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#850357 05/31/21 3:55 pm
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After that crazy oil thread I was just wondering why every other modern upgrade is allowed such as electronic ignition, power boxes etc, etc. No one seems to be too much of a luddite when it comes to all that stuff.

Dave

Last edited by dave jones; 05/31/21 3:55 pm.
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“This, milord, is my family's axe. We have owned it for almost nine hundred years, see. Of course, sometimes it needed a new blade. And sometimes it has required a new handle, new designs on the metalwork, a little refreshing of the ornamentation . . . but is this not the nine hundred-year-old axe of my family? And because it has changed gently over time, it is still a pretty good axe, y'know. Pretty good.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant

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Hey, that's like Trigger's broom which might even predate Terry Pratchett's book! smile

Dave

Last edited by dave jones; 05/31/21 5:36 pm.
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When I was a child it was Grannies broom which pre dates Trigger


BSA B31 500 "Stargazer"
Greeves 200 "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360
GM500 sprint bike "Deofol"
Rickman Jawa 500 "Llareggub"
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Yes it must be an old joke but a good one.

I have nothing against modern upgrades as I have had two bikes with electronic ignition. I particularly liked the Lucas Rita conversion on my 3TA's distributor that was specially made by a previous owner in the very late 70s. The spark ws like lightning if you held the bare cable near the head. My Triumph Blazer had a Boyer. My current bike has points and they came with this one. They work ok so I left them on there. I did change the rectifier for one of those little cheap square things as I thought that the original was a bit suspect.

Dave

Last edited by dave jones; 05/31/21 9:01 pm. Reason: always make typing errors
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Originally Posted by dave jones
After that crazy oil thread I was just wondering why every other modern upgrade is allowed

Other than what?

And what “upgrades” are not allowed? Not allowed by whom?


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I mean a lot of people are reluctant to use the modern upgrade of synthetic oil when they are prepared to fit a computer to their bikes.

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My B31 has some "modern" additions.
DBD head and barrel with Nikasil bore, electric start, electronic magdyno, LED bulbs, 5 speed gearbox, Pearson crank/rod and synthetic 20-50 oil are a few of them


BSA B31 500 "Stargazer"
Greeves 200 "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360
GM500 sprint bike "Deofol"
Rickman Jawa 500 "Llareggub"
Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 & '36 OK Supreme
Kawasaki ZZR1400 "Kuro no senshi"
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I think it depends on what you are looking for. I like ancient stuff, really ancient stuff. I want my bikes to look in period so no obvious modern enhancements but some things are just sensible. Brake/stoplight for example. Even though I avoid night riding modern enhancements to the charging and lighting system on ancient Villiers engines are a comfort. Dusk can catch you out.

Being ancient quite often my bikes have things like cast iron pistons. An upgrade to alloy pistons makes a remarkable difference. Maximum care with assembly also helps.

So the list goes on. I don’t want to “ upgrade” things but I do want them to work as well as they can without altering the essential character. It’s tricky to get the balance right.

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Thanks for those replies,Andy and Villiers, and thanks for all the other replies.

Andy certainly has the full works on his bike including the oil. I like to hear about things that have been proven in service. A nikasil bore is an excellent addition. I remember that the magdyno on my old B31 was a bit temperemental- for some reason it would suddenly stop sparking but if I loosened the strap and retightened it it would start working again! Maybe it just cooled down during the time it took to do that.

Villiers has a good point about not changing the essential character of a bike especially a veteran.

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Personally I go for sensible upgrades to enhance reliability and durability while maintaining what I call the “20 feet test” by which I mean that from 20 feet the bike looks original.
Just my two cents worth of course.

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Yeah, the 20 foot rule.. My bike may or may not pass it...

7A1AA3EC-ADED-4A0F-A4A4-BC06FFC14E53.jpeg

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But a V8 engine is a good start for me
Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"
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The 6M (20ft) test. The only real stand outs are the front brake and folding kickstart
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]20180609_152238 by Sigma Projects, on Flickr
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]20180609_152321 by Sigma Projects, on Flickr


BSA B31 500 "Stargazer"
Greeves 200 "Blue Meanie"
Greeves 350
Greeves 360
GM500 sprint bike "Deofol"
Rickman Jawa 500 "Llareggub"
Aprilia RSV Mille "Lo Stregone"
'35 & '36 OK Supreme
Kawasaki ZZR1400 "Kuro no senshi"
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Variety of good replies there.

That oil thread wasn't so 'crazy', its just that there are a lot of complications to what seems like a simple subject.
The fact that very few oils are manufactured to suit old aircooled big clearance slow revving donks is part of it.
Nearly all such oils are for watercooled higher revving beasts with fine clearances (in motorcycles),
and most such oils are aimed at car engines, anyway ...

I'd also comment that I've a variety of bikes, and most of them have done most of their miles when supermarket
20w/50 was $6 a gallon. These days they all seem to have become designer varieties, and designer prices.
The supermarket versions seems to have gone ?

You speaking of computers (for ignitions) sidesteps the obvious upgrade of fuel injection.
Not commonly seen on old motorcycles - and why would you want all that complication !
JimC sells a system for Commandos though, which he has well road tested.

This is where the big advance has come in motoring in the past 50 years.
I've had 2 Fords, one with carb and one with injection
14 mpg and 28 mpg average fuel use, respectively, almost same engine similar car same use.
And fairly big and heavy.

But who really wants that new fangled stuff on old bikes ??

Having said that, I pulled up at the bike park someplace and the SR500 guy next to me was fiddling
with his electrics. Which weren't std - he had a home made injection system on it.
We got chatting, and he'd really got it down to a fine art. It started sooo easily.
He had enough monitoring on that for a space program. !
And visually didn't look too different. Not everyone has that skill though - or wish ?

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I'd also comment that the comments above well illustrate how developments have occurred in the motoring world over the past years. EVERYTHING has been upgraded or improved over the years, when you look back far enough.

Here is my old Triumph project.
OK its a bit sad as acquired - very sad !! - but its coming along.

https://postlmg.cc/gXGNjdzk

If you look closely, it has no clutch, no gearbox, almost no brakes, almost no suspension,
it has pedals for starting, manual ignition control, manual air control, manual fuel control.
It has the new fangled magneto ignition, and new fangled mechanically operated inlet valve.

Lets see, what could we further improve about it.
Almost everything ??
And they did ...

For completeness, we probably need to find a pic of a 2010 model Triumph.
Not one feature has remained unimproved ??
It would look rather out of place in a rally for veterans though ... !

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Speaking of modern upgrades,.... was the suggestion or topic of an added oil filter in the thread someplace?


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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

two bikes with upgrades


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Originally Posted by dave jones
I mean a lot of people are reluctant to use the modern upgrade of synthetic oil when they are prepared to fit a computer to their bikes.

Dave
I don't think that's a good comparison. I have to have a motivation to change. I have electronic ignition because keeping both cylinders timed correctly and exactly the same on an A65 with breaker points is (was) a constant battle. I run Mikuni carbs because when I bought them (1984), they were the cheap and effective solution to clapped-out AMAL carbs. Modern rectifier/regulator, yeah, sealed-beam automotive headlamp, all generic switches and wiring... I basically upgraded everything that had caused break-downs or maintenance hassles in the past.

Now in regard to oil, I change it very often, so I don't want to pay extra for the oil if it's not necessary. To my knowledge, I haven't incurred any problems from running plain ol' 20W50 for the last forty years, i.e., no motivation to change.

By the way, I added an oil filter to my A65 this winter, for the first time ever. Motivation: The filter kit was given to me (and continual nagging from some britbike members).
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Any of you could pick up my upgrades from 20 feet.
Disc brakes on both bikes. I like to be able to stop when necessary.
Mk2 carbs on the Bonneville. I don't really mind tickling, but it's so nice to just flip on the enrichers and know that it will fire on one kick and idle smoothly.


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@ Mark Z, interesting filters on the Mikuni carbs, are they bespoke or purchased "off the shelf" ?

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Triton Thrasher put the word upgrades in inverted commas. I wonder if he means that maybe most are just replacements for the original type parts that don't get so well made these days or parts that are simply unavailable?

Electronic ignition is certainly more accurate but points do work ok.and can be accurate as long as you keep on top of maintenance. On the whole I would say that ei is better but you can get by with points.

KC in SB mentions oil filters. Maybe proper oil filters should have been fitted by the Triumph factory to all bikes as soon as multigrade oil came out (they did fit them to Tridents and Blazers) but then Mark Z has practical experience suggesting that they aren't strictly necessary. He, like many others, has coninued to use mineral oil with no problems. I do have a filter and use synthetic but I can see that these aren't really necessary. The oil may be better than single weight mineral but plenty of people use the latter with no problems.

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So tubeless tyres, antilock ABS brakes and fool injection didn't make the cut ?

20th Century improvements rule, OK..... !
21st Century not so much.

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It all depends on personalities, I wouldn't want to ride around on
1950's /60's tyres (even 70's to some extent) I am lazy so messing with
points is out, i like asbestos brake linings, leaded fuel and some other stuff
but improvements like oil filters are just a no brainier in my book.
Opinions are different but the best old bikes i've seen have been modified
in one way or another by their owner, if you want to look at all original stuff
look at a sales brochure. I don't expect record breaking mileages from my
bikes and i don't ride them like i am trying to achieve that. Some blokes do etc.

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Bikes (and other vehicles) have certainly become more sophisticated and more powerful over the decades, with plenty of gewgaws to attract the punters, but there is an argument to be made that classic bikes are more sustainable (if that's important) and are certainly easier to maintain and repair (albeit more frequently than modern bikes).

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Originally Posted by Dibnah
Bikes (and other vehicles) have certainly become more sophisticated and more powerful over the decades, with plenty of gewgaws to attract the punters, but there is an argument to be made that classic bikes are more sustainable (if that's important) and are certainly easier to maintain and repair (albeit more frequently than modern bikes).

I think the ‘90s were the sweet spot for maximum sustainability. The bikes were still pretty simple, ran good, and needed minimal maintenance.

I know exactly what you mean. I’ve got a 2020 Moto Guzzi that has been good so far, but I do worry about what will happen if I break down while on a trip somewhere. Sometimes I think I should sell it and go back to a bike that could be repairable just about anywhere, but I like this bike too much. Maybe in a few more years when this bike has some age on it I’ll reconsider.

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