Archive for December, 2014

New batch of Commando T Shirts

Posted: December 17, 2014 in Uncategorized
We just got a batch of Commando T shirts in Large and Extra large, so wander over to our website at or EBay to order.
Nice shirts, and are quite generously sized, the XL is more like a 2XL.


Got the inner primary cover lined up and installed along with a bunch of other bits as a kind of mock up to see if this was going to be cage match winner takes all affair or a nice therapeutic way to pass the winter.
Overall it’s going together without too much of a fuss but it does take extra time to fit everything without scratching the paint and making a general mess of things. Working on a daily driver is a lot less stressful.
Polished up the timing cover and threw it on just to feel like I’m making some progress. The caliper hardware looks pretty good but  still have to work out the brake line. The hydraulic clutch line and master cylinder look like they should work out OK.
The pictures are really washed out because there’s a pretty bright light over the lift, so it looks like I’ll have to concentrate on using the Nikon and get some decent pictures. It really is looking more like a motorcycle and deserves some good photos.

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I’m sure you’re getting tired of the Norton build blather so I found this gem. Or should I say a series of gems.
The title is “The Racing Years 1964” but there are quite a few of them. A synopsis of the racing year mostly from a Formula 1 perspective but not exclusively.
It was an action packed year from a lot of angles; Jimmy Clark was dominating the beginning of the year but ultimately lost the championship due to an engine seizure to Surtees, the only one to win world championships on two and four wheels.
Hearing the roll call of champion drivers names brought back the memories of them racing back in the day. Brabham, Hill, Mclaren, Ginther,  Gurney, and even Hailwood was keeping up the pace. Made the trip to the newspaper store to pick up the latest Road and Track worthwhile even if it was old news. Racing in Europe was rarely covered on American TV save for Monaco or LeMans. The Wide World of Sports was the only game in town and Nascar was more likely to get coverage than the Nurburgring.
Ford and Ferrari were crossing swords for the ultimate showdown but Ferrari red won Lemans this year.  Ford wanted to win at any price and 1964 sealed the deal to get rid of the unreliable Colotti gearboxes that cost them the win. Ford would go on to win the next three years at the La Sarthe circuit.
Honda made its F1 debut in ’64 without much initial success but Soichiro always learned from his mistakes.
So, if names like Surtees, Hill, Clark, Brabham and Hailwood mean anything to you, have a look at a great year in review, it really is good.
So, with a few hours to myself on Saturday morning, I thought it would be a good idea to install the motor in the frame. Dropped in pretty nicely without too many scrapes and scratches on the frame so all in all I was happy.
Using stainless hardware makes it look pretty tidy and should stay that way for a while. I have to polish the head steady plates just because.
The front fender was a bit of a chore as I didn’t notice a stripped mounting hole until I went to bolt it on. AARRGGHH, putting in a helicoil wasn’t all that bad but I should have checked the bolt holes more carefully before installing the forks.
I set the tank on just to see how it looks and overall I like the way things are going.
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Time to stop fooling around here and get some bloody work done.
Checked the ring end gaps and only the top rings needed some filing. Always pays to check them, glad I did, they had no gap at all.
The cylinders were a bit fussy sliding onto the pistons but it in the end it went together. I suppose I should invest in some good ring compressors but they always seem to work just well enough. Sort of like that girl friend in back in high school, not a raving beauty but got the job done.
I set the head on just to feel like I did something, I need a couple of the long sleeve nuts, I couldn’t find the stainless ones to go along with the rest of the parts but they’re on the way.




Seeing as I had some time I figured I’d have a go at hacking out a caliper mount for the PM caliper I picked up on EBay. After cutting out the cardboard template, I transferred it onto the alloy plate and started sawing away. No CNC machine here laddy, just brute strength and haphazard execution.
Strangely enough, the first try looked pretty good and I just kept “adding lightness” as Colin Chapman was fond of saying. I pared away about half of the original piece, filed it into submission and polished the result. Felt good to get in the Zen groove of just getting rid of everything that didn’t look like a caliper bracket. The hardware will probably get swapped out for something a little fancier but it could work the way it is.


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