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The bike relaxing while I open a gate

The bike relaxing while I open a gate

I’ve spent most of today playing with the new motorcycles. After a quick oil change the large of the two was fired up and I gave it a good blat around the fields. It’s not really designed for riding sitting down, as the pegs are so far backwards so you really have to stand. The gearing is very low and rather annoyingly the farm is rather flat so it’s not really in it’s element at the moment. I need to take it to somewhere really muddy and preferably, vertical and then it will come alive. It was interesting to think about how different it was to the F 800 GS I rode a few weeks ago. The 800 GS is a serious off road bike but this motorbike is something else, it’s just so specialised.

Some parts of the bike are still a bit of a mystery to me, I can remember being told the sequence of things you had to do to start it but the reasons behind them were slightly lost to me. Thankfully the lovely chaps at the Classic Bike Forum were able to work out what was going on.

The clutch is fairly easy to spot, but what are the other two things?

The clutch is fairly easy to spot, but what are the other two things?

As you may notice this end of the handbar has slightly more levers on it than normal. The one on the top of the handles is the advance/retard for the ignition, it changes the rate at which the engine ticks over. The one below is a bit more mysterious. If you squeeze it when the engine is running the bike stops (which is handy because the bike doesn’t have any other off switches) and it is also used when kick starting. After I explained what happened to the chaps on the forum they said it might be a valve lifter, so I took some photos to investigate

There is where the cable goes, so valve lifter it is then.

There is where the cable goes, so valve lifter it is then.

And so you can see on the right where the cable connects to the top of the engine. Another mystery solved. I also got my Dad’s old helmets when the bikes were delivered. One of which is lovely old school lid, perfect for riding retro bikes around.

It just needs some goggles.

It just needs some goggles.

I dug it out this morning to wear while riding the bike around the farm but when I picked it up I noticed it still had my dad’s white hairs on the inside. It was as if he had only taken it off five minutes ago and so I decided I think I’ll leave it for now, I’ll buy a new helmet for me and leave that one for him.

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Well the motorbikes have arrived and been unloaded the one based around the Villiers engine (I really should get around to naming these motorcycles) is looking a little bit worse for wear but that’s only because it hasn’t been used in ages and has been stored in a shed.
It is a lovely little bike, it just needs some love.

It is a lovely little bike, it just needs some love.

I used to ride this bike in classic trials with my dad on the other one, it’s really light and was even made road-legal briefly. Large parts of this bike were made by hand so it served as a prototype for the next more powerful motorbike. The engine is a 250cc two-stroke affair and the gearbox was a bit of a nightmare or at least that is how I remember it.

Even more exciting than the Villiers was this bike, as you may have noticed I have given it a quick wash. When it arrived it still had the mud on it from when I was on it last.

The motorcycle, after being given a quick wash

The motorcycle, after being given a quick wash

Cameron (who had picked it up for me) had noticed that it’s got a bit of an oil leak which is a real pain. It seems to be in the sump, but since this is a hand built bike there isn’t a manual I can get hold of – it was designed on the back of cigarette packets and the corners of newspapers.

Even though it was really naughty I couldn’t resist firing it up, mostly to see if I could remember the sequence you have to go through to start it. It fired up almost instantly and rolled over beautifully, the exhaust note is deep and powerful like Thor laughing and it brought back a flood of memories. Today feels like Christmas.

I’m going to have to sort out the leak fast as it’s a real struggle to resist riding it about and I’m also going to have to work out what sort of oil I should put in it. Anyone got any ideas?
Oh and if you’d like to read a bit more about the second bike and it’s construction have a look here

Today is a very important day, my classic motorbikes are being delivered.

I’m so excited I feel a little bit sick. I’ve waited just over a year to sort out getting these motorcycles picked up and now they are on their way. The company doing the delivery are the aptly named – Motorcycle Delivery – who were recommended by a load of people on the Classic Bike forum and I’m really impressed with the service so far. I had tried to arrange to pick the bikes up myself but since I don’t have a suitable car let alone, a two bike trailer I was really stumped.

Well I am stumped no more as the motorbikes are on their way.

One of the bikes, rating the day I am having out of ten

One of the bikes, rating the day I am having out of ten

I’ll have to do a longer post later when they have arrived but for now have a read about one of the bikes being delivered – Classic trials bike

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