Monday, August 30, 2010

BSA is getting the attention she deserves

As of right now I'm waiting on a new inner timing cover seal after replacing the gear shift selector. I drained all the oil while I was at it and cleaned out the selvedge trap.

Since I can't do much until the gasket comes, I decided to pull the font forks since they were leaking gunk from the fork boots when compressed. I opened up the fork oil drain plugs and found that one was empty while the other contained just a small amount of sludgy oil and water. Rebuilding forks is not my favorite task, but I well sorted front end is key for performance. Believe me, the bike rattled and bottomed out so badly before I was scared to go over 50 mph. I am hoping to have the bike back on the road before the season is over. Cosmetics will come later on. Mechanics first!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Despite the beezas oil leak....

It feels good to be wrenching on good old Brit iron again. Let the challenges begin.

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Back to the beeza

A while back my 71 thunderbolt dumped a ton of oil from a hole in the outer timing case while blowing white smoke from the pipes. Well it looks like it's coming from the ignition plate which probably means a cam seal. Not good as far as I know.

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Garage has been decluttered!

Spent all afternoon cleaning my shop. I can finally move around in here. I still have a ton of stuff to move in from the old shop, but it seems less daunting of a task now.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thump thump thump! Tiger cub purrs after a long cat nap!

Of all my motorcycles, the one I will never part with is the '61 triumph cub my father built from spare parts a few years before his passing. All his cycles were sold when his cancer worsened except the cub - which he gave to me. If you're unfamiliar with the cub, it's a 200cc single cylinder (aka a thumper due to the single cylinders signature sound). This was the successor to the Terrier which was made up until the mid 50's. The cubs were produced from 1956 to 1968 and were available in several different versions, including scramblers and road bikes. The bike picture above is a scrambler, with it's high pipes and on/off road tires. While street legal, they were geared differently than the road bikes to provide better torque in off road conditions.

Long story longer, the cub was built out of parts my dad collected from swap meets. She's a loose replica of a tiger cub he owned while in college during the early 60's. It has pieces of this and that on it, so she's by no means original as the factory would have sold it, but all the wiring and pieces were carefully put together to make a tidy little bike.... but she's a bitch to start! I had her running earlier this summer but then she stalled and wouldn't restart.

Today I got at it again, but couldn't get her to fire up. I fiddled with the carb for a bit, sprayed some contact cleaner on the points, spent an hour trying to kick start it with no luck. Bump starting in first gear proved impossible since it's so light, the tire just skids when I pop the clutch. I finally realized it might be easier to bump start her in second gear. This was the ticket. After three attempts she sprang to life. After that I adjusted the carb some more and got her purring like I kitten (or cub if you will). I rode around the neighborhood and even turned her off and restarted several times. Turns out the cub just likes to be ridden and sitting for extended periods makes her cranky. I love this bike, and I look forward to taking her off road and doing some trials type riding. I promised my dad that I'd enjoy this bike and I plan on making good on my word.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Project 72 Bonnie update

After making the horrifying discovery that the entire inner frame (where the oil is contained) was loaded with sand blasting grit and old oil, I put the 72 Bonnie on hold and went out and bought the 2010 Bonnie. Since then, I've been putting many miles on my moto and not worrying about wrenching on the wretched wrecks.... well that may be a bit harsh, but broken bikes aren't fun when you work long and hard on them and they stay broken, you know?

So with the 72 partially in pieces, it has remained in my old garage, the oil chamber soaking in a powerful degreaser. I moved more than half of what was in my old garage to my new shop, but it still seems like theres no room to work. How'd I ever fit everything in here?

(l-r 61 Triumph t-20 Cub, 74 Vespa 150v Sprint, 72 Triumph t120 Bonneville, Prewar Western Flyer bicycle.)

Below is a little tool I rigged up using a long plastic bristle brush with the handle clipped to fit a drill. I periodically have been using this to scrub in the inside of the frame to clean the oil and sand. I had the front wheel off the bike with the frame leaning forward to allow the degreaser in the upper oil chamber.

Today I dropped the oil filter and drained the degreaser out of the frame. All that black you see is oil stained blasting grit. There was quite a bit of it.

Above you can see where I wiped my finger. thats all sand.

Safe to say I will be needing a new filter. Even when I am satisfied with the cleaning of the frame, I need the best filter available to keep any rogue grits of sand from working there way into the engine.

I have a way to go on this bike, but things are moving again. I'm putting the front wheel on the bike so I can roll it over to the new shop and get it on the lift. Next step will be taking apart the top end to see why one of the push rods is stuck. Seriously.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

rode to the beach and back (lived to tell the tale)

My wife and I went to the beach this weekend for a night and I decided that riding the new Bonnie was probably going to have to be mandatory. I was right. I rode across the Delaware River via the Commodore Barry Bridge and continued through farm lands and Pine Barrens for an hour and a half till I reached the coast line. The engine had zero miles, so technically I'm still breaking it in, but I couldn't resist taking a racing stance (hugging my tank) and seeing what'd she's do. I didn't break the magical ton but I was shy just a few mph before I ran out of traffic free straight away. The rest of the ride was pretty laid back.

Nothing like a 7am bimble through the back bays of South Jersey.
View from the drawbridge heading to Strathmere PA. I ran into some old family friends in Avalon and ended up surfing for a while. This could be considered a perfect morning.