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Topics - Oggers

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British Bikes / Timing
« on: June 18, 2021, 01:39:02 PM »
Sacrilege perhaps, but is there any merit in the following as a temporary substitute for dynamic timing with a strobe.

Warm engine
Hold at 3500 or so rpm
Move stator plate round ACW or CW - by a small amount until the position is found where the revs max out

Bike is 66 Triumph T120 with Boyer. Seems to run fine but may benefit from a small refinement in the timing.


British Bikes / Firing on one cylinder only
« on: June 12, 2021, 12:56:04 PM »

Another  fault developed with 66 Triumph Bonneville Post the clutch issue - and thanks for all replies - I moved on to service the carbs (Amal 930s).  Just a visual of floats,main jets, slides etc to see if all was well. I removed the tank, removed the carbs, replaced everything as per. It's all pretty new, so didn't notice anything, and didn't really expect to as the bike was running fine. Another thing I did was simply to remove the rounded oblong rocker box covers - it has a later head - with the intention of checking the valve clearances. I didn't bother in the end as all seemed well. All reassembled as per manual and woe! Right hand cylinder is not firing - well mostly, it seems to now and then when testing on the road, but basically there is no power there. Left hand seems fine.

What I have done so far

Checked carb for float faults, needle, needle holder - all seems well. Bowl gasket fine. Carb seems to be delivering petrol to the engine and not flooding - I can see the spray through the inlet. All seems well here.

Checked for spark at plug. Fine. Good spark. Changed the plug just in case. No difference.

Checked the coil - all connections appear fine. No real reason to suspect this. Coils are pretty new.

Gave the exhaust valve several tap on the head- stuck valve perhaps. No change. Admittedly did not do inlet.

It's all very odd - it ran fine a day ago! I may have disturbed something, but no idea what.

All suggestions are most welcome

British Bikes / Notchy gearbox
« on: June 08, 2021, 09:47:30 AM »

1966 Triumph T120 Bonneville is proving to be an occasional pain in the neck when changing gear - especially from 3rd to 4th. Here it basically does not engage into 4th and finds neutral instead. Compared the other bikes, the gearchange just does not seem positive in selection and seems over-light - for want of better words. The throw of the gearlever between changes is also very small, and finding neutral from 1st or 2nd is a very fine art. The delicate tap required at the (standard) gearlever to find neutral is almost imperceptible.     

Of course I realize this may be all perfectly normal and that I need to adapt my right foot to the circumstances, but it does seem a little "light"

Things I have done fairly recently

Fresh gearbox oil - to the spec as per the manual - filled with correct amount
Fresh engine oil - to spec
Various adjustments at clutch nut - the one concealed behind the chaincase
Various adjustments of the clutch cable at both the lever and at the gearbox ends
Cleaned up the clutch plates/basket
I change up at around 4000/4500 rpm with a slight whiff of throttle.

It may simply be an attribute of the gearbox - which I understand to be original - but all thoughts welcome, particularly from other T120 owners.   

British Bikes / Exhaust valve lifter
« on: April 22, 2021, 11:13:55 AM »

Nipple on the handlebar end of the exhaust valve lifter cable for the Velo MSS came away today. Not surprised - it looks original and there is quite a bit of force exerted on the cable to operate the lever at the other end. The operation works fine enough and I have ordered another cable, but would there be any fairly easy way I can reduce the force required on the handlebar lever to prevent possible re-occurrrence? 

British Bikes / Broken fin on barrel
« on: February 20, 2021, 02:55:46 PM »
Just managed to break a fin on the aluminium alloy barrel of the Velo. I was heating it trying to bend it back and then snap! Much profanity followed. Piece is around 40mm by 15mm.

Forget welding it for the moment - looks very difficult and besides I am rubbish at it and there are no welders round here in the immediate vicinity.

Thoughts therefore are

Epoxy putty/plastic metal, JB weld or Belzona or something.

Comments welcome 

British Bikes / Spanners and sockets
« on: January 17, 2021, 04:51:13 PM »

I have always assumed that a Whitworth spanner and socket set are the default for most British bikes, but I read somewhere Velocettes are different - not sure where or why this should be the case.

Can you advise - as I may be about to buy one - a 54 MSS.

My thanks and regards


British Bikes / Velocette 1956 MSS
« on: November 02, 2020, 04:12:32 PM »

I have half an eye on an MSS. Looks to be a nice single, though being a Velo somewhat eccentric. Thoughts welcome as to riding and maintaining it. Condition is above average, allegedly decent mechanically, some cosmetic work to do.

Many thanks


British Bikes / Twin Leading Shoe problem
« on: October 08, 2020, 10:25:15 AM »

66 Bonnie is fitted with a TLS - Twin Leading Shoe. Essentially on application of the brake, the forks judder and there is quite a bit of chatter from the brake knocking against the retaining tab on the offside fork. I have checked the head bearings - no problems there, so I am guessing it is the brake itself somewhere. I have little experience of these things, so some advice as to any adjustments I need to make or what to look for would be most appreciated.   

British Bikes / Oil pressure release/relief valve
« on: July 19, 2019, 10:13:26 AM »
I am uncertain of just how and when my Pressure release/relief (PRV) valve should operate and seek enlightenment!

The PRV on my old nail of a 55 G9 Matchless twin is located within the timing case and is essentially a plunger with a captive spring ostensibly pressing against the timing case cover and pushing the plunger mating face against the seat. This seat is at one end of a filter housing - the other end of which is a ball valve with a weak sping, which ostensibly allows pressure to build, releasing said ball valve and allowing oil to flow through the engine at pressure.  This ball valve seems to be in order, and I also cleaned out the PRV tunnel when the timing case was apart last.

However, you may recall I am having problems with the dynamo seal - very close by the PRV. Essentially I am pretty sure it is leaking oil despite a new cork seal and plenty of silicone. With the dynamo removed and on starting the bike, it is very clear the PRV is relieving and spraying masses of oil around the vicinity of the dymano seal, probably overloading it and causing the leak seen. I am not certain of how the PRV behaves when up to running temperatire

Oil is Castrol straight 50


Is the PRV supposed to relieve at start like this? I appreciate the oil is thick, but surely the weaker ball valve spring would be first to go to allow oil to circulate?

 Is the oil truly circulating through the engine at start, the PRV just relieving excess oil? Would there be any merit in extending the PRV spring to possibly increase the relief pressure/the point at which it relieves- thereby reducing the amounts of oil splurging into the timing case? 

Given the above observations, can I expect the PRV to close when up to running temperature. I guess I am in trouble if it does not! No obvious sign that it doesn't when out on the bike!


British Bikes / 55 Matchless G9 primary chaincase
« on: June 23, 2019, 12:18:00 PM »

Right, I think I have bottomed out the root cause of this problem! Chaincase still leaks - only drips - but annoying nevertherless. What seems to be happening is that the chaincase is filling up with oil, reaching too high a level, and leeching through either the clutch cover gasket or the filler hole gasket.

So where is the oil coming from?  I can think of only two places.

1 - Wet sumping leeching from engine/crankcase when laid up. However, as a precaution against this, I remove the sump plug after a run, let it drain, then replace the oil before a run. Thus I presume it is not possible for the oil to build up in the sump and overflow into the chaincase.

2 - Breather valve u/s. I have pulled the outer chaincase cover and it seems fine. The Maltese cross plate thing looks fine, but I guess it may have been in a permanently open position allowing oil/condensate into the primary chaincase and thus filling it up. Is this feasible? Spring holding the plate looks fine.

Once again, your thoughts are very welcome.

British Bikes / Re: 55 Matchless G9 Dynamo exterior cork gasket
« on: May 26, 2019, 12:02:22 PM »

Noticed quite an oil leak coming from the dynamo and the timing cover mating faces. The gasket is of an annular type and of thick cork, and although seemingly not too bad, I have ordered replacements. The sealing seems to be done on the inner edge of the cork gasket and the dynamo "stub" end, and perhaps the vertical face of the dynamo - where there is no gasket.

Possible solutions - O ring instead of cork gasket?
Make up thin gasket for the vertical face?
Apply blue Hylomar or similar - in addition to the above.

Thoughts welcome.

Must admit I still have not looked at the crankcase breather valve  - on the crankshaft on the other side - as it it under the pressed steel primary chaincase and I don't really want to disturb it. I understand  pressure may be build up in the timing cover and blow things if this valve is u/s   

British Bikes / 61 Triumph T21 bathtub
« on: May 12, 2019, 04:21:32 PM »
One of these for sale locally. Good mechanical nick. Light blue paintwork good, silencers very good, matching numbers, bit let down by the rims being somewhat tarnished. A good one for an original resto I feel. 2700 should get it. Started first kick. Thoughts welcome....... 

British Bikes / Timing cover leak
« on: May 03, 2019, 09:36:19 AM »

Oil flowing out of the top edge of the mating suface twixt timing cover and crankcase. Oily right boot and gearlever ensued. Bike (59 Matchless G9) is newly overhauled - not by me - so currently cautiously riding around to establish confidence.

To remedy the above, cover removed, mating surfaces flattened as much as feasibly possible, screw holes deburred, flexoid gasket made, mating surfaces painted with Wellseal, Monograde 50 to be used intead of the previous 20/50. All now ready for test ride.


The leak was close to the oil pressure relief valve - spring and piston affair in the crankcase. Would there be any preponderance for a leak in this area? I am guessing that the void under the cover should not be pressurized.

Any thoughts as to root cause - apart from dodgy mating surfaces.

Many thanks


British Bikes / 66 Triumph T100
« on: May 01, 2019, 09:41:48 AM »
One for sale close by. Tempting. Deos not run - I am told it did, but battery has died...hmmm, and when it did run, it was lumpy. Could be a relatively easy fix perhaps....It looks to be all there. Paintwork/chrome seems OK...could be a goer at 2500 notes.....

Thoughts welcome....

British Bikes / Leaking primary chain cases
« on: March 04, 2019, 10:18:00 AM »

Matchless G9 appears to be leaking lube oil from the pressed steel primary chain case. Not a great design, held in place with a steel band/turnbuckle arrangement around the circuference. All ideas much appreciated - apart from the ususal gasket sealant - in order to impove matters.......

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