Saturday, September 25, 2010

1974 MkII Norton Commando 850

This is my Norton... with which I have a classic love/hate relationship. Lotta highs, lotta lows. I bought this about two and half years ago, and it was (seemingly) in excellent condition. Which wasn't really the plan. My original idea was to get a rough runner that I would rebuild as a cafe racer. That was my dream since I was about 17... a Norton powered cafe racer. So yeah, I bought this bike... which I have loved. When it's goin good nothing beats it to ride, it feels great, has awesome torque, and can keep up with most modern bikes. Problem was I was riding it a lot, and doing quite large distances on it. I've ridden it around NZ twice. Of course I expected to have to 'work' on it, but I certainly did underestimate that. My expectations for this bike were a little ambitious let's say. And so began the 'work'... and the 'money'! I had imagined I'd spend my money rebuilding the bike aesthetically— alloy tank, race seat, rear sets, clip-ons, etc. But all I've been able to do is keep it running. I've done an awful lot to this bike including replaced fork staunchions and seals, reconditioned speedo and rev counter, new isolastics, recon'd master brake cylinder, completely rebuilt clutch (from handle to primary), and rebuilt back wheel. Problem has been that every time I do something, something else goes wrong... almost immediately. I guess this is 'normal'? Although I have a friend with a real shitty old Commando, and he rides it all the time, and rides it hard, and he doesn't have half the problems I do! The thing to learn here obviously is that 'looks good' doesn't equal 'goes good'.

So yeah this is what I'm thinking about now. I want something I can chop. But this is a matching numbers, really straight bike (still has it's orginal black number plate), that's worth a bit because of all that. And so on top of the fact I haven't been able to afford to modify it much, there's the fear that this isn't the bike to do that to? Hence my thoughts to sell it and get something else I can chop up. But then I do love riding this thing. Also it's the same age as me. 1974... I like that too. Fuck I dunno...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top Ten Records Today

1. Stud Cole – Stud Cole
2. Rocking Bones – Various artists
3. 43 Sketches for a Poster – The Dead C
4. Outta Here – The Gories
5. Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen
6. Not That Same old Blues Crap II – Various artists
7. In The Flat Field – Bauhaus
8. Swan Demos – Link Wray
9. Solid Brown – Ghetto Ways
10. Guts of Steel – Brimstone Howl

Project bike

I've been giving some serious thought to selling the Norton and putting the money into something older... and a lot rougher. I want something from the 50s. Something I can get running and legal, but keep it really rough and stripped down. A 'rat bike' I guess is what I'm talking about? Although I'm thinking more cafe style than bobber, which rat bikes tend to be. I do quite like this one—half cafe racer/half bobber (apologies for bad referencing but I can't remember where nicked this photo from?)...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Top Ten Records

1. Surfer's Mood – various artists
2. Jack The Ripper – Link Wray
3. Hexaphonic Destructosound – Pro Drag
4. Behind The Magnolia Curtain – Tav Falco's Panther Burns
5. Nowhere – Ride
6. Jesu – Jesu
7. Pile o Meat – Haunted George
8. Don't Cry To Me – Jimmy Martin
9. Out To Hunch – Hasil Adkins
10. You Cannot Kill What Does Not Live – King Loser

No one wants to know what graphic designers think

Everyone wants to know what artists and musicians think. No one wants to know what graphic designers think.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cold Kiwi 2010

Malcolm and I went to the Cold Kiwi motorcycle rally last weekend. It's on a farm very near the Desert Rd in the North island. It's supposed to be cold. Obviously. It snowed. I actually went for the first time last year with 'the Petes', and the weather was amazing... although actually colder than this year. Too cold to snow maybe? Or just extra cold because of a lack of cloud cover. Anyway it was still cold. Obviously. Sleeping in tents in the snow.