetterton in the last meeting of the season. It wasn't Ted Edwards but me Tony Edwards

 

Before these machines Rudi Kurth had the engine in his CAT outfit as well as Eric Parkinson and Bill Hodgkins.

 

Both Bill Day and a Swede called Anderson also rode solos in the Island.

 

Recently one came on the market, a new project, and was bought by Sammy Miller at the October Stafford show a couple of years back.

 

Most solos had the engine mounted so the carbs were at the front with three high level expansion chambers, but with the machine Sammy has the engine is mounted 'conventionally'.

 

A very simple engine with the drawback that the cylinder barrel was integral with the combustion chamber and ran very slack squish bands which limited its' power output which was less than the Konig disc valve hydroplane engine. The Crescent was also piston ported.

 

I admit I had lots of fun with mine and in the winter of 77/78 Geoff and I converted it fromtwin shock to monoshock using Bilstein unit.

 

There is more info about the Crecents with pictures on the NATS web site at http://2stroker.crea...rumhosting.com/

 

http://2stroker.crea...-brands-f5.html

 

and other threads on the site.



#3 k4racer

k4racer
  • Member

  • 34 posts
  • Joined: May 11

Posted 02 August 2014 - 17:22

thanks for that Tony, sorry about the name mistake. my plan is to collect all the info I can and then do a  write up on the bikes and riders. I spoke to Pete today and got some info (he said to ask you how your arm is) hope this thread will fill up with information and photos.



#4 khsuzukitr500

khsuzukitr500
  • Member

  • 37 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 02 August 2014 - 18:56

Keith Ferrell rode a Crescent in the seventies for a while, but it proved to be unreliable.



#5 k4racer

k4racer
  • Member

  • 34 posts
  • Joined: May 11

Posted 03 August 2014 - 17:49

Thanks for that khsuzuki, just the info I am looking for.  Have you any more on Keith



#6 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:35

I think it must have been Bill Days Crescent that a mate of mine and me went to Mallory Park to view which he was interested in purchasing. This was prior to any involvement of mine with Crescents. We located said Crescent in the paddock and had a quiet look. It needed a bit of TLC but we were put off by the state of the 'cylinder head' bolts which obviously had not been removed for some time, which put us off the whole bike as again to us it looked under maintained.

It was not until I became involved with Crescents that I realised that the 'cylinder head' and corroded bolts retaining this were in fact just a 'cap' to the water jacket and rarely required removing.

 

Geoffs Crescent I had and raced for two seasons had a large diameter spine frame with twin shock, later monoshock rear suspension. Metal profile forks, disc brakes with Lockheed calipers and a mini car radiator. A large radiator was required on these engines as they were designed to have cold sea water chucking through them.

 

The gearbox was an Albion 5 speed as used on the Greeves Silverstone (Geoff was ling down in Southend, at the time near the Greeves factory at Thundersly). The Cranks were looked after by Chris Appleby who I think still operates his crank business down that way.

 

The water pump was driven by a rubber band and came from a Bendix washing machine. It ran Lucas Rita ignition which required a minimum of 12 volts so we ran a 12 and 2 volt battery to give 14 volts, but in the island it still needed a battery change at the pit stop.

 

In 1976 when Geoff ran it in the Manx the bracket tieing the primary drive to the engine failed so it was replaced by a section of Paddock fence angle iron cut from the TT Paddock fence and riveted in place using brake cable clevis pins. It was a successful modification and was never replaced.  

 

The steering head angle could have done with being reduced a couple of degrees to improve the handling but apart from that the Barstard Crescent was a good machine. 


Edited by tonyed, 04 August 2014 - 05:37.


#7 k4racer

k4racer
  • Member

  • 34 posts
  • Joined: May 11

Posted 04 August 2014 - 18:27

thanks again tony, this is just the stuff I need for my little project. you mention the bill day bike which I believe was the first. would you believe that last Saturday night in my cab I picked up the guy who built the first frame. I think it was the bendy one that is now in my shed. It seems the engineering was done by john carpenter and financed by peter humber. I wonder where this keith Ferrell comes into the picture. do you know the whereabouts of bill day or mike grant



#8 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:14

Mike Grant is still in South Africa.

 

He has been on the NATS website posting about the Seeley Crescent of Willys. (http://2stroker.crea...sent-t6334.html)

 

Posts under the name of 'gruntygrant'. I am sure he would like to hear from you.

 

I do remember Peter Humber being involved with Crescents.



#9 Revetts

Revetts
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: January 14

Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:59

I was interested in the Crescents that were about in the early/mid 1970's, so this caught my eye. So much so that I delved into my old programmes and spent a happy time in the past! Anyway,I can add a couple more to the list of Crescent riders.

     Brian Kemp (Windsor)   Listed in programme 16/7/72  I do not know who's bike though.

     Peter Bailey (Loddon)   Listed in programme  15/10/72   Ryan Crescent

     Martin Bulle  (Brentwood)   Listed in programme   5/6/77   Ryan Crescent

 

I also seem to remember seeing Graeme Corbett ride Willy's bike at Snetterton. One of these Snetterton rides ending in a nasty crash at Russells when those dirt banks were still there. Graeme OK, bike not so good!

Didn't Dave Potter give the Ryan Crescent it's first "big win" at Snetterton 20/10/74?

Hope this has been helpful.



#10 k4racer

k4racer
  • Member

  • 34 posts
  • Joined: May 11

Posted 06 August 2014 - 18:03

Thanks for that revetts,  4 names I didn't have, one a near neighbour who I know but didn't know he had ridden the crescent. remember him on a big Suzuki and john vines's Honda.  any more you can come up with would be great.  next part of the quest will be finding any surviving bikes or parts therof

                                              many thanks   Martin



#11 geoff5552

geoff5552
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 08 June 2015 - 20:52

Hi all you interested Crescent fans. This is (or was) Geoff Barstard Changed my name to Barr WHY??

 

Wanted to get a little history correct re my involvement with Crescents and Ryan Crescents

 

I was laid off from Greeves in 1972 and was racing a 380 Griffon engined Silverstone which I still have.

 

I joined Willy Ryan and started racing his STEF framed Crescent which was built in his workshop by two gentlemen company name STEF who's names I cant remember.

At the same time Willy had me build a dual down tube frame from scratch which was initially raced by Brian Kirby and then by Mike Grant the South African from Pietermaritzburg.

Mike, was not too happy with the handling of this frame and Willy bought a Colin Seeley frame into which I built a new Crescent with a Greeves Griffon gearbox modified to 5 speed designed by Tony O'Neil of Greeves and the gears were built by Jack Knight.

 

Mike raced this version and the original flexy flier was sold I think directly to Pete Everns

Mike was hurt in a crash in Holland on his 250 Yamaha and went back to south Africa

 

After that Dave Potter raced the Seeley Crescent  and I remember him beating Ago on a sickly MV at a Brands International  in 1974. for 4th place in the final.

I continued with the STEF Crescent until I crashed it big time at Gerards bend at Mallory and broke the steering head off the frame.

At that time I was laid off from work and designed and built a new spine tube frame for my Crescent in John Vines workshop in the Southend area.

 

That bike debuted in spring 1975 and I had a pretty good run finishing 3rd in the 500cc British Clubmans championship behind John Heselwood on his 500 Suzuki and Jamie Milne on his 354 Yamaha.

 

For 1976, I had sold the Spine tube Crescent to my old friend Tony Edwards with his 250 air cooled Spondon Yamaha in part exchange. As part of the deal I modified the dual shocks to monoshock - see Tony's hilarious explanation elsewhere.

 

I raced Willy's Seeley Crescent for 1976 and had mixed success because the Krober ignition system was unreliable. I did have some good rides, one in particular at lydden finishing 3rd to Dave Potter on the Ted Broad 750 Yamaha. 

The gearbox on the Seeley crescent gave problems with the 5 speeds being crammed into that little gearbox were too close and selected 2 gears at the same time. Third time off  I told Willie I would not ride it any more, and so we parted ways.

 

I purchase a new TZ350C in the end of 1976 with which I finished my career in 1980.

I did see Mike Grant during a Hydroplane racing visit to South Africa in 1978

 

there were numerous hilarious incidents over the years, I'll only bore you with one now.

 

Willie was crazy about weight reduction, and he would go into the workshop at night and drill holes in the front cast iron disk. After the second new disk cracked, I bought the new disk and forbade him drilling holes as it was my property - I was only looking out for my neck!!!

 

It's been a long time and I had many friends during the 10 or so years I raced, so thanks for the memories

 

All the best

 

Geoff B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I



#12 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 09 June 2015 - 05:36

Great to her from you again Geoff. Hope all is well with you and the family.

 

I was approached by Matt Oxley of Mortons Media only a couple of months back about Crescents as he was preparing an article about hydroplane engined motorcycle racers and sent him the info I had and a couple of photos as well. I wish I had had you latest post then but I will forward him what you have posted. 

 

Cheers

 

Tony



#13 geoff5552

geoff5552
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 09 June 2015 - 12:29

Good to hear from you too Tony,. Family is doing fine.

I did make one mistake in the post.

It was Brian Kemp, not Brian Kirby who was one of the first to ride Willies Crescent.

Old age creeping up!!! 

Geoff



#14 knickerbrook

knickerbrook
  • Member

  • 1,225 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 09 June 2015 - 14:15

Hi Geoff :wave:

 

Good to hear from you - don't know if you will remember me, but we often chatted at meetings.

I was racing a Seeley G50 at the time (1973-75), before I went to a TZ.

Yeah - Jamie Milne - I remember having a right ding-dong with him at Mallory once! Every lap he squirted past me on the start/finish straight (Yam mounted) and I would get him back at Gerrards on the Seeley!

 

Glad you have joined us - lets hear more!

 

Regards,

 

Barry Needle.



#15 geoff5552

geoff5552
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 09 June 2015 - 15:09

Here is a pic of my spine tube Crescent at a Scarborough national in 1975

Spine 4 in diameter 16 ga steel tube, tank gas welded 16 ga aluminium, 500cc 3 cyl crescent engine suspended, Albion 5 speed box,  Metal profile forks.

 

tLVaL7Y.jpg

 

 

Barry Wymark's tent in the background!!

All the best

 

Geoff Barr (Barstard)

 



#16 geoff5552

geoff5552
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 09 June 2015 - 15:20

Hello Barry, of course I remember you, I did join the forum in 2007 but forgot my password and was looking at the TT results the other day. that got me going again.

We all used to have some good ding dongs. I remember at Waterbeach passing Chris Revett on the RG 500 Suzuki down the straight - I think they were still sorting the carburation - it was brand new, one of the first in the country in private hands, and following  Brian Wackett on his Konig down the straight. The drop off at the end of the main straight (runway) which was there to help get planes airborne was quite a trip with a crosswind and the front wheel light

 

Geoff



#17 knickerbrook

knickerbrook
  • Member

  • 1,225 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 13 July 2015 - 00:39

At the Mallory "Bonanza" festival yesterday (Sunday), there was a Seeley Crescent from the Sammy Millar collection, being ridden by MICK Grant (the Jim Lee and Kawasaki Grantie) and the information board displayed with bike stated that it was once ridden by both Mike Grant and Tony Edwards. No mention of a Willie Ryan or Dave Potter connection with it though.

Over to you Tony!     



#18 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 13 July 2015 - 05:13

As far as I am aware this is not my or Willy Ryans Crescent but a new build Seeley with a Crescent engine.

 

Sammy bought one partially complete at Stafford a couple of years ago and this has the engine mounted 'conventionally' with he carbs at the rear and forward facing exhausts whereas the ones raced in the 70s by Willys team (including Dave Potter, Geoff Bastard etc), Peter Everns' Seeley Crescent and Geoff Barstards' built (my Crescent) all had the exhausts at the back (with a high level system) and carbs at the front.

 

I was in contact with Sammy at the time, but my health then meant I could contribute very little.

 

I do not know the whereabouts of the spine framed machine Geoff built I sold it to a chap on a farm in Lincolnshire at the end of 1977 and have had no reports of any sightings. 



#19 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 15 July 2015 - 15:13

Here is a pic of my spine tube Crescent at a Scarborough national in 1975

Spine 4 in diameter 16 ga steel tube, tank gas welded 16 ga aluminium, 500cc 3 cyl crescent engine suspended, Albion 5 speed box,  Metal profile forks.

 

tLVaL7Y.jpg

 

 

Barry Wymark's tent in the background!!

All the best

 

Geoff Barr (Barstard)

 

Unless this was the machine Sammy had at Mallory it wasn't one I'd ridden. 

 

Both Geoff and Mike Grant (Sarf Effican) rode Willys Seeley Crescent.

 

MICK Grant did indeed ride a Crescent which was Rudi Kurths' Cat Monark at, I think, the Swedish GP. in practice but did not race it.

 

Rudis' Monark (same Crescent engine)  was semi kneeler.



Advertisement

#20 knickerbrook

knickerbrook
  • Member

  • 1,225 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 15 July 2015 - 16:09

Found a photo of the Crescent Sammy had at Mallory - looks like a Seeley Mk3 frame.

(Also, that looks like the same description board with your name on it that I referred to!).

 

untitled_zpsnylus0l2.png

 

Sammy's museum looks well worth a visit - I'll have to go there one day!

 

http://sammymiller.co.uk/



#21 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 16 July 2015 - 05:03

Definitely not the bike I had built by Geoff Barstard or the Willy Ryan or Peter Everns Seeley Crescents.

 

I believe that Sammys Crescent started life with a guy whose handle is 'EMC'.

 

He was building a Konig and a Crescent and Sammy bought the Crescent. As said the engine is mounted with the carbs at the back and forward exiting exhausts.

 

Nick Rowntree has or at least a couple of years back had the ex Ryan and Everns Seeley Crescents. 



#22 46700

46700
  • Member

  • 45 posts
  • Joined: May 14

Posted 26 July 2015 - 08:33

Not of much interest in regard to an actual bike but more to do with Crescent motors  IIRC it would be 1969 & the company I was at that time employed by took on a dealership for Crescent outboard motors & I attended a course at Stratford London, at the back of the workshop were several motors  a couple of days into the course, I asked what they were, thinking they might be for race hydroplanes or similar, No, i was told they were being assessed & modified for use in bikes.  I remember one was earmarked for a sidecar outfit but try as I might I cannot remember who



#23 Smurf

Smurf
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: November 14

Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:55

potter_zps9srxvcwj.jpg

 

Think I only have a couple of photos of Dave Potter on Willy Ryan's Crescent (although with the swapping and changing of fairings and the poor quality of the photos it quite difficult to know which bike it is). This is the Isle of Man, but not sure what year?


Edited by Smurf, 29 August 2015 - 10:56.


#24 knickerbrook

knickerbrook
  • Member

  • 1,225 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 29 August 2015 - 17:10

Nice shot :up: !    

Not many around of him on the Crescent - or in the island for that matter. Thanks for sharing. 



#25 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 30 August 2015 - 06:09

potter_zps9srxvcwj.jpg

 

Think I only have a couple of photos of Dave Potter on Willy Ryan's Crescent (although with the swapping and changing of fairings and the poor quality of the photos it quite difficult to know which bike it is). This is the Isle of Man, but not sure what year?

According to the TT Database Dave only rode once in the Island in 1974 on Willy Ryans Crescent and recorded a DNF. :(



#26 Smurf

Smurf
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: November 14

Posted 31 August 2015 - 20:43

I can't take credit for the photo, or any photos I post on here I'm afraid. I have a couple more of the Crescent, I'll post them when I get chance.

#27 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 01 September 2015 - 05:05

Dave rode for Willy Ryan only during 1974 before decamping to Ted Broad - Good article in Classic Racer on Dave and this is reported there.



#28 Smurf

Smurf
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: November 14

Posted 02 September 2015 - 17:53

As promised....

 

Potter2_zpsvghomm08.jpg

 

....and really good detail of the bike

 

 

Potter7_zpsv3jmumkp.jpg



#29 motori49

motori49
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: October 15

Posted 09 October 2015 - 17:59

monark-crescent  rider Giuliano Ermanno 1972, frame DASPA Bologna, engine Crescent 500 ex Rudi Kurth

 

crescent.jpg


#30 greg1953

greg1953
  • Member

  • 427 posts
  • Joined: February 11

Posted 10 October 2015 - 17:10

Smurf, on 02 Sept 2015 - 18:53, said:

As promised....

 

Potter2_zpsvghomm08.jpg

 

....and really good detail of the bike

 

 

Potter7_zpsv3jmumkp.jpg

A bit anorak- ish but those Renold stickers are so typical of the period we remember so fondly.

Greg



#31 knickerbrook

knickerbrook
  • Member

  • 1,225 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 10 October 2015 - 17:45

The little red Joe Dunphy sticker does it for me :) !



#32 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 07 November 2015 - 06:50

There has recently (last couple of months) been an article by Mat Oxley regarding Crescent and Konig racers in Classic Motorcycle. Did anyone see it and if so what issue was it in please so I can get a copy?



#33 Jim77

Jim77
  • Member

  • 118 posts
  • Joined: June 14

Posted 07 November 2015 - 15:11

Where is the little red Joe Dunphy sticker shown, can’t seem to find it in the photos?

Just had a look at my bike because Joe Dunphy used to do my drum brakes, do you mean this one?

 

c2ef6b_e8069c575a8843e3838dfd0be68c39ef.



#34 knickerbrook

knickerbrook
  • Member

  • 1,225 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 07 November 2015 - 20:06

Yeah, that's it :up:

That little sticker was a true icon of sixties racing! Besides being a top rider himself, Joe was the go-to man for servicing drum brakes and all the top-liners used him. 

 



#35 motori49

motori49
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: October 15

Posted 07 November 2015 - 21:31

engine Crescent

 

crescent_2.jpg


#36 motori49

motori49
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: October 15

Posted 07 November 2015 - 21:36

crescent_2.jpg
 
engine Crescent


#37 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 14 November 2015 - 12:00

There has recently (last couple of months) been an article by Mat Oxley regarding Crescent and Konig racers in Classic Motorcycle. Did anyone see it and if so what issue was it in please so I can get a copy?

I found it in Septembers issue. However it mainly features the Crescent and Konigs belonging to Sammy Miller neither of which (at least I am certain the Crescent is not) actual period racing machines.

.

 

I am going to pen a feature to extend Matt Oxleys' to concentrate on the Crescents that were raced in the 60s and 70s on British circuits 



#38 Revetts

Revetts
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: January 14

Posted 15 November 2015 - 11:34

That sounds like a good idea Tony! Please keep us up to date on that. Being a 2-stroke man I always liked the Crescents and followed their results. I've spent a fair bit of time chatting to Willie Ryan at Snetterton. A very interesting character to say the least!



#39 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 693 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 26 July 2018 - 09:37

Geoff Barr(stard)

 

If you read this can you reply as I believe I might have found a photo of the engine used in the Bastard Crescent and want to forward you it for your opinion.

 

I have also traced what was at first thought to be the frame, however when I looked at the photo it looks like the STEF frame which I thought had been destroyed.

 

The frame belongs to a Hydroplane racer who I believe got it with an (or some) engines.

 

Cheers

 

Tony Edwards



Advertisement

#40 geoff5552

geoff5552
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 24 October 2018 - 14:13

Hi Tony, I can confirm the STEF Crescent was destroyed by myself at Mallory Park Gerards bend late in 1974.
I hit a fallen bike and the steering head was broken off.
I used the engine, forks and wheel to build my own spine tube frame which I rode in 1975 and sold to you at the end of that year.

I only have one photo of the Stef Bike and that was at the Lord of Lydden race in 1974. you can't make out much of the bike, but I'll post it anyway.


I was working for Willie Ryan and mechanic'd for Dave Potter at a few racesin 1974. Brands Hatch he was 4th on the Crescent beating Ago on the 500 MV.
Also he raced at Mallory and Oulton.
I raced my spine tube Crescent in the Island in 1975 and finished 38th I think.
I raced willies Seeley Crescent in the Island in 1976, but had a gearbox break up on the mountain. I was lucky not to crash.
During testing that winter (1976/77) at Brands, the gearbox locked up again and threw me down the road after the hairpin. That was the last time I rode Willies bike. I believe the next person to ride it was seriously hurt at the marshals post at Paddock in 1977.

Edited by geoff5552, 24 October 2018 - 16:43.


#41 geoff5552

geoff5552
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 24 October 2018 - 14:23

Actually looking at the recent posts, I see Revetts posted.
I remember locking the gearbox up at Lydden on Willies Crescent in 1976 and coming off at the bottom of hairy hill. Chris Revett came up to me afterwards and said he almost crashed into me as I was sliding along the road.
Problem was that gearbox was a special Greeves Griffon with 5 gears crammed into the 4 speed case. there was not enough end clearance in the design.

Geoff

#42 geoff5552

geoff5552
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 24 October 2018 - 15:10

Old age catching up again!!
Dave rode Willies Seeley Crescent in 1974.