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Friday, 25 December 2009

Cubbie's Alternative Crimbo Message

I was going to write a funny chucklesome alternative Crimbo message for you, but we've just got back from a hearty stroll down the lane to check on the sheep that we should have had back on the farm by now. It took twice as long as planned due to not being able to walk on the sheets on solid ice. And boy, it makes your legs hurt too. Well, probably not your legs, but mine are certainly sore. So there ain't no alternative speech, and even if there was, well, it's late... So what did you get from Santa? Cubbie got a new Burlen battery, one of those solid ones, with two terminals on, hopefully one won't fall off just yet... Mrs BC got me a new radio alarm hopefully I won't be late for meetings (maybe), and some cosy warm gloves and socks, oh and a pair of warm slipper thingies which will come in handy (although strictly, I guess I should put them on my feet and not on my handys) because the heater in the hall as stopped working. I got Mrs BC something that I can't tell you about yet, because it's sitting in a depot in Aberdeen, and has been since the snowed started, and to tell you what it is would kind of give the game away. At least the other pressie was something of my own making, so no delays on that one - t'was a nice photograph of Ringo in a hand made frame. Also, a mystery pressie landed for GBC a couple of days ago from a blog reader - a tee shirt with a rather appropriate slogan to do with chocolate on it...thanks for that, and I didn't open it until this morning. Oooooh and from someone to whom I shall refer as GB, a very handy little book about saving money...oooh if only I had any money to save! Thank you.

Right, hope you like the festive piccie of Cubbie, please leave a comment and tell me what was under the tree in your house...I'm gonna pop pop pop off and have a late lunch. Hope y'all had a nice day.

Ok, just decided to stick a few wintry pictures on here, seeing as I won't be able to enter the Winter Photo Competition when it opens...

Thursday, 24 December 2009

T'was the night before Christmas...

Well boys and girls, I hope you've all hung your stockings by the fire and left a plate of mince pies out for Saint Nick. Shorty, if you're going around impersonating Santa tonight I suggest you don't have any more wee tipples, goodness knows where you'd end up. Got a nice wee piccy to post up tomorrow for you, so in between drinking sherry and singing 'Grandma got run over by a Reindeer', make sure you pop in for a look and let me know what pressies you got.

For now, I bid you a Merry Christmas from all at Cubbie Towers - you can wait for the Happy New Year bit until next week.

PS, you might want to turn the volume down a bit...

Monday, 21 December 2009

Oops, where'd it go?

Friday, 18 December 2009

Oh! The weather outside is frightful...(A collection of random photos).

Parts of England have been hit by the snow again, tsk tsk, hope you're all ok down there. It's coming down quite thick and fast here and we were lucky to make it up the lane this afternoon. Yesterday was an eventful day to say the least, what with a slipping clutch (sounds painful (it IS painful, to the tune of a few hundred quid painful!) and indicators and brake lights breaking - again, but due to the weather forecast, we had to put aside these mechanical failures and get some hay and supplies in. Anyway, here's a pic from this evening when I poked my head out of the door.
Brrrrr, is all I can say, glad I'm not going out anywhere tonight.

And while I'm in the mood for posting pictures, here's an absolute cracker for you. Regular Blog reader, Slick, sent this through before he left to take the Cubbie tee shirt on a world tour - well, to Holland anyway, that's a start.
What do you think? Looking good there with his little old Benelli, and this picture, I believe, has landed in the USA and nearly caused a riot! Only a few more tee shirts available but if you want one, you've got to WIN one! Winter photo comp coming up soon, could do with some pics from around the world, seeing as this is supposed to the World Wide Web and all that. Oh, and guess what, Phil Mather, motorcycle photojournalist, has agreed to be Head Judge again (as long as I fulfil the one condition that he's set, guess I'd better go and sort that out then), so it will be completely out of my hands, which is good, 'cos judging piccies is way too hard for a girl to do.

Thanks to Slick for the following pics of the Grampian Classic club Xmas Bash....
And talking of the GCMCC, looks like we have ourselves an associate overseas member - bring on big Frank modelling one of our club polo shirts...
(I hope it's Frank, but it could be Joe - let me know guys!)
PS, I'm a bit upset you haven't noticed the Christmas decorations :-(

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Coming up...

Here's what you've got to look forward to in the next few weeks....

The annual GBC Blog review - a look back at the events of 2009.

The UCAN Xmas get together - incriminating piccies of the committee all having a good time. How dare we?

The annual GBC Blog PHOTO COMPETITION!!! Oh yes, back by popular demand. You never know, you too could win a Cubbie tee shirt... The theme will be announced Shorty, drat, done it again, I mean shortly!

And, as if that wasn't enough, I've got my paws on a selection of pics of a Scotsman in kilt, upon an Italiano motorcycle, sporting a rather nice tee shirteo...and and and...a pic or two of the aforementioned rather nice tee shirteo from across the other side of the globeo. You'll have to wait and see what I'm on about.

Once the festivities are out of the way, we'll have another little snippet from Graham B and his Top Tip Part II.

So stay tuned folks!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Wee pup.

Yooooo hooooo, that's my little 1954 Triumph Terrier home safe and sound. More later.

Well here it is. This was my first glimpse of the Terrier, up in Willie's garage attic, somewhere in Shetland.
Then the next thing I knew, Geordie was in touch to say Willie's son in law, Martin, was bringing a car to Aberdeen, and this would be the transport for the Terrier across the sea. Well, that and the ferry of course. The car was for a customer up north somewhere, but he didn't know anything about the boxes and body bags in the boot, and besides, he couldn't pick it up from the ferry compound until the weekend. So Martin gave me a shout when he was in Aberdeen and we arranged to meet at the harbour and do the transfer.

He opened the door of the car, and lo and behold, there was my little Terrier, all neatly packed in the boot. Willie had wrapped it up well, and not a glimpse of it could I have until it was all home and in the shed, and after we picked it up, Mrs BC made me go a shopping for several hours! Still, I could wait, it wasn't going anywhere.... and here it is....

A box of what looks like a wiring loom, oil tank, battery / tool box perhaps in there somewhere too.
Look at the cute little rear light! It's got Wipac stamped on it, original? Dunno, you guys know more about that stuff than I. And the even cuter little barrel and piston! The bore looks in a bit of a bad state, at first glance, it looks like there are a couple of nasty scores from top to bottom. Also present, a mystery pot of something that rattles, hmmm, Smarties? Skittles? Have to wait and see.
A big sack full of tinware has yet to be unwrapped but here's a quick peek. Looks like mud guards, rear number plate and was that a silencer I saw in there too? It all looks like it could do with a tin or three of Hammerite....
Neatly packed into old mineral block boxes (my guess would be for sheep or cattle) is the head, a few small bits and the front number plate, never really liked the look of those on bikes but now I have one of my own....well..."KRP 60", best get started on the research for that and the re-registration process.
Ah yes, and here's Doolie, lending a helping paw to the proceedings...
And in the other box is the bottom chunk of engine. There's a huge scar of a repair on the primary chain case so we'll have to wait and see what went on there.
As far as I can see, it looks like it's 99% complete (yep, got the frame too), although that petrol tank looks suspiciously like a Cub tank to me, but if the tank fits... A browse through the the Triumph Tiger Cub Bible, as written by Mike Estall, shows the engine number as a 1954 model, although I am slightly confused by something else I read so I shall await confirmation from someone who knows a lot more about it than I do, reckon I'll probably find someone who fits that description on the Tiger Cub forum.
I don't expect to be tackling this one for a while, after all, I've got the trials Cub to work on first, and Cubbie's various minor ailments to 'look at' over the hols, and the Skorpy to fix, and Mrs BC's sidecar to build but I sure am excited to have another Triumph in the shed, and a fairly rare wee beast it is too. So there y'are John, that's a Terrier.

Big BIG thanks to Willie, Martin, Geordie and the owner of the car for all their help.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

RIP Ringo.

Poor old Ringo, one of our rescue collies had to be put to sleep last week after an ongoing illness that wasn't really very well diagnosed. Turns out he had a huge tumour growing in his stomach and various other ailments that he just wasn't going to recover from without a lot of intrusive and stressful treatment. We only had him for two years but I'm sure his quality of life was much better than it had been for the previous ten years after his owner ran him over with his tractor and didn't bother to provide any treatment or pain relief. His little pal Star, who had lived with Ringo all his life missed him terribly for the first few days, but now he seems to be getting on with life. Finn the sheep dog hasn't really noticed that anything has changed - probably because he and Ringo weren't exactly best buddies.

In other news, I'm glad that Graham B's top tip went down well, there will be more to come over the next few months.

Also, there's a boat bound for Aberdeen (from Shetland) with my Xmas pressie tucked away down in the hull. All being well it should arrive early tomorrow morning, but I won't be able to collect it until Friday morning...ok, you've got 3 guesses...go for it...don't tell them what it is Kawa, or you won't be allowed to fix the car headlights!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Graham B's Top Tips, Part I.

Ok guys and girls, welcome to a very new new NEW and EXCLUSIVE feature on this here blog. You might have heard of Graham Blighe, author of two really handy books, Improving Classic Motorcycles and Magnetic Speedometer Repair, both of which I've reviewed for Old Bike Mart and found to be simple, well thought out and instructive guides to doing just what it says on the cover. Now, however, Graham has kindly agreed to contribute occasional articles to the blog, with useful hints and tips to keep your classic (or any other bike, we're not ageist, as long as it's a Triumph it's fine ;-) ) on the road. First up, his thoughts on looking after the shiny bits during winter. Take it away Graham, and thanks for your contribution.

Winter – brrrrr!

Cold, wet, salt on the roads.

What do you do? Hang up your leathers for the next four months and cocoon your pride and joy in the garage or shed? Or wrap up warm and brave the elements?

For me, there is no choice but to ride during the winter as even the cheapest car costs far more to run than I’m prepared to, or can afford to spend.

The biggest problem with corrosion during the winter is caused by the salt used on the roads. If you wash down your bike after every winter ride then that will help stop the onslaught. But you need to dry it off and then park it in a dry garage or shed.

We all know what happens if we take no action. Beautiful chrome turns to orange rust and alloy engine cases grow white dust and the surfaces are never the same again.
Do you have time for the washing and drying? Do you feel like it when it’s freezing outside and a warm up with a hot cup of your favourite beverage inside the house is calling?

The alternative is to coat all parts of the bike likely to corrode with some kind of protective coating so you don’t need to do the wash and dry after every ride.

I use Waxoyl and it means I don’t have to do any bike washing until the spring when
salted roads are past and the Waxoyl is due to come off. The downside is that it takes more effort to remove than a simple washing off of mud. Road dirt and mud will stick to it and so my bikes look ‘orrible a couple of rides after applying the Waxoyl – and they stay that way until spring.

However, the great benefit of using Waxoyl is that every part that is coated with it stays in pristine condition. The salt and rain just can’t get at it. It really does preserve all the chrome and alloy in perfect condition. Come spring I use a degreaser such as Gunk to remove it and underneath … it’s all perfect! Just needs a bit of polishing.

Don’t buy Waxoyl in an aerosol can but in liquid form. It is slippery so it’s important not to get it onto tyres, footrest rubbers and the like. Using a paintbrush you can control where it goes – an aerosol may get it where you don’t want it.

Make sure the Waxoyl is thoroughly stirred before use. It separates out if left standing and if you use the thin watery part that rises to the top you will get incomplete complete corrosion protection. The advice on the can is to warm it in a pan of water to 30C but I’ve never needed to do this – maybe a good idea though to bring it in to warm up in the house the day before you intend using it.

Decant a small amount (10cc ish) into painting pot – an empty and washed margarine container is ideal. Using a paint pot stops you contaminating the whole can if your brush wanders into any areas of the bike that have picked up stones and grit – you don’t want to be brushing grit around on expensive chrome. Put the lid back on the Waxoyl can or it will start to set.

Above - Decant a small amount into a painting pot.

As it’s name suggests, Waxoyl is an oily substance that sets like wax. When set, it will not wash off with water alone (you need degreaser to get it off) and thus it survives the rigours of winter. It smells strongly and can give you a headache if applied in a closed garage or shed so pick a dry day and paint it on outside.

Using a paintbrush (1/2” is ideal), coat all areas that require protection. Don’t overdo it and try to put on too thick a coat. If ever it looks like it might drip down a vertical surface then you have put on way too much. Just a thin coating is needed apart from on exhaust pipes where a thicker coat helps protect them against the extremes of
temperature. As a guide, you should use no more than about 70cc of Waxoyl to
coat a whole bike.

Above - Apply a thin and even coat to any parts that may corrode.

You may end up lying on the ground applying the Waxoyl upwards to areas such as the underside of silencers. Be really careful not to get it in your eyes (wear safety glasses if concerned). It’s unlikely to damage your eyesight but boy does it sting until you’ve washed it out.

Any areas of the bike that you touch while riding should not be treated – you’ll have to keep an eye on these and keep them dry and polished to avoid corrosion. For me the areas I don’t treat are all the rubber, plastic or painted parts (assuming the paint is unbroken) and most of the handlebars and rear carrier rack. Stainless steel does not need to be treated as it doesn’t corrode and just laughs in the face of winter!

You can treat galvanised spokes, chrome or alloy wheel rims and any chrome or alloy parts you don’t touch. The advice on the can is that rubber and plastic may be adversely affected by it so be very careful not to get it onto rubber or plastic parts –
and wash it off before it sets if you do. It smells like the sort of stuff that wouldn’t do my tyres any good so I shy away from coating the edges of chrome wheel rims to avoid getting it on the tyres. The edges of the rims never seem to go rusty anyway – perhaps because they are vertical and water runs off them or gets flung off them by centrifugal force.

Leave the Waxoyl overnight to set. When you next run the bike you will notice an unpleasant smell as the Waxoyl heats up but this goes away within 30 miles.

If you also follow the advice in Improving Classic Motorcycles regarding taping up control cables and levers you should be able to get through winter with the only seasonal maintenance required being the final drive chain.

For more advice on keeping your bike in tip-top shape, visit Graham's site at

Ps, must just point out that Graham has no direct connection to the sales of Waxoyl.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Sorry, my email is down at the mo, so for anyone wondering what time the Xmas Bash starts tonight, as at least one person was, be there for 7pm please. Will catch up with anyone waiting for an email as soon as I can.


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