Monday, 27 February 2012

Probably the best collection?

This weekend was the Thistle rally, wet run down, great afternoon spent in the company of good people, it did end up messy though at around 1am. Pictures may follow depending on any bribes offered to keep the photos of the net!!

Before the rally though I visited what has to be one of the best if not the best collection of speedway bikes and memoribilia in the world and its right here on our doorstep. I'll not publicly advertise the collection because as you might imagine I'm not sure if the owner would want it publicised. He opens it up a few days per year and its fantastic, the pictures tell the story, Harley speedway racers, Vincent speedway racers and 2 of whats thought to be only 4 ever built Norton speedway bikes, a rocket powered machine and a great static display. Its all the work of one man and full credit to him for the work and for letting us in to see the bikes.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Guzzi Day

Out on the Guzzi Le Mans today, dry roads, sunshine but very cold. It was great hustling it through some of my favourite bends but when pushed it certainly shows up the 30 Year old suspension. Its funny how things move on, when I got the 650 Single BMW I wondered if it would be too slow for me, if I'm honest there isn't much more power in the Guzzi lump and of course you need to have man wrists to open the Dellorto pumpers to get the Guzz to accelerate. Fuel injection certainly makes things easier all round but I'm wondering, does progress make us soft?
Just hoping the weather keeps up! Oh and petrol was no problem today!!!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Anti Motorcycle behaviour

Out today for a potter about on the bikes and eventually pulled into a petrol station, opened the petrol cap on the bikes, put the nozzle in the tank and then a voice blared something unintelligible over the tannoy, the Bearded Asian pump jockey then looked at us out of the window making a sign which at first I though was a passable monkey imitation, then realised he wanted us to take our helmets off before he turned the pump on. I immediatley thought F*ck you, closed the petrol cap and left without petrol, there's plenty more gas stations in Edinburgh that aren't bike racist!!
Now just to go over what was on my mind whilst I rode away, first he had a beard which meant only his eyes were visible, just like me with a full face helmet on, the irony!! Then I thought I wonder if his wife was amongst the growing number of Burka wearers in the country? Nobody tells them to take their head scarves off when they go for petrol, or even when they board a plane so why should I take my helmet off?
So if you need petrol don't stop at the Esso station on the old Dalkeith road, you might need some ID before they serve you (preferably translated into Urdu no doubt!!) Luckily I've calmed down so this post isn't as offensive as it might be!!!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fantastic day out

We declared a holiday yesterday, for no other reason than the forecast when we looked last week looked favourable and when work wears you down the best thing to do is get on your bike and let the inane nonsense of modern life dissapear in a puff of exhaust smoke!

We were rewarded with what I can only describe as the best riding conditions ever for mid February, the sun was shining and the roads were quiet. We went up through Glendevon, Glen Ogle to Killin for lunch at the Shutters cafe (Excellent) and returned via Loch Tay and over the single track Glen Quaich road. Usually it closed at this time of year with snow but yesterday because it doesn't get gritted it was the best part of the trip! The sma Glen looked wonderful in a slowly setting sun and we took the small roads through Fife back to the big city.

A fantastic day out made better by a call from my Insurance Company who managed to get my renewal down below the original quote (remember they added £50 on to my renewal quote last week) It felt like we'd won the lottery, so I put a lottery on last night and.....we didn't , oh well it was still a great day anyway!

I have to give the bikes a mention, the small BMW's were brilliant for the small roads and still no fuel light on after 170 miles which means we must have got over 75MPG, a bonus!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bad start, good finish

So this morning after filling up with petrol a mile from my house the fancy new BMW wouldn't start, Fiona's did but mine refused. A bit of swearing and a call to the BMW helpline had me feeling a bit better, they would dispatch a technician to save me as soon as possible, I did say I could go home and get my Norton which does go! If I'd wanted a bike that didn't start I'd have got a CBR1000 Honda (oops, sorry Bob) actually I have a garage full of temperamental bikes I don't need another. (I'm not touching it as its still under warranty) Fiona nipped back to the house for the car and jump leads just in case. As she arrived back I got a text saying the "Technician" would be with me in 45 minutes, impressed! I stabbed at the button again and yes it started!! A quick call back to call off the Calvary and then we were out for a right good day wobbling around the small roads in the Borders, no more problems with the bike but I am going to speak to the shop to get them to check it over.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Testing Testing

We've been battling a bit with a strange (and frustrating) Norton problem, we've had the head off and on this bike about 6 times and still we're losing oil from the head and filling the combustion chamber. Alex made up a plate (shown in the pics) which has allowed us to pressurise the head to look for a potential leak, unfortunatley it showed no leak so we are now back to assuming that somehow the oil is being forced up past the rings into the combustion chamber. Today Alex and I will strip and hopefully rebuild the bottom end after hopefully having our Eureka moment!!!! Problem is I hurt my back taking the thing out so not only is this Norton challenging me mentally its also affecting my health!!!!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Beware Robbers and chancers about!

I have my Bikes insured through what used to be a reputable Insurance Broker, they used to be Bike orientated and run by Carole Nash, My renewal has just come in and then they called and texted me to ask if I was happy and going to renew.
I told the guy that I would look around and let him know as I thought it was expensive. He then ran through my list of bikes and I adjusted the values of 3 of them slightly, taking £1500 off the value of my modern Guzzi and adding the same 1500 between a classic Guzzi and a Norton.
He done the calculations and came back with a quote that was £50 more expensive! How the feck does that work? I told him to put the values back to what they were and they said they couldn't do that!! So here we are in a situation when you get a renewal, question the cost make some sensible adjustments which DO NOT INCREASE the insured value overall and the B*star*s put it up by more than 10%
Be careful out there, robbers thieves and vagabonds used to be easy to identify, now they are on your TV, in the Houses of Parliment and Lords running our banks and also running Insurance companies!! Is it me? or has the UK gone totally mad?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Capper Rally

Well thats the first proper Rally of the year over, the 30th Capper Rally was a right good do. The run to the site isn't far for us but we still managed to get very damp and cold on the short run down, the wind picked up and the rain and sleet was persistent whilst we put up the tent. Because it was so cold and wet we put the tent up with all the bike gear still on (Including helmets) the result of that of course is you sweat and then the dampness inside meets the wet on the outside so you get a good soaking! Full marks to the Dutch contingent for coming over to basically camp in a wet field! Also a good turnout from south of the Border all reporting a good run up on the Friday despite the press saying the country was at a standstill due to extreme weather conditions. Sunday was bright also and actually when we returned to the tent the earlier rain had frozen solid and it was a nice cloudless sky which of course meant it was cold! Bob has a confession, his normally reliable Honda CBR1000 decided not to be so he arrived in a Honda, but a 4 wheel version, Kate though flew the flag by turning up on her bike anyway! A great weekend in good company, the cold isn't that bad really.....Honest!

A nice Dutch registered Guzzi outfit

The Frost on the tent! Nice !!

Bob trying to sneak away in his 4 wheel Honda!

Kate flying the flag AND still carrying the luggage despite Bob having the car!