The bug bites

“All I’m going to do is wipe an oily rag over it…” How many times have we heard that?

Words: TIM BRITTON; Photographs: TIM BRITTON, STEVE PARRISH, MORTONS ARCHIVE

Steve Parrish had only ever intended to service and use what had initially looked a tidy outfit, but having admitted during our chat he doesn’t have any patience, is it any surprise that all of a sudden the outfit was in bits?

The strip down progresses.

“I don’t like inactivity,” says the former GP star, “I’ve always been the sort of bloke to be doing things and I get fidgety if I’m not.”

One of the reasons for the change of heart was once the outfit was in his workshop for an initial inspection, a few things came to light which needed attention. This prompted the thinking that if this and that had to be done, then so might a few other things, and then there were the boxes with bits in…

A Panther is a fairly under-stressed machine, it’s not a high revving engine and Phelon and Moore had a reputation for engineering excellence which made their motorcycles incredibly reliable.

When Steve bought it, the Panther had been used as the seller’s fairly regular transport, so the engine was actually in reasonable condition inside and all Steve really had to do was make sure all of the cases were intact and the bearings sound. With that sorted, the cases were cleaned, polished up and the barrel and head blasted, then coated black. Naturally the valves needed a grind in but the springs were fit for further use and were soon refitted to the head.

In the same way the piston was fit for purpose and, with the bore lightly honed and a new set of rings, everything was good again.

Read more in the March issue of TCM – out now!

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