BritBike Forum logo
BritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorThe Bonneville ShopBritBike Sponsor
Upgrade to: Premium Membership | Premium Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
ShoutChat Box
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments.
Buy BritBike staff a coffee
Buy BritBike's staff a coffeeStill here since 1996 serving BritBike enthusiasts..
Search eBay for motorcycle parts in following countries
Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, United Kingdom, USA
Random Gallery photo
Member Spotlight
old PJ
old PJ
Royal Berkshire
Posts: 367
Joined: October 2007
Show All Member Profiles 
Newest Members
Carl Courson, Roddy Walsh, Mark Creighton, Alex Lynch, B Mac
10777 Registered Users
Top Posters(30 Days)
franko 129
NickL 62
DavidP 56
MarcB 52
Popular Topics(Views)
949,843 mail-order LSR
Forum Statistics
Forums34
Topics67,516
Posts675,799
Members10,777
Most Online14,755
May 5th, 2019
Who's Online Now
74 registered members (Al Eckstadt), 424 guests, and 764 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
1968 Lightning to Val-d'Isere #781473 08/14/19 8:41 pm
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
L
LightningHughes650 Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
OP Offline
BritBike Forum member
L
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
Hi guys,

I'm not sure if you remember a few months back I popped up on this forum looking for advice on making my Lightning as reliable as possible for a big trip to visit my sister who was working in Val d'Isere over the winter. Well after a few adjustments and shakedowns, on April the 12th I departed home, alone, aiming the Lightning towards the French Ski resort.

I would take 4 days travelling to the resort, travelling via the Chunnel and French back roads. I stopped at Reims, Dole, Aix-les-Bains and then onto Val. The ace bars took a little while for my body to adjust to as i hadn't long put them on the bike before the trip, however, after a couple of hundred miles i felt perfectly at home hunched over the Lightning's tank. The bike ran faultlessly apart from a fuel tap which wouldn't stop leaking fuel onto the engine. This was solved with a large amount of cling film kindly donated by the catering team at the Folkstone Channel Tunnel terminal.

I finally arrived in Val and was lucky enough to be able to leave the bike in one of the heated underground car parks which belonged to the chalet my sister was working in and spent a week snowboarding and celebrating my birthday before making my way back to the UK afterwards.

The way home wasn't quite as pleasurable as i had managed to pick up a pretty severe stomach bug which meant i couldn't eat or drink for essentially 3 days, the bike however barreled on with no issues, despite myself giving her a harder time than she deserved pushing the cruising speeds higher and higher as i just wanted to get to the next stop for the night and sleep.

All in all i covered about 1600miles and apart from the normal topping up of fluids and the leaking fuel tap, she didn't skip a beat. It just goes to show what these bikes are capable of if they're looked after well and a bit of mechanical sympathy is applied during riding.

Shell be treated with a strip down and freshen up over this winter hopefully, well deserved!

I've attached an album of photos from the trip, unfortunately the last photos of the trip are just before i reached the resort as my sister took the photos of me arriving, nevertheless you get the idea!

ALBUM

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7oPdHdWewcs15GXp6

Support Your #1 BritBike Forum!

Check out British motorcycles for sale:
British Motorcycles on e-Bay UK
British motorcycles on e-Bay North America
Re: 1968 Lightning to Val-d'Isere [Re: LightningHughes650] #781474 08/14/19 9:00 pm
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,057
gunner Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,057
Great story, I enjoyed riding similar routes in France back in the late 90's mounted on a Ducati 750SS. I wouldn't mind having another go using my A65 Firebird replica, though no doubt at lower speeds than the Ducati could achieve. I always found the French D roads the best for riding due to the lack of traffic, great scenery and nice fast sweeping bends. At the end of the day there was always a good hotel and restaurant available, so nice food, a couple of beers and good sleep set me up well for the next days ride.

Regarding the leaking fuel tap I can recommend the BAP type taps which are leak free in my experience and better than the Ewarts type that seem to be fitted.

Last edited by gunner; 08/14/19 9:03 pm.

1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: 1968 Lightning to Val-d'Isere [Re: LightningHughes650] #781516 08/15/19 5:19 am
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 234
N
NickL Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
N
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 234
That lightning is really a thunderbolt, but a very nice one.
If it was well put together, they are good for 25-30k miles without stripping.
Looks like a great trip.

Re: 1968 Lightning to Val-d'Isere [Re: NickL] #781529 08/15/19 12:22 pm
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
L
LightningHughes650 Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
OP Offline
BritBike Forum member
L
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by NickL
That lightning is really a thunderbolt, but a very nice one.
If it was well put together, they are good for 25-30k miles without stripping.
Looks like a great trip.


That Lightning is a Lightning running a Thunderbolt setup for the sake of simplicity and the trip. It is, however, a Lightning. The twin carb head will be going back on during the winter.

Re: 1968 Lightning to Val-d'Isere [Re: LightningHughes650] #781600 08/15/19 11:42 pm
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 234
N
NickL Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
N
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 234
It's a Lightbolt or a Thundering. (A643/4)

Re: 1968 Lightning to Val-d'Isere [Re: LightningHughes650] #781610 08/16/19 2:41 am
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,299
S
Semper Gumby Online Content
BritBike Forum member
Online Content
BritBike Forum member
S
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,299
Congrats. I'm a firm believer in Long Distance BSA's. I would have left the the twin carbs on it.

Properly set up the twin carbs Amals (either Monos or Concentrics) are just a reliable as the Thunderbolt single carb.

It all starts with fresh cables and stayup floats...

PS - if its a Long Distance Single Carb BSA then it is a THUNDERWING.

Last edited by Semper Gumby; 08/16/19 2:43 am.

Secretly Mediocre....
Re: 1968 Lightning to Val-d'Isere [Re: LightningHughes650] #781673 08/16/19 9:38 pm
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,667
L
LarryLebel Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
L
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,667
Did you find the speedometer accurate? A65L's I'm familiar with have a 150 mph (1000 turns/mile) speedometer. Or did you change the 1.25:1 drive to a 2:1 to suit the 120 mph speedo.


Moderated by  Allan Gill, Jon W. Whitley 

Home | Sponsors | Newsletter | Regalia | Calendar | Bike Project | BritBike Museum | Spiders Cartoons | DVD- Manuals & Parts books
Upgrade to: Premium Membership | Premium Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3