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This is a question Beautiful Moments, Part Two

Last week I saw a helium balloon cross the road at the lights on a perfectly timed gust of wind. Today I saw four people trying to get into a GWiz electric car. They failed.

What's the best thing you've seen recently?

(, Thu 5 Aug 2010, 21:49)
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Well, I'll bore you with a classic motorcycle tale
In 2007 I bought this ruin:


It's about half a 1970 BSA bantam. The only bits not in the picture are a knackerd chain and the logbook, the bodywork and engine having been stolen. Not a particularly inspiring bike, and not the best start for a firtst restoration-but I wanted a classic, and this was it.
There then followed 2 years of spannering, painting, fettling, buying bits, refettling, unspannering, buying more bits...pictures here: www.flickr.com/photos/35741071@N03/sets/72157614315853615/

I decided to do it as a mini cafe racer, being as the engine is still quite popular for tuning and racing. This caused many headaches. Most of the modifications were done at least 3 times. The mudgaurd had to be redone when I realised the original held the forks stiff-after I tried replacing the bushes. The rearset footpegs were a huge headache too, it wasn't until I came to fit the chain I realised they were in the way. The seat took 3 months, made from some scrap steel, a camping roll mat, a tarts leather skirt and a load of fibreglass-man, the fumes! I carefully smoothed the ports in the engine, had the crank rebuilt and the engine bored to a whole 185cc (that and the tyres are the only bits I didn't do myself), rewired it...I shudder to think what it cost, if I try totting it up I give up after a grand.
I rebuilt the engine in January, and after fitting it into the frame had beautiful moment No.1: www.flickr.com/photos/35741071@N03/4281076209/

By March I'd built this:


The second ride (once I'd found the knackered ignition coil) was incredible. The engine was incredibly wheezy and slow at first, but as it warmed up it woke up. almost as though it was remembering what roads are for after 14 years sat in a shed. It is a great feeling to ride something you've built, nut and bolt upwards. So, the second beautiful moment.
The third came recently, on saturday in fact. I've had all manner of problems running it in, including seizures, bits falling off, random electrical problems and the carburation going far too rich overnight (lierally). Eventually I plucked up the courage to knock up an expansion chamber exhaust ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expansion_chamber ), and after aquiring the necessary carburetor bits I got it set up. Beautiful moment 3 was getting this right, after lots of faffing about draining petrol out the carb, followed by short runs up and down the road. Suddenly, the bike goes like a stabbed rat! Purely by bodging up a new pipe from bits of scaffold tube machined down, I've got a brilliant balance of light weight and power. If I can persuade the electrics to work properly I might take it into work...
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 0:23, 7 replies)
I'm a commited bike rider...
Have had loads of them in my life from teh first 50cc Bombardier to the current Ducati Sport 1000.
But the very first bike I ever sat on, with my dad riding and me hanging of for my life was a BSA Bantam. I remember we went flying around a water tank on a hill near our house and I bounced off the seat and onto my arse. Dad came back, I dusted myself off and we promised not to tell mum, then off we went again.
I've loved Bantams ever since and always wished I had the chance to do EXACTLY what you've done.
So clicks from me and a fair degree of jealousy.
Congratulations on a job well done!
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 7:19, closed)
Clicky from another biker
Lovely bike you built there, however, using a tarts skirt for the seat cover made me smirk more than it should have! I hope said tart had another to wear once you stole that one!
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 11:34, closed)
Got the skirt from a charity shop
Went in, asked the little old lady at the counter if they had any plain leather jackets I could do a seat cover with. She disappeared into the stockroom, and came back brandishing this S&M fetishists dream. But it were bloody perfect, nice plain bits of leather and stitched so my seat has a nice seam down the middle.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 13:22, closed)
Good on you.
I lined a recumbent push bike seat with silver leather given to me by a couple of LARPers. They used it to make space age furry suits! I made sure that I did not use any bits with suspicious stains on it!

Seriously though, your Bantam is gorgeous. We are starting on the other halfs GTR1000 which we want to turn into a Streetfighter, hope we can make that even half as nice as your bike. You entered any shows with it yet?

By the way, your links are not working. Bugger.
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 15:41, closed)
These any good?


Streetfighters can be great. Bikes and women are best naked, loud and a bit mental :D
When are you coming to Matlock Bath?
(, Fri 6 Aug 2010, 22:33, closed)
Yeah, they worked.
Wonderful stuff. Very impressed. My meager efforts at a bar conversion on the sports bike suddenly feel quite lame!
Loved the seat hump construction too and the paint looks great, matches the tank nicely. Must be tax exempt by now surely as a classic vehicle?
How long have you been doing this for?
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 2:24, closed)
Yep, pre 72 is tax exempt
Used to be a rolling 25 years, first thing to go after 97 election...cunts.
Paint looks dreadful close up though, that and carpentry are my two weakest points. I've been buggering round with old machinery since I was 6. Started with small engines, old lawnmowers, then volunteer at Crich tramway and a narrow gauge line, now I'm a machinist apprentice and have lots of bikes to play with.
(, Sat 7 Aug 2010, 10:54, closed)

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