The sunny side of the clas­sic world, with the VJMC’S Steve Cooper

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - NEWS -

There are times when we could all do with a bit of help and if we are bru­tally hon­est such oc­ca­sions are more fre­quent that we’d like to ad­mit. If we make the leap of faith that a lot of stuff, but not ev­ery­thing, on the clas­sic scene is done by blokes then there’s also very of­ten an in­trin­si­cally huge im­ped­i­ment to what we try to achieve. This oft ig­nored ele­phant in the room is called ego. It’s some­thing us chaps are rather good at but very of­ten it’s not the pos­tur­ing, bathed-in-your-own-re­flected-glory, willy-wav­ing sort; oh no. It’s that nag­ging, shoul­der-rid­ing, whis­per­ing in your ear ego that tells you the job has to be sussed out and sussed out now. Most of us know the sce­nario – it’s an ap­par­ently sim­ple task that you’ve un­der­taken nu­mer­ous times be­fore so it ought to be easy. How­ever, when it comes to it the re­al­ity is at odds with the ex­pec­ta­tion. The more you try the harder the un­der­tak­ing be­comes, ex­pected out­comes are not what should be hap­pen­ing and then the frus­tra­tion lev­els be­gin to rise. In­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to these ever in­creas­ing ech­e­lons of angst comes the sup­pos­edly at­ten­tion fo­cussing adren­a­line rush which is about as help­ful as dry rot in a pi­rate’s wooden leg. Com­mon sense says walk away, the enor­mity of po­ten­tially dis­as­trous fail­ure should make you stop. Logic says this will only end in heartache etc. If you’ve been there be­fore hope­fully you will de­sist, put down the tools, walk away, turn your back on the job, shut the shed door or sim­i­lar. Be­cause if you don’t and just like your old mum would tell you – there’ll be tears! Hav­ing chased the seat of the Yamaha RD350 around the ta­ble for what seemed like hours with a rapidly in­creas­ing pulse rate off­set by a pre­cip­i­tously lower level of con­cen­tra­tion, the light bulb of logic fi­nally glowed. There was no way I could get the seat cover to fit and stay in place un­der the clips. Yes I’d done seat re-cov­er­ing be­fore and with good re­sults; the dif­fer­ence was that pre­vi­ous cov­ers could be held down by the seat base’s spikes. At­tempt­ing the same with bend-over clips was akin to try­ing to per­suade a fam­ily of lib­er­ally but­tered sea ot­ters into an old Welling­ton boot. The nice UPS man col­lected the box of seat parts ready to de­liver to P&K Seat­ing. As pro­pri­etor Phil Turner com­mented: “Some­times they can be right swines!” Don’t beat your­self up about the stuff you can’t do; farm it out to those that can and get on with the stuff you can do. Turns out I’d been sold a duff foam on ebay – which just goes to show some­times stuff goes wrong for the right rea­sons!

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