This blog started when I owned and MZ Skorpion Traveller and a bike magazine dismissed it with the phrase 'you can't tour on a single'. The Skorpion's gone and I now have a Triumph Bonneville, but I can't be bothered changing the title of the blog!
As I'd mentioned in a previous post, yesterday was the Glasgow C.H.E.E.R Easter Egg bike run to raise funds for the children's hospital. I'd been the previous year and planned on going to this year's. I was very busy on Saturday getting my Traveller MOTed, working in the garage etc, and by evening was starting to feel a bit tired and run down, so I set my alarm and went to bed.
I awoke about 4 in the morning feeling really unwell and was violently sick. I had a terrible headache and my joints were very sore. I took some painkillers that just made me sick again, and my head was so sore that I couldn't lie down so had to try and sleep sitting up. I slept through my alarm and got up a couple of hours later than planned. This added to this being the night the clocks go back meant that I would be cutting it fine to get to the start of the run in time.
I decided I would just go straight to the hospital as see the bikes when they arrive. The weather was pretty poor - windy, cold and wet, but after taking some flu medicine I set off. As I neared the hospital I saw a lot of bikes heading in the opposite direction, and when I got to the carpark where the bikes were gathering, there was a solid stream of them leaving. I was feeling really cold and shivery by this time and as most folk were leaving, I didn't bother going in and just rode home.
Looks like despite the poor weather they had a good turnout, but most people left just after the ride.
Some photos from the Web:
The ride got good coverage on both STV and the BBC, and made the front page of some of today's newspapers.
As it’s Easter, I get Friday and Monday as a holiday so I’ve
been using my time to get some more work done on the bikes.
The silver Traveller was due its MOT (annual safety check
here in the UK), so yesterday I gave it a really good clean, lubricated all the
moving bits and gave everything that’s checked a test to see that it’s OK.
After that I did some work on the white Traveller (more about that later).
I went to see a friend and when I got back, just before
teatime, I gave the bike another check over and found that the rear brake didn’t
operate the brake light! It had worked a couple of hours earlier. I tested it
and it was the switch that had failed. The switch is one of the pressure type
that is operated by the hydraulic pressure and is a sealed unit. I went up into
my loft to rummage through my spares and found a complete rear master cylinder.
I removed the switch from it and swapped it with the one on the bike – or rather
I would have if it had fitted! The Skorpion comes with Grimeca brakes, but I
had upgraded them to Brembos a few years ago, and despite the Grimeca and
Brembo master cylinders appearing identical, they used different threads for
So it off with the Brembo master cylinder and on with the
Grimeca, brake bled (removing the hose and switch allows air into the system),
and tested - it didn’t work! The Grimeca switch was faulty as well!!!
Off with the Grimeca and back on with the Brembo, this time
fitted with the switch from my Yamaha SZR 660, which has the same thread, but
different connectors, which in turn meant I had to extend the wires by
soldering and crimp new terminals on. Tested it, and this time it worked!
However, changing the master cylinders and bleeding the
brake meant that I managed to spill brake fluid over the bike, so I had to
clean it again!
Today I got up and it was windy and pouring with rain, so I
went to the test centre by the ‘main road’ route, and thankfully the bike
passed. The weather had improved by the time the test was over, so I decided to
ride back by the shorter ‘country route’. Five minutes later the rain and wind
started again and there was a lot of flooding on the road so it was an ‘interesting’
The now tested silver bike
Back home it was on with more work on the white Traveller.
Had a very productive day tidying up some of the mods I’ve done to the wiring,
refitting the fairing which required cutting to length of various screws,
refitting throttle cables, and lots of those fiddly jobs that you leave to the
end of projects.
Looking a bit more complete!
Hopefully I should get the bike finished this weekend, then
I’ll have to arrange for it to be tested, and it’ll be back on the road for the
first time in 7 or 8 years. I’m going to use this Traveller as my ‘commuting
bike’, keeping the silver one as my ‘holiday and runs bike.' More later.....
As regular readers will recall, last year I took part in the Easter Egg Run in support of the Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow. Yorkhill has now closed and been replaced with the new Royal Hospital for Children, based at the site of the old Southern General Hospital. This means that the run has been renamed Glasgow C.H.E.E.R.
This means that the run will take a different route and will start at Greendyke Street, next to Glasgow Green and make its way to the new hospital, a route of 4.9 miles (c. 8km).
Assemble at 10am for an 11am start. The organisers have even arranged with two local cafes to supply discounted hot rolls before the start! More here.
Even if you don't take part in the run, the event at the hospital is worth going to and you'll get to see lots of bikes. Remember this is for charity, so dig deeply!
If anyone who knows me is going to go, get in touch, or look for me there - I'll probably be on the only MZ again!
Some time ago, I posted a link to some videos of a trip from Britain to Turkey undertaken by two guys called Rod and Sniper. If you saw them then you know that the trip didn't go quite as planned, but the results were amusing.
Well they've done it again, this time travelling through Spain, Morocco and Western Sahara. At time of writing, 10 episodes have been posted, and they haven't been short of 'incidents'.
Below is the trailer for the trip, and if you click on the YouTube logo to watch it one that site, then click on 'Shaw2Shore' it'll take you to their page for the rest of the videos.
Not much information on this one, But I found the following on this site.
"Adam Opel’s company was situated in Rüsselsheim am Main in Germany and among its products were sewing machines, bicycles, cars and motorcycles. The latter products were made in three periods: for some years in the early 1900s, then from 1913 till halfway the twenties and finally from 1928 till 1930. At the Berlin Automobile and Motorcycle show early in 1928 Opel stunned the motorcycle folk with the display of two very extravagant looking machines. Frame, front suspension, tank, saddle and handlebars were unorthodox to say the least. This, combined with the Cadmium plating of the metal parts and the bright red components like saddle, tyres , handlebar grips, foot rests and kick-start rubber made for an awesome sight.
The design itself was not Opel’s, the company had secured the production rights of the rolling motorcycle chassis system of the very unorthodox and multitalented Ernst Neumann-Neander. One of the great advantages, Neumann-Neander claimed, was that his pressed steel frame construction made it possible to reduce the assembly time of a motorcycle from between 20 to 25 man hours to no more than four man hours. Other features were great accessibility of all parts and comfortable seating for the rider. Opel offered OHV and SV versions of the 496 cc power source. Production lasted till 1930. This very exclusive machine is a good runner."
Also found this video where a couple of very well dressed owners are interviewed about their bike:
I've been riding bikes for over 40 years but sometimes come across a brand I've never heard of before. Saw this rare British built bike on Ebay.
1914 Alldays and Onions 'Matchless' 250cc
Alldays and Onions were a Birmingham based engineering firm who (amongst other things) built bicycles, then motorcycles, and later cars. Motorcycle production ran from 1905 under the 'Alldays Matchless' name, but after 1915 used the 'Allon' name to avoid confusion with the other Matchless brand. This continued until 1927, when they merged the motorcycle production with the Enfield brand that they also owned.
This particular bike has a 269cc Mk 1 Villiers engine, believed to be the oldest surviving example in existence. It has no gearbox and has clutchless direct drive, which must make it fun through traffic! Lighting is by carbide gas lamps - none of the new fangled electricity here! It won't catch on, you know!
I just love the look of this bike, it just oozes charm and is a proper 'gentleman's motorbicycle'
Currently listed on Ebay with an asking price of £9,999 (c. 12,800 Euros, US$14,100).