Saturday, 28 May 2011


Stripped and ready for action
If you listen with half an ear, you may be able to hear the grinding noise as the bottom of the barrel is scraped on the "Titles beginning with "inter" " front. It's pretentious, silly, and just a little bit of fun for me at least, but there are only a limited number of words in the English language that begin with "inter" and are even vaguely relevant to the content of the post. It may have to stop quite soon. Try not to be too disappointed?

Not all fiddly bits are for 4 strings.
Word games aside for a moment, I'd like to make the observation that building a motorcycle is in some ways like organising your life. The more effort you put in, and the more attention to detail you pay, the better the outcome. This is probably quite profound, but luckily this isn't a blog about my life, it's a blog about some of the motorcycles in it so we can confine ourselves to considering the assortment of shock absorber related parts that required some attention. The ally top collars (top left) got a visit from the polishing mop, the chrome plated bottom collars (top right) were spoofed back to some semblance of factory freshness by the judicious use of Scotch Brite and fluid from the parts washer, while the two sets of plastic collars were cosmetically improved in much the same way, but with less emphasis on the Scotch Brite and more emphasis on the cleaning fluid.
Class of 82 Reunion

Meanwhile, Johnny had painted the springs in the French Blue two pack because we felt that was a little more flexible than the enamel I brushed the frame with. A coat of aerosol satin black on the shrouds, and some Ford Arizona Gold on the shock absorber bodies and I reassembled the whole thing using the shock absorber spring compressor I made a while ago liberally bedecked with rags to stop any of the assorted paint finishes from being blemished.

Shocking the entire assembly...
You might have thought that with everything reassembled, that the shock absorbers could be bolted straight on. That would be to ignore the state of the bolts, and indeed the nuts. It's also ignoring bolting the swing arm in, but that mostly involved grease and a rotary wire brush. The mountings for the shock absorbers utilise the 10mm x 1.25mm thread and not the Euro favourite 10mm x 1.5mm thread. Since all the original fasteners seemed to have been the victims of some sort of systematic fastener abuse, they all looked quite appalling and were replaced with new stainless examples after a quick cross urban dash.

With the frame and swinging arm reunited, and the shock absorbers looking not entirely unlike they might possibly have cost slightly more than they actually did, the next thing to do would be to fit the engine. With that in mind I've started removing the mankiness from it, but I was interrupted by an interesting text message, and as I remarked earlier, much like a motorcycle, one's life turns out in accordance to the amount of effort one puts into the details, so I abandoned the engine cleaning in favour of a visit to the pub, in the interests of attending to the details.

Fickle, that's me. 

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