Hello! Thanks for visiting my new blog all about the restoration of my old Matchless motorbike. I thought it would probably make sense to also add a little bit of info about me, just so you know where all the incoherent rambling on this web site are coming from! So here goes…… erm, well what would you like to know?
Well no offence, but you could be a real weirdo (in fact, if you’re reading blogs about old motorbikes you almost certainly are a weirdo!) so I think I’ll keep this a little generic. I’m from Wolverhampton in the UK, but am currently on a sabbatical break for a year or two living in Hyderabad in southern India. Much warmer and sunnier all round!
I’m an engineer by trade, and hence my fascination with old bikes and the like. Modern machines that need a computer and programming degree just to change the oil really don’t have the same charm as a temperamental old bike, although of course all that no doubt changes when the thing packs up miles from home on a cold wet winters night.
Now it’s actually been quite a while since I owned a motorbike last. I was at university and in need of some cheap personal transport, so thought a learner legal 125cc bike would be just the ticket. I didn’t really need to go too far (apart from the odd commute between home and uni) and taking the A-roads rather than the motorway seemed a much more pleasant route anyway. But I really didn’t want one of those boring little learner-legal hairdriers on wheels, so I searched until I came across a Honda NSR125RK for sale.
This certainly looked much more the part – pretty much a baby Fireblade, only with slightly narrower tyres and a smaller silencer on the exhaust. It was an Italian import model, and therein lay the problem, or should I say problems. The electrics were a complete nightmare with corroded cables and bad connections everywhere. It took me the first 6 months to find out that the battery not charging was due to the inner wire in one cable having disintegrated whilst the outer plastic sleeve looked fine.
Then there was the problem that the head gasket kept blowing, sending jets of steam up my leg, usually miles from home. No amount of skimming of the cylinder and head seemed to be able to fix it. It looked great though, especially after some local youths decided to try and nick it. They dropped it and smashed the fairing, but my insurance company kindly replaced it all so the bike looked like new after that.
But it had to go as it was just too expensive to keep repairing, so when someone kindly gave me an old car to use (a great little VW Polo), I sold the motorbike. And that was the end of my biking days, at least until I came to India! And that brings me neatly to the subject of this blog – my search for an old British bike in Hyderabad (India) and it’s subsequent restoration.
By the way, you can also find me on Google.