Tuesday, 29 June 2010
easy job monday night, drop the new chain on and adjust it to the correct tension, not in the loveless shed, chain on, split link fitted and adjusted, spin back wheel and there's a definate click, click, click as the chain goes through it's cycle, check wheel alignment and we are less than a mil out, is the chain 'picking up' on the heavy grease on the new chain?, clean it off with white spirit, no difference, take off front sprocket, drill out a 16mm washer to space it over a mil and a half, no use, the sprocket is sleeved to make a seal, run out of ideas so re-fit front sprocket and chain and the 'click' disappears, weird, anyway like these vintage hilclimbers and the late, great, roy castle said 'dedication, dedication, dedication's what you need.....'
Sunday, 27 June 2010
nosing around the bikes in the paddock i came across this 350cc molnar manx replica, the owner was a really great bloke, he had built the bike from parts as he didn't want to risk racing his original bike so has spent 30 grand building this, listening to his story of what has gone wrong with it brings you back to reality, he lives in the isle-of-white so has to factor in ferry costs even before his race entries, travel, bike maintenance , crashes, repairs etc, total dedication to his sport, respect due.
cadwell park, saturday, must be 25 years since i've been here, great track but i've forgotten how narrow it is, me and dangerous have a great ride back, traffic is light at seven pm and we are able to trap on, you have to watch the camera's by the lincolnshire 'safety patrnership' but the roads are very, very fast, the ducati is running great, the noise from the induction is mint, it sounds like woody woodpecker, the exhaust is really lazy but belies the speed that you are doing, we pull into the 'dead poet's' in the village for a pint, i'm shagged, trying to take in the day's events, the fast ride back, brilliant.
saturday morning saw dangerous and me on the ducati's for a ride up to cadwell park to meet the mz racers, quick 100 mile blast up to the circuit, pay the £12 entry fee, park up and change out of riding gear into shorts and converse, it's a blisteringly hot summers day, not a cloud in the sky and we soon see the yellow-acid-house-smiley-face flag that marks out the 'zedders encampment, spot des's blue and white ex british airways battle wagon and introduce ourselves, des is one of the nicest blokes i've ever met, genuine and totally dedicated to his racing, he shows us his bike and we stand in awe eating cake and drinking tea provided by mrs des, i can't take it all in, i soon realise some of the basic errors that i have made as des explains that the exhaust system shake themselves to death if not securely mounted, back to the drawing board on that one, notice a lot of the racers have a flange plate beteeen the carb and barrel mounted with springs drilled through the fins because the carb's fall off, bugger, that one needs re-thinking too, i have to get my brain around the fact that racer's really are totally different to road bikes and des summed it up when he said, 'one racing mile is harder than a hundred road miles', des introduces us to some of the other lads and they are a sound bunch, i have a chat with dave bignell and the riders rep chris palmer who gives us some great tips on front suspension mods, we make our way down to the grassy area near the bottom of the mountain to watch the 2nd mz race, bloody hell they are quick and very close, i estimate about 30 riders, you can't throw a coat over them, lap three and they are fying down the start and finish straight into the left hander, must be 90-100mph on a 'zed, everything happens in a blur, i am concious of a rider getting clipped on the entry to the bend but can't see what happens as they disappear into the trees, red flag straight away, it's chris palmer down, he is air ambulanced to hull with head injuries and a chest drain, fuck, we walk back to the paddock, i'm feeling very awkward, the 'zedders hold a meeting, dangerous and i go for a walk and look at the classic racer's who are racing here this weekend, we need to make ourselves scarce, these blokes know each other, they race each other, help each other mend their bikes and get drunk together, i'm still an outsider and this is raw for them...........
Friday, 25 June 2010
i'm off to cadwell park tomorrow, [saturday], the mz racers are there at round 5 of the club championship, not racing my bike unfortunately as it's not ready yet but i need to go and meet the lads have a recce mission and get some advice, 'phoned des davies #42 and arranged to get the skinny, cheers des.
had a great afternoon today, in work early-doors and out of there for 1400 hrs, grab an egg-mayo sandwich and in to 'secondskin' for a session with ben, watched the brazil-portugal match while waiting and my mate stevie 'mucka' marsh turns up on his dyna, clean as a pin and twice as shiny, mucka had been into work to see me this morning and somehow the conversation had turned to birthdays, [it's mine on tuesday, 51, my race number!], steve chucked a hd t-shirt at me, 'happy birthday milky', [don't ask], chuffed with that, cheers mate, the next three hours go in a flash, piss-taking, tea-drinking and baiting the traffic wardens and shouting at the punters sneaking into the local knocking shop across the road, oh yeah, i also ended up with the outline for my next piece down my ribs.
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
yeah, i love shovelheads, this is me on one at ambergate, we had been on a brilliant day out with barse, gordie, dangerous, suz, and kev, this is one of kev's mates shovels that he was running in for him after some engine work, had a quick rip on it and cried when i got home.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
love shovelheads, when barse bought his i cried for a week,
this one sucked me in at the 'peaks' show, swingarm frame, mustang tank, shaved fork-legs, old-school sprung struts dropping the back end way-on-down, [as elvis would say], trailer rear 'guard, open primary, [dangerous, i want to stick my fingers in it to see what happens], if one word sum's this bike it would be bad -fucking- attitude, [ok, thats three words, i never was very good at sums]
one of those tuesday night's in the loveless shed, i'm looking at a way to mount the expansion chamber bracket, rummaging about in the parts box i come across a four-stroke race can hanger, it's twice the diameter of the little two-stroke stinger but i reckon i can adapt it to fit, i pull an old sporty shock out and measure it up, it looks about the same diameter as the stinger, out with the caliper, spot on, i drop the rubber out of the clamp and wrap it around the stinger to see where to cut it, i bend the hanger around the shock and hammer it to shape with a rubber mallet, drill four 5mm holes in it and replace the rubber, fits like a glove but need to fab a spacer/hanger, dangerous is on the same wavelength and takes the stock off me after i've end-milled it up, we then waste an hour arguing about what shape to form, i win but have to give in to his idea of radding the bottom of the bracket to fit snug against the stinger, he lobs the work at me and leaves me to tap the holes out while he cut's down the mounting screws...............
Monday, 21 June 2010
norvin - vincent hrd engine shoe-horned into a norton featherbed frame, very tight fit i can tell you, loads of engineering done to the bike by the owner, you can just see the handmade finned aluminium oil tank and the carb manifolds to name just a few of the trick bits, well used too, i was ear-wigging in on his converation and he's just come back from a classic bike rally in the shetland isles.
Sunday, 20 June 2010
sunday, met up with with the lads today, 10.30am at matlock, i was fashionably late, arriving at 11.30, barse, gordy and chris w, were just off, mukker marsh, dangerous and the worlds most handsome man and ace tattoo artist, or ben as we call him and a couple of his mates had a tea at 'charles' before heading up the via-gellia onto the 515 to the chopper club show at the duke york public house, [this is not a grammatical error, it is the duke york, not the duke-of-york], lads going into matlock are frantically flagging us down, i know that the o.b. have a [dirty, fucking bastard, lowdown undercover camera van in the layby], just after the lovely technical, through the tree's piece of road, what i wasn't expecting was the second camera van about two miles up the road, you pass the first van, bikes coming in the opposite direction signalling you to slow down and you get copped by the second van, wankers, safety patnership my arse, raise revenue by catching out bikes you bastards, here's a photo of a class ironhead sporty, more photo's to follow, stay tuned........
............so me and dangerous skinned out, stopping for a tea at bakewell, past mock beggars hall, winster and onto the via-gellia for the fast downhill run into cromford, right turn towards wirksworth, 30 limit so nice and steady, listening to the supertrapps bouncing off the cottages, then i spot the old boy kneeling at the side of his '54 vellocette, spin around on the market place and see if i can help, 'what's up mate?', 'carb's flooding', bit of an understatement really, there's fuel everywhere, that really heavy petrol smell, i drop the float bowl off, no crap in there, turn fuel tap on and petrol is spraying out like a bp oil-well, needle's seating ok............
...............then i noticed that the front downtube had fractured and the engine had dropped in the frame, fracturing the copper fuel line, a flooding carb was the least of his worries, bastard, at least he was only a couple of miles from home and his son could recover him, he is from brassington which is where my mate roy lives who just happens to be a demon welder, i gave him roy's mobile number and we were on our way.
caught up with my mate glen aka 'midnight' today at the chopper club 'peaks' show, good to see him up and about after his serious accident last year, some dozy tart knocked him off his bmw ride-to-work bike and he was badly injured, today he was superstylin' on his s+s rigid chop, he filled me in about getting caught by the o.b. in snottingham, [glen's originally from snottingham but i ain't going to hold it against him as he now resides in god's own county], nottingham have those trick camera's that can measure your average speed between them, he got caught on the third camera, realised he'd been sussed and flicked the middle digit at the camera, two weeks later, summons hit's the doormat, he decides to represent himself at court, everythings going great then the o.b. produce a film of midnight speeding down the roads, realising he's been collared and flicking them the bird, so, he stands up in court and says 'that could be any one of the hundred or so black guys in nottingham who rides a rigid shovelhead chopper, prove it's me', the two coppers are livid, the magistrates decide no case to be answered and award him his costs, beautiful!
Saturday, 19 June 2010
jeff decker's bronze sculpture of joe petrali, one of the all time great motorcycle racers, i really didn't know much about the racers from the twenties and thirties until i picked up a book in america and started to read up on some of these truly hard men, it put's my little project into perspective, i'm bitching and moaning because i bought a chain too short or i've had to work on the bike late and missed my tea, big fucking deal, these men were getting ripped to shreds on the wooden boardtracks riding big capacity harley's and indians bolted in a pushbike frame and wearing a jumper and leather flying helmet for protection.
Thursday, 17 June 2010
thumb choke fitted to left-hand bar, takes a bit of working out where to position it so you don't foul the clutch-lever, just got to figure out how to operate clutch and thumb -choke at same time, while i'm trying to sort this out dangerous has whipped the front number-plate off and is drilling lightening holes in the mounting bracket, i had to bolt it on to stop it floating away.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
rad 02 ducati, sorry no photo's of the project ths week, i'm in the shed every night doing lots of the essential but mundane jobs that need doing, setting up the throttle cables, changing jets and needles and generally fettling the carb, fitting the thumb choke and setting that up, two strokes run extra lean at the end of a long straight when you shut off so a quick dab on the thumb choke richens up the mixture and helps to stop seizures, gp racing? world superbike, boring, thumb chokes- it's the way forward.
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
bottom photo is the home page of east shropshire national chopper club 'shires' show, can't believe it's ten year's old already, had some really good weekends there and the ncc lad's are always up for the crack and friendly, got a lot of time for the chopper club, they work hard to promote custom bikes and their show's are always friendly, laid back events, chuffed then that they chose my sporty chop 'salt racer' to head their homepage for the event held last weekend, thank you, the top photo is a 'work in progress' shot that barse took in december 2006, as you can see the original matt black spray can paint job got ditched for a bare steel 'salt racer' look, one night after a bottle of red wine i took a tin of nitromors to it and finished it off with a scotchbrite pad, i rattle-canned the black racing stripes on and people just seemed to like it, it didn't matter if it got wet or scratched i just cleaned it up with a scotchbrite pad, i liked the 'organic' look of the bike, the way the stripes chipped and faded and how you got a thin coat of surface rust on it overnight on a rally, open the zipper on the tent , quick brew, bungee a kitbag on the tank and off you go, no worries about scratching the paint.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Sunday, 13 June 2010
this is my bokken, bok[u] = wood, ken=sword, it's made from japanese red oak, close grain wood, very, very hard, not quite a suburito which are a lot heavier and are usually used for practicing solo cutting kata, this is my tachi that i have used for kenjutsu [the art of sword] many times in the dojo, i have been on the receiving end of one of these a few times, fingernails smashed off, broken ribs and concussion to mention a few of the more memorable injuries, i almost severed one of my brown belts ears off [sorry julian] and we got banned from belper sports centre for leaving blood on the wall in one of the squash courts, [long story], the japanese masters used the bokken to devastating effect even against the traditional brittle bladed swords, someone keyed both of my cars last night, they left multiple scratches on both vehicles, both cars were parked on my drive, luckily for them i didn't hear them as they made their drunken way home from the village fete, unlucky for them they didn't notice the cctv recording them in the act and i know where they live.............