Author Topic: I don't like old bikes!  (Read 516 times)

Itsme

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I don't like old bikes!
« on: June 15, 2022, 04:12:10 PM »
Hi Guys

The sad truth is that I do like old bikes I just don't like working on them. Partly because they are a pain to do anything to and partly because I'm not that good at mechanics.

I began fitting new valve stem oil seals to the Mighty Midget as it was smoking heavily on the over-run, I thought I would also hone the barrel and fit new rings whilst I'm at it.

Firstly it was the devil's own job to find TDC on the compression stroke for some reason, then there was all the faff of keeping the cam chain from falling into the crankcase, then there was the juggling act of fitting the tiny collets back on to the valve stems when I had fitted the new seals (the valves in the GN250 are tiny compared to my old British valve spring compressor). Finally when I thought I had it all together I cross-threaded the plug into the head after trying really hard not to do that! See recommendation for a fab engineering shop in the relevant section.

As well as all this when I took my exhaust off it was full of holes and I can't find another one. I am now waiting for another set of gaskets to be able to finish the job.

I like riding old bikes but wish I had a clever mechanic brother or something to sort out the running side when it goes wrong.

By the way Bill when I went to the bike shop which is next to the engineering shop there were two Ducati singles there, 250s or 350s I think, and the sound and sight as they pulled away was soul food.

Spartacian

Moto63

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2022, 06:39:09 PM »
Personally Ian...eerr, sorry Spartacian. I think you should have just gone home from the shop, got a van. Gone back to the shop, loaded the two GORGEOUS duke singles in the back. Gone home with them both, kept one then stripped the other one down to use as spares for your good self and Bill to share out. Problem solved 👍👍🤦???
I’m simply thinking out loud here. I certainly DO NOT condone taking other people’s bikes without their permission 😉😉😁
Name withheld to protect the innocent 😇

johnr

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2022, 06:47:02 PM »
you probably dont want to try setting the ignition timing on a bsa magdyno using a cigarette paper then......

Itsme

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2022, 06:48:43 PM »
Hey unknown person and definitely not Michael

Whilst I have tried to uphold the law all my life (well other than when Andy Maltby and I used to shoplift in Wilkinsons as teenagers) there is certain merit in your suggestion as it would be the only way I will ever get a Ducati. I even think I could live with my conscience just to see that bike in my garage every morning.

The old bike thing is odd as if I lived in a house that needed constantly re-building I'm pretty sure I'd sell it.

Spartacian

Itsme

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2022, 06:50:35 PM »
you probably dont want to try setting the ignition timing on a bsa magdyno using a cigarette paper then......

Nope thanks, did that to a K2F magneto when I owned an A10 and it never ran very well after my best efforts.

Spartacian

CrazyFrog

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2022, 06:59:34 AM »
As I've matured (like a fine wine, or a piece of mouldy cheese, take your pick!) I've come to realise that I enjoy riding far more than flinging the spanners around. Add in to the equation the problems I have with my hands, and you have the reason I choose to ride modern bikes. I don't mind routine servicing, but much rather spend my time riding my bicycles and motorbikes or out in the sticks walking.

Talking of which, I rode the little 125 down into the Cotswolds on Monday and did a lovely 7 mile walk. On returning to the village where I was parked up, I went into the pub and ordered a pint of bitter shandy. £5.80 said the barman 😳. My wallet is still in hiding 3 days later...
2016 Suzuki Gw250 Inazuma
2021 Honda CB125F

Itsme

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2022, 08:57:09 AM »
Hi Pete

£5.80 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What was it served in, a slave girl's bra cup??!! I think I would have demanded a re-count.

I agree Pete, when I take the Mighty Midget out, park up and do a lovely walk there is nothing finer to be done. I too find my ageing hands let me down, sometimes I shake like an old alcoholic which is amusing for a man who has been a lifelong teetotaller. However just like your pint of shandy the price of modern bikes has leapt through the roof. I can't even think about anything new and about all I could afford if I replaced the Mighty Midget would be something as old and well, better the devil you know etc.

I have no doubt that once it is running again I will be ok, but there's always one eye on next time.

Spartacian

iansoady

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2022, 09:49:01 AM »
That's not an old bike.... This is an old bike!



I have to say that unlike others I often prefer working on the bikes to actually riding them. Possibly something to do with advancing age and lack of fitness..... I also have less confidence in my ability to hold the thing up / get it on its stand / get aboard it.

WRT to fag paper I found many years ago that a bit of thin kitchen foil is far better as it doesn't tear and leave bits behind it.
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500

Itsme

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2022, 11:26:16 AM »
Hi Ian

You're right that is an old bike and very lovely it is too. Interesting thought though that in 1982 when I used a 1952 A10 outfit as my daily family transport it was about 30 years old. The Mighty Midget is of course 1993 and therefore about 30 years old! Maybe I just think 30 years in the past all the time. In which case I should have some very quick bikes to choose from in 2052.

You make a very valid point though Ian, I am not a small bloke but as I age my sense of balance is a bit dodgy and I find the Mighty Midget fine if for example I put my foot down on a bit of off-camber gravel. I wouldn't feel as confident on some of the larger bikes I've had in the past. In fact at the start of the RBLR ride last Saturday there was a bloke, probably about my age, who nearly dropped his 1200 GS when he couldn't get the side stand down on firm ground. Personally I have no problem riding a smaller bike that makes me confident rather than try to keep a big bike that I'd be wary of.

Spartacian

iansoady

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2022, 05:19:38 PM »
I loved the Triumph Tiger 955i I bought about 15 years ago. But after a few years it either mysteriously gained weight and bulk or I lost it.... As you say, an off-camber or just a bit of carekessness putting your foot down can be embarrassing if not painful.  Since then I've been regularly downsizing. Maybe a Honda Cub is on the -  hopefully distant - horizon.

Interestingly enough i'm writing this from a (very hot) campsite in France. A chap rolled up behind us last night on a giant BMW trailie and promptly toppled over with it. Good job I was here to help him right it - and he looked to be in his 30s......
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500

Itsme

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2022, 03:14:12 PM »
Hi All

The Mighty Midget is well on the road to recovery and will hopefully be running again tomorrow. Although I can't say I have enjoyed re-building the motor what was nice was putting the motor back in the frame.

When I did my EFI Enfield, which has an open cradle frame just like the MM, it was an awful job putting the motor back in. Nothing lined up and jigging the frame at manufacture had probably not happened. However with the Suzuki 10 mins and all the bolts were in. Lovely that will do.

I don't enjoy working on bikes now, but when I have to then every thing fitting is certainly a pleasure.

Spartacian

Moto63

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2022, 03:17:42 PM »
Great news Ian. Hopefully you’ll have many more s/miles on her now 👍👍🤞
Cheers, Michael

Itsme

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2022, 05:06:04 PM »
Thanks Michael

The Mighty Midget roars again! Sounds good up to now. My wife insists that I tell you all that she torqued down the cylinder head. I had to hold the motor still whilst she drove the torque wrench. Very proficient she was too. I now call her my wrench wench!

Spartacian

Itsme

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2022, 07:45:47 AM »
Hi Gents

I think I have actually improved something on a bike! Since finishing the MM I have done about 200 miles and the oil level hasn't moved, which it would have done before. I know it is early days, but the first impressions are good.

Of course the Wrench Wench claims all the credit.

Spartacian

themoudie

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Re: I don't like old bikes!
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2022, 09:14:45 AM »
Quote
Of course the Wrench Wench claims all the credit.
   ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

And why not? Sometimes it just needs a damn good talking too to put the world/MM to rights!  ;D

I shall now quickly exit left! :-X

Good health, Bill