motorcycle camping

was getting myself ready last night for the hayride and decided id share a little info on my setup

a few people have commented i manage to pack a bike small but still have what i need when i go off. a lot of it is a matter of going camping a lot and taking out of the pack what you didnt use. first few trips i was like a rolling flea market the amount of junk id take, this is what i have whittled it down to now and has been my standard basic for the last few years now. if im going for a week or a weekend - same pack, just more or less clothes. now this lot just all lives on a shelf and if im going off i can be packed in 10 minutes

i have a slightly bigger back for winter camping so i can carry my winter sleeping bag and slightly larger tent

so anyways - here it is, you have to invest a little to travel small, weight isnt an issue on a bike though so you dont have to go crazy buying all ultra camping gear

1) army surplus seabag that i had shortened at a cobblers so it fit my gear right - its custom baby
2) brew kit - tin mug, eco gel burner with stand and jet lighter [all fits in the mug] brews up in 5 minutes
3) axe - blunt end good for tent pegs in hard ground, pointy end good if you are lucky enough to be allowed a fire where you are camping
4) old glasses case - full of tea and coffee - ready mix milk sugar coffee sachets makes life easy
5) toilet paper sample pack - about 1/3 of a roll without the tube in the middle taking up space in its plastic pack so it stays dry - campsites never have bog roll, and if they do it always runs out
6) wash / medical kit
7) small 1 man tent - mines a cheapy aztec rapido
8) poncho - this is england, it will rain at some stage even in the summer
9) crewsaver towel - they pack small and dry out fast and they are a full size towel
10) alpkit base 120 - a small 2/3 size blow up mattress
11) sleeping bag - snugpak chrysalis micro

more on the captain

was a lovely sunny weekend so i went out riding for a few hours on the panther both days - its what its all about at the end of the day. they might be a bit slow but they are a bike that puts a big smile on my face

got back and decided i wanted to mock together this outside to get an overall view of it with its new forks in, didnt take long but i love it

off to get frame sorted in a couple of weeks then its ON

sideburn release

forecast doesnt bode well but ill be out on the bike anyways. if i get off work in time ill see you there, if not have some cake for me

fast friends

i know the buzz is about the over 300mph run at loring last weekend

but the one that blows my mind is my friend mike - he squeezed 158.97mph out of his BSA - he is aiming for 160 and hes close enough to taste it... GO BABY GO

captain cleckheaton

had a play on this, I'm getting my mate benny at boneshaker choppers to do the dry built for me coz I don't have time really at the minute

pretty much everything is out of the spares stash except the forks (finch 42" long jobbies winging their way from america as i type) and a wheel that my dads re-lacing to 21" as i type. so parts wise it will be a pretty cheap build.

but this is a quick chop n prop together. I like the feel of it, not to a lot of peoples taste maybe, but it is mine so I'm happy, will sit a bit lower at the front with the proper forks, and the motor will sit up just a tiny bit but it's the feel

no seat ideas or exhaust ideas yet but im sure benny will have a few thoughts to throw into the mix


got me some nice plunger weld ons from british cycle supply for captain cleckheaton

nice company to deal with, hope the product is as nice as they are - cheers fellas

kwak w800

i collect my new w800 in the morning, but why dont they offer this as an option??! its way too nice. less chrome, more black, nicer paint than stock. its a winner in my book

sadly no time to put more than 40 or 50 miles on it this weekend though, i have panthers that need building / setting up for the hayride

looking for a plunger frame

as it says, I only need the back half, all springs carrier etc intact and there it's to modify onto the back of a panther front loop so front can be bent, bad stamped numbers or whatever that's all getting cut off so no worries anyone holding anything? or know of anythings whereabouts?

w800 report

had the w800 on test saturday morning - well having owned a sporty and a bonneville in the past i think im in a pretty good position to compare and contrast

ill start off dispelling the bull of it being a copy of the bonneville - it isnt. the w650 was launched 2 years before the bonneville even hit the forecourts. the w800 to all intents and purposes is a bored out 650 with a few tweaks. it would have been nice if they kept the kick start on it though

first impressions - walking up to the bike its small - no smaller than the bonnie but it looks dwarfed by all the massive cruisers and sports bikes in the showroom. but it shines like a jewel in a belly dancers navel. the fit and finish looks excellent quality.

one big bonus over the bonnie to me is its actually made of metal - who'd a thought - a bike with metal parts in 2011... ok so its probably a bit heavier, it might rust a little if scratched, but it just seems more like a real motorbike than a toy

after my "briefing" on the controls (they are very minimal) i started it up - man its quiet.

jumped on and the seat feels a little strange - slightly tilted forwards, but i got used to it in a few minutes, when i hit the motorway for a little while that tilt actually makes for comfier cruising when you get up to say 70mph [cough] - its got PLENTY of go when you twist the throttle on the motorway

the motor feels to have more bottom end than the bonnie ever did but not the torque that a sporty has, i find it comfier position at speed than the sporty, similar to the boneville but after 45 minutes the bonneville seat wasnt too comfy for me.

it was a rainy day [i know.. in england - crazy eh..] so the roads were a bit greasy so i didnt nail it around TOO hard but its a pretty confidence inspiring bike - goes where you point it and stops well - the single disk up front and drum out back are more than enough for this relatively lightweight bike - kawasaki have got some stick for releasing a modern bike with a drum rear - well - its a bloody retro, if you modernise everything then its not any more is it?! the drum locks the rear without too much stamping - a disk would do no more

its refreshing to see a new machine that actually looks like a motorcycle rather than a space ship

the down-side to the kawa.. options from kawasaki and the aftermarket, or lack there of... a choice of paint would be nice - im not talking a million variation but maybe just 2 to pick from would be nice of them (1 being black). the factory doesnt even make a rack for it. the kawasaki book list a whopping 3 things you can buy as extras.

thats not a great worry to me but a rack that would fit straight from the box would have been nice.

anyhows, the vertict - vintagechop star rating.... drum roll...

4 out of 5

the softail is going and im getting one - did some haggling and put down a deposit - collecting this weekend - im just sick of not being able to park the softail in a london parking bay coz its too long / so wide and some van driver will drive over the front end of it.. the kwak will hussle through traffic a heap easier too for me - anyone want to buy a softail haha

finished for this year

this panther is done for the year [baring a little gearbox fettling next weekend]

new bars and seat since last time, nothing fancy just a nice, fun rider. it leaks a little oil, it smokes a little, but its great to hammer round the country lanes on.

Choppers Suck

got another death science delivery this week - more niceties in stock including the choppers suck tail light

test ride booked

people that know me know that i horse trade bikes about as often as most people change their shirts - next.... w800 test ride booked for saturday - will report back. they certainly tick lot of boxes on paper. prefer the look over the bonneville i had a year or 2 back that got written off - the media are pretty nice about it so we shall see


as of a month or 2 back im one of the stockers, i just got round to finding a few bits and pieces to put up on the stockers site

top bunch of fellas, proud to be in. looking forwards to the hayride which will be the next major stockers gathering - bring on the drink, i am partial to the odd shandy or 2

lowbrow p-nut tank

Got a p-nut tank from lowbrow and its spot on - its what i wanted originally for the 33 panther but couldnt thoil spending over £100 on a scrap one off an autojumble thats full of filler / dints / holes / cracks and is wafer thin.... lowbrow to the rescue with their new tanks - spot on quality

biltwell banana seats in stock

the long awaited sportster banana seats now in stock here in the UK in the STORE - fill yer boots

Twin Engine Tuesday

all i know is off the image title - santapod, '67, twin villers - STRIP TEASER

looking for springers

i need a set of long springers - something in the region of 18 over. anyone got anything they can part with? bad chrome etc not an issue if the price reflects it. drop me a line if you have anything. not interested in any DNAs or similar - im a snob ha

panther moving sideways

well - 2 days of 13 hour garage days and ive not achieved a lot really other than getting thoroughly pissed off with a gearbox

got the new bars made, carburation sorted i recon - runs like a champ now all through the revs, think i have the clutch sorted but time will tell on that one, the gearbox however is turning into a headache... it selects all 4 gears lovely when in the garage, as soon as under power it wont select 4th, just a neutral there instead. i put in a new mainshaft coz that had a lot of end float in it, put in a new 4th gear [all in the bike i add] re-assemble and still same problem... thinking of putting a new box complete in there and seeing where i go from there

still, its starting to look how i want, just need to sort the trials seat / fabricate a rack up now other than my gearbox woes