Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Barn find number two

Well….it was not in a barn.  The Velocette LE was in a garage…..It was advertised in the newspaper. Only a short add: “Velocette for sale” and just the telephone number. I phoned the seller in the evening. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “Hello, Do you still have the Velocette for sale?”  Seller: “Yes…….Do you know what a Velocette LE is?” Me: “It`s a 200cc water cooled flat twin with shaft drive” Seller: “Correct……You are the first one to know that……You can have it……For free”
He was working at the American embassy and the Velo was resting in the embassy cellar. They were cleaning up and the Velo had to go. He had it for a while in his garage, but lost interest.
An American embassy employee brought the bike over from England in the sixties. He used the bike for a Norwegian round trip and even visited North cap. He went on to another embassy and left the bike.
The LE had English registration, so that caused us some problems. Norwegian customs and the vehicle authorities can be difficult to deal with…..So the Velocette went to Sweden for a happy life…

                               Dag is looking skeptical….To close to a scooter for his taste….

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Garage inspection.

A quick visit to Stein`s new workshop to have a look at his new NSU.

The proud owner....Only work on bikes with three letters in the name. BSA and NSU.

Is it ok to bring the BSA for a full service next week?

The new projekt. NSU, OSL,1939, 350cc

Friday, 26 November 2010

Barn finds.

The most exiting ting about old motorcycles is the barn find. It does not necessary have to be a barn. Any place you find an old, unmolested bike is good.
I just red Tom Cotter`s excellent book, “the Vincent in the barn” and was thinking about some of my barn finds.

This is back in 1979…..I had heard about this Indian for a long time. After some months of detective work and door knocking I found the present owner. To my surprise he was glad that somebody wanted the bike.
 But there was a problem.  It was stored in a barn under a lot of building material….. The first time I asked to see the bike, it was impossible.  I had to come back a few weeks later.
But after a while we managed to get it home and down in the cellar….

It is a 1923 Chief, 1000 cc.

 The Indian was in good condition, but the engine was very worn.  I don`t know hove many miles, but it had been in traffic until 1965

It used to have nickel plated cylinders and heads.

This is one that got away…1925 Harley Davison.

It was resting in an old mechanical workshop. The owners was three brothers, two where dead and the last one were at an old people’s home…..And we were not allowed to go inside.  The photos are taken in the middle of the night. We had a very scary experience that night…..nearly made us believe in ghosts!

Some weeks later the bike was gone. I am not sure but I think somebody stole it…..I can remember the engine number, so I always have a look at the numbers on old Harleys
I will be posting some more barn finds later.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Like master, like dog.....

Can we  say that a bike is like your personality?

Well….My brother got a Bultaco “El Bandido”…….

Monday, 22 November 2010

Workshop necessities..........

Sturdy, one handed, easy to operate.

June.......favorite .....month.....

Best worklight.....ever!

Nice cuppa.....

Friday, 19 November 2010

Beauty lays in the eyes of…..the Velocette byer.

I was not going to put this story on my blog…..but I could not resist when I was going thru my photos. This is not done to make fun of Gunnar……Only to remind him that it is now 15 years this spring since he got a Velocette…..
Some years ago Gunnar got the urge for a Velocette.  He wanted a good bike, easy to Thruxtonize.
 In Norway Velocettes are not easy to find so English adverts were eagerly read. After some months he asked me to come along to England for help and advice….
The communication between Gunnar and the seller had been in Engliglish of curse, so some finer points of language misunderstanding had happened. What’s “oily rag condition”, “A few evenings of elbow grease”,” nearly a runner” and “easy project” really means?   It depend on the viewer….This was before digital photos and email. So the only way was to go and have a look for yourself….
Gunnar had a picture in his head for a nice, easy to Thruxtonize, Velocette 500…..
Have a good look at his face:

Trying to keep a brave face….

Do we see a smile?

Well, there are some new tank badges here…

“What do you think? Shall I buy it?"

Close inspection….

Is the engine number correct?

“I buy it……put it in the car”

Fifteen years later the Velo are still not ready. But I think it will be soon…..Now it have all the Thruxton goodies, including the engine.
On that trip we also went to Silverstone to see some classic racing…..But that`s another story….

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Speedway practice....nearly 30 years ago....

Some more photos from my old albums….

In the early eighties a few of my friends and I got hold of some speedway bikes. Used, or more or less used up speedway bikes was going for little money. I paid for a running Staride/ Jap 500. - NKr (£ 50, $ 85.)

A friendly farmer let us have a field for practice. But complaints from neighbors and a campsite made him go back to growing potatoes.

The bikes were also used on a lake in the winter time.


This is Arild trying to broadside a two valve Jawa…..

Home in the cellar……spanners flying…..probably did more damage than repairs….
The Staride/Jap.

I still got this bike….If you notice the rear tire: Dunlop TT100, we were probably going to do burnouts in the street…..

None of us made it as proper speedway riders. But I bet we had more fun on the bikes compared to the PlayStation boys are using nowadays….

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Fashion report !

The only pink you will find in my closet.

Some pink Lodge sparks plugs in the pocket of my leather jacket.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Vacuum cleaner world tour.

Some of you are probably following the adventures of the two Norwegians on their way around the world on old motorcycles.
The Norwegian way of exploring are usually something to do with ice, polar bears, mountaineering, skies and boats. Nimbus motorcycles with sidecars was not used by Amundsen and Nansen.

But why do people these things? Can it be in their genes? From their childhood?.....Well I have a photo of Tormod (and family) that can proove the childhood theory...

This is Tormod with his brother fast asleep in the sidecar of his father`s 1925 Harley Davidson. The fumes and noises must have triggered something in his brain.....

Some years later......stuck with sidecars.

Why don`t you check out their web page. Order a T shirt and be a part of this exiting project.

If you don`t get the vacuum cleaner thing: Nimbus motorcycles was produced by Fisker & Nielsen in Copenhagen, Denmark. They also produced Nilfisk vacuum cleaners. You can still get Nilfisk but Nimbus motorcycles went out in 1960. So in Scandinavia the Nimbus bikes have always been called vacuum cleaners.....or flat iron racers....(The frames are made of flat iron and are quite flexi)

I have pimped my wives vacuum cleaner with a "The dumb way round" sticker. When I had to get her a new one, it had to be a Nilfisk. I had wanted a BSA, but to my knowlege BSA did not produce vacuum cleaners...But some think their bikes suck...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Just like yesterday.....

More photos form the early eighties.  When I go thru my old photos I notice that the bikes nearly stay the same, but people change.   Getting older, heavier and losing hair ... I regret that most of my photos are of bikes and not the people that rode them. But who cared about that at the time? Bikes, beer and girls had highest priority.
This is from a British bike rally at Homborsund in the south of Norway.

A youth full “Speedy Gonzales” Gunnar are going to adjust the carbs…Where have that manly mustache gone, Gunnar? Gunnars pride and joy:  BSA A-65 Lightning from 1971.

Campsite cuisine….Gunnar and Aril enjoying lunch.

As usual, if somebody are doing repair to their bike….Spectators will show up for entertainment loaded with good advice. Some things never change….

From left: Totto, Aril and Pascal. Ariel WD getting brakes adjusted.

BSA B44 and Rudge. The Rudge won a price for the best restored machine.

Haakons  1967 Velocette Venom Clubman.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The famus Valdres JAP

Some photos from a English bike rally, early `80`s.

We were impressed when a local man arrived with this homebuilt bike.  First time the special was out, and straight for the rally.
If I can remember correctly he was running the bike on methanol, burning one liter per kilometer......Not made for touring.
"Total loss" speedway type lubrication is rarely seen on the highway, but there are nothing like the smell from Castrol R40......

The frame are Ariel, probably WD, JAP 500cc speedway engine, forks from Norton, Suzuki tank, Burman gear box and a "banana" seat to top it of.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A too hot speedway engine,,,,,

I  don`t want to be accused for writing an interior blog….So here are some JAP engine photos.

My friend “Speedy Gonzales” Gunnar is deeply involved in his speedway project. He phoned me up and told me that that they had discovered that the cam in the JAP engine was too hot, probably some kind of “long track” cam ore special grind.
I told him that the whole point of a speedway engine is to get it hot. The whole idea of putting an methanol burning engine in to something looking like a lady`s bicycle frame……….Well , we are not talking “health and safety” here….
But I do have some cams. There are to my knowledge not produced any touring cams for speedway engines but in a box marked ”Cam for cubby middle age man, just a little bit fast” I found what he was looking for…….(I am joking…..He is not that cubby…)

The engine is overhauled by a very skilled mechanic….

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Traces of a motorcycle man....

Before I met my wife I was renting a big house from my employees. The rent was low and my salary was good, so the house was filled up with motorcycles and spares……
A long story short……I lost my driving license for speeding and had some time for womanizing … I met my wife (I think my wife, somehow, has another view of the story….)

And then she moved in……

I kept my Ducati F1 in one of the toilets (!); out of way if I was tempted to ride ….It was the first of my things to go out….
After a while I noticed that some of my stuff had disappeared….first one carb then an empty WW2 grenade. A week later, all the cool things where gone….

They were all relocated in a closet named (by my wife) “the horror closet”…..Did I mention that she is an interior decorator?
Many years later in another house, are there still some traces of a motorcycle man?  Well empty bottles, dirty laundry and magazines do not count…..

The doorbell gives you a clue of the nature of the residents…

Souvenirs from the Ducati factory and Speedway VM.

Toys R us….

Norton Manx photo and a Miller lamp converted to halogen work light.


My birthday gift: a Goldie/Matchless…..eh…” fish tray”

Indian ampermeter behind the “fine china”

Not mine…..but I bought it, antique silver motorcycle charm.

She is fighting a losing battle….