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

Thursday, 31 January 2013

sportster

as i said in the last post, i've been looking out for a small digital speedo for the sportster to replace the dodgy pushbike one that i've had on the bike for the last couple of years, i'm sure it would be great if you used it for it's intended purpose but bolting it onto a big, vibrating vee-twin motorcycle was i suppose just asking for trouble, the speed reading fluctuated by twenty to thirty miles an hour difference as the pick up struggled to relay the information to the wireless unit, it looked sort of legal and didn't cause me any hassle with the annual mot test but it's time to move on and fit something made specifically for a motorcycle, i just cannot afford either the point's on my licence, the fine or possible ban especially as we live in one of the nation's police 'safety camera partnership' hotspot's, i literally stumbled over this little gem at the recent newark show as we were making our way to the car at the end of the day, it's a gps unit, reads mph/kph, total mileage and a tripmeter, it works on the same technology as your sat-nav, literally shaking hands with a sattelite and displaying the information on the tiny digital unit, it's waterproof and it's plug and play, two wires and that's it, got to make up a bracket to fit it and the receiver to the top yoke, don't know how good it is or whether it's up to the rigour's of being shaken to near destruction, but, i'll let you know....

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

sportster

with the bmw boxer down in kent at jim cray's having some much needed bee-haich-pee shoved up it, the aermacchi sitting on the bench waiting for sweary mick's mate to get the paintwork sorted and dangerous away in the canary islands spending his winter heating allowance on sangria, it was left to me to keep the candle burning in the shed, i'd been thinking about putting a headlight back on the sporty since the end of last year, the lack of light in the autumn evenings was getting frustrating as it cut the riding season short and i was getting fed up with having to bail out early from the local bike night's due to no headlight, i'd got a couple of tiny 'projector' light's put on one side from a previous project and had idea's about mounting them one above the other, slightly off-centre like the 'stacked' lights on the ducati treble-niner's, after a couple of evening's trying to figure out how to mount them using the carbon number board on the front of the bike i decided it would look too busy so went back to the time honoured taiwanese 'bates' copy instead, i had a black powdercoated shell and rim from year's ago, [in fact barse ran it on his shovel for a summer or two before giving it me back after finding an old tractor spotlight at a jumble], so, i had the mashings but not the lens and reflector, a night on the 'tinterweb trying to find replacement gut's ended in frustration as apparently they are not as widely available as they used to be, [not the mini-bates innard's anyway, you can get the five a and three-quarter one still though], i ended up having to buy a new 'bates' mail order and decided that the chrome shell and rim was just too 'glam', i swapped the bit's around, keeping the powdercoated shell and teaming it with the chrome rim, i reckon it looks a lot more classic that way, i gently cut the blue clear plastic fullbeam indicator lens from the top of the chrome shell and stuck it into the black shell with some contact adhesive, spun up a mounting out of some roundstock and bolted it up, i reckon it looks ok and makes the front end look a lot lighter, now i just need a set of black rubber forkleg gaitors to 'drop' the front end down and make it look shorter than the massive expanse of exposed chrome forkleg and a trick little speedo......

Sunday, 27 January 2013

manx grand prix / classic tt

well, there you go, we have been talking about it for the last five years dangerous and me, today i booked it, team loveless are going to mona's isle, well when i say team loveless i mean dangerous, sweary mick, chalky and me, the 'boy's' are going over in sweary mick's car, splitting the fuel and ferry cost's, me? well, i can't get the time off work so i'm making my own way there, a day later than them and coming home a day earlier but, i'm going on my bike, should be good fun on the sportster, it all seem's a long way off at the moment, but, i'm revved, i've not been to the island since 1981, oh dear, is it really that long ago? what was i thinking of? the infamous honda 'black' protest day's, [look it up if you don't know], i'm going to be riding around the famous 37.33 mile course again....

Saturday, 26 January 2013

sporty

barse has put up a link to his old webpage which features loads of old bike builds and party's from back in the day, this photo is of my old four-speed sporty that eventually ended up as a hardtail, crammed into an old santee frame, [i bet all the hipster's are getting a little excited now?] this was how it looked in the swingarm frame, almost seventy-five percent complete before the santee frame turned up and well, you all know what happened after that, [the famous 'saltracer' ridgid chop] looking back on this bike i realised i should have finished it off and rode it, i love the old 4-speed's, dead lazy torquey engine, i know a lot of the early evo's were fragile but this thing was a lovely mill, check out a few details, i mounted the crane coils off the tank, the tank had a massive crease in it from a previous accident and the tank had just been filled and sprayed, so, rather than scrapping it, i made up a bracket and welded it to the tank to mount the coils in, it looked well hard, as did the rest of the bike, i rattle-canned it matt black, polished up the motor and wrapped the pipes, if it was on bikeefix today it would have had a load of comment's from all the trendy dudes, 'i don't like this, i don't like that, i'd have done it like this, i'd have changed that, the seat isn't right, the tyres should be old school firestones and oh yeah, lose the pipewrap' well bro, show me what you built, oh, you ain't built shit? well, what do you know......

football

fa cup, fourth round day, after heavy overnight snow i really didn't think we would be able to get to the game today, jack spent an hour digging the car out of the snow and clearing off the drive so we could get to the road, which incidentally was impassable at 0800hrs, even the normally un-stoppable white transit van's were turning around and admitting defeat, the bus service cancelled and i decided to just go for a walk with the dog's instead, by 1130 hr's there was a definite two-tyre width track on the road so we decided to chance it, down into the fair city of derby, park up and do the last two miles on foot, four inches of slush and ice on the pavement's, made the ground by a quarter to three, quick beer and find the rest of the lad's, our normal section of the ground is closed, [it's a cup match, all the glory boy's from last week's match against forest are doing something much more important this week, don't get me started...], we take up a row of seats next to the blackburn faithful, not many have braved the journey down from lancashire but they are in good voice giving the current board of directors loads of stick and calling for their resignation, 'you can stick your fucking chicken up your arse..... sideway's!' in reference to the owners business interests, the match kick's off and it's apparent from the outset that it's not going to be derby's day, the blackburn team are a strong, skillful bunch who dominate the game from start to finish, we go a goal down just before half time, rovers stick two more past us and to be honest deserved their comfortable victory against a toothless derby side who didn't even manage a shot on the blackburn goal, the lads bail out early doors to the pub, me and jack stick it until the 87th minute, that's football, at least the red-dog's went down at home to the same scoreline, big-up's to the blackburn faithful, you were the better team and i wish you all the best for whover you draw in the next round, at least we can concentrate on the league now....

Friday, 25 January 2013

motorrad zschopau

one of my mates dropped me a load of bike magazines off at work, he's sold his bike, a lovely, late model honda 600 sportsbike, [don't ask me which model, it's the one with the underseat exhaust pipe, very tasty], he has decided to bail out after three years of motorcycle ownership, a combination of pressure from his nearest and dearest, [regarding the dangers of riding a bike, the death toll and horror stories of ruined lives, orphaned children and young widows] and lost income, driving ban's, ridiculous insurance premiums and perhaps, the fact that riding a bike just isn't as cool and trendy as it was two-to-three years ago, [my mate suprised me when he told me he was going to take his compulsory bike training and buy a bike because 'everyone who is anyone rides a bike now dad!' fuck me, how times change, a series of un-connected events as a boy led me down this path, the greaser on the fair at butlin's holiday camp with the knuckle tattoo's, my mate, mark wileman's dad's panther, tradesman outfit, blasting around on the field's where we lived, chris goodall, who lived across the road who had a beautiful vespa scooter, the lad's who waved at me on the way to the osmaston manor races when i was sitting in the back of the car my dad had borrowed off his foreman at work, the pulp biker novels i swapped on a geography field trip to aberystwyth in welsh wales, 'chopper' mama' 'button's-the making of a president', dicking about in the shed with a long list of cast off, small capacity commuter bikes and scooter's, it's how you learned, snapping off bolts by overtightening, getting wheel spacer's the wrong way round, boiling battery's, dropping circlips into the crankcases, [ahem], making leather patches with the legend 'black eagles mc' getting filled in for wearing a backpatch with the legend 'black eagles mc', being asked how old you are when trying to buy a copy of easyriders magazine, buying one of those paul something-or-other backpatches mail order out of the back of the new musical express adverts, getting filled in for wearing a paul something-or-other patch, yep, it's been a long, hard road, has the bubble really burst with bikes?, no, i don't think so, i just think things are reaching that natural equilebrium and that it will weed out the people like my mate for who it's more about the image than anything else, i'm not saying that's a bad thing, it just mean's that there's more bikes available for the rest of us to buy at a reasonable price, here's a few fact's for you, in the past three year's he reckon's he's spent, [at a conservative estimate], twenty thousand english pounds, holy shit batman, that's a lot of disposable income, when quizzed further he add's it up, his original training, test, licence, two set's of leathers, three helmet's, insurance, servicing, [by official dealer], aftermarket exhaust can, trackday's, tyres, magazines, fuel, chain and sprockets and a hundred and one other bit's and bob's that we spend on our, uum?, our lifestyle?, hobby? blah, blah, blah, when you add it all up that's a serious amount of filthy lucre, no wonder people are bailing, so where does that leave the rest of us? well me, i'm happy dicking about in the shed with old air-cooled stuff, building half decent bikes out of scrap and just having a good time, which bring's me back to the original post, mz's, brilliant, i really want a 250 trophy, a four speed or five speed ts or an etz, i'm also still after a copy of the jan leek 'mz racer's' book, money's waiting, bail out now, you know motorcycles are just too dangerous and expensive.........

Thursday, 24 January 2013

aermacchi

i thought i'd better finish off the 'sharkfin' chain and sprocket run protector tonight, to tell you the truth i'd forgotten all about it after making the 'p' clip last week, must be my age i suppose, decided to go with an alloy 'fin instead of the carbon fibre one, it's more in keeping with a classic race bike, just an offcut of dural, shaped up with a hacksaw and file and a trio of holes drilled in it, more for looks than trying to lose any weight off it, with the stainless 'p' clip polished so it's lost against the nickle swingarm and the 'fin just scotchbrited to finish it doesn't look too obtrusive....

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

aermacchi

with everything clean and tidy, new gaskets and a few more centre-punch marks on the rubber gasket mating faces, [it stop's the rubber's spinning out of position and cut's down on oil leak's], it was time to contact-sdhesive the rubber's in place and re-assemble the head, pushrod's back in position, spin the motor over to make sure the valve timing is correct and nail the head back onto the cylinder, [being careful to align the aluminium oil return tube] the head is unusual in that there is no head gasket to speak of, i don't know if this is common on the road bikes or if it's just a way of gaining a little more compression?, the motor slipped back into the frame and we used flanged stainless nuts to fasten it in, last job was to remove the studs from the inspection covers and turn up some stainless allen screws to replace them, i just think they look better than a stud and a normal nut.......

Sunday, 20 January 2013

aermacchi

sunday afternoon see's chalky and sweary mick turning up with yet another box of spares for the aermacchi, at this rate we are going to have to rent out a unit to store all the stuff in, the shed is 'cozy' anyway, what with two bikes, [sometimes three, sometimes four depending whether the boxer racer or the dangerous bonnie are in residence or not] the milling machine, lathe, bench, bike bench, grinder, pillar drill and a hundred and one other assorted hand tools, oil containers and all the other accumulated 'treasure' that we have acrued, the 'lad's' soon settle in, sweary mick perched on his stool, next to the big radiator, 'fuck you' mug in hand and chomping on a choccy digestive, chalky, as ever, quiet and contemplative and dangerous leaning on the bench, trying to decide which biscuit to go for, oh yeah, some work got done today too, not a lot though, scraped the gasket surfaces off and cleaned them off with thinner's prior to applying some contact adhesive to the gaskets to stop them spinning around the pushrod's, 'oh fuck' i exclaim, 'what's up? what you done bailey?' say's dangerous, 'i've dropped the circlip and it's gone into the crankcase mate, i'm sorry' i say, 'you're fucking joking? you clumsy twat bailey!' say's dangerous, 'yep, i'm joking dangerous' dangerous is apopleptic, sweary mick almost falls off his stool, chalky just crack's a rare smile, more tea vicar?............

Saturday, 19 January 2013

football

it's derby day, the date that every derby and forest fan look's for as soon as the fixtures are released, today we are entertaining our scutty neighbours from down the a52, we beat them at their place in september and today we are looking to make it four on the bounce, i'm up early door's, p.m.t, [pre-match tension] waking me, it's a cold, bleak day, lot's of snow in our patch of derbyshire, it's a 1300hr kick off, apparently to prevent the rival fan's getting too pissed before the game, i don't really understand it, the pub's are open from 0700 hr's, offering matchday specials, a cooked breakfast and a pint, the boy jack check's out the twitter thing and there's loads of lad's up and at 'em already, come 1300hrs there's going to be a lot of drunk people about, i dig the car out of a snowdrift and we make our way gingerly into the town, the roads are eerily quiet and there's that wild west feeling, as we walk to the ground i catch the odd glimpse into the packed pub's and the sound of chanting drift's into the almost empty streets, 'as you walk into the popside, your heart will skip a beat....' condensation running down the windows and the police in force hopping from one foot to the other and blowing onto their frozen finger's trying to keep warm, big alsation dogs barking with excitement but wagging their tails in anticipation of taking a chunk out of a pair of designer jean's, we stand patiently in line at the turnstiles to gain entry to the ground, the steady 'click, click, click' as the turnstile rotates to admit the derby faithful, a thought passes my brain, how many of these 'fan's' will be here next week for the f.a. cup match against blackburn? cynicism put to one side as i join the queue for an overpriced bottle of lager, so many unfamiliar faces, then, just to add insult to injury, a steward 'has a quiet word' about the 'industrial language' coming from 'our' section of the ground, for fuck's sake, there's no-one sitting here normally, just the die-hard derby fan's, this club make me piss, we pay up front for our season tickets, year after year to watch the second stream of english football, we come week in, week out and have to put up with them selling 'our' seat's to away fan's and moving us, giving away free tickets to the less desirable matches and free 'pie and pint' deals to non-season ticket holder's and their worried about a bit of 'robust' language? like it say's on the posters, DNA, derby now always, i'll still be here when this load of once a year 'fan's' have come and gone, anyway, typical local derby match, not much quality from either side, we sink to the red-dogs tedious long ball game instead of playing the neat passing game that we have been doing of late, the dog's score before half-time, cohen with a comedy special, miss kicking the ball to send our defender the wrong way before scuffing the ball into the net, i want to die, fucking forest scoring at our place, i feel sick to the bone, halftime comes and goes and as the majority of derby 'fan's' are trying to find their seats, looking blankly at their ticket stubs, the ram's equalise through jamie ward,before i know it i'm hanging over the front of the stand giving it to the scum, the traditional 'english archer's' and my feet are off the floor as i'm picked up in the surge of celebrating derby rabble, the rest of the match descends into a mixture of misplaced passes, half shot's and clumsy fouls, the east midland derby end's honours even, that's it then, until next year, D.N.A....

Friday, 18 January 2013

ritmo-sereno

well, after my self-righteous blast about being alcohol free until the end of the month i've fell off the wagon, i'm sorry father, but the devil has all the best tunes after all! it's friday night and like ed say's, a couple at the end of the working week ain't so bad, i really needed to get away from the aermacchi today, i'm afraid that i get fixed on something so much when i'm working on a project that it takes over almost all my thought's, [even when i'm supposed to be asleep, the minutiae comes into my haddled, old, brain and wakes me up], so, i resisted all urges to look up stuff on the 'tinterweb regarding aermacchi's and turned my attention to perving over my ritmo-sereno obsession instead, the best bmw boxer's in the world, the engineering is just so good, there's absolutely nothing on these machines that doesn't have to be there and i love the fully faired r100 too, have a look at a photo of a standard bike then compare it with what they have done to this one, absolutely beautiful machines, guess i won't be sleeping too much tonight either....

Thursday, 17 January 2013

aermacchi

yes, i know, it doesn't look like an aermacchi, it's a picture of my old mz racer and the next one's a photo of a thermos flask, stick with me, it will all become clear [i hope], if you look at the photo of the mz [click on the photo to enlarge it], now look at the bottom of the rear shock, you will see a 'shark's fin' with a loveless sticker on it, you have to fit these to prevent your fingers [or other appendages] getting caught between the rear sprocket and the drive chain in the event of a spill to comply with the road racing regulations, we didn't want to make up something that stuck out like a pimple on a pig's arse, it called for something a little more subtle, just a simple stainless 'p' clip would suffice, except i didn't have any stainless stock of the correct gauge, so, what to do?, ah ha, i spy mr's b's thermos flask, perfect, [it's ok, she doesn't read the blog so she won't know where it's gone...i hope!], quick hacksaw and file, bend it to shape around an old mz forkleg which just happens to be the same diameter as the swingarm, drill two holes and bingo, just can't decide whether to make the 'shark's fin' in carbon or aluminium.....

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

the loveless temperance society

mr's b and me decided to give up alcohol for the whole month of january, our last drink was on the first of the month and we are almost halfway there, while mr's b is finding it a right doddle and feeling the benefit's of healthy living i must 'fess up, i'm struggling, monday to friday? [school-nights], not a problem, but come friday night? very strange, there's nothing like cracking a few beer's or a couple of bottles of wine to get the weekend started, i've been at work all week and i'm ready to chill, it's just not the same having a couple of glasses of sparkling water and i'm waking up with a thick head the next morning too, what's all that about then?, on the other hand though, we are saving a fortune and i'm getting some weight off, yep, alcohol sucks...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

aermacchi

so, dangerous and sweary mick are sitting in the shed, i'm running backwards and forward with cup's of tea and passing the biscuits around, oh yeah, while i'm playing the host and their having a chat, i'm making up the front brake line for the 'macchi, everytime i make a 'line up i always end up with the stainless braiding down the back of one of my fingernails, claret, much to the hilarity of the 'audience', 'are we having a brew youth?' back in the kitchen and a fresh round of tea, jaffa cakes this time, right, the disc need's mounting to the wheel, [i sprayed it gold last night to echo the twin-leading drum in sweary mick's 350], with the disc rotor mounted and bolted to the hub you then have to feed the caliper onto the disc first before you put the front wheel back in as it's such a tight fit and actually sit's inboard of the hub [check out the photo's to see just how little clearance there is], with fresh pad's in, new cotter pins and wheel back in place it's just a quick job to bleed the brake up, except it isn't because the bleed nipple is inboard of the hub and the only way to get at it is from the other side through one of the holes in the casting, all very fiddly, imagine my joy when the master cylinder started leaking, dripping great gob's of brake fluid from the seal just behind the brake lever, deep joy, i drained the fluid off, removed the mastercylinder and put the kettle on, 'anyone fancy a rich tea?'......