Some motorcycle grinding

I’ve been meaning to write a post for ages but kept getting distracted by other stuff. I’ve looked at the date stamp on these picturesand they’re from the 6th of September!

The pictures have pasted in the wrong order, so maybe scroll to the bottom and then work your way back up again! I got the grinder from Argos for £15. I cut the seat foam down a lot but I’m not happy with it, so I’m going to have another go at cutting it down next time I get it out of my shed.

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New Battery

I didn’t get to spend as much time tinkering with the bike this weekend as I wanted. I was going to spend a good few hours on Saturday working on it but in the end I spent Saturday morning helping my parents choose new mobile phone, they got a couple of Nokia 225’s from CPW for £20 each. After I had finished helping mum and dad I took the bike for a ride to Wicken and back, I though I better take it for a decent ride before I started taking it apart and leaving it in an unrideable state for a couple of weeks.

So in the end I spent around a hour taking the battery out of the bike, removing the seat leather, rear mud guard, tail light, and indicators.




New battery in front, just got to figure out how to mount it under the seat (hidden away)

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I think, ideally it could do with a smaller fuel tank but they can be quite expensive so I’ll leave it standard for the time being and maybe think about replacing it once the build has finished.

Maiden Voyage

Over the weekend I got the bike taxed and insured, it was exceedingly cheap. Tax was £17 per year and I got insurance via Quidco/Bennetts at a cost of £71.75 – £25 cash back that Quidco should pay me at some point in the future (so £46.75 assuming I receive cashback). I also bought a £30 helmet from Halfords on Sunday. It gets a four star SHARP (safety rating) which is excellent value for money at this price as most cheap helmets only get three stars.

I took the bike out for a burn last night, and it drives really well and sounds good (super easy to drive). However the speedo and rev counter are wildly inaccurate. The speedo was reporting 75 – 80mph when my gps was only reporting 60ish. I maxed the bike out at 62mph according to gps, which assuming the speedo had been working should have read 65mph (as speedo’s always seem to read 5% higher than the actual speed). I’m hopeing that once I’ve completed the weight reduction and given it a service (and possibly changed the the sprocket/gear ratio) that I’ll be able to get 70+ out of it, just in case I ever do go on a dual carriageway it would be nice to be able to keep in front of the lorries. I’m hoping to swap out the speedo and rev counter dials to just a single dial with the speed and warning lights on it in the future so hopefully I’ll be able to resolve the issue with the speedo reading the wrong speed at the same time.

Cone air filters

For the grand price of £15, yesterday I replaced the standard air filter with two ebay special cone filters (the crank case needed a breather filter). It will look even better once I remove the battery and replace it with a battery eliminator (large capacitor).

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Bike bits

Found this really good site full of tutorials:

Stuff I need to buy to make it look good (mostly cheap, ebay specials)…

Cone Air filter £15

Crank Case breather cone filter £7

Fabric for reupholstering the seat £10

Cafe Racer style handle bars £30

New indicators £15

New tail light £10

Battery eliminator £20

Lots of spray paint

Future bits and bobs

New levers £30

Handle bar control set £40

New Tyres

The Haggard bike build

So while Emma was at work on Saturday I went for a nice cycle to Dom’s house (30ish mile round trip) as part of my training for my four day cycle to Paris. Which my brother has managed to persuade me to do, well it didn’t take too much persuasion as I’m cycling to and from work every day at the moment so feel pretty fit and I’m always up for one of these get from A to B challenges. We’re doing it in four days because I don’t have a great deal of holiday entitlement left and we’re going from London to Paris instead of Cambridge to Paris, to make it fit within the four days that I’ve allocated to the challenge (going from Cambridge would have added an extra day).

While I was on my way home, on the outskirts of Willingham I noticed a motorbike for sale for £300 and it was MOT’ed (till December). I’ve been keeping my eye open for cheap bikes, I really want a classic Vespa but that’ll cost close to £3k and I don’t really have that sort of budget for something that is more of a play thing than something of really use (maybe in the next couple of years). The bike that I was looking at was a made in Korea, classic style 125. I didn’t know it was made in Korea at the time, I thought it was an even more rubbish made in China piece of crap. I believe that Korea made bikes are supposed to be a little bit better than Chinese ones but probably not by much.

The owner of the bike must have seen me looking it over and came out of his house, he seemed to be a nice guy – it was his grandson’s bike. I took it for a test ride down his drive way; it worked and was in pretty good condition for something worth so little. So I thought what the heck, I’ll take a punt and buy it so I did. I didn’t have a lid so I was prepared to walk it home, but the guy kindly offered to lend me a helmet and to follow me home on is own (much, much better) bike so I drove it home (probably close to a mile). I haven’t driven it since as I have had time to buy a helmet yet, so haven’t bothered taxing or insuring it yet either. It fits in my wooden shed too so that’s a bonus.

Here are some phone pics…

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Some pics that Jonny took using his camera…

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I’m not really planning to ride it much when I do eventually get a skid lid. I cycle Monday to Friday (at the moment) and use the Alfa at the weekends, its going to be more of a project/play thing than anything else. I think that watching Haggard Garage has inspired me to do something fun/productive with my spare time. My plan is to convert it into a Cafe Race (Google image) for very little money (less than £200). I’ve already got a ton of ideas, which I’ll list in another post because this one is getting a bit long. One of which is to mod/cut the seat and make it into a single seater (as most Cafe Racers are) but Jonny wants me to take him to Hunstanton on it. Not sure how it’ll perform with the weight of both of us on it, considering its only a 125 (hopefully it’ll still reach 50mph) so we’ll have to do that before I start modifying it too much.