Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where are we at?

I always hate posting when I don't have any particular images (childish I know, but honesty is the main point here), but I've felt like some sort of update is required.

1. We have some funding for the Head Full of Snakes fanzine. This funding includes the cost of making a flexidisc. Paul Elliman has made a proposal for what might go on this, and I'm hoping this will be our first flexi-release (although I'm waiting to hear back from Paul to confirm this).

2. I'm going to Melbourne to meet with Stuart and talk more about working on this together. I'm going on the 1st of July for five days.

3. I have to get the next issue of The National Grid done before I do that.

4. The Norton. I'm half way through stripping it down again. A complete strip down of the gearbox and primary. I thought I'd finish lastnight but I got stuck because John has my kickstart shaft, and I couldn't get the alternator main nut off without engaging the gearbox properly. Everything just spins!

5. I'm really missing playing in a band.

6. I've agreed to do another cover for Flying Nun (with Bruce Russell). This is only important in the sense that I swore that after the Dashper book I wouldn't take on any more freelance design work.

7. I've also agreed to do a poster for the TOMCC Poker Run.

8. I'm hoping to ride to Dunedin tomorrow to catch Dane Mitchell's opening at the DPAG, and also to see how my posters are doing.

9. I feel guilty. I should be working on The National Grid #7 and/or the Norton gearbox.

10. I think I'll see what the weather's doing in the morning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Commando Cafe

I think this is the sweetest Commando cafe racer I've ever seen. The fibreglass bodywork is great, and I even like the fairing! It's been built by Union Motorcycle Classics in Idaho, and their shop looks worth a visit too. Shit I'd like to do a shop/workshop tour sometime. Maybe a bunch of us get together, buy bikes off Ebay, pick em up in LA, and ride round the states visiting bike builders?

I rode my own Commando to work today. It was such a nice day and I just thought fuck it, put a bungee cord on the kickstarter, and off I went. It felt great... until I realised there was a cop up ahead and remembered that the Norton hasn't been warranted or registered for more than a year and half! Managed to avoid the fuzz though, and enjoyed having at good perve at the old girl when coming in and out of the office today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kickstart return spring

Ordered a new kickstart return spring last week and put it in on Saturday morning. Was impressed at how quickly I was able to get the new one in and the old one out... I guess it's not that hard, but it does show that I'm learning right? I don't think I cussed much either? Anyway, more to the point, it hasn't fixed the problem. Bugger.

This is the old spring, which I actually thought had more tension than the new one. I thought I might as well give the new one a whirl and see what it felt like, but yeah no different unfortunately. Actually it did sorta start doing it a lot sooner than last weekend... so before it got real hot.

So yeah I'm still bloody confused!? I talked to Bob Nesbit tonight. He's famous here in NZ for his Nortons, he races them, and fixes them at his shop Classic Cycles in Wellington (if I lived closer I'd go see him with this). He pointed out that the problem might be with the kickstart shaft and not the layshaft, and that I should check that, the bushes etc. He also mentioned the pawl, which was replaced, maybe not locating properly. He really made me realise that I need to pull it apart AGAIN (third fucking time) and look more closely at this. I think before I do I'll talk to John again and ask him about the parts and see what he thought when it was apart.

PZ's mate, Andrew, has also mentioned that the spring might not be set right, so may go see him on the weekend. I did notice there are two holes in the kickstart shaft where the spring could locate, but I'm  certain it's in the right hole. Apparently the second hole is there because the same shaft can also be used on a Dominator.

Anyway, tick tock...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Snapper 'Buddy' (Dir. Stuart page)

I vaguely remember seeing this on Radio With Pictures years ago. I was reminded of it today because I'm curating a small poster show (a posterwall) for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and Stuart Page, who made this video, has designed a couple of the posters I'm reproducing for the show. Stuart's done some pretty cool stuff. I had to get in touch with him to get copyright clearance to reproduce the posters (they're being put up in multiples), and have been thinking, since I have a contact for him now, that I might interview him? 

Snapper were a great NZ band. This was made in 1988. There's a pretty cool BSA RocketIII in here, and also a sweet old Ducati... plus of course a bunch of obligatory Harleys. There's also a nice reverse burn out...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Norton back home...

Well finally the Norton is back in the garage at home, but all is still not well unfortunately. John and I got her running on Saturday, pretty sweetly too I must say, and even though it hasn't had a warrant or registration for over a year now I thought 'fuck it' and went for a ride. It was bloody great too. All was going very well until I got the stop sign at Governor's Bay. When I took off from there, so from a complete stop, the bloody kickstarter pulled itself all the way down again. Bugger!

The rest of the ride home was marked by that awful feeling, that I'm getting used to now, of having shelled out in terms of time and money, but to no effect. I was a bit down of course, a bit angry, but tried to maintain a very peaceful and zen-like outward state (the best I can do at this point). Anyway when I got home dad asked me about it and I explained things. he said he thought it would be the spring wouldn't it? And I thought 'what the fuck do you know'... he's not at all mechanical. But I did think about that some more, and then lastnight I left a question about this on the Kiwibiker forum, to which I've just had a reply from someone with an old Honda which did just the same thing. And anyway he suggests it's the spring on the kickstarter too!

Shit it'd be funny if after all that work with John to rebuild the gearbox, that my dad got it just like that? Yeah real funny.