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Messages - bikerbob

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The Star and Garter / Re: Number plate - obtain original?
« on: 19 January, 2022, 14:33:06 »
What you are asking can be done. I have a 1956 A7 and I am the 11th owner but back in 1990 the then owner for some unknown reason changed registration number and had the buff log book cancelled and the new registration written on it with a official stamp which is dated 1988 why he did this when I believe at that time buff log books were discontinued, however  the MOT for that year has the new registration but the following year the MOT was done on the frame number. Now in 1994 a new owner had the registration changed back to the original number all subsequent MOT,s are with the orignal registration also the owner who changed the registration only did 295 miles from 1990 until 1994.  Previous owners of our bikes do some strange things for reasons that they only know.  I have the names and addresses of all previous owners plus the milages that they did  some photos  taken in 1988 which show te bike with the original registration and a couple of blurry mono photos taken by an owner in 1962 on camping weekend in Wales, I did consider trying to contact the owner who changed the registration to try to find out why he did it but it is so long ago that he may not live there  or may even have passed away.

Twins / Re: Rear brake cable
« on: 07 January, 2022, 17:04:10 »
I believe the part number for your bike is 42-7042 and the outer housing length is13/3/4inches and the cable length is 22 1/4 inches.the fittings would be clevis and big ball. The other part number I have is 42-7034 with housing length of 13 3/4 inches and cable length of 22 1/4 incheswith big ball at both ends. Hope this helps you.

Twins / Re: Clutch and brake cable lenghts
« on: 06 January, 2022, 11:22:45 »
According to a  list that I have the brake cable 67-8610 the housing length is  36 3/8 inches and the cable length is 42 5/8 inches. The clutch part number 67-8681 housing length is 48 1/2 inches and the cable legth is 52 3/4 inches. hope this helps you.

Twins / Re: A65 Rocket gearbox
« on: 16 December, 2021, 12:13:36 »
I assume the parts you are talking about are part numbers 68-3075 gear change plungers. they should not be a tight fit in the gear change quadrant as they are spring loaded part number 68-3076 and so should be a sliding fit.

The Star and Garter / Re: Rubber knee pads
« on: 16 December, 2021, 11:55:42 »
As far as I am aware you do not use any adhesive to stick knee pads to the tank I never have they are held in place by brackets, however some after market pads are not always a good fit and it can be a bit of a fiddle to get them to follow the contour of the tank.

The Star and Garter / Re: Yer Tiz new BSA
« on: 04 December, 2021, 10:10:46 »
All things considered I think they have done a good job at producing a modern version of a BSA  it all depends now on price performance and reliability. It has come too late for me to consider buying one as I will be 80 years old before I could really get one and antway I get just as much pleasure now working on my A7 and A65 as riding them.

Twins / Re: A65L carbs
« on: 19 October, 2021, 09:00:06 »
Depends on the year of your lightning,am early bike 1966/67 would have had monobloc carbs fitted 389/228 and 689/228 with 270 main jets and 106 needle jets.. You have concenyric carbs  so 1968 they would be R930/21 and L930/22 with 190 main jets and 106 needle jet. from 1971/72 they had R930/70 and L930/71 with 200 mai jet and 106 needle jet. This info is from the AMAL catalogue. for all bikes. I don.t know what bikes those carbs you have are for but the correct carbs will have bore size of 30 mm.

Twins / Re: Amal Monoblock Carb
« on: 13 October, 2021, 13:44:51 »
I have 2bikes anA7 and an A65 both have original monobloc carbs fitted and I have not had any of the problems that you mention. You say you have fitted a new carb 3 years ago maybe those new carb materials are not  to the same specs as the originals even though they look the same, eg maybe the bodies have more zinc in them and the float valve and needle are made from different
 material even though they look like originals.

Twins / Re: Hello from two New Guys
« on: 11 October, 2021, 16:13:18 »
I have had a closer look at the last photo with a magnifying glass and I can count 9 fins so it is a 650cc bike but with that frame number it is either a Gold Flash or a Super Rocket you can rule out it being a Road Rocket by the frame number but Road Rockets did have alloy heads. When you get the dating info back you may be in luck and find that the engine and frame numbers match ie that engine minus the cylinder head was in that frame when it left the factory and it was orignally a Gold Flash. Then you will have to decide if you want to restore back to original or just restore to a nice rideable bike. Personally even if it is either a Gold Flash or a Super Rocket I would go for a nice rideable bike as to go back to near original you would be looking at quite a big spend, just look at photos of those original bikes for 1960 and you will see what needs to be done.

Twins / Re: Hello from two New Guys
« on: 11 October, 2021, 10:19:08 »
Welcome to the club. You have at least a complete bike to start with, the first thing is to know exactly what you have so the frame number is what determines the identity of the bike not the engine. The frame number should stamped on the front of the head stock, you may have to remove the headlight to read it. I would go through the correct proceedure and get a dating certificate from Steve Foden who is the club dating officer, details are on this website. It could well have been a Super Rocket originally but with a Gold Flash bottom end or crankcases fitted, or it could have been a Gold Flash modified to Super Rocket specs as it has an alloy head domed pistons and manual advance and retard magneto. Good luck with the resotoration any problems come back to this site there are any number of people here who can give you sound advice. Just a thought looking again at your photos and counting the number fins on the barrel I maybe wrong but I am counting 7 fins which would make the engine an A7 500cc it would have 9 fins for a 650cc A10

Twins / Re: A10 primary case oil.
« on: 28 September, 2021, 15:44:30 »
I have been using Silkolene 20 fork oil in my bikes for over 20 years now without any problems.

Twins / Re: 1955 Road Rocket clutch parts
« on: 24 September, 2021, 17:56:08 »
I would suspect that you have the original 6 spring clutch fitted as it had he chainwheel with cork inserts. I have 6 spring cltch fitted to my 1956 S/A A7 and when I overhauled it about 5 years ago I fiited a new chainwheel with the harder inserts and it has worked OK now for 5 years originally those inserts were made fro m cork also the friction plates from that time had cork inserts  but the new plates today have bonded material fitted.

Twins / Re: steering problems
« on: 20 September, 2021, 17:05:46 »
I have a 1963 A65 and bothwheels are 18" but  from 1965 they fitted 19" front wheels but it depended on the year and model of A65 whether you had a 18" rear wheel. eg 1966=70 Thunderebird and Lightning had 19" front and rear but the Spitfire and Spifire Hornet had 18" rear wheels. But if your bike is oil in the frame model ie !970 onwards then they all had 18" wheels on th rear 19" on the front. I do think your problem is tyre related you need a riibbed on the front  and sometihing like a Dunlop K70 on the rear. I have been using Mitas ribbed on the front and a mitas K70 copy on the rear for about 10 years now with no problems.

The Star and Garter / Re: GOV E10 checker
« on: 05 September, 2021, 14:20:33 »
Found this on another forum
        Personal Message (Online)

A post about Changes to motor fuel I found on FB
« on: 24.08. 2021 16:10 »


Daniel Hopkins posted this on FaceAche group 'British Motorcycles Pre '87'.

Motor fuel supplied to the public has traditionally been manufactured by extracting the hydrocarbon molecule octane from crude oil by fractional distillation (‘cracking’).  Pure octane is a flammable straw coloured liquid.  It is less dense than water (0.7gm/ml) and has a flash point of 13 degrees centigrade which is sufficiently high to make it safe to handle.  It has been used as the fuel of choice for spark ignition internal combustion engines since the end of the 19th century.
Octane burns most efficiently if mixed with atmosperic air at a ratio of 14:1, the so-called ‘stochiometric mixture’.  The purpose of a carburettor is to acheive this mix at a range of operating speeds.
All pump fuels are a mixture of chemicals.  For the fractional distillation process to be economic, there is an inevitable overlap with molecules with larger and smaller numbers of carbon atoms, certainly C6 throught to C12.  This variability had led to fuel being described by a number, for example ’87 Octane’.  The number refers to the pressure at which the fuel will self ignite without a spark.  The higher the number, the higher the pressure.  Since fuel is compressed in an internal combustion engine, it follows that a high compression motor will require a higher octane number to operate safely.  High octane numbers have no effect on power output.
Recently there has been pressure on governments and fuel suppliers to alter the mix of pump fuels for a variey of reasons connected to cost and environmental issues.
The most common change has been to mandate the addition of alcohol (ethanol and some methanol) to the fuel mixture.  Typically this has been between 5% and 10% by volume.  Ethanol is a naturally ocurring organic solvent with a flash point of 12.7 degrees centigrade.  It is less dense than water at 0.79gm/ml.  By comparing the numbers for octane, it is easy to see why ethanol is attractive to fuel suppliers in that it’s storage and handling characteristics are broadly similar.

The physical and chemical effects of ethanol.
Ethanol is hygroscopic (absorbs water directly from the atmoshphere) and readily evaporates if stored in an open container.  ‘Open containers’ include many motorcycle petrol tanks and all carburettors.
To quote Christensen & McCormick, “Loss of fuel quality by weathering occurs in conjunction with water uptake resulting in undesirable property changes prior to the onset of phase separation. Water uptake of an ethanol blend during storage in a humid environment can result in phase separation; however, if fuel is stored long enough for phase separation to occur the fuel was likely also unfit for purpose because of reduction in vapor pressure and other undesirable changes to fuel properties before phase separation was observed.”
What this means is that if you leave your fuel in an open container it will attract water which will then separate out and cause corrosion.  At the same time, the fuel volatility (ability to start the engine) will rapidly degrade.  We’ve all heard the term ‘stale petrol’ but this is much worse.
Christensen goes on to say “Fuel tank manufacturers recommend emptying the tank if equipment is to be stored as long as 3 months. These experiments have shown that this practice is needed to prevent loss of fuel quality from hydrocarbon weathering as well as to safeguard against phase separation due to water uptake.”

To summarise; Motor fuel containing ethanol stored in open containers will
rapidly become less volatile
attract water which will collect in the tank and carburettor

The chemical effects of ethanol fuel mixtures will vary depending on the percentage mix.  Ethanol is a smaller molecule with an oxygen atom included so it’s burning characteristics in air are different. In a study in 2014 it was found that the “Low stoichiometric ratio of ethanol causes the stoichiometric ratio to decrease with increasing ethanol in fuel. In cases where amount of fuel sprayed in the fuel system by an adjustment is not increased, ethanol increase causes fuel mixture to become leaner.”
Additionally, it was found that the “High octane number and heat of evaporation of ethanol also improve knock resistance of engine. Using this feature, which increases the knock resistance, in some studies where the ignition advance and compression ratio of the spark ignition (SI) engines are increased, significant improvements in performance values such as efficiency and power have been achieved.”
In another study it was found that “In comparison to the pure gasoline, adding ethanol increased sensitivity to the spark energy. The good burn showed a fast flame growth and larger flame radius. While the poor combustion revealed a long-narrow flame shape and inferior development of the flame radius. Also, the E85 and E100 demonstrated a moderate natural luminosity or nearly transparent-like appearance.”

To summarise;  The burning characteristics of ethanol mixtures will
Require more fuel for the same power output, the stochiometric ratio changes
Increase anti-knock qualities but only if the fuel is fresh
Increase sensitivity to ignition system efficiency and timing accuracy

The characterstics of classic motorcycles:

For the purposes of this article I shall not be considering any motorcycle fitted with fuel injection.

Although engine technology has generally improved over time, it has proceeded in fits and starts for commercial or historic reasons.  It is convenient to divide machines into those manufactured
Before 1945    (1)
1945 to 1965  (2)
1966 to 1980  (3)
After 1980      (4)

(1) Motorcycles manufactured in this period were generally configured to run on fuel with an octane number of less than 60.  (Considerable fuel improvements were made for aviation but this was not made available to the public)  Many ignition systems were self-generating (magneto) and carburettors tend to deliver a rich mixture.  The majority of ignition systems in this period are manually controlled.  Modern fuel generally works well in such machines because it’s specification is so much better than the fuel available when they were manufactured.

(2) During the period after the War, engine development began to produce higher output per litre by a combination of increased compression and changes in valve timing - particularly ‘overlap’.  Brake mean effective pressure (Bmep) starts to rise, leading to increased operating temperatures.  Pre-ignition (‘knock’) was controlled by a mixture of an increase in fuel quality and the addition of Lead Tetraethyl (an extremely poisonous but very effective anti-knock additive).

Engines manufactured during this period will generally run well on modern fuel provided it is fresh.  Old fuel will generally fail to start and must be mixed with fresh.  Due to the lower effective energy content/volume, it is necessary to review mixture and adjust carburettors accordingly.  Attention should be paid to ignition efficiency, both in terms of advance settings and spark plug grade.  Ignition coils do actually degrade over time and may need replacement.

(3) This is the problem period.  Manufacturers were increasingly desperate to produce ever higher Bmep values from old designs.  The Japanese began to advance with 2-stroke types which easily produce high bhp/litre values.  Few engines manufactured in the period are problem free and many need careful modification to run reliably on modern fuel.  I’ve divided the various common types but it’s worth considering all the issues when evaluating a particular machine.

British 4 strokes
 Often manufactured with little attention to tolerances.  It is essential to check that pistons in twins and multis rise by the same amount.  Cylinder head clearances should be identical.  Many engines were contructed with ‘hemi’ heads with little or no squish band.  The squish area around the edge of the piston must be 40thou (1mm).  Then check that the valves don’t tangle with the piston.  Under no circumstances run one of the higher compression motors on anything except fresh fuel.  Make sure that the ignition is correctly adjusted and that advance curve is correct.  You need to be particularly careful with later Triumph twins and the 750cc Commando.

British 2 strokes
 Often supplied with very poor clearances and tolerances.  2 strokes rely entirely upon accurate squish clearance.  Some machining of the cylinder head may be necessary to achieve this, particularly on BSA and Greaves machines.  Most Villiers engines are effectively pre-war designs so may be treated as category (1).  The majority of 2 strokes are fitted with fixed ignition systems.  This may need to be retarded somewhat to compensate for the faster flame advance on modern fuel.

Japanese 2 strokes.
 These engines were relatively powerful and cool running.  Generally manufacturing tolerances are excellent.  The problem is that they were designed to run with lead additive to control knock.  It is important to pay careful attention to the squish band which is virtually absent on the earlier motors (up to 1973) leading to serious detonation problems.  The only answer is to fill the heads with alloy weld and re-machine to a modern combusion chamber shape.  These motors may require some re-jetting to run efficiently.  Most engines from the period are fitted with the infamous metal shrouded plug cap.  These should go in the bin.

Japanese 4 strokes.
 Generally give little trouble provided the fuel is fresh.  Most machines of this type run relatively hot.  Because modern fuel is more volatile, a hot engine in traffic may lead to erratic running.  Many 4 strokes from this period are fitted with double ended coils and ‘wasted spark’ ignition.  These may give trouble with ethanol fuel mixtures because they are inefficient.  It may be necessary to fit single ended coils.  The manufacturers were under increasing pressure from the US to make engines run lean.  It is worth checking the mixture and fitting larger jets if necessary.

Italian 4 strokes.
 The usual hilarious mixture of wonderful design and shocking production quality means every machine needs to be carefully checked out.  The large block Moto Guzzi twins are unlikely to give much trouble because it is a light car engine and thus massively under stressed in a motorcycle.  In most of these engines the squish clearance is too large, so it is worth machining this until correct.  All the Ducatis and most small Italian 4 strokes need careful checking to ensure that they are reliable.  A lot of the smaller Dellorto carburettors were supplied in a ‘cheap’ version to the manufacturers and these often wear poorly and may require replacement.  The Laverda 750cc and 1000cc models give little trouble but you will have to be particularly careful with the smaller motors.

(4)  Engines produced after 1980 were designed to run on unleaded fuel which was being introduced worldwide.  Machines tend to have better designed cylinder heads which generally cope well with modern fuel mixes.  Because manufacturers were under increasing pressure to achieve lean-running, many such machines run hot - especially in traffic.  This may lead to uneven running with an alcohol mix.  Re-jetting must be considered.

The general rules:
Always use fresh fuel
Do not store fuel in motorcycles for more that 2 months
Drain fuel from tanks and carburettors into sealed cans
Pay careful attention to squish bands after 1965
Ensure ignition systems are working efficiently
Consider re-jetting to prevent weak mixture
Consider updating or replacing coils
Review the operation of magneto systems
Consider lining fuel tanks with a modern sealant e.g POR15
Clean out and remove any corrosion from carburettors.

The Star and Garter / Re: GOV E10 checker
« on: 05 September, 2021, 10:51:32 »
I am now going to use the premium fuel in both my bikes from now on there is no doubt that E10 will cause some problems for older vehicles there is plenty of info on the web goig back 10 years or more. As regards an additive there are additives out there making various claims to lessen the effects of ethanol but until I see some independant research done by  someone such as the FBHVC then I will not be using any of them. There is a good article in the August issue of the BSA Star magazine.

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