Posts Tagged ‘John Bull Rally’

Well I think the flyer says it all, always a great rally, with great hosts, and the BSA Belgium owners club welcome all riders of old or classic bikes.


38th BSA John Bull Rally

jb flyer 2019

John Bull Rally 2019

John Bull Rally 2018…

Posted: February 27, 2018 in Just Me
Tags: ,
flyer jb18

John Bull Rally, Belgium

Even though my Guzzi let me down, I did eventually make the Rally in Belgium,

John Bull 17_072 copy

John Bull 17

By the time I was dropped off at my lockup, the day was fast disappearing, and it was now early afternoon, so I unloaded the Guzzi, and put that bike safely in my lockup, and loaded everything onto my little Triumph, all loaded, and without so much as a coffee, I was once again heading for Dover, the ferry, and onto the John Bull. Nobody thought I would go, and who can really blame them, it is a fair drag from my place to Dover, and even worse on a Friday, and especially one that coincides with a holiday weekend, but I was once again on the road.
It was four pm when I finally got to the ferry port, and I had just missed a ferry, the next one was at six pm, then you get a two hour crossing to France, you then lose another hour as they are on a different time zone, so it would just be getting dark when I get off the ferry. I then had to head out into unknown territory as I made my way slowly to the camp site in Belgium, and as the darkness grew, so the temperature dropped, and it was freezing when I arrived about an hour and a half later. I then had to pitch the tent before joining all my friends for a well earned beer.

So Saturday morning it was time for a mooch about before brekkie…

Some you will recognise Ed’s A65 Thunderbolt…

John Bull 17_005 copy

Ed’s 1970 A65T

John Bull 17_020 copy

Bryan’s Flash and box.

Now Ed, had a relation who fought and died in the Great war, and a few years ago we went in search of this man at the Tyne Cott cemetery, and having found his name we thought it was job done, but Ed found out about a little private museum on a farm in Passandale, right there in the fields where his late relation stood and fought, so last time out we searched for this farm but we never found it. So this time I said to Ed I would find the place and we would go, and I did, so Mr Ed emailed the young man who started the museum, and arrangements were made for a saturday visit, so a few of us loaded up, and a short ride later we were there. Funnily enough, we were on the right road last time, but never went far enough to find the farm, Pond Farm.

John Bull 17_041 copy

DIY WW1 tank, big boys toys.

He has a WW1 tank buried on his land, he knows where it is, but he is not allowed to dig it out, so he built his own.

Dieter and his mate just dropped down for the weekend from Hamburg, a round trip of over 1000 miles on girder rigid twins.

John Bull 17_076 copy

Girder Rigids

More pictures in the slideshow here…



I have been busy over the last couple of weekends as I prepare my Guzzi Eldo for an upcoming trip to Belgium, and my annual visit to the John Bull rally.  But it was not all as simple as it could have been, problems, including one of my own making, made what should have been a simple service job, a much bigger problem.

First I could not get the bike running on both cylinders, this was caused by me putting the right hand carb slide in the carb the wrong way round, and compounded by my failure to see the problem. But as it turned out, when turned around, the bike very nearly ran great.  Next up was a sluggish starter problem, this was caused by a cheap aftermarket ignition switch causing high resistance,  too the extent that it had cooked the main ignition feed wire from the battery to the switch.

This meant I had to open up the whole harness, and replace any melted wires I found, and there were a few, but I soon got it done and working again, although I have decided to order a new harness from Greg Bender over in the US.

Guzzi Eldorado

Out for a test run

Lastly I had to change the fork oil, and fit a luggage rack, the rack is not perfect and needs some refinement, but it will do for the upcoming rally. This will be my longest ride on the Guzzi since buying it last year, so I am hoping all goes well, we shall see.

It all started on Wednesday, when I bought an older Moto Guzzi pseudo police bike from north of Oxford, I had to collect it the same night, as I was heading off towards the John Bull Rally on Friday morning, so I had to be in Kent Thursday to be sure of making the ferry Friday morning.

Well, the evening started out sunny, but not long after I hit the A34 south towards home, the heavens opened with heavy rain and snow, all the way home. I could not have been colder or wetter, if I had fallen in the sea! but the bike ran pretty well considering the weather, although I do have a few things to sort out before regular use.

Guzzi Eldo-2_003 copy

1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado

Guzzi Eldo-2_007 copy

Guzzi Police dash

Guzzi Eldo-2_006 copy

850 Eldo


Friday saw a cold wet ride to the John Bull over in Belgium, a great Rally well organised by the Belgian BSAOC. Good camping, good food, this is always a fun rally to attend if you like old bikes, that are ridden to a rally. Already making plans for next years event.

My R60 played up with a starting issue, that I think was the starter relay, I have fitted a new one today, I shall see how things work out over the next few weeks.

Follow link below to pictures…

Thank you and well done all concerned.

John Bull_027 copy

My BMW R60/6 at the John Bull

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Mr Ed, and his trusty 650 Thunderbolt


On the Monday it was the Fleet Lions Charity Rally, at would you believe, Fleet. And a fine sunny day it was too, pictures in link below..

Fleet Lions 2016_104 copy

Triton at the Lions Rally.

This past weekend I attended the annual John Bull Rally, over in Belgium, hosted by the Belgian BSA OC, it was a cold damp, but great weekend. Well organised, great beer and food, good bands, and great people.

Thanks guys, you did good.

John Bull_024 copy

BSA and wall art.

A Nod to the Weather Gods…

Posted: April 27, 2014 in Just Me
Tags: ,

I had a lot to do today, what with trying to sell my house, all the paperwork, packing, sorting etc. But I also needed to give the Beemer the once over before heading off to Belgium and the John Bull rally on Thursday.

So I was a little downhearted this morning with everything being wet, following a night of unusually strong winds, and rain. But a coffee and a half later the sun came out, the pavement outside my house dried up, and I set to.

First thing to do was pull the plugs, and they showed the bike was running a little rich, a byproduct of me playing with the carbs over the easter weekend, trying to get rid of a throttle close backfire. The it was time to pull the rocker covers and check the valve clearences. This is such an easy job on a beemer, and a few minutes later they were all deemed to be ok, no adjustment needed.
So bolt that lot back together and fit new plugs. Then it was time to change out the gearbox oil again, I only did this last weekend, but after I had done the job, I found the drain plug crush washer had dropped off, so I decided to do the job again, a waste of transmission oil, but no oil leaks.
Lastly it was time to wind the pilot screws in an eighth of a turn on both carbs to lean them up a little, before running the bike up, while I tidy the tools away.

and just as I finished up, the rain came down again.

My R80ST

My R80ST


Blimey, where did that weekend disappear too? the john Bull Rally, over there in dat der Belgium, well so much to say, so complicated, so confusing, so well Belgian!

I left home late on Thursday on my old trusty Beemer, heading for the channel ports, in amazing spring sunshine, a sub plan existed, along the lines of, a beer with Graham, before meeting up with Geoff and Sarah, at the hotel, this would be the hotel that charges some people £45, and me £89 for the same nights stay! Bastards. But I digress, I did get to the hotel, and all was looking fine, the sun was still beating down, and my bike was running great, so I pop in to register at reception, and then pop back out to go for beer, with Graham, but the now flat tyre put a stop to that!…

So I have a puncture, no worries, I will just get out my kit and fix it, except, the spare tube, tyre levers, and repair kit are all back at my house, because I forgot to pack them! Arghhh.
Ok then I thought, I shall give Geoff a call, to see if he has a spare tube in the M21 outfit…

Now this is where things start to go off at a tangent, as my tyre flat takes its place behind this little tale…
Hi Geoff/Sarah, do you have a spare tube in the outfit, I could use as I have a flat, “yes we do, but we are not in the outfit, we are heading down now on the Triumph”
Well I am sure you have all seen the old silent movies, with Buster Keaton, or Charlie Chaplin, where the sidecar outfit is passed by its own wheel, well that is what happened to Geoff and Sarah, when the axle broke as they headed down hill to a roundabout, and ended up embedded in an embankment! I kid you not.
But they were both fine, the outfit was recovered home, and they loaded the Triumph and once again headed south.
At this point I phoned Ed, and asked him if he could help with a tube, he could, and would, but not till later, but that was fine, meantime Geoff’s mate Alan, turned up on the other M21 outfit, and he immediately set to helping me with the Beemer, wheel out tube out, and a small hole was found, but no cause could be seen anywhere? then Ed pulled up with a new tube before flying off again for a curry.

So we threw the tyre and tube back together, and gave it some air, but the new Avon would not seat on the rim, we tried everything, but it would not seat, 60psi with a foot pump over and over again, but still no joy, it was now dark and cold, and still flat.
So I called the breakdown services to get them to bring a compressor round, that combined with a liberal coating of silicone spray finally had it fixed.

So we all adjourned to the pub for a well deserved Beer, because in the morning we are off to Belgium.

Tea please

Tea please

John Bull, A Family Event

John Bull, A Family Event

With the morning came the rain, and we all awoke to a wet grey day in old blighty, but it was only a short hop down hill to the ferry port, and we were soon getting on the outside of a very nice breakfast. My tyre on the BMW was still inflated, Mr Ed and Bryan, had joined us by this time too, so we were looking forward to a ride, and the forthcoming rally.

The ride to the rally site itself was pretty uneventful, but pleasant enough in the cold grey morning rain, but by the time we arrived at Karelstaat, it had dried up, so we set to with getting the tents erected, and heading off for a beer or two and a big bowl of Chili.
The morning was dry and bright with the promise of a nice day, so I thought I would get the camera out for a few shots before breakfast..

Nice Single

Nice Single AJS

BSA Combo

BSA Combo

So that was another John Bull Rally, it was overall a good rally, with great hosts, the site was fantastic, and it had a great atmosphere, the only negative to the whole weekend was the fiasco over the beer vouchers, that some of us, including me had paid for, but were  missing from our envelopes,  and although reported, no one wanted to believe us, they thought we were trying it on!  I opened my envelope in front of five or six regular rally goers, they all saw that the beer voucher was missing.  I never got a replacement voucher, or an apology! Bad form I think.

More pictures here…

Looking forward to next year,  and getting dates in the diary, I have the date for the John Bull Rally in Belgium, a great rally, well hosted by the Belgian BSA-OC, so if you ride something British (or anything old and European) why not pack a tent and come along..

John Bull Rally

John Bull Rally

more info here…

you can even buy me a beer too!  See you there.