High Noon

You can listen to this whilst reading the post.   It might build the tension.

In the film, Gary Coopers character, Will Kane gets married and hangs up his badge.   On the day that he is leaving town he finds out that the dastardly Frank Miller is coming in on the noon train.    Will locked Frank up several years earlier and Frank is looking for revenge.    Will decides that he can’t leave the townsfolk in the hands of the Miller gang and so returns to face his destiny and asks the townfolk to help him.   The people of Hadleyville shun him though and Will has to face Frank and his cronies alone.  His new wife is a pacifist and vows to leave on the next train with or without Will.

The beauty of the film is that it is played back almost in real time (a bit like 24 but in black and white and with less torture) and you just can’t be sure that it is going to end happily.   I shall leave you to find it and watch for yourself.  It is 85 minutes of classic Western that you should make the most of.

Little Project faced its own High Noon.   I have been searching the world for the bits that I need to finish it off with no luck.   The time had come for me to either knuckle down and start making things or to put Little Project on the last train out of Shedville.

I wandered down to the shed to take stock.    There’s (still) a lot of wiring to do.    The brakes don’t brake.    The chain is too long and the engine does not start.   I’d made a complete mess of painting the tank and then in the process of pouring fuel into it last spring I had managed to take off half of the paint that I had put on.

I figured eBay was probably the best option.  A nearly finished project that had received a lot of love and was (in its own way) quite famous might actually tempt somebody with time on their hands.   I can even pass over the blog for the new owner to keep up the good work.   I think it will be important that the people who have taken the time to read this get to know how it all ends.

I was looking at the droopy chain and remembered that when I had picked up some of my fathers old tools a few years ago there was a chain link remover somewhere.   I thought I  might as well take a link out because it’s not a well known skill.    I took a link out and then another and the chain was nice and tight.   One less job to do for somebody.

Then I looked at the front brake which has defeated me for 18 months and thought “If I take that nut off and move that bit over there then it would probably make it easier to explain why it doesn’t work”.   So I took that nut off and thought about it a bit more and put the nut back on in a different place and then the brakes worked okay.

I thought I would take one last look at the wiring.   I went through my notes (still in the elephant hide book with the gold clip) and figured that the notes would be really useful for the new buyer as they were very comprehensive and it would take somebody new to the electrics a while to work them out, and how would they remember that purple was the new light blue?  Then I decided just to solder a few of the wires together so that it looked more tidy so I took the wiring loom up to the kitchen (nobody was in so it was safe), put David Bowie on the music machine and started soldering.

Then it was five hours later and I had remembered why I was restoring the bike.   I enjoy it.   I like the satisfaction of some little thing going right and I enjoy the interaction with the wonderful people on the internet who have encouraged me over the last 28 months (bloody hell!   It was going to be ready by my birthday in 2013).

And so we’re back.  From outer space.

It will be finished by my birthday.

50 shades of…


Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your bent), not the E.L. James type of thing, more of a “roadkill, oil and mud” situation.

I thought I would spend the weekend polishing bits. I am holding off on doing anything more technical until HOAP arrives as I can then see what bits of XL125 readily transplant to CT125 and thus save my never ending search for specific parts of Little Project. I decided I would start off with the brake plates, they are satisfyingly dirty and I expected them to come up clean with the minimum of effort.

The back plate was soon responding to treatment. Gunk to remove the crud. Wet and dry 240 to remove the stain marks in the aluminium, Wet and dry 800 to remove the scratch marks caused by the wet and dry 240, fine grade wire wool liberally coated with Solvol Autosol to bring up the sheen and a buffing over with baby seal skin to really make them shine (I may have made the last bit up).

I’ve been putting off looking at the front brake plate. I knew that the screw that holds the speedo cable in needed drilling out but I laugh in the face of such trivia. I wasn’t really expecting the cam that opens up the front brake to be rusted in solid. I’ve put it into the WD40 bath along with the fork stanchion with the rusty spring stuck in it but I fear that I have just added another item to the list of things to purchase.

The fork legs proved to be surprisingly decent once the 30 years of mud had been fetched off them. When I say surprisingly decent, this just means there is a lot of sanding down to do to remove layers of oxidisation but they will eventually come up as good as new.

I also considered (once again) the spraying of the frame. I’ve decided that I will be better served by getting it shot blasted and powder coated. It seems that the cost for this is less than the amount I would be spending on paint and primer to get it done myself.

The question arises, where is HOAP? I had a call from David on Thursday saying that it had been picked up was heading up to Scotland for the weekend (perhaps it wants to do a bit of Salmon fishing and maybe take a look for the Loch Ness monster). I called the courier on Friday and he was in Spain. Not sure if he’d decided that Scotland wasn’t worthy of HOAP and it needed some sunshine or whether he’d left HOAP to its own devices on Sauchiehall Street for a while. He’s going to give me 24 hours notice of delivery and “it should be sometime this week”.

I’ve also received more info from Martyn, owner of the pen pal of Little Project. He’s already stripped down and ready to move on. Tsk. No drilling out involved? No grazed knuckles? Martyn also corrected my error about him rebuilding his bike in the kitchen. I should say that his workshop is better equipped than my kitchen although unlike my kitchen it doesn’t seem to have a three legged cat pooing in every corner.

For any other budding members of the informal CT125 owners club (“owner” may be a misnomer, perhaps CT125 rebuilders club would be better), I shall shortly be putting a link at the top of the page (or bottom if you are a mobile user) to useful things. Please feel free to contribute anything that you feel may be even remotely useful.