Sunday, 20 February 2011

Simplicate, and add lightness.

 Sound engineering advice, which I read somewhere originated with Phil Irving (Vincents), but on Googling the phrase it seems to be attributed to quite a lot of people including Colin Chapman (Lotuses), but probably originated with William Bushnell Stout who amongst other things designed the Ford Tri Motor. I mention it as I'm finding life in general and complex and gloomy at the moment, so I'm toying with the idea of applying it to my life. With that in mind, I've embarked on a campaign to chuck out a lot of the crap in the workshop, especially crap that's not actually my crap. Hopefully that'll leave me a little more room to do do some actual work.

 Speaking of "actual work" I recently bought this Z 250 with a view to making it the basis for a project of the "things I have to do" nature. given that it runs and has brakes, it's not a million miles away from being MOT able. I was looking for something to build a quick, easy, Brat style bike out of, but while the Zed ticked a lot of boxes, it doesn't really have the makings of a Brat style bike (or at least a quick, easy one) in my eyes. So I decided to café it instead...

You know, you unbolt some stuff, you bolt some other stuff on, et vóila, a café racer.  Which all sounds horribly familiar to me as well, and I sat down and had a fairly serious talk with myself before deciding that since this was "stuff I have to do" and not "stuff I want to do", there wasn't a lot of danger of my losing sight of the "quick and easy" part of the equation. Having nipped off and bought the thing, it wasn't until Johnny and I got it back I spotted the tax disc and it's expiry date. You might be wondering just what the bloody hell the significance of that is, in which case, have a look at the second picture in the very first post in this Blog.

What I have in mind for the Kawasaki is exactly what I initially had in mind for the BMW before I got carried away with it all. Aside from from doubts about the fork legs, a days fettling, a days cleaning, and a seat cover would make the Zed a reasonably presentable motorcycle. That makes it a much more sensible basis for a project than the Beemer was and that ought to keep it from becoming a fixture in the workshop.

When I wasn't touring the country collecting motorcycles, I was beavering away trying to catch up with myself in order to get some writing writ in time for the dead lines, or at least before everything buggered off to the printers. Come Saturday, traditionally a day for spurts of progress in the Airhead department, the workshop was in more of a mess than usual, and due to the arrival of the Kawasaki and Johnny's bike trailer, looking even more crowded than usual, so I re-arranged things slightly to give a little more space, by the simple expedient of dragging everything out in the yard, and only dragging the stuff that was mine back in from the yard.

Since I haven't done anything on the BMW in the preceding two weeks, I was determined that something was going to get done and had thought I might make a tray for the fuse box, and any relays to sit between the seat unit mounts, and then cut a hole in the base of the seat unit to allow access to them, which was the whole point of making the seat catch if you recall. Since I don't have a fuse box in the end I gave that a miss as I want the box to be of a depth that suite the fuse box and/or relay mounts. A browse of the Vehicle Wiring Products and the purchase of some bits and bobs is probably in order before I start making anything. As a result, the "something" I managed to do turned out to be making a the stupidly small spacer to allow the Rose joint on the gear change linkage it's full range of movement without it fouling on the gear change lever. One tiny little spacer in three weeks, that makes taking four weeks to mount the seat base look positively rushed...


  1. get a move on Mr Bridges LOL

    soon be spring and warm weather!

  2. Ahhh. A seasonal deadline to ignore...

    Since I've got to delve into the engine, I think it may be a while yet.

    Who is it that's doing your paint?