Saturday, 27 March 2010
Friday, 26 March 2010
everything on this blog is for real, i have no hidden agenda, i'm not trying to be trendy or tying to fit in with some clique or trying to be cool, it's all real, no falseness, what's on my blog is the truth, from the long nights in the shed working on different projects to the passion for the football, the love of my family, my dogs, my music, i like to think of it as northern soul.
yeah, i cocked up on the original bracket, forgot to add the offset, two nights wasted?, no, cut the bracket in half[ish], milled a slot in bottom caliper mounting half to give the correct offset required, drilled and tapped two eight mill holes and clearenced drilled and it's spot-on, only problem now is how to mount the torque arm.....
the mounting bracket for the rear brake, no torque arm, took a look at how it was mounted on my ducati, just an 8mm stud off the swingarm so this is total overkill for a bike with half the horsepower and half the weight, the bracket is 'trapped' under the bottom run of the swingingarm so it ain't going nowhere.
finished back brake, still got to clean up the fasteners and thinking about a bit of milling work to lose some weight off the mounting, the chain adjusters are pattern mz, don't know if i can live with them, got an entry form into the vintage motorcycle club 'festival of a thousand bikes' weekend in july, should be out on the sunday if my entry is accepted, me and dangerous are going for the weekend anyway, anyone else up for it?
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
rocket ron haslam on mal carter's pharaoh yamaha, ron lives up the road from me, he comes into work quite regularly, always been one of my racing heroes, a proper bloke, no air's and graces, been in the shed sorting the tank out tonight, that stuff is proper toxic, swilling it about and concentrating on covering all the inside of the tank, dangerous looks at me in disgust and says 'get the fucking door open you plank, you don't know what's in that shit', i tell him not to worry, the fairy's will open the door and the big toad will fan the nasty fumes out and we can sit down and have a nice cup of tea with the queen of diamonds, see i think he worries too much me.....
Sunday, 21 March 2010
sunday morning and me and the dogs are on a decent walk, ted is ten yards ahead as usual, gus is running from side to side taking in all the rabbit scents, me, i'm trying to pace my stride between the sleepers, the ballast on the track is just a little to chunky to be comfortable underfoot, this is the old railway line that ran from the pit at denby into derby where it met the mainline to feed coal to the big powerstations, the one at willington is gone now, just the cooling towers left, all the generators gone, another community with the heart ripped out, i'm old enough to remember the miners strike, i was a pipe fitter welder back in the day, working on the hospital at doncaster royal infirmary, we used to get stopped by the old bill every day, the firm i worked for was based in, [excuse me while i clear my throat and hack a right royal greeny up and spit on the floor], nottingwankshitham, the o.b saw this on the side of the van with the notts phone number and pulled us over because they thought we were pickets, why, i don't know, the south yorkshire miners were probably the most militant of the lot, can't forgive what happened back then, dad's against sons, brothers against brothers, scargill v thatcher and at the end of it families ripped apart, pit's shut and life would never be the same again for a lot of us.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
karen from shameless, mz racer, owns a sporty and a ducati 750ss, got an sr500 flat track project, she's a great tattoo artist and likes to cook vegetarian food, black belt in karate, got a massive collection of rare soul vinyl, season ticket holder at derby, hates forest, she's ok i suppose...
so, saturday morning, i'm up at stupid-a-clock for work, i'm feeling a little 'liverish' after the two and a half bottles of shiraz that mr's b and i consumed last night, the dogs look at me like i'm stupid as they turn over and go back to sleep, i'm at work for five to six, dreary, drizzly, kettle on for a brew, get the hgv's onto the yard to give us some space in the workshop, paperwork consumes an hour, seven am, phone rings, this will be one of my lads ringing in, 'sorry mate, won't be in, been on the shitter all night',' sorry mate, been up all night with one of the kids', 'sorry mate won't be in, the missus has left me', blah, blah, blah, 'ey up mate, it's kev, your piece-of-shit-wank-mz-swingarm is back from the powdercoaters, you coming up for it?'
the swingarm was really holding the project up, without it i couldn't fit the engine as the engine mounting plates have to be fitted first before the swingarm goes in, the tolerances are so slack that i had to make a couple of thrust washers up to get the swingarm to fit without any sideways movement, the shocks are now square to the mountings which is a bit of a bonus, at last we are moving forward and it's starting to look like a bike.
after me and dangerous picked up my swingarm and engine mounting brackets we decided to call in and catch up with neil at cornerspeed in sutton-in-ashfield, this is a 749 that he has prepared for a couple of lads who are running in the hotrax endurance race series, they are trying to do it on a real tight budget, [i know how that feels], they are so strapped for cash that they are running part worn road tyres instead of slicks as they can't afford a spare set of wheels for a set of slicks and wets, i asked neil about their sponsor, 'no mate, read it again, last one racing......'
Friday, 19 March 2010
swingarm still not back from powdercoater's so trying to bash on with the build, dropped a right bollock, roughed out rear brake mounting bracket then realised that it won't fit, need to dog-leg it to fit, two nights work wasted, i'm chilled though now, i was starting to get pissed off with all the delays and problems with the build but, i've been this way before, no rush, it's got to be right, get back to reality, can't afford to go racing so might as well make a proper job.
night matches, mid-week, can't have a beer like a saturday, the whole build up to the match, saturday, walk the dogs, big breakfast, shower and shave, iron your gear, got to look sharp, bus into derby at twenty to one, into the leaper for a couple, walk down to the vic and meet the lads, the crack is flowing, piss-taking, have a chat with the oppositions fan's, [it's straight across the from the train station so is the first port of call for away fan's], walk to pride park, buzzing, night matches are just a rush, started work at six, rushed home, rushed to take the dog's, rushed to get a shower, rushed to drive to five lamps, rushed to walk to the ground, we play 'boro tonight, they must have come in a taxi, 200 away fan's at the most, they go one-nil up, we pull two goals back to go ahead, 91 minutes in, everyone whistling when our left back jay mcevely wrestles one of their players to the ground, free kick to them, lovely ball in, leroy lita to head in for a point for them, bastard, we needed the three points, walking back to the car we get the news that the filth have been beaten by the mighty barnsley, suddenly the point doesn't seem too bad....
Thursday, 18 March 2010
front wheel spacers sorted, wheel now in centre of forklegs and running true, shame the same can't be said of the disc, i held bike up while dangerous span the wheel, i'm standing on the bench straddling the frame and looking down on the wheel run, the disc is out, maybe a little powdercoating behind one of the five mounting points on the wheel pcd or perhaps the disc is warped, have to drop wheel out, take the disc off and dress mounting points first, re-mount disc and try again, the disc mounts directly to the wheel, it's not a floater so no room for anything less than perfection otherwise it's not going to work properly.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
right, after yesterday's failed attempt at a ride due to the dog's emotional blackmail i'm up early, breakfast, shower, walk dog's, [had a 'when jack russells go bad moment', 'watch your dog mate, the black and white one's ok but the white ones a nutter', my dog gus is on short lead, harness, his dog, a springer is on full lead, yapping and barking at gus, 'mate, watch him, he's a nasty bastard', he doesn't reel his dog in, i'm trying to pick gus up when the springer decides it's going to jump at him, big mistake, gus grip's him, starts to shake, typical terrier working dog, he's clamped on, no way is he letting go, claret, the blokes dog gets hurt because he can't contol his own dog, twat, get home, riding gear on and start the sporty, there's a pile of salt and crap down the middle of the road, you can taste the salt on your lips as the cars kick it up, check out my rear tyre, it's cold,but it really doesn't matter, springs here.
open face helmet by cromwell, designer 'low-light' hi-vis eye protection from the kent custom bike show circa 1994, countryside courtesy of derbyshire, dead white fingers, combination of english springtime and harley davidson, got my regs and entry forms from bemsee on friday, eight meetings, the prices to enter the races took me suprise, £295 for a weekend at brands hatch, the cheapest is pembrey at £220, fuck me, i can't afford that, might get two meetings in this year, i thought mz racing was entry level?
the sporty, stopped on a minor road between hognaston and ashbourne, that's carsington water in the background, no green on the hedges yet, bloody cold, back into belper for fuel, onto a6 towards matlock, got passed by a couple of jappers in ambergate, still cool, turn right towards ripley then a left at the excavator pub, love this bit of road, motors nice and warm now, tyres as warm as they are ever going to get when the ambient temperature is eight degrees, short shift through the gears, past the rock and blues site at coney grey and soon reach the thirty limit at rowsley, dead on thirty, well known speed camera spot, left at lights, past the ruined manor at south wingfield, [they kept mary, queen of scots prisoner here, the land is privately owned but the manor is owned by the national trust, well worth a visit when the knobhead who own's the land lets the n.t. open it to the public], into crich, downhill all the way to the a6 at ambergate, turn right to matlock?, no, i'm chilled, can't be bothered with struggling to park, risking getting nicked for no indicators, loud pipes, small number plate, blah, blah, blah, turn left, back towards derby, pull into the layby for a brew, i think about gary inman when he wrote a great piece for classic bike magazine, 'tea should be served in a polystyrene cup, not coffee, save that for starbucks', i get my tea and walk back to my bike, the layby is crowded with bikes but nothing worth a second glance, just bog-stock jappers and harleys in a line, i don't really know if i want to be a part of this anymore, finish my brew and back onto the a6, i'm going home, then, i pick up two blokes on triumph streetfighters, sorry, don't know the model name but there the ones with the two-headlights and short seat unit, quite nice really, have to stop at the lights in belper, they pull up at the side of me, and raise their visors, 'allright bro?' says one, the other one laughing, oh, right, their taking the piss, we turn right towards ashbourne, they pass me in the thirty limit and, just for a second, i think about letting them go, 'alright bro?', fuck that i'm on it, i've passed both of them by the time we are at the 'hanging gate' at shottle, down into turnditch and the lights are on red, i'm turning left onto the wirksworth road, they decide that they are not going to be shown up by some wanker on a girls bike wearing levis and an open faced cromwell, big mistake boy's, my road, i know every turn, every ripple, been riding this road for ever, i don't care if i'm giving away forty brake, fuck you, 'alright bro?', bet you didn't tell anyone you got dicked by a harley davidson, don't worry bro, your secret's safe with me.
Saturday, 13 March 2010
think spring is finally on the way, nice day today in sunny derbyshire, get some spring cleaning done, cars washed, clean the windows, fresh fuel in the sporty and crack it and the ducati up, glorious noise, fuck the neighbours, let both bikes warm up, breathing in the rich fumes of unburnt hydrocarbons, i'm going for a ride, got to be the sporty, i push the duc back into the shed and turn it off, leave the sporty chugging away and go in to get my riding gear, the dogs are waiting by the door and ted gives me that look, i push the sporty back in, drop the door and get the leads..............
Friday, 12 March 2010
had some more work done on the hoo-bird tattoo on my left ribs today, ben started off with a nine-round to powerline some of the outline and bring the shape out and then a pleasant couple of hours shading with a twelve-flat on the wings, still a lot of work left to do to finish though.
Thursday, 11 March 2010
working with dangerous has made me tight, i'm so economical now it's unbelievable, i have to remind him that i'm only making a cardboard cut-out out of an old bran flake box and that i haven't even cut any stock yet, as you can see from the cardboard template it works, i've missed the corner off it, i chain drilled the aluminium stock to shape praying i didn't waste any of our scrapyard sourced dural.........
.......and cleaned up on the miller, the rad's are hand filed, [look closely, the marking -out lines are still visible], lot's still to do to complete, 'mohican' on top needs shaping, centre axle hole needs boring, windows milled and fly cutting to finish, wheel spacer to make, bracket is chunky enough to counterbore mounting holes for socket head allen bolts to flush mount caliper, got to drill torque arm hole, make a torque arm, surface grind disc and mount to wheel, make rearsets, make brake line and make sure it fucking works.
after we stripped the old layers of paint off the racer tank we discovered holes in the seams where the condensation in the tank had lay for years slowly eating the steel away, basically, it was only the generous layers of paint which was keeping the petrol in, not good, kev tigged up the biggest of the holes but reported that the metal was really thin and recommended we use a repair kit to make sure it was fuel-proof, sent off for a kit from frost auto supplies after a chat with one of the old geezers who restores classic cars in the village, 'can't go wrong with it youth if you follow instructions', i'm still sceptical, i've followed the cleaning and acid etching stages to the letter, got to let tank dry out completely before adding the sealant, stay tuned, i'll let you know if i'm going to be scouring e-bay, or, if it's any good.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
my smart-ass daughter jess was mucking about on the computer the other night and came up with this design for a loveless football shirt, [this is the back, the front has a 'loveless' oval badge over the left breast and a #51 on the right hand sleeve], i know it's early days, not even built the bike yet never mind raced it but, i'm up for it if there's enough interest, let me know your thoughts, cheers, oh yeah, talking football, went up to pride park for rams v watford yesterday, not a classic by any means but we won two-nil, watford came to spoil the game and get a point or perhaps nick it but we were just too strong all over the park, i know we won but i came away feeling a little dissapointed, derby just looked a little too casual for my liking, the hard work ethic of previous games was missing and all too easy it would have been to turn three points into one or even none.
dead chuffed with the finished ignition/front sprocket cover, cut a disc of re-cycled carbon fibre out with a hacksaw and ground it to shape on my machine mart budget shit grinder that slows down as soon as you apply any pressure to the wheels, dangerous goes mad when i'm working with carbon, he won't stop in the shed and mutters about 'you don't know what's in it', must admit he may have a point, you really don't want to see what you dig out of your nose when you finish breathing it in, proper toxic, finished the alloy cover off with a bit of scotchbrite and solvol.
made a start on the rear caliper bracket, usual thing, work out where it's going to be mounted,[underslung of course, me and dangerous arguing about the torque arm, is it better to mount it in a 'pulling' plain or a 'pushing' plain?, think about it, it's not as simple as just making a hanger], the obligatory cardboard template, work out the centres and drill clearance holes before chain drilling and milling to shape, from bitter experience you can spend a load of time getting the profile spot-on and then drop a bollock when you drill the mounting holes.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
never really got sidecar racing, used to watch it between the solo's but never really interested, they were just bloke's who couldn't ride a solo and needed three wheels because they couldn't race on two, then i went to the island, the girlfriend at the time was pissed with me all week resulting in the infamous friday night piss-up with the paddy's, decided to watch the day's racing at the highlander pub, i lay on the floor at the entrance to the pub car park and heard this noise, it got louder, growing as it came closer, then, in the distance, a white and blue thing hurtling towards me, jock taylor and benga johanson, benga flat out on what i can only describe as a large tea tray, as the outfit bounced over the bumps the rev's rose, jock hanging on and trying to control the bucking and weaving machine, then, for a few seconds, i understood what the sidecar racers were all about.
Friday, 5 March 2010
dave stricklers '65 dodge coronet dragster, another one of the loveless collection, saw a picture of the original in 'rodders journal' magazine, [magazine is doing this periodical a massive injustice, it's total quality], and fell in love with it, picked up this scale model in california, it was one of those moments, like derby beating forest, finding some rare vinyl or something going right on the racer project for a change.....
another 'walmart' special i picked up on my latest trip to the states, no front brake, no clutch lever, no brake lever, no front disc, massive yokes, stubby forks, i'm liking the cutaway fuel tank, the engineer boots, stonewash jeans and brown shirt, [because brown is the new black according to trinny and suzannah], dude has no tattoos, he's wearing one of those 'doner' helmets you can pick up over there for ten dollars and oakley 'outlet' shades, beautiful.
first race of the series this weekend, where am i?, sat in the shed dreaming about what could have been, waiting for my swinging arm from the powdercoaters, saving up for a set of tyres, a million and one jobs still left to do, my licence hasn't turned up yet, need to get a rear disc and make the mounting bracket up, wheel spacers, bleed the brakes, seal the tank, paintwork, make a rear sprocket from a blank, get a rev counter, get a chain, make a rear sprocket cover, mount the front mudguard, buy a trailer, make a front number board, alter the clutch cable so it works, make brackets for the expansion chamber....................................................