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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Terrier Rebuild Begins...

No false alarms this time.  It's Real.  The aim is to get this little Triumph on the road for May and use the Grampian Classic MCC Annual Camping Weekend trip to Skye as a running in test - which is just what I did with Cubbie in 2008.  A round trip of 500+ miles should be enough to establish what's going to fall off or break etc.
Cubbie on the Skye Bridge, May 2008, complete with toilet roll.
Then between May and September, any alterations, updates or repairs will be carried out and more miles added to the clock, in preparation for the Gaffers Gallop.  So, this is the state of play so far....

The frame was cleaned and treated with one of those rust stopping substances a little while ago.  Oh ok, about a year and a bit I think it was!
The front guard has the original paintwork, complete with a few rust spots.   I'm tempted to leave it as it is....
But for some reason, the back guard, at least I assume it is, as it was with the front one, is completely  bare of paint.
As is the nacelle.
The oil tank has been lovingly painted in a rather nice shade of blue.  Again, I'm tempted to leave it but will I get away with it?  The back of the tank is original Terrier red.
This is the tank that came with the bike, its the wrong one, but is anyone bothered?  
Not sure why this tank is in the Terry File, it's supposed to be for the trials project, but hey, it looks smart dunnit!
Terry's bottom end has progressed a little from this, and has been stripped, cleaned up, had new bearings fitted and awaits my attention to put it back together.
Most of the other bits and pieces are present, the head has been fully cleaned up and is tucked up in an oily rag somewhere.  I really need to send off to try and get the original number - I have a log book and a dating certificate so fingers crossed....
Merv sorted the old chrome on the wheels for me. 
It's a lot quicker doing it like this than scrubbing away with a wire brush, or trying to build a cabinet at home and sending blasting medium all over the garden!
They've come up quite good, and the spokes are sound.  A lick of paint will see them right and hopefully, if any are going to cause problems, they'll do it on the running in test to Skye, rather than half way to John O Groats.

And then there's Yorkie, the 1955 plunger Cub that Muckle Flugga Man will be riding.  That's in many parts at the moment too....

And Scott the Cubaholic has also to build his Terrier.  If you want to take bets on who will finish first, I wouldn't bet against Scott!

Monday, 18 February 2013

A little VMCC Adventure....

Had a bit of an epic few days last week - popped down to Crieff for tea with the Orams (thanks for putting up with me again) and then onto the Stirling Castle VMCC Section meeting - quiz night!!  Organised by John Murray, a local chap who recognised me from several years ago when I attended a Christmas meal & quiz at Glencarse with the Scottish Classic MCC.  They had a good turnout, we all got into groups of 4 and then the   fun began.  I think the best bit - and I shall be trying to introduce this into our own GCMCC Xmas Quiz - was the charades type questions.  One member from each team had to pick a bit of paper from John, and on it was written a type of motorcycle.  Then they simply had to convey this type of motorcycle to their team mates without speaking a word.....  There was some crazy acting going on, and I don't know how anyone guessed any of them really - especially our one which was a Vincent Black Shadow.  
Section Chairman Gordon signalling desperately for help in the quiz.
After a great evening's entertainment (oh ok, I confess, our team came joint last, but we all won prizes) it was back to Peter's and then up early the next morning to visit his friend Dougie Doon the Road. 
Dougie has just been lucky enough to be alerted to a completely original BSA A7 (I think its a 1958, I wrote it down somewhere but....) which has had one owner from new, and has been sitting in the garage for umpteen years.....
There is surprisingly little rust - if it was me I'd just clean it up and away we'd go!  Dougie will probably do it properly though, and he'll have a cracking bike at the end.
The bike belonged to a friend of the guy who alerted Dougie to it, and this is the pair of them pictured with their matching BSAs 'back in the day'.  

Then it was onto visit Mr T for a quick look in his workshop and to see the bikes he's working on at the moment.....

And then it was back to Aberdeen for a spot of the day job, before heading south again to the Clyde Valley VMCC Section night.  Despite the chilly temperature and the threat of snow, Secretary Tim Ryan turned up on a bike - his nice little Matchless shown below....

The forecast was for some really heavy snow that night, but as we left the meeting there was no sign of it, so I hot-footed it as far north as I could go before dozing off, and made it to Perth.  They have a very nice Travelodge there.  Or maybe it was just nice because it was very late and I was very tired!
Ah yes, the A90 heading north was a bit tricky in places where it was down to one lane.

Just a little snow in the morning - but the reports from Cubbie Towers weren't good - strong winds and drifting...

I made it as far as the bottom of the Big Hill and then Mrs BC had to come and rescue me with Sharon in 4x4 mode.  Thanks to Clyde Valley & Stirling Castle Sections for making me welcome - and thanks John McM for the loan of the book.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

GBC and the Gaffers Gallop....

Yes, Gorgeous Biker Chick is one of several certified mad people who will be attempting to ride Triumph Terriers from Land's End to John O Groats, just as Edward Turner did, in 1953.  To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of what became known as the Gaffers Gallop, we will be aiming to stick to the original timetable and route as much as possible.  Modern motorways and modern traffic will just befuddle our little bikes so hopefully we can find some nice little back roads that were the main roads in Turner's day.

To give you a rough idea of the task - the original Gallop went like this....

6th Oct - depart Roche, 11:40hrs > Land's End > Exeter for supper. 
7th Oct - Exeter > Leamington Spa with lunch at Malmesbury.  Approx 160 miles.
8th Oct - Leamington Spa > Carlisle with a tea stop at Appleby.  Approx 246 miles
9th Oct - Carlisle > Inverness with luncheon at Perth.  Approx 263 miles.
10th Oct - Inverness > John O Groats, no apparent stop for lunch or anything else!  Approx 158 miles.

I won't be going alone though, oh no, Brett Baxter from B&B Engineering and Mike Estall (need I say he wrote the Tiger Cub Bible???) will be doing part of the 'southern' leg, from Exeter southwards, and Scott Scotty Scotty Scott (that's just one person, not four people called Scott, I couldn't cope with that!) and the Man from Muckle Flugga will be doing the whole route with me - somewhere in the region of 1000 miles.....on Terriers and a plunger Cub....which we all need to crack on and build!

I don't suppose there is any chance in the world that any of the ORIGINAL Terriers from the Gallop are still around and on the road?  Reg numbers - NWD 867, NWD 868 & NWD 869.  Would be brilliant to have some of the three bikes that actually did the run to accompany us.  And quite frankly, if you have a Terrier or Cub we'd love to have your company anyway.  And if you want to come along on Any Other bike to meet us, take some pics, support us in any way, you're more than welcome.  A more detailed timetable of where to find us will be published as soon as its available.

Monday, 11 February 2013

I have a plan...

I think we (as owners and enthusiasts of old motorcycles) need to take time to think what will happen to our bikes when we're long gone.  I mean, is your family interested in the smelly, oily noisy old bike that you've lavished so much care and time on over the years?  Or when you head off to the bikers' pub in the sky, will some dodgy scrap metal dealer knock on what used to be your front door and offer your family a ridiculously insulting sum of pennies to 'take it off their hands'?  More than likely, as I've heard numerous stories of this happening up and down the country.  So my plan is two-fold.  We need to make other people, outside of 'our world' aware that our bikes exist - a little bit of British engineering that's survived anything up to a hundred years, and the main group we need to raise this awareness with is youngsters.  Do you know the accident stats for teenagers and those in their 20s/30s who go and buy a sportsbike straight after passing their test?  Look at the stats for classic and vintage bikes and ok, so you can argue, the older the rider the safer they are in general, but you can't get into quite so much trouble riding a Tiger Cub or a 1923 Triumph SD as you can with a 1000cc plastic rocket, but you can have a good helping of fun nonetheless.  Life, is all about goals and achievements, at least that's what they tell you at school and in work, so why not achieve the goal of riding a bike that you've restored or that you keep on the road using your skills to ride the length of Scotland, or the coast to coast or whatever route you choose?

So, I have a plan.  Sorry, make that a Plan with a Capital P.  The trouble with plans is that while they're in the planning stage, its best not to tell anyone about them in case either they don't happen or someone else thinks that's a great idea and wanders off with your Plan....but now, the time has come!  Inside the front page of the Vintage Motorcycle Club Journal, there is the bit in the pale purple box, above the contents list.  In this box it states : 

"The Vintage Motorcycle Club, with over 17000 members, united by the common appreciation of the engineering skills and vision of those who built the pioneer machines, has ensured that such machines are not preserved as lifeless exhibits in a museum, but are brought to life on frequent occasions in order that a new generation can marvel at the handiwork of the pioneers, and an older generation can once again view with nostalgia the machines they rode in days gone by".

You all know that just about every trade we have in this country is dying out, from building skills to traditional crafts to engineering.  The skill of maintaining old motorbikes is no better off, with many people of my generation (let us just say under the age of about 40) hardly able to even change a plug on a bike nowadays, never mind strip and rebuild the engine!  Well, since joining the Management Committee in 2009, I've had numerous chats with other members about ways to get younger people involved in the world of old bikes, and some of you may recall, I did a bit of a survey with you to gather your thoughts and ideas on how to put this Plan into action.  I think I may have found a way that does just that, and has the opportunity to involve Sections up and down the country, and I should be able to give you more on the ins and outs of it in the not too distant watch this space.....

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


The guys down in the valley have a new website - so if you're interested in old motorcycles and are in the Clyde Valley area, why not have a look for details of where and when they meet, and pop along.  You can also find out about their *NEW* Rock 'N' Roll run, planned for summer this year.  It's open to members and non-members so make a date in the diary (22nd June) and rock n roll on down to Crossford, Carluke.  First 60 entries only so chop chop!!


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