Tuesday, 23 February 2010

First training event.

Hi folks, Basil.K. here.

Just to let you all know that my motorcycling training for the Old Sidevalve Summer Spectacular is underway. (Note the photographic evidence above)

Yes, t'was a cold and frosty morning that my steed for the summer was hitched to the back of Alberts transporter and said steed, and budding pilot, were removed to a " training area ", well when I say training area - a fully funtioning scrambling track would more adequately describe the venue. Oh ho ! says he - If you can survive (good descriptive word) here, you'll survive anywhere-well I survived, but only just - I am sure it's going to be fun, please tell me it is.

Seriously though, a big thank you to Albert - who's taken time out from his onerous brewing responsibilities - to try and turn an old Pembleton racer into an even older two wheeled speed demon. Crikey I'll be delving into Alberts old racing notes next - and then where will we be ?

Tally ho !!

More training reports to follow......watch this space. Splut !

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Whatever the weather - Gotta check the brews

Hello 'oldsidevalvers'...Albert here.

Crikey ! Woke up this morning and was greeted by another huge covering of snow.........Sod mi boiled egg 'n' dippy soldiers I had to get digging mi way down't garden to 'The Old Sidevalve Bar'. I'm mid way through fermenting a very...very....VERY....special rhubarb cider brew. What if the chill had affected my yeast ? killing it's little alcohol making cells and rendering my mashin' a useless vat of sugary juice....? NIGHTMARE !
Phew ! All was well....the internal heater had saved the day and that welcoming sound of fermentation was music to my ears...plop.......plop......plop......plop.....
Yes, dear readers I've used Great Uncle Alberts wartime recipe to create this speciality, it should be ready in time for the 'Festival' B.B.Q.
If anyone wants a copy drop me a line and I'll check your credentials before forwarding..I can't let it fall into enemy hands after Old Albert protected it through all those lean prohibition years (and also keeping it from falling into the hands of the knit and natter section of the Temperance Society of Upper Wharfedale)
So before I go let's raise a glass in memory of Great Uncle Albert....not only a master brewer but also a hardy motorcyclist who could regularly be seen riding his Panther 600cc combination across Top Withens dressed in only german jack boots and underpants ! (A sight we don't want to re-create during the festival......do we ?)

Thats all for now...Albert over and out...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Belgium calling on status (again)

A jolly fine moment when (far from expected) she cried out "I'M ALIVE"
It took a while because we were cheapy to use petrol which had an age of about 100 years...
We designed an ultra-light curry based custom build race petrol-tank to save on weight just to be able to keep up with Rawdon's fasted.
Tried again to start her and after replacing the old petrol by some from the 3th millennium she went WROOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAM
(just to give you an idea)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Belgium calling on progress!

So it has been a busy day,
This morning I started by looking at her vitals; got a spare battery in and turned the key....should I push the starter button? NO!!
We've turned her wheel yesterday to see if there were some problems regarding sticky valves etc ...but at this point all seems to be in good shape.
First things first. Dismantled her to get to the carburettors .....got the jets out and went to my neighbor's shop ; he's lucky he has got a Ultrasonic cleaner ... and
so was I. It took the rest of the day to clean
Finally opened up the timing belt housing...tomorrow we'll change those.

Keep you posted

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

I've found her!!!

She was sitting somewhere far away in my shed.
Althought she has taken me to great and far distances before her patine now-a-days exists from enviromental
buildingsdust mixed with oil and tigny tigny bits of aluminum.
She has been sleeping from 2002 until ...euhhh she still is.
What do I need to do to wake her up? kiss her?.......naaaaah!!
just have to :
coat the petroltank,
change timingbelts,
clean carburetors,
fix fiber glass stuf,
new brake fluid,
change some hoses,
new spark pluggs,
new tires,

........but first a big wash up

I hope she won't give me a hard time ....but she's Italian so ....

Monday, 15 February 2010

Weekend Excitement and things.

Hello all, Basil.k. here,

Well folks we're underway and getting ready for the motorcycling festival, so as was intimated in my last blog, I'd better find me something to ride. No problem,cordially I was invited across to Crackleport Tower -where there existed the rumour of a long hidden motorcycling machine of great vintage and awesome power- well could you resist ?? As the photographic evidence below will testify, and let me tell you, it took some finding we came across the aforementioned leviathan - all 125cc of it. Wow!!. Hidden amongst assorted Jap engines / Briggs & Stratton mufflers (and there's another tale) old bakers bikes, empty bottles and assorted brewing kits, we located my steed for the summer -yes folks it's a 125cc Yamaha DT125 built just after the wheel was invented. Cool eh!......and after a spot of jungle juice, a little spark and a firm kick - life was established - can't say that the little machine looked too happy to be dragged out into a freezing cold winter morning, the bike either -hey and what about the bald patch - hell I didn't think it was that bad.
Methinks your hero is going to look pretty natty in plus fours, crash helmet and a big grin, a cruising down the highways and byeways.

Now I think I'd better to learn to ride !!! More in our next exciting episode, byee / Splut !!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Life and Times of Albert Crackleport. Chapter 2

Albert here - What a sorry story I left you with last time.....The poor old (classic and one day valuable) XS2 Yamaha unloved and taken for part exchange. What did I buy as a replacement ? It had better be good Albert ! Ha ! Ha ! This is where past meets present. I exchanged the Yamaha and £450 for a Honda 550. Yes indeed, Honda fours were the tool to have back in them ther' dark days of pre-Thatcherism. Maybe not that dark ....In fact it was the long hot summer of 1976 and I didn't have a care in the world.. Here's a pic of a very proud young Albert and the new machine.

The group shot was on a camping trip to Cornwall the same year with a bunch of mates. What an assortment of bikes.... A10 BSA, a couple of Triumph Bonnies, a T500 Suzi and me far left on the 550.

Past meets present ? Well, it's the very bike I shall be using during 'Festival Week'. It's been part of the 'Crackleport' stable for 34 years. Crikey that's some way back...
In fact so far back it's making me dizzy thinking about it so I'm off for a carming beer....
Catch ya all later - Alb

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Don't forget me !

Baroness here - It's not all about you guys you know.......us girls are part of the action too ! I'll be part of the catering team, mainly due to the fact that my beef 'n' ale pies and chilli-con-carnes are the best in Yorkshire. I shall also be keeping my eye on Albert, if he thinks he's having another week of doing what he wants he's mistaken. .. bye for now .

Monday, 8 February 2010

Basil.K. signing in, I hope.

Greetings fellow sidevalvers, followers - if there's anybody out there.

This is my very first blog posting so goodness knows where it'll end up. Well this is the 3rd of the old triumvirate signing in. I see Belgium's here already - hi Koen old chap ! I hope all is ok over the water.

Hello Albert, what's happening dude. Are you warming up for the challenge, which reminds me, where did I put that bottle !

Basil.K. here - the junior member of this great motorcycling festival - blimey I'd better start learning to ride (again), though I've made a start. Been wearing me crash helmet - it's great, particularly when requested to carry out tasks by er indoors - can't hear a thing - fabulous.

Well must close now, to test this blog - lost it twice already - ecky thump !! Splut !!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Belgium signing in

-Belgium calling-

So Albert decided to organize a huge festival...can't miss that one!!
Time for "the Belgian" to get a proper bike ready to make the journey to the Blighty side of Europe.

There should be a competitive bike somewhere in my shet....just can't seem to find it....

I'll go first - The life and times of Albert Crackleport. Chapter 1

Albert here - as promised dear readers I'll give you an insight into the secret world of 'Crackleport'.........Will it be amusing ? Hum ! not sure ! I'll have to warn you all now though, it does cover quite a few decades of mechanical misdemeanors so beware !

Let's journey back in time to 1972 and here we find a young Albert at the pre-shaving age of 15 getting stuck into a bit of Scott tuning. The old girl belonged (and still does) to my Uncle who still has the Shipley built machine on his 'To Do List' of restorations.
Looking back it's got to be around this time that fate played it's hand, I had smelt the old Castrol oil and I succumed ! Forever trapped in a life filled with rusty old motorcycles..........who's complaining ? Not me............

Couple of years later and I've passed my motorcycle test. An upgrade is required ! Yes, unbeknown to me I buy a bike that is to become a classic......
I only had it 18 months then sold it ! DOH ! Well how was I to know !
Here's a picture of it...a Yamaha XS2.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The first jotting

Albert Crackleport here - signing in to the 'oldsidevalver' just to test the blog settings. Over the next few days I will arrange for the members to intoduce themselves and I'll also give a bit more background to 'The Old Sidevalve Bar' and the proposed Classic Motorcycle Festival that will take place later this year.
In the meantime........take care dear reader.
Time for a beer....