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823cc A65 Thunderbolt #769172 03/25/19 1:51 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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So... You start to accumulate enough parts for a bike where you think "I don't need much to make a bike"... You actually need a lot more than you tell the misses but in the grand scheme of things you have most of the main parts. So you start to buy a few more parts and eventually you have enough to start a project.........

Its only just come to my realisation also that I end up building bikes from nothing or almost nothing, the 68 Lightning was not much more than some random parts, matching frame and engine numbers and wheels. 12 years ago I didn't have a clue (some would argue that I still dont and i'll leave that open to debate) that bike got many parts re-done before it ever went on the road. Many parts I bought were either of such poor quality that they ended up on the shelf and NOS sourced at a high cost - mostly as I was desperate to get the bike on the road, and I also learned a few things and how to do them properly, the first wiring loom for example was using trailer wire, and whilst it may have worked it was far from correct and fugly!!

Moving on I started collecting parts to make a trials bantam and as well as a D10 sportsman (a bike I always admired the look of aswell as the Lightning Clubman) and also a 67 A50 Daytona....

Go back about 12 years and one of the first big bikes I rode (apart from the Kawasaki 500 I passed my test on) was a 71 Thunderbolt. Apart from the SRM end feed and tall gearing it was nothing special, still 650cc and was one of the best touring bikes I have ridden to date, Don't get me wrong I love the lightning and its much quicker but its become something more fun to ride and especially so as when layed out to be 2-up my ass doesn't give the passenger much room... And I don't consider my self to be porky either!

The Thunderbolt was always a more placid bike, plenty of room for the pillion and even looks good with paniers on! This incarnation (export model) had a black frame and BMW red over Ivory, not my choice of colours but it set me on a path of what I like and how I'd like it to look - or kind of. I always liked the 71's the dove grey frame whilst not to everyones taste and the ivory/green tank, and thats what I have decided I want mine to look like.

Like the other projects this one will be made up from parts also... and having the luxury of not feeling tied down to originality, I thought I would produce what I think the factory should have brought out in the 70s...

The cases are infact from a 70 but that was more of a what I had available at the time than what I would have liked.
The frame will be 1971 however,
The front end will be of the disc type and so will the back end, although I have both swinging arms, I may paint both and leave the option open to change my mind during the build.

The motor will be 823cc, A10 crank with B44 std size pistons (79mm) fitted into one of John Hill's barrels.

I know people will post about the colour and I know it changed depending of who mixed the paint and who painted it and what primer was used underneath..... But this still didnt stop me looking for some example parts and wierdly enough in the green there are some random parts of the same type/side but in multiple. I've been lucky enough to get a NOS green rear side cover (the one where the switch mounts)

I have also managed to get some original painted Dove Grey parts also, a battery carrier which is actually more grey than I thought they were (found a good part and T-cut it back) I've also found a good condition rear foot rest, without its rubber the paint is in great condition, so depending on the colour difference I will look at getting all these parts colour matched. The green looks to be metalic and over a yellow/beige base paint, in the light and at an angle it twinkles with a yellow/gold from within the base shining through.

A note on the colour scheme, there has never been any pictures of the inner side covers/airbox on period photos. I've seen them done in silver (to match the tail light) or dove grey to match the frame.... But never until now in green! and according to the collection of NOS side covers in the states, the inner side covers were green. I like all the colours especially the silver but I think I will do these green for my bike.

I've almost managed to score a NOS seat cover, the crackly finish type as used on the 71's (the old one I used to ride was notorious for letting slide down back of the seat when you opened the throttle)

I've also managed to collect a lot of other crap, either in good use, requires repair or NOS so hopefully that will poke its face up when the time comes....

So there we have it... another project! One however that has taken priority, will be suitable to carry the misses and myself comfortably with luggage over a good distance... But unlike that Lightning 12 years ago wont be rushed....

Pictures to follow when the new workshop gets finished....


beerchug
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Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769177 03/25/19 2:18 pm
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GrandPaul Online Content
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The Green metallic sounds like a standard British scheme of shooting a Gold Sheen (fine metalflake) base, then spraying over the "candy" top coat color.

I have an NOS rear fender loop, pair of re-chromed fork dust cups (the long ones), and an NOS swingarm spindle, they're yours if you want 'em.


Last edited by GrandPaul; 03/25/19 2:19 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
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Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769179 03/25/19 2:33 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Hi GrandPaul,

Those will be very useful and gratefully apreciated, I'll drop you a PM.

You could be right on the colour, the paint is quite thin, so finding evidence of the gold base won't be easy, I can see white primer in places. If I can find a paintshop who can give a similar effect, but as a one shot colour then I might lean that way... Candies end up giving me a sore head sometimes laughing

I'll get some photos of the green. I remember one of your commando's was a green finish, albeit brighter in colour than this. Was that the same gold sheen?


beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769182 03/25/19 3:15 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Lets see how these photos turn out. You find depending on the lighting, they will apear very dark like a forrest green, or really bright and vibrant in strong light, this could be down to a gold base as Grandpaul mentioned, I have had similar results using a silver base under a couple of coats of metalic paint.

Attached Files
side panel 1.JPG (54.18 KB, 482 downloads)
side panel 2.JPG (47.31 KB, 481 downloads)

beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769183 03/25/19 3:36 pm
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GrandPaul Online Content
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Yep, Triumph "Spring Gold" (1970 TR6C)


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769238 03/26/19 12:01 am
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I think Stirling Moss Green was the original name for that shade , I have a NOS bread bin something similar, , it hasnt aged well and is a bit faded, your pics looks pretty close but much better quality wise..
Of course I am biased to the OIF , sounds like a good plan.

Have you test fitted these sidepanels? , I had to cut scallops out of the top lip to get daylight between the panels and the coil bracket, otherwise they only just fit at the far end of the slotted adjustment making the bike look fat. By 73 the scallops were std.

Drum or disc rear? drums are a lot easier to live with , dont need bleeding, fluid changes and de salting,work all the time rain or shine.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 03/26/19 12:09 am.

71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769297 03/26/19 3:31 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Your right Gavin, it is Sterling moss green. RS paints claim to have the colour, they got the candy red spot on but show the green as a one shot colour with no particular notes towards primer colour. I have heard reports that the colour they supply for this doesnt match the original paint jobs, however I also know that base primers, base colours and lacquers can make a huge difference to a paint.
For instance, I once used a red primer over my high build (an easy colour to see when flatting back for high spots over the beige high build, sprayed a silver base to go over it and no matter how much silver was applied it wouldn’t cover the red primer without seeing red “pin pricks” through it.... much like this green is with the yellow/gold that’s trying to creep through underneath.

One thing I often do when painting is make a spray chart, I’ll cross gold and silver (usually on card although a piece of sacrificial Steel would be better) then in the case of red I would spray different colours or different amounts of coats of colour bar by bar. Then lacquer over the top. I can then compare and use the process which I like the look of (ie white primer, silver base, 3 coats red followed by lacquer) buying an aerosol from RS might be the best way to go, or I can see if they will do a colour match if I present them with a panel......
We will see



beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769324 03/26/19 8:52 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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I haven’t test fitted anything yet, still waiting for the workshop to be finished. This green side panel won’t get used as I have a full set off a lightning (some aluminum welding required there)

Once the new premises is finished I’ll start doing a mock build, but I’ve seen various side panels with different sized scollops so I know what you mean


beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #769404 03/27/19 5:40 pm
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HI Allan. Bigger is better eh wot?

Jaguar Racing Green. Code: HJZ i think.
Its British Racing Green with gold flake in it.
Lovely shade of green for OIF Thunderbolts.

Ive got a slipper tank with the Original Sterling Moss green on it. Not too bad a colour.


Secretly Mediocre....
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Semper Gumby] #769422 03/27/19 9:16 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Semper Gumby
HI Allan. Bigger is better eh wot?.



I don’t normally conform to the bigger the motor crowd, I much refer smaller engines and looking forward to working on the A50, this motor will be softly tuned for such a big lump, more torque than revs and hopefully make the ride more comfortable for the pillion. It’ll have the standard late 473 cam, but standard thunderbolt head, standard exhaust etc etc.

How do you find the green compares to your big tank, I just about remember it from Petaluma.



beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #772692 05/05/19 8:26 am
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Mark Parker Online Content
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It will be interesting to see how it goes Allan. It should pull well but probably run out of air at higher revs, which isn't particularly a bad thing especially if its tall geared to make use of where the power is. The first bike I owned was a 1950 Goldenflash it was stock except for shaving .040" off the head, it would do 100+mph, the poor thing, but only because of its tall gearing, I doubt it revved past 6,000. When it expired I swapped in a Thunderbolt motor. I cannot express how excited I was at having that high performance motor with hot 473 cam 9-1 compression and alloy head set up in the old plunger frame. What I was clueless about was relative gearing, it had a 19" rear wheel and 42t (I think) rear sprocket rather than 18" and 47t. I couldn't believe how fast it was. I swapped the head to a twin carb version later on, but it didn't seem to go any better. The thing with tall gearing is you cruise at a good speed, below where vibration gets uncomfortable.

You could use a modified twin carb head with good flowing maybe 32-34mm ports and not particularly lose out on bottom end, but then higher rpm would likely increase vibs.

Last edited by Mark Parker; 05/05/19 11:35 am.

mark
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #772725 05/05/19 4:54 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Running out of puff at the top end won’t be an issue for this bike, for such a big motor I’m not after anything “quick” or with a good top speed, but I hear you on the torque range. The OIF silencers can be quite restrictive from past experience, my fathers former 650 T-bolt had 22t front gear 47t rear, when we had it for most of its life it had pre-oif triumph silencer, the bike would pull 105, put the oif silencers back on and the old girl wouldn’t go past 90! It was more tractable though, but the bike was never jetted properly with the other silencers.

The 823 will most likely have a 473 cam as I have one of the shelf, the head will be Unmodified (for a change), silencers will be stock too, they look nice and suit the bike. Gearing may be a bit taller still though, there’s always a compromise between a nice low 1st gear which you can trundle around in the traffic with and a nice tall top gear for when you want to keep the Revs down touring. If I remember rightly my lightning is around 3500 rpm for 70mph. This again or a touch lower would be quite nice and nice for the pillion too. The crank is going to get balanced so it should be quite smooth, but with the longer stroke and weight increase for the bore oversize I’m not sure yet how it will compare to the Lightning


beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #772802 05/06/19 7:04 am
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Hi Allan. From the picture it appears your Sterling Moss Green, like Triumphs Spring Gold is a Metallic finish and not a Candy. Whilst you may get a variation in shade from using a coloured base coat it will not give the same effect as when you do so with a Candy.

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #772810 05/06/19 8:05 am
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Hi Rod,

I’m inclined to agree about the metallic, probably with a beige primer underneath. The green must be about 2 coats maximum as it is such a thin layer of paint. Probably same reason why you can see what’s underneath also.

Good news, the parcel from GrandPaul arrived whilst I was away with work, the most exciting part being the tank! It needs a little TLC and a repaint but in its present condition is perfect! From this I can mock up and do drawings of all the paint lines, probably more in depth than I have gone to before but done properly they looks the DB’s, done poorly they look crap.
The paint on the tank is sun damaged, and probably not a bad thing, whilst it’s received a quick splash of T-cut to bring out the ivory, the de-lacquered green is very dark, again hints towards it being metallic, and reminded me of a 92’ green ford Granada Scorpio my father and I repaired the wheel arch’s on many many moons ago. He may still have some of that paint, and it would be good to give it a spray and see what the finish is like compared to this side panel.

The workshop at home is coming on, spent 3 days filling the ceiling with insulation board and filling the areas of poor fit with expanding foam. Still picking that stuff out of the hairs on my arms now, nasty stuff!! Soon I’ll be able to get the flor sealed and painted and all the electrics in and the sink/washing machine plumbed in. By this time hopefully the doors will arrive and I can then move everything else in.
The girlfriend asked me yesterday how much I had to spend on the bike.... we all know it’s a open the wallet and let the moths take your checkbook but for now I was able to suggest that I would need to dry build what I already had to give me an idea of how much more I need to spend, so at least for now I have that excuse to buy me some time to sneak more parts in.


beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #773275 05/10/19 8:44 pm
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gavin eisler Offline
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Tell her you need to spend £10 K on the bike, anything less than that will be a win ( hopefully massive) for the other half, keeps you both happy. keeps you honest too.
Inner air box paint, a light colour helps a lot for vizability when poking about under the saddle, I use silver.
Reading about the Umberslade stuff, the original frame paint was more silver and a more expensive new process, this was ditched and the Dove Grey was the result, penny pinching. I cant recall seeing a silver framed A65 , looks nice on Laverdas. Personally the dove grey looks close to what they used to call magnolia, especially once the chain has blessed it with goo.One mans meat etc. i couldnt live with the constant cleaning.
B44 pistons are lighter than A65 Std, helps give a smoother motor, weight is saved by the short pin to crown height..
Your motor recipe sounds great, i know what you mean about the first gear, if I had a lot of town work to do maybe a stock first , close 2nd , stock third and 4th would be a decent compromise, the big gap from 2nd to 3rd always bugged me about the stock ratios. You might have to welly it in 1st to catch 2nd in the good bit, but if it turns out grunty that wont matter too much. The CR 1st is a ball ache in a hilly town, or stop go traffic.

Disc front end, my "Stock " Triumph bits effort was spendy, bolts on easy , looks the part, works well but its heavy, the discs weigh twice what a bigger modern disc weighs and the iron yokes dont help. I notice this when riding, the bike does not change direction as easily and needs more counter steer to set up, not as intuitive as before , two 10 " rotors have more inertia than the 8 inch drum. , two up braking hard you will be better with the twin discs. A 5/8" master cylinder works well, tons of feel.
Hope yer shed is done.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #773340 05/11/19 1:06 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Hi Gavin, I think she would pull the plug if I told her another 10k, I usually give an answer like “shouldn’t cost much more” and similar lines, it raises an eyebrow but she also knows that she won’t get much more out of me. Once the motor and barrel are paid for I’ll be taking a break from it, between this and the garage it’s taken all what’s left of savings and will need to squirrel a bit so we can enjoy a holiday. It’ll be nice to have a week away from it all too, every weekend pretty much this year has been spent on the workshop/making wardrobes for the bedroom (or rather hacking and re-designing what we had) amongst other jobs.

I’m undecided about the inner box covers, I’ve seen all 3 colours on these bikes, the bike colour which appears to be original doesn’t look quite right, silver matches in with the tail light and looks snazzy the frame colour of dove grey looks nice too and blends it all in. But I hear you on keeping it bright under the seat and I will think of that when making my decision.

I too have heard the story of the silver being used, I’ve heard rumour that it was supposed to emulate the nickel plated track master frames, personally I like the dove grey, or as you quite correctly say magnolia, depending on who mixed the paint there may or may not have been some light grey in there, but not much at all, looking at the examples I have.

Im Fairly happy with the standard box for normal use, a wide ratio box like on the WDB40 would have been perfect but I don’t think anything like that was made for the twins. For a good while at least I can’t justify anything else. The cr was fine on the lightning, really good fun but doing the club run outs meant you spent more time slipping the clutch so it came out again, that’ll end up in the A50 racer eventually.

The bike may get 2 discs yet, they don’t need a big amount to convert them from 1 to 2 which is good. I remember 2 friends and I were heading to the Lake District, loaded up with luggage, one friend on a b44Vs, the other on a thunderbolt with single disc and me on a thunderbolt with conical hub, I was at the tail and the other Tbolt was at the front, we braked for the petrol station, the VS stopped in line with the first bike and mine with conical front hub went past them both, it might have needed better setting up (and was about 12 years ago and it wasn’t my bike to mess with) but it always put me off that brake.

With the twin discs, have you found you’ve needed stronger springs to counteract the better stopping/front end dive effect? I believe Kommandos emulators are working well for you.


beerchug
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #773787 05/15/19 1:17 pm
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A couple of years ago now I shortened the fork stroke by 50mm .
For a few reasons, looks less choppery, more fork leg bearing surface = more rigid forks, Lowers the front end , less fork plunge when braking.
Stock, the springs were 25 lbs/ inch.Stiff
After cutting 50mm off , rate went up to around 28 lbs/inch. Too stiff. Almost solid.
Looked at on line fork spring calculator, put in bike and rider weight came up with 22.5 lbs/inch.
Cut down MZ 250 springs to new length and ended up around 23 lb/ inch. Just right.
Fast forward to twin discs. Fitted new custom made springs still 23 lb/inch but closed and ground ends. Seems just right. Ks damper bits help too, I have barely fiddled with them, right off the bat they were better than the stock dampers, I would need track time to do any more real fiddling. Now running with 7.5 W fork oil, all seems bueno. Stiffer springs not needed for 2 discs IME.
An old mate has a triton with shortened forks, always liked the stance. Now my 71 is similar. No complaints, no funny side effects, still stable , still handles great, only down sides, pads rattle at low speeds, might be awkward with stock side stand angle, I had a new side stand bracket fitted to suit, the old one was FUBAR when I got the bike eons ago. I have been practicing hard braking now the pads have settled in, much more controlled than the old drum with a lot more stopping power, braking points are under recalibration, almost half the old distances.



71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: 823cc A65 Thunderbolt [Re: Allan Gill] #775755 06/06/19 12:04 pm
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Allan Gill Offline OP
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Great news today as I came back to the office to find sat at my desk a set of John Hills ultra light barrels! The attached is what John sent me through (I carefully unwrapped them, checked everything out and them packed them again before anything could happen to them.) I have to say they look better than they do in the photos and its crazy how light they actually are compared to the iron ones. The finish of the nicasil looks second to none (although I know nothing about this sort of thing) and generally I'm really impressed. If I could loose as much weight i'd be even more impressed laughing

Parts otherwise still slowly coming together although its getting to that point where I need to start assembling the frame etc to see what else I need to buy or make (I think I'll make a tool tray since sellers ask so much for a piece of bent metal with a nut welded to the back) and what needs repairing before I start thinking about paint.

Gavin's comments about the front end feeling heavier has been giving me food for thought, probably not so much a problem if I stick with single disc but more so if I eventually opt for twin discs.

Norman Hyde twin disc kit 10"

Single sided 12" disc with caliper

Both are fully floating discs and should be a lot lighter than stock 10" disc on its own...

But for now this doesn't affect the innitial assembly, just need to finish the building of the workshop, currently on wiring and plumbing and waiting impatiently as the garage doors have been delayed a few weeks so I can't even start moving bikes and tools in yet...

Anyway, its not much at the moment but enjoy...

Attached Files
JH Barrel 1.jpg (60.6 KB, 113 downloads)
JH Barrel 2.jpg (66.04 KB, 110 downloads)

beerchug

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