Battery / Alternator Warning Lights
** New Products **
Charge Warning Light and combined Charge and Oil Pressure Warning Lights.

For classic and modern motorcycles and cars. Better than a car's battery warning light! Better than an ammeter!.

Don't get stranded with a flat battery. Visit the Charge Warning Lights page for more details.


Welcome to Improving Classic

Since 2008, I have been publishing technical books about classic motorcycles and in 2013 I launched the first of a range of products for classic and modern motorcycles and cars. You can read about the books on this page - visit the Charge Warning Lights page to read about the products.

I've been riding classic bikes year round as my primary transport since 1978. They can be made as reliable and as usable as modern bikes - these books show you how.

There are two ways to buy these books

  • Direct from myself, the author. Click here or on the "Buy Books" button above
  • At my publisher

I also sell through ebay listings. Click here for my ebay About Me page for links to my current listings and to see feedback left by my ebay customers.

Graham Blighe BSc Mech Eng

The motorcycles I ride

Click on the photos for videos at YouTube

1970 BSA Starfire B25

1973 Triumph Daytona T100R

1969 BSA Bantam B175

1966 Triumph 3TA

Improving Classic Motorcycles   12.75

A collection of modifications developed over 32 years of riding BSA singles and Triumph twins

Improving Classic Motorcycles is not a marque history, workshop manual or restoration guide. It is a collection of modifications, tips, tricks and sound advice gained through 32 years of year round riding. The modifications featured in this book were developed for the author's bikes (shown below left) but most are applicable to many other makes and models and all can be carried out in the home workshop. Design flaws, some never before made public are discussed and solutions given. Possibly even the motorcycle factories themselves were unaware of them. The results are real improvements in performance, reliability and safety.

Everyone who rides a vintage or classic motorcycle will find this an interesting and thought provoking read. Almost all will be able to use at least one of the modifications and enjoy happier riding as a result.

Now reviewed and given the thumbs up by RealClassic magazine, the BSA owners (The Star) and Triumph owners club (Nacelle) magazines, BMF Rider magazine and Old Bike Mart.

Colour covers, B&W interior. 6.6x10.2 inches. 104 pages. 30,000 words, 36 diagrams. Original first edition published 2008, second revision published October 2010

Read sample pages by clicking on the page numbers below

Back Cover  Page 3  Page 4  Page 33  Page 44  Page 53  Page 85  Page 100 

Magnetic Speedometer Repair   12.75

The definitive guide to the repair and calibration of Smiths magnetic SSM speedometers and RSM tachometers

Fix it yourself and never have to pay or wait for repairs again. Instruments can be calibrated on bike or on an easy to build rig. Full instructions given every step of the way. No specialist tools required, just a cycle computer.

Also covers fault diagnosis, cable and drive gearbox maintenance and repair.

Unless a repair specialist asks you for the circumference of the rear tyre and ratio of the drive gearbox you are using, you are missing out on potentially greater accuracy that you can get by calibrating a speedometer yourself. Standard calibration gives an error of up to 5% with 1600 revs per mile instruments and sometimes more with 1000 revs per mile. This book shows you how to tailor the calibration for the machine the speedometer is used on and in most cases accuracy to within 2% can be achieved.

Watch the promotional video for this book on YouTube. The video shows some of the dismantling and calibration stages.

Many instruments will only need cleaning but this book also shows how to repair a shattered magnet, replace the upper bearing and fix an aluminium disc turning on its spindle. All repairs can be made at zero cost with the usual hand tools. Repair rather than replace with a part taken from a donor instrument and help all of us by preserving the stock of these instruments.

Now reviewed and approved by RealClassic magazine, BMF Rider magazine and Old Bike Mart.

Colour covers, B&W interior. 6.6x10.2 inches. 84 pages. 16,500 words. 57 illustrations. First published July 2009

Read sample pages by clicking on the page numbers below

Back Cover  Page 5  Page 20  Page 27  Page 29  Page 40  Page 64  Page 65 

Please note: A reader of this book set up a website in 2012 with the same name. That website does not cover the SSM/RSM instruments I specialise in and I am not associated with or endorse that website in any way.

Improving Classic Motorcycle Engines   12.75

The third in the Improving Classic Motorcycles series of books concentrates on four stroke engines and takes an in depth look at oil tightness, crankcase breathing, valve timing, exhaust systems and vibration.

  • How to stop oil leaks including areas not catered for on early machines like gear and kickstart shafts. There is no substitute for top condition gaskets and seals but they won't last long without a properly functioning crankcase breather. Why timed breathers are better than untimed, how to measure and adjust the breather timing, one-way and reed valves.
  • Why you should check your valve timing and not rely on punch marks on camwheels. How to check it accurately. What to do if it is wrong. Plus valve lift graphs showing quietening ramps, the difference between sports and touring cams and how to create lift graphs of your own.
  • Does your classic bike vibrate? Do you limit your cruising speed to avoid the vibes? Methods to lessen the effects of vibration and to reduce it at source.
  • Almost all the pattern silencers I have seen have no science in their baffles and are just a guess at what might work. Bad silencers can harm performance and cause vibration. This may be affecting the bike you ride and spoiling your enjoyment of it. I have developed and tested theories on what happens in exhaust systems and turned this into a set of guidelines for silencers that work. Included are ways you can test your exhaust system to see if it is causing bad performance and vibration. Also covered - the effects of a balance pipe and anti-reversion devices. Before considering crank balancing or pulling the engine apart - read this book!

Now reviewed by BMF Rider magazine and Old Bike Mart.

Colour covers, B&W interior. 6.6x10.2 inches. 96 pages. 23,000 words. 51 illustrations. First published February 2011

Read sample pages by clicking on the page numbers below

Back Cover  Page 3  Page 4  Page 9  Page 14  Page 19  Page 47  Page 52  Page 73