I've been off the forum for a year or so
Actually, you haven't posted for over two years; good to see you back.
how strange the UK bars feel,
I tried a pair when I was running-in my first T160 (the original US 'bars were somewhat high given what the bike'd do even running-in ...
); couldn't get along with'em at all.
a pair that suits them
Ime, much depends on how tall you are. First 'bars I tried after the standard Triumph UK 'bars were 'Norton straights', aka 'Vincent straights'. Problems I found were:-
. they were a bit of a stretch from the T160's seat, but a triple's longer than a twin and I'm a short-arse;
. in the late 1970's, they were only intended for drum-brake bikes, so the twistgrip stuck out beyond the end of the 'bar even with the master cylinder butted up against the speedo. mounting; however, I've seen 'em long enough for disk-brake bits for years.
I've had Hyde "M-bars" on one T160 for years 'cos I like 'em. Mine have all the bends in one plane; however, the ones on Norman's website more recently appear to show a slight (1"?) rise from the top yoke mounting, as well as the forward and backward bends?
The other possible caveat with Hyde 'bars is I've always used 'em with rearsets; the other thing I disliked with both UK 'bars and the Norton/Vincent straights was the standard footrests position, which works better with US 'bars.
Another 'bar I've tried and liked, albeit only for a short time, were UK BSA 'bars - they seem to have a similar shape to Triumph pre-'73 US 'bars but with only a 1"~2" rise and without the great width.
the battery seems to be the only item to have suffered during the slumber,
Optimate charger seems to think it is knackered but the bike seems happy with it ie. starts first kick, lights work etc.
Otoh, the battery was the subject of your last Forum thread - https://www.triumphrat.net/classic-v...-question.html
That it appears to be still going more than two years later might suggest it's the Optimate "lie like cheap watch"?
I'd be inclined to try The Quick-'N'-Dirty Load Test':-
. Connect a meter across the battery.
. With everything switched off, the meter indicates 12.6V (+/- 0.1V)?
. If so, switch on just ignition; meter reading either doesn't drop or drops just maybe 0.1V~0.2V?
. If so, switch on all the lights; meter reading drops just maybe 0.2V~0.3V?
. If so, (without starting the engine,) leave ignition and lights on for at least fifteen minutes; the meter reading still doesn't drop below 12V?
. If so, chances are it's more likely the Optimate than the battery at fault - that said, the load test is only definitive if the battery fails;
if it 'passes', it still could be failing; any more doubts about the battery, take it to a proper auto-electrician with the kit to load-test it properly.
. Finally, start the engine and slowly raise engine rpm while watching the meter reading; Volts should rise with rpm to 14.5V~15V @ 3,500~4,000 rpm, thereafter the Volts should hold steady even if you continue to raise rpm; the Volts should only reduce again when rpm falls below the 3,500~4,000 rpm. If so, rectifier and Zener are working correctly.