About Me

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Stockport, United Kingdom
Spud is obsessed with all things wheeled, both with an without engine's. 2006 Open class uk champion at Boardercross racing mountain boards, his knee's have since given up and he spends more time on his bikes both with and without engines.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

First Ride fail

The first ride did not go well, would not pull at all, had to limp it home pretty much just letting it pull on idle.
I knew that the carbs weren't original and had been recently fitted and was told they'd need "setting up"

So the carbs had to come off for inspection, and I figured that while they were off I'd bin the air box and fit pods as a stepping stone towards the Bratstyle make over. It was a long drawn out fight that I eventually won, but there's no chance its going back on as its in a thousand pieces. Another interesting discovery was the use of 4 scouring sponges as an air filter.

 I took the carbs with me on a trip into Manchester and popped into see the nice people at NRP carbs to see if they could help, turns out a vital plug was missing out the carbs and that they already had the right main jets for running pods.
While I had them off I gave them a quick check and the diaphrams are starting to go but will be ok for a bit, and I figured I might as well use the carbs tops off the second set of I think original carbs as they are a nicer and Ali, so i gave them a little buff with some autosol and the dremmel and they came up quite nice, I didn't go ott just got em a bit nicer than they were. And a hell of a lot better than the manky steel tops that the carb cleaner half melted the paint off.

I got it all back together today (eventually) and after a number of issues with the throttle cable being too tight for some odd reason I finally got it to idle properly and was able to take it out for a test ride.

Its flat as a witches tit for the most part then over 7 thou takes of like a scalded cat, lots more work with the carbs me thinks to get it running better. And in spite of mt previous attempts the front brake was still sticking so I had another fight with that too.

May attempt some more tuning this week, and another short test ride to see if I got the brake sorted.

 Great lines on this bike, kicked up seat loop at the back and a new seat base, then hide the electrics and ditch the side panels and we'll be getting somewhere, far from original, but they look so good like that so why muck it up, but as I'm about to be a dad I strongly suspect that this sort of thing will be going on the back burner for a bit. Still if I can grab an hour here and there on it in the new garage who knows what may happen.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Its not a project

So considering its not a project it did take 4 hrs of my time on Saturday afternoon.

Insurance is active as of today so I was trying to get it sorted out to how I want it for now ie minus the massive rear light and indicators plus trying to flatten out some of the nasty scabs on the fork legs in the hope of prolonging the seals.

I also discovered a few more horrors thanks to flattening the battery by leaving the lights on whilst checking the indicators.

This massive ring connecting the live to the battery was barely connecting it and is almost big enough to fit over the bolt, and to boot there's no battery strap so if I hadn't secured it, the damn thing would be rattling round all over the shop. I'll be riding it this week so I hope there's no more horrors.

The seat base has a pretty bad case of tin worm, but should last me long enough to fab up a rear loop and seat base for the Bratstyle look.

It was all going quite well at this point, and I'd done some test fits of the seat to check everything was ok.

But unfortunately I ended up with this, not exactly what I was after, and I'd run out of time to sort it out, as I'd been neglecting my other DIY  tasks and had to crack on with them. Oh well another hours work and a couple more holes in the already swiss cheese mudguard and we'll be there.

Saturday, 18 October 2014


Well there's been progress on a few fronts, after many many many months and visits to the unit where the project bike is, and lots of meters of tube ruined practising and working out all the hows and the why's followed by buying a former and re working out a few things, I have finally got the major parts of a subframe that I could weld together and I'm happy, BUT I'm aiming for perfection in my eyes, and am going to try and make the whole top section from one piece of tube.

There's progress on other fronts too, I have a front wheel attached and centred

But best of all, the footings for my garage are in, and what a monster its going to be, dream garage here we come.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Its a disease

Its definitely a disease, and/or an addiction.

I didn't really need another bike yet I managed to justify it to myself, and anyone else who'll listen really. I mean I do need to keep my new KTM out of the salty winter weather, and I definitely don't want a  repeat of last years black ice binning it debacle on my nice new bike. The project bike is still very much that, (although I am making progress towards completing the sub frame, not enough to be worth documenting on here tho) so that's not suitable for a winter ride and the C200 is still pretty much just a rolling chassis .

So there I was in Bristol having spent a long weekend with my mate Graham helping him weld a trolley for the donor shell that being stripped of spares for his rally car. And I'm having a look through gumtree at the bike for any possible winter hacks as I'm thinking it might be a good idea to start seeing whats about in spite of the fact I have absolutely nowhere to put another bike, (the 10x8 shed just about holds the KTM).

Heart over rules head and I seriously start looking at some of the options being presented to, I desperately want the GSX-R 750 witht he last oil cooled engine for 900 quid, consider a Honda CB-1 thats stupid cheap at just over 500 quid but it does have a few running issue's so thats out, which left a lovely little 1982 GSX 400T, 400cc twin, wire spoke wheels , tax and test till Jan, truth be told I got a bit giddy about it, its crying out for a Bratstyle styled make over, and I got abit  more giddy when I went to see it and forgot to check everything properly and missed the badly pitted upper fork legs and came away with it anyway.

So here she is

So yesterday I spent £40 on bits for my new cheap winter hack, new fork seals, fork boots, a cover and some grips which had to be had for £7 to replace the totally out of character ugly POS things that were on it. And today having got it out the van I had a proper look at it and did the first job on it and sorted the sticky rear drum, I stupidly dropped the back wheel out before realizing the problem was closer to the front and it was the main pivot for the brake pedal that was the issue.

No pics of that but I did give it a few coats of looking at and discovered some questionable use of sellotape. This has now been removed and replaced with proper insulation tape.
 I have to wait until the end of October to put it on my multi bike policy as I dont want to pay the £25 admin fee to put it on now for just 4 weeks.

So all that remains to do now on this cheap winter hack that is absolutely not a project, is replace the gargantuan indicators and tail light with something a little more discrete, weld on a loop after shortening the rear sub frame, relocate the electrics and hide the cables, make up a new seat base and have it upholstered ...................................... you get the idea, but this is definitely not another project, no sir ee, absolutely not, just a little winter hack to keep the salt of the KTM ;0)

Monday, 8 September 2014

Preston HotRod meet

The stars finally aligned with my brain cells and not only was I free, but I remembered that it was the first Friday of the month, plus a lovely night to boot so I shot up to the Hot Rod meet at the Lea Green pub just outside Preston.

Loads of cool vehicles and people, everyone nice n friendly. Here's just a few of my favourites.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Now its on!!!!

My former arrived today, proper tool for the job and all that

This should see an end to all my pipe bending woes.


I know people slate it, but ebay can be damn handy sometimes.

Brand new Goldspeed 320mm rotor to fit my XR front wheel for just under £50 all the way from Portugul.

Now that's mint in my book. I now need to punt on the original 320mm disc I got for the NX 650 front, it'll fit an XR 650L as well so it I should be able to find a buyer on said same auction site.

With a bit of luck next week I should be able to get this fitted up and measure up for the caliper bracket so I can order all the material I need for that and the rear disc spacer, and possibly a fork brace which should look good and be functional, as well as giving me somewhere to bolt the part time front mudguard.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Finally a project bike update

I managed to get a set of XR 400 wheels with black rims and hubs that were right up my street. Nice wide rims, and the rear hub is the same disc bolt pattern as the original hub so I can use the original disc.

As ever, things aren't that easy. I've had to get a new front spindle made as it wasn't possible to get new bearings for the new wheels to fit the original. I'm lucky, I guy I work with is a model engineer and has lathes and milling machines, he did it for £30.

The big bummer is that the 320mm supermoto disc I bought to fit the original front hub when I was planning to have a 17" rim built onto that hub doesn't fit this new front wheel.

So its new spacers for the front wheel and probably some at the back. The back hub is actually a little narrow so I'll be getting a spacer made to space the disc off the hub. Spent last sunday doing the drawing for the spacer, all proper like, then I went to order the Aly I need for my mate to make it, and find that postage for the material is double the cost of the material itself. What a pain in the arse. Now I'll have to wait until I've made the measurements for the front caliper bracket that needs making so I can order all the material at once. The new caliper bracket is to fit the 4 pot Brembo I got to beef up the front brakes and alleviate the issues with trying to fit the original sliding caliper.

There's a 320mm front disc the correct bolt pattern on order so hopefully I can get that caliper bracket worked out and get all the Aluminium I need ordered. I'm using http://www.aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk/ in case any of you are interested.

I've also been  trying to bend the seat rails for the new rear sub frame. This is the best I've managed so far, the former for the pipe bender I'm using isn't the right size for the tube and its flattening the tube a bit on the bends, its OK but not perfect. I think the next step is to try padding the former out a bit or make the leap and splash out on the correct size former. I'm learning as I go along, which is fine, but its taking a long time and burns through tubing. I've also tried bending it using heat but the tube bender has given the best results so far.

And I've found time to take some more stuff of my duke, bye bye nasty old mirrors, hello nice neat bar end mirror. Bar end needed a little bit of turning to get rid of  a step in the end of it and turn the shaft down a smidge so it would fit in the end of the bar. I've kept the brass weight that's OEM and the weight of the mirror is more than the heavy original bar end but I've had to move the mirror from the end to the top of the bar end to help reduce the vibes.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cant help it

Yes thats right, with little over 300 miles on it I'm already fucking about with it. But it had to be done, EU regulations result in an uglier than ugly rear end. Out with the old and in with the new evo tech performance rear tail tidy, awesome bit of kit, super impressed with the finish, only disappointed with the nasyt crimp connectors supplied, cant have been much more expensive to supply the right connector.

Much better!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

New ride a comin

Now I know any of the 3 people who actually read this probably wont care too much for this, but here goes anyway.

Following the recent trials and tribulations I've been having with the Bandit, now all I can hear when I ride it is knocks and rattles and I'm basically am waiting for it to die. As I still don't have anywhere to resurect it if that happens' combined with the cost of fixing it, the loss of my only working bike and my daily ride, I decided to part ex it in against a new bike.

This not a decision I've taken likely and have spent a good while thinking about it. About 3 weeks ago I went and test rode a KTM Duke 390, at 78 mpg I was curious to see if I could live with a much smaller capacity bike. As its a 390 engine in the 125 Duke frame, the whole thing was small, too small for me, it felt like riding my monkey, I didn't like the position of the pegs and my arse was in agony after only 40 minutes, and that was with the comfort seat fitted. Needless to say it was not for me, but what a killer little engine. So after a 2 hr ride I took it back and told em why it wasn't for me.

The sales man then say's "well I'm not doing my job properly f I dont let you take the 690 Duke out" as its still a sunny Friday afternoon  and it was another free ride on another new bike I thought fuck it why not. Straight away I knew I liked it. Great riding position,  brilliant engine and superb handling. I had it for an hour and loved every minute of it, but it was a bit vibey and not great in stop start traffic.

But I still couldn't get it out my head, and with 0% finance available over 2 years I've gone and bought one, possibly the last one thats coming into the UK this year as they're not making any more this year.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Bumper post

Ok I've been really slack on posting again, here's a bit of a bumper catch up on what I've been doing.

My daily 1200 Bandit has been giving me loads of trouble and taking alot of my valuable time thus there's been little work on the project bike.

I had to fit new front pads so while I was at it I decided to change the fork oil. In spite of my best efforst at the time, I then had a frustrating 2 weeks of sticking calipers.

Then I finally discovered why its been cutting out intermittently, 2 of the four terminals in the starter solenoid had snapped and were just manky green stumps rubbing against each other, thus the intermittent cutting out, then came a debacle getting a new one. I usually go for new parts but after a week of waiting and the wrong part arriving with no eta for the right one I went to a local breakers and got it for only £15 instead of £53 for the new pattern part I had first ordered.

I also fitted another chain and sprocket kit. no matter what I do I cant seem to stop it eating them.

Its also been running like a sack of shit so before going down to the bike shed show I whipped the carbs off. When I came back from the best show I've every ever been to I spent a day cleaning them. I expected to find them full of crap but they were clean as a whistle, so a day wasted and over £8 worth of float bowl screws as I had to muller them all to get em off and there was no change. What a bitch.
 I think I've now narrowed the issue down to the choke not shutting properly which is being caused by the higher rise bars I fitted after my off on the ice this winter, the choke cable is too tight and keeps getting pulled when I turn the bars alot.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


This has been a long time in the making, a little bit here, and a little bit there and to be honest I've spent far to much time and effort sorting this out considering its for my monkey bike that I plan on getting rid of as soon as its sorted and the weather picks up enough for me to get some descent money for it. A small shed accident meant one of the indicators got broken, and as the battery eliminating capacitor I'd tried to fit wouldn't let all the lights work properly and made for an MOT fail. The broken indicator needed replacing so I thought I'd buy some LED ones and and LED rear light as well and see if I could get everything to work with the battery eliminator. So the tail got tidied into the bargain, but the micro LED indicators I bought were too small for the front as the headlight bolts covered the indicators too much. By a stroke of luck one of the micro indicators self destructed when I was fitting it to the rear. Luckily this gave me a better look at the make up of them and I had the brain wave to fit them inside two of the remaining original indicators and re fit these back onto the front.