Clutch and Front Brake Cable Routing

Information relating to the Matchless G12 or AJS Model 31 650cc twin
Chessiegolf
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Re: Clutch and Front Brake Cable Routing

Post by Chessiegolf »

The conversation has now moved on a bit regarding whether or not a barrel nipple fitted to a cable will pass through a yoke hole - it will, to the subject of the 'quality' of replacement parts.

Brand names like Lucas now have their manufacturing facilities in the far east, presumably to keep the costs down and unfortunately with cheap inevitably comes low quality. What surprises me is that the generic products that Lucas, Wipac and others produce are now used only on classic and vintage vehicles. With our interest in maintaining the bikes and cars of yore, gone are the days when we had no money and were looking for the cheapest product. We accept that restoring an old bike is not cheap and that a restored bike, or car, is unlikely to sell for the cost of the restoration, yet we happily pay the price of doing the job 'properly' and try to correct the abuse which the hapless vehicle has suffered over the years. Why then do the generic manufacturers think that we would prefer cheap to quality?

I would much prefer that a stop-switch, headlamp holder, coil or dipswitch, for example, was made of superior materials and to a tight tolerance even if it meant paying twice the price; after all on some occasions I've had to buy the same thing a second time as the first has either not worked or failed quickly. Given the ridiculously low cost of these replacement parts its not surprising that they are not up to the job. Its not as if we could pay more for a superior product if we wanted to. In the generic parts market (high) quality manufacturers don't exist. If I wanted to buy machine turned stainless steel parts, or a decent piston or con-rod for a particular model there are companies who have stepped up to the challenge and produced them, yet for those common parts which were generally fitted by all the major bike and car makers, the choice of paying for the quality you want does not appear to exist.

Perhaps the market is small and doesn't warrant retooling however I would have thought that tightening up on quality control would be a good thing and that those with their pride and joy currently sat in a heated shed for the winter would be prepared to pay more.
SPRIDDLER
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Re: Clutch and Front Brake Cable Routing

Post by SPRIDDLER »

Prices are are the criteria by which maybe 80% of the market makes purchasing decisions, especially on consumables, whether it's clothing, kitchens, petrol, milk or vehicle parts. This drives manufacturers to capture the greatest volume for their high speed production equipment by reducing costs which invariably means using inferior materials and poor manufacturing controls.

There simply isn't sufficient demand for well made (British) products at higher prices. Barely a week goes by that I don't see posts on various message boards with requests or recommendations for where to get the cheapest this or that item, usually generating replies with a link to an eBay seller of Chinese products which are generic items, not specifically made for the particular brand or model of the enquirer's product.

Small volume engineering businesses are de facto small businesses, frequently 'one man bands' or 'lifestyle' businesses (in our field often run by retired or semi-retired engineers) who are becoming rarer by the month and who can pick and choose what to make and when to make it. Larger engineering firms with automatic equipment require drawings, usually CAD drawings (drawings of any sort rarely exist) and their tooling and machine setting up costs are prohibitive for small quantities. Today's engineers wear white shirts, expect CD's and use keyboards rather than a sample and a request to a pair of greasy overalls for a price to make "20 of these".

The club invests (ties up) 'our' funds in some small volume, slow selling AMC specific products (if they can find a supplier) but I suspect that it is as much a 'service' to members rather than a profitable business exercise.
I poke badgers with spoons.....from 2 metres.
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ajscomboman
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Re: Clutch and Front Brake Cable Routing

Post by ajscomboman »

[quote="SPRIDDLER"]
The club invests (ties up) 'our' funds in some small volume, slow selling AMC specific products (if they can find a supplier) but I suspect that it is as much a 'service' to members rather than a profitable business exercise.[/quote) Nev that is spot on, couldn't have said it better myself. The spares dept is most def run as a service, if I had to run it as a business to make a living I'd close it tomorrow!
SPRIDDLER
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Re: Clutch and Front Brake Cable Routing

Post by SPRIDDLER »

I've rather drifted off topic and I doubt that I'm saying anything new or surprising to anyone. However, having been involved with start-up, small and multi-national manufacturing firms in much of my life with purchasing, production, product development, engineering and marketing in the precision steel components, plastic injection moulding, electronics and the marine safety industries I've had to address these volume/cost/quality/service issues time and time again. Those necessary compromises have generally been market driven and a constant source of frustration and dissatisfaction.
(I'll get me coat ;) ).
I poke badgers with spoons.....from 2 metres.
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