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

Saturday, 30 January 2010


got my race number from bemsee/bmzrc this week, #51, back in the shed sunday, got to get cracking and get this bike built.

robert dunlop

ray mccullough, irish road racer, respect.

saturday, 30th january, it's derby day, the rams vs our bitter east midland rivals forest, didn't sleep too well last night, yeah, my ribs were sore after last nights pummelling at the tattoo shop but i think it was the thought of todays match that was responsible for my insomnia, there is so much history between these two clubs, players swapping between the clubs, local pride and of course the clough connection, i can't put it any other way, i hate forest, always did, always will and every time we meet, either in the cup or the league, there's going to be fireworks, i just hope we can piss on theirs today..............

the dlf were mobbed up in the courthouse pub, the old bill had done there homework and were out in force to keep an eye on them.

there were plenty of lads out today, we caught up with the tailend of the young derby firm walking to the ground.

forest were unbeaten in 20 games away from home, we had lost our last 3 home games in the league, forest huffed and puffed but i can't remember bywater having to make a save, basically we battered them for 94 minutes, rob hulse popped up to head home from ex forest player commons lovely delivery 12 minutes from time, big scuffle 2 minutes into injury time,all the players and staff from both sides involved, mardy bastard davis refused to shake hands with clough, poor sportsmanship, it didn't matter, we had beaten the red-dogs and ended their unbeaten run.

Friday, 29 January 2010


had some work done today, big ho-o bird down my left hand ribs, ben got the majority of the outline done but still a lot to do on the tail feathers, i have three of the four guardians now, the dragon, the white tiger and the ho-o, [phoenix], i have to get the turtle too to finish, the fourth of the celestial guardians, the ho-o represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience and fidelity, deep, hate outlining, it fucking hurts, lot of shading still to do to finish, 3 possibly 4 sittings.

this is the bit i love, fresh powdercoating, stainless fasteners, everything clean, this is when you start to see it coming together, before it's just a big pile of parts, some bit's to machine, some bit's to clean, some bit's to paint, seems like a never ending job, then, you start to see light at the end of the tunnel and everything is good.

needed a rear disc for the project, my wheels didn't come with one, had a look on e-bay for one, two on there, £30 each, or wheel complete with sprocket and disc for £40, no contest, got a spare set of wheels too now, still going with the intermediate tyres though until i get a some race experience.

the thing of beauty that is a 250 mz tank, stripped bare of paint, the pinholes and the 2" hole in the seam repaired, the metal is so thin that i have had to buy a frost automotive tank sealer kit to ensure that i don't get anymore leaks.

blanking off the bearing surfaces paid dividends when it was time to drop the new steering head bearings into the freshly powdercoated frame, check my 'joe rocket' race leathers out hanging up in the background, bargain out of the local ad-mag, got a bad feeling about tomorrow's game, forest at home, their joint top with newcastle, dicked qpr 5-nil in the week and we got done by plymouth who were second from the bottom, i reckon we might get turned over big-time by the filth.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


loveless, the movie, directed by kathryn bigelow, was a 1982 biker movie starring willem defoe, marin kanter and the rockabilly artist robert gordon, i can remember getting it out from the local video rental shop and being knocked out by how cool it was, i searched high and low for a copy after my old vhs tape finally gave up the ghost, i managed to track it down on dvd in the states when i was over there, this is a copy of the dvd cover, i tried in vain to get a copy of the original movie poster but the film wasn't a big success so they very rarely come up for sale, bummer............

......so mrs b bought me an original movie poster and had it framed for my birthday, cooler than a very cool thing in a fridge.

my great, great, great, uncle abner loveless, he used to race back in the day, he had an unfortunate accident at the tt races, the bike he was riding was a special that he built himself in his shed, following the leader on the road on the second lap as he descended bray hill the bike started to misfire, coughing and blowing back through the bell-mouth on the carb, as he bent down to see what the problem was there was a massive bang and a huge ball of flame set fire to his beard, his helmet and glasses were blown off in the incident and he crashed at the the stunning speed of 27mph, i can remember a bit of advice he gave to me when he was a very old man, "chuck them fucking engine brackets in the bin youth, you have made a right mess of them, don't be a tight bastard and try to do them yourself when you can buy a set off burwins", wise old uncle abner, he's right you know, the brackets are shit and i'm not using them.

not the most interesting photo in the world i admit but a couple of pieces of work that are vital to the project, the top spindle is the swingarm spindle, it's actually an old harley davidson sporty item thats been turned down to suit, the standard item was knackered, the bottom spindle is the front wheel spindle, dangerous tried to turn the standard one down to fit the smaller wheel bearings on the grimeca wheel but the metal was absolute shit and was picking up as he tried to machine it so, he did what anyone would do, nicked a bit of silver steel from work, turned it up to suit and made a stainless nut to fit from a piece of hexagonal bar we had in stock, dave, you are the lathemeister.

racer front wheel fresh from the powdercoater's, got to get disc cleaned up and bolted on then get tyres fitted, i'm going for intermediate race compound, the lad's on the bmzrc forum reckon two sets are enough for a seasons racing, would have liked to run slicks and wets but haven't managed to track down another rear yet which would give us the option of tyre choice depending on the weather conditions, i suppose i could get them changed on race day but everyone says that it is a real hassle, so i'm going with the intermediates and hopefully this should be ok until we get a spare set of wheels.

Saturday, 23 January 2010


kenny roberts, superstylin'.

me and mr's b, been together 23 years now, met her in the gent's toilet at the george in belper, they were queueing at the ladies and her friend was desperate so trish was standing guard, typical hard little scotch bird, been married 21 years, no regrets, two kids, two dogs, lot's of hard times, lot's of good times, i know it might not be 'cool' to post something like this but i really don't give a fuck what you think, this is for my wife and me, love you trish.

rear engine mounts on the racer, apparently they fracture with the increase horsepower of a tuned race motor so a popular modification is to weld strengthening webs onto them, going to drop them on the miller to clean them up a bit and then give them a waft with a can of smoothrite, i forgot all about them when i chucked the other stuff in for powdercoating.

detail photo of my mates work in progress radical lowrider project, he's a strange boy is john, dead annoying though, get's an idea and he's like a little terrier, decided the tattoo shop was too expensive so built his own iron's and learnt to tattoo on himself, built an mg on his drive, no garage, out there every night on his drive with an extension lead in the middle of winter, did all the work including fabrication and paintwork, it was so cold the paint kept 'blooming' and he had to flat it off and start again, built a trike with a straight six bmw engine in it, secret lightweight two-stroke fanatic, nutter, legend.

got my powdercoating back off kev on friday, dangerous picked it up at dinnertime, got a text off kev at 12.30pm, " where's my money you wanker?", it's not as bad as kev had said it was, the waxoyl had leaked a little around the seams when it had been in the oven but nothing a bit of t-cut can't sort out, the wheel's look the bollocks, a really nice satin black, i,ve made a bench at work to build the bike on, i'm pissed off with crawling about on the shed floor working on bikes and there's no-way i'm buying one, money is running out fast on this bloody thing.

this is my mate john in his shed with his latest project, it's a kawasaki z650 engine in a home made frame, the rear wheel is two gsxr rims welded together with a car tyre on it, it's so wide that the bike stands up on it's own, no stand required, john's made the swingarm, it's a two-rail construction, the pipes are his too, the gearbox sprocket is running an outrigger sprocket ,like a dragster, to clear the tyre, he's running twin brake calipers on the rear, i love the thought of all these projects being worked on through the winter, long nights in the shed, john's into his classic two-stroke jap's too and is currently restoring a couple of rd 125's as well as working on this animal, oh yeah, his day job is welding the turbine blades on rb211 jet engines for rolls royce.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


sorry for no recent post's, lot's happening in loveless land at the moment, sometime's you just have to get your head down and get on with it, working 16 hour days at the moment so not a lot of spare time, trying to get some bit's and bob's done in my dinnertime at work, can't get in the shed and had the good news today that my powdercoating is ready, the bad news is that the frame has some sort of shutz or waxoyl type preparation sprayed into the box section and it's contaminated the finish when they've put it in the oven to bake it, great, i wanted a nice finish and now it looks like i've got to smoothrite it after all, wish i'd saved my money and done that in the first place, deep joy.

kenny, louisville, 1975.

pantah, 696 concept bike, please ducati build this bike, i love the pantah's, they were a bag of spanners though, great handling but dodgy build, reliability dead suspect but what a cool looking bike, the paintwork is spot-on, used to go to davick motique on boulton lane and stare at them through the window, mint.

been on stuka's excellent blog 'arsehole customs', he's posted some cracking sr500 photo's on there, me and mrs b hired a van early 80's to go to london to pick up a 'mint' bike up from north london motorcycles, [n.l.m.], idea's of a flatrack project, ammo had swapped his ft500 honda for a particularly nice t140 bonneville so can't blame him even after he had promised me first dab's on the ft, the sr was a complete bag of shit, despite the repeated questions about the condition of the bike and informing the salesman that i was going to have a day off work, hire a van, [we had a nail of a metro car and it was february], and drive to london, bastards, i could have swung for the cockney bastard, mrs b persuaded me not to chin him and urged me to get back in the van which i did leaving the sad little neglected sr on the pavement, mate i hadn't seen for a few years called in to work the other day, he's had a few drug/alcohol problems but has now sorted himself out and bought a couple of new triumphs now he's back at work, 'what happened to that old sr500 you used to come to work on mate?', says i, 'i've still got it mate, right shed, starts ok and runs, valve guides are fucked and it's dead tatty, i was going to chuck it in the skip, if you want it come and pick it up', so, some bikes are like dogs, you don't choose them, they choose you and my thoughts turn to building something like this.....

...... or perhaps something like this?

flicking through ebay tonight and found this little beauty, it's on for a grand, worth two and a half times that and save a load of heartache if you want to build one yourself, it's got a load of spares included in the price, two days to go.......

Saturday, 16 January 2010


saturday night.

'everybody's looking for,
the last gang in town,
you better watch out for
they're all comin' around'


kenny roberts, probably the most iconic race paint scheme ever, the yellow, black and white speed -blocks, remember seeing him racing the tz yam at the british gp's with the same colours, i went out and bought an rd 400, the white one with the red speed-blocks, two-strokes are for racing.

hellzapoppin.

i know i'm sad, no, i really am, i was looking on a shed website and up came this classic photo, it's on apex shed's website, promoting the different types of shed they supply and this one shows an mz racer being lovingly fettled, it made my day.

the lovely njb racing shocks turned up today, they are ridiculously light, comparing them to the standard units, i reckon they are half the weight, you just phone them up, tell them your weight and they build them to suit, the top mounting eye is too small for the lug on the frame so the rubbers and mounting bushes will have to go to fit them and we will make up some new spacers, quite a few of the mzedders swear by these shocks so it can't be too much of a problem to get them to fit but with the frame being in for coating i can't do anything until i get it back.

waiting for the frame, swinging arm, bottom yoke and wheels to be powdercoated, the bad weather has really slowed things up, i reckon we are running about three weeks behind if you combine that and the christmas holidays, the powdercoating firm use a sub-contractor for their blasting and they have had to wait for their compressor to thaw out after the christmas lay-off, the pipes from the compressor to the seperator were frozen up during the xmas break and they couldn't risk cracking it up without ensuring it was safe to do so, really frustrating at the moment, we are itching to get on with the build, but, there is always something to do, so i got a brew on, put the match on radio derby, [we beat peterborough 3-nil at their place, they had two men sent off though so nothing to get too excited about] and retired to the shed, needed to mount the brake fluid reservoir, sometimes the easiest option is the best rather than trying to be too clever, drilled a 4mm hole in the front brake master cylinder perch and tapped it 5mm.


so, i fabbed a carbon fibre bracket, it was an offcut out of the race car airbox that was going to go in the bin, the reservoir is a brembo, the original kawasaki one was massive and was damaged anyway, i reckon it may have been a clutch or rear brake reservoir originally, but with only running a single front disc and the master cylinder being a 19mm item it will be fine, i found it among my stash of parts, can't remember where it was from originally and i know the hose clips don't match but if you had noticed without me mentioning it then you really need to get out a bit more.

the finished item, i'm well chuffed.

fork brace is nearly finished, dangerous has fly-cut it to get rid of the scratches, it's got that really nice finish where you can see the machining marks in the surface, it looks shinier than it really is due to the camera flash, it's a matt/ scotchbrite finish, a lot nicer than highly polished and more practical too.

fork brace fitted to forks, just need wire cutting to finish.

Friday, 15 January 2010



i was looking through my cd's the other night, on a mission to find my copy of 'loveless' by my bloody valentine, could i find it?, no, and i can't remember who borrowed it off me so i downloaded it off amazon, that really pisses me off when you have already bought it and some chump you lent it to has long gave it to the local charity shop because what sounded great in the early hours after a great night out suddenly doesn't sound so good in the cold light of day and you're not wankered.

Sunday, 10 January 2010


elvis, he lives in my shed, i bought him in benalmedina in spain on the worst holiday of my life, the costa-del-sol is a shithole, the only highlights were the monkeys on the rock at gibralta who mugged a kid for a biscuit especially after the tour guide had warned everybody about having food around a 150lb wild primate and his parents thought it was a good idea for their off-spring to feed the 'cute little monkey', thankfully the brat wasn't injured and the monkey got his biscuit and i got a copy of james clavell's epic 'shogun' novel from a secondhand book shop in marbella.



the sporty, waiting for spring.

i love sheds, they speak volumes, i'm probably happier here than anywhere else in the world, this space is mine and mine alone, my bench i made from two old stillages from work, the worktop is an offcut from my ma's kitchen, the dogs love to get in here with me, they lie on the old plastic garden chair that's covered with a tartan blanket and go to sleep, i have radio 4 on all the time, never turn it off unless i'm listening to the rams commentary if their playing away, sometimes i bring my docking station out and put the i-pod on shuffle, the stuff on the walls is all random stuff, tattoo shop business cards from all over the world, old stickers and photocopies of vintage boardracers, postcards and loads of random stuff, everybody needs a shed, send me photo's of yours and i will post them.

paid a visit to local breakers, i'm sorry but i can't give them a mention as the owner is a complete nobhead, one of the lads who works there is a nice bloke though and on this occasion i was lucky, i love rooting through breakers yards, so much potential amongst the junk, you just have to search through it, i got a yamaha thunderace clutch perch with lever for a fiver and an anonymous kawasaki front master cylinder with adjustable lever for a ten spot, the reservoir is damaged but i can sort that out, it's a 19mm, probably a bit fierce for a single disc set-up but i really don't like a lever with lots of takeup before anything happens, i gave the lad a 20 spot tip, he knows the score and if i can get one over on his governor even better, the clip-ons were off rob at racing lines in derby and were different colours, they are mild steel and had been zinc-passivated a nasty piss yellow colour, luckily it's only a few microns thick so a quick rub with some solvol and they are now matching.

this is the master cylinder and adjustable span lever, the black powder-coating was flaking off where the brake fluid was leaking out of the reservoir which was damaged, quick splash with nitromors, a blast with the brass wire cup-brush in the drill and some stainless domies out of the stock draw and it's looking good, i'm going to use a little plastic harris fluid reservoir on a carbon fibre bracket, i got a formula 3 racecar airbox off one of the girls at work who's old man works at a racing manufacturer, they were going to chuck it in the bin but i can re-cycle it, it's good quality autoclaved carbon.

fork-brace, nearly there with the initial machining, stock was again a scrap yard special, weigh it on the scales and pay what they bought it in for, saves you a fortune on buying new stock from a supplier.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


i love saturdays, had a lie in this morning, usually up at 5am in the week, couple of bottles of red friday night, mrs b brings me a cup of tea in bed at 7am, the dogs have sneaked onto the bed with me, jess is getting ready for work, the hair straighteners and dryer working overtime, mrs b is rattling around in the kitchen making me a veggie special cob, walk the dogs through the heavy snowfall, we had a good covering last night, as i'm walking my thoughts turn to the match, it's a welcome distraction from working on the bike..............

so we are full of hope for a win, let's forget the dissapointment of the last two results at home and turn it around, home to scunthorpe united, home to millwall in a cup replay and away to peterborough united, should be six points to move us up the table and away from the drop zone and perhaps a cup run for a little excitement, me and jack have had a couple of pints in the vic and we are walking to the fortress pride park.......

and we end up getting dicked 4-1 at home, 28,000 there again today, a horrible, freezing cold day, admit it nigel, you're not you're dad, i wanted the clough name to be up there again, but, let's cut to the chase, you're 'non league nigel', the job's too big for you and if you don't do the right thing we will be in the third division next season.