Sunday, March 20, 2005

Setting up for the trial

I've mounted the route roller. One day I'll detail how I made this as I think it's a pretty neat version. The trial route runs to nearly 9 sides of A4 and it's all ina plastic VHS case.

I also decided that I needed a Kanguro tool roll as my usual one lacked items and the spark plug spanner was useless for this bike. I hate very cheap tools but don't want to be carrying a valuable set either. I have tried 3/4" drive items but have decided to stay with combination spanners here. One reason I've gone this way for this set is that many of the fasteners require 2 tools and that's hard to achieve if you only pack one 3/4" bar. I have tried to focus and have removed the 10mm, 8mm and 2.5mm WAF Allen keys.

The blue backing is an old towel that the itmes will be wrapped in and would form a clean work surface. I'm lacking a 24mm spanner for the front wheel nut but reckon the locking pliers will do. Not convinced though! My tyre levers and pump are in a separate bundle. I don't take them on local trips.

The set fits nicely between seat and grab rail.

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Saturday, March 19, 2005


The castellated exhaust nuts are notorious for loosening and during the Edinburgh trial mine did! I checked today and found that over the last 100km they had moved half a turn or so. Originally Kanguros came with special clamps with a wing that locked the nuts, but these seem unobtainable now. I've tried to lockwire the nuts in place. The proper job woul be to drill a lug on the nuts and also in the head cover.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Another 30km test run

Even though I'd had an early start today I felt I must take advantage of the pleasant evening and go for another test run. The engine coughed on the first kick but started on the second - front choke, no throttle as it should be. After a few hundred yards the choke came off and left a fair idle. I'm wondering if the idle could be turned down a little as it is a spot fast when the engine is hot. Then again, it starts hot and cold and doesn't stall, so what am I worrying about?

From home there are a few road miles before a short byway that ascends a grassy bank, with some stones near the top. Getting through the gate was difficult due to the lack of side-stand but after that progress was good. I did find that opening the throttle gives a rather sudden burst of power when trickling over obstacles. I assume that this is the slides lifting as the slack is taken. Some might call this responsive but it's not ideal at slow speeds. Despite this the lane was passed easily and I had no problems with changing to second and did much of the lane at a low tickover, lots of torque. Maybe if I'd kept in first I'd have had more revs and more throttle and so been above the throttle's critical point?

There's still the intrusive knock from the front end on full fork extension and a can't feel slack in the sterring bearings. However I think they have bedded in a little over the 100km test as they feel a little loose - the handlebars tip side-to-side a little too easily.

The evening went dark earlier than expected as there was lots of cloud so the run was done with lights on. Don't seem to be any problems there.

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Stuff the seat!

I couldn't leave the seat with a gap, even though the vinyl cover looked great by itself. I carefully unpicked the staples at the front and inserted a piece of closed cell foam cut from a camping mat. I tried to shave the edges to make it smooth and taped it into place.

I put a few staples in and went outide to test it. Good work, but not enough. I cut a bigger piece of foam, unpicked the staples again etc etc. I couldn't pull the cover tight over the foam as it isn't rigid enough. This time it fitted well forming a nice soft cuff around the tank. It didn't pull when I sat down either. So I put the full set of staples in and put small patches of waterproof repair material over the staple holes that had no become close to the edge of the seat.

Moral of this is to check covering with as few staples in palce as possible and not to cut big relieving 'V's until you're done. By the way, I used a hot air gun to work the fabric around corners.

Early eveing I went for another trip, just on roads to avoid mud, and found the bike as good as yesterday. Lighting fine too.

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Recovering the seat

In high spirits I decided it was a good time to tidy the garage. I had 4 empty boxes to put away now that all the parts are attached to the bike where they belong.

The seat that I'd got with the bike had a nasty tear at the back and cracks around a support. I suspect this one is damaged due to heat from the exhaust. I cleaned around it with petrol and daubed chemical metal into the defect up to the correct level and then fitted the rubber support.

The foam on this seat is orignal and extends infront and behind the seat base for about 8mm each end. I checked that this reached the tank and then set to covering the base with a cover from R K Leighton that they had made using the torn one as a template. I'd been advised to keep the cover warm and to stretch it as much as possible by hand tho stop wrinkles developing. I did a trial run with clothes pegs and then set to it. I started near the back and then gradually worked to the front. Then I pulled the back over and finally the front. It looked good.

Unfortunately the tension in the foam now meant that a gap existed between the seat and tank. Oh dear!

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First test ride

After refitting the seat with the dodgy foam and pouring in a few litres of fuel I took the bike out for its first run after this rebuild. I got off to a good start is it fired second kick wit hone choke on and in less than a minute it would idle with no choke. Things were looking good.

I managed to stall 100m from home due to too few revs and too high gear on a little hill, but I found neutral without too much difficulty and restarted first kick.

Everything seemed sound so I continued to a petrol station just inside Derbyshire, a trip of 10km. After filling up I looked at key things such as brakes, wheel nuts, exhaust mountings and found everything sound. In a great frame of mind I rode a few lanes and a few easy dirt tracks to get a feel for the bike again. The evenings of anguish were rewarded with what feels to me like perfect carburation. The only thing I didn't like was that it was hard to get my boot under the gear lever for changes up. But, if the lever is lifted it is likely to foul the kickstart. Maybe 1 spline would be OK? There is a risk of finding neutral between 1st and 2nd so I experimented with clutchless changes from 1 to 2. It can be done quite smoothly with a gentle press as the throttle is rolled off but it can be jerky too.

As it was heading towrads lunchtime I set off home with a slightly muddy bike.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005


Today I refitted the sump guard and the sidepanels. Trivial things but I had to clear a bit of coating from the threads (only a spot - the coaters had done a fair job of fitting screws) and then adjust part of the loom for the left panel to fit.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rear rack

I'm down to the little things now but they take a surprising amount of time to sort out. I still have to deal with the seat covering but wanted to check that the seat woudl come off and on with the rack in place - I knew it was a tight fit. Quickly I saw that a little needed to be sawn off to make placement easier. I did it carefully with the rack on the back as it's quite fiddly to take off. Then I discovered that the 'proper' seat foam extends further than on the butchered seat I had tested. So I had to take the rack off to saw 10mm off it. Now that's done the seat attachments don't catch at all and the rack shoudl be clear of the vinyl cover.

I've taken the new cover and the seat indoors so they can warm through a little and hopefully the cover will lose some of its creases.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Nearly there

First off I went for a cold start. Ignition on, front choke on, sharp stroke of kick lever with bike on stand. It fired, but I lost it. Second kick and it was off. After less than a minute it would hold an idle with the choke off. That looked good.

I adjusted the chain and noted that it is tighter with the bike on the centrestand than when on its wheels. The opposite of most bikes. What is happening is that the pully below the chain is adding a bend and removing slack. It seems that a tight chain on the stand feels about right on the ground.

I took a look at the seat mounting and trimmed the 'legs' back a little to clear the frame. I also had to relocate the rear light cable as that was obstructing the seat holes. Also my perspex rack was fouling the seat mountings and I carefully sawed its corners off with it in place. It's really fiddly to remove and fit. Then I tried my better seat base and found that the foam extends further at the back and caught on the rack. There's no way it could be trimmed insitu this time so I've taken it off to saw 1cm off it. Refitting it will not be fun.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Messing with the chain

I couldn't face kicking the engine over anymore so did simple jobs like fitting the chain and guard. The guard is a really fiddly job as every screw is a different size. I'll have to see if the assembly can be simplified. The other fiddly job was to refit the cowl that is supposed to keep mud off the shock. It's not quite the right shape.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Idle mixture

Over the last few days I've refitted the clocks and headlamp. I also had to replace the bolt acting as ground for the transducers and front electrics. The screw was tapped and inserted from inside so that cables could attach on the left side of the frame. The only problem was that the bolt end and nut stopped the petrol tank seating. So, I've put the bolt in from the left and fitted the cables inbetween the frame downtubes. Actually it looks a lot neater but is probably going to attract mud.

That was all so good, but the engine didn't want to start. Inspection of the plugs showed them to be black with carbon. I tried wirebrushing them which allowed the engine to restart, but they fouled quickly and the engine wouldn't idle when hot. Sounds rich! I tried turning the idle screw anti-clockwise but that had no effect. Then I remembered that I'd fitted an O-ring on the idle screw that appeared on the exploded diagram and was in the rebuild kit. Strangely there wasn't one in nay of the 4 Kanguro carbs that I've got. When that was removed things got a lot better and it became possible to start the engine more predictably.

It still wasn't right though. I put fresh plugs in, nice and clean and properly gapped and after a few hours tried a cold start. Seemed fine, then it faltered and woudln't pick up. What was wrong? After much worry I found that the dribble of petrol I'd put in the tank had gone...

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Engine restarted

Now I needed to refit the exhaust system. I'd like to get some stainless header pipes so decided against an attempt at painting the headers. As the paint on the after market silencer was rough I stripped it off and cleaed it down to a presentable plain stainless. Before a long trip I must safety wire the header nuts!

With everything in place and fresh oil it was time to start the engine. Naturally I had to kick it over numerous times before it fired - even then I resorted to EasyStart spray. Then the task was to fiddle with idle mixture and throttle stop screws until the engine would run unaided. It did, and I did a rough balance of the carbs but wasn't happy with it as it was reluctant to restart.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Oil change

OK, so it should be done with a hot engine to get the oil out. Nonetheless it seemed sensible to do this before the rigours of starting with unadjusted carbs. To compensate for cold oil I left it to drip for 2 hours before refilling. I also ran a little light oil into the sump to flush out the last remains. Considering that the engine has only done 600km since the last oil change the oil was black and carrying a fair few bits and pieces. I suspect that the engine had received little attention in the past... I'll plan to do another change before the next long trip.

To tidy things up I've refitted the sump breather and put lots of cable ties onto the wiring.

On a completely different tack, I've moved the kickstart lever 2 splines anticlockwise to try to get a longer active kick. The key thing though is to ensure that the ratchet disengages completely when the lever is against the alloy stop.

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