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Thursday, January 6, 2011


The day I got Eleanor home on the back of a three-wheeled flat bed.

First and foremost, I wish all of you a very happy new year. Yeah, so just like with every year that has passed in this planet's existence, shit's going to happen in 2011 as well. Just don't tell me that I didn't give you a heads up. Don't believe me? Just read the news: birds are dropping dead from the skies, fish are kicking the bucket in hordes and the terrorists - well they're the only mother fuckers pro-creating in the teeming millions. Ah well, I'll just get back to more pleasant things - old motorcycles.

They say wine gets better with age. I don't doubt that. But there are other things that mature with time and motorcycle projects are one such thing.

Take my Matchless G3L project for one. The Matchless was the first bitsa I ever picked up. As usual, the sod who was selling it told me it was an easy restoration. 'Aarey, it was running just last year wonly. Clean the points, service the bike and you can ride it everyday to work', he cajoled me. I didn't buy his sales pitch one bit. But I took the plunge and got Eleanor home.

With a good night's sleep came realisation that perhaps I had bitten off more than I could chew. The engine belonged to the military version while the frame came from a civilian variant. The magneto had been ditched in favour of a Bullet alternator and with that, came the whole gamut of Enfield parts - the inner and outer clutch covers, point cam shaft etc.

Yep, I was screwed and if you’re fucked after paying up, it's termed as the same aforementioned 'f' word, just with the word 'royally' prefixed. This was back in 2007-8.

It's been a long time since and Eleanor has come a long way too. Sure, I've ridden her for the grand total of 5 minutes in all these years but she starts and vaguely resembles what her maker had intended. Many later projects have come and gone but yet, Eleanor hasn't been restored completely.

I'm certainly not the 'let's make a new year's resolution' type but this year, I'm making an exception. Eleanor will be completed this year. And yes, I'm stripping her down again and starting over from scratch. Yes, she deserves all the TLC I can fit into the 365 days that 2011 has in store for me. Wait a minute. Bugger, make that 358 days counting from today. Gah, time is really one slippery, little bastard, I tell you.

Eleanor, as she now stands. There's a long way to go and so little time..