Thursday 29 July 2010

Some trip photo's

This is just a handful of the 700 or more photos we took, don't want to bore you all too much!

More problems!

So this morning up bright and early to fit the head on the 750 Commando, as I was about to put the valve collets on the faulty guide / valve I saw a 1mm gap round part of the valve seat, drat! further investigation showed the valve wasn't parallel with the seat. Time to go to an expert engineering shop, Simon Linford to the rescue, transpires NONE of the valves were seated 100% and it appears that the seats hadn't been re cut after the new guides were fitted, very bad form and another black mark for a well known parts supplier from the Midlands who had carried out the work.
Luckily I had another guide to replace the duff one and Simon has re cut all the seats and given the head a clean bill of health, hopefully tomorrow I'll go and pick it up and start the rebuild!

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Another bike, another problem

Apologies for not posting since I came back from holiday but there's been not much happening, I've got the post holiday blues now, mainly due to the poor weather. Since I came back there has been almost constant clouds with little sun really, the temperature has gone from an AVERAGE 35Deg C on holiday to a Scottish summer average 18 ish! No wonder we are classed as Dour Scots (Miserable) its because of the Dour weather! On the bright side the holiday trip was fantastic and the memories will keep me going at least until we go off to the Begonia rally in Belgium at the end of August.
A few days before I left on holiday I bought yet another Commando, a very nice 750 Commando from a very nice man in North Yorkshire (thanks David), of course there are always some things to sort out when you buy a Norton (normally) and this one was no exception, the right hand inlet valve was stuck wide open, actually more open than its possible to get with normal valve operation.

This is the bike about to be operated on

And this is the problem, note the spring seems coil bound!

After removing the head the valve took some force to return to its seat so I could remove it, the valve was (exepctedly) bent where it had touched the piston and was very tight to get out of the guide. Investigation showed that the guide in question (a relatively new Bronze guide) had a tight spot (possibly caused by the valve being bent) but the guide didn't have sufficient valve - guide clearance, a check of the others showed them to be OK. So it was a trip round to see Alex in his very well equipped workshop where we first reamed the guide out to slightly undersize then used a hone to carefully remove enough material to restore clearance, new valve and seal fitted so hopefully thats it! I think the sequence of events has been, valve sticks in tight guide which allowed the pushrod to jump out of the rocker ball and catch it on the side where it pushed the valve further into the cylinder, bending it and jamming it with the coil binding. Rebuild hopefully tomorrow so I'll keep you posted.

More boring than holiday pics so I'll post the best of these soon!

Sunday 18 July 2010

Almost home.

We were delayed an hour on the boat because the door had a problem which was a right pain. Good run home from hull and for the first time i can remember we never had the waterproofs on at all this holiday and for all but the last two days i only had a t shirt on under the jacket. Just over 3100 miles and the bikes behaved perfectly. A brilliant trip and good laughs with many friends, perfect.

Saturday 17 July 2010


What an excellent night last night plenty beer whisky and a very nice meal. We are now in Brugge where as you can probably see from the photo its very busy. Hoping to get a coffee here before getting lost on the way to the ferry.

Friday 16 July 2010

In Belgium

We met the guys in Arras and we've spent the day on the small roads along the border. Now in Belgium and stopped for another break.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Heading North

And as expected cooler weather, we were lucky again today and managed to avoid the rain. The temperature was noticably cooler and I had a fleece on for the first time since leaving home.
A big day miles wise now has us in Arras almost at the Belgian border, Geert and the guy's are picking us up here tomorrow for a day on the small roads before some partying in Kortrick. Norton is fine but "breathing" some oil , almost at the 3000 mile mark and its used just under a litre which is good, hope the weather back home gets better or we're tempted to head back to the south of France!

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Le bar norton

Been for a walk around town but today is very quiet as its bastille day. A bit like new year in scotland. Now chilling in le bar norton, wine on tap and a wee dram for later, perfect.

Heading North

We left the rally site in Spain on Monday and headed North, hot again although there were some clouds until we reached up into France. The roads became very busy and eventually after 340 miles we called it a day and found a nice municipal site in Baignes just south of Angouleme, the only downside was the town shut at 6PM and we had to get an expensive taxi to take us for food. We are now in Samur, Fi and I are staying for a second night , Sandy and Davie headed off at 8.30 this morning to head further North. All going well we will head to Arras tomorrow but I have to say its now a bit cooler and theres a huge temptation to head back to the South of France again!!!!!!!!

Sunday 11 July 2010

The tour bus

There has been a trend recently of more and more trailers and notoriomes at rallies but the austrian contingent have turned up with this outfit, a double decker bus with a trailer for the bikes! Certainly different.

Saturday 10 July 2010


The rally has coincided with the local festival. Bad head today had a day with the french yesterday on the wine, we were singing french songs then i fell over early dark. Cut on my head today!

Thursday 8 July 2010

Here at last.

Arrived at the rally after a bit of getting lost. Its a good site but sharing it with civilians so that'll be strange. Hessel heading for a shower, He's had some problems with a carb manifold screw dropping in his inlet and if thinks some valve damage. Parts coming for a top end rebuild tomorrow. Some of the scots guys are here but no sign of the embra mob yet.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Water break.

Its been another hot one today, a nice cool breeze to start with but then just getting hotter. We took mainly the small roads which were fun along the pyrenees to pampolona where it was day two of the festival. It was strange to see almost everyone dressed in white with red scarves. Plenty of day 2 drunks and more heading that was. The only room available was 300 euro so we headed about 30 miles out to a small village and found a b&b. I hate to say this but its too hot to camp tonight.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

At Ease

Well Balearic ferries helped me to keep my service aspirations low with that trip, we were first on first in the queue and last off, more than an hour after the last bikes on had come off. We were then emptied into the streets of Barcelona at their busiest (2 hours later than we should have been), great fun!. We managed to escape the city on an incredibly busy A2 and eventually found our hotel at 8.45 local time, nice hotel, basic but a very nice receptionist who is also the barman and cook, its really nice in this area near Monseratt. Tomorrow we head for Pampolona roughly, hopefully we can catch a bit of the festival which started today. The news is full of reports on how hot it is and they aren`t kidding its to be 44 degrees Centigrade in part of Spain tomorrow but a much cooler 32 where we´re going.

Ferry time again

At the port of ibiza waiting for the ferry. As always quite disorganised here. Its getting hot now , sorry about that for you guys back home where i believe its cold. We land in Barcelona about 6.30 then we have around 40 miles to go.. Its been an excellent break here and now on to stage 3 of the holiday.

Monday 5 July 2010

Last day in Ibiza

Tomorrow we head back to the mainland, hot again today and I have some maintainance to do to the bikes this afternoon. Mainly routine stuff but also I think the clutch on the Norton is sticking a bit so I think it'll need stripped. Tomorrow we are heading around 40 miles out of Barcelona, the ferry drops us there around
6 pm just in time to catch the rush hour!

Sunday 4 July 2010


Today we're on the island south of ibiza. Another ferry this morning and then hired a scooter to get around. Very busy here today, too busy actually, wish these tourists would go home.

Saturday 3 July 2010

At the beach

The life of a international traveler can be hard sometimes. In santa Eularia enjoying some more sun. Just having a beer before going back to base.


Out for a small tour to the north of the island. Really nice but full of tourists strangely enough. There is something quite funny about being in the same place as the package holiday punters. The roads here are very slippery which doesn't inspire confidence especially with todays riding gear. Just heard george peddie isn't coming now to the rally which is a shame.

Friday 2 July 2010

Hot hot hot!

Having a lazy day recoverng from the lack of sleep ferry day. In saint miguel having lunch and a beer, the norton feels totally different without three tons of luggage much better.

Thursday 1 July 2010


Well finally here after an 8 hour wait in Barcelona and then a noisy crossing to ibiza town . At lolo's now, this is a shove from his back door.


Well finally here after an 8 hour wait in Barcelona and then a noisy crossing to ibiza town . At lolo's now, this is a shove from his back door.