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

Saturday, 28 June 2014

fire coming out of the monkey's head









checking the calender in the shed and i realise i've overlooked the morini owner's club 'a tutto gas' trackday at cadwell park next friday, bollock's, better get the beemer sorted out then, a very pleasant afternoon changing oil and filters, lockwiring various drain plugs and, sorting brake components, tea, chocolate biscuits, dogs on tartan blankets, radio-six, supplying the music-fix from the glastonbury festival, [been to glastonbury, brilliant, love to go back but the thought of camping next to a bunch of six-formers, away from mum for the first time, being sick after consuming too many drugs / cider / beer's / dodgy, half-cooked burgers, falling out with their best friends and crying all night about that piercing or shit tattoo or boyfriend or girlfriend, standing in a queue for a dump / can of warm lager / ethnic bead bracelet / butterfly face paint / kurt cobain t-shirt, nah, i'll take the highlights on the telly from the comfort of my own sofa ta] anyway, back to the plot, last time i rode the beemer in anger was at the thundersprint back in may, i had trouble selecting gears, lost loads of time trying to select the right gear especially on up-changes, working through things one step at a time and i narrowed it down to a too flimsy connecting rod on the rearsets, i'm pissed with nyself for not sussing it out sooner, only thing to do is to make a new connector out of eight-milly stainless rather than the six-mil that i'd originally used that wasn't up to the job. machine up a piece of eight-mil, tap it six-mil, strike up the bottles and bend it to suit, hot metal, cutting oil, new nyloc's, sorted.............

Friday, 27 June 2014

hey man [now you're really living]





so, wednesday i decide to give the local bike night another go, ok, ok, i'm a shallow toss-pot, especially after my rant about jacking in the blog i decide to be 'mr. nice' to approach things with a less jaundiced eye, yep, the new timmy loveless that's me, reasonable, kind, understanding, pleasant, my attitude has disappeared almost overnight, everyone has an opinion, everyone has the right to ride whatever they want, wherever they want without some sarky comment from yours truly. see, it's working, me [on the 'inckley and 'the lord of swarf' or dangerous, on the 'yella peril' ducati], tip up at 1900hrs, the place is rammed already, the two overflow carparks are already full and we do a cheeky squirt past the bloke on traffic duty trying to get us into carpark three, flashing a smile and a cheery wave, [see timmy, you can be nice, usually you would have given him the english archers and shouted 'get a big black dog up 'ya'- sidenote, from a great aussie based cartoon that used to appear in 'superbike' magazine back in the early eighties] we park up outside the pub and get a coke in, dangerous wanders off with chalky and i sit on the kerb opposite the hostelry watching the constant flow of motorcycles in the milky sunshine, a gathering of the tribes that make up this life that we choose to follow, the sportsbike riders, doing the 'monkey' the half stooped, knee bent, shoulder-hunched lurch that you have to adopt when wearing a set of race leathers, the cut-off, rally patched wearing harley warriors, the scooter kids in van's, board shorts, mx helmets and hoodies, the old geezers, on restored bantams wearing original wax cotton that a shoreditch urbanite would sell a kidney to own, urban camouflage cordura suited bmw r1200 gs. riders, gixxer boys in white simpson bandits, black as night visors, m1a jackets and ox-blood polished doc's, trike riders, a hundred light-up skulls, reliant robin engines, bench seat with four kid's all wearing the same petrol station two-quid shades as mum and dad, [and the same scowl], the classic boy's, gold-stars, triumphs, velo's, they park in the same place every week, their spot marked by an oily witness, like a dog marking his territory, i'm sitting there on that piece of raised curb, just drinking it all in, the sounds, the smells, the people, then, my ears prick up like a jack russell hearing the cheese box come out of the fridge, thats a couple of sorted two-strokes that is, from a hundred yards i can tell these two machines are very special, i feign nonchalance as i wander across to get a better pike at the two machines in question, bloodyfuckinghell! game over, [expand the shite phone camera pics and have a look for yourself, absolute genius, i'm not going to insult you by pointing out what's been done to these two bikes] so, i spunk an hour just drinking in the workmanship, in the end i have to break away and have a look around the carpark at the other bikes, i'm talking to people, communicating and keeping the inner-demon under control, it's great, i bump into dangerous, chalky and sweary and start to tell them about the elsie's, but, i make the mistake of tuning into another conversation of some by-standers, some bloke, [i'd hazard a guess at early forties] is regailing a crowd of associates with how much he's spent on titanium fasteners, 'ya, ya, i phoned up pro-bolt and just ordered the whole shebang, got a GREAT deal, only cost me three-kay, absolute revelation, the bike is just the bike it should be now, soooo responsive now i've lost all that weight!' now, this superstar is your typical, 'direct access' rich twat, he must weigh close to 18-19 stone and he's rocking five-eight, yep, he looks like one of those old watney's part-seven's, in other word's a lardy-arsed barrel, dangerous clocks my face first, 'behave bailey' too late, another potential friendship ruined forever......................

Sunday, 22 June 2014

pieces of a man







spending loads of time out on the bike's at the moment, just riding, wednesday night over to mfn for the bike-night, absolutely rammed, thursday a quick hundred miles on the ducati, friday, over to ammo's to catch up, saturday see's me and mr's b taking a solstice ride out into derbyshire on the bonny, sunday, well sunday is sunday is sunday, the usual sixty mile ride out late evening, we are past the equinox now, the longest day gone, time on the bike is time to think, fuck me, i've just become so cynical, i analyse stuff too much me, i need to chill and not let shit bother me, i'm becoming the bitter old twat i've always hated, if people want to build bmw cafe racers, pipe-wrap old-ride-to-work-honda commuter bikes, grow beards, ride in an organised bike-run wearing tweed or attend pre 1967 only bike events then who am i to cock a snook at them? when i look back at some of my early posts it was all about fun, perhaps it might be time to call it a day...........................

Monday, 16 June 2014

i can't find the time for times






















this weekend has been one of those times when the planets align and everything is good, friday night and me and mrs b head out on the bonneville on a beautiful summers evening for a pint, except everyone and his dog has decided to do the same thing, pub after pub, all packed with people sitting outside and just enjoying the rare english summertime when you can actually do that, no worries, we just enjoy the ride, great to spend time together, laughing and loving, mrs b's hands around my waist, snuggling in, watching the buzzards soaring on the thermals above carsington reservoir, precious time together, we didn't get our pint but we got a great ride out on the 'false' triumph instead. saturday and me and dangerous head out on the two bonnevilles with no destination in mind, just getting out there and riding, the roads are quiet and we get some good runs at out favourite derbyshire roads for a change, i'm liking the big 'inckley triumph the more i ride it, got to get the gearing sorted as i'm trying to find a non-existant sixth gear all the time, i've already ordered a nineteen tooth front sprocket, [two teeth up than the standard seventeen sprocket] to drop the revs a tad in top gear. the bonneville is best ridden like a dirtbike, no hanging off or knee out malarkey, just push the bike into the corner using the wide flatracker bars and it goes exactly where you want it to, the clutch is slipping badly when i give it a fistfull of throttle, it's fine when riding at more 'sensible' speeds, so, looks like a new clutch is next on the shopping list, dangerous reckons it's with the extra hp that the smoothbores and pipe combination has freed up and while the bike is certainly quicker i can't see that we have released so much power that it renders the standard unit useless? after an afternoon of general hooning about, passing each other time and time again, general dicking about and two tea breaks we finally end up in matlock bath for one of our rare excursions to the mecca of derbyshire motorcycling, seriously, i know people who think that the world ends at matlock bath and never venture further than walking the promenade, bag of chips in hand and dodging the throngs and police speed checks / helicopter enforcement / general harrasment of anyone on two wheels, thats why i usually avoid the place like a dose of the clap, but, on a dull, cool late afternoon we decide to make one last tea stop. my phone rings, its barse, 'where are you? i'm stood looking at your bikes, get us a brew in' good to catch up, we spend an hour shooting the shit before we bail out for a cheeky beer in the shed. sunday see's me and dangerous again bonny mounted and waiting at the crewe and harpur to rendevous with big stevie marsh, debbie and gaz, we aren't waiting long before steve comes into view on his new cvo bagger, a little present to himself after his recent near death heart experience, i'm not sure which is louder, his new vance and hines exhaust, steve laughing and shouting out an expletive ridden greeting, or the on-board cd player blasting out guns and roses! gaz is tucked in behind on his forty-eight sporty and we are on our way over to mallory park for the british historic racing meeting at mallory park, the forty five miles are soon despatched and we are soon stood by the fence, tea in hand and watching the manx nortons roaring past a few feet away, after a great afternoons racing we set off in light drizzle, the clouds gradually get lower and the light drizzle soon turns into sharp rainfall, i look back at dangerous to be met with a shrug of the shoulders and a shit-eating grin, resigned to getting wet, [we didn't pack any rain gear as the forecast didn't mention it], we just enjoy the ride, a quick fuel stop and we decide as we are damp anyway we might as well take a detour and call in on sweary mick to check his progress on his aermacchi project, out of staffordshire and back onto home turf and the weather picks up, another fifty or sixty miles passes as we aimlessly just ride the rapidly drying roads and wouldn't you know it, as we sit out supping a well earned peroni the sun finally makes an appearance........

Friday, 13 June 2014

reflektor

so, me and dangerous tip up at the local bike night wednesday, dangerous superstylin' on the real bonneville, the original meriden triumph, [i can remember pressing my snotty nose against wilemans window on siddals road in derby as a callow youth and admiring the 'big' british twins], i'm trailing behind on the 'false' triumph, the hinckley, the podgy, awkward sister to the supermodel, we park up and immediately people flock around to look at the dangerous bonny, old blokes, 'i had one just like it youth, back in the day, let me tell you about the time me and my missus went to.....' bearded trendy boys, classic bike buffs even 'hedumakated' sports bike riders, all drooling over the loveliness that is the 'e' type grey, love-removal-machine that is the dangerous trump, i just take off my lid and go and get the cokes in, [proper coca-cola though, full sugar, served ice cold in a glass bottle, non of that syrupy shit behind the optics] as dangerous signs autographs, poses for photo's with the fan's, the grandkid's, young ladies, dignitaries and the local ukip candidate, answers numerous questions about his bike i go off for a wander around, all biking life is here, from turbo charged, lengthened swinging-armed, quick-shifting katana street legal drag racers, through to the local zip mounted scooter massive, the local h.a. turn up as do the r1 riding superbikers, all rubbing shoulders, smiling, no attitudes and getting along famously, it's all good and yet, somehow, it's not, i'm feeling rather uncomfortable with it all, don't get me wrong, i live for motorcycles, it's just that, erm, i don't really feel part of it all, i don't really fit in anywhere, i liked the ride there and i loved the ride back i just didn't like the bit in the middle...............

Sunday, 8 June 2014






i'm out in the shed until 2300hrs saturday night trying to programme the speedo, in the end the wine and fatigue take their toll and i sack it and go to bed, i'm awake early doors, brain trying to figure out how to set the bloody thing up, a half-hearted look mid morning sunday and i just put the seat and tank back on, fuck it, too nice to be dicking about in the shed, the bikes taxed, mrs b did it on-line for me, i just don't have a disc to display, so, only thing to do is stick the reg plate on with some double-sided tape, [so much neater than drilling it and using plastic screws]. i cram my jacket pockets with a selection of allen keys and spanners and off to shake the bike down. i head across town to call in and see ben at roadhouse tattoo, it's only fifteen miles, a quick brew and catch up and stop for some fuel, the petrol in the tank is eight months old so some fresh octane is in order. i'm being very cautious as i am with any newly re-built bike, hey, we are all human, people forget stuff, one of the best things i ever learned was always, but always, tighten up fasteners to the correct torque setting whenever you put one in, even if it's only temporary, even so, i have that nagging doubt that there may be a fastener just finger tight, no loctite, just waiting to vibrate out and send me down the road. after the all too brief four-laps-of-the-village last weekend my initial impressions are good, yes, the bloody thing is still heavy, [the ducati feels like a 250 in comparison], even after shedding a load of weight, but, on the road, the handling is really good considering the nineteen inch front wheel, the front end is a little soft despite changing the oil for a heavier grade and swapping the springs for progressives, definetly going to invest in some cartridge emulators in the near future, the rear shocks? well, what a revelation, i really can't recommend the ram/realm shocks highly enough, great feel and damping, not too stiff or harsh, they soak up the pot-holed b roads with ease, the wide, harley sportster bars and rearsets are perfect for me, the bars offering loads of leverage and the rearsets not too high, just far enough back and offering a really natural riding position. the keihin 35mm smoothbores are just too good, the bike starts on a wiff of choke, knock it off as soon as the bike starts and it tick's over immediately, theres no coughing, farting or banging on the over-run, just brilliant performance from the get-go, the exhaust? umm, let's just say it's pretty loud even with the 'baffle' fitted, i'm laughing like the strange bloke who sits next to you on the bus as i wind it on and scatter cow's and sheep in the fields next to the road, juvenile? yep, you know's it, the weather deteriorates and big, heavy raindrops hit me in the face like ball-bearings, [open face helmet today, no visor] i turn onto a minor road and head for home, quick glance in the rearview, bugger, traffic car, bmw, where did he come from? i'm waiting for a tug, illegal black and silver plate, not only that but not legal dimensions, [too small] and i'm not displaying any tax, plus i don't have a clue how fast i'm going as the speedo is inoperative, he follows me for what seems an age, i reach a t junction and signal left, he turns right...........