Friday, 23 January 2009

Honda Project Part 2

Managed to get a couple of hours in the 'shop earlier in the week. All the painted frame bits have been acid scrubbed and etch-primed ready for some black paint. The 'shop has taken on the air of a butchers - bloody chilly and bits hanging from hooks everywhere. The No2 CB frame can be seen lurking by the wheels. This frame is suffering from Atlantic rust and the swing arm won't actually swing - it's been getting a regular soaking with penetrating fluid and has just had it's first visit from the gas-axe to try and free things up a bit (swing arm bushes here are nylon so will melt out if need be). Depending on e-bay success we may be using fresh wheels, failure there will mean a trip Central Wheel for some new rims and spoke sets for an in-house re-lacing. Ooh - nearly forgot to mention - I had the most enormous, delicious pork chop last night, cooked in the oven with some root veg, apples, sausages, tonnes of garlic, sage and bits - all served up with 1/2 dozen kidneys and some garlic-fried potatoes - washed down with a bottle of Davy's French White No1, a bottle of Davy's French Red No1 and a 75% Tempranillo Rioja from Calificada. MORE CONFUSION !

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Honda Project Part 1

Just a quick up-date on progress with the ex-Cornish CB project. As can be seen by the suspended carcass, the gralloching has well and truly been completed. This dismembering exercise is the first and most important part of the butchery process. The more substantial joints are removed for future fettling, allowing access to the guts - no waste here, vital organs are preserved and all parts are laid up in storage. It has become apparent that our victim was grossly overweight and a ruthless approach is being taken to discarding extraneous mass. The poor thing will be lucky to develop 16 horse power which is barely enough to get me hauled up the road. As a family hack/commuter machine we are not looking for performance but any weight lost at this stage has got to help. The frame we're using is the better of the two salvaged from Cornwall - here it awaits a rust removal acid treatment, to be followed by a coat of self-etching primer and a bit of black paint. The engine is the 200cc number from the complete bike, we believe this to be a runner so there are no plans to dismember it. The tank shown is a spare, but rather tasty, 1972 175 piece, the plan here is to clean it up but not strip it, the rust spots and crazed finish lend a certain authenticity. MORE PATINA !

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Diesel Strokers & Mrs Robinson

My knowledge of two stroke diesels is limited, not withstanding, I have known for years that this was an area of internal combustion engine technology that I would, at some stage have to investigate further. I guess none of us have been able to re-visit Mike Nichols' '67 Graduate without fast forwarding to the elopement - that GM bus hauling up with the unmistakable Detroit 12 litre 32 valve V8 2 stroke roar - this lovely sound is often accentuated by the employment of a sluggish automatic gearbox playing havoc with the revs. (All of this accompanied by a rather startled look from Katherine Ross as she weighs up the pros and cons and a trickle of S&G's "Hello Darkness"). Move on 13 years and around the globe to South Australia, just West of Nundroo on the (then) very empty Eyres Highway. Quietly minding my own business on the XT500 loaded up with gear - it was getting dusk and,to give myself more chance in the kangaroo avoidance game, I had slowed to 60 and was riding straight down the centre of the road - the problem with coaches having engines at the back is you don't get to hear them coming - how I survived the Greyhound streaking past me on the near side at 80 is unknown, the noise however is etched securely in my brain somewhere - glorious two stroke rattle and howl, FANTASTIC smell and heat. Move on again - another 5 years and I found myself driving a Commer CDY (as shown below) tipper, only for a day, but the noise ! Obviously I knew I was in stroker territory but for some reason never looked under the bonnet. I have only just discovered the brilliant opposing piston design of the Rootes TS3 !?%&£$!!? BRILLIANT - 3 cylinders, 6 pistons, 12 con-rods, 6 rockers and 1 crankshaft - all that and a stroker to boot. How this piece of engineering has passed me by for so long is a mystery, I'm just glad I found it now before it's too late. Apparently the little 215 cube (3523cc) motor was producing 335 lbs.ft of torque at 1200 revs ! MORE FROM LESS !
STOP PRESS - if you need to know what a TS3 sounds like - watch this !

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Lucky Dip

Trip to Cornwall completed just before Christmas. That Lizard is a bloody long way - 339 miles -. The call of the wild proved too strong and it became necessary to mount an expedition to collect some motorcycle bits. The original plan was to end up with enough clobber to build one, or possibly two machines from the contents of a shed situated very close to The Atlantic Ocean. What you see here is a '60/'61 ? BSA A50 in for repairs (ignition problems) a complete, but ropey CB 175 (sporting a CB 200 engine and tank) and, hidden in the middle, another complete CB 175 in various plastic boxes. The return trip took 10.50 hrs driving which seems ok for 678 miles. Much diesel was burnt and more than a few snaggers were consumed. One notable fuel and breakfast stop was taken atop Bodmin Moor which has to be a treat. Since arriving at Diplo HQ the haul has been checked over and we seem to have a lot of rust which could well have been left in Cornwall, we also have sufficient goodies to get a really cute CB200 special, lightened considerably and to serve as a family hack/commuter machine. Plans to make a second (CB 175) as a field bike/gp trainer are under discussion. MORE 'SHOP TIME !