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

Monday, 31 May 2010

dangerous, cardboard cut out, drill, miller, slash and burn, two perfectly symmetrical mudguard mounting brackets, centres milled for lightness.

tiger woods called in for a brew today, he was a bit fed up, the whole media thing has been getting him down recently, he cheered up a bit when i told him that forest had fucked up in the play-offs and that i'd renewed his season ticket for the mighty rams, he's taking his cbt soon and is looking forward to passing his test and getting a harley so he can come to matlock with us rather than going in the limo, he laughed when i reminded him about dicking him on pirate pete's crazy golf course in florida.

bank holiday monday at the loveless race corporation headquarters or 'the shed' as we call it, mad john round compounding the paint on the racer project, mick from next-door-but-four lending a 12mm fine thread die for a job on his trike, barse and gordie turn up mid afternoon, gordie on his immaculate four-speed sporty and barse on his punk-rock shovelhead, forgot just how tiny the shovels are, kettle didn't get cold today, dangerous grafting away making the lovely front mudguard mountings, slots milled in for lightness and detail on something you won't even see, big up lads, thank you.

dangerous and me set off around twelvish, destination the classic bike club meeting at stanford hall near lutterworth, it's about a sixty mile ride, you could just jump on the m1 and squirt down there but we don't do motorway if we can find an 'a' road instead, anyway, we were out on the ducati's so we needed to find some bends, through the urban sprawl of derby and soon into the countryside, through melbourne, into peggs green and we are making our way south, past mallory park and into hinckley, always get lost here and usually end up going past the triumph factory, this time i stuck to the town centre signs and we picked up the a5, i reckon we saved about 10 miles going directly through town rather than using the bloody ring road, into lutterworth, loads of bikes about, picked up the brown tourist signs for stanford hall, payed the six quid fee and parked up, loads of lovely bikes there, loads of autojumble stands and a nice day but, no people?, strange, over a tea and a chunk of home made fruit cake off one of the stalls i mulled it over, i reckon the classic scene as we know it may be over, as the old boys die off their bikes are put in museums or sold to oversea's collectors, the kids aren't interested in old stuff, their classic bikes are the first 'blades or slabby gixers and the like, but what is really killing it is that most of the bikes there were trailered in, the vincent was a case in point, there was a crowd standing around it slack jawed, looking at it like it was the holy grail , i shouted to dangerous 'it would look mint with a peanut tank and ape's youth', they looked at me like i was satan, whats the matter with you?, it's a fucking motorcycle,
lighten up a bit, talk to people about your bikes instead of basking in the glory of winning a fucking horse rosette and of course, you could always go for a ride on it now and again.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

barse and gordie payed us a visit this afto, crap day in derbyshire, raining heavily most of the day, dangerous trapped about 1300 hrs, barse and gordie half an hour later, drank numerous cups of tea and eating choccy biscuits in the shed, catching up, talking bollocks, having the crack, [craic for all our northern ireland mates!], decided to drop my '51' race number on the seat unit, green, sticky back background, easy job, no, it wasn't, i cut around ten paper patterns out, none of them fitted properly, went in to the kitchen to make another brew and saw a pie-dish that jess had left out on the worktop, perfect, drew around it and cut it out, could i get it to stick on without any creases or bubbles, could i bollocks, three hours later this is the end product, looks ok, now i have to get the other side symmetrical.

'our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. existing is where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase, form is emptiness. that all things are provided for by nothingness is the meaning of the phrase, emptiness is form, one should not think that these are two seperate things', from hagakure- the book of the samurai by yamamoto tsunetomo, cutting my bamboo down in the garden last night i was aware of mr and mrs blackbird getting very agitated, the dogs were out with me and the birds were landing on the lawn and getting chased off by the boy's, strange, can't just be after worms after i had raked?, then i saw it, birds nest in the bamboo, day old chick and an unhatched egg, hanging at a dangerous angle after i had chopped the supporting branches away, shit, i picked the nest up and wedged it into the middle of the bamboo, got the dogs in and watched from the kitchen window, mrs blackbird was straight back onto the nest, emptiness is form.

the devil is in the details, earl's performance aluminium 'p'clip to hold rear brake hose, better than a tie-wrap.

seat unit and tank on, no polish on them, mad john's not happy with the finish on the tank so he's coming over bank holiday monday to machine glaze polish it, don't know why but this is the bloke who used to paint bentleys and rolls royces for a living and so he must be able to see something i can't, all i know is that it's a better finish than any other bikes i've had, pity it's going to get ruined by me throwing it up the track.

Friday, 28 May 2010

mad john turned up with my paintwork last night, i must admit i wasn't impressed, look like he had sprayed it with a tin of matt black, then he explained the amount of collar involved, etch coat, nib off, primer, nib off, primer, nib off, four coats base coat back, nibbed between each coat, low-baked, eight coats laquer, yep, eight coats, nibbed between each coat and low-baked, nibbed off and then, it's my turn to polish it under mad john's beady eye.............

sneak preview of nearly finished paintwork, mad john the painter showed me how to use the different grade of cutting compound to achieve a professional finish, i ended up covered with a white film, head to toe, we did the dirty work outside in the yard, polishing mop buzzing 'til 11pm, mrs b went to bed in disgust, eating my tea at 11.45, spilled wine over the dogs when i fell asleep on the sofa, woke up at 3am, went to bed, up at 5 for work, happy days.......

rubber. new rubber. new sticky rubber. new sticky low profile race rubber.

my mate over at arsehole customs, stuka, made my day today, shit day at work, we have been bought out by a big american firm and everything is a bit shaky regarding employment now, got home and found an envelope with a load of stickers in it for me, stuka says my toolbox needs dressing up a bit more, cheers mate,

feel like most of the week has been taken up with drilling fasteners and lockwiring components, looks easy, it isn't.

front caliper, loctite and lockwired.

.gear change linkage

busy week on the racer this week, here's the finished gear change, lovely welding by chris w, actuating rod has adjustment by lengthening or shortening the threaded spherical bearings, all fasteners loctited and nyloc nuts for security, it's only a 250 but it's still a single and thats a big old piston going up and down and creating vibration which equals nuts and bolts unscrewing themselves and to quote the harley davidson workshop manual, 'may result in death or serious injury', i'll take the serious injury thank you.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

finally got my tyres fitted, rob at racing lines did me a really good deal on a set of dunlops, tachograph is on order and i have to pick up my fifty tooth sprocket off him too, front and rear brakes are bled and fully functional and we have started work on the gearchange linkage, 8mm round stock end milled square, drilled and tapped 5mm to take two spherical bearings, cut the rod a little short so i can have some adjustment on the lever height, chris w. tigged the bracket onto the knurled section for the gearbox end, the arm is convex to add a little strength to it but we spot faced it and found a stainless spacer in my big box of doo-da's to bring the actuating arm into line.

monday night at m.f.n., [miles from nowhere], or the shipley boat inn as it used to be known before malc, [one of the original showaddywaddy band members], took it on and turned it from a run down boozer to a decent venue for everything bike, car cruise and scooter based for enthusiasts from both sides of the derby/notts border, monday night is officially known as 'show and shine' night, you turn up and the best bike of the night gets the winner a free pint, burger and enrty into the 'last chance' bike show at the end of the year, dangerous, barse and me had a ride up this week, grabbed a coke and talked bollocks for a couple of hours, this weeks stand out bikes for me were a beautiful mv agusta 'america', complete with a giacomo agostini autograph on the tank, the other was a neat little beeza chop, very tidy, nice blue metalflake paint job, a very neat frenched centre bantam tank and a set of lovely stainless pipes, had a chat with the owner and he has had a lot of hassle getting it running right, if it could go wrong it has, but he's stuck with it and nearly got it sorted, a good night out and everytime i see that 'skeggy' poster it makes me laugh, if you have ever been you will know why.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

ride, fuel, tea, matlock, [again], r1, r6, fireblade, gsxr, ducati, lambretta, yeah, lambretta, a rose amongst the thorns, proper.

me and dangerous went for a blast on the duc's today, we swapped bikes at calver after a tea-break, o.b. out in force, helicopter, van's, sneaky horrible standing behind walls and hedges shit, harrasment really, not really bothered, went for it anyway, think i'm responsible for killing half of the fly population in derbyshire.

public enemy.

booked in originally for a three hour sitting friday afternoon, get a phone call thursday afternoon, 'my ten o'clock has cancelled, can you get the day off, come in early and we can go for a ride friday?', 'sounds like a plan mate', i'm in at the shop at ten and ben is sketching away on my stomach with a sharpie, soon the skull, wind bars, water and cherry blossoms are outlined and he goes to work, colouring the water lillies and shading the detail on the skull, the door to the shop is open and the old soul tunes are chugging out, it's a lovely day out there., about two-ish we were both looking out of the window at the glorious weather and thinking we should be riding, clean up, grips in the autoclave and shutters down and we are in a suprisingly quiet matlock bath eating a late lunch in the sunshine at a pavement cafe and watching the world go by, a couple of pots of tea and we ride out to chatsworth house to look at the fantastic landsaped capability brown gardens, fountain and water feature, we stand at the side of the road waving at the pensioners on the tour buses and ben decides to chase the sheep, strange boy, we head up to carsington reservoir for one of their famous home made ice creams and sit on a wooden bench at the waters edge taking in the expanse of the lake until the midges start to feast on us, leisurely ride back stopping to show ben 'mountain cottage' overlooking the via gellia where dh lawrence wrote 'women in love', took it steady today, ben only passed his test a year ago via a direct access course, fair play to him, he got the train to london to pick up his bike from fred warrs, dropped it in the street outside and rode back up the motorway in a denim jacket and no gloves, sometimes you have to learn the hardway.................


bens night-train, yes i told him to take that hideous leather toolpouch off his bottom yoke, he told me to bollocks.