Friday, June 26, 2009

Scooter stator investigation

This morning I booked a few hours off work and went to Doncaster to see the lambrettaspares.com pattern parts stuff. An interesting visit but I'm not sure of the use of their components:

  1. The ignition coils have between 450 and 500 ohms and without unwinding it I couldn't get a good estimate of the wire diameter. It's therefore hard to judge the number of turns and current capability. The former/bobbin has an 11mm x 18mm central hole and so is likely to be too tight on a Morini laminate - Bob's former was 13mm. Also it is 'thinner' across the radius by a few mm so has less wire space. Note that Beedspeed's is 13mm. If there are more turns I suppose it should give a better spark at low revs (Lambrettas do 3k to 10k apparently, so that suits us) but might become too high volatge for the CDI components at high rpm, unless the copper/aluminium plates do their stuff. A Morini ignition coil must supply current for 2 CDIs, perhaps thinner wire can't do that and will overheat?

  2. The Lambretta baseplate is TOTALLY different to the Morini shape and of no use. This means that a 'donor' Morini base is needed - I'd hoped that the Lambretta bit could be adapted to make a totally new stator.
  3. The diameter and shape of the laminated 'star' is very similar, perhaps 0.3 mm smaller diameter, which may be a good thing for fit, if not for flux.
  4. Without dismantling both parts I cannot tell if the Lambretta core WILL fit the Morini baseplate correctly, especially with regard to the 'standoffs' that set the height of the assembly.
  5. The Lambretta power coils are slightly smaller in height, again, likely to be a good thing as a transplant needs space.
  6. Both my X1 stator and the Lambretta pattern parts have 6 rivet points (the Lambretta has a screw for the pickup in the 6th hole) rather than the 3 shown on Bob's picture. It looks as though all 6 go through baseplate and laminations and thus need removing.
  7. They have both Indian and German stator assemblies. The latter have a better quality feel to them (especially the alloy baseplate but that is of no use!) and are available up to 120W which is fair. The Indian stator has an aluminium 'regulator' plate which is not fixed to the baseplate whereas the German has what might be copper, rivetted to the baseplate similar to my X1 example.
  8. When the scooter ignition pickup is removed it would be possible to mount a 5th short coil, as per Morini.
  9. Despite these misgivings I bought the last ignition coil and an 80W Indian stator coil that had a broken baseplate so they let me have it relatively cheaply. I decided I'd experiment with that rather than the £80 120W model which is likely to be the best long term.
  10. Overall the parts are not all that useful and the formers aren't exactly the same and anyway it would be a costly way to get formers for a total rewind. As the ignition coils have 50% higher resistance we don't know what is in them so even a Beedspeed 13mm item is likely to need a rewind which makes it very expensive.

At present I'll accept my slightly reluctant to start Kanguro and dismantle the spare and new bits to give you more information.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Difficult starting

Over the weekend the Kanguro didn't like to start from either hot or cold. I increased the idle speed a little using the throttle stop screws as it had a habit of fading at stops but that didn't help the starting. Yesterday evening I looked at the carb balance again and increased the richness on the front cylinder with the idle pilot screw. OF course, the balance needed to be reset again.

This evening I went out and it started second kick from cold using a single enricher and quickly settled into an idle. Perhaps that was the issue? By the way, I checked the ignition stator coil resistance and it was 197 ohms which is rumoured to be sufficient.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Giro di Lincolnshire

On the 19th June during the MRC Rallye I took a group around the back lanes of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The route of 140km was planned to take in flowing roads, very minor roads and some potentially muddy unmetalled byways. It would be passable on a Strada, but only just! The 10 o'clock start sounded very early to some but I persisted and by 10:30 the advance party was ready to go. Alan was on his Kanguro whilst Bruno and Cecile were on a 500, with rearsets and clip-ons. A second group of seasoned Morinisti including Les, Pete, Tom and Arthur left somewhat later on machines that were even less suitable. But that was the spirit of the trip. Many would debate whether my Kanguro was up to the task, judging from its reluctance to start from both hot and cold.

The first byway was after 20km and easily tackled by all, it was little more than a warm-up and the surrounding fields didn't offer much of a view. It wasn't long until the first fords of the day. Both Alan and Bruno noticed a slide as they crossed the water, which although shallow hid a slimey concrete base. As we went to the north of Market Rasen the roads, both firm and muddy gained more character with sharp 90 degree corners, gravel in the centre and grassy descents. Bruno and Cecile relished the challenge and insisted that they were having fun.

A little before our lunch stop there was a serious ford to cross. I'd mentioned to the others that it was 'quite deep', perhaps a foot or so and maybe 20 feet long. When we arrived it was agreed that they would see how deep it was on my Kanguro and then decided what to do. As the water splashed into the generator cover and over my boots both Alan and Bruno knew that it would be wise to take the detour. Once in though, there was nothing for it but to keep going. The poor ignition system worked hard and kept the 350 running . I could tell the engine was partially immersed in the water as its noise was damped but after a few seconds I was leaving the ford and gaining the dry road. Being a true gentleman I jogged back along the raised footpath to check the others' plan. Naturally on my return to the Kanguro it wouldn't start. But that was nothing new; I gave the plugs and undertank area a squirt of WD40 and pushed the bike up an incline to roll down the next 100 yards to meet the dry part of the team. Hooray, as I gently relased the clutch the engine fired up and I kept the revs high until the lunchstop at Willington Woods cafe.

We had hoped that the two groups would met up but despite, or perhaps because of, GPS and lots of advice from the riders the later riders arrived after we had left. Alan needed to make his way home so Bruno and Cecile pushed on. Perhaps they wouldn't have if they had known that the some of the next few lanes would have muddy spots. The first was merely slippery and Cecile elected to walk through the worst bit. That was a good idea until she narrowly missed being showered in mud as my worn rear trials tyre spun through a grey puddle.

A little time later the second group reached this point and as a single body decided that it wouldn't be wise to continue. There's nothing worse than tackling a section only to have to retrace the route when the next bit is even worse. As it happens that particular Byway was fine thereafter but others ones would be more demanding. However they did miss out on the gated minor roads through farm estates. I'm very grateful to Cecile for dealing with the numerous gates allowing me to leave the Kanguro running.

During the late afternoon we returned to the campsite, slightly muddy, but with machines and dignity intact and agreed that it had been a most excellent journey. The Lincolnshire Trail Riders' Fellowship also played an important role by highlighting some legal non-BOAT roads and also pointing out the best minor roads to ride off the better known super-bike routes. If you have any interest in protecting the right to ride the network unsurfaced roads you should join them.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bags on the back

My new luggage system seem to work fine. The soft pannier support rails were finished eventually after a lot of hard, slow, work. As the bends are quite critical, and in 2 planes, there was a lot of measuring up and testing on scrap tube. I didn't need to remake the side sections at all which is a miracle.

You can't see them on the loaded picture but it shows the end result. It also shows that I can't pack lightly, even for a short camping trip.

This rather nasty, shaky picture gives an impression of the design. The rails run from the front rack support point to the pillion peg mount. The position was set with the usual cardboard template to be within the border of the bag and parallel to the body work; simply to give a neat appearance.

The exhaust side needed the upper bracket to be cut out around the exhaust mount. It's rather slight in places but should survive normal use. In view of the time spent making them it would have been cheaper to buy from Touratech, except of course they don't make things for Morini machines!

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Soft luggage

I need to set up the Kanguro to carry some camping gear. I decided on soft saddle bags/panniers for clothes and food but had a bit of a choice for the bags themselves. Ok I could use rucsacs from Decathalon at £20 each but that would need messing with the bags and often that sort of budget bag aren't well made. So in the classier range of motorcycle soft luggage I think there are four choices:

  1. Andy-Strapz expedition panniers. These look excellent but the UK website had no stock when I looked. I've no time to order from Oz.
  2. Ortlieb soft case, or perhaps their cycle products. These will be waterproof but I'm not confident about the strength of the clip-on-off system. Too many bits of plastic.
  3. Wolfman expedition saddle bags look neat and I know that their stuff is well thought out and well made. No zips is a good thing as even the best made ones don't like dirt and tugging.
  4. Dirt-Bagz seem to combine lots of useful ideas into a neat package. This was perhaps my first choice but I was slightly put off by the need for a special support. When it came to order I didn't know of a UK importer.

Due to previous experience and known importer I decided to get the Wolfman expedition bags in a tasteful yellow. These WILL need a support even though the side panels on a Kanguro are quite large so to a degree I wished I'd got the Dirt-Bagz.

I'll post pictures as I go.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Carb balance

During last week's service I decided not to balnace the carbs. Leave well alone I thought. Well, on Saturday's trip out the idle speed seemed far too high, even for a hot day, and so on my return I adjusted the slide stops to reduce the idling. Of course they needed evening out and then the cable adjustment setting for even opening. It seemed right.

Of course the worry is that although it may be fine when HOT, will the engine still start from cold and idle smoothly after a sensible warm-up period. So I went out for a little spin. Now a bit of throttle is needed as well as a single enricher for a cold start. Also hot starts need more throttle opening than I'd hoped. Nonetheless after a few km the idle is good at below 1500 rpm and picks up smoothly. I'll take that as a success for now. Time will tell...

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