Despair Shop 36 – They think it’s all over. They are wrong

I thought I had finished work on the Triumph but when I put the LED side lights in the mudguard bracket they somehow didn’t look right. I had a think about it and made a couple of brackets to position them each side of the headlight. The wires won’t flex there as they would with the forks going up and down so it’s probably a more reliable solution anyway. It’s done now and awaiting it’s MoT, which I will get to in the next few days.

While that is going on I have also been dealing with my somewhat troublesome SRAD, I just couldn’t get it to run right. It was always a bitch to start and it would spit flames and backfire and generally misbehave like a petulant child. I thought about thrashing it with a stick but thought maybe another clean of the carbs might be more productive, albeit less fun. I noticed that the carbs were fitted with removable needle valve seats – I hate the things. The o rings in them get attacked by ethanol and allow petrol past – this turned out to be exactly what was happening on carbs 3 and 4. Every time I started it the workshop filled with the eye stinging vapours of unburnt fuel, can’t have done my lungs any good. Fortunately I keep a big stock of carb parts so was able to swap them out and now they work both fine and dandy.

I still wasn’t happy with the running though – it was better but the pickup was still not clean and there was still smoke from the exhaust suggesting an imperfect burn. I balanced the carbs – they weren’t far out, and reset the idle mixtures – slightly better again but still not right. I ordered a new set of spark plugs and impatiently awaited their arrival. With the new plugs in hand I removed the old ones and in so doing think I found the route cause of my problem. As I withdrew the plug on coils 3 of them felt right, one of them didn’t – it came off too easily. Upon inspection I realised that the little spring that contacts the top of the plug was missing so there was a big gap between the plug’s electrode and the coil – not good. It would have definitely been causing a misfire. I had already checked the temperatures of the headers and had my suspicions about number 2 pot as 1, 3 and 4 were at about 190 degrees and number 2 was at about 70. I wasn’t sure if it was because I couldn’t get a good aim with my infra red thermometer or not – I’m pretty sure now it was telling the truth.

I have hundreds of coils in stock but sold my last candlestick style coil a couple of weeks ago, which was bad planning on my part. I have ordered one on line – they are not dear. I will have t wait for it though, which is deeply upsetting.

Aprilia RS50In the mean time work has progressed on my Aprilia RS50, that’s a great little bike with it’s surprisingly powerful Minarelli AM6 two stroke engine. It produces about the same power as most restricted 125’s and is a hoot to ride. Naughty little thing threw me a curve ball though. I had it running in the workshop and it was perfect so I thought I would take it up the road to give it a proper test. All went swimmingly well until it started coughing and spluttering as if there was a fuel feed problem. I checked it all and everything seemed fine. I opened up the drain screw on the bottom of the carb and fluid flowed out. It tried it again and it was perfect. I got about half way to the end of the road when the bitch did it again. It wouldn’t start this time so I had to push it home – glad it wasn’t the XL1000V Varadero – that would have been abandoned had the same thing happened. So I checked it again, same thing, then I thought – I know – water in the fuel. I’m pretty sure that’s what it was, I drained off about a mug full and it has behaved ever since, so fingers crossed on that one. It needs a new pair of tyres on it – they have plenty of tread but they are cracking round the side walls. They are the ones that were on the bike when it was purchased new back in 2006. The price of tyres always surprises me and this one uses the largest tyres you are likely to see on a 50, even using my trade contacts it puts a hefty lump on the price I have to ask for the finished bike. Somebody will still get a bargain though and I expect these things to go up in price as time goes by.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

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