I'm back.....well sort of

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NGneer
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I'm back.....well sort of

Post by NGneer » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:59 pm

I am back…..well sort of

My 400 story, so far……

I picked up my first NC30 in early 2006 and joined the (old) 400GB forum on 27th Feb 2006 (bloody hell – has it been so long!). :rocks:

This was my pride and joy back then:
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She was a 1991 model with aftermarket side fairings but very professionally painted up in a Blade-esq scheme and ran beautifully. Although I had been on/around bikes since I was about 12, I had been without wheels for a number of years (got married and got boring). As such I knew bikes, but knew nothing of the NC30 so set about learning how to look after one of these and how to ride properly again.

Well after a few months the mix of loose gravel, excessive bravado, old suspension and lack of ability inevitably saw me and the bike take an unplanned shortcut through a large hedge. Whilst that was a better option than the telegraph pole I just missed, it still trashed the bike.
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Thankfully the damage was virtually all cosmetic but it finally spurred me to get beneath the skin of the wee beasty and do a “proper job” putting her back together. I picked up a set of OEM crash damaged fairings from a old forum member (anyone remember Billy Billboa) and set about repairing them with a mix of Plastex and filler to make one good set out of all the bits I had.

It was about this time that the Mrs and I split up, and the divorce turned really nasty. As such my only relief was after work to go down to my ‘workshop’ and loose myself in my bike project. As such I spent all my spare time and money on the project, which in turn helped to keep me (mostly) sane at a crappy time. Rather than just accepting things weren’t quite 100%, they would be taken apart and made to be, well as close as I could get them. I learnt how to rebuild the forks (Rick Oliver internals – naturally), re-sleeved my own (ART) end can, wire in a new Reg rec etc etc.
Whilst I was doing the mechanical work I had been deliberating what to do with the fairings. I had been making enquiries about potential paint shops including Dream Machine when someone mentioned 2D-Extreem (sadly no longer in business), which unbeknown to me was actually on the industrial estate in the same one horse Lincolnshire village as me. I went and had a chat and a look at the stuff the guys were doing and decided they were the guys for me. I gave them the repaired panels, details of what I wanted and went back to finishing of the mechanical stuff whilst waiting for a phone call. I finished off the rest of the bike and once the fairings were finished (amazing quality work) and fitted….my Rothmans Mk1 was born:
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The bike, although tidy and fairly well fettled, was still pretty much standard at this point. It had Rick Oliver fork springs, Goodrich hoses an ART end can and a R6 Reg rec, and that was about all – oh but it did run sooooo nicely. All was good with the world until I went to visit some friends of mine one weekend. As I was driving through their estate (very sedately) a little shit, sorry misguided youth, shot out from behind some garages on his bike, straight across the road. I locked everything up to try and avoid him, or at least minimize the impact, but still hit him, knocking him of his bike and dropping the Rothmans in the process.

Thankfully I was barely moving when I hit him so it was more a case of scuffed knees from falling of his bike but I checked him over then escorted him home. Once I had explained to his parents what had happened they said “he is always doing that” – WTF, how about erm educating the little shit then (and relax). Anyway having made sure the kid was ok I invited his father to come and have a look at the damage he had caused to my bike.

He was genuinely apologetic and said to just get it all repaired and they would pay for it. I did warn him that this was not going to be cheap – but he said it was fine. So I got back home and confirmed all this by e-mail (as an e-mail could be legally used as a written agreement/contract should he suddenly change his mind) and went shopping at David Silvers for some replacement fairings. Thankfully some OEM fairings were still available and I ended up with replacement items in a multitude of different schemes – but as they were getting sprayed it didn’t matter and it was back to 2D-Extreem for the paintwork to be sorted – which also gave me the chance to get the “VFR” decals put on straight and not at a 45 degree angle this time, and thus my Rothmans MkII” was born.
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I had got my old fairings patched up by the composite bay at work and could use those to ensure the Rothmans ones were safe if I got the urge to visit Cadwell Park which was only about 30 mins away. Funny old thing, I got the ‘urge’ quite often – lol. (Picture whoring, but indulge me - they are my favorites)
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Having realized how much I enjoyed doing track days, I thought I would keep my eye open for another bike to use as a track toy, and keep the Rothmans tidy and safe. Finaly I came across another NC30 with some issues (mostly cosmetic) but with a sweet motor and most importantly, at the right price. This (Number 2 bike) was bought and added to the collection before then being stripped and given a bloody good service.
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I had decided that rather than a ‘pure’ track toy I was going to build this one as a tidy(ish) road legal bike, but hopefully one that I would still be happy enough to throw around Cadwell for the odd track day. Well the bike was stripped and cleaned, the wheels were powder coated and all the usual stuff was done (RO fork internals, valve clearances, Reg rec upgrade, new end can etc).
When it came to the cosmetics I wasn’t sure which way to go. I still had my original (crash damaged – repaired) fairings which I had used as track day stuff in the past and whilst these were totally ‘functional’ they were not tidy enough for me for day to day use. I also had picked up a set of plain after market fairings along the way and having modified the seat unit to take the OEM tail light, had the potential of a blank canvas to work with.
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It was about this time that the newer generation Chinese fairings were starting to make a real appearance and one of the members on here had bought a set ready to go onto his project, before changing his mind and going down a different route. Anyway he offered me the brand new, never fitted fairing set (including a tank) for less than I could ever think about getting the blank fairings painted for and even included the paint he had got made ready to paint the tank to match. So I took them and (in due course) got the tank sprayed by a local guy and hey presto……. my Rothmans No2 was born
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Dohh! – having had the intention to ‘not make this one too tidy, so I wasn’t afraid to track it, I now had a very nice second bike. Unfortunately I only got to ride it once or twice after it was finished as I was of on my travels with work once more.

I was heading off to the Falklands this time for 4 months or maybe more (I was trying to get a particular job in Germany and was willing to spend more time down South if it meant I got the job I wanted). Well after about 10 weeks I got a call saying the guy who was currently doing the job I wanted in Germany had just handed in his notice and “would I mind leaving the Falklands early to go to Bavaria to take over”……..Hmmmm let me think about that one for about a nanosecond!!!

That was always going to be a great opportunity, but due to German rules and the logistics involved, it did mean that the bikes (which had already been in storage for about 4 months) would have to remain in hibernation for a few more years.

[Edit] – after a couple of years out in Germany there was a subtle change in ‘the rules’ which meant I could get one of my bikes out of storage and make the most of living right on the edge of the Alps amongst some of the most awesome biking roads and scenery. A Mahoooosive thank you to Graeme France who sorted my number two bike out (as well as recovering some of my own earlier muppetry) in order for me to just fly back, pick it up and enjoy a road trip back down to the German / Austrian border. Yes it involved a very numb backside….but was it worth it….Hell yes!

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So a few months ‘down south’ that turned into a stint in the Falkands, followed by 3 ½ years in Bavaria, was subsequently followed by just over three years enjoying the Mediterranean sunshine living on Cyprus. No NC30 action out there but I did keep myself busy by restoring a 1956 AJS 350cc old brit that I found out there instead.
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Whilst I was overseas I started thinking about all the spares I had and the Girlfriend (now the Mrs) said she reckoned I could build a third bike out of all the bits I had lying around and in storage………Hmmmmm now there is an idea! Well obviously that sowed the seed so I started to slowly acquire many of the bits I would need/want and stockpiled them in my parents / sisters loft back in the UK. Unfortunately at that time Timon, amongst others, had raised the bar with some stunning OCD builds so I started to formulate my own plans to try and build something a bit special. Having the luxury of time and some spare cash I was able to slowly acquire a lot of the basic stuff I would need, as well as some of the more ‘trick/obscure’ items, but more about that some other time.

I finished in Cyprus last month but the powers that be decided that I should now spend the next 3 years back in Germany. At least this time I have a house with x2 garages as well as a shed, so can have my bikes back – plus I am only about an hour or so from both Spa and the Ring. So that brings us to date, I am reunited with both my NC30s (old bike to follow at a later date) and some serious de-mothballing to do.
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Thankfully the No2 bike is in pretty good order and has ‘only’ been laid up for 3 years. She is currently already a runner but is getting a full service, oil change, carb clean etc so that shouldn’t take too much work to get back on the road.

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The number 1 bike may be more of a challenge as that has not turned a wheel in almost 8 years now. I was planning on building a 3rd bike, but am currently thinking I may just give the original bike a serious overhaul and incorporate many of the (very) trick bits that I have squirreled away over the past 7 or 8 years. Watch out for a build thread in due course.

So like I said “I am back…….sort of”. Anyone else near Köln?

NGneer :peace:

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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by cbr400rrn » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:19 pm

There you are :grin:
If you put the trick bits onto the number 1 bike then the bits you remove you could always put onto a standard 3rd nc30 of which you now have to build as your wife said you could do :smile: well in not so many words she said you could

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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by Suzuki416 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

love the post, I'd also go with building the 3rd - you should be quicker at it now anyway lol...

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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by Dynamohum » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:45 am

Great to see you back the forums a bit slow these days not as vibrant as it used to be with build threads etc always admired your rothmans bikes my favourite non standard scheme .

I had a set of pattern fairings in that scheme never got round to fitting them sold them on along with a project nc30 to a lad in london on this forum but have never seen it completed .

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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by Neosophist » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:32 am

sounds like quite a journey

do like the old ajs.

yeah not so many build threads these days... probably a lot due to the age of the bikes, not as cheap and plentiful anymore, most youngsters have moved onto other things.

modern 600s are lighter and faster than the old 400s

i dont have any 400s anymore, too uncomfortable for me to ride these days, mostly scooters and 250s here and a 954 for when i get the urge to go a longer ride.
xivlia wrote:i dont go fast on this bike so really do not need a rear brake.. /
vic-vtrvfr wrote:Ask xivlia for help, he's tackled just about every problem u could think of...

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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by Davez29 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:42 pm

A great post. It has outdone anything I could and frequently do waffle on about, lol. I thought it funny you mentioned divorce and money in the same paragraph, shush.. ;)

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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by bikemonkey » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:33 pm

Well it's nice to see who's hogging all the good postings!

Ace write up, you'll have to try and make it to CBT at Cadwell one year

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NGneer
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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by NGneer » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:22 pm

Nice to be back and thanks for all the positive comments.

The No2 bike is currently sat with its oil draining ready for a refill with some fresh good quality semi-synth along with a new filter.
Call it Karma, but I also discoverd a Honda dealership just around the Corner, so am picking up a couple of new batteries tonight and some fresh coolant. Carbs have been removed, checked, cleand, refitted and everything looks in good order.

All I need now is a bit of time to finish the oil / coolant Change and give everything else a good check and I might actually manage to get out on it a couple of times before this unseasonaly warm and dry Oct finaly breaks. Fingers crossed :pray:

Then I have to discover how much time I can spend spannering on a Project before the Mrs gets too grumpy. I think that may dictate in which direction that goes ;)

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NGneer
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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by NGneer » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:26 pm

bikemonkey wrote:Well it's nice to see who's hogging all the good postings!

Ace write up, you'll have to try and make it to CBT at Cadwell one year

Hello mate -where are you at the Moment.

wrt the postings, believe it or not apparently I am doing the desk a favour as "they can´t get any voluteers to go overseas anymore"!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

P.S. I am itching to do another track day and Cadwell is my favorite place. What is the CBT and when is it? I could start to book things up on next years calender before anyone else Comes up with something less..... interesting :whistle:

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Re: I'm back.....well sort of

Post by bikemonkey » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:58 pm

I'm at Benson, in Puma depth.

I can't see that being true, then again things might be different between the two rank structures!

Classic Bike Trackdays weekend at Cadwell, it hasn't been announced for next year yet, but I'm sure it will be.
Usually mid summer and has been cracking the last two years I've been


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