My Blog List

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Christmas - Dartmoor (inc the Prison) Devon,Cornwall

We had our Christmas just 20+ South of Bristol in Weston Super Mare and on the Saturday we drove down to the border of Cornwall / Devon to our Sister in Laws for just a couple of nights. As they live just a little South of Tavistock now we drove across Dartmoor which never fails to win me over with it's beautiful views. I know my camera can never really capture what you see,but I still can't help myself.

A Clapper bridge

Dartmoor Prison -1809

The view from Jo's, our Sister in Laws, in Gunnislake

At the bottom of the hill from Jo's and by the river,probably a Land Rover
enthusiasts worst nightmare

Madelyn and I had never been to Horsebridge before

........or this lovely pub 'The Royal Inn' built in approx 1480/90'
apparently originally as a nunnery

The bridge was built in 1437 by Benedictine monks
and the nunnery 50 years later

On our way and a quicker route back across the moor.
The Highwayman Inn at Sourton Cross and probably one of the most unusual pubs around

Even more unusual from the front
Originally built as a Inn in 1282

This derelict cottage is directly across the road from the Highwayman
and I don't remember ever noticing it before probably because we are always so
busy looking at the pub

Out of the hundreds of thatched cottages around the country
I don't remember ever seeing one like this before,especially with
the passageway 

Off of Dartmoor and across Exmoor.
Occasionally do a few hundred miles round trip from Bristol
on the Guzzi in the warmer months

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Some People - a Sixties Film

I went into Fopp Records today looking for a couple of Christmas presents and came out with a purchase for myself, a dvd of the 60's film SOME PEOPLE ( propaganda film for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards  scheme ) which I've been looking out for on dvd
 for quite a few years.
  We saw this approx 20 years ago when it was on at the local 'ART 'Cinema and our interest was partly that it was filmed in Bristol and had bikes in it.
  It was on release around the same time as 'The Leather Boys' which was centred around the The Ace Cafe and is a better film in more ways than just the amount of  motorcycle related footage,but for £3 it's worth adding to our film collection.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Moto Guzzi S3 ...............

..................and a trip to the West Coast of Wales to pick it up, as Adam of Italian Motor magazine had bought it as a crash damaged project for repair. He mentioned it a week or so ago and asked, as he'd be driving past Bristol "did I want to accompany him and to be able to give a hand loading it onto the van?"
  It was approximately a 300ml round trip from Bristol plus another 200mls for Adam.
  Adam knew that he was buying back his old bike that he'd sold - in bits - back in 2005,but the weird coincidence was that the T3 engine currently in the bike I'd sold to the owner approximately 14 years ago. This didn't actually come to light until we'd all met and introductions made. What a Small Moto Guzzi world we live in !
   John who sold Adam the bike has a blog about his current rebuild,plus other stuff, of his V7 Sport which he's owned since 1978  -
Crossing into Wales over the Second Severn Bridge

Port Talbot Steel Works on one side and.....

......the Welsh countryside on the other

We can see the sea !
Funny how you can still get excited when you see your first glimpse of the sea,
even when, as in my case, you only live 20 - 25 miles from it anyway

The S3 doesn't look too bad from the back,but as is usually the way
the front end doesn't look quite so clever. 

Bent frame,forks,wheel,broken disc etc.

John's in the middle of restoring his V7 Sport

Newquay Harbour

A couple of signs for practising your Welsh

Is Adam dancing ?

Old  worn stone steps are fascinating 

I couldn't help but smile at some of the items/prices
listed for I guess what were handling charges for getting things on
and off boats.
'Pianoforte or Barrel Organ - 5 shilling' particularly caught my eye 

Saturday, 6 December 2014


My friend Nick and his mate Chris have been to a few of the Dirtquake events over the past few years. I never have, but does look a bit of a laugh though.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Moto Guzzi Griso Tank Bag

My friend Tim attached these pics with a recent email of his newly purchased tank bag. He wanted specifically a brown/tan coloured one to compliment the seat of his Griso SE and had to buy it from Germany to get what he wanted. It's from the same person who makes the luggage for the Axel Budde Cafe Racers -
   Not the biggest of bags,but handy for throwing in those little essentials for day trips out. Now he's retired Tim is doing as much as possible to make the Griso practical and comfortable for his needs. As Todd at Guzzitech acquired the bike for him he has also had a hand in some upgrades including the exhaust end can
At the end of 'The Strip' with the famous sign in the background

Out in the Nevada desert at Eldorado and I'm just a sucker for pics of old buildings
and cars.



My friend Martin came off his BMW Boxer a few months back and although he was ok the bike suffered a reasonable amount of damage with the more he dismantled the bike the more he found, including a frame that had to be scrapped. Acquiring another frame he has set to rebuilding.

  Lumiweld has been around for years and I have been tempted to purchase a kit,but never have. Martin has and has put it to some use to repair the gearbox end casing. He's machined off the damaged section made up a new piece and lumiwelded / soldered this on with seemingly great success.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Moto Guzzi 950

A couple of years ago I put my friend Pete in touch with a chap selling Guzzi Mille GT. It was relatively cheap at £850,just a little untidy though not too bad. I would normally snap something like this up,but had enough project bikes waiting in the wings.
  To cut a long story short, after a period of time the price dropped to £650 and Pete bought it and took it back to his home over the Severn Bridge to Chepstow.
   Initially he found it had a badly re-aligned welded up gearbox casing - cracked right around the bell housing area,but the engine sounded sweet with less than 40,000mls on the clock.
   It was always intended to use it in place of his Guzzi S3 as a commuter bike - a daily 25ml round trip.
  "What style shall I build it into?" he says
   Practicality says leave it as it is and maybe get a fairing for it, as it is after all a daily commuter for all year round use.
   Initially he was going to fit a leman I tank and triangular side panels which were already painted in the V7 Sport type green,then he acquired some leman III bodywork,then it was going to be Spada I bodywork ,then he purchased a full 80's Guzzi Race style fairing and finally ended up just like his first idea,which I guess deep down I knew it would do !

This wasn't Pete's,but one of my future projects
and a slightly later Mille GT. Gives an idea of one in it's fairly standard form though.

A few months back in the Summer and looking good,but the standard forks
won't function properly

He later changed the forks for another pair and they didn't want to work either

So he bought a BMW K75 complete front end and that works well !
I reckon I might think about this mod for my Touring Guzzi

The stanchions are approx 3 inches too long,but not as noticeable as you'd expect
with the riser clip ons above the top yoke

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Vietnam War

How incredibly different our lives can be. My friend Tim Crump in Las Vegas, who is only 6 - 7 years older than me was on board ships in Vietnam when I was in my first years of secondary school with not really a care in the world,apart from getting beaten up by the school bullies for refusing to play in the School Rugby team. - still puzzles me how they found out I'd played for my previous school. Lost interest in most sport by this girls and music etc took over. 
  Anyway,Tim decided to sign up for Navy college in 69' rather than be drafted into the Army or Marines which would have meant fighting in the jungle.
   Here's some of his personal photo's from that time
On board his first ship.
Beard and glasses wouldn't look out of place with
today's current trend

Gunners Mate Training School

A seasoned sailor and on board his second ship,the Cruiser
USS Chicago 

His ship (pics taken from another) being fired upon from
Vietcong shore batteries 

Sailing into Hong Kong

Three months in hospital with a plaster cast from his bum
 down both legs.
He also got a nurse to teach him how to knit so he could make this blanket for
his daughter,who still actually has it.(the needles were also the perfect tool for scratching any itches inside his plaster cast)
I should say that the hospitalisation wasn't due to the war,but on leave to see his wife in Tijuana,Mexico and in the early hours of the morning nearing San Diego on his Guzzi Eldorado riding in 'Pea Soup' fog Tim came across a car with no lights, in his lane. The owner was at the rear of the car and as he headed for the gap between the car and the person  he stretched out to stop Tim causing the Fairing/windshield to hit him on the chest which in turn brought Tim off the bike.
Tim was relatively ok and looked around to see,in the lights of a oncoming car the chap lying in the road.
He ran over to pull him out of the way  of anything else only for another car to clip the back of the broken down car
spinning it around. This clipped them both pushing them aside and Tim ended up with a dislocated left knee.
Because he couldn't walk as he was crawling to still try and get the other chap out of the way the knee popped back in.
However,he was left with ligaments that needed stapling together hence the spell in hospital.
Quite some Story !!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

East of Eden / John Kongos / Deep Purple

My post about Lynsey de Paul and 70's music I was listening to has prompted memories and I came up with the first single that I ever bought,as far as I can remember. I have never kept diaries so I can't vouch for how accurately I recount things.
  I believe that Jig a Jig by East of Eden was my first and possibly Tokoloshe Man by John Kongos (I thought I still had my copy,but can't find it) my second. Around this same time or earlier I saw Deep Purple at Coventry Theatre (1971 ?) and where 18 months later I would see Bowie in 73' amongst many other bands through a 10+ year period. A lot of them were at the Lanchester Polytechnic,which is now Coventry University right in the middle of the city centre with the 'magic bus' (two double decker buses that had drop off points to either side of the city) taking us home at the end of many a Friday or Saturday night

Friday, 3 October 2014

Moto Guzzi Cafe Racer Project

My Cafe Racer Style project has moved on very slightly and with one of the final larger components - the exhaust system  - of the build in place it actually now feels like it's starting to take shape. For a number of reasons this is the longest any of my builds has taken to get up together,but now I am hopeful this might get finished within the first 6 months of 2015.
  Here are some pics of how it's looking,with plenty still left to do,

and how I envisaged it 3 - 4 years ago
  My fabricator / welder,Steve, made the balance section to a pattern/mock up that I gave him,which involved revisiting him a few times after having to tweak it,including the bends that I had added to the s/s Keihin Conti replica silencers.   

Lynsey de Paul

Sorry to hear of Lynsey de Pauls death this morning at the age of 64.
  Had a bit of a crush on her in the very early 70's when I was around 15 and I think that I liked the song 'Sugar Me' at the time too,even though I had been listening to the likes of Spirit, Curved Air,Hawkwind, etc (influenced by my elder brother) and was also then 72'/73' getting into Bowie,Lou Reed,Iggy Pop,Sparks and New York Dolls etc.............Fab Times !! 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Triumph T100 (1955) - FOR SALE

I am posting this up on behalf of a friend,but at the moment don't have too many details.
   There is however a pile of paper work / receipts to go with the bike.
Here are my contact details - 
I should hopefully be getting more details very soon and should the bike not sell via here/word of mouth, then no doubt it will soon be listed on Ebay etc
The bike is in Bristol, UK