Wednesday, 26 June 2013


For some reason the country's fields seem to be covered in buttercups this year.

Perthshire today. Buttercups are poisonous to horses & other livestock. They tend not to eat it because of its bitter taste - but it seems hard to avoid in this field.

A horse with access to lots of grass wouldn't eat buttercups - would they? Our horse Fritz today - Doh!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Bikes spotted at East Fortune

While at the races I snapped a couple of interesting bikes

Norton F1. This was a road going version of the racer with the rotary engine built '90/'91.
A little bike I'd never seen before - a Gilera V5 Arcore 150cc. There were built '72 -'75 and I doubt if it was imported to the UK. The finned cylinder head makes it look like a two stroke but it's an ohv 4 stroke.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Classic Racing at East Fortune

I went to the motorcycle racing at East Fortune today. The weather forecast was not good but it turned out slightly less bad than predicted. I got there & back (80 miles each way) just about in the dry. There were some showers during the day and a downpour in mid afternoon.

Ducati 250s for road & race

The 350cc class is dominated by the Honda CB350K4

MV 500 (1972) on parade lap

Yamaha TZ750 (1974) also on parade lap

This Ducati 600 TT2 won the Post Classic race

When the track dried there was some knee down action (James Conroy, Honda CB350K4)

The "big wheel" outfits take some riding

Mark Herbertson - Matchless G50 500cc

Mervyn Stratford on his 1934 Rudge didn't win the 250 races like he did last year…..

…..pesky two strokes like this Yamaha TD1C were too quick.

Racing under leaden skies

Robert Walker on his 675cc Velocette Venom Seeley was leading the unlimited race when it was red flagged due to standing water

Monday, 10 June 2013

Featured Bike - Yamaha XS500

I like '70's Jap bikes - they're what I started riding on - so I snapped this nice condition XS500 at the Ayr Bike Show at the weekend.

The XS was produced from 1973-81 (called the TX '73/74) It had an advanced engine design for the day - twin overhead camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder with balance shafts. The norm today, but unique back then. They were pretty rare in the UK. Yamaha were known for two strokes in the '70's and if you wanted a Jap four stroke you bought a Honda.

This is a later model with styling similar to the RD250/400.

Saturday, 8 June 2013


On my travels today I came across the Hammerite factory in Prudoe, Northumberland. Hammerite make a range of paints for the protection of metal. My bikes tend to get coated with Hammertite over the years. Their silver is a good match for the paint used on the FJ's & CBF's frame, forks, wheels etc.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Yet Another Classic Show - Part #2 - Cars

1971 Lotus Europa
A pair of pre-war Jaguars 2.5 litre SS

Alvises in parade ring

P6 Rovers

A mini monster car

A 1969 Opal GT

Lovely Mk 2 Jag

A parade of military vehicles including a desert equipped Land Rover complete with Bren gun.

V12 engine in Jaguar E-type

E Type in Lilac

Ford Zodiac 6 cyl - Our family car when I was young. I learnt to drive in this car, well its 4 cyl version the Zephyr, on private roads when I was about 15. It was killed by brother Norman when he took it for an unauthorised drive while I was repairing the engine and it had no water in the radiator.

I tend to feature the beautiful & interesting, but what about the mundane & ugly? British Leyland gave us these examples

The Vanden Plas - the much maligned "posh" version of the Austin Allegro in a very repulsive brown
Gone & mostly forgotten - the Austin Maxi. In any colour like so long as it's beige.

This one really fell out of the ugly tree - the Austin 3 Litre

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Yet Another Classic Show - Part #1 - Bikes (& 3 Wheelers)

Another weekend - another classic vehicle show - or so it seems lately. This one was the Scottish Borders Historic Motoring Extravaganza in the impressive setting of Thirlestane Castle.

The castle is an impressive pile
1965 BSA A65 Spitfire Hornet. This street scambler was a US model returned from the States.

1968 Moto Guzzi Stornello Sport 160cc

1959 BSA M21. This Automobile Association outfit has done 200,000 miles.

1914 New Hudson Model D - the oldest bike at the show
Itera plastic bicycle. Made in Sweden in the early '80's they were not a success because the frame was too "bendy". Remaining bikes were sold in the Caribbean because they didn't rust in the salty air.
Moto Guzzi powered "Pembelton" three wheeler

Morgan three wheeler with JAP engine 

Messerschmitt bubble car

A very good show in very nice weather (a bit too warm for walking about in leathers but you can't complain about that) and a nice day for a run through the beautiful Borders.