The only thing I knew how to do…

..was to keep on keeping on. To quote Bob Dylan.

I’m over my sulk about the bike. There’s always tomorrow. And now I’ve got my new exhaust and I’m back to riding again I love my bike again.

One thing I have taken from that Triton, and a professional W650 chop, is to get ‘velocity stacks’ (bellmouth intakes) for the carbs. I’ve had to order them from the States to get the right size, I’ve also got some bigger jets for the carbs. When the bellmouths arrive I’ll fit them and sort out my my jetting once and for all.

Bike’s looking like this at the mo:



Or, back in the 60’s



The change of intakes from cones to bellmouth won’t be that noticeable at first, as those black plastic side covers mostly hide them but I want to fabricate flat, polished aluminium, inserts to fill in the triangle made by the frame (under seat, down from shocks, up to back of tank). That will keep the battery nicely hidden and expose the carbs and intakes. Also ditch the plastic.

I’ve a feeling that Sexy Bastard (the bike) is always going to be a work in progress.


Work has been my other obsession of late. Seems to be a week of crap, three short shifts, then get battered for a week. I’ve had enough. I was off for 3 days this week and I’ve spent them mostly trying to find a job. I’ve applied for two, not got an answer yet, registered with another agency (that was a bust) and I’ve bookmarked a local company. I keep checking to see if they are advertising for drivers as they won’t let you put in a speculative CV and application form. Some random guy I got talking to at work said he’s starting on the 23rd.

£12.50 p/h, guaranteed 40 hours minimum, full time job, 06.00 start. It doesn’t get much better than that.

My game plan, through want of option, is to stick at Herpes until I can get a real job. The agency with which I registered today were promising lots on the advert, but can only give me one day at a time, £11 p/h. Ideally I could take days with them when Herpes didn’t want me, but I never know in advance.

Bugger. I’ve come over all knackered. Finish this anon.




Right, weeks later. I got my bellmouths. They looked great. I tried many different jets (seat off, tank off, side panels off, disconnect wiring, intakes off, engine breather filter off, free carbs, flip them, take off bottom, unscrew jet, replace, put everything back together.) I have gone from a dread of messing with my jets to being able to strip and rebuild the whole bloody thing in about 25 minutes.

All to no avail. Online it says if you are OK off the mark but lacking top end put in bigger jets. Poor bugger was getting to 5,000 revs then just strangling. Standard jet is 118. I tried, 122, 140, 142.5, 150, 155… nada.

I tried them with the K&N airfilters then with the bellmouths. So many strip downs and rebuilds. Not a sodding sausage of difference.

In the end I gave up and went around to a bike mechanic. He said “it’s a vacuum carb, unrestricted air flow buggers them up, they just flutter. Go home, refit your standard air box and jets. Try that.”

Guess what?

I upped the idler jet, but the main jet is back to bog standard 118, and suddenly she revs into the red and I’ve gone from a gasping 80mph to 120mph. Allegedly.

OK, it’s not the look that I want, but I am so happy! I thought I’d killed my bike, nothing was working.

And massive kudos to the bike mechanic. He could have told me to bring it in, with the standard air box and jets, and charged me hundreds of quid. And I would still have been happy just to get my bike back working again. I mean, I’ll try most jobs if I’m told what to do, it’s that knowledge that is so valuable. He dispensed it for free. What a bloody good egg.

The trouble was getting the carbs back into the airbox rubber gaiter things. It took me hours. You get one side in and the other pops out. It had me raging. I ended up punching the airbox in rage. Luckily it’s solid Japanese build quality so I just popped my knuckle and didn’t damage the bike.


In other news, work has suddenly turned the corner. Now I’m getting enough hours that I am glad to get the odd day off.


Also I’ve seen a groovy car/ trike. It’s supposed to be retailing at $6,800 brand new. I’ve emailed them to see if they are importing it to the UK, if it will be road legal here, and what it would cost. If it’s not too much more I’m going to order one. It is so cool.


2 seater, (one behind the other) 900cc, can crack the ton, 84mpg, and utterly groovy!

I’ve also asked if it’s going to be a manual gearbox. At that price I don’t expect they’ll be going auto. Also, being a central driver seat them driving on the wrong side won’t be a chore. Possibly have the controls on the wrong side, but I can easily adjust to that. The only initial downside is the fact there’s only one door. I’ll have to get out ever time I run Wendy to work. Which, apart from shopping, is the only time I really use the car. There is another wheel sticking out on the other side to the front wheel, in case you were thinking it was like an outrigger canoe.


I haven’t been training for nearly 6 weeks as my cunning plan, to do shorter runs, with sprint sections in them, quickly turned into fast runs with faster sprints. Within a week or so I’d buggered my achilles tendon. I always go at it too hard too quickly. I have very unrealistic expectations of what I can do and don’t accept my body not doing it. So I was resting the injury and, as I say, work has been pretty hectic.Two weeks ago I did, 14 hours 45, 13.30 10.30 (part timer!) 14.15 and 12.30 in a 5 day week. No time to do anything but sleep and work.

I’ve actually had a whole weekend off this weekend. So I rebuilt my carbs (again!) and did some gardening yesterday, today went out for a deliberately slow run. Which turned into a 10 miler. I think I may have got away with it, injury wise. Proved the adage that running is 90% mental. The other 50% being physical.

It was quite a mental challenge, 10 miles after 6 weeks off, and at my new porky weight of 12 stone 1. I started my diet today as well. Because of my fatitude they online calculator reckons I burned 1,265 calories shuffling my fat arse around for 1 hour 36 minutes. I’m trying to be positive and think I “ran” for 1:36, straight off the bat, rather than say “It took you *how* long, lard arse?”

Right now, speed on the run is not my friend. I have seen an ultra I wouldn’t mind doing, Liverpool to Manchester down the TransPenine Trail. 47 miles of converted old railway lines and canal paths. I’m only 37 miles off cracking that!

It all depends on work. If I can fit consistent training in around it.

Also, for work, I had the brilliant idea of a flute. Apparently the same fingering as a sax, so practice my sax on a small, portable instrument. Selling them brand new, in a hard case, from China for £50. What’s not to love? I got one and went to crack off a few tunes. HA!

Totally different embouchure.  Instead of sticking it in your gob and controlling the reed vibration with stiff lips, you rest the pipe against your bottom lip and blow over the hole. Not into it. It’s a bastard to get right.

Still, something to do in the long hours I’m waiting at some drops.

Right, today has taken it out of me, I’m off to bed.