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!