Sunday 29 April 2018

Wee Smokie

Today I went to the "Wee Smokie" in Arbroath, an informal meeting of the Scottish Classic Motorcycle Club. It was a nice, bright day and there were many interesting bike gathered. 
I love '70's Jap two strokes. Yamaha RD350 & 400 (the 350 was my second bike)

Beautiful Ducati 900SS

My friend Malcolm's 1973 Honda CB350

Suzuki GS1000S

BSA Firebird Scrambler

Norton Commando John Player Special  

Another race replica - a Yamaha RD500

BSA M20 army bike

Another army bike and a new one on me - a Condor A580 used by the Swiss

This one got me confused. I thought it was a Yamaha Venture trike. But it's not a trike - it retains the original rear wheel so the outrigger wheels are…stabilisers? Is this even legal? (a quad?)

BSA Rocket Three and its sibling the Triumph Trident.

For your final journey - a trike-drawn hearse.

Monday 23 April 2018

Slow Puncture

My CBF250 has had a slow puncture in the front wheel for some time. On a tubeless tyre there is a common cause for this. A barrow full of water confirmed what I thought. The leak was not a puncture but was from the rim. This happens when the wheel corrodes and allows some air to escape. 
I removed the tyre - it was not pretty in there. Lots of corroded aluminium. The bike is used in winter and this is the effect of de-icing salt.

The tyre was stained with aluminium oxide

I cleaned up the rim with a wire brush and a scouring pad. I applied some petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion.

This is the long way to fix this problem. The short way (and one that I'll use if this doesn't work) is a can of sealant.

The tyre passes the barrow test!

Thursday 19 April 2018

Fife Coast Run

The weatherman promised fine weather today - the first warm day of the year really. Best in the east he said so I headed for Fife. When I visit the Kingdom I usually go to the East Neuk but, after studying the map, I sought out some places I hadn't explored much.

Lower Largo. The village is dominated by a railway viaduct. The Fife Coast Railway closed in the 1960's and is now a walking route.

Statue of Alexander Selkirk in Lower Largo. He was a sailor from here who was the inspiration for the character of Robinson Crusoe having been marooned for four years on Juan Fernandez Island in the south Pacific.

The beach at Lower Largo

Oil rigs. They're moored in the Firth of Forth between jobs (I think)

The beach at Leven
Pub quiz question - where do Scottish football club East Fife come from? A - Methil, not really a place you'd visit without a very good reason.

East Wemyss. I walked along the shore and found some caves

This one is called the Dovecot Cave because of the nesting places cut into the rock. This would have provided the locals with meat.

I was heading for the ruins of MacDuff's Castle. A late 14th century tower house. There was a good path to the castle and a worker was cutting the grass and clearing vegetation - so well done Fife.

The walk was hard work. I had my usual cool weather biking gear on but I was sweating in the mild conditions. This was because of the heat I stress, not the fact that I'm overweight & unfit! 

View from the castle

This is a memorial to miners killed in a fire at Michael Colliery, East Wemyss, in 1967.

Dysart Harbour

Burntisland (not an island)

I stopped for ice cream in Dalgety Bay. This building was the stables for nearby Donibristle House now converted into apartments.

The view from the stables.

The Forth Rail Bridge from Dalgety Bay

Saturday 7 April 2018

Scottish Motorcycle Show 2018

Today I went to the bike show in Edinburgh. This was originally planned for the start of March but was cancelled due to snow. 
A good many came by bike. It was milder than recently (not hard) but they, like me, would get a soaking on the way home. But, hey, we're used to it.

CCM Spitfire Flat Tracker. It looks like a bike you built in your shed but I think that's the point of it.

I took a liking to the new Kawasaki Z900RS. A retro inspired by…..

….the '70's Z1

I met some old friends at the MZRC stand. They had some obscure machines from behind the iron curtain like this Polish WSK.

A wonderful Cezet scooter.

And this little gem (I do love informative number plates!)

A cute little 125cc Moto Guzzi Stornello Regolarita ISDT bike from 1966.


At the Yamaha stand there was a Tracer 700 that Nick Sanders had ridden to Mongolia. It looks like he brought some of the Gobi desert back with him!

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Fixing a Pressure Washer

Flushed with success after fixing my cheapo drill I turned my attention to my jet washer.

This time it’s a quality German product - a Kärcher 475. I think that a jet washer is essential if you're going to ride a bike through the Scottish winter. It's great for blasting off dirt and road salt. I bought mine a long time ago but recently its lost its mojo. It was just about ok for cleaning the bike but when I tried to clean the patio I realised that its pressure was well down. The gauge showed 40 bar instead of the usual 90 bar.

The gauge told me something was wrong
A pressure washer is just an electrical motor at one end and a pump at the other. The motor seemed to be running ok so I though I'd take a look at the pump. Now I don't really know how this works but, hey, that never stopped me before.

I didn't need to open up the electrics but when I did there was a wiring diagram inside. Nice.

This sticker shows that the machine was made in 1990, so it has given me a lot of years of service. It also tells me that cos φ, the power factor, is 0.95….those Germans!

These pistons go in and out….

…into these pump units.

The pump outputs. There's something funny going on…..a broken O ring is jamming one valve open.

O ring
It wasn't obvious where the O ring came from. There didn't seem any way to further disassemble things so I cleaned it up and put it back together. And it worked fine. Back to 90 bar.

Back to its patio cleaning best!
So where did the O ring come from? Because the washer is now working fine I didn't think it came from inside. Looking about I found a self closing connection of a type I used in the past and that has an O ring that looks similar. The washer is suppose to have a mesh filter on the inlet but I removed this for some reason years ago. So mea culpa (as usual)

Now where did I put that filter?......