Friday, 31 December 2010

Last run of 2010

The weather gods were kind to me today and allowed me out for the final run of the year. I took the 750 roadster only because it was nearest the garage door and it started. Good choice anyway, the roads were ok but when on the back roads it was a bit wet as the melting snow caused puddles everywhere. Stopped in peebles to blag a cup of tea from George Martin. Good run and not too much salt on the roads so an easy clean when I got home. Lets see what 2011 brings.

Monday, 27 December 2010


Well at long last we managed a run on the bikes, the temperature got up as far as 3 degrees centigrade which is at least 10 degrees warmer than most of this week. Still had to negotiate snow and ice in our street and in the petrol station but the main roads were clear. It felt great to be a motorcyclist again out there with the wind in my face. Funny the civilians are out in force today clogging up the roads and shops, crazy people! One thing was obvious though there is next to no salt on the roads, the bikes in the winter are normally thick with salt after the run we have just been on, today they were no dirtier than a wet summers day. Just proves that all of the council's and the highway departments are lying about what they're doing to keep the roads safe. If it freezes tonight then the roads will be like skating rinks tomorrow. I'm not sure whats going on but the salt certainly isn't out there. The pavements are still a disgrace which means people are walkling on the roads making it even more dangerous than normal. Its a big cover up I reckon and the bottom line is to save money but the expense will be peoples lives!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Well instead of moaning I'm making this positive, hope all of you have a great day today. I thought I'd post some pics from our Summer trip to France, Spain and Ibiza to remind ourselves that it can be hot and pleasant.
No bike activity today obviously, just eating and I suppose some partaking of wine and whisky.
Enjoy yourselves and think ahead to the Spring, get out there and fufill your dreams before you end up in an old peoples home not even able to remember what your dreams and ambitions were.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Almost Summer

Now we're passed the shortest day it must be nearly summer, right? Well not if I look outside, the road in our street is still full of hard packed snow on an Ice base and there's been no snow for days, The street where my mother stays is the same. It would appear that the councils and road agencies may be running out of salt, not sure why because there isn't much sign of salt on the roads which is why the roads in ths country are still a disgrace. Just about to pick my daughter up from the Airport (she studies in London and is coming home for Christmas) she is leaving from Stanstead, just as well its not Heathrow because it appears Heathrow, the main air hub for the UK and Europe is still suffering because of the weather! They had 3 inches of snow for gods sake! The chief exec of BAA who operate Heathrow has said he won't take his bonus this year, Bonus!!! Bonus!!! I'd sack him never mind no bonus. Funny how the heads of all the companies who at the end of the day are the people in power and who sack workers to boost the "bottom line" are totally immune from being sacked themselves for their short sightedness and ignorance, they also suffer from a major lack of self respect. Vince Cable our government minister who was flirting with some very young journalists is also showing a severe lack of self respect at the moment, clinging onto power despite the fact the Liberals were NOT elected to govern this country.
Also answer me this, why is it a bankrupt country (Spain) controls so many of our major UK companies?, the profits go back to Spain, the job losses and incompetence to run services normally stay in the UK.
Rant over, I feel better now, is Summer here yet?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Solstice

Today is our winter solstice, the shortest day or the longest night whichever you prefer. This morning it coincided with a Lunar eclipse, strangely I was quite excited about this (probably desperation because of the lack of motorcycle activity) so I was up before 6.30am to watch it, luckily it was a clear morning but just as the eclipse got interesting a cloud started to move in so I missed the effect. I got the two photos above showing the beginning of it anyway.
The bad news is that its been worse than minus ten Centigrade for the last couple of days (actually -13 in the car last night heading to Edinburgh) The good news is to days the shortest day woo hoo, that means that summer is on its way (ok well maybe a long way off but on its way nonetheless)so we can look forward to that all important daylight starting to stretch out, always a turning point for me.
We have a rally in three weeks, all I ask is that the daytime temperatures can get up to a balmy 3 or 4 degrees to make sure we can safely get up the road, overnight I don't mind,, -13 was the worst I think we camped in. It would be good to thaw some of the ice also but I'm not moaning, it'll soon be summer!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Norton meeting

Up in Perth for the Norton meeting last night, as it happened we had it in Pitcairngreen for a change (apologies if anyone went to the Almondbank Inn instead.) A good night with excessive alcohol consumption, we put the world to rights last night for sure. Slept on my brothers couch and really can't remember the walk (or crawl) home, bad bad bad!
Cold again today, roads covered in ice but at least we escaped more snow....for now. Don't think the bikes will be out this weekend again, the roads are really bad and unpredictable at the moment, roll on the Spring!

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Up at Sandy's to torque down the head on his commando again. Running well and ready for next years summer now. Getting cold now, the roads and pavements are like skating rinks. Off for beer with my brother and alex, have to be careful on the way home, oh no.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


So another cold week passes and despite a small reprieve from the snow I've still not been out on the bike. The big problem is the ice on the roads, especially on parts of the road which don't get the sun so I've wimped out basically. The council have had a weeks reprieve from the snow and instead of using it to clear the dangerous build up of snow and ice still effectively narrowing vehicle lanes they seem to be having a rest hoping nature will do their work for them! News just in, it won't! when the temperature drops this week it will only compound a problem that would have been easy to clear. We now have a new transport minister since the former one has resigned and obviously gone back to his moonlighting as a Father Jack lookalike.

The new minister is going to spend tonight in the roads control centre to help coordinate activities, problem is the bad weather isn't due till Thursday - Friday when he'll no doubt be back to doing nothing.

Good news is I got the Mk3 Lemans running today, it actually took me by surprise by coughing into life as I turned it over whilst looking at the points. The points gap was so big it almost needed a foot rule to measure it, anyway reset the gap and got the thing running, nice quiet engine, so just a few more adjustments and checks and its for sale.....honest.....can't keep them all.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Garage day

Desperation drove me into the garage. Really needed some garage sanity today, -15c in the town last night and not much warmer today but got wrapped up and got some work done. The guzzi is coming along, linked braking system bled today and got some more tidying up done. The rear wheel bearings could do with replacing but i'll leave that to the new owner whoever that is. Actually this is a very clean bike under the dirt if that makes sense. The only real downside is there's some fin damage on the heads which is quite common for guzzi's. It doesn't stop them running nice its just annoying if you know its there. Chaos still on the roads, the minister is making a statement this afternoon in parliment, that'll help i'm sure! The army has been asked to help, its all turning into a farce. Hopefully some respite for a few days soon.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

More weather

Yesterday we had more snow. Complete chaos everywhere, motorways blocked all day and night, airports closed people trapped for 12 hours and no communication. The transport minister apologised and blamed the weather forecast. Not good enough, there should be a coordinated response to emergencies like this. There appears to be no joined up thinking at all and if there is it isn't effective. The police, council and government have to face up to their responsibilities and protect the people and safeguard the economy. We can't have people not being able to get to work just because there's snow on the ground. Anyway just took a photo of my roadster against the snow mound almost masking my neighbours house, hopefully a thaw this weekend and maybe get out on two wheels again for a bit.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Weekend capers

Still cold this weekend but at least the snow has stopped. Traffic running on the roads again but the people are still driving in retardation mode! Yesterday we joined Ian and Ali in the town, all good and Ian managed to blag us into a food and drink festival for free. To start with it was a bit boring until we got upstairs and found the the drink sellers. All seemed keen to offer generous samples to us, of course it would have been rude to refuse so it got a bit messy after that. After a very average italian meal we had a final drink in a very impressive bar. Really nicely done up for the christmas period. Today a walk on the beach for some fresh air, funny to see the beach filled with snow, some students had been in for a swim, crazy! Still no motorcycling yet roll on the thaw.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Somebody's happy

I was out trying to clear my car from the last 24 hours worth of snow (and failed) when I got a call from Lindsay Barrie, obviously out enjoying himself on his supermoto, no sign of a let up in the weather yet, if this keeps up I'll have to buy a 4x4!!! Thanks for the photo Lindsay!
Maybe a supermoto or trials bike is the answer Kawa? Slowly going mad here!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


The snow shows no sign of letting up with more forecast for today and tomorrow, I did think it might thaw a bit last night but we woke up to another few inches all around. Just ventured out to the supermarket, dreadful driving conditions, due to the cars at the side of the road the gritters can only plough a single lane through the middle and nobody wants to pull over into the deeper snow. Just had to go round a Police car obviously being driven by a retard who had at least 4 feet of black road on his side, he forced me to go round him in the deep stuff. I gave him a look of disgust as I passed, funnily it was like looking into the eyes of a very retarded monkey, god knows how any of the new breed of police catch any criminals, they appear to have issues grasping basic human behaviours, judging by the state of him it might be better if he had got out and walked for a while, he looked like he could have done with the excercise, his partner was a girl, never noticed her funnily enough, probably doing her hair or daydreaming about the next bloke she was going to nick!
Word of warning to all chief constables, get out there in plain clothes and see just how poor some police are at the basic level.
You may sense a bit of frustration in my tone, you are correct, no motorcycling for a few days now and it could be a while yet, its driving me MAD!!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Difficult driving!

Proof of todays difficulties

Christmas Do Number 1

Another Christmas dinner over and the first for this year, the Killin hotel done us proud with an excellent deal and a great Meal, enough food to feed an army. Not as riotous as previous years, I struggled to get anyone to stay in the bar after 1 am but I suppose we started about 3pm so not too bad considering. Great to see everybody, sadly numbers down a bit but then the recession effect is there I suppose. Today we woke to heavy snow and temperatures at a high of Zero degrees C, we were all glad we were NOT on the bikes for a change. We had the journey from hell home, I personally had no problem as I put my snow tyres on about 2 weeks ago, what a difference they make in today’s conditions, well worth the money, pity you cant get them for bikes!
First idiot of the day was a Blonde / Grey bimbo Audi A6 Avant driver, 20 MPH and all over the road, lunatic! The biggest issue was that people can’t drive in the snow and most cars are not prepared for these conditions, every slight rise in the road saw a jam as people got stuck, mainly because they were going too slow. The Police, Gritters, Snowploughs and anybody else you might expect to see trying to help in these conditions were absent, obviously too cold for them all to come out of their tea huts!!!!

St Fillans on Saturday with a hint of Snow

Santas little helpers

Another of Santas helpers with matching pullover!

This morning at the Falls of Dochart

Strathyre, just like winter!

Not good for driving, certainly not good for Motorcycling

Some people still enjoying themselves?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Better than I thought.

A bit of fiddling around and I got the guzzi turning over and sparking. Under the dirt its in pretty good condition for its age. Just cleaning things up just now and overhauling the brakes. Then some parts to be replaced and cleaned and hopefully it'll crack up. Aiming for next week someting depending on the weather. Glad to get in and warm my hands just now, bloody freezing out there.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Change over day

Luckily it was bright today but cold nonetheless, an ideal day to change over bikes to work on. Now the guzzi is on the bench to be sorted out and then hopefully sold to make some room. Anybody thats got a garage or workshop to sell or rent let me know, things are quite cramped at the moment. It took 4 hours to swap the bikes round, time better spent doing something else I think . . . -like drinking tea!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Another norton

Today was day 2 of putting sandy's commando back together. It all went ok so another couple of hours tomorrow and hopefully he'll call me with the news its running well. It should be better with all valves opening at least. Spent saturday getting wet on the guzzi and yesterday at east fortune aircraft museum which was interesting. I'll post photo's soon of some of the stuff on display.

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone

Friday, 19 November 2010

Black Friday

Funnily enough today is known as Black Friday, the Friday following thanksgiving which is of course an American holiday. At first I thought it might be to do with depression going into the long winter period but seemingly not. Anyway It most certainly wasn't here, the temperature rose a couple of degrees, the strong gale force winds we've had all week have died down so I took the 750 roadster out for a proper road test. I have to say that riding a well sorted Commando on country roads is enough to overcome any form of depression and put a smile on your face. Great run and the bike wasn't even that dirty afterwards. The bike pictured here outside a pretty church in a small village.
I came home to a polite but short rejection for a job I applied for last week, funnily enough it was a temporary Public sector job, I wonder if someone looked me up and spotted my rant against smug Civil servants a couple of weeks ago? Anyway who cares after a day like today I know what i'd rather be doing!
As I finish writing this I've just recieved a text from my former employers and mobile phone supplier O2 (dodgy Spanish outfit now) to remind me that VAT is going up on my bill to 20% from January. Just to remind me to have a happy Christmas I suppose, thanks for that, but know what it still doesn't wipe the smile from my face after such a good motorcycling day!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Busy day

A busy morning and part of the afternoon in the garage with a sanity break when my brother john visited for a quick cup of tea on the way through. Changed the gearing on the roadster to from a 21 to a 22 on the gearbox. Thats now up 2 since I got it. A quick test run in the very cold icy but sunny conditions showed it to be a huge improvement. The bike now starts runs and ticks over the way it should. I'm very happy with it now so i'll just ride it for a while. The next project but probably not till next week is a mk3 guzzi le mans I picked up a few months ago. When its up and running it'll be for sale so if your interested let me know. The cash from that will hopefully finance the restoration of the 88ss domi I picked up earlier in the year. Looking forward to working on non commando's for a bit!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Break in the storm

Making the most of the break in this weeks storms. After a week of heavy rain and high winds its good to get out. On the roadster today, its running well now after all the fettling this week. I still need to change the gearing though, its still revving a bit high for my liking. The great thing about the commando is the torque so it defeats me why the factory insisted on gearing them so low.
After lunch I had a great run down to the borders before stopping in peebles to see George Martin, then back into Edinburgh to visit Alex. So today the Norton's been a proper cafe racer as all its done is transport me around various places scrounging cups of tea. What a great day for it though, not sure how many more days with dry clean roads we'll get this year so I hope all you motorcyclists have taken advantage of it.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Camshaft blues

Up helping sandy strip his commando engine today. As you can see from the photo some serious wear on the 3rd lobe. So another 3 lobe cam to add to the collection.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Getting colder

So the weekend was good, out on MVD on Saturday, its great to be on it again, because I have more than one my old faithful Norton gets a rest now and again but whenever I get back on it I just love it, just like a comfortable pair of shoes, it fits and feels good. A nice run down the back roads to Gifford for a birthday breakfast for Fiona who was enjoying the back of the Commando, then a wander about. The picture shows one of the streets, just on the turn between Autumn and Winter, another couple of weeks and there will be no leaves left on the trees. The run home also along the back roads ended up in torrential rain and darkness for the last 25 miles. The rain was so heavy that the roads were flooding, not good, the Commando gave a little stutter as it sped along the bypass, my backside tightened and I screwed the throttle open a bit more to try to make sure the sparks overcame the wetness. Luckily it did and I got home no problem, well apart from being rather damp! Sunday was nice and as I pulled my bike trousers on they had that horrible cold damp feeling so I wimped out and took the car! Sometimes you have to listen to your inner thoughts when they say "don't be an idiot, take the car, its cold outside!"
Bad day today, just took a bit of a hit on the stock market, the reccession isn't over yet, oh well you can't win them all, summer will be here soon enough!

Friday, 5 November 2010


Funny, today i'm on a train through to Glasgow to take my student son to lunch. I don't often use the train normally mainly because its full of the general public. I got to thinking as I sat at haymarket station that its no wonder I use the bike to travel, on the platform I spotted a very dubious looking lady, short skirt , purple two piece suit very businesslike, but I think it was actually a man, not a very good looking one at that. Then next to me was two guy's one middle aged one young, both fat and scruffy and not the brightest. They weren't together but they obviously gravitated towards each other. The younger one got on the train with me and sat opposite a woman who obviously wasn't the full shilling either so they gravitated towards each other also much in the same way motorcyclists will gravitate because they have common ground. The first class part of the carriage has some smug suits in it. I'm not sure which section of the community is a bigger drag on our taxes, the disadvantageed or the suited up obvious civil servants lording it up in first class. The civil servants annoy me more, overpaid but so sure that they actually deserve it, a pestilence on our creaking society. We the taxpayer are paying for both but there is no shame in being born disadvantaged its a genetic fault there is though shame in being arrogant. This rant isn't much to do with motorcycling but I am travelling only just not by my prefered option. Like I said no wonder I travel in my own bubble normally.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Ebay curse!

Last week I thought I'd do something about the mountain of clutter that resides in my garage, something positive. I had an old Fibreglass Interstate tank in good condition that I'd taken off a low mileage bike years ago, I looked on Ebay and a well known dealer in the midlands has a load of them for sale at stupid prices so I thought if I get a third of that I'll be well happy and it would put some more cash into the funds to buy something I really need. Well my tank sold for £46.50, about a third of what i thought it was worth and about an eighth of the prices of the tanks on there at the moment, somebody got a bargain, I suppose somebody's bargain is always somebody else's loss in a way.
Now pre Ebay days I would occasionally take a stand at a local Autojumble, parts changed hands for reasonable money, nobody felt ripped off neither the vendor or the buyer and in to the bargain you could have a great day out chatting about bikes to all and sundry. Now Ebay has taken over to a large extent the old bike market, this is good probably if you have a shed full of old bikes you want to move on but in general its a curse, its put Classic bike ownership out of the reach of many people and it favours the "collectors"
Many people at the moment are buying Classic bikes as a hedge against inflation and as an investment, they buy them and park them and thats it. The result is many of these bikes will never need spare parts again, making parts for those of us who actually use them more expensive.
The Internet has brought us freedom of expression (this blog for instance) and easy communication but I think somewhere along the line we've lost the plot.
What I should have done admittedly was put a reserve on this item but at the end of the day the market decided what it was worth so thats that although I'd rather still be tripping over that tank in the garage than have forty odd quid disappear through my fingers invisibly! And anyway if I'd made a fortune I'd have nothing to moan about!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

It lives again.

Another morning in the garage see's the mk3 running again. Just warmed up nicely then when its cooled down re torque the head again. Then if alls well its going into storage for the winter. Can't run them all! Another gearing change on the cards for the roadster this week as i'm still not happy with it oh and some fiddling with the carb's to get it sweet then hopefully I can get in to the mk3 guzzi lemon that I bought a while ago and get it running, this will be for sale after that, one guzzi too many!

Monday, 1 November 2010

A better garage day

Last friday was one of these clumsy days when everything I touched didn't feel right and a day when I managed to knock over anything within reach, we all have them and the best thing to do if you can is give up and do something else productive before damage occurs. Today i'm glad to say was better, loads of progress and the mk3 almost back together which is great. Seems a shame as I said before to get the engine dirty again. I took this shot to remind me how clean it can look!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Sunday breakfast tea.

Sunday morning, the first day of winter officially with the clocks going back an hour last night, what better way to enjoy the sunny day than to have a run to probably the best tea room ever. A great weekend for weather and today the wind has died down so its actually quite warm in the sun. When the weather is like this Scotland IS hard to beat.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Do you fancy the Norton Rally in the USA?

Bauke Steinfort is organising a container to the USA for next years International Rally, Details as follows;

Come and go with us to the USA.

The annual International Norton Rally 2011 will be held from 18 till July 22 at the Brookside Campground, Catskill, NY-USA and is located about 180 km northwest of New York close to Woodstock. For this great and beautiful adventure to become a reality and still be affordable, we will open up registration for members of the Norton Owners Club. It is all about attracting kindred souls. If you are indeed interested in this trip, we will organise a meeting to discuss all the details. We hope we will be able to convince you that this very special trip will totally be wicked.
One container will hold 20 motorbikes.
Return shipping Rotterdam - New York Bayonne per motorcycle € 795, -
Transport insurance costs € 160, - (with insured value of € 4000, -)
The motorbike will be anchored in a special motor transport frame (see picture)
Oil and gas do NOT need be drained. Tents, sleeping bags and other luggage can also go in the container. You will take your personal luggage with you on the plane of course.
There is a weekly departure from Rotterdam with a crossing time of 12 days
This offer includes the provision of import and export papers.
Insurance U.S.A. is based on current data € 185, -.
This brings the total package to approx. € 1145, - This does not include your own flight.

In order to save Bauke from being bombarded with Spam, if you contact me then I'll put you in touch.

Pretty pretty

Working (as always) on the bikes today, just got the head for the Mk3 Commando back from Alex who's done a great job of Aqua Blasting it. Looks too good to put on the bike now, if only I had a larger mantlepiece!
Valves ground in and now just waiting for a couple of odds and ends to get it finished and back on the bike. Hopefully have it running again by the weekend but then I need to find somewhere to store it for the Winter so that I can get on with my other projects. Next is a MK3 Le Mans needing fettled and some TLC but I need to sell it when its going to make space, actually need to sell more as its a joke at the moment with the lack of room but I can't bring myself to do it!
I've started easing myself into the selling thing by listing a Norton Tank on fleabay, need more room!

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Last minute decision to have an impromptu meeting at the tea bar in comrie. Frosty this morning and the bad news is that the gritters are out already spreading the corrosion forming salt on our roads. A bit premature I think, next they'll be moaning about running out! I suppose the guys working for the council need their overtime before they get paid off. A good turnout but mine's was the only norton. Had to stop for a pit stop at halfway home to warm up, I was bloody freezing! Its funny how soft you get, but it looks like a long winter ahead, snow on the hills already so I suppose I better toughen up.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Nice for a while

It started of bleak and cold this morning but took the guzzi out anyway. Great run to my favourite tea shop for a big pot of tea. The roads were incredibly slippy though so not too much heroics on the corners. Funny how a cold windy day can be someones idea of a bad day but for the windsurfers out enjoying the conditions it seemed perfect. I suppose the old saying there's no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothing is mainly true.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Nice but cold.

This is the day that the current government declares even more doom and gloom for the country but luckily its also very sunny so I decided to take the fastback out for a blast. What I underestimated was how bloody cold it is. I'm sure welders will be cashing in on the brass monkey market today! But it was refreshing to get out and escape the gloom and doom and immerse myself in enjoying an old norton which has in its lifetime seen many recessions and survived. Get out on your bike burn some petrol and clear your mind, its therapeutic.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Almost guzzi time again.

Today I dug out my old
Mk3 le mans to see what state it was in. Its sat since last april which is when I took it off the road. The battery was a bit flat so I jumped it off the car and it started almost right away. Very impressed that it started so easily with old petrol . Guzzi's have an unfair reputation for unreliability I think. Wish my nortons started so easily after a lay off!

Friday, 15 October 2010


Once again we are treated to a nice applecross sunset. Been sunny all day but there is a nip in the air. I don't think the snow is far away which is unfortunate, not this weekend though!

Applecross bay

So a nice day in applecross certainly better than the rain we had yesterday. A strange entrance into the village as I was in the car and the bealach is closed so we had to use the coast road. The coast road is much longer and although scenic its not the same as the challenge of the bealach. Whisky overdose last night so feeling a bit jaded today.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Going again!

A large part of the day spent troubleshooting the fastback after it playing up yesterday. After a lot of fiddling around and checking it would appear the culprit was the carb pilot jet. All back together now and running well. Its a worry though that the ethanol in the petrol may be reacting with the fibreglass in the tank to create some sludge which may be blocking the fuel system. A bigger problem ahead for us all when they allow up to 10% ethanol to be added to petrol from next year. The ethanol attacks rubber and plastic so unless you have the right kind of rubber and plastic in your fuel system there could be trouble ahead. Possibly a business opportunity in future!

Monday, 11 October 2010


Been busy cleaning and checking the mk3 commando so that I can order up the parts I need for the rebuild. This afternoon the sun came out so I thought i'd take the fastback out for a run. Got myself organised and then started it, easy enough no drama's then off with the choke and the bloody thing died. Seems like there's a jet blocked in the carb, my neighbour thinks its funny as he's always giving me a hard time about the amount of time I spend fettling the bikes, bloody british bikes, why do they have to be so quirky? Anyway took the roadster out instead down to queensferry, nice but cold with just the jeans and a very thin leather jacket on. I suppose thats the real meaning of looking cool, actually I was looking freezing!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Dry run home

After a rather hectic night and a bit of a hangover this morning we enjoyed a nice run home in the autumnal weather. The colours are fantastic at this time of year but the downside is the cooler temperatures still no complaints a rain free weekend which we were thankful for.

Friday, 8 October 2010

The thistle rally.

So once again we're here at the thistle rally in killin. Just got the tent up in what could be termed airy conditions. The rain is holding off so thats the main thing. Breaking with tradition and having a cup of tea rather than getting stuck in to the beer. Mainly because i'm full of the cold. Ideal getting a cold then going camping after a trip on the bike!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Oh Dear!

Well this week I've been busy stripping the Mk3 Commando and checking it out for the engine problem. My prognosis was correct, the foot has come off the end of the cam follower as you can see in the photo, the half moon thing should be firmly stuck to the follower and not lying in the bottom of the crankcases where I found it. There was also a broken top ring which luckily hasn't caused any damage apart from the obvious carbon build up on the head. So all in all not a big disaster, the cam seems fine and I've decided not to split the crankcases to rebuild the bottom end as it doesn't need it and with the quality of new parts these days its better left alone with the bits that have lasted the last 33 years.
Some fettling and much cleaning to be done before its rebuilt, hopefully next week!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Finally sorted

Well thats the roadster finally sorted out (for now) out for a breakfast run and now having my usual debate on which bikes to sell to make room. Difficult one really as I like them all. Now if I had more room it would be fine I could buy up the world's supply of old bikes !

Thursday, 30 September 2010

A Sucessful day!

After spending hours poring over the complexities (or not) of Amal Carbs I've finally got the 750 Roadster running well, not perfect but 98% which is good enough for now. I was at the stage where if I whistled the carbs would come off. The issue wasn't down to just one thing but a combination of things, here's a tip, make sure ALL mating surfaces are totally flat first, new O rings and balance pipe then check there isn't excess wear in the bodies or slides , also check both carbs match internally!!!
Now Norton ownership isn't without its problems, especially if you have several, just as you think that's them all running well another one will develop issues, the Mk3 rattle was investigated and I found the Right inlet has suddenly gained about an 1/8" clearance. Now there has to be a reason for this and after much deliberation I've decided to rip it apart, thinking it could be the follower foot breaking off......who knows until I get into the dark recesses, I will keep you posted!
And finally I thought I'd post a picture of my JPN taken on the last day I rode it before storing it, looks nice and I can't believe its two years since I've had it on the road so next year it'll be out there.....for definite!

Monday, 27 September 2010

An almost perfect weekend.

Yesterday (Monday) the sun was splitting the sky in Applecross and the cold wind had gone. We reluctantly left for the run home, the expected temperature drop over the bealach then as we rode towards invergarry it got very dark and a bit cooler but i'm glad to say that with the exception of light drizzle at Perth then that was all the rain we had. Very lucky to get the run both ways in almost dry conditions at this time of year. A definite Winter feel in the air now and this weekend saw snow fall in the highlands, I do hope its not as harsh as last year.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Lazy Sunday

After a few beers in the Inn last night we awoke to a magnificent applecross morning., the sun is shining and it really can't get much better. Yesterday we met alejandro from Argentina which was an interesting twist of fate as i've been researching a possible trip to Argentina, Chile and Bolivia early next year and now I have almost all the answers straight from the horses mouth so to speak. Argentina is a huge country about ten times the size of the Uk so to have someone when knows the country and where to go is worth several days on the internet. Off to sunbathe now, well maybe not the wind has a cool edge to it!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Autumn sunset

Well that was a great run up to invergarry despite the bank holiday traffic on the a9. The temperature dropped to 5 degrees on drumochter but I had the winter gear on so it was fine. Stunning sunset along past laggan and a great feeling chasing the last rays of the autumn sun. Apologies this is out of sync but blame o2's crap coverage and network in the north of scotland.