Wednesday 1 July 2015

What Could Possibly Go Wrong ?

The above phrase has been adopted as the shit-bike club strap line (love that marketing speak). I have long aspired to emulate the great Jacopo Monti (pictured - with style)
and earlier '70s heroes of the art of dirt oval racing. To this end I have embarked on a race-bike project. I plan to allow some of the fraught process to trickle on to these pages over the coming months. In answer to our simple title - an awful lot. The slightly inauspicious history behind the donor bike may give us a clue. In true Diplo fashion I failed to capture any "before" pictures. The sculpture illustrated below is the pulsing heart of a 1999 Husqvarna 610 enduro bike.
These are massive, sturdy, wilderness-eating, snarly monsters in the right hands. The previous owner thought it wise to slip it into some dirt-track tyres and try flat-tracking it - what could possibly go wrong ? suffice to say - a night in hospital in Swansea and several months recuperation followed the attempt. Here in the lab at Diplo HQ much Yorkshire Gold has been taken and the application of proven dirt track chassis geometry is under way. The shopping list is long and expensive but rest assured we will be taking all the obvious shortcuts. MORE LEFT TURNS !

Monday 20 May 2013

Shock Horror

Suspension - motosickle development has come a long way since rigid-frame, sprung-seat two wheelers were the norm. Suspending as much of the mass as possible of any vehicle by spring has the effect of cushioning the occupants from the harsh vagaries of the road surface. Springs alone will provide cushioning and a degree of comfort but left to their own devices they will absorb the energy and reciprocate with an equal amount of rebound offering a very "bouncy" ride and failing in the all important task of keeping the tyres in contact with the road. In vehicle suspension we really need this springing to be controlled by damping.
When the GT50 first appeared on the scene last year it was apparent that the ancient Paioli suspension (both back and front) had long since given up damping and was content with doing just the bouncing. Fellow Shit-Bike Club member and enthusiast Rupe Paul will have no truck with iffy suspension and is something of an expert - so I listen to him. Initial response, in the usual Diplo 'shop manner, was to strip the offending shocker (only one on the very advanced mono-shock GT50) and fettle/bodge some sort of recovery. The constituent parts can be seen laid out in the picture - piston, damper rod, seals and pressure bladder are all shot to pieces. Time for a Yorkshire Gold brew and a Turkish smoke to consider the options. First port of call was the very accommodating suspension guru Darren Wnukowski at MCT in Suffolk - he suggested I shipped the offending item to him for a re-build quote. Next day a very brief 'phone call - "beyond salvage". That said, Darren immediately furnished a quote to get a new bespoke shock built by Falcon Shock Absorbers - the beauty of these guys doing their job properly is that they absorb all the shock of the quote - suffice to say very reasonable.
How refreshing to keep bumping into friendly, helpful, practical people in the world of the motosickle - people actually manufacturing top quality products on this little island of ours - marvellous.
I include a shot of the new unit by way of demonstrating just how wonderful life can be - doesn't get any better than this ......
Front forks and other issues to follow.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Beauty is Truth .........

Right then - something tells me we've been here before ! Much pork and other meats have appeared on these pages over the years. I would suggest that any of us who received the first outbreak of "horse in beef " news with shock or surprise have been either living on another planet or simply been deluding ourselves. Nothing wrong with horse meat as long as it's prepared for human consumption and not pumped full of Phenylbutazone which will cause you to suffer aplastic anemia. Debates on the merits or otherwise of a more diverse meat diet are generally missing the point which is that manufacturers, distributors and retailers have been marketing horse as beef. That's just plain wrong  - and very ugly - in the view John Keats and the rest of us who acknowledge the beauty of truth. Why is it that the world is so full of untruths and plain bollox ? I've had many a conversation - not least at our weekly ShitBikeClub meetings - in which we have explored what might happen if politicians, big business and The State ran a trial period of 12 months uttering nothing but the plain truth. Needless to say we decided it ain't gonna happen. On the basis that you're never going to know what's in processed foods because "They" aren't going to tell you how it is - just stop buying the stuff. Nutritional benefit for your English Pound is poor and could probably be outstripped by eating your grass cuttings - may be a little extreme - but - let me point out one thing. I know exactly where my bacon comes from because they're my pigs and I cure my own stuff. I also know exactly where my beef comes from because I get it from the man who raises it. Now, I appreciate we can't all do this for the sake of time, space and convenience.We could all get a lot closer though by buying locally from people we know and trust - them's what say it how it is, ask them. I reckon my pigs find their way into my freezer in the form of chops, legs,shoulders, fillets, trotters, sausages and all the wonderful offal at an average of £1.50/lb all in. That's not expensive by any standards. It has to be said that if you prefer your bacon a little less fatty than that above - can't think why - then they'll oblige. A little change of diet is all that's needed.  MORE HONESTY !

Thursday 31 January 2013

Let's Get Started

Blimey - that beer making nonsense is just too time consuming and has caused havoc with my blog writing over the past few months. I have a pile of jobs awaiting me at Diplo HQ - things have slipped, the Series is out of MOT, the Little Shit is off the road and the 'shop is a disaster zone. Pictured above is the idyll of motosickle ownership, a selection steeds, sunshine and the prospect of a lazy cruise to the boozer for a Sunday lunchtime freshener. All is not just as it seems right now. The XT pictured has had to go (Rick Parkington has exported it to The South) to make way for the Little BSA GT50 in the middle of the picture. This has come on board to satisfy Diplo Jnr's need to get on the road at an early age. This will need a rebuild over the next few months to be ready for the Spring and the process may feature a little on these pages. The Little Shit is due a new exhaust system which we're proposing to manufacture in house !! The Series needs the rear hubs stripping and re-sealing so the brakes'll satisfy the man from The Ministry. All of these jobs offer hours of entertainment and contemplative Yorkshire Gold moments - First Things First - find the workbench ! MORE DETERMINATION !

Monday 21 May 2012

I May Have Been Gone Some Time

Dear Reader. Forgive the break in transmission. I see it's a few months since I posted any news. Been very busy making beer but I'm feeling ready to get more done. I detect a build up of rants which will need to be aired before too long. More to follow shortly. MORE BEER !

Friday 29 July 2011

Blind as a Bat

Always been a big fan of bats, brave little critters with seemingly massive odds stacked against them. Very energetic flight and a lot of hanging around on a diet of little bugs requires even the diminutive pipistrelle, weighing about 5 grammes, to consume as many as 3000 bugs a day (night). Given they have to do this in the dark/dusk with poor sight and a crude radar system to guide them to their prey, I have always assumed survival to be knife edge operation - I mean just how many bugs can there be to go around ?. Well judging by the state of my goggles, helmet, jacket and bike after a brief ride out of Diplovile the other evening - plenty. Our little friends have got it easy, I reckon. All they need to do is fly at 80 mph about 4ft off the ground with their little mouths wide open for 10 minutes and they'll be replete. MORE SURVIVAL !

Saturday 11 June 2011

Corrective Measures

Now then - we are forever being told that a balanced diet is required to ensure good health and longevity. Far too much VERY good champagne last night in the absence of a barrel of beer, (a small oversight by my host) in an evening of quite delicious food and some of the most amazing wines I've ever come across. Obviously need to make amends today so have revitalised the system with an early morning Huevos Rancheros - very raunchy Chorizo, fat bacon, fresh plum tomatoes, 4 eggs and lashings of Tabasco, washed down with buckets of Yorkshire Gold, of course. MORE BALANCE !
POST SCRIPT (to answer your question, Ron, I consulted my host)
Bubbly:Dampierre Cuvee Des Amabassadeurs, White:Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru 2004, Red:Chateau Prieure-Lichine Margaux 2000, Sweet:Rabaud Promis Sauterne 2001, Port:Dows 1977. The first three in magnums, the Sauterne and the Port, decanted - all in extremely generous quantity. MORE LISTS !