I don't have a GoPro, and between the throttle, clutch, front brake, choke, and magneto my hands are usually pretty busy when underway, but I'll see what I can do.
Meanwhile, with Mark II finished (for now, at least), I turned my attention back to Mark 0 (nb. that's an Arabic 0 because the Romans never figured out how to deal with nothing). Mark 0 was my original system, consisting of an Innovate LM-1 for the AFR coupled to an LMA-2 for throttle position and rpm.
The LM-1 is limited to capturing only 44 min. of data in its internal memory (vs. >500 hrs. on an SD card with the Mark II system). However, for most purposes the limitation of "only" 44 min. of data at a time isn't much of a limitation at all. From my experience, when the LM-1's display indicated the jetting was wrong I wanted to head back to base to change it right away. And even when it indicated it was fairly good there wasn't any point in capturing data for longer than that before heading back to base to change it to be even better.
So, why did I "need" the Mark II? Well, I like instrumentation and data so that certainly was a factor. But, as an example, I live in the desert where it can be 105 oF at my house but 75 oF at the top of a nearby mountain. Being able to record for a long time will let me determine the effects on the carburetion over a fairly wide range of conditions within the span of an afternoon.
Anyway, since for accurately determining the proper jetting the Mark 0 is WAY better than no system at all, rather than abandon it entirely I spent a few minutes today modifying its mount so it now fits on the same Manfrotto clamp as does the Mark II. I also painted it. This gives me two complete AFR systems so I could think of Mark 0 as a backup to Mark II, or use it to instrument a twin, or store it in a box since even the Mark II won't get used very often. I suspect the third possibility is most likely...
I was in the wilds of Ireland last week riding old motorbikes with my younger daughter (and 130 others) in the Irish Rally. A Catalina would be perfect for the back roads of Cork and Kerry that the routes took us along, although the G80CS I was on was a more than acceptable substitute. My daughter was on a pre-War Norton into which someone had shoe horned a 1000 cc side valve AJS V-twin, doing a good enough job with the installation and fake logos that it fooled more than one knowledgeable person ("I've never seen a Norton like that; what model is it?").
As an aside, Irish rain laughs in the face of Goretex. And, if you've already been soaked by the rain and think it couldn't get any wetter, riding into a low cloud obscuring the top of the mountain while it's also raining actually does make it wetter.
Anyway, back to AFR. A month or so ago the Innovate LMA-2 I was using prior to the subsequent upgrade abruptly died. Today I opened it up and the reason is quite apparent. Or, I should say, the symptom of the failure is quite apparent, since I don't know if the failure was due to the blown diode, or if the diode blew because of a failure somewhere else (such as in the Axicom relay to its left).
I made a small addition to my data logging instrumentation today, in the form of a 6 ft. x 12 ft. enclosed trailer. Now I can easily load and haul my bikes to suitable locations out of town for jetting runs, download the data when back at the trailer, analyze it, make necessary changes using the tools and spares in the trailer, and repeat.
OK, the real reason I "needed" this trailer wasn't so much as an instrumentation accessory, but for such things as organizing mini-Cannonball rides with my friends. The bed of the pickup can hold two bikes (but little beyond that), and the trailer can hold three (although two would be optimum), so hauling two friends, three bikes, and a spare (a spare bike, not a spare friend) to some base hundreds of miles from here is now possible. If we took turns driving every third day means it could be a traveling road show rather than operating from a fixed base.
I've been cruising Craigslist off and on ever since the Cannonball a year ago, when every evening in the parking lot it was clear that having just such a trailer would have been much better than our U-Haul truck. I made notes then of how the various trailers were outfitted and had decided 6x12 was optimum for my purposes, although 6x10 (a bit too small) or 6x14 (unnecessarily long) would be acceptable. Although in in moments of desperation I considered horse trailers (which are in much greater abundance around here), which would have required quite a bit of modification to enclose, slow and steady wins the race and now the optimum 6x12 is in my driveway ready to be customized with tie down points, workbench, tool boxes, etc.
Further data logging on the Catalina has been suspended for now. In preparation for a visit by NYBSAGUY next week I removed the instrumentation package from the Catalina and reinstalled its pipe and "silencer."[*] With a predicted high of 66 Â°F at the top of the nearby mountain next Tuesday this will be the first trip of the Catalina (motorcycle) into the Catalina (mountains). While I was at it I spent a few minutes straightening up the garage to fool him into thinking I maintain it to ISO 9000 standards (luckily, he's easily fooled).
Since octane is an issue, when I ran some errands later in the day I filled two 2-gal. containers with 91 octane that I then boosted to 97 for the Catalina and 101 for the Competition using Race GasÂ®. The Catalina (and BB) survived 1200 miles in Texas on the 93 available in that State, but since I need higher octane for the 10:1 piston in the Competition anyway I'd rather be safe than sorry with the Catalina so 97 (rather than 95) is my default level of steroids for it. Besides, the difference between turning 91 into 97 instead of 95 is "just" an additional 88 cents/gallon (on top of the $1.76/gallon needed to get it to 95). It's only money, right?...
On the trailer front, I moved it forward by about 10 ft. to place it closer to the welder for when it's time to fabricate the workbench. However, the real reason for moving it was so it wasn't blocking the Catalina' escape from the garage. Note to self: make sure the trailer doors can swing fully open before unhitching it and parking the truck so as not to have to do it all over again. Sigh... As of today I've started to think of TM's trailer hitch camera as more of a necessity than an option.
[*]For what it's worth, it took about 20 min. to get the Catalina back to road condition, so it probably would take twice that so to install the instrumentation package, including exhaust pipe with AFR sensor, on another Gold Star. Although it only would have taken a minute to remove it, I left the Bosch knock sensor mounted to the head because I'll be using it again, and it's completely out of the way there.
Last edited by Magnetoman; 10/19/1912:45 am. Reason: added [*]
You are getting WAAAYYY to scientific for our stone-age bikes!
There are other experimental physicists who are motorcyclists (Virgil Elings immediately comes to mind) so I'm sure I'm not the first to misapply years of training toward making fundamental studies of these obsolete devices. But, I can't think of any other physicist who "publishes" their "research" on carburetors, magnetos, 6-spring clutches, etc. While of dubious benefit to mankind as a whole, hopefully it is of benefit to others beside myself.
Originally Posted by Irish Swede
How is the "First Spitfire" coming along?
The poor thing has resigned itself to waiting patiently in the corner until its turn in the spotlight comes again.
addendum: On the subject of obsolete technology, I just stumbled across a stack of cards I hadn't seen in years.
These telephone cards were used in the short span of time in the 1990s between telephone booths existing and requiring coins to operate, and telephone booths disappearing completely from everywhere because cell phones took over. In order, they're from France, UK, Germany, Japan, Shanghai(*), Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. I must have tossed a few when they ran out because Italy is missing and maybe a few others.
(*) Not to be confused with China. If I remember correctly, at the time there were several incompatible systems of phone cards in use in different cities. I'm pretty sure I had a Beijing card as well at the time.
Last edited by Magnetoman; 10/20/198:57 pm. Reason: addendum
In a post a few months ago I mentioned how the knock sensor that's part of my Air Fuel Ratio instrumentation package that I had on the Catalina at the time confirmed that Race GasÂ® actually does raise the octane from 91 at the pump, to a value high enough to stop the knock. It's not cheap, roughly doubling the price of the fuel, but it's easier to use than it would be to change the 10:1 piston that's in my Competition Gold Star.
Anyway, a month ago I decided to acquire a small stock of Race GasÂ® to have on hand so I ordered a box of six 32-oz. cans (15% less than buying six individual cans) through Amazon. That's roughly enough for 3200 miles on the Catalina, or 1900 miles on the Competition (since its 10:1 piston needs higher octane and hence more Race GasÂ®). Tracking showed the box was shipped the day after I placed my order, but then there were no further updates for 3 weeks.[*]
After having disappeared from tracking for nearly a month, on Friday a card was left in our mailbox saying the box was being held at the Post Office. However, when I went there today it took a half hour to find it. The reason was, they finally discovered it sitting outside where it have been placed because it was leaking and giving off a pungent odor. The box was in a plastic bag that in turn was in a plastic container labeled "HAZMAT." It has been shipped 2-day air, but had taken almost a month to get to me.
The USPS supervisor saw the name "Race Gas" on the shipping label and told me it was prohibited to send that stuff by mail, Although it isn't gasoline, which the Supervisor assumed it was from the name and which is prohibited, the chemicals listed on the bottles are both flammable and their vapors are dangerous. As an example, it contains toluene, which is prohibited for air shipment and only allowed in limited quantities by ground, and then only if the product containing it has been officially classified as safe. I'm just guessing, but presumably 1Â½ gallons of something flammable containing toluene wouldn't be considered a "limited quantity."
Anyway, when I got it home, driving with all the windows open, I discovered all the cans were dented and one of them was nearly empty.
The other five cans are sitting outside because I don't now if all of them are leak-free and I don't want to put a possibly leaking can of that stuff in the enclosed garage. I've written to the company again about this problem as well as their choice of USPS at all, let alone 2-day air, to ship the product.
People who say motorcycles are dangerous don't even realize some of the other hazards we have to deal with. Better living through chemistry...
[*]I reported the problem to the company who then immediately shipped a replacement, which itself then disappeared from tracking the day after it was shipped, eleven days ago. But, that's a story to be continued in the future.
I'd never expect air shipment, other than by 'Cargo Aircraft Only' to be likely..
Aside from the fire hazard, and the exposure of the ground crew to toxic fumes when they have to offload the baggage, unless the luggage compartment is sealed 100% from the passenger cabin, that would be a pretty pungent odor to be wafting through the cabin at 30,000 ft. if a can sprung a leak.
Tracking shows the box sent as a replacement when the first one was MIA made it to Denver today, twelve days after it was shipped from WI. Even for something shipped by ground that's a pretty long time to cover that distance so it may be on the same trajectory as the first box.
I haven't had a response from the company yet, but it's been less than a day since I wrote to them.
Addendum: I've now heard back from the company. The 5 bottles are mine to keep, as is the box of 6 that is currently in transit. If it gets here... But, if it does get here, together that will give me a ~5000 mile supply for each of those two bikes, so it should last for a while.
Last edited by Magnetoman; 10/22/196:01 pm. Reason: addendum
NYBSAGUY showed up on my doorstep around noon and by 1:30 or so we were on our way to the top of the neighboring 8000 ft. mountain for lunch, riding the Catalina and Competition. The bikes are 95% the same, but the last 5% make them quite different. We rode at a non-GP, but non-sluggish rate, including 36 miles of city traffic out of the total of 90.2.
We swapped bikes after lunch and stopped for fuel after 72 miles because this was the first test of the fuel consumption of both after all the carburetor work I did this past summer, and the Competition's tank only holds 2.2 gallons. Remarkably, the Competition got 69 mpg and the Catalina got 79.8 mpg, which means the range of the Competition is 152 miles and that of the Catalina (~2.75 gal. tank) 219 miles. Hmm, I wonder if the time spent sorting out the jetting with the AFR instrumentation has anything to do with the low fuel consumption?
It's a good thing we stopped when we did because the Competition's head had a lot of oil on it. Closer inspection showed the oil feed line to the rockers had broken off completely at the banjo fitting. However, from the amount of oil, it must have happened within just the past few hundred feet. Luckily, I was able to cobble together a temporary fix with Tygon tube, fuel line, electrical tape, and a zip tie from my toolkit to get us the last 18 miles home.
So, it was a perfect Britbike ride. Great weather, great bikes, great road, the drama of a breakdown, the satisfaction of a fix, and the anxiety of the last 18 miles.
Oh, and the Competition's tach stuck at 4000 rpm part way up the mountain, but there's a clue to the source of the problem.
The drive gear was hanging on by a thread but the driven gear was missing, and I don't think I have a spare gear or drive, so please let me know if you have a tach drive you're willing to part with.
I don't know what was worse, on those 18 miles back to MMan's house, the worry that the rocker box would suddenly seize, or that my leg would soon get splattered with hot oil.
Both bikes ran fabulously well. I rode the Catalina on the first leg, and what a joy it is to ride. It started first kick, thanks to MMan's magneto. The gearing is perfect for a spirited ride up an 8,000ft mountain, and the trawl through midday traffic wasn't too bad. Interestingly, it did lose some pep above 5,000 feet or so, which we decided was because of the thin, hot, air making it run a little too rich.
After a quick lunch, I rode the Competition for the descent back to reality, and what a sweet bike that is, with a riding position very similar to that of a Ducati Monster.
Like Kerry W, I've never liked the look of those banjo oil pipes, and after this adventure, I am opting for one of those SRM cast pieces
Another day, another Gold Star ride. With the Competition on the lift awaiting repair of its oil line the choice to go with the BB was narrowed down to the Catalina. Because of work we had to do we didn't have much time today but did manage 35 miles. Having ridden all three back-to-back, NYBSAGUY is in a position to comment on what he feels to be the pros and cons of the three Gold Star variations (not to be confused with the Goldberg Variations).
Originally Posted by Kerry W
the SRM 'manifold' relieved me of the heartache forever
MMan has challenged me to share my thoughts on riding each of his bikes, the DBD Catalina, the DBD Competition and the BB Road Model, and this is quite a task. They are three Gold Stars, after all, and 95% exactly the same. But each one is completely different from the other, and each one huge fun to ride.
The Competition rides like a cafe racer without clip ons. The narrow, flat, Vincent bars (we used to call them 'Vinnie bars' around Dublin when I was young) look fantastic and feel very good to ride. There's no exaggerated lean, as there would be with clip-ons. In any case, like MMan, I have aged out of clip-ons, so my back was thankful. As on all three bikes, and probably thanks to the extended jetting experiments conducted my MMan over the last year, all three engines are crisp and responsive, with no flat spots, and plenty of power. In this respect, they all feel like modern bikes.
MMan calls the BB a 'gentleman's bike' and I would agree. It feels similar to the Competition, but with slightly higher and wider bars, it is very comfortable to ride. Both the BB and the Competition are light and quick handling. We both own Ducati Monsters and the BB is the one I think is closest to the Monster in feel, mainly due to its slightly wider, higher bars.
And then there's the Catalina. If the other bikes are gentlemanly in their manners, the Catalina is a western cowboy. For reasons that I haven't quite figured out, and haven't measure, it is taller than the other two. It's a scrambler, of course, so the riding position is upright. It has a 'silencer' on the end of its long pipe, but I would love to compare the DBs with and without the silencer. I bet there is less than 5db in noise difference. The engine is crisp and powerful, like the other two, but in overall feel it compares very well with a modern KTM enduro. I loved it, which is lucky, since I have one, waiting to be rebuilt.
As you would expect from MMan's bikes, the gearboxes of all three bikes were perfect, and the clutches light. It was easy to flick down from 4th to 3rd going into a bend, and I never found myself with an unwanted neutral. After I got off the BB last evening, MMan said he found a neutral emerging between 3rd and 4th, so I guess something is happening that will need attention.
All three bikes start first kick, although I had to jump start both the Competition and the Catalina when they were hot (we're in Arizona, ahem, things get hot), MMan charitably puts this down to my clumsy mis-handling of the levers/throttle/carb tickler, and he is probably right.
Overall, I think the BB was the nicest to ride of the three, with perfect manners. But my favorite is the Catalina, by a hair.
Nice little write-up and perspective on 3 nicely prepared machines.
I'm sure I've lost the plot of these things somewhere over time, but a recap by MM, of the setup of each bike, regarding compression, valve sizes (scrambles/touring/clubmans, where there are differences, cams, carb and pipes) would be interesting and give some real-time perspective on the 'desktop-dyno' results that are surely percolating away there!
No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one. Oliver Wendell Holmes
After I got off the BB last evening, MMan said he found a neutral emerging between 3rd and 4th, so I guess something is happening that will need attention.
Toward the end of our Texas ride two years ago, under certain circumstances when shifting up from 2nd the BB go to a false neutral and when that happened the only way to get to 3rd would be to give it another click into 4th, then a click back down to 3rd. After that trip I screwed the selector plunger in all the way and it seemed that might have cured the problem. However, yesterday I hit that false neutral twice. Luckily, I have an STD.T on the shelf. I had previously thought of rebuilding it and swapping it into the BB so that thought now will have to turn to action.
As for the broken oil line on the Competition, upon reflection I believe the tank was pushing against the rocker oil line so I'm blaming this for the break. I had swapped tanks on the bike this past spring and until this week probably had ridden it no more than 25 miles total when doing the Concentric experiments. Anyway, Kerry W's mention of the SRM manifold triggered a repressed memory, prompting me to look in a particular box where I found I already have a Webco manifold.
SRM proudly emblazes their initials in large letters on the outside of their manifold but I prefer Webco's more discrete placement on the inside. I'll use it on the Competition.
Originally Posted by Kerry W
a recap by MM, of the setup of each bike, regarding compression, valve sizes (scrambles/touring/clubmans, where there are differences, cams, carb and pipes)
Unfortunately, I don't have a complete set of information for all three bikes.
Competition: This has scrambles cams in it, although I believe they were shipped by the factory with Clubman inlet cams. It has the factory-original 10:1 piston and SCT gearbox, a 'twitter' silencer, and shares whatever valves were original to Clubman DBDs in 1963 Also, it has a "4-strokerized" 1036 Concentric. I can't find in my notes what engine sprocket it has, but the (replaceable) rear wheel sprocket is 50T rather than the fixed 42T of other models so it's geared at least 8% lower than the other two bikes (and even lower still if it has scrambles engine and/or gearbox sprockets). Like with the other two bikes, I rebuilt the magneto and remagnetized it.
The Catalina and BB came to me from the estate of someone in town so, having not had either of those engines apart, the information about their internals is limited to what was in the guy's notes.
Catalina: It has a 1-5/32" Monobloc as listed as correct for '56-'63 'Scrambles' Gold Stars. After our Texas ride I installed a 21T engine sprocket to replace the correct 18T, and a 19T gearbox sprocket to replace the correct 16T. It came to me with an SCT having a slightly bent mainshaft so I later rebuilt an ASCT and swapped the gearboxes. Unfortunately, I have no idea what cams, valves, or piston it has. It has a standard Catalina long pipe onto which I bolted a short "silencer" of dubious silencing ability.
BB: The builder's notes say it has a 65-1632 intake and 65-1633 exhaust valve, 21T engine sprocket and 19T gearbox sprocket (i.e. the same as is now in the Catalina). Also, it has a 0.060"-over piston, but the CR wasn't noted, nor were the cams noted. On it is a 930 Concentric, the standard exhaust pipe and a 'twitter' silencer. The gearbox doesn't have a code stamped on it, but the ratios feel like STD.
The BB has a 19" rear rim and the Catalina 18", but the fatter tire on the Catalina gives them nearly the same OD so, because they have the same sprockets, the overall gearing of these two bikes is essentially the same, while that of the Competition is lower. Given how I intend to use these bikes in the years to come, at some point the Competition's primary cover will come off and the engine sprocket increased to 21T if it isn't already there. Since the bike is already on the lift waiting for the oil line to be dealt with, this may happen sooner rather than later.
I certainly didn't "need" three Gold Stars so the thought of owing more than the Competition I already had never crossed my mind. But, a combination of my own circumstances, the bad luck of someone I knew (i.e. he died), and a chance encounter, resulted in the BB, Catalina and a very large stash of singles parts ending up in my garage. Although they're all Gold Stars, as NYBSAGUY wrote, these three bikes are 95% the same, but completely different.
Basically, having these three Gold Stars "forced" me to buy the trailer I'm now customizing. A 500-mile semi-circle places the entire southwest within a day's drive of where I live, allowing two friends and me to enjoy riding identical, but completely different, bikes through some of the best scenery in the country. And, thanks to what I learned on the Cannonball about keeping old bikes alive for 3000 miles, if (when...) any of these 60-year old bikes break, have a pretty good chance of being able to fix the problem with the tools and spares waiting in the trailer back at the motel.
It probably will never happen, but I have delusions of a Three Flags Gold Star RideÂ® that winds its way through the Rockies with a driver following along behind with the trailer.
I don’t have a spare tach drive, but I do have a box containing a few NOS gears that (going from questionable memory) look as though they belong inside one of those.... not positive though. Just a matter of determining what ratio they are and if indeed they are correct for that drive. I’m afloat at the moment, so will check when I return. One of my tach drives obviously did that at some time in the past. It has a Cdn penny inserted in there now to retain the gear. +1 on drilling and adding a split pin, unless one of the later ?? ones with the circlip. If someone has a photo of the gear or knows the # of teeth that would make life easier. Then there is the question of reversing or non reversing I suppose..... probably easier for you to find a complete gearbox, but I’ll have a look anyway.
probably easier for you to find a complete gearbox, but Iâ€™ll have a look anyway.
Thank you very much for that offer, but last night I found a NOS drive listed on eBay and tracking shows it should be delivered to me on Tuesday. That, plus the Webco rocker manifold, will have the Competition back to the way it was before the latest adventure. However, since the bike is on the lift anyway I'll pull the primary cover off to see what engine sprocket it has. If I find it's the smaller scrambles sprocket I'll switch to the larger Clubman.
I hate to abandon repairable items so if you're not too seasick when you return from your voyage, and if you can figure out left-from-right and vice versa from the photo of the 10T drive gear, and if you happen to have a mating 10T driven gear, I'd love to buy it from you. Actually, laid side-by-side the correct 1:1 driven gear will look similar to my drive gear except it will have its teeth angled in the opposite direction and the end of the shaft will have a slot in it to mate to the spade of a Chronometric cable.
Great to see you guys had a good ride out in favorable weather, blue sky's and nice scenery. I've just put my bikes back in the garage to overwinter so I'm missing riding them, excepting maybe the occasional ride out on favorable warmer dry days, when there;s no salt on the roads.
Regarding the broken rocker oil feed, this was a common occurrence back in the day, most often happening where the single pipe from the oil feed joins the two feeds to the rockers. I believe the original rocker oil feed pipes were made from copper but modern versions available seem to be made from a silver colored alloy presumably more resistant to breaking but I don't know. The SRM/Webco oil manifolds look good and appear to use a rubber pipe connected to the inlet which would be more flexible. On some unit singles I have owned, I used two brake banjo fittings connected together with stainless braid reinforced pipe and connected to the oil return, you need to get these made up by someone with the right tools but the seemed to work well enough without any leaks as long as copper washers are used on the rockers.
1968 A65 Firebird 1967 B44 Shooting Star 1972 Norton Commando