There’s a pattern to all rebuilds – to all of mine, certainly. First comes the ever-ongoing hunt for parts. Functional parts, NOS parts, better parts, improved and more modern parts … and parts that both fit and work. There’s the never-ending conundrum: how original should I try to make the bike? How close to stock? Does that even matter at all?

Of course it doesn’t, but it is all part of the amusement.

Once I’ve accumulated enough parts to convince myself there’s a faint glimmer of a rumour of hope that one day there might be a functional motorcycle awaiting my backside, I start to strip down the wreck under discussion. If there actually is a wreck. Sometimes there is no wreck. Sometimes there’s just a whole lot of parts. Sometimes I inflict a familiar fantasy upon myself – the fantasy that I can build something where previously there was nothing. Years pass, waistlines expand and hair gets thinner. There is no motorcycle. There is just an increasingly expensive but at the same time almost valueless pile of parts. This is seriously frustrating, and the last time it happened – with an Ariel single – I simply sold it on a huge loss.

And I felt a lot better.

It’s not like that with the A65. The A65 has steadily surprised me with the general acceptability of its condition. Which is

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