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Friday, 24 June 2011

Skorpy goes to Italy. Maybe....

Well that's the plan anyway. This was something Robin of Wales and I talked about after the success of our Spanish adventure a year or two ago. That was undertaken with both of us riding small capacity two stroke MZs and mucho fun it was too. For some reason, I have a desire to go to Italy. Nothing to do with Ducatis or anything... So this trip was mentioned in passing, and now, here we are, planning it. I'm hoping to go on my MZ Skorpion, and I suppose it would help if I re-fitted the swingy-army and new rear shock bearing and all the other bits that I took off about a year ago. Then I need to get a nice shiny new MoT on the bike and get some miles on it again so that I remember how to ride it, and also to monitor the oil consumption. I seem to recall that it had a habit of using a bit too much oil for my liking, requiring a top up after 100-150miles, which, when there's a stack of camping gear bungeed on the seat, is a little inconvenient to say the least. Then there's the cost. I think I need to start saving, and sooner, rather than later. From Cubbie Towers, going straight to Dover and then from Dunkerque to Bologna (Ducati factory...) and back again is roughly 3000miles. Then there'll be the detours and exploring mountain passes... Camping doesn't look too expensive, and I'll just have to go on a diet for a week, or live off a supply of army rations corned beef hash. Hmmm, the diet looks preferable. The ferry is surprisingly cheap at under £50 for a return. Better book that now before it goes up!

Anyone out there been motorcycling in Italy? Tales to tell? Tips to share?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

UCAN Motorcycle Fun Run

The Founder of the UCAN Trophy motorcycle fun run, Chris Norton, sadly passed away on Friday 6th May after a long battle with prostate cancer. He will be sorely missed by all his friends and family, and those who worked with him in establishing the UCAN fun run.

The 5th fun run will go ahead on Sunday 18th Sep 2011, and we will be aiming to raise the £5000 that Chris so wanted to achieve.

You can help by starting your fundraising efforts now - perhaps by holding a garage sale / charity BBQ / swear box collection / sposored run / ride / walk - or just by making a donation to UCAN at

A special charity dance in memory of Chris is taking place on FRIDAY 1st JULY 2011, in the Midmar village hall. There will be a 1970s disco, food and a GRAND RAFFLE -
*1st Prize Dinner and B&B for two at the Marcliffe Hotel, Pitfodels.
*2nd Prize £200 Hamper
*3rd Prize Golf for 4 at Alford Golf Club
*4th Prize £100 Scottish Hamper
Plus many more prizes up for grabs!

Tickets for the dance and raffle can be purchased in advance by contacting Lorna Adam 01330 833333 or emailing

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Terry time.

Well not really, but the postie just delivered a wee box from Shetland, and in it, happened to be a nice little seat for Terry the Terrier. It's amazing, if you just ask the right people the right questions, usually, they have the right parts kicking around in their shed. Thank you Mr B, you must let me sort the P&P - at the very least.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

An Important Message from Lord Montagu.

In case you don't know, he's the President of the FBHVC (Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs), and here's what he says...

As you know, FBHVC exists to protect the freedom to use historic vehicles – including your freedom to use an historic vehicle whenever you wish.
FBHVC has to challenge politicians and persuade regulators to adjust policies and draft new rules accordingly. Nothing captures politicians’ or regulators’ attention more effectively than big or valuable numbers based on firm evidence – hence the need for this periodic survey, which is being undertaken in conjunction with the Historic Vehicle Research Institute.
Please use the appropriate link, below, to access the survey questionnaire. This survey questionnaire can be completed anonymously, but if you do provide contact details at the end, FBHVC & HVRI guarantee that your answers will be treated in confidence and that no identifiable information will be divulged.
The results of the survey will be a summary of the aggregated answers received.
Thank you for helping us to help you stay on the road.

So go on, pop over to the website at and fill in the survey - there are only 12 questions and even I knew the answers!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Cubbie seems to be fixed...and GBC is another year older...

Well I don't like to speak too soon, but after a weekend of breaking down, messing with the wiring, fixing it and breaking down again, I think the final fixing has worked - a HUGE thank you UN for hours of assisstance via the wonderful device that is the mobile tellingphone, and to the Man from Muckle Flugga who assissted in pulling a few wires off and taking a turn at kicking the cute little bike (to see if it would start, not to hurt the poor thing!) when the sun became too hot and the leg became too weary. And I'd like to thank all those who sent me birthday wishes yesterday, and all those who forgot and sent me birthday wishes today!

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Last weekend, at the Fraserburgh show, someone commented on the amazing reliability of Cubbie. Well that was the end of that then! Since then, Cubbie seems to be suffering from an electrical hiccup (if I'm truthful, the hiccup first developed on the way to the show), as detailed below...

I got about half way to Fraserburgh, was just picking up speed after a corner, and noticed a bit of a misfire. Thinking it was probably some dirt in the petrol (which has been sitting in the tank all winter) I stopped to investigate. The first thing I noticed was that the horn and lights didn't work, and the ammeter didn't do anything when the ignition was switched on - well that ruled dirty fuel out, and after that I was stumped. The only thing that had changed was that I had fitted a new speedo and hooked the cable up to it a few weeks ago. I wondered if I had knocked a wire whilst fighting to bend the un-bendy bit of the speedo cable into the right position. Whether wiggling the ignition switch wires had any effect I don't know, but the lights worked and after carefully putting the nacelle top back on and re-fitting the headlight, Cubbie fired up and ran smoothly all the way to the show, and I thought nothing more of the problem...

...Until club night, a couple of days later. I used the bike in the morning, it was fine, went to fire it up in the evening and it was dead. Got it going eventually - seems if I just sit and wait patiently (er, I mean, methodically go through all the things it could be and try to decide what to do...) it will fix itself. If only! Despite the torrential rain, Cubbie behaved perfectly after that, and started first kick after the meeting. T'was only when I stopped to de-mist my glasses about half way home, that it decided to die again, but after about ten mins of shivering in the cold rain (me, not it), it booted up and ran cleanly until we got to within 1 mile of Cubbie Towers when I had to stop and sort my specs again. This time there was no starting it after ten mins, so I nipped home and got the trailer. It would happen that there then commenced the heaviest and most prolonged shower of stair rod style rain, accompanied by thunder and a few sparks of lightning, resulting in a very wet and cold GBC and Mrs BC, who assisted with the loading.


Still, UN and the Cub guys are on the case, and in no time at all, I shall know which wires to poke and prod.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Grampian Classic club meeting

Just in case there are any GCMCC members looking at this, wondering why they haven't heard from me about the meeting tomorrow...well, my email won't work any more. So meet at the Legion about 7pm for another of Captain Bill's mystery tours. Don't bother emailing me cos I won't get it!

See you there.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Chain splitting. Or not, as the case may be.

Ok, I need some advice, by tomorrow morning please as I've got to go to the Fraserburgh show. I'm struggling to remove a few links from Cubbie's new chain, yes, struggling. A simple task, isn't it? Well here's how I've attempted it, and perhaps someone can put me right.

First, tried it like this....

...but that only pushes the pin less than half way through, like zis... ...because the pointy bit on the splitter isn't very long, so then after looking through some books, I saw a picture of it being done like this...

but same result of course, plus the bottom plate gets distored as the pin goes through and there's nothing to support it. So I got a bit cross, and took the grinder out. Ground off the top of the pin, put it in the splitter to start the pin moving and then got a punch out (approx same size as the pin) and beat the living daylights out of it, like zizz...

The problem with all the ways I've tried is that the pin gets stuck in the 'bottom' plate and if I give it one too many hits, it bends the plate. I've tried gripping it with a pair of grippy things but it doesn't shift.

Any advice? Please? Help me? It can't be that hard, can it? I did think about griding through the roller and the pin and Bob's yer wotsit, but I need the roller to go on the new joining link thingy.


At Cubbie Towers.

PS, and I wish this blog thing would stop adding extra spaces between my photos and paragraphs!!!

PPS- how about I grind off the top and bottom of both pins, flip the plates off and the pins should fall out...yes? I'll wait til after my chocolate pudd I think.

**********PPS I've done it, I've done it! Ground the tops of the two pins off on the link I wanted to split it at, then used the splitter to push the pins out as far as they would go, then the plate popped off and hey presto, the chain was split. Sometimes it's so darned simple it's too difficult to think of. So as it was only about 11pm by then, I fitted the chain, put the new link and plate in, was about to fit the spring clip, and noticed that the new link pins are much longer than those in the rest of the chain, meaning they stand proud of the chain face by quite a large amount. It didn't look right, but that's what came with the chain. So I lined up the old link and it's a much better fit, so popped the spring clip on, snapped it in place, wound up the adjusters to take the slack, and will set it up properly in the morning. Good to have you connected Larry - hope the chicken wasn't too hot??**********


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