Transalp Engine Strip (part 1)

Step-by-step with notes on the strip down of my Honda Transalp engine. Never a happy-event (usually because of the reasons why the rebuild was necessary)

After the crack in the RH crankcase, near the oil pressure switch became a failure, and that the attempted fix with Devcon F2 Aluminium Putty was exactly trustworthy, decided that it was time for the strip down of the engine, in prep for a weld to be used.

In preparation, I done a quick read of the Haynes manual and made a note of the correct order of doing things. Also, I’d found all the plastic trays I had ready to ensure the parts were laid out in the correct order.

In terms of specials tools required, the only thing I had to obtain was an M22/1.5p RH thread flywheel puller. I ordered a Sealey 10pc flywheel puller set, which includes this size, as I’ve other bikes and usually have to locate the right size puller. You may also want to get a tool to hold the flywheel when removing the primary drive bolt and the flywheel bolt; there is a way of doing it without (see below), but I’ve also order a cheap and handy tool

|ssl21909.jpg|Engine removed from the bike and on the bench ready for work.
.Removal from the bike is straightforward and with the use of a jack can be done on your own.|
|Remove the oil pipes|Carefully removed the oil pipes from both cylinders, before removing the cylinder head covers. They seem pretty fragile, so was careful|
|Cylinder Head Covers Removed|Cylinder head covers removed, fairly straightforward. I did both at the same time, then worked on the front cylinder for the following steps, before starting on the rear cylinder|
|Parts carefully laid out|Although the different parts are marked, like the cams, I carefully put the front and rear cylinder components in different containers. I did the front cylinder first before moving to the rear. |
|Removed the rotor cover|The inspection covers and the crankshaft rotor bolt cover are well mangled so had to remove the whole cover to turn the crank|
|Measuring camchain wear|Prior to removing the cam and camchain sprocket, needed to slacken the camchain tensioner. To check wear on the camchains, you need to measure the height of the large wedge on the top of the tensioner. According to the Haynes, if the wedge sits up higher than 20mm then there the camchains are worn, and this was the case on my engine.|
|Cylinder Head and Camshaft|Cylinder Head with Camshafts|
|Cylinder Head|Head with camshaft removed|
|Head and Barrels|Removing the head and barrels|
|Pistons|Removing pistons|
|Clutch Cover|Clutch cover removal|
|Loosening the clutch nut|Clutch removal|
|Clutch removed|After the clutch|
|Gear selector| |
|Gear selector plate removed|Gear selector|
|Gear Selector (another view)| |
|Removing the dowel| |
|Primary drive bolt|Primary Drive bolt/sprocket removal|
|Flywheel bolt| Flywheel / rotor bolt |
|Dead Beta Strap Wrench| |
|Flywheel bolt off| |
|Cleaning up the wound| The problem and reason for strip|

TLR250: rebuild completed

After some time in the workshop, and an opportune sunny morning in Herefordshire, Gavin’s TLR250 emerges. Now complete with engine rebuild and Shedworks tank and other body work.

The bike has an RTL engine (see pictures) which was how it was fitted originally, we think as Derek Edmonson’s bike circa 1983-4 in his role as HRC mechanic to Eddy LeJeune. The bike is road registration and the reg is similar to one of Eddy’s pink RTL’s from that period.

Recent work carried out includes :

– Cam Bearings
– Pistons and Piston Rings
– timing chain
– tensioner blades
– valves & valve springs
– new fibreglass tank/seat unit from Shedworks
– shotblasted and powdercoating from Redditch Shotblasting
– new mudguards, also Shedworks
– new chain guard
– new chain, rear tyre

Steel tank, exhaust rear box, rear mudguard are still present just not on the bike. The bike has V5 and is road registered.

Engine spares from David Silver Spares

The bike is for sale, Gavin is currently open to offers in the GBP 4000 mark, for more information contact him on +44 1981 570670. Happy to discuss overseas shipment and delivery in the UK.




TLR250 Engine
TLR250 - rear exhaust

A spot of lunch

Rather than enjoying the delights of the lunchtime news, thought I’d do a quick circuit of the lanes around home

So the Pampera was fired up and found some overtrousers and some bike kit and set of. Off via Kingstone and then up through Vowchurch and Turnastone (which still has the petrol pumps outside the house) and up to the start of Hermit’s Lane.

Start of Hermit's Lane

Despite the ‘road legal ?’ knobblies the bike handles okay on the tarmac and buzzes along like all good 2-strokes should. No working speedo, so not sure the mph, but nothing too quick, around the 40 mph on the B-road.

Hermit’s is about 1/2 mile long and from the start drops down to a waterfall then up into the lane itself. Plenty (see piccie) of water coming down the lane and a sporting start across the ford.


The lane is used as part of the Trevor Hunt Trophy trial and the Pampera may short work of most of it, despite the mouldy leaves and rock steps exposed by the water. I didn’t clean it, but didn’t get stuck. A 3, but not a 5. What you notice is how light the bike is when you’ve got to move it around (I lined it up to take the step in the ford). That was enjoyable and wouldn’t fancy anything like an XR400 on it.

Back round via Newton St Margarets and Abbey Dore, all within an hour. Maybe Hill Lane for my next work from home lunch break 🙂

Back, after an hour

No real problems with the Pampera, though the rear brake disappeared whilst descending the hill into Abbey Dore (flapping pedal) only to re-appear a couple of minutes later. Interesting feature.

SWM Spares List

After an afternoon sorting out in the shed, have made a list of avaiable spares. I have pictures of them all and these will processed when I’ve got time

SWM Trials 1978 – 83 (Guanaco, TL320) Spares

Drop me an email to if you are interested in any of the items

Rotax Engine Spares

Barrel, 70.8mm SOLD

Clutch, basket, plates & springs, complete useable

Clutch, basket, plates & springs, needs cleaning up, useable

Clutch bearings & spacers

Clutch cover, good condition, no holes

Clutch cover, poor condition, hole (in usual place, needs mag weld repair)

Clutch front plate

Clutch lock washer

Clutch plates, part work

Clutch springs (various)

Cover from behind flywheel, damaged

Cover from behind flywheel, undamaged SOLD

Crankcase (pair)

Crankcase (pair), with gear selector & shaft

Crankshaft bearings, both sides, various, some new

Crankshaft drive sprocket (x2)

Crankshaft, not seized, will need rebuild SOLD

Cylinder Head (with barrel above)

Disk valve

Disk valve / carb inlet pipe

Disk valve cover

Flywheel, additional bolt on weight

Flywheel balancers (x2)

Flywheel cover, with lower guard

Flywheel nuts

Flywheels (x2), keyways intact, 1 is slightly lighter than the other SOLD

Gaskets, cylinder head and base gasket, used but okay for re-use (?)

Gearbox, cluster complete

Gearbox, selector arm

Gearbox, selector barrels (x2)

Gearbox selector forks (both)

Gearbox selector shaft (fits inside kickstart shaft) SOLD

Idler sprocket (between kickstart and clutch) (x3)

Kickshaft shaft, used but splines not too worn SOLD

Kickshaft spring retaining bolt

Kickstart & gear selector shaft, complete, useable splines

Kickstart spring

Kickstart sprocket (x2)

Piston, Elko, 70.8mm with rings & gudgeon pin

Piston, Elko, 76.2mm with rings

Piston, Elko, 76mm

Piston rings, various

Sump plug

Cycle Parts

Airbox, airfiler holder

Airbox, cover

Airbox cover securing rubber, undamaged

Airbox, rubber, used with split, poss repair

Airbox, with rubber carb inlet manifold (with split)

Bash plate, aluminium, well used

Betor (?) Front Forks (35mm), 1979 SWM Guanaco, Crack in bottom of fork leg,

Chain tensioner, rubber, with sprocket guard

Clutch cover, plastic inspection covers

Crankshaft seals (both sides/sizes)

Exhaust, Front Pipe, good condition, useable, 1979 SWM Guanaco

Exhaust, Mid box, fair condition, no holes

Exhaust, rear box, never been cut open, but needs attention for further use

Flywheel cover bearings

Footrests, 1 set new, for 1980 Guanaco

Footrests, 2 sets of used painted rests

Fork tops (various)

Frame, 1979 Guanaco, in primer only, bottom loops

Frame, 1980 TL320, powder coated black, no bottom loops

Front brake plate arm (x2), one painted black

Front brake plate, brake arm, no pads

Front fork tube (35mm), good condtion, no pitting some light scratches

Front mudguard bracket, Guanaco 78/79, early forks

Front sprocket guard

Front sprockets, used

Fuel cap, from metal tank, 1978-81

Fuel tank, from 1980 TL320, as supplied by Peter Jerred for 1980 SSDT. Dented and
flaky paintwork

Fuel tank, in red primer, no dents

Fuel taps (various, no provence)

Gear lever (various)

Handlebars, early set of cow horn style Renthals (?)

Ignition Coil (x2), one motorplat

Kickstart, new Rotax item, both main lever and bottom knuckle. SOLD

Kickstart shaft seals

Kickstart, with bottom knuchle and pivot, useable though may require engineering

Kickstart, with bottom knuckle. Knuckle splines worn with modification

Lever mounts (various)

Levers, original long variety

Pair rear shocks, from SWM 1979 Guanaco, from sidecar outfit

Rear brake and sprocket, from cush-drive models, SWM 1978-9 and Gori’s

Rear brake pedal

Rear brake pedal, home brew

Rear brake plate, with pads and brake arm

Rear sprockets for 79 Guanaco, serviceable.

Rear wheel spindle from 79 Guanaco

Seat, good for restoration only

Shock absorber springs, from Betor Steel set, 40lb spring rate

Sidepanel retaining screws

Stator Plate, good condition with condensor, points and original wiring

Stator Plate, working with alternate wiring SOLD

Swingarm bolt, from 79 Guanaco, should fit all models

Swingarm caps (2 of)

Swingarm, painted, but with stand mounting removed SOLD

Swingarm, plastic guard. Used, a lot.

Swingarm, used condition

Throttle bodies, Domino plastic

Various bolts and handlebar clamps from 1979 Guanaco

Classic Experts 2009

It was a nice sunny morning, until I hit Newbridge on the A470 and the skies opened and it was with a backdrop of foreboding clouds that I entered Rhayader for the start of the Classic Experts. Though I’d entered for the clubman route (like for the previous 3 years, see the previous reports for 2006, 2007 & 2008) there are some places where there’s not much room for a deviation.

Was a bit later than planned and with an early start number (in my case the earliest possible this year) for the clubman for slime cleaning duties didn’t get much of a chance for a chat.

David Brick's twinshock Beta

Andy and Dan from the Wye Valley Club were there and I did manage to chat to David Brick and his newly acquired Beta twinshock. He’d picked it up from the Twinshock Shop guys in Devon [[They’d had a Beta TR240 for sale a year or so ago, but it had been standard]]. It looked pretty standard in terms on engine and frame, with RockShock’s and a Honda fuel tank. Front forks also looked stock.

A link to the Youtube video or the embedded version below. Got clips from most of the groups and demostrations of prowess and determination.

Flagged away first by the Mayor as is now customary and then off down to Bwlch, a favourite group of sections.


Luckily the usual rock step above a deep pool wasn’t included and the sections avoided some of the really boggy bits. The water in the first section was above the boots so decided no to delay the inevitable and got my feet wet here. Shaky but clean and a dab on the first double subsection (a usual ploy for Rhayader trials to allow for the usual lack of observers) and then a dab on a slippery exit from the stream in Section 3. Jon Bliss was also riding the clubman route on his Cotswold and also didn’t give it enough out of here. The slope wasn’t going to get any easier.

Triumph at Bwlch

The final double sub was fairly straightforward and I managed to clean both subs. Mark had a wobble dropping into the stream and took a couple. The Beta was running on, but difficult to start, a symptom it picked up during the Wye Valley Trevor Hunt Trophy trial. A carb strip hadn’t solved it so need to look at further options.

Boulder Alley

A bit of a road trip across to Boulder Alley and remember coming over here a couple of years ago. A double sub in a gulley, but with a slimy exit out right at the end. Still at the front on the field and first through here. Dropped 2 in the first sub (unnecessary) but then took a 3 in the second, after changing up to 2nd to tackle the exit. Nice muddy bit before the end cards. Jon, who was suprisingly for him, just behind us took a 5, after getting it wrong on the exit and Mark took a fighting 3.

Malcolm at Cefnllyn


A favourite location. Stream with slimy rocks followed by a slippery exit and some deep mud.

Cefnllyn ...and mud

The firs sub contained the slippery rocks, and it was again down to me to go through first, which involved a 1 and clean, which was okay by me. Jon took 3 and then Mark, tackling the section at speed (possibly due to the burgeoning classic motocross career). Alas, whether it be the Capra or the KT250 he came a cropper.

It was my turn in the next sub and despite telling myself (from experience) to avoid the slot that made up the exit from the screen, I ended up getting jammed and took the first 5 of the day. Mark and Jon both got up but ended up wallowing through the mud to the end cards.

This was going to get easier as the day went on, with a slot beginning to form and the bottom being found by bike wheels. Needless to say, it was long way down. Mark and I copped out of the difficult exit back to the road and dived backed the first section to avoid the swamp and slippery exit. We took a break in an attempt to slip down the field slightly, and also to watch the misery of others in the mud. We also managed to rescue Harry Stanistreet, located in the bog with his leg pinned underneath his rigid James.


Short bit of road work back towards the A470 and the Ashfield group. Been caught up by Colin and Alan on their Honda’s after watching them attack the Cefnllyn mud.

I dropped some fuel at Ashfield on the way by and noticed that the water levels here didn’t seem to be as high as in previous years. The first section still looked slimy and interesting and we joined in the merry throng walking the section. Lots of discussion and analysis of the best course of action, as well as comments from knowledgeable locals about how Sammy Miller cleaned this section on GOV 132 (which was probably 45-50 years ago).


More conversation, kicking of rocks and still no-one taking the plunge (so to speak). Looking round could see the unusually shy Jon Bliss hiding behind a tree. So, infront of an audience not much smaller than one one due to watch Wales lose to the All Blacks later in the afternoon, off I went. Rather than disappearing in a cloud of steam like the previous year I managed to negotiate it for 2 and 2. Quite pleased with that given the audience.

The second double subber, involved the first half in more of the stream, followed by a leafy bank with rocks. Whilst the experts had to contend with a moss covered slab (and a hairy drop and another climb), the clubman route was straightforward if you could find grip.

Not a good performance and despite taking a wider line exiting the stream (to avoid turning in the stream itself), still didn’t get the clean up the bank. Jon followed my line and cleaned it for a good ride. Mark hit a step in the stream and knocked off his chain.

After Ashfield

Final double at Ashfield was out of the stream and over some rocks. Mark and I were now taking our time and decided to watch a few people here. After watching Colin Leese take a five on the previous sub (the final climb didn’t look easy), saw him take another over the rock step in the final section.

Lost a couple of marks over the greasy slab, after dithering over gear selection (its always the way, if you’re undecided, you lose marks), before cleaning the second half, which was straightforward.

Back down to the road, and some refueling. Also took some time to watch the Experts tackle the first sub in the stream, including a good ride from Dan Sanders on his Fantic. Plenty of people also showed how hard it was, especially on different lines. Even though you get the choice of the whole stream, there’s usually only one good line. Neil Gaunt also rode a really nice clean, producing more GOV 132 comments from the locals (found this nice web site on the hunt for Ariel info).

Cryn Fryn
Just a short ride through Llanwrthwl and across to Cryn Fryn. Not been here before but something different and no water.

Cryn Fryn

Slimy rocks and trees for a change and also that usual challenge of route finding. Manage two cleans on the first double sub, but it all went a bit wonky on the 3 and 4 th sections here and went a little off line in places. Good for variety though.


Nothing unexpected at Doliago, but four difficult sections, though maybe not as much water as there had been in the past. From the start of the first section, its pretty unrelenting all the way up and avoiding a five was the order of the day.

Again, as we arrived, despite not being first to the group no-one had gone through. First up this time was Jon Bliss, who took the zig-zag line up the first couple of subs, which was the best line. Some energy was required to keep the bike on track and also to ensure you got more than 5 ft in from the ‘Start’ cards.

Doliago: first section

I hit the first rocks about right, but needed a dab to straighten things up, but then took three more dabs before entering the second half of the section. Then took another 3 here just to ensure i got to the ends. Watched Colin Leese clean the first half before hitting a rock further up (as did Neil Gaunt later, see video).

The second double here was no easier and remember hauling the Jumbo out of here last year. Not so bad this time, and managed to keep the bike going for a couple of 3′ here.

Doliago: after the final section

There’s a sense of relief when you get out to the field at the top and for us to take a few minutes watching others come up through the gully. Lots of riders struggling up through the second sub and certainly no chance for you if you wandered off the ridable line.

After 15 minutes of so, decided to head off, up the A470 to the last group at Hillgate.


Good crowd here, though a van parked on the road nearly resulted in a pile-up, after some heavy breaking to avoid a lorry coming the other-way; all very exciting.,


The first sub here contains the infamous ‘Dave Thorpe’ step and although the Clubman route went round the side of it, we watched three 5’s just at the start with a smaller rock taking people out. A route to the left avoided this and managed to take only 1 on the first half, but took a slack couple in the second half.

The water used to flow down this section, but it now had changed course and was flowing at speed down the last double sub of the day. Despite there now being 20 or so riders in front of us, only a couple of people, including Colin Leese had given it a go. Perhaps his 5 & 3 was the main the bottom smooth stream bed was steep and slimy.

Sat and watched a couple of more people take 5’s and struggle to extricate themselves and their bikes up to the start of the second half. The second half looked more doable (well for a 3 anyway). Mark revved up the KT and again bringing those motocross skills to bear, shot up the stream and managed to get through both for a clean.

Hillgate : final sub

Following, I took a 5 as I couldn’t make the last couple of feet to the ends, then restarting got out the final sub for a 3, but only after lots of grunt and pushing to make it.

Another excellent Classic Experts completed. Time for chat and to watch more attempts at the slippery stream before heading the short distance back to Smithfields and the start.

Not the only one

After only riding a few trials this year, really glad I’d made the effort for this one and good way to get the enthusiasm back. The Beta made it round, despite a blowing exhaust and the starting problem.

Lots of thanks to Malcolm Bates and all the others involved in setting up and running the trial; its now a firm favourite on the calendar with around 90 entries this year.

Turning off forums

Because of the inordinate amount spam, I’ve had to turn off the forums and comments. I’m going to look to upgrade SPIP and see if there is a better filter; if so i can turn it back on

Apologies for the inconvience

A Beta Twinshock in France

Stuart in France got in touch, after recently acquiring a fine a Beta TR240 twinshock

With my own Beta looking a little tired after two years of road trials, it was nice to see some pictures of one recently acquired by Stuart in France.

Beta TR240

Some comments (and history) in an email from him….

did you know Sandifords were the first
importers of the bike while Harglow inported all the spares. Sandiford
did’nt keep it long and I told David Weatherill to take on Beta when his son
was a works Aprilla rider and David had left the company we both worked for,
he hesitated and it fell to John Lamkin via a deal with Roy Carey from
Fantic. Peter Cartwright was the works rider for Beta with one of the very
first 240’s it ended up in a box of bits at Jefferies Motorcycles in Shipley
wher I bought it and made it into the first 260cc using a 72.5 mm pisto from
a Montesa 247……………the bike is still around in the Paris Region,
and in use………..


And now, for something not quite completely different

Yes, I fancied something for long distance, trail bike, trials and that maybe more reliable (we’ll shall see)

Ebay strikes again.

Gas Gas Pampera

Been thinking for a while of getting something a little more usable for general trials and though I sold my Beta REV3, I’d not been tempted by a modern trials bike since. Partly because the twinshock’s I’d ridden have been pretty relialble, but also partly because I like road trials and natural sections that don’t involve hopping

Out of the van

So, with this in mind the Gas Gas Pampera / Beta Alp / Yamaha XT225 Serow / Honda CRF 230 (*delete where applicable) decision making process, but plumped for the more trial orientated trail bike, rather than trail orientated.

..and the stand.

Full review to come, on how the bike is set up etc, but it starts first kick and manages to get up and down the car (the steps, rather than the ramps, that is)

Dusting it off…..

Getting the SWM fired up after a 12 month gap, for the WG&DF hill climb at Rockfield

Not ridden much in the way of trials in the last few months so decided to have a fun afternoon out at the West Glos & Dean Forest club Stump Wood hill climb . The night before I decided to fire up the SWM, rather than use the Beta, which wasn’t going to like powering up hills quite so much.

It took five or six kicks of (a non-slipping) kickstart to get it up and running and then carefully pointing the bike out of the workshop door, push it into gear for liftoff. A few laps of the very dark garden failed to free up the clutch and decided to wait for morning to give it a spin on the road. It took about a mile in top and then depressing the clutch lever got the plates to de-seize.

Back in the shed

The hill climb itself was a good fun event, though I did get the bike out of the van quietly amongst the enduro KTM’s and other modern and quick machinery. Ah well.

Anyone, after about 4 hill climb sections the heat of the bike fried the condensor (not for the first time) and that was that. No spark. End of event for me, though did some timing and watching, which was all good fun.

Back in the shed and its time to sort out the condensor, once and for all, by moving it out from behind the flywheel. Its giving a good healthy spark (better than the one on the electronic ignition Beta as it happens).

More on this to come…..