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

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

ducati track bike project







yes, yes, i know it says 'ducati track bike project' as the post title, but, hold on, i'll explain. after the last trackday at cadwell i decided to move the bmw on, i realised i could have a lot of fun for a fraction of the cost that i had into the buzz-bomb, so, i put it up for sale on e[vil]-bay, oh dear, what a mistake, the first day i had a mail stating he was going to buy the bike for the full asking price, he arranged to come and see the bike on friday, gave me a fifty quid deposit and asked me to take down the listing as he was coming to pick up the bike on sunday, he seemed a really genuine bloke, very keen so i ended the listing, [ok, you can stop sniggering now, i know] the next month passed by in a series of broken promises, lies and bollocks, his mate died so he had to go to a funeral, one of his customers went bust owing him 26 big-ones, he had to go to his nephews wedding in ireland, he was away on a suprise wedding anniversary trip, you get the picture? yes, we see, so i relist the bike, matey contacts me to let me know that if i give him my sort code he will deposit the funds in my account, nothing, then we get player two involved, he is really interested in the bike, in fact he wants to buy it the next day, 'ok mate, if you are serious send me £500 deposit via pay-pal' he won't do that unless i drop the listing, [look, i'm a fucking mug, if you have been reading the blog for long enough you would already know that], so i end the listing again, matey no 2 doesn't send the deposit, i phone him, he informs me that he is at scarborough watching the gold-cup races and will be at my house monday afternoon to pick up the bike, pay the full amount in cash, sorted, monday i get a text, 'having slept on it, i decided i won't be buying your bike, best regards] fucking fuck! i reply 'it's a shame you didn't sleep on it before you arranged to pay me the money and i  cancelled the listing, i've had to deal with dreamers, schemers,scammers and time-waster's, you can pick which category you fall into, best regards' then, out of the blue i get another e-mail, no bullshit, give him my details and the payment is in my account by 1000hrs this morning, he can't pick up the bike himself but sends his mate, we agree a time, he is there on the dot to collect the bike. so, with the beemer gone i can finally move on with the ducati track bike project, i spend the rest of the afternoon stripping the bike down a little further and discovering the bodges and dangerous practices of the previous owner. i'm tempted to go around to his house and 'discuss' the finer points of motorcycle maintenance but decide to put it down to experience, shame really, i've lost any trust in 'fellow' motorcyclists i ever had.........

Sunday, 14 September 2014

no ordinary love





when i ride, i don't know about you, but, i have a soundtrack playing somewhere in my subconscious, i'm concentrating on riding my bike yet, somewhere there's tunes bouncing around, prince, 'if i was your girlfriend', nine inch nails, 'all the love in the world', julian cope's epic psychedelic rock masterpiece 'safesurfer', marvin gaye, 'trouble man' i'm aware that the day's are getting shorter and every day riding is a bonus i'm out on the 'false' triumph, out into leicestershire on a warm but overcast late afternoon, the tree's changing colour and leaves, black and brown and rich russett red falling gently to the ground, the farmer ploughing the stiff, dead corn stubble back into the ground, a hundred and one gull's swooping and crying as they follow the plough reaping the fruits of the freshly tilled soil, the smell of damp earth as it turns to face the cloudy sky, i'm filled with a feeling of melancholy as i realise the summer is rapidly fading......

Saturday, 13 September 2014

classic racing motorcycle club / cadwell park













with dangerous away, ploughing a furrow down to the west country, post school holidays and after a long walk with the dogs, breakfast and an hour reading the sunday papers i decide to head up to cadwell park for the last c.r.m.c meeting of the year. the ducati has a new front brake lever, the replacement rear item turns out to be incorrect so i chance cold-bending it in the miller vice, hitting it with a nylon hammer to bend it back to shape, i'm waiting for the inevitable 'ping' as the cast aluminium breaks but no, i manage to sraighten it, drill out the rivet from the damaged toe peg and spin up a replacement out of some stock, a quick waft with a rattle can and it looks like new, just the snidy 'agip' stickers i scored off e-bay to apply to hide the damage to the fairing panel, when i picked up the brake levers from cornerspeed and told nelly about my tale of woe during the visit to the classic tt / manx gp, he gave me a couple of original 'agip' stickers,[ don't know about 'agip' more like fucking 'eejit' ] oh dear, my snide e-bay bargains are nothing like, they look more like a cocker spaniel with a chickens head, but, at least they are big enough to cover the damage and look better than the scratched fairing lowers until i get mad john to wield his majik spray gun and get them repaired. it's a bright, sunny day but deceiving, ten miles out and i'm dithering with cold as the wind chill catches me out, a t-shirt and zippered-inner not warm enough for a ninety mile ride to cadwell, the traffic is light and i make good progress, dismissing the convoy of caravan / tractor / sea-side day tripper / bored truckers in a breath of top gear throttle, into and out of the quaint village of horncastle and the dull, flat landscape of the lincolnshire fens changes dramatically as you start to climb the wolds, the ducati is perfect for these roads, an intoxitating combination of lidless airbox sucking hungrily at the early autumn air and the bark of the termi's, the 'bbmmmhhhhaaaaa' as you downshift, the elastic pull of the engine as you point and squirt at the horizon. paid.parked up and tea in hand, the first bikes i clock are the dutch becks-motoren bmw's, a short stroke 750 and the lovely little 500, these bikes were worth the admission price alone, i've been following their race exploits on the 'net, but to see them in the flesh? lovely, check out the drilled swingarm and the heavily machined rear hub, the inspiration for the team loveless 650 racer, the stand out bikes amongst all the great machines? the minnovation bike, the lovely seeley moto-guzzi, the big brutal kawasaki, the drixton 'machi, the absolute animal seeley goldstar that looked like it would hurt you badly and the well abused harris tt formula two 'ucati' the racing so competitive with many championship places up for grabs, the 500 races proved to be pretty frightening even as a spectator, gary thwaithes having a right snotter at the hairpin resulting in a very second-hand looking bike and his arm in a sling as he made his way back to the paddock via the medical centre, all the racing was very close, none more so than the 'practical sportsbike' production series, the yamaha fz 600's battling against the big air-cooled yamaha 1100's and the big, lone katana, a big grid, fairing bashing like the old LC350 series and lot's of outrageous last minute braking, oh yeah,  did you know you can get a race prepared fz 600 yam for fifteen hundred quid? sure beats building your own bike to race, hang on a minute, i've had an idea........................

Saturday, 6 September 2014

classic tt / manx gp [part five]















 so, i pick up my camera from the police station at douglas, it looks very second-hand, the aluminium case displaying the scars of a very fast trip down the road, amazingly the thing still works, i press the button and it whirr's into life, there's a contact number in the zip-bag for the bloke who handed it in, i ring him to see what i owe him for the damage to his van, he just laughs and dismisses it, 'no damage mate, your mate's reaction was priceless as the camera almost hit him! he ducked, the camera came out of the leather case as it hit the road and bounced up and hit my windsreen, my apprentice was asleep in the passenger seat and he almost shit himself when it hit the van! told the cop's you were doing about forty miles an hour' a true gentleman indeed, the rest of the week goes past too quickly, bank holiday monday is a wash out, a visit to murray's amazing bike museum near the fairy bridge,  strong winds and relentless rain so no racing, racing tuesday see's us up at the creg, tuesday night is italian bike night at the railway, a couple of amazing bevel race bikes, wednesday see's us at the end of cronk y voddy straight for the junior manx gp and twin's race, tea and toasted tea cakes on the harbour at peel,  wednesday night and the triumph owners club meeting at the shore pub, get our kit together ready for an early morning sailing back to liverpool thursday morning but not before the defining moment's of the week, a fast couple of laps of the southern hundred circuit, the light low, the warmest evening of the trip, visor's peppered with fly's, we stop as the sun sinks at port erin, not a word uttered, does life get any better than this?...............


Friday, 5 September 2014

classic tt / manx gp [part four]









into ramsey and we begin the ascent onto the mountain, i've watched a thousand and one videos of onboard footage of lap's of the tt course, you might have a vague idea of where the course goes, which way the corners turn, but, never, ever underestimate the roads, it doesn't matter how much time you spend watching videos or playing the playstation, you never really 'know' it until you ride it on a motorcycle, we pass the police car observing at the hairpin and catch up with a gaggle of riders as we approach waterworks, through the gooseneck and they disappear backwards as we wind it on, dangerous is sniffing but there's no-way i'm letting him past me, we catch and pass more riders, fast through the verandah, the corner where 'conrod' had his massive accident and slow for the police prescence at the bungalow, safely out of sight and dangerous shows me his front wheel, white van in front, soon despatched and into the forty-limit too soon, back down into douglas and park up on glencruthery road at the grandstand, helmet off and dangerous is not happy, 'something came off your bike and nearly hit me! i had to duck!' i check over my bike, my initial thoughts are that my fuse-box lid has gone awol, a common fault on ducati's, no, that's all present and correct, i have a good look around my bike and nothing seem's obvious. we have an ice-cream and a walk around the pit's, i spot micheal dunlop and prepare to get a piccy, i reach into my pocket and bollocks! my fucking camera! double-bollock's! that was what it was then, gutted, back to the digs and tell rosemary, who decides to contact manx radio in the vain hope someone has found it, off to the pub and on our return, there's a note, someones found it and handed it into the police station in douglas, the bad news, it's hit their windscreen at a hundred and twenty five emm-pee-hhhhh.......................