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Author Topic: What are my origins?  (Read 166 times)

Bullet Whisperer

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What are my origins?
« on: April 16, 2015, 11:43:39 PM »
A bit of background, for those who may be interested ...
 Motorcycles and their workings were introduced to me at 11 years old in 1976 with my first bike, a 150 BSA Bantam - now restored and one of my Son's bikes, yes we still have it!
 Royal Enfields came into my life at age 13 with a 1954 G2 350 Bullet, also still here.
 Over the years, hundreds of bikes have come and gone, many were stripped and rebuilt by me.
 I have fixed tractors, seagoing tug engines, a 2500 bhp v16 being the peak of that career, hydraulic machinery and all sorts of other stuff.
 Why am I saying this? Not to brag about it for certain - machinery and how it 'ticks' has always interested me.
 Making Royal Enfields faster? Same again, it just interested me.
 I am not going to make claims that any of my bikes will see off a Fireblade or win a T.T., but they have provided lots of entertainment over the years, showing what an underdog can achieve on occasion.
 The plan is to keep doing this for as long as we can, funds permitting and enjoy the experience as much as is possible in any competitive environment.
 That is what we are about - yes there will be faster machines and riders about, but hopefully we might close the gap, bit by bit. We're here to stay.
 B.W.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 11:46:56 PM by Bullet Whisperer »

ace.cafe

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 12:03:04 AM »
And we are glad you are here!
 :)

High On Octane

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 01:02:19 AM »
+1  You're a pleasure to have around here!  I sure would like to hear more about that V16.   :)
Scottie J  ~  Bulldog Kustoms Denver  ~  1958 Enfield/Indian Trailblazer - The Blackhawk

Bullet Whisperer

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 10:53:30 PM »
+1  You're a pleasure to have around here!  I sure would like to hear more about that V16.   :)
Thanks Scottie!
 That V16 was one of a pair powering the tug 'Valiant Nader' [originally Avenger] of 4960 BHP. The company I was working for was run [but not owned] by my Father, who had to try hard for years to persuade me to leave another tug company, Carmet Tug Company, where I was an engineer and join West Coast Towing in Swansea. It wasn't easy, even though it was a lot closer to home, I think to a degree, I was looked upon as 'Son of Sir', rather than my abilities for a while at least. I worked under a Superintendent engineer who was crooked and knew less than he made out and who knew I was on to him before too long. He made life as difficult for me as he could, but I usually outwitted him and showed him no respect. After about six years, he was up the road and I took over, but was not allowed to consider myself as the superintendent, as that post had become redundant.
 After a couple of awkward weeks, I made more friends there than I ever had before, although my predecessor still had friends there who would not accept me. Tough shit, I didn't care. I fixed lots of stuff for them and everyone else.
 My big break came when one of the two main engines in the Valiant Nader ran away after an engineer messed with a governor. The top speed of the engines was 830 rpm, but this one had reached nearly 2000 rpm, doing all sorts of damage, including wrecking the crank.
 Long story short, the engine had to be lifted, tipped through 90 degrees and the crank removed, after heads, pistons and liners were removed along with all the various pumps, coolers, etc.
 We cut a big hole in the engine room deck, so the crank could be lifted out by crane and the new one lowered in. It weighed around 3 tons, without the flywheel. The whole engine weighed around 16 tons, minus turbos, pumps etc.
 There were lots of people helping and it took eight months in total, there were also people waiting for and wanting me to quit, but I stuck with it.
 In the end the Lloyd's surveyor passed the engine with flying colours, I wore my cleanest white tee shirt in and out of the engine room as we thundered up and down the docks for the first trials, almost scattering some of the other tugs tied up in the dock with my not so good 'friends' on board! Further, longer trials proved she was good to go and soon after, she sailed to Africa from Swansea, trouble free.
 I took everyone to the pub for the day, then said my goodbyes. One of my naysayers approached me in the bar and told me he never expected me to pull it off and thought I would fail. He congratulated me. I bought him a drink and we shook hands. I left soon after and went to work for a friend in a welding and fabrication shop for a couple of days a week - sadly an accident took him far too early in his life a few years after I had gone, but the remaining days of those weeks were the ones where I started 'Performance Classics', my first restoration being a BSA Starfire 250.
 Pictures of the B&W Alpha 16V23L marine diesel rebuild are few and far between, but here are the two I have, I am on the left of both pictures and the engine is tipped over on its' side, the damaged crank is being hoisted out of the engine room. We had a workshop set up just for grinding in the 32 enormous valves - this took about 3 weeks to do alone! Also pictured is that BSA 250, the first official job for Performance Classics, from 2004 ...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 10:03:22 AM by Bullet Whisperer »

ace.cafe

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 11:24:02 PM »
Cool story, Paul!

Great looking BSA too!

cafeman

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 11:35:11 PM »
Enjoy all your posts and efforts in the shop and on the track. You certainly know your way around an Enfield! :)
Current Fleet: 2001 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Cafe Racer
                     1996 Yamaha Seca II
                     1991 Husqvarna 350WXE
                     1991 KTM 250MX
                     2004 Husqvarna TC450

High On Octane

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 11:39:26 PM »
Yes, great story Paul!  Thanks for sharing.  :)
Scottie J  ~  Bulldog Kustoms Denver  ~  1958 Enfield/Indian Trailblazer - The Blackhawk

Bill Harris

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 04:09:50 AM »
Good stuff, Paul.  Enjoyed the story.

Cheers,
Bill 

p144

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Re: What are my origins?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 10:26:32 AM »
Good read! Thanks for sharing.

Phillip