Author Topic: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire  (Read 542 times)

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Whiskey69

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Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« on: 04 May, 2021, 14:41:58 »
Hi Guys
Just Saying hello

Purchased my first British bike on a whim, unseen from that well known auction site
1970 B25 Starfire, not been on the road since 1992, me since 1999!

Always liked them, never had the opportunity, currently in a mid life crisis i guess
Give it a good going over, new points, plug, cables etc, a good service, sorted the paperwork for the insurance so i could declare it as tax and mot exempt, think i was ready

Went for a short ride, about 10 miles, grinning from ear to ear, the open road, the mechanical thump, the noise, life felt pretty damm good at 30-50 mph, about a mile from home, total electrical failure errrrr, pushed it back!
Replaced the fuse all good, but cannot find any fault????

LikeS to mark it territory, oil leaking from both forks, now rebuilt sorted, primary chain case, resealed sorted, bottom oil connection two O-rings sorted, valve cover, replaced with O-ring sorted

Still to sort, leak between inner timing case and engine case, inconsistent idle, front tyre has a few cracks

So far, quite into this machine, it is not just transport, and we are about the same age, (the Starfire has aged better)
See You Guys Later
Whiskey69


DAVE BRADY

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #1 on: 04 May, 2021, 15:52:15 »
Hi Whiskey69,

Welcome to BSA ownership and the Forum. First thing to look at are the tyres.  If they are starting to crack they are probably quite old and potentially dangerous, prone to sudden failure.

Dave.

Ian C

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #2 on: 04 May, 2021, 17:20:56 »
Went for a short ride, about 10 miles, grinning from ear to ear, the open road, the mechanical thump, the noise, life felt pretty damm good at 30-50 mph, about a mile from home, total electrical failure errrrr, pushed it back!
Replaced the fuse all good, but cannot find any fault????

Is the fuse holder the cartridge type?  I had a problem on my A65 with this type of holder where the internal spring weakened and caused arcing on the fuse end cap, thus it blew. I replaced it with the later blade type and now all's good..

BEESY

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #3 on: 04 May, 2021, 18:21:57 »
I have one too and I love it. Working on them isnt too difficult.

If you haven't got some already invest in some decent tools. There are only a handful of specialist tools You'll need and they are quite cheap. Clutch puller and a timing tool Spring to mind.  You can easily make a clutch holding tool and a fork leg puller if you need one.

A full engine rebuild is quite straightforward, parts are easily obtainable on the whole.

You've got the steel tank and twin leading shoe brake too which is great.

As for the electrical issue you have, who knows what it could be, but there isn't much too it, just a process of elimination.

Regarding the forks, is it leaking from the seal holder? Again it seems daunting to strip them down to replace them, but it isn't that difficult.

The idle is always a bit inconsistent on mine, I refurbed the carb and spent ages tweaking it but it still fluctuates a bit.

Massive grin factor, I will happily clock up 150 miles in a day on mine.

Any problems just shout on here, you'll find out what you'll need to, no problem.
« Last Edit: 04 May, 2021, 18:23:53 by BEESY »

Whiskey69

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #4 on: 05 May, 2021, 11:35:39 »
Hi Guys

Thanks for the encouragement and knowledge

Good shout from Ian C, checked fuse holder looked like it was arching so replaced with blade type, oddly never noticed this when just replacing the fuse 

Forks fixed with new seals, striped them right down cleaned and inspected all parts, one stanchion bend about 1/8" (3mm), but it will do for now, bugger to get back in the yokes!

Will need to get two tires as front is cracked the rear the rubber has gone hard

Having to relearn about thread types as there is quite a mix! Also as in the primary drive case some of the bolts were unf and some unc? Probably previous owners have used what they had? Also 50 years to make do?

Ordered a carb rebuild kit as i am sure the timing is correct, the mixture screw has no effect and the engine runs better with the air valve/choke removed

BEESY, well done 150miles in a day!

Thanks Guys

Whiskey69
« Last Edit: 05 May, 2021, 11:38:02 by Whiskey69 »

BEESY

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #5 on: 05 May, 2021, 15:20:47 »
I do it quite often! I live in Bath and take the scenic route to Lyme Regis or West Bay. About 75 miles each way. All on quiet A roads or B roads. It's beautiful.

I made a good fork leg puller. Quite easy (you need access to a lathe) and it involves sacrificing a fork top nut.

Using the lathe, part the thread from the fork nut. So you have the thread separate from the hex part.

Drill a hole say about 12/13 mm through both the threaded part and the hex part.

Get some threaded bar about 10/12 inches long that will fit through the holes you have just drilled.

Put the threaded part of the old fork nut on one end of the new threaded bar. Lock it in place with a nut above and below it  Tighten it all up as tight as you can. I used thread Lock too.

Grind or file a couple of flat edges about half way up the new threaded bar, so you can put an adjustable spanner across them.

Screw in the threaded end into your fork leg. Nip it up euth a spanner  across the flats you filed.

Offer it up through the yolks. I put a thick bit of old inner tube as a washer to protect the paintwork on the top yolk. Put the old hex from the chopped fork nut on. Using another nut wind it all up and draw the leg fully home.

Works a treat. I can ping a pic if anyone is interest.


courtney

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #6 on: 05 May, 2021, 18:40:07 »
Nice to see you're enjoying it. It's fun putting around.

I've got a 1970 B25 too, and that was my first British bike (I started my mid-life crisis younger than you). It's US spec with a different tank, higher bars and high exhaust. I've yet to ride it, but have had it over 4 years! This is the year though, especially after getting my C15 working the other week, finally. Hoping it will be like yours and just need some fettling.

Good luck!
1965 BSA C15
1970 BSA B25 (US spec.)
2004 Aprilia Tuono

B44RVictor

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #7 on: 05 May, 2021, 20:38:14 »
Check your wiring insulation and wiring connections beneath the tank.  I disturbed mine when I was polishing it.  Took my B44 for its first run and they arced and blew the main fuse.  Like you I had to push it home on an afternoon registering 22 C  Phew!  Got some advise and help from a thoughtful local motorcycle technition and always carry a spare fuse now!  Enjoy the Starfire, it looks really nice !

Blackthou

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #8 on: 05 May, 2021, 23:21:55 »
Well done and welcome to the forum. Lovely bikes and really enjoyable. Sounds like you're making great progress.

+1 re the tyres. Could be nasty if they fail. You'll also find she'll handle a lot better too.

Keep up the good work.


Whiskey69

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #9 on: 24 May, 2021, 10:26:37 »
Hi Guys, Update, after going through the electrics again cannot find anything wrong, so put the blown fuse down to the fuse arcing
Never felt the engine was running right at low to middle revs, checked ignition again all spot on, swapped the coil, cleaned carb again, all good, but still not running right and idles where it feels like and sometimes stalls! Purchased a carb rebuild kit, rebuilt carb running much better at last, i guess the needle and needle valve were worn?
Thought to myself best get some fresh petrol and get the super unleaded stuff see if it makes a difference, so went for ride totally unprepared, like when we were young.....
Anyway, filled her up, started first kick, while being watched☺, off for a ride i went on a sunny evening, Starfire running well, me putting my knee out on corners ( come on we can all dream ), ended up thirty miles from home by the seaside, had a snack and a hot drink, what an evening.
Then it rained, B#####, now because i did not expect to go this far and was totally unprepared, thin coat, no waterproofs, i was wearing trainers, open face helmet made me diffidently feel like when i was younger!
Rain hitting me in the face, felt like being roosted (motocross guys know what I am talking about), wet and very cold, Then some numpty in a Range Rover pulled out in front of me forcing me to slam the brakes on, i skidded to a stop. But the rear brake would not then let go, dragged the bike to the side of the road, brake would not release, undid the adjuster as far as it would go, pushed the bike backwards, brake let go, gently ride up the road trying the brake it was pulsing, lever going up and down then locked up again, unlocked it again, told myself not to use it.
The brake problem, so only had a front brake, added to the thirty year old rock hard tyres and greasy roads meant the journey home was bloody terrifying!
Finally arrived home, Starfire straight into garage like a naughty child, undressed by the washing machine, told the misses, she laughed, went for a shower to warn up, had a strong drink to relax
The next day took the rear wheel off, now QD means “quick dispatch” or close, you got to be kidding, I have never had such a faff removing a motorcycle wheel, when the brake drum come apart the brake linings just fell out! Removed front when to check them they were the riveted type, still secure
So two tyres and a set of brake shoes ordered, 1 fitted tyres fine but the brake shoes were o.3mm (0.010) bigger than the drum!!!!! Carefully ground the steel boot down by holding the shoe on an angle grinder disc, all back together good now
I must say this BSA is certainly fighting against me, but the grin factor is worth it☺
Thanks for sticking with me, Buy for now
Whiskey
« Last Edit: 24 May, 2021, 10:30:02 by Whiskey69 »

BEESY

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Re: Hi, First British Bike B25 Starfire
« Reply #10 on: 24 May, 2021, 11:49:17 »
Well done! Sounds like you had an adventure. Glad you got the engine sorted. I think they were supposed to run on 5 star fuel as quite high compression ratio. I always use it super in mine.

I think now you've done carb, brakes and tyres you've pretty much covered everything you could have!

The grin factor is what it's all about. And yes, very satisfying when you get a 1st time start with an audience isn't it!

Now the weather looks like it's going to cheer up a bit, I'm planning a day out for the weekend. I want to do a 200 mile day as a test run for riding it to Cornwall in the summer.