Pete and Laz

Pete and Laz
Yeah, Pete it's rough...but it's a runner.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Yeah, I've got some projects...

Some views of my spare 850 Norton Head...which looks to be in pretty good shape. I'll have to check the valves, guides and seats. One thing that makes me happy is the condition of the threads in the exhaust ports.One of the threads is stripped out on my other head. Have this idea of doing a modification to the original head and coming up with a slip-on exhaust system with stubs mounted to the head....we will see...

Looking back.....looking forward.

With all the time I've had off from work lately, I've been spending way too much time on this infernal machine...and the new-ish communicator . Blogs are work, and I started this thing for my own amusement , and hopefully as a way to get focused and keep track of what I'm up to. I've noticed that there has been a fall off of posting, at many of the blogs I check out from time to time...a few, I've fallen behind on reading... myself...and oh yeah....did I mention my new blog? It had been sitting in the 'can' for awhile, and with the new year decided to launch it.

Yeah, a few are virtually at stand stills, yet others manage to truck along at frenetic pace...lot's of cool and interesting stuff going on here and there around the planet... my television expired a couple of years ago...haven't missed it. I have a couple others I could break out of the 'okie-bank' and get set up....but being old tech as they are...why bother. I do have a nice flat screen that I occasionally hook up to the little mini-puter, someday I'll break down and sign up for TV service again....but for now I have enough to keep me entertained.

Was a little skeptical of Instagram at first...but, once you ignore all the silly stuff (OK I'm guilty of posting a few 'selfies' there...) and latch on to some cool people to 'follow'....see some good stuff, and get a feel for what life in other parts is like...This morning I ran into a couple in London, who are building a 27 T on an 'A' frame...which is where my T project may be headed...? If it's ok with them, I'll put a pic or two of their project on the other blog, or at least a link. Facebook, well...(anyway, taking a cue from a fellow blogger I'll try to be nice)...there are some good 'groups' over there.....and a lot of keeerappp! sigh, it's hard to be nice sometimes...

Projects...yeah, I got a few. Some of these things have been going on for decades. Picked up most of them for a song...compared to current E-Bay prices....shhheeesssh E-Bay...I've not bought there yet. Several years ago a friend and I sold some stuff there. Then it seemed like everything changed and heard a lot of complaints. Might give it a try again sometime, I'm in need of some Honda 450 parts. Need a good crankshaft for a later 5 speed model, or a set of replacement connecting rods and bearings to rebuild the original crank. I use to do crankshaft re-building in a former life. Hardest one I recall, was one for a Suzuki 750 'Water Buffalo' or a 'Kettle' as they were called in other parts of the planet. The shop I worked at had a monster press that would handle it. Some shops wouldn't touch them. The old shop....yeah there are some stories I could go on about from those times....but, not now....Projects...yeah I got some.

Heard that Sideburn magazine is going to spend some time in the states this year, and there is talk of a 'Dirtquake USA'. Hoping it is on the West coast. Going to accelerate some dirt track bike projects, as I'd like to participate in that one. I have a 1971 Honda SL 100 that my brother and I built in 1971 as a racebike for him. Home brewed big-bore kit using a modified 175 twin piston. A three-quarter race cam. Ported and polished...all that jazz. (The piston was modified by Carl Crank, of Penton Racing fame, when he was working at a local shop. He was married to the sister of a former landlord of mine. We use to see him out practicing on his race bikes). Yeah, that little bike had some ooooomph....even with a big monkey on it, it would pull some monster wheelies and would power slide like a dream. I have another SL 350 that I'd like to do up as another flat tracker. Have never had the engine apart, but was always suspicious some one had 'breathed' on it. It always went like stink, compared to my other 350's. Yeah, may have to part with some money and pick up some flat track rubber....which leaves another long term project...a Triumph 650 twin, I picked up for 50 dollars about thirty years ago. It would make a nice flat tracker...think I've got a spoolie front wheel somewhere still...and a Ceriani front end...time to dive into the okie-bank...

Lot's of projects....gonna stick with the Honda street bikes for now....though I'd like to get started on some British bikes. I miss my Norton 850. Been off the road for some years now....stripped exhaust thread in the head, and it was jumping out of gear....which led to some exciting second gear wheelies. This bike has an engine that was 'breathed on' by Mick Hemmings. I bought it from a guy (The infamous 'model T naysayer'...Mr. Marx)...who bought it from a guy , who bought the bike new in the UK when he was stationed there...a Sgt. Gregory. The Sgt. broke his back when this bike ate a valve and threw him down the road. When he recovered, he had the engine re-done by Mick Hemmings... new bottom end...went for a hotter camshaft, big 'square-Amals'...some head and port work. For some reason the Sgt. swapped the Norton front end for one off of a Honda 650 Four, running the Norton wheel. It's got nice alloy rims.  My friend Grant (also known as 'the model T naysayer') bought the Norton as his first motorcycle. I loaned him a CB 100 Honda to learn on. Grant eventually had the head freshened up, swapped in a single Mikuni carb set up, and  my brother painted it a 'Porsche' red. He rode it for awhile and one day sold it to me. I rode the bike for a few years until the exhaust thread gave it up. I picked up a second Norton....a basket case. It came with a cherry head, and a complete stock Norton front end assembly. Soooo have the parts, and the Norton will probably be the first British project....well, after the Triumph 650 dirt bike project.....

Speaking of Sgt. Gregory....a few years ago he contacted me through the California department of motor vehicles...he wanted to know if I wanted to sell the Norton. Evidently, as he put it, he sold the bike during a 'divorce induced depression'....or words to that effect. Well Sarge, if you are reading this...I'm the guy that came over with the buyer to test ride the Norton that day...and it's still not for sell, sorry. Hope you got another one in the mean time.

yeah... I got some projects....


  1. Jeez Laz, kick bottom post man, you do have some shit on for sure, love the Commando heads, the inlet angles were so perfect in design . . . just make sure you keep this blog going mate, as opposed to me who posts some fluff quite frequently, but that;s indicative of how my mind's always been, yours is always informative and full of perspective . . . the Little Wing caper is looking the bomb and look forward to seeing more as it progresses, along with all the other 'stuff' you can be distracted by. Keep on trucking mate, giddy up !!!

    1. Always enjoy your blog Pyscho/CycleMan. Enjoy getting a perspective of down under. You and Mr. Bailey are always educating me in the area of music.Tim's machining skills have got me excited about getting a lathe I bought 2 years ago home and running. I enjoy looking at everyone's projects for inspiration...and seeing pics of things other than motorsickle stuff is cool too. Better post this post...the web has been acting strangely today...

  2. I've been told that blogs are "so 2009."
    About six years ago, while scrolling through my DirecTV guide,(500 channels and nothing's on) I decided I could watch crappy TV for free. Cancelled my satellite service and hooked up rabbit ears. It's all HD and good enough for me.
    Get busy with those projects Lar.

    1. That's the plan Herm...gonna ramp up production, and see how many I can knock out before the years over...

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