Today is…

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I dropped off Kathryn’s DAF (Vixy) at the garage this morning, which went fine. I’m praying that I’m right and that the clutch shoes are worn out… Anyhow.

One of the cooler things about owning a classic, or one of the things I enjoy anyway, is getting packages through the post that have fallen through a hole in time. Such was my experience today when a ‘Cords’ brand 1970s package popped through our postbox. I’ve recorded the ‘unboxing’…

the cords box

There’s something terribly cool about opening things that have sat for decades. Something fun about encountering design intended for a different generation (and they got the swoosh!*). Anyhow, so they arrived; sadly the ring compressor doesn’t appear to have arrived. Hopefully it’ll arrive tomorrow. However, what did arrive was the clutch shoes. I am so unutterably impressed by Jim Jack Services – they had the shoes arrive yesterday – called me to check on the details – and had sent them back by the evening. They arrived today – and look like they did when I last got new shoes.

Despite not having a manual I guessed my way through replacing the drum (it looked easy) – and eventually got it right (it was about 3mm out when I first did it) – and got the clutch back together. Then I made the mistake of having lunch.

Well, technically the lunch wasn’t the mistake – no – it was sitting on the rug in the lounge. I’ve done this every day, but I’ve not been dealing with something quite as dirty as the contents of the clutch. And I was silly enough to clean out the flywheel too. So there was a lot of dirt.

It was on my jeans. Now it’s on the rug.

Then I made the mistake of starting on the bike. I started in quite a good mood, despite the fact that the manual (and therefore my notes on how to wire the rev-counter to the old-style wiring, the circuit diagrams, and the explanantion of where the clutch should be adjusted to) remained elusive. I started stripping down Cherry Red ‘zed, carefully working my way through noting where the wires went from the switchgear – and then it dawned on me…

I’ve got three partial looms from three bikes with three separate wiring and connection schemes. Seriously.

MZ changed their wiring for the later bikes, with their electronic ignition and electronic regulator; Kanuni changed the wiring again when they started building bikes, because they didn’t do with the nice clicky MZ connectors. Oh no. They went back to the good solid DDR connection blocks with 55 wires going in and out of each one.

After a while it dawned on me that I had an impending disaster on my hands.

I needed a diagram, or something, to give me some idea of where I should be looking. The front end is more or less wired, the alternator is partially reconnected to the rectifier and regulator. I plodded through assembling it – discovered in the process that I really do need some obstruction wrenches because I can’t actually get the Bing Carb (better, faster, more efficient) off Cherry, so Charlie’s stuck with my old BvF (proper DDR, and has covered 120k miles). I sprayed the side panel (badly, I didn’t have any primer, so it went straight over the blue paint. Fluo-Pink as it’s called is not big on coverage). I also found a patch where the paint’s flaked off the frame – I couldn’t afford shot-blasting when I did it – so I wirebrushed and sanded the old paint, but perhaps I should have stripped it all off – because there’s a small patch where it’s flaked off.

When I spray the DAF I’ll touch up the frame :(


Poor Kathryn arrived home as I stood in a rotten mood contemplating how in hell I was going to work out the wiring on the bike. Feeling like I’d taken 2 potential runners and made one impossible to fix vehicle.

But then I remembered this website – and a bit of dinking – and here we are with simplified diagrams and what each of the connectors actually is. Thank fuck.

Death and Rebirth

And in a totally unrelated to motorbikes, cars, or anything else I normally ramble about, I’d been contemplating writing something about Barack “Change we can’t believe in” Obama’s release regarding the DoMA. The problem is it’s likely to come out as an depressed rant. I’ve been unimpressed with Obama for a while; his stance on abuse photos, on individual privacy, on illegal wiretaps; it’s all been bad. So I guess the DoMA announcement seems like more of the same. Anyhow, so it was going to be a rant, but then I read this over Kathryn’s shoulder, and it was articulate; intelligent; and it said everything I could have considered wanting to say, were I feeling anywhere near as good at expressing myself as this writer. So go read.

In final other news, after much work I’ve finally found a builder who has at least actually turned up, and quoted for the work on the driveway, and moreso has actually agreed to come and do the work. So next week for a day or two we’ll have to get the fleet off the drive. Once it’s done though, we should be able to get two cars on the drive. Which will assist in making-other-people-happy. :)

* I remember, years ago, when Amazon’s swoosh was new and shiny there was a website snarking about everyone having swooshes which enabled you to design your new e-logo for your new e-business. It was swooshtastic.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at