Saturday, 31 December 2011

Mr Fat man

A silver VW Passat estate driven by a fat guy was the only bad thing that happened on a 110 mile trip down and round the borders today, just a pity I didn't write down his number. We had a great run, disappointed our original tea stop in Gifford was closed but then a nice run over the Lammermuir hills with a stop at Duns for a late breakfast. The cafe at Earlston was shut as well so I'm assuming everybody has made enough money this year and don't need to open, or maybe New Years eve or Hogmany as its called here is now a holiday as well?
Heading up past the Stair Arms on the A68 we were both passed by the fat guy with his obviously stupid wife on a bend over a solid white line, he made the oncoming traffic move over as well, must have either been pissed, in a hurry or is just oblivious to the consequences of careless, dangerous and stupid driving? If you see the car give it a wide berth, If I see the car parked I'd really like to explain to fat man what the consequences of his driving could have been. Having lost two good friends in accidents caused by stupid car drivers this year it really annoyed me.
Apart from that its been a great day out (although it took an hour to get all the crap off the bikes when we got home) The last run of 2011 and looking forward to many more in 2012, a great New Year to all who read this and I hope all your wishes come true and your problems disappear in the coming year (except Mr Fat and Mrs Stupid that is!!)
Have a good one

Friday, 30 December 2011

You meet the nicest people on a motorcycle

Last night we all met up for the Special K bike club Christmas party. A busload came over from the Forth Valley club also. Brilliant banter in the company of nice people, what other interest would give you the feeling of belonging to an extended family? None I guess.
Cheers to Ian the sober for doing his taxi run!
Tomorrow is the last day of 2011 so I think i'll probably need to get out on my bike!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing day at the beach

Rather than do the more traditional Boxing day thing we decided to have a picnic on the beach. Undeterred by the gale force winds and Laurenne's crap cooker our intrepid group managed to have a pleasant day and after some attempts by Ian and Bert to make a fire (and me failing to get the kelly kettle going without the use of petrol) we eventually had our hot and cooked sausages to finish off the meal. Bert used his BMW as a windbreak (good that it came in useful)
We had the inagural run on our G650GS's and I was mighty impressed with the "small" beemer.
A fine way to pass a day, good company and good crack, thanks to Ian and Ali, Bert and Laurenne for coming along, we should have taken the tents guys and made a night of it!!

Friday, 23 December 2011

On the train

En route to Perth for a few beers. Pre christmas party with some of the guys. A view of the road bridge, soon it'll change as they start to build the new bridge over the forth. History in the making.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Cold now

This week we were plagued with high winds which has made it feel cold, still not too much snow though so today we managed a run out. First to Queensferry for breakfast and then a wobble along the back roads to drop in on Ian and Ali in Livingston. The temperature dropped like a stone as we headed inland and by the time we got to the estate where Ian and Ali live the side roads were white with frozen snow. Not wanting to be heroes we left the bikes at the end of the road and walked the 100 yards, cheaper in the long run!!
The bikes were covered in Salt when we got back (see the photo of the Guzzi) and took a bit of cleaning. Sometimes you wonder if its worth going out at this time of year, and hour on the road means an hour spent washing the salt off but it is because what else would you be doing? Joining the hordes of mental people shopping? Nope, best to get out there and keep a grin on your face

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Snow has gone.

After the snow appeared yesterday morning I was a tad depressed at the thought of no motorcycling. Today however the snow was gone and it was mild enough to venture out. Days like this at this time of year are a bonus to be taken eagerly. A nice day out on the bikes, not warm but ice free roads, better than expected.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Busy Week

Last weekend came and went and here we are just 2 weeks before Christmas already. Busy week this week, I spent the first couple of days down South at one point near Dover, much nicer weather I have to say. Yesterday we had the big storm and Scotland came to a standstill (apart from stuff blowing over!) Its the first time in my life I remember schools being closed because of the wind! What nonsense, we really are a bunch of namby pamby wimps these days. Half the Office at Fi's work went home because it was windy! Ridiculous, I'd sack the idiots who allowed it!!
Anyway today Alex and myself were up at Sandy's workshop playing with Alex's range of amazing tools, upshot is Sandy's 750 Commando will have to have the lid off to see whats amiss inside, nothing serious we think, time will tell.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

As winter approaches (fast)

Something to remember that summer will be here again soon
(Double click for full screen)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Condom Rally

The wind was the biggest hassle this weekend, the Forth bridge was closed due to high winds so we met Bob & Kate and headed North via Stirling before cutting around the outskirts of Perth and then on the back roads to Blairgowrie and towards Glenshee.

The last bit of the journey was good fun but we were all freezing when we arrived.
An evening of banter and much whisky drinking ensued and the evidence was there this morning with many casualties (hangover wise) littering the reception area.
Great crack and thanks to Norrie for putting it together.
The run down the road was marred by wind again and strong sun but hey it didn't snow so that was good.
Great weekend, thanks to all who helped my hangover cultivation (you know who you are!)
If you look at the picture there is snow falling on the hill behind us!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

It Passed

Today was the day my Guzzi Le Mans was to be presented again for its re test after failing its MOT last week, its like waiting for the dentist despite the fact that I'd sorted all the issues and checked it over. It passed much to my relief so thats another one sorted out and ready to go.
Now I have to decide what to work on next, I think the Triumph T100 will be next on the bench for a rewire, dynamo fix and a good check over. Looking forward to our meeting at Glenshee this weekend!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Nice day out

So Sunday once again was nice and as always no excuses needed to get the Commando out! I had a bit of pilot error (too early in the morning) and missed the normal turn off for the coast road, we made it eventually but the alternative was very mucky. No complaints as the roads are salt free still, fingers crossed it'll last until after next weekend when we have the Condom Rally at Glenshee!

Saturday, 19 November 2011


Thats what happened this week when I took my Guzzi Le Mans for an MOT! Because of this work thing I never bothered checking the Le Mans closely, I fixed (replaced) the rear indicators as the old ones had more or less disintegrated in a pile of rust and that was it. The bike failed on no less than 6 things, the most serious was the rear wheel bearings were gone, oops and I never noticed it either. Just like my old school report cards used to say " has potential but must try harder" No excuses, just laziness, now its taught me a lesson to check over the bikes thoroughly in future! All the bits were fixed this morning and it goes back for a re test next week, fingers crossed!

Today was a really nice day, the weather is still holding up so I took a ride down to Gifford this afternoon on the Mk3 Commando, splendid dry roads and great fun, not cold really untill it got dark. The picture is in front of the Tea shop there, well worth a visit, friendly and very reasonable food and prices!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Oh Dear

So the bike was running great then the rev counter cable came loose and the rev counter stopped working, then as I was heading along the bypass I thought I felt a misfire so pulled off at the next junction and decided to make for Alex's house, then at a set of lights the bike died, I pulled over and found the electrics were dead then found a blown fuse and yes I had no spares with me!
A call to Alex and he came over (luckily only a couple of miles from his house) with tools, a meter and fuses, we replaced the fuse and the bike started up, transpires the original was a 7 Amp instead of the 35 Amp which should have been there. All seems well and after a cup of tea I wobbled home (avoiding main roads just in case!)
Why do I bother, I'm sure a nice new bike would be just the thing......or would it? Then I'd have nothing to talk about or to write in this Blog!

Mission accomplished

This morning got the single carb bolted on. What a difference its made. The bike sounds sweet no misfire just the way it should be. The only thing is the mikuni leaves a gap behind the barrel as though something is missing. Over the winter i'll decide whether to leave it on and if so figure out a way to keep the original air filter because it looks nicer. Off for a run on it now to see how it goes.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Flurry of activity

Unfortunatley the pursuit of money (to help keep my bikes going) and what seems like my single handed efforts to keep HM government awash with cash to bail out various economies has meant that work has been to the fore this week. Tonight however I had a flurry of activity in the garage, I fixed the Yellow Commando's front brake which failed last Saturday (technical explanations via the NOC newsletter) and having done that, it is now finished, looking, going and sounding splendid so I immediatley ripped the carb (Single Mikuni) off it. The yellow bike will now go into storage till the Spring. The single Mikuni will be grafted onto the 750 Roadster temporarily to see if it cures its ill's. Since I got the bike I've been buggering about with the Amals but enough is enough, if the Mikuni solves the problem then it'll be staying on!!
I have a LARGE box of Amals, all of which have more wear in them than a well used pair of whore's knickers (not that I know about such things) So I've decided that if the Mikuni is the answer then Mr AMAL will get no more of my hard earned cash, they look good, and are easy to work on by by god they last about 1000 miles before issues start to appear. New ones are being sold now which are supposed to be the answer BUT they are expensive. Tomorrow hopefully I'll complete the carb transplant and let you all know how it goes!!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


So last night I was heading from Perth to Edinburgh and was astounded at the roadworks on the way. The roads department and the Scottish Executive obviously Couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery. There is the 40 mph works at the south of the M90 then single lane 20 mph on the bridge then immediatey after the 40 mph for most of the a90. How is anyone supposed to do their job if it means travelling. And thats not to mention the war zone around Edinburgh because of the works to provide tram's that nobody wants and that we can't afford. So if you want to see roadworks incompetence on a grand scale visit scotland. Our new motto will be -turning your journey into a nightmare, making seemingly impossible incompetence a reality. Thank you from scotlands transport executive.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Still Sunny

November the 5th, Guy Fawkes night and its still nice, a tad cooler today though. Spent the morning finishing off the Yellow Roadster, just as I thought that was it ready for next year the brake failed, I'll check it later, glad it happened 10 yards from the house and not at 70mph on a main road!!!

Out on the Mk3 this afternoon to catch some sun down by the Forth Railway bridge, met a guy with an ES2 doing the same, pleasant enough standing in the sun talking bikes, perfect!

Thursday, 3 November 2011


I was on the SCMCC forum and saw a new member with a "classic" Honda CB900 had joined, my god a "classic" I raced one when they were brand new, note the orange vest in one of the pictures which must have been taken in one of my first races! OK so now I'm officially a "classic" rider!!!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Great day out!

So we were lucky with the weather, not a bad day considering it was the first day of Winter, an excellent turnout and plenty banter (and huge helpings of cake for some) Still no salt on the roads so long may that last. Good fun, geat company and nice bikes, what more can anyone ask for. Great to see so many people making the effort, thanks for coming along.

The Early arrivals
Not a Norton but very nice anyway
An excellent Norton turnout
Jake getting in some excercise complete with fag in the mouth, why kickstart when Jake's around!!
Hanging on to the bitter end (maybe in the hope of a free cuppa)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

New record

Well, this morning I beat a personal best, 4 bikes MOT'd and home before mid day!! MOT's are stressful enough (MOT = Annual safety check required by law in the UK) but I have to say it all went well this morning, of course you know that when Nortons are involved something will rear its ugly head, the roadster developed a misfire en route to the Garage and now runs like a bag of nails, never mind it gives me something to do!!!!!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Norton get together this Sunday

Hopefully see some of you at the Tullybannocher cafe just outside Comrie (on the road to St Fillans) this Sunday, meet up at 12ish to talk nonsense and put the world to rights!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Chilled out weekend

Nothing much on this weekend, some garage time on Saturday, I thought I'd share pics of some of my Nortons and just to prove I'm not racist a pic of my Triumph which I'm considering using as a winter bike!! Just a rewire needed hopefully and a few odds and ends (which is how it always starts!!)
Today after the rain it was pleasant enough, actually a great day to get out on the bike once the roads had dried, no wind and a great run on dry roads , a nice trip to the beach although no sunbathing!! and home just as the rain started again, perfect timing for once.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Mellow Yellow

Hard at work in the garage today making the 750s back into a roadster (just a pipe change) so how did it take me so long? Well the new downpipes fitted well but they needed 2 1/2 inches cut of each of them so that the silencer would go on! If I'd left them they would have gone almost a third of the way up the silencer (which they can't because of the welding on the internal baffles. Oh and the stainless brackets were only polished on one side, and one of the brackets is handed so much polishing needed on one side! Quite crap really, when the spares were cheap and not of good quality you could almost put up with it, now they aren't cheap and some of the stuff is still poor! Can you imagine buying a downpipe for a Honda and finding its 2 1/2 inches (or 75mm) too long? I think not, even my Guzzi's which everyone think is stone age engineering get parts from the suppliers that actually fit.
Main reason for the change is to make it more practical, impossible to put throw overs on and to be honest although it looked nice there are other issues which come with a high level pipe setup. Hopefully get a run on it before the salt appears on the roads!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Too good to miss

This morning promised good weather so the "to do" list was largely abandoned and we took to the road, I was on the Mk3 Commando which seems to be behaving itself now. One comment from today, I've never seen so much dangerous, stupid and careless driving all in one day, it made me think that Istanbul was less risky, final manoeuvre of the day to shock me was a new Porche Cayenne which went through a red light at Gogar , and cut through the traffic on the roundabout using all 3 lanes at around 60mph, I hope the small penis guy kills himself before he kills someone else!! If I had a chance to get his number I'd have reported him. But none of that spoiled what was a great day wobbling around the border roads in relative warmth, superb! Pics are the bikes outside Gifford Church (good cafe across the road, try it sometime) the Bass rock reflecting the sun from the liberal coating of bird shit that gives it it's colour and of course me on the Norton!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Home again

So a wonderful two chilled days in Applecross but we were both missing some motorcycling so we came home yesterday and spent today riding around the borders, pleasant weather all round, the pics show a typical Applecross Sunset, the View from the Bealach heading back over the hill and us waiting on a herd of rather noisy cows being shifted to a new field, they were quite inconsiderate and just emptied their bladder and bowels all over the road so the bikes now need a wash! If you look you'll see my attempts at art by trying to frame Fiona in my mirror.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

What a view to wake up to

The view from my window this morning. Stunning, having a laid back day, in the walled garden for lunch, what more do you need?

Monday, 10 October 2011

That castle again.

On our holidays to Applecross again. Stopped at the castle for a cup of tea. In the car i'm afraid , the weather isn't great so we decided to wimp out.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Special Day

Not so much motorcycling this weekend as I was getting married on Saturday! The various road agencies did their best to ruin the day by having roadworks on all the roads around South Queensferry meaning the wedding stated 1 1/2 Hours late, still a brilliant day , The picture is of us heading to the reception in Norrie Miltons outfit.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Summer is now over

Well that was a nice last minute reprieve from autumn but now its over. Rain and wind. Some motorcycle fun on Saturday but gave it a miss yesterday. gratuitous picture of my Norton's attached, don't suppose they'll stay clean now were into Autumn weather. Some bad news yesterday, a good friend and inspiration to me died on his commando on Saturday near Salzburg, Wolf Pfieffer was and will always be a legend, he will be sadly missed. Viva la figa Wolf.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Hot hot hot

Never thought i'd be saying that on the last day of September , proof that the climate has become very unpredictable. Met Sandy for lunch then headed back. On the roadster, glorious day for it.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Summer weather

An unbelievable two days of warm weather, just when we thought winter had started. Yesterday was probably one of the warmest days of the year. Today I couldn't not take advantage so took the mk3 Norton out to scrub off the last of the tyre, apart from the mud on the road it was brilliant, over 110 miles on the small roads, sun, heat and the bike going like a train. Now i'll need to change the back tyre and re torque the head then i'll be ready for next year.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Back together and running

Thats the mk3 back together and running well with no smoke so i'm relieved about that. A final torque down tomorrow and i'll hopefully get out for a run on it to make sure its all right.

SCMCC September meeting 2011

A bit out of synch but some photos from last Sundays meeting;

Monday, 26 September 2011

Woe is me

So yesterday the third stripdown of the mk3 commando in a short space of time. The photo shows the problem. The top has come off the inlet oil seal. After years and countless engine builds this has never been an issue until the last year. Oh well, today i start
the rebuild.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Busy week

Thursday already and not a minute wasted, recovering the Applecross bikes back into A1 condition and servicing them all. The fastback was first, as well as a service I had to call on Alex to weld the chainguard which was splitting, then replace the fork gaiter (and then I discovered someone in the dark and distant past had a fork seal in the wrong way round! Never seen that before and it wasn’t leaking that badly actually. Anyway its all back ready to go again. A visit to Mr Bloy to offer assistance with his latest Commando rebuild and then he helped me strip the chrome bits from my 88ss (pictured) and send them away for re chroming. The Roadster got my attention next, a service, fix the carb which caused problems at Applecross, a new Camshaft oil seal to stop the annoying oil leak and then because i’d disturbed the pick ups for the ignition one coil in the pick up wen’t open circuit, I replaced it with a spare but not before I renewed the wires as they were hard and brittle from years of living in a hot engine.
Having a small bike collection is nice but if you use them, they wear out, this creates work and profits for the Norton suppliers, sometimes I think I’m keeping them all in business single handed.

The Roadster ready to enjoy once again