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

Saturday, 15 August 2020

If I Should Fall To The Field


 This time of year usually sees me getting my kit ready for the annual pilgrimage to the Island for the Classic TT/Manx GP, unfortunately during these strange times that’s not happening this year. So, after a particularly sad week in which I lost another dear friend to a motorcycle accident I started to question if this obsession is indeed worth the heartache. I put off riding for four days, not wishing out of respect or perhaps fear of putting my loved ones through the same feelings of loss that my friends family are going through at this time. 

 I can’t articulate the sensation of riding a motorcycle, many more talented people have tried before, it is, without wanting to sound like a walking [riding] cliche something that if you have never experienced it you really wouldn’t understand, [told you] 
 We are basically a big soft bag of muscle, tissue and blood, it’s not speed that kills it’s stopping abruptly, usually through hitting an inanimate object. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played out this scenario in my head, both consciously and in my dreams, is this my ultimate destiny? Some stranger turning across my path? [‘I didn’t see him’] our lives intertwined by fate, perhaps a misjudgment as I enter a bend, a trail of diesel from a careless trucker over filling his tank? The track day where circumstances go against us? The ‘racing incident?’  I don’t know, no one ever really knows, we have two important dates in life, the one when we are born and the one when we finally shuffle off this mortal coil. 
   What I will say though is that I’d rather continue to experience the feelings that I get riding my motorcycles, whatever the risk, than succumb to the humdrum, boring, tartan blanket wearing existence that non-riders have. Richard ‘Nobby’ Newbold. Love you mate.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

True Love Will Find You In The End




 As much as I love my FTR1200 and fair play to Indian Motorcycles for marketing it as a race oriented machine it’s got nothing in common with the pukka race bikes other than the name on the tank, [all the other manufacturers are on the same kick, your Honda/Kawasaki/Yamaha/Ducati/BMW isn’t the same as the bikes that are winning Moto GP/TT/BSB/MotoAmerica] Winning races counts. It sells bikes. Always has done but a road going bike with all the road going compromises isn’t the same as a full-on Factory bike that’s sole purpose is to go fast, handle well at extreme angles of lean, brake with the ‘g’ force of a fighter plane and win races.

     The two main protagonists in the American Flat Track series are Indian and Harley Davidson, same as it ever was, [but fair play to Yamaha giving the big two a run for their money with JD Beach taking time out from the Moto America super sport series to race the very special, very rapid, MT07] 

So, where’s this going then? Well, the nights are drawing in and I’m hankering after the possibility of a new project to keep me busy over the long winter nights. Enter the Harley Davidson 750 Streetrod. Yup, you heard me right,  the unfashionable, water cooled, ‘entry-level’ budget, not-made-in-the-USA target of mucho hilarity amongst the chap-wearing, lardy arsed H.O.G. wankers who think camping is mincing around the local bike night wearing mirror shades and looking tough and have no knowledge of the  racing heritage between these two famous manufacturers. I must admit to not actually realising the history until I saw the memorial at Daytona Beach. A feeling of real humility, same as I get when I go over to the Isle of Man.

You can pick up a late model of the 750 for around four grand. A little bit of whoo, a little bit of wah a sprinkling of fairy dust and a healthy dose of hacksaw should sort it out...../

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Considered Thoughts - The Indian FTR1200



So, why did I choose the Indian FTR 1200 as my new whip? There are more powerful, faster, better handling machines available but my decision was purely based on how it made me feel and the sheer ‘fun-factor’ rather than any ‘practical’ reasons, I don’t have to ride a bike to and fro from work everyday like back in the day, I’m not touring on it, I don’t need luggage capacity, [although I can bungee my 50ltr Oxford Dri-Sac onto the pillion seat with ease] I don’t need ‘adventure bike’ capability [and whilst we are on the subject my choice would be a Royal Enfield Himalayan over  any massive, plastic encrusted GS/Multistrada/Triumph Tiger any day ]The FTR is a heavy beast at 225 kg dry, it packs 123 bhp and a staggering 80 ft torque, to put it into perspective my KTM 790 Duke weighs 169kg, has 105 English Pony’s and 66 ft of torque, that, by my reckoning equates to the Indian being 56kg heavier! But, it’s not all about figures, I can assure you once on the move the extra weight isn’t apparent at all. The riding position is the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced on a motorcycle, the bar/seat/foot peg ratio is spot on, the seat is plush and comfortable [ hey, remember your talking to someone who’s ridden hard tail choppers with conveyor belt rubber for a seat and quarter inch rubber on my race bikes as a consession to comfort!] The Pro-Taper bars fall easily to hand with a great rise that immediately puts you in control, they are just right, not too high or low and nice and wide to give loads of feel, the foot pegs are aluminium dirt bike inspired items, I’ve seen some people moaning about them being slippy but I’ve had no problems with them. The clutch is a cable item and is super light in operation, front brake is a Brembo radial mastercylinder, span adjustable and provides more braking power than you will ever need on the road. Twin 320mm front brake discs are semi-floating and mounted directly to the hub to save the extra weight and complexity of a disc carrier, calipers are the excellent four-pot Brembo M4 items late of this parish and found on Aprilia/Ducati/KTM superbikes. There is, of courseABS fitted as standard. And that is the sum total of rider aids on this bike. Yup, no wheelie mitigation, no traction control, just your throttle and brake input to save you from headbutting the scenery and that in my book is all you blinking well need squire!I could of course go on all day about the excellent Sachs suspension, the meticulous attention to detail with deep, deep paint, nice fasteners and excellent fit, finish and general all-over quality of the bike but I’d rather talk about that engine. It’s a torque beast, any sign of dampness and you are spinning up the wheel in fourth and fifth gear, the thing does it in the dry too, never lairy in a bad way, it just makes you come over all Jared Mees, the back-end steps out and gets squirrely but never in an ‘oh shit’ way, the bike has a way of making you feel like a hero, the standard exhaust is quiet at town speeds allowing for stealth-mode but give it the berries and you are met with a raucous noise as the induction noise rises and it sucks greedily for air. This thing is fast but more than that it’s FUN! And that for me is what it’s all about. I heard a great comparison recently, this isn’t a Ferrari or Lamborghini, this is a brutal, raw Ford Mustang or Dodge Charger, yes it goes around corners but it’s never going to compete with a sportsbike around the turns, that’s not to say it doesn’t handle because it does, but jumping off a sportsbike onto this is a totally different experience and it needs to be treated with a little respect [cue 80’s Erasure tune]So, bad points? The filler cap is a lovely, billet Indian ‘I’ icon item, non-hinged that you have to remove before refuelling, first time I filled up the bastard rolled off the pump and bent my key at 45 degrees! not good. The fuel tank isn’t a fuel tank, it’s actually the air box and the tank is under the seat to keep the weight low slung. You need to be really careful when fuelling, the tank will belch raw fuel all over you, the bike, the car at the adjacent pump, the kids hanging out of the window of the car at the adjacent pump, the two people walking the dog past the local garage, you get the picture? Ball-ache. The standard mirrors are shit. Replace them with bar-end items, preferably Oberon, problem solved. Tyres? The Dunlop DT3-R’s are specific to the FTR, a blocky tread pattern, they move around and take a little getting used to but I’ve ridden supermoto’s on Dunlop Mutant’s and they feel very similar. If you are used to a more sporty profile you are going to be in for a surprise but they are not as bad as everyone says they are, that being said I will replace them for something more street oriented when I’ve worn them out. [which won’t be long, ahem] And then there’s the fuel economy, [or lack of] listen, the tank is small, the best you are ever going to see is 130 miles from brim-full to empty and that’s riding it sensibly, which, let’s face is never going to happen. Get over it, if you want a bike for fuel economy this isn’t for you. If you want a practical, do-it-all bike then this isn’t for you, if you want a raw riding experience, shits and giggles bike then step this way........

 

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Dusting For Smoke

 Saturday night. Post-ride comedown.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

What Comes Back



Big Steve’s brilliant homage to the OG, ‘80’s super bike racer done with a twist. Get yourself an Ed-u-macation as an old mate used to say. Original frame, strengthened by the addition of bracing so subtle you wouldn’t have even noticed it if I hadn’t told you, [did the same on my GS thou and Katana, right-way-up Ohlins  forks to keep the period correct look but twinned with Ohlins twin-shock loveliness to suspend the rear end, that swing arm is an original Harris item, commissioned by Big Steve and looks very spindly compared to my FTR but look at it, eccentric chain adjustment and a rose jointed torque arm, pure 80’s bike-porn! Exhaust you say? Moriwaki seamed aluminium item with welded seams, bodywork is standard including the take-the-piss grabrail, decals aren’t decals, they are sprayed on but look like stickers. I love the whole juxtaposition of this bike, standard clocks but the 1170 [forget what it says on the sidepanels] engine is twin-plugged and running two separate ignition systems,  [Steve tries to explain it to me but I’m fucked, he is a development engineer at Rolls Royce working on mind blowing shit, he turned up with a model that he got his apprentices to develop involving 3D printers, gears, bearings, just amazing stuff, I’m an old-school wheel turner, using rulers, gauges and bits of string cut to length!] anyhoo, Dymag wheels but not stupidly oversized, the CR carbs look like they grew there, ISR brake lever and mastercylinder, blacked-out barrels and heads, polished casings, Brembo calipers and titanium fasteners. Feast your eyes brethren, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.......

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Nathan Fake


Bastard


Friday, hottest day of the year, Bob the Dog walked early doors, home before seven in the am and it’s already twenty-two degrees, quick shower and warm up the FTR as I sort out my riding gear. Where to go? The Rollright Stones beckon, the ancient stone circle bordering Warwickshire and Oxfordshire, a 120 mile ride, not been here for around ten years, Chuck a sandwich and bottle of water in my bag and off we bloody well trot, it’s good to be riding at this time in the morning, too late to miss the work traffic/school run/ granny shopping trip, still warm though even though I’ve unzipped my jacket liner, I’m wearing Daneise armoured jeans and my ubiquitous greasy Doc Marten  boots. Out through rural Leicester, past Mallory and into the Home of Triumph, {or ‘Inckley as we know it] on to the A5, [how many times have I travelled this road? Memories of the Hells Angels Kent Custom Bike Show and British GP races at Silverstone] I stop to re-fuel and grab a can of cold coffee before turning onto the Fosse Way and head south. As I walk back towards the bike I can see something glinting in the full sunshine, closer inspection reveals a Pozidrive screw firmly imbedded in my rear tyre. Deep fucking joy. It had all been going so swimmingly until this point.
I walked away and sat in the shade of the only tree for miles, chugging my ice cold coffee and laughed. It’s a beautiful day, sunshine beating down and I’m riding a great bike, something as inconvenient as a puncture shouldn’t ruin it. 
Finishing my caffeine fix I return to the bike and push my fingers into the still warm compound, it’s still firm, I fish out my knife and carefully work the blade under the head of the screw until there’s enough to grasp between my thumb and forefinger and gently prise it out. PPPPSSSHHHH! The tell tale sound of air escaping from a tyre. YOU BASTARD! I’d hoped hope against hope that I’d collected a pop rivet or short screw, no such luck. The full Bangladesh, English Breakfast, All you can eat, full on two inch, [or 50mm if you are metric] twin taper screw. 
I pushed it straight back into the tyre and decided to just ride as far home as I could without resorting to calling the very nice man, the very, very nice man. 
Ten minutes into my ride home, telling myself to behave and take it steady I’m still riding like a twat and continued to do so until I got home. Bike up on the paddock stand and I work the trusty blade under the screw head, flat within seconds. Today was a good day.......

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Wordy Rappinghood

Question. Is the blogging format dead? Is it time for me to start posting video? Would anyone out there like video format rather than rambling?

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Hoverbike.

Looking like something out of a Japanese Manga comic, ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, the KTM 790 Duke ‘Hoverbike’ who needs wheels and tyres? Err, well I do. The time had come to change the horrible OEM Maxxis tyres that the factory decided to fit to the bike off the showroom floor, a blatant cost cutting exercise which everyone knew as soon as they rode the bike, completely average tyre and if I was giving it any credit at all I would rate it as a budget sport/touring cover.
   By 1700 miles they had developed a squared-off profile and offered no confidence in the wet or dry,  time for a change so on returning home after my last ride I proceeded to do an epic burn out against the shed door to give them a good send off, unfortunately I forgot Mrs B was on a conference call, Bob the Dog decided to join in by howling wildly, next door giving me daggers, my ma came around and told me to grow up and the bloody smoke alarm went off, deep joy. It’s never like this on YouTube!
   

Bob Smith

An original ‘Bob Smith Super Bike Super Star’ sticker, had one in the back window of my old mini pick-up.......

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Superleggera


There’s special and then there’s the 1299 Ducati Superleggera. Popped in to have a coffee and catch up with Nelly at Cornerspeed yesterday and he was working on this absolutely amazing motorcycle.
   I can remember seeing one at the Motorcycle Live show back in 2017, it was from a distance though as you couldn’t get near it for the throngs of people trying to get a glimpse of it. I got up close and personal with this beauty and I cannot stress the amount of exotic parts and materials that goes into making this rare and expensive machine.
    As you already knew the frame, air box, swing arm wheels, bodywork, sub-frame and a thousand other parts are made of the finest finished carbon fibre I have ever seen, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and a full moto-gp electronics package, every fastener is titanium, [as is the rear shock spring]. The bodywork is really cheeky with the ‘Dynamo-Rod’ fluorescent red carefully left short of the various edges to allow the carbon to show underneath.
    Engine you say? Well it’s the Superquaddro [four valve] twin that pumps out a staggering 215bhp. But there’s more. Every owner also receives an aluminium flight case containing goodies which includes a full titanium race system which yield another 5 bhp. So let’s look at the figures, that’s 220bhp powering a bike that weighs 167kg!
    So what price for this exclusivity? Well, there were only 500 made and they sold out before they hit the showrooms and the retail price was £72,000 pounds! Don’t worry though, I’ve done some digging and there’s a few for sale starting at £43,999 for a ‘high mileage’ 3,900 mile machine.
    ‘Mrs B, I’ve had an idea for an investment, it’ll be better than money in the bank......’
   

Friday, 17 July 2020

Crepuscular

I’m awake. Like someone flicking a switch. I swing my legs out of bed and stand, dawn breaking, the house quiet, my favourite time of day. I’m old. As I shuffle downstairs it takes an effort to make my legs work properly and I clutch the banister and moan lightly as I descend. Kettle on. Door open and breathe in the fresh, cool air of a summer morning. As the water boils I unlock the shed door, 6Music greets me. I never turn off my radio. Ever. Strong tea in hand and I look at the new bike noticing the stick-on-amber-reflectors on the lower fork-legs, I reach for my heat gun and gently warm them, teasing and prising until they come away, I peel off the remnants of the sticky adhesive and with a quick spray of WD-40 there’s nothing to bare witness to them ever being there.
   The standard mirrors are despatched in an instance. I dig out the Oberon bar end mirrors that were fitted to the Guzzi, [and the KTM 690 Duke and the Triumph Bonneville project and the Ducati Hypermotard and the Peaky Blinder, bloody hell! They’ve been on a few bikes these buggers!]
   OEM Bar ends removed and I try and fit the Oberon’s, not so easy, the Pro-Taper bars on the FTR are a strange size, [remember they are tapered aluminium, thick wall] i sort through my stash and find a couple of thin aluminium spacers, I pre-tighten them and with a soft mallet tap them in so I can get a good fixing. Jobs a good ‘un. I really like how it’s dropped the front end down, that’s so much better.
    My thoughts turn to the swing arm mounted number plate / rear indicator / mudguard assembly. It’s not pleasant, but I suppose manufacturers have to reach so many standards that it’s seen as necessary to cover the back wheel in case a stray donkey, Leeds United fan or Dominic Cummings happens to be passing and decides it may be a good idea to stick a hoof,  webbed finger or piss poor excuse into the flailing spokes or chain of a powerful motorcycle.
    Second brew and I’m scanning the ‘tinterweb for an alternative. There really isn’t anything out there that floats my boat or gets my groove on daddyo so I might have to make something. Or. Perhaps not. I’m liking the stealth approach. I got lost in Wales yesterday and happened to stop outside a gorsaf heddlu [Police station] to check my bearings, well, knock me down with a feather, Clever Trevor. After fourteen minutes of squinting at my phone an officer exits said fortress and asked me what I was up too, I explained I was lost and English and was pointed in the right direction with a smile and compliments about the bike.
   So, do I go noisy pipe, little number plate and risk a tug or go underground? My heart says the former, two-rigid-digits, fuck you, I’d love to hear this thing on a race pipe, cat-delete and re-map, but. But. BUT. [it’s a big but] my head says that this thing is a licence loser so am I better going full on ‘who me?’ Stealth approach?
 

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Quid Pro Quo



So, as you know something as trivial as money doesn’t really come into it, [‘there’s no pockets in a shroud’ ‘you can’t take it with you youth’ and all those other statements that justifies spunking hard-earned on motorcycles instead of ‘saving for a rainy day’ and all those reasons to scrimp and save instead of spending the fucker and enjoying it while you are still here.
   I traded the Moto Guzzi and Srad 600 and with a little cash injection courtesy of Mrs B, sorted by some ‘creative’ financial juggling which, with hindsight,  would leave Robert Maxwell gasping for breath at its sheer inventiveness I am now the proud owner of a 2019 Indian FTR 1200.
     But there’s more to the story. The bike was originally purchased by a newbie, direct access geezer. After riding a small capacity Honda commuter he decided to buy an FTR. The dealer tried to persuade him that it was the wrong choice and point him in the right direction. He wasn’t having any of it, macho pride getting the better of his decision, 300 miles later he was back begging to trade it for something a little more civilised. There are NO rider aids on this machine, no six-axis traction control, no anti-wheelie or any of the other safety net features that are standard on bikes today. It’s just you and you as the rider, there’s no ‘rain mode’ to soften the power delivery, nothing to rescue you and make life easy and to be fair to the P.O. This can be an intimidating thing, 123bhp and 80+ foot of torque are serious figures and definitely not a newbie bike.
     This was my first ride out on the bike, it’s totally standard and I will give my considered thoughts when I’ve ridden it for longer than the quick 150 miles that I put in on Saturday afternoon, what I will say is that on my initial ride I was braying like Donkey in the Shrek movie. stay tuned fight fans.....,,,,,.,

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Same As It Ever Was

 Sat in the shed Friday, Bob the Dog snoring gently at my side and drinking my second strong tea of the day, 6-Music  chugging away in the background on the dab and it’s a squally, windy morning, it’s still early, a quarter-to-five in the a.m. [some habits are hard to break] 45 years of getting up early-doors to go to work and the internal body clock still kicks in and shouts ‘HELLO, TIME TO GET UP!’ So, I’m sat there and happen to glance at the calendar and notice that the m.o.t. [the annual Ministry Of Transport  test for vehicles over three years old to make sure that they are safe and roadworthy for our foreign readers] had expired yesterday. Post breakfast and I call in at the village garage on my return leg of my daily Bob the Dog walk. 
I’ve known these lads for what seems an eternity, three generations of the same family, I’m met with a torrent of abuse. Same as it ever was. Of course they can do my m.o.t, just drop the bike off and leave it with them, I get a bollocking for riding up in my shorts, trainers and t-shirt, ‘you should know better Bailey!’ Yada, Yada, Yada. I set to and get my chores out of the way returning late afternoon to pick up the bike. ‘It’s passed but your brake light isn’t illuminating, get it sorted’ here we go, the annual wind-up. Let me explain, I go through my bikes with a fine tooth comb before I take them in for a m.o.t. There wasn’t anything wrong with it before I took it in. They look at each other, straight faces to a man, ‘it was ok when I bought it in lads’ I reply.
I try the foot brake, no brake light, what-the-actual-fuck! I’ve literally ridden it half a mile, what could go wrong in that short ride? The brake light illuminates off the front brake lever. I kneel down and root around.It takes a second. They’ve only dropped the spring off the foot brake lever so the brake light is inoperative. I feign outrage and apologise for missing this glaring defect. They tut and look stern. I go all Otis Redding and we try to keep a straight face for at least 30 seconds before we all crack-up laughing. fucking wankers!
So, I’d like to say that’s where it end’s but after a fifty mile ride home, [suitably attired rather than the t-shirt, trainer, shorts combination from earlier] I decided that the Srad was toast, I put it on ‘a well known, internet auction site early Sunday morning and it sold four minutes later returning a healthy profit. Deep Joy. Why do I do this? It was a great bike, brilliant handling, the induction noise intoxicating and fast but I’m still searching........

Friday, 26 June 2020

Espresso, Triple Shot

 Out on the Guzzi and the 790 this week on consecutive days gives me the chance to compare and contrast both machines and realise that I’ve got the best of both world’s with these two bikes, the Guzzi is like a pair of worn out, tatty slippers, comfortable and just so easy to get on with, I find myself drifting when I ride it, the massive tank gives you no excuse but to click up the klicks, mile after mile of riding, the occasional down change or lightest of brushes on the brakes but the majority of the time I just roll on and off the throttle and revel in the lazy power delivery and great handling and all-day comfort offered by the ergonomics.
   Don’t get me wrong even  for the modest 50ish bhp available you can have some serious fun with this bike, I love the ‘ssscccrrrish’ as the pegs touch down and you can have a good time at sensible speeds, I love it, great bike.
    And then there’s the KTM 790 Duke, the absolute opposite of the Guzzi, like a lairy, pissed uncle at a wedding you know this fucker is going to upset someone straight away, seriously I have tried to be responsible but as soon as you assume the position you know that shit is going down. The view from the saddle is the tapered aluminium bars, very similar to my old supermoto, there’s the TFT screen and that’s it, no headlight or front wheel visible, your elbows spread naturally, the pegs are high and rearward orientated which throws your body over the front wheel in a proper ‘take no prisoners’ stance.
    I seriously doubt that there are many bikes that could live with one of these on a twisty, potholed, cow-shit strewn excuse of a ‘b’ road in the UK, granted a thousand cc sport bike will gobble it up on a trackday but oh my this thing just turns me into an instant arsehole, espresso, triple shot.
    So where am I going with this? Well, I’m still lusting after the Indian FTR 1200, I could sell all four bikes and buy one with the proceeds but I’m questioning if it’s going to be enough? Sometimes I want to chill, ride the little Italian bike and the destination fades into insignificance but on the other hand if I want that fix of adrenaline I can ride a hundred miles on the 790 and come home giggling, sweating and offer praise to whoever that I’ve not been arrested or smashed my old, flaccid body into a stone wall or a tractor turning into a field, I’ve got the little 390 for trackday fun and the Srad for my analogue connection, am I being too greedy? Do I need a new bike or should I just appreciate what I’ve got instead of keep searching for that elusive perfect ride..........


Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Gary Johnson [The Other One]

Had a visit off Gary Johnson last night. Not the renowned, Macau, NW 200 and two-times TT winner and Classic TT racer, [smashing bloke, i met him last year after he broke down at my usual viewing point at the Classic TT at Quarry Bends]
   No, this is the other Gary Johnson, ex-miner, Ram’s fan, Jack Russell owner, Northern Soul aficionado and the owner of the cleanest T5 VW I’ve ever seen. Oh yeah, he’s also got a  beautiful Lambretta Li 150 that he’s just finished rebuilding. The eagle eyed will recognise this bike as the rare 1964 Winter model, [check out the headlight, it has the ‘squared-off-pie-crust’ shape rather than the normal round one] the grey paint on the side panels and horn casting were apparently a nightmare to get right, [and Gary being Gary, now he has the correct paint colour code is going to get the bottom half of his T5 sprayed to match his bike]
     But, that’s really only half the story, this isn’t just a really nice resto job because underneath those panels lurks a 225 MB Developments tuned engine coupled with a big carb and an MB Clubman exhaust, Michelin S1’s keep it shiny side up and Gary has spent an age dialling in the gear selectors [hand-change, left hand bar for none scooter riders] and getting the cable operated brakes up to scratch to deal with the increase in performance.
   Two-Stroke’s. There really is nothing to compare with them, you don’t need big CC’s to compete, I love ‘em me.......

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Talking Of Sportsters..........

My old Sporty project has finally resurfaced after a six year re-imagining, Steve has fitted XR1200 heads, barrels and pistons and a Dyna programmable ignition, he’s dug out a set of Ceriani USD forks and had the front wheel replaced to an eighteen inch rim which certainly looks a lot better than the seventeen I originally fitted and sits a lot better I reckon, he’s also fitted a six-pot Harrison Billet front brake caliper  and has an aluminium Stortz tank ready to fit as soon as he can get some mounts welded up, in a moment of synchronicity I mentioned Chad From Hull who made my tank for the old Ducati TT Fakery Formula Two project, [begat the Peaky Blinder] and so the cottage industry of bike building continues.......

Friday, 19 June 2020

Lay-By Eyes

Dodging the showers on the Guzzi and fresh from a ride into enemy territory [or Nottingham if you prefer] I carried out a stealth mission to investigate a motorcycle which I have become somewhat obsessed with since seeing it back in November last year at the NEC Bike Show. After booking a test ride online, observing social distancing and waiting to be summoned into the dealership I must admit to being a trifle disappointed to be told that the demo bike had been sold the previous afternoon, no worries, all taken with good grace and a healthy dose of craic sadly missing from this ‘customer focused’ world in which we reside.
  I did though get to have a sit on the machine and have a really good look around it, first impressions? Total Quality. Everything fits properly, no unsightly panel fits, no tie-wraps holding hoses/cables/wires, instead q/r button through rubbers, nice fasteners, Brembo brakes, decent suspension, [Paioli I think?] Pro-Taper bars, lovely Dunlop tyres, deep, deep paintwork on the frame and cycle parts, very, very impressive to these jaundiced old eyes.
    And then? Well let’s talk performance figures, 123bhp with 85 foot torque! Mental. [to add a perspective my nutter KTM 790 Duke is 105bhp with 64 foot torque] OK probably not a fair comparison due to the difference in cubic capacity but seriously? Twice the bhp of a Harley Davidson Sportster for almost the same green folding!
   So, that’s why I end up sitting in a lay-by in rural Leicestershire, swigging a bottle of Pellegrino, doing some sums and desperately thinking how I can try to persuade Mrs B that I really need another motorcycle in the shed...........

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Bob Smith

Not had a Bob Smith post for a while so here is the great man himself, I think this is at Scarborough but stand to be corrected if anyone knows the actual location, now here’s a question for you, Bob is leading but obviously has close company, the third rider is Roger Marshall, [ or Reg as he is more affectionately known] but who is the rider sandwiched between them?

Monday, 25 May 2020

To Here Knows When



First ride out today post lockdown restriction easing, instead of heading to Matlock with the rest of the sheep, [congratulations wankers, you are going to spoil it for everyone else, lining up on the ‘strip’ not social distancing and ignoring the pleas to keep away doesn’t matter to you, pissing in the street because the toilets are shut is going to really further the cause you fucking cockwombles!] wait for the cries of ‘biker discrimination’ and ‘it’s not fair’ in MCN!] Yes, I know that there were ordinary families, cyclists and your grandma doing it too but spare me the righteous indignation, fat leather clad bikers are an easy target as seen in our local rag, don’t add fuel to the fire, eating chips isn’t really part of your daily exercise, there are plenty of roads to ride, preferably on your own without visiting Derbyshires inland version of Skeg-Vegas!
    And whilst we are at it and I’m feeling particularly self-righteous and I’m half way down a bottle of fine red, what’s with all the ‘waving’ bollocks? We aren’t ‘brothers in the wind’ never have been, never will be, stop living out your Sonny Barger fan boy alternative lifestyle, I love motorcycles, I just don’t like the majority of motorcyclists. I must admit to laughing my swede off today when a fellow ‘brother’ on a Bandit actually slapped his chest above his heart as he approached me today, hey bro, I know I’m looking cool, i get that I might be your man crush, I’m a good looking bloke, fast approaching 61 but fit as a butchers dog, I may be folically challenged but that’s the testosterone coarseing  through my system, I’m riding a Moto Guzzi, [yeah, making ‘good progress’ and chamfering the souls on my Doc’s] but for fucks sake keep your eye on the road instead of trying to catch mine..........
 

Friday, 15 May 2020

Tin Plate Toys






Here’s a few photos of my small collection of tin plate motorcycles that I have collected over the years. I just find them really charming, they are not well detailed like the Minichamps or Paul’s Models items but I find that this adds to the appeal for me.
    They are mostly replicas of the toys that were originally manufactured in Germany after the Second World War but I think that most of these, with the exception of the 93 racer bike which was made in India, are of Far East origin.
    The models are a combination of ‘friction’ and wind-up items, the friction models you just rub on the ground to make them move and the wind-up models are clockwork with a small detachable key, the 93 racer is quite interesting as the rider bobs up and down under the fairing screen as the model goes forward!
   

Saturday, 2 May 2020

S.O.R.N - [Sick Of Restrictions Now]



Right, hopefully that’s sorted now, apparently ‘someone’ took exception to a post from back in the day, [hey, this blog may contain nuts, swear words and opinionated bollocks, if you don’t like it try Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle recipe page instead you sensitive snowflakes fuck off and let me post swear words and opinionated bollocks]
    So, here’s the shed, four bikes, three road bikes one track/race
bike, just waiting.........
   

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Dangerous Dave


Dangerous Dave. 08/04/2017, miss you every day, love you mate.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

The New Normal





I’m blessed. I live in a rural location, cross the road, onto a footpath and miles of empty fields, woods and forest roads all within walking distance of my home. Bob the Dog and I can walk for miles without seeing a soul, although he sometimes trespasses into a private wood to steal sticks but give him a break, he’s only nine months old and can’t read yet...................