mono motorcycles celebrates our 1st Birthday, Funtington, Chichester.
mono motorcycles celebrates our 1st Birthday & what a year it has been. From part time mobile technician, to workshop owner & entrepreneur; Daniel Morris has breathed life into his child hood dream & is now reaping the benefits of owning his own business.
Lets look back at some of the highlights from this first year. Our story starts with a piece of history; the Ducati 916 Senna 3. Her story started with her owner Mark Linley having a lifelong passion for Ducati’s. But this build was anything but an easy ride …
THE FALL AND RISE OF DUCATI 916 SENNA 3 (SN 197)
Mark being a lifelong Ducati fan and having owned an impressive back catalogue of 600ss, 750ss, 900ss, 748ss, 916 and 999; had always aspired to own a Senna 916. However, three children and a mortgage forced him to sell his 999 and buy a conservatory instead!
Fate finally brought Mark and his Senna 3 (SN 197) together in August 2015 (MCN photos were taken prior to her being sold). He paid a meagre £10,500 for her, as by this point she was beginning to look a little tired and unkempt. Mark wanted to give her back her lustre and modify her by utilising more carbon components. This was to reflect the carbon airbox and front mudguard, which was already standard on the Senna 3. Mark was given a recommendation for a local bike mechanic, who had produced some beautiful results in the past. However, this decision would cost Mark dearly and over the next twelve months his beloved 916 was all but destroyed by a charlatan masquerading as a restoration specialist.
From beginning to end, the process left a bitter taste in Marks mouth. Not only did the mechanic take thousands of pounds off Mark, (money allegedly all destined to source and supply parts and components) but excuse followed excuse as to why she was not complete. Mark was understandably frustrated, but had invested so much time and money in the 916, that he felt bound by the mechanics promises.
After months of excuses, the unthinkable happened. The mechanics garage was raided by Police in the Summer of 2016 and they removed a large selection of stolen motorbikes. They scooped them up and deposited them unceremoniously on the concrete floor of an impound. Amongst the carnage, Ducati 916 Senna (SN 197).
Once Mark had been notified of his beloved 916’s fate, he was then able to recover her shattered body to his home. She was in pieces. A husk, a simple shell, with boxes of bits which wouldn’t have looked out of place in an auto jumble bargain bin. The technician had striped her of her glory, sold many of her unique components never to be replaced and what Mark bought back from the impound, was a mangled skeleton of a bike.
Marks trust was destroyed and therefore when a chance encounter with Daniel Morris of mono motorcycles presented itself, he was understandably cautious. However, Mark could see that Daniel was a man of integrity and having seen some of his previous work; he knew he was the right man to undertake the 916 restoration.
Daniel was entrusted with the task of restoring the 916 and collected the Ducati jigsaw in October 2016. Daniel said “When I went to collect her and opened up the garage door, I found a broken classic lying amongst her scattered component parts. It was a truly heart-breaking moment”.
Daniel started the task of painstakingly bringing the 916 back together. He worked through box after box of random parts, looms, components and body work; finding everything from Ducati to KTM all mixed together. Daniel said “One of the biggest challenges was, that we simply didn’t know what we had. We knew we had the bones of the 916, but the rest was a mystery. One thing I did know right from the start was that we were no longer building a standard motorbike. With Marchesini lightweight 5 spoke wheels, Ohlins fork internals and a host of carbon components; this 916 was being dragged kicking and screaming into 2017”.
Mark entrusted the paintwork to Steve Barber of Swallow Fabrications, Windsor and over the next few months Daniel worked diligently and patiently, matching parts to found schematics, fixing carbon where carbon would never have originally been and slowly but surely like a phoenix, the 916 was brought back to life.
In February 2017 when she fired up for the first time in over a year, the growl and the roar which emanated from her 916cc engine and twin Termignoni exhausts, made the air pulsate around her. Daniel said “When I fired her up for the first time, she smoked a little due to misuse. However, once she cleared her throat, she sang like a Diva!”
The finished product is a testament to Ducati’s precision engineering: the passion of the Castiglioni family and their love and respect for the legendary Ayrton Senna, to Mark Linley for never giving up on her and Daniel Morris of mono motorcycles restorative knowledge and compassion for this iconic motorbike. This Ducati 916 Senna 3 Serial number 197, has been on a treacherous adventure. However, now she’s back, she’s loud and she’s begging to get back to the tarmac and rip it up.
Our first year has seen many classic motorcycles come our way & a particular favourite was the Jawa which we completed a 6v to 12v conversion on.
The issue with the Jawa outfit was it would only travel about 4-5 miles before the lights became dim, the engine would start to backfire & it would roll to a grinding halt & the gentleman’s wife got to the point where she refused to push it home, again! Something had to be done!
It didn’t take long to find the issue. The previous owner had fitted a 12v battery & changed the bulbs. However, they had left the old 6v dynamo system in place. Holding the revs, the best we saw was 7.3v, never enough to charge a 12v battery!
Jumping straight onto the internet it didn’t take long to find a specialist on Jawa Motorcycles that did a 12v conversion in Czech Republic & for a mere 6526.92 Czech Koruna (£225 inc shipping). PayPal to the rescue & I measured up for a more suitable battery to fit in the original battery holder. Ten days later a box of bits arrives: new stator, electronic ignition, flywheel, regulator & a new coil, complete with the wiring harness. The conversion is made by a company called VAPE & looks very well made. Setting a day aside to complete the install, I headed over to my customers house to undertake the install.
My first challenge was to remove the original flywheel which is a dynamo bolted to the end of the crank. It weighed a fair amount, but once off the stator & new flywheel could be added.
The stator, pick up sensor & new flywheel went on fairly easily with a small bit of filing to the pin in the crankshaft as these Jawas do not have a woodruff key.
The next challenge was to tackle the wiring.
The next challenge was to tackle the wiring & replace the regulator with the new solid state type. The motorcycle had been re-wired at some point & was very poorly put back together. No fuses & wires twisted or choc-blocked together. There was nothing for it, it had to be sorted. Therefore, I had to strip back the wiring all the way to the headlight & switch gear. Removing the old regulator freed up loads of space & the little 12v scooter battery located nicely in the plastic box under the seat. I also added a fuse to protect the system & lighting circuit. With the coil connected up, I decided to wire a relay to turn the motorcycle off. Without the relay the motorcycle runs the risk of giving the owner a nasty shock when turning the ignition off or not turning off at all, as the key & barrel are both metal as the coil needs to short to ground to turn off.
The only real issue was the location of the ignition coil, although smaller than the standard twin coil set up, I had to weld a bracket to the frame to hang the coil from under the fuel tank. With the wiring tidied up, heat shrunk & the electrics checked, it was almost time to kick it over. However, before the first fire up, I put the HT lead to the top of the head & gave the bike a kick. Result! Huge blue spark, refitting the HT leads, two kicks & she burst into life.
Warming it up gently, & letting it idle we had a strong 13.9v rising to 14.2v when bringing the revs up with the lights on, which is perfect for a 12v charging system; not only delivering bright lights along with a bright ignition spark which helps with starting & performance.
Overall the install was clean and tidy with good results. It took a bit longer than anticipated, but the motorcycle had almost a full rewire that increased the hours, but it means it will be far more reliable.
Best of all now the owners wife won’t have to push it home, mono motorcycles not only revives an old motorcycle, it saves a marriage too!
In between fixing motorcycles, we have of course done our fair share of security fittings. As authorised DATATOOL installers, mono motorcycles are at the cutting edge of modern motorcycle security technology.
Last November we were invited to give a talk to The Solent Advanced riders, as one of their members was really impressed with the DATATOOL suite of products.
Mono motorcycles were recently invited by the Solent Advanced Motorcyclists to give a talk about the vehicle security options we offer.
Mono motorcycles recently fitted a TrakKING Adventure for one of Solent Advanced Motorcyclists. He was so impressed by what the TrakKing Adventure can do; that he asked us to come & speak to the other members about their security options.
Mono motorcycles & vehicle security were welcomed by Trevor Thurgood – acting Chair & the treasurer Peter Gooch. Everyone was very welcoming & supportive of what we were presenting.
Katy prepared a PPT presentation for the members, with supporting video content. One of the videos used was from The Bike Shed MC, London. The Bike Shed have a Youtube channel where they post videos about their activities. The most pertinent video being about the issues in London surrounding motorcycle crime.
With motorcycle crime at an all time high, Solent Advanced Motorcyclists were very interested in what options mono motorcycles & vehicle security could offer.
Katy explored the benefits of the DATATOOL suite of tracker & alarm solutions & the options we can offer. In addition we were able to show them how the GPS technology functions in a real time demonstration with the TrakKING APP.
At the end of the presentation, we had a Q&A session. The Solent Advanced Motorcyclists asked us pertinent & posing questions about the issues we had raised during the presentation. Many questions were posed about the new TrakKING Adventure. Many Solent Advanced Motorcyclists use their motorcycles for touring in the UK & abroad.
The evening was full of positive feedback & a few amusing stories along the way to soften the mood.
Daniel Morris was honoured to be part of the DATATOOL presence at the NEC Live Motorcycle show last November.
Daniel said “Katy and I planned to go to Motorcycle Live at the NEC anyway. I had already spoken to my contact at DATATOOL & offered to represent the company on the Thursday & Friday of the show. I was accepted & knew that this would be a great opportunity for me & for mono motorcycles.”
In addition to the valued work we undertake to our loyal customers motorcycles, we also chose a charity to support. Serv Wessex Blood Bikes provide such a vital service & is run entirely by volunteers.
This amazing national charity runs blood, organs and valuable equipment between hospitals.
All the riders are volunteers and the organisation runs solely on donations from the public. Being bikers and never knowing if we will ever need their help they had to be the charity of our choosing.
Of course the biggest development in the mono motorcycles journey came this February when we went from being a mobile motorcycle provision, to having our very own workshop.
mono motorcycles & vehicle security have expanded into larger new premises at Row C Unit 5 New Barn, Funtington, West Sussex.
Daniel Morris proprietor at mono motorcycles said “We needed to move due to the rapid growth of mono motorcycles & vehicle security. After looking around for a good few months we have chosen New Barn Estate for a few reasons. First, its location. Being central between Emsworth & Chichester on the B2146 Hampshire/West Sussex border is a great location for all our customers & a great riding road! Secondly, the units are brand new, with great access & very secure”.
Our vision for the next year.
Our vision in the coming year is to provide the very best in customer satisfaction at a competitive cost to the customer. We aim to be able to complete more jobs in house, such as supplying & fitting of tyres, diagnostic work, restoration projects as well as collection & delivery service for an additional small fee.
We have had plenty of help along the way & must recognise the sterling job Pip Mason (Katy’s father) has done with the entrance & the work bench. With Daniel still working, it has been an invaluable resource having him on hand to help. In addition, the support that both Pip Mason & Carole Mason have given since the beginning of our next phase, must be recognised. Their support & belief in mono motorcycles is unfaltering & we cannot find enough words of gratitude to thank them.
Furthermore, our great thanks to Mark Abbott who gave up his time to help us move the heavier items over this past weekend.
Thus far, everyone has been overtly supportive & we cannot thank everyone individually. However, we do thank everyone for their belief in mono motorcycles & we very much look forward to the many existing & new customers being able to take advantage of the our fantastic new premises. We look forward to seeing you all very soon.
Our first big project in the new workshop, was for our friend and loyal customer Mark Abbotts. We were honoured to play part in the resurrection of his beloved ZZR1400.
mono motorcycles & vehicle security enjoy diversity. When the owner of a Kawasaki ZZR1400 contacted us with a true dilemma, we were more than happy to help.
The story began with a plaintive cry from Surrey that Mark Abbotts beloved ‘Betty’ had died! Daniel Morris, proprietor of mono motorcycles & vehicle security asked a few probing questions & as a telephone diagnosis was impossible, we agreed to collect her on route from another engagement.
On Sunday 28th January mono motorcycles & vehicle security arrived in Ascot to see if a diagnosis was possible. When the ZZR1400 was turned over, the sound was tantamount to thunder! Daniel Morris’ initial comments were that he felt it could be a plug which had been “blown out”, however, this was only a best case scenario. The worst case, was it could have snapped the crank or conrod & that would mean a new engine or major rebuild.
Mark Abbotts was noticeably concerned by the prospect of his beloved Betty being truly gone, but mono motorcycles & vehicle security reassured him that we would investigate & keep keep him abreast of the situation as it unravelled.
No one could have foreseen what was to come next. No, it was not a plug. Upon investigation & with the engine out of the ZZR1400, it transpired that a exhaust valve stem had broken on cylinder two & in the process it had turned itself sideways & with the immense force of such a powerful engine it had caused extensive damage to the piston & head. The engine was beyond reasonable repair, unfortunately she was dead.
Once the news was delivered to Mark Abbotts, he had to make a choice. Was it time for a new motorcycle? or was he going to resurrect Betty? We will let Mark himself fill in the next part of the story & the outcome in his own words.
“Once again Daniel Morris has excelled himself, on Wednesday the 24th of Jan my ZZR decided to drop an exhaust valve, I turned to mono motorcycles for help in what was a very hectic time for Daniel and Katy with their current work load and the move to new premises.
Daniel and Katy drove over a 100 miles round trip to collect my bike so it could be taken back for assessment, once the final diagnosis was in and the news was a new engine was needed I had some thinking to do.
After considering all my options I decided to have a new motor fitted.
Within 48 hours of making this decision we had most of the new components in place to get my bike back on the road.
Daniel’s approach to this saga has been nothing less than exceptional, I have been kept up to date and in the loop throughout the whole process with photos and messages of things that have been done and issues found along the way.
Today (16/02/2018) I received a fully restored, fully detailed bike just 24 days after the breakdown, I cannot thank Daniel enough for his commitment to getting this sorted for me, my bike is my main form of transport to work and a passion I cannot do without.
A MASSIVE thank you Daniel, you have a customer for life.”
Following Mark’s experience of bringing Betty back to life, we interviewed him to find out a little more about his passion for motorcycles & why he chose to rebuild her.
Q: What made you choose the ZZR1400 in the first place?
A: “I wanted a bike with lots of power as I had always had smaller capacity bike and wasn’t really looking at the ZZR at first my head was telling me to get the S100RR but my back, wrists and portly belly were telling me otherwise. We stopped off at the bike shop in Aldershot just on a whim really and Betty (the ZZR) was the first bike we walked past, I instantly had to have it. ”
Q: What bikes did you have before?
A: “My former bikes consist on a Honda CG 125, Suzuki GS 500, Yamaha 600 Diversion, SV650S, ZZR600, and now the ZZR1400.”
Q: What has your riding experience been like?
A: “Most of my riding is commuting to and from work and I ride all year round and to be honest I actually enjoy riding in the rain I feel it makes me a smoother rider overall. My overall experience of motorbike riding over the last 20 years is for the most part a very positive one, I think the public are becoming more aware of bikers in general and that takes a lot of the frustration out of commuting to and from work in rush hour traffic.”
Q: What is the most miles you’ve done in a day?
A: “The most miles I have done in one single trip is Stirling in Scotland to Ascot stopping for just fuel, it’s about 430 miles and took just over 6 hours.”
Q: Have you ever toured on her?
A: “I have done two tours. One on the SV650S around Wales, Cumbria and Yorkshire over 4 days and one on the ZZR up along the west coast of Scotland covering around 2500 miles in 4 days, the ZZR was faultless, a trip I would love to do again sometime.”
Q: How did you feel when you thought she was gone?
A: “When I was sat on the side of the A3 in the rain with nothing but the faint glow of the hazard lights shining through my visor I can honestly say I was close to tears. All the time spent servicing, cleaning and giving her everything she needed and more, it sounds crazy to think of a bike as a close part of your life but when you spend as much time on her as I did then that’s just how I felt. I had three options at this point. 1: stay with the bike and wait for the breakdown. 2: leave the bike at the side of the road and walk to the nearest services. 3: push the bike 1.8 mile to the services, as leaving the bike by the side of the A3 was NOT an option! I got pushing. I never want to push a bike that far again!”
Q: What made you want to rebuild her?
A: “I had several options as far as what to do with the bike. 1: sell it on as none runner. 2: strip it and sell it as individual parts. 3: buy another bike. 4: rebuild. After looking at all the options I quickly decided that I had to much of a bond with the bike to just let her go without trying to fix her up, after calling Dan to tell him of my plan to go ahead and rebuild we had all the component parts needed within 24 hours. I would not have been as happy walking out of my house to another bike as I felt when walking out to Big Zed.”
Q: How does it feel having got her rebuilt by mono motorcycles?
A: “I know this sounds so cliché and bikers around the world say this about other shop’s but I can’t imagine getting a better service anywhere else. The level of professionalism is amazing as is the customer interaction with phone calls and text messages with updates and photos of work done and any further issues that arise as work progresses through to completion. When I called Dan to discuss the possibility of Mono Motorcycles assessing the bike and possibly fixing her up I had recently seen on FB that you were extremely busy with work already booked in and on top of that the company move to your new premises I was worried that I would have to look elsewhere. The way that yourself and Dan responded was amazing to me, you took the bike in as an emergency case coming to my house to collect (which is a good 100 mile round trip) and from there on up to now the day you are delivering the bike back to me the dedication that has been shown the work ethic, professionalism, communication with me has been second to none, I cannot imagine getting any work done to any future bike i have anywhere else. I cannot praise you guy’s enough. I am officially the happiest man alive and it’s all down to Mono Motorcycles, thank you so much.”
Well, that is just a snapshot of the successes from our first year in business. Happy customers returning again and again, brand new premises to expand in to & a dedicated team to push the business forward. Happy Birthday mono motorcycles!