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Hi - Advice Welcome #763996 01/30/19 6:14 pm
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LightningHughes650 Offline OP
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Hi guys,

Just thought i'd introduce myself and see if I could get some advice/wisdom from the old hands. I've just bought a 1968 Lightning from my dad...we did a bit of a swap, he took on my BSA Bantam D5 in exchange for the Lightning and some cash wink

The Lightning is in decent shape with the previous owner having spent some money on her in the past. She's got an SRM clutch and crank as well as electronic Boyer ignition. Over Christmas we installed an SRM oil pump too as well as Dunstall Ace bars.

Currently she's only running a single carb (thunderbolt spec. essentially) but we do have a twin carb head ready to go on at some point most likely after i can afford the new carbs/additional carb kit.

Now here's the fun part...being 27 and liking doing things the difficult way and having a bit of an adventure, i'm planning on riding the bike from Poole in Dorset to Val D'isere in late April to visit my sister who's doing a ski season out there (the snow should be well clear of the roads by then...). I was wondering whether anyone on here does or has done any touring on a Lightning at all?

Also advice on decent vintage panniers which will fit the bike would be useful too!

Thanks,
Nick

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Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764010 01/30/19 7:52 pm
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LarryLebel Online Content
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You can't go wrong with Craven for luggage now being manufactured by Dragonfly. I've got an original Craven top box on my B44. It did take me awhile to find a rear carrier but I suppose they are being re-manufactured mas well.

Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764019 01/30/19 9:28 pm
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Adam M. Offline
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I don't know the distance you are planning to cover, but 400 km / day on the Lightning could be a stretch.
Your young age will help for sure.

Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764021 01/30/19 10:38 pm
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quinten Online Content
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.
I'd leave the single carb on for touring .
Less time wrenching = more time for rubbernecking

.



Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: NickL] #764047 01/31/19 4:51 am
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Tim Inks Offline
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Stupid tiny yankee fuel tanks didn't come with rubber knee pads after 1965. That tank looks to be a clever giant UK fuel tank. In any case, stupid tiny yankee fuel tanks should be good for 150 miles, and this stupid medium-size yankee likes to get off and stretch his legs every couple hours anyway.


Tim Inks
Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764052 01/31/19 6:53 am
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franko Offline
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A spare cable adjuster also. If the cable snaps, it is a good chance the adjuster will fall out. If you are moving along it could be hard to find.

Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764056 01/31/19 8:52 am
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LightningHughes650 Offline OP
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Hi guys, thanks for the advice!

The tank is indeed the 4 gallon version so we should be all good on that side of things. General maintenance on the bike is looking good, hopefully i'll have her ready for some shakedowns in March! Just re-lining the tank at the moment and i've also fitted some discreet indicators for the sake of safety.


Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764059 01/31/19 10:15 am
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The riding position , stock foot rests and low bars, better try 100 miles on it first, you will be in agony after 50 , folded up like a half shut knife. For all day riding comfort your arms should be roughly parallel with your thighs, the position in the pic means almost no weight support from your legs and extreme lower back bend , flip the bars the other way up and things will be more tolerable.
maybe fit a small screen if you are doing lots of miles. A magnetic tank bag and panniers works for me, never liked a top box on a rack, puts the weight in the wrong place.
Stick with the single carb , better mpgs when touring. One less thing to go wrong.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 01/31/19 10:22 am.

71 Devimead A65 750
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Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764060 01/31/19 10:32 am
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LightningHughes650 Offline OP
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I actually find this riding position more comfortable than the upright bars which give me a lot of shoulder discomfort...maybe it's my young age or body type or something, who knows. I've done a lot of touring on modern sports bikes, maybe that's crumpled up my spine over time haha. Regardless i will of course be testing everything out before the trip smile

Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764068 01/31/19 1:00 pm
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pushrod tom Offline
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Two things: Nick, keep the commentary coming. Prevents stagnation. I have always liked the ridiculous, small US tanks but have to admit that I ended up with big tanks so that I could fill up at home with proper fuel and ride all day without having to stop for US pump gas. Also, LH650's goal of touring with his Beezer is something I always thought about but never was able to pull the trigger on although there have been many memorable 200+ mile days. Well, maybe once. 1968 I rode my B44R 500 miles in a day to visit my sister at school in Virginia. Interstate travel at 70+ mph. Upon arrival I noticed that almost all of the oil had puked out and every bulb was shattered! For the ride home I kept her at 60 and it was perfect. Looking back I can't imagine how I did that but, at 21, you can get away with a great deal more abuse. The Lightning should be perfect for you. Just don't expect it to be a high speed interstate burner! Cheers, PRT

Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: NickL] #764080 01/31/19 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by NickL
Oh dear,,,, i seem to have touched a nerve........ my apologies mr septic, no offence meant.
Just using general terminology as some of us pommie/limey b'tards do.

Guaranteeing a fuel station every 120 miles or so is not always possible, and if you decide to
give the old thing some stick 100 miles is more in order but each to his own eh?



i ran out of fuel in tbe middle of new mexico once. only one fuel stop in 150 milez or so and my american 2.5 gallon T120 tank did not cut tbe mustard.


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764102 01/31/19 5:35 pm
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Allan Gill Online Happy
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Originally Posted by LightningHughes650
I actually find this riding position more comfortable than the upright bars which give me a lot of shoulder discomfort...maybe it's my young age or body type or something, who knows. I've done a lot of touring on modern sports bikes, maybe that's crumpled up my spine over time haha. Regardless i will of course be testing everything out before the trip smile



Have a look at fitting a set of rear set foot pegs (unless your going 2 up) I find the position extreemely comfortable with that and Norman Hyde M bars (not quite the lean of the Ace bars)

I love touring, I've done some of the BSA internationals with the bike in van, but also ridden to a few. Wierdly I get a kick out of seeing how much I can carry..... Turned out this was about its limit! a 650mile trip to Denmark from The Netherlands and through Germany. 300 miles was the longest riding day! and I was pretty much ready for a Weisbier and Bed by the time I got to Hamburg.......

Anyway a few photos (when I had the 2.5 gallon tank fitted) some with standard pegs and high bars, others with rear sets.....

If the high bars are the wrong ones and don't droop, you will find they give you arm problems, LF Harris make some which are spot on!

Also I never had a problem with the skinny tank, least not this side of the equator.... I know what Nick means though, fuel stations in Oz are not as frequent as europe (or USA), I found out that my hire car could run on gasoline vapours last november eek




Attached Files
A65 loaded for Denmark large.jpg (80.31 KB, 282 downloads)
A65 loaded for Denmark in Holland 1.jpg (87.5 KB, 283 downloads)
A65 open day 2015.jpg (73.58 KB, 279 downloads)
A65 on way to 2014 summer camp.jpg (48.39 KB, 276 downloads)

beerchug
Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: NickL] #764159 02/01/19 4:20 am
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Tim Inks Offline
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Nick, I wasn't offended at all! I was just being silly. Your characterization of the small (but sportier) US-market tanks cracked me up.

All the best,

Tim


Tim Inks
Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764246 02/02/19 2:35 am
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Mark Z Offline
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I had "home market" bars on my A65 bitsa for a while. Holding my head up to see gave me a stiff neck in fifteen miles. Footrests were/are in stock position but I don't see how rearsets would have helped the stiff neck situation. In fact I would sometimes, on the freeway, put my feet on the passenger pegs. This did not help.

Now I have a set of late-sixties Triumph twin bars, not as high or swoopy as the U.S. or "western" BSA bars; they have a five-inch rise. I did cut them off to 29 inches though; if I remember right, that was 1.5" off each end, so I guess they were originally 32 inches. Anyway, I find these bars to be very comfortable.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: Adam M.] #764356 02/03/19 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by Adam M.
I don't know the distance you are planning to cover, but 400 km / day on the Lightning could be a stretch.
Your young age will help for sure.


I would consider 400 km a reasonable days ride on the M20.
Regularly do near 500 km not a problem & I am well over 60


Bike Beesa
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Re: Hi - Advice Welcome [Re: LightningHughes650] #764523 02/04/19 9:34 pm
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LightningHughes650 Offline OP
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Thanks for all the tips and advice guys! Glad to see i'm not the first to attempt touring on a Lightning, hopefully, at the very least i'll have a few good stories at the end of the trip!


Moderated by  Allan Gill, Jon W. Whitley 

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