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Neil Perdell
Oswestry
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1 of 23  Sun 12th Feb 2017 10:22pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2016  Total posts:11

Does anyone have any photos of the Grays premises in Walsgrave Road or Foleshill Road. I believe both buildings are still there but in different uses. The Foleshill Rd depot was just past the Lockhurst Lane turn after Courtaulds and the Walsgrave Rd depot was right on the top of Ball Hill. I worked as a mechanic in the Foleshill Rd depot for a few years in the mid 60's and spent many a happy time tearing up the road at excessive speed on high powered motorcycles. I sometimes wonder how I managed to stay alive!
Neil

Gray's Motorcycles
matchle55
Coventry
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2 of 23  Mon 13th Feb 2017 8:27am  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:169

No photos unfortunately but I remember both those branches. I had already passed my car test and then shortly after passed my bike test so naturally wanted a bigger bike, my parents thought different and I arrived home to find a tired Morris Minor that they had bought for me, was I impressed, NO. So reluctantly I sold my bike, a small Honda twin, to Grays on Foleshill Rd, the manager had the mechanic try it up the road and he complained of its lack of performance, but allowances were made because of its size. This model of bike was quite rare at the time and is highly sought after now! Roll eyes Thumbs up Edited by member, 13th Feb 2017 8:28 am
Gray's Motorcycles
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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3 of 23  Mon 13th Feb 2017 9:42am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3862

Hi all Wave I had my first BSA Bantam 175d from Walsgave Gray's. Following my test, I then bought a Francis Barnett.
Gray's Motorcycles
zigzag
cornwall
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4 of 23  Mon 13th Feb 2017 1:39pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2013  Total posts:96

I remember Gray's, at one time in my younger days I used to buy scooters and do them up to sell on and always took them to Gray's on the Foleshill Rd to get them MOT'd. If I remember rightly the younger son used to drive a S Type Jag. Edited by member, 13th Feb 2017 1:39 pm
Gray's Motorcycles
IslandCafe
Modbury, Devon
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5 of 23  Tue 14th Feb 2017 10:24am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:86

I worked at the Foleshill Rd showroom as a mechanic in the 1951/52 period, it was then known as Copes of Coventry, a smaller brother of Copes of Birmingham. Certainly got to ride all the bikes that were around in those days.
Alan

Gray's Motorcycles
LesMac
Coventry
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6 of 23  Tue 14th Feb 2017 12:01pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:294

Good day to you Mr Café. Was it you that I had an altercation with back in the 50s? I had traded in my Super Rocket in exchange for a T100. I was very disappointed with the Tiger as it seemed as flat as a trod-on chip compared with the Rocket. It also had oil leaks. Perhaps it was you that road tested the Tiger and said there was nothing wrong with it but agreed to fix the oil leaks. I only kept the Tiger for about a month then part exchanged it for a Vincent at a Hinckley dealer.
Gray's Motorcycles
TEKMELF
HAWKESBURY
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7 of 23  Tue 14th Feb 2017 8:15pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:80

If I remember right Grays was on one side of Foleshill Rd and Copes was opposite.Remember wishfully looking at a Douglas 350 Dragonfly, twin cylinder, horizontally opposed twin, with I believe a shaft drive transmission. I could stand correcting on that
Gray's Motorcycles
Stewart
Henley Green
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8 of 23  Tue 14th Feb 2017 8:46pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2014  Total posts:5

I bought my first geared motorcycle from Grays in 1972, a 1971 Honda CD175. I had a Yamaha 50 stepthrough previously so no clutch. I pushed the bike into Pridmore Road, started it up, pulled the clutch in, put it into gear and let out the clutch and stalled it! Took me about half an hour to work out how to use a clutch to pull away. Every time I stopped at a junction I would stall again. Took me about an hour to get home to Holbrooks. But perserverance paid and I am still motorcycling 45 years later (except for a break while the family were growing up).
Gray's Motorcycles
Neil Perdell
Oswestry
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Thread starter
9 of 23  Tue 21st Feb 2017 10:16pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2016  Total posts:11

Thanks for all the memories of Grays, very interesting. I thought the Copes depot was further down the road, the other side of the bridge, closer to town. I could easily be wrong as it was many years ago! With reference to Triumph oil leaks "they all do that sir". I have a 1962 T100ss and that leaks oil despite many attempts to cure it. I have now accepted it and make sure I check the oil level regularly. Roll eyes Cheers
Neil

Gray's Motorcycles
LesMac
Coventry
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10 of 23  Wed 22nd Feb 2017 11:53am  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:294

Yes Neil I also think that Copes was town side of the canal bridge. As far as constant oil leaks on Triumphs is concerned, I would have thought that Triumph engineers could have got it sorted. Most crank cases were split vertically, not just Triumph and it took the Japs to show us the proper way to split the cases. Not that I ever liked Jap bikes, never owned one.
Gray's Motorcycles
IslandCafe
Modbury, Devon
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11 of 23  Wed 22nd Feb 2017 1:40pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:86

Hello Les, firstly it wasn't me you had words with as I never met customers, secondly, Copes was adjacent to St Pauls rd and the access to the workshop was via an entry into said road. Alan. Thumbs up
Alan

Gray's Motorcycles
matchle55
Coventry
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12 of 23  Wed 22nd Feb 2017 3:38pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:169

On 21st Feb 2017 10:16pm, Neil Perdell said: Thanks for all the memories of Grays, very interesting. I thought the Copes depot was further down the road, the other side of the bridge, closer to town. I could easily be wrong as it was many years ago! With reference to Triumph oil leaks "they all do that sir". I have a 1962 T100ss and that leaks oil despite many attempts to cure it. I have now accepted it and make sure I check the oil level regularly. Roll eyes Cheers
Neil, my 1961 TR6R Trophy is just such a bike, it was leaking from the primary chaincase so I am giving some thought to converting it to belt drive (that means no oil to all you non biking people) Wink I have just bought a new Triumph Bonneville street twin and it took me a while to find where to put the oil, not that it needs any yet Thumbs up Edited by member, 22nd Feb 2017 4:15 pm
Gray's Motorcycles
Neil Perdell
Oswestry
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Thread starter
13 of 23  Wed 22nd Feb 2017 9:36pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2016  Total posts:11

I should have mentioned that I also have a 2012 Triumph Street Triple. This one doesn't leak oil so, I think it is fair to say that the reborn company has sorted the problem. By the way, it's the best bike I have ever owned or ridden - and there have been a lot of bikes both British and Japanese. Smile
Neil

Gray's Motorcycles
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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14 of 23  Thu 23rd Feb 2017 7:12am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:382

On 21st Feb 2017 10:16pm, Neil Perdell said: With reference to Triumph oil leaks "they all do that sir".
That was always the joke in the old days, when anyone said "my bike's leaking oil", or "my car engine cuts out after 15 minutes", or "my front wheel fell off at the roundabout" - the riposte was always "They all do that, mate!". It reminds me of Ray Bennett's motor bike shop in Spon End. Over the years, I and my associates invariably got the same answer from the big bloke who ran the shop: "I'd like a clutch cable for a Bantam D7 please". "Ordinary standard one'll do you mate!" Lol
Gray's Motorcycles
Midland Red
Cherwell
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15 of 23  Thu 23rd Feb 2017 7:57am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4604

The Hinckley version, at the garage I used for many years, was "You get that with those, m' duck!" Roll eyes
Gray's Motorcycles

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