Monday 23 June 2014

Cafe Racer

A Little Bit of Politics

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in course of time a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it”

Frédéric Bastiat 1801 - 1850

(Spotted on a bus shelter in the west end of Glasgow) 


I found this bottle of genuine Russian vodka in the back of a cupboard recently, having forgotten all about it. I bought it when I was in St. Petersburg about seven years ago. If nothing else, it proves that I'm not yet an alcoholic.

Monday 16 June 2014

Three Wheels Good

MZ ES250/2 / Superelastik sidecar

(Via: Facebook)

Applecross 2014

Another motorcycling weekend at Applecross in the Scottish Highlands.
Pitstop at Achnasheen railway station (and no, that wee building isn't the toilets, they're around the corner!)
The Flower Tunnel - minus the cafe-bar
Bit of a problem this year as the Flower Tunnel café-bar on the campsite had closed for some reason. When we asked about this the answers we got didn’t make much sense, to be honest.

Other Terry and his ZZR1400
Having a drink outside the Applecross Inn waiting on our dinners
However, it meant rethinking our plans for the weekend as we had been planning on eating there and avoiding the pub, which gets far too busy in the evenings. The food is excellent, but there's never enough room. So, the pub it was then.

Everything is better after a cup of tea
Deer foraging on hillside behind the Applecross Inn
Taking the Landie lifestyle a bit too seriously
Gareth inspects a replica iron-age roundhouse
Dutch clogs are called Klompen, much like the noise that they make
A generally lazy few days, with only Stuart and Other Terry kitting up and going for a spin on the Saturday afternoon. 

As usual, the weather was a bit unpredictable. Bright and sunny one minute, drizzly rain the next.  Not to worry, sometimes it’s just good to get away for a few days.
The view towards Raasay and Skye from the top of the Bealach na Ba
The long and winding road
Obligatory photo of the roadsign at the foot of the Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle).
This is as close to an alpine road as you can get in the UK, a single-track road with a very steep gradient and a number of tight switchback hairpin bends.

Normally great fun on a bike, but less so when I arrived on Friday as most of it was covered in mist and drizzle, with very limited visibility making it quite hard work and without the great views from the top. Much better coming back over this morning, though, in the sunshine.
"What have the Romans ever done for us?" 

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Going, Going, Gone!

If they really want your pride and joy then they're going to get it.

One Swallow

This is a Simson KR51 Schwalbe, produced in the hundreds of thousands at the factory in Suhl in the former DDR. 

They've since achieved something of a cult status and I've always somewhat fancied one of these wee 50cc machines, but suspect that I'd look like a circus clown riding one.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Word of Warning

A quick word of warning for anyone who has fitted a Motobatt gel battery. Each battery has two multi-position terminals that you fit to suit the bike it is to be placed in, which is a great idea. However, it seems that the bolts supplied with the battery are prone to working their way loose and, as the terminals are themselves threaded you don’t have lock-nuts fitted.

I was coming home last week and the Tiger kept stuttering and losing power, although never actually stopping, and the speedo/rev-counter were going wild. I nursed the bike back home and did a quick online search fearing the worst, ie. something expensive had gone wrong. First site I checked suggested that I check the battery connections, another couple seemed to think that this was a common problem for anyone running this make of gel battery.

So, this morning I took the seat off and started the bike up. Seemed to be running fine until I jiggled the battery a bit and the engine cut out. Did the same thing again and once again it cut out. On closer inspection it turned out that bolts on both terminals were slightly loose. When I jiggled the leads, or when I hit a bump when out on the road, the battery was being disconnected, if only for a fraction of a second leading to the poor running and the wonky clocks.

I tightened everything up and it seemed to run just fine, so I went for a long run today and everything went smoothly.

The answer would seem to be longer bolts and a couple of lock-nuts. If you've got one fitted I'd give it a quick once over just to be on the safe side. Don’t say that you haven’t been warned.