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Messages - bikerbob

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Twins / Re: 1962 Oil Tank level
« on: 17 December, 2017, 10:36:11 »
I think you are worrying unduly about oil levels, you have drained the oil tank and the sump so you have virtually drained all the oil out of the engine. When you put fresh oil in up to the level I have suggested 1/4" below the return hole in the tank that is the correct starting level. When you start the bike the first thing to check is, as has been stated is to check that oil is returning assuming oil is returning then after running the bike for a few minutes and you stop the engine then recheck the oil level it will probably be slightly below the  previous level this is because oil is now filling the oil ways and there will always be a small amount of oil left in the sump and you should then top up to the correct level but no higher.  One other thing that you might want to check is if the bike is left standing for say a week without running then before you start the engine check the oil level, if it has dropped more than say 1/4" then your bike is suffering from what is termed as wet sumping, and  oil is draining into the sump it maybe worthwhile draining the sump before starting the engine or if you do start it, it could pump that oil out through the breather onto the ground. Wet sumping is a common thing on old bikes I have 2 bikes one wet sumps and the other does not so if I start the bike that wet sumps once a week I have no problems but if I left it for 2 weeks  then when started it would pump that excess sump oil out onto the garage floor.

Twins / Re: 1962 Oil Tank level
« on: 16 December, 2017, 10:39:39 »
I have a 1963 Star and when I do an oil change I top up the oil in the tank until it is about 1/4" below the return hole and then recheck after  running the engine. I have never actually measured how much oil I actually put in or drain out.

Twins / Re: A65 fuel tanks
« on: 07 November, 2017, 16:51:23 »
HI there No that tank does not have cutouts for a Lightning the coyouts are either side of the petrol outlets. The lightning has twin carbs that is why the coutouts are required

Twins / Re: A65 fuel tanks
« on: 06 November, 2017, 19:24:39 »
That tank would fit the pre oil in the frame models from 1962 the Star Twin, Rocket, Thunderbolt etc., if it has the carb cutouts on the underside it would fit the Lightning. As for buying the correct tank for your bike there are only 2 Uk Dealers that I know of that supply tanks Burton Bike Bits  and Draganfly Motorcycles  but they are out of stock and have been for sometime now you could give them a ring and see if they are going to restock them. I agree buying from India does have potential problems I bought an Indian made tank for my A65 but had to send it back because of poor quality fortunately I had bought it from a UK dealer so a refund was no problem and that dealer no longer deals in Indian made tanks.

Sidecars / Re: A bit in the side
« on: 05 November, 2017, 19:41:24 »
That is one stunning outfit,but I am a bit surprissed that someone would say that the gearing does not need to be changed it would not be the clutch that would concern me but the extra load on the engine. The reason I say this because some 50 odd years ago my brother had a 1957 Gold Flash and he had fitted a single seater Swallow sidecar and did not alter the gearing it lasted about a month the crankshaft snapped through the big end journal. Now it could have been because he always had someone in the sidecar or because it had the small journal crankshaft your,s looks as though it will have the large journal crankshaft but I would always alter the gearing when fitting a sidecar. I come from a family that had many a sidecar outfit my late father if he was going out and did not have anyone in the sidecar he would put a bag of sand in the sidecar to aid handling. Right hand bends are no problem but if you take a left hand bend to fast the sidecar will come up off the ground and you will lose control I know from experience.

The Star and Garter / Re: Ethanol. What it does and how to fight it
« on: 05 November, 2017, 17:45:18 »
At the moment I have 2 BSA,s a 1963 A65 and a 1956 A7 and I do not use any additives in either bike. Both bikes are now laid up for the winter but if there is a decent day sometime during the winter I may take them out for a run. I remember all the horror stories about unleaded fuel they were overstated to a large extent, I had a Gold Flash at the time and remember buying a spare cylinder head with the intention of having new hardened valve seats fitted,but on speaking to a friend who made his living from working on classic bikes he persuaded me not to go ahead his reasoning was why spend money on something that may not be needed, wait till you have a problem before spending money. I did however use Castrol valvoline for a number of years but not anymore and have not experienced any problems.  The bikes will normally stay laid up until maybe late March or early April the A7 will get started up maybe once a week  or if it lies longer than a week I have to drain the sump because it wet sumps, the A65 I only check the battery every now and then. Each spring I change the oil then off I go never yet have I had any problems starting up either bike and both bikes at the moment have about a gallon of fuel in the tanks which will stay there until next spring.
 Now I do know from expeience that there are some problems with modern fuels, in the past 5 years I have had 3  fuel related problems. The first was with the Gold Flash when I restored it I used what I think was Petseal  for the tank lining way back in the mid ninties, when Ethanol came out it affected that lining and I had to remove it and replace with an ethanol resistant lining. The second time was when I had to replace the cork seals in the petrol taps and decided to make my own seals using o rings now these worked for about 3 months then it became difficult to operate the taps they became very stiff it seems the o rings had swelled up, now this may have been due to the fuel or I may have used the wrong type of o ring I went back to cork seals which by the way are supposed to be affected by ethanol but not uptil now on my bikes. The third time was about 3 years ago, it was a very hot summers day and I took the A65 out for a run to a local autojumble, I was only there for about 15 minutes when I decided to leave but no matter how I tried the bike just would not start so I called the breakdown service which came with my insurance the AA came out and I related the problem,the guy then said flood your carb I said the engine is still hot you do not flood a hot engine. He said I know but please do it just this once so I did the bike started first kick I was really embarrased but he just smiled and then started to explain the problem. According to him he said that all vehicles about the age of my bike were never designed to run on modern fuels they bear no resemblance to the old petrol of years ago. He maintained that what had happened in my case was that when I stopped the engine the remaining fuel in the carb had evaporated and being a modern fuel it left behind residue in the bottom of the carb,when I switched on the fuel the amount of petrol in the carb was not enough to overcome the residue that is why he said flood the carb. The problem was made worse in my case because the carb on the A65 is behind the side panels and in the very hot weather made things worse. He advised that in future in such hot weather when I decide to stop and park instead of stopping the engine with the igniotion key I allow the engine to stop by switching off the petrol thus eliminating any left over residue.

The Star and Garter / Re: Ethanol. What it does and how to fight it
« on: 04 November, 2017, 18:02:05 »
Ethanol has been added to petrol since 2012 at upto 5% level if it goes upto 10% then by law it has to be labeled on the fuel pumps. If you want to calculate the amont of ethanol in your petrol then there is a way to do it.
1.  place place 25ml of water into a clear measuring cylinder making w=25ml.
2.  pour 75ml of fuel sample into the same cylinder. making f=75ml.
3.  close the cylinder and shake it, set it upright and allow the solution to settle.
4.  the original volume of the bottom section w was25ml. once the solution has settled, there will be an increase in the volume of w by an amount (d). to determine the value d subtract 25 from the new level reading of w.
5. to determine the percentage of ethanol in the fuel sample divide d ( the volume difference in w) by f ( the amount of  original fuel sample ) and multiply by 100 ( the total amount of solution in the cylinder )

Twins / Re: 1971 A65L Kickstart return spring
« on: 24 September, 2017, 10:35:15 »
It's normally a straight forward job and takes about 3 minutes.
Put the spring onto the casing with the hook around the screw. Get a piece of thin strong cord, the stuff used on blinds is ideal. Loop the cord around the other hook on the spring and pull upwards, this pulls the hook on the spring up out of the way. Get the retaining washer and slide it onto the kick start spindle and put the flats into place. Lower the spring hook onto the the retaining washer hook and pull the cord out or cut it.
I hope that makes sense. it's straight forward once you have done it a few times.
I live over in Shiremoor, North Tyneside, if you need a hand on anything just send me a memo.

The above is a reply that I got when I had the same problem on my 1963 A65 and it worked perfectly.

The Star and Garter / Re: MOT changes for historical vehicles
« on: 18 September, 2017, 15:18:15 »
If you look at the DVLA website regarding radically altered vehicles and reconstructed vehicles then if they use those definitions then bikes such as Tritons should be okay. Radically altered vehicles have to achieve 8 points and while the website quotes things for cars if you change those for motorcycles ie the chassis becomes the frame if you have the original frame you would get 5 points 2 points for the original suspension 2 points for the steering same with transmission you only get 1 point for the original engine so it should okay to get 8 points for a Triton. If they class a Triton as a reconstructed vehicle the main thing seems to be that the major components should be over 25 years old. So if they apply those rules Tritons and the others should okay but who knows how the DVLA will  operate time will tell.

The Star and Garter / Re: BSA clutch cable
« on: 04 September, 2017, 13:30:47 »
I remember some time ago fitting a new clutch cable to my A65 and at first it was very stiff tried lubricating and checked the routing but was still stiff was solved by lubricating the nipple in the lever never really thought that could be the problem but ever since I occaisionally put a drop of oil on both lever nipples.

Twins / Re: Simplified diagram of BSA clutch
« on: 26 August, 2017, 15:01:32 »
As regards push rod length I believe the six spring clutch is 11.5" and the 4 spring is 12". If you have rod that is too short you could cut it in half and put a 1/4" ball bearing in the middle but you would have to harden the ends, some people do this mod anyway saying it improves the clutch operation, I did it on an A10 some twenty years ago but never noticed any difference in the clutch operationbut it was still working OK when I sold it 4 years ago.

Twins / Re: Another tank question.
« on: 13 August, 2017, 09:32:17 »
You could have a look at the products supplied by Tank Care Products I have used them and find them to be excellent. I think the website address is

Twins / Exhaust pipes
« on: 12 July, 2017, 13:09:30 »
Is there an optimum distance for how far the exhaust pipes go into the silencers on a 1956 swinging arm A7 mine go in approx 4 inches which seems quite a bit or does it not make any difference to performance.

Twins / Re: Small end problem
« on: 06 July, 2017, 15:39:39 »
Thanks for that info I have checked the con rod and it is still round and no bad scoring just a few minor scratches no sign of any heat problems, have ordered a new standard bush did not realise you could get oversize ones and will see if it is a tight enough fit if not I have a small lathe and will turn a bush to suit, I am by no means an expert on lathe turning but will have a go and if it does not work out I will order an oversize bush. Looking at the bush that turned it would appear that sometime in the past a previous owner has fitted a bush that was maybe a little to small and has tried to compensate by putting a series of pop marks all over  the bush to make it a tighter fit, I have had the bike for about 3 years now so it did work for a while. I have been down to a local metal stockist and bought a small piece of phosphor bronze the correct grade, If anyone out there needs to buy any type of metal be it sheet or round bar or sectional bar then I can recommend going to a company called the Metal Supermarket they have branches around the country, they will cut to order and are very helpful and not expensive, acouple of years ago I made my own motorcycle lift  and they cut all the parts to the sizes I required and did not charge for the cutting I just paid for the cost of the material.

Twins / Re: Small end problem
« on: 05 July, 2017, 20:19:26 »
Thanks for that Julian have looked at their website did not realise there were so many different products will wait till new bush comes then will see if  some type of loctite is required. The con rod does not look to be damaged the hole is still round and not scored don't know why the bush has turned no heat damage.

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