Tipperary, Jackdoors and back to the UK

When I arrived at Dan, Robyn and Barny’s place, near Kilcommon in county Tipperary, I was bundled into a VW van towing a very early airstream caravan, to attend a festival to support the people facing financial ruin and eviction due to the mismanagement by the Irish governement.

I had been “kidnapped” by “stroppy” Irish republicans.



The intention of the visit, apart from seeing Ireland from an Irish perspective, was to repair Dan’s 1952 Moto Guzzi Astore, that had a slipping clutch, among other problems as it turned out in the end.

But first I helped Dan put up some shelving in one of his many sheds.


This grew out of all proportion as we found the damage done by Jackdoors in his other sheds, the birds had started nesting after a friend had stopped using the back of one of Dans sheds to house his dogs, and the destruction was hard to believe.

So the visit became one of emptying out the sheds, and removing the vast amounts of nesting material and other “deposits” and putting it all back in again, in better order.

This physical labour was, and will be, repaid in many ways. The tipperary day starts at 10 AM, at the earliest, but is still going a 4 AM the next morning, usually in one of the pubs or houses in the area, in a haze of Guinness and Iris wiskey, not a bad payment.

The local village is Kilcommon, and is “local”, this is the village store, where Bill, pictured, does the totaling of the bill long hand on a piece of paper, no new fangled till in here.


A late night visit to a local institution, Jim O’ the Mill, was an eye opener, a pub that opens on Thursday night only, and combines Guinness only on tap with Irish music and singing, a great atmosphere uniquely Irish with all ages present, true community.

As a friend of a local, I was invited to a “small” wedding, the publican of a pub in the next village over, Upperchurch, was getting married and the huge marque was sized to sit the 1000 eating guests.

I must confess I let the Aussie side down by accepting a large Irish whiskey, and with the many ciders Dan and I were getting outside of saw the wobbly boot come on at a weak 3 AM. But I did see the dawn on the way home again, the shame.

Dan likes older bikes, before they got “lardy” as he puts it, and have an interesting collection of rigid Norton’s, Sunbeam’s, Indians and Triumphs, along with the “modern” suspended Astore.

The Astore clutch repair seemed to work, with the acid test delayed as the bike has no spark, and I know next to nothing about magnetos, but I have just completed a steep leaning curve on them. The Astore motor is as close to identical to my Ercole motor that this needed to be learnt anyway. As we progressed, between cleaning and drinking, with the investigation and repair of the Astore we found the bike not as low kilometer as we had thought, so the disassemble continued.


Dan’s bikes.


Dan has offered me a ’34 ES2 Norton in boxes, so I can enjoy the rigid experience, and from the one ride the weather allowed in Ireland, rigid is different in many ways, some better, to suspended bikes.

The plan, hatched between us as we laboured to remove the jackdoor effluvium, was to return to London with the red VW van, use this to collect my UK bikes, the red zero kilometer Nuovo Falcone near Stafford, Martin’s V7 special near Leeds, and maybe the Galletto near Cheshire, If I can contact Andrew, who is out of the country, I think. I then load these bikes and the Mille GT into Dan’s big white van and we do a road trip to Milan to load the 20′ container, with a pilgrimage stop for spares in Mondello del Lario on the way.


The Nuovo Falcone Sahara in Germany is now staying in London/Ireland as my European bike and the red NF is now going to be ridden like the “new” bike is is in terms of mileage.

This solves my logistical nightmare and another interesting trip seems to be in the offing.

The plan then is to take the red van back to Ireland via the IOM manx GP, with Dan’s V7Sport and hopefully his Astore in the back, then Belfast and some friends before more Tipperary hospitality. We then return to London again and attend the motorcycle jumble sale near Liphook and I then take a train journey to Milan and the flight home. That’s the plan anyway.

~ by andygadget on August 2, 2013.

3 Responses to “Tipperary, Jackdoors and back to the UK”

  1. Bringing the babies home – good one ANdy. Noticed the lovely ratchet shifter atop the Astore gearbox, nice! I’m playing with a ratchet top too. Magnetos, what do you need to know?

  2. youll need a bigger house!!

  3. Hey – sounds like a great plan, Andy. Glad to hear that you’re planning to return. To Europe, that is… When you go to the Manx, will you be catching the weeks practice too? And will you see Mick and Paula?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: