Sunday, 30 November 2008


Albert here - with the Blighty weekly update. Well, not a lot of action to report on this week I'm afraid. Have spent a couple of hours down at 'The Old Sidevalve Bar' working on the skimmed flywheel. I told previous of the need to finish by hand due to the fact that the skimming couldn't extend to the outer edge, (this was to maintain the mount for the magneto.)

So as the winter sun shone through the window, slightly warming the workshop to just above freezing I started filing the stubs left after the angle grinder had removed the remains of the cooling fins.

Thought I'd post a picture of progress, still needs a little more filing and a final polish with wet and dry.

I'm annoyed with myself for not asking 'Kev the Lathe' to blend in the centre boss. At the time I was keeping our options open on how to start the engine, keeping the boss would have allowed refitment of the pulley for rope start. Nah, did you ever see a daring speed-king fire up his steed with a bit of old washing line......

Obliging as ever Kev says bring it back to 'Govi Engineering' and he'll sort.
Still need to decide the finish.....paint or plating....
Must go......mi dinners ready.....Roast beef, Yorkshire puds n' all the trimmin's....mmmmm

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Local Treacle.

Albert here - The trip last week over to see my mates at 'Govi Engineering' had me thinking. Yes, I know a lot of thinking is dangerous......but......just occasionally it's worth the risk....
It was as I passed the entrance to the treacle mines that I realised what a valuable commodity Team Picklington had on their doorstep. Yes, a substance that has cured all ills for countless millennium. Pudsey Treacle ! ! Could it be possible ....that...this locally mined natural substance could have the necessary lubricational properties needed to withstand the high demands of a tuned 'Briggs and Stratton'. I needed to do research and seek advise from people in 'the know'.
Googling 'Treacle Mining' I found a wealth of info and a technical boffin less than 100 miles away in Natland. I sent the following email,

Sent: 26 November 2008 08:50To: editor@natland.infoSubject: TREACLE

It is with some suprise I see that there are treacle mines in Natland. I thought Pudsey in West Yorks had the exclusive mining rights. However I'm wondering if you could help with advice on the properties of the treacle mined in your area. A collegue of mine Basil K, Splutterpipe and myself Albert Crackleport are in a motorcycle race next year against 2 crazy belgians. Have you any info on the lubricational properties of treacle ? I'm thinking our highly tuned engine needs all the help it can get and maybe treacle is superior to Castrol R.

Looking forward to your comments and possible sponsership...check out our blog of the bike build ..

tally ho

Today I am in receipt of the necessary info to make an decision. See the attached -

Flag this message
Wednesday, 26 November, 2008 6:41 PM
Greetings Albert

Thank you for your e-mail. I have referred your query to the General Manager of the Natland Treacle Mining Company Limited, Mo Lasses, who advises that the company does not divulge information on the lubrication properties of Natland Treacle. The company can reveal that its main use in recent years has been in the building trade and there are several houses round here actually built, in part, of Natland Treacle. This probably explains why local children have been seen apparently licking the walls.

Neither Natland Treacle Mining Company Limited nor takes any responsibility for any action arising out of the comment that follows and you must decide whether the suggestion contravenes the law of the land or the rules of the race and take full responsibility for the consequences of your actions. However, it might be useful, in the context of the race, to have a few handfuls of finely chopped Natland treacle secreted in your pockets and judiciously thrown under the wheels of the crazy Belgians at the right moment. Depending on the temperature of the air, the road surface and their tyres, this could either cause them to skid out of control or alternatively to be glued in position. Either way, their race would come to a sticky end.

We hope this is helpful. Regarding sponsorship, sadly the Natland Treacle Mining Company Limited advises that their sponsorship budget has been fully spent, trying to recruit national health dentists to the area to sort out the problems of those local children whose teeth have strangely deteriorated.

Good luck with your race.

Vi. Scid Treacle Correspondent

So you know as much as me !
I'm oft back to mi shed.......Albert

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Slimmer of the Year !

Albert Here - Reporting in with a Blighty Update.
It must have been a couple of months ago at least I mentioned to all you good readers of the 'Oilyracer' blog, that after discussions over beer and pickles down at 'The Old Sidevalve Bar' my collegue Splut had reluctantly given in and allowed the skimming of the flywheel to commence.
Poor Splut, torn between preserving a precious piece of a faithful old 'Briggs and Stratton' engine or pushing the boundries in motorcycle development ! LETS GET SKIMMING I hear you cry...
So, our heavyweight flywheel was transported over the valley to a small engineering shop just south of the Pudsey Treacle Mines. (You didn't know about the treacle mines ? Try Wikipedia:Treacle Mines or this website )
Anyway enough of the geography lesson today...back to the flywheel and my mates down at 'Govi Engineering'-
I was greeted by 'Kev the Lathe'. A rare breed amongst engineers because he never questions my requests....none of this 'Ya can't do that mate, it'll fu## it up !'
"Can ya skim it doon ta this shoulder that's for't magneto?" I asked
"Leave it wi mi, I'll fit it in for ya, no worries"...I'll giv' ya nod went it's done"
So, last week I got the nod and picked up the aforementioned flywheel......just as I'd asked, 'Kev the Lathe' had done a brill job, skimmed as close to the magneto shoulder as possible.
Before skimming the flywheel weighed 7.7 kilo now.....a shapely 5.4 kilo.
As you can see from the first picture it wasn't possible to skim the cooling fins completely off due to the need to retain the shoulder.
Thats what ya old mate Albert is doing right now, I'm in the process of grinding them flush with the main casting and then I'll have to dress with file and fine polishing.
Now if that 'aint gonna look slim 'n' sexy spinning on the side of our highly polished 'Briggs and Stratton' I don't know what will !
Final finish unknown at this point in time butI am researching D.I.Y. plating...let's see what can be done for a couple of quid. Any more than that and it'll be paint !
Right that's me for today....I'll take a pot of tea down ta shed and carry on with the grind.
Ta Ta for now.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Belgium reporting on progress

In fact not much happening over here, still struggling with the electronics of the "good" old 500 cc.We found out that the primary coil was failing and bought a second hand on eBay in the UK ...which didn't work nether. Could there be a conspiracy on Blighty's side?
Mailed the seller and he is going to send another (working) one ... hopefully.

As some of you guys know I'm rebuilding our house intensively for many years now.Had to move some boxes in the cellar and discovered a small treasure from the past....I thought I hadn't pictures from "the good old days" but it seems I'm becoming way older then I think I am.The pic is showing me on my good friend Walter's Ducati 600 cc somewhere in France. I think it was 10 years ago... probably more .......liked destroying my trousers those day...
Keep you posted,Koen.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Fred Dibnah Tuning

Crackleport here - reporting from Blighty on our weekly progress.

Thought I'd take advantage of a little autumn sunshine and bring the old 'Briggs and Stratton' out for a photo session.

As you can see the the motor is now painted with engine enamel and the auxillary fittings are being removated or replaced before bolting on. We have made a new breather from old 15mm copper heating pipe and a threaded brass electrical fitting. Also a 'bling' dummy oil pipe from a couple of old air pipe unions and a length of 8mm copper tube left over from the Pembleton build. Last but not least the brass central heating boiler fitting that caused great excitement a couple of days fits a treat on the exhaust port thread and now forms the basis for an exhaust system of jaw dropping beauty...(hopefully).
So....thats it for now...time for another cuppa and chocolate digestive before I set to with the 'Brasso' and polish up mi pipes

Thursday, 13 November 2008

W're thes' muck thes' brass

Albert here - Big excitement at moment.....found somethin' for nuthing....

Yes there I am earning extra points by continuing the work on the house, pulling the old boiler out of the not the wife !!!!! the old central heating gas boiler and whats attached to the back ?

Oh yes.! Some huge brass first glance looking like the same thread as the exhaust port of the 'Briggs and Stratton'

Well at this moment thats all I'll be telling it out ! (cos I have to, this is only the small seeds of a plan that could go nowhere...or..........could be the start of the makings of an exhaust that a Fowler Traction Engine would be proud of.)

Time for a cuppa. (and another look at my brass fittings)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Cams 'n' Big End

Albert here, reporting in with the latest news for all the 'Oilyracer' fans around the world.

Continuing the general refurbishment of the 'Briggs and Stratton. Off came the sump plate this week, giving Splutterpipe and myself a chance to peep at the bottom end of our Milwaukee made Internal Combustion Propulsion Unit. (ok....engine for short)

Guess theres scope for improvement in the cam department, although it's not planned prior to the 'Build Off Competition' . The govenor will be left insitue but not connected.
Tonight there is a Beer, Cheese and Cruncher evening down at 'The Old Sidevalve Bar' and I propose to unveil my latest ebay buy to the Picklington Precision Supporters Group.
Expect more news tomorrow.........

Sunday, 2 November 2008

More Polishing Shop

Blighty Boys here - reporting in to all you 'Oilyracer' fans. Quiet week I'm afraid, both Splut and myself have been good lads over the last few days, rather than spend evenings in the Polishing Shop we have chosen instead to keep calm in the house and catch up with a spot of D.I.Y.
Yes eventually through training (coming home to cold dinners...or maybe no dinner..?) us 'old uns' have learnt that earning points with 'the missus' is a vital part of a bike building. Saturday morning yours truly...(yes me Albert !) had enough points in the bag to allow a session working on the 'Briggs and Stratton'.

Removing the aluminium side plates revealed the inner workings and jolly fine they look too.

I'll share a look in the engine with you, but thats all as yet.......oh and a glimpse of that flat head configuration

The cleaning and polishing continues............