Bits and pieces

Bits and pieces

Another weekend and some more tinkering with the TY as Nick is lying on a South African beach, fanned by nubile maidens and eating grapes. But this time, in bright sunshine rather than freezing rain.

E-bay supplier trail and trials furnished me with a set of replacement bolts and brackets for the rear shocks, along with a new kickstart rubber and a spare shift lever.

I had been planning to keep the shifter as a spare, but it looked like such a surprisingly solid piece of kit that I thought I’d put it on. Plus, I’ve heard that you have to keep an eye on the shifter and kickstarter, as they can come loose and wreck the splines on their respective output shafts. The amount of dirt and old grease visible on the shift lever made a good clean seem like a doubly good idea.

With the splines cleaned up and new lever torqued and locktite’d, it was on to the shocks. The old allen-head bolts had been looking nasty and rounded-off, but thankfully they’d not been highly torqued. For some reason (presumably chain clearance), the drive side shock had two washers behind on each shock mount. The mounts themselves were coated with a rust-coloured solution of what was probably 20 year old grease – glad I bothered, then. With shock mounts cleaned up and heavily greased, the freshly scrubbed shocks were ready for remounting.

While I was at it, I decided to replace the plug, the old one having been in situ for at least two years. Checking the gap revealed it to be rather larger than spec’d in the manual (0.5-0.6). It looks like whoever changed it last didn’t have a manual and didn’t bother re-gapping the plug. The new plug seems to have made a noticeable difference, with much crisper throttle response and better wheelies. Well, these things are important!

Next week should see Nick back in action and a fresh pair of “classic” black grips delivered, ready to replace the tired and decidely non-matching blue Scott items. While we’re messing with the front end, it’ll be a good opportunity to check the mangled fork-top nuts still come out and then drain and refill the fork oil. As a Yamaha owner of old, I am familiar with chocolate fork seals and questionable finishing. So that will also be a good opportunity to fit the tastefully matching pair of black fork gaiters currently bouncing around my spare room.

TY: too keen ?

The joys of Old Bikes

Although startingly lustily at the first kick (unlike my Duke…), an hour or two’s ride around the farm showed that the TY was demonstrating an almost Velocette Thruxton-like unwillingness to idle. Rather more seriously, after warming up, fuel began to pour from one of the carb vent hoses and collect in the inside of the bashplate.

On the up side, this means the TY has probably the cleanest bashplate of any twinshock in Britain. On the down side, it’s patently not a sustainable lifestyle for any bike. Consultations over, and with the arrival of a CD containing the workshop manual anticipated, plans were in place for removal of the carb and a good seeing-to. For the carb, that is.

JK Hirst supplied a new valve float needle and holder (for elimination of the obvious suspect), float bowl gasket, main jet and slide spring (just for kicks), as well as a new air filter. If there’s one thing I hate more than oiling a new foam filter, it’s cleaning a used one. And knowing the effect I usually have on fork sliders, a set of tasteful black gaiters was also obtained.

Reviewing the recommended service intervals had me falling off my chair. I had thought you only got a chart like that with a new RS125! As a practising four-stroke owner, I contemplated the likelihood of inspecting and cleaning the cylinder bore, piston and rings after every 20 hours and, simultaneously, the likely number of hours before the first seizure (the piston’s and Nick’s, in that order). I was amazed to see that there’s an integrated chain oiler in the swingarm. Hold on, why doesn’t every bike have one of these? As someone had plugged up the filler, maybe there’s an answer to that.

This weekend, with tools arranged tastefully in the dirt, the TY hauled onto a handy stand (try that with a Duke!) and Nick tucked up in his bed with “Blanky”, it was time to see how many of the Phillips-head screws (!) holding the TY together had been touched since 1976. The shocking state of the fork top bolts sent mixed messages.

Falling at the first hurdle, I completely failed to remove the seat. In my defence, this is not anywhere in the manual. After removing the side panel and loosening the clamp under the front of the seat, vigourous peering failed completely to reveal what the fudge was retaining the rest of the seat unit. The swearing, creaking of plastics and carefully moderated straining familiar to amateur bike mechanics ensued, until inspiration hit. Which is to say, I gave up completely and resolved to crawl meekly to a trials forum. Or Malc.

With some trepidation, I attacked the carb instead. To my amazement, the screws holding the carb rubber clamps slackened off without complaint, together with the float bowl screws. Obviously the TY was made of sterner stuff than my TRX, whose float bowls are held on with patented ’90s Yamaha “Shitmetal” (TM)(R). Having unhooked the slide and its collection of dirt, the float bowl gasket’s resistance was overcome with a sharp tap from a drift.

Copious amounts of degreaser and carb cleaner followed. All the brass showed evidence that the bike had been left for at least the known couple of years in a shed, with a dull brown layer of varnish coating everything and having pooled on one side of the float bowl cover. More scouring! With the help of the settings in the manual, mixture screw and idle speed adjuster were cleaned and re-set. The mixture screw, which was supposed to be 1 3/4 turns from fully closed, had been set, well, let’s just say many turns out.

After some purple-faced moments swearing at the slide spring (cured by adjusting the throttle cable all the way out) and more swearing at the carb rubbers (which would only seat properly on one or the other end of the carb, but not both), an inspection of the plug was made. This revealed quite a bit of carbon buildup, and after a quick go with a wire brush, a mental note to just buy a new one. It didn’t seem that any torque had been applied to the plug at all, which seemed incorrect. As I didn’t have a 20mm spanner and had resorted to a plumber’s adjustable wotsit, I wasn’t really in a position to be judgemental.

With some fresh petrol and fingers crossed, it was time to see how badly I’d buggered it. Well, after belatedly reattaching the fuel feed hose and cleaning a lot of petrol off the cases, anyway.

After a little time for the fuel to get to the float bowl and a couple of preparatory kicks, it fired up and proceeded to immediately idle at about 5,000 rpm. This was progress, as last Sunday I spent about 30 minutes trying to get it to stay running. The idle speed screw appearing to do precisely bugger all, so in desperation I backed the mixture screw out a couple of turns. Result – we were back to a fast idle. This explained why the mixture screw had been wandering in the wilderness of many turns out. A quick trundle down the drive revealed a happier sounding two stroke (less popping, more whizzing) with fuelling more like Malc’s 350 jumbo – hanging onto its revs on a closed throttle. This may not actually be “spec”, but at least it starts easily.

The lesson I have learned after all of this is that I should have just ordered a spanking new carb and throttle for £39.99 rather than spend £25 on parts and freezing in a barn for a couple of hours. But now at least I have a joyful, relaxed 4 hours of trialling before the piston welds itself to the bore!

In our next episode – Nick struggles from his bed and fixes the horn so we can get an MOT. Um, well, maybe.

Nick and Ian’s Boringly Predictable TY250

After a few goes on the furious big-bore TL, Ian and Nick have, with tedious predictability, bought themselves a 1976 TY 250 twinshock in mostly good order.

Unlike most of Malcolm’s bikes, it has started its new life in one piece and with apparently entirely complete cycle parts (ok, it might have a set of very subdued pattern levers), missing only the autolube and the original decal for the mid-pipe leg guard. Also unlike most twinshocks, both brakes work and are capable of actually retarding the bike above a speed of 2mph. This may or may not have anything to do with its last home, which involved a garage full of spotless, concours condition BSA A65s and their restorer. He was clearly a qualified ninja mechanic, as evidenced by acres of gleaming chrome and the fact that all the oil was inside the bikes, rather than distributed evenly across their crankcases.

So, yet another TY. “Where is the challenge?”, I (we) hear you cry. For us, as near-virgin trials enthusiasts, the challenge is avoiding effeminate squeals or wobbling into a tree. Tales of woe, misadventure and ruined shrubbery are sure to follow…and we may even do some trials.

Small and in pieces

Latest purchase is something different

Gavin has been going on about the Montesa challenge for a while. The idea is that between us we can re-introduce the Montesa to twinshock trials (when was the last one on a Sammy Miller round).

If there is a handicapping system (lowest power, oldest bike), then a 1972 Montesa 123 wins. I picked it up from Harrogate yesterday.

Montesa 123: I think

It was a donor bike (well really a donor frame in fact), but it is complete. The frame needs powder coating (or painting), as does the swing arm and potentially the front yokes.

Next phase will be a step-by-step run through of the components and getting the frame done. Its a little while away, as work gets in the way. At a glance though it does look good:
– one tank of a good standard, with a spare which needs a little work, but is intact
– engine is complete and comestically doesn’t look too bad. Time will tell on how it runs
– aftermarket NJB rear shocks
– cables and controls all in place

Plenty of people have 123’s so some good references around as well as pictures, including:

Montesa Image 1

[ Montesa Image 2 -> ]

First item for discussion is the frame colour; the 1972 frame colours are silver it seems:

Silver Frame

Whilst from 1974 on, they seem to be black

Black Frane

The frame number seems to be early and I’ve sent a request for dating letter off to Roy Bacon as part of the plan to get the bike on the road see previous article

Harry Perrey Trial: 5th April 2008: Sammy Miller series Round 2

After spring like sunshine for most (and a week working and climbing in southern Spain for me), Saturday dawned cold, but bright as Gavin and I left Hereford. The only problem was I left my camera behind.

The start of this years Harry Perrey trial was at the Three Horseshoes at Wheathill, not too far from Ludlow.

Mark and Kevin at the start

The starting times for the normal group varied, with Alan and Kevin away early at 10h15, with myself at 10h28 and then Gavin and Mark after 11h00. A good entry with around 70 riders set off on the 36 mile loop of 30 sections. Graham also made an appearance on his DRZ400 and was set to follow us round. Thirteen different groups for the sections, so plenty of variety on the way round (well so I thought).

Malcolm and Kirby at the start

The first group at Starvecrow included a nice warmup section, followed by a nice slippery one across tree roots. Strangely for me, managed to clean both. , perhaps Graham was having an influence. The only group of the day as it turned not in a stream…

Kirby Bennett at Brockleton Brook

Cleaned the stream section at Brockleton Brook and then across the road to the stream at Furlong, with an awkward drop into the stream was followed by a couple of steps in the stream. Got my feet wet, the way they stayed for the rest of the day.

Furlong: Neil Gaunt

Watched a few people through the section, Peter Gaunt had a dab, Neil cleaned it, but it was boom or bust for others. For me, a couple of wobbles, but the run of early cleans continued. My feet were now wet and it wasn’t the last of the streams for the day.

Mark Evans tackles Furlong

Through the stream and into Hopton Brook and there awaited the crowd at the first section, an unusual figure-of-eight layout, which involved some deep water and a step out of a pool. Watched a couple of 5’s then a clean from Peter Gaunt, so decided to give it a go. A bit too much gas on the step needed a steadying dab, but cleaned the rest of it.

Gavin approaching the rock step at Hopton Brook

Managed to clean both Strandbrook (long double sub) though possibly did it in the wrong gear. Mark caught us up looking slightly wet, having taken a full immersion in the pool at Hopton. No camera present unfortunately, though bike and rider still going. Gavin’s spare gloves were then provided to provide one item of warm clothing….

Mark at Strandbrook

Upper Norcott is where things started to stiffen up. The first section involved a couple of awkward muddy steps, a slippery climb and then an exit via a tree-root infested step. A rather flukey (story of my day) two here was gratefully received. Managed to surprise myself up the the long double sub in a gully, partly by staying on and then by not putting my foot down. Then dropped a sloppy three on the next sub, followed by another three in a twisty section in the stream.

Across to Lower Norcott and after completing the section, noticed that my punchcard (removed from my bike earlier, so that I could walk back to the observer) was missing. Back to the previous section (where I nearly drowned the bike on the way), but someone had picked it up back at the section and Graham then picked it up. Bit of relief for me, as probably my best performance at a Sammy Miller trial for a while.

Malcolm at Earnstrey Barn

Back onto the road and across the fields to Earnstrey Barns. Another group from last years trial and though dropped a very slack mark on the first section, managed to clean the other two.

A bit of road work then took us over to New House Farm (where I broke a clutch lever on the Jumbo last year). Silly couple of unnecessary dabs in the first sub, but managed to take only two on the next double sub, which was pretty hard going…and long. Oh, and once more in a stream.

Andy Pitt at New House Farm

Very long road section back through Cleobury North to go to Silvington Woods. Last here a couple of years back on the Bewdley trial. Long double sub to start, again with a dab at the beginning. Tight section followed where a couple of other marks were dropped.

Single section at Silvington and then over to the last three sections at Silvington Farm. At the last double sub, Gavin compared scores with Kirby, then managed to drop 3 on a tricky corner (in a stream of course) and therefore lost out to him by one mark. Happy with my finish, only dropping a single on the same corner.

Section 29: Gavin hangs on

Short section of road work back to the finish at the Three Horseshoes, where Alan had been back for an hour or so. Arrive around 16h45, so a good 6 hours or so on the road.

Finish: Three Horseshoes, Wheathill

I was quite happy with the 24 marks I dropped, compared with Gavin’s 14, until I got into the pub for a well-earned pint and heard that a couple of people had dropped only 1 or 2. It wasn’t an easy trial, but some people obviously had a good ride. Finally headed home at around 6pm, completely knackered.

Another excellent Sammy Miller trial organised by the South Birmingham club, thanks to all the observers and organisers. Looking forward to the next one.

Beta TR33: a classic purchase ?

Was tempted by the Beta after enjoying riding the TR240 twinshock, so decided on a purchase

The bike was the second of Beta’s aircooled monos, following on from the TR-32. It has a similar motor to the earlier models, though slightly more bulky. Pretty sure the bike is a TR-33, but looking at the specification not so sure now, partly because the TR-33 is meant to have a rear disk brake; this one has a drum brake. The photo of a TR-33 I did manage to find seems to match the bike, with rear drum and the rather small exhaust rear box.

Beta TR33 - view 1

The engine on the bike is really rather good, with the same sweet sound that comes from the TR240. There is plenty of power from what (I think) is a 240cc motor.

Beta TR33 - view 2

Beta TR33 - engine