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.

That castle again

Great day again not too warm though. Stopped overlooking the castle to buy a hat to keep my lugs (ears) warm. At the camp site now. The bealach was quiet but only 5 degrees c at the top. Winter is surely on its way.

Yee haa its the weekend!

Friday and its not raining (well not yet anyway) been a busy week bike wise, finally got the gearing changed on the 750 Roadster and its running about 90% correctly, just a niggle on the carburation at the bottom end. It seems to be running lean, suspect the slow running circuit isn't totally cleared so I've decided to run it for a while and hopefully it'll improve. Checked the valve timing also this week so that's another check done.
The Mk3 though, decided to take it along to see its previous owner who was in town for business this week, my god, it sounded like a cement mixer, It was fine on the last trip back from Braemar but after an oil change (which should improve things) it sounds terrible, its been abandoned on the bench and investigative surgery will take place next week, hopefully nothing serious! Norton ownership isn't just for Christmas, its for life!!
So after work (?? well you know what I mean) today I'm heading North hopefully on the Guzzi Breva to give it a run. Applecross (for a change) will be the final destination on Saturday sometime. Just hope the weather stays only moderately crap!
A noticeable drop in temperature has prompted me to dig the heated jacket out of the loft, no point in being cold if you have the technology to stay warm.
Hopefully I can post a picture of the Autumn colours on the way (if my new phone is up to it!)

A bit of art, dew on Autumn berries taken last Sunday!

Thursday 23 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.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Summer over its official.

This morning I awoke to grey skies and heavy rain. After a discussion we took the car to the tea shop , the rain stopped and the sun appeared so that led to a guilt trip that we should have been on the bikes. Home again and got the bikes and yes the rain started again. So i've declared the end of summer marked by the ritual of getting the winter riding gear out of the attic and putting the summer gear away till spring. Sad to see another summer pass but looking forward to colder miles anyway.

Friday 17 September 2010

Saturday morning

Today we're out on the modern bikes, i'm on the guzzi breva it was sunny when we left but now as I look out of the cafe window its turned black as night and yes we have no waterproof's. Oh well thats motorcycling always in the hands of nature

Monday 13 September 2010

Braemar weekend

Well that was a great success, we only had just under 40 people but it was a fantastic weekend. I was lucky enough to avoid the rain all weekend, the run up on Friday was fantastic, I'd forgotten just how good the Perth to Braemar road is for motorcycling. Our thanks go to George Peddie and Doug Bruce for all their hard work in ensuring everybody enjoyed themselves, also to Ian Hair at the Moorfield house hotel who looked after us so well.
The run on the Saturday was a steady plod through amazing countryside with a stop at Ballater for lunch, then a stop at the gates of Balmoral (The Queen's Scottish holiday home) for a photoshoot, the two heavily armed policemen were cool with that which was good. Because the Royals are in residence there is a high Police presence in the area, the ones we spoke to were friendly and seemed genuinely interested in the bikes.
Both nights in the bar were great fun despite the local band letting us down on the Saturday night I think everyone still enjoyed themselves. My thanks to all that m,ade the effort to attend including Danish John (who dropped in on his way back from the Isle of Man to Denmark!) and the strong English contingent and our friend from Northern Ireland on his CS1.
Those who didn't turn up missed a great weekend!

Friday night, a stop on the Braemar road!
General Maintenance!
Bert McCall's very nice Home brewed Indian

Hectors Commando with an amusing notice!

Richard Negus former Norton Employee and Rotary Guru no doubt explaining the mysteries of his very special Commander

Davie Palmer's Gypsy setup, home made trailer works well!

Ridden all the way from Northern Ireland this nice CS1

A stop for a look at the view and bladder relief

Danish John admires a Commando (the other bike is his)

The gates of Balmoral Castle, sadly the Queen didn't invite us in for tea!

Forfar John apparently surrendering!

Le Bar

This nice Weslake was local and turned up on the Sunday morning

Saturday 11 September 2010


Stopped for lunch on the run at Ballater we've been really lucky with the weather, no rain on the run at all. More updates later.

Sunday 5 September 2010

Great Weekend

Well this weekend turned out better than expected, nice weather for most of the time, actually warm in parts and no rain which was a result. Spent Saturday wobbling around the back roads in Fife and a visit to see Lindsay Barrie and Sunday was spent wobbling around the back roads in East Lothian. The only issue I have is that my back is now sore, due mainly to the unforgiving nature of the suspension on the fastback and the state of the nations roads.
Next weekend is our rally in Braemar so looking forward to that, before that though I have to check out suspected overcharging on MVD and put a new chain on it. The Mk3 needs a oil and filter change and a heavier earth wire to the rear engine bolt in an effort to make the electric starter more reliable. The Roadster needs the gearing changed and a definite air leak somewhere in the RH carb or manifold found and fixed. Norton ownership is always an ongoing commitment!

Friday 3 September 2010

Fish supper run

Another good day today and so nice tonight that we decided on a fish and chips tea down at Gullane. Good run down but a bit more difficult in the dark with norton lighting! Joe Lucas wasn't called the prince of darkness for nothing!

Thursday 2 September 2010

Todays work

Spent most of the day cleaning up MVD since its recent trip, now looking ship shape again, I also took the opportunity to fettle and clean up my other two Black Nortons. I suppose then that this was Black Norton Cleaning day!

Still wondering whether or not to change to a 21 gearbox sprocket on the 750 roadster, I have one in stock so thats probably a job for next week.
After that I have this to get sorted out, a bit of work but not too bad underneath, I'm going to have to rent a bigger garage at this rate!!

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Begonia Rally story and pictures

Once again home from one of the best and friendliest rallies of the year. Full marks to Marc, Micky, Guy, Karin and the rest of the team for a great event. The pictures tell the story, only problem was David running out of petrol, other than that the bikes were great. The weather was mixed but we had such a good time it didn't matter when it rained. One thing I have to mention, the Norfolkline (Now owned by DFDS) ferry we got back to Rosyth was the best ferry experience this year so far (although the others aren't hard to beat) good bike awareness and a friendly staff, pity its being shut down in December. The biggest issue I think was the pricing, normally far too expensive to consider hence the low passenger numbers, I can't help but think its all been a ploy to get Government money to supply the infrastructure to make it work then pull the plug on passengers so they can run some old cheap tug as a cargo ferry!