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

Saturday, 31 December 2011




 played west ham united today, we were at home against one of the top teams, thirteen minutes into the game and we are two up, they get a goal back just before half time and the next forty five is a war of attrition as we stick ten men behind the ball and they try and break us down, not to be on this occasion and big sam will be choking on his port and lemon at a point lost, got talking to some old boy's, [like me] at the game, to tell you the truth i've always had a bit of a soft spot for the 'ammer's, they play some nice football and have brought on some great talent through the academy, we drift down memory lane and one that sticks out in my brain is a wednesday night game, [remember them, no fucking sky tv then], they bought around two hundred fans up and they battered the derby hooligan element all over town, [myself included, i was out for revenge for a right royal pasting that i received at the boleyn ground, yes the boleyn ground not upton fucking park, that's the station nearby] they ran us all over town and we all fucked off home, imagine my suprise when i read the derby evening telegraph the next night, not content with scaring the shit out of the derby faithful, they had only gone down to the fair on bass's rec and battered the fairground workers, anyway, i digress, got home and knocked out the cap for the top yoke mounting bracket, the mounting rods and cut the oem tacho into the fairing complete with that cheeky racer style red-line at twelve o' clock, happy new year everybody, i'm forever blowing bubbles.............................................................................
 well, me and my big mouth, the 'easy' part of fitting the fairing proved to be the bracket off the headstock, the hard work and beard-stroking starts here, there are a lot of things to consider, clearance for the steering lock and to allow the controls and hands not to foul the fairing, remember the fairing stays in one position and doesn't move with the forks, height is crucial in this respect too, mounted too high and you lose the aerodynamic advantage of fitting the fairing in the first place, too low and it fouls the controls, [see how close to the top of the master cylinder in the second photo] fore and aft positioning needs consideration too, if it's fitted too far to the rear the rider won't be able to get his head behind the screen, again affecting the aerodynamics, too far forward? the clip-ons foul the descending edge of the fairing lower, i started by scrapping the rectangular bracket on the front of the headstock and just went with a single hole through the glassfibre, a couple of rubber washers and i could fasten the fairing to the mounting, fix a datum point and still allow movement to help the positionioning, straight away it became obvious that the lower edge of the fairing would have to be trimmed back, off it came and i carefully trimmed and filed the glass to shape, [this is race quality 'glass and is very thin to save weight, not like the more robust abs plastic found on road bikes], this was a procedure i had to do another three times to get the right fit, i also had to raise the clip-on's by twenty millimetres to allow clearance for my hands when on the bars, the single fixing will not be adequate alone to support the fairing so i have to come up with someway of supporting the top edge and screen, the bottom two photo's show the start of the solution to that little problem, the large chamfered screw with the allen key hole is the standard fixing for the top yoke which also acts as the adjustment for the steering head bearings, some material was cut out of the bottom of this on the lathe and two phosphour bronze bushes made up to run independently, [remember the fairing stays in one position, the forks, yokes etc turn to steer the bike], just got to figure out how to fix this to a support that allows all that to happen, no one ever said it was going to be easy............


Thursday, 29 December 2011





after all the work trying to fit the manx seat, the fairing bracket came as a pleasant suprise, i roughed a piece of dural out and drilled it to the centres of the two bushes that chris w had welded to the frame, bolted it up with a couple of socket-heads, worked out the angle-of-the-dangle with a protractor so that the fairing will run in line with the frame rails, mounted it in the miller and drilled the hole to suit, i had bought some half-inch stock at the classic bike show at stafford but when measuring it i found out it was oversize, not enough meat to machine off in the lathe so i wet and dried it down to a nice sliding fit, dropped a 6mm helicoil into the end of the mounting tube and made a bracket to carry the front of the fairing, sometimes it just comes together so easily, sometimes it fight's you all the way.........

Wednesday, 28 December 2011



finally got the seat sorted, the aftermarket manx seat proved a 'mare to fit, the fixing screws on the seat base are glassed in at all different angles proving nigh on impossible to bolt to the welded in seat rails on the subframe, the ally mounting pillars that we made proved a waste of time, i ended up cutting them in 'third's and milling them to shape to make a sort of spherical bearing to square them up, bastard of a job, the sort of thing that rob's you of vital hours but something that just has to be done.....
halfway between christmas and the new year, i'm on holiday, i'm loving it, i can get up at the stupid hour of 0800hrs instead of in the middle of the night, i can walk the dog's in the daylight instead of trying to chase them all over derbyshire with a fucking mag-light, today, i sat down with a brew and watched the highlight's of the southern 100 roadracers on sky, i got time to spend on the racer project and i sorted out my magazine collection, don't know why i picked this copy of 'performance bikes' up, it's from 2009 and as i idly flicked through the pages i caught this article by simon martin, i've always been a fan of his since he built his xbr honda 500 single engined racer, some of the paragraphs in the article just kicked me in the bollocks, ' despite what you tell yourself beforehand, within half a lap of your first race you will want to win'. 'do you really need tyre-warmers? they will make no discernable difference on production tyres, especially after you have ridden 500 metres through the paddock, been held in the holding area for ten minutes, on the grid for another three and completed a sighting lap' 'the machine is almost secondary to your own ability and limits' and for me the most telling, [especially as i have to endure the constant piss-taking of all the trackday warriors at work] 'trackdays are as far removed from road racing as caffeine is to heroin, apart from the venue they have almost nothing in common......'

Tuesday, 27 December 2011



december 27th, this time last year and britain was gripped by sub-zero temperatures, we were in the depth of a winter that was as cold as living memory could remember, december 27th this year see's dangerous and me hooning around the village on his tt replica, no tax, no mot, no insurance, at least dangerous is suitably attired, i'm wearing shorts, con's and a hooded sweatshirt, the bonny sounds lovely, crisper than a bag of walkers, the pipes barking and that induction noise that just say's 'triumph', i make my third lap and an old geezer with trekking poles turn's to look what the row is all about, i'm ready to give him the english and instead he gives me the thumbs up, priceless, we swap over and dangerous is ripping round like a twat, the grin on his face speaks volumes, i love motorcycles me.......

Monday, 26 December 2011

sometimes it makes me wonder, got this photo sent to me today by e-mither, i can't even remember it but i think it may have been at cadwell park, the guy holding up the mz is deffo des #42 davies, the bald bloke on the left is deffo me, but why the fuck do i look like i'm blowing up my life jacket like one of those dodgy 'safety' demonstrations on a plane?  'there is a whistle and a torch in the pocket to draw attention....'
the dambusters theme, brilliant, 'we all hate leed's and leed's and leed's and leed's, we all fucking hate leed's......' they came to town today and got what they deserved, a fucking dicking, i hate leeds, not as much as forest, but when their scummy fan's are dissing brian in such a disgusting way, especially as they know that his son's family were going to be at the game then i must admit i loved it when we turned them over, again, yeah, i make that six on the bounce now you dirty leeds bastards.....

Saturday, 24 December 2011


 up to frenchy's today, i grab us some coffee from maccee dee's, pick up a bottle of kev's favourite sour-mash and we discuss the plan's for my engine rebuild, we are going to k.i.s.s. [keep it simple stupid], new pistons, rings, valves, guides, bearings, electronic ignition, top-secret, couldn't possibly disclose it head-work, new carb's, [waste of time chasing worn-out old cv carb's when you can get a brand new set of amal's], blue-printed, carefully matched components, nothing really special, or, perhaps there might be......... got home and shoved the front-end in the project, that took about ten minutes, then spunked five hour's trying to fit the seat, never easy when you are mashing every ten minutes, scoffing mince pies like their going out of fashion and drinking beer.............happy christmas everybody, big-up to, [in no particular order], barse, gordy, ben 'fucking' jones, [you hurt me you bastard],  marshy and deb's, all the mz racer's, des, [#42], chris palmer, jan, ed, [fingy moto, possibly the best blog in the world], gary and ben at sideburn, [sorry i missed the 'do'], frenchy, 'mad' john the painter, [mate, why the fuck did you fall out with us? have a chat with yourself, you are always welcome here], stuka, chris w. malcolm goode, [the pretentious music critic] anyone and everyone who is inspired to modify their bike or have a go at racing, [do it, do it, do it!] and all the regular blog readers, [thank's for your comment's and thank's for checking me out], grant, [mate, give us a ring], nick, [your book's are safe with me man!] the black girl with the green eyes, my kid's, my little scottish hen, [love you], the boy's, [gus and ted, ratcatchingcowchasingdogfightingpostmanbatinglampostpissingrabbitdiggingjackrussellterrierterroristbastards], night, night to the dog with-no name, [i'm sorry i let you down mate x]  keep on keeping on everybody.............

Friday, 23 December 2011


 broke up for the christmas holiday's today, i've always worked over christmas until last year, our firm suddenly decided that we would shut for the whole holiday, i loved it and can't imagine having to work it now, we were in late today 0700hrs, got stuck in and we are munching breakfast cob's at 0900hrs, 1200hrs and we are off to the pub, my mucker, mo, is retiring today, we have worked together for nearly twenty-five years, it's emotional, i have a pint of shandy in the same time that it takes the rest of the crew to block three pints of magner's, too much to do today so by 1300hrs i'm out of there, get the chores out of the way and get in the shed by 1600hrs, mug of tea, mince pie and the pogues chugging away, 'you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap, lousy faggot, happy christmas you arse, i pray god it's our last........' got the cleaned up shock's and the diff mounted, new brake shoes in, up to frenchy's tomorrow to get the skinny on the engine, i'm feeling that it might be time to get my purse out, 'you'll no be having a sale will you?.....

Thursday, 22 December 2011



                      thursday night, dangerous still banging on about me betting him that we wouldn't get the frame back for christmas and baying for blood, 'ripley, are you ready? here'sssssssss timmy's arse!' i play it cooler than a cool thing and concentrate on fitting the swing-arm, not the conventional fitting of a swinging-arm spindle, rather two, adjustable, pivot's, i measure them with feeler gauges and lock them in position with the new lock-nuts, a dab of loctite to make sure they don't vibrate loose, bolt the subframe roughly into position, 'phoned the british historic racing entries secretary this morning to get my race entries sorted, i also wanted to find out about getting my race number sorted, i wanted #51 but this has already gone so it look's like i'm going to be running a new number, the bad news is that there are no numbers less than one hundred left so it look's like i might end up # 369 or whatever........

Wednesday, 21 December 2011



well, there you go, a week to the day that dangerous dropped the frame off for powdercoating, we only just went and got it back, dangerous is in his element, 'right then toss-pot, where actually are you going to expose your nether region's to the good people of ripley?, i seem to remember you saying standing on top of the burger van, or, when the second cobra hit the spot, shinning up the xmas tree?, well? well?', very funny dangerous, so i got it wrong, but, i'm that used to being let down that this came as a pleasant suprise, the frame, sub-frame and battery box are sitting on the bench, a thick, lustrous coating of deep, deep, black, i removed the blanking pieces and even though i had spent time blanking the surfaces off, the powder had coated some of the bearing surfaces / threads, i chased the threads with a tap and cut the swing-arm bearing surfaces back with a stanley blade, check me out, no hi-vis, no risk assessment, no gloves, no toe-tector boot's, just a raw, sharp, blade, guess what?, i didn't cut any digit's off, result.........

Monday, 19 December 2011

 this was going to be a couple of photo's of my gearbox, i set about cleaning thirty year's worth of road-filth from it by a liberal dowsing with gunk, applied with a paintbrush and scrubbed in with an old toothbrush, to tell you the truth, i'd forgotten about the 'box until tonight, it lay under the bench and i only noticed it when i dropped a bolt i'd been turning down and stooped to retrieve it, an hour's work and i have a clean 'box and seven boring photo's, so, i thought i'd post these instead, the photo's aren't mine but it's a french bmw racer that i first saw at the thundersprint a couple of years ago, don't know anything about the bike but i'm digging the r65 tank, the eighteen inch rim's, [the rear is massive and i reckon it must be built with an off-set to fit that rubber], the rear sub-frame is welded to the main frame rather than being 'bolt-on', frame bracing run's from the steering head to the swing-arm pivot, [like the smith and butler superbike racer's] the crankcases machined with cooling holes around the clutch, the twin plugged heads and dyna coils, the modified front engine mount's [to raise the motor in the frame and gain some ground clearance [and the 'skid's' welded to the rocker covers in case you run out of clearance] and last, but not least, the machined front engine cover exposing the dark secrets of the elektickery system, stunning bike and a lot more interesting than a load of photo's of my grimy gearbox of a monday night.......

Sunday, 18 December 2011






the high-bar moriwaki kawasaki, first time i saw one was at donington park, early '80's, wayne gardner, wearing a red bodywarmer over his leather's to fight the cold, i seem to remember it being early march and there being snow on the ground, it was bloody freezing, especially when your only transport was your bike, you couldn't afford the luxury of a cortina or escort to fend off the weather, ride to work, work to ride to quote the harley bro's,  here was a bike that road riders with 'sporting ambition's' could relate to, it still looked like a streetbike, no fairing, high-bars and based on the bikes that we were riding, croz was another racer from the antipodeans, like the irish lads, hard-as-fuck real road racers, not worried about racing amongst the wall's, kerbs and telegraph poles that line the road circuits, racing at 11/tenth's, no wonder people still build replicas........

Saturday, 17 December 2011




peroni, so easy to drink, they have it on draught in the waterfall, that's the pub opposite derby railway station, they serve it in the proper 'tulip vase' glasses, had our work's xmas 'do' last night, i'm a twat me, up early door's, shift, home, walk the dog's, shower and in the waterfall for 1745hours, drinking peroni, 2100hrs see's me dancing to some classic motown and northern soul, 2230 hrs and i'm throwing shapes to '80's erasure, bronski beat and the communard's, 'don't, leave me this way, ooohhh baby.....' wake up, 0800hrs, head like a hole, mr's b looking smug, big carbohydrate packed breakfast and a long walk in the cold with the boy's, ahhh, that's better, i feel like...... shit, i don't feel better at all, dangerous arrives at 1130hrs and cheer's me up, 'you look like shit youth', he drives and i try and focus, we pull up at the breakers to discover that they've moved, we drive around the industrial estate and eventually find their new premises, mark, the lad we usually deal with clock's us, 'fucking hell, you look rough youth....' we spend the next hour rooting amongst the old bikes and parts bins, i eventually discover a brembo integral master cylinder and lever, [no remote's allowed in the bhr b.e.a.r.s series] and a clutch perch from a late '80's yamaha, forty quid and a fiver for mark for a drink, [alway's pays to grease the palm's of industry] we make it home and i put the kettle on, barse is kicking the front door in on his way home from kev's, the dog's are barking and going ape, i get a brew together and we sit in the shed eating hot mince pies and quaffing tea, 'fucking hell youth, you look rough', i nitomors the master cylinder, clutch perch and both levers, the clutch perch is ok and soon shed's the powdercoating, the brembo master cylinder proves more difficult, it's anodized, break out the mr muscle oven cleaner, just what i need on top of the king of all hangover's, a large slice of chemical solvent abuse, parts eventually cleaned, new stainless hardware, turned up and a new pivot made for the brake lever and mill the writing off the master cylinder lid, we break out the cobra's at 1945hrs, suddenly i start to feel a little better........