Dear Mr Barnes
I just thought I would write to thank you for the help and advice you have given me during the restoration of the first of the two 1966 Tiger 90’s I own.
As you know when I first came to see you I explained that although I had owned and ridden modern bikes for many years I had never carried out any work or even maintenance myself, even to the point where friends used to have to remind me to check my tyre pressures. That was probably the extent of my maintenance schedule!
In recent years I had gained an interest in classic British bikes but it was always my intention to buy something already restored that was ready to ride as I didn’t think I would have the skills required to carry out a restoration. Well, things didn’t go quite as planned and I ended up with the two partially restored Tigers I now own but with very little knowledge of what to do next.
It was at this point that I came to see you for some parts and you could probably tell at that first meeting that I needed all the help and advice I could get. I think the first thing I bought were some exhaust brackets as the set that came with the bike did not fit and were of poor quality. Those brackets, as simple as they were, fitted perfectly, had the right feel and looked like they belonged on the bike. I can honestly say that I did not buy from any other supplier after that.
It was not only the parts that I started to come up for but also the advice. I remember bringing my clutch assembly up which you kindly inspected and advised me on what I could use and what needed replacing. I re-fitted that clutch myself, which for me was a major evolution in my skill/knowledge level, and I had a sense of achievement when it was finished. I must admit that initially it was still very stiff to operate and I was beginning to think that I had not fitted it correctly. I renewed the cable which improved it a little bit but it was still not right so I phoned you for advice again, and admit to being a little sceptical when you had me measuring the pivot points on the control lever and informing me that this distance was incorrect and that the lever was wrong. I took your advice and when I had fitted the new control lever, low and behold, clutch is now light and easy to operate. There’s no substitute for experience.
Anyway, bike No 1 is very nearly finished, it’s been a steep learning curve for me and at times I have been frustrated by my lack of knowledge, but do I regret starting it, no not a chance, only regret not doing this years ago, am I looking forward to getting out and riding it, absolutely yes.
So thank you again Mr Barnes for all your help and support.