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Frank Roper, motorcycle dealer, London Rd.

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just finished this thread off have a look at the first thread.

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I worked at Ropers as apprentice mechanic 1955-1961 (with two years National Service in between).As I remember Frank Roper Owner, Mr Hall G.M. and George Haley shop foreman.Part of my duties was picking up and delivering Motorcycles and Scooters with a Matchless and Sidecar Box Thingy, One of the high lights of my pick-ups was to go by train to Yarmouth and ride back an allmost brand new B.S.A. Road Rocket with a single seater sports sidecar, "What a Ride"

 

IN addition to selling BSA, weren't Roper's agents for what used to be known as Associated Motor Cycles (AMC). That would be Aerial, AJS, Matchless and Sunbeam.

 

I remember when Sunbeam brought out their inline, shaft-drive bike. Can't remember the model type. I remember standing outside Roper's one terrible wet Sunday morning with my Dad, and about 50 other people. This must have been the late 1940's or early 50's. We were all trying to get a good look at this NEW Matchless in the window.

 

Regards

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I can remember sitting outside the shop in the sidecar while my dad went inside for something or other....it was a BSA bike and a maroon Watsonian sidecar......

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Do the elderly ( sorry for use of the word ) amongst those of you subscribing to this thread remember 2 Sheffield brothers, both very keen bikers, Ray and Alan Stevenson. Ray did work for Dan Bradbury for a short period from 1951 onwards. He was an ex BR Fireman.

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Me and 3 other mates went through a period of trying to create "choppers" out of the various basket case bikes we running - this would be 1968/69 I suppose and was inspired by Easy Rider.

The one essential was apehanger bars but cable lengths were then a problem so we went to Ropers and purchased coils of inner and outer cable + a load of nipples to make up extended cables. I think Ropers were the only ones out of the Abbeydale Road biker shops to sell such things.

The trouble was that we really weren't much cop at soldering so inevitably applying the front brake in anger would pull the cable apart just at the wrong moment.

At the time I was running a beaten up Sunbeam S8, can you imagine how badly it handled with huge apehangers. I fell off twice in close succesion making a very unpleasant mess of my hip on both occasions, since then I have learned to solder !

Ropers were also the best shop for all things Lucas.

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IN addition to selling BSA, weren't Roper's agents for what used to be known as Associated Motor Cycles (AMC). That would be Aerial, AJS, Matchless and Sunbeam.

 

I remember when Sunbeam brought out their inline, shaft-drive bike. Can't remember the model type. I remember standing outside Roper's one terrible wet Sunday morning with my Dad, and about 50 other people. This must have been the late 1940's or early 50's. We were all trying to get a good look at this NEW Matchless in the window.

 

Regards

 

Ariel and Sunbeam were part of the BSA and Triumph group not AMC.AMC were Norton,James,Francis Barnett,AJS,Matchless.The inline Sunbeam was the S7 with balloon tyres which changed to the S8 with normal tyres.Apparently it was a slow performer due to the weak shaft drive and was detuned to preserve it.

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Armandos would be the scooter workshop off Abbeydale road then. I once took a Vincent there for an mot test. Armando looked for a few minutes, waggled the brake lever and said "Itsa alright". That was it. Done.

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Living in Leicester pre 49 and after 55 Roper is to well known to be strictly Sheffield or was it my S5 Sunbeam i suppose the adverts went far & wide

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sorry coyles yu are wrong the man who priced in guineas was grays on bridge street.who moved to west steet later on.bought my my husband bought his first bike from him bsa b31 350cc.

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Sorry lindy3, I stand corrected (said the man with the prosthetic leg) the old grey matters not what it was. :huh:

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I remember Frank B Ropers, Dan Bradburys, Wilf Greens, orridge and Wildegoose, Grays on Bridge St, Wraggs on West Bar, Toms Motorcycles on Copper St, Leather and Simpsons.

I particularly remember Wilf Greens hatred of Japanese motorcycles. He once had a sign in the window which read :- WE DO NOT SELL ORIENTAL ODDITIES.

At the end of each racing season we used to look in Grays window. They used to sponsor John Cooper and a 500 and a 350 Manx Norton were on display [complete with oil drip-trays under the engines].

 

Ah, memories,memories.

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