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New guy and off to a rocky start....
#748569 09/10/18 1:36 am
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Hey guys! Just want to introduce myself, my name is Bobby, I'm from central Ohio and just purchased a 1970 BSA Thunderbolt yesterday! I'm an avid motorcyclist, have been riding for the past 15 years (I'm 31 years old) but I'm completely ignorant when it comes to vintage motorcycles, I currently ride a 2006 Yamaha R1 and a 2017 Triumph T120 Black. My goal was to find an old brit bike that needed some TLC to hopefully learn through trial and error and gain knowledge not just on these bikes but expand my mechanical knowledge in general. The bike I purchased definitely needed some work, basically everything but the engine was in fair condition, needs new suspension, brakes etc. The previous owner put a lot of money into it recently and had the carb and top end rebuilt and had it switched over to a Boyer electronic ignition.

To fast forward to my "rocky start", today I tried to kick it over as the bike was in great running condition according to the previous owner and the shop that did the work (I called and verified before I bought it) and have all the paperwork. The last time the owner had kicked it over and had it running was 2 months ago. I had no luck kicking it over, this is virtually the first bike I have ever "kicked" over except for an old dirt bike about 10 years ago. I primed it by kicking a few times, opened the petcocks, tickled the carb, turned the ignition on and kicked. After many tries and different techniques that I watched online (sitting with the centerstand, standing off to the side to put my weight into it etc), the kickstarter now has no resistance and seems like its disconnected from the engine. I had great compression/resistance on it to begin with but it wouldn't start. Now I fear that I broke something, I guess this is my first challenge on my "project bike".

Any suggestions on where to start with the trouble shooting? The kickstarter returns just fine so I know its not the return spring but I fear that maybe the starter gear has been sheared or disconnected somehow. I kicked it quite a bit, I would say at least 20-25 times in all between all the troubleshooting but I find it hard to believe that just trying to start it could break it but again I am completely new when it comes to these bikes and my mechanical knowledge is very limited.

Anyway, I really appreciate any feedback and hopefully I didn't f*** it up too bad.

Thanks!


1970 BSA A65T

2017 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black

2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 Raven Edition
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Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748572 09/10/18 2:14 am
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You know the clutch has to be engaged to start?
Cold engine:
Full choke
Pull in clutch and kick the lever through to free the plates, let out clutch
Tickle carbs until fuel comes out the weep hole
You have to bring the piston up to compression, bring the lever back to the top then kick through with no throttle

Warm engine, leave off the choke, Sometimes the carb does not have to be tickled depending upon how long it has sat since run. Always try without tickling first so you do not flood the motor.

Starting with the bike on the centre or side stand is for people with no balance or too short to stand astride the bike and lift your leg high enough to bring the lever to the top.
You should be able to feel the kickstart gear engage the pinion gear on the mainshaft. It is be possible for the mainshaft pinion if the nut comes off but if built correctly, not likely.

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
DMadigan #748574 09/10/18 2:21 am
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I read that I just had to have it in neutral to kick it over to start? Makes sense why it wouldn't turn over then..... This bike actually has a choke delete, so no choke. I could feel the compression through all the kicks but now it just moves freely and that is what scares me. Now that it moves freely I can't attempt to start it again, any ideas on where to start to correct the issue?


1970 BSA A65T

2017 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black

2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 Raven Edition
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748582 09/10/18 3:33 am
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Tickle , In neutral , hand off the clutch lever. Then kick it.

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748589 09/10/18 5:10 am
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Yes, forgot to mention it has to be in neutral. So you had compression and now you do not. If you open the upper inspection cap on the primary you can see the primary chain. If you place your finger on the lower side of the chain and press down on the kickstart lever you should feel the chain tighten. If not then open the cap over the clutch and push the lever down. You should see the pressure plate turn counter clockwise. If not then the problem is either on the timing side which requires removal of both the outer and inner case, or the woodruf key is missing or sheared on the mainshaft which requires opening the primary. If you do not have a manual you will have to get one as there are a number of steps required.
I do not know why people like to delete the choke. It makes starting much easier when cold. Many times they just leave the hole in the top of the carburettor open which leaks air past the slide which affects the idle.

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748599 09/10/18 9:25 am
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Get yourself a copy of the parts book and service manual. If you are going to do your own work, you will need both.

If there is no resistance at all when you kick, it is possible the TS mainshaft nut came of or loose. DM gave you good advice on checking the primary to see if the primary is working. If not, you are back to the TS.

Yea I have no idea why people get rid of chokes. They really are useful on a Brit bike.


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748601 09/10/18 9:55 am
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if the kick start lever moves through its stroke without turning the motor it might be the clutch is slipping.
if the clutch drum is badly worn the clutch plates can hang up in the drum preventing drive.
Look at the LHS primary chaincase, see the centre inspection cap to the rear, remove that, you should now see the clutch pressure plate centre adjuster, give that a tap with a brass drift, if it jumps in , thats yer fault.Kicker should work now.
get the factory manual and parts book.


71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748625 09/10/18 3:21 pm
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Central Ohio where, Bobby? I'm down near Athens. Plenty of help on this forum...

Bill E


69 A65T
71 B50T
85 K100RS
54/59 A10SR
69 B44VS
71 A65FS
95 Trident
Too much moderation is bad for you.

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748629 09/10/18 3:47 pm
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Boyer needs 11 voltrons to fire. crappy batteries don't cut it & do what DM recommends

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748657 09/10/18 8:36 pm
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I would start by pulling the plugs and looking to see if the pistons are going up and down. In neutral of course. Don't pull the clutch lever. Leave the ignition off for this or keep the plug wires on. If the pistons move, you can check for spark. Do you feel no resistance or very little? You may have lost compression from flooding the cylinders with fuel. If that is what happened, you may be able to regain compression by squirting some oil into the cylinders.
If the pistons don't move then try Dave's steps.
















69 A65T
71 B50T
85 K100RS
54/59 A10SR
69 B44VS
71 A65FS
95 Trident
Too much moderation is bad for you.

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748659 09/10/18 8:38 pm
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Very high number of bsa s per capita in ohio


Rich (last remaining member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748702 09/10/18 11:39 pm
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DOPE
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don't leave me out. i've got four of the bastards.


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
kevin #748706 09/10/18 11:49 pm
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My wife swears the bastards breed in my garage...... laughing

New ones just keep popping up..... not sure how that happens facepalm


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748720 09/11/18 1:46 am
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My 70 Thunderbolt I just got back to running condition was rescued from my mom's house in Ohio!

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748738 09/11/18 3:23 am
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Thanks for all the tips guys! I'll be leaving the country in a week for the rest of the month so this may be put on the wayside until I get back but I'll be printing this thread to start troubleshooting. I'm excited to get into the hobby but this certainly hurt my confidence, if something broke internally I would think it was already worn out and was on its last leg and me trying to kick it over a bunch pushed it over the edge or at least I'll tell myself that lol. I have very little mechanical experience, the most complicated job I've ever done was replace fuel pump internals on a car and change brakes (disc) so there is going to be a learning curve but I'm willing to put in the effort, I just may ask a lot of dumb questions along the way haha.

No name, I live in Sunbury, just north of Columbus. Also the previous owner gave me a workshop manual, original owners manual and a parts manual. I also bought a haynes manual, hopefully there is enough reading material in there to get me started. I also just ordered some whitworth tools as I only have standard/metric, next I need to purchase a lift/jack for the bike and organize a nice work space. If there is anything else as far as tools that you guys think I should get to make my life easier by all means please chime in. I'm lucky enough to have an entire 1 1/2 car section of the garage as a workshop so I have loads of space.

Thanks again guys! I'll keep this thread alive when I start wrenching!


1970 BSA A65T

2017 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black

2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 Raven Edition
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748764 09/11/18 1:04 pm
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This should be fun...

(I'm guessing it's something simple, but will take 6 guys and 3 cases of beer to fix)

Last edited by GrandPaul; 09/11/18 1:04 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, a BSA, & some Japanese
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748831 09/12/18 2:03 am
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And another Ohio guy here!

Hey Bobby! smile

You've definitely come to the right place. Lots of suggestions already.


1961 BSA Super Rocket
1968 BSA A50
1969 BSA 441 VS
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #748928 09/12/18 8:36 pm
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I had a similar problem a good few years ago not long after I bought my A65 - I experienced a similar ‘disconnectedness’ from the kickstart all of a sudden.

It turned out that the Woodruff key on the clutch mainshaft had sheared off in its slot, leaving the shaft to rotate in the clutch drum instead of turning it.

There is also a Woodruff key on the crankshaft locating the crankshaft drive sprocket.

If you have got a sheared key buy the best quality replacement you can find - they get an awful lot of stress - especially if you’re really cracking on, ha!ha!

Hope that might be of some help - good luck with getting it sorted. Try not to let it get you down - these are brilliant bikes and I’m sure you’ll love it when you get it out on the road.

Cheers,
Rob


Last edited by RobJP; 09/12/18 9:14 pm.

'67 A65T
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
RobJP #749026 09/13/18 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by RobJP

If you have got a sheared key buy the best quality replacement you can find - they get an awful lot of stress - especially if you’re really cracking on, ha!ha!

Even more critical is to PROPERLY TORQUE THE RETAINING NUT.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, a BSA, & some Japanese
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #749031 09/13/18 2:34 pm
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DOPE
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Originally Posted by 70BSABobby
If there is anything else as far as tools that you guys think I should get to make my life easier by all means please chime in. I'm lucky enough to have an entire 1 1/2 car section of the garage as a workshop so I have loads of space.

Thanks again guys! I'll keep this thread alive when I start wrenching!


if you're going to get into the clutch, you'll need a clutch center puller, clutch basket/hub locking tool, and a drive sprocket puller of some sort.

they look like these

https://www.eBay.com/itm/BSA-A50-A6...ngMethodStandard!43718!US!-1&vxp=mtr

https://www.eBay.com/itm/BSA-A7-A10...ngMethodStandard!43718!US!-1&vxp=mtr

https://www.eBay.com/itm/TRIUMPH-BS...43a17df8c:g:tDAAAOSwYIxX7qeS&vxp=mtr

you might get by with a jawed gear puller for the drive sprocket, but the factory tool lets you do other stuff farther down the road




every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #749194 09/14/18 9:03 pm
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Just to correct a common misunderstanding--the Woodruff key on the gearbox mainshaft where the clutch hub fits does NOT transmit the torque of the engine.
The torque transmission is done by the taper where the clutch hub fits on the gearbox mainshaft.
You only put a keyway in when you want to orient the two parts together--for example---on a two stroke flywheel magneto where the keyway matching on the two parts sets the ignition timing.
So my advice is---dress the edges of the keyway slot on the gearbox mainshaft with a small file as the loss of torque and the destruction of the key normally distorts this slot.
Then lap the clutch hub onto the gearbox shaft using fine valve grinding paste.
Take off and then thoroughly wash the two tapers in gas.
When the lapping is complete both tapers should be a dull grey color all over.
If this is not so then lap further.

Then assemble the clutch hub to the gearbox mainshaft with no key and torque up the nut to the required torque and use the tab washer as per the original fitment.

The torque will be transmitted by the taper as long as it is held firmly together--hence the need to ensure that the holding nut is firmly tightened to a high torque figure and the tab washer fitted to prevent the nut coming undone.

IMHO keys being damaged result from the taper loosening and then the key tries to transmit the torque---which it never will and it is not designed to do.
Strange that the manufacturers did not save machining operations to machine the keyways and added also the cost of a key.
The keyways also weakened the two components.

Just my two cents worth of course.

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #749693 09/19/18 12:42 am
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Bobby,
I'm over by the Cols. airport, maybe 15-20 miles away?

When you get back, ping me and we'll take a look-see?
Brett

Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #749709 09/19/18 2:36 am
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As far as i know theres only one bsa rider in nebraska. I gotta get out of this state


Rich (last remaining member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #750253 09/24/18 2:27 am
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Seems like a 100 years ago now, but my 1st foray into the Brits again was a '66 A65. It sat a long time, It slumped completely, I didn't know "sumped", wouldn't start. You might want to drop that sump plate, and check if there's more than +/- a cup-a-oil in the sump. Be prepared if you're not sure with a few pans to collect it.

Last edited by KC in S.B.; 09/24/18 2:28 am.

Down to 1 BSA, 2 Triumphs, 1 '56 Chevy
1 '65 XLCH, Hernia Gift, on the way to Japan!
Re: New guy and off to a rocky start....
70BSABobby #754619 10/31/18 12:18 am
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Hey guys! Can’t thank everyone enough for all the responses, finally back and have my workshop organized and ready for this project!

Running into a slight hiccup, I have the outer timing cover off, have drained all the oil other than the gear oil to get ready to pull the inner cover. Was going to change the oil anyway when I was done and replace the sump so figured might as well drain everything. Problem is I can’t get the gearbox drain plug out and I don’t have any sockets or wrenches that fit it (I have whitworth).

Anyone know what the head size is on this? Here is the same part according to my parts book

http://www.classicenglishmotorcycles.com/gear-box-drain-plug-bsa-triumph-tr25w-21-1857/



1970 BSA A65T

2017 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black

2006 Yamaha YZF-R1 Raven Edition
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