We really have to embrace modern technology. Even though most us of us like to tinker with old motorcycles, without the advances of the digital age information and support for the inner workings of our mechanical disasters wouldn€™t be easy to access which could quite easily result in some of us curling up in a ball in the corner sucking our thumbs quietly sobbing why, why, why do we persist with such stupidity? This was the situation in the McSnotty household a wee while ago when the most valued asset in the house (no not Mrs McS €“ she€™s 4th on the list) decided to release its power to the world in the form of smoke. Yup the computer went bung, and with it went all the software that assists us in bringing you such an informative blog. Getting the hardware side of things repaired wasn€™t that hard as it was done under warranty. What became more difficult was all those little programmes that we install to make life easier, but never really take record of what they were and where we got them from. Information lost was minimal thanks to an external hard drive as backup, but those little programmes €“ well that was another issue. The saviour for this situation was the Knobster €“ he just waved his magic carrot at the screen (Knobster likes his bit of veg he does) and all became clear. Mind you it did take a trip €˜up norff€™ to Castle Del Knobby and 4 hours of pointing the orange stick, lots of chanting, dancing in circles, and the muttering of words that not even I could understand! But thanks anyway Knobbly, both myself and all our readers appreciate it.

Now for some business.

I have updated the Swap Meet List. There seems to be less on it than for the same time last year. I don€™t know whether this is because I have missed some or that some of the clubs are not having their events due to continuing decline in patronage. If you are aware of a swap meet that we have not included let us know €“ it is free publicity and the Swap Meet page gets a lot of hits. Thanks.

I have also added some more adverts in the Grandads Bikes section. One of my favourites is the advert for Ner-a-car. An odd ball machine for its time and perhaps a bit early but I can see the emerging scooters, FF€™s (Feet Forward machines) from the 1970s and the Honda CN250 Helix in this design. Don€™t know of any in New Zealand though.

Knobster came up with this little gem which definitely warrants the attention of collectors of registered motor vehicles €“ old and new. As of 1st April 2011, a new law comes into effect which allows third parties access to your name and address details via your vehicle registration plates. The planet brains in Wellington have decided that this could be good, but we all know that it just makes it easier for the criminal element to help themselves to our possessions. With the escalating prices of motorcycles and the ease of which they can be hidden in overseas bound containers everything needs to be done to discourage the light fingered miscreants. Don€™t think it will happen to you €“ well here€™s a little story from about 10 years ago.

A person in New Zealand posing as a like minded enthusiast was knocking on doors of vintage motorcyclists saying that he was restoring a similar machine and could he have a look at their bikes and take some photos to assist in his restoration. No problems here because we all know genuine motorcyclists world wide are a friendly and obliging lot. Photographs of tanks, wheels, paint jobs, and ENGINE NUMBERS were taken. These were then posted up on Ebay advertising the machine for sale at a extremely high price. Contact was by fax only, and should the interest be high enough the thief (that€™s really what he was) would go back to the original owner with a handful of cash and pester him to sell. Targets were owners of extremely rare and expensive machines, and elderly owners who had little knowledge as to the true value of their bike(s). With the overseas exchange rate at the time being favourable towards worldwide purchasers this would have proven to be a lucrative business. However word went around like wildfire and the dishonest trader was outed (bet he didn€™t have too many friends after this). His information gathering techniques would have been vintage club membership lists and the NZ Transport Licensing Office records.

The down side of this type of situation is it makes you a bit reserved when a genuine person comes calling looking for assistance, and for a friend.

Click on the link below to got to the NZ Transport Agency to opt out. I will be.