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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