Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lots of black carbon on plugs

I adjusted the timing, the top points gap was not opening enough and I had to adjust the contact breaker back a bit so that the points open and close at the right time. I took the bike for a quick spin and the engine seems quieter and no more red hot pipe. The smokey engine seems to be from some oil leaking out of the rocker cover and vaporizing on the heated engine. I saw no smoke coming from the head gasket which is a relief. The plugs have a lot of carbon build up for such a short ride. Looks like it's running too rich. Next step will be to adjust the mixture and make sure all the seals are oil tight. I think I'm getting close!

Uploaded by

Cracking open the engine... AGAIN

Well I had her all buttoned up, but with a serious timing issue to be sorted out, I removed the rocker cover to line up the pistons, and pulled the timing cover off to adjust the points. Wish me luck!

Uploaded by

Friday, February 26, 2010

Here's a beautiful treatment of a 71 A65L in New Zealand

I Came across these beautiful photos on flicker by a vintage bike enthusiast in New Zealand. This is a lightning rather than a Thunderbolt (main difference is it's two carbs vs. the A65T's one). The tank appears to be a from a triumph T140/Tr7, based on the location of the petcocks (BSA made a tank this size for the a65, but the petcocks were located further back otherwise the tanks are identical). Anyway, kudos to this fine gents beautiful work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

160 on the left cylinder

Not bad, but not amazing either.

Uploaded by

Right side compression 150

10 psi less than the left and only middle of the road as far as compression goes. 180 would be better

Uploaded by

Monday, February 22, 2010

Looks like it's time to TIME

After heating one pipe to the point where it glows, I've been informed that it may be a timing issue where the spark is firing while the exhaust port is still open, causing the combustion to fire into the header pipe.

Uploaded by

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Putting it all back together

Getting close to having the Beeza back together. I decided the paint on the foot pegs was beyond repair so I stripped the paint. The two posts that stabilize the pegs from twisting, had fallen off long ago. I bought a length of 1/4 steel rod and cut new ones. No need to worry about the pegs slipping out from under me now.

I'll probably hit these up with a little Cosmoline to prevent them from rusting.

When I purchased the bike, I noticed the gearshift lever was welded in place. I needed to get it off in order to get the timing cover off. However, there isn't much left for the new lever to grab onto. Not sure what I'm going to do about this yet. I don't feel like getting into the inner timing cover, or messing with the gear change mechanism. Maybe some shims will tighten the fit. As of right now, the shift lever isn't tight enough to get the bike in gear.

The rear brake is in place. I bead blasted the chain guard, but the section which holds the guard to the frame is broken, so I'll have to rig something up. I actually like the way the guards looks in bare metal. Maybe I'll do a plain metal finish.

Its starting to look like a ridable bike!

Ball bearing mystery SOLVED!!!

A few posts back I mentioned finding loose bearings around the bike. Not good. I looked everywhere for the source, even pulled the back wheel off. Anyway I found another one today and noticed my shop chair didn't roll very well. Yup, Craftsman casters...

Uploaded by

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Robert "Snuffy" Smith's custom racer aka My dad's Triton

For nearly 20 years my father had been collecting triumph and Norton motorcycle bits and pieces here and there to build the mother of all cafe-racers: the TRITON. Half Norton (Norton Featherbed Frame) and half Triumph (59 Pre Unit Triumph engine). His good friend and personal engineer, Don West had the bike in his shop and was putting the final touches on the engine when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The bike was completed and auctioned off, but my dad (and I) never got a chance to see it.
After stumbling across these old photos from American Motorcyclist magazine, I started googling my dad to see what else I could find. I was shocked and disappointed to learn that his triton had been sold on ebay once again. Shocked that it was available and disappointed that I wasn't able to purchase it. I would have snatched that up in a heartbeat. However, I googled the bike and found some cool pictures of his custom racer. I was thrilled to see that the bike has been dedicated with a plaque honoring my father. I hope whoever has the bike keeps it the way it is and if it ever goes back on the market, I hope I get a chance to make an offer.

And yet another picture from AM magazine

Oh my, heres another one from American Motorcyclist (This is the AMA magazine you get with membership). Here my sister and I pose with my Dad after he won the 87 grand national Championship of the sportsman 750 class.

Yours truely pictured in Jan 1988 issue of American Motorcyclist (uncredited of course)

I was searching for a friend of my dad's online and I came across an old article in American Motorcyclist Magazine (Jan 1988) with a picture of said friend (Dick Miles) as well as My dad, our friend Nick Phillips and ME (at 12 years of age!). The article covers the popularity of vintage motorcycle racing. My dads Triumph 750 special is also pictured.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Side panels painted

I matched the side panels as close to the tanks Cole as possible. I think they're ok for now, but next winter the whole bike is getting paint, frame and all, so this is just for one season. The bike is just about ready for her maiden voyage; damn snow...

Uploaded by

Timing cover polished up

I sanded all the dings and gouges out of the timing cover and took it from a dull pewter grey to a shiny aluminum finish. I'll probably buff it with polish one more time but not before I replace the kickstart spring. Still waiting on that to arrive.

Uploaded by

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Timing cover clean up

The timing cover is pretty scratched and gouged up. However it's no worse off than the primary cover was, and that cleaned up nicely. Looks like I have my work cut out for me with the filing and sanding.

Kick start won't return

The mystery of the kickstart has been solved. The spring broke in half. New one is on it's way from steadfast cycle. Might as well do some cleaning while the timing cover is off...

Uploaded by

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm slowly piecing the T-Bolt back together. I reconnected the tail light (after stripping and painting it). I cleaned the carb , connected the petcocks and fuel line. I replaced the exhaust headers, though they are pretty banged up and will be replaced eventually. Since the gas tank is connected, I decided to start it up and see if it would idle. YUP! (though I still need some carb adjustment)

It's hard to see in this picture, but I polished the edges of the aluminum tank shield. The center is sort of a brushed aluminum finish, while the edges are now close to mirror finish. It's subtle, but it looks like a million bucks in person.

Brake light on? Check.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Side Panels Primed

Just need to sand and paint!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Side panels stripped and ready for primer

I bead blasted the blue side panels and I'm ready for priming. I'm going to paint them burgandy to match the tank. I'll probably repaint the next year when I redo the whole bike but for now they'll at least match.

Uploaded by

Friday, February 5, 2010

Now where in the world did these come from?????

They weren't there when I finalized putting the top end back together. This doesn't look good.....