Friday 26 April 2024


We decided to replace our rather dilapidated fences in the garden.  

Top Fence

Bottom Fence

So we ordered the timber from Travis Perkins and some bark screening via B&Q.

Day 1, preparation

We asked for the timber to be delivered on Wednesday.  At 8:20, while we were still in bed, I got a phone call saying it would be here in 10 minutes! 

So getup, get dressed then help the driver to unload 17 4.8m lengths of timber of various widths and thicknesses.

First job was to cut to the correct lengths using my old cheap Chinese table saw. 

My old table saw

My amazing sled

Many years ago I made a "sled" for the saw.  It is incredibly useful.  The saw came with a safety guard. When in position it was impossible to see the blade, which made it hit and miss for cutting the wood at the right point.  I removed it. Then I made the sled.  Using it means that hands go nowhere near the blade and the workpiece is lined up with the sled, not the blade. I can honestly say the sled transforms the table saw.

Add 2 nails and it's a jig.

Then I needed to shape the ends of the vertical lengths.

The addition of a couple of nails to the sled turned it into jig for cutting the tops.

But cutting eight 3"x2" lengths then cutting and shaping forty four 4"x 1" takes time - like the whole day including taking the delivery, and walking the dog.

Day 2, top fence started

We have two fences. Both are  willow fence screen rolls which are falling to bits.  The plan was to remove it, put a couple of 3"x2" between the fence posts and then attach a bark screen roll. I thought I'd be done by lunch time. But on taking the old willow fence down I found the post spikes were rusted away. We needed new ones and getting the old one out of the ground is a pig of a job.  It took me around four hours to remove the three of them, source and collect new ones, then install them. While the posts were out I cut them down to size on the table saw. The saw managed the 3x3 posts easily when pushed behind the sled.
I did manage to get half of the top fence done in the remaining time. But we did not like the look of the tie wraps holding it on.  

Day 3, top fence finished.

New top fence

I took a ride up to Screwfix to pick up some staples, then I replaced the tie wraps with staples, and put up the other part of the top fence. The final two and a half hours of work were completed in the rain.

But the top fence is done! 

 Rain stopped play for the rest of the day.

Next, the bottom fence.

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Selling the BMW.

 I am thinking about selling the old girl. We’ve been together for quite a while but she is not getting ridden much these days. At 207Kg wet weight (or 458lb) She is classed as a middle weight but I am finding her a bit heavy to move about, especially compared to the 97Kg (214lb) Address. 

It would be nice to have a bike that I could take on the faster roads two-up, but I don't think my ideal bike exists. I'd need a low seat, ideally a step through, a weight of under 130Kg, a power of 25+bhp and a narrow body and seat. 

The Address fulfils all of these apart from the power. It has only 9bhp. All of the more powerful scooters I have looked at are very heavy and usually very wide. I guess the width is because of the strive to fit full face helmets under the seat. The Address will take an open face, but not my full face helmet, but it does have two helmet holders under the seat. This means I can have a full top-box, full under-the-seat storage, and still be able to secure two helmets securely. I'd also still have the compartments and hook on the leg shield for odds and ends.

The BMW has the power, the narrow body and seat, and either pannier will take a full face helmet, but it's heavy (to me) and non step through. 

Dry weight: 208Kg,  Power: 50bhp, Seat Height:810mm
Max Speed 95mph        

Suzuki Address 110
Kerb weight: 97Kg,  Power: 9bhp, Seat Height:755mm 
Max speed 60mph

On the Address I only overtake tractors.

I prefer the style of retro bikes and  Royal Enfield Meteor looks wonderful, but I'm not happy about the speed limiter at 70mph. I have often been in the situation of overtaking a vehicle doing around 65mph, and when I am along side they accelerate! With the BMW a blip on the throttle and I am out in front, but with a Meteor? I can comfortably travel at 70mph on the BMW but riders reports on the Meteor mention 50-60mph as the ideal cruising speed.  Not much faster than the Address, well under half the power of the BMW and almost as heavy.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Kerb weight: 191Kg,  Power: 20bhp, Seat Height:765mm
Speed limiter set to 70mph

Maybe a Royal Alloy 300 or a Lambretta 300 or 350 may be close.  At least I could get on them.
Royal Alloy TG 300 S LC ABS 
Kerb weight: 152Kg,  Power: 25bhp, Seat Height:770mm 

But I'm not sure about that airscoop or whatever it  on the bottom which looks like it could easily hit a curb. But the stated ground clearance is 40mm more than the Address. I'm also not too happy about the 12" wheels, the sloping carrier, and the lack of underseat storage.

Lambretta G350
Kerb weight: 173Kg,  Power: 26bhp, Seat Height:790mm 

Will be expensive when it comes out and it's heavy, almost twice the weight of the Address. 12inch wheels again.

Lambretta X300
Kerb weight: 165Kg,  Power: 25bhp, Seat Height:790mm 

I think my recent hip trouble is telling me that my days of riding anything other than a step through scooter are coming to a close. I suppose a 59 year run isn't too bad.

For pootling about in Cornwall around 45-60mph (70-95kph) the Address is perfect and this is most of my riding.  For longer drives on fast roads the BMW will cruise at 70+mph all day. but I have not done these rides for a number of years.

Would I replace the BMW?  Probably not. But I may just go down to being a single scooter man - as I was when I began my motorcycle life on a Lambretta LD almost 60 years ago.

Lambretta LD 150
Dry weight: 87Kg,  Power: 6.5bhp, Seat Height:760mm 

Strangely I never really noticed a lack of power, although I remember being down to 25mph going over steeper parts of the Pennines. But the weather was cold, and the Lambretta was designed for Italy. I really loved that little scooter. It was the only bike I've ever got a speeding ticket on.  55mph, down hill, around 12:30am in a 30mph zone.  I got a ticket for the speedo not working as well!