Friday, 10 March 2017
Many happy hours spent with my dad, him painstakingly cutting the component parts from the plastic spars, sanding and painting and carefully gluing them together to create miniature replicas of the real thing. All the time I would be gluing my fingers together and sniffing the solvents in the adhesive, how times change! As I got older and after my old man had taught me to build the kits myself I became quite an accomplished modeller myself. Apparently, the later model boxes had the bombs, bullet traces and rising flame/smoke airbrushed out of the original pictures, I mean, come on, no wonder Airfix sales declined, after all, as an eight year old isn't that what it was all about?
Friday, 3 March 2017
What I really like about the blogger platform is the whole punk rock, diy ethic. The whole Rank Amateur, John Bull Printing Set, easy to use, try it, shagged it, fucked it up, never mind, there's always tomorrow attitude, something sadly missing in today's 'watch what you say, don't offend anyone, lets network, I really love your product' world. Like I've said many times on the old loveless blog, I've got a real job, i don't make my living posting bollocks on the 'tinterweb, I get up at twat 'o clock in the morning, work a mind-numbing shift and wheelspin out of the factory yard at 15.10 hrs everyday to get home, walk my dogs and as the days get longer, ride my bikes. thats it. no packdrill and no agenda's. simples. I like the fact that people get uptight about 'intellectual property' squeeze me? baking powder? does anything actually belong to anyone? Julian, a long term mate and sparring partner sent me this today, a re-make, re-model of the old loveless sticker designs that we sent out for free but with his own twist. I love it me. It's a one-off. not for sale. Just working and improving on a design that my daughter Jess came up with years ago. Thanks Julian. (Can you sort me one out? Size large, preferably in black so it doesn't show the stains) The Answer? Frank Zappa.....
Sunday, 26 February 2017
I'm fifty eight and Dangerous is seventy two and yet we turned into a pair of dickheads, Dangerous rooster-tailing salty water off his back tyre, wheelies and general hooligan behaviour, down the Via Gellia and a thick ribbon of salt and limestone scum off the never ending convoy of Derbyshire Roadstone wagons adding to the already tricky conditions. Toasted cheese and tuna sandwiches and strong coffee to warm frozen limbs and deserted roads, no one is out today, into Matlock, the traditional biker, Sunday afternoon, meeting point, no-one here, Me, Dangerous, the local scooter posse, that's it, what's up? Your dead a long time fuckers..........
Saturday, 25 February 2017
I heard it through the grapevine that we have had quite a few bike thefts recently in the 'hood, some very close to the shed, I'm already paranoid but to hear that there's a gang of scrotes in a white Transit van pinching bikes has got me even more security conscious. I have disc-locks, heavy duty Abus chains and locks, an alarm system and bars at the window, two very, very nasty Jack Russell terriers, deadlock bolts and my van is backed up to the door every night, but, I must admit to investing in a security camera too, activated by sound or motion and immediate notification via my phone, an awesome bit of kit and as you can see by the photos, crystal clear, the 'smile motherfucker' sign? Your attention will be drawn to that straight away so I can get a good photo of you as you stare straight into the camera lens. Oh did I mention that I'm shodan in two different martial arts, have a very, very sharp katana and a rusty old shotgun, my new Doc Martens need christening and I hate bike thiefs? bring it on.........
Thursday, 23 February 2017
What I am loving though is the mix of wheels on the bike, it's definitely a magnesium Dymag on the rear, the classic three-spoke design is a style icon, not sure what the front hoop is? I can only find pictures of the Yoshimura super bikes with matching Dymags from this era so perhaps someone will let me know? They certainly aren't the original 'star' design items I had on my bike, in fact they look like the Kawasaki rims that were fitted to Eddie Lawsons bike? Calipers are AP Lockheed's, the fronts are mounted in front of the skinny little 'right way up' forklegs as was popular during this time, (apparently they stayed cooler owing to them being in the wind blast but from an engineering point it's a bit of a no-no owing to the sheer factors involved on the mountings) the rear is mounted underneath the swingarm and off the old centre-stand mounting in a crude way to achieve a fully floating mounting. The swingarm looks like an early Honda CB 750 SOHC item rather than the standard Suzuki item, probably because the welded seam in the centre offered a lot more torsional strength compared to the OEM tubular item. The frame has additional bracing welded in the 'v' just above the rearset mountings, I copied this on my own bike, Reynolds seamless tubing no less, brazed in by a mate who worked at the old Mercian cycle company in Derby.
The bike just oozes class, I love bikes that look like they would do you a mischief, hurt you or cause you discomfort if you disrespect them, this old warhorse is up there with the most brutal and what I really like about this photo, ( and what dates it), is the lady in the deckchair on the right, the bloke in the budgie-smugglers, the cobbled together paddock stand and the bike just standing on the grass, no purpose built paddock temporary building, carpeted workshop for the technicians or mega race transporters/mobile home combo like today's racers, in fact, a very average club racer would probably be better equipped than Crosby back in the day.
Look at it though, go on, look, absolute animal.........
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Sunday, 12 February 2017
Don't know if I've mentioned it before but I'm partial to Italian motorcycles, particularly machines made by Ducati. When I saw photos of the new Moto GP bike I must admit to being ever so slightly underwhelmed, it looked a bit like a Japper to me but when I saw the pictures of the 2017 World superbike? Whoa! I came across all Terry Thomas, ' well, hello there.....' Just a stunning bit of kit, I really, really like the stubby little Akrapovic cans hanging in fresh air halfway between the rear axle and the seat, oh yes, that seat, almost streetfighterish at that jaunty angle, it shouldn't work, but somehow does, I know that single sided swinging arms are so last century, but really? Can you imagine anything else on this bike? Photos blatantly nicked from the 44 teeth blogspot, check them out
Saturday, 11 February 2017
Don't know why but last night I dreamt about an old girlfriend. I used to be a paperboy, a paperboy for those who are not old enough was someone who delivered the daily/evening papers. We were pre-teen children, carrying 70-80 newspapers in a heavy canvas sack, posting the newspapers through doors on a 'paper round' early mornings before school and after school for the evening rounds. Out in all weathers, getting bollocked for delivering wet papers, (duh, it's raining, that's why your paper is slightly damp) getting bollocked for riding your bike down a jitty/on the pavement/on some pensioners lawn. I hated Sunday's. Sunday's were always a bastard. Heavy Sunday supplements and whoa betide you you if you posted a Sunday Times through someone's door who was expecting a Sunday People tits and scandal special.
Anyhoo, sorry, I digress, my old girlfriend Sonia was a papergirl, we used to nod, smile and say hello as we met on our respective 'rounds. I eventually plucked up the courage to ask her out and we went to see a couple of films at the old ABC cinema in Derby, went shopping together on a day trip to Nottingham on the train and held hands on the River Gardens near the big, bronze turtle statues. It was all very, very innocent, our first kiss almost made my head explode, we were, for one summer, inseparable, then it all went pear-shaped, you see, I was a soul boy, Motown was my passion, she was a rocker, her first love was Jim Dandy of Black Rock Arkansas fame, (listening to her older brothers records obviously turned her to the dark side) Anyway, here's a photo of the coolest bloke on the planet, Layeez and Gemntlemn, the one and only, Jim Dandy, Oh yeah........
Friday, 10 February 2017
Way back in time, well, when motorcycling was invented by Dutch and the Shoreditch Massive, err, about five years ago, i was contacted by The Bikeshed, (they were a blog back then before they became an M.C. Shhh, don't go there girlfriend). I'd had my e-mither address passed on by a 'famous motorcycling journalist' after an article on the loveless shed and MZ racebike appeared in Performance Bikes and they wanted to feature my bikes on their website. Blogs back then were like the original punk fanzines, like-minded people sharing ideas and good times before you could actually become an Internet star and make a living from blogging, so, I fired off some photo's along with my usual string of consciousness and got a snotty reply from the Pres, sorry Dutch informing me that it was the worst 'article' that they had ever received and I needed to re- submit it with correct punctuation, better photos, blah, blah before they could consider it for publication on their blog.
A quick 'fuck off' and I was doomed to motorcycling obscurity. I was never going to feature on the Bike Shed site, they didn't need the likes of a scum-bag, rough-arse, pleb on their site, oh no, the Bike Shed are destined for much bigger things, much, much bigger things, like 22 million pounds worth of bigger things.............
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Friday, 3 February 2017
Rockers. Grebs. Greebo's. Ton-Up Boys. Nothing like their American cousins . No Harley Davidsons here. Triumphs, BSA's and Nortons thank you, none of that foreign shit! While the majority of the 'Bikeshed' M.C. Trip-Out and rest of the elitist chopper jockeys fawn over Bates this and Jammer that here is the reality of motorcycling culture in England during the Fab Swinging Sixties. Mostly standard Brit bikes, (bar the bloke with the ape-hangers) no peanut tanks, bolt-on ridgid back ends, no Bates headlights, all packing mudguards, (never fenders for fucks sake) clean shaven, no plaid shirts or Redwing boots. For the really hardcore perhaps a swallow tattoo between thumb and fore finger, no full sleeves here, no denim cut-offs just chains on your ex-forces peaked cap, enamel race, rally, nazi badges and studded leather jackets, jeans tucked into your boots and a black or white button through shirt or white t shirt, ( sleeve rolled to hold your pack of ten Park Drive of course)
Where the Yanks disappeared in a cloud of California weed, Gilbert Shelton comics and the soundtrack of the Greatful Dead, their bikes became raked out, moulded, flip-flopped and modified to the state of becoming almost unrideable.The Brits followed the route of just making them faster, the whole cafe-racer scene developed from the need for speed and now in the present day we see the Americans having a whole cult based around the British Rockers, people wearing the Lewis Leathers and 59 Club badges and building very tidy Tritons and other British motorcycle based cafe-racers. The Brits on the other hand have embraced the quasi American outlaw motorcycle look, both in dress and the style of machinery that they ride taking their styling cues from early Easyriders magazines and biker exploitation films but all the time sneering at others who are not down with their 'alternative' culture.
I was recently talking to a bloke in a petrol station, I was filling my van with the dreaded filthy, carcinogenic devil-fuel diesel and he was at the next pump topping up his late model Harley Davidson Sportster. A quick nod and moan about the weather and he was standing next to me as we queued to pay for our fuel, as we made our way back to our respective vehicles I noted that he wasn't running a front mudguard, his rear mudguard was hacked off just below the standard back light and he had a Mexican blanket bungeed to his seat, that's it. No other mods as far as I could see, (bar the obligatory Screamin' Beagle (T.M.) aftermarket pipes,) I tried to be polite and said nice ride to be met with the story of his machine. Needless to say he was proud of his 'bobber' he wasn't a 'fair weather rider' like the 'normal' bikers, he was wearing the uniform, open faced matt black lid, no visor, no goggles, not even sunglasses, expensive denim jeans, leather jacket with Levis denim cut-off and fingerless gloves. It's hovering just above freezing, dark and a steady drizzle falling, don't get me wrong, kudos for riding a motorcycle through winter in appalling conditions, been there, done that but really? 'bobber' nah bro' you're trying too hard!
So, I guess that's what I'm trying to say, (all be it in a round-a-bout manner) are we all trying too hard to be cool instead of just enjoying our two-wheeled experiences? Trying too hard to dress and impress? Is that what it's really all about after all? Answers on a postcard to............
Sunday, 29 January 2017
Saturday, 28 January 2017
Air-cooled Ducati. Love them. In my often late night trawls of the 'tinterweb and in between checking out the various football forums and rare soul blogs I also peruse Google images to find gems like this one. I'm sorry. I have no details about this particular machine. Another early-hours 'save as' photo, downloaded no doubt in an alcohol inspired stupor. So peeps, what we are looking at here is the bike that I wish I had the skill and dinero to construct instead of my feeble effort with the 'Peaky Blinder' / 'Not a Ducati TT2Replica' I know this bike isn't the finished deal. No oil lines etc. But really, just look at it, perfection in my eyes and it just gives me a feeling of inadequacy when I look at the skill to produce a machine to this level. What I strive for is the often overused term 'factory', that level of build quality where the lines blur and a 'one-off' (hate to use it but 'custom') bike looks like a production machine. Yes, Yes, Yes, I know that's a massive contradiction, how can a 'custom' bike look like a bike anyone could purchase from your local, friendly motorcycle emporium? And that's what I'm trying to get at. All too often 'custom' bikes, or specials look like they really are, a half-arsed compromise, often ruining the standard bikes handling and performance in the pursuit of aesthetics, hey, beat me up I'm as guilty as anyone for doing it! Lord knows I've made some monumental fuck-up's. I've spunked hours and my pension fund chasing that dream only to realise that I'm playing at it and that there are a very few gifted individuals who can actually achieve that 'factory' perfection without compromise. Pass me the rim-tape...........................................................
Friday, 20 January 2017
It's been bugging me all day which bike the Speedymoto crash bobbins that we modified to fit the KTM Supermoto were from, I had a feeling that they were on the Ducati Sport Classic that we built about ten years ago? Searching through my photos and I found them, don't think I ever posted photos of it up on the old loveless blog? I May be wrong, (I probably am) but here it is, just a very tidy slightly modified bike, no over-engineering just stainless machined fasteners holding the plot together, the bee-ute-ee-full Zard exhaust system, open clutch cover, Pazzo's, Oberon rear indicators and shed-made tail tidy. Ducati were giving these away for nothing then. They couldn't sell them for toffee, we paid four grand for this one, sold it for two and six, ( twelve and a half pence in new money) oh well, at least we recycled the crash bobbins...""
Thursday, 19 January 2017
After the incident at Mallory Park in November when Dangerous lobbed the Ducati Scrambler up the track I must confess that I am a convert to crash protection for the bikes. Thinking about the damage, ( and money) saved by fitting crash bobbins and axle sliders to the Scrambler got me thinking and both my bikes now have them fitted especially as they are going to see some trackday action, (and even racing in the case of the Supermoto), so both bikes now wear shed-made front and rear axle sliders. The axle sliders are made from good quality machinable engineering nylon and mounted using 8mm stainless round stock, threaded to length to accept an 8mm Nyloc nut on both ends, the Duke already had the KTM Powersport engine /radiator bars fitted when I bought the bike but the Supermoto needed some frame bobbins, luckily Dangerous had a pair of Speedymoto bobbins from another Ducati in his stash so it was a simple job to machine a couple of mountings up to fit them, job done. Health And Safety? Well, I'm all for it. I cut my thumb on one of the very sharp stainless exhaust shields on the Supermoto so had to order a couple of carbon Akrapovic exhaust shields to prevent another unfortunate occurrence. Carbon whoring? What me............
Sunday, 15 January 2017
Mike Baldwin, no not the cheeky cockney character from everyone's favourite northern based television soap opera, rather the '80's AMA super bike racer and team-mate of 'Fast' Freddie Spencer, hustling the massive Honda CB900 based superbike around. I would watch the 'Fast Freddie' video over and over again back in the day, remember, these were the days of the two-stroke and two-strokes were the weapon of choice, seeing these production based four-stroke monsters being wrestled around by the likes of Cooley, Lawson, Baldwin, Spencer, Pietri and Steve 'Motormouth' McLaughlin struck a chord with me. I sold my Yamaha RD 400 and signed on the never, never for a year old Suzuki GS 1000S, the blue and white 'ice cream van' model, you know, the same one Wes Cooley rode........
Saturday, 14 January 2017
Me, Chalky and Dangerous had a day out today. Dangerous had spotted that a dealer around 40 miles away had the new Ducati Desert Sled in so we had a ride up in the Mystery Machine Van of Doom to have a butchers. Except that they didn't actually have one in stock. In fact they aren't having one in until March. Oh well, we had a nice sandwich, a good coffee and some sport baiting the salesmen and listened to some cool tunes and good conversation. One of the topics was the MZ racer that we built back in 2009/2010 and which I raced with the BMZRC. Dangerous reckoned it was one of the best bikes we've built. I went a bit further. It's the best MZ ever built. There you go. Prove me wrong. I'm waiting.........
Friday, 13 January 2017
'Taste The Difference' the tag line from a wank Sainsbury's advert, but really, check out the machined stainless loveliness compared to the OEM stuff. I've tried to be grown up, polite and more family friendly with the new blog but fuck it, I've decided to go back to being the self-opinionated, stubborn, grumpy old fuck that I really am. Hold tight..........
Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Seriously, I really do need to get a life, why spend all those nights in the shed machining stainless bolts? I mean, who really notices them anyway? You know that old saying 'Clothes make the the man' Well to me 'Fasteners make the the bike' I cannot stand tatty, rusted, rounded-off, spanner scarred bolts, to me they scream neglect and 'don't care' and I've seen many projects where the owner has spunked a fortune on paint/ parts/ bling for the whole look of the machine be ruined by using the standard fasteners.I buy my stainless from a local merchants, it's good quality and a high grade and machines well, I used to hunt around at the auto jumbles but the standard is generally poor, a lot of time the heads are not even concentric to the shank of the bolt and the grade is very low meaning they are brittle and likely to fail in use or when assembling/disassembling components. I never use stainless fasteners in high-stress areas like shock absorber mountings, instead I bite the bullet, unchain my purse and buy titanium items from Pro-Bolt, not only are they used by top racers, ( so they are far and above anything I need for the road or my humble efforts at track days ) but, they are just beautifully made and look great too.
On 'domey's' or 'dome head' allen heads like the ones in the photos I machine them to a 45 degree angle to mimic the Pro-Bolt titanium items, on 'socket heads' I taper them to 35 degrees and machine the makers grade and manufacturing stamping so for a clean look, a quick rub with Scotchbrite finishes them off a treat. So, there you have it, it might take two or three nights in the shed but once done you can forget about corrosion and the bike will look all the better for a bit of effort, oh yeah........
Sunday, 8 January 2017
So, here's the KTM 690 Duke on the bench, bought this when I sold the Ducati Hypermotard just before the Classic TT Festival in the Isle Of Man. The previous owner had already added the Powersports engine bars and hand guards, I junked the OEM mirrors and added an Oberon bar-end mirror on the throttle side, just so much clearer and unobtrusive than the standard items which are frankly wank, they blur at any speeds and you can't tell what's behind you. Next purchase was the Akrapovic titanium and carbon exhaust can although I have left the standard under engine catalyser on as the forums suggest that the bike runs better with it left on, you don't lose any midrange and with a cat delete pipe they are horrendously noisy, verging on the offensive. I have removed both rear footpeg mountings and used the Akrapovic exhaust mount for a cleaner look, made a carbon heel guard and mounting bushes and added an RG tail tidy and radiator guard. I've started swapping the OEM, wank plated 'gutter-bolt' fasteners for some machined quality stainless replacements too and of course the traditional Pro-Bolt sexy race spec caliper bolts (lock-wired) a sprinkling of orange Powersports bling and I reckon it looks pretty stealthy which is the look I was planning. Loads more stainless bolts to machine up and replace and a rather disappointing find when I started to change the oil today, some ham-fisted dog wanker has stripped one of the threads in the crankcase where one of the four oil filters fit. Yep, you read that right, there are four oil filters on the 690 LC4 engines, two are paper filters, two washable plastic gauze filters, not expensive to replace and a real belt and braces job. Well, down to the local tool merchants to pick up a 5mm helicoil kit tomorrow then, pissed off with the dealer I bought it off, they just 'liquid metalled' the bolt back in! Oh well, you live and learn.........
Saturday, 7 January 2017
Friday, 6 January 2017
I've known Jay since he was a little boy, I used to work for his dad as a subby pipe fitter/welder back in the day. I thought I was a die hard two-stroke fan but Jay takes it to another level, a very competitive moto-cross rider who broke his neck and risked paralysis if he raced again instead turning his attention to building a series of two-stroke specials instead. He turned up at work one day with the most mental RD 400 Yamaha I've ever seen, he invited me to have a blast around the industrial estate where we were based, the thing was an absolute beast, virtually unrideable and it cost a fortune to run commanding a rebuild every few hundred miles, I almost soiled myself riding it, the power delivery was unbelievable, frightening even. Jay eventually tired of it and the ridiculous amount of hard-earned he spunked to maintain it and moved it on, over the next two, three, four, five years he would occasionally drop in to my works with updates regarding the new project with tantalising blurry photos of the new bike and a tail of woe regarding the trials and tribulations of building a special. When he turned up late last year on the 'finished' bike I could hardly believe what I was seeing, I heard it before I saw it, when he pulled up I sat on the floor outside the unit and just drank in the details. This is the last frame Spondon Engineering built before Sweary Bob died and the rest of the craftsmen were employed at Donington to build the new Nortons, carbon fibre wheels, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, exquisite JL titanium and Kevlar expansion chambers, Tyga carbon fibre bodywork, cut, shut and narrowed to get the perfect profile, everywhere I looked spoke of quality and bespoke engineering, just a beautiful bike. Jay isn't a traditional engineer, don't get me wrong, he knows his way around a socket set but he works long and hard to fund his dreams. So, I'm sat there in awe of this machine, soaking in the details when I spot something vaguely familiar but something I can't quite place, 'Jay, those mesh filters over the carbs? RG500?' 'Nah youth, tea strainers from Asda' once a pipe fitter, always a pipe fitter............
Wednesday, 4 January 2017
Lawson, Luchinelli, Mamola, Spencer, Roberts and Sheene had none of these devices to try and tame the hairy old two-stokes and with a throttle like an on/off switch, there was little room for error, get it wrong and things often went very pear-shaped in a matter of milliseconds with the unfortunate rider being high sided off the machine in a violent and injurious high speed crash.
Two-strokes, a bit like Marmite then really, you either love them or hate them, I love them and so does my friend Jay and wait until you see what Jay has built........
Monday, 2 January 2017
The central heating boiler decided to throw in the towel the day after Boxing Day leaving us without hot water or heating at Bailey Towers and no chance of getting the parts needed to repair the bloody thing until this Wednesday. To say I was delighted would be a bit of an understatement and let's just say that the good folk of Derbyshire were treated to me doing my best Basil Fawlty impression, hitting the boiler with a wet towel which I had used to soak up the leaking heater matrix and turning the air blue with profanities, ( all done in my best low, guttural Cradle of Filth growl I hasten to add) As you know, the boiler is located in the shed. Mrs B. required more room for kitchen cabinets so I moved the boiler, piped up a couple of radiators that I scored cheap and Roberto is ones Mothers brother, a toasty shed and more room for Her Majesty.
Well, what we have here is a full blown emergency and I despatched Mrs B forthwith to procure some electric convector heaters especially as the forecast said we are in for a cold-snap. We are now in possession of three heaters, one for the house and two for in the shed, well, you have to get your priorities right, right?
Oh, here's a photo from this morning taken while walking the dogs on the Portway the ancient prehistoric track which runs from Nottingham to Mam Tor in north Derbyshire.