Photos of Scott Flying Squirell for guidance in my rebuild

1938 Scott Flying Squirrel

Whenever I source a vintage bike as you have seen previously I build a record of detailed photos of the condition of the bike as required which is in valuable in assisting the the total refurbishment

The photos below have been taken in no particular sequence

history of scott flying squirrel

I thought it appropriate that a statement should be included about the origins of this bike

The Squirrel name was used for Scott motorcycles since 1921 but with the death of the founder Alfred Angas Scott in 1923 the unorthodox Scott two-stroke motorcycles began to become more conventional. Development of the three-speed Scott Flying Squirrel began in 1922 as the company was in severe debt and faced receivership. Launched at the 1926 Earls Court motorcycle show, the Flying Squirrel was expensive – nearly twice the cost of a sporting four-stroke motorcycle of the time.[1] The unique water-cooled circulation used a convection method known as the thermosyphon system. The bottom end block was painted either green or red for racing or road respectively and featured a centrally positioned flywheel, twin inboard main bearings, overhung crankpins and doors to enable ease of access to the engine. The redesigned three-speed gearbox, multi-plate clutch and the repositioned magneto were all significant improvements.[2]In 1929 Scott achieved third place in the Isle of Man TT and launched a road going TT Replica Flying Squirrel. Following cost cutting the factory also launched a basic touring model in 1929 for under £70. Financial problems continued, however, and in 1931 Scott were unable to enter the TT or the Earls Court show. A three-cylinder prototype was developed but Scotts lacked the resources to develop it and on the outbreak of World War II production ended.[1]

Between 1935 and 1938 the factory at Shipley in Yorkshire produced the B2592 air-cooled Aero engine, based on the Scott Flying Squirrel motorcycle unit.[3] A 25 hp (19 kW) version was also specifically developed to power the notoriously dangerous Flying Flea aircraft.[4] In 1950 the rights were bought by the Birmingham based Aerco Company and in 1956 they produced what are known as the Birimingham Scotts.[1]

Scott Flying Squirrel review

The Scott Flying Squirrel was a motorcycle made by The Scott Motorcycle Company between 1926 and the outbreak of World War II. With its optional full-frame gas tank, a nod to the works racers of the day, the Super Squirrel was launched at the 1925 Olympia Show, followed in 1926 by the Flying Squirrel. Subsequent improvements included the addition of a duplex frame, bigger brakes, and magneto power. By the 1930s, the Flying Squirrel took on more of a touring role, being further updated with detachable cylinder head, Brampton forks and a foot-change gearbox. Efforts were made to develop three-cylinder models but they came to naught. Production ceased during WWII and did not resume until 1946 with the relaunching of the Flying Squirrel. However, only a few years later, in 1950, the company ran aground financially. By 1956 there was renewed hope when Matt Holder bought the Scott rights. He added a new plunger rear suspension, twin front brakes and telescopic forks to the original design. However, the committed effort to revive the Scott brand faded away in the late 1960s. ©

start of the refurbishment

It is worth the trouble to alaways show photo of the bike as purchased, inthis particular case a word of mouth purchase from a guy who was chasing Nortons in America and came across the Scott which was of no interest to him I made a deal immediately and had to wait 12 months to imprt from San Francisco woth the wait. Photo as bought is below followed by series of photos detailing all sections of bike

Starting the refurbishment

There is a need to ensure you can work safely on dismantling and therefore it is imperative to position bike on robust stands and lifting tackle, the photos below demonstrate how I commenced


The bike as purchased had the seat anchored directly on to the back guard in my view not vaery practical and no springs. I played around with various options but at time of writing undecided as to a satisfactory solution, nervertheless it is worth recording with inclusion of photos

I decided on the following seat mounting which is more in keeping with original concept


The water cooled radiator has a damaged heder tank and is a soldered honeycomb tube radiator, very difficult to find an oganisation to attempt repair eventually located Aussie Desert Coolers who have these skills with a dying art.

front forks

The forks are air sprung and oil damped and are manufactured by Dowty Olematic, there is an airleak and this necessitated a total dismantling and the manufacture of a small jig to faciltate this. I have been very fortunate to source original seals from the UK

I as always take many photos to record the work done and also it assists in the reassembly, below are photos of the fork main mountings.

I polished the fork yokes and will leave it with the bronzed look.


The magneto functions perfectly and only needs refurbishment which meant cleaning and painting

The end result I am happy with.

Mounted refurbished magneto

engine and gear box removal

This proved to be a not sch a simple task but perservied and ended with engine separted from gearbox and in a stand on bench

head removal

Unable to separate head from block with jigs or brute force, read some forums and this a common fault decided not to try anymore.

Have had real difficulty trying to separate head from block, eventually engaged Crankshaft Rebuilders to solve problem. They also experienced difficulties with eventually determining that the problem was the radiator feed pipe had been obviously been a cowboy job and incorrectly assembled. Drilled out and then we were able to separate. What I then requested was for a total refurbishment to be carried out ie gudgeons, bushes, pistons, rings and cylinder honing.

It was necessary to source new pistons, rings, gudgeons, circlips and full gasket set. My source for these items are Scott Parts UK and eventually arrived (COVID obviouly caused delays

Crankshaft Rebuilders did a great job but also a long time waiting but worth it, pistons purchased specifically to match re bore were 74.5mm) Photos below show results Separating the head from block was a nightmare drill out all head studs still would nbot separate and eventually detremined it was the water jacket pipe which was butchered by people unknwn and had been driven into block. Drilled this out allowed separation and then manufacture of a correct threaded alloy insert

engine assembly

Block had been bored to 73.5mm with new rings to suit. First job was to set ring gap clearance which is calculated by multiplying your bore size by 0.004in will give you the top ring gap you are looking for the best way to arrive at the correct gap was to place file in vice hold ring and draw against vice until correct gap is established by placing in bore see below


gear box and clutch

The only trouble I found was missing rooler bearings (3/16″) five on clutch primary drive, gear selection firm with no play and no damaged gears.

refurbished gear box and clutch

Replaced roller bearings and cleaned components

removal of con rods

Removed pistons and con rods with the intention of removing flywheel, had exteme difficulty trying to separate flywheel from casing even with my press decided to clean only and repaint flywhhel as flywheel bearings appeared OK

Commenced reassembly

Rigged frame to start the rebuild with engine assembly first followed by the gearbox and back guard

Bought head light and speedo manufactured brackets and mounted also battery and regulator on manufactured platform together with manfactured rear stand and keeper

Decided to engage a professional to refurbish the result was excellent see below

3 thoughts on “

  1. Jeff, You amaze me. The restoration projects you have completed are of great appreciation of the machine restoration.
    Your motivation is my envy. A good job and much appreciated.

  2. Yes Jeff did an awesome job on the Vilocette.very good job on the displaying of your works.I’m in the process of restoring a 1934 Mac 350.Your display has helped me tremendously and answered many questions.Thank You

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