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

Saturday, 30 November 2013

as you lean into the light

























late november. only one place to be. me and dangerous make our way down to the national exhibition centre for the second time this month, the 'motorcycle live' show in birmingham, we arrive around lunchtime, the queue's are gone and we get straight in, cup of java in hand, bloody hell it's rammed, a spontaneous round of applause breaks out, 'fuck me dangerous, we're famous!' 'you really are a twat bailey' replies the dark one, 'that's prince william checking out the new super-leggara on the ducati stand' i make out i knew that all along and realise that motorcyclists really are a bunch of ugly fuckers, no wonder we wear full face helmets, it looks like an audition for 'britains got munter's' all the tribes are here today, from the flat-peaked baseball cap, low-slung, pant exposing bsb youngsters, the dyed-in-the-wool classic fan's, the steely-eyed trackday warriors, the mcc boy's with denim and leather cut-off's proudly displaying their 'sheep-dip 1990' rally badges and allegiance to their local backpatch mc club, the dreaded up, vans wearing graphic designers, expensive camera's taking in details to be regurgitated as their own, bored girlfriends and bored wife's and bored kid's, the 'shoreditch connection' fresh from their 'distinguished gentleman's' terror inducing ride-out through londinium, all ruby helmeted, 'selvedge' big 'e' vintage denim, redwing's, belstaff's and wallet's on chains, flat tweed capped and 'movembered' fascinating really, anyhoo, the bikes, the cx 500 'plastic maggot' honda, brilliant, the ben kingham built 'brick' a road going version of his bhr 'b.e.a.r.s' racer, the ducati diavel police bike, [can't help thinking if this hoved into view in your rear view you would try and race it until he came past you and turned on the blues and two's, still, be wicked with a couple of akra race pipes and a small number plate to really take the piss and earn some resec' amongst the biking community]  the norton domi-racer look's cool-as-fuck, saw it in it's raw state in the isle of man back in august, carbon wrapped seat jarred a little then, now? lovely, i want one and by the way, there really isn't anything in those pipes, open, no baffles, zilch, nothing the lamb norton in gulf colour's? worked for me, the race bikes? grumpy's gs1000 ama era superbike, the milwaukee yam, the tiny 675 triumph, gwinter's apprillia, scott reddings union jack silverstone kalex, michael's big classic tt suzuki, the warr's xr harley, [and the 'silent grey fellow' flatty] the mcqueen mettise desert racer and the racefit bmw all perfect. i like the bike show at the n.e.c. where else can you sit on every new motorcyle going and compile a list of bike's you would buy when that elusive lottery win finally comes good and let's face it, where else are you ever going to get the chance to rub shoulder's with dangerous, prince william and me...........

Friday, 29 November 2013

trompe le monde











'trompe le monde', literally, ''fool the world' as you can probably guess, i'm caning the pixies at the moment, i'm getting more inspiration from music to build this 'false triumph' than any hip blogsites, too c[k]ool for skool, bearded, plaid shirt wearing, newly tattooed, hard-man 'bro' dirty, oil leaking, piece of shit and neglected isn't 'cool', it's just poorly maintained and say's you are more interested in portraying some sort of  'image' than a genuine interest in motorcycles, hated the handlebar clamps from day one, too high, what to do, buy replacement's? nah, stick them on the miller and cut them up, machine the same amount off the top, tap the bottom 'riser' to suit a bolt, [the original is a hex head that sit's inside the bottom clamp] hit the horrible rubber-mounts with a spray can, they disappear under the bottom yoke now, turn up a couple of stainless bolts, dish the head's, why do i bother? no-one will ever see them, mount up the bars, check out the pic's, 8 + 9, that's why, can you see that? closer to the top yoke, no-one will ever notice, 'trompe le monde' oh yeah, fitted an  r and g tail tidy, very nice piece of kit, except, the led tail-light is fucked from the get-go, dissapointed? nah, i expect it me........

Sunday, 24 November 2013

gigantic






normal service resumed, 'surfer rosa' by the mighty pixies, what an album, 1988, really? time really does fly, nitromorsed the harley davidson, 883r sportster bars back to their bare stainless finish, quick rub with a couple of strips of scotchbrite, sorted, that lovely, satin, soft finish, i'm dead chuffed, old stuff re-cycled and just perfect, except, as i sit back with a brew, it's not quite right, the bar's? perfect, it's the handlebar clamps, [risers] too tall, they stand too tall off the top yoke, [triple tree's] right, i've decided, no more american translations, learn english you wankers, 'fenders'? pah, there a make of guitar,  'header's'? that's what we do at football, [never, ever 'soccer', it's FOOTBALL] happy thanksgiving day by the way, a hundred million turkey's can't be wrong, get the handlebar clamps in the lathe and hit 'em up with the miller, cluck, cluck, lathe, chuck, cluck, cluck, chuck, miller, lathe, chuck.......

Saturday, 23 November 2013

wake me up before you go-go......





saturday shifts, i hate them me, weekends are just too precious to waste them at work, home just as the sun is starting to sink, walk the dogs, the fields are water-logged, thick, sticky mud sucking at my boot's, the temperature falling as the shadows lengthen, into the shed and start to take the standard clocks off, open the headlight and the wiring spill's it's guts, oh dear, where do i start with this? sit with a brew, a mince pie and dog's on knee, fighting for space, idly sketching the wiring and marking up the connections , i just don't get electrickery, sorry, it's a dark art, but, i stick with it and just work through the stuff logically, it can't be that hard can it? well, yep, it can, i'm listening to the match on local radio, derby away to bournemouth, we pinch a goal to secure the three points and move up to within a point of the play-off places, the dogs get a draw at home, can you hear that grant and med? shhhhh, that's the sound of billy's bandwagon grinding to a halt, football, brilliant! clock's off, wiring marked up for future reference and offer up the new 'clock, bloody hell, very nice, just need's a trick mounting bracket and wiring up, [easier said than done] the standard handlebar's are horrible, they look like mini ape-bar's, need to swap them for the 'lazy' bend harley bar's, perhaps cut down the standard, too high, hanlebar clamp's [or 'riser's' for our american friend's, or ben jones who doesn't know any difference.....] the match finishes and i hook up one of my i-pod's, press shuffle and instead of a load of hyper-cool, rare northern sounds, obscure texan garage bands, punk rock, psychedelic, acid, house, early blues and classic rock my i-pod start's spewing out wham's greatest hit's, 'battlestations' 'wake me up before i go-go' 'everything she want's' [surely the best record in the world ever? check it out and you'll see what i mean....] what you saying about 'careless whisper?' ' i'm never going to dance again, the way i danced with you ohh, ohh' brilliant, ' a different corner' 'club tropicana' 'the edge of heaven' i'm trying to turn it off, i don't want anyone to hear it, it's a guilty pleasure, fuck me, what would the bro's say if they knew i was listening to this, don't tell anyone will you? it's our little secret........

Friday, 22 November 2013

normal person





normal person, a track on the new arcade fire album, been listening to this all week in the shed, after work, i'm cleaning the bonneville, i find it's the best way to get to know about a new bike, i can concentrate on the small parts and shady areas as i work my way methodically around the machine, i take in the details subconsciously, making mental notes, 'that's ugly' 'that's heavy' that's redundant' 'that can go' 'that can stay' i carefully remove the big rubber 'triumph' knee-pads from the tank and polish it back to something like, better already, after my initial impression of the bike i just wanted to chop the shit out of it, the 'inckley, as a standard bike is heavy, cluttered and just too 'busy' with considered thoughts? i'm going to step back, i'm thinking more street-sleeper, more the bike triumph would have built if they were not constrained by legislation, a machine free from emission control, noise limits and petty european and stateside 'law' am i going soft? yeah i suppose i am when i think of a lot of the no-compromise bikes i've built, from jap-four pot a.m.a superbike racers, trick katanas, bmw cafe racers, honda 500 single chops, the 'salt-fighter' four-speed sporty rigid framed chop, the sporty flat-tracker, the suzuki savage 650 cut-down, the honda 'fat-track' 750 sohc, the rd 250 and 400 two-strokes, the little mz 250 race bike, [so, so gorgeous], the bmw 650 boxer race bike and all my mistakes that i've brushed under the carpet, ahem, yeah, i've gone soft then, so, kill me, the triumph excites me, it's a blank canvas, it's going to get a lot of subtle touches, my ideas for rearset's are already in the can, all the aftermarket ones look clumsy and just too big, i dig out a pair of harley flatrack bars from my stash and offer them up, they are not a lot different from the oem bars, except they are stainless underneath the black, flaking powdercoating finish and they just look so right compared with the standard bars, the rise and pullback is ever so slightly different but just so right in my jaundiced old eye, so, with some subtle machining i can make component parts that look like they are 'factory' items, cleaning and fettling the bike reveals a whole load of other areas that need attention, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, smoke and mirrors i guess, stuff that won't cost a load of hard-earned, just some machining, making stuff and attention to detail, oh yeah, 'normal person'? what sort of 'normal person' takes pictures of their new bike wearing a devil mask? [i put it on to wind up the dog's asleep on 'their' chair in the shed by the way] like they say, the devil is in the detail's.........