|Richard's BK 350 in Norfolk, England|
Just a few lines to let you known a bit about us and our bk. [...] I have owned this bike since November it came from a man in Northampon, who imported it from a guy called Mike Starford who lived in Berlin, also with it was another bike and enough spare parts to nearly build another.
This all happened in 1996 he sold what was the roughest looking bike to a man in Portsmouth ( I am trying to find out who he is) and kept the one that I have and all the spare parts, to cut a long story short he has a bit of a museum of flat twins and as he is getting on a bit and moving house he has had to sell some of them (the bk350 being one of them) I just happend to see small add for it in the Old Bike Mart. I had been thinking of seeing if I could find one as they are quite rare over here, so I contacted him and the rest is history.
Well I have got it up and running now I bought all the spare parts and lovely manual which had been conveniently translated into English, and it's a good thing that I did as the bike had been butchered about a bit over the years ( it is black but looks as though it was originaly maroon and built in 1958 but on the steering head plate it says 1965, we think it might have had a new frame at some point) it has not run since 1996 , there were two spare engines, three gear boxes plus another set of gears and selectors, about five or six carb's, a load of electrical parts, front and rear wheel, some fork parts and three hubs( final drives) and a lot of other small stuff.
These parts have been invaluable, I stripped the engine and gear box fitted new crank seals and bearings, new piston rings,rebuilt the gear box and machined the housings where shafts protruded and fitted them with "o" rings to stop the oil running everywhere, it still has a slight leak when used on a long trip, I think it is from the input shaft seal. I rebuilt the final drive with the solo gearing but it seemed a bit high geared so I rebuilt one of the side car gears and that seems a lot easier on it, I stripped and cleaned the forks and fitted new gaiters and generally went through it, it is running quite nicely now, in the spares there were two round slide carb's which I have fitted and it runs a treat. My wife Jackie and I have been out on it together and it handles quite well, everybody who has seen it wonders what it is, nobody has ever seen one.
I will have to send you some photo's, we know of possibly two others in Norfolk but they are not used, I have several bikes, one is a 1933 New Imperial 250 model 30 which I have had since I was fifteen years old ( I am now fifty eight ) a BSA rocket 3 1968 and a 750 Triumph 1979, the bk is the first two stroke that I have owned but I like it very much.
Well that had better do for now, all the best, safe riding, be in touch later.
Und hier ebenfalls Richard's Bericht von seinem
DRACULA RALLY OF TRANSYLVANIA in TURDA.ROMANIA.The morning of Saturday 17th.June 2006 in Spooner Row, Norfolk arrived with the sun shining as did Philip Phoenix on his 1975 T150 all loaded up and ready to go on our epic voyage/journey to the First Dracula Rally of Transylvania in Turda, Romania. I was all packed up and ready with the trusty old MK1 R3, we had both been round the bikes and done any jobs that we thought needed doing. It was quite a daunting trip for us especially on old bikes. We had been to the Spanish rally at Colombres but this trip was a really long way. We said our goodbyes to my wife Jackie and Alfred the dog and off we set for Dover at 8.30am. It was quite warm by now. We stopped the other side of Newmarket to slacken off Philip's chain then off again, it was quite an uneventful trip to Dover, once off the ferry we made our way to Lille then around Liege hoping to reach Spar in Belgium ( we were both on a learning curve ) which we did at about 8.00pm. What we didn't know was that there was some sort of party going on and it was heaving with people so we carried on up the main drag heading to Germany, we also didn't realise what an awful job it is trying to find petrol in Belgium at the weekend. (luckily I had a petrol can which I had filled up in France) as I had just about run out, we put some petrol in my bike and kept a little for Philip, we eventually stopped at St Vith not far from the German boarder. Philip was on reserve and I had a little left in my tank, we had done 450 miles since we left home. By this time it was getting late, we discovered that if you had a Belgium petrol card you could fill up any time, some guys and gals walking about the town arranged to come to the filling station so we could pay them and use their petrol card, it was now 11.30pm or more, we eventually found a small hotel in the main street, so after a few beers we went to bed at about 1am, didn't sleep well, a lot of boy racers up and down the street all night long. Day two was better we didn't do so many miles, went into Germany down the Wittlich Hills which are ideal for bikes once you have been up and down a few times, parked in a layby to admire the view and got talking to a bloke called Jurgen on a bike, he was very interested in the old triples (we have been in touch via e-mail and he sent us some photo's ) We crossed the Mossel river through some lovely countryside and stopped in a small village and had some lunch in an Italian style restaurant which was very welcome. The weather was really hot which was tiring and the Sunday traffic was really heavy, we were making slow progress through what I call "A" roads, found a hotel in Lindenberg called Zum Ratskeller, it was the cheapest one we stayed in the whole two weeks but it was O.K. We had done about 150 miles. Monday was not quite so good, had a really heavy thunderstorm while having our breakfast and when we went to leave the BSA would only run on two cylinders, popping and spluttering. I drained the carbs and cleaned out the main jets but it wasn't much better, I then checked the sparks and had an intermittent spark on the timing side, changed the plug to no avail and buggered about with the wiring then it was a little bit better. After trying the bike up and down the street we decided to make a move. We made our way through Neustadt where it looked as though they were evicting everybody as there was rubbish, furniture and tellies etc. on the pavements. The bike was still acting up in traffic especially slow moving. Eventually we reached a village just outside Landau luckily stopping outside a small family run service station asking them if we could use their airline and blowgun to clean the cabs. (once they realised we were going to do the work ourselves that was fine ) job complete plus adding fuel injection cleaner the bike ran much better. We were getting into the more industrialised Germany now so we got back onto the motorways to make up for lost time. We didn't know what trucks (lorries) were until now, no wonder we have global warming. We crossed the river Rhine and made our way through Karlsruhe and round Stuttgart making our way to Munich, only reaching Zusmarshausen.( 150 miles). While looking for a hotel we met a bloke called Marion from Cluj in Romania who filled Philip in about most things. We found a hotel called The Krone where we stayed the night. The following morning by way of a change we messed about with Philip's speedo as it would only read about 30mph at the most. We removed his back wheel and speedo drive. The cable was a bit iffy so we put it all back together. Setting off again through very pretty countryside we made our way to Munich then onto Salzburg in Austria. Once in Austria we took an "A" road to Linz, it was very twisty through the mountains. The worst thing was trying to get past the trucks. The countryside was stunning, reaching a place called Worschach we found the Poschenhof Hotel, which was lovely. Nice rooms, good food and even a carport for the bikes. After minor bike adjustments, a few beers and a bite to eat it was time for bed. The next morning we set off for Graz where a tunnel seemed to run under the city (quite frightening on a bike, if you broke down there was nowhere to go and it was full of lorries) making our way to Hungary. The weather was really hot and sunny. We reached the boarder at about lunch time, the guards were very interested in our bikes. Once into Hungary the roads deteriorated a bit, the traffic was quite heavy and getting hotter by the mile. We stopped in a small town by the side of the road with our bikes still running talking about currency, when we heard all this clattering, I thought my bike had blown up, but it was a guy from England who had pulled up on a KTM (I thought my bike rattled) he said he was going to Turda in Romania then just roared off. We made our way to Lake Balaton and rode right round the bottom then up the west side where a bloke came shooting passed us on the brow of a hill on a big Jap bike, he only had shorts and a tea shirt on, just the other side of the brow a car turned off in front of him, which he just managed to avoid by about .025inches. We stopped at the side of the lake for a while and got talking to a couple of Hungarians with a small child, they hadn't seen any triples before. That evening we stopped not far from Budapest in a Motel (300 miles) this is where things took a dive, we had to share a room, it was bloody hot and the air con. couldn't cope, plus we both snored keeping each other awake. The food and beer was O.K. In the morning we did our running repairs again and were off. It was a bit hairy riding around the outskirts of Budapest but we managed, the road signs were pretty good, we followed Marion's instructions as to the route to take which was fairly good. The road out of Oradea on the Romanian boarder was long, flat, straight and featureless as Adrian had said, we thought we would never reach the boarder. We reached Oradea just after dinner, we had already stopped in a village in Hungary for something to eat at a café. It was really hot by now and the road works were something else. We wasted about 1 ½ hours at the boarder crossing as Adrian said you must get Romanian third party insurance which will be easy (not very) in the end we got some from a very pretty blonde stripper in a little wooden hut for about 40 or 50 euros but I don't think it was worth the paper it was written on. At the money exchange we changed 60 euros into leu which equals 28000 of them but just to confuse you there were old and new leu's as they had already devalued the old leu but still used it. We were off into deepest Romania, the roads were pretty grim and queues of lorries waiting to cross the boarder. It was a bit nerve racking trying to find our way around Oradea and the traffic and pot holes were beyond compare but we managed. We headed out of Oradea towards Cluj Nopaca which didn't look far on the map but actually was quite a long way, once on the road it wasn't to bad, there were signs that they were trying to modernise things but as you rode through the villages there would always be about six or seven old women with sticks and no teeth all looking identical. We rode around Cluj which was a bit dodgy as they had hosed the streets down and there seemed to be no system to the traffic. We got through it and made our way to Turda reaching it at 9pm. We pulled up outside the Potaissa Hotel where everybody cheered as they could not believe we had done it on our old triples and that they were running so well. ( 3 miles outside of Turda my speedo had decided to pack up) We had done 1750 miles. We dumped our stuff off in our rooms making sure we had got our breakfast vouchers as this is very important, (no voucher - no breakfast) you had to get them the night before, one bloke forgot his and the waitress got in a rite old paddy, the menu was a strange red coloured tea and omelette, omelette or omelette. Anyway I digress, we went and parked our bikes over at the Hunter Prince Hotel with all the other BM's with sat.nav. etc., we got a few strange looks. We had a meal at Adrian's table (who had already ordered ) as I don't think we would have got one otherwise as there only seemed to be one chef in the kitchen. By this time it was around midnight, so Philip and myself walked back to our hotel by which time Malcolm Saggers and his wife had just arrived on their 350 Matchless complete with BSA bottom end, a barrel bored out to 400cc, a Velocette cylinder head, gearshift moved via a lot of linkage to the right hand side, all this with a false leg as well. His wife said that her bum was numb. He told me that he had done about 300000 miles on this bike, a lot of it in Eastern Europe. The next day which was Friday Philip and I walked over to the Hunter Prince Hotel to see what was going on, while we were there a thunderstorm postponed things until 11am. When it stopped raining we checked our bikes over ready for the days event. We all set off for the filling station which was quite modern. While we were there a rather attractive lady came and handed out some business cards for her truck stop which had just been built, telling us that if we went for a meal that night there were some nice young girls there! After all that excitement we set off for the campsite which was a bit spartan , they were building a stage for the rock concert to be held that evening. Once everybody was ready we set off for the Tutului Gorge, once there it was very pretty and some of us went on a guided tour down through the gorge where apparently the locals all use to hide if they were attacked. It was very steep getting down the gorge and even worse coming out, one or two people had mishaps. It was time for lunch so we all set off for the restaurant, the trouble was the organisers hadn't told them we were coming and they couldn't cope with so many which was a bit of a bugger as we were all getting hungry. Off we set down some diabolical roads to another restaurant which was closed when we got there. At this point it was raining a bit and we had befriended a guy called Martin who had travelled from Brands Hatch in Kent. He was on a 1400cc Harley and was telling us he had done the trip in two days, about 750 miles per day.(serious riding or what) we thought we had done fairly. Philip, Martin and myself after a bit of a conflab decided that enough was enough so we went back to the truck stop for a meal, which was actually very good. Others found another restaurant for a meal, which by all accounts was also very good. After we had eaten, had a few drinks and all the riding we were tired and went back to the Hunter Prince Hotel for a rest. We then had a look at the bikes trying to clean them up a bit ready for the street race on Saturday. I discovered that my seat and grab rail had broken off the frame, plus the grab rail had fractured in the middle of one side due to all the weight I was carrying.(not so heavy as Philips tools and spares kit which Adrian offered to carry for him, he could hardly lift it) When Spartacus ( the Romanian organiser )came back in the evening I had a word with him to see about getting it welded, his father owns a car seat factory that made seats for Dacia cars so he took us down there (mind you it was 6.30 in the evening) I stripped the rear end out and they welded it up for me while Spartacus rode Philip's bike up and down their yard. They would accept no payment so we said our goodbyes and off we went. We were to tired to fight our way down the gorge to the rock concert so we had a few beers and called it a day. We went to bed making sure we had collected our breakfast tickets. Saturday dawned bright and sunny, it was a big day as the authorities had closed off the main street for the race circuit which was about half a mile long with a memorial at one end and gardens the other, there red and white tape down both sides of the pavement. Apparently the last races were held in the fifties, we were talking to a chap called Bop who used to race, he was saying that the Germans gave them some Astarals to race with but some where along the line they got hold of a 500cc Triumph twin which left the Astarals (which were singles and quite heavy) for dead. He had some photo's , he was a really nice bloke although he could speak no English. When the races started we had five warm up laps, which was a bit dodgy as there were us on triples one or two on BMW's, some older Japanese bikes, Russian two strokes and sidecar outfits all together, it was fine going down the street which had a slight right hand curve going down hill so you could pass most of the traffic, but you really had to be careful coming back up as they would be coming all over the place going down round the bend, anyway that warmed the bikes up a bit and we got used to the circuit. Philip was in one race and I was in another, he was put in with some BMW's and some other stuff, with a three into one ending in a sort of open tapered megaphone the T150 sounded a treat at full bore down the main street which was lined both sides with spectators who loved it as they had never seen bikes like ours before. I was in a race with an old BMW twin a Russian sidecar outfit with a machine gun on board and some other stuff so there was no pressure to win! Needless to say we both won our races which were incidentally filmed and shown on National Television in Romania. It was the highlight of the trip, the chap on the 350/400 Matchless also entered the race and put up a very good account of himself, but he had a few problems with his gear selection. We collected our awards and then all set off for the drag racing on the salt flats, it was a bit to wet so they held them on the road which was very gravely so we declined that one but several people did it. It was a hot afternoon so we went back to the hotel for a meal and rest. In the evening we went down the gorge to the rock concert, there were two or three bands which were quite good, all the Romanians and Russians got drunk and took the exhausts of their two strokes and reved them until they flew to bits or caught fire, it was mayhem really. Philip and I (and several others I think ) decided to leave Turda on Sunday instead of Monday so as to miss all the trucks on the road, it was a good move. We packed our stuff and left at about 11am. We took the road to Cluj then up to Satu Mare near the Ukrane boarder, it was a lovely road and very little traffic, we rode round and round Satu Mare looking for the boarder only to discover that it was at Peta about ten miles up the road. We crossed the boarder into Hungary, had a bit of a rest and set off again across the top end of Hungary towards Slovakia, the country side was quite pretty with some big well run farms, and the crops looked good. The strange thing was we kept seeing nice looking well dressed women sitting alone in farm gateways. (a bit odd we thought, but then the penny dropped ) We got as far as Miskolc at about 8.pm. a very nice town about the size of Norwich, they had spent quite a bit of time revamping the centre and there was an opera evening going on. Everybody was done up to the nines, we had a job finding a hotel, but people were very helpful, we were sent down a pedestrian only street where everybody was eating and drinking at tables outside so we got some funny looks as the bikes make quite a bit of noise. We found a small hotel up a back street, it was a really nice place and the food was excellent. In the morning we set off for Slovakia, everything went well that day, we rode over the Tatras into Poland, the roads were fairly good and it was nice to get into the breeze up in the mountains. Going down into Poland my oil pressure gauge packed up, the oil light didn't come on and the bike was running fine so I kept going. That end of Poland is very picturesque and after a bit of messing about we managed to find a holiday park with accommodation so we booked in for the night. The best thing was that there was an outdoor swimming pool, so our gear was soon off the bikes and we were in the pool. "Heaven ". After a bit of chain adjusting to the bikes we had a meal and went to bed. Another swim in the morning then we were off to look round Auschwitz concentration camp, the traffic was a bit heavy with lots of trucks and it was very hot. We had a quick look round but it was quite a depressing place so we left making our way across country to a village called Krosnice near Wroclaw to spend a couple of nights in a flat that belongs to some friends of ours living in England. We eventually found the flat at about 8.30pm, both our friends mothers were there and had cooked a big meal which consisted of minced meat and herbs rolled up in cabbage leaves, it was really nice. I crashed out on the couch, (Philip had bagged the bed ) it was very comfy. The next day (Wednesday) we chilled out wandering round the grounds, drinking beer and cleaning our bikes, which were filthy. After another night at the flat the Thursday morning we set off heading for the German Boarder, we made our way across on small roads so it was good to see the countryside and the farms etc. The road to the boarder is the original one that the Germans built in 1936 we were told and they are only now revamping it so its credit due to them for the quality of the original road. We got onto the motorway to make up some time and rode past Cottbus and then back onto the "A" roads, which were very good with very little traffic. We reached Belzig and found a Hotel straight away, nice and clean with good food and beer. In the morning we rode across Germany, stopped at a collective farm (or what would have been in the communist days) and took some photo's of the machinery. (East German Fortschritt Combines and big Russian tractors). The blokes could not speak English but were interested in our bikes. The traffic got a bit heavier so we got back onto the dual carriages and made our way to Holland. We reached Hangavelda and found a hotel, it was probably the best one we had stayed in and the food was excellent. In the morning which was now Saturday we set off across Holland to Arnhem, and stopped to have a look at the bridge, it was hard to imagine all the fighting that went on there, took some photo's then back onto the dual carriage ways around Arnham heading for Belguim, then took the coast road into France. We were going to find somewhere to stay near Dunkerque but thought we were so near Calais so we decided to see if we could get on the ferry a day early which was no problem and were back in England at about 8.30pm. We had eaten on the ferry so we headed straight home. My headlamp bulb fell out going up the M11, it was getting late by now so I rode on my pilot lamp and sorted it out at the next services. We really cleared the old girls out going up M11 and A11 and arrived home at midnight. We had done a lot of miles the last day bringing our trip to an end with a total of 3500 miles in all. Our bikes went really well using very little oil. We found the people in all countries very friendly and helpful. Out of a club with about 1100 members we were the only two people to go on triples. Would I do it again? Yes probably but allow more time to do it. Safe riding, Richard Mack