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

Friday, 30 January 2015

building steam with a grain of salt

three days annual leave, need to get the house sorted out, i've neglected it over the last couple of years, err, the last five years, uhhm, the last ten years, really? is it that long? under no pressure from the long suffering mrs b who patiently juggles the finances to enable us to have great holidays, pay the mortgage, get the shopping, pay the vet's bill's, gas, electric, council tax, [don't get me started..] and a thousand and other household bills and then, to indulge my passion for buying perfectly good, [but a tad tatty i grant you] motorcycles and cut the shit out of them in the shed, follow my [broken] dream to be a motorcycle racer, go to the island for the classic tt with dangerous, sweary and chalky and never, ever, moans about it. so, i have a prick of conscience, the house is a tip and begging for a lick of paint and attention, that's it then, emulsion, egg-shell and varnish, i'm on a mission me, get the house sorted out = more time to ride in the spring when the weather takes a turn for the better.
        up at sparrow fart to drop jack off at work, bollocks, where did that come from? derbyshire is under a heavy covering of the white-stuff, we dig out the car and make a treacherous journey to work, back home and i walk the dogs as dawn breaks, the two j.r terriers are full of it, rolling and tumbling in the deep snow, back home and a brew in hand,i'll just five minutes before i start painting the hall / landing / stairs, the two tins of matt-black engine paint are sitting on the radiator in the shed, i idly shake a tin and apply a quick blast to see what it would look like.... the rest of the day is spent between painting the house and painting the engine, coat after coat, upstairs, downstairs, i eventually call it a day, wash out my brushes and retire to the shed, go on then, oh alright, i pick at the masking, just to see what it looks like mind, a bootle of beer in hand and a couple of hours carefully taking off the last few nights work, white spirit see's the sticky residue gone. everything is covered with overspray, all three bikes, the bench, tools, the walls, everything, i'm coughing up black snot, my fingers and thumbs split from the combination of different paints and spirits, but, well, i'm well chuffed with the result.........

Thursday, 29 January 2015

can you guess what it is yet...?

dangerous nipped up to nelly's at cornerspeed mid-week to pick up the ducati750 engine for the 'peaky blinder' project, there's good news and there's bad news. the good news is that the motor is in rude health after a good shoeing by nelly, he even managed to find us a couple more bhp by careful measuring of the base gaskets and swapping them out to raise the compression, a little work on the heads and a valve job. the nikasel barrels are like new, no horror stories with the cams or desmo valve gear, the clutch and bottom end all clean and fit for purpose, a right result then. covers screwed on with turned up stainless hardware,  [thanks rich and sarah!] all good then? well, err no. ok it's me, i'm sorry. i try and ignore the finish on the motor, i cleaned it up before despatching it to nelly's for the engine work, but, i, err, really can't live with the 'tired' finish especially with the newly powdercoated silver covers. i go as far as cleaning off the powdercoating from the frame to mount the engine, careful filing and finish with wet and dry to enable  fitting. the ducati engine is a tight fit in the cradle frame. it should be, it's a stressed member, the engine hanging on two bolts under the beautiful trellis tube frame. a night spent fitting the engine, [after removing the shock, swingarm and back wheel of course, the frame and front end 'wheel-barrowed' by your's truly while dangerous tries to align the mountings. i'm stood on the hydraulic bench, i'm banging my head on the roof joists and swearing loudly at dangerous, 'hurry up you twat, this fucking thing is getting heavy!' ' you calling me a twat?' say's dangerous, 'have a look in the mirror, what's that hat all about?' he is, of course, referring to jessica's beanie hat that she left at our house on her last visit and which i have purloined] i like this hat, especially the ears on it and the big daft eyes, mrs b say's it gives me a 'softer' persona rather than the miserable git i normally am, [hey, i take that as a compliment, take them while you can and anyway, the dogs like it so i'm going to keep wearing it, imagine if obama or cameron or clegg or merkel or putin wore a daft hat when they were talking politics, everyone would take them far more seriously, or perhaps not.....] anyhoo, back to the plot, dangerous is giving me 'that' look, he know's what i'm going to say, 'i can't live with it', 'we can't spoil the ship for a 'hapenny of tar', blah, blah, blah. we spend the next four hours masking up the frame, swing-arm and anything else likely to get hit with the overspray from a rattle can. simoniz vht matt black, two-tins, warming on the radiator ready for sshhh, sssshhh, shhhh, black index finger and choking paint fumes in the tiny 'tardis' shed..........

Saturday, 24 January 2015

this is england

this is england. cold, wet, dull. long nights and short days. football is a welcome distraction at this time of year. losing to our bitter rivals, forest, last week gutted me, came home from the match and went sraight to bed, my phone ringing and the filth giving it me big-time, e-mails galore and yet, i have so many links with the scutty neighbours, [who wear green tights, robins best mate is a bald headed monk and they run around robbing the rich to pay the poor] red-dog-rob, grant, spence, med, bramcote kev, you-two tony, drug-free fee, tyrone, pally, derek the dalek, gaz, the shaw brothers, gunny, julie, national front neville, [relax, he's a black bloke, long story, the only black skinhead in nottingham to join a racist gang] fuck off you wankers! so, you beat us and we were playing chesterfield in the cup today, [and we beat them two-nil and are through to the next round and you were playing? oh yeah, no one, you got knocked out!
     back to motorbikes, my shock turned up mid-week, realm engineering, ram shock, bespoke made shock, beautifully engineered, made to suit my weight at a fraction of the cost of an aftermarket shock, check them out at anodized fittings, deep powdercoated spring, 13 click pre-load adjustment, just a thing of beauty. got a lovely suprise too, a jiffy bag full of stainless fasteners from long term followers of the blog rich and sarah, we have never met in person, [though dangerous got 'school-boyed' by them at stafford a couple of years ago, 'excuse me, are you dangerous dave?' 'yes, i am' say's dave,[rich kneel's down and sarah pushes him over] serves the twat right i say! so, out in the shed feeling good about the world and the bonneville kicks me in the bollocks, batteries fucked, more expense, that cllllll, cllll, ccchhhh, noise, love this bike though, already i'm thinking about scrapping the unecessary 'down-tubes' the cradle is redundant from day one, put there to mimick the original, we can save loads of weight, i checked out the bonneville performance race bikes and they don't run them, 'ahh, mr hacksaw, i've been expecting you.......'

Saturday, 17 January 2015

ladybird books

must admit, it's very rare that i actually buy a daily newspaper, i tend to scan the online versions, my favourite is probably the guardian, yesterdays issue featured the artwork of the legendary 'ladybird' books, i was immediately transported back in time to an age of innocence, a time before quantitavite easing, internet, mobile phones and the pressure of being a 'grown-up' a time when you had to catch a bus into town and buy a record from a record shop, on something called 'vinyl' if you wanted to listen to music, a time when you had three channels on tv, a time when we had power-cut's, strikes and you went to butlins for a week if you were lucky, a time when you saw your dad on a sunday afternoon because the rest of the time he was working to get you a weeks holiday at butlins. i've always been able to read, or so it seems, i will read the label on the brown-sauce bottle, i suppose i haven't really, i guess someone taught me along the way, way back in those halycon day's of endless summer holidays and cold, snowy winters. ladybird books played a part in my education, from pond-life to the admiral nelson, easy to digest and artwork that will stay with me until i punt off this mortal coil, one of these books is a very naughty, but very funny pastiche of the classic books, you will have to look hard to find it i'm sure........

Friday, 16 January 2015

it's a dirty job, [but someone's got to do it]

fuel injection, whoa, harry potter shit, only ever worked on bikes with carbs before, [ok, the last ducati i had was a fuelie but all i ever had to do was change the oil and adjust the chain] this was a job i've been dreading, but, i was pleasantly suprised, very few moving parts and a night with some scotchbrite and we are good to go, the more time i spend in the shed, the less i want to venture outside......

Sunday, 11 January 2015

bedside manners are extra

so, the build continues and i sink into further minutea, turning fasteners to resemble titanium from the pro-bolt catalogue, i needed some of the period correct 'showa racing service' stickers for the fork leg lowers, eventually tracked them down to lamb-shank, illinois, spent two weeks cleaning up the engine covers and still not satisfied, sent them off for blasting and powdercoating, an age cleaning out threads, jointing surfaces and re-mounting stator's, bearings, blah, blah, blah. why bother? well, it's for real, if you want the easy option go and get someone to build your bike for you, it's a lot less hassle ain't it gary?

Saturday, 10 January 2015

insert hipster buzz word here

right, after a lot of soul searching, 'shall i nuke the blog and disappear into the ether?' i have finally decided to keep on keeping on. i've sold all my copies of 'dice' 'sideburn' and 'greasy kulture' [something six months ago i said i would never do] i've raised a handsome profit to put back into my own projects and i feel a lot better for doing it too. this blog has always been about sharing stuff with people, experiences, builds, bikes, good times, bad times and the time in-between where i, er, walk the dogs, go to football, play old vinyl or go to work. that's it. a lot of people have lost their way. pound notes cloud their vision, [fifteen quid coat-hangers? fifteen quid key-fob's, hand tooled of course] 'limited edition' t-shirt run's? fuck off! any respect i had for the 'independent' magazines disappeared when my comment's were deleted from 'their' blog's, you don't need some 'cool' mag to tell you what's cool, what's 'essential' and what's trendy. hipster shops, [who, just happen's to stock 'our' magazine by the way] tell's you what to think. they steal ideas and pass them off as their own, they don't have a clue! fuck them and the donkey they rode in on, 'support the independent's' yeah, whatever, the 'independent's' aren't selling 'merch' to punters, they are still out there being a thorn in the side of the wankers, wannabe's and barbour jacketed media lovey's. i would rather spend my time, emotion and money with the dirty finger-nailed, tattooed, rigger-booted, fucking hooligan scum-bags who are actually building stuff in shed's, outhouses, or, under a tarp in the backyard! hello, hello, i'm back again........