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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Frame Fiasco

Restoring a Royal Enfield  Meteor Minor Motorcycle Frame

Inflatable dartboards, chocolate teapots, ashtrays on motorcycles, glass hammers, and shit flavoured lollipops.  
All of the above pretty damn useless.
But top of the useless list has to be “women drivers”. Sure, they cant wait to tell us men how we are the inferior race and how they are genetically designed to multi-task, but put a woman in charge anything resembling a motor vehicle and her skills become about as useful as a barber shop on the steps to a guillotine.

Where is this bigoted rant going I hear your cry. Fear not reader all will be explained, because when it came to overhauling my meteor minor bike frame back in late spring, the  inadequate driving skills of the fairer sex did happen to prove quite handy. Read on…………

It was about xmas last year when a then pregnant mrs M commandeered my mazda Turbo and relegated me to driving her 1.0litre Toyota Yaris. A never-once-cleaned deathtrap covered in peeling stickers of brightly coloured flowers.
It wasn`t the macho look which i`d usually go for, but I was guilted into relenting to her on grounds of “Safety for the baby”.

To cut a long story short, she left my beloved blue mazda “road melter” overnight at a train station and a woman bumped into the back of it.
Then,  a lady in our street drove into it while we were sat in the house watching x factor.
And then,  to top things off, Mrs M was cruising slowly through a supermarket car park when…
MRS M: “ this old dear just started reversing and drove straight into the back door, ”
ME:”was she going fast”
MRS M: “no I just watched her slowly reverse into it”
ME: “why didn`t you beep your horn then to let her know you were there”
MRS M: “Oh….er…. I didn’t think of that” *see bottom of page
I rest my case. women drivers. Useless. But meteorites, every cloud has a silver lining and this chain of unfortunate events  did result in me striking up a pretty decent relationship with our local bodyshop repair man, -afterall he was sharing my paychecks.
Nevertheless, somebody I would come to need after the balls up with my meteor bike frame.....

Overhaul Of a Meteor Minor Motorcycle Frame
I'm not sure whether royal enfield used to stove enamel the original paintwork on their frames. The paintwork on the headlamp housing/casquette was badly corroded,  and what paint there was easily flaked away to reveal a  powdery white aluminium corrosion.

Unlike the paint on the casquette, and the fuel tank which i blasted off effortlessly in my earlier blogs, the black of the frame was as tough as a south wales nightclub bouncer and was just as dull.

Even on my buddies heavy duty bead blaster, it took me over 2 hours to shift the old black paint and the remaining corrosion which had appeared in all the nooks and crannies. Still, i was pleased with the results (see pic at top of page) and the frame didnt require much filler. I was ready to move on.

My mate Ross .
The more keen eyed avid readers of my earlier blogs will have noticed Rossy as the guy who "aquired" me some BSF tools from the shed of an old pensioner that died in his street. All above board i assure you meteorites.
However, rossy's entrepeneurial gusto and talent for turning around knackered old items and flogging them for a tidy profit on ebay has earned him a reputation for being a bit of a wheeler-dealer / ducker-diver amongst my team at work.

Del Trotter
Ross L Gleen

Rossy is an all round good egg and i am a tight bastard, so when he offered to respray the bike for free how could i say no?

He had his own little spray shop set up in his mums garage and the gloss black went on without a hitch to a standard that Banksy would be proud of.

Never one to quit when im ahead, i suppose alarm bells should have began to ring when he offered to laquer it with some special laquer from "a good friend of mine" who has a carbon fibre business..

Apparently,  laquer was assured to dry as hard as the sole of a zulus foot.

Actually, it was a Disaster.

After all our hard work, it appears this pal of rossys forgot to mention that the laquer in question dried to a matt cloudy finish similar to the blurred faces in an adult "contacts" magazine.

I took it home and stared at it for a few days.

With almost no spare cash in my motorcycle fund, or any fund for that matter, it was looking like i was stuck with it.

Granted, most of the black frame would be covered by components of the bike, however i knew that if i rebuilt the bike on a frame which i wasnt happy with, i would always regret it.

Then, like an avenging angel sent from heaven above "CRASH!"

The old dear drives headlong into my mazda car door in the car park while Mrs M merely looks on in apparant suprise.*see bottom of page

With the insurance job in hand, we elect to use our tried and tested local bodyshop guy Steve who does a swift and tidy job and drops the car back to our doorstep within a few days. On return of the car, i just happen to be out the back moping around and  glaring disappointedly at my bike frame -pondering the future of the whole project.

"being as though, you have put so much work my way lately" he said "i`ll respray that frame for you for 25 bucks. i`ve got a bit on at the minute,  but i should get it back to you in a week or so""

Before he had a chance to change his mind, i had thrust £25 into his hand and humped the bike frame into the boot of my car to drop it back to his workshop. I hoping for a quick turnaround.

Quick turnaround. hmm. i think not. It appears that when Steve was doing a Job on mates rates rather than the more lucrative insurance work, he attacked the task with all the enthusiasm of a comotosed sloth.
Days became weeks, and lush green leaves turned to orange and red, before finally disappearing into the great gutters in the sky.

But, just as my 33rd birthday rolled around and i realised i had been dabbling with this project for exactly a year, I had the phone call and Steve had indeed come up with the goods.
I was absoloutly chuffed to bits with the results. A rock hard glossy finish that would hopefully see my old frame right for another 53 years. See the results for yourself:-
Upcoming Blog
For those of you still interested, i am currently restoring my forks. Blog Due in the next few weeks when i figure out what i am doing!
*some artistic licence used when describing Mrs M`s driving skills and intelligence. In reality mrs M has yet to do anything wrong in her entire life and is a wonderful driver.



  1. Have check it through and have not seen any libel cases arising from this blog as every word is 100% true especially the bit about L gleen good work Mr M.

  2. Rome was not restored in a day. Press on regardless!

  3. Looks like Rossy is a true welsh beauty

  4. Excellent blog keep up the good work. Maybe we will see a picture of the flower power Yaris next time.
    P.S if Rossy is Del boy who is Trigger?