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#470299 - 01/02/13 4:00 am T140 mid-season dragbike update  
Joined: Sep 2011
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Excalibur Online content
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New Zealand
Latest gossip on Excalibur...

I picked up a lock-up clutch for adapting to the T140 dragbike.
I was surprised to find that the 3 clutch studs are only about 2mm off. This means I would have to slot the 3 holes in the lock-up 2mm each, outward. Obviously I'd need to lengthen the clutch studs and make nuts. It's the first time I've had anything to do with these but I like the idea of the clutch essentially being "2 stage". As I understand it, the 1st stage is governed by spring pressure alone, then the 2nd stage comes into play by centrifugal force. The fact that the lock-up is on the clutch center means it's relates to wheel speed, so activates once the bike rolls. Given that there is some slippage with the 1st stage means the reduced likelihood of breakage.

Another exciting thing that happened is the purchase of a M&H Racemaster drag slick. This tire is some 2KG (4.4lb) heavier than the roadrace tire currently used. I hear that these slicks hadn't been made for something like 18 years till now. Cost was over $300 landed but wow, what a cool looking tire!

The ignition will be swapped for a Microsquirt ECU if the current changes work out OK. A Harley hall effect pickup was modified to fit the Triumph timing cover. It seems that the current Boyer pickup being a variable reluctor would have needed a signal converter to play nicely with the ECU. The rotor needed remaking with a taper to fit the camshaft and the plate required the diameter reducing.

The bike is currently 3rd in both the comp and national series.







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#470306 - 01/02/13 8:24 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Phatt Bob Offline
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Thanks for the update! Thats a nice looking lock up. If it nearly fits, whats it off? Another Triumph with a slightly different pressure plate? I notice you've got it on a steel plate, I had mine on on an alloy one, so needed to screw in some buttons (made from 8mm allen bolts) for the fingers to rest on. How does it compensate for the usually different spring pressures, or does it assume they're hand matched for pressure? I think you'll like it, if you want a demo of just how much pressure it applies, try pulling the clutch in over the line! If it still slips, just put a longer bolt and a few more nuts on the arms.

My lock-up went to Germany with the rest of the Weslake leaving me 4 short for the Daytona 12 I'm building at the moment. Had to call MTC in the US for replacements!
Not bothered posting any photos as the general concensus is that Hinckleys aren't appropriate for the site.

Congrats on running 3rd, I've been looking for an update, but feared the worst! My season starts April 7th at Santa Pod, so I'm furiously building. Biggest prob is spacing the new GSX-R Mikuni RS38s for the Daytona inlets. In the middle of plumbing the nitrous at the moment.

Good luck for the rst of the season and keep us posted!

Cheers

Bob


Phatt Bob
'95 Daytona 1200
'98 Daytona 1200 dragbike
ex-850 T140 Caff Racer, 850 Triton, Morgo T120, Starfire and Pretend Daytona 500 owner
#470317 - 01/02/13 10:15 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Phatt Bob]  
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Excalibur Online content
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Excalibur  Online Content
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New Zealand
Thanks!
What's it off?... well, um, err... actually made for a Yamaha Banshee. They run a typical Japanese 6spring clutch and 3 of those line up within 2mm or so of the Triumph spring centers.
Thanks for the mention of the 8mm allen bolts for the fingers to rest on. I'd seen those in a pic of your clutch and wondered. I haven't decided on whether I'll put said buttons on or run it straight on the steel pressure plate. Is there a setting point so the arms don't "over-center" and become wedged? I have no instruction sheet. They look straight forward though (famous last words!)
As for compensating for spring pressure... I'm pondering on that one. Either I'll set it up on longer studs and fasten it directly on top of the spring nuts... or I'll mimic the Japanese arrangement where each spring fits over a pedestal at a fixed spring height.
The bike has never had issues with clutch slip however I plan to back off the spring pressure so there is a very small amount of give/slip to stop the front wheel coming up. The hope is that the launch can be more consistent and rider can absolutely be aggressive on the clutch without fear of the bike rearing up. Then as the bike rolls the clutch locks up by centrifugal force. Fine line to where it works and where it doesn't I guess.

Sounds like you sold the Weslake? Please email some photos through of the new project, when you get time. Always keen to see.

Yes, 3rd is good considering all things. I have my son riding and it was his 1st time on the bike in November. His Nats win at round 2 was especially pleasing as we never went south for round 1.

If I get the ECU on then a long awaited shift light can be used. Jamie is a bit lost without any instruments and hopefully a shift light will add extra consistency. Of course we'll be able to tune it by moving the shift point in the software and pinpoint the sweet spot that way.

This is Jamie here:

Pic by Kiwidragracing.com
On the day there was a head wind. Our gearing ratio increase hurt the top end. The new drag slick will grow in diameter with speed so I'll have to have a think about ratio again.

Thanks bigt

#470320 - 01/02/13 11:04 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Phatt Bob Offline
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Yes the Weslake went, I think the guy said he was going to use it for circuit racing. The new project is a bit serendipitous. I was idly looking around the garage and realised I'd got enough random bits to make a racer, only needed a frame, Then one came up on eBay for 20 quid. It had to be done, so.....

"Is there a setting point so the arms don't "over-center" and become wedged? " I've just finished setting mine up on the 12. I don't know if its optimum, but I set the lockup plate height so that the line of end of the finger with the bob weight (bolt!) is at 90 degrees to the lockup surface. That way the centrifugal force is at maximum. Seems logical, but probably only if the finger bends at a right angle.

Will send some pics soon

Cheers

Bob


Phatt Bob
'95 Daytona 1200
'98 Daytona 1200 dragbike
ex-850 T140 Caff Racer, 850 Triton, Morgo T120, Starfire and Pretend Daytona 500 owner
#470430 - 01/03/13 12:19 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Phatt Bob]  
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Excalibur Online content
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Bob, thanks for the pics of the 12. There were obviously some very good random parts in that garage of yours!

I have 10days before the comp2 meeting. I need the tire, lock-up and the ECU working by then.

The tire should be straight forward although the rim on the bike is a WM3 (2.15") while M&H claim a WM5 (3") is correct but a WM4 (2.5") would do. They say no to the suggestion of WM3. The 2 bikes I know that run this slick have them on WM3 so as a last resort I'd go with WM3 as well.

The lock-up appears to be easy too with some careful milling of the 3 holes to accommodate the Triumph stud pattern. Should the adaption turn to custard on the day I can remove it on the spot.

The ECU presents the greatest challenge by far. The software has a massive array of settings and variables. The upside is that if all goes well, we can enjoy a shift light, rev limiter, ign advance control. Also later on, air shifter, launch control and fuel injection. The learning curve is steep and I see lots of people struggle with electronics of this nature.

Thanks!

#470467 - 01/03/13 4:48 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Mark Z Online content
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Bob, I for one would not at all mind seeing a picture of your Hinckley dragster here.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
#470497 - 01/03/13 1:18 pm Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Mark Z]  
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Hi Mark,
Here's the most recent shot. The seat looks quite high, but its and optical illusion, as the bodywork is quite short and its on the paddock stand.



Sorry for highjacking your thread Excalibur.

Cheers

Bob


Phatt Bob
'95 Daytona 1200
'98 Daytona 1200 dragbike
ex-850 T140 Caff Racer, 850 Triton, Morgo T120, Starfire and Pretend Daytona 500 owner
#470549 - 01/03/13 8:36 pm Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Phatt Bob]  
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Excalibur Online content
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Looks like fun to me, especially with that NOS bottle strapped on. bigt

I see what you mean about the lock-up setting. I zoomed in for a better look and I see the position of the arms. Is that a clear window over the clutch?

#470556 - 01/03/13 9:54 pm Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Hillbilly bike Online content
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Running from demons in WNY
Excalibur,that bike seems fast for a "mild"? engine build. Must be good tuning on your part....what are the engine specs besides the T140 cams?


650 Triumph modified production LSR record holder 133.1 MPH... Twin 650 engine Triumph LSR that goes sorta fast...
#470578 - 01/04/13 12:24 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Hillbilly bike]  
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Originally Posted By: Hillbilly bike
Excalibur,that bike seems fast for a "mild"? engine build.

Hillbilly bike, thanks!
I suppose one of the best things the bike has got going for it is the power/weight ratio. The bike weighs 95kg (209lb) compared to the US spec '73 Bonnie of 185kg (408lb).

Online calculators that give a HP figure from E.T. vs weight credit the bike with 72HP. I should say that this figure of 72HP is calculated using my 'all time very best' time of 11.1 E.T... and I've only managed 1 of those. That day, there were perfect conditions and most of the field improved their times.

Methanol is the other thing that gives it a bit more grunt, even on the low compression ratio of 9.7:1 The power is all low down.... just listen to the bike in the Youtube clips and you'll see/hear the bike is in top (5th) at just over half track.

My philosophy was to start out with a near stock engine and concentrate on other areas to gain time. Power/weight ratio was under the spotlight a lot and I spent many a long night turning a few oz off parts on the workshop lathe. You'll be surprised to know that the flywheel and camwheels are stock T140, unlightened.

Originally Posted By: Hillbilly bike
....what are the engine specs besides the T140 cams?

I just put the bikes' spec on the blog. It's updated since first posting the spec on this site a couple of years ago.

Originally Posted By: Hillbilly bike
Must be good tuning on your part....

I knew what I wanted from some years of circuit racing in the '90s, so I knew what to expect from what are basically stock road parts. The engine does respond fantastically well to even small increases in compression but I don't want to show my hand all at once. That's not a good idea in competitive bracket racing. Just enough to stay ahead of the competition is the way to play the game. So far it's worked as a strategy.
http://www.youtube.com/user/SmokeOnTheQuarter

#470627 - 01/04/13 12:07 pm Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Running from demons in WNY
Thanks for the info.I missed the Methanol fuel,but still it runs well considering the "low" compression ratio.The milder tune is usually better for consistency in bracket racing.


650 Triumph modified production LSR record holder 133.1 MPH... Twin 650 engine Triumph LSR that goes sorta fast...
#470663 - 01/04/13 5:17 pm Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Originally Posted By: Excalibur
Looks like fun to me, especially with that NOS bottle strapped on. bigt

I see what you mean about the lock-up setting. I zoomed in for a better look and I see the position of the arms. Is that a clear window over the clutch?


Yes it was fun, I ran the motor in another frame a few years ago before building the Weslake, it ran down to 10.3 at 140 (The first Hinckley into the 10s according to the factory shocked ). It was only when I dyno'd the Weslake with and without gas that I found that Holley's jetting charts were way off, and what was quoted as 15bhp per cylinder was nearer 10. On this incarnation I've corrected that, so its a pukka 60bhp on top of the standard 155bhp of the tuned motor. Looking for 9's this year!

Yes, its a polycarbonate window I made. Styling feature more than anything wink Still need to take the whole cover off to get at the clutch.

Bob


Phatt Bob
'95 Daytona 1200
'98 Daytona 1200 dragbike
ex-850 T140 Caff Racer, 850 Triton, Morgo T120, Starfire and Pretend Daytona 500 owner
#470725 - 01/04/13 11:43 pm Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Hillbilly bike]  
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Excalibur Online content
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Excalibur  Online Content
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Originally Posted By: Hillbilly bike
Thanks for the info.I missed the Methanol fuel,but still it runs well considering the "low" compression ratio.The milder tune is usually better for consistency in bracket racing.

Thanks for the compliment.
Yes, methanol is a wonderful fuel for racing. I first used methanol 20+ years ago with a circuit racing Triton. This bike can be seen on the oldest post on the blog. (click older posts..)
That 300lb+ bike did 12.0 at the dragstrip. It was then I realized that a purpose built bike could achieve so much more. The thought was not to increase the power of the engine but to decrease the workload in had to do.

#472291 - 01/14/13 7:18 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Excalibur Online content
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Sunday came around and the weather held off for some fantastic racing. Jamie finish runner up to his nemesis on a Vrod Destroyer. His best ET was 11.4 and mph best 114mph.



In preparation, the new M&H drag slick gave us some issues with clearance and the lack of info on how much to expect the tire to grow with speed. The seat was cut from the bodywork and the guard was raised to give 3/4" clearance. The seat was then re-attached to the bodywork so it matched the guard profile exactly. The existing WM3 rim was used, against the recommendation of M&H. The slick proved to have excellent grip, apparently well in excess of what was required. These slicks hadn't been made in something like 19years till about 2years ago. It was 4.4lb heavier than the previous tire but I can't knock it for looks and the comments kept coming in all day. Incidently, the bike weighed in today at 99kg wet (217.8lb). The rider with gear is 70kg (154lb)


The lock-up clutch fitting went well. I had to slot 3 stud holes by 2mm and relieve some of the material from the back of the alloy carrier. The stock springs were re-used and were slackened about 3mm as a starting point. Subsequently these were slackened twice more throughout the day and still the bike was exhibiting too much initial clutch bite. Jamie had the bikes' front wheel in the air, much to the delight of the crowd and to the eager anticipation of the pro camera men!!
I hope to get a hold of some photos of the wheelies shortly so I'll post them here.

As a little something extra for the speed junkies amongst us, I've posted up a Youtube clip of one of the drag strip runs aboard Excalibur. The bike-cam is mounted to the master cylinder so suffers from vibration and the sound isn't wonderful either, sorry. The vid is a complete run from burnout, staging, 1/4mile, sliproad and ride back to pitbox. About 4+mins duration. Enjoy.
Excalibur bike-cam video

More details on the blog.
Thanks.

#472316 - 01/14/13 11:12 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Phatt Bob Offline
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Thanks for the update, I enjoyed the vid! Nice sharp gear changes, which is what you'd expect of a 5 speed box.

Yes wheelies can be a problem with lock-ups! They're great if you get the wheel a couple of inches off the ground and can power thru them, otherwise literally a waste of time....

I'm sure you'll get it sorted.

Joined up for this season at yesterday's Manchester bike show, April 7th is looming fast! Best get back in the garage now...

Cheers

Bob


Phatt Bob
'95 Daytona 1200
'98 Daytona 1200 dragbike
ex-850 T140 Caff Racer, 850 Triton, Morgo T120, Starfire and Pretend Daytona 500 owner
#472586 - 01/15/13 8:47 pm Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Phatt Bob]  
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Excalibur Online content
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Thanks. Yes we learnt a bit about camera placement, vibration and what sound quality to expect. Next we will try a helmet mount.

Yes, the gearchanging is going well. I was a bit apprehensive about Jamie riding as November was his 1st time on a Brit twin. He has adapted very fast. More or less, the gear will change up as fast as you can throttle off and on. They are of course, clutchless changes. I haven't ridden the bike since before the last stripdown but the recent shimming of the box internals gave a more firmer feel to the gear lever.

Re lock up, we only had 2 runs to get any kind of sense from adjustment. Then came the 1st round of competiton and it was decided to keep the adjustment the same from there. It was looking good with the front lifting perhaps 2-3inches, though the final must have been a slightly harder launch as the wheel came up much higher. Jamie kept the throttle pinned with the wheel coming down as 2nd was selected. The Vrod had a better reaction time so just edged our bike out by the smallest of margins. The upside is that the final run saw the best 60 foot time ever for Excalibur!

Last edited by Excalibur; 01/15/13 8:52 pm.
#472624 - 01/16/13 1:54 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Excalibur]  
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Mark Z Online content
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Pete(I presume), that video put a smile on my face that won't quit! Thanks so much for the nice treat for us bench-racers.

As amazed as I am at what you've done with this 45-year-old machine, I'm even more amazed that in addition to all the engineering and racing, you find the time to so thoroughly document everything, maintain a blog, post on the Britbike forum, and apparently have a hell of a lot of fun! Tell me, do you ever sleep?


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
#472930 - 01/18/13 6:12 am Re: T140 mid-season dragbike update [Re: Mark Z]  
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Excalibur Online content
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Excalibur  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 933
New Zealand
Originally Posted By: Mark Z
Pete(I presume), that video put a smile on my face that won't quit! Thanks so much for the nice treat for us bench-racers.

As amazed as I am at what you've done with this 45-year-old machine, I'm even more amazed that in addition to all the engineering and racing, you find the time to so thoroughly document everything, maintain a blog, post on the Britbike forum, and apparently have a hell of a lot of fun! Tell me, do you ever sleep?

Mark, thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it. The bike is such a passion, part obsession, part craziness. It was the culmination of a vision, lots of hard work and help from many good people.
Here are two pics that turned up on Facebook. The b/w image was taken by Nic Kuiper and the lower pic snapped by Dave Curran.



This Sunday is a Test+Tune meet at a bikes only track day. This will give us the chance to try out a few things. Gearing and clutch lock-up settings are on the list of things to experiment with. Also the event organizer has mooted the idea of a match race between Excalibur and a local V8 dragbike which does similar times. Sounds like fun!


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