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#581618 - 01/19/15 12:25 am New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
celtrock Offline
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celtrock  Offline
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Posts: 6
Vermont
Hello everyone, I've come across a new project here in Vermont after just about completing my first (a 1975 Suzuki T500). It's a 1971 bitsa roller with many duplicate parts including 3 motors... none of which are original to the bike. Here's a picture of the bike after a bit of dismantling in my living room (my wife is the best).



A couple of questions before I get going:

1. I'm having had a hard time interpreting the frame #. Searched the forum but can't find a prefix of BE0. Am I reading this wrong? Is this a made up #?



2. The 3 motors are an A65FB, an A65T GE and an A65D. Seems a '64, '67 and '71. My guess is the A65T GE is the one I should work on as it's at least closer to correct for this bike. They are a horrendous mess, been stored for years without the barrels on and will need to be completely torn down, inspected and cleaned. Are there any major differences between the internals of these which would keep one from robbing from the rich to give to the poor?

3. Is there a supplier tried and true amongst board members for gaskets, oil seals, rubber parts and the like? Can anyone make any recommendations?

4. Would anyone here hate me if I decided not to go with the stock grey on the frame and went a little more boring black? Not that I worry about folks being cross with me, just takes up a lot of forum space. ;-)

5. I've been reading quite a bit on this forum for a while before posting. I've been a member of the Suzuki 2-Strokes forum now for a couple of years and have been the recipient of some great advice from some great people, I'm so looking forward to meeting some new folks here getting to know all of you.

Cheers!

Aron

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#581620 - 01/19/15 12:33 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,654
LarryLebel Offline
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LarryLebel  Offline
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Posts: 1,654
Canada
BE is the month year manufacture date code, for February 71. The A65 should be followed by an L (Lightning) or T (Thunderbolt). The rest is the number of the motorcycle. The number looks DIY stamped to me. Grey frames were not popular and many were repainted black by dealers before they were sold.

Last edited by LarryLebel; 01/19/15 12:39 am.
#581632 - 01/19/15 2:15 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,861
DavidP Online content
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DavidP  Online Content

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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,861
Gnashville
Looks about like the stamping on my frame, made the next month (CE.) There is no L after the A65 in my frame number. There is an L after A65 in my engine number.
Every place the black paint is worn away on my frame the grey shows through, so I guess it did come that color originally. The choice is yours when you paint the frame.
Your '71 engine will have the best oil pump of the lot. If you get lucky one of your pumps will be cast iron. The alloy bodies usually have a date scratched on them.
There are also differences between the crank and the DS bearings from earlier engines. Other, more knowledgeable folks will chime in with more details I'm sure.
Welcome!


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
#581650 - 01/19/15 8:10 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,405
gavin eisler Online content
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gavin eisler  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,405
argyll. scotland, uk
Gaskets from Britgaskets ( very good quality), run by "441 rider" one of our long time members.
On your side of the pond Ed V seems to be the go to man for engine stuff.
Cycle parts are pretty much the same as early OIF Triumph 650/750 so fairly easy to get.

Pressure test the oil tank/frame for leaks, they can crack where the engine plates mount.
It looks like the chassis had a twin carb motor in it ( airboxes and tacho bracket).
If you stay with single carb, you need different airbox outer covers


Most grey frames got black paint, dont feel bad about it.

The 71 motor will take earlier cranks, but in general the 71 is beefier all round ( the 70 onwards cranks were supposedly better balanced), better rods, barrels, oil pump, thicker cases, different kicker, better gear spring adjuster,different beefier rocker cover with headsteady mount, head is also different for OIF bikes with 5/16 UNF rocker cover fasteners, previous were 1/4.

Your motor number GE was made the same month( June 71) as my bike.
Your earlier motor stuff will be good trade/swap material, some of it ( gear clusters, 3 spring clutches) may be useful for small bits, but in general stick to 71 motor parts.

Budget for some new electric bits, the original Zener diode mounted to the air box inner RHS is pretty reliable ( voltage control), the original 3 wafer rectifier is not so trustworthy, if you fit Electronic ignition ( reccomended) , your 12 Volt coils need changed for 6V to work with Boyers etc. Your alternator may be OK if stored dry, rotors can lose magnetism.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#581651 - 01/19/15 8:27 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
kurt fischer Online content
#irideslow
kurt fischer  Online Content
#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Hello, and welcome from another '71 A65L owner. Have a look at the links in my signature for my rebuild. Mine is "HE" July 1971.

Many of the forum sponsors can supply you with parts. Don Hutchinson in Wakefield MA can supply the Dove Grey paint. My frame was already black, but if I had a grey frame, I'd keep it grey, a distinction of the '71. (Maybe should have painted mine grey.) When you're a customer of Don's he also offers "free expert advice." Yes, he's a Triumph specialist who builds BSAs, too. Have a look at British Cycle Supply also.

Check the lower frame cross member that carries the center stand, they often crack at the joint with the frame tubes, and mine was completely broken away. If yours is cracked, there are reinforcing tabs you can fabricate and weld in. (Alex supplied me with the diagrams for same, and Don made them up and welded them in.)

I'd advise against media blasting the oil-in-frame frame, you will worry about grit in your oil system forever. I know I do.

My frame number is stamped vertically on the headstock, but others here report frame numbers on the gusset, like yours, it looks all right to me.

I urge you to get a FACTORY service manual, and a parts book, at the vary least. An owners handbook is useful, too, I found them all for sale on the usual auction site.



That's it for now, have fun!


Last edited by kurt fischer; 01/19/15 11:58 am.

Kurt
1968-70-71 Triumph TR6R Bitsa - 1969 Triumph TR6R - 1971 BSA A65L - 1973 Triumph TR5T
2005 Ducati MTS 1000S DS - 2012 Ducati Hyper 796 - 2014 Kawasaki ZX1000
#581652 - 01/19/15 9:00 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
Ger B Offline
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Ger B  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
Hello, and welcome from another pigeon grey '71 A65 owner.

Congratulation on the choise of your project, Aron.
Keep us informed about your progress.

Quote:
in my living room (my wife is the best).

Wait untill after you installed one of the engines and she finds it leaks all through the blanket... grin

Quote:
My frame number is stamped vertically

Kurt, it looks like Aron's number is also vertical (as is mine) but the photo is turned 90 degr.


Ger B

#581653 - 01/19/15 9:19 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: Ger B]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
kurt fischer Online content
#irideslow
kurt fischer  Online Content
#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Originally Posted By: Ger B
Quote:
My frame number is stamped vertically

Kurt, it looks like Aron's number is also vertical (as is mine) but the photo is turned 90 degr.


OK, I see it now, thanks for setting my head straight, Ger ... . The wandering frame numbers ... and mine has the "L".



Kurt
1968-70-71 Triumph TR6R Bitsa - 1969 Triumph TR6R - 1971 BSA A65L - 1973 Triumph TR5T
2005 Ducati MTS 1000S DS - 2012 Ducati Hyper 796 - 2014 Kawasaki ZX1000
#581684 - 01/19/15 1:50 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: kurt fischer]  
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 108
r.bartlett Offline
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r.bartlett  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 108
San Miguel Tenerife


Mine is a '71 too^

Good luck with the project, personally I love the grey frame but mine was Americianed so heyho.

#581685 - 01/19/15 1:53 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: kurt fischer]  
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 108
r.bartlett Offline
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r.bartlett  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 108
San Miguel Tenerife
Originally Posted By: kurt fischer
Hello, and welcome from another '71 A65L owner. Have a look at the links in my signature for my rebuild. Mine is "HE" July 1971.

Many of the forum sponsors can supply you with parts. Don Hutchinson in Wakefield MA can supply the Dove Grey paint. My frame was already black, but if I had a grey frame, I'd keep it grey, a distinction of the '71. (Maybe should have painted mine grey.) When you're a customer of Don's he also offers "free expert advice." Yes, he's a Triumph specialist who builds BSAs, too. Have a look at British Cycle Supply also.

Check the lower frame cross member that carries the center stand, they often crack at the joint with the frame tubes, and mine was completely broken away. If yours is cracked, there are reinforcing tabs you can fabricate and weld in. (Alex supplied me with the diagrams for same, and Don made them up and welded them in.)

I'd advise against media blasting the oil-in-frame frame, you will worry about grit in your oil system forever. I know I do.

My frame number is stamped vertically on the headstock, but others here report frame numbers on the gusset, like yours, it looks all right to me.

I urge you to get a FACTORY service manual, and a parts book, at the vary least. An owners handbook is useful, too, I found them all for sale on the usual auction site.



That's it for now, have fun!



Great advice, RE cracks, can you point out exactly where you mean?


#581721 - 01/19/15 6:45 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 68
Ray Elliott Offline
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Ray Elliott  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 68
Texas, USA
Regarding the frame number: I worked in a BSA shop at the time these were for sale & recall early OIF being replaced because of manufacturing problems with the frame sump plate surface (or was it porous welds?). The replacement frames had no serial number & it was up to the dealer to stamp the numbers.

Some stamp sets have no number zero but only a letter O. So BEO is really BE0. If the mechanic forgot to stamp the #s before reassembling stamping it in the right place was exceedingly difficult. This may have been the case.

In short, I'd not worry about it. Yours has a history that will likely never be known!

Yesterday I took a visit to the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. They have a BSA 350 Fury with a grey frame that looks great, but it lives inside. Ride one & it looks awful. I agree with others: paint it!


Ray Elliott
---
A65, A70, A75, T120, T140, T150, T160
#581729 - 01/19/15 7:21 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,669
Jon W. Whitley Online content
Jon W. Whitley  Online Content



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,669
Vermont
Welcome Aron,

I'm in Barre Town. If you are in the area and need some help or just want to hang out and talk about the greatness of British motorcycles give me a shout. Not many of us here in Vermont.

beerchug


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

#581749 - 01/19/15 10:29 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: r.bartlett]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
kurt fischer Online content
#irideslow
kurt fischer  Online Content
#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
r.bartlett,

The cross member on mine was broken at the welds where it meets the side rails of the frame. You can see the gap between the weld bead and the frame tubes.





Not saying that they all crack or break, it's just something to look closely for while it's apart.

If there is a problem, I can dig out the info on how to fix.

Of course, lots to look for, but that one took me by surprise.


Last edited by kurt fischer; 01/19/15 10:32 pm.

Kurt
1968-70-71 Triumph TR6R Bitsa - 1969 Triumph TR6R - 1971 BSA A65L - 1973 Triumph TR5T
2005 Ducati MTS 1000S DS - 2012 Ducati Hyper 796 - 2014 Kawasaki ZX1000
#581775 - 01/20/15 2:21 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
Ger B Offline
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Ger B  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
Thanks for this, Kurt.
My BSA will be on the table for some work and this is definitely something I will check for.


Ger B

#581786 - 01/20/15 4:03 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: kurt fischer]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,861
DavidP Online content
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DavidP  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,861
Gnashville
Originally Posted By: kurt fischer


Check the lower frame cross member that carries the center stand, they often crack at the joint with the frame tubes.

So, maybe I'm lucky I don't have a center stand?

Originally Posted By: kurt fischer


My frame number is stamped vertically on the headstock, but others here report frame numbers on the gusset, like yours, it looks all right to me.

Mine runs vertically down the gusset plate, but I can't say who stamped it. For some reason one number has a 3 stamped where the other has a 5. That is in the middle of the number series, don't know if the factory made the mistake, the dealer, or...


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
#581819 - 01/20/15 11:17 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: DavidP]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
celtrock Offline
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celtrock  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
Vermont
So much info all at once, wow! I'm taking notes already. It is apparent that I came
to the right place.

I have 4 manuals with this bike, a Haynes, a Chiltons, a workshop manual and a
parts catalog. This bike also came with SO many extras, extra throttles, extra
grab rails, extra wheel, extra side covers (so I can decide between single carb or
dual carb), extra bulbs still in old Lucas boxes, extra rear brake switches. It's
going to take me a while to dig through everything, get it all laid out and organized.
But I'm looking forward to it!

Yes, I got the feeling that my number was a DIY stamp. It's not done well, looks like
they just flipped a 5 over in order to get a 2... it actually looks like something I would
have done. ;-)

Just for informational purposes, here's some of what I've done before this:



Before and After. The only thing I didn't do on my own was the powder coating
but it would have been nice! Couple more things to finish up when it gets warmer like the electrical system and lights and I should be good to go.

As for the BSA, it's only in the living room long enough for me to disassemble it and get it into the basement. After everything is cleaned/repaired and painted I'll reassemble it in the living room before wheeling it outside to install the engine. I try to do that absolutely last as the summer season is pretty short here and I don't have a heated garage!

#581820 - 01/20/15 11:19 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: Jon W. Whitley]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
celtrock Offline
BritBike Forum member
celtrock  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
Vermont
My home town! I grew up in East Barre though lived for a while in Barre City. I'll PM my contact info.

Originally Posted By: Jon W. Whitley

I'm in Barre Town. If you are in the area and need some help or just want to hang out and talk about the greatness of British motorcycles give me a shout. Not many of us here in Vermont.

beerchug

Last edited by celtrock; 01/20/15 11:20 am.
#581829 - 01/20/15 12:13 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: gavin eisler]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
celtrock Offline
BritBike Forum member
celtrock  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
Vermont
Originally Posted By: gavin eisler
Gaskets from Britgaskets ( very good quality), run by "441 rider" one of our long time members.
On your side of the pond Ed V seems to be the go to man for engine stuff.
Cycle parts are pretty much the same as early OIF Triumph 650/750 so fairly easy to get.


I found that out after searching the Bay to see what was coming up for parts and realized that almost everything
was listed Triumph/BSA. I guess that's what makes TriBSAs so appealing!

Originally Posted By: gavin eisler
The 71 motor will take earlier cranks, but in general the 71 is beefier all round ( the 70 onwards cranks were supposedly better balanced), better rods, barrels, oil pump, thicker cases, different kicker, better gear spring adjuster,different beefier rocker cover with headsteady mount, head is also different for OIF bikes with 5/16 UNF rocker cover fasteners, previous were 1/4.


Good to know, I hope that engine is in good shape internally. This certainly has more parts than my Suzuki 2 stroke motor! There's a guy around who does Vapor Blasting, I think after I get the motor cleaned up I might go for that this time around...

Originally Posted By: gavin eisler
Your motor number GE was made the same month( June 71) as my bike.
Your earlier motor stuff will be good trade/swap material, some of it ( gear clusters, 3 spring clutches) may be useful for small bits, but in general stick to 71 motor parts.


That's what I'm hoping for!

Originally Posted By: gavin eisler
Budget for some new electric bits, the original Zener diode mounted to the air box inner RHS is pretty reliable ( voltage control), the original 3 wafer rectifier is not so trustworthy, if you fit Electronic ignition ( reccomended) , your 12 Volt coils need changed for 6V to work with Boyers etc. Your alternator may be OK if stored dry, rotors can lose magnetism.


I picked up a tympanium regulator for the Suzuki, I'll have to get one for this as well. Right now I feel weakest when it comes to electrical, I'll most likely be looking for lots of help in this area. Thanks for getting me started!

#581830 - 01/20/15 12:15 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: kurt fischer]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
celtrock Offline
BritBike Forum member
celtrock  Offline
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Posts: 6
Vermont
That looks so much nicer than mine!

#581832 - 01/20/15 12:17 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: Ray Elliott]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
celtrock Offline
BritBike Forum member
celtrock  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
Vermont
Yes, they do look nice, maybe just because they're unusual, but they look nice when freshly restored and clean. Once you get any road grease, rust, oil, it looks trashy. I hate to be boring but I think "Bike Black" gives me a greater canvas on which to work... ha, cracked myself up with that one.

Originally Posted By: Ray Elliott

Yesterday I took a visit to the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. They have a BSA 350 Fury with a grey frame that looks great, but it lives inside. Ride one & it looks awful. I agree with others: paint it!

#581838 - 01/20/15 12:59 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
kurt fischer Online content
#irideslow
kurt fischer  Online Content
#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Nice looking Titan, nice simple bike, nice job.

Sounds like quite the BSA treasure trove you are rescuing.

As I understand it, vapor blasting uses a glass-bead slurry (someone please correct me if I have this wrong). I used to blast everything, then spend lots of time cleaning out beads, never felt I could get it all out. Maybe with a big ultrasonic cleaner perhaps. I did a pretty nice job on my BSA crankcases by hand recently. Finished off with a Caswell product "Aluminator" -- basically a phosphoric acid spray (with lots of ventilation). I might look into soda blasting at some point. There are endless discussions on media cleaning on this and most other forums smile

Last edited by kurt fischer; 01/20/15 3:14 pm.

Kurt
1968-70-71 Triumph TR6R Bitsa - 1969 Triumph TR6R - 1971 BSA A65L - 1973 Triumph TR5T
2005 Ducati MTS 1000S DS - 2012 Ducati Hyper 796 - 2014 Kawasaki ZX1000
#581871 - 01/20/15 4:36 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: celtrock]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,215
wadeschields Offline
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wadeschields  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,215
NYC and York PA
I don't think anyone has mentioned this but when you do get to the electrical system, don't forget that it is positive ground. Very important !! Welcome to the best site there is bigt


http://wadeschields.tumblr.com/

Jack of all trades . Master of fun! wink

Beer is not the Answer.... Its the Question..... The answer is YES

[Linked Image]
#581903 - 01/20/15 9:34 pm Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: kurt fischer]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 110
revnosebone Offline
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revnosebone  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 110
Eureka Ca.
Kurt, I would appreciate the information on how you fixed your cross member. My 71 A65L EE frame has cracks along the weld. Thanks.


70 Thunderbolt
71 Lightning
very very frightening me,
Galileo Galileo
#581964 - 01/21/15 8:32 am Re: New to Forum, here's my '71ish A65 Project [Re: revnosebone]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
kurt fischer Online content
#irideslow
kurt fischer  Online Content
#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,800
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Originally Posted By: revnosebone
Kurt, I would appreciate the information on how you fixed your cross member. My 71 A65L EE frame has cracks along the weld. Thanks.


I will dig through my long rebuild thread and come back later today ...

... in a new thread:
http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=581981&#Post581981

Last edited by kurt fischer; 01/21/15 10:13 am.

Kurt
1968-70-71 Triumph TR6R Bitsa - 1969 Triumph TR6R - 1971 BSA A65L - 1973 Triumph TR5T
2005 Ducati MTS 1000S DS - 2012 Ducati Hyper 796 - 2014 Kawasaki ZX1000

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