Here are some pics of two very different approaches to retro motorcycles. Firstly the new Kawasaki Z900RS ($18K) and then two models of Royal Enfield Interceptor 650cc twins ($10K) . These twins are the first in Australia and are at Nevermind motorcycles in Geelong.
Saturday 22nd April, Marty and I took a drive (in the car!) to the All Brit at Maldon. We left the ZX14’s in the garage as it had been raining overnight and most of the day before. The All Brit is based at Newstead, Vic, however, the participants take a short ride to the nearby historic town of Maldon where the old motorcycles take over the main street for a few hours.
Andy’s latest restoration, with his Commando in the background
Probably the most exotic motorcycle I’ve ever laid eyes on! A first model Series A rapide, sometimes referred to as “The Plunber’s Nightmare”.
Scott Flying Squirrel
Anyway, that’s a sample. To see a gallery of pics CLICK HERE
Marty and I took a run down to Lorne last evening to meet up with Steve on his vintage Norton – which he rode from Colac. Unfortunately the 79 year old bike broke down and had to return home on the trailer. Marty and I had a terrific run on the way home up through the bush to Deans Marsh on the big Kawasakis just before dusk on a beautiful balmy evening. From there we took the Cape Otway road to Geelong as the sun went down behind us.
The metric toolkit from the Kwaka wasn’t very helpful!
OK – below is part of the info (taken verbatim) from Steve’s 79×100 Norton blog. For a whole lot more detail, please go to Steve’s site HERE.
Well complete is a big word, but this probably as close as it gets .I’ll stick up some pics and some titles as well. I have no idea what this restoration cost and I suppose about three years of chasing parts and to be honest its a little disappointing when they are finished, still I have other projects to start and to finish .
I kind of like these pics from an angle at the rear and looking down .This shows a second hand muffler from one of the swap meetings the new K70 Dunlop rear tyre and the old style number plate bracket this one should have the tail light centred in a projection on the right hand top corner, if I pick up the correct one Ill swap them over .
The drive side shows MO1 maggy this one has to be a clockwise one, hard to find for sure , well actually you just need a cam plate that is a clockwise one, hours of work have gone into the chain cases, they always seem to be badly knocked about, some by having a primary chain derailed inside . The old style battery cases are a bit more expensive than the later ones I got this one from the UK can’t remember the company . You may notice the footrest cranks cast in bronze by Manx Classic Spares I thought they looked so good I didn’t bother with the black paint they won’t rust either .
This is the pretty side of most bikes, all that polished alloy, what a bastard to clean ! all those nooks and crannies with split pins poking out to rip at your hands .This is the famous Dolls Head gearbox that evolved into the AMC unit by the middle fifties the gears in this box are generally the same as the later lay down box the three bearings are interchangeable with their counterpart in the last 850 Commando and I think the lay shaft fits too although I believe the later ones are stronger .The gears fitted to the AMC box have a different profile and are not compatible with the earlier ones .Pre dolls head boxes [Sturmey Archer] have gears marked EIV the dolls head lay down have gears marked with a N8000 number that is the part number like N8043 and the AMC gears are often stamped AH also some have a lathe ring through the dogs The exhaust was purchased from Feked in the UK its actually a 500 T part that fitted up nicely
FRONT END Indian copy of Webb girders 1950’s hub laced into Dunlop 21 inch mudcatcher rim with stainless spokes. Just fitted a new Avon rib tyre, the mud guard was made by Adam Higgins [THE EARLY YEARS] who can make anything you want he’s at the Ballarat and Bendigo swaps his phone number is 03 5148 3207 This guy is an artisan and very well priced. I had to extend the brake lever and make up a heap of spacers to centre the wheel in the forks. The original would have had the QD brake and hub set which is much wider, Norton did fit a one piece hub/brake before the war but only in the Inters and some ES2’s and would have been combined with a cradle frame. The the clunkers were left with the open diamond frame the tractor mudguards the square oil tanks and the wide girders.
BACK END I managed to find the correct cotton reel hub a new sprocket and the correct brake plate. I pulled this alloy rim off my Commando and replaced it with a SS item, home made chain guard mudguard stays repro rear stand from Rod [Portland ]and repro number plate bracket original Lucas tail light actually still had olive drab paint on it .
I found this transfer and thought it would look good on the tank, I have no idea where they should be placed or on what model. The work on the tank was really an experiment because the primer /filler is a 2 pac paint. I then picked a colour that was a acrylic [Jaguar silver metalic ] then put the stickers on and put a 2 pac clear over the lot. I was expecting all sorts of trouble but it appears these products are compatible
(Jules edit: Here is what the tank looked like when first repaired)
Jules edit: below is some video I shot of the bike running, but before it was completed.
As is our habit, the West Coast Procrastinators met for our annual first of January ride and AGM. Marty and I left Geelong in overcast conditions and arrived at Steve’s place (near Colac) to find Andy and Steve raring to go. Andy had brought his recently purchased 1973 GT 550 Suzuki along instead of his usual mount, a ’69 Norton Commando. After New Year handshakes, a picture of the motorcycles and some banter we headed off to Timboon, Vic.
Andy’s ‘new’ 1973 GT550
Marty and my ZX14R’s
Unfortunately we were not that many kilometers down the road when Andy’s bike suffered a “failure to proceed”. Andy has not restored this bike and it illustrates the potential pitfalls of purchasing an already “restored” bike that has been restored by someone of unknown capability.
I took Andy back to Steve’s, where Andy had his car and trailer and he was able to load the stricken Suzuki and then continue on for lunch at the Timboon hotel.
After a few fleeting showers of rain in the morning the return trip was in sunny conditions. We stuck to a series of back roads and avoided the traffic associated with a public holiday and the general 12 Apostles area.
It was another grand ride to start 2015 with for three of the Procrastinators, however, it was a great get together for all four.