Regular readers of my bike-building exploits will know my style by now. I build cheap and cheerful, counting every penny and making do with secondhand parts and junk. But when I’m out photographing feature bikes, I see so many with big money spent on this, that or the other. Normally I’m impressed with the financial commitment, but consider it alien to my own philosophy. But here I am, at 63 years old, building what is almost certainly my last race bike. And, it must be said, after a couple of lucky deals which came my way, I actually have a little bit of money in hand. So from the start I decided that there were some areas where I’d spend a little bit of money.

One of those areas would be the engine’s barrels. John Hill’s superb castings not only give you the option to

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