More from road-riding Sideburn schlingers
Well I bought this XR straight off the track in Feb 2004 from a guy called Marcus Link who raced under the name of Skid on number 39.
I picked the bike up around Early May from Felixstowe docks and as soon as I got it back to my workshop we swapped the oils filled the tank with fuel and as can be seen from the photo it took me for a spin.
It still had the track clay caked all over it and in 30 years of riding bikes it’s the first one to scare me, the fact it had no brakes and pulled a wheelie on the bump start had a little to do with it along with it locking my elbows out the moment I gave the throttle a twist.
Well there are bike owners and bike riders, for my sins I dwell in the second group and I simply furbished a front hub and disc brake, got it MOT’d and registered and then hit the road, literary!
Now this bike had been maintained by a farmer and had no frills or any form of maintenance undertaken short of the minimum needed for the track, it was not a pretty thing to behold.
I decided - against strong advice from older and wiser men - to not strip the motor but to just clean up the outside and get rid of the angle brackets and gaffer tape.
I spent the whole of the winter and all my money making it look nice.
The following summer I was ready, however the motor was a little ropey and again all the bearded wise men kept warning me to strip the lump down. But what did they know, the fools?
I would run it gently and not be stupid, but as I said earlier I am a rider not a builder and one beautiful Saturday I was annoying a couple of ‘leather back turtles’ on their Rice rockets through my town. They couldn’t understand why I was pipping them at all the lights. Then I stretched my luck to far.
As we left town we hit a dual-carriageway that starts at the bottom of a hill. I knew they would ‘pants’ me once they got going so my master plan was to floor it up the steep hill (Harleys do not know what hills are) and then by the time they had got into the zone I would have peeled off at the first roundabout leaving them to chase a ghost.
You may well be ahead of me here, they certainly were. I got halfway up the hill and was ringing the bike’s neck when it all went Pete Tong and the bits inside the engine decided to try to escape.
I can still hear the bastards laugh over the sound of their beautifully engineered machines.
All I will say is that £4000 and a couple of years later I now have a motor that runs nicely, though I have not learnt my lesson as I have cooked the painstakingly hand made exhaust system you see on the Castrol set up photo.
I am running on a Supertrapp set at the moment and as I will never learn its touch and go as to where and when it will be out and about.
I want to run it at a drag meet this summer for Cancer Research (I lost a kidney and some of my neck at Christmas, life catching up I spose), I will keep you informed!
Russ C, England