Sunday, 18 October 2009

A grand day out

Back from the Stafford Show and it's been the best day's shopping I could have imagined. Every part I needed for the stricken A50 was there. Total outlay: £340.

The redoubtable Mr Seeley provided expert guidance on how to lurk, pounce and haggle, and by early afternoon, snuffling around in boxes like a pig questing for truffles, I turned up an original teardrop tank badge to replace the one that broke. Better still was a pretty decent tank for £85, though the later filler cap was another £15. Even Diplomat came round on Sunday morning to look at the treasure trove.

Kidderminster Motorcycles provided most of the headlamp assembly stuff. They were hugely knowledgeable. I was also impressed by Bantam John's stock. You can get chromed, Indian-made tanks for the A7, A10, Gold Star and maybe a few others but they haven't yet started on the A50/A65.

The whole atmosphere of the place was one of thousands of blokes milling around rooting for bits or dreaming about their next project. It's amazing what jolts through your brain when you see even a sidepanel from your first bike. I felt huge pangs of desire for an old KH250 (a mere £600 with original exhausts), not to mention various XT500s and even another old BSA. It made up for the food being the usual dogburger standard of yesteryear.

Having stored all the new parts away I spent Sunday afternoon ripping into the bike to get the forks ready for straightening. This is harder than it sounds when only one arm works properly, but I am pretty certain now we have enough to put the old fossil together in a day. Only remaining problem is finding someone to do the paintwork for not too much.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A 50 year-old jigsaw

First job: assess the damage. Enter my friend Alan Sealey, a long time contributor to Classic Bike and Brit bike boffin. He rolled up the other night on his orange metalflake 750 Commando and, powered by nothing more than tea and a desire to see good done, inspected the stricken A50.

I would like to say I helped, but I didn't. Seven weeks after the crash my torn rotator cuff still doesn't even look like working. The legs, however, are more or less OK (the pic, included for purely voyeuristic reasons, shows them a few days after the event).

The full horror is thus:

New parts needed:
Clutch lever and clamp
Cowhorn handlebars, as preferred by owner Fee
Headlamp brackets and shell
Fork stanchions
Seat cover
Left footrest
Petrol tank
Sidepanel and front mudguard repaint


Steering damper and lockstops

Alan has plenty of ideas about where to get this stuff. First stop is the autojumble at the Stafford show on October 17th.