Gemini sidecars

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Big Pete
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Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Big Pete » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:24 pm

I know this is nothing whatsoever to do with racing, but has anyone any pictures of the range of Gemini sidecars that were built by Fred Yates in the 70's and 80's? I am getting a very tatty child/adult Gemini, and any pictures/info would help in the restoration of this 'chair.
Well done to everyone at Cadwell Park today (3rd August). First prize for entertainment must go to Dean Kilkenny and passenger, some marvellous sideways drifts, well held and a picture to watch!

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Sideslip
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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Sideslip » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:45 pm

Hi Pete,
I don't have any photos, as far as I'm aware, but I did work with Fred at the shop on City Road, Winson Green for a few years in the early 1980's.
I did a lot of workshop stuff and also helped assembling complete outfits. I had a (very) small amount of design input into a couple of his smaller child/adult chairs built in 1981/82.
I also used to test ride most customers outfits; so I've probably ridden far more different types of combos than most - anything from a Jupiter 350 with a Bambi to a Z1300 with a Gemini Lo-Line. Great work and I loved every minute. :D
We were also Watsonian agents and did some development work on the Cambridge and Oxford chairs. We hitched one up to an 1100 Wing and were tasked by Mr. Watson to - quote -"Try and break it". We had it for a month and had a lot of fun........... :lol: Didn't break it though.
I had to take old Mr. Watson for a 40 mile trip around the Cotswolds in the chair, so he could give it the final seal of approval before it went into production. Did my best not to scare him. :lol:
Happy days. 8-)
If I can help with any background info, possible sidecar identification etc. I will do my best.

Cheers - Mart
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Big Pete
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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Big Pete » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:20 pm

Hello Mart,
Many thanks, I am sure your knowledge will be very helpful.
I will contact you again when I get the Gemini into my possession, and have had a detailed look at it, then you will no doubt get a whole host of questions!!
It will be hauled by a BSA M21.
Thanks, Pete

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Sideslip » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:49 pm

No probs Pete - can't guarantee anything, but will help out where I can.

Mart
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Big Pete
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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Big Pete » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Hello Mart,
The Gemini sidecar is now at my home, and it is not in too bad a condition. The upper leatherette covering is torn in various places and will need replacement, which by the look of things is not too bad a job, the worst part is going to be getting the screws out of the alloy window surrounds, as they have lost thier heads due to rust. Careful drilling out seems to be the way forward, and I will replace them with brass ones The front screen needs changing, but the side windows will go again.
Can you advise me how the roof is constructed, is it two sheets of hardboard, with a space between, and then covered with cloth? The 'sun roof' is self explanatory.
The marine ply has stood the test of time well, and apart from a load of spurious holes all over the floor, will need no attention. The timber across the bottom of the front window needs renewing as it has been butchered to put, I imagine, another side light and indicator on at some time. Was it Ash, or ordinary Pine wood?
The bottom alloy skin is not damaged, except where, at some time, someone has bolted a mudguard on the offside, but I can fill the holes rather than try and re-skin it. Was the alloy hand painted with hamorite, or some other paint, and mine has a red and gold pinstripe from front to back just under the waist line, is this correct?
It is quite tiny! If you were supposed to get a child and an adult in it, they must have been on the small side! But it will do the job I need of it, which is carrying my camping gear. I have the original chassis, but it is minus its wheel, which I suspect was from Watsonian, as the PCD is tiny. Do you happen to know if this is correct? I probably will not use this chassis, as there is no brake, and the chassis I have on the M21 is sprung and braked. Were any braked chassis produced?
I believe this Gemini was the smallest one made, what pictures I have seen of others would confirm this, as they are all much bigger. Mine is 185 cms long, 62cms wide, and 90 cms high.
Your time with Fred sounded good fun, and work in those days was generally so, thankfully I am now retired, and can fill my time as I wish (wife permitting, of course!), the Gemini being the next major project, plus some modifications to the M21 to give it more torque, and rebuilding the rear wheel (again) with 9 or 8 gauge spokes to stop them snapping! I am also going to make some leading link forks to lessen the effort needed to steer it. All good fun!
Look forward to your reply. Many thanks, Pete

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Sideslip
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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Sideslip » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:55 pm

Hi Pete, can you email me some pictures so that I can get a better idea of which model you have bought?
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.
Probably best to continue this dialogue via email. 8-)

Use this trash mail address in the first instance: gemini@objectmail.com

Cheers - Mart
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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by rugbyfan » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:56 am

Pete,your Gemini would have been fitted with a 10" mini wheel.
Regards,
Sam.

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Big Pete » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:55 pm

Hello Sam,

Thanks for your post. Having done some more research, I am now sure that despite being assured that the chassis I bought with the Gemini was the correct article, it is not! The chassis I have is for a Squire I believe, so will be disposed of in due course. The PCD on this chassis' hub is far too small for a Mini wheel.

Pete

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by rugbyfan » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:49 pm

Pete, your Gemini should have a flat Watsonian chassis, i.e. a rectangular (with rounded corners) chassi, the front tube extends towards the bike as does one about 10" from the back of the chassi to enable fitting with clamp mounts.
The chassis would have been fitted with an Indespension unit, originally unbraked, but many, including mine retrofitted with a brake (they were heavy old things).

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Big Pete » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:28 pm

Hello again Sam,

You have confirmed that the chassis I have is not the correct one. No worries, as I have a Watsonian chassis already fitted to the BSA M21, to which I have fitted a braked hub (a BSA front 7" hub), so I will, once the Gemini body is sorted out, be fitting it to that chassis.

Many thanks,

Pete

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Big Pete » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:02 pm

Hello Mart,

I have sent some photos to the e-mail address you gave me a couple of weeks ago. Did you receive them?

Pete

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Sideslip » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:10 pm

Yes - had a quick look.
I would say that it was made somewhere between 1980 and 1983 at a guess.
The red coachline isn't standard - but may have been specified by original customer. More likely an add on, though.
Doesn't seem to be in too bad a condition.
The chassis weren't made by Watsonian, but were fabricated by a company in Smethwick, I can't remember the name. The chassis fittings were all Watsonian. ;)

Cheers - Mart
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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by rugbyfan » Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:01 pm

I stand corrected Martin, did Watts & Onions not manufacture flat chassis once upon a time, tradesmen floats etc?

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by Big Pete » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:37 pm

Thanks everyone, it'll soon be in the workshop!

Pete

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Re: Gemini sidecars

Unread post by bigboyed » Thu May 02, 2019 9:30 am

Hello,

I have just purchased a Gemini sidecar that needs restoring.

I know this thread is old now, but, I was wondering if 'Big Pete' has finisked his project. If so, I would love to see any pictures .

Thank you

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