'72 Bonnie - from finding to buying, to fixing up, to riding... - Page 196 - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:48 AM   #1951 (permalink)
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Gator, when you say the plugs were fouling, do you mean they were just black and sooty or did they actually malfunction due to fouling?

The reason I ask is I'm seeing the plugs on several of my bikes running black when I know the bike is set up as it should be. I've got a HD that is fuel injected and was set up on a dyno with me present and it is lean if anything. Yet the exhaust is always black and the plugs are never brown. Not fouled, but on the blackish side.

I tend to think that the additives in today's gasoline contribute to the deposits. Things that prevent knock and help improve the quality of what is probably truly crappy fuel might be at play here. And since the combustion chambers in these old girls are not optimized for these fuels, combustion efficiency may be less than optimal.

My point is, if you have access to a dyno and fuel gas analyzer, you might want to put the bike on the dyno when you get her back. Since you are driving a Porsche, I know that the cost of a dyno run won't make you eat bean sandwiches and Cheerios for the rest of the year. And I would think that what it tells you and perhaps the changes it indicates may be required, will give you peace of mind that makes it all well worthwhile.

I have a Honda 305 that has been giving me fits with fouled plugs. But since I've been fighting this (not full time) for 2 years now, I'm starting to think that the fouled plugs are more of a side symptom of another problem. Now that I'm retired, I'll be able to dig into it.

And it is nice to have you back. I thought that was implied, but I'm sure nice to hear just the same.

regards,
Rob
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:59 AM   #1952 (permalink)
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Ray told me this story when I trailered the Bonneville to him:

When he was being trained as a Triumph mechanic by factory trainers in 1968, one of his senior factory mechanic's told him this:

"Never let anyone else ride your bike. They will do more damage to it in one ride than you will do in a lifetime.

First of all, they are not invested in the bike and have nothing to lose and only to enjoy it. You have invested time, labor, and heart, and maybe blood, sweat and tears into your personal bike that they have not. It has cost you a lot in all three ways. It has cost them nothing - no matter how great a person they are or how great a bike mechanic they are.

You care about the condition of the bike like no one else ever will. You know every sound the bike makes, and only you are sensitive enough to its noises to tell what is normal and when something is abnormal. If you hear something abnormal, you won't just keep riding it - you will stop riding until you know what is causing the noise and you will fix it. The other guy won't even know something is out of kilt - and he'll just keep riding.

If you want your bike to last a lifetime- never let anyone else ride it."

Well, I'm converted.

3 out of the last 4 times I've let others ride my bikes, there has been MAJOR damage - and all 3 riders were very experienced.

Let a good friend who is currently bikeless ride my '97 Wide Glide on a mountain trip in the spring. He's very experienced Harley rider and mountain rider. He's ridden my Harley's on mountain trips before. He burned up my rear brake rotor, caliper and master cylinder going down a mountain, and kept insisting he didn't ride the rear brake on the way down. It locked up smoking so much at the bottom that I was tempted to call the fire dept. I backed off the adjustment to release the brake after it cooled and rode it home myself well over 100 miles with no rear brake. Cost? almost $600.00.

My 36 year old son, biker for 20 years, multiple bikes, 5 year Army mechanic, rode the same WG on another mountain trip because his Kawasaki Vulcan was down this summer. He killed the engine after a stop on a sharp incline, dropped it, huge dent in pristine, like-new fuel tank where all the fancy flame artwork & pinstriping is, busted front & rear turn signals, dented expensive Arlen Ness front headlight nacelle. He's in college full time and doesn't have a penny. Repair cost? $300, not including the tank repaint, which I'm not even sure can be done. The bike was like new. 2nd time he's dropped it, first was 6 years ago when he hit sand in a turn.......all repairs then he paid for and no permanent damage to anything.

And now my 23 yr. old son treats the Bonnie like it's his almost new Ducati, and blows a hole in a piston.

I've always wanted others to enjoy my bikes - especially my family. And thought, well, if one gets damaged, no big deal as long as no one is hurt. I've let countless people ride all of my bikes.

But from this point on, I just can't afford it any more. Not just financially.

Emotionally and mentally, I can't take it. I'm living evidence of the old Triumph factory mechanic's wisdom.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:22 AM   #1953 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeoil View Post
Gator, when you say the plugs were fouling, do you mean they were just black and sooty or did they actually malfunction due to fouling?

The reason I ask is I'm seeing the plugs on several of my bikes running black when I know the bike is set up as it should be. I've got a HD that is fuel injected and was set up on a dyno with me present and it is lean if anything. Yet the exhaust is always black and the plugs are never brown. Not fouled, but on the blackish side.

I tend to think that the additives in today's gasoline contribute to the deposits. Things that prevent knock and help improve the quality of what is probably truly crappy fuel might be at play here. And since the combustion chambers in these old girls are not optimized for these fuels, combustion efficiency may be less than optimal.

My point is, if you have access to a dyno and fuel gas analyzer, you might want to put the bike on the dyno when you get her back. Since you are driving a Porsche, I know that the cost of a dyno run won't make you eat bean sandwiches and Cheerios for the rest of the year. And I would think that what it tells you and perhaps the changes it indicates may be required, will give you peace of mind that makes it all well worthwhile.

I have a Honda 305 that has been giving me fits with fouled plugs. But since I've been fighting this (not full time) for 2 years now, I'm starting to think that the fouled plugs are more of a side symptom of another problem. Now that I'm retired, I'll be able to dig into it.

And it is nice to have you back. I thought that was implied, but I'm sure nice to hear just the same.

regards,
Rob
Rob-

Not misfiring or anything, no failure - just really sooty & black, thick carbon. I check them frequently and didn't want to let them get to the point of not firing. Like I said, even with the 180's they carbon up.

Can't tell you guys how good it is to be back. Didn't know how much you guys mean to me until I start seeing these replies.

Another component of my staying in hiding was I just wasn't emotionally up to dealing with the issue, trouble-shooting the cause, etc.

But my hope is that by spring, the bike should be ready to go, and all my major projects behind me so I can spend more time in the saddle.

I've decided to sell my '71 T100C Trophy 500 once I get it cleaned up - again, my son and his BF learned to ride on it, and never cleaned it. She needs a lot of attention. A guy in Boston wants it and will be coming down in the spring. I've lost interest in keeping it and really don't enjoy riding it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:08 PM   #1954 (permalink)
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welcome back Buddy

I hope your faith in others is soon restored. These old machines will certainly test your capacity for handling anxiety; but adventure is part of their appeal. As our bodies and our bikes age, we are more cautious about testing their limits. We are also more attuned to warning signs than those with less experience. You'll get your Bonne back and reconnect with the song. Its newly restored reliability will open doorways to shared adventure. You can come ride mine any time (all are currenty running GASP). I am currently negotiating the purchase of 2 Trident heads to get my spare engine built. Bob
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #1955 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatornapper View Post
..."Never let anyone else ride your bike. They will do more damage to it in one ride than you will do in a lifetime.....
I follow that code for all things now. I do have exceptions for certain friends that I know will replace it if they break it. My code has always been to replace anything I break, whether it was just poor timing for me to borrow it or I actually broke it. I expect the same from others or my stuff is not for loan.

Loaned my bike trailer twice and both times it came back damaged. First time they jackknifed it so hard backing it up that they bent the rim on the spare. I'm sure it did a number on their bumper, too.

Loaned a Browning shotgun to a really good friend. He wanted to clean it before he gave it back. Unscrewed the magazine cap and the receiver and stock got launched across the basement by the recoil spring and split the stock into two piece. It was blond wood, only wood I've ever seen like that on a Browning A5. My Dad bought the gun new for me when I turned 16. Fixed it and sold it at a gun show.

The list goes on. Bottom line is even if they don't do damage, if whatever you let them take decides to act up on its own, you'll always suspect they abused it. It ain't worth it. I spend lots of money on tools and other stuff that I may only use once or twice, but I have it when I need it. Let the rest of them do the same.

My friend Larry had a Blue Ferarri 308 GTS. Last year for Webers. He had it for sale and I was thinking about buying it, but I knew I'd never be able to sell it because I would not be able to afford another one. He said that was okay. But I still should come over and get it someday and take my wife for a ride. I told him no way. He said he trusted me. I told him I would drive it like it was my baby, but I know that somewhere out on the road was a farmer on a tractor or an old lady in a Buick just waiting for me to come down the road and pull out in front of me at the last minute. I shoulda bought that car.

I'll help anyone. If the need my trailer now, it usually comes with me and my vehicle.

Nobody rides my bikes. NOBODY!

Rob
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #1956 (permalink)
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Only one that will ride my bike besides me is the mechanic who might be working on it. No one else. Don't loan my tools or anything else either.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #1957 (permalink)
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Yeah can so relate to the above,

Let my friend take my '66 Chevy stepside 4x4 to get some beer.
Came back with a smashed up grille (recently chromed).
Some jackass got stuck in the snow and my friend pulled him out with my truck.
Once the car got traction in reverse- well you can guess the rest!

What are friends for anyway?

Nobody will ever take my bike out unless i'm on theirs and right along next to them!
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #1958 (permalink)
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no Ferris Bueller

I heard my Dad cuss once in my entire life: I wrecked his truck when the brakes failed. I concur on loaning tools. Bob
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:59 PM   #1959 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradobob View Post
I hope your faith in others is soon restored. These old machines will certainly test your capacity for handling anxiety; but adventure is part of their appeal. As our bodies and our bikes age, we are more cautious about testing their limits. We are also more attuned to warning signs than those with less experience. You'll get your Bonne back and reconnect with the song. Its newly restored reliability will open doorways to shared adventure. You can come ride mine any time (all are currenty running GASP). I am currently negotiating the purchase of 2 Trident heads to get my spare engine built. Bob
Good and wise words, Bob. Thanks.

As Patton said, "Any fool can follow rules; it takes wisdom to know when to break them." As the maker of the rule, I'm quite free to break it any time I want.

And there are people like you for which I'd trash the rule in a nano-second..........

Even if that weren't the case, at a minimum I'd have to return your gracious offer.....

But I will be more careful with letting others ride my bikes, even my sons. The son who dropped the Wide Glide I invited back on it after a 6 month period of no riding, and then with strong encouragement to treat the bike 10x better than if it were his own.
Initially I told him he had to abide by the "you break it - you fix it" rule - which he honored the first time he dropped it 6 years ago. But now he is a full-time college student on the GI Bill and hardly has enough to eat. I later told him just to be more careful, I'd cover any damage.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:00 PM   #1960 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gatornapper View Post
rob-


can't tell you guys how good it is to be back. Didn't know how much you guys mean to me until i start seeing these replies.


group hug????
we missed you too!!
:-) :-)
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