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

Saturday, 28 March 2015

trigger hippy






the oil cooler on the peaky blinder was, well, to put it bluntly, fucked. a 916 item, cable tied to the frame, the oil lines too long, just horrible. a search on evil-bay turned up a brand new, 7-row earl's cooler, never fitted and still in the box, i put on a cheeky bid and bugger me! i actually win it, i never win anything me, always the daft, fat kid falling over in the egg and spoon race at school, no-one ever picked me for their team at football, standing against the wall, wishing the ground would swallow me up and always left-back, [yeah, i know, left-back in the changing room!] i had no skill, i just smashed the opposing centre forwards into the ground, i spent more time walking off the pitch after a red card than i did on it, ended up punching someone with more skill than me, he 'megged me, shouted 'nuts!' as the ball went between my legs, kicked out at him and caught him a pearler, ref blow's up, player calls me a wanker and takes a swing, i punch him, early bath for both of us. i return to school after the weekend and got called into 'nunc's' [the fearsome welsh headmaster's office for some corporal punishment for disgracing the school's honour]. i scored one goal in my school career. i didn't know anything about it. a routine corner and being a big, clumsy twat, i was summoned up from defence, [my job was to cripple the opposition defender's] the ball somehow ended up hitting me on the back of the head after an attempted clearance and bounced into the goal! like my old p.e. teacher used to say, 'they all count youth,  even if it goes in off your arse!' anyhoo, back to the plot, the o.e. oil cooler on the supersport ducatis mount off the valve inspection covers on the front cylinder, they can be mounted high, above the front cylinder, or, below the front cylinder. if you mount them 'low' they are in the direct line of fire from road debris kicked up off the front tyre, leading to a possible stone to cooler matrix interface interaction and everything associated with dumping the contents of the engine all over the front tyre at 60 pounds per square inch pressure,  not good. cut out a couple of angles out of some box section in the stock bin, drilled to mount the cooler and cleaned up on the miller, quick scotch-brite to finish, turned up a couple of spacer's to get the correct centres, sorted. going to rubber mount the cooler off a couple of drilled out tap-washers to take out any vibration, going to turn up four waisted spindles to support the top and bottom of the oil cooler and stop any 'yawning' just need to sort out some new hoses to feed the cooler and it's ready for some oil and a trial start, can't wait, nearly there now......

Saturday, 21 March 2015

red right hand.....










realisation kick's in. i set off with the idea of just building a track-day only bike, hum, let's just have a reality check here, i do, in a good year, five track-days, averaged out? err, three, not exactly value for money or maxing out the use of the bike then bailey? so, a re-think is in order. right, daytime mot, just the bare minimum to be 'almost' legal. speedo, rear brake light and horn, [theres actually no such thing as a 'daytime mot', basically, if it isn't fitted to the bike, then, well, you can't mot it] but, that opens up a whole suitcase of norweigan skunk-weed and leffe blonde altogether. the dreaded 'construction and use' regulations, a whole load of shit, the sort of shit that does happen and the sort of shit that will see you, your mum and grand-ma tasered, beaten and pepper-sprayed and then shipped off to some godforsaken habitat to serve out a sentence of thirty-years hard labour, bread and water and beastings in the shower for the crime of running a motorcycle with a small numberplate and no indicators. sorry, i know it's not in the public interest, i'm a criminal, but, i'm fifty-six, i'm not trying to bait the law, i just think my bike look's cooler without a headlight / indicators / big number plate, i'm not trying to outrun the law, let's face it, if i was i would do what i used to do in the seventies and take my plate off, wheelie past pc plod in his escort, flick him the 'english archers' and leave them for dead in a haze of unburnt hydrocarbon's. nahh, i just want to run a bike on the road, do some trackdays and i'm prepared to take the risk, i've got a great bloke to mot my bike, i don't expect him to risk his business. he notes down everything as an 'advisory'. he know's the score. hardcore. sorted. and that was a partly typical broadcast on behalf of the 'bloke building stuff in his shed' party. a little concerned about getting a stone in the belt's now i've decided to run the bike on roads as well as doing trackdays. cut down the front belt cover, drilled and filed to shape and hit it with a can of 'wheel-silver'. turned up some frame end plugs, two drilled to carry the back-light, waiting for mad-john to finish off my paintwork so i can figure out a mouunting for the plate / light, cleaned up the rusty-as-fuck header pipes with scotch-brite, [bit shiny at the mo. can't wait for them to get that 'wheaty' colour that stainless get's when it get's hot] oh yeah, needed some more carciogenic stuff in my lung-holes too. cut out a cardboard pattern, [i'm ten again and watching blue-peter, this time around though i haven't got an adult to help me with the sharp-stuff] cardboard pattern over the carbon and cut and file with a hacksaw and file, by the end of the night i'm coughing up thick, black snot and the bikes are covered in dust, but, well, can you dig it......?

Saturday, 14 March 2015

header photo, an explanation. trawling back through my pictures revealed this one from, i guess twenty years ago, it's definetly post- kent show years, i'm guessing around 1995, to the left is gordy on his '77 triumph bonneville t140, to the right is nick on his hardtail, post-nuclear melt-down kwacker chop, as low as a snakes belly and twice as hard, all anti-radar, stealth, matt black paint and ribbed hoses feeding the carbs and in the middle, well, that's your's truly on my jim cray tuned bmw cafe racer, yeah fucker's, twenty years before the 'bike shed' wannabe's, remember, this was in the time when shellsuits and day-glo pink ruled the roost, cadbury's boost paint-jobs and the only beard's you ever saw were on the face of homeless people, a chop was something that you ate on a sunday dinnertime and a cx 500 was still a piece of shit, commuter bike [not something to be coveted by the 'born-again' hoxton massive, the shoreditch crew and all the other laahndahn toss-pot's] yeah, we were rocking it back then, in un-fashionable east-midland town's, before it all disappeared up it's own arsehole,  we were building stuff that you can only dream about, in day's before 'artisan' cool bike builders, we were just doing it for ourselves, not to get fetured in a magazine / webzine / or to sell merchandise to impressionable people with no-idea's of their own, we have forgotten more than you will ever know..........

feels like we only go backwards.







so, almost a week wasted, exhaust brackets milled, filed to shape, wet and dry paper to finish and polished, bolt them up and throw them in the scrap bin to weigh in for decent, used stock. can't use them, they are just so wrong. bollock's. time for a re-think. the ducati crankcases have a 10mm hollow through the casting, not used for anything on the 'supersport' series bikes, [perhaps for something on the 'monster's?'] it's ideal to hang a couple of bracket's off to carry the weight of the exhaust header's, set too and fab up a couple of brackets out of scrap stainless, carefully mark up the position and make up a jig to suit. cut off the link pipes from the aftermarket damaged remus ducati performance cans and offer them up. mark the positions up for the correct angle and discover the aftermarket carbon cans are the wrong diameter, double bollocks. i phone nige at nrp exhausts, deep in enemy territory in s'nottinghamshire. he can sort me out today, friday the thirteenth, i mean, what could possibly go wrong? i'm at work extra early door's, shift done and home for 1100hrs, collect the mashings and off to sunny bilsthorpe. meet 'reg' the dog, he's a big boy, nine month's old and a staffy cross with what looks like a pit-bull, while we play, throw the old slipper / chase the lead / wrestle / rag his lead nige patiently sticks our exhaust system together, a proper craftsman, he occasionally flip's up his welding mask to tell us about his various race-bike projects and bollock reg for barking, the milky, early spring sunshine providing light but no warmth to these old bones. nige tig's on a couple of clip's to carry the springs that will tension the carbon cans and provide the 'factory' look, might go 'belt and braces' and add some lock-wiring too between the spring mountings for the full-on tt race bike look. the original exhaust system is manufacured from a very low grade stainless steel, still non-magnetic, but subject to corrosion. at first i thought they were just badly rusted mild steel, a quick check with the magnet revealed there true identity so i hit them with a brass cup brush to remove the worst of the oxidisation and finished them with some 'lions-tongue' rough grade cloth backed paper. hmm, that looks ok, a quick rub over with scotchbrite and i've got the perfect finish, not too shiny just 'right' you know what i mean? i'll post some photo's up of the finished item, these are just 'work-in-progress' shots for now......

Sunday, 8 March 2015

she makes my nosebleed....




spring clean day in the loveless shed, 900 duc and the bonny out on the drive, reluctant to start, but they eventually cough into life, the sound of spring, little, new born lambs, baa, baa, baa'ing blackbirds singing and the sound of big-twin's ruining your neighbour's sunday afternoon! fuck 'em! you wouldn't believe the amount of detrious swept up, almost five month's since the shed door has been opened, swarf, dust, old paint, and the crap that gets blown under the up 'n over door, biscuit crumbs that the dogs missed and beer bottle caps, cut-off tie-wrap's, dropped washers and cobwebs, dangerous is cleaning down the miller with an old paintbrush and i'm sneezing and sweeping and revelling in revving the bikes. steaming hot tea quaffed from a chipped mug, cut out a carbon off-cut to strengthen the seat unit and trial mount it for a vis-u-arly, i'm liking it, it looks like it's floating above the seat rails, exactly what i had in mind.........

Saturday, 7 March 2015









football, love it, hate it, we are on ninety minutes, two-nil up against a poor birmingham city side who we dicked four-nil at their place on boxing day, we are cruising, three points in the bag, they haven't had a shot on target, just concentrate derby, run down the time, easy-peasy, one of our lads fails to row -zed it, defender dives in, penno, they score, oh well, 2-1 and three points in the bag, nah, we are derby, it's never that simple, just need possesion, run down the clock, no chance,  deep into injury time and they get another goal to nick a point, fucking, bloody, fucking fuck, i hate this game / i love this game, we throw away the chance to go two points clear at the top of the championship, i'm fucking speechless me! anyhoo, back to reality, the oberon filler fitted, love oberon stuff, pure class, my mind flicks to the exhaust, i'm going to clean up the standard downpipes and fit a couple of carbon can's, [same as we ran on the boxer race bike] decide to dick about with the standard hanger brackets, why try and invent the wheel? a little bit of hacksaw and file and i reckon i can 'massage' them into something useable. football. i hate football me.....

Friday, 6 March 2015

soot and stars.





need to fab up some brackets to hold the seat on, the fibreglass seat unit is a 'race-only' item, read, very, very thin fibreglass, i'm thinking a couple of ally 't' brackets and a carbon off-cut pad to support my weight. initially roughed out by chain drilling to shape, finished on the miller. miller head turned to get the rad's on the side, counterbored for mounting hardware, fly cut to get a decent finish. fucking fuck, look's like a streetfighter, the seat rising too high at the back, carefully measure, apply masking tape as a guide and gingerley cut off the mounting stubs from the frame with a junior to lessen the angle, dress with a file and re-tap the welded on frame slugs, seat angles now miles out, couple more cuts on the miller to get to a 15 deg. angle, looks ok. result with the shyster's regarding the carbon-fibre seat unit, like my old ma mavis say's 'a kind word and a head-butt will get it sorted' funny how brave you can be behind the anonymity of a phone or a keyboard........