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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bad Luck comes in 3's

I got out for a ride to the Dorset (one of my favourite counties) coast last Sunday morning,but before leaving I'd had my doubt's as to whether it was going to be a good idea. I'd opened up the side door of the garage to find an obstruction of my plastic storage cabinet (multi drawer)on the floor shedding it's contents of carb parts and 100's of  S/S 5 and 6mm nuts washers etc. Gathered it up and dumped it all to one side. Went back indoors, got stuff together and my bike kit on only to go back out to the garage only to find my bike on 'it's side. I'd previously moved it outside putting the tip of the side stand  on the edge of the concrete slope. The edge had crumbled and after all the rain we've had there was nothing else but very soft dirt. Checked it over quickly and it looked relatively unscathed. I am not generally superstitious, but this is when the thought crossed my mind about bad luck.
   I obviously did go out and had quite a pleasant ride, though still with mostly too much traffic around.
The road that runs between Bridport and Weymouth along the route of Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon.
The lagoon was used for testing the bouncing bomb (the Dambusters) during WW II
Also you might just be able to see the 14th century St Catherine's chapel standing alone on the hill (just above centre of the pic)
  Got home without anymore incidents except that when I took my tank bag off I found that the flip up monza cap had ......................flipped up ! The leaking fuel had mostly settled underneath the bag having a slight negative effect on the paint which should cut back ok though the paint (that I applied out of a spray tin) on the l/h side panel looks like it's melted a little on one edge......hmnn, so it looks like it does run in three's

Moto Guzzi cafe racer - fond memories!

Sorry as this post is just about self indulgence ( Isn't it all !! )
I asked Adam (Italianmotormagazine) to send me some pics that he took of my bike for issue 2 of his mag as I seem to have lost / deleted all of my own images and as I don't own the bike anymore ,but still like to look at old pics etc 

  I put quite a lot of detail touches into it,infact the most thought ever for one of my builds.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Guzzi Cafe Racer/ A Good Week in the Office.

It was definitely a positive thing getting the workbench cleared and the frame etc off to the powder coaters.
as this week I feel that I have achieved much.
My bike lift has proved to be more of a blessing than I thought as I was able to use it to lift the engine up to waist height making my life easier getting onto the workbench. I struggle noticeably these days if  I have to lift it off of the floor. 
Gearbox battery tray fixing point
I thought I was going to remove the broken stud,but thought the extractor  might break off so  decided to drill it out and put in an insert 

Good to have some of the correct tools for the job for the output shaft nut on the rear of the box.
Two different tools needed for the clutch hub nut at the front end.

All the gears look good. Two of the selector forks have one face with some wear  which is common due to poor  factory shimming. Gear selector return spring had a bad crack so replaced along with output/input seals

Piston crowns and cylinder heads all nicely clean  from a previous owner (been off the road 10+years) Had the  barrels off,which show no signs of wear. 

Correct tools come in handy again!
Removed clutch and flywheel to replace the rear crankshaft seal. After the amount of years it's stood  didn't want  risk  it leaking once the bike is back together. Friction plates had minimal wear, but replaced all the springs.
Also had the front timing cover off and fitted a automatic chain tensioner which will, apart from the obvious, help keep the engine a little quieter. Who remembers or can be bothered to adjust the original !

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Not for the faint hearted !

Thanks once again to my friend Joe for a link to this. It looks like it could be a fairly common occurrence on this stretch of road in India.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sunday was a day for clearing up and ......

Had to move a couple of bikes out to make life easier
Messy bench

Not a messy bench

Frame parts and wheels with tank and seat I'll be using that came with the project

Ignition switch  hole
making some sense of the mess in my garage (workbench in particular) and gathering some parts together. Amazing how doing something so simple can make you feel  positive. The workbench had been a mess for a while and I kept looking at it and walking away.A delivery of some parts  (inc. g/box shims,gaskets etc) were expected for Monday and also I had a few little jobs to do on a frame including  cutting a hole for the ignition switch and removing all bearings from the swing arm  and generally making it ready for the powder coaters. Now I am feeling motivated,  but the frame will be approximately 10 days before it's ready so on my newly cleared bench I'll be taking a look at some gearboxes.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Bristol MAG Custom and Classic show

Not sure if this of Chinese,Russsian or ? origin but it's not a BMW

Enfield Bobber

Ariel Arrow -pressed steel frame 2-stroke
and Puch with expansion chamber

Not my cup of tea,but makes a picture

My friend Barney's Convert (auto) If you click on and enlarge the picture you  might notice that the clutch and brake  lever and all switches are on the right as he only has one arm.

I see this out and about from time to time in the area where I live.
If you can read the info it has had 3 owners from new

I have been into town today to the Bristol branch of MAG (Motorcycle Action Group) bike show. I hadn't been for many years (due to usually being away), and had preconceived idea's as to what the majority of the bikes were going to be,but it's free and organised and run by volunteers. It's not quite as big as the Auto Italian day (cars and bikes) that is held in April each year. Here are a few of the bikes that I found of interest.

Immortalised in watercolour

I  was very surprised to come across this on Ebay the other day. It's an original watercolour painting,  by artist Ian McGowan, of my Guzzi cafe racer. I no longer own the bike though sometimes wish I did. I miss a lot of the detail touches  which a lot of people wouldn't notice especially if you don't know Guzzi's too well.
It would be great to own this painting though !!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Getting out on the Guzzi

Madelyn was hosting,on behalf of a friend, a ladies clothes party last Saturday and as lovely as all her/our friends are my best option was to get out on the bike for the day.
The weather forecast for the day was good,in fact the last good day before yet another wet period.
  I had no real plan,but just a couple of routes for getting me out of the way for as long as possible depending upon what time I got up and got my act together. As it turned out I was late leaving and so opted for the shorter 200ml + route rather than what would have been approx 350mls.
  I also knew the roads would be very busy as it's very much a holiday destination so I resigned myself to sticking as much as possible to around the 60mph even if given the opportunity to open it up a bit. More of going with the flow to also see what sort of fuel consumption I could get.
   My destination was the seaside town of Ilfracombe on the North Devon coast along all A and B roads.
Porlock Bay
Porlock Weir
Porlock Toll house/gate. 50p for bikes ( £2 for cars)
You put your money through the tiny slot in the door
The toll road
Back on the A39
Lynton and Lynmouth in the distance
Lynmouth where two rivers meet and the scene of a devastating flood in 1952 that swept away 100 houses and killed 34 people 
Watermouth Bay
Watermouth Castle- actually a grand house built in approximately the 1850's. Now it's holiday apartments,museum and old fashioned theme park

Picking up the A39 after Bridgewater it's the Quantock hills of Somerset where it then turns into Exmoor National park. For some reason I don't come down this way very often,but it really is beautiful countryside with lots to see and do and although a lot of the route can be very congested the roads are quite narrow and twisty and,for me,very suited for the 60mph I had in mind and once clear of  Minehead the traffic freed up greatly.
  Returned via a slightly more inland route across Exmoor and another another twisty flowing road picking up the A39 again at the medieval village and castle of Dunster
   Oh yes,I averaged approximately 60 miles per gallon. The bike is 1064cc with 40mm Dellortos

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

On the subject of Bangs................

I bought this bike in the Summer of 96'. I can be definite about the year as I was on crutches at the time having had a car pull across in front of me. My own cafe racer style Guzzi had a slightly bent frame,very bent forks and one of the 'very nice' brembo fully floating discs broken in half amongst other things so I was on the lookout for a replacement. This bike was my pride and joy at the time using it as my main form of transport all year round.
Anyway I drove up from Bristol  to Nuneaton (near to Coventry where I am from and also the scene of the accident)
   When I was able to get back on a bike again the new purchase turned out to go really well,but was incredibly loud and I quite often felt very paranoid about attracting police attention.Probably why I left that HUGE number plate on so it would have been one less offence should I get stopped.
Well,sad to say I think that I only used the new bike for 2,000+mls before it went BANG.
The piston on the left of the picture was the result, though maybe I should have been forewarned as the one on the right came in the spare parts box that came upon collection of the bike.

The picture of the racer (late 80's) is who I bought the bike from.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

It went BANG !!

Found this amongst all the rubbish on my work bench the other day. It's one of the original coils from my 1100Sport based project (the Single seater)
    When I was sorting out the wiring I thought I was being very clever leaving on the original coils. I had replaced the 1100motor with a Spada III item using points and condensers. A few weeks previous to the day of the bang I thought one coil in particular seemed to be getting hot very quickly along with some crackling noises. It was one hell of a bang as you can probably gather from the photo. 
A lesson learnt anyway that you can't mix  the later type coils with early points ignition.

Pete's washed his S3

Pete called in last Friday afternoon after work to return a few twin bleed nipple Brembo calipers that he has very kindly removed the broken off bleed nipples from. As I posted a pic of his very dirty well used S3 a couple of weeks back here is a pic of it to show how well it cleans up. 
I bet it's not looking quite so shiny now as it has been raining virtually non stop since the weekend.
   I am not sure where the glorious August that the weather people were promising, has got to.

This is at least the 3rd rubbish Summer on the trot and makes you realise why a lot of people move to the South West of France and Spain etc