Sep 112010

Today it was fine weather. At first I didn’t plan on going but my wife suggested that if I wanted to take the Norton for a ride, I should profit from the good weather while it lasted. All went well, no traffic accidents, no heart attacks. In Sevres, while waiting for the red light, a car pulled up next to me. First I was thinking that it was again some kind of jojo that got his driving license for free with two boxes of cereal (after my experience yesterday where a car driver gave again a perfect demostration of how stupid some people are by passing at least 6 cars using the wrong lane before blocking himself (and others) behind a bus) but no; it was someone in a gray sportscar that rolled down his window and told me that he used to have the exact same model Norton Commando, but his got stolen some 20 years ago.

But while on my way back, I already noticed, the right exhaust locking nut came out again. Once back home, it is in fact worse; also the balance pipe collar came loose.

Exhaust balance pipe collar loose

This also makes the right exhaust muffler swing out a bit, so the kick start hits it. At first I thought it would be easy; untighten the bolts of the balance pipe collar, move it over and tighten again, but .. I don’t know what they put behind it, it looks like a kind of glue, completely harden by the heat of the exhaust, that was ment to prevent unwanted untightening. I tried, but nothing to do; impossible to untighten the nut/bolt.

Glue behind the nut on the thread?

Sure thing, the nut won’t move an inch, but now how can I do if I want to untighten it?? The only thing I can think of is trying and hoping the bolt will break through, remove it then and remplace with an other bolt. Or to use a metalsaw, cut it through, but there isn’t a lot of space to get a saw in there.. I’ll need to think for a bit, because even if I manage to retighten again the exhaust locking nut, there will still be free space on the balance pipe collar.

 Posted by at 6:24 pm
Sep 072010

This afternoon ended different than I would have imagined; when I was already on my way back with my Norton, traffic slowed down at the quai de Seine, just in front of the camping entrance at Boulogne-Billancourt. Three young men were, somewhat panicked, trying to get the attention of passing traffic. A car, skid of the road on the left side, with behind it a man laying on the ground. I pulled over and quickly it became clear; the young men came running to me asking if I was a doctor and unfortunately I’m not and kept asking if I had seen what happened. The three men explained me that a car, just in front of them, suddenly swerved to the left, over the curb and hit the trees. When I walked over to the accidented car I knew enough, the poor guy most likely had a heart attack while at the wheel, given his position, heavy transpiration over his breast and cramped position of his right arm/hand. I passed them my cellphone to call for medical assistance while I took off my jacket and folded it to serve as pillow for the victim’s head. One of the three young men started heartmassage, probably following instructions from medical personnel on the phone.

Waiting can then take long.. By chance, a policecar in civilian just pulled over a car on the other side of the road at the camping’s entrance, so I ran towards them waving my arms to get their attention. Luckely that didn’t take long and it took even less time to explain them that someone just had a seizure. The policemen in civilian took over the heartmassage and started mouth-to-mouth while one of their colleagues also called in for an ambulance. Meanwhile I gave them their space to do their job, but I didn’t want to distance too far, as the victim was still laying on my leather jacket and I already saw it coming, the confusion.. And I wasn’t wrong.

The first firemen (also providing first aid and medical assistance in France) arrived about 5 minutes later, while I slowed and stopped traffic to give them space to approach and pull over. While they took over and started reanimation in turn, the policemen in civilian started to ask questions about what happened, but I didn’t witness anything, it happened seconds before I got there and I stopped because of the three young men seeking attention.

Meanwhile a second firetruck arrived and just about then, I was just in time; the policemen had found my papers in my leather jacket and while one of them already started using his phone I was just in time to squeeze in that he was holding my papers because I provided my jacket as pillow to the victim. Sure, difficult to see, because first he took out my wife’s driving license that I (often) carry with me to retrieve postal orders for her, but after showing him my passport he was convinced and handed them back. In the meantime, while medical personnel was trying to stabilise the victim, I couldn’t go anywhere, because my jacket also contains my wallet and vehicule registration papers of the Norton that were in the other pocket. About 30 minutes later the victim was placed on a brancard and medical staff handed back my jacket. I asked them if the victim was going to make it but they told me that it didn’t look good. I got cleared and started the Norton and while I was leaving the three young men, still at the scene, thanked me for having stopped.

No pictures; Sure, I was there long enough to take one, but decided that it wasn’t the place nor the time. It was already dramatic enough as it was, it wasn’t a tourist attraction.

Once back and parked the Norton, I still had to go buy some meat. At the butcher’s, they asked if I wasn’t with the Norton. He told me that his brother has a Norton and two Triumphs as well, but honnestly, though I love talking about motorbikes, after what just happened I wasn’t quite concentrated.

 Posted by at 6:44 pm
Sep 012010

The Norton finally has a name! Or well, my wife gave the Norton a name, I’m not quite sure what to think about it. First she called the Norton my Mistress and that she could smell my mistress (warm oil) when I came home. Would indeed be difficult to hide it from her when I took the Norton out for a ride. As I still have some problems with the right exhaust locking nut, though I managed again to tighten it again somewhat, the jointure isn’t quite airtight, she’s blowing a bit of exhaustgas through the jointure. Not much, but enough to “hisss” again a bit and hence why my wife calls the Norton now “Daffy” (from Daffy the Duck); “Sssszzuper, a Norton” 🙂

Meanwhile I also looked, again, at why the brakelight doesn’t come on when using the front brake. I thought to be smart and check first if the switch itself is perhaps defective.

Frontbrake light switch

I had to loosen and turn the master cilinder a bit just to be able to lower the protective casing a bit. First I measured the negative power, OK. Then I had a brilliant idea, put a screwdriver between the two contacts and … Nothing. The brakelight still didn’t come on. That means that the problem isn’t the switch, but somewhere else in the wiring. So next time I’ll have to remove again the fueltank and check again the nice tie of wires there.

 Posted by at 1:47 pm

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