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

Sunday, 21 July 2013

festival of a 1000 bikes 2013 part five

so, ten minutes until i'm due out and i'm crouched in the back of a bloody transit van on a baking hot day trying to sort out some insurance so we can get home, dangerous slides open the side door and tap's at the imaginery watch on his wrist indicating i need to get my leathers on, not exactly the kind of 'gentle reflection' i actually need before venturing out on an almost fifty year old bike that i've never ridden before, kitted up, roll the bike back onto the rollers and dangerous presses the starter foot control, the 'macchi starts instantly on a whiff of throttle, fuck me, it's loud, even with the suppressor on the end of the megaphone, must remember, right foot, one up, six down, i snick first gear and rip down between the throngs of people, i try and turn right to get into the holding area and get my first taste of aermacchi race bike steering lock, there isn't any and i almost lose the plot in front of a load of people as i dab, dab, dab my way around the 90 degree turn, into the holding area and the calm just hit's me, i'm in the middle of a pack of, what? thirty to forty race bikes, open megga manx norton's 350 and 500's, 7r's, ducati singles, triumph twins, domiracer's, bsa gold stars and other racing exotica and yet i'm in a zen state, i remember my day's competing in karate bouts, before i was  a bag of nerves but as soon as i stepped on the tatame i knew i had to just get the job done, here we go, the starter is waving us forward for a sighting lap, i don't even have to think about the gearchanges, it just seem's so natural, one lap done and off we go, the bike doesn't feel right, it's not running clean, it keep's chiming in and for a few too brief second's i can see what all the fuss is about, feel's like fuel starvation, i see out the session and get back to the pit's, dangerous is out in the session straight after me on the 250 mettise, he returns and report's similar performance, i check the fuel level, the tank is baffled to prevent fuel surge, the baffle is probably a half inch from the top of the tank, i fill it up, ten litres of fuel!, that's got to be it surely? next session see's dangerous out, straight after the 'past masters' no pressure there then dangerous! the crowd's are massive, they have just seen the likes of wayne gardner on track, dangerous pit's, 'ok mate?' i offer up, 'fucking thing won't rev beyond four thousand rpm, bag of shit! he replies, sweary mick is crestfallen, i'm out next, holding area, it won't tick-over so i keep the 350 revving high, waved forward and it stall's, fucking hell! a helpful on-looker gives me a push, the bike slews to the left and nearly highsides me as the tyre cchhhhhhhirp's on the pitlane, 'again!' i shout, matey is ruddy faced pushing, i drop the clutch, it nearly fires me off the other side this time, BASTARD! i catch a bloke furiously beckoning me over to his starter, back it onto the roller and it start's instantly, onto the track and guess what?, same again, it just will not rev out, i call it a day and pull in after five lap's, dangerous is in his civvies by now, he wander's off to fill the kettle for the umpteenth time while i stick the reluctant racer back onto it's stand, sweary and chalky can't even speak, they sit in whatever shade is offered by the van and can't look me in the eye, fuck me, after all we've been through, i don't even change out of my leather's, i pull the 'ram-air' filter off the carb, snip the wire off the scitsu rev counter, i'm desperate and just take off anything that's been fitted to the bike since it last ran perfectly, as i take off the foam 'sock' filter i notice the downdraught gardener carb doesn't seem to be vertical , it's absolutely critical that they are on an aermacchi, it's that critical that you are talking meniscus for measurement, i grab a screwdriver to loosen the hose clip holding the carb to the inlet manifold and it's loose, i'm not pointing finger's here, just something that's been overlooked, i've done it myself, phone rings, dog's are barking, tea's ready, a hundred and one little things that can happen, that's what makes us human after all, none of us are perfect, i straighten up the carb, tighten the hose-clips and head to the holding area, the bike is a different animal altogether, out onto the track and it feel's so much stronger, so right, it's 'only' forty bee-haich-pee but fucking hell, it's sweet, the seven speed gearbox is probably the best i've ever used, slick, smooth and close ratio, it keep's the little pushrod motor in the sweet spot, the front, four leading stopper is like a switch, on or off, thats it, no feel, just a nasty, vicious, fierce thing that's nastier than a nasty thing and twice as fierce, it feels like the fork's are going to literally snap off the bike, [i ran into my mate mick today who was at the festival last week and he said the bottom yoke was actually kissing the tyre on the approach to the hairpin] after an all too brief fifteen minutes the chequered flag is out, i'm buzzing, fucking hell, brilliant! sweary, dangerous, stevie marsh, deb's, mick and chalky hug me when i get back, i can't do anything and just sit in my leathers in a plastic garden chair in the baking heat, helmet on and tear's rolling down my face........


  1. Phew, I'll sleep well tonight!! Don't know about everyone else, but reading it was just like being there!
    Well done, glad it all came good for you!
    Same again next year?

  2. You got me crying again mucker, so happy, love ya mate.

  3. second WhitelinePsycho. when things are meant to be, they're meant to be. amazing how months of stress and anger can be evaporated by 15 minutes of riding. nice one Tim, really, really pleased for you.

  4. you're still a massive jeb-end though hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  5. And they all lived happily ever after ;-)