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

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........









2 comments:

  1. There's not much to the frame is there? What is that woman doing on the calender!?!

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  2. hello Jan, p.m. sent, the more i see of the ktm's the more i like them, minimal, well engineered, light and fast. the woman on the calender? err, i'm sorry, it's a bloke's shed, the 'modesty' sticker is actually homer simpson, [off an old birthday card] i take it off and hide it somewhere in the shed, dangerous finds it and protects the lady's morals. all very sexist, not politicaly correct but a lot of fun nevertheless......

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