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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Tin ware Night mare

 Why has there been no blog?
First off, I wish i could tell you all that i have got balls the size of watermelons and that i laugh in the face of danger.
i dont.
i would however like to think i`ve done the odd outrageous act in my life that some people may consider to be courageous. I`ve jumped out of aeroplanes, gone bungee jumping into water, and have even driven my wifes deathtrap of a car for the last nine months at speeds in excess of 40mph. Brave. ish.

However, after a hot summers day  spent inside a sweaty windowless factory, and  being welcomed home to the sight of mrs M waiting at the door with her arms outstretched offering up a teething overtired baby, i would need to have total disregard for my own safety to tell her to:-

"hang on to the baby a bit longer, i just need to jump on the computer for a few hours to waffle on about my wrecked old motorcycle."

I`m not insane, and to be fair i quite like my un-melon like balls just the way they are. besides i am loving being a dad to the lilly the meteorite, and that my friends is why i have had to take a 6 months sabbatical away from this blog. afterall....

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
Andre Gide (nobel prize winner)

Right enough, the blog has been neglected, but behind the scenes progress on the beast itself has been simmering along slowly like a decent chilli con carne bubbling on the hob.
where do i start....

A Rolling Chassis
As we all know, i am by know means a motorcycle boffin. i can talk on the subject of classic bikes with about the same authority as i can talk about knitting. So i was a bit nervous to say the least when i got dragged into a conversation with this  guy in work whom had previously won awards for the restoration of a millitary BSA m20 motorcycle.

The guy was an absolute encyclopedia of knowledge about classic bike nerdiness and talked for about twenty minutes about the ins and outs of all sorts of bikes without me knowing what the hell he was on about.
smile and appear interested i thought, i`m gonna need this guy`s help one day.

Anyway, one thing i did take from our conversation was when he said-
"One of my biggest regrets was decideing to get my engine right first and then look at sorting out the frame. The problem with doing this is that once you have stripped the bike to piece part,       say on day 1,  it may be years before you see anything resembles a motorcycle again.
This does nothing for your motivation, i`d get the rolling chassis sorted first, you`ll get all the bits you need for that bike dont worry."

It seemed to me that he was talking sense. With limited time to commit to the bike, i would need the instant gratification of walking into my shed and seeing something that half resembles a motorcycle to keep me interested, other wise it would just become yet another flash in the pan idea doomed to a life of rust and corrosion in the corner of my shed. Time to make a plan.

From my own experience within the aircraft industry, i can tell you that the more heavy duty pieces of structure tend to be more robust and have the greatest longevity. They have enough meat on them for you to cut away the bad stuff and still leave you with something that will look good and serve its purpose. common sense i suppose.

My crusty old naked frame (talking about bike) was made of sturdy stuff and i knew could be brought back to life with a bit of elbow grease, all i would have to do was get the items to dress it.

I knew it was the thin crappy pieces of material which are the items that would fail to last the distance from the late 50s. Unless your name was doc Emit Brown and you drive a Delorean, these parts would be at a premium and would probably end up making a sizeable dent into my daughter`s inheritance.

I whipped out my trusty 1958 Meteor minor parts book and decided to make a shopping list of part numbers for the i would need.

These are the bits i was after:

Hitchcocks have the meteor minor toolbox listed as "temporarily unavailable", as are much of the tin ware items on the meteor minor. 
I`d been searching for about 5 months when this toolbox pitched up on ebay.
Realising they are about as common as rocking horse shit, i did a deal with the seller to end the auction 8 days early for a princely sum.
Its actually from a crusader, the lid part numbers are the same, but the box body is different. I dont think it will be a problem, and figure i will just have to "make" it fit

Chainguard pt no. 43501
Chainguard pt no. 43506
Chainguard pt no.43507
A fully enclosed chainguard in 3 sections with rubber gators in the middle. do these really exist anywhere outside of google images?? rarer than a pork chop in a bar mitzvah.

Rear mudguard pt no. 43736

Another ebay bargain? it definately looks the part and has apparently come from a 1960 meteor minor deluxe. It is in chrome, and has the cut away on one side only (front right of photo, back left of drawing). I intend to spray it when i get the rest of the big tin ware items in the list so that they are all an exact match for colour.
Front mudguard pt no. 43735
I contacted various dealers yesterday to try and source one of these mudguards. There are literally none around to suit a 17" rim. I was considering opting for one of the retro style handbeaten mudguards made by some dude in india until they told me that they are for a 19" rim, it will be no good.
Other News
 If your interested, i have just done a full overhaul on my bike frame. it was an absolute fiasco. keep an eye out for the next blog in a week or so.