Labor Day ride to Forksville, PA. The ride was about 1.5 hours each way, all on smooth two-lane rural highway with sweeping curves and nice scenery. First photo shows the covered bridge alongside the country store-turned restaurant (take-out only for now) where we met some members of the New England Riders club and ate lunch. That's me and my A65 in the middle of the group.
Took my 73 Norton out for a proper ride today, beautiful day, great bike.
Only mod this winter was to send the timing side cover and oil pump to AMR to get a mod to the oil pressure relief valve. I just put it back together, timed it, and changed the oil/filter, and now I have ridden it about 50 miles.
While it is mechanically stock, like most Nortons that get ridden, it has a fair amount of aftermarket stuff--modifying and personalizing Commandos seems to be a big part of owning them. This one has Mark III isolastics, isolastic head steady, 18 inch ridged Akront rims both ends, Avon AM26s, RGM 12 inch floating front disc, 11 mm master cylinder, steel brake lines, automatic cam chain tensioner, AMR anti-sumping valve and mod to oil pressure relief valve, o-ring chain, fiber clutch friction plates, dual outlet coil and Boyer, Podtronics regulator/rectifier, Superbike bend bars, one piece rear axle from the guy in the Phillipines, clamp to stabilize swingarm pivot, and Works Performance shocks. I have had this bike since 1989, so, starting with a complete frame up rebuild, that's 31 years of mods.
Finally got the parts and put my rear wheel back on after the missing nut incident. While cleaning the brake and hub I noticed the beginnings of chipping on a couple of sprocket teeth. The new sprocket arrived today. I installed that using new, grade 5 bolts. This bike has no speedometer. I had an empty drive box on there just as a spacer. I removed that, as well as the drive ring. I just replaced the drive ring with a LH bearing retainer and used the spacer and an extra washer to fill the gap. Somebody posted that the nut needs 90 Lbs-ft, though that spec is not in the WSM. Best I could do without ruining a screwdriver holding the other end of the axle is 75 Lbs-ft. I hope that blue Loctite and a new Nylok nut will be sufficient. I've never tightened that nut past whatever I could do with a 1/2" drive flex handle before, and this is the first time I ever had that nut come loose. Don't know how I'll remove it if I ever need to change a tube on the road.
This is the fun stuff. I'm wiring lights, horn, and kill switch into my son's 1973 Triumph Trophy Trail (TR5T). Main harness is in progress on the bench. (No turn signals, that's why there are only six wires in the harness.)
Used the beesa for a mercy mission, friend Neil is a good bit younger than me , his Suzi SV650 2001 had sat for a few months and wouldnt start, he had tried to jump it from a car battery and some smoke came out.
Day 1, find the main 30 amp fuse had blown, replaced same and it now spins , lights up but wont fire.
No sign of fuel on plug ( which sparks) . Lift the tank , remove air box, drop a teaspoon of fuel into each throat, starts right away then dies.
off with the carbs, drain the tank a bit.
Carbs have water in them, every where, clean pilots blow through , seem OK, replace, still wont fire at all no joy.
next day, Carbs on the bench, fuel pump on the bench, fuel vac tap on the bench. Drain tank completely, there is about 2 pints of water at the bottom . All fuel system components have water blobs , which must have been there for months/ years. Find front cylinder fuel valve filter punctured ( was probably self inflicted during strip down), lots of water signs in the lower rear carb.
parts ordered , new filters, float needles. Replace the choke plunger O rings. The beesa and I had to nip back for O rings and JIS screwdrivers. Fun in the sun. Day 3 wont happen till the new bits come.
What Neil learned today, Although fiddly the stuff is well made and logical ( he is a maths Physics bod and V smart, not so used to tools though), Haynes manuals are not as good as the real thing, you cant use RTV on carbs, leaving your bike under a cover outside in Argyll is a bad idea.There are a lot of diaphragms in an SV fuel system.
All of this made me really appreciate the fuel system on the beesa, the 4hours work ( and not finished ) would have taken 1 hour tops on the Beesa.
A great deal of the water came from an unusual source, the fuel tank has a snazzy decorative 7 bolt alloy flange with a lock, when the centre is raised the filler neck is revealed, BUT, the alloy flange is not watertight, around the well the filler neck protrudes from is an effective water trap. BUT, there is a drain for this well, a 6mm approx. ID hole runs to a drain tube which passes through the tank body to emerge at the rear , this is coupled to the radiator header vent with a T then a drain pipe runs vertically to allow drips to fall through and exit lower rear motor RHS. Which is all well and good until the pipe blocks, insects love to climb in 6 mm holes, all sorts of [***] came out when we blew through this , it was very blocked. Strangely enough I had the same fault on my Cagiva. Thats when I learned about the bee gap. Beware open 6 mm pipes, insects want to use them.
I finished up the main wiring harness for the A65. A ready-made harness just won't do as I have a six circuit fuse block under the seat. Ready to mount the headlight as soon as I rewire the right handlebar switch. Then do the tail light and it's done.
I rode the Trident around yesterday. I just took the long way out to the station which sells pure petrol. I noticed my foot slipping on the shifter. It's amazing how much oil gets out when one screw is missing from the patent plate. What's more amazing is how much US vendors want for one 4BA screw!
I rode the Bonnie over to music by the lake last night. When it was over I found that I had no headlight. Been a while since I had to ride home with nothing but the pilot light. Good thing it was only a mile to home. Today I replaced the blown LED lamp with a proper H4. I can only hope that the alternator can keep up with it.
Parts are on the way. I finished disassembling the primary drive today. Didn't want to, but it's the only way to renew the inside lay-shaft bearing. I also plan to put an 18-tooth sprocket on for better acceleration out of the corners. This bike never sees the interstate unless I cross under/over it. Note to self, always undo the clutch side before the gearbox side. It took me over a half hour to get the Woodruff key out of the shaft with the main shaft not anchored. Of course, there were only 19 rollers inside the chain sprocket.
Well, it was yesterday, not today, but I FINALLY got around to setting the BSA straight ('68 Firebird dressed as a Lightning).
Swapped the cracked glass tach for the good used replacement. Swapped the bent "tall" bars for a set of standard bars, with newer Grantourismo grips. Straightened out the bent right muffler bracket. Straightened out the bent right footpeg. Swapped the dead battery for a fresh one. Found the bloody key. Zip-tied a few stray cables to keep them off the pipes, etc. Knocked the chalk off the alloy engine covers and tail light housing. Knocked the surface rust off the headlight shell, exhaust & fenders.
Then came the moment of truth, I tried to kickstart with my LEFT leg. NO GO! I still had to land on my right leg which is NOT up to it. One try ASSURED me that it was not a good idea.
At least it's back to LOOKING nice, and it SHOULD start right up when my buddy comes out the the ranch to help me next week.