Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Despite my Fireblade having nearly twice the power, I could never even keep up along a windy lane with my mate on his F1.  That's because he can ride properly.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Fred at his very best

Not my Fault
This link breaks every time I close the browser.  If you really want to read it you can follow the link in the previous post, then look for 'bin 5' and 'Not my fault Fred'.

Fred Gassit

I identify with Fred Gassit, we're about the same height, same build, loner, dreamer, waster, both like sausages.  Haven't seen much of him lately.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Flamin Cars

An old friend Marvin Zilm likes setting fire to things.

Friday, 16 July 2010


Madelvic Electric Carriage Company built electric cars in Granton, Edinburgh from 1898 to 1900.  The factory cost £33,000 and was way over budget leaving the company financially vulnerable.  This was the first purpose built car factory in the UK and is the oldest still surviving.

The carriage carried up to half a ton and could still manage steep hills that left horse drawn carriages struggling.  One of the first customers to recognise the value of this was the Post Office who purchased three of the vehicles.  It was a traditional Edwardian brougham carriage but built on a tubular steel chassis with wire spoked steel wheels and solid tyres.  The batteries sat at the front, presumably under the footplate and the electric motor had a direct drive to the the central wheel. 

After liquidation in 1900 several other car companies occupied the the premises building buses, lorries and taxis there until 1925, all with internal combustion engines.  The building is not architecturally special, however even in its current neglected and dilapidated state it is still a spectacular factory space.  Despite being listed grade B, approval for demolition was granted in January 2010.

Thursday, 22 April 2010


Some months ago I was wondering if it was possible to use belt drive on a bicycle.  A few weeks ago, on a quick trip to London I visited Mosquito Bikes and found this.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Woodn't believe it

New piston for a long stroke engine and a piece of machined aluminium.  Please note that workshop cleanliness is not too important when making wooden pistons.

Many years ago a work mate told me a story about a friend of his who, in the fifties had bought a pre war Rolls Royce. This friend of a work mate apparently paid a weeks wage for it, only a few pounds and maybe just £500 in current values. So a great bargain. It ran beautifully, smooth, quiet and was everything you would expect from such a quality car. Having stopped for fuel on the way home however, he couldn't get the car started again and completed the journey behind a tow truck. His local mechanic had a look at it and after stripping down the engine he reported finding a load of wooden pistons. This apparently worked because each induction stroke cools the piston enough to stop them burning. But when stationary the pistons char and disintegrate. Being unable to find replacement pistons the car was eventually scrapped.

Of course I never believed a word of it. But until today I never thought to Google it. There are several similar stories, all referring to a third party experience, much like my own, but no admissions from an 'engineer' with a wood lathe. If anyone has proof, I want to see it.

As pistons for my Montesa 348 are getting scarce I may try a wooden one sometime however, what with it being a piston ported two stroke it might be quite complicated.

Friday, 12 March 2010


Back in December I posted on the Godden V twin.  And here's a beautiful example.  From Chalopy.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Ducati F1

A friend has one of these, I never got to ride it. Don't blame him.


Surviving prototype at Duxford and wind tunnel model at Cosford, below.

Rafael Rozendaal

Would like to spend a day throwing bottles at a wall.  newrafael.com/blog/


Short trip to southern Spain but managed to take in a training day at Curcuito De Jerez.  Never seen an F1 car on the track before. Only about ten teams present but it looks like they have a truck each, and all from the UK.