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replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning #744390
08/04/18 5:51 pm
08/04/18 5:51 pm
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 295
Bristol England
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redrooster Offline OP
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Bristol England
Hi all,
Been away for some time but good to be back, need input again.
I intend replacing the Mikuni carbs that came with the a65 with Amals for various reasons but not sure which Amals to order.

The original motor is 1964 and the head has been replaced with a lightning head at some point but I don't know which year the head is from.

I am thinking 930 premiers. Any advice, experience appreciated.


Thanks, the rooster, full of beans

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Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744417
08/04/18 7:32 pm
08/04/18 7:32 pm
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 211
England
F
ferretjuggler Offline
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ferretjuggler  Offline
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Posts: 211
England
BSA never made an A65 in 1964 with twin carbs so basically you have a customised bike anyway.
Originally your bike would have been either an A65 Star or an A65R Rocket, and while the Rocket would be a nice bike to restore to standard, the base model A65 is a little lacklustre (to my tastes anyway) and I'm sure that lots of them mutated into cafe racers as the 1960s progressed.

I'm not actually sure that the AMAL Concentric premier things are actually any good.
The standard Concentric was a good design spoiled by penny pinching, and the premier carbs have changes which are supposed to have addressed all the problems.
Worth a bit of research before parting with your cash ?
I think that the Mikuni VM carbs look terrible on a British bike they just stand out like a sore thumb.
Especially on a twin carb bike with splayed out carbs.
A pity really because apparently the Mikuni VM is a licence built version of an AMAL design.

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744435
08/04/18 8:51 pm
08/04/18 8:51 pm
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,301
Bolton Lancs UK
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Andy Higham Online content
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Bolton Lancs UK
The Mikuni has several advantages over the AMAL, not all of these were adressed in the premier series
The AMAL is made out of poor material and wears out prematurely
The AMAL manufacturing tolerances are poor
The Mikuni pilot/idle circuit is far superior to that of the AMAL
The Mikuni has a proper cold start system
The Mikuni is spigot mounted giving good heat and vibration insulation
The AMAL flange mount is poorly designed and prone to distortion


BSA B31 500cc "Stargazer"
Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360 Challenger
Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500cc "Llareggub"
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 OK Supreme
'36 OK Supreme
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744445
08/04/18 10:37 pm
08/04/18 10:37 pm
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 211
England
F
ferretjuggler Offline
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Posts: 211
England
I'm not doubting the technical superiority the Mikuni VM, AMAL design or not.
But to my mind they look very wrong on a 1950s or 1960s Brit.

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744468
08/05/18 3:56 am
08/05/18 3:56 am
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,171
Aus
N
NickL Offline
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Aus
If you check out the Burlen site, they will recommend the carb pair for a '69+. they will do the trick.

Andy is right about the carbs but Mikuni's just look crap. I like Dellorto's myself.


No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition................
Bring in the 'Comfy Chair'
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: NickL] #744471
08/05/18 4:44 am
08/05/18 4:44 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,824
OZ
Triless Offline
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Triless  Offline
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OZ
Obviously, Nick, you are talking about the twin choke automotive type delOrtos, which are a mean looking carb, like the equivalent Weber. But, in ugly, a squarebody delOrto Concentric type beats a VM Mikuni slides down !
Personally, although Amals have done alright for me over the years, I have a 32mm VM Mikuni on my single carb Triumph 750 special, and I don't think its ugly at all ! And, as some uncharitable bastard said, compared to the owner, it isn't at all !

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744474
08/05/18 5:22 am
08/05/18 5:22 am
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,577
ohio, usa
kevin roberts Offline

DOPE
kevin roberts  Offline

DOPE

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Posts: 4,577
ohio, usa
i find keihins to be the aesthetic carburetor of choice:

[Linked Image]


"Are bikes so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...

"Nice? They're the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward on the handlebars. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about with bikes."
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744477
08/05/18 5:52 am
08/05/18 5:52 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 137
Anchorage Alaska USA
M
Mitch Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 137
Anchorage Alaska USA
wow.... ish. those look terrible. please doc, put the tumors (AMAL) back in

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: Andy Higham] #744512
08/05/18 2:16 pm
08/05/18 2:16 pm
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
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BSA_WM20 Offline
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Sydney Australia
Originally Posted by Andy Higham
The Mikuni has several advantages over the AMAL, not all of these were adressed in the premier series
The AMAL is made out of poor material and wears out prematurely
The AMAL manufacturing tolerances are poor
The Mikuni pilot/idle circuit is far superior to that of the AMAL
The Mikuni has a proper cold start system
The Mikuni is spigot mounted giving good heat and vibration insulation
The Amal flange mount is poorly designed and prone to distortion


I will dispute this till the day I die.
Metallurgically the zinc alloys used to make the Concentric carb was STATE OF THE ART FOR IT'S DAY. and the EXACT SAME ALLOY is still used by almost every carb company and has been so for decades.
When used as daily transport they do not wear out prematurely.
Fuel vapour gets adsorbed into the oxide coatings of the slide & body making an exceptionally good well lubricated sliding surface.
When used ones every year, the oxide coating dries out and stiction occurs.

AMAL tollerances were absolutely fine, milions of miles of trouble free riding will attest to that.
My B40's ran the same 626's that were fitted at the factory for thousands of miles over the 12 years that they were my daily transport, weekend transport & holiday transport.
The carbs were callibrated for the DELIBERATE loose fit and work extreamely well.
In fact the big troubles came when engineers tried to resleeve them and found once they tightened up the running clearances the jetting was so far out it was not funny.
FWIW I pulled one of the 626's off the said same B40 ( waiting for a new big end ) and ran it 20,000 + miles on the WM20 with no problems after I got the jetting sorted.

The biggest problen was the ILLETERATE owners who could not or would not do as instructed and just snug them up on the O ring but decided to replace the "CHEAP" 1/2 nuts ( done to prevent overtightening ) with full size nuts done up tighter than head bolts.
After that was the "SEXY" bell mouths cause we were all GP racers so could not afford the restrictions in air flow the filters created ( a crime I must plead guilty to for a while in my youth ).
The simple fact that now , 50 year after they were introduced there are still thousands of British bikes out there still running the Concentrics they left the factory with attests to the suitability of the carb.
Now they might be running poorly, but they are still running, not what I would call a sign of a badly designed carb , made from poor materials to sloppy tolerances.
And yes there were and are better carbs out there , just the same as there were better carbs availible for just about every car even made, if the owner wanted better performance.
Enfield specified carbs without O rings , so I was told when asking about a Concentric without a groove in it amd I am jet to her an Enfield owner complain about a warped Concentric.

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 08/05/18 2:18 pm.

Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744521
08/05/18 4:02 pm
08/05/18 4:02 pm
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,301
Bolton Lancs UK
A
Andy Higham Online content
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Joined: Aug 2015
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Bolton Lancs UK
Every other carb manufacturer may have used the same material BUT made the slide of brass or hard anodised alloy.
Even after only a couple of thousand miles if you take the slide out of a Concentric you will see where it has worn against the opening in the body and your fingers will be grey from the worn away metal particles.
Pay particular attention to the nib at the top of the slide, this wears allowing the slide to twist and lock
BTW the 626 etc are far superior to the Concentric, there was one design consideration for the Concentric, to be able to supply a pair to BSA/Triumph for less than £5


BSA B31 500cc "Stargazer"
Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360 Challenger
Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500cc "Llareggub"
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 OK Supreme
'36 OK Supreme
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: ferretjuggler] #744524
08/05/18 4:22 pm
08/05/18 4:22 pm
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,552
melbourne florida
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bodine031 Offline
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melbourne florida
So my 1964 A-65 SF/Hornet with 2 mono blocks was never made????

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744525
08/05/18 4:43 pm
08/05/18 4:43 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,251
argyll. scotland, uk
gavin eisler Online content
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gavin eisler  Online Content
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Posts: 4,251
argyll. scotland, uk
Misspelling illiterate, brilliant, genuinely laughed out loud, good post Trevor.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: Andy Higham] #744526
08/05/18 4:52 pm
08/05/18 4:52 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,671
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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triton thrasher  Online Content
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Posts: 7,671
scotland
Originally Posted by Andy Higham
BTW the 626 etc are far superior to the concentric, there was one design consideration for the concentric, to be able to supply a pair to BSA/Triumph for less than £5


The 626 is a Concentric.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: triton thrasher] #744539
08/05/18 6:59 pm
08/05/18 6:59 pm
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,301
Bolton Lancs UK
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Andy Higham Online content
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Andy Higham  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,301
Bolton Lancs UK
Sorry! My bad I was thinking 276 series (pre monoblock)


BSA B31 500cc "Stargazer"
Greeves 200cc "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360 Challenger
Suzuki GSX1100 EFE "Sorcerers Apprentice"
GM500cc sprint/LSR bike "Deofol"
Jawa 500cc "Llareggub"
2003 Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 OK Supreme
'36 OK Supreme
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744551
08/05/18 8:24 pm
08/05/18 8:24 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,596
Owego, NY, USA
Mark Z Offline
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Mark Z  Offline
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Posts: 4,596
Owego, NY, USA
It looks to me that the OP was not asking for a debate on the various advantages or disadvantages of Mikunis vs. Amals. It's also not clear what sort of advice is sought. Originality? BSA used Monoblocs on Lightnings through 1967, then switched to Concentrics in '68. Reliability/ease of use? Monoblocs are good-performing carburetors, but complex compared to Concentrics - many more parts, more places to leak, etc.

Redrooster, if your objections to Mikunis are fit, appearance, and/or jetting difficulties, and you're considering any non-AMAL alternative, check out JRC carbs. There were one or two lengthy threads on these recently. JRCs are basically PWK flat-slide carbs that are modified to fit British bikes. They are about the same size as Amals, and are available in flange mount or spigot mount, and with mouths threaded to accept screw-on AMAL air cleaners, or smooth for clamp-on air cleaners, and jetting is customized to particular marques/models by JRC. I've heard now four or five "bolt on and go" success stories.



Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: Triless] #744564
08/05/18 10:18 pm
08/05/18 10:18 pm
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,171
Aus
N
NickL Offline
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NickL  Offline
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Aus
Originally Posted by Triless
Obviously, Nick, you are talking about the twin choke automotive type delOrtos, which are a mean looking carb, like the equivalent Weber. But, in ugly, a squarebody delOrto Concentric type beats a VM Mikuni slides down !
Personally, although Amals have done alright for me over the years, I have a 32mm VM Mikuni on my single carb Triumph 750 special, and I don't think its ugly at all ! And, as some uncharitable bastard said, compared to the owner, it isn't at all !


No Stephen, i was talking about the bike carbs fitted to dukes, mv's etc. Several guys i raced with used them back in the 70's. They were nicely made and looked good.
My preference for using a weber or Delorto on my racing bike is a different thing altogether, they just work brilliantly but are very bulky.

The JRC's that Mark talked about are an option i've yet to try on any bike but reports are good and the carb spec is fair.
Proper cold start, chrome slide, decent float arrangement, flat type slide etc.
When my ones are clapped out ,i think i will give them a try.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with Trevor about the fact there are millions of happy AMAL users but, like Lucas they had
to produce stuff for next to nothing and in many cases it shows.

Last edited by NickL; 08/05/18 11:17 pm.

No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition................
Bring in the 'Comfy Chair'
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: Mark Z] #744627
08/06/18 12:40 pm
08/06/18 12:40 pm
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 295
Bristol England
R
redrooster Offline OP
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redrooster  Offline OP
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Bristol England
Thanks for all replies,
Ferret, yes bike was originaly A65 Star and has had lightning head (year not known) fitted. Ignition is Boyer
Too late to restore to original (spent last 5 years going in the opposite direction) and the Mikuni carbs look great on my bike.. Just having starting problems with them and running lean problems. Also the mounting rubbers keep shearing as the carbs bounce up and down because they are not fixed at the inlet end.

I am looking at the AMAL Concentric premiers because I fitted them to my 1970 T120 which I had carb problems with and it ran perfect on these straight out of the box.


Just need advice from anyone with experience of either carb on there lightning.

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744644
08/06/18 3:22 pm
08/06/18 3:22 pm
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
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BSA_WM20 Offline
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Sydney Australia
The lightning ran concentrics ( for the few years it ran ) without any problems.
But then they were always run with the filters on .
Without filters a dust gets sucked into the primary air inlet and blocks up the primary fuel circuit.
Like all carbs, leaving them sitting for 3 months full of fuel will result deposits in all the passage ways that is really difficult to remove.
When used daly I never had any problems witht them.
Like a lot of things in the day they required servicing , along with points that got adjusted every months & tappets .
So an annual needle & needle jet plus a new slide every couple of years was about it for parts and a sync every 6 months or so to compensate for cable stretch .

OTOH when I was in town & club members would come by it was not rare to see needle jets flogged out 3 times longer than wide, ridges worn in the slides and the bike running on only one carb at idle.
But even with that sort of abuse, the bike ran. Neglect any other carb like that and you will be doing a lot of pushing.
The Mikuni is a better carb, no arguement about it, however it is no where near as tolerant as the concentrics are and you will need to tune them properly or they just won't work.
Leave them sitting over winter full of fuel and there is a better than average chance you will not be able to resurect next year.
One of the problems with dissimilar metals is galvanic corrosion, particularly if they are subject to dew condensation over winter.

The biggest problem is we look at them through modern eyes and compare them to modern carbs so naturally they fall short
Now if you want a painful job try matching a set of 4 CV carbs and keep them in sync over the entire rev range.

I have just bought a box full of new premier concentrics for the bikes I will be riding till I fall off my perch.
The M20 just got its new 626 & there is another for the B40 the B44 & B50 plus a pair for the A65L & T which most likely will never get finished.

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 08/06/18 3:25 pm.

Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: BSA_WM20] #744657
08/06/18 4:57 pm
08/06/18 4:57 pm
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 295
Bristol England
R
redrooster Offline OP
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redrooster  Offline OP
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Bristol England
Hi WM20,
Thank you for your reply.
So your on the AMAL side of the fence.
My carbs are spotless inside and out so those issues can be ruled out.


Me, still thinking like a tortoise and changing mind constantly. Changed the pilot jet on the mikuni yesterday from 25 to 30 and it did seem to improve starting and plug colour but maybe flukey, will see.
I spoke to the suppliers of Mikuni carbs in England today regarding the shearing/splitting of the rubber mounting to the head and was advised to support the rubber carb mounting by some other means. Suggestions I thought strange, home made brackets, support wires etc,blah. Am I missing something and being plank thick here ?


Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744658
08/06/18 5:03 pm
08/06/18 5:03 pm
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 295
Bristol England
R
redrooster Offline OP
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redrooster  Offline OP
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Bristol England
Can anyone post a picture of how they have mounted there Mik's on a brit bike twin ?

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744661
08/06/18 5:20 pm
08/06/18 5:20 pm
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,552
melbourne florida
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bodine031 Offline
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melbourne florida
Mite try 3/4 to 1 turn out on the A/M screw. I use Gates brand green stripe hose holds up my round slides just fine with pod A/Filters

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744715
08/07/18 1:36 am
08/07/18 1:36 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,596
Owego, NY, USA
Mark Z Offline
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Mark Z  Offline
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Owego, NY, USA
Originally Posted by redrooster
Can anyone post a picture of how they have mounted there Mik's on a brit bike twin ?


This help?

[Linked Image]

One thing I can tell you, the rubber couplers they supply with Miks are crap. I use automotive fuel filler hose, you know, the hose that goes from your filler cap to the fuel tank.

Are your Miks 30 or 32mm? Mine are 32s, which, being oversized (stock Amals are 30mm), presents a jetting problem in itself. If yours are 32mm, I may be able to help with jetting info.




Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: redrooster] #744740
08/07/18 8:13 am
08/07/18 8:13 am
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Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
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BSA_WM20 Offline
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Sydney Australia
Originally Posted by redrooster
Hi WM20,
Thank you for your reply.
So your on the AMAL side of the fence.
My carbs are spotless inside and out so those issues can be ruled out.


Me, still thinking like a tortoise and changing mind constantly. Changed the pilot jet on the mikuni yesterday from 25 to 30 and it did seem to improve starting and plug colour but maybe flukey, will see.
I spoke to the suppliers of Mikuni carbs in England today regarding the shearing/splitting of the rubber mounting to the head and was advised to support the rubber carb mounting by some other means. Suggestions I thought strange, home made brackets, support wires etc,blah. Am I missing something and being plank thick here ?



There is nothing wrong with Mikunis and when set up properly they will work better than a Concentric, which is no surprise as they are a latter developement of the Concentric so they should.
IMHO fitting them is a "lipstick on a pig modification". Lots of hassels for little gain.
OTOH if you are a have to tinker type go ahead.
If you are lucky you might get a small increase in the fuel economy and they will accelerate better so if standing 1/4 miles are your bag then go ahead.
However bikes of our era won many many many races fitted with the humble Concentric and there is no need to replace them now days .
If you want to toss monos and beat everything off at the lights, buy a modern 250 super sports bike.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: Mark Z] #744741
08/07/18 8:22 am
08/07/18 8:22 am
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 295
Bristol England
R
redrooster Offline OP
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Bristol England
Hi Mark,
Judging by your photo I am being plank thick and will be looking at doing this set up.
Mik's are 30mm.
Bodine, idles highest at 2 turns out so have set a/m to 11/2. Everything I have read says no less than 11/2 so have been reluctant to go to 1. So I changed pilot jet from 25 to 30. This did not seem to change idle so left it at 1 1/2 out Is this the wrong approach ?

Re: replacing Mikunis with Amal, BSA lightning [Re: kevin roberts] #744744
08/07/18 9:45 am
08/07/18 9:45 am
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 31
Athens Greece
Konstantinos Offline
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Athens Greece
I wanted to have a pair of keihins on my T140 eight valve to see how it runs on the road.
I am very sure that works great.
And I am sure that your bike is flying with them but they are not looking good on classic Brit bike like the box section swingarm on my featherbed trident works great but not looking good to be honest
I think the reason is what you want from your bike.
If you want performance you need modern goodies.
If you want classic look have to stuck with stock parts.

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