GSrs ... Some ideas for you: I recently ordered up some pieces from my 'all brands' local MC dealer for my '58 GS project. These pieces have worked well on two other Goldies. So perhaps some of you may want to try them.
DID 520VX2 110 link 'X Ring' chain. A bit pricey but they last well with minimum service. You will need to mod your GS for the narrower 520 chain.
Progressive Shocks. p/n 12-1203B, 13", They are listed listed for BSA A65. These shocks come with a assortment of 'reducer bushings' to allow fitting to a selection of bikes.
Progressive Shock Springs #65/100, p/n 03-1300B. Previously I had tried #100/120 weight springs that I found too stiff even for my #200+ weight. 2 sets are for sale that would prolly work nicely if you ride double.
narrower chain progressive shocks changing your clutch to a Triumph 4 spring an electronic regulator in place of the buzz box. two way damping rods in the forks
I don't have X-ring chains on my Gold Stars so I don't know if they fit (they're wider than a standard chain). If a #530 X-ring chain does fit the only advantage of the narrower #520 would be the lower weight of the chain itself plus the narrower sprockets. It is several pounds of mostly unsprung weight so there is a performance advantage to this modification but it comes at the cost of a fair amount of effort required to achieve it.
I had no choice but to replace the clapped-out shocks on my Catalina and went with Hagons with shrouds because I wanted the bike to look original. The Hagons came with progressively-wound springs so they should feel better than standard springs but, having said that, I have no complaints about the old Girlings on my BB for the riding I do that doesn't push the limits of performance.
If you read this thread you'll see that there are plenty of places where an old 6-spring clutch would have suffered wear and abuse that no doubt contributed significantly to the bad feeling some people have toward it, but the 6-spring clutches in both my BB and Catalina, rebuilt as described in that thread, work great. The clutch levers have the same pull as on modern bikes, they don’t slip under power, and they free up completely allowing neutral to be selected when stopped. Since that's all I can imagine needing from a clutch I don't know in what way a Triumph 4-spring would be "better."
I enjoy electronics so I like the challenge of making the old electromagnetic regulators work properly. That said, when I was wiring my BB (which has a magdyno), and before I decided to go with a total loss NiMH battery pack with LEDs, I bought a Podtronics regulator for it.
As for the forks, my recent 1200-mile trip was the kind of riding I like to do and nowhere on that ride did I ever feel the need for two-way damping. However, this certainly depends on how a bike will be used. I have the dimensions of the rods and damper assembly so easily could make a set myself. Although I've postponed rebuilding my Catalina's forks for now, and at this point don't plan on modifying them, I'll revisit that decision when it comes time to work on the forks.
I would add brakes to your list since this "performance modification" will be responsible for keeping you alive. Most of the braking power is from the front so you should consider having modern shoes for at least that brake, arced to the drum, at the top of your list. I've had Vintage Brake do the brakes on at least four of my bikes, most recently the Catalina and Ariel. Although not cheap, an Eddie Dow TLS brake is period-correct and worth considering for your list.
I have the damper rods on 2 bikes, one of which is my GS. They do help, but require some expirementing.
I find the rebound dampening too be decent, but the compression can be harsh. I have one bike pretty good. The GS I need to do more playing with oil. If that doesn't improve the compression dampening, then it will be time to play with hole sizes.
Gents ... The Progressive Shocks and springs I've mentioned do Not have OEM BSA appearing type shrouds. I've always fit black springs but chrome springs are available. BTW, a GSr friends has told me the Hagon shocks are short lived. I dunno more.
The 520 "X Ring" has a very long life with sealed internal lube on the pins. Only an occasional spritz of lube needed for the benefit of the sprockets. It's rated for modern 750 cc bikes, waay beyond the specs needed for our vintage machines. As the 530 version is too wide for clearance on most/all vintage BI, the 520 size must be used. This requires both sprockets being narrower then our OEM pieces. There's a narrow B31/33 tranny sprocket available. I've lathed down OEM wide 19T tranny sprockets because I had good ones on hand. The wheel sprocket will need to be changed. On two of my GSs I've fitted BSA '10 bolt' brake drums and sprockets, however my current '58 Clubman project had a BSA deep finned ventilated brake drum with a integral narrow sprocket. Nice. Other GSrs have turned down the OEM brake drum sprocket. If you are uuhh compulsive of maintaining 'original' appearance, disregard all of this. The DID chain is even 'golden' colored. Yikes!
Rich B ... You may want to experiment with different weight Fork Oil available at most dealerships. 10-15-20wt. ? Also the oil level
MM .. I gave up on OEM mags long ago and have gone electronic with a 12V alternator and regulator. The magdyno mag seems to me a 1920-30 design. However the Lucas competition mag worked OK.
I find the Phil Pearson DLS brake conversion for a 190 brake a great improvement. I've had my drum trued and the shoes turned to fit locally. You will need a properly made mandrel to turn the shoes. My last contact with Vintage Brake a few years ago was less than satisfactory, however years ago he had once done a good brake job on a 190 for me. I dunno ...
There's no question a more modern design 4 spring clutch is better than the olde 6 spring unit designed 'way back when' for a 20 hp engine. Were you aware 4 spring clutch was fitted to the later year A10s and listed in BSA parts book?Be sure to fit the good A10 nut and washer vs that earlier 6 spring POS nut. However if you hide a 'work of art' Newby clutch and belt drive in the cases you will be happy ever after!
a GSr friends has told me the Hagon shocks are short lived.
Fingers crossed hoping your friend is wrong...
Originally Posted by dave - NV
MM .. I gave up on OEM mags long ago and have gone electronic with a 12V alternator and regulator.
But if I gave up on them my name wouldn't be MM...
Going electronic means trading a magneto that will start a bike for decades with very little maintenance (grease on the rubbing block and new points and brushes every 10k miles) for $50 batteries that die, often unexpectedly, every few years. I understand why people make that trade, and don't fault them for it, but I 'm quite happy with my choice not to.
Originally Posted by dave - NV
The magdyno mag seems to me a 1920-30 design. However the Lucas competition mag worked OK.
The design of both magnetos dates to much earlier, copied directly from the pre-WWI Bosch, to which a dyno was grafted a decade later. However, continuous improvements were made through at least the mid-'50s.
Originally Posted by dave - NV
There's no question a more modern design 4 spring clutch is better than the olde 6 spring unit designed 'way back when' for a 20 hp engine.
The Gold Star itself was designed way back when engines were 20 hp. But it, like the 6-spring clutch, both benefitted from a series of improvements over the years. It's certainly true that I spent a lot more time fettling my 6-spring to undo a half-century worth of wear and abuse than just about any dealer would find commercially viable. But, my rebuilt 6-springs don't drag, don't slip under full hp of the Gold Stars' engines, and have levers with the same pull as required by modern clutches. If the 4-spring is better, in what ways that the rider would notice?
Speaking of clutches.....remind me some day to detail the rather odd 3 spring/4 spring basket hybrid in my GS. It was a "project" to make work, actually doesn't work too bad, but is going to get some love this winter. I think it can work better.
For Magnetoman...I have a new Joe Hunt on my Atlas ( I realize this is a GS forum) mounted behind the cylinders. I will be running a high pipe on both sides, the one on the right side is about 1 1/2" away from the mag. I plan to wrap a segment of the pipe with insulating material trying to shield the mag from some heat but what are the problems with heat on these mags? How much can they tolerate?
what are the problems with heat on these mags? How much can they tolerate?
That position was occupied by Lucas magnetos until being replaced by points assemblies in the early 1960s so magnetos have a history of surviving there. Alnico magnets can tolerate temperatures quite a bit higher than your magneto will see, although the higher the temperature the more susceptible Alnico is to having its magnetism degraded by vibration. Still, I don't expect that will be a significant issue. Pay attention to lubrication, particularly of the rubbing block on the points. Use only a silicone-based cam lube intended for distributors, which has become much harder to find over the past few decades. The vapor from petroleum lubricants reacts with the points to form a brittle carbide leading to rapid erosion. I assume the Hunt magneto has sealed bearings but keep an eye out for any grease leaking from them because of the heat.