Archive for October, 2012

October 31, 2012

Day-O, Daylight come and me wanna go home…

Saw this Bonnie on Craigslist earlier… under those long legs and sissy bar is a nice little runner. Banana yellow for a banana bike. Two and a half grand and she’s yours. This was the first year of the oil-in-frame set-up and was supposedly a tall seat. You’ll need an upended crate to get on this perch!


As Harry Belafonte said:

‘Work all night on a drink a’ rum
Daylight come and me wan’ go home
Stack banana till the mornin’ come
Daylight come and me wan’ go home”

October 30, 2012


Look closely at this Triumph engine and you see a small tuning adjustment to scavenge more power from the twin. The spark plug has been repositioned to be directly over the center of the piston. What is the reason for this? Well the valve positions relative to the chamber and domed piston head provides the most efficient and powerful bang from the cross flow pattern within the chamber. Of course carb tuning and ignition timing are essential to attain these extra ponies!


Found online, here is a good summary of a Hemi engine…..

The term Hemi which is short for Hemispherical which simply means half sphere which is what the combustion chamber looks like, with one valve on each side.
The Hemi has been around for a long, long time in various forms. Early Triumph motorcycles used this design in 1937 and continued using it up until 1988. Chrysler borrowed ideas for their design from Weslake which built speed parts for Bonneville salt flat racers. Chrysler really utilized it best in automobiles in the early fifties and it’s still the all time power king in racing. A drag racing blown hemi produces in excess of 6000 horsepower which is many times what anything else is capable of producing.

The hemi has four main advantages:

1) The spark plug(s) reside directly in the middle and top of the combustion chamber. This makes for a nice, even firing pattern. This is why Hemi engines have spark plug holes right in the middle of the valve covers. Other “wedge” engines like Chevy and Ford V-8’s have their spark plugs off-center which is cheaper to build but less efficient.

2) Larger valve size. Draw a circle on a piece of paper. Now draw a line through the middle of it. Now draw two circles on ONE side of that line and you’ll see how most ordinary V-8 heads are designed. To draw a Hemi, place one big circle on one side of the line and another big circle on the other side of the line. Bigger valves mean more efficient and rapid airflow through the engine.

3) Larger combustion chamber surface area. The chamber is of the pentroof design (used by Ricardo in the 1910’s) which means it’s kinda funnel shaped. More area means more even heat transfer and distribution. More fuel and air can be crammed into the combustion chamber thus producing more power.

4) By placing the valves across from each other, the intake and exhaust flows across the combustion chamber. On a standard wedge head, they enter on one side, turn and cross and turn again to exit the cylinder. That’s inefficient. The Hemi is a true flow-through design.

Today, there are numerous manufacturer’s who make more efficient designs than the 2-valve Hemi. Most of the DOHC 4-valve designs will easily outflow a Hemi to a point. They have more valve area, however the size of the ports is usually very small increasing intake and exhaust velocity. That’s great if you want maximum combustion efficiency but not great if your goal is to move massive amounts of fuel and air through the engine.

For today, the modern Dodge street Hemi is primarily a sales tool. The name, reputation and mystique alone will sell cars. It does produce great power & torque and is definitely an option worth considering.

Basically big lungs, Big Bang, big power!


October 29, 2012

Sonic Boom

The short drive home was as uneventful as it usually is, until a rumbling splash of yellow muscle car pulled along side. A ’72 or thereabouts Ford Mustang Mach1. No buzz of a bumblebee here; just a grumble of a swarm of honey-seekers. The young lad driving it looked about sixteen…
Probably a 351 Cleveland V8 under that bulging hood.

October 28, 2012

Cafe Racer Mag

Picked up the latest copy of the excellent Caff Racer rag. Grand reading with a cup of tea! Cafe scene, road racer builds, local groups, clip-on and rearset suppliers, Triumphs, Nortons and Beezas galore…


October 28, 2012

Team Orange Go!!!!!!

Here’s a beaut photo of yesterday’s triple in action. Pilot is Klaus Mueller at a Triple prepared moto from the fine folks at Rob North Triples in the East Midlands. You can even pick up a race-ready 750 for twenty grand… Race proven at the Manx GP!


October 27, 2012

A Bowl of Gold

If I wanted to hare around one of the premium tracks of Europe for twenty four hours what better beast than a Gulf colored Triomphe! This Moto is set up much like Slippery Sam, the original 24hour killer from 1970. Remake of LeMans but on a bike?


“A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Racing’s important to men who do it well. When you’re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.” Michael Delaney


October 26, 2012

Friday Foto


October 26, 2012

Friday Foto


October 25, 2012

“Oi’ll give that one foive”

Barry Taylor, the “bashful, bumbling, boring, Brummie” sparky from our current fave telly revisit is here seen getting his tempestuous Bonnie going. What’s German for: “fuel tap on, tickle the carbs, and give her a nice swift kick”? Oh yes: “Mein BMW ist eine besserre motorrad als ein Triumph!”.


Aye mebbee sonny, but not nearly as much fun!

October 24, 2012

Break Brake Broke Bloke

Disassembly of the brake master cylinder required a bit of force and sweat. The lever mount case cracked so I sawed it off. The cylinder spewed forth its grimy innards so they’re in a baggie with cleaner. Hopefully I can acquire a new mount, a rebuild kit, scrub the parts up and the job’ll be a gud un! These items are 300 bucks new so I’m avoiding being skint… The clean one pictured is a new one.

Here’s the rebuild kit:


October 23, 2012

Auf Weiedersehen Pet

“Workin’ on the site from mornin’ ’til night; that’s livin’ alright”
Back in the early eighties when there were only four channels on the Telly and over three million on the dole. One much watched programme in particular gave light relief and laughs to many. The adventures of three brickies from Newcastle whilst working in Dusseldorf, Germany. I watched one today where Oz, the irritating one with wisecracks galore superbly handled by the indefatigable Jimmy Nail, had a argument with some Germans and was sacked from his job, catching a bus to head back to England his compatriots chase after him. The only mode of transport is a Triumph Bonnie owned by the Brummie Barry, played by a droll Timothy Spall. The unspoken leader Dennis (Tim Healy) gets a backie from Barry to chase down the bus….







“Workin’ all day for a pittance of pay, then blow it all on Saturday night. And you kiss the dames, but you don’t ask their names, that’s livin’ alright!”

Of course Oz got his job back as the graftin’ bricklayer but he still had something against the Germans:
“‘Cos they’re the bastards that bombed me granny!”

October 22, 2012

A Model Moto

One of yesterdays photos given a little Instagram treatment: shallow depth of field creating a miniturized appearance to the Bon. Add a little faded colouring and you have a nicely detailed and completed 1:32nd Airfix kit. Plastic cement anyone? I’m sure to get first place in the diorama group…

October 21, 2012

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant

A year ago I was pushing the bike after an electrical breakdown; a similar fall day greeted me so I took my chances (though after this years ironing out the electrical creases with less of a worry!) and headed out for some refreshing autumn air. It turned out to be a perfect ride, apart from some slow traffic in spots, but we managed a few choice miles under the last vestiges of the luminous rusts of “fall color”.

The tank looked splendid under the blue skis and earthy backdrop. All we needed was a twist of the throttle and the twin romped along at a pleasant clip.

Sheridan Road had the usual cyclists and Sunday drivers, all obviously looking for the same smile inducing journey. A last hoorah before the dreary tones of winter settle in.

What a photogenic little bike she is… just plays up to the camera. Especially with a firework arboreal setting as  fiery as the Northshore in October.



A few self portraits of us zipping along are included for a touch of action. The well-to-do homes of the northern suburbs can keep their castles and palaces!

Sheridan Road has a few perfect spots where the combination of corners, hills and dips converge to provide enjoyable swoops on the moto. Dappled trees provide a calming rhythm of light and shade.



Fun Achieved!

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Henry David Thoreau

October 20, 2012

‘Orses eat ‘ay eh?

550 foot pounds per second or about 745.7 Watts. The power of motorcycles is of course measured in it. Here are a few well known Moto’ and their respective figure:
Honda Cub: 7
Vincent Black Lightning: 70
Ducati 916: 114
Honda CB750: 67
Kawasaki Z1: 82
Triumph Bonneville: 46
BMW SS1000R: 193


October 19, 2012

Uneasy Rider: Captain Britain

It was of course Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider that provides a visual cusp of a counter-culture youth between the free-lovin’ sixties and the ‘back down with a thud’ hangover of the seventies. Well this here is a chopped Turnip left to fade under a moth eaten canvas tarp in some back pasture barn. The communes fled decades ago and the pot smokers moved out west…
“Needs some T.L.C.” Darn tootin’ it does! But boy if you squint hard enough- well, just close your eyes and plain imagine, you can nearly see a chromed out beast resplendent with Union Flag petrol tank. The journey this time? A couple of weary biker vagabonds heading eastward from Newquay along the A303 across the Salisbury Plains, stopping off at Stonehenge aiming for the seafront of Brighton before meeting an untimely demise on the A23 by a swerving white Ford Transit driven recklessly by a pair of Cockney chavs…


“You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.” George Hanson 1969