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This is MY life


MY FAMILY TREE (Just a bush at the moment)
Bikes I Have Known
Birds,Birds, Birds
Travelling With Sid
Photos of mine
Some Poems Wot I Wrote
Bikes I Have Known


I have been brought up with motorcycles, mainly big british lumps. My dad had an Ariel Square Four with a family sized sidecar and my Uncle Ernie had a Vincent Series C Rapide with a Stieb sports chair.

When I was 16 I had my first legal bike, a 1962 Ariel Arrow, which broke down on the way home. I should have taken this as an omen of things to come. After the usual parade of Bantams,including one with a full race engine and Arrows I went for a new bike (on H.P. of couse) a 250cc Ossa Explorer (Spanish trials bike). This I rode to work and off road at weekends for about 4 years .
While I owned the Ossa,I did what I thought was the impossibe. I WON A BIKE. Moto ball comp in Motor Cycle News. The bike was a 750 Honda 4 bored out to 1000 built by Dave Degens at Dresda and used on their stand at the Motorcycle Show that year. I was still on L-plates. So that was sold and the money stashed.A few months later I passed my test and saw what I thought was a beauty for sale at my local breakers.

The Triumph T100R engine was a bit oily but it was a cafe racer. Clip-ons, rearsets, RRT2 gearbox, it was the dogs doo-dahs. It was fun, appart from backache, sore left wrist(from slipping the clutch),and the occational skid from oil on the back tyre.
Not long after I sold it I got married. Mrs B did not like bikes.
1989 I aquired a Honda C90 just to see if I could still hack it, 1990 a 400/4 which I rode for about 2 years before it was stolen. 1992 I started to strip and rebuild a 1956 650 Ariel  (see next column) that my Dad had as a stand by for his 350 single.
In 2001 I was given a Suzuki 125 GS.  I rode this while finishing the 650.  It was also involved in my first "big " accident.  I broke my Tibial plateau and was on crutches for almost 7 months. 

Ace Cafe

The Oakdene Cafe (Johnson's for the new millenium)

The 650 has been a long term project of trial and error, as my mechanical skill is limited and my Dad has never worked on an Ariel twin before.
The bike was stripped down to its component parts except for the engine bottom end(I couldn`t find pullers for the timing side). The frame was stove enamelled (next time it will be powder coated) and new bushes for the swinging arm. The engine was rebored and the 10.5:1 pistons replaced with a softer option of 8.5:1.
A new wiring loom was fitted and a replacement battery. All the bits and bobs were set up and guess what, she started first time. She ran on a gentle tickover for about 15 minutes everything was checked and double checked. Oil was flowing into the top end, and back into the tank, lights and horn worked now it was just 2 new tyres needed for the MOT.That was in 1997, now its 2002.
Oil no longer flows into the tank, just fills the crankcases, so its time for a professional rebuild of the bottom end. Booked in for 01/02/02 she should be up and roaring for Easter.
  Oil now flows where it didn't and she purrs like a wild thing.  There is always a BUT .  The clutch has now started to play up.  The requisite parts are on their way from Draganfly and should arrive by Monday (30/4/02) and when they arrive they will be fitted same day.   
This MAY be the end of a saga, it may not.  I'll keep u posted. They arrived and have been fitted.
After running her for about a month, with no problems apart from a primary oil leak, the magneto (not the villain from X-Men as my son thought) has given up.  So now the question is exchange or update to 12 volt?
The decision has been made for me.  There will be a normal mag ignition but the dynamo will be upped to 12v to give more beam than a night light.

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