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

Sunday, 29 November 2009


i love people who are passionate and driven, that commitment to pushing the limits regardless of pain, expense or regard for personal safety, the people who strive to succeed, it's simple to take the easy option, flip on 'x-factor' or 'i'm a wannabe celebrity, get me outta here' on the tv, or spend long nights in the shed building something like this and pursuing their dream, lady's and gentlemen, i have great pleasure in introducing you to a blown vw, placed the wrong way round in a frame that became known as 'the flying bedstead'

drag-waye, the incredible 1450cc vw supercharged dragster built by clive waye and howard german and ridden by dave lecoq, it ran a stunning 9.815 standing quarter, totally mental!

had to get a mock-up today to ease the disapointment of not getting a lot done, one of the things that really surprised me was the amount of rake on the standard forks, it's actually more than the sportster!, ok for cruising but no good on the track, the standard top yoke is a pig-ugly 'stepped' affair so dropping the forks through the yokes reduces the rake angle and reduces the trail which should increase the steering response, the problem with this though is that the stability may be affected because the reduction in trail happens faster than than the change in the rake, this means i have a lot of work to do setting the bike up, mz racers generally use shorter shocks which again will alter the rake and trail and the front height has to be adjusted to give the same geometry, the angle of the swinging arm will be affected which will also affect the angle of the chain run but we can change this by dropping the motor in the frame using spacers,[ the engine hangs from the frame, theres no under cradle which helps], lots and lots of head-scratching and beard tugging for sure. the clip-on's aren't the ones i'm using, they were fitted on the ducati when i got it so i just cut some rubber packers to get an idea what they would look like, one of the plus points amongst all the negatives i've discovered today is how nice it is not having to worry about mounting reg plates, lights, indicators and all the other road bike shit you have to consider on a road based project, i know it's only a little mz but i'm getting pretty revved about it now.

the lovely top yoke needs some therapy, its heavy, made from old russian t5 tanks i reckon, that headlamp mounting is going to meet the hacksaw and the centres will stand some milling to lighten them up a little, the grinding marks on the steering stem are where i've cut the steering lock off.

well, i got six hours in the shed today and i've got nothing done, it was all measuring and making lists of stuff we need, the wheel spindles are quarter pipe in the rear and 12mm threaded bar in the front, [remember me crowing about the rear wheel spindle fitting like a glove? serves me right, i slid it in and discovered it was about 80mm too short, how can that be?, well mz use a two-piece spindle, the missing 80mm bit is held in by a circlip to pick up the speedo drive on the rear wheel which means i have to go to the stockholders and get some decent stock to make front and rear spindles, deep joy], need some dural to make a top yoke but i'm going down to baker's the scrap yard to have a look, i need a piece 10"x5" x 30mm deep and thats going to cost a fortune from the stockholders so i know what i'm doing in my dinner hour tommorow.

Saturday, 28 November 2009


dean stimpson, 2009 mz racing champion, he doesn't know i'm going to be out there on the track with him next season!, back in the shed tomorrow, got a thousand and one things to do yet if we stand any chance of getting this bike done, this project is totally different to anything i've done before, when you build a road bike you can compromise, when you build a racer you can't, found a classic quote, 'trackdays are like coffee, racing is like heroin', it's not just building the bike, it's getting all the paperwork sorted too, the lads on the bmzrc site couldn't have been more helpful, they just want more people out there on the track, respect due.

jap speedway bike, i love the look of the jap engine, truly a thing of beauty.

the outlaws.

the mz race team.

i love saturdays, spring, summer and autumn i'm out on the bikes, better than a sunday, less police, quieter roads and the cafes are less busy, winter is building the projects and football, today was a football day, this is my son jack in derby's best pub, the victoria inn, they have all the best gigs on here, a little 'intimate' to be honest, seen loads of bands here, one of the classics was the uk subs, barse needed a slash and had to duck under the bass guitar of the japanese dude in the band as he made his way to the bog, it looked like a scene out of kill-bill check out the old bill outside.



the police love taking photo's of us, cctv everywhere, speed cameras on my favourite biking routes, videoing you as you go to the match on a saturday, they don't like it when you try and take a photo of them though.

what do think about westfield jess?

Friday, 27 November 2009


kaname ozuma.

wes cooley, #34, roberto pietri #83' [freddie spencer's team mate] and some bloke on a 900ss ducati who i can't remember, me and my mate russ stanley used to watch that old vhs video tape of freddie spencer on the works 900 honda superbike, roberto pietri was in the footage, cool as fuck, simpson bandit helmet with black visor, there's a shot in the film where he looks down at the tank and there's a sticker that says 'attack'............. r.i.p russ, killed by a white van man on his way home from work, 'fucking 'ell yooth, how many chilli's you put in this?'

ron haslam, road racing legend, on the pharaoh tz yamaha, he lives about two miles away from me, buys all his stuff for his farm off our firm where i work, he's a real gentleman, always up for the crack, no hairs and graces, proper.

wes cooley. yoshimura gs1000.

gus. chilling. don't like dogs on the sofa?, you move him then.

ted, jack russell terrier, sometimes he looks at me and i can't see his eyes, just that white 'badger flash' down his face, he doesn't need to speak, i know what he's saying.

had a night off wednesday, mr's b and me went to see paul weller at the assembly rooms, brilliant as usual, when he played 'strange town' i thought i was eighteen again, we got home at eleven and had a couple of vodkas, big mistake mid-week, going to see gallows with the lads at the bell in derby next saturday, could be messy, especially after a home game against wba.

busy week again, up at five, go to work, come home, walk the dogs, shower and shave and out to race headquarters, or the shed as we call it and blind into action, shaped the lovely little seat unit over two nights, hacksaw blade, [24tpi blade], held in a piece of rag and file to shape, takes ages, had radio four on, strange, can't listen to music while i'm working, dangerous moans, 'what the fuck we listening to?', i was working in my cammo shorts and sailor jerry converse hi-tops, glass fibre filings rubbing my feet to shreds, mrs b bollocking me for not coming in for my tea again, 'it's wrecked now, dry as a bone you nob, you going to be out there all night?', looks good though don't it?

as we said earlier, the brembo caliper hits the spokes on the grimeca wheel so we had a couple of solutions, we could space the disc out to centre the rotor in the caliper but this throws up a few more problems, the mountings are a five stud pattern rather than the usual six which is a bitch because you cannot measure the pitch circle diameter of the mountings easily and also we are stuck with the skinny standard forks which when we fit the fatter 17 inch x 2.75 rim we end up running out of space. so, we have a pair of wheels out of a lightweight japper, [no, i'm not telling you which bike their off!], which are massively over- engineered for the donor bike, i hit the net and find out that the donor puts out roughly the same bhp as our anticipated bench mark, but, the donor weighs considerably more, [ok, 12 kilograms], than my target weight of between 105 and 110 kilo's, let's get them on the miller and remove the purely cosmetic 'fan' type excess. i weighed the wheel before and after and i've saved 200grams, not a lot i know but just think how much trouble you would be in if the old bill caught you with that amount!, you have to add in the factor of saving unsprung weight too which should make the bike turn in faster, fuck me, check me out, just keep repeating 'it's an mz you're racing, it's an mz you're racing, it's an mz you're racinnnnnnnggggg.................'

the miller making short work of the cast spokes, dangerous took five cut's per spoke, we decided to take a few cuts rather than blasting it, as my old man used to say, 'the only thing you get rushing is kids and bruised fingers youth'.

the wheel on the left looks a lot better with the spokes milled down compared to the standard wheel on the right, just needs a little dressing with wet and dry to finish.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


wes cooley, number 34, gs1000 yoshimura superbike, i had one of these, same 'ice cream van' blue and white paintjob, it was a fucking animal, had metmachex swing arm, harris 'works performance' black chrome., [remember that?], exhaust eddie lawson blue anodised bars, rg 500 mudguard, 'cir cycle' bellmouths, marzzochi remote reservoir shocks, had it tuned by brian gannon, he used to work for pip higham at the village bike shop who used to tune all the quick four stroke suzuki's back in the day, got some brembo calipers off a guzzi and sweary bob at spondon racing made me some adaptor plates up in exchange for some shell dromus b oil i nicked from work, happy days, i'll scan my photo's and get them on here.

not had a rod post for a while, this is a corker.

ducati bevel drive from 1977.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


welcome to heartbreak.

been doing loads of research this week, looking for wheels for the racer project, they have to be 17 inchers so we can fit slicks, intermediates or wets and 2.5 front and 3.5 rear, most mz racers use yamaha tzr 125rr wheels, you have to reverse the rear and run it backwards which looks a bit strange due to the chain run being on the right but they are getting a bit rare now, so me being me, i wanted to try and find some wheels which were symmetrical, these beauty's fitted the bill perfectly, found them on e-bay, bloke selling them lives in congleton, an hour's drive away but before me and dangerous set off we nip down to pick up the race seat from racing lines in derby, the owner is a guy called rob who is one of the most helpful people you could ever wish to meet, he did a really good deal for me on the seat and showed genuine interest in the racer project, we were having a chat about my plans for the bike and i mentioned that we were going to pick up some wheels when we left, 'ive got a spare front if you want it', rob says, 'how much do you want for it?' says me, 'give us fifteen quid', says rob, which is how we ended up with....................................................................

wheels, two front's and a rear.

lush, four-pot brembo caliper off a ducati, the disc is a 280mm fixed directly to wheel with no carrier, it needs to be a floater so will be changed for a 320mm, must admit it looks the bollock's but........................

some you win, some you lose, caliper clouts spokes on wheel when centred on disc, need to either space disc off wheel or make a dished carrier so it clears but.......................

mz rear spindle fits like a glove, couple of spacers and it's sorted.

frame rails are shortened back to just behind shock mountings, you don't need a mudguard, rear light, number plate just a lightweight racing seat unit. [marker tape is just a guide for cutting]

battery box bites the dust, going to run a pvl kart ignition so battery is history, got to get as much weight off the bike as possible.





you remove everything two-inches below the swinging arm mountings, when was the last time you saw a centre stand on a racing bike?

mr frame, meet mr hacksaw.

sweet little seat unit needs a lot of 'massaging' to fit.

honda rs 125 moto-gp seat unit, this one is from the 2004 bike, they knock one out in autoclaved carbon fibre too but it costs more than the donor bike so this one's just plain old fibreglass.

rear view of frame and seat unit, got some happy hours in the shed cutting and filing fibregass to get it to fit, then there's the mounting brackets to fab, no welding allowed on the frame so that should be good fun then trying to find how to bolt it on.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


mz racer at cadwell park mountain, sorry about the lack of post's, this project is taking over my life, been in the shed every night this week, when iv'e come in for my tea i'm on the computer, looking for wheels, tyres, brake calipers, clip-ons, seat units etc, i thought this may be an easy way to get some track time, i was wrong.

hugh anderson, 1964.

moon eyes, probably one of the most iconic 'race' images from the sixties. cool.

the bike from hell.

Sunday, 15 November 2009


why don'twe build chops like this anymore? probably the coolest bike in the world..............ever.

the last trip.

shinya kimura triumph.

sunday morning, 2am.

'the great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain'

so, i think i'm a good rider, i'm pretty fast so i'm told, so i'm going racing, mz250, cheapest form of motorcycle racing available in britain, the time comes when you need to stretch yourself, yeah, i've built some nice custom bikes in the past but the time has come to move things forward, it's all well and good standing around in a pub carpark admiring each others [delete as necessary, custom bike, streetfighter, chopper, classic bike etc.] but it's different to put your money where your mouth is and go racing, that time has come, i'm shitting it.


east bay dragons mc, class photo.