I'm thinking of riding my T100S from Toronto, Ontario to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia next summer to visit. I used to live there from 2004-2007, and enjoyed riding my Triumph in the region. The total distance would be about 3,000 - 4,000 miles round trip, including all the touring and diversions. I would avoid all major highways, keeping my speed to the 55-70 mph my bike enjoys best.
Since moving to Toronto in 2007 I've had new valves and guides installed, new final drive chain, new AMAL carb fitted, replaced the battery, replaced condensers and fixed some bad electrical grounds, added Norton-type oil filter, fitted new tyres, had the speedo rebuilt, replaced rear brakeshoes, and the usual regular maintenance of oil changes, cable changes and oiling. This weekend I'm replacing the front brake shoes, plus adding a rubber mat under the 12V dry-cell battery. I currently run points ignition (with no problems) on the standard rear sprocket (teeth are in great shape). In 2006 I replaced the con-rod bushings and had the entire motor apart to inspect and clean the bottom end after a push rod broke and the metal had to be cleaned out. Big end bearings were fine.
So, what modifications would you make? I find that after a 2 hour run or so my spine is killing me, so I'll need a gel seat and perhaps different handle bars so I'm not leaning forward so much. What about a windshield? I don't think they look right on classic Brit bikes, but a windshield may be necessary, any thoughts? How about heated gloves, as it can be freezing cold in the Maritimes even in June or July. I'd want to wire them up the battery poles, but don't want to drain the battery, especially since I like to ride with the headlight on always. Would changing to a larger rear sprocket make much of a difference in highway running? Do I need a near rear chain if I change the sprocket? I would rather avoid that expense since it's a brand new chain.
Yes, a larger gearox sprocket makes all the difference on a long trip on the 500.
I used to have a 20 tooth which was great for motorway 70 mph riding. It was a little bit tall in first gear though, making hillstarts a little hard and you certainly lose the acceleration which makes the 500 such a great ride.
Last time I had the clutch apart I fitted a 19 tooth. It is a good compromise, helping with revs at speed but still keeping the bike lively. For both sprockets I needed to use a longer chain (103 links).
Also, if you have fitted new tyres then getting the wheels balanced (especially the front) will help with the vibes at speed.
For daylight running I have fitted a 20w halogen in the pilot hole. It gives a great daylight running light without troubling the charging system too much.
Your trip sounds great, 3000-4000 miles on a T100. The furthest I have done is to North Yorkshire and back, only 750 miles.
I would not bother with a screen, 55 - 70 mph its not worth it IMHO. Looks bad and can upset the handling. How about an Airhawk seat pad? I have heard they are very good. Not sure about heated grips on standard old Brit bike electrics...
Cotton Dungarees, cotton boxers or no under shorts (never briefs as sewn edge irritates skin and can cause a boil), small tin of talcum powder to help keep crotch dry (also handy to dry feet at night if it is raining), small section of sheep skin for saddle (big enough to at least cover the piping on the edge of the seat cover, cotton/wool clothing to layer bulky (including dungarees) enough to be able to put a newspaper under it to help break the cold Nova Scotia air. So I am going to be an optimist: dark shield or sun glasses.
A real safe, but comfortable helmet. With long distances helmet weight becomes a factor.
2 spare head lamp bulbs, one clutch and throttle cable coiled up inside head lamp, I used to keep a spare flat shield in a bag taped to the inside of the back side of my jacket. Be sure to grease you clutch cable lever swivel with waterproof grease (yes, waterproof available at a bicycle store) before you set-off. A couple of spare chain master links and a short length of chain (6" will do. Be sure both are of the same brand and type). Emergency phone numbers, allergies, blood type, etc (both dealers and the like and home numbers) in my wallet and a second copy in jacket pocket.
Be sure to pack a whole bunch of smiles. There are days on the road when you will need them. HTH John
One tooth up on the gearbox sprocket is OK for touring(although you may lose some of your top-speed).If you are delving this far in,have a good look at your clutch sprocket and cush-drive.This can be a major source of vibration. The main offender is runout and wear on the cush-drive.They weren't always accurate when new,and get worse after 40 years wear.New rubbers alone will not fix this problem. If you want to fix this,dismantle the cush-drive.Mount the vane centre on a turned mandrel in a lathe and skim both bearing diameters,and the inner thrust face,to eliminate runout.Check that both side plates are a neat fit on the cush drive.Assemble the cush-drive without the vane,set it up square to the back face and central and bore both inner diameters out nearly 1/8" bigger than standard size.Make 2 press-fit bronze bushes to go into the side-plates,with a neat running fit on the vane diameters NOW YOU CAN FIT IT BACK TOGETHER AND HAVE A GOOD CUSH-DRIVE.Check the splines on the shaft for runout and selectively fit(try all spline positions)the cush-drive to get minimum runout,usually within 0.001" - 0.002". This will really smooth out a Triumph. There is usually some slight imbalance on the clutch sprockets,even the later fully-machined ones. A LOT OF WORK,BUT THE RESULTS ARE WORTH IT.
P.S. You can also carry a spare condensor in the centre position of the condensor-pack (they were designed for T150).
Last edited by Pete R; 08/28/092:34 am. Reason: P.S. ........
pretty much what John said. I also carry spare points, condensor, a coil on a long trip, some wire, grease, nuts and bolts and spare tube with changing stuff. Both of my wheels are 18 inch so one will do in a pinch. Agree with Adam. A good sized tank bag is a good wind break and I've always experienced nasty swirling wind behind the screen of friend's bikes I've ridden. I carry pre tested cables so I know that they fit and as John says, be sure to grease the levers, especially where the cable end moves in the lever as if it binds, the cable will start to go in no time. I've got 25,000 miles on the cables and still no sign of stress at the lever ends. I've been using standard Brit type bars and on long rides at 75 mph have wished for even farther forward bars and pegs farther back so I've gone to clip ons and rearsets so we'll see how that works on the next long ride. And, of course, take along a good sense of humour as you'll need it on the wet days. Good on ya. Cheers, Wilf
But it will make the motor a bit more prone to detonation if you fail to keep the rpm's up. When I am looking at buying fuel from what ever source that is available, and Nova Scotia is just such a place, I would stick to stock gearing. It gives you a bit more safety factor against unexpected bad gas and detonation. Nova Scotia is not a place where there are going to be 4 gas stations to select from, one on each corner. Beside the basics I would not do anything to the bike. The only thing I would change is the gas tank for a larger one and that is a major outlay.
I did this trip (Boston, Mosport, Montreal, Nova Scotia, Boston in the Fall of 1968 with with friends with two Bonnies and a Daytona. The Daytona, and the rider, had no problems keeping up nor was he any more beat at the end of 500 to 600 mile days.
"Mount the vane centre on a turned mandrel in a lathe and skim both bearing diameters,and the inner thrust face,to eliminate runout."
Gee nice idea, but Wow some lathe you got there. Lets see, what will cut hardened high carbon steel that is Rockwell 65 on the C scale? You wouldn't mean grind would yah?
#272230 - 08/28/0912:09 amRe: Mods for long distance touring on 1969/70 T100S?
Joined: Oct 2007 Posts: 1,272Wilfred
BritBike Forum member
funny thing is, I've never had to use any of those things that I pack into the kit.......and did I mention some key tools and a roll of tape? Trouble is, if you don't pack some emergency bits, you'll need them for sure.....W
I use a live centre on the mandrel and turn and bore at low speed using carbide tools(ceramic tools would do it even easier,but they're not necessary).Done plenty of them.Always end up about 0.001" T.I.R. when fitted,and all slop/clearance eliminated. Better than a cush-drive and a whole set of clutch-plates running out 0.020" or so (which I have seen),and the whole issue shaking like a cat sh***ing tacks. Even on a low-mileage Trident I found 0.008" runout and enough clearance to increase that (centrifugally),while running. What d'ya reckon?
Never did a hardness test on 'em;reckon less than 60-C.When I did the first one,25 years ago,figured if I couldn't turn it I'd have a blunt carbide tool and have to do a cylindrical grind (which I didn't).
Last edited by Pete R; 08/28/099:41 am. Reason: "Better than. . . . . .
#272238 - 08/28/0912:43 amRe: Mods for long distance touring on 1969/70 T100S?
Joined: Apr 2008 Posts: 230Woody1911a1
BritBike Forum member
I did the same only on a 650. I geared it up all the way and cruised at 70mph all day long. I drafted double rig trailers as much as possible on straight highways and got 65-70 mpg during my trip. I carried a boat load of spares and tools but never needed any of it. I popped a rocker shaft seal and vibration broke three hand-made brakets. I didn't even need to wire the brackets up but kept going. My longest day was 375 miles and that was a bit too much for me on a Triumph. More is possible on a more compfortable bike. I would get a small touring fairing if I was to do it again and wear earphones and listen to music with an Ipod. Going with someone else would also add to the enjoyment. Bill
Bikes 1974 Commando 1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger" Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
"I drafted double rig trailers as much as possible on straight highways "
Yes, almost necessary on a naked bike across the wide open spaces of the boring parts of the U.S. West to maintain speed. Headwinds are a killer, and sidewind blasts on a lightweight bike keep you on your toes.
During the 1960's I worked all around the U.S. on oil and gas pipelines... 24/7's during each summer to make enough to stay in school. Which also meant not sacrificing work days for leisurely travel. I never kept a log or anything, but my two longest single day segments were from Tulsa Oklahoma to Needles, CA and from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Rock Springs, Wyoming. Both were part of longer runs that were "get back to California as fast as you can" rides. All that riding was on Triumph TR6s... still not a big enough gas tank.
The big enemy is stress induced stiffness, numbness, and cramps. Cold is the enemy. Follow John Healy's advice to avoid Traveler's Ass. Can't explain why it works out that you won't need any of the spares that you pack... do expect brackets to break per H Tiger's comments. If you still are sporting the fork mounted zener heat sink, pack a few spare L-brackets so you won't need them.
Matthew, use a quality pair a good fitting earplugs as the constant wind buffeting and engine drone are very fatigue inducing over long trips. Ibuproffin can also help to reduce lower back pain. My Daytona's tank needs refilling about every 150 miles which is just about time for a rest stop anyways as 500s can be very buzzy at 60mph and above using the stock gearing. I'm running a 20 tooth on the gear box and the stock 46 on the rear which gives about 4000rpm at 60mph/100kph.
Last edited by Cariboo_kid; 08/28/092:55 pm.
Brian M 1971 T100R 1974 T150V 1980 GS1000 2011 Tiger 800 1965 Norton Atlas
what John said about gearing.....Have run as high as 4.9 to 1 and as nice as it was for low rpm cruising, it was too high. As a cafe racer I'm going to stick with with a 19 and 46 which is, I think, about 5.4 to 1 which was what the home market version was with the old 350 18 rear tyre....just ride at a comfortable speed with 18/46 or 19/46 and don't sweat it as you'll get there either way....especially if you're riding alone. And, as John says, a bigger tank is a good mod. I was about to take the saw to a "European touring" tank from a 650 to fit it to my T100 when I found a 3 imp gallon T100 tank. And like John said, it was a major outlay at 300 plus paint at 250 but really worth it for me. And it looks so much better on a cafe racer than the little one. It's all a matter of priorities. My car is an 86 Volvo with 469,000 kliks on it so the bikes get the attention. Have a great ride. We look forward to your report. Cheers, Wilf.
Check your alternator output vs. the load of electric gloves and headlight. Not sure if you can have both. Change headlight bulb and reflector to commonly available H4 (there are some threads on here about this). Take an extra clutch cable and coil it up. It fits in the headlight shell. If you break one on the road you won't find az replacement. It happened to me. Take wire, solder, a soldering gun, and heat shrink. I also copied and laminated my wiring diagram and carry it in my tank bag.
Duplicate all cables and tapes them alongside the existing ones. Cut the fingers out of a rubber glove and tape this over the ends to keep dust/dirt/water out. A joining link for the chain can be kept on the clutch cable or on your key ring. Spare fuel line can be kept inside the handlebars. These items can stay put and you'll always know where they are. Anything you think should make the distance should be replaced and the old one kept as a spare. Go right over the bike and make sure you have a tool for every job. You only need a very small fairing/windscreen to take most of the wind pressure off your chest. Some sheepskin on the seat is highly recommended.
"Live the life you love, find a god you trust and don't take it all too seriously"
Mid fifties Triumph T100
#272393 - 08/29/096:15 amRe: Mods for long distance touring on 1969/70 T100S?
Take a spare inner tube and tools to change and inflate. A 19 inch tube will also work in an 18 inch rear tire.
What everyone else contributed is sound advice.
Long ago I took a month long trip on a 750 Honda from Maryland to the west coast. Left in the rain and returned in the rain. About 70 miles from home on the last day of my trip I got a flat tire at 3AM in the rain and was glad I had carried the tire stuff for close to 30 days on the road.
If you don't want to change seats or modify yours for one trip, you should consider an Airhawk pad. These are andjustable by inflation and simply sit on the stock seat. Really take the pain out of those long days, especially if you're not accustomed to it. Sounds like great fun.
Wow, Lots of great suggestions here. I really like the fuel line in handle bars! One good reason for bar end mirror. Another is they can be mounted "under" the bars. I did not remember why I liked them that way, until I realized that the headlights behind can be blinding with mirrors mounted up. Especially another bike behind can be dreadful.
Hmm, wondering how many ozs. of oil could be carried in fuel line in bars? Nah probably not worth it. An old creme rinse bottle could be used for that.
You will need to use a readily available motor oil. I suggest Valvoline "four stroke Motorcyle oil". No moly, and more zinc. Base three, conventional base stock. Call and get stores that carry and mark them on your map.
JH's suggestions are great. I wore the piping out on the seat. I think I remember the pain. Spare shield taped to jacket, why did I never think of that? Wool and all used to be good. Warm when wet, etc. But nowadays, we have new technology. I suggest polyproplene with goretex. Get Northface. It will be worth it. Lightweight, packs tight, warm when wet, breaths, and will be waterproof, if seams are taped properly.
I had a plastic ground cloth, and a Service half shelter, which was bulky, but worked. Thinking of it. A sheet of goretex and poly-p, would be great, if available. Would serve both for shelter, and to wrap your body.
I liked the high bars so that I can vary postions. One can "hang" from them, and use rider pegs to ride cafe style. And one is in a postion to "post" with legs on bumpy roads. My thighs are usually sore after a long ride from doing so. I do not know how you guys with cafe bars do that. The bike can handle great with your weight mostly on the pegs, even on the worst of roads.
I have been searching for decent bungie cords, with "proper" hooks and adjustable, but have found none. I am working on fabricating my own, from flat bungies, and camping store buckles, etc. A source of flat bungie sans hooks would be nice if anyone has any, The plastic hooks are better, since they do not poke holes in the seat (sigh ), but they just do not fit, my bike. Good bungies are pricless.
Add to the spare headlights, spare Lucas female bullet connectors. I went through four good bulbs in really short order, before John told me a bad ground can cause a power surge which pops them like flash bulbs. (blackened). Then I found the broken two into two female in head light shell.
Ad Hoc, Ad Noc and pro quid pro, so little time and so much to know. - Yellow submarine.
You're gonna have a good time.
Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#272426 - 08/29/093:42 pmRe: Mods for long distance touring on 1969/70 T100S?
Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 3,745btour
BritBike Forum member
Just thinking about that sheep skin thing. I piece that is wide enough to cover the seat, and long enough, should be just right to wrap around you body under a leather coat, and a light weight coat of POLY-P goretex. And if it can be coated on the skin side with something water proof, there is part of your ground pad for sleeping. OK, you may need a piece large enough to fold accordian style so coated section will tend to not slip on the seat, and give you a piece big enough for rolling around to sleep.
Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
#272432 - 08/29/094:20 pmRe: Mods for long distance touring on 1969/70 T100S?
Joined: Oct 2007 Posts: 1,272Wilfred
BritBike Forum member
It's good to see a topic like this. I'm sure many of us have learned a few things about riding which is why most of us do this thing. Thanks, Matthew. I hope this one keeps going and we get more great ideas. Cheers, Wilf.