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Old 08-01-2014, 12:07 AM   #31
trustme
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If that bike has been sitting , unused , expect to do a rebuild. There is every chance that the sludge trap in the crank will be full of crap .
This is not a deal breaker , just go in with your eyes open

My mate bought this 72 Bonnie , figured it would be easy to get running , scope creep set in , it now lives in my garage

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p...psea744107.jpg

I paid $2700, bike had done 28000 miles parked in 1981 & never ran again , unbutchered , standard bore , no wear, standard bearings, no crank wear . The motor will still need $1000 spent to be a reliable runner. Note I'm talking NZ money... Map cycle is a good source of parts not too far from you

Now here is scope creep , bit by bit it gets you, see that thing in the background , no not the Montessa you plonker !!



It morphed into this



That's scope creep

trustme screwed with this post 08-01-2014 at 12:34 AM
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:03 AM   #32
MATTY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vspeed View Post
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?
I cant help with vallues over in America, but it sounds reasonable if you chop it in half at current uk prices.
Thing is if you go have a lok at it you will have a better idea, just what its like.
Its generaly a good idea to take on a project from an assembled bike, boxes of bits are trouble there is always something missing and its some how never noticed when you look through the parts at purchase
If you are interested be quick getting over to see it, things you set your heart on have a habit of selling quick. Looking for the right bike is never eassy be bold if you want to be best.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:23 AM   #33
Voltaire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trustme View Post
If that bike has been sitting , unused , expect to do a rebuild. There is every chance that the sludge trap in the crank will be full of crap .
This is not a deal breaker , just go in with your eyes open

My mate bought this 72 Bonnie , figured it would be easy to get running , scope creep set in , it now lives in my garage

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p...psea744107.jpg

I paid $2700, bike had done 28000 miles parked in 1981 & never ran again , unbutchered , standard bore , no wear, standard bearings, no crank wear . The motor will still need $1000 spent to be a reliable runner. Note I'm talking NZ money... Map cycle is a good source of parts not too far from you
Mate here I've tried to like Pom bikes for the last 25 years.
Bought a 59 T110 basket case in London , rebuilt it and it, took it to the IOM, then back to NZ...seized on me coming back from Puke in 1997...still in boxes.
Picked up a US spec 71 OIF BSA A65 Lighting in non running condition with low miles, got it running and took it to Ireland ( via England) in 2002 on a mid life crisis OE, used it for my daily ride from whatever campground we were in to Clapham each day.
Friggen thing 'nipped' up on me going over the Hammersmith flyover on way to catch Ferry to Ireland.
Shagged around with it for another year and sold it for twice what I paid for it. Ran nice when it was running.
Also had a couple of project rigid Triumph 650s come and go...
Always wanted a Commando so about 4 years ago paid not quite top dollar for a 72 Combat. So far I have done about 5000 miles which I gather is more than they did originally before the bearings gave out.
yes it has got the wrong exhaust on it.
Bought that T120v off a nearly deceased estate as thought " how hard can it be to make it a rat bike"

I have flogged off all my Triumph stuff apart from the previously mentioned T110....it owes me.
My advice ( other than buy a BMW) is buy one that someone else has sunk lots into and will never get back.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:59 AM   #34
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Perchance these examples of the empires finest engineering are allergic to pipe smoking, slipper wearing , bavarian tractor drivers.

Often they seem to be allergic to me as well.
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:03 AM   #35
Voltaire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trustme View Post
Perchance these examples of the empires finest engineering are allergic to pipe smoking, slipper wearing , bavarian tractor drivers.

Often they seem to be allergic to me as well.
its all that fractions and Dick Whitworthington that does my head in....
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:44 AM   #36
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I'm coming in late to this thread, only to find that my buddies are all here...
Or their book is being talked about!
Go figure.

The late model Bonnevilles are amazingly reliable- I had a 79 T140E for decades, barely did anything to it, and it ALWAYS ran great & fired right up, even after sitting for some spells over the years.
A buddy has a 71 Thunderbolt that he's done a lot of work on- BUT he rides it all over the place, doing iron butt style distances with his 5 gallon auxiliary tank strapped to the seat behind him! In July he rode it from Atlanta to Petaluma California, back to Atlanta, did some minor maintenance, then rode it back north to Blowing Rock, NC for a weekend Brit Bike Gathering, did about300 miles there, then rode it home- all within 2 weeks' time! Longest day he rode from The Texas Panhandle to eastern Mississippi!

One thing about these old bikes- the more you ride them, the more reliable they are. Like an old man- if he sits around all the time, he gets creaky and stiff- but if he is out doing stuff, his entire system responds really well!

And speaking of Daisy's Diaries, I'm certain that Graham Ham his own self would want me to debunk the "myth" that "if a bike has been sitting, you're gonna haffta do an entire rebuild"! - to that, he would respond: BOLLOCKS! He's ridden Daisy THOUSANDS of miles having done as little as possible to her.

You buy an old Britbike, ya put new rubber on it. Clean the sump and replace the battery and all fluids. MAYBE clean the carb if it's all gunked up. Check the rubber bits- hoses etc. Then you ride it until it NEEDS something. Entire rebuild? Fuck that. Might as well just buy a goddam Suzuki and get it over with.

I mean unless you're rolling in extra money, and bored as shit with plenty of time on your hands... Then you rebuild it just cuz you can!
BUT never, ever, ever repaint!

You expect it to maybe leak a little oil, I mean HEY- it's a flipping TRIUMPH or a BSA! Leaking oil,is what they DO, it's their signature trademark THING! IF it leaks a LOT, then DO something about it.
(Anecdotal side note: we rode our old BritBikes to the Harley Factory in York PA for their free tour- leaked oil all over their pristine parking lot!!! )

The Brits are
Light weight
Enjoyable
Good handling
Made for little roads like the ones near you
Easy to work on
Easy to get parts for
Reliable as you want them to be
Great conversation starters
Chick magnets (OK the jury's still out on that one )
Awesome sounding!

ricochetrider screwed with this post 08-01-2014 at 06:49 AM
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:20 AM   #37
David4
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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.
Listen to what Tom (ricochetrider) is saying, get the bike running. THEN decide.

Long periods of sitting have NO relationship to full sludge traps as has been suggested.
Look for compression in each cylinder of at least 110.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:20 PM   #38
trustme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David4 View Post
Listen to what Tom (ricochetrider) is saying, get the bike running. THEN decide.

Long periods of sitting have NO relationship to full sludge traps as has been suggested.
Look for compression in each cylinder of at least 110.
dave
It would not have not have been hard to do a quick overhaul of the top end on that 72 & take a chance with the bottom end, however the sludge trap had a lot of hard caked crap in it , there is no doubt in my mind that it would have resulted in serious damage not long after the bike ran.
I know of another person who did that & caused major bottom end damage.
You have to weigh up how long the bike has been sitting idle & then ask yourself , ' Do you feel lucky '. Every chance you will be, if you are not it gets expensive.

Right after fitting an electronic ignition , fit a spin on oil filter, standard oil filtration is rudimentary.

Seriously, Volty is right it will be cheaper in the long run to get a sound runner.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:15 PM   #39
Voltaire
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Here is a pic of the T120v sludge trap with 23000 odd miles on it.



The other bike that he had was a 1970 BMW R75/5

It was the Triumphs replacement but had not been run since about 1986.
My mate bought it ( as I have enough BMW's) changed the oil, cleaned the carbs added some petrol and it started right up, I think he has put new tyres on it and is now a daily rider.
....and he he got it for under 2k
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Voltaire screwed with this post 08-01-2014 at 06:39 PM Reason: changed 2000 miles to correct 23000 miles
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:56 PM   #40
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That has been something's nest for longer than the claimed 2000 miles.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:40 PM   #41
Voltaire
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That has been something's nest for longer than the claimed 2000 miles.
dang typo, now corrected.
23000 mls.
But saying that it did have a Smiths Speedo.
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:03 AM   #42
MATTY
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It looked plain wrong, typos and me are common looking on here with a phone all the time is my excuse and i got big fingers.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:24 AM   #43
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If you want a Brit bike to actually ride, find a good Commando. They don't vibrate parts off like a BSA or a Triumph, and you can get factory quality parts from Andover Norton. I just returned home from a ride of 5k miles, no issues. They really are reliable if screwed together properly.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:15 AM   #44
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I would echo the comment above about the more they are ridden, the more reliable they are.
Also, I can't say how many times I've read the urban legend about how timing side bushing on crankshaft on BSA's (and also on earlier Triumph 500's) should be avoided and need to be upgraded, but I can't recall any firsthand examples of those bushings leading to disaster.
As far as parts availability, I've heard several older guys say that they're easier to come by now then when the bikes were new. Rabers for all britbikes, and old Britts (for Norton) are some of my favorite suppliers. Lowbrow Customs in Ohio carriers a good stock of Triumph spares especially. For Triumph/BSA/Norton you can have anything you need at your door in a few days. Even if you have something a little more obscure, like Ariel or Velocette, most spares/engine components seem to be still available through UK owners clubs or suppliers there.
The knowledge base you can now easily draw from online is also pretty great, like the above mentioned britbike.com for all brands, and accessnorton.com for Norton.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:43 AM   #45
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As far as parts availability, I've heard several older guys say that they're easier to come by now then when the bikes were new.
Correct. I blew the big end shells and cracked a piston on my '68 BSA B25 in 1973 and there were no parts to be had in Australia, even though the bikes were still being sold the previous year. The only piston maker was in South Australia, and in those days contact was either by letter or by very expensive phone calls. Getting parts from the UK involved ordering by mail - several weeks - and then the parts being shipped by sea, generally 2-3 months. I had the crank hard chromed as I had some spare standard shells and got a Kawasaki 900 piston lathed to size. Couldn't even get things like kickstart springs.

I recently did a ground up resto on an AJS 500 and got all the parts I needed online and the bits I ordered from AMOC Spares and Burdens in the UK were here in 10 days. Similar with the Mk III Spitfire I'm currently working on, and so far there's nothing that I need that I haven't been able to source.
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