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

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

clean that evil mud out your soul






long term contributor, music aficianado and all round good cornish egg, jan, from the stinky 5 blogspot and new fangled instant-gran sent me a copy of the brilliant ladybird-for-grown-up's book about hipsters for christmas. so, so funny, using artwork from the original ladybird books but with a 'large, clear script, the careful choice of words and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-up's to think they have taught themselves to cope.'
[to be read as a companion to the bikeshed mc cafe/bar/shop here http://thebikeshed.cc/cafebarshopclub/  [please be sure to read the 'rules' for membership and please behave if you do visit, i mean, we don't really want to have to ask you to leave because you have a noisy exhaust or are riding like a twat and don't think about leaving your bike on our premises if you have had a couple of port and lemons even if you have the membership deal that actually allows you to buy alcohol after eight in the pm. remember folk's, motorcycles are meant to be displayed in a trendy, exposed brickwork, leather 'chesterfield' sofa, 'bro' handshaking, air-conned [yeah, you fucking have been] tattoo/barbershop/brasserie/retail emporium, something to be admired whilst sipping an overpriced coffee and talking bollocks about your recently commisioned honda superdream 250 cafe racer................

Sunday, 20 December 2015

beaky blinder [aka the ktm supermoto project]











 new rubber, is there anything finer? this week we are mostly continuing the replacement of the o.e.m plated fasteners with stainless stuff, turned up on the lathe as usual, new renthal superlight sprockets and a gold chain from rob at racinglines. fitted the acerbis race handguards and cleaned up the chain adjusters and alloy spindle-nuts. the mirror is the oberon one off the 'peaky blinder' ducati, turned down along with the oberon bar end weight to fit the renthal 'fatbars', rg tail tidy fitted, need to solder up the wires for the number plate light and tidy up the wiring by pulling it back into the seat unit, the numberplate is a 'cheater' courtesy of chalky's mate, stamped up with the bsi number but ever so slightly smaller [ 'it was fitted when i bought the bike officer' ahem...] keeping it tidy using double-sided tape to mount it rather than drilling it and using those horrible plastic screws, [admit it, you didn't even notice it did you, but now you have am i right or what?] what goes around comes around so back to the new rubber, dunlop mutant's, [great name] a specialist supermoto tyre, very sticky, soft compound and sidewall, an almost road legal 'wet' race pattern tyre and very expensive, but seriously, can you imagine anything else being fitted to this bike?........


Saturday, 12 December 2015

beaky blinder [aka the ktm supermoto project]









 so, the ktm beaky blinder project continues, this week i have mostly been replacing rusty oem fasteners with stainless stuff, machined of course within an inch of their life, all grading marks and tapered for the 'factory' look, something that only those in the know would recognise, a little attention to detail that makes or breaks a bike build, all within the realms of a 'shed builder'. [you can buy a hobby lathe from machine mart, [or harbour freight for our american bro's] for a couple of hundred pounds [or dollars] a lathe will change your life forever, spacers, turning up bolts, screw cutting, the world is your oyster, yeah, you will make mistakes, you will leave the chuck key in the jaws, but you will only do it once i promise. it will open up a whole world of self satisfaction, save you some hard-earned and the feeling of pride that you did that.[and let's be brutally honest, it's more cost effective than buying shit off the cool kid's, [who source it from someone else anyway because they haven't got the skill's to make it themselves, mark it up three-hundred percent and pass it off as 'artisan' artisan? artisan my arse!] anyhoo, new renthal fatbars and grips fitted, new brake pads, calipers cleaned, new fluid and bled up for a stupid- fierce- brake, tyres ordered, [dunlop mutants] along with new chain and renthal sprockets, oh yeah, i'm keeping the pipes, you know why? because they just say fuck you............

Sunday, 6 December 2015

beaky blinder [aka the ktm supermoto project]


friday see's me, dangerous and chalky down to the nec for the bike show, 'motorcycling live' we are rubbing shoulders with the great and good of the motorcycling world. i love this show. let's face it. nothing else happening in the 'deadzone' or, as i prefer to call it, that period on the run up to the christian festival of 'christmas', hijacked by the god-fearer's. everyone with half a brain know's that the pagan's realised that the day's got longer and the night's shorter on the twenty first of december. fact. anyhoo, back to more serious matters. the ktm supermoto project. i kept looking at the handlebars and thinking they were too short, they just didn't look right somehow, the brake and clutch levers were set at a very awkward angle right on the taper of the bar where they drop from a huge inch-and-one-eighth to seven-eighths, i loosened off the switchgear and master cylinders but whatever i tried i couldn't get the levers in the right place. i unscrewed the bar ends to give me a little more room to play with, ahah, suddenly the penny dropped, the p.o. lived in a an old victorian terrace with a back-entry, very, very narrow, [he had even 'notched' the door frame to allow access to the enclosed rear yard of his house] the ends of the bars have been roughly sawn to length shortening the available room to mount the controls and switchgear in the correct position! i search in vain for a pair of handlebars to suit at the bikeshow, no chance, i search for a set of brake pads for the front and rear calipers, ditto, tailtidy? forget it, oil and filters? 'no one services their own bike mate!' squeeze me? baking powder? had a great time sitting on all the new offerings from the manufacturers, dreaming and lusting after the newest models, but no spares available to buy? i could, of course got a haircut on one of the stands, bought a t-shirt or gaze in awe at a limited edition, already sold-out, not for the likes of you and me matey motorcycle! i spent the rest of the day collecting calenders, leaflets and sales brochures and drinking very overpriced tea. next day i pay a visit to the local moto-cross dealer, six miles away from my house, pick up a set of renthal bars, grips and acerbis hand-guards from a very helpful bloke, then down into long eaton to the local ktm dealer's to get my filters, oil and a shed load of very helpful advice, support your local bikeshop, you might save a few quid buying off the 'tinterweb but there's no substitute for making acquaintances with the bloke who knows all about your machine, he works on them every day and earns his living through them as well as knowing all the pit-falls and what works or doesn't work. lesson learned. the more i've worked on the ktm the more i'm impressed with them, quality parts as standard, wp suspension and forks, brembo wheels, brembo radial master cylinder and calipers. this bike has had a hard life, other than a quick wash down and a cursory shammy over the bodywork the bike has never had the tank off or the panels removed, it's bloody fithy under the skin, i carefully clean everything off with a liberal coating of wd40 and ac90, seperate all the electrical connectors and remove any green corrosion and apply a coating of white electrical grease, the frame is in remarkable condition, no rust or tarnish, the engine casings are a delight, careful work with gunk and an old tooth brush brings them back to life. [if this had been a ducati of similar ages there would have been no paint left on the engine cases and the frame would have needed blasting and powdercoating] even the o.e.m fasteners are still in good condition, [i replace everything i can with stainless anyway except for crucial load bearing fasteners like the shock mountings and caliper bolts which i replaced with titanium, yeah? so beat me up, it's strong, light and does the job] the wheel rims are scarred up from some heavy handed wankers tyre changing efforts, i resist the urge to order new bearings and get the wheels freshly powdercoated, [patience my dear] and instead will just touch them up when i get some fresh rubber fitted. there's just some lovely touches on the bike, q.d. fuel hoses? just class and fitted as standard, the wheels are very light for cast items, hollowed out spokes and the central casting is a work of art, very impressive, still not sure i can live with those exhausts though........









Sunday, 29 November 2015

beaky blinder [aka the ktm 690 supermoto project]









the last thing i need at the moment is another project, i'm into the 'not a ducati tt replica' project but, after the trip to cadwell park to watch the last british supermoto championship round i've had an itch that needs scratching. idly flicking through ebay see's a suitable 'donor' bike, i try to ignore it but i keep watching it, no bid's, i leave it another day, crack and message the owner, we have a chat, drop him a well cheeky offer and thats how we end up going up to bridlington to pick up another fucking bike. there's nothing as sad as an english seaside town in winter. deal done and bike loaded on chalky's trailer and we are off in search of a traditional fish and chip dinner. all thoughts of dining alfresco soon disappears. it's bloody freezing. the north sea is a dirty, yellow colour, no laughing children building sandcastles today, barking dogs chasing frisbee's or pensioners dripping ice cream down their sunday best. just a bone chilling wind and angry, white-topped rollers smashing onto the beach. we find a cafe and much to the amusement of my two comprades, dangerous and chalky, the lady asks if we want three 'pensioners specials' haddock, [skinned and boned] chips and a pot of tea, four pounds and ninety five pence only. i'm about to protest and chalky gives my shin a sharp boot under the table, i shut up. 'save you three quid youth, keep 'yer gob shut!' the food is great, thick, white, fresh haddock and proper thick cut chips, strong tea in a mug, perfect, i feel the warmth flooding back into my old bones. walking back to pick up the car and trailer and i have a feeling of sadness, i used to come here with my mum and dad for a day out, back then it seemed like utopia, full of fun and the promise of good times, today, on this freezing, overcast, rainy november afternoon it just seems a forgotten town, the feeling of melancholy is overwhelming. as i check the tie-downs on the trailer two blokes, cans of special brew in hand compliment me on the bike. they aren't bikers. they no nothing about motorcycles. they ask the 'usual' questions about the bike that non-motorcyclists ask, 'how fast' 'how much is it worth' 'my dad had a bike like that' one of the men is, i reckon, in his late thirties, the other, ages with me, the older man has missing teeth and the yellow pallor of alcohol abuse, the younger lad is wearing only a t-shirt, the alcohol numbing his sense of feeling to the conditions. we talk. they are both from teeside, neither working, the strong north yorkshire accent along with their slurring is hard to follow as the wind whips away the conversation. 'if we had seen the bike on the trailer we'd have had her away, funded 'us beer fo' a week would that!' 'yeah and when i saw you pinching it i'd have kicked both your arses!' they are happy drunks and we shake hands, they are laughing. high on the alcohol and what ever other stimulants they have necked to relieve the monotony of their situation. back home and bike unloaded in heavy rain, a couple of tyskie's and start to swap the salt corroded fasteners for some fresh stainless from the stock cupboard. making lists. two new tyres and some rear brake pads a must. and then there's the hideous exhausts..........