Back Street Heroes



So the first few events of the season’re now under our collective belts, and I don’t know about you, but it feels so good to be back out there again in the biker world. Yeah, I know there were a few events (okay, quite a few actually) during the latter part of last year, but they felt a little removed, kind o’ distant, as we were all still a little wary of each other because of Covid – now, though, the first few of 2022’ve kind o’ given everyone I’ve spoken to a sort of warm, fuzzy feeling to be back amongst our sort.

At the NABD’s You’ve Been Nabbed Rally, for example, which’s the first big one of the year for many, I lost track of the number of folk, including uber-compere, Mr Rick Hulse, who were almost emotional about being back within our brethren. Everyone was smiley and happy, and pleased to see the people you may only see a few times a year but, over the years, have become genuine friends – you know how it is, I’m sure; people who, although you may only bump into them once or twice a season, it’s like you only saw them the day before yesterday. It’s funny really; I’m a wee bit cynical when it comes to concepts like brotherhoo­d, and biker fraternity, but the first few events of this year’ve been just some of the best I’ve been to because those feelings, brotherhoo­d and fraternity, have been like an all-enveloping blanket, a hug almost. It’s kind o’ weird, but in a good way, y’know?

There is, it seems, still some confusion about which bikes can use the new blends of fuel, and it can be a little confusing because, basically, fuel manufactur­ers didn’t really take us two (and three)-wheeled individual­s into account when they started adding shi… sorry, sorry, ethanol into petrol to oxygenate said petrol to reduce air pollution.

It’s always best, if you’re in any doubt as to whether your bike or trike can run on E10, or needs the more expensive E5 (basically, Super Unleaded), to check with either the manufactur­er via their website or

For example, for Suzuki motorcycle­s it says ‘2002 model years and onwards – all motorcycle­s can use E10 with no problems. 1992-2001 model years – some models can use E10 fuels, and some models cannot. The user should contact their national importer for clarificat­ion. 1991 model years and earlier – RON 98 (no bio-fuel content) E5 must be used’, and for Harley-Davidsons, ‘All Harley-Davidson models from model year 1980 are compatible with E10 fuel. All models before this model year should use RON 98 E5 fuel.’ A basic rule-of-thumb I was told a while back by someone far more learned in these things than I am is this: if you’re at all concerned, then think about it like this – if your bike has fuel-injection, then it can use E10, if it has carbs, use E5.

Probably more importantl­y, whichever fuel you’re using, E5 or E10, especially in carbed bikes, if you’re going to park your bike up for more than three weeks without starting it, drain your carbs before you do so (how you do it’s up to you – I turn the fuel tap to the ‘off’ position, and run the motor ‘til it dies) ‘cos the new fuels seem to have a detrimenta­l effect on their internals (and they’re not that nice to the gnomes I told you about last month either). You’ve seen those adverts on Facebook Marketplac­e that say ‘carbs need cleaning’? Guess what causes that?

Afore I go, I thought I’d explain to you, in a kind of a BSH public service kind of a way, what some common engineerin­g terms mean. A lot of you’ll already know them, but for those of you that don’t…

Percussive maintenanc­e – I hit it with an ‘ammer an’ it started working again Cycle power to the panel – Switch it off an’ switch it back on again

High impedance air-gap – I forgot to plug it in

Organic grounding – It electrocut­ed me

Terminally reconfigur­ed – It melted

Kinetic disassembl­y – It blew up

Thermal shock – it caught fire

Don’t say you don’t learn anything from this magazine, eh? See you next month!

 ?? (PIC BY PHIL) ??

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