Friday 19 March 2010

Pat's tank

"Hey John,
here is a brief report on some work I had carried out on my 1930 M18 Norton. You know, when you buy a nice old bike there is always lots of work to be done. You start out with the mechanical bits; "It should be good enough to take me all the way to the Isle of Man and back . . while carrying luggage !" and in the end it did!. As a Norton should! Hmmm, new piston, bore, valves & seats, new bearings everywhere, incuding the bigend, the gearbox rebuilt... (thanks Simon!) - the lot.

Then you start wondering about the originality of minor parts; you fit inverted levers, a straight pull twistgrip, have the dynamo done and fit lights. Yes, I am one of those guys in need for illumination after having been told at the traffic lights at dusk; "Your lights don't work", "Yeah I know - it's standard - 1930 equipment"; replied by "Aha, where do you live I'll take you there". Afterwards I realized I had been escorted by a motorcycle policeman returning home after his shift; lucky me!

With that under way there still is this nasty dent in the tank. Some may say "Yeah, it's patina", and then I would reply "No, it was not on the accessories list for 1930". So you try to find a chap willing to, and able to fix the dent without coming up with a repair that is so nice and shiny that it no longer fits in with the rest of the bike. Like a "rustoration".

All of us with old bikes know that it takes years before you have a network of people who understand what you are talking about and at the end of a nice restoration I decided to jump in. A colleague at work tipped me off "Go and see this guy, he is a real crafts man and really into details". Knowing my colleague, who is exceptionally fussy about details, this friend of his should be someone special. And this is the result. The tank "rustored" to the condition it looked like when the M18 came into my possesion - but now without the dent! 

The dent was pulled out with a nail puller - a nail welded to the tank and given a hefty pull with an impact puller. The bottom wasn't even opened up. I like it like this!

Thanks Peter - and Frank!

Cheers, Pat"