Monday, 12 September 2011

Slowed down now by the need to go out and earn dollar, nevertheless got some more stuff done, fixed the blown fuse in the grinder and removed the last of the unwanted tabs and the back of the homemade mudguard. Left a bit of this on as it provides a bit of bracing and you won't see it anyway. Seat arrived and it could have been made for the bike, dimensions are perfect. going to use a garden kneeler as foam, bolted through to some marine ply underneath for a bit more rigidity. I've made a list of essentials and desirables, the plan being to get the essentials done, try and get the bastard started and mot'ed, then go back and do the desirables if the motor isn't a clanking smoky heap........or any more than 30 year old SOHC hondas are usually haha.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Elvis saves the day

Got the front end back on today, leaking fork seal fixed and tapered steering head bearings installed. The bottom cup went in ok, but the top was having none of it. I'd progressed from careful tapping with a wooden drift to vigorous hammering, to no avail. Luckily my mate Elvis Burger King called by on his way back from a surf recce and brought a reviving steak and stilton pasty, took one look at the cup and pointed out that it was home, the ridge I was trying to get it to, 5mm deeper had nothing to do with it!!! I'd just resolved to get a lump hammer to it so his timing was impeccable. Anyway, all on now and swivelling smoothly. Scored the seat hump off of the bay yesterday, so eagerly awaiting that now. Blue suede for seat turned up yesterday along with LEDs to replace idiot lights and altette replica horn. Bad news is front tyre is fubared as well as back, so will be looking for a pair with period tread, like old skool roadrunners or maybe Avon Venoms like its got at the mo.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Moving on

Got some Tomasselli Ace bars off the 'bay which suit my ageing profile as they're not too extreme. Nicked a white faced mini speedo off the Triumph project and a set of cheap as chips chrome headlight supports, got some LED warning lights and just need to find cheap Lucas 7" chrome headlight to mount them in. Stripped the front end and ordered new steering head bearings, tapered as it was still running on balls which were shagged, and new fork seals. Luckily the stanchions were only surface rusted and gaiters and leaking seals had protected the important bits. Otherwise covered the whole front end in nitromors and spent two days wire wooling to get the paint and crud off. For the faint of heart, warning: The motor is not coming out at this stage, and I am working outside under a gazebo, terrible I know, I am horrified at my own slack practices, but I've got no choice as workshop and garage are groaning with Triumphs! :)


Moving along,
Junked (heading for ebay): Tank, seat, front guard, clocks, headlight, taillight, horns, sidepanels, footrests.
Scored: Ugly great ally tank with Monza cap, stripped paint to find quite rough, but I don't mind that, I'm not building a concours trailer queen

Nostagic self indulgence

Many moons ago when I was nobbut a greasy urchin, I got my first full time job in Maples furniture store in the fair city of Exeter. The job of course was merely a necessity to fund the expensive lifestyle of motorcycling and drinking that I was enjoying at the time, jobs meant HP. Accordingly I dragged my decrepit but pretty Suzuki 400 along to the local bikeshop and signed my life away for a 4 year old Honda SOHC 750K7. I have to say, it wasn't my first choice of bike, half my mates had old Brits and the other half had the latest Rice burners, GS750s, Z1000s etc, and the piss was taken when I bought this lumbering old dinosaur with one cam and a 17" back wheel. I didn't have much choice at the time as the Suzi was rattling like a bag of nails and leaking like a seive. I parked up round the corner and plastered chewing gum onto the hot sump to retard the oil flow, quick wipe with an oily rag and the deal was done. I seem to remember the Honda was £850, with £300 off for the Suzi. Anyhow, I had it for 6 years in total during which time it was thoroughly thrashed, neglected, lived outside, commuted between Devon and Yorkshire and even took me abroad on a couple of occasions, then one icy night in Sheffield riding back from a night at the cellar bar somewhat the worse for wear it setup a godawful rattling and snuffed it with 78000 on the clock. I took it back to Devon on the train, but it still managed the last 10 miles home under its own somewhat smoky rattling steam, then languished in the garage of me long suffering parentals till I sold it to a breakers for £120 in a moment of desperate poverty.
Fast forward over 20 years and I'm approaching 50, had a variety of bikes, usually at least one project Brit on the go and a daily ride of the asian persuasion, and my mate Jib tells me of a Honda 750 that he had, loved and sold to a mate who is doing nothing with it. I'd been harbouring a yearning for another SOHC in cafe racer guise after seeing what Steve Carpenter and the Wrenchmonkees were doing, but with two Triumphs and a BSA in bits in the shed it seemed a bit stupid to buy something after some persuasion I caught Neil (PO) off guard and had it off him. Luckily he lives on the hill above me so after letting some fluid out of the back brake I was able to coast home at a heady 40mph. Of course it doesn't run, several monkeys having fiddled with it in the last year or so, but it was all there and had already had the rear frame rails chopped off, so I knew I wasn't destroying a restorable bike. Sadly the F2 has Comstars, which I'm not keen on, but if the initial build goes ok and the engines sound, I might spring for some Borranis and a 4LS, but for the mo the object is to create a reasonable looking bike for under a grand. This should be do-able as it already has new chain and sprockets, a good front tyre (back is good but cracked), an alright looking Jib-made 4-1, and good brakes all round.