Arrived today at 12 noon.
A little about the bike: It started out at Walridge in Canada, and was shipped to me here in the Denver area of Colorado. It was represented to be in good condition, and it is! All the fluids were drained and Mike at Walridge crated it up nicely.
I had to find a forklift to get it off the tailgate of the trailer, and this is where JC of Vintage Twins, Arvada, Colorado, rode to the rescue, as he knew of someone with a forklift, so we had it delivered to his shop.
As soon as the tractor-trailer combination backed into the parking lot, I sprang from my pickup truck and watched as the roll-up door was opened. What greeted me was the crate perched precariously on a pallet in the back of the trailer. The pallet was not centered under the crate. The crate itself has a big hole in the side of it, which was an ominous portent for the condition of the contents.
The forklift was able to remove the crate and set it on the floor inside Vintage Twins' shop. As it was extracting the crate from the trailer, the tines of the forks did not extend the full length of the crate, and I could envision the crate tipping off the poorly placed pallet, and the entire thing come crashing to the ground. I'm pretty sure it was as I watched it being removed that I was clenching my cheeks like the new guy on the cellblock.... And the pallet and crate combo were successfully placed on the floor.
The crate itself was very well constructed, Mike at Walridge did a good job here, held together as it was with several screws, not nails. I was pretty freaked out about the crush/hole in the crate. As we removed screws to examine the contents, it was apparent that nothing was damaged from the impact that caused that hole.
There it was. unceremoniously setting on its front axle in a crate, tied down at all 4 corners with rope.
JC and I wrestled with the pent up thoroughbred, and eventually extracted it from the crate, and we were able to get it set up on the center stand, and a scissor jack to hold it still while we installed the front mudguard/fender, and the front wheel and brake assembly.
That's "The Man," J.C., all around good guy and excellent Brit Bike technician.
Naturally there are several bits that I will replace or polish. The fuel line I will ask Jeremy at Baxter Cycle in Iowa to improve upon. I may replace the drive chain, the primary looks ok. There are some plated bits that will need attention as the chrome is coming off in places.
As the oil and gasoline were drained for shipment, all such fluids had to be renewed or replaced, and they were in due course. After filling the oil tank JC and I took turns cranking it over with the compression release depressed, until we witnessed oil squirting from the return, into the tank. It was easy to tell, as the new, pretty, green, oil in the tank received a dollop of black oil right into the middle of the surface, sort of like a cappuccino coffee has that dollop of coffee in the middle of the frothed cream?
So now I added 1 gallon of race fuel I just purchased at $7.50 per gallon, and the moment of truth had arrived. We turned the taps on, waited a moment, and then tickled the remote float chamber for the GP carburetor... gas squirted out two holes located other than on the tickler button, and the bike was primed. We slightly retarded the long advance/retard lever, engaged the choke/air slide, and ran it to slightly over TDC, and I gave it a good prod on the kickstarter... nothing. Ran it up again, slightly over TDC, another mighty prod... nothing. Oh Lord, what did I buy here?
Third try was a charm and it started up with a bark, and my new (to me) 1958 Gold Star was running!
Wow! What a glorious sound! Crisp and staccato! Instant throttle response, unlike my 53 AJS which must have a 250 pound flywheel.
Run the magneto lever to full advance, and I stood there for awhile blipping the throttle, while it warmed up, watching the oil return in the oil tank... the black return became nice and green, so the fresh oil was making it through the crankcases.
Then, I put on my riding gear, my helmet, jacket, and gloves, and lifted the shifter into first, and the poor old dear nearly died. The clutch thus becoming freed up, on for the short ride home.
You fellas already know what it is to ride one of these bikes, but this is my first time on a Gold Star. The exhaust note was remarkable. Intake roar was LOUD! I was in heaven for that short ride to the house from Vintage Twins. The handling was unremarkable at least for the short 30 mph ride to the house from the shop, but it was solid, and from what little I could tell, handled like a surgeon's scalpel, really precise turns. The brakes are actually adequate to stop the thing!
So it was on the first day of ownership of my Gold Star.
The dour woman at the DMV sent me away due to another issue with the paperwork. Groan. I hate that place.
Anybody have a recommendation for a battery, as I certainly need to buy one.