Archive for the ‘classic bikes’ Category

Just wanted to pass this along if you’re using a plastic anti sumping valve on your Commando as below:

 

A customer stopped by the office to show off his recently restored 750 Commando which  was really beautifully done except it was draining its oil tank onto our driveway at a fairly alarming rate. After pointing it out to him I ran for some absorbent materials and subsequently found the above valve was broken and leaking like a sieve.

Not good.

When I saw the problem I grabbed one of our aluminum Velocette style valves and stuck it on as he wasn’t going anywhere the way it was.  Our valve (supplied by RGM) below:

 

 

 

Luckily the oil tank hadn’t gone dry (yet) and I had some oil on the shelf so he was on his way without doing any damage, but he was lucky.

I know there are endless debates about these valves to prevent “wet sumping” and regardless of where you come down on the issue, I would advise swapping out the plastic valve with one of ours if you want to use one.

If you’re not a fan, by all means don’t use one but check to see if you have one of the plastic time bombs on your bike!

Cheers!

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Well, we survived the 10 hour drive and had a great time overall.

Many thanks to the Motorcycle Classics magazine guys, Spectro, Retro Tours and many others. The Seven Springs Resort was very scenic and comfortable, and covered a huge amount of real estate.

Over 50 bikes made it for the tour and the rural roads made for some great riding.

I will be adding some pics and videos but for now I’ll just include the picture of our two Nortons  and a beautiful silver “S” model.

Cheers!

 

 

We’re heading to the 2nd annual Ride em don’t hide em get together this weekend in Seven Springs PA.

Planned to go last year but extenuating circumstances pulled the plug on the trip. It should be a fun weekend but it’s a long bloody drive for us. And yes we’re taking the Nortons in a trailer as we don’t have that kind of time.

Anyway, click on the picture for more info, put on by the Motorcycle Classics magazine, good chaps one and all.

Hope to see you there!

 

I’m not sure if Alec considers himself a blacksmith or a forger or what but he certainly has an infectious enthusiasm which is rare today. Being just a lad and learning more about his craft everyday you can plainly see the joy of discovery. For the most part I like his work and does he ever devote a lot of time to the the videos, editing etc. 

Watch a few of the videos to get an idea of what’s going on here and I think you’ll be hooked. If you’re anything like me you’ll learn something too.

Enjoy

 

 

Got the sidecovers and chain guard back from The Vintage Vendor who did a very quick turnaround on painting them up. Thanks Brent!

I was hesitant to do any paintwork as I wanted to keep it original, but after closer inspection I’d say the tank had been painted or at least touched up so I figured I’d make it look presentable and in the end I’m glad I did.

It probably doesn’t look  it but I’ve done a lot of work to this bike over the past few weeks sorting the carbs, replacing cables, replacing the headlight shell stickers etc etc.

Still have to replace the rear master cylinder, tires chain, fork seals and more detail work. The weather is still going to be dismal for a few days so I think I’ll mosey down to the shop and put in some shop time.

BTW I did run it up and down our street just to see if it ran ok and it ran through the gears like a good ‘un.

So I will proceed….

 

In the midst of epic downpours we attended the open house at Vanson Leathers in Fall River MA.

It was raining hard enough that the inside of the Wall of Death was getting wet so any riding was called off.

We met Rhett Rotten who wasn’t rotten at all, a very nice guy who was letting some of the kids sit on the bikes which went over very very well.

The wall was made in 1938 in Rhode Island and the main bike he rides is a 1927 Indian. Talk about authentic!

Had a great night despite all the rain.

Thanks to Rhett, Mike, Kim and all the gang at Vanson’s

 

I’ve been beavering away on the Jubilee when I get a chance for some garage therapy, and so far so good.

Minor puttering is yielding improvements far beyond the effort involved. Some light compound is bringing the paint back to a pretty decent state and the side covers and chain guard are due to arrive next week with their new paint. I can only hope it matches acceptably as the original paint was never anything to write home about on these bikes.

All the lights are working along with the horn and the wiring itself is in pretty good nick, bar the OEM pin connectors in the headlight shell. Not sure what they were thinking but I have to believe it was a price job. Tiny little pins in a cheap plastic connector are not what you need in a motorcycle that can shake itself apart in no time flat. Not to mention the nasty front brake switch which is a thing of wonder in itself. They updated it later on to a Commando style pressure switch but this bike still has the pretty frail original.

I was thinking of swapping out the seat cover but the replacement ones don’t replicate the original colors very well so I decided to spiff up the faded red piping on my own. A red sharpie looked like a close match to the red piping color so I applied some and it looks decent. I’m sure it won’t be as durable as I would like, but I may have an alternative by then.

That’s it for now, Cheers!