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

Sunday, 26 October 2014

ducati track bike project, [aka unradical ducati, the blind stagger, the poverty bike, peaky blinder]

well, what on the surface seemed like a ten minute job resulted in an afternoon struggling to remove the cush-drive rubber bushings from the rear wheel, i hit them with a couple of sprays of penetrating fluid late last night before i went to bed, warmed them up with the paint stripping gun and tapped out the wheel bearings easily, the cush rubbers? no bloody chance, i broke out the propane torch and heated up the wheels so much that the paint blistered on the rims, selected a piece of aluminium round stock as a drift and my favourite hammer, bosh, bosh, bosh, nothing, bollocks, i daren't hit them any harder for fear of actually breaking the castings. in the end it came down to very careful drilling on the bridgeport to get them out. i have never seen a bike so neglected as this one, even the mz commuter bike we used as a basis for the mz racer project was in better fettle than this beauty. systematic abuse, neglect and bodging by the p.o's tell a sorry tale, the wheel bearings, swinging arm bearings, head bearings and spindles have never, ever seen any lubrication, i priced up replacements and i'm into nearly £200 quid with the cush-drive rubbers included! the budget is almost spunked already, that's it, i promise this is the last bike project for me, i'm going to go and buy a nice, reliable, clean, late model honda next time, fuck the old bikes...........

Saturday, 25 October 2014

ducati track bike project, [aka unradical ducati, the blind stagger, the poverty bike, peaky blinder]

bought some bright steel roundstock from stafford, to make some seat posts, i'm only five-ten but i'm long in the leg, so to get the correct bum-to-foot ratio i needed to make some mountings, cut and end milled to shape and broke out the ancient hobby arc welding kit from deep within the depths of the bench, warmed up the damp 2.5 rods on the radiator overnight and tacked them into position, cut them off at 40mm so i can use some ally round stock to fine tune the height i need. chalky is an ex joiner and he knocked up this great engine stand, its got proper tongue and grooved joints and everything, brilliant, it will make fettling the engine prior to rattle-canning so much easier, nipped in to see rob at racing lines and he took off my tyres for nowt, cheers mate, better than struggling with a couple of tyre irons for half a day for sure, got to set to with the hacksaw and file and clean off the redundant brackets from the frame, make up a couple of bushings and tack them on to carry the coils and get the old bearings out of the wheels, never a dull moment in the loveless shed...........

Friday, 24 October 2014

stafford show [oh, the damage is done, i guess i'll be leaving]

trapped to the stafford show on sunday, lots of very shiny jap bikes, restored to the max, ride to work cd 200 hondas etc.  sorry, but why? they were shit back in the day, why spunk a load of money restoring one / customising when everyone was hocked up to fuck buying an rd 250 / 400, lc, gs thou, big kwak or, for poor people a honda single ohc or dohc comstar shitter? anyhoo, here are the pictures of the bikes worth seeing, the rest were toss. end of. from someone who was there. like barse said, anything at stafford is the shit they can't sell on evil-bay, ain't that the truth..........

Saturday, 18 October 2014

ducati track bike project, [aka unradical ducati, the blind stagger, the poverty bike, peaky blinder]

so, i admit it, i've spunked a fortune on the mz racer and the bmw racer project, i guess i just back the underdog everytime, i should have just bought a honda instead of trying to build and race a hopelessly underpowered machine, but i suppose i'm just an old romantic who believes that dreams really do come true and you can compete on a level playing field, can you fuck, so, beemer gone and after the fun i had on my almost standard 900ss at the classic bike trackday in august i've decided to build the 750 'poverty' bike into a track bike and to have some fun on the 'cheap'. my aim is to build an 'unradical' ducati, the spanish 'radical' company folded earlier this year, the official line was that they had achieved everything they wanted to and they were moving onto pastures new, the forums, blogs and 'tinterweb were full of stories of piss-poor quality parts and broken promises. so, my vision for this bike is mild tuning, weight loss and just general 'massaging' of parts to achieve a nice, tidy bike thats fun to ride and doesn't cost a fortune. i'm sticking with the 'poverty' standard single caliper and disc, it won't develop enough power to need a twin disc/caliper set up, i'm going to use the hideous red plastic braided lines, [don't worry, they are stainless braided underneath and just need the stupid coating stanley blading off] a sprinkling of hand made carbon bits, [out of the off-cuts i can get from a 'certain well known aerospace manufacturer'] some stainless fasteners, cheapo chinese levers and carbon cans, a bit of rattle can and powdercoating, decent tyres and careful preparation, basically everything that goes into a loveless bike. case in point, the seat unit, sourced from moto-carbon in sheffield, a couple of bits of quarter tubing machined up to make the seat mountings, still to be welded onto the frame, the seat rails abbreviated by a foot, [or 300mm for our metric fans] lot's of work to do, i mean, just look at the pigeon shit welding on the original seat mounting brackets! but, take a look at the mock up of the seat / tank combo, can you really imagine anything else looking better? 'just remind me, what is it you do?' 'i do bad things.............'

Friday, 10 October 2014

ducati track bike project

so, back to work, from 90 degrees, sunshine and good times back to the 0500 get-up's, dark, cold and wet, the daily slog, necessary to pay the mortgage, the bill's and all the other everyday bollocks, time also to get back to work on the ducati project, i spend the next few evenings stripping the bike down to almost component parts and discover some horrors on the way, the previous owner had positioned the bike very carefully when i went to inspect it, hard up against his parked car and the front wheel carefully placed so that the horrible tyre iron rash to the front rim was hidden, stripping the bodywork and tank revealed more insights into a tale of total bodgery and neglect, the amateur repair to the seat mounting on the rear rail, rat-shit welded bracket, the corners not even filed to prevent injury, the mounting hole drilled like a threepenny bit, the rear shock, i knew it was bad from my ride home but what i discovered shocked me, the adjusters must have been hammered round with a screwdriver and the bump-stop rubber was totally shagged from the shock not actually absorbing anything and just bottoming out on the bump-stop, the bike reek's of general neglect and ham-fistedness, filthy, unloved and a proper shed. it can't get any worse, don't worry little ducati, we can rescue you and you will be the belle of the ball, first thing to sort is the pig-ugly rear frame rails, 'nurse, pass me the hacksaw...........'

Sunday, 5 October 2014

everybody needs a holiday

no posts for the last couple of weeks, we have been on holiday with the family on our annual trip to the USA and to be honest, despite all good intentions of publishing a travel-blog, i just couldn't be arsed and i must say, it feels pretty liberating. two weeks with the family is just too precious to spend it sat behind the false glow of a liquid-display crystal screen when you can be exposing oneself to the real elements, sun, wind and salt water............