Author Archives: Sophie Whiptank - aka Bart

About Sophie Whiptank - aka Bart

I'm just a bloke doing some stuff, the more interesting bits I post on my blog. Scroll down far enough and you'll see me riding from Melbourne Australia to Birmingham, England in 2014. But now I'm working on another project, a single cylinder motorbike engine at 2750cc!

Finished baffle


A good day is when you make something. Or try to at least. As the sun sets the world is a difference place, as something exists that didn’t before.

So a good evening round Nicks ensued as we drew a baffle on the laptop and set the machine to cut it from perspex. (After a trial with some wood). The long suffering Emma provided Pizza and by the time I rode home the big Honda had a new baffle.

Does it work? I think so, but it was raining and dark. I haven’t ridden it since either! But I’m ringing the bell as it’s not my imagination, definitely an improvement. It may not be the final version as its a bit thick, but it will certainly do for now. 🙂

Clear as Mud


Well perspex actually, or something close. A little job for the new VFR1200X Crosstourer (did I mention I picked one up recently?). Anyway, I did 🙂

A very nice man called Terry gave me a brand new screen for it, and a set of genuine Honda fog lights too! (More of which later). The screen is great but the third I’ve tried, and they all give a wind buffeting which is quite annoying.

Think of a car with one back window open and you get the idea.

The forums state that a standing wave is formed by air coming up through the gap where the forks go. I tried sticking my hand there and it did make a difference. Time to make a baffle!

I ordered some perspex from an online retailer, but when I turned up to collect it the industrial unit was empty! Lucky a nearby until made point of sale stuff out of various plastics and agreed to sell me some.

Thanks to Helen and the guys at Prestige POS, I might use your services again! Their cutting machine is a little larger than Nick’s!

Flywheel progress.


Last week Bob was away, so I had a couple of nights in the shed on the big Churchill lathe. It’s slow going as the steel for the flywheels is very tough stuff, but I’m down to diameter and have a silver steel mandrill in place. 🙂

A quick face off and the wheel can be turned round in the chuck, reset and taken down to thickness. That will see the first of the pair ready for milling and boring.

After that it’s a case of starting all over again for the other wheel. Good job I’m enjoying it! It’s nice to see progress again even if it’s slow progress. It’s the only way to get finished!

VIP Tour of Aston Martin!


I was very lucky to be amongst a select few winners of a competition at work, where the prize was a VIP tour of the Aston Martin factory in Gaydon. I could hardly believe it when I found out as…

A) I never win anything
B) Of the people I work with I’m the biggest petrol head 🙂

I spent a very enjoyable two and a half hours being guided round by our incredibly knowledgeable hosts Nick and Miriam. My other colleagues seemed to be having a great time too.

Thanks Nick and Miriam!

Of particular interest to me was the close inspection of the various engines. I didn’t realise the new V8 is fuelled from the outside in (exhaust between the V). Certainly compact and powerful, I wonder if one would fit in the Scimitar?

Having said that, everything was of interest really! A great day apart from the weather, but even that was quintessentially English!!

Machine in action.


We recreated the iso images for each switch on the laptop, then used that to program the gcode for the machine. Having seen the process a few times it’s definitely the future. I think Bob’s Chester mill is a likely candidate for conversion to CNC, but I want to keep the manual option.

Almost a project in it’s own right, but definitely worth doing sometime. Looking at what we achieved on Nick’s machine, it simply wouldn’t have been possible manually.