My Motorcycling Life Chapter 3 by George Smith

April 15th, 2020

Sure some of you had more interesting motorcycling stories than me. Help to pass the lockdown away tell us your tales must be some, grass track, road racing, trials or motorcycle road trips.

My Motorcycling Life Chapter Three

No interesting motorbike story’s in the 1980s. Thanks to Margaret Thatcher and double digit mortgage rates my wife Sylvie and I were to busy trying to keep a roof over our heads and keep the business running. Not a good time to be in the home improvement business. I even spent a few months back at Fords teaching the apprentices. Its a funny old world.

In 1990 my son David arrived round my house with his new motorcycle, a Moto Guzzi 1000s series 1. One of the first batch to be imported to UK and one of less than 1000 sold world wide. To my eyes this was the perfect café racer.

A few months later we went to North Weald airfield, me on the MZ David on the 1000s, to watch the bikers ‘Run What You Brung’. On the way home Dave asked if I wanted to swop bikes only one answer to that. With a reminder that I would be paying for any damage he was on the MZ and away leaving me to it.

This was the start of my Moto Guzzi interest. From the moment I sat on it blipped the throttle and felt the bike kick sideways I was hooked.

Here was a bike that that I could put both feet down, had tremendous torque and could be rode at 30 MPH or, so I am told, 130 MPH with ease. I then knew I would some day own a Moto Guzzi.

Of course I took the very long way back to his place, I wonder if he was worried most about dad or bike.

Time went by things improved and Sylvie and I opened another Bathroom Showroom and we eventually finished the major construction work on our 1930s bungalow.

In about 2001 I decided to renew my collapsed garage roof and underneath the rubble discovered my dismantled MZ complete with water filled crankcase, no fish no frogs. Soon garage became workshop and I rebuilt the MZ and found new hobby restoring bikes. Proved to be a lot easier  than restoring old bungalow.

Grandson Alfie winning Garage Moto GP

After not riding for many years took it easy for a while then thought I should go Japanese and bought Yamaha Diversion. Big mistake not for me sold within six weeks

Alfie getting bigger. Feet on rear pegs. Only third place Garage Moto GP

Having got the restoration bug thought it would be good idea to do as much as I could apart from machining and chrome plating, Bought a Francis Barnett 175cc Light Cruiser, air compressor, shot blast cabinet, spray gun and made spray booth. Interesting project found painting boring enjoyed mechanical work. Took about three years to complete.

Looked better than it performed.

As purchased

Alfie Driveway Moto GP Did Not Finish Black flagged oil on driveway. Well it is a British two stroke

Time to think about an Italian project. Clue in next photo. To be continued in chapter four.