Proud New Steamer Owner!

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by sevenpointsixtwo, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Newb Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    The 802
    First things first; pics!

    [​IMG]

    Paperwork complete!
    [​IMG]

    It was listed as a 1997 Triumph Tiger on Craigslist, but the title actually says '98 model year. 28,300-ish miles. It's been well looked after by owners who know Triumphs and took good care of it. Supposedly the sprag clutch was "taken care of" (whatever that means) and valves have been checked, and there was no DAR to speak of when we fired it up. It's been jetted and is running a K&N filter, and supposedly pulls strong (it was 0 degrees out - too cold for a test ride!). New-ish Shinko 705s, center stand, bash plate, corbin seat, hard top case, soft panniers and tank bag included.

    The ugly: presumably due to ethanol in the gas, the paint on the fuel tank has bubbled and started to flake off. It needs a complete repaint job, but I'm concerned that it would just happen again. Is there a way to properly seal the tank so that paint will stick and be resistant to this? On the cheap, preferably. I'm thinking rattle-can tan or OD.

    All in, $2000. I'm thinking that's a helluva deal; what say you inmates in the know?
    #1
  2. Animo

    Animo Beastly n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
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    I say “ Go and ride, after a few hundred miles of dirt the tank will go unnoticed” Nice bike :clap
    #2
  3. birddogone

    birddogone Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Hey Congratulations, She sure looks nice! :thumb
    #3
  4. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
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    1,683
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    The Purgatory of Suburbia
    Great buy! Congrats

    Always loved the looks, plus that engine is just a delight.
    #4
  5. jwdub

    jwdub Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    771
    Location:
    SW Washington
    Congrats on your new ride. I had a 95 Steamer and only have one suggestion. Don't let the bike sit for long without treating the fuel with Stabil. I let mine sit for 3 months during the winter and it took hours of work to take everything off to get the pilot jet out of the center carb. The backbone frame comes down right in back of it and it's a real bitch to get to. Depending upon your height, you may experience a lot of turbulence at head level. I'm sure that there are a number of windshield options out there that weren't available when I had mine. Most of all, have fun!
    #5
  6. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    I had a funny feeling you might have already posted here, David. :rofl

    I think you're going to love that bike. The paint may be rough, but it sure runs great and sounds awesome! And for the paint, you might look at using the two-part PPG epoxy primer on the tank first, then painting over that. A friend of mine has an HVLP paint rig I'm sure he'd let me borrow, and come spring we could strip the tank, shoot the epoxy primer, then shoot an automotive paint of your choice. It'll give better-looking results than rattle-canning it; don't know why I didn't think to mention it last night.

    --mark
    #6
  7. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    17,591
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    :wink:
    Just keep wearing the hat. No one will notice anything else.:wink::D
    #7
  8. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Newb Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    The 802
    What can I say? Vermont does things to my inner hillbilly! :D

    I plan on painting my helmet flannel-plaid to complete the look. Or camo.
    #8
  9. M Bouthillette

    M Bouthillette Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Congratulations on the new bike. It looks great. Is it a first bike ?

    Now the waiting game begins.
    #9
  10. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,801
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Note in the sig at the bottom of his post that he already owns two other bikes.

    And then there's this ride report that we did on the Labrador/Newfoundland trip we took at the end of this past summer:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=823825

    --mark
    #10
  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9,900
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    Nice. Sounds like you got a good deal, too, with all those farkles. The paint looks fine from here...:lol3

    I almost bought one of those a couple of years ago, for quite a bit more than you paid. I didn't know much about them, so I hesitated and it was gone.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
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    1,813
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    505
    That's a STEAL! Be safe and post up progress of the paint fix :thumb
    #12
  13. snakeroll

    snakeroll n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    TN USA
    congrats on the bike......7.62! love a .30 cal also!
    #13
  14. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Newb Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    The 802
    Merci! Nowhere near a first bike, although I've only been riding 6 years or so. Most of my previous bikes have been sport-y bikes, and I've finally had enough of being uncomfortable on long rides. As Markbvt posted, we did a Trans-Lab trip last summer and I took the DRZ400E - certainly not my first choice to be riding 4000 miles on, but actually a lot more fun than a sportbike in many ways. I wanted something that could haul my ass all day and get dirty at the same time, and I think the Tiger fits the bill!
    #14
  15. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    591
    Location:
    Western Mass
    I owned a 1998 Triumph Thunderbird Adventurer, which had much the same 885cc engine. I ran into a couple of problems at mileage close to what you have on yours. First, the alternator drive failed. The gear bolt on the clutch side just shears off. There is an "upgrade" which consists of a new, hollow splined shaft, and a long, grade 8 bolt that goes all the way through the new shaft, with a lock nut on the end. Installing this shaft is a bit tricky, as you have to carefully push the old shaft out with the new one. Any "backing off" or releasing of pressure will allow the sprag clutch assembly to drop, requiring engine removal, and case splitting to re-install. Fortunately, mine went in easily.
    Another issue I ran into was the neutral indicator stopped working. This was due to the switch tip contacting a rotating brass plate that is affixed to the shift drum. The tip eventually wears a groove in the plate, and contact is lost. This can be temporarily remedied by replacing the aluminum washer underneath the switch with a thinner one.
    I also started encountering strange electrical issues - the idiot lights would start doing strange things, and the headlight would go out intermittently. I tore the wiring harness apart, and found some questionable wiring practices (unsoldered junctions - just twisted together). I was never able to permanently repair the wiring, and intermittent opens, and I eventually sold the bike.
    There were also issues with the 885's of this era losing the sprag clutch entirely. Mine held out, but I would recommend that you keep a strong, healthy battery in that machine at all times, as this is the best defense against premature sprag wear.
    #15
  16. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Newb Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    The 802
    Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely keep an eye on the electrics for any weirdness. From what I've read, the alternator rattle is readily apparent at idle, and I didn't hear it; that's not to say it can't happen, so another thing to be on the lookout for! I will have to ask the previous owner exactly what work was done to the sprag clutch; supposedly the issue was fixed, but I'm not sure if it's still at risk. Definitely planning on keeping the battery charged though; as I've read, that's best practices for this bike and may prevent a major issue.
    #16
  17. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    Oddometer:
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    Western Mass
    There was an "upgrade" to the sprag clutch part number, so, hopefully, the previous owner installed the upgrade. Those motors are simply *amazing*, though. I loved mine. The chassis and electrical work left a bit to be desired, though. I modified mine with a ZX-7 shock, and it worked pretty good. The seat was horrible for anything over an hour, and there was zero aftermarket support, so that was one of the things that pushed me towards selling it.
    I always like the older Tiger's, especially the green ones, but you will find that Triumph's of that era have some teething problems that are quite unlike normal "motorcycle" problems. For me, I just finally had enough after a couple of years of ownership.
    Those motors, though... they are really something special. Mine seemed to be very "tight" (a good thing!) compared to normal motorcycle engines, and run a bit hot, so keep a close eye on your cooling system as well.
    Good Luck with your new Tiger!
    #17
  18. mustang

    mustang Lurker Extraordinaire

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    Cow Hampshire , Frozen Wasteland
    .if it's a 97 it would have mikuni carbs , 98's and only 98's had Keihin carbs . 97's had Kayaba suspension also front and rear .
    98's had showa .
    your photos though are of a 98 paint scheme , the 97's had white lettering with no black . and the 97's were a brighter red (Pimento I think was the color name)

    this is a 97 ................
    [​IMG]
    if the sprag clutch was truly dealt with it would have been an engine out split the case affair to replace the sprag with the improved version .

    98's had the new sprag which was a bigger diameter . and even though it was "improved" they can still fail . Trying to start it with a weak battery is usually what kills them .

    but to confirm if you have a 97 or a 98 just look at whats on it for carbs and suspension .
    #18
  19. Mr Grumpy

    Mr Grumpy Old Git.

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Montreal QC Canada.
    I rode, or rather thrashed,one of those Tigers around the Le Mans race circuit at a triumph test day.
    The only other bike that put more of a grin on my face that day was the Speed triple, it's a very capable road bike.
    I've been considering for quite some time about buying a "vacation bike" to leave at a friends place near Buffalo & that model Tiger is top of the list.

    For a no frills paintjob try bed-liner.

    Enjoy.
    #19
  20. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Newb Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    The 802

    Thanks Mustang! This one has Keihins, so definitely a '98 then. The manufacture date might say '97 which is why the seller thought that. Even better deal then!

    I've read quite a few of your Steamer posts; do you make a high fender kit or is that a one-off? I might have to pick up some lower pegs at some point though...

    Safe and sound in Mark's barn:
    [​IMG]

    It's a Steamer alright!
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, that's going to need some bedliner. :evil
    [​IMG]
    #20