another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Flash, aha, saviour of the.......

So, as the rain continues to beat down in Derbyshire. I check the calendar, yep, it’s June not fucking March.  I chucked the little ktm rc390 in the van and made the short journey up to nelly’s to sort out the fueling issue after fitting the nrp race can / arrow link/cat delete pipe.
 After a lot of digging on the forums I find that the little box of majik, [majik, not magic, too much time spent as a teenager drinking cider, smoking the occasional ‘recreational cigarette’ and reading too much alister crowley, I digress] anyhoo, back to the plot, the little box of majik is a ‘rapidbike’ fuel module that fools the lambda sensor into thinking that the bike is running lean, [which it is, dangerously lean in fact] so sends a message to the ecu to add more fuel, [totally against all the emission regulations of euro4/5]
  I must admit to a high degree of scepticism, hardly a surprise to long term readers of the blog, that a plug and play unit could possibly offer the gains that  are claimed, a couple of snips to remove tie-wraps, a bit of re-routing of cables to satisfy my ocd tendencies, Velcro the unit to the air box, turn on the ignition, press the button and the start the bike, unit shows green l.e.d light, bike warms up, closed loop signal to ecu, green flashing l.e.d, jobs a good ‘un.
    Trimmer dials set to recommended setting and bike settles to an even tickover, revs freely and the lean-running pops and bangs are vastly reduced, never going to get get rid after removing the cat but the bike feels loads better, not ridden it yet so the ‘backside dyno’ needs testing to the max. To say im  chuffed would be a vast under estimation.
      Loved it today, nelly is a great bloke, took so much time to explain to a geriatric old cunt the intricacies of modern fuel injection and the whole euro 4/5 legislation, a word of warning though bredren, the days of the internal combustion engine are over, silent, electric motivation power is the way forward, fossil fuelled filth fucked forever folks.......

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

15-51 was my number, [with apologies to Toots]

 Seething. Absolutely bloody seething. After a tip off from Agent Julian in the Netherlands that a copy of Jan Leek’s book ‘MZ-The Racers’ had been listed on a ‘well known internet auction site that you should actively avoid when drunk’ I of course stuck in a massive bid to win the holy grail of East German race bike literature. I sat chuckling to myself that I was going to get this book at last, I watched the seconds ticking down safe in the knowledge that It was the early hours of the morning and that no-one else in the world could possibly be interested in this old tat. ‘Down to the cellar Mrs b and fetch me a bottle of Chateau Margaux 2004 and don’t bloody cork it!’ 9 seconds, 8, 7, 6, bloody fucking hell! Outbid by £3, no worries, I have a bid ready to go on my phone just in case, a leisurely sip of the aforementioned classic red, ‘ hmm Mrs b, what a fabulous and exciting wine this is, the nose is simply beautiful- ripe, fine, sweet elegant and powerful with huge potential, the palate is expansive and multi-faceted, almost as good as the vintage Latour....’ I casually press the button with two seconds to go, bollocks, outbid by £40! ‘Let the dog oot and turn the lights out ye lavvy heided wankstain, im off to ma bed’ ..............

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Stinkwheel the sound of racing.   I Will gladly trade one of my kidneys for a go on one of these. Just absolutely bloody brilliant......

Monday, 3 June 2019

Moto 390

 The story of the 390 began in december 2017, idly flicking through a ‘well known internet auction site’ one horrible wet and cold friday night I spotted this 2015 model for sale at a bargain price, too cheap to be true. I fired off a mail to the seller to find out the skinny, drank some more red wine and went to bed. I’d forgotten all about it when I received a return mail telling me that although the bike was very clean it had developed an annoying fault where the bike just cut out when riding and that as he had now passed his car test he needed the funds to pay his extortionate insurance bill for his newly purchased hot hatch. 
I arranged to go and kick the tyres the next day and after a long, long journey down to deepest east anglia I arrived at matey’s house where after a cup of coffee he wheeled the bike into the yard. I was impressed, it was certainly a very clean little bike and started on the button and settled down to a steady tick-over. When it was warm it revved out without hesitation, hmmm? I hand the man the keys to my van and phone and have a ride up the road, pulls well, no sign of a problem, hmmm? I turn in the road and ride past his house in the opposite direction, all fine and then as I ride over a speed bump   near the local school it dies, clutch in, press the button and off we go again all fine, same again, fine until I reach the speed bump and it dies again, press the button and off we go again. 
The geezer has taken it to the local yamaha dealer who told him that the ecu is donald ducked, how they come to this conclusion I don’t know but he’s desperate to sell, it’s xmas, he needs the money and I offer him a ridiculous £900 to take his pain away, ten minutes later I’m on my way home to sunny derbyshire with the little 390 in the back of the van.
Straight on the bench the same night and I strip off all the road stuff in a couple of hours, lights, indicators, fairing lowers, chain guard, hugger, mirrors, number plate hanger and stand all hit the bin, I sit having a well deserved beer and scan the ‘tinterweb for a possible solution to the cutting out problem, bingo! Apparently they suffer with dodgy kill switches, I take the switch apart and the wiring is burnt with evidence of arcing inside the switch. £8 for a replacement switch and the problem solved, result! I order the ktm ‘cup’ screen which hides the headlight aperture in the standard  fairing, I make a carbon plate finish off the mess left by stripping out the number plate/rear indicator mounting/ rear light bracket and fab a carbon ‘sharks-fin’ chain run protector, the ktm 390 cup series has now finished so I picked up a set of r+g racing engine covers half price and turned up a couple of paddock stand bobbins and front fork protectors and set to lock wiring everything in sight. After a track day at darley moor to shake it down I purchased the galfer, 320mm wavy front disc and fabbed up a couple of spacers to mount the bybre [by brembo] radial caliper and added some ebc hh brake pads to get the brakes sorted. The exhaust is an arrow link/de-cat pipe and nige at nrp welded up an adaptor to allow fitment of the carbon can that I dug out of the stash and which has seen previous action on the ‘peaky blinder’ Ducati and the boxer twin bmw racer. It does need a fueling module as it’s running too lean now and nelly at cornerspeed is going to trim up the fuel for me once I’ve got it fitted by hacking the ecu. The stock ktm fasteners are garbage, touching them with a tool results in allen-heads rounding off or hex-heads losing their corners so I dug into the stainless stock and turned up some replacements for non-stress mounting points, I discovered a site that does titanium, drilled race spec fasteners for bicycles that are the same tensile strength of the motorcycle equivalent but at a third of the price so I ordered some for the exhaust mounting hanger and the brake/clutch mountings which strangely seem to come loose of their own accord.
I’m now three trackdays down and after a new set of Bridgestone s21 tyres I’m really impressed with the little bike. Corner speed is essential on a smaller capacity bike but I find I can pass bigger bikes into the turns and brake harder and later than them only to have them pass me down the straights as they ‘point and squirt’ their way around, next outing is the morini owners club a tutto gas [at full throttle in italian] and talking of italian watch this space, news about to break.......

Friday, 3 May 2019

Stealing Speed

 As you may know, I have an unhealthy fascination with the crude, unfashionable east german two-strokes made in zschopau, imagine my delight to find that matt oxley had teamed up with the artist christian papazoglakis to release a graphic novel version of ‘stealing speed’ I of course ordered a copy straight away and can not recommend it highly enough, I was even asked by matt himself if he could feature my race number, 51, for chapter 7, ‘fog on the mountain’ in tribute to my racing achievements with the mz, well, it would be rude not too........[ if anyone has a copy of jan leeks ‘the racers’ please contact me, I am still after a copy to complete my collection of mz race stuff, ta!]

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Dieter Braun

Changing Man

Me and the sporty, photo by barse, my favourite version of the sportster,     original sporty tank, supertrapp pipes, stortz seat on chopped subframe, mid’s, brembo brakes, 1275cc wiseco conversion and mikuni hsr  42mm carb......

Sunday, 20 January 2019

1976 MZ ISDT replica

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this advertised locally for sale, literally ten minutes from home, it’s a 1976 250 mz isdt, [international six day trial] replica, especially at the price, £450! Oh, let me read that again, £4500 yes, really four and a half big ones for a bike that really does look like it’s had a hard life, I mean, a competition bike does look better with a few hard earned scars but really? Just been dragged out of a damp shed and the tyres not even pumped up before trying to sell, is it me or what?

More KTM 790 Duke....

 No major changes on this bike, like I said in the previous post just some gentle massaging, fitted evotech exhaust bracket, axle crash bungs, paddock stand bobbins but the biggest difference was the tail-tidy which really cleans up the rear end a treat. I like the look of the Oberon bar-end mirrors too, it really drops the front end down......

Saturday, 12 January 2019

KTM 790 Duke

 The 790 Duke, must say I was somewhat underwhelmed when I saw the production model that was eventually released after the stunning prototype, gone was the stubby, underseat exhaust, the brembo brakes and adjustable wp suspension, instead we got the same style exhaust can but now side-mounted high up on the right and the euro friendly massive catalyser hanging in the gap between the swing arm and rear shock. the most hideous exhaust/pillion peg mountings which looked like cheap, bent, cast-off tubing (made, unsurprisingly from cheap, bent, cast-off tubing) the brakes are now ktm branded and made by j juan, apparently a Spanish brake component company who make systems for some high end race teams.
     A visit to the local [ish] dealer confirmed it was a bit of a munter in the flesh, the aforementioned pillion pegs and the horrible back end was screaming for a tailtidy, poking it with a stick revealed the parallel twin engine was barely wider than my 690 Duke/Smc-r supermoto, I really liked the front end, the headlight and the angular looks a nod to kiska designs ‘insect’ signature.
  Be rude not to test ride it I suppose, first impressions were that it was very slim and very light, the gearbox was smooth as and the exhaust note was very crisp for a standard item, popping and crackling like a good ‘un on down shifts, but, oh my, that engine! I love the 690 singles but this thing is in a different league altogether, a flat, linear torque line from low down and then it takes off like a two-stroke as you reach 8000rpm. The handling is sublime and though I’ve seen lots of criticism about it being non-adjustable. it just works [how many riders actually adjust their suspension from standard settings anyway? Honestly? Not many if you remember that 75% of riders don’t even know what tyre pressures they are supposed to be running! Talk sag to most motorcyclist and they will think you are talking about that gap between their arse and expensive leather race suit. The electronics package is up there with the big buck superbikes, launch control, up/down quickshifter, tft screen, lean sensitive traction control, supermoto abs delete, all easy to set from a switch on the left hand bar, easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. Chicken.Ding.
      Back at the dealers and I knew what was going to go down, I got a great trade-in for the 690 Duke so it seemed rude not too. I wanted the black bike, they had the traditional orange version in but, softer spunking a small fortune on both the duke and the sumo I decided to wait for the black bike instead and go more stealth-like. In the meantime I ordered evotech tail-tidy, paddock stand bobbins and axle slider crash protection and exhaust hanger bracket so I could bin the hideous pillion pegs. The standard mirrors needed binning too so a pair of Oberon performance 65mm bar-end mirrors were added to the goodies list.
   So, the bike arrived at the dealers, just in time for winter. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve only done 500 miles on it. No, actually I’m not. This is only the second, brand new bike I’ve ever owned, [ the first was a honda 400 superdream if you’re asking] there’s no way I’m riding this in the winter, besides, I’m having too much fun riding the little honda at every opportunity I get.......

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Dual Sport [aka down and dirty]

 Yes, it’s a honda. this possibly comes as a suprise being that my last post was all about the virtues of ktm’s and as everyone knows the austrian marque is synonymous with off-road machinery. so why did I buy a honda over the finest kraftfahzeug trunkenpolz mattighofen? well folks, I’m no lyndon poskitt or toby price, my knowledge of off-road riding is very limited, I put my toe in the water last year when I booked for a full day novice enduro taster and loved it, granted, I spent more time on my arse or picking the bike up but I really enjoyed it and decided to look around for a bike. the ktm 250/350 four strokes exc-f and 250 exc two-stroke were first on my list, but after doing a little more research I realised that a combination of my lack of skill, high price and maintenance in hours rather than miles would probably result in either serious injury, divorce and bankruptcy and more probably a combination of all three.
   a chat with a couple of the more experienced local lads confirmed my thoughts and the suggestion to have a look at the honda crf 250l, a very popular dual sport beginner bike and perfect for green laning. 24bhp might not sound too exciting but for me it’s more than enough as I continue to learn the dark art of off-road motorcycling, the bike is, as it says on the tin, dual sport, that’s tarmac and dirt so the bike is always going to be a compromise, but saying that,i’ve been amazed at what a brilliant little bike it is, it will top out at 80mph with me on it in full winter kit and mx boots, rucksack, tank bag etc which is pretty impressive. you can really hustle it along on the B roads, just make sure you remember that the tyres are knobblies and a very thin section otherwise you may find yourself taking a short cut through a hedge to get to the dirt!
   off road? well, like I said, I’m no mx or enduro rider but this thing has given me the confidence to go from the semi tarmac, unclassified roads and onto some of the more technical trails, greenlanes are great fun and i realise you don’t need a fire breathing large capacity bike to have a good time. the previous owner had fitted the acerbis hand guards, renthal aluminium bars and ali sump guard, im leaving the standard exhaust on, apparently it’s very, very heavy but it’s also very quiet and I really don’t want to upset the ramblers, horse riders or mountain bikers who share the trails so that’s staying on, the service intervals are ridiculous, this is no highly strung mx machine that requires a new piston every 30 hours, oil changes are a staggering 8000 miles. I’ll say that again. 8000 miles! that’s what honda recommend but there’s no way I’m going to run a bike for that amount of time without changing the  oil and filter. valves need adjusting at 16000 miles, apart from that i’m going to invest in a washable k+n air filter and some decent tyres, there’s nothing wrong with the stockers but they are probably a little too road biased and are wearing a little thin. the bike is a tough little thing, I’ve been off it a few times and it’s also blown over while I was opening a gate on a gated road, the hand guards have taken the brunt of the damage and the plastics are scuffed as well as one rear indicator, apart from that it’s just a matter of washing it down and cleaning and lubing the chain and checking the tyre pressures.
   So, there you have it, the little honda has been a revelation, it’s opened up a whole new world to me  and proves you don’t need a big adventure bike to have big adventures and more capacity doesn’t necessarily mean more fun, it’s definitely improved my riding skills and its keeping me ‘bike fit’ apart from that, it’s become my go-to ride, any excuse and I’m out there on it......

Saturday, 29 December 2018

you got the poison?

KTM. No other manufacturer can hold a candle to them in bike design, kiska design is like nothing else out there for me, edgy and a tad dangerous and a bit ‘marmite’ I love them me, the 690 lc4 engine in both the supermoto and the Duke are brilliant, 70+ bhp is ridiculous from a four-valve, single cylinder motor, fast, torquey, light and high end components, brembo radial brakes? check, wp suspension? check, just the perfect motorcycle for brexit britains pock-marked b-roads, so, why aren’t these two bikes still in the loveless shed then? Well, as you know, I’m not averse to fettling old British wankers, [superbike magazine circa 1984] Italian exotica, [step forward aermacchi and ducati] but when you shell out on a new bike should you really expect to have to replace three speedo/tachometer units? [both bikes] or two water pumps and seals [the duke, at the 2017 manx gp/ classic tt, resulting in having to fill up the rad every 30 miles and a special mention to the nightmare journey home from heysham at stupid o clock in the morning, stopping on the hard shoulder of the m6 to refill the poxy rad by torchlight as articulated lorries thunder by is no fucking joke] great bikes, just let down by reliability issues, I suppose you shouldn’t really expect anything else with them being so competition focused and to be fair to ktm everything was sorted under warranty even though in the case of the duke I was three months out. so, these two are gone, moved on to be replaced by err, two more ktm’s and a fucking japper.......