Archive for February, 2016

Well, it had to happen.

It seems the price of a decent old nail has risen to that level where sanity intervenes and slams the brakes on those two wheeled daydreams we all have.  For years, the best Commando in the US could be had for $2500. Now a seized boat anchor off EBay that “Ran When Parked” can easily bring $5000. Go figure.

Most every vintage bike I look at these days seems over priced, so I guess I’ve somehow fallen off the conveyor belt of reality and have to be content on the sidelines watching people shovel money into the jaws of the monster called “collecting” .

The reason I’ve had more than one old bike in the garage was to experience a small part of what the original owners felt when they kicked their pride and joy into life back in the day. It also reflects the technology that was available along with the flavor of the culture responsible for making it all relevant.

You really get the flavor of what the times must have been like when weak, unreliable 6 volt electrical systems were considered acceptable technology. Science and metallurgy got a boost from military funding but it took a while to translate into motorcycling. It’s challenging to overcome the foibles and pitfalls of obsolete machinery but also satisfying to take it for ride and feel like you had a part in keeping history alive. I personally feel that actually owning a piece of vintage machinery is the only way to really get a feel for what the builders were up to.

Anyway, the collector car hobby has been through this already and now pretty unremarkable air cooled Porsches are commanding astronomical sums.  Time marches on and I do realise that things cannot remain static. So I guess it’s my turn to hand over the reins to the collectors and wave goodbye to any vintage bike bargains. It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s getting hard to justify spending  what feels like too much money just to be a temporary custodian of a piece of history.

Bitter? No, just feeling like I’m becoming irrelevant in a hobby I enjoy.

UPDATE:

after a quick scan of craigs list I came a cross an absolutely mint 1976 Honda 750 four, original exhaust, sparkling paint and chrome.

I may have to have a look; the price is reasonable, maybe I spoke too soon!

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If you have even a passing interest in fabulous motorcars, then this will surely be worth a look.

The Kidston family has a deep history with magnificent machinery and Bugatti is just one of the names that has special meaning.

There are a series of movies available on the website and I do mean movies. The cinematography is superb and the music meshes well with the story and compliments rather than detracts from the experience.

Rather than prattle on any more,  on, I invite you have a look and prepare to be mesmerized by the car, the setting and the magic that is Bugatti.

Coming Home

Here’s a little Norton porn if you’re cooped up this weekend like I am. Supposed to be waaaayy below zero tonight so not much happening.

Short clip of Manx engine fettling, Ferodo brake support at the races and a very British commentator trying desperately to make it all seem very interesting.

Second clip is of the finish, and subsequent engine teardowns and verification. Not that anyone would bend the rules mind you; er umm, just a formality….

It is interesting (to me anyway) seeing the massive Manx cylinder head being removed to reveal a decidedly small looking engine bore even though it is a 500cc lump. Yes, I know the stroke was the thing back then but it seems still surprisingly small in proportion to the cylinder head.

 

Well, the snow is coming down like gangbusters but this notice just popped into my inbox:

The 2016 British Motorcycle Meet in Lancaster Massachusetts

They’re branching out a little this year by welcoming competition bikes to the show,

so dust off that Belchfire 500 GP Special and bring it!

Click on the flyer below and you will be directed to the official site which will provide exclusive information, directions etc

I’ve been putting some videos on you tube, here’s the link:

CS on You tube

Currently there are videos of my completed Norton project, flight of the Chow Hound, and some tips and tricks type of things

I’ll be adding some more if there’s any interest and probably even if there isn’t

‘Ta