Triumph T300 Café Racer

Despair Shop 16 – Holey Crap Batman

Despair Shop 16 Holey Crap Batman.

So last week’s episode told of a CBR1000f that I had acquired that had looked to be a bit of a bargain. This week I discovered why it wasn’t. I had sorted all the electrical issues and got it started but the exhaust was noisy. I had only run it briefly and as it was inside, I didn’t have the space between the ZZR1100 and the pile of auto jumble to have a proper look. I took it out today for a proper look see and it was far worse than I could have imagined. Somebody had got Stevie Wonder round, got him pissed and then gave him some tools with which to repair a rusty collector box. It has to be said that the results can best be described with how my old Headmaster described me – disappointing. It is so bad that it’s not worth attempting to repair, which gives me a bit of a problem. These bikes are now rather aged and parts for them are few and far between – especially exhausts that loved to rot around the collector boxes. This means that what few are left tend to be rather expensive. So expensive that it really renders the bike only suitable for breaking, which is a real shame as it’s quite a classic now.Rotten collector box

So it’s either wait and hope a cost effective one comes up or bite the bullet and splash out £300 for a new one – that ain’t going to happen as I will never get my money back. I didn’t pay a lot for the bike and so it’s not going to show me a loss but I rather wanted to do this one as it simply appeals to me and I don’t like to kill such good bikes. Maybe I will stash it for a while and see if an exhaust comes along at a price that makes sense.

Meanwhile, in the front workshop, the black figure of my Triumph T300 café racer taunts me every time I go in there. I started building it about 2 ½ years ago as I didn’t like the commercially available kits and wanted to try something a bit different. I thought it would be a cool project and bought a pair of T300’s off a bloke in Sheffield – the pair turned out to be just over 1.25 at best and I sold one of them. I then bought another and set to work with my angle grinder, hammer and a good dose of stupidity.

Last time I went to Newark I picked up the headlight I have always wanted for it and that has kind of reignited my desire to actually finish it. I have had it running, the exhausts are stupidly loud but it runs rather well. The carbs have been correctly jetted but it hasn’t been on a dyno or anything yet. First job is to make a couple of headlight / indicator support brackets and then finalise the wiring, which looks like the nest of a particularly shoddy and un-house proud alcoholic bird.

Wiring LoomThe reason I wanted the headlight that I eventually got was because it has a really large bowl in which to hide most of the wiring.

The reason I had stopped work on it for so long was because the rear end hadn’t worked out how I wanted it and to add insult to injury the cam cover gasket leaked oil in copious quantities. The leak issue can be sorted quite easily but the back end is something else – the problem being that the number plate doesn’t fit!

I had got a nice looking rear light with integral number plate mountings but the plate hits the rear wheel, even if I put a pretty jaunty angle on it that PC Plod would not approve of. I shall have to look at what I can do to rectify that particular inconvenience.

I am thinking of scrapping the light altogether and replacing it with something that will work better. I was looking at mounting the Triumph T300 Rear Lightplate to the side but I don’t like that look.

Having gone back down the workshop and had a post coffee assessment I took the hacksaw to the old light fitting and modified it so I can make a bracket and mount it higher. The number plate will still have to be angled a bit but nowhere near as much as before. I shall attend to that forthwith.

Number PlateBefore I get too carried away and turn more decent steel in to scrap I offered up a scrap number plate to make sure it would work – it’s a waste of time and energy producing stuff that just gets thrown away.





Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

Boston Bike Bits