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

Sunday, 24 February 2013

northern soul

autry dewalt mixon junior, or, junior walker, was a motown legend, i saw him and his band playing live at an all-nighter way back in 1977-78?, the venue was the st ivo recreation centre, in st. ives, cambridgeshire, let's get this straight, here was a detoit soul legend, playing a sleepy east midlands rec. centre? holy shit batman! i was there, junior and the band eventually shuffled on stage around four in the a.m., about six hours late, [and you thought the stones or oasis were bad at keeping the crowd waiting?] but, as soon as they started to play this song, mr mixon honkin' on the sax like a honking donkey with lung trouble,  total attitude, 'yo motherfucker's, y'all come to see a SOUL show?, one, two, three, four, i'm a roadrunner baby' then, then, about ten minutes into his set, he drop's this tune, fuck me.....

fuck off blogger

i'm really struggling to publish stuff at the minute, blogger has a major issue, it's taking me loads of time to post anything, time i can ill-afford, i'm getting well fucked off with trying to post pictures and then getting kicked back, my last post being an example, why is everything arse about face? i post my pictures in a specific order and they are just randomly posted up! get it sorted.......wanker's.

sporty

after yesterdays 'family outing' it was back to some serious shed time today, me and dangerous spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to mount the pvl ignition system to the 'macchi, things got a little fraught as we 'discussed' the best way to mount the ignition, just to put things into perspective, we are mounting it on the opposite side of the engine, not where the original points mount, reason?, this model is a 1963 wet-clutch model, we can't cut the right-hand casing down to suit the pvl, we don't want to run a battery and points as per the standard ignition system, so, we have to mount it off the end of the crankshaft on the opposite side of the motor, there's a taper on the end of the crankshaft, we need to machine the same taper onto the stator, same as we did on the mz racer, dangerous just couldn't get his head around the fact that the markings on the ignition were showing the firing point, 45 degrees before top dead centre, i tried to tell him that we just had to work backwards from that datum point, dangerous just wouldn't have it, i decided to let him have a think about it and dug out this horrible rg500 front mudguard out of my stash, with a little trimming here and there, well, it still looked shite, i cut out the sides of the guard and offered it up, the tyre is just so wide but with a lot of shaping and sanding, dropping the forks out and machining some of the stock off the mudguard mounting lug's i reckon it will fit, [just need to fab up a couple of manx type 'y' brackets], dangerous finally get's it regarding the ignition for the 'macchi, we work out how to mount it, move on and share a couple of peroni's there's no time to be falling out, but, when you spend so much time working together i guess that's just inevitable........

Saturday, 23 February 2013

killing two bird's with one stone

saturday afternoon see's chalky, sweary mick, dangerous and me making the hazourdous journey into enemy territory, we sneaked across the border into nottinghamshire from god's own county, derbyshire, we were on a raiding mission, total black op's, undercover, trying to blend in with the locals as we made our way through mansfield, chalky going as far as licking the rear offside window so that we didn't raise any suspicion of not being 'local', our destination was a small industrial estate in bilsthorpe, the home of d+m engineering, the classic race preperation workshop run by dave greenham, we were here to pick up a pvl ignition system for the 'macchi, the pvl's are a self generating system so we can scrap the heavy battery and once you fit them that's it, [we ran one on our mz racer and the bike started easily and ran perfectly, even when some toss-pot inadvertently forgot to tighten up the stator plate, ahem], dave was a real gem, he's raced at the highest level and after he retired worked for numerous factory team's as a mechanic, he patiently listened to our questions and pointed us in the right direction, all over a decent brew, when you are building something like the aermacchi there's no such thing as a 'bolt on' everything has to be modified to suit an application, it's all about long hours, sometimes day's, spent trying different option's, dave know's this and offered us loads of help, even dipping into his own personal stash to chip in with backing plates for the stator, all on trust, before today we hadn't even met, 'take it and try it, if it's no good for what you want drop it off next time your over this way' brilliant, oh yeah, next door to daves unit is nrp exhausts, they make bespoke exhaust systems, mostly one-off's, mostly for race bikes, all beautifully made in stainless, aluminium or titanium, i showed nige a couple of photos on my camera of the 'macchi exhaust as it is now and enquired if he could modify it to fit a silencer to get the db's down to the noise limit levels for english racetrack's, 'yeah, cause i can', that's it then, i just need to work out the angle of the dangle, make up a cardboard pattern and send chalky and sweary mick up on monday to get it fabbed up, sorted, my faith in people has been restored today, a wealth of knowledge, given freely and with no agenda other than getting old bikes out on the track, [still glad to make it home back over the border, 'chalky, keep licking that window youth, i reckon we've got away with it and the dozy fucker's ain't sussed us yet'.....

Friday, 22 February 2013

gallows

hardcore punk. no excuses. for the people, by the people, the mighty gallows. [for all the cry- baby's who might be offended, for all the people who hide their profiles  but still want to chip in, for all the wannabe's, for all the trendsters, for all the old-school, for all the hooligans, for all the have's and have-not's, for all the tattooed freaks, for all the racer's, for all the lonely, for all the young, old, live and dead, for all the soldiers, believers and schemers, skinheads, punks, mods and rockers] for everyone....
scooter's, alright for riding to work so you don't get your bike dirty, but really?, there not 'proper' bikes are they? you can't do trackdays on them, or go touring on them or anything, and most of them are fucking dirty, smelly two-strokes anyway, they ain't proper are they?, ok for your sister or your mum to ride down the shop's on, but come on, real blokes ride bikes, harleys, or japper sportsbikes, naked's, big tourer's, race replica's? but a scooter? gay, gayer than a very gay thing, not a 'man's bike' kid's ride 'em don't they? scooter's, nahh, behave.......

Thursday, 21 February 2013

gallows

gallows, after a legendary gig at the now de-funct bell hotel, sadlergate, derby, [support act one of the most dangerous bands in punk history, trash talk] the mighty gallows bit a chunk off and spat it out, following the departure of the lead singer frank carter in 2011 the band released another album last year, my mate, the shovelmeister barse, saw franks new band at the deaf institute in manchester and reported good things, meanwhile, here's the original line-up, sans frank, but with alexison fire vocalist wade macneil, heres a tune  about the g20 summit, the riots and civil unrest, punks not dead.....

sporty

it had all started so well, i'd phoned sparky paul on sunday to arrange for him to come and have a look at the wiring on the sporty, i just don't get electickery-majick, i've tried, but, i just don't get it, sparky paul turned up on the dot, 'ahh, is this the patient?' he said, stroking his four day old growth and staring at the 'macchi through the bottom of his tri-focals, [no, no mistake there, tri-focals], 'err, no paul, it's this one over here' i reply, more beard stroking and some muttered oath's, all the while making notes in the most unintelligble scribble on the world's most scruffy notebook, dangerous turns up, 'ey up paul, can you have a quick look at the lathe while your here, it's sort of stalling when we start it up' [fucking hell dangerous, paul doesn't multi-task very well and i want my bike wired, fuck the lathe!] the next hour and a half passes in a blur, paul is on a mission trying to sort out the reluctantly starting lathe, all thoughts of the sporty gone to some far away galaxy that electricians brains go to, 'good new's gentlemen' announces sparky paul, 'i've sussed it, let me draw it out for you so you understand the problem', he put's his crusty notebook on the workbench and proceed's to knock dangerous's glasses straight off, down the back of the bench, between the mains gas pipe, wall and heavy bench, dangerous look's at me, i look at dangerous, we both look at paul, he decides to do one, 'oh, erm, i'll give you a phone call when i'm ready tim, see you david, goodnight' and with that, he makes a sharp exit, an hour later we have stripped off the contents of the bench, crow-barred it away from the wall and dangerous, imitating 'janus stark' the legendary circus escapoligist in the old comic's , has managed to extract his eye glasses from their position, wedged, betwixt the wall and bench.....

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

sporty

here's a couple of photo's of the sporty in the new 'factory' [t.m.], exclusive twenty-thiteen colour, 'desert storm yella, hell yeah!' not really, it's just the seat and tank in filler primer, rubbed down and ready for the matt black topcoat, typical, it's been almost spring like in the 'hood the last couple of day's so managed to get some paint on, the forecast for the rest of the week and into the weekend however is freezing north-easterly's and more snow, so that's the painting on hold until the temperature rises again then.....

Sunday, 17 February 2013

loud pipes, sharp knives

after a particularly lazy sunday, i have mostly been reading old issues of 'classic racer', walking jack russell's in the sunshine, drinking lot's of tea, watching early football hooligan documentaries on you-tube, entertaining sweary mick and chalky, drinking more tea, rubbing down my tank and seat unit on the sporty, sorting out the front mudguard on the 'macchi, searching for copies of 'a clockwork orange' on the 'tinterweb, researching mz's and ossa two-strokes and looking back through my photo collection, here's one that struck a cord with me, ben 'fucking' jones, probably the second best tattooist in the world, [by a slim margin to the mighty sharon maskrey at roadhouse tattoo, derby, england], i've actually took a photo that makes the 'masked molestor' almost look cool, they say the camera never lies......

Saturday, 16 February 2013

football


people. what is it about people, some people you just 'click' with, other's? well, to steal the word's of an old workmate, the legendary albert 'one-egg', when i was working away from home as an apprentice pipe fitter/welder, albert, although not a tradesman, was recognised as probably one of the best pipefitter's mates in the business, he sort of took me, the callow young lad, under his wing and taught me the way's of the world, i was fifteen years old, i started my apprentiship and on the very first day was sent to lodge away from home, bloody hell, what a shock, i'd just left school and here i was, catching a train to a far off town to start work, not to return home after my shift, but to live with my contemporaries, the first night, sharing a room above a pub with four strangers, i just wanted to die, i felt so miserable and hardly slept a wink, the heavy snoring and farting, muttered, dream induced oath's and snatches of conversation, i guess i truly cried my self to sleep that night, albert was there for me, he must have been about the age that i am now, in his mid fifties, he woke me up that morning and after a quick wash we went downstairs for breakfast, a 'full english', fried breakfast with all the trimmings, the old bird serving up the fare must have had a soft spot for albert, 'two egg's albert?' 'no thank's darling, just the one egg for me' said albert, giving me a broad wink, suddenly it clicked about the 'one egg' nickname, albert helped me to become one of the gang, it was him who cut me down from the site cabin door when the rest of the lads nailed me to it through my heavy blue cotton boiler suit, he taught me how to play koum kan, a favourite card game amongst construction workers and introduced me to the 'edge' western paperback's, when the lads went out on the piss, albert would stop with me in the digs and we would just read our books or have a game of cards, i grew up quickly, passed my apprentiship and moved firms when my request for a few bob more on my hourly rate was turned down, i remember telling albert i was leaving, i can remember his response to this day, 'leaving? you'll never make it while you've got a hole in yer arse youth! keep yer tongue out and yer bowels open, good luck boy, you'll fucking need it!' like i said, people. on the other hand, there are people who to quote old 'one egg' again, 'i wouldn't piss on 'em if they were on fire' football today, derby vs wolves, wolverhampton wanderers were relegated from the premier league last season and if their performance today is anything to go by, could drop into the next division, they started the day fourth from bottom and after probably the worst game of the season i've seen, the two teams went home with a point each.....

Friday, 15 February 2013

time for heroes


ceiling fan in my spoon


orpheo sincronic sociedad anonima

one of the bike's, amongst all the exotica at telford, that i kept returning to was this little 250 ossa racer, an ex mick grant race bike, [mick never actually raced it but ran it in practice at scarborough], the four-speed engine housed in a frame built by mick's legendary sponsor and bike enthusiast jim lee, [hence the 'jl' helmet design on grant's helmet, carried as a tribute to the man, check out pictures of mick riding everything from formula one honda's to the ill fated  nr 500, trust honda, everyone else was racing highly strung two-strokes and honda decide to compete with an oval piston, 500cc, 32 valve, [count 'em], 8 spark-plugged four-stroke, excuse me?, sorry, off topic there, you are either a 'stroker fan or you ain't, sorry, but that's the way it goes, i love them, dangerous, chalky, mick, barse and most of the rest of my mucker's hate them, when i got home and downloaded my pictures to my library, i kept going back to this one, i know nothing about ossa'a, [or tossa's as mrs b says when she caught me looking at pictures of them on the tinterweb], i looked them up and discovered that they had a famous rider, santiago herrero, i knew the name and can remember that he got killed racing at the tt in 1970, [somewhere between the thirteenth and doran's bend?] when i searched the mighty tube there's a lot of footage of him racing, the film that just hit me straight in the gonad's was this one, i don't speak any spanish, or, by the grace of god, french, but i know enough to order two beer's, if anything ever summed up being a racer then this was it, please be warned, it contains very distressing scenes, there's not the usual smash, bash, crash of a 'normal' racing incident, just the reaction of 'santi's' wife, mechanic and pit crew, post accident, fucking hell, life's just so fragile..........

Thursday, 14 February 2013

sporty

knocked up a bracket to mount the gps speedo and mounted it to the top yoke this week, couple of nights just pottering in the shed inbetween working on the aermacchi, the damage to the sporty tank due to the ethanol in the fuel, turned out to be a lot worse than i first thought, the paint was actually lifting from the metal to a four-five inch radius of the filler, i sussed that when the sporty was on the sidestand and the bike leaning over to the left, fuel was creeping up the 5mm holes that i drilled in the top of the tank to mount the race filler and eventually, after a couple of years, started to soften the paint and lift it causing the bubbling, i started cleaning up the damaged paint, carefully cutting back the damaged paint with a stanley blade, then dangerous hit it with the orbital sander to get it back to sound paint, [and destroying my 'loveless engineering' lettering on the top of the tank and covering everything within a three mile radius in dust!], four coats of filler primer and it's ready for shaping with wet and dry, i've got a couple of options, i buy a replacement tank and scrap the race filler idea, get it re-sprayed and that's that, or, i save my money, rub it down, fill it and rattle can it matt black and chuck some stickers on it, araldite the mounting holes after i've re-fitted the filler and just run it like that until i know it's sound and not going to leak again and then get it resprayed, or i could just stick with it in rattle can black......

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

telford [part 5]

another bike i was looking forward to seeing again was the amazing 1957 v8 moto guzzi belonging to sammy miller, i've seen a couple of the v8 guzzi's before, one in the museum at solvang and one at stoneleigh, [at the race-retro show, again, sammy miller was involved but i'm not sure if this was the same machine, the bike looked more 'original' with the patina of age, where as the bike at telford looked more like a restoration or even a replica?], nevertheless, to see one of these extraordinary machines in the flesh and to actually hear one running, is a real treat, the guzzi v8 is a unique bike, with a bore and stroke of 44x42mm, the 498.58cc engine's tiny pistons were fed by eight individual 20mm dell'orto carbs, twin overhead cams and watercooling, combined with a relatively light weight gave an output of nearly 80 italian ponies at 14000rpm! to put things in perspective, at the belgian grand prix in 1956, the guzzi was timed at a staggering 178mph, compare that with a modern day gp bike, [remember the guzzi is 500cc, the moto gp bikes are 1000cc], with a top speed of 220mph........

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

telford [part 4]

as well as all the bike's to lust after, telford hosts a sizeable autojumble and a lot of traders plying their good's, my eye's nearly popped out of my head when i spotted this aermacchi 350 engine sitting on a paste table in a corner of one of the hall's, on first examination everything looked promising, the point's and condenser were tie-wrapped to the motor in a ziploc bag, all the fin's on the barrel and cylinder head were intact, the motor was grimy and showed signs of sitting unloved in a damp shed for many years, but, i've only ever seen one for sale once before and that was offered as a spare with a complete, but dog rough bike, i lifted the motor onto it's side and a rusty water/oily emulsion mix spilled out onto the table, closer inspection revealed the valves heavily corroded into the head, not so good after all, the engine wouldn't turn over, seized piston?, knackered crank?, who know's, but for the 500 quid the vendor was asking, it was just one of those times when it seemed more prudent just to walk on.....

Monday, 11 February 2013

telford [part 3]

earlier in the day it was almost impossible to get near enough to have a good look around walter zeller's 500cc, 1954, rennsport bmw that he rode to second place in the grand prix's in 1956, later on, as the show visitors thinned out i was able to have a good look around this legendary machine, i'd seen a 500cc rennsport before at the solvang motorcycle museum in california but what really struck me again was the diminutive size of the machine and of course, i'd never heard one actually running, when they started it up and let it warm up before giving it some serious rev's the noise was amazing and it actually drew a spontaneous round of applause from the watching crowd, just a lovely, lovely thing indeed......

Sunday, 10 February 2013

telford [part two]

telford isn't just about road racer's, in fact, i reckon the race bikes only made up about of a third of the show, classic scrambles bikes, trials bikes, dragracer's and speedway bikes were all represented, i don't really know much about the classic moto-x, scrambles and trials scenes, but, like roadracing, there appears to be a whole cottage industry based on spares and parts for these machines, there were frame manufacturer's, wheel builders, replica graffix designers and a whole load of other small businesses present at the show and all seemed to be doing a brisk trade, the three halls that host the show were bursting at the seams and it all got a little claustrophobic around mid afternoon, we found somewhere to sit, have a sandwich and grab another java and the throng's seemed to ease a little, by 1500hrs it was back to a comfortable level and we split up so that i could get some pictures and poke my nose over some of the two strokes that dangerous hates with a vengeance, i love them, to me the two -strokes were racing bikes, he just stands there moaning and making comments about 'those dirty, smelly bloody things!' every so often the quiet contemplation of mechanical excellence was literally shattered as race machines were started, the rennsport bmw, sammy miller's v8 moto guzzi, the unmistakeable 'crobba, crobba' of a manx norton and the high revving scream of the 'bloody 'stroker's', brilliant, especially as the confines of the hall seemed to amplify the sound, as well as letting you enjoy the heady mix of castrol 'r', hot engines and of course, the sweet, sweet smell of two-stroke oil...

Saturday, 9 February 2013

northern soul

sam williams, 'love slipped through my fingers'. soul music.

ballad of dorothy parker

tune.

searching....

i can't believe the dishonesty of people, when a trendy blog post's stuff about motorcycles that they obviously know fuck all about it really get's my goat, yes, you passed your test two year's ago via a direct-access course, you've jumped on the motorcycle bandwagon and decided to court the fashionable people, bought a steve mcqueen wax cotton jacket, [fuck me, i can remember when if you turned up at a pub on a bike they actually asked you to take your jacket off so you didn't make a mess on the seat's and piss off the the regular punter's, as for a leather jacket?, don't even go there...] but, when you post stuff with basic error's, well, you make yourself look like a twat, please, do a little research, everybody know's that the cam in a bmw is actually located in the crankcases, not in the rocker-cover. now, tell me again about what 'pushrod's' do?.....

telford [part one]

i've got a confession to make, for some reason me and dangerouus have never been to telford for the off-road, racing and twin shock show, usually we are snowed in at this time of year and going by the early morning sleet as i walked the dog's thing's weren't looking very promising, dangerous picked me up at 10,00 hrs and as we made our journey west things were looking decidedly ominous, i've never seen weather warning's displayed above the motorway before but today i have, we made the journey in ninety minutes and believe it or not, we couldn't find a maccee d's on route to get a cup of java, i'd done a little research beforehand and got directions to a multi-story carpark fifty metres from the exhibition centre where the show was being held, it saved us loads of hassle trying to park at the venue and a parking ticket, [on the way home a lot of the punters who had decided to park on the dual carriageway grass verges were displaying a sixty quid parking fine envelope on their windscreen's] once in the show we met up with chaky, sweary mick and goldy rob, had a coffee and went about attacking the show, bloody hell, there's some serious race tackle here alright.....