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

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Practical Sportsbike Trackday, Cadwell Park.

You know how it goes, it’s the Practical Sportsbike trackday at Cadwell Park, it’s on my calendar in the shed, it’s a lovely early autumn day, i have a leisurely breakfast, walk the dogs, sit in the warm sunshine drinking tea and trying to decide if I should do some domestics or drag a bike out of the shed and get my lazy arse out there. Thirty minutes later, showered, shaved, sandwich made courtesy of Mrs B and I’m on my way on the 790, fuel up at the Lion Garage and a ‘brisk’ ride sees me despatch the hundred miles in a little under 90 minutes. I get passed in a thirty limit by a toss-pot on a Speed Triple who gives me a ‘friendly’ wave, I resist the urge to rise to the bait and maintain my thirty miles per hour, giving the KTM it’s head as I exit the village, ‘lard boy’ is in my sights, I catch him easily and pass him and he soon disappears from my mirror.
   Horncastle, home of the second best chippy in the world and I get passed again by ‘lard boy’ who this time decides to give it the ‘English Archers’ as he burns past me at 80+ in a thirty. Out of Horncastle and i catch and pass him again, the twat is actually ‘leg dangling’ in a moto gp stylee for fucks sake! As I park up matey pulls up at the side of me and attempts a clumsy high five which I ignore. He still doesn’t get the message as I take off my helmet and he attempts to engage me in conversation. ‘That was fun’ I stow my gloves in my Arai, drop my day sack on the floor, ‘I said, that was fun’ matey still doesn’t get it, he’s grinning like a Cheshire Cat, his hand extended to receive a high-five even after his last failed attempt. Summoning all my willpower not to spark him out I lock my bike and go in search of a brew instead, there’s some class machinery here and the lads out on track are setting a blistering pace, a very pleasant afternoon wandering around the pits, chatting to like minded people, a great early evening ride home and trying to dismiss the craving for a Suzuki TLR thousand................

Saturday, 28 September 2019


Trawling evil-bay one evening and a Suzuki gsx-r 600 srad caught my eye, I popped it into my ‘watched’ list along with all the other stuff that I stick in there usually after a bottle of wine and with the cold light of day, sobriety and considered thoughts is usually ‘unwatched’ and discarded into the digital ether with a press of a button and never a second thought. I kept returning to this bike though, an almost standard, unmolested, low-mileage machine, free from the usual tat of iridium screen/ obnoxiously loud pipe/ mini indicators/ ‘shorty’ levers etc. [note to self, are you the same bloke who has cut up a whole raft of motorcycles without a single, backward glance? You two-faced hypocrite!]
   So, apart from a blue screen [bad] and h.e.l stainless brake lines, [ok, there blue so I’m going to swap them for black] it’s a 22 year old bike, three previous owners and a startling 12,000 miles on the clock from new! It needs a gentle massage, I’ve already fitted a new clear screen and  new battery, I need a couple of new front indicators as both are slightly marked but you know I’m ocd and can’t live with what a lot of people would just dismiss. The bike is a credit to the former owners, especially Ruben the guy I bought it off, it lived in his flat alongside his R1 and he was genuinely gutted to see it go due to a lack of use.
   I had originally been looking for a tatty srad project to hack into an endurance racer replica when this turned up but it really is too nice to introduce mr hacksaw to so I’m into a couple of more potential ‘victims’
  As a side-note, this is the first aluminium framed machine I’ve owned, the first jap four cylinder bike since my 750 Honda SOHC fatracker [sic]  and I was going to say the first RWU fork machine for years. And then? I looked at the Moto Guzzi.....................................................

Saturday, 14 September 2019


 Tuesday night at the Festival of Motorcycling sees the Italian Bike Night in Port Erin, traditionally held on the railway station which was a great venue, it moved down onto the Promenade a few years later, [ I rode the ‘peaky blinder’ TT F2 replica at Jurby and decided to ride it down to the Prom for the meeting under duress from Dangerous and Chalky, no tax, no mot, no insurance, what could possibly go wrong? An un-silenced, illegal race bike on the road, we got loads of interest and admiration, lots of nice comments and chased back to the digs by the local constabulary who, much to my relief, just wanted to have a look at the bike!]
So, the last few years the venue has changed to the local golf course, the land of funny handshakes, Farrah beige slacks and Volvo’s. A pleasant stroll from Base Camp on a late summer night, fizzy lager beer served in a flimsier than flimsy plastic glass and a perusal of the lovely Italian exotica in the car park. And then, there it is, sticking out like a pimple on a pigs arse, a bevel drive Ducati. Dufuckincati. Dufuckingenius.............

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


I’ve not posted photos of a ‘custom’ bike for a while, mainly due to the glut of absolute tat available to view all over the ‘tinterweb but this little Royal Enfield really got my attention, it was parked in a side street in Peel during the Moddey Doo/ VMCC show during the Festival of Motorcycling in the Isle of Man. I’m now that out of touch with the ‘scene’ that I don’t really know if you would class it as a chopper or bobber, to me it’s a chopper as I always understood a bobber was a stock bike that you just took off all the standard parts that were not deemed necessary to make it lighter and faster, but, perusing a recent copy of ‘Built’ magazine in WH Smiths [fear not dear reader, I was only picking up my copies of Practical Sportbikes, Classic Racer, Airfix Model World and Pigeon Fancier Monthly] I noticed that anything and everything vaguely ‘custom’ is now a bobber so I stand to be corrected.
      What i do know is that this is a cracking little bike, well proportioned, nicely engineered and some great attention to detail, the orange and matt black paint is simple but really effective and I absolutely love the ‘Fuckstone’ tyres, brilliant...........

Saturday, 7 September 2019

ClassicTT / Manx GP [part four]

 If you need any excuse to visit the Isle of Man for the Classic TT / Manx GP then here you go, a selection of bikes parked up at Peel for the Moddey Doo / VMCC meeting, the Honda endurance racer replica is mint, anyone remember Comstar wheels?  No, I didn’t think so, moving swiftly on, Katana, you know I love them, I’ve had a lot of Suzuki’s GS750’s , GS1000’s and a very rare GSX 1000 Katana [and a recent classic Suzuki purchase to be revealed shortly] flat tank Sunbeam and rigid framed, pushrod Norton racebike, fishtail exhaust, no lights and race number boards.............

Friday, 6 September 2019

Classic TT / Manx GP [part three]

 Tuesday on the island is usually a ‘free’ day, the Classic TT is done and the Manx GP starts on Wednesday, this year, due to the inclement weather, we had racing on Tuesday, I had every intention of bagging a spot in the hedge at Rhencullen to watch the newcomers, but with a delay in proceedings due to low cloud over the mountain I dropped down to Tynwald Green for the traditional VMCC meeting, only to be met with nothing! Have I missed it? Have I got the wrong day? The only other person present is a very nice bloke on a KTT Velocette who is carefully examining the spark plug of his machine and proceeds to give me a science lesson regarding modern fuel, ethanol content and the politics of emissions, electric motorcycles, dynamos, Indian made Royal Enfield's and some scandalous allegations about a ‘well known former racer’
  I would really like to get a photo of some of the people I meet on my travels but I do feel a tad self-conscious about asking a stranger if I can take their photograph, any suggestions of how to approach this anyone? Anyhoo, matey informs me that the local MCC [ the rather splendidly named Moddey Doo, in Manx Gaelic black dog, which was reputed to have haunted Peel Castle],have worked with the VMCC to arrange a combined vintage/classic/custom show at Peel instead so I wend my way down there to have a gander. I love Peel, the castle dominates the skyline and the gentle arc of the promenade is great to stroll. Today peel has been transformed into a motorcycle Mecca, all along the quayside and promenade there is motorcycling exotica and around every corner, tucked away in corners and even bushes, [all will be revealed!]  there are some real gems. Here’s a few, Triumph moto 2 bike? Yup, AyJay rigid frame, exhaust wrapped OBW? Yep, Sammy Millers aluminium faired NSU Sportmax? present and correct sir! ‘Modern’ racers represented by the amazing line up of lime green classic Kawasaki two-strokes/diesels. More to follow.........

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Classic TT / Manx GP 2019 (part two]

 My alarm rudely awakens yours truly from my well earned beauty sleep and after a quick shower and a hasty breakfast I call in at the local Co-Op for a black bean, cheese and guacamole wrap, a packet of Hula Hoops and a bottle of San Pelegrino and head out of Port Erin over the Sloc. The Sloc, or the A36 is thebest road in the world. As the famous TT course gets more and more restrictions, be it 50mph speed limits, helicopters and police radar seemingly on almost every corner and for me, the previously unlimited run along the Cronk Y Voddy now also restricted, riders are seeking out more, shall we say, rider friendly routes.
   The A36 is a thrilling, super fast road that offers an unrestricted speed limit across a mountain and down into Foxdale that will challenge any rider. Make no mistake, this road will bite you on the arse if you show it any disrespect, it was controversially re-surfaced at a cost of half a million big ones back in 2016, I can remember me and Croftsy riding it Port Erin to Foxdale, Foxdale to Port Erin, Port Erin to Foxdale time after time until we collapsed, absolutely fucked in the picnic area as the sun set and we lost the light, a total mind-fuck that saw us giggling like teenagers at a Bieber concert.
   I’ve seen Classic TT / Manx GP riders testing their bikes up here, as far as I can remember there is only one junction, maybe two on the whole road, visibility is fantastic and the road surface super grippy, for me I always feel I could go faster, I’m in track mode on the 790 and chucking gears at it but I’m craving more horse power.
    Keep it quite folks but your welcome for the recommendation, [no one reads the blog anyway so we should be safe!] Anyhoo, I join the TT course at Ballacraine and a fast ride down to Quarry Bends and I get a prime spot against the Recticel barrier before realising I’m missing an essential tea making ingredient,  Skin out up to Sulby Crossroads for a pint of milk and back again before the roads close for the Classic TT Superbike Race, my fellow spectators think its highly amusing when I get out my super light stove and mashings from my day sack but after a three hour delay are soon asking me if I can spare them a brew, fucking amateurs!
     An early retirement is Gary Johnson on the beautiful York Suzuki prepared oil burner, them, there are factory Yoshimura carbs people! Check out the welding majik on the frame, the qd battery charger connector, [got these on my fork truck at work, not exotic, just superbly practical]

     I offer my phone so Gary can inform his nearest and dearest that he’s safe but he’s already phoned them, he tells me most riders have a burner tucked in their leathers to let the family know they are safe and well, as I pour over the details of the machine I notice two of the ht leads are flapping in the wind, the plug caps still attached but the circuit broken.