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Starting my A65 (today, hopefully) after a honing and piston ring replacement. I had the timing covers off, so ignition timing needs to be re-set. Static timing has been done (white dot lined up with hole in EI stator plate).

I hear time and again that the bike should be ridden immediately upon first startup. Can I assume that the timing is "close enough" for proper break-in? I've noticed in the past that the static timing procedure renders the timing on the slightly retarded side.

Or, will it hurt to rev it a few times to perform strobe timing BEFORE taking it out on the road?


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I've broken in a few and always just run it on the stand for the first heat cycle for a few minutes. I have an oil pressure gauge on and check oil return. The important thing is to not let it sit and idle, keep the revs above 2k. The cam is splash lube so you want plenty of oil going to it. Any blue smoke due to assembly oil/lube should go away. Let it cool, retorque head and base nuts and reset valve lash. Next start let it warm up check the timing and carbs and go for a ride. First 100 miles, I keep the revs below 4K but don't lug the engine. Lots of on and off throttle. Another retorque and lash check along with an oil and filter change. Keep gradually upping rpm after that. At 500 another oil change and retorque. Should be good to go then. Everyone has their pet way of doing this but this has always worked for me. Here in SE Texas I like to wait and do the break-in during cooler weather and you should keep a fan on the engine regardless.

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I ride mine into town where the strobing gets done, doesnt seem to do any harm so long as its not too advanced.
After that I prep the inlet manifold pipe for fitting the ballometer then balance the carbs at the carb balancing tree on the way home. When retorquing the head I check the base flange as well, it usually needs a nip up.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 07/30/22 5:02 pm.

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htown, I'm down with all of that except for all the retorquing. On an A65, you have to remove one or both rocker shafts to get at the center head bolt, and the times I HAVE checked torque, oh, say, a hundred or so miles after break-in, everything was still up to snuff, valve clearances as well. I will re-check the valves, though, cylinder base nuts, and the head bolts that I can get at. If I see a problem, only then will I pull the rocker shafts.

There's assembly lube on the cam and cam followers, and I've pumped oil throughout the rockers. I filled the reservoir yesterday with break-in oil, so hopefully it will have made its way down to the pump by now. I will dump the break-in oil after three or four heat cycles, drop the sump plate to check for swarf, and fill it with my normal 20W50.

I will run it on the stand just long enough to warm up and strobe time, let it cool, check it over, and then re-start and take it out on the road.

Fortunately, it's not terribly hot here today, and my garage is under the house, in the basement that is, so it stays quite cool.


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Gavin, our posts crossed. Yes, I would think that running a bit retarded would not hurt, but it sounds like it may not hurt to strobe it right off either.

This may sound smug, but I claim that I can sync my Mikunis by ear (one click or two as I drop the slides). Then, out on the road, a sixth of a turn on one or the other of the adjusters "dials it in". The carbs are so identical that the throttle stop screws wind up in exactly the same position when the tickover is even.


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Hi Mark, i do the "one drop", set pilot mix on each individual cylinder, then fit balance meter , then check cable synch,. Since making cables with swept bends each end the synch adjustment hardly moves. I could do the strobe at home, but I dont think the neighbours would like it , the ride into town is only 12 miles with enough hills to seat the rings.


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Yep my rebuilds have been mostly Nortons. Bolts are a easily accessible but can't get a torque wrench on some of them without fancy adapters. But if the torque wrench bolts all turn a 1/2 turn or so on retorque just do the others the same.

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I torque all my heads up to value, then slacken and retorque each one, one at a time. If you make a mark against the bolt head and the aluminium of the head, you’ll usually find the bolts/nuts have turned more than they did on the initial tightening.


I have seldom seen the requirement to retorque after that.

The other thing, though it’s too late now. Is before you remove your inner timing cover, place the crank at 34° btdc or use the timing peg if you have one.

Place a coloured mark on the stator plate and the cover casting. Then remove the stator plate.

The. Use a piece of flat steel etc, and place it across the two timing marks on the magnets and dissect the centre of the securing bolt. Then place a marker of a different colour and place a mark at each end of the steel or what ever you used.

Then when you refit the timing system you’ll be able to accurately refit it to how it came off.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
I ride mine into town where the strobing gets done, doesnt seem to do any harm so long as its not too advanced.
After that I prep the inlet manifold pipe for fitting the ballometer then balance the carbs at the carb balancing tree on the way home. When retorquing the head I check the base flange as well, it usually needs a nip up.

Do other motorcyclists visit the carb balancing tree?! Must surely be worthy of a visit if passing, although that might confuse the locals.

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Maybe, I am only there very occasionally, its far up the glen away from houses with a decent breeze and welcome shade, about 2 miles after the tree with the pushbike hanging from a bit of blue rope, just over the bridge. Theres some old sloe bushes that are covered in lichen, some Texel sheep, who knows what else goes on there?


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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
... the tree with the pushbike hanging from a bit of blue rope, just over the bridge
A Pict warning of some ilk?


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It was advertising for the Rusty Cycle Shed, now demolished by the land lord.
Link to carb balancing tree in Google street view. https://www.google.com/maps/@56.4002432,-5.3471142,3a,75y,206.23h,99.01t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s8o35WLFdQgATDD1c2DIsVQ!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3D8o35WLFdQgATDD1c2DIsVQ%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.GPs%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D133.84935%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192!5m1!1e4

Other trees are available this one is an Oak.


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Sorry to divert, hows the motor runnin now Mark?


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A fine road, with lots of run-off avoid to avoid sheep, other road users and lurking cattle.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Are there any speed cameras? I dare say that locals will have been making good progress down that road for decades.

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i dont see no pushbike hangin from that tree.


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
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The rusty bicycle is 2 miles away from the carb hanging tree Kevin, but Gavin has neglected to say if the bicycle was east or west of the carb hanging tree. I have started at Angus's Garden and headed west towards the carb hanging tree, but got fed up clicking. Shirley there must be a programme which automatically runs "Streetview" from A to B.

Or was the bicycle demolished by the landlord?

Reading Gavin's post again, "Up the Glen" might mean head east as the sea is to the west.

Edit: the River Lonan flows west, therefore "Up the Glen" means head east.

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https://www.google.com/maps/@56.395133,-5.3336257,3a,15y,191.71h,86.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stS_1-ky6xXwTVSSQnikMyw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

About 11 o'clock from sheep's head; broken twine on the lower limb?
Any plans for the Taynuilt Inn?
Will remove this post shortly.


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The hanging bicycle was 2 miles east of the carb balancing tree, the pic above is looking east towards Dun Tannachan, a serpentine mound and burial tumuli ( Bronze age), the road itself is probably as old , it was used as the coffin road for Scots kings making their way west to be buried in Iona, ( which is sometimes misspronounced tenNA).The longest straight is about 400 yards, the rest is corners and hillocks, luckily the highlanders in the pic are V placid, they like the heat from the tarmac , thankfully they get out of the way for the BSA.
The Taynuilt Inn is still a pile of rubble, there are plans but not much is happening, a portaloo appeared and sometimes hiviz people move around.
I checked Hughs pic, thats not it, thats a big Alder .. No use for carb balancing too wet underfoot.
Centre of this pic
https://www.google.com/maps/@56.4072298,-5.2783788,3a,75y,325.94h,87.66t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sDIGBhOZ4hyuzY93wzrVoDQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

is where the pushbike used to hang, Rusty Cycle Shed to the right, house gone.Google maps must have updated this Spring, nice bluebells.
For me " up the glen" is more about the 500 foot climb from my place to get to the tree, although technically it should be down the glen due to the Lonan burn heading west. "Up the glen" in general scots donates somewhere in a Glen to anyone not actually in the glen, doon the glen would be towards the glen exit and beyond. Again apologies to Mark, this thread has gone off a bit.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 08/03/22 9:14 pm. Reason: Wetness

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with all of the distractions along the way how do the scotts manage to get home at night before its the next day?


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https://www.google.com/maps/@56.4074611,-5.2781773,3a,55.8y,307.08h,102.8t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sjg0kkgWKHRNKWcz7PDtE6g!2e0!5s20090301T000000!7i13312!8i6656


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Ho Hugh, well done , thats Nics old house, he fell out with the landlord over a bell, quiet glen up till then, LLs a clock freek and installed a chiming bell 200 yards away, chimed every hour., ended up evicted and knocked his place down.The bike is missing from the tree, strange ,Robert Johnson mentioned it in a song, 2nd verse of Steady Rollin Man, as I mangle it.
Kevin, we are used to that sort of hectic life. Sometimes you dont get back till later the next day or month sometimes depending on shipping.
When I pranged the bike 4 years ago it was Nic that helped me drag it out of the ditch/ burn, he has moved nearer the sea.

It seems like the last time I balanced the carbs was three maybe four years ago, that tree is good, the pushbike on the string must have gone since then, i have a pic of it somewhere.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 08/03/22 11:50 pm. Reason: blethering

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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
Sorry to divert, hows the motor runnin now Mark?
That's ok gavin, I always enjoy reading about remote geographies and cultures, and about Scotland in particular. Life here seems bland by comparison.

Motor is running well! I'm glad I strobe-timed it right off, because the "line up the dot with the hole" static timing left it a bit too advanced. I've taken two 4 or 5 mile runs, up and down hills, the second run this evening. The road I live on is hilly, so this doesn't require much thought. So far, no smoke, and no leaks. I worked on synching the throttle slides tonight, and I think I have them perfect or damn close, like within a sixth of a turn on one or the other cable adjuster. When it feels like I could ride it for an hour or so without my fingers going numb, I know I have it right.

One thing that's made tuning a bit harder is that I lost total hearing in my right ear a few years ago, so it's hard to detect which side is doing what.

One little glitch, and it's good news when you're down to dealing with such piddly details, but my outer timing cover is making a hollow "woowoo" noise. (I don't know how else to describe it.) The screws are tight, and the noise stops when I put my shoe against the cover. I don't recall if it did that before, and the only "change" is that I did a lot of polishing on that cover. Could that have made it more resonant? No, that's crazy talk... Anyway, has anyone ever tried coating the inside of that cover with something to quiet it down?

Alan, right, too late for the tighten-loosen-tighten head bolt technique, but I'll take it under advisement for the next time around (if there IS a next time).


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Triumph riders keep all their tools at home, and our neighbors love to hear our engines rev, at least during daylight hours. laugh


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

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Originally Posted by DavidP
Triumph riders keep all their tools at home, and our neighbors love to hear our engines rev, at least during daylight hours. laugh

There are some disadvantages to rural living, but privacy is one advantage. My one-acre plot is surrounded by farm fields, no longer in use and so becoming quite overgrown. My closest neighbor is about 200 yards down the road and around a bend. I've commented that I could run around my backyard naked and no one would know. I have no desire to run around naked, but this is an excellent environment for tuning and testing motorcycles. There's a long straightaway in front of my house, and the house sits downward from the road, so to get plug readings, I can barrel down the road at speed, kill the engine, and coast down the driveway and right into the garage.


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i live farther out in the country than you do, and i do run around naked.

i can hear the mail carrier a half mile off, and thats plenty of time to go hide behind something


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
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