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Old 07-27-2014, 07:08 AM   #16
Rich B
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A BSA twin makes an awesome southeast Ohio bike. And the whole TS bearing thing gets overblown. I have been riding BSA twins since 1974 and have never had TS bearing problem. Make sure it is right to start with, run a late pressure relief, and add an oil filter. Simple really.

BSA twins are great handling bikes. Largely overlooked for the handling, but they shouldn't be.

Josh's bike is a beauty. The late 60's bikes are awesome to look at. My 68 on a long ride in southeast OH:



The wet frame bikes are less loved than the older bikes, so the prices are better. This applies to Triumph's as well. But, they are nice bikes, especially if you just want a rider.

Another gratuitous BSA pic. Hands down, the absolute most fun twistie bike I have ever ridden:



And don't rule out a BSA Victor. They will go places you won't take a twin, are relatively light, and are even capable of being used on the highway. They handle even better than a BSA twin. Spent 10 days in the UK and Isle of Man camping with a Victor, on the west side of Snaefel Mountain on the IoM, traveling light while on the island. Loaded was ugly, but the Victor did it just fine:



Any Brit bike will require some Maintenance to keep it going. Plenty of good upgrades available, most of which can be added as budget and time allow.

Go for it, your part of Ohio has lots of roads to explore with an old Brit bike!
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:44 PM   #17
Beezer Josh
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Rich's '68 is the smoothest BSA I've ever ridden; it's a wonderful machine.

As far as technical knowledge, the Britbike forum is a wonderful resource on almost any British motorcycle. Lots of good people and good answers to any question you might have. I had never owned a motorcycle or opened up an engine before my Lightning, so I can attest to the fact that you can do these things yourself with the proper resources and starting off with only minimal mechanical knowledge.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:56 PM   #18
Rich B
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Josh,

So you are now outside DC and the OVBSAOC summer rally is in 2 weeks. You are maybe 5 hours away. Isn't it time for a visit? Chad and Jim may be there this year.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:16 PM   #19
Beezer Josh
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I have the flier on my refrigerator. Besides, I bought 3 raffle tickets and would like to be there to collect the bike. I'm ordering a new front rim for the Lightning today from Walridge, but doubt I'll have everything back together by then. If I'm available, I'm seriously thinking of heading out there on the /5. You going to be there the whole weekend?
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:57 PM   #20
bomberdave
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old bike, everyday use= all new wiring, every electrical piece new or rebuilt. locknuts and/or loctite on all fasteners. get excited about maintenance, it takes way more time than most people understand. carry real tools. my friend rode a 69 lightning for years. i ride a 37 indian. old bikes take less work than a horse.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:07 PM   #21
Beezer Josh
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Originally Posted by bomberdave View Post
locknuts and/or loctite on all fasteners.
All of the parts falling off this bike are of the finest British quality.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:43 PM   #22
Rich B
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Josh,

I plan on being at the rally site no later than early afternoon Friday and spend the weekend. Plan is, the Clubman and Gold Star are going to be there.

Lannis is also planning on being there along with a lot of the usual suspects.

Hope to see you there.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:21 AM   #23
chaddhamilton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vspeed View Post

I live in a rural area in southern Ohio. Around here there are hundreds of miles of narrow, twisty, country roads that start at the end of my driveway. I won't be riding on interstates or battling it out with cage traffic on city streets. I probably wouldn't ever take the bike more than 100 miles or so from home.
Having grown up in SE Ohio I am envious. I trailered my 71 Triumph up to Gallia county a few years ago and spent the weekend just cruising all the awesome backroads around there. I put a couple hundred miles on the old girl and never had a single issue.

Having rebuilt a few of them, I'd echo what's been said: the single carb is easier to tune, and look for a bike that's has been converted to some sort of electrical ignition....many have been. Properly set up and assembled with lots of thread locker, they make a perfect bike for the type of riding you have in mind.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:12 PM   #24
bmwrench
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You really can't go wrong with a '68 on Triumph twin, especially a single-carb. These years handle beautifully and as someone else said, the DLS brake works very well. I'd avoid '71-'72 because these are the first years of OIF and their brakes are poor. '73 and on are quite nice. Get the carb sleeved, add a good electronic ignition (or face replacing the points every 2000 miles), and you'll have a bike that is, as my father said, "Just a joy to ride".
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:10 PM   #25
drhach
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I read "The Daisy Diaries" recently, it really made me pine (again) for a Triumph.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:45 AM   #26
David4
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Arrived late to this thread. +1 to those saying reliability is a choice made by the rider/owner. Expect a ratio of 5 hours riding to 1 hour of maintenance. Yes to electronic ignition.

The TR6 is a great machine and handles beautifully, it is very reliable.

A Triumph workshop manual, parts book and the special tools needed aren't inexpensive but not prohibitive in cost. A good site w/ smart people:

www.BritBike.com

On the test ride, at least 10 miles if the owner agrees to that. Lean down and listen w/ care for any unusual noises, top end should sound like a sewing machine. Do a compression test and if possible a leak down test.
HTH, dave

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Old 07-31-2014, 11:16 AM   #27
vspeed OP
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I'm kind of kicking around the idea of buying a fixer-upper. Might be a good winter project. Doing a rebuild on a bike seems like a good way to really get to know it mechanically. I'd probably have to send the motor and tranny to a shop for overhaul though.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:32 AM   #28
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Scope creep has set in already..... Don't even start to think it is the cheaper option. The motors are pretty basic , if you have some mechanical ability you should be able to do the majority of the work yourself.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:14 PM   #29
MATTY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vspeed View Post
I'm kind of kicking around the idea of buying a fixer-upper. Might be a good winter project. Doing a rebuild on a bike seems like a good way to really get to know it mechanically. I'd probably have to send the motor and tranny to a shop for overhaul though.
Thats a good idea, there is nothing to these things they are simple basic bikes.
Anything you need to do to them and either cant figure out for yourself, or if you need settings or specs is over documented and all in English
Try to wade through Russian manuals translating them, that would show you having stuff in English is a real asset. thats unless you want learn a second language.
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:52 PM   #30
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There's a 1970 Tiger for sale a couple of hours drive from my house. The bike looks pretty good and complete in the photos. Not a rust bucket or basket case by far. In the photo it looks to be in good enough shape that you could hop on it and ride, but the ad says it is not in running condition.

I haven't spoken to the seller but I might try to take a run up there and have a look in the next couple of days. The guy's asking $3500 for it, does that sound like a fair price?
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