Sunday, 25 April 2010

The last couple of weeks have been a bit hectic for me, and I'd got to the stage where I was doing more in the workshop to injure myself that I was to make any progress, so I took a couple of days off.

While I was having some time off, I ordered up a pair of rocker boxes for the BMW from James Sherlock. This appeared a bit daft, as there was no guarantee that the motorcycle would even run at that point, and the money may well have been better spent elsewhere. But as the point of this project is for me to get some enjoyment out of it, and I enjoyed buying the rocker boxes, I'm enjoying the anticipation of their arrival on Monday, and I shall enjoy opening the parcel, then perhaps it wasn't so daft after all.

Sadly, it's rather difficult to photograph the imminent arrival of a pair of rocker boxes, and the only other thing that has happened to the motorcycle is a little difficult to photograph too. It's gone from being a non runner, to being a runner. Which made the random purchase of the rocker boxes, justifiable if nothing else.

Smeggy spent some time on it while I was otherwise occupied fitting a non functional CD changer to my car and he started work by removing the carburettors and the spark plugs.

With the motorcycles original battery installed in the frame so that there was something to attacher the wires to, the battery from the Alfa tricycle and a set of jump leads had the engine spinning over quite happily. Once he'd hunted out a some sprk plug caps and screwed them onto the HT leads, Smeggy reported that there was a healthy spark, and that a thumb over the plug hole while spinning the starter indicated that there was ample compression.

Which left fuel as the missing ingredient. A quick look into the float bowls of the carburettors revealed that they were suprisingly clean and didn't look like they would cause any problems. Once they'd had a trip to the parts washer and some Duck Oil applied to the more reluctant of their moving parts, they were deemed good enough to see if the motorcycle would fire up, and refitted.

Once the Smeg had filled the float bowls with fuel, applied a little choke and some thumb to the button, it all span over and with very little reluctance spluttered and coughed a time or two before settling down to an idle which sounded remarkably like a BMW ought to.

With that hurdle crossed, I think the next thing to do is to free the brakes off and ride the motorcycle around the yard a little to make sure that the clutch and gearbox are none the worse for their lay off.

In the mean time, I'm looking for a tank from a larger Beemer, as I'm not over enamoured of the R65 one, and I've been looking at the Acewell range of instruments, as well as trying to decide what to about a rear light. Since the standard headlight ans clock mounting bracket has succumbed to tin worm, that's pre-empted my decision as to whether or not I ought to use aftermarket head light mounts. And I'm beginning to have doubts about the Clubman's handlebars...

While I was pondering that, I took a Scoth Brite pad and some Duck Oil to the front cover of the engine and removed it's fur coat. I was quite taken with the way it looked afterwards, not too bright and shiny, but looking like it had been cared for, and I suspect that it's the finish I'll plump for on the engine.

None of which was doing the brakes any good though...

Friday, 16 April 2010

The idea here, is that I get to play around with a project without having to worry about deadlines, or get too technical.

If technical is what you're after, then the excellent Back Street Heroes magazine ( ) has a regular helping of technical articles that I write, and I can also recommend TheFont ( ) if your web browsing experience would be enriched by some technical discourse.

I was hoping that this would be a little more "Zen and the Art" and a little less "Motorcycle Maintenance", so to speak.

Take this BMW for instance, the R65. It's not happy is it? It's been hanging around in a garden for 10 years judging by the date the tax expired.

It's interesting that according to the DVLA, there are numerous millions of untaxed vehicles running around the roads of this sceptred isle. Or possibly, they're parked in back gardens, sheds and garages, much as this BMW has been and the 20 or so other derelict, semi-derelict, and just plain forgotten why it's not up together, motorcycles I have lying around the place, have been. It's a fair bet that I know at least three other people, none of whom know each other, who each have similar quantities of similar vehicles. I wouldn't be at all surprised if each of those three people knew two other people with their own accretion of rolling stock.

So the DVLA loses money, processing the millions of SORN forms where we all tell the government that we're not committing an offence, and that we haven't ridden any of the numerous non functional motorcycles we posses. Which raises not a penny of the mythical "lost revenue" that the DVLA has harped on about for years.

I would imagine that the DVLA could quite probably stop losing quite so much of the taxpayer's money, were they to put their hand in the air, admit that they'd been quite a bunch of asshats, and abolish the entire SORN thing.

But, enough of that, back to the BMW. I thought it would make a change to leave the frame relatively unmolested, and my initial thought of adding an extra wheel and triking it, was dashed by the realisation that I'm not mad about trikes, and I have two on the go already.
I don't really see a BMW making a good basis for a pseudo flat tracker, the cylinders would tend to get in the way of flat tracking one I would have thought, which left that other pseudo racing motorcycle style, the café racer.

Something needs doing to it before it's declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest and hordes of hippies set up camp to preserve the varied fauna and flora that have set up house keeping in and around the motorcycle.

With that in mind, I dragged it out into the sunshine and unbolted some of the less useful parts.

Including the wooden handlebars.
With most of the entirely useless stuff removed, and a temporary set of Ace bars installed, the thing doesn't look entirely without hope.

Less exhaust, and less intrumentation are on the agenda, but not as far up the agenda as finding out if it runs.

Since there's supposed to be something amiss with the gearbox, it would make sense to find out what that's going to cost to fix before spending too much time on it...