Thursday, June 26, 2014

Streettracker goes south

It's out of my hands now, again. I was able to put it back together last week. I wound up painting the subframe and swing-arm with Colorrite touch up spray paint. The lights went back on with no fuss, but I need to get a new flasher for the turn signals to work. It started up after just a few kicks, and I was able to get it to idle with a half turn of the idle air screw.

On Tuesday I got to deliver it down to Scott in Brooklyn. He'll do some fine tuning and ride it around a little, and eventually put it up for sale.

On the Ferry to New York.

Monday, June 9, 2014

XL/XR600 'Tracker

I'm currently recovering from an injury sustained while riding in the woods last week. I fell, hurt my arm. Now I don't have the arm strength required to ride in the woods, so this Sunday instead of riding, I wanted to make some progress on the streettracker project.

The carbs have been cleaned and await re-installation. The exhaust has been sanded and painted. The engine has been detailed a little. The frame was giving me pause. I wanted to paint it, but I really didn't want to pull the engine to do that, even though it's really only a few more nuts and bolts to deal with. It could be a lot of work and potential trouble for not much gain. I decided to put that decision off while I mount some new rubber and clean the wheels.

Having pulled the rear wheel, it was no great amount of work to also pull the swingarm, which would give me better access to the rear of the engine and frame for cleaning.

I got the old Carlisle DT tire off the rear wheel easily enough, then proceeded to pinch two tubes trying to mount the new Maxxis DT tire. I chose the Maxxis because the tread pattern is more suitable for the street than the Dunlop/Goodyear DT tire. The Dunlop/Goodyear tread pattern is symmetrical, but it has a center line void created by the tread blocks that makes it wander over paved road. The Maxxis tread pattern covers the center of the tire. The Maxxis tire is a little tougher to mount, the carcass of the tire is considerably stiffer than the Dunlop, so I was leaning on the tire irons a little more, and I pinched the tubes.

I think I've decided to paint the lower sub-frame and swingarm. I don't want to get into a full restoration, but I think that touching up the worn paint will make the bike presentable without losing some of the racing cred that this bike has.

Monday, June 2, 2014

1976 Triumph T140 Bonneville

Well now. This Spring I decided to get the Bonneville back on the road. I've been meaning to do this for a couple years, but lacked the inspiration and enthusiasm to actually lift a finger to the job. I'd done a lot of tinkering with it in the past, but failed to end up with a reliable bike, and I just ran out of patience with it and moved (with some nagging pangs of guilt) on.

Due to a recent influx of cash on my Volvo Awards Visa card, I decided it was time to release the guilt with the help of the guys down the road at Classic Bike Exchange. Actually, I started the releasing process by having Charlie spend an hour or so trying to figure out the wiring. He got it to the point that we had spark, and in fact got it running, which was very encouraging. Only problem was, the next time I tried to start it, it wouldn't stay running long enough to get down the driveway. We had identified a problem with the positive ground, but didn't know what the solution was.

It was at this point that Charlie encouraged (begged?) me to borrow his trailer and get the beast down to CBE to have them replace the wiring harness, which clearly needed to be done. I dropped it off, got some evaluation and mental therapy time with one of their councilors, and left it in their care for a week. The guys at CBE are willing to work on bikes at their hourly rate, but they also have a policy of allowing customers to use their shop and work on their bikes at a very reasonable shop rate, with some expert consultation when needed. So once they had the harness installed, they were pretty confident that the bike would be reliable and that I could take over. So I went down there and spent some quality time installing turn signals and learning the British way with electrical connections.

The total operation was a success, and I was able to ride it out of the shop with a current State Inspection sticker.

I've done a couple rides on it now, and I'm optimistic that it will in fact be a reliable daily ride!