Tag Archives: 50cc scooter

Maybe this blog should be called “when van is everything”?!

I’m kidding, obviously, because we’re not spending every hour on the van (chance would be a fine thing) but it sure feels like it’s the only thing I post photos of. That, in fact, is due to the kids not wanting their photos taken and the van doesn’t object.Eliot used to feature in most of the photos on my phone. Sadly, those days are long gone.

Fortunately, there's one who doesn't mind posing!
Fortunately, there’s one who doesn’t mind posing!

Anyway, apart from the usual work and school, there’s not much occurring, but I did want to post a quick van update before it became too long and I lost the will to do it.

We’ve kind of reached a stage where stuff is going in and staying in, and it’s all getting a bit real now.

The overhead lockers were dug out of their storage place (where they have literally been for over half a year; they were done and stored by the beginning of November!) and the silver finishing board was cut and glued on and then the openings routed out.

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We had to remove a row of screws from the roof panels because these were along the line to which the top baton of the lockers fixes. We had to make sure everything was secure and solid and then screw back to the walls and up to the roof (no mean feat!)

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The white paper is just holding the silver board to the wood while the glue dries

We’ve tried not to use too much in the way of tacks/nails because they’re a bit visible (although inevitable) but they’ve actually come out pretty good.

The locker partitions are done and the bed end is on!
The locker partitions are done and the bed end is on!

The router is terrifying! These locker holes were done on the work bench but the windows have to be done in situ!

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Window cavities were panelled out before the wall board finish is added

It was a complicated process because we then had to add a temporary further layer of board and sound roundy corners to make sure that the router followed a nice line just inside the window line (so we can run an edging strip around it)

Wallboard glued and lightly tacked to the wall
Wallboard glued and lightly tacked to the wall
Routering it out
Routing it out
Looks good!
Looks good!

We also bought the kitchen worktop this week. Previous converters have laminated a thick piece of ply but we decided that a piece of 28mm worktop would do the job. It’s only a 6ft run and once the hob and sink and drainer and cut out, there’ll not be much weight left!

I initially looked at the B&Q 28mm stuff but our store didn’t stock it and we couldn’t be bothered to drive to the nearest store that did, so we looked in Howdens, borrowed a friends trade discount (thank god we did! They’re EXPENSIVE in there!) and found the perfect worktop to match our wallboard. It’s cut to length and currently being used as a workbench!

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There’s so much more to do though.

Nik keeps saying that we’re nearly there but it honestly feels a mile away! Still, baby steps, I guess.

We did get some garden work done over the last week too (by “we” I mean “Nik”, of course)

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He hoed over the veggie plot so the weeds done go all crazy wild!
He hoed over the veggie plot so the weeds don’t go all crazy wild!

The peas are all staked and netted now so they should be good to go, and the potatoes have doubled in size already since I took that photo!

The nice weather has been great for the garden but it’s a bit of a pain having to take away from “van time” to get the grass cut or the garden hoed!

The garden always looks good when the grass is cut though!
The garden always looks good when the grass is cut though!

Apart from that, nothing much is doing. Jake’s approaching his first exam so he’s concentrating on making sure he’s as maths-crammed as is humanly possible, but he’ll be fine. He’s a bright kid. He’s come on so much in the last 6 months that he’s almost a different person now.

He’s independently getting himself to and from work on his scooter and he’s come out of his shell a lot.
I’m excited to see how he grows and learns over the next few years.

I’ve switched Eliot’s school from focussing on Maths to concentrating  a bit more on English. He did some writing and currently we’re reading his book and every so often I’ll read out a paragraph and he’ll type it. We’re using it to develop (and test!) his spelling, and I’ve been surprised actually at just how reasonable his spelling is.
Usually, the only things I see him type are social media posts, so the like and it’s reassuring to know that he actually CAN spell!

It’s a big weight off my mind.

So yeh, all updated, I think… until the next time!

 

 

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Shhhh, don’t anybody mention summer!

If you say it, it’ll hear you and then it’ll go away, so shhhhhh!

sunshine

It’s been nice though, hasn’t it? I mean, not so much while Nik and El were away (nice for them; less so for me!), but the last few days have been… well, I’m not going to say it but you know what I’m saying!

We’ve taken advantage of the weather to get some decent hours in on the van. It’s so frustratingly close yet so far away and sometimes, when we’ve spent ages wiring or laying pipes, you just look back at the van and wonder what on earth we just spent hours doing!

Fitting the water tanks felt a bit like that. Huge job, with Nik under the van placing and drilling and bolting and moving; trying to work out how on earth to accommodate the water filler pipe (which has ended up coming through the wardrobe!) and where to bring pipes up and (waste) pipes down.

underslung water and waste tanks

The 2 custom-fit tanks (from CAK Tanks) are designed specifically to fit under the Fiat Ducato but that doesn’t mean they are easy to fit or make it simple to plan your pipework!

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This lot all had to fit under the floors and/or through the floor level channels along the sides of the van. No mean feat!

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Took a while but we eventually figures what, where, how and why!

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And after a zillion different options, we eventually routed the water filler through the built-in storage/wardrobe area of the van.

That seems easy compared to the trials we are having with the gas tank filler!

We also have an underslung LPG tank, with custom fittings for the Fiat Ducato, which Nik has fitted expertly under the van. That, it turns out, was the simple bit. We’re yet to decide on a suitable location for the filler…watch this space! I’ll post photos of the fitted tank etc when we’ve sorted it too.

We did manage to fit the water heater though. That meant first cutting yet another hole in the van walls.

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The tank then fits from the outside and is fitted with a vent/exhaust cover (the position of which is giving us grief when trying to position the gas filler!)

The heater itself is fitted within the seat box though so it’s well accommodated inside. The water pump will fit below it and the provisional plumbing pipework is coming on quite well there.

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It’s getting busy in that there seat box. The battery also sits in the left hand side of it but it was moved to make lifting the seat unit in and out easier.

We’re hoping to get some decent hours in on it this weekend too… while the weather is…you know!

So, Nik and El’s holiday.

Oh wait, it wasn’t a holiday, so I keep being told. Eliot was “going home” and Nik was “going to the MotoGP and then killing time until he could come home”.

Yeh right. Not fooling anyone there! They enjoyed it anyway. Lots of sun, some sea (they went kayaking) and many ice creams.

Alright for some, eh?

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I find it difficult looking at some of the photos of town actually. It’s too close for me. I know nobody really thinks I’m affected by not being there but…anyways… let’s not.

So, apart from that, what’s cooking?

Not much (well, apart from the bread in the oven that is to have with lasagna for dinner!)

Jake did his CBT and has been commuting himself to and from work on his GTR50. We’ve had to fix a few things on it but he likes it. He just wishes it was faster. Isn’t that just typical of any bloke and any bike ever?!

That’s it really. Work, school, (holiday!) and van. Not a lot else going on for the time being.

Let’s just enjoy the sunshine!

It’s all go around here.

Well, the sun is shining, Nik is packing stock boxes in the garage and I feel compelled to post a blog update.Nik and Eliot are counting down to their Portugal holiday next week. They’re staying with a friend and visiting Jerez for MotoGP weekend as well as generally dossing around the area, catching up with friends and eating out.

They’re both super-excited. I’m less so because I’m left holding the work-baby, but it’ll be fine. It’ll be super-weird being in an empty house in the mornings though while Jake is at work….which brings me to Jake!

He’s been offered work during the mornings now that the biking season is getting underway (easier to believe with today’s weather than yesterday’s!). He’s working up at Pyramid on Monday to Friday mornings and then coming home and doing 3-4 hours of school work in the afternoons.

This works great for us because Jake has a tendency to spend his mornings in bed, so having to be up for work isn’t taking away any study time, it’s just much better for him to be out and about and earning.

And not only does my boy have a job, but he also got his college acceptance confirmation letter today. His experience day went really well (albeit running VERY late!) and the course tutor who interviewed him even commented that Jake’s high assessment results were unusual, and next time Jake comes, could he please bring 20 more Jakes with him! I think that bolstered not only Jake’s confidence and morale, but mine too. It’s awesome to think that he’s doing so well after what he’s come through. He just needs to knuckle down and get those two GCSE results now.

Not only has he got his college place, but he’s also decided that, as he’s working now, he wants his own transport.

Now, Jake is only 16 so he’s limited to one thing: a 50cc scooter. So we hunted about for a decent secondhand one, spent ages debating the pros and cons of a new one, and eventually found a proper COOL one secondhand relatively locally.

You'd never think that was a 50cc scooter, eh?
You’d never think that was a 50cc scooter, eh?

It needed a little bit of work: new levers, a new head bearing and a few niggly bits but we happen to know some someones in the trade! Helps, eh?

Jake’s CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) is booked for a week on Friday. It’s while Nik is away but if we’d waited until he came back, it’d just delay it. It’s a full-day, 7 hour course anyway so it’s not like he could stand around and watch (much as he may have wanted to!)
Then Jake’ll be able to use his scooter for work instead of us having to taxi him about (yay!)
When he’s 17, he’ll be able to get a 125cc which will be suitable to use for runs to Lincoln to college too. Even better!

Oh, and I nearly forgot, he had ANOTHER driving experience this week: his Easter present from Nik and I (he got that, Eliot got weights!). This time he chose to drive the Ferrari and LOVED it. The instructor/co-driver was really encouraging and Jake really enjoyed it. The fact that Nik took him up to the track on his own CB1000R probably added to the day’s fun!

Work has been getting busy so non-work stuff is very much confined to weekends (well, Saturday lunchtime onwards) only right now.
We have managed to get a few hours on the van though. Nik fitted the solar panel to the roof on Saturday and that’s now been keeping both batteries (the vehicle battery and the leisure battery) fully charged, which is great!

All fitted and working - excuse the grubby roof!
All fitted and working – excuse the grubby roof. It’s not usually on view!

There’s room for more panels if we decide to expand too. We might not, but it was a consideration when it was positioned anyway.

As well as being on top of the van, Nik has been underneath the van this weekend. He’s fitted both underslung water tanks under the van body. That’s a job we’d been dreading and, while it wasn’t as complicated as expected, it certainly wasn’t as straightforward as it should have been.

Both tanks are tailored to the vans specific chassis so the fittings that came with the tanks SHOULD have made it simple to fix.

It wasn’t.

But it wasn’t any great feat of engineering to get them to fit either so, meh.

Next thing to fit under there is the LPG gas tank which we also bought with vehicle-specific fittings. Fingers crossed that project is simpler. There’s a lot less space left under there now!

Anyway, I think that’s about it. What with work, the van, and being “back to school”,  (and can I just mention ANOTHER phenomenal MotoGP race last weekend?!) there’s not much time for much else.

By the time Nik and El come back from Portugal, it’ll be ME whose ready for a holiday!