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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
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I had a dig around in the shed because I’d been told that the entire Stinger motorbike was there I just had to find it. Well after a bit of falling over and some light swearing when I dropped a plank on my foot I found the parts.
The front part of the bike, well most of it.

The front part of the bike, well most of it.

The front wheel and shocks weren’t looking at their best but they are there, and you can even see the tax disk holder if you look carefully. Spurred on by this I continued searching through the boat shed and found the iconic exhausts and petrol tank from the Stinger.

The distinctive tank and exhausts
The distinctive tank and exhausts

Even the soft lighting from the window can’t completely hide that this motorcycle needs a lot of work. Has anyone else restored a wreck like this? How much time are we talking?

I had a dig around in another of the sheds to see if I could find anything else. I can remember this shed being full to bursting with classic bikes at one point many years ago.

It was wall to wall Triumphs, BSAs and even the odd Norton Commando. The reason why the farm was stuffed with classic bikes is that my dad and his best friend (who owned a modern motorcycle dealership) had brought out the stock of a bike shop that had gone bust and so the bikes were stored here until somewhere more suitable could be found for them or they were sold.

Sadly the shed doesn’t contain motorcycles anymore, it doesn’t contain much of anything really. I had a hunt around to see if I could find a little hint of the glorious bounty that was once contained inside but apart from an old tire, which looked suspiciously modern I didn’t have much luck.

Note the lack of classic bikes

Note the lack of classic bikes

I suppose it was a bit too much to hope for really, to find an overlooked Bantam or perhaps an aged Guzzi tucked away in a corner,  but a chap can dream can’t he?

An old tire

An old tire

In other news the internet connection has been restored.

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