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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Saturday car

As I'd previously posted, my Volvo was up for sale. Well, it sold yesterday so I could arrange to collect the car I'd bought about a month ago. I didn't want to tax and insure two cars, so this one had been 'stored' on someone's driveway.

I'm not really that 'into' cars, but I like things that are stylish and well built, so bought a 2005 Mercedes Benz E220 estate.

I wasn't really looking for another car but it came up at the right price at the right time. It's a 2.2 litre diesel, and is the first car I've owned with automatic transmission. This has taken a bit of getting used to (you always feel you should be doing more!), but I bought an automatic scooter last year and that's worked out OK.

It's really nice to drive, very smooth and stable, and the dashboard has lots of buttons to press - some of which I have no idea what they do!

I particularly like the cream leather interior!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride 2017

As some of you will know, the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride is a world wide motorcycle charity event held each year on 24th September. The idea is for riders to dress up in their finery, follow a route through various cities, and end up at a meeting place. Riders are sponsored and funds raised go towards combatting prostate cancer and men's mental health.

This year I'll be taking part in the Glasgow run on my Bonneville. Last year they had 56,000 participants in 505 cities in 90 countries, and raised US$ 3.6 million. This year they are hoping for even more.

The Glasgow route will be from the Fort Shopping Centre, a 45 minute stop at George Square to show off the bikes, then on to Triumph Glasgow in Hillington where and event has been planned. So if you're in the area, come along to cheer us on! (End of September in Glasgow - bound to be cold and wet!)

It's not just for Gentlemen - Gentleladies are welcome too!

DGR website with details of all the rides and how to register: here

DGR Facebook page: here

And if you can't make it along to your local event, please donate on my page: here

Last year's Glasgow run:

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Argyll 190

Following on from the success of the North Coast 500 tourist route, a shorter route has been promoted in Argyll. As the name suggests, it's a route of approximately 190 miles (306km) starting and finishing in Inveraray and taking in both sides of the Mull of Kintyre.

Suitably moody photo of Inveraray I found on the Web

The route heads south down the west coast of the Mull of Kintyre to the town of Campbeltown.


From there, there's a short detour south to Southend at the tip of the Mull of Kintyre, back to Cambeltown, then north to Inveraray by the narrow, winding road on the East side of the peninsula.

Map giving the approximate route

I've ridden this route in the past and the West side has some spectacular views where the East side has a more challenging route. However, weather can be variable - when it is clear this will be a great run, when it's wet and especially if it is windy, it could be miserable! Keep your eye on the weather forecast!

You can do this run in a single day from West Central Scotland (I have), but travelling from further afield, it would be worth staying in Inveraray for  couple of nights and spending a day doing the route. Details of accommodation here. Nearby campsites here. Note: I haven't stayed at any of the places on these websites, so can't give any opinions on them.

Alternatively, you could split your journey with an overnight stay near Campbeltown. Accommodation: here, camping at Machrihanish: here. Again, I've not stayed in any of the places on these websites.

More information: here, here, and a leaflet from Argyll and Bute Council (including a map) here.

If anyone rides this route, please post comments below.

Friday, 7 July 2017

More SRZ660 progress

I'd bought a replacement saddle cover some time ago to replace the somewhat tatty, porous and discoloured cover that was on the bike when I got it. I'd tried lining it up and quickly worked out that fitting it to the fairly complex shape of the saddle without folds and creases was beyond my ability, so found a local company who could do it. I took the saddle in and they fitted it perfectly while I waited.

I did a 'test fit' of some of the bodywork (still to be painted) to see how it'll look and am quite pleased with the result.

Yes, even by 90s standards, it's pretty ugly!

The company I went to was Baillie's Car Trimmers in Linwood. they mostly do cars, boats and campervans, but the guy showed me lots of photos of bikes he had done, including lots of classics and one-offs for custom bikes. They also have a Facebook page here.

If I get nice warm weather over the weekend I should get some painting done - at last this is starting to feel like it's on the home stretch!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Yamaha SZR660 update

As some of you will know, I've got a Yamaha SZR660 that I bought a few years ago. When I bought it, it had been sitting in a leaky shed for a few years, had been dropped on one side (probably just fallen off its stand), and was generally scruffy and neglected.
I started doing some work on it, but it was very 'off and on'. I didn't have regular work at the time, so suffered from 'when I had money I didn't have time, and when I had time I didn't have money'.
However, with both my Skorpions away, I've had some time to do some more work on it. I'd had to strip and clean out both brake calipers and replace the front brake reservoir. I fitted new brake pads and this week replaced the brake fluid. This went reasonably well and it now has two working brakes.
I've been running the engine now and then to keep oil circulating, but have only this week replaced the airbox (with new air filter). It's a bit of a pain to wiggle into place and get both hoses onto the carbs - no wonder most SZRs I've come across have pod filters.

It's now running well without any hiccups or visible smoke.

I've also dug out the bodywork that I repaired and resprayed a couple of years ago. It's in very good condition, but I was never really that happy with the paint finish. I spent hours today smoothing it down with 2500 grade 'wet and dry', and I'll give it another coat or two fairly soon.

Once the bodywork is resprayed it can be refitted and have some small bits and pieces sorted out. I'm planning on having the bike finished and ready for sale before the end of the summer (ha, ha - we've heard that before!).

Friday, 30 June 2017

Scottish aviation pioneers

I've been working in Stirling for a few days this week, and noticed a small aircraft sculpture at the side of the Causewayhead roundabout. I stopped today and it commemorates to Scottish aircraft pioneers, the Barnwell brothers.

Frank and Harold Barnwell had a factory nearby where they build the aircraft that achieved the first powered flight in Scotland in 1909.

More reading on the Stirling Archives website. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Coupes Moto Legende videos

Sorry I've been a bit quiet lately but I've had all sorts of computer problems. After a couple of weeks of reinstalling software numerous times without any joy, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new laptop.
Here are some short videos I made at the Coupes Moto Legende last month. They are basically just me walking about the event talking rubbish, commenting on how hot it is, and saying 'there you go' quite a lot. Hope they give you a flavour of what it's like.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Ayr Classic Show

Another weekend and another bike show. This time the 28th Scottish Classic Motorcycle Show - Ayr to give its correct title. This is held each year at Ayr Racecourse and is hosted by Ayr Classic Motorcycle Club.

It was a bit dull and blustery when I rode down but some brightened up. I think there were fewer bikes there than on previous years, but they were higher 'quality' and laid out a lot better. There were also more trade stall including a very good display by a local Royal Enfield dealer.

Always a good show with plenty of good bikes to see both at the show and in the parking area.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find my camera, so had to use my phone. This means the quality of pictures is a bit poor, especially those taken indoors. Sorry about that!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Ride On Classic Bike Open Day

Went down to the Ride On Motorcycles Classic Bike Open day today on the Bonnie with David on his BMW. Despite the variable weather (variable lengths of time between showers of rain!) there was a good turnout, lots of interesting bikes, and David won two awards for his bike including 'Best in Show'

Ride On website and Facebook.

David, his BMW and awards.