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

Friday, 26 July 2019

who the fuck is wes cooley?


 for men of a certain age, the big ujm, [universal japanese motorcycles] were where it was at, big, hoary,  in line four cylinder bikes with too much weight and power, spindly frames and skinny tyres, [i managed to squeeze a massive 130 pirelli phantom onto the back of my ‘ice cream’ van, blue and white gs 1000s] dave aldana in his black skeleton leathers riding an evil looking gs at the transatlantic series match racers in the early eighties sealed it for me, croz, the new zealander on the yoshimura, high-bar gs, racing out there with the tz’s and rg strokers, these were bikes that we could identify with, bikes you could buy at the dealers, strip off the lights and ride at the weekend. of course it wasn’t like that in reality, these were big money, factory machines prepared with a massive budget, a bit like the bsb bikes today, basically a silhouette but a million miles away from the road bikes. the ‘duke’ vhs videos added a new dimension, grainy, poor quality video footage of ‘our’ bikes racing and winning at daytona, all narrated by local legend chris carter.
   I traded my red and white, ‘speedblock’ yamaha, rd400 for a blue and white gs1000 at the local co-op, yes really, the co-op! some genius decided to get into the motorcycle scene and make a killing, unfortunately it didn’t quite go that way as the ex-car dealers running the show didn’t have a clue so there was some great deals to be had and the mighty co-op pulled the plug a mere six months later after having their fancy gilded pants down and their arses royally spanked by all manner of local scrotes trading in worn out, crashed tat for sparkling new bikes. happy days. to this day I can’t believe I pulled off the deal with a seized rd for a low mileage gs1000.
the transformation soon began, at first foam grips, then a set of marzocchi shocks, [they all came red, I stripped them and sprayed them blue, later powder coated the springs white] I stripped off the engine case lacquer with nitromors and polished them with solvol, a local firm, metmachex started building beautiful aluminium swinging arms with eccentric chain adjusters, I had to have on and ended up using a car jack to splay the frame to get it to fit, an alpha 4 into 1 pipe, swiftly swapped for a harris f1 followed, cir cycle yellow ht leads and polished bell-mouths and raask Rearsets, the ubiquitous stainless Allen head screw kit for the engine and a kawasaki steering damper.
  The second picture is my bike, taken sometime in the very early 1980’s in my ex girlfriends backyard, look closely and you can see the tin of mr sheene polish and the tube of auto-solvol polish.
  so, where’s all this going then? it’s friday night and im looking at gs1000r endurance racers, wes cooleys AMA supebike has been done to death, I love them, big, tough and lairy but the yoshimura endurance racers are the nuts, don’t know if it’s my upcoming annual visit to the Isle of Man for the Classic TT/Manx gp, yes the xr69 bikes are all oil-boiler bandit/gixxer based four valves and not the original two-valve motors but what the fuck, the Manx Norton’s are all summerfield/works performance or molnar four valves, the mv’s built in a shed in the West Midlands and nowhere near milan.
   Mrs b is not happy, I’ve bid on a tatty 600 Suzuki bandit, mot failure and needing work, the photos taken after the well known dodge of spraying with a hosepipe, [everything looks better wet] I’m not fooled, it’s a knacker but all I can see in my minds eye is a suzuka eight-hour yoshimura endurance racer........