An Introduction to the World of Motorcycling for Spotty Teenagers . . .

. . . This is another article that was originally published in the June 2007 issue of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Magazine, here in it’s original and unedited form . . .

An Introduction to the World of Motorcycling for Spotty Teenagers

“What is the first thing that enters a fly’s mind as it hits the windscreen? Its arse!” Ah, the old ones are the best.

In my case, the first thing to enter ones adolescent and bewildered brain, had been the mental image of two front-seat occupants in a Ford Cortina. To this day, frozen in time like a snap-shot, I vividly recall how they sat, facing each other, giggling and staring into each others eyes, he (the driver) with his hand on her thigh.

Fair enough you may think, but surely inappropriate behaviour, whilst overtaking an asthmatic tractor, on a blind bend?

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Building a Motorcycle Hillclimb Racer & Barbon 2006 . . .

. . . The following story was published in two parts in the January and February 2007 issues of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics magazine. Enjoy . . .

Part One

The sweaty and naked blonde floozy appeared to wink at me from the June page of the Miss Rubber Tyres Calendar, hanging from my workshop wall. I chanced another peep. No it wasn’t April the 1st and the letter I tightly gripped was no joke. My entry had been accepted for the 2006 Barbon Hill Climb, at Kirby Lonsdale, Cumbria, on the 29th July. My first motorsport event!

Now, almost at the end of June, a 1989 Kawasaki KL650 Tengai had undergone a dramatic (read, traumatic) transformation, solely for this event. From idle rust bucket, to shining Cafe Racer in just 1 year. No more Paris Dakar styled bodywork, replete with mammoth fuel tank and stepladder seat height. No more high slip, low grip knobbly tyres. In came shiny and rebuilt 17” stainless spoked wheels, with super sticky Bridgestone tyres. Out went most of the wiring loom. Oh and any surplus brackets, half the subframe, the exhaust, header tank, clocks, lights, switchgear, brake lines etc. Most of the leftovers were sold through Ebay and went in some small way, towards the ever-expanding costs.

This machine would be the epitome of lightweight, mass centralisation, flickability and time displacing acceleration. Cooool.

Kawasaki Tengai converted to a Cafe racer
No it’s not a 1950’s Cafe Racer but that was the inspiration for it.

Continue reading “Building a Motorcycle Hillclimb Racer & Barbon 2006 . . .”

Modifying a 1956 Egmond 12 String Acoustic . . .

. . . With this post, there will probably be many of you fellow guitar enthusiasts out there, that will think I’ve completely lost the plot?

Several years ago, I visited a charity shop in Kendal, UK. There, sat in the window, was something that instantly caught my eye, a guitar. It turned out to be a 1956 Egmond (Dutch firm, now bust) 12 String acoustic, 17 fret neck, 12th fret at the body.

Imagine my surprise when enquiring, that the price was just £40. SOLD !!!

1956 Egmond 12 String Acoustic Guitar
1956 Egmond 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Continue reading “Modifying a 1956 Egmond 12 String Acoustic . . .”