Obsession. Woffy obviously has an obsession with MK1 Le Mans. This is definitely a good thing, especially as he is obviously a rider not a polisher.

I on the other hand had an obsession with my left hand side (lhs) exhaust gasket blowing. Not so good in the end.

It started three months ago, I was coming back from Porlock and my bike started to sound extremely rough. Power was OK so I pressed on home, unloaded the tent etc and then took it shopping. As I was loading it with essentials such as bread, milk and beer a Harley went by, “blimey mate, that sounds worse than yours” said a push biker unpacking his panniers.

“Yeah but his is supposed to sound like that, mine will be fixed.”

Got home and looked it over after a coffee. Lhs exhaust manifold nuts loose so I tightened them up. No change.

So I fitted a new exhaust gasket. No change. So I sent for three more and tried again. No change. So I eventually fitted my last one with exhaust assembly paste (which all the dealers said was not needed) and still no change. So I ordered three more gaskets from Gutsibits.

Then just to be different I had a look on the other side. Only 60% of the rhs gasket left so I changed that and now the bike sounds healthier and ticks over below 1,500 rpm. Which is better than it was but still needs the tappets adjusting.

Obsession, sometimes not so good.


Our esteemed editor suffers from the same inability as myself. I also find images of vertical drops stomach churning. I can just do the Severn Bridge but hate it all the way.

But it was his half quoting of G.K.Chesterson’s line ‘travel broadens the mind’, and missing out the all-important second line, ‘but first you have to have the mind’ that set me thinking. I have met squaddies with more than six years in Germany who did not realise that German pubs stay open after 11 pm. The Germans actually realise that the first world war is over.

My sister whilst on a university French course made the same mistake, I couldn’t persuade her otherwise.

It is the same with Graham Pierce and his worthwhile desire to see us not kill ourselves. I suspect that in the main he is preaching to the converted or we wouldn’t be reading this magazine.

And unfortunately I suspect that no amount of sensibly illustrated articles will affect anyone whose mind is on constant send. I know a retired Chief Super (nice pension) who rides a Harley and constantly criticises my slow progress around tree lined and therefore blind corners. And of course ATGATT would have been of no help to that couple at all. A switched on brain such as the driver had is better. We used to call it listening with the eyes and looking with the ears in the green people; i.e. a brain on receive alert for danger. Situation awareness is another good phrase for it.

Warning. This next bit is about a charity motorcycling adventure (although it is refreshingly free of pleas for money).

Andy Duckworth and eight friends are taking a nine cylinder 810 cc 18 wheeler (i.e. nine Honda C90s) to The Bansang Hospital in central Gambia via Santander, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. They w meeting at the Portsmouth Ferry terminal, which is a two-day ride in itself, before setting off. The whole affair will take a month.

On arrival they will hand over the bikes and kit that they are carrying so that medical personnel can use them to visit patients in the outlying areas. This is a serious life saving ability they will be giving the hospital. They will then do a few days voluntary work.

For most of them this will probably involve ditch digging or other strenuous activity but Andy rides a Griso, well known amongst the cognoscenti as being the choice of the more limp wristed Guzzisti (I actually suspect his real name isn’t Duckworth, just his way of explaining why his friends call him duckie) so he will be measuring up the hospital to produce a set of AutoCAD plans for the it. He is a qualified architect. Which is why he could tell me how to spell cognoscenti.

It all sounds like they should have a whale of a time as well as getting truly knackered and Andy intends to take a load of photos of every part of the venture and write it up for the Digest. As I have read the stuff he has written for Gambalunga this will be something to look forward to.

Ride Safe

An ancient Guzzisti

Ian Dunmore

One thought on “A View from the Group W Bench ~ 184”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *