Sunday 30 October 2011

Roundabout of the Week

I snapped this one on my recent holiday to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura. The building looks like a traditional island farmhouse but is actually a disguised sewage pumping station.

Roundabout rating 3.5/5

Friday 28 October 2011

Forth Rail Bridge

I took a run today to the Forth Rail Bridge - a masterpiece of Scottish engineering. There was something missing - scaffolding! The ten year contract to re-paint the bridge is almost complete. This is the first time in the bridge's 120 years that the existing paint has been blasted back to bare steel and a modern three coat system applied. It is hoped that this will have a life of 25 years. 

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Featured Bikes - Yamaha & Kawasaki 750 two stroke fours

I started my biking career on early '70s Japanese two strokes and here are a couple of interesting prototypes of the time. In 1971 both Yamaha & Kawasaki showed 750cc four cylinder water cooled two strokes. These would have taken on the Suzuki GT750 in the big stroker market. Neither made it into production. Maybe because of pollution or fuel crisis worries. Kawasaki were already developing the Z1 at this time and the Yamaha seems to have been the basis for the TZ700/750 racers. 
Kawasaki 750 Square Four

Bike has family resemblance to early Z1

Yamaha GL750

Early use of reed valves. Also looks like fuel injection.
TZ700 racer

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Ridin' the Hog

Just back from a week in the sun to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. Just round the corner from our villa was a shop renting Harley Davidsons. I'd never ridden a Harley nor had much wish to do so. But with them so close by I had to treat myself. I got a 96 cu in (1584cc) Super Glide and went for a day's tour round the island. The roads were superb. Well surfaced with lots of sweeping curves (not necessarily a good thing on a Harley!) and great scenery. The Harley was fun to ride but a crude old thing and the lack of ground clearance was scary.

View fron highest point in the island

Statues, big statues

Feedin' the critters

Nice beaches

The island is volcanic

Sunday 16 October 2011

Stafford Bike Show

On Saturday I visited the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at Stafford. This is the biggest classic bike show in the country with lots of bikes on show and for sale. The emphasis is Japanese bikes of the 60s/70s/80s. The weather was sunny so the outdoor exhibits could also be enjoyed. A big thanks to Malcolm who did the driving - a 660 mile round trip from Dundee for him.
1967 Yamaha YM2C 305cc Street Scrambler

Suzuki GT750 - the standard of the show bikes was amazing

Wayne Rainey was guest of honour and talked about his career
Suzuki RE5 rotary

So that's how a Ducati Desmo works!

BSA X75 "Hurriciane"

Robb North 930cc Rocket 3 racer

1934 Scott Flying Squrrel racer

Stunning Norton framed Vincent

Kawasaki 750 triple

Kawa triples by the dozen

Friday 14 October 2011

"Big Blue" back on the road

From my posts you will see I run a Honda CBF250 and a Yamaha FJ1200. Actually I've got two FJs. The older one hasn't run for a while so today I took it out for a short blast to blow away the cobwebs. I bought this bike 18 years ago and the black/silver one seven years ago to replace it. But I kept the old one and use both.

Big Blue started and ran fine. It burns a bit of oil and rattles when cold but its done 133,000 miles and the motor's never been apart. Even the clutch is original.

I was planning to ride the CBF until next spring but I think I'll use Big Blue as well.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Yesterday's Run

Yesterday was a break in the unrelenting wind & rain so I took the opportunity for a run on the FJ. M8 to Edinburgh, Haddington, Lammermuir Hills to Duns, Berwick upon Tweed, Kelso, Selkirk, Tweedsmuir, Lanark. Here's the pics:

Lammermuir Hills

Talla Reservoir

Friday 7 October 2011

Featured Bike

1971 BSA Fury/Triumph Bandit 350cc

Fury & Bandit at National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham

In this series I'm going to write about rare/interesting/unusual bikes. Mostly these will be ones I've seen myself. To kick off we have the BSA Fury/Triumph Bandit. This bike was developed in the late '60s to challenge the Japanese middleweights. It had a DOHC 350cc twin cylinder engine. The bike looked good and was fast - 110 mph which, if true, would be better than a Yamaha YR5. Financial woes meant that bike never reached production.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Roundabout of the week

The humble roundabout. So common we ignore it (except in a traffic sense of course or we'd all be dead) But the local council sometimes put a bit of effort into their roundabouts to try to make our lives that little bit less drab. This feature will give credit to those who try. This week I salute South Lanarkshire Council for this one in Larkhall. A flying bird atop some squiggly stainless steel.

Roundabout rating 3/5.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Wet, wet, wet

First try at video. With the weather becoming grim I found this vid from a few years ago when I was caught in a downpour - near St Andrews I think.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Bike v ford is a website listing the fords in the UK. I was going for a run to Fife and saw that there was one in the village of Craigrothie, south of Cupar, and thought I'd take a look. The road is a dirt track and by the time I reached the ford it was too late to turn the FJ around. The track was too narrow steep & slippery. I had no choice and ploughed through. I made it but just. The burn was about 18" deep and the bottom strewn with boulders. There was much steam when the exhaust went under. The conclusion is that bikes and fords don't mix.

First photo

My Yamaha FJ1200 in Glen Etive last month

Coming Soon

Motorcycle related stories, opinions, photos, videos, nonsense etc.