Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"the German"

My friend "the German" has a cool selection of motorcycles in his garage, including a Sportster that's the same year and original colour as mine. That's where the similarities end though, as his has been tuned with hot cams, larger capacity and it goes like the clappers.
His Norton model 7 came with a ghastly paintjob, the kind that can make you decide not to buy a bike if you can't look past it. Luckily he did buy it and promptly handed over the tinwork to - you guessed it - Toni Raia, who did his thing. Same silver grey as Gianluca's but with a different satin-like finish.

Trying out a salt lake configuration?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

the "Triumpher" in Japan

The Triumpher is one of the very coolest blogs you'll ever see. These guys really know how to make a cool motorcycle and they are always up to something! They go out riding all year 'round, long trips through beautiful scenery in Japan, camping in some amazing places with their motorcycles close by. Well done to you guys, keep it up.
Find out much, much more here:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lime & Coconut

Holy cow, the wizard has done it again!
This is Witold's choice for his Firebird Scrambler, based on the original colour but with a slightly irreverent twist. That green... oh that green. Just perfect.
Hats off to Toni Raia for another great job.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Before & After

There, that's better.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

MILAN darling.... Milan.

I just got back from a weekend in Milan, where they had the Novegro autojumble.
Witold and I took the Batmobile an Audi TT and barreled up the autostrada in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

The loot!
There is far too much stuff to list, it ranges from electrical, rubber, workshop tools, parts for Witold's BSA, decals and a polishing kit. A successful outing, plenty to do in the coming weeks, and only a couple of months until riding season gets in full swing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Trip out, man...

Here's a novel idea: how about, instead of talking about bikes, we actually go ride them?

Off the top of my head I can think of at least these wonderful weekend getaways to whimsical destinations you may not necessarily know:

2 and 3 March: F****e Gypsy Trip (F.G.T.)

20 and 21 April: Rocca Sinibalda / Lago del Turano / Lago del Salto

11 and 12 May: Mezzano Gypsy Trip (M.G.T.)

8 and 9 June: Norcia

All of these will be by invitation only so we can have small groups of like-minded folks.
I'll organise the routes and find a place to stay, all you have to do is let me know you're coming and be self-sufficient: know your bike, know how to fix it.

Open to classic British motorcycles.

Strictly no club colours allowed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What it's all about.

We took the Rising Star and Witold's monster Vespa out to lake Bracciano.

It was a cold, sunny day, it's hard to tell but you can even see some snow-capped mountains in the distance.

That's what it's all about, getting your bike and going for a ride. The rest don't matter. Talk is cheap.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The shape of things to come.

Heed the sign...

Cue, ominous music.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The doctor is in!

So, what's the diagnosis?

"I'm afraid it's scrambleritis..."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I realised I never put up any photos of the Rising Star with its freshly painted tank...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Getting stuff done.

Sunday was a productive day, we got stuff done.

Dominator: I've adjusted the clutch, refit the stator that Witold had patched up for us, the footrests and a couple of electrical connections.
Rising Star: it miraculously started (I had tried to get it going the past couple of weeks but it just wouldn't. I won't get into why just yet, but suffice to say I wasted two afternoons kicking it, trying to jump start it... nothing. Now it "works"... go figure) so I took it for a spin and went over to Witold's to give him a hand with his BSA.

Oh, "what's that thing in the red rectangle" you say? I'm glad you asked. This is an early Fastback's steel oil tank that Peppe modified for Witold with an extra filler neck and a sweet Monza cap. It'll be mostly for looks, but it does also mean that you can check your oil level and top up without having to remove the seat, which could be handy:

Witold's BSA: it's an oil in the frame 650 twin carb that we will rebuild to "Firebird Scrambler" specs with a few subtle modifications. The idea is to make this Witold's daily rider, something that will start easily even if he's had one too many. A light, nimble bike that can tackle dirt roads and longish trips with some luggage and be reliable. That will mean all new wiring loom, Boyer Bransden magic bits, an external oil filter, oil cooler and nothing crazy: just sensible things to make it strong and dependable. Notice the invasion plan touring map of Corsica on the wall.

Some homeless bum came by on a bitchin' BSA chopper... WAIT THAT'S ME!!
Lifting the engine out of the motorcycle? I don't think so, that thing weighs like your house and there aren't any good grips. Better to pull the rolling chassis off of the engine.
Witold, never one to miss an opportunity for goofballery, tests the BSA's lean angle for future reference...
Now, getting the engine out would have normally been a relatively simple and quick procedure, had it not been for this stubborn son of a bitch of a locknut. After about two hours trying to get it to budge, we handed it over to the renowned law firm of Blowtorch & Angle-Grinder: 

Witold does The Thinker:

Peppe should have the engine licked quite quickly we hope; the rest is up to us, but at least OIF bikes are easy to work on. If you're thinking about your first brit-bike, I've said it before and I'll say it again, consider an OIF BSA...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nearly there.

Have a look at the finished license plate and taillight bracket on Gianluca's Dominator. Witold and Gianluca helped me put the finishing touches on this yesterday and I think it came out quite well, if I do say so myself: